Atlantis

Welcome to this extant blog. This is my first and last story

for the year. I wish to appreciate @_teki for her tremendous help in the editing of this story,cos frankly, I cudnt bear to proofread it after writing. it is a total detour from what i intended to write in the first place, but i hope you enjoy it all the same. Its the longest single story I have written for my blog.  share if you like. Have fun 😀

******

The hallway was lit by an array of wall-mounted torches. The bright yellow light from the flickering fires revealed curious designs on the walls, reminiscent of winged lions and giant eagles. At the end of the thickly carpeted hallway stood a giant oaken door almost as wide, which gleamed in the light of the fire. On the portal were slightly raised sigils of a huge griffin and other markings pertaining to cosmic elements. The avian head of the mythical creature seemed to glare threateningly at all who wished to be admitted into the Throne room of Gandas III, The Eagle of the Deep.

    The edges of the griffin flared a bright blue suddenly, casting the pale hue onto the hallway and contributing to its gloominess. The artistic lines comprising the animal began to move, causing the light to dance. The lines lifted off the door and ventured into the air, floating purposefully until the entire Griffin art was suspended before the door, and then they brightened and seemed to thicken into form, before dying away. In place of the lines now stood a fully formed griffin the height of a large horse. The leonine body of the animal assumed a dangerous stance, its claws digging into the thick Persian rug and its snake tail hissing loudly, while its head shrieked at the empty hallway. Then it waited.  Something was here. As a creature of malevolent magic, none could hope to pass it by force and survive.

   The man walked out of thin air a few metres away, his dark robes evincing his calling even as they flourished about him with his fluid movement. His wrinkled face first glared at the door before they locked the eyes of the guardian in a stare

   “Guardian Aziba, it is only I, Abu-Zamathru”, his raspy voice rang out.

   The Beast recoiled at the sound of the voice, the only voice it could ever recoil from. This was Abu-Zamathru, the most revered wizard in all the earth, the one who had brought him forth from the Land of Yor.

   The Griffin cawed welcomingly at the Wizard.

   “Not now Aziba, the king needs to hear my news”

   The Griffin quickly moved aside as the giant door opened soundlessly.

*

   King Gandas sat on his heavy gold throne. His corpulence belied a dangerous intelligence, and his bald head shone with the light from the candles and torches. Some of the king’s harem lay on plush cushions to the right, engrossed with the sensual exploration of their supple bodies. The musicians to the left of the great chamber did not pause in their rendition, even when the great doors swung open. However, the king broke his meditation regarding matters of state and watched his sorcerer draw near. The man walked with a slight spring, though he was widely known to be almost two hundred years old.  It was said that even the keepers of the underworld trembled at his passing. They could not contain his mighty shade.

   The wizard reached his king and gave a low bow, the loose ends of his robe almost touching the ground.

   “May you live forever”, he said to the king when he stood upright, his one good eye seeming to take in everything in the room without even turning his head.  Not a person in that room missed the irony in that statement.

   The god-king grunted and waved the musicians and women into silence.

   “Abu-Zamathru,” he began, “it was rumoured that you were on your yearly meditative spell. What has altered your pattern and brought you to my presence this day? Speak with haste, for I have matters to attend to.” A slight frown settled on the King’s face as he spoke. He had a great respect for the Wizard, and therefore a building foreboding as to the purpose of this visitation.

“Yes, my King.” The wizard replied. “That is part of the matter that has brought me here. I have a tale to relate-”

“Out with it, then!”

“Yes, my King.  When the sun was high in the sky today, I was with the council of gods in the far away peak of Olympus. It was my tenth day spent with them, but it was obvious all was not well. They held hurried council and forbade my presence in their midst, acting with a secrecy which gave me a sense of foreboding. When queried, they either made obscure remarks or ignored me outright. Fearing machinations against my person, I cut short my astral travel, for I know of more than one god who would want my spirit forever subject to their whim. I left in haste, abandoning the supernal fulfilment I sought, doubly certain that I was saving my life against unmeasured forces.

“Something remarkable occurred as I abandoned that dreary abode of the celestials and traversed the silver chord back to my shell in my villa. As I touched upon the outer fringes of this realm, I felt just the slightest sign of another consciousness. While it is not a great thing for wizards to pursue astral travel, it is impossible to reach out to one another in such planes. When I opened my eyes, I gave myself to reflection and concluded that the other whom I felt was not of this world. In that ephemeral moment of contact, I understood a little of that being’s thought, and it was filled with great malevolence toward the entire earth.” The wizard paused, perhaps for dramatic effect.

   The king furrowed his brows, “So what are you insinuating, Wizard? I am not one to waste my faculties on ethereal things; that is why I have the likes of you. Speak up!”

   “My Lord,” the Wizard hesitated, “like I said, I concluded that the being was not of this world, for the cosmic rules of astral travel, as far as it is known to us, forbid the grazing of minds beyond the realm of this world. The being that I encountered is verily not of this world. Something is coming, your Imperial Majesty. Something evil, and it harbours within it a burning fury for all life on this our great Island”

   The monarch drew back on his Throne, puzzlement adorning his face.

   “An evil? You do not even know its nature? Is it flesh and blood or fur and bones? Have you not sought clarity from the gods on this? Does Agnar, the one to whom we offer the most sacrifice, not advice you on this?”

   “The deities do not respond to my queries, My King, and that is what troubles me. Surely the priests of Agnar and the priestesses of Kunushera have no knowledge of this yet, else your throneroom would be agog with troubled faces. Perhaps this is the will of the gods, subject to a hidden machination.” Abu-Zamathru tried his best not to look ruffled, but it was becoming increasingly difficult.

   Gandas quickly recognised that whatever could perturb the wizard was a neigh hopeless situation. He felt his mouth turn a little dry as he envisioned the destruction of his Island kingdom, or a possible usurping of his position.

   “What measures do you suppose we take?”

   The wizard looked down wistfully.

 

***

 

I was groping my way out of a barley field wherein I had just lain with an amorous girl who got hold of me in the streets, when a cold gust of wind arose. I looked up at the clouds instinctively. The strange azure streaks of jagged light stretched from the clouds to the earth in a gruesome dance.

The cackling sound of the lightning carried over the chilling wind, and I looked up perfunctorily to read the state of the weather. The first vision stopped me dead in my tracks. The night was cloudy and the translucent clouds were bountiful, aided in beauty by the silvery light of the moon. But behind a particularly thick mass of clouds was a very large dark object. It was as though something unnatural and unsightly was advancing, soon to break through the clouds at any moment and reveal itself. In the distance, I heard a cry go up and then the sound of windows and doors being unlatched.  The hidden object in the sky threw a shadow on the ground, and in the otherwise brightly moonlit night, its shadow clothed the landscape slowly like a moving demonic blanket. It was apparent the mass would soon block out the moonlight, and then chaos would reign.  I hurried to my dwelling, terrified, my old mother at the fore of my considerations.

 

*

The great metal had hung in the sky over the barley field for four days. It was a great pebble-shaped entity, which had numerous caverns and impingements on its otherwise smooth body.  It was ashen in hue, and had underneath it, a protrusion which could have been a kind of housing. Boldly scrawled across its side was what was obviously a kind of message, or name. It was not known to any of the sages or kings, though its calligraphy was fairly easy to reproduce.

 

 I  N  V  A  D  E  R

 

***

 

Entry 2:42pm of Day 10:

Private Diary:

Colonel Chinedum Agwomba, US command.

We have now spent ten days over the skies of the island. It is truly a beauty, as has been told in the great legends. The island, which is among the largest I have yet seen, is surrounded by bountiful clumps of coconut trees. Its white beaches are unpolluted, unlike the quickly deteriorating shores of the earth. Huge monuments to its deity are visible among the gleaming white housing and official structures which seem to be made of granite, as far as the ship’s cameras permit me to surmise. Upon our nocturnal entry, we fed our eyes on the giant fields of wheat and ranches of cattle, and were little surprised to see the aberration in the weather which was no doubt conditioned by the crossing of the Al-2201 wormhole, which brought us to this 3000 BC. It is almost a sad thing to see the island plundered, but I have no remorse, for its natural fate is not any kinder. Atlantis has been doomed to sink to the bottom of the ocean by causes yet unknown, and we will plunder its gold and ivory before that cataclysmic event happens. It’s a good thing the archaeologists were right when they postulated a suitable period when the civilization was already polished. It would have been a devastating economic waste to have spent all those resources and arrive at a time period when the famous island was already sunken.

I am still in awe of the Warp Drive that has made this possible, and glad that the only existing piece of that technology was kept under maximum security at the headquarters of the United Nations. A result of the joint project of a committee of nations, it can only be used for the unconditional betterment of the good people of earth.

The experts have assured the United Nations Prosperity Council that there is no danger of effecting a time paradox, since Atlantis would eventually perish out of time in its own accord. We were under strict orders not to take any prisoners, or be intimate with their women. To this end, the soldiers have been placed under Abnebi, an Anaphrodisiac from PIKN Industries. Extra stores of this drug have been fed into the reservoir of their battle suits.

Over the days, we have discouraged all attempts to escape on the water by deploying AGM-142 Popeye missiles. During the secret briefings back on Earth of AD 2090, we were ordered not to let any soul escape, so as not to cause unforeseen ripples in time. The people of Atlantis, according to legend, are an almost self-sufficient people. They almost never migrated for business or leisure to the other nations. They had all they needed on their large bit of rock.

The Palace will be our first port of call, of course. The head must be subdued for the body to fall. Even right now, the foot soldiers are preparing for the first wave.

 

***

They came on the eleventh day. Over the last few days, the great gloomy-looking floating structure had drifted slowly towards the palace. The Soldiers of Atlantis have been recalled from the navy fleets and stationed everywhere in the city. The barracks were empty, and the blue cape and gold crest of the Atlantian Legions coloured the pathways and wide streets at every turn. For once those sons of dogs respected themselves and did not treat the citizen with disdain. We were all afraid, and with good reason. The temple was filled with praying denizens and the priests worked tirelessly in offering sacrifices to the gods. We were now in no doubt as to the malevolent inclinations of the aerial object.

Some of our people had tried to reach the far shores on boats and ships, but by some power we could not ascertain, it was said that the water vessels seemed to explode where they floated. An attempted mass exodus was quelled by this same technique, and it was not long before the citizenry decided that waiting for the fate of the god (as some had chosen to call it) was better than perishing in the shark-infested waters. The lightning rods had been released from the armoury, and the soldiers wielded them with care. They had last been used a dozen years before, when the kingdom of Persia sailed across the seas in quest of our colonisation. They were weapons of deadly powers whose secrets of construction had been handed down to us from our father’s fathers.

The palace was surrounded tightly, since the looming threat seemed purposed poised over it.

Again, they came at night. I was on my bed in my humble abode, dreaming fitfully with my sick mother beside me when the rumble started. A great creaking sound, like the opening of a long-locked metal door, vibrated through the island in the cool night air, stirring terror into our hearts. I jumped up from the sleep that had not come, and after making sure that water was close at hand for my mother to take when the terrible fit of cough started, I slid out the door quietly. The streets were bustling with the frightened and the troubled. Pleas invoking the messenger of the god, Hermes, to report our plight to the mighty Zeus rent the air. The noise was overwhelming, and I shielded my eyes as my inordinate curiosity drove my legs within viewing distance of the palace, which fortunately was situated just about a mile away.

By the light of the moon, the details were scanty, but I thought that the belly of the melon-shaped structure now contained a small hole. Where else would be unidentifiable figures be falling from?

The distance was too great to see clearly, but sound carried very clearly in the cold air. Ululations of pain filled the air as the sound of battle began. It would take me a long time to realize that those falling figures were been people like us.

Over the next few days, we got to know our enemies better, especially in the aspect regarding their proclivity to the use of force and the joy of looting.

 

Entry 6: 07pm of Day 15:

Private Diary:

Colonel Chinedum Agwomba, US command.

 We are now in the fifteenth day of our campaign. It was scheduled, at the maximum, for twenty-five. The palace of the king has been plundered. Our men reported seeing some strange threatening animal, but destroyed it before we had a chance to examine it. A drawing has been rendered by the more artistic of the men. An animal made of what seemed a combination of a Lion and Eagle would have been quite a sight, I think. I can think of one or two international districts back home who would quickly convert such a thing into a religious focal point. I digress.  A huge treasure of precious metals and jewels has been acquired, and more is promised upon ransacking the giant temples. Our expected cargo is estimated at a worth of about 5 trillion dollars. The King was not found in the palace; though we are reasonably sure he hasn’t left the island. Their soldiers put up a brave fight, but are of course no match for ours. They wield fascinating rods of lightning, and the engineers have been clamouring for a sample to be brought aboard. They readily forget the instructions against such inclinations. Nothing foreign is to be brought aboard. Besides such a thing would not benefit us, for we are five thousand years more advanced. We have no evidence of them having developed submarine travel, but we are not taking any chances. We have secured the perimeter of the submerged part of the island with wide-range Plasma walls. Anything bigger than a small fish shows up on the INVADER’s radar screens.

 

Entry 1: 13pm of Day 17:

Private Diary:

Colonel Chinedum Agwomba, US command.

Things are going according to plan. The global economy is in shambles following the devastating effects of World War 5. Thankfully, the nuclear disarmament policy by the Obama administration of 2011 followed through and the world disposed its huge store of nuclear warheads into the oceans or fired them into deep space. Nevertheless, fifty nations playing with thousands of powerful missiles nearly succeeded in reducing the world to a barren wasteland. About 968 million deaths were recorded. Entire Aboriginal tribes were wiped out by Russian warheads. The United Nations council is still pursuing the Maximum Disarmament Initiative (MDI). This has brewed political conflict among the nations, but fortunately, they are united in the singular pursuit of rejuvenating the global economic status. Even the sanctimonious eastern block and the extant Vatican agreed. And thus the Initiative for the Vivification And Development of Earth aka Project INVADE was born. Approving the use of badly dwindling earth resources, the UN commissioned the building of the INVADER, a nuclear powered kilometre-long air ship with multiple decks occupying a height of three stories. It looks like an advanced Zeppelin. Its fuselage was developed from the root metal, Titanium, into a stronger alloy, and its destination computer was re-invented with the infamous Warp Drive. The Drive had been in slow development in the African Union before the war broke out and research was discontinued. After the war, and with the coalition of member nations and precocious child prodigies, development was hastened in a highly compartmentalized manner (so no one group of people know all there is to know about it) and the device was produced after about 10years.  The Think Tanks thought it beneficial to plunder a doomed world in order to support a tottering one. I am inclined to agree. It is the way of life. The weak must support or give way to the strong. The economists are now estimating a weight of about 1 metric tonne in gold bullion alone.  They say the people will not be hit hard for long. At the very least, they still have shoals of fish to subsist on.

The time warp and its production notes are scheduled to be destroyed after this excursion to prevent rogues and megalomaniacs getting their hands on it in the future. All countries voted Aye.

 

**

 

Nineteen days now. The invaders have plundered us merciless. Our king has not been found, neither have the acclaimed wizards and oracles been sighted. Our soldiers make a great show, but are no match for the men who are dressed from their head to their feet in metal. Their voices, no doubt altered by the property of their armour, come in a harsh rumble. Their purging of our treasures is now systematic, after the reportedly abusive looting of the palace. They are men like us, yet we had never heard about their culture of floating constructs. None knew where they came from. The nobles and Lords have been thrown into poverty and even death. The invaders are not gentle. They take by force and kill with impunity in other to subdue the rest of us. The soldiers of Atlantis are fallen. The invaders have total control now. We are yet to see one of them plainly, for their gleaming black helmets cover their faces. Their seemingly soft leather clothing protected them from the lightning rods of our soldiers.

I buried my mother two days ago in the garden behind our little home. This illness got her, especially since I could not get medicine to help her. Not with all the chaos that is unravelling outside.

The temples have been ransacked and the gold, silver and diamonds, taken up into the floating monolith. Atlantians don’t generally have contact with other nations, so I am reasonably sure fate is ours alone to acknowledge and bear. I despair for my dear Atlantis.

 

***

 

 

Entry 4:12pm of Day 21:

Private Diary:

Colonel Chinedum Agwomba, US command.

   All is going as planned.

   We had a stroke of serendipity today. Our submarines have been patrolling the waters since the beginning of the campaign. Atlantis, being a much-respected continent in legend, is very likely to have advanced beyond its peers in certain frontiers. We are not taking any chances. High command believes the King or others may have the benefit of an archaic type of submarine for the purpose of escape. This view is not popular, but we have to obey the High Command. As a result, eight submarines patrol the island.

   Submarine UH-234 discovered something today.  It mistakenly found its sonar waves bounced of metal at the bottom of the ocean. Since ships of this era were apparently built with mostly wood, it was expected that the foreign metal material would be treasure from sunken ships. We were right.

Apparently, in times past, ships with valuable jewels or goods have met with disaster during terrible storms and have gone under as a result, in plain view of the whole island. The engineers on the INVADER are preparing the modified Search and Rescue Ui-64 Diver for the salvaging operation tomorrow.

 

***

On the 23rd day, there was an earthquake. I was hiding in the cellar of the mother’s house. The black armoured invaders have practically enslaved the people. They are being forced to carry the huge treasure to big vessels, which afterward lift the treasure to the floating vessel. Will we ever be rid of them?

The earthquake isn’t the first I would be witnessing in my lifetime, but it was the first that didn’t really feel like an earthquake. The Island seemed to move, but there was no attendant rumble or tremor from the depths of the earth. Could it be the gods announcing their readiness to come and rescue us? I hope so. Our king has gone into hiding somewhere in the island, maybe even used one of his fabled underwater ships to leave it. The gods are all we have left, yet they do not answer us.

 

 

Entry 5:37pm of Day 23:

Private Diary:

Colonel Chinedum Agwomba, US command.

Amadioha!

The submarine crews involved in the salvaging operations were violently assaulted by deep water sharks today, and three ended up massacred under water. One of the submarines attempted to stave off the other approaching sharks by hurriedly deploying a  Delta-F2 torpedo. It missed its target and hit the rocky foundations of the Island. There was a slight earthquake. Sonar investigation revealed the foundations of the island contained a network of cavernous recesses. The explosion has weakened the structure on one side. It is estimated that the foundation won’t hold for a long.  

We were astounded to realize that Atlantis would sink by our own hands. The High Command is horrified, but it maintains an air of stoic resignation. We may be colonisers and maybe even thieves, but never cold-blooded murderers. There is nothing that can be done. We have to play the script that the fates have set for us. This knowledge is compartmentalized to reduce the feeling of guilt, especially among the civilian facilitators of the campaign.

Genocide. That is what this is. It is totally fucked up. I hope God forgives us, because this event has already occurred back in time, before we even came here. It is without our control.

 

***

Alas, Atlantis sinks!

 

***

 

Entry 1: 00pm of Day 24:

Private Diary:

Colonel Chinedum Agwomba, US command.

 The Island is sinking. We have recalled our troops. Some have been lost during this campaign as a result of demonstrations and pockets of resistance among the population. They will be remembered. We watched today as the island suddenly faltered under its own weight and the outer fringes began to break off. The attendant mini-tsunamis overshot the banks and drowned the nearby settlements. A few hours later, a noisy tremor went through the island. The submarine crews confirmed the escalating destruction of the foundations before we lost radio contact. We had only managed to salvage about 200kilos of gold artefacts. The crews and equipment are considered lost. We are now preparing to exit this ancient version of our world and navigate the Ominus-K8T wormhole for the return journey. It has been a successful campaign, but only for us.