“Don’t worry about any of the proper formalities. The Emperor is a very pleasant man, and understands that your culture embraces matters like this differently,” Tiberius whispered into Jenkins’s ear. They stood in the waiting room of the apparent Capitol building, where, within, the Emperor reigned over the city-state.
Presently, the guards gestured the party inside. Jenkins took a deep breath and quietly strode into the reception hall. He inconspiciously considered the architecture around him; it struck him as quite Roman. Well, as much as almost 2 millenia can maintain style. The columns of shining white stone immediately caught his attention, though he, without much experience in Roman culture, couldn’t discern any details of significance. He thought about where these people had gotten the stone, marking it as a question for later.
“Greetings, esteemed guest. It’s not every year that a man from a land as civilized as England graces our island,” called the Emperor before him. His appearance momentarily surprised the Captain, as after Tiberius’s classic Roman legionnaire armor, he had assumed that styles had not changed much, yet the Emperor appeared to be wearing a typical suit, with a stark black blazer, and a tie. The Emperor smiled kindly as Jenkins approached, then pushed several papers off to the side of his desk, another unusual object for a reception hall.
“Greetings to you, Emperor. My name is William Jenkins, and I am the captain of the Hind. Jeffrey Fry on my left is my second officer,” accompanied by a bow from named person, “and it has been a pleasure so far. Optio Tiberius has only been perfectly kind in his presentation and help, except for the bullet that almost ended my visit too soon.”
The Emperor laughed, pushing up from his chair to reach across his desk to shake Jenkins’s hand. “I’m glad it has been so. Perhaps you’d like a tour of the gardens of the residence here?”
“I’m sure that Tiberius has given you a brief history of our island here, and your presence is ever so timely. Currently, the Senate is dining, but when they return to session, I’m sure many would appreciate your input. In the mean time, I shall be your host.”
Jenkins had left the rest of his landing party in the hands of Tiberius who promised a place to eat lunch and rest. Meanwhile, the two of them strolled around the gardens, where Jenkins half listened, and half marveled in the flora that they had cultivated.
“Atlantis has been the haven of the Modern Roman Empire for many years now, and while visitors, such as yourself are not frequent, they have been moreso. In addition, with the knowledge we’ve gained from such people, we believe it might be time to end our isolation.
“Our advancement and standard of living are apparently almost unparalleled in the rest of the world, to be frank. In our seclusion, we’ve made incredible progress, and created a sort of utopia here. Unfortunately, humans are greedy. You can give a man a handful of beans, and he will ask for two. You can give him two, and he’ll ask for as much as he can carry at once. You can give him that much, and he will ask for pockets. As such, the youth have become restless, eager to explore the rest of the world and become exposed to other influences, good or bad.”
“That’s not a surprise,” interjected Jenkins. “In my experience, the youth are always want change the most.”
“Naturally. Unfortunately, when people go out, it also means that people come in. Reciprocality is the prime method of establish great relations, but having researched your history, I can see there being possible trouble.” The Emperor stopped, and Jenkins followed, who found himself under the gaze of the Emperor.
“You see, I recently heard of the advances of the British Empire in the field of ether. Particularly, they discovered the secret of etheric shock, and might soon develop weapons capable of harnessing such energy.” The Emperor looked concerned at this proposition, and paused.
“I was there,” Jenkins added in, attempting to avoid such awkward silence. “I watched the cannon destroy a sailboat as almost nothing.”
The Emperor sighed. “I guess it was inevitable. See, here on Atlantis, we’ve known this secret for centuries. Using the properties of ether, we’ve managed to develop technology you cannot even fathom. This, however, has been mostly due to a particular abundance of a substance with unusual properties, capable of piercing the normal bounds between etheric matter and normal matter. X, we like to call it, so translated to your English alphabet. And like every other resource, people will vie for control of it; like iron was to the Persians, this alone may give one country the edge over any other, a path towards the eternal goal: greed. Greed of power.”
“And man will kill to have the ability to kill more,” completed Jenkins.
(Author’s Note: I really hope that all made sense.)