Lost Children of Atlantis
(c) 2006-2007 Mychyl Kime (KimeNet Corp.)

This is a work of fiction. The people depicted in this story (to the best of the author's knowledge) do NOT exist. And these events are, for the most part, all the imagination of the author. More importantly, this is a work of science fiction (and, to a significant degree, fantasy), so while some of the situations may seem probable, and scientifically possible, that hardly means that this is to be taken as real. As for content... suffice it to say, eventually, this story may well turn explicit. I'm a stickler for a good storyline, though, so it might be a while til there's anything "offensive".

If you are under 18 years of age (or whatever the legal age in your area is) you must leave. Of course, I can't very well make you leave... but if you choose to stay, DON'T GET CAUGHT! It is neither my fault, nor the fault of this wonderful site, if you get caught running around here.

Also, if you are repulsed by the concept of homosexual romance and/or sex, please feel free to leave at any time. (In fact, now would be a good time.) But hey, it's your call, of course... I can't make you leave, either... but if you choose to stay, feel free... who knows, you might even change your mind! My only question is: why are you here if that's the case?

This is a new story, mostly independent of my older work; if you are interested in that, it's in HighSchool/Ukiah_Chronicles. I say mostly, because the main character (and perhaps an occasional "guest star") are based on the Ukiah Chronicles. The inspiration for this work is Symbiota Sapiens, written by the charismatic (if occasionally over-loquacious ;P) Dean. Feel free to go read. (It's an excellent story, really. Do go read it. ^^)

Please feel free to email me with your comments/suggestions at the address below. Or, if you'd prefer, you can IM me on the chance you catch me online. (Lately my backup computer, which is where my IM program runs, has been acting up. Sorry if you've tried to catch me online... I'm working on getting it fixed over this week.)

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And now, without further delay:

~*~ {{Recap}} ~*~

::So, now that you've gotten settled in, shall we talk?:: I heard, with the definite tone of it being Ryan, and no one else. As I felt my eyes widen in shock, he chuckled aloud. ::What, so surprised? Apparently, your mentor forgot to mention there's a big world out there. And you just entered a different part of it... welcome, wandering one.::

~*~ Chapter 8 ~*~

I didn't know what to think. I'd thought I had gotten away safely, only to have one of them catch me so easily?

::Not exactly,:: Ry corrected me. ::I was monitoring closely their house after we left, and no one left from there or raised an alarm to others outside. Which means, whatever else Ryan might be or represent, he's not aware you escaped from them. Or more accurately, not aware that it WAS an escape.::

"So," Ryan started after a minute, "you're obviously newly-made. The fact that you're travelling alone and into another area without thinking of the dangers... that pretty well proves it."

"Another area?" I asked, confused.

"Nearly every major... and a few less than major... city has a Citadel of Guardians. Now, I don't know how much your mentor has told you about the politics and machinations between Guardians?" I shook my head and he continued. "There are two... sides, I suppose you could call them. The traditional Guardians focus solely on restarting Atlantis; a noble cause, to be sure, but their timeline is measured not in years, but in millenia. The others... well, for all that they are called the Fallen for straying from that noble dream, they seek to better humanity right now by controlling modern events behind the scenes."

He stood and began pacing. Not impatiently, but thoughtfully, as though to gather his thoughts. "Now, they are not precisely 'at odds', so to speak, at all time," he continued. "Sometimes the twin goals are not entirely incompatible, especially if there is an unparalleled crisis which threatens humanity as a whole. After all, if all life on this planet... or the planet itself... were to be destroyed, neither side would have much to work with, would they?"

"And which are you, then?" I asked. I had a suspicion forming, but I wanted confirmation...

"Both, and neither, to be honest. I am considered a Fallen, as are my brethren, but we are among those rare Guardians who see the value in both arguments; we believe it is possible to restore Atlantis to its former glory without turning a blind eye to all that is wrong in this world." He paused, then grinned. "I suppose we dual-minded individuals would best be called 'lost children', for we are at odds with Guardians at times for wanting to better humanity now... but also with the other Fallen for not eschewing, and I quote, 'a noble but simple-minded dream that belongs in fairy tales'."

I frowned. "Why does worrying about the present mean you must be oblivious to the dream of rebuilding Atlantis? Why does focusing on that dream mean letting humanity now suffer is necessary?"

He smirked. "My point exactly. Ignoring the dream would be to turn our back on the past which made us who we are. Ignoring the present could mean no one left to appreciate the eventual future. As any of us would say, to turn away from any of the three... past, present, or future... would be to damn ourselves to failure, no matter how noble our goals."

He sat next to me, putting one arm around my shoulders. At his touch, I sighed softly and melted into him. "Sometimes when Guardians and Fallen meet, it's not peaceful." He chuckled, but it sounded flat and humorless to my ears. "Better to say it usually ends in bloodshed. And while the Esseren are quite useful at repairing any damage our bodies sustain, if we take enough damage, we CAN still die. And there are ways to disable or destroy Esseren still. We are not immortal, no matter how much we may wish it so."

I shivered at the thought, and he pulled me closer. "Don't worry too much about it... if you're as like-minded as you sound, you're welcome to join our causes. And rarely, if at all, are we caught in the midst of those battles. Both sides may not entirely like us for our expedient natures, but they generally accept us as useful allies and try to not destroy us as such."

He closed his eyes for a moment, and I thought about what he'd told me, turning it over in my mind. I certainly wasn't about to give up on making things better now... I might not have many friends, but everyone I'd known my entire life lived in the world as it is. Or as I could help make it. But at the same time... Atlantis was the stuff of legends, legends that I'd now seen (firsthand, sort of) as being all too real. Ignoring the chance to be a part of rebuilding the original Citadel? No way!

He opened his eyes and looked at me quizzically. "You're younger than I thought," he said, serious now. "Your mentor apparently found out somehow that you're here, and is demanding your return." He grinned impishly at me. "She clearly thinks we kidnapped you, somehow."

She. I frowned. There was only one female I could think of that'd be looking for me. Apparently Alliesa had found me. "I don't want to go back," I said. "I think I've found my place." In more ways than one, I thought but decided against saying.

"She isn't going to listen to me," he brooded aloud. "You're familiar at least with communicating, right?" I nodded hesitantly. "Then get to it... she might listen to you."

I smirked at him, closing my eyes and picturing Alliesa, bubble gum and all. :So, apparently you found me,: I thought at her, and was rewarded by the thought-sent equivalent of a gasp.

::Damien!:: she sent, her 'tone' worried. ::I'm here to rescue you... be careful, I can't have this guy knowing I'm here or it'll...::

:He told me you are,: I interrupted her. :That's why I'm contacting you. He told me a lot of things... a lot more than anyone was telling me there. And a lot of what he said made more sense than anything Chris or Benito did say to me.:

I felt shock, then betrayal, followed by a grim sort of resolve. ::As you wish it. I, Alliesa of the old blood, do claim you, Damien, to be Fallen. I...::

:No!: I exclaimed with enough force and venom behind it I was certain people within miles of here would be dazed, or at least startled, by it. :No,: I continued, more calmly if still loudly. :I deny the claim of Fallen; I establish myself amongst the Lost Children of Atlantis, neither aloof from the world nor blinded against the dream.:

::Fine, as you wish it, Lostling,:: she amended, a slight hint of... respect? admiration? in her voice. ::You are still left from our fold and returned to the world you hold so dear.:: I could swear I heard a wistful smile about the edge of her mind-tone. ::You, however, can call us allies in any efforts towards restoring the First Citadel.::

Her mind dropped from mine, and at the same time I sensed several others coming to me, supporting and welcoming me without words.

Clearing his throat, Ryan pulled me a bit closer, until I was looking up into his eyes, practically swimming in those bottomless pools of warm green. "That was very brave of you, Damien," he said comfortingly, practically purring the words at me. "And I assure you, you need not feel alone. We shall be with you, teaching you what you must know and helping you..." He trailed, something else unspoken, and emboldened both by emotion and by recent success, I pulled myself up and forward, my lips meeting his in a tentative kiss.

He pulled back, not as quick as he might were he offended, but gently, his free hand tracing the edge of my cheek. ::Are you sure?:: he asked softly, his heart in his eyes.

:I've known you so briefly,: I responded the same way, :yet in that short time I've fallen for you. I've fallen for your beauty, your caring heart, your mind, and though I barely know you, I do know that I've fallen completely for you.:

::You're not the first to fall so easily for me,:: he replied wistfully. ::You are the first, however, that I felt the same for, at least for longer than you can imagine. And the first who I feel is more interested in who I am than what I can offer.:: With that, he resumed the kiss, both of us feeling a sense of content completeness in each other, a feeling deeper and truer than I'd ever experienced before, even with Tyler. Apparently, Ry was completely right about that.

After a prolonged kiss, broken by me only to lie against his chest, I hoped nothing would change. Or, at least, nothing between us, not now that I had Ryan, someone for whom I felt such an overpowering, awe-inspiring depth of love.

After a lifetime against him, feeling relaxed and comforted as never before, I felt him begin gently stirring against me, lifting me away. "I wouldn't want to share you," he said quietly, "but some of my friends... or should I say, now our mutual friends... wish to meet you."

I must've looked as nervous as I felt all of a sudden, because he leaned into me, wrapping me in his strong arms, and placed a gentle kiss on my forehead. "If you would prefer not to meet them now..."

"No, I'm all right," I said, amazed how calm my voice was, given how nervous I'd been a moment before. "If they mean no harm as you say, then there's no reason to put off meeting them. Nothing rational, at least."

"Good," he said softly, after a brief moment during which I assumed he was talking to them. "They're on the way now, and we'll likely start your training tomorrow, see how much you still have to learn."

I groaned at the thought of more of the training Chris and Benito were subjecting me to, and he grinned impishly at me. Gods, I loved that grin. "Don't worry, we've trained worse Guardians than you before, I'm positive. Time will tell, but I'm sure you'll be fine. I'll be here for you, always."

Another update on time. I'm becoming quite pleased with this schedule. *nodnods*

So, yea. If this chapter was a curveball for anyone else, my apologies, but it was as big a curveball for me. (Like I've said before and will say again, I'm not creating the story so much as relaying it. :P)

Anywho, Chapter 9 is ready for next weekend, complete with an entire supporting cast's introductions crammed into one chapter, so let's keep moving forward, shall we? ^^

PS: Thanx to those who've written in... nice to know I haven't been forgotten in my delayed postings. I love hearing from fans, old and new, so feel free to keep writing!