Chapter 1, Freedom

Chapter 1, Freedom

A Chapter by Naomi Bloom

The first chapter of "Plato and Darwin: Possibilites"


Milo took in every word of the book in his hands.  He sat at the desk in a medium-sized room in the basement of the Smithsonian.  It must have been a classroom once because it still had desks and a blackboard.  Even with no windows and charcoal-coloured walls, it was a luxurious boiler room.  

He was reading “Timaeus” by Plato for probably the fiftieth time.  The boilers groaned melodiously.  Over the years the sound of the boilers had become Milo’s reading music.  The young man wished there was more material to help him with his Atlantis proposal, but scholarly material on myths was hard to come by.  That was one of the reasons why he had to go on his expedition.  So there would be more information about Atlantis.  But more importantly, he was doing it for his grandfather.  Thaddeus nearly discovered Atlantis and with a little luck, Milo thought he would be the one to finally discover the lost civilization!  

He had been researching for his proposal most of the day.  Only a few people had complained about the boilers that day.  It was not a very hard job, as long as you knew how to fix a boiler.  Most of the day there was nothing for him to do.  Milo sometimes wished he had more responsibility at the museum.

Suddenly he heard a pounding on his door.  It was probably his boss.

“Come in,” Milo didn’t look up from his book until the man walked in.

Unsurprisingly, it was his boss, Neville Strickland.  He was a bulky sweaty man with a beet red face.  Although he was dressed as smartly as Harcourt and the members of the board, he was a very ignorant man.  When he first met Strickland, Milo thought he just cared about getting the job done, but eventually he learned that Neville enjoyed ordering people around.  It somehow made up for his sad, friendless life.  Milo once felt sorry for him.

“Thatch!” Neville bellowed, “You’re sitting on your a*s and reading?  Work isn’t over yet.  Clean up the vomit in third floor mammals!”

Milo sighed and put down his book, slowly standing up, “Yes, sir.”

“Now!  People are going to slip on it!” Neville hissed.

Another thing about Neville was that he usually made Milo clean up the messes in the museum even though Milo wasn’t the janitor.  Neville was the actual janitor, but the man preferred to spend his energy telling others to do his work for him.  None of the museum managers seemed to care whether Strickland did his work or not.  It was too much work getting Neville to pull his own weight, so Milo did his work for him.  Being the unofficial janitor, Milo found his mop and bucket in the corner of the boiler room.  

“Why am I always the one to spot the spills?  Can’t you do your own inspections?” Neville shouted at Milo as he filled the bucket with water.

“Sorry about that, Mr. Strickland,” Milo tried his hardest not to roll his eyes, “I got caught up with the boilers,” the linguist tried to emphasize the word “boilers”.

As Milo left the boiler room, Neville yelled after him, “Faster!  My grandmother could walk faster!”

“I can’t wait until I’m out of here,” Milo muttered when Neville was out of earshot.

After lugging the mop and bucket up three flights of stairs, Milo reached the mammal section of Biology.  He found the puddle of vomit right away and started mopping, apologizing to the people nearby.  It was on the floor by the display of monkeys and gorillas.  The cartographer wasn’t even disgusted by the vomit anymore.  

He read the display on gorillas as he cleaned.  They were the second closest relatives to humans after chimpanzees.  Milo studied a picture of a gorilla beside the text and looked for human features.  It was uncanny.  Facially, they looked like older humans.  They had ears, lips, noses, wrinkles.  Milo wondered if they had the same facial expressions.  It was fascinating.  Many people still doubted Darwin’s theories, but Milo thought they were brilliant.

Finished, Milo headed for the stairs, but a poster with another gorilla picture on it caught his eye.

English biologist Archimedes Q. Porter presents

His proposal for an expedition to Africa

New findings concerning the gorilla species to be revealed

Conference Room Four

April 14, 1911 at three o’clock

“Watching that could prepare me for my own proposal,” Milo thought, “And it would be interesting to learn more about gorillas.”

He shook his head, “But Strickland would never let me go.”

He looked at the picture of the gorilla once more.  The primate looked so relaxed and at ease.  Free.  

“Someday I’ll be free.”

© 2012 Naomi Bloom

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You've got me interested. Poor Milo's working for a lazy jerk who is probably taking credit for his efforts. However, if he can stand it, the museum is a great place to pay his dues if adventure is in his future.

What is the lure of Atlantis? What draws an adventurous spirit to seek it out? What is it that makes one seek out the wonders of the world and another to be content with what is?

Posted 7 Years Ago

Naomi Bloom

7 Years Ago

Thanks for the review. Are the questions at the end hypothetical or do you want me to answer them? .. read more
Clayton Bardwell

7 Years Ago

They are some of reasons I stay up at night and wonder. I would love for you to answer them.
Naomi Bloom

7 Years Ago

It is a lost civilization. An adventurous spirit would want to seek it out to travel to new places .. read more

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Added on December 30, 2012
Last Updated on December 30, 2012
Tags: crossover, atlantis, lost empire, tarzan, disney, jane porter, milo thatch, archimedes q. porter, smithsonian, washington, thugs, explore, proposal, gorilla, primate, story, fan fiction, love, romance


Naomi Bloom
Naomi Bloom

Ontario, Canada

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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