Chapter 2, Drinks at the Crystal Club

Chapter 2, Drinks at the Crystal Club

A Chapter by Naomi Bloom
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The second chapter of "Expand Your Horizons."

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III


Milo and Amanotep walked into the only pub in Atlantis, “the Crystal Club.”  Amanotep was incessantly debating Atlantean culture and politics with Milo.  Today’s debate was why it was useful to learn about music and art in school.  To Amanotep it seemed stupid and pointless, just a hobby to indulge in when one is bored.  Milo argued that it was a form of communication, a way to express your ideas and feelings.  


Amanotep sneered, “Why not just talking about it?”


Amanotep often took his debates with Milo too seriously, turning them into arguments or contests.


“The arts are weak, pathetic and useless!  Face it, Milo, you’ve lost this debate!”


Milo didn’t seem to mind though.  To him the young man was a critical thinker, something Milo highly admired.  He enjoyed debating with Amanotep.  They took a table in the middle of the bar.  A young man about Amanotep’s age was their server.  His white hair was slightly shaggy and medium length.  He was slim with blue eyes and tanned skin.  He looked more feminine than Amanotep.  


“Hello, there.  My name is Wally and I will be your bartender,” then he noticed Milo, “Oh, your majesty!  It is an honour!”


“Let’s forget all those fancy names.  I’ve been teaching you how long now?”


“Three years, I think.”


They ordered some Atlantean beer and Wally started calling the king “Milo” instead.  After Wally left to get them their drinks, Milo asked, “So, who are we meeting again?”


“Her name is Urika Nova.”


“Right.  I think I’ve taught her before.”


“You need to remember names better.”


“Yeah, I do.  I feel terrible when I forget.”


“Here you are, boys,” Wally placed two drinks on the table.  They toasted the trip.


“I wonder what’s taking her?” said Amanotep.


The bar was semi-crowded that night.  Wally led a teenage girl to their table.


“Hello, Yuri,” Amanotep said, calmly, but loudly.


“Sorry I’m late.  I was working on something and I completely lost track of time.”


The girl sat down next to Amanotep and across from Milo.  She was fairly short and she looked younger than Amanotep.  The girl was pretty, with green eyes and her straight platinum blonde hair in a bob.  Yuri was skinny and her lips were thin.  The girl looked confused.  She squinted at Milo from across the table, trying to find out who he was exactly.  


“Hi, nice to see you again, Urika… Neva?” Milo tried to remember her last name, “I’m Milo.”


Realizing who she was talking to, she jumped up and bowed, “I’m so sorry, your majesty!  It’s truly an honour!” She bowed again.  Even though she was clearly overjoyed to meet King Milo in a bar with her classmate, it looked like she was nervous.


“Urika, you can call me Milo, and you guys really don’t have to bow or anything like that.  Sometimes I wish I wasn’t king, just so I could avoid all these formalities.”  


“I’ll do it for you if you don’t want to,” Amanotep joked.


Urika was blushing, “I can… c-call you Milo?”


Milo smiled, “Yup.  By the way, did I get your name right?”


“Well, it’s Nova, but that’s alright.”


Amanotep frowned, “Glad you two know each other.  Now let’s get down to business.  About the trip…”


“So, who’s the last person?” Milo asked.


“That’s the problem.  Everyone in school seems to want to go on this trip, so I decided to put all their names in a draw.”


“Really?  I had no idea so many people were interested in the surface world.  I guess you were right, Aman!” Milo said.


Amanotep grunted in acknowledgement. He hated it when people called him Aman, and when they interrupted.


“Anyway, may I continue?”


Urika and Milo nodded.


“I’ve drawn five names already.  And they’re all annoying people that I hate.”


“You don’t hate me?” Urika asked.


“Not yet I don’t.”


She smiled, happy someone liked her.  Most people excluded her and teased her for her bad vision.  


“Okay, guys, you really have to stop interrupting.  Put up your hand if you have a question.  I need this meeting to be efficient.”


Milo thought to himself, “He’s so professional and powerful.  He really knows how to run things.  I wish I was more like that.  I bet he’d be a great teacher.”


“So, I don’t think it would be ethical for me to draw any more names.  Maybe one of you two could draw for me or, since so many Atlanteans annoy me, I could just pick one myself.”


“Pardon me, sir,” said Wally the waiter, “but anything for the lady tonight?”


Urika looked up at Wally, squinting, “Oh, hi, Wally!”


“Hi Yuri.”


“How are you?”


“Good.  How are you?”


“Great!  I’m going on a trip to the surface world.  I’m so excited!”


Wally looked at the table again.


“Oh, so that’s why Milo is here.  Where’s your fourth person?”


They all looked at each other uneasily.  Amanotep looked Wally over.


“Hey Wally.  When do you get off?” he asked.


“Um, in an hour or so.  Why?”


“How would you like to go on a trip?”


Wally was shocked.  He had always been fascinated with the surface world.  He had often asked his teachers about it.  The only teacher who didn’t ridicule him for his interest was Milo.  And he would be the trip guide.  It sounded like the perfect trip.  And it was free!


“Are you serious?”


“No, we’re just playing a trick on you.  Of course we’re serious!”


He went down on his knees and whispered, “Thank you” several times.


“Ok, that’s enough.  You should go back to work.  Meet us here when you’re done.”


Wally nodded and headed straight to the men’s room.  No one was there.  He went into the last stall, locked it and started jumping up and down and shrieking happily like a little girl.  He did this for a few minutes and then got back to work.


“There.  Problem solved,” Amanotep said, looking through his papers casually.


“It looks like you made a good choice.  Wally looked really happy,” Milo said.


Suddenly Wally came back to the table, “Oh yes.  Urika, would you like a drink?”


“Oh, um, I’ll have a Kidagakash.”


“Done,” Wally walked away.


Milo looked at Urika, perplexed.  “There’s a drink named after my wife?”


“Clearly you’ve never been here.  You’ve got your own drink, too.”


“My God,” he said.  Milo could never have dreamed of that kind of stardom when he lived in America.  He decided to focus on Amanotep again.


“So, now, who are you bringing, Milo?”


“Well, I wrote everyone on the old team and everyone can come except Cookie, who is catering some eating contests in the Dakota.  Mother Crystal help those poor professional eaters.


“That’s kind of a lot, though.  Why did you invite all of them?” Amanotep said.


Milo looked at him with puppy dog eyes, “I didn’t want anyone to feel left out.  And they’ll all be helpful.  Audrey can help us with fixing machines and vehicles, Vinny can help our offensive if we get attacked by thugs, Packard will be our secretary and help us find travel arrangements, Sweet will be our travel doctor and Mole could be another guide, giving us the dirt on where we are.”


“So we’ve got nine people now.  That’s not bad,” said Yuri.


The meeting continued with Milo listing off all the great wonders of the world he could think of and Amanotep and Yuri voting on where they wanted to go.  They decided they would try to go to as many items on the list as they could with the time they had.  


The final list consisted of:


Pyramids of Egypt

Paris, France

Rome, Italy

The Grand Canyon

London, England

The Sahara Desert

New York, USA

Tokyo, Japan

Moscow, Russia

India (Agra and New Delhi)

Singapore


Eleven destinations.  They couldn’t possibly make it to all of them, but they would try to cover at least half.


Wally finished his shift and sat with them as they told him all about the trip and their chosen destinations.  


Yuri looked at her watch, squinting again.


“Don’t you have any glasses?”  Milo asked her.


“What are those?”


He pointed to the pieces of glass decorating his face, “These things.”


“Really,” she looked at them carefully, “I had always wondered about the purpose of those tiny windows on your face.  What are they for?”


Milo chuckled, took off his glasses and passed them to her, “Try them on.”


She awkwardly tried to put them on properly.  Immediately she could see everything so clearly, almost as if she was in a different realm.  It was the way she saw the world in her dreams.  Everything was so incredibly sharp and close.  She could make out eyes, noses, mouths, even blemishes, the writing from far away!  Her eyes lit up.  To the others it looked as if she was on some kind of hallucinogenic drug.  Milo smiled.  This was probably the first time the girl had seen more than blurs since she was a child.


“I’ve never seen… this before…” she whispered and then began to swoon.


While Urika was passed out, Wally and Amanotep grabbed at the glasses, trying to see what was so great about them.


“It’s just a big blur,” Amanotep sneered, “that girl is insane.”


Wally saw the same thing as Amanotep, “Or maybe she got drunk right before she came here…”


“You two don’t understand.  They help you with your vision if you have bad vision.  Obviously you two both have good vision, but Urika and I don’t.”


Urika recovered suddenly, “I don’t have bad vision.  Please don’t say that around them.”


“Why?  It’s nothing to be ashamed of,” Milo said.


“Never mind.  So where do you get these devices?”


“In the surface world.”


Yuri grinned.  She was already excited.  Now she wanted to leave right away.


“Oh, yes.  I nearly forgot.  I invented something especially for this trip,” Urika pulled a green crystal pendant out of her pocket.  It looked like a green version of the crystals all Atlanteans wore around their necks, except it had many small buttons on it.


“What does it do?” Wally was curious.


She pulled another green crystal out of her pocket and gave it to Wally.  She looked at her own green crystal and talked into it, “Crystal Two.”


It made a whooshing sound.  Then she talked into it again, “Hi Wally.  Try talking back to me.”


They heard Urika’s voice come out of Wally’s crystal.  Everyone gasped.


“Hi Yuri,” Wally spoke gingerly into the gadget.


They heard his voice in Urika’s crystal.


“And you can use this when you’re continents away from each other.  Even to contact Atlantis from the surface world.  I call it… the Crystal-phone!  Is that a good name?”


Everyone nodded meekly.  They were all stunned.  This would be invaluable.  Milo had not seen anything like this before.  Well, in the surface world, there were telephones, but they weren’t nearly this portable.  These could fit in your pocket!  And telephones that could reach Atlantis at that!  It almost seemed like magic.  It would definitely be a useful invention in the surface world.


Breaking the silence, Urika continued, “I made one for each one of you.  I’ll make more for Kida and Milo’s friends.  I also added this for fun…”


She pressed a button on the side of the crystal and it started to play traditional Atlantean music.  She clicked another button and the device played a different song.


“To remind us of Atlantis when we’re homesick.”


Once again they were all stunned.  Her inventions were amazing, and extremely useful.  This girl was so precocious she could probably compete with the greatest inventors in the surface world.  That music device was definitely not invented in the surface world yet.

Milo wondered if he could put some swing or ragtime on it, but figured it was best not to look a gift horse in the mouth.


Suddenly he had an epiphany, “Eureka!!”


“Yes?” the girl answered.


“Oh, sorry, it’s kind of a surface expression.  I just realized that with these devices, our trip would be much safer and more efficient.  Maybe Kida would let us stay a few more days!”


“Yes, that is true,” Aman said, “ask her tomorrow.”


After a short tutorial on their crystal-phones from Urika, they all went home.  It was a great meeting.  They would leave in five days.



© 2012 Naomi Bloom


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Added on December 28, 2012
Last Updated on December 28, 2012
Tags: expand your horizons, around the world in two weeks, adventure, fan fiction, atlantis, lost empire, discovery, travel, trip, disney, writing, chapter, book, milo thatch, kida, atlantean, journey


Author

Naomi Bloom
Naomi Bloom

Ontario, Canada



About
An amateur writer of poems, short stories and other types of writing. I recently graduated from university and I am trying to figure out what to do with my life. Victorian England, name meanings, be.. more..

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