“Okay, I’ve heard every old pirate legend, and they’re all false, and I’ve heard a million old wives’ tales through the empire, but telling me that YOU’RE a real Roman, and that I’m on an island that Plato made up as complete horse manure…” He stopped laughing for a second, and took a solid look straight into Tiberius’s eyes. Then fell on the ground and laughed again.
“I can understand your incredulity, but I must insist that you take this seriously,” Tiberius said, using his rifle as a crutch while looking down at Jenkins’ hysterical form. “Perhaps, you’d like to come with me to our city, where hopefully everything will be explained.”
“I’ll come,” Jenkins worked out between laughs, getting up with the help of his crewmen. “But you’ve got a lot of explaining to do.”
“As you’ve likely gathered from our dress, and, if you’ve decided to believe what I told you, we are sons of Romulus and Remus.” Tiberius led the group through the forest, occasionally pushing a branch aside, and always taking glances back at his visitors. “During the reign of Augustus, a group of dissidents unhappy with the way the Empire was being controlled decided to break away. Unfortunately, they knew their only sanctuary lay with Brittania. So, a group of 432, including women and children, took several ships into the Mediterranean, hoping to sail around to your homeland.
“Well, a couple navigational mistakes later, they ended up in the mid-Atlantic, with supplies running low, when they saw this island you currently stand on. In honor of Plato’s works, they named it Atlantis, and built a civilization here, decided to maintain complete isolation from the outside world forever, in what is basically a paradise on this island.”
“I’ll take it that that hasn’t happened,” Jenkins interrupted, “as we’ve had several missing ships in the area, and your English and French are absolutely impeccable.”
Tiberius seemed to pause for a moment, perhaps in admiration of Jenkins’ perceptiveness. He dismissed it quickly and moved on with his tale. “Of course. Well, apparently the world has taken strides in technology, and there have been many marine vessels passing by. In order to maintain perfect isolation, however, we have had to essentially keep them captive on the island. We treat them well, of course, as they live as any other citizen would, and enjoy the same opportunities. Many have even integrated themselves into important positions in our society. And as you noticed, we’ve come to exchange knowledge, including languages.”
“This doesn’t mean we’re captives as well, does it? I’m a privateer, and my job requires that I never stay in one place too long.”
“Fortunately for you, there has been some debate within our society over our isolation, obviously instigated by our youth. Your timing could not have been more perfect, for the Senate is actually going to vote on the issue soon. But perhaps it would be best if I let them talk for themselves.” Tiberius pushed several more branches out of the way, and Jenkins looked through, where he saw a gleaming city beneath him. “Let me also welcome you to the city of New Rome.”
Tiberius thought for another moment and added, “Creative, right?”