When Atlantis sank, the rest of the world thought it a tragedy, a natural disaster. The truth was that Atlantis was not a victim of nature, but an instigator. The island sank, it was true, but beneath the water they were enclosed in a projected shield. A shield projected by one of their very own, an Atlantean with telekinetic abilities, and at great expense.
Atlas, by rhetoric
Word Count: 497
The paper fell from between her finger tips, fluttering to the pristine floor beneath her sandals. The bed had cushioned her fall; she could still remember feeling the recoil in the foam padding of the mattress. Her hair had fallen around her shoulders, the gleaming white curls gliding through the air as if in slow motion.
She knew it couldn’t have been, but the moment seemed to be a lifetime ago. She turned a hundred today, she realized, but no joy accompanied the understanding. Her father was dead, and soon, her people would be as well. She was waiting for something that she was no longer certain would happen. The power shift should have been instantaneous; the moment her father passed, she should have known. She should have felt it, but she hadn’t; and now she was faced with more than she knew she could handle.
In the first moments of her time as Queen, she was already facing the hardest choice of an Atlantean ruler, with nothing but the unanswered questions of her lifetime to guide her.
Beyond her reflection in the window across from her, above all the rooftops in the city, stretched past the edges of the island, the orange glow of the shield flickered once. She could feel Evaemon on the edges of her reach, could taste the pain that rolled his stomach as he held the shield in place.
He was right, she told herself, and she didn’t have time to dawdle. She rose from her seat, the fingertips of her cousins lingering on her gown, as if uncertain of her movement. Pulling herself back into reality, Atlas realized she had been ignoring the comforting murmurs of those gathered around her.
“I must go,” she was saying, though she didn’t recognize the sound of her own voice. Her hands moved without instruction as she gathered some garments and a travel bag to carry them in. “I must leave at once.”
Diaprepes stilled her hand with his, and she hesitated to raise her eyes to meet the stern gaze of her Uncle. It would be inappropriate for her to reveal her eyes to him then, as unshielded and raw as she felt. To show it was unacceptable.
“We have no choice left, Uncle,” she whispered, keeping the conversation between the two of them. Her eyes never left the garments in her hand. “Evaemon is weakening; we have a matter of weeks.”
Her Uncle retracted his hand before she could feel it shake, but she knew the quaking sense of destiny made its way through him, as it had her. It was nothing compared to the massive tremors that would tear the city apart, perhaps before the waves even began to fall, if she were to fail. No, she thought, dismissing the fear that loomed behind that thought. She would not let the great people of Atlantis fall prey to the weight of the ocean. She would shield them herself, if she had to.