Atlantis Arising [M] [Most Original 4Q '11] [Best Veteran 1Q '12]
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April 12th, 2012 (7:11 PM).
In a dream, within a dream....
Nikolai Afon - AUP Headquarters, France
"Why I started the AUP, you mean? Well, many years ago, I chanced upon my heritage by touching an Atlantean Crystal in a bayside market in France. As you might already know, Atlantean Crystals are rare stone that grow only on the original island of Atlantis. Coming in contact with a Crystal releases you from your mortal coil and lets you live to your full potential, abilities and all. Well, after this incident, it wasn't long before I was found by a group known as the Atlantean Royal Family who are the leaders of the race, much like a Prime Minster does with a country. Well, at the time, Cooper here was working for Roscoe Beleren, the leader of the House of Water back then, and he was the one that taught me the ways of Atlantis and about the Universe and stuff like that," Emil nodded at Cooper, giving him a gracious smile. "I was a little bit of a brat then, wasn't I?"
"I've never regretted teaching you," Cooper added, bowing his head back at Emil.
"Haha, I'm sure you do sometimes, Cooper," Emil tapped his nose, then continued with his story. "Well, we were always told if we went out in public to never reveal ourselves because the mortals would soon catch on and kick up a storm."
"Mortals are what some Atlanteans call, uh, normal people," Atticus said, directing his attention at Helena.
"Don't talk with your mouth full, Atticus!" Annie teased. He responded by taking another bite of his chicken.
"Well," Emil butted in before anyone else could interrupt, "I always wondered why we had to hide ourselves from the public. Surely we were entitled to live the same lives as mortals, perhaps entitled to even more? Then Cooper showed me the corruption of mortals, the way they warred over such trivial things, like oil and land and weapons. Why couldn't we just all live in peace? It was then I realised that we Atlanteans were different from mortals and we deserve to live in a way which we deserve. So, I left the Family and created my own. Mortals and Atlanteans are like cats and dogs; we can live together, but we were never meant to thrive together, mortals will always be jealous of us. All us members have been hurt somehow by the cruelty of mortals," he gestured to the older members of the table, one by one. "Natalia's parents taken by war and panic, Annie's family and legs taken by jealousy and greed, Atticus'--"
"Yeah, we don't need to talk about that," he put his hand up, shaking his head.
"As you wish," Emil nodded. "But yes, the AUP strives to unify Atlanteans as a people. That is what we're working towards."
As they finished eating, Nikolai thought about what he might loose by joining the AUP. His father was already long dead, claimed by an automobile accident, and his mother was gone, most likely dead as well. The more Nikolai thought about it, the more he realized that he wasn't really close to anybody. Sure, he had some friends back in Moscow, but nobody really close. He already felt somewhat close to the group that he was in now, but even then, not that close.
The plates on the table were now mostly empty, everyone had finished their dinner. Emil stood up, taking plates and gathering them up in a stack. He then passed the stack to Cooper who took it over to a small kitchen and began to pile them up in a dishwasher.
"Yes, now that we're finished, we'll get onto training! You two are still very raw with your abilities so hopefully with a little training, we can get you to have a better grip on them. Helena, if you don't mind, will be going off with Natalia. Nikolai, you'll be training with Wade Harrison. He has an interesting ability that's quite similar to yours, in a way. After training, we'll show you your rooms."
"Wouldn't I be best suited with Nikolai's ability?" Annie asked, frowning at Emil.
"Yes, but you need to rest, Annie. Cooper told me you haven't slept for a while now."
"Right," Annie said, sounding disappointing. Nikolai was disappointed too. He liked Annie, and her ability with computers and technology would have been a great help to developing his ability. He was intrigued by Wade Harris, and how his ability was similar to Nikolai's. From what he had learned, no Atlantean had the same ability as another, so that fact that Harris had a similar ability intrigued Nikolai all the more.
"Well, Ms. Andersson? Mr. Afon? Was there anything else you needed before you set off?"
There was a silence for a moment, then Helena spoke up, "I told you that I would follow you if it would be the safest thing for my family. I don't... I don't think this sounds like that anymore. Everyone here has lost something. I haven't. Are you going to make me lose my family? I won't... no." She rushed out of her chair, and immediately turned invisible, her footsteps echoing against the walls.
"What? Helena, hey, wait!" but she was gone as Atticus went to grab the invisible Helena in front of him but only ended up with a fistful of air. "Helena!"
"Let her be, Atticus," Emil had put a hand on Atticus chest to stop him. "The AUP is all about freedom and free will. Are you going to deny her that?"
"No, but, I think she misunderstood what you said as--"
"Leave her be."
Atticus exchanged looks with the rest of the members, then sighed. "Well, alright then."
"She'll come back when her time is right, trust me." Nikolai could only hope that he was right. From the short time that Nikolai had known Helena, she seemed like a good person. He fought the urge to follow her to undoubtedly the elevator, the only way that Nikolai knew down to ground level.
There was an awkward pause for a moment before Nikolai spoke up. "So, um. If were just going to leave her be, does that mean I should go to training now?" He didn't want to seem insensitive to Helena right now, but he knew that there was probably nothing that he could do to help her right now. It frustrated Nikolai, not being able to help. But what could he do?
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