Legacy of Atlantis
Publication date: March 14, 2023
The quest for the secrets of Atlantis begins on the Moon.
Uprooted after the disappearance of his parents, Charlie Thomas moves to the Moon to live with his Uncle Merl—only to discover that “Merl” is actually Merlin the Magician . . . and that Charlie is an heir to Atlantis. Reeling, Charlie must adjust to his new environs, make some friends, and connect with Rhea, a girl he really likes.
But it could never be that easy for Charlie.
On a field trip to the Lunar surface, Charlie, Rhea, and his new best friend, Jamie, uncover the body of an ancient Atlantean astronaut. And when agents from the lost land of Lemuria discover who Charlie is, he is forced to flee the Moon.
The chase takes Charlie and Merl back to Earth. There, an attack on their ship leaves Charlie alone in an old growth forest in the Pacific Northwest. Lost and not sure what to do, Charlie is rescued by AB, a pipe-smoking sasquatch whose perspective on the world is unlike any Charlie has ever encountered. But Charlie is going to need much more if he is going to fulfill a destiny he has only recently discovered.
Threats are everywhere, but Charlie must learn to control his nascent Atlantean abilities with no time to spare. For he has discovered a Lemurian plan to use an ancient Atlantean artifact to destroy most of the Earth and enslave the remnants of humanity—and Charlie and his team are the only ones with a hope of stopping them.
Bursting with adventure, spirit, and comradery, Legacy of Atlantis is a utterly new take on a legendary tale, a story both timeless and as fresh as today.
About the Author
A lawyer and entrepreneur, John Topping (he/him) and his wife, Laura, are residents of Atlanta, Georgia. They have three adult children. An avid reader, John dabbled with writing while in high school at The Lawrenceville School and at the University of Virginia. He published an article on The Strategic Defense Initiative while at the University of Georgia School of Law. He began writing in his free time in the ’90s. Longstreet Press published his first novel, Runaway, a technothriller about global warming, in 2001.
John enjoys golf, fishing, tennis, and kayaking. He is a member of Northside United Methodist Church, Broadleaf Writers Association, and the Bonefish Tarpon Trust. One of nine children, John grew up with an appreciation of family and an avid interest in sports. John’s father, the late Dan Topping, owned the New York Yankees for 22 years, winning 15 pennants and 10 World Series. His stepfather, the late Rankin Smith, owned the Atlanta Falcons.
Your parents were right, Charlie, there was a thriving civilization known as Atlantis. We built a technological civilization that Homo sapiens have yet to match. This base, Altair, is evidence of that. She extended both arms.
“How do you know my name, and how do you know so much about me?” I looked into her eyes.
She smiled. Ah, the impatience of youth. We’ve waited centuries for your arrival.
“What do you mean?” This was too surreal. Maybe I was home in my bed in Seattle, dreaming. I squeezed my eyes shut, hoping for my mother’s touch on my shoulder, waking me up for school.
Open your eyes, Charlie. You’re not dreaming.
I opened them. The beautiful apparition was looking down at me, concern springing from her almond eyes. She smiled.
Yes, I can read your mind, at least on its surface. Our children receive training to guard their thoughts, but you . . .
“But you’re a hologram, how . . .”
Can I read your thoughts? Simply put, I am a hologram, but I am also far more than that. By the way, you don’t have to speak. Just think your questions instead. Now, sit. Let me tell you a tale. I’ve waited a long time to tell it.
I heard a scraping sound behind me and looked back. A chair was sliding in behind me. I sat.
I am an Atlantean. My true name is too hard to pronounce in your language. I have been known as Isis to the Egyptians, Athena to the Greeks, Minerva to the Romans, Frigga to the Norse, and Nantosuelta to the Druids, but none of those seem to suit any longer. She seemed to concentrate as I felt a tickle in the back of my mind. She smiled. Galadriel. That’s a fine name. Galadriel shall be my name for this Age.
I guess she really could read my thoughts.
Your parents were right, Atlantis did exist, and it is underwater, but that water is ice, not ocean.
She pointed at the image of Antarctica.
I am from our capital city, Solterra. The image zoomed in on a city on the coast. It was like zooming in via Google Earth, but much more detailed. Tall, elegant spires of skyscrapers stretched high, while, lower down, pyramids dotted the cityscape. The zooming stopped in a wide-open park in the middle of the city. Golden fountains spouting multi-colored water dotted the lake. To one side I saw a little girl and her father. The girl had an enormous smile on her face, as her father flipped a shiny metal disk into the water. The girl had almond-shaped turquoise eyes flecked with gold. She had braided blond hair and her ears came to a pronounced point. I reached up and touched my left ear.
The hologram smiled. One of my favorite memories, the fountains of Atria. My father used to take me there every Saturday after visiting the zoo.
That was long, long ago. We lived exceptionally long lives, but had very few children. We covered the globe, but preferred to reside on our home continent, Atlantis. Home sapiens had yet to arrive on Earth, but another group, very closely related to Atlanteans, challenged us. They called themselves Lemurians and lived on this island in the Pacific.
The image shifted to a large island northeast of New Guinea, in the middle of Micronesia. I knew my geography. There was no island there now.
The Lemurians were a young and brash race, much like Homo sapiens. They came to despise our control of the planet. They attacked us several times, but we beat them easily. We had little interest in expanding around the globe, and to assuage their egos we entered into a treaty with them, ceding them the area from their island to what you now call China and India. They were a very aggressive species, but impatient and short-lived. Even before our biotechnology blossomed, our lifespans were ten times theirs. When we expanded that to centuries, and then millennia, they claimed we had the secret to eternal life. They wanted that secret desperately. Our scientists tried, and we managed to extend the Lemurians’ lifespans to centuries by modifying our nanites to their biology. We thought that they were satisfied, despite living far shorter than us, but they weren’t.
I grew up in a golden age. The last Lemurian war had ended centuries before and we were expanding beyond the globe. I was young and jumped on the chance to come to the Moon. We were building a starship to expand out into the cosmos.
We were at peace with the Lemurians, traded with them, lived with them and, even though most Atlanteans looked down on it, intermarried with them. While children were rare, we were close enough genetically for children to be born. A faction within Lemuria argued that if Atlanteans and Lemurians could have children, why didn’t our secret of longevity work on Lemurians? We were, after all, genetically similar enough to interbreed.
Atlantean and Lemurian scientists worked hard, but something in their genetic makeup prevented Lemurians from living beyond a few centuries. When I had transferred to the Moon, there were rumors of monstrosities created by the Lemurians, of demons that lived forever, but the Lemurian High Counsel ridiculed the rumors. Most Atlanteans relegated tales of secret labs and mutant Lemurians to our version of cheap horror movies.
When the schism within the Lemurian High Counsel happened, few Atlanteans paid attention. We should have. A civil war broke out in Lemuria. We ignored it. Many Atlanteans looked down on Lemurians as inferior, barely worth note. After all, they bred quickly and lived short lives. Their existence had little bearing on Atlantis.
Our news agencies reported that the Lemurian High Counsel had gained the upper hand in the war. That’s when the rebels struck. They nuked the capital, killing the entire Lemurian High Counsel, the Atlantean Ambassador and his family and a handful of Atlantean businessmen that lived in Lemuria.
The use of a nuclear device horrified us all. In the past, we had used small nuclear devices for mining projects and had tested their use for spacecraft, but we had never dreamed of using them against people. War was a thing relegated to our distant past.
That’s when they struck.
The map zoomed out, and brilliant flashes of lights rained down around Solterra, similar to what I’d seen in my dream of running on the lunar surface.
While our technology was great, we were a peaceful people. We didn’t have a way to stop the attack. A nuclear barrage vaporized our capital.
Galadriel’s head drooped momentarily.
My parents, my family and most of my friends were gone in an instant. I survived here, in base Altair with just over fifty other Atlanteans and a handful of Lemurians. The Lemurians were our colleagues and were devastated by the loss of their capital and the wanton attack on ours. They even struck us here on the Moon, despite a handful of their own people being up here. Since the Moon has no atmosphere, we used a modification of our gravitational lens drive to divert asteroids and meteorites from this base and our other Lunar facilities. Even our suits had their own versions of the shields. Unfortunately, the power supply in the suits was limited and we suffered one casualty from the attack. The astronaut whose body you found belonged to our chief pilot, my husband.
I lowered my head. I’m sorry.
She nodded. After their surprise attack decapitated our government, they sent a naval task force to demand the capitulation of Atlantis. What was left of our government relented and told the Lemurian dictator that we would grant the Lemurians full access to our biological research facilities so they could learn our secret of longevity. Being a geneticist and the exobiologist on our team, I knew that the Lemurians could learn nothing from our lab. Despite being able to interbreed, their genetic code was different enough from ours so that the genetic engineering on us would not work on them. I feared that another wave of devastation would follow when they reached our shores and took over our research labs.
That’s when it happened. Somebody in some research lab tied to our space program must have gone crazy with grief. He used a ZPEG to enhance our gravitational lens drive system and turn it into a weapon.
ZPEG? What’s that? I had kind of followed her to that point.
ZPEG is a zero-point energy generator. The physics are extremely complicated. Even I don’t understand them, but it helped us power our gravitational lens drive with enough energy to get us to another star system in less than one lifetime.
I remembered hearing something about zero-point energy in a sci-fi movie, but hadn’t paid attention. I nodded and thought, Did the attack succeed?
The hologram pointed at the image of the Earth. It zoomed in on the island of Lemuria. One minute the island rested peacefully in the Pacific and the next some massive force literally ripped it from the ocean floor, hurling it into outer space. I couldn’t take my eyes off the image.
What the designer of Atlantis’s wrath did not account for, or perhaps they did and simply didn’t care, was what would happen when you gouged a fifty-thousand-square-mile island out of the middle of the Pacific.
I watched, fascinated, as the ocean rushed in to replace the mass that had been hurled away from the Earth. Giant waves rushed in, slamming together and then flowing rapidly outward. The waves devoured the Lemurian fleet and went on to swallow one island after another. When the wave reached Atlantis, it swept around the island continent faster than sound, scouring all the low-lying areas in its path.
We thought that the worst was over as the initial waves receded. We tried to establish communications with the space port located in the highlands of Bendarsk and succeeded. Damage reports were horrendous. Our society had just about been wiped out. We were talking with the survivors at the spaceport as the true disaster began. When the gravitational lens ripped Lemuria from the Pacific, not only did it cause a mega-tsunami, but it caused the entire Pacific plate to shift. The first step was the eruption of multiple volcanos, including a long-dormant super volcano off the northeastern coast of the north island of New Zealand. We put on our suits and walked out on the surface to watch as the massive volcanic cloud enveloped our beloved Atlantis. We could see the lightning bolts in the clouds from the Moon with our naked eyes. It was horrible and spectacular at the same time. Within forty-eight hours, clouds from the eruptions had enshrouded the entire globe.
I watched the scene play out on the display.
How long did it last? I was starting to think of the hologram as a person.
The clouds began to dissipate in year three. By year four the third and final disaster revealed itself—a polar shift. Our island had always been near the southern polar region. My parents had a ski condo along the slopes of the Volentian range in the south. Now, the South Pole had shifted to the center of our island. The beautiful lowlands where I had grown up had been scoured by the tsunami and now were covered in ice. Our island nation had become what it is today, Antarctica and the South Pole. We tried to reestablish communications with someone, anyone, but were unable to do so. Finally, as our food supplies and hydroponics began to fail, we decided to return to the Earth. She paused as if in thought.
Where did you go?
She didn’t answer. Instead she came closer to me and looked me in the eye. Charlie, we’ve detected gravitonic emanations from a remote area in Antarctica. The gravitational lens system must still be operational.
I stared into her eyes. They reminded me of my mother, the soft, loving looks she used to give me. I was about to tear up, so I looked away. And it still works? It could go off?
She nodded. If they can find and link a ZPEG to it, there’s no telling the damage they could cause. It could be the end of your species. She paused to give me time to let what she’d said sink in.