Quest for Atlantis: Dream of Atlantis (Part Three)

Posted: July 6, 2016 by J.A. Prentice in Serial Stories
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Quest for Atlantis Logo


Part One
Part Two

Part Three: Dream of Atlantis

I dreamt I heard a voice, billowing in the night. Weak and muffled, it called to me.

“I am a prisoner,” it said. “Free me, Celeste. Free me. Do not let them put me in their new chains.”

Then it was just an echo, a cry repeated over and over.

“Free me!”

“Free me!”

“Free me!”



“Celeste!” Demetrios shouted.

I woke, light slowly streaming through my eyelids, amplified and distorted by gleaming glass and bright bronze. Tight ropes wrapped around my wrists and ankles, cutting into my circulation. The others were in a similar state. We all were all bound to chairs of silver, cold against our skin.

There was one other chair in the room, much taller and larger than ours. It bore crests of charging horses and mighty waves. I remembered my Greek mythology: Poseidon, God of the Sea, had made horses as well. That had always struck me as odd until then, as I looked at how purely the horses flowed with the shapes of the ocean.

“What are we doing here?” Stamatios asked.

“Presumably,” Megalos muttered, “being held captive.”

I shot him a look. His attitude wouldn’t help the situation.

“I don’t know why I agreed to this,” Stamatios said. He shook his head. “I thought it would be easy money. I didn’t expect this.”

“None of us did,” Demetrios replied. “Now, if we want to get out of this, it’s best to keep a level head.”

“A level head?” Stamatios spat and glared at me. His eyes were like torches of rage. “She led us into all this. Her and her map.”

“Calm down,” Demetrios urged. “We can get out of this. There’s no need to –”

“And what is your plan to… ‘get out of this’?” Megalos asked.

“I –”

“You don’t have one,” Megalos snapped. “None of us has the slightest idea what to do. We blundered in like fools. The only one who should have known is her. Her and her grandfather.”

He was glaring at me now too.

“I was expecting some ruins!” I shouted. “Not a citadel in a never-ending storm! Who would possibly expect that?”

“Perhaps,” Megalos said, “you should have been a little more prepared before you dragged us all into this!”

I wanted to snap at him, to yell about how he was being unfair and foolish, but I couldn’t. I knew he was right.

This was my quest, my mission, my responsibility. I’d been so blinded by ambition that I’d forgotten the look in my grandfather’s eyes.

His voice came back to me then: his real voice, the memory clear as crystal.

“Leave those be, Celeste. Leave them be.”

But I hadn’t. I’d chased something he’d run away from, something he’d lost at least one man to. I’d tried so hard to bring us here without sparing a thought for the consequences.

I’d just wanted to think for one minute, for one incredible moment, that there could still be adventure and excitement in the world. That not everything was lost.

But right then I knew I’d been wrong. I’d risked everyone and now we were prisoners.

Suddenly, I remembered the sphere I’d picked up. I felt around for it, but it was gone. I couldn’t remember if I’d left it at the beach or whether I’d taken it with me.

The doors to the room swung open and two guards marched it. There was a bit of Hoplite in the shape of their helmets, but overall their apparel had more in common with Turkish garb. Their skin was darker as well, almost North African. It seemed that Atlantis had been more than just Greek.

Behind the guards came a truly imposing figure. A short white dress that covered one shoulder fell to just above her knees, bordered by gold. She was covered in jewelry: gold broaches, necklaces, armbands, hairpins, and pearl earrings. Every inch of her seemed to shine. The dark curls of her hair cascaded down her back in a black waterfall. Her eyes gleamed like opals.

There was no doubt that this was the Queen the sailor had spoken of.

“Welcome,” she said. Her voice was like honey. “To the city of Atlantis. The realm of the men who would be gods.”

She smiled, flashing white teeth, and walked over to us. Her fingers traced my jaw as she looked into my eyes.

“It seems I have you to thank,” she said. “What is your name?”

“Celeste,” I replied. “Celeste Kavanaugh.”

“Your name is almost Celtic,” she replied, “but your complexion is more eastern than that. Mixed birth?”

I didn’t answer.

“It matters not,” she said. “I owe you my gratitude, no matter what nation you hail from.”

“How are you speaking our language?” Megalos asked and I almost kicked myself for not thinking of that before.

“A gift,” the Queen answered. “Of what you have returned.”

She reached into her flowing white folds and produced the sphere. The flame within flared brightly and I could tell for certain now that it was no mineral. It was a changing, burning thing locked within the glass.

“What is that?” I asked.

“You have brought it to me,” the Queen said, “and for that you are owed an answer.”

She stood up, though she didn’t move far from me. She lingered so close I could smell her perfume – a soft, inviting, flowery smell that almost put me at ease.

“Long ago,” she said, “the gods forged a sphere in the fires of the heavens. They put into it lightning and thunder and flame. With this sphere, they could master time itself. But one day, a god descended to the earth, cast out in a stream of smoke and light. He struck this ocean isle. They say the ground burnt for a fortnight. And with him, he brought the sphere.”

Aloft she held it, letting the fire dance in the sunlight.

“Fire from the gods,” she whispered.

“Prometheus,” Demetrios said. “Every child knows the tale.”

“Then fact has become myth,” the Queen replied. “As it often does. But this was fact. The fires of time, bound in crystal so that they might never flux nor wither nor change their state. Whoever wielded it would be mistress of the universe.”

Circling me, she continued her tale, the words echoing through the chamber.

“Our ancestors worked long to build this place at… Prometheus’s … insistence. He wished us to elevate ourselves. We wrought a mechanism to hold the power of time’s great flame.” Her expression darkened. “But Prometheus did not understand the truth of things. He did not know what this world needs. In the end, he fled from our city. He had not the strength to persevere to the bitter end.”

“And what end is that?” I asked.

She pressed her finger to my lips and smiled.

“Hush, Celeste of the Celts and the East. I am telling this story.” She straightened up and continued. “The day was come at last when the mechanism was complete. I was Queen over a city that would be masters of time itself.”

She clenched her fist and I saw rage pass over her beautiful features: a rage befitting a charging Boudicca. There was hatred in her words when she spoke again.

“And then the gods struck. I know not if Prometheus warned them. The great fool. But they came upon us with thunder and fire. The earth itself was shaken. And our power…” She slammed her fist into the wall with such might I thought for a moments she might have broken her fingers. “Our power was nothing to them. The sphere was lost, cast into the seas, and our cage was forged of lightning and clouds and time, binding us outside of the world so that we might never interfere again. Our destiny was stripped from us and we were naked before the might of the storm. For us, it has been a year. For you, I suspect it has been… longer.”

“That’s an understatement,” Demetrios muttered.

“But no matter.” The Queen clapped her hands together. “With the sphere, all times are one to us. All space is one to us. Atlantis may go where it wishes, may conquer where it wishes. All the world shall know us and fear us.”

“Conquer?” I asked. “You want to rule the world?”

“I intend to bring order,” she said. “Order and empire.”

“Even if people don’t want it?” Demetrios asked.

“The people don’t know what they want. They don’t know what they need.” She leaned in close to me and I could see fire shining in her eyes, a dream of unending empire. “Think of it, Celeste. I can see in your soul that you have seen where freedom leads. You have seen riots and… independence. You know what the glory of empire is. The weak are made to be dominated by the strong. It is what is best for them. Otherwise all is lost in chaos and fire.”

“Celeste?” I could hear Demetrios’s voice, but it seemed distant. I was lost in the eyes of the Queen, lost in the power of her presence. Her dream seemed to be mine. I could see it in my mind: a world with one ruler, one order, one empire that never died, a Pax Atlantica that would last for all eternity. No chaos. No death. No meaningless war.

Just order. Order and glory forever.

“It’s beautiful,” I murmured.

To be continued…

  1. mandibelle16 says:

    The Queen, an interesting person, and I think a bad woman. Only wants power. Hopefully, Celeste can overcome her powers.

    Liked by 1 person

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