November 2, 2011

Atlantis 18

          “That was some story,”  Jack said to Olaf. “I do have one question. You told me that Akula always wore the symbol of Atlantis, the trident, on his chest. You also have a trident on his chest. Am I right in assuming that this is no coincidence and that you are really Akula?”
          Olaf stood up from his chair and turned around. For a moment he just stood there with his hands clasped behind his back. Finally, he broke his silence. “You are right,”  Olaf said in a sad tone. “I was once called Akula, a long , long time ago.”
          “You know,”  Olaf continued, “I always knew that I would someday rule over Atlantis, but I never thought it would be like this. Sometimes I wish that somebody would kill me and end my misery, but alas I am no longer mortal.”
          Olaf turned around and looked at Jack. “I guess that old witch was right after all,”  he said somberly. “Do you remember her prophecy?”  Olaf asked Jack.
          Jack nodded in response. “He, the one called Akula, is destined to one day become sole ruler of Atlantis. They will be bound together for all eternity. That is how it was meant to be. So it is written, and so it shall be done.”
          “Can’t you go back to the surface?”  Jack asked.
          “I can’t,” Olaf said. “For some reason I cannot leave this place. I’ve tried to, but something forces me to return.”
          “So you are doomed to stay here,” Jack said.
          “I have to face the facts,” Olaf said. “My fate is sealed in this place. And even if I could leave, where would I go? My kingdom, my home, my whole world as I knew it, its all long gone. All the people I once ruled over are long dead.”  Olaf raised his head and looked at the mirror.
          “I am a shadow of my former self,”  Olaf mumbled. “I am just an old man, whose all alone in a place filled with corpses only. Can you imagine what it is like to stay in this forsaken place? Can you feel the loneliness?”
          Jack looked around him at his surroundings and imagined what it must be like to live in this place in solitary confinement with no end in sight. The silence was enough to break any man. For Olaf there was no hope and without hope, you didn’t have the strength to endure.
          “The only sound that I hear is the sound of my own voice,” Olaf said. “I have the feeling that the ghosts of the dead are around me. They are haunting me. Someday, the silence will eventually get to me and drive me mad. Only my will prevents that from happening, but I do not know how long that will last.”
          Jack realized that was exactly what the Gods had intended. First, Olaf would realize the scope of his mistakes and, as time went by, slowly drive him mad. He felt sorry for Olaf, but was not quite sure what to say to him. What could you say to someone like him.
          “I am so sorry for what I’ve done,”  Olaf continued. “The war with Atlantis that killed millions. All those people are dead because of me. Klamath, Liu Tzu, and especially Hokum. I now realize that he was the only true friend I’ve ever had and his premature death is all because of me. It’s all my fault. I just wish I could turn back the clock and undo what I have done.”
          For a moment Jack thought that Olaf would break down, but he regained his composure.
          “Don't worry,”  Olaf said to Jack, when he saw that Jack was about to get up, “I will make sure that you get back home.”
          Jack wanted to say something that could somehow console Olaf and stood up from his chair. But the moment he raised his body from his chair, he began to feel very dizzy. He tried to control it, but to no avail. Jack fell on the ground unconscious.


 Click on Part 19 for what happens next in this series.

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