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Apollo's Soldiers
by Margo Fallis
Chapter 31


     “I’m getting tired, Paisley. We’ve been walking forever. It’s hot and stuffy in here,” Murray said.

     “Stop your whining, boy. You don’t hear any of the girls complaining. Be a man.” Mr. Wallace scowled.

     “We’re almost there,” Millei said, turning to glare at Leith’s father.

     “Where? Where are you taking us?” Mr. Wallace sighed and wiped his forehead.

     She chose to ignore the man. They moved through the tunnel; the air smelled fresh and a breeze blew as they stepped into a domed room. “We’re here. This is the center of Atlantis and each of those other tunnels leads to different areas. That one over there,” Millei pointed to the left, “goes to the temple. The one right across from us goes to the treasury and the one to our right leads to the power source.”

     “I’m off. It was nice meeting you and I’m sure we’ll run into each other soon,” Mr. Wallace said.

     “Uh, Mr. Wallace; I’m not sure if you know this but tomorrow is the last day Atlantis will exist. If you want to get back to Scotland, you’ll have to find Leith before tomorrow night,” Paisley said.

     “Right you are.” He saluted them and disappeared into the tunnel.

     “Let him be. He’ll have to come back here to get out. What would you two like to see first, the temple?” Millei grinned.

     “Yes!” Paisley headed for the left tunnel. “Come on, Murray.”

     “I think I should tell you a bit about the temple. You don’t know much about it, do you?” Millei saw them shake their heads back and forth. “Poseidon married a mortal, a Titan, named Cleito. He built this temple for her on top of the mount and had the moats built to keep her inaccessible and to keep her from leaving. Rather cruel if you ask me, but that’s a Greek god for you. The temple is massive in size and completely covered in silver. The pinnacles are covered with gold. Being a god, he could afford the best. The whole inside roof is made of ivory and decorated with gold, silver and orichalcum, which is a gold and copper alloy. All the other things, like the pillars and floors are covered with the orichalcum.”

     “That metal must be particular only to Atlantis. We don’t have it in our time,” Murray said.

     “You maybe right. They use it for everything. There are dozens of statues and there’s a huge one of Poseidon. He’s standing on a chariot with six winged horses and surrounding him are Nereids. Do you know what those are?” Millei looked at Paisley.

     “Nymphs, right?”

     “Right. It’s huge. There are also dolphins. All around the outside of the temple are more statues made of gold. Did you know about Poseidon and Cleito’s ten sons? They actually had five sets of twins.”

     “I’ve heard about the story,” Murray said.

     “Me too,” Paisley added.

     “Then I won’t repeat it for you. The gold statues outside are of these ten sons and their wives. They used to let bulls graze on the temple mount and once a year all ten sons met with their parents to discuss Atlantis. Each son lived in a certain part of the island and ruled over it. Atlas, ruled here. His descendant, King Mason, is a pathetic man. He’s nothing like his ancestors.” Millei led them through a maze of tunnels. “We’re here. We need to be quiet. If we get caught, we’ll be thrown in prison. My mother won’t be too happy if she has to plead with the king for my freedom; as if she’d do that for me.” Millei scowled.

     “It’s got to be around midnight by now. They’ll all be in bed, won’t they?” Paisley gasped when she saw the statue. “Oh my gosh! Look at that!”

     The golden statue of Poseidon stood before them. “I’ve never seen anything like that before. It’s in perfect condition,” Murray said.

     The three of them walked around the room, touching everything in sight. The polished gold showed their reflections, as did the floor and every pillar.

“You’re smudging the statues.” Millei tried to wipe their fingerprints off. “These are sacred statues; reminders of Atlantis when it was a great place.” They heard a door open and ducked behind the statue. Two young boys came running into the room. “It’s Apollis, and Poseenos,” Millei whispered, “the royal princes.”

     Murray had to fight back giggles. Both princes had long golden hair, braided and tied back with golden ribbons. Both wore gold-colored pajamas and slippers. “What are they doing here?”

     “Shh.” Millei put her fingers to her lips to quiet the others. They watched as the boys danced around the room and sang to the top of their lungs.

Apollis, the older child, climbed on the statue and sat on the back of one of the dolphins. “Look at me, Poseenos. I’m flying with the dolphins.”

Poseenos ran to the corner and picked up a bag. When he opened it, rubber balls rolled all over the floor. He tried to gather them. When he had a few in his hand, he tossed them at Apollis.

“Can’t hit me, Poseenos.” Apollis laughed as the balls whizzed past.

“I will. Stay there while I find more balls.” Poseenos chased the rolling balls, one of which found its way to where Paisley, Millei and Murray were hiding. “Who are you? Apollis, there are three people here.”

Apollis slid off the dolphin and ran over to his brother. “Girls and a boy. Who are you and what are you doing in the temple? Nobody is allowed in here except royalty.”

“What are you two boys,” Paisley said with a laugh, “doing up at midnight, climbing all over the sacred statue of your ancestor, Poseidon? Do you think your mother and father would approve of such behavior?”

The two princes glanced at each other. “Tell us your names,” Apollis demanded.

“I am Millei, daughter of Norindal. This is Paisley and Murray. They are visiting their Uncle Catt, who is a fisherman.”

“He is one of the royal fishermen who brings you fish every day,” Murray said, sticking out his tongue. “I didn’t know you had rubber here.” He opened his hand in hopes that one of the young princes would give him a ball.

“Silence.” Apollis disappeared and came back a few minutes later with a rope.

“You don’t actually believe we’re going to stand here and let you tie us up, do you?” Paisley burst out laughing. “You two princes aren’t stronger than the three of us.”

Apollis pulled out a dagger and held it to Murray’s throat. “Sometimes strength isn’t needed. Now stand still or the boy dies” He wrapped the ropes around the three. “You are our prisoners. Help me, Poseenos. We have to tie them tight.”

Once Millei, Paisley and Murray were tied securely to one of the Nereids, the princes threw balls at them, pinched them and bit their toes. They gathered cups of water from one of the fountains and tossed them in Murray’s face.

“Knock it off,” Paisley said. “You’re nothing but spoiled rotten brats. You’re a disgrace to your ancestors.” She hesitated. “Oh my goodness. I sound like Mr. Wallace, don’t I?”

Just then Mr. Wallace appeared. Murray saw him creeping towards the princes and did what he could to keep them looking at him. Mr. Wallace snuck up from behind and grabbed both boys by their necks. “Did I hear my name being called? What do you two think you’re doing?” He took Poseenos and Apollis and held them with one arm. With the other he untied the kids. “Tie them up,” Mr. Wallace said. Once the princes were wrapped in the ropes, Mr. Wallace strung the rope across Poseidon’s chariot and raised them until they dangled in mid-air. He turned to Paisley and the others. “Come on. We need to get out of here.”

They followed Mr. Wallace, leaving the two princes sobbing and kicking their legs in an attempt to escape. “Down this tunnel; and we’d better run,” Millei said.

“What about those boys? They’ll die.” Paisley stopped for a moment to look at the two boys. “I guess it has to be this way.” As they dashed to their freedom, Paisley asked Mr. Wallace, “Did you find the source of power?”

“Yes. It’s solar energy, but on a much grander scale. During the day they open up a portion of the mount and gather the sun’s energy. It provides light at night and also powers any equipment they might use. Quite amazing,” he answered. When they burst out of the tunnel, they relaxed. “Where’s Leith?”

“He went to the sea to find some boats,” Murray said.

“I’m off to find him. Master Tait, would you care to accompany me?”

Paisley nodded for him to go. After the two males had crossed the bridge, Paisley and Millei sat on a bench. “Millei, does your mother know how to travel in time?”

“Why do you ask that?”

“Someone took a special book from the library. Of course, if Norindal didn’t die in the destruction, she could have easily taken it after they had built the library, or before they’d built it,” Paisley said, talking to herself. “This gets complicated thinking about what did happen and what will happen if we change events.”

“You’re right about that. If Mother doesn’t leave the island, your book is safe and you won’t have any need for it because Taygetus, the wizard guy you were telling me about, won’t exist. You do realize that I’m his descendant too, don’t you?” Millei leaned back on her arms and gazed at the stars.

“I do realize that, but he doesn’t come through you, so there’s no need to worry.” Paisley laid all the way back. “The stars are so peaceful. It’s so quiet here at night and there are zillions of stars.”

“I don’t think my mother can travel in time. She mostly casts spells and tortures animals. She’s even caught our house on fire before doing her stupid spells.” Millie chuckled.

“We’d better go and find Leith too. He’ll be worried about us.” Paisley stood and pulled Millei up. “It will be fun having you around. We can be sisters. I know my mum will love you.”

     They strolled down the bridges, gazing into the domed tunnels. The water flowed gently through the canals, reflecting the moon and stars. Most of the houses and businesses were darkened with slumber. A few dogs barked and cat fights were heard in the distance, but aside from that, all was at peace. Paisley glanced down at Uverlu Canal. “Why are all those ships heading to the sea?”

     “What ships?” Millei looked down. “Those are our naval vessels. That’s strange. They must be heading for battle. There’s always something going on. One year the Athenians attempted to attack Atlantis. They didn’t succeed. The Egyptians, Greeks, Trojans and Carthaginians have all tried to capture our lands, but we’ve always won.”

     “But there are a few boats who are stocking up right now, preparing to leave tomorrow night. The navy vessels won’t bother them, will they?” Paisley watched the mighty ships sail past.

     “There are always ships docking on the outer beaches. We don’t always have room for them inside the walls. The navy doesn’t bother with such things.” Millei kept walking.

     They reached the outer wall and walked across the sand to the docks. They found Mr. Wallace and Murray lying near some bushes. “What are you two doing?” Paisley nudged Mr. Wallace with her shoe.

     “Everyone is asleep and we didn’t want to bother them. I can’t believe a man of my stature and position has been reduced to sleeping in the sand.” Mr. Wallace brushed the grains from his shirt.

     “I think it will build character, Mr. Wallace. We’ll join you.” Paisley lay next to Murray and Millei slept next to her. Soon all were asleep and the only sound was of the naval ships raising their sails as they headed towards the Pillars of Hercules.


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