EYES IN ATLANTIS
THE PRINCESS' VISIONS
Alexia, the daughter of Hesperos and Princess of Atlantis, woke up late one sunny morning and peered out over her bedroom balcony at the glistening red-Orichalcum, silver, and bronze walls that surrounded her father’s greatest jewel, the City of Atlantis. To her right she could make out the lower part of the Ampheres mountain range that covered the northern portion of Atlantis. To her left she could see over the city to the Plains of Atlas that stretched from the city walls all the way south to the sea.
Not long after waking, Alexia was summoned by her father the king, Hesperos, to meet him in the great throne hall of the palace. She quickly dressed into her usual silver and blue dress and attended to her father.
When she entered the throne room from the right of her father’s seat, the old man sat in deep conversation with one of his generals and her elder brother Xavian. As usual, Xavian was arguing with their father. She held back a moment in order to eaves drop on their conversation. She learned that the general, who was the head of the Atlantean Navy, had just returned from Athens. The Athenian king, Aktaios, had sent a message to Hesperos stating that Atlantean naval fleets were to be removed from Aegean waters.
For nearly a century now Atlantis and Athens had been at peace with one another. Several decades earlier, Hesperos and the Athenian king made a deal that Atlantis would have military presence along the western shores of the Aegean Sea to ensure the ease of trade from the East. More recently, relations between the two nations had been diminishing. Athenian troops had on several occasions acted in a hostile manner toward neighboring Atlantean fleets and vice-versa. In response to the hostility, threatened troops responded in unauthorized warfare resulting in casualties on both sides. This was why Aktaios was demanding the dismissal of Atlantean navy.
“Father, now is the time,” spoke Xavian. “We are greater in numbers and strength than Athens could ever dream. We should take them while our presence in the Aegean remains. With all of our fleets, we could take Athens within a week.” Xavian had blood-thirst for war. He despised the Athenians and saw this as the opportune time to conquer them. He had also long sought the power of the throne of his father, but in the meantime he tried to encourage the king to do his will.
“Your highness, stationed in the Aegean, our fleets are sitting ducks left to the mercy of Athens. We have already had over a dozen unnecessary casualties as a result of tension between our fleets and Athens’.” The general cared for his men above all else and was willing to go to many lengths to keep them from unnecessary harm. “Our presence in the Aegean is needless, your highness. I fear that the longer we remain, the more hostile our relations with the Athenians will become. Station the troops away from the western Aegean.”
The king contemplated the two arguments for a moment. “Xavian, my beloved son, you make a great case that we Atlanteans are far more populous and powerful than our counterpart Athenians. Indeed, in one week, Athens could be ours.” He stopped to take a breath; then turned his attention to the general. “And you also make a great case that our navy is suffering avoidable casualties, and that our presence in such hostilities is as equally unnecessary. But my decision does not come from facts of power or casualties. It comes from the divine words of our first father. Priests of Poseidon have spoken since the beginning that this sacred land we call home will prosper and never become in need, as long as we are humble and resist seeking that which is not necessary. With the rise of tension, no doubt induced by the Athenians, we Atlanteans could smite Athens. But we will not. Athens has nothing that we need, and to bring such turmoil upon its people is both needless and un-useful.” Xavian’s face turned red with anger.
“But father,” he protested, “we must at least keep our military present in the Aegean. Athens does not rule the sea.”
“Yes, you are correct. Poseidon rules the sea. And it is his laws of humility to which we must abide. General, you have my orders to restation your fleets to the eastern shores of Atlantis until we find better use for them.”
“Indeed, your highness,” the general complied as he kneeled before the king.
“You are dismissed, General.”
Alexia now appeared from behind the door jam.
“Oh, my daughter! Are you well this morning?”
“Yes, father, and you?” she asked politely.
“Oh, I am as fine as this old king can be. There is trouble with the Athenians again, but the situation will iron out in due time.”
Alexia sat in her throne situated at the left hand of her father. “You wished to see me father?”
“Indeed I have, but such topics are to be left to private quarters. Shall we go to the Eye? I find I can gather my thoughts better there.”
“Of course, father.”
The pair left Xavian in the throne room and walked along a large vaulted hallway until they came to a small spiral staircase. They followed up the stairs and came into a small elliptical room in which the ceiling was arched and floor curled down. This room was called the Eye. From the sole window, which had a large fire in front of it, the king could watch over his vast city and kingdom. At the top of the palace, the room was the highest in the city.
“What must we speak of that need remain private?” inquired the princess of her father.
“You, my child.”
“Me? What have I done? What is wrong?” she asked defensively.
“Nothing of great consequence, my dear, only that I am worried about you. I visited the arch priest at the temple this morning.” The Temple of Poseidon, situated at the very center of the city, was the religious center for all Atlanteans. “The priest has informed me that you confided you have been having visions again.”
“They are not quite visions, father,” she said becoming agitated. “They are more of feelings; premonitions if you will. And yes, they have become more frequent as of late.”
“Have they been accompanied by anything else? A dream perhaps?”
Alexia gave him a curious look and replied, “Yes.”
“Ah, tell me of this dream.”
“I…uh…well, I do not recall much of it. The earth shook and there was screaming, and the great fountain in the Garden of Atlas cracked in half. There were some strangers as well.”
“Hmm… What of these strangers?”
“They were nothing like I have ever seen before. They are like us, but somehow different. I get an ill feeling when I think of them. But that could just be the dream. I cannot recall why they were here.”
“It may not mean anything my dear. You might as well rid yourself of such dreams and feelings if you can help it. Do this old man a favor and focus of finding a suitable husband, or I shall have to do so for you.”
“Indeed, father,” Alexia said with her head down.
“Was there anything else in your dream that you can remember?”
Alexia thought for a moment, then looked up into her father’s eyes. “Water.”
* * * * *
It was Alexia’s will to stop having these dreams and visions, but her efforts proved unsuccessful. One night a gut-wrenching pain in her abdomen tore her from her sleep. She was crouched over in tears, wondering what was happening. With effort, she decided that she needed some water to help the pain to pass. As she crossed her chamber to the silver water pitcher, she noticed a storm raging outside her balcony. She momentarily abandoned her thirst and watched the storm. The pain in her stomach was beginning to subside as she concentrated on the violent bolts of lightning and deafening crashes of thunder.
Ever since she was a little girl, Alexia had been obsessed with storms. Their strength, their rage, and their ferocity had always captivated her. In fact, when she was only ten years old, she sat on her balcony and watched a tornado approach the city. If it had not been for the persistence of her father, she might have been swept away into the cyclonic funnel.
But tonight Alexia felt uneasy about the storm. Maybe out of superstition or her mind running away with her, she felt that it was bringing something. Because of this, she felt that the storm and her stomach pains were connected. She left it momentarily to quench her thirst and then came back to the opening of her balcony. The wind was growing stronger and the rain whipped back and forth. The lace curtains that covered the opening danced into the room in violent convulsions.
Alexia sat in front of the opening, legs crossed, and let the wind and rain hit her body. She closed her eyes and concentrated on the crashing rain’s rhythmic pattern. She was swept away by its song. Her meditation took her from her room and brought her to the Plains of Atlas, south of the city walls. There it was not storming. It was not even the same moment. The sun was shinning high above and a small dot in the distance grew larger as it approached her. The dot was a mastodon carrying three passengers. As she waited for it to come closer, she grew confused as she recognized the mastodon’s jockey as one of the country’s fisherman. The other two passengers were a man and a woman, both whom she could not identify. As the mastodon ran past her, she was brought to another place.
She was standing in the room of the eye during a violent storm, not unlike the one that was raging just beyond her seated body. Through the torrential rain, she could make out the Temple of Poseidon, not far from the palace. A violent wave struck the temple, crumbling its dome-shaped roof. She suddenly felt a low rumble beneath her feet, which grew more violent until she was knocked down.
Alexia gasped out of her meditative state as a solitary tear streamed down her face. “They are here!”
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Excerpt from Eyes in Atlantis | Copyright 2011 - Gerald M. Givens | All rights reserved.