He lay there for an untold amount of time when suddenly the door was thrown open and three people came into the room. The first two in he recognized; one was a judge and the other a doctor. At that moment all his memories came flooding back to him.
They drug him out from under the water the third person grabbed the clothes that still lay upon the table and threw them to the doctor. John was being rubbed by the judge; she was following the doctor’s instruction to use friction to heat up more of his blood before it rushed back to his heart, keeping his heart from stopping.
The doctor started using the clothes to dry John off and pressed them hard against the skin as he rubbed that John started to get slight cases of rug burn wherever the doctor was drying.
The third person suddenly ran up and threw a large encompassing blanket around John. “I told you suicidal.” John had trouble hearing the man speak but was able to catch what had just been implied.
John tried to speak but found that his mouth still wasn’t under his control as his teeth were chattering and couldn’t be stopped by will alone. He was still too cold and numb from the water.
“Thank you but not helpful at the moment” that was the judge from before, the one who had let him come here. Where ever here was?
“I think someone should be here at all times to watch his condition until he is stable and then we will have someone with him to keep him comfortable and from trying to off him again. You got what you wanted Alice, now give him a reason to live.” The doctor seemed to think that this was a pointless attempt to save someone who could not be saved. His voice gave away that he cared but was not surprised in this turn of events.
“I will make sure he is kept company and finds a reason to live long enough to see Atlantis.” Alice spoke in a sure manner hinting that no matter what John may try he was going to live whether he liked it or not.
“Could it be Atlantis, as in the sunken city from the myths of my childhood?” John’s thoughts kept him company as he still was unable to ask those around him about what was going on. He saw the two men turn and leave closing the stone door behind them. Then the woman moved towards him and leaned down towards his ear.
“I am so sorry John, but I promise to make this right.”
His mind raced as he tried and figure out exactly what she was apologizing for. “Accepting him into their world, for nearly killing him, keeping him secluded and unknowing for who knows how long, or for still not telling him what is Atlantis?” His body couldn’t take anymore and the stress from this latest event caught up with him as he lay there thinking. He slowly lay down and was instantly asleep as soon as his head touched the ground.
Alice watched as John slept keeping an eye out for any signs that he may be passing to the other side. She could not believe that after showing signs of improvement John would suddenly decide to commit suicide, after all he had been working hard to regain strength by eating more and by working his body walking around the stone table that he had been provided.
When John awoke he could feel a dull pain coming from the wounds on his back, after a moment he began to feel the sensation of something pressed firmly along his spine. Reaching his hand back John felt the fresh bandages that now wrapped and covered his injuries. As John sat up he saw that the Judge was still there in the room with him leaning against the far wall, she was still asleep.
John scanned the room looking for what else may be new to the room to help keep an eye on him or to help him get better. A second stone chair now sat around the table and many platters of food adorned the table itself. John moved to stand and immediately was pushed back to the ground as the Judge now stood over him holding him down.
“Why?” Alice was not hiding the anger in her voice as she shouted the question into John’s left ear, her right hand pressed firmly against his shoulder. “You were making progress, why? You were walking, remembering, getting better; what happened?”
John’s mind raced, “when did she wake up, how did she get over to him so quickly, why was she yelling?” It was more than he could take and he just sat there in silence as she yelled at him.
Alice realized that John was no longer really listening and was just enduring this treatment until he would be allowed a chance to come out of his shell and actually be able to speak his peace. Alice breathed in and slowly let the air out through her nose forcing her heart rate to slow down and in turn clam her mind as she considered what possible reasons John may offer for trying to kill himself in the cold water of the faucet. After she had calmed herself Alice began again, “John what were you doing under the faucet?”
“I wanted to be clean.” John’s voice held no emotion as he answered the question. He was thinking about how to completely explain the situation without making the Judge angry again. She was scary when she became mad and that was the last thing John wanted to have holding him down again.
Alice thought about the answer, wanting to be clean? That was a natural thing and he had been working hard to regain strength. He had been sweating, bleeding, and the grim of this room alone would be enough to make anyone consider cleaning up a bit. But still he could be lying about trying to get clean as a cover for attempted suicide. “Ok let’s eat.”
John nearly sighed in relief, she believed him and he didn’t have to completely explain what happened. He went to get up and this time was helped by the Judge rather than hindered. As John sat in the chair opposite of her John couldn’t help but wonder, “What is your name?”
“My name is Alice; I am the acting Judge for those wishing to enter Atlantis as you have now done.”
“Alice, thank you for coming to save me, I will forever be in your debt.” John picked up some of the utensils that had been supplied with the food and began to eat. Slicing some meat with a fork and shoveling it into his mouth just as fast as he could. He could feel the juice and grease run down the side of his face but John didn’t care as he felt famished and the food reminded him of how little he had been allowed to eat until recently.
Alice sat and ate in silence giving John time to sate him with the food and nutrients that he would need to continue to survive here in Atlantis. As he ate, Alice took note that John must have been starving and in the future with other possible newcomers for Atlantis more nutrition may be required to give them the strength and desire they need to want to live and become a part of the society here in Atlantis. She could see that John looked better than he had and showed signs of even further improvement.
When John finished eating he sat back in his stone chair and began to ask his questions, “What is Atlantis?”
Alice was glad that John had regained some nutrition and was now strong enough to question the events that led up to him being here and how his choices will affect his future.
“Atlantis is our home, a place of safety from the new government that kills its citizens without question and does not care about anything aside from making money in these dark times. While it is not the remnants of the sunken city it is our hidden city right under the nose of the new government. I am sure you remember passing through our massive fence and thought to yourself “how can this be hidden from the new government, how can they not find this?” Well the answer is simple we have removed ourselves from the world to a degree, to reach this place you must be completely lost and without hope and at that moment you will find your way. We have an old machine that can somehow tap into the mind of those seeking this place and draw them here once the requirements are met at the same time any person searching for this place with their hope still intact will be misled by the machine. That is how we are kept safe from the new government and for years since the fall of the human race into the chaos that now exists in this world. Atlantis is the last place for people to live and truly be free.”
John took in this information without saying a word and as he sat comprehending what Alice was saying he realized the truth in her words. While he knew he was looking for this place he had no idea where he was when he found it and he did remember thinking that it was incredible that the new government had not found the giant wall that protected this “Atlantis”, the lost city. He was amazed at the idea of using ancient technology to help support life today in this man made world. The person who must have figured out how to work this machine must be a genius a new Einstein to have thought in the way the people of old must have thought when making their massive buildings that reached to the skies. “Are there other machines that are used in Atlantis?”
“Yes, there are many. For example we have one that is used in the process of readying a person for life in Atlantis along with one that is used to keep an eye on the people who live through the process in this very room to make sure that they are fit enough to enter Atlantis itself.” Alice was forthcoming with the answers to John’s questions as she wanted him to become a part of Atlantis and even if she wouldn’t admit it to herself she liked him. His to the point nature she enjoyed because it left little room for feelings and other hubbub to get in the way, just the way she liked her life to be.
“That’s amazing, you must have many people in Atlantis working on projects to understand and rebuild these great machines of the past.” John’s excitement began to show through as he was not expecting to be arriving to a place that not only was a free city but offered so many more advancements then that living under the leadership of the new government.
Alice was stunned, she knew that any form of technology was rare outside of Atlantis and the cities of the new government but technology was so far gone from regular society that the idea of technology inspired hope. “Yes John we have many teams of people who are working on understanding and redeveloping some of the old machines that our past generations used to tame the land.”
“I made it here, I am alive, and how can I help?”
Alice could feel the energy radiating from the still weak and healing body of John as he sat leaning back in the stone chair of his current home. She felt the swelling of pride that was consuming her as she had found someone who may be worth all the effort in bringing people here to Atlantis. “Get stronger and healthier and then we will get you into the actual society of Atlantis. Is there anything I can do to make your stay here more welcome and enjoyable?”
“Do you have books?”
“Can you read?” At this point Alice was full of hope; maybe at last she had integrated someone who was worth the expense and pain of putting all those people through hell just so they can live in the relative freedom this existence offered.
“Yes, my mother taught me when I was little though I think I may be a bit out of practice.”
“What would you like to read?” Alice could nearly scream from excitement, John could read he would be extremely valuable to the society as he could work anywhere and be useful. His ability to read would allow him to either teach others how or be used to read ancient texts and relay information to the current scientists researching old machines and their uses.
John was brought a new book every day for a week, the first book he read was smaller but it helped get him back into the practice of reading. His day was made complete in the evening of everyday as Alice would visit him to get a synopsis of the book he had read that day and share the evening meal with him.
At the end of the week all three of his saviors came and greeted John; Alice the Judge, the doctor, and the unknown man. They were all smiling and happy as they entered John’s room and Alice even gave John a hug.
“Welcome to Atlantis my name is Dr. Brumbeck.” He had moved forward and was shaking John’s hand with great enthusiasm. “I am glad to see that you are recovering well after going through the machine and then that nasty water incident.”
Before John could reply the third person had come forward and shock John’s hand with a firm but cold hand shake. “I am the Professor and I am glad that you survived the procedure, I hope to see some great work from you in the near future.” With that the Professor turned back and left the room leaving the three much merrier people behind to continue celebrating John’s survival.
Alice moved forward after the Professors introduction and handed out a glass to everyone in the room. She poured a slightly red liquid into the glasses she had procured. “A toast to John’s health; as he leaves this facility today to become a part of Atlantis.”