Quest for Atlantis: Time of Atlantis (Part Four )

Posted: July 8, 2016 by J.A. Prentice in Serial Stories
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Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four: Time of Atlantis

“Yes,” she replied. Her hand brushed through my hair. “And you could share it, Celeste Kavanaugh. The blood of empires flows in your veins as well. You could have your place in my court. You and your friends.”

“Celeste!” Demetrios yelled.

And this time his call reached me. I pulled myself out of the dream as I had swum out of the deep. With each passing moment, the folly of what she wanted seemed plainer to me.

Her dream was an empire of peace, but that wouldn’t be possible without war. She would drive the nations to their knees in her quest for power.

I couldn’t allow that.

“No,” I said.

She pulled back and I saw something like pity in those opal eyes of hers.

“I am sorry, Celeste,” she said. “Perhaps, in time, you will reconsider.”

She turned to her guards.

“Take them to the cell,” she said.

The guards advanced on us, cutting our bonds and pulling us to our feet. Stamatios tried to fight them and received an electrical shock for his trouble. If I had to guess, I would have said those weapons were another thing given to them by “Prometheus.” I decided right then and there that if I ever met that man (or god, or Titan, or however he wanted to be called) I would probably punch him right in the teeth. Hopefully punching a god’s teeth wouldn’t break my knuckles.

As the guards herded us out, I looked back to see the Queen walking over to the throne, where she pressed her hand into the wall. A bronze panel slid back with a clicking sound and a noise like the grinding of gears filled the air. I could feel it under my feet: movement shuddering through the whole tower.

A panel opened in the floor. Clouds of steam billowed out, rising up and blocking the Queen from view as she advanced towards the opening. Through it all, I could still see the blazing flame in the sphere. It lowered as the Queen descended, walking down unseen steps. The grinding sound continued, growing louder and louder.

The realization struck me like lightning from the storm above. I understood in a moment exactly what the mechanism was.

“The tower,” I said. “The whole tower is the mechanism.”

The others stared at me.

“But that would be…” Demetrios shook his head. “It would be enormous.”

“A mechanism designed to manipulate time and space?” Megalos threw Demetrios a scathing look. “Yes, I think it might be big.”

“But they can’t really do that,” Stamatios said. “It’s… It’s not possible.”

“None of this is possible,” Demetrios replied. “Part of me thinks I hit my head in the storm. This is just a dream. Or perhaps my diving suit failed and these are the last thoughts of my oxygen-deprived brain as I sink into the deep.” He laughed. “Somehow, I find death more comforting than the idea that this is real.”

There was no rest in comfortable delusions for me. I knew that it was all real as clearly as I knew my name. The cold metal floor beneath my feet felt as real as my own fingers. The whirring of hidden mechanics was as undeniable as the sun in the sky.

Atlantis was real. My dream had been realized.

It had become a nightmare of lightning and clockwork.

The island would become a weapon – both city and ship. It could appear where it willed, when it willed, conquering all in an ever-expanding empire. Time rested in the hand of a madwoman. She would bend it to her will, dominate it, make the whole world bow before her and cry out her name in praise and adoration.

The world needed unity, but not like that. Not under her. Not by the force of bronze and lightning.

I knew that I couldn’t permit this. Whatever the risk, I had to act.

Stamatios caught my eye. I nodded. Demetrios hesitated, then inclined his head. Even Megalos gave us a look of affirmation.

We would act for the good of the world.

I remembered words my grandfather had once spoken, when he was lost deep in an ocean of memory, rocked upon the almighty waves of remembrance.

If I am to perish, let it be in battle. Let it be for a good and righteous cause. Let me not show fear before my foes. Let me go out roaring as a lion.

For Queen and Country.

“For Queen and Country!” I yelled, aware of the irony of my words as I grabbed at the spear of my guard.

It came away in my hands and I brought it swinging round, crashing into his helmet. The lightning sparked with a flash of green and puff of smoke. He cried aloud and fell to the ground, twitching.

I thrust my spear into the chest of the guard closest to Demetrios. The lightning fired again.

I tried not to look at his eyes as he died or hear his terrible scream, but even then I knew it would haunt me to the end of my days, provided I had any more days left to live.

Demetrios and Stamatios had acted at the same time, bringing down the other guards. They lay on the floor, some dead, some merely incapacitated.

Megalos clapped his hands together.

“Excellent work,” he said.

“Thanks for the help,” Stamatios muttered under his breath.

“What now?” Demetrios asked.

I noticed he was looking at me. They all were.

I had gotten us all into this mess. For years, Atlantis had been sealed safely away and I had released it once more. It was only fair for me to be the one to put the genie back in the bottle.

“After the Queen,” I said, holding up my spear. “Into the mechanism.”

To be continued…

  1. mandibelle16 says:

    Nice building. Glad she came to her senses!

    Liked by 1 person

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