Classics fantasy — 14

Бесплатный фрагмент - Classics fantasy — 14

Объем: 285 бумажных стр.

Формат: epub, fb2, pdfRead, mobi



Underwater expedition

— It is a thought!

Having put the book aside, Mr. Solly once again repeated:

— Yes. It is a thought! — also was lost in thought.

Mr. Solly is a successful New York manufacturer and the stockbroker who profited on military deliveries to time of world war.

War — a fine thing for such people. The above mountains of corpses on fields of battles grew, the current account of Mr. Solly was rounded more. By the end of war Mr. Solly «cost» several billion dollars.

But when it reached top of financial power, the bad story happened to it. The magnificent lunches which are plentifully irrigated by thin wines caused a disease of brain vessels. And he got sick from brain blow when he least of all expected it. The right hand and a leg were taken away from it. The blow was easy, and at careful medical care in several months of the patient recovered. Paralysis, appear, passed. But the doctor strictly forbade Mr. Solly to come back to commercial activity.

— There is enough, worked — the doctor told. — If you want to keep health, you have to change a way of life absolutely. Travel, be engaged in a collecting, charity — in a word, than you want if only to fill up your time and to have a good time, but avoid intellectual and nervous tension. Otherwise I am not responsible for your life.

After such ultimatum before Mr. Solly there was a hard question: what to fill life with and how to use the infinite riches?

It was lonely. It complicated situation even more. He has nobody was to care, except as for himself.

To go to Africa and to hunt lions how it was made by Roosevelt?

Too strong feelings of such sport did not attract Solly.


One thought of it caused a fastidiousness grimace on his fat red face. It is too beaten, went. To write the check for one hundred thousands of dollars in favor of university then to admire the portrait in the newspaper? Empty and boring occupation.

Mr. Solly tried to be engaged in a collecting. Began to buy up pictures of old Italian masters. But all these Leonardo da Vinci and Rafaeli, obviously, did not consider the American demand. The majority of unik [6] was bought already up. Having cut a poor figure with purchase of the «original» Korredzhio who appeared by a dexterous fake, Solly revolted to painting.

Then collections of the Australian boomerangs, the Chinese hand bells followed… The collection made of three hundred fifty species of the live fleas who are brought together from all countries of the world forced to tell about itself some time. But all this was not that… It was necessary to find something outstanding that, perhaps, would immortalize his name.

Having tasted from fruits of wealth and the power, Mr. Solly secretly dreamed also of glory. But how to buy it? It was absolutely not so simply, as with exchange actions.

And here, when he already lost hope to find its worthy purpose of life, the simple case came to the rescue.

The personal secretary of Mr. Solly incidentally left on a desk the motley book with gray and blue strips of a cover. It was the small volume in French: «Roger Devin. The disappeared continent. Atlantis, sixth part of the world».

The millionaire, missing, checked this book, but several lines stopped its attention.

«It is necessary to create — the author wrote — an expedition from the ships of all nations for a research of the Atlantic Ocean to find the sacred earth in which the general ancestors of the most ancient nations of Europe, Africa and America sleep».

«An underwater expedition for search of Atlantis… It is the idea!»

Having begun to smoke a cigar, Mr. Solly plunged into ambitious dreams. It, Mr. Henry Solly, opens this disappeared continent. He will be new Columbus. He will set up a star American banner on this disappeared continent. And collections from an ocean floor! There, likely, will be no fakes. All unik of immeasurable value. «Not bad room for the capital — the thought which got used to everything to approach with commercial calculation flashed. — And glory, glory…»

Yes, it is resolute, over it it is necessary to think. It is necessary to study a question. Mr. Solly examined the enclosed bibliography at the end of the book: «One collection of books contains more than 50 000 volumes in Smitsoniansky institute…»

«Well, it too! — Mr. Solly frowned, having imagined these heaps of books. — However, for what there are scientists? We will charge to them to make necessary selections. For now we get acquainted with Devinem».

Having forgotten even about a high security of the doctor, Mr. Solly sat up after midnight, shipped in reading the book.

The personal secretary Mr. Carter who came to other morning saw the boss extraordinary brisk and was stunned with his words.

— Case! We go to an underwater expedition to search for Atlantis…

The case widely opened eyes, on the small volume left yesterday Devinya was lop-sided then and understood everything.

«Would catch the fleas better» — Carter thought. This expedition did not smile to it at all. He was affianced only recently.

But with usual courtesy he said:

— At your service, sir.

Atlantis and Mary

Work began to boil. Mr. Solly was unrecognizable. Apathy and slackness disappeared completely. All day long he conferred with scientists, engineers, seamen. Solly entered all trifles and showed the remarkable practical and organizing abilities.

Engineers developed types of the underwater ships. Jules Verne’s imagination about discovery of Atlantis was realized by «Nautilus» of the captain Nemo. Solly rejected the project of construction of one big underwater ship.

— It can be necessary for us only at the end when Atlantis is found. And then, big submarines [7] of a dorogonka even for my pocket. We need police dogs, a flotilla of small vessels which will ransack under waves of the ocean and to make preliminary researches.

Stopped on type of the small submarine and began to develop its design.

On submarines it was supposed to arrange windows from thick glass and strong searchlights for observation from within the vessel. In day of the case there had to be openings through which special probes for a research of soils could fall by an ocean floor. At last, special hatches could throw out and take away back divers. With the surface world it was supposed to keep in a continuous communication through radio. Decided to construct five such submarines. The estimate all grew, but it did not confuse Solly. According to its plan, vessels needed to be constructed in two years; expenses could be covered by one percent from its capital. The first boat had to be ready in half a year. If to it has the luck, the others can and be not built.

Despite all this vigorous collecting, business could be upset and only because in destiny of discovery of Atlantis it was the blond Mary involved destiny, Carter’s brides. The secretary of the millionaire was also keen on it as Solly Atlantis. In her face Atlantis got the strong competitor.

Carter watched at Solly’s invention as on one of his whims which can pass as quickly as there took place his other hobbies. But this whim could tear off for a long time it from Ms. Mary Rivs.

And it led a secret intrigue to destroy this invention.

He assured the doctor that Solly’s hobby for Atlantis is harmful to his health. It deliberately complicated work to delay departure. He searched for professors who did not believe in existence of Atlantis, and asked them to persuade the old man Solly to refuse his invention. He created the whole campaign in the press. Most of scientists mocked at Solly’s fantazerstvo. Newspapers placed caricatures. But Solly was unshakable.

On Carter’s misfortune, Solly found in a face of professor Larison of the fanatical supporter of an expedition.

The old man Larison, with a spherical, hairless skull and narrow, cheerful eyes, moved to Solly and directly hypnotized him the excited speeches about Atlantis, its infinite riches buried at an ocean floor.

Having lost any hope to ruin an expedition, Carter declared to Solly in one morning the leaving.

— How, you abandon me such minute? — Solly disappointedly asked. — But what reason?

All this was told with such sincere chagrin that Carter after some fluctuation decided to tell the truth.

— I assume to marry soon and I do not find possible in such time to go to an expedition which will take, maybe, several years.

Solly hung the head. Then he suddenly jumped from a chair and, having waved both hand, cried:

— So behind what business became! Marry rather and take it with yourself!

«With itself … — it was the new thought which did not come to Carter to mind yet. — And whether Mary will agree?»

Unexpectedly for it Mary agreed to participate in an expedition and even expressed the most live interest.

Mary stopped being dangerous to Atlantis.

In search of Atlantis

There passed three more years. Years of disappointments and the disappointed hopes. Four years of a submarine abysses of the Atlantic Ocean between northwest coast of Africa and east coast of North and South America plowed. Many interesting geological and paleontologic finds were made, but traces of Atlantis were not. The whole groups of divers probed a seabed on hundreds of meters deep into, but everywhere found only a volcanic tufa crystallized under pressure of water, granite and clay slate.

Participants of an expedition were obviously tired. At Mary Carter interest in Atlantis considerably cooled down.

Her husband damned Atlantis, Larison and Solly. But the good salary held it in an expedition. Solly from time to time fell into doubt. Expenses grew, it had to touch fixed capital long ago, and it, Solly, «cost» already much less, than prior to an expedition.

The underwater expedition of Solly excited enormous interest in the beginning. For a while Atlantis became the most fashionable subject. About it uncountable lectures were given, scientific disputes were conducted. The riches buried at an ocean floor seemed to some. Even the question of foundation of joint-stock company for maintaining together with Solly of works was brought up. But simple calculation forced to wait for results of an expedition of Solly. And these results were deplorable so far. Newspapers and magazines wrote about an expedition more and more cold, then passed to a vyshuchivaniye, calculated, how much for «the myth about Atlantis», and at last became silent absolutely. It for Solly was worst of all. In completion of troubles he lost a part of the fortune, concluded in oil stocks.

The further «instillation of money to the ocean» as wrote in newspapers, threatened it with ruin.

Solly became silent and irritable.

One Larison did not despond.

— All our failures prove nothing. Just we made a mistake in researches. But it is easy to correct this error. The matter is that still we picked only tops of the volcanic mountains of Atlantis. Remember that else Platon mentioned these high mountains. The cities lay at their sole. Therefore, to look for them, it is necessary to fall to valleys at least by three thousand meters of depth lying at an ocean floor and to do several deep slanting trenches in the soil. And we will find Atlantis. She waited for you tens of thousands of years, and really now when you is so close from it and from glory — yes, from glory — you will throw everything?

Cunning Larison found a weak string of Solly long ago. Glory!

— How many it costs? That is how many it will cost still? — he asked.

Began to count. Works at an ocean floor cost madly much. But persistence and a habit forced to risk Solly to make up the mind to this step.

For the last researches chose the area on 12° northern latitude and 40° the western longitude. On a bottom enormous air bells as at a depth of three thousand meters pressure of water was too big for work of divers were lowered. The drills set in motion by electricity from the ships standing on the surface of the ocean drilled and split up the earth which via hermetic hatches was thrown out of a bell. Several times water got under a bell. Six workers already paid with life. It was harder and harder to find hunters on the place of left, work was more and more expensively paid. Three months there was this persistent work. Heroic efforts of an expedition drew to it attention of «the elevated world» again. Tireless Larison vigorously directed works at an ocean floor. Solly spent the most part of time on the floating dock arranged about the place of works — in the open air. Stay in submarines for it was heavy. But sea air very much strengthened his health. Physically he felt perfectly. But this treatment ran to it into money. In one morning, having sat over accounts and having struck balance, he saw that it will have enough means to continue work only for two months. And further — the end. It is ruined and in addition is dishonored as the old visionary and the dreamer.

In the evening when Larison, tired, but vigorous and noisy, as always, rose to him from an ocean floor, Solly told sad news.

Larison for the first time felt confused.

He never thought that this gold bag can run low. But Larison was too absorbed by the works to give way to despair.

— It cannot be!

— That is how cannot be? Here look at a result.

— There cannot be it, I that work stopped on the most interesting place say. We reached a soft tufa. It is easier to work. And only today I found something devilishly reminding a piece of a tile from a roof. Money? They should be got!

— But how?

Larison shrugged shoulders and left to himself. He long wrote to this evening, made some orders and next morning, having hastily had breakfast, dived «to himself» on an ocean floor.

Unexpected help

Two fatal months were on an outcome. Solly was engaged in the fact that he counted that will remain to him on modest life when he throws «a silly invention» with Atlantis and liquidates it. The called managing director did it the report. After elimination of sheep ranches in Texas there were some remains in several thousand dollars.

Solly in thoughtfulness started up smoke streams, drawing a picture of the future. He will go to a lonely manor in the southern states and will attain the age all alone. From the African coast pulled hot breath of the heated deserts.

Suddenly in the north a number of the ships seemed. When they approached, Solly uvidat the fluttering pennants.

— It that else for a flotilla?

He did not know that it was unexpected international aid. Larison did not doze. He wrote the hot appeal to newspapers of the different countries with an appeal to all cultural mankind to help an expedition «for the sake of science». His hotly written appeal made an impression. The auxiliary fleet which ships approached a floating beacon now was created. Solly did not read newspapers for a long time: «Anything, except troubles». And therefore did not know about Larison’s appeal.

The help arrived on time, and work began to boil with the doubled speed. Indisputable traces of Atlantis — a stone laying from the black, white and red stones which well remained in a waterproof layer were soon found. Opening made an extraordinary splash around the world. Almost all states as if wishing to make up for lost, took part in excavation.

Work went slowly, but now it there was already not a blind work of a mole.

Every month brought more and more joyful news. Solly who recovered and again became cheerful floated on a submarine along the place of works and in a window of a window looked as from the blue of the ocean lit with a searchlight were shown a half-ruined number of columns through which fishes floated, softly moving with fins, house walls, the lop-sided temple portico…

On the fifth year of an expedition ruins of the temple of Poseidon, and were found in them — the enormous library consisting of the bronze polished plates on which inscriptions were etched. Inscriptions perfectly remained. One Russian linguist managed to decipher them. Gradually Atlantis revealed all the secrets: temples, pyramids, statues, at home, bronze weapon, utensils and uncountable number of «bronze books» of Atlases.

Upon termination of excavation the international conference from representatives of diplomacy and a scientific world for permission of a question of destiny of the most valuable archaeological collections taken from an ocean floor was convened.

It was decided not to split up the «central kernel» of archaeological material giving full, almost exhaustive idea of Atlantis, its civilization and life. But between Europe and America the hot discussion was started: to whom to own this kernel?

Eventually the dispute was resolved in favor of America, but in the form of a concession to Europe the International museum of Atlantis was created there.

It was the grandiose building built in style of Atlases and consisting of three hundred sixty enormous halls filled with statues, utensils, cult objects, etc. This main building was adjoined by some other: The international institute on studying of Atlantis and the library including already more than two hundred thousand volumes of books across Atlantis.

The first speech at a ceremonial opening of this museum and the in-statute was provided to professor Larison. It proceeded more than six hours and was listened with fascinating interest. Mr. Solly was also not forgotten on this celebration, and its vanity was satisfied. Eventually, his boredom and spare cash helped to discover Atlantis.

There were enough duplicates of archeological finds to create the richest museums in Europe. Among them the fullest and rich were museums of Moscow, Paris and London.

On it we will also finish short history of discovery of Atlantis. Further there is already a history of Atlantis. This story was written by the unruly old man Larison. Such enthusiast as Larison, could not write the dry scientific treatise. He wrote rather a novel, than history. But the novel in which each situation is based on scientific data. Unfortunately, Larison unexpectedly died, and the manuscript about which many of his friends knew was considered as lost. Only recently it was found among stuff on an attic of his lonely house.

The manuscript is annotated Larisona which we kept. This manuscript.


I write for myself. I spent for studying of Atlantis for many years. I too got used to it. I wandered among ruins of Atlantis at an ocean floor. There before me pictures of its former greatness and the awful end rushed. According to many documents found at an ocean floor and on the Earth’s surface in various countries I got acquainted with destiny of its inhabitants and even individuals. And I showed the insuperable need to write down all this. I do not assume to print this manuscript.

My story about Atlantis is too scientific for the novel and is too romantic for science.

But I cannot but write it because these visions pursue me as hallucinations.

Perhaps, having described them, I with big tranquility will continue the scientific works.

Professor Larison

I. Atlantis

The sun was inclined to the West. Evening coastal wind informed of aromas of the blossoming orange trees, magnolias and fragrant mountain herbs the ship.

Passengers came to the main deck of the five-floor ship and admired a majestic picture.

Before them coast of great Atlantis dozed in beams of the hot sun.

At the coast the well-known Poseydonsky beacon [8] — one of world miracles towered. It had the form of a cone which truncated top, appear, rested against the heavenly arch. The beacon was difficult from the enormous stone cubes of red, black and white color located a beautiful pattern. Around a beacon a spiral the wide road on which freely passed a row six chariots curled.

Day and night on the screw road vehicles lasted. One of them delivered resinous trees to beacon top, others took away back ashes and coals. On top of a beacon there was a round platform on which the whole town freely could be placed. There were huge reserves of firewood, holes for ashes and coals, lattices for fires and the whole system of polished concave bronze mirrors. The resinous tree mixed with sulfur and oil gave a bright flame which even the storm could not extinguish. On a case of heavy rain the bronze canopy was established. Bronze mirrors as strong condensers, collected light and threw beams into the ocean on many tens of miles.

The beacon stood at the harbor, surrounded with gardens among which houses of a cubic form from stones of black, red and white color were scattered. Further the soil gradually towered, passing into a mountain chain.

On mountain slopes as the melted gold, Poseydonis’s buildings — the capitals of the world and Atlantis sparkled under the sun the bronze facing. Even higher as a sentry patrol, the semicircle of huge mountains with snow tops rose.

And along all mountain chain one of the most wonderful works of art of Atlases, creation of the great sculptor of Atlantis — Adishirny-Guancha was stretched: god of the Sun represented in the form of the young man reclining on the left side. In the right hand given along a hip it held a horn from which the enormous falls were overthrown. Having leaned on an elbow, he stretched the opened palm of the left hand and with a smile considered the temples located on it, with the great temple of Poseydonis in the middle, enormous pyramids and obelisks. All figure of god was cut from a mountain chain. Two and a half days of traveling were required to pass from the inclined statue elbow until the end of a leg. Tens of thousands of slaves worked on it.

This statue from the sea, at distance of several hours of a way from the coast, made extraordinary, incomparable impression. Enormous temples and pyramids on a palm of a statue seemed fine small toys.

Snow tops bordered a statue of god of the Sun as the white cloud rolling in blue of the tropical sky.

Passengers with mute awe looked at this majestic panorama.

— Yes, god of Atlantis is great — thoughtfully told one of them.

He sat on a gold throne, under a striped canopy, in the silk purple clothes embroidered with bright patterns. Red rubies sparkled on his clothes as coals, in beams setting the sun. His black long beard on cheeks was twisted in small rings, and was braided in plaits below. On the head the cone-shaped tiara was covered with gemstones.

It was far Ashur’s lord, one of the tsars subject to Atlantis.

It arrived with usual gifts for an annual holiday of the Sun.

The ship entered a bay. Sailors lowered enormous purple sails on which multi-colored silks embroidered winged bulls. And sails fell along the masts constructed in the form of «L» as on the put rain umbrella. One row behind another oarsmen lowered the heavy oars upholstered with thin sheets of bronze. Only in the lowermost tier of an oar struck water under rhythmic sounds of a flute.

At last also the small nasal triangular sail was lowered. It trembled on wind as wings of a butterfly, and stood.

The ship was included into the wide canal which coast were held down by a white stone.

The channel passed through three harbors lying one by one. At approach of the ship to the first harbor loud sounds of enormous bronze pipes of sea guards were heard.

Six customs barques, flat, with the pointed and raised capes and short masts in the form of «L», swam up and stopped a semicircle about the arrived ship. On barques there were soldiers with long peaks, short swords and in helmets from the polished bronze.

The chief of sea guards entered on the deck of the ship.

He gave a hand as a sign of respect — free Atlases did not fall on knees even before tsars — and asked to continue a way. Oars again gradually fell to water.

But here the channel unexpectedly broke, and the ship entered the Big Harbour of Poseydonis lit with the setting sun. Wind frayed flags on tops of the whole wood of masts. Shout of human voices, sounds of songs, a scratch of collars, a clang of bronze chains merged in monotonous noise.

The ship proceeded further to the big canal, of nine kilometers. On coast of the channel the houses, temples, warehouses, the richest fields of a maize and wheat irrigated by network of small channels stretched. Among greens of gardens low white cubofigurative houses from the white, red and black stone put by a simple, but beautiful pattern were scattered.

To the right, in the last beams setting the sun the building of the Sea Exchange with the high obelisks speckled by inscriptions towered. Before it the crowd, different races, motley rustled and worried: skandinavets, even here not leaving the fur clothes with the artful swords hidden under them; Asians in the red caps and long clothes painted with gold; Nubians are sellers of ivory — in conic tiaras, ringing the amulets; yellow-faced sellers of horses and profiteers…

At last the ship stopped in the third, internal, sea pool on which surface slid as bystry water bugs, small boats, felyug, gondolas.

Travelers descended from the ship and settled down in the black gondolas decorated with a disk of the sun.

Gondolas quickly floated along the direct channel which was crossed by three concentric channels. In these channels chained in red bronze Sacred Holm of the city of Poseydonis towered.

Without twilight the southern night fell to the ground. From a distance, from the Sea Exchange, the sounds of songs muffled by distance, noise of crowd reached…

On the hill enormous bronze columns — «lamps» from which top bright rays of light fell rose.

Against the background of the sky the woods at edge of the snow mountain tops protecting Atlantis from northern giperboreysky winds blackened…

Between the first and second ring channels enormous buildings of barracks were located. In them the soldiers tested in the fidelity who were taken mainly among blond long-haired Gauls and swarty berbers were located.

Guests descended from gondolas and began to rise by the Sacred Hill on foot. At its top the pyramids surrounding temples with Poseidon’s temple in the middle already clearly were seen. Temples were surrounded by a magnificent necklace of palaces, monasteries, chapels, hanging gardens, astronomical towers and scientific laboratories of priests.

On both sides of the road draconian trees with their sharp leaves and roots which juice is similar to blood grew. Among palm trees fountains streamed.

There ascended the moon, and light it brightly lit the city. Aroma of flowers filled air. From time sharp sounds of pipes reached time from barracks.

Nobody met on the way, except the guarding soldiers who were motionless as statues. Chained in brilliant armor, they shone by moonlight as bronze monoliths. It were «the Neptune’s cavalrymen» — sons of priests and tsars. Only the notable origin brought them honor to guard in these forbidden places.

At height of the hill the refreshing breath of the ocean was stronger felt…

Poseidon’s temple was erected on the truncated pyramid covered with bronze. It had stages [9] in length and all was covered with silver, gold and bronze. In the temple of a statue and a column were decorated with ivory. On top of the temple the huge statue of god standing on the chariot harnessed by winged horses towered. Around a statue ranks of astronomical columns, bronze nereids and gold statues of the tsars and queens who occurred from ten sons of Poseidon rose.

All these architectural constructions revetted with the sparkling bronze made an impression of a little barbarous, but striking magnificence.

Near the temple two sources followed from the rock: one with cold, another with hot water. Sources joined pools over which baths were erected: one summer and another, covered — for the period of winter rains.

The conductor led guests to one of the palaces standing near Poseidon’s temple in a laurel grove. The blossoming wistarias twisted columns.

The moon lit bronze facing of a door on which the face of god of the Sun in the form of the human head with the scattered flaring hair was represented.

On knock of the conductor the door opened.

— Three times the great tsar of Atlantis provided this palace in your order — told the conductor to Ashur’s tsar, giving a hand.

The honourable guards of Atlases shook by copies and struck with them in boards as a sign of a salute, and guests entered the palace.

II. Mudflow

— What stuffy night! This bronze facing in a day is so heated that even at night to breathe there is nothing. It is necessary to tell our architect Kuntinashar that he built to me the palace from a porous stone, as at Shishena-Itts. Open a veil, Tsa!

The old woman, the nurse of the tsarevna Sel, called Gu-Shir-Tsa. But Sel since the childhood called her briefly: Ца.

The old woman drew aside the lilac veil embroidered by silver lilies. In the opened frame between columns the strip of a surface of the ocean which is poured lunar silvery light sparkled. Fresh wind rushed into the room and the Mudflow kolykhnut the wide ends of a belt.

Mudflow stood at the little table from ivory forced by boxes from a jasper, crystal and gold bottles of the extended form, tiny cups from onyx and a cornelian for whitewash and blush and small figurines.

She held a mirror from the polished bronze in the given hand. The linen piece of matter with the weaved dragons and flowers, tightly strapped at hips, covered her body to a belt. Over a cloth the dark blue wide belt tied by knot at a stomach was tied. The ends of a belt went down below knees. The breast, a neck and hands were naked. Hands are higher than an elbow were intercepted by bracelets in the form of the twisted snakes. Small scales cast them greenish gold. On their raised heads emerald eyes sparkled.

Mudflow admired herself in a mirror, doing up let black hair down.

On the one hand the girl was lit with red fire of the high bronze lamp, with another — the blue beam of the moon falling through high columns.

The bronze mirror gilded her swarty skin color a little, and together with double lighting her face reflected in a mirror got extraordinary difficult coloring.

— Ца, do me hair. Arrived guests for a holiday much?

And the Mudflow settled on the low couch covered with a skin of a leopard.

— Go and go… One tsars sixteen already arrived… Sherkurla, Agad, Erekh’s tsar, Ur, Ishaa, Marsam, Attso-r — all not to count… Guang-Ataguyeragang is mighty! The whole world was conquered by Atlases. To take, for example, at least the tsar Ashur. What to it to go to bow! But you will not refuse…

— Ца what I saw a dream today! As if mine to a pigeon was seized by a kite and carries away. I began to shout, and there is no voice… Suddenly the eagle rose — and a stone by a kite! And they were lifted up so that feathers flew. But here I woke up. What disappointment!. I did not learn whether the eagle to a pigeon saved… How you think what means this dream? To ask unless Elzair? He well interprets dreams.

— And there is nothing to ask. I will explain. A pigeon is you. Because of you swelled long ago and feathers fly: grooms quarrel, means. Here I heard that the tsar Ashura asks in marriage you again. He and last year asked in marriage.

— This black, with a long beard in ringlets? For anything! That I went with this kite to the world’s end, left the beautiful country? For anything!

— The word imperial — the law. Not everything at our will becomes!

— I to — the word imperial. Well, we will look at it! What you long potter with a hairstyle?

— It is ready. What dress you will order to give by tomorrow’s holiday?

— Tomorrow not a dress, but armor, sword and spear!

And she made the sharp movement a hand, as if cutting a sword air. Under thin skin well developed muscles played.

— I go with group of the amazons tomorrow. Let all foreign falcons and eagles know that daughters of Atlases own a spear and a sword not worse than their soldiers. Perhaps, it will discourage at them to take in the wife the amazon [10].

Having stretched a raincoat under the right hand, it the free movement threw the end it on the left shoulder.

— Pin up on a shoulder! It will be dragged again — peevishly told Tsa and gave the Mudflow the pin made of a red jasper in the form of the human heart pierced with a gold arrow.

Mudflow smiled, having looked at this ancient symbol of unfortunate love. The brooch was made by the slave Adishirnoy-Guanchem, the sculptor and the court jeweler.

— What does Adishirna-Guanch? How its Gold Gardens? He will manage to finish them by a holiday?

— They say, everything is ready. It there, in gardens.

— I will go to look at its work!

— That you, Mudflow!. — waved hands of Tsa. — The father strictly forbade to enter Gold Gardens until they are ended. Tomorrow they will be opened, then watch how many you want!

— I slowly!. I have a key.

— Any key does not approach the locks opening Gold Gardens.

— And mine will approach!

Ца suspiciously looked at the pupil.

— From where it at you?. Whether not Adishirna-Guanch presented it to you?

— And though and so! — and, having burst out laughing, the Mudflow Tsa embraced. — We go with me, my old woman…

Ца it was disarmed by caress of the favourite.

— And suddenly the father will come there and will find you?

— He is busy with the public affairs now. Here that: let’s pass to it and we will look what it does. If at it with Shishen-Itts’s report, then it is possible to wander safely in Gold Gardens though till the morning.

Ца disapprovingly shook the head, but trudged, hobbling, for the girl.

III. Guang-Ataguyeragang, tsar of Atlantis

The tsar was engaged in public affairs in the long, narrow room without columns. Walls were covered with the bronze bas-reliefs representing feats of tsars of Atlantis. The bottom of walls, at the height of twenty elbows, was covered with color carpets with the weaved scenes from mythology. Over the ceiling through square windows the star sky was seen. Other number of windows came to internal rooms of the palace, to the second floor. Here also got the Mudflow with the nurse and glanced because of a silk curtain of a window down.

Guang-Ataguyeragang sat at a narrow wall at the end of the koridoroobrazny room on a high throne from a precious tree. The back of a throne was decorated with a gold disk of the sun. The lion’s paws which are cut out from ivory supported throne legs.

On one side there was in long black clothes one of priests — the Bulletin of the Sun — which made detours of possession of Atlantis.

On other side — the favourite priest of the tsar — Shishen-Ittsa.

At a throne on the skin of a cave bear outspread on an inlaid floor the slave-skoropisets lay on a stomach.

It was faced by a small lectern with sheets of the papyrus, ink and a brush.

The tsar sat, having turned a motionless eye in space, and slowly dictated.

— Write: «I am a tsar, mighty, esteemed, the giant, the first, strong, brave, a lion and the athlete Guang-Ataguyeragang, the powerful tsar, the lord of Atlantis. I — insuperable weapon, the destroyer of the cities, a popiratel of enemies, to Uruazal’s tsar who excited a rebellion against my power — my anger will fall on you.

I will erect a pyramid from the heads rebellious. I will rip your skin off live and I will stretch it on city gate as the hunter stretches skins of the badgered animals. I will erect a column in front of city gate, I will rip skin off all revolting grandees and these skin I will fit that column as made it in Mushizimbarduna. Others I will put on stakes, at the top of a column, and still others on the stakes placed around it. I will cut off the prisoner of a leg and I will pile. I will cut off ears, noses and hands. I will burn teenagers of both sexes alive.

And my anger will comprehend you even at the end of the earth…»

— Rewrite the order and set my seal — he addressed Shishen. — Send one thousand ships with Invincible Legions — the tsar to the Bulletin of the Sun turned back — and let they will not leave a stone on a stone. The power of Atlases has to stand is firm as the earth!

Still it and was. Bronze weapon, the incalculable fleet and prudent forward-looking policy all famous people of the world subordinated to Atlases. Their power as a bronze ring, surrounded the globe. Where it was difficult to achieve the objectives of one by force of arms, Atlases used policy. Using internal wars, they came to the rescue of one of belligerent parties, took under the protection, won against the enemy and gradually subordinated to the will both conflicting the states. At Atlases the trade intercourses were given up the otdalenneyshy states. The civilization of Atlases, their architecture, astronomy, medicine got into all countries of the world. Changing on new places, this civilization nevertheless kept the main lines. Only the mysteries of the metallurgical industry, a secret of production of bronze which was given steel fortress were carefully stored by Atlases.

Revolts were rare. But if they were, suppressed them with ruthless cruelty. Height of scientific knowledge of a caste of priests and barbarous splendor and cruelty of board got on in Atlantis.

Having finished the Bulletin of the Sun, the tsar addressed Shishe-nu-Ittsa:

— At you that?

— Three times great, mighty, invincible…

— Well. We are one, and I have a little time till the sunrise.

— The Supreme Council of priests asks to confirm for new year a former order of collection of tithe in favor of temples from all state revenues.

— Will be also the fifth part enough. Priests will be richer than me soon.

— But it will cause discontent and even, can be…

The tsar frowned eyebrows. Over his long nose two deep folds — a sign of the constrained anger laid down.

— What is?. Discontent?. Priests are forgotten. They undertake too much. They want to operate from my name. I cannot suffer restriction of my power!. At meetings of the Supreme Council priests try to suppress my authority the authority of the knowledge. And if I also insist on the, they call authority of a deity. The will of gods for me is sacred, but whether gods so are interested in our terrestrial affairs how it is represented by priests? There is enough! I too long stood willfulness! From now on in Council instead of seven Supreme priests will be only three. I give four places to military leaders and persons of the reigning house Poseydonisov. Prepare the order!

Shishen-Ittsa wiped a palm the cold sweat which acted on a forehead.

— Great tsar…

— There are enough words! I want to be great in practice…

— Let your anger will fall upon me, but it is impossible…

— Well, now they will terminate not soon — whispered the Mudflow and, having pulled the nurse clothes, ran on an abrupt malachite ladder.

The nurse hobbled after her, shaking the old head.

— To be… to be to a trouble to a trouble… There cannot be a sound body when hands quarrel with the head…

— What do you grumble there?

— It is impossible to offend priests! The anger of gods is more terrible than imperial anger!

IV. Adishirna-Guanch

Mudflow approached the high gold wall protecting Gold Gardens. The wall had a low door. Having taken out a bronze key from under a raincoat, the Mudflow opened the lock which spring published a melodious ring. The heavy door moved hardly.

— We go!

Ца heavy sighed and fluctuated.

— Well, remain here if you are afraid. I one will go! — resolutely told the Mudflow and sliped at a half-open door.

Having stooped, groaning and winding the head, the old woman followed it.

In pass it was hooked by a dress for a keen edge of a gold leaf and tore a dress.

— Not to good it… not to good — she grumbled.

And the Mudflow already stood on the high platform and looked as captivated on the magic picture spread before it.

Gold Gardens went down wide terraces. Each terrace sparkled in lunar beams the gold trees, leaves, fruits, in enchanting flowers. All this was minted from gold and silver. On flowers butterflies sat, having opened the wings, on branches — birds; the turned-off ears, enormous lizards and snails were seen in a gold grass. The whole fields of a maize were minted from gold and silver with magic art. On both sides of the path covered with gold dust enormous golden lions dozed.

The strongest wind could not shake any branch, any leaf in this extraordinary garden.

Mudflow long could not come off this picture…

Even the old woman Tsa, having forgotten about the disobedience to the imperial word delighted slapped curve, bony fingers on knees and exclaimed:

— Here so grandson!

— What grandson? — bewildered asked the Mudflow.

— Adishirna, grandson it to me…

— I also did not know!. Why you did not speak to me about it?

— We are people small to whom our relationship is interesting. But only it is necessary to boast. Gods gave such abilities to it!. Not to anything and the priest just right to make it… And so the slave will also die… What to do!. To one on a sort is written to reign, and to another to be a slave… Each to their own…

— I also did not know — told once again in thoughtfulness the Mudflow. — Yes… To one to reign, and to another to be a slave. But gods or people created this division?.

Ца waved hands.

Without having allowed it to answer, quickly exorcized the Mudflow:

— Listen, Tsa, you love me?. Well, of course! I know. Do not kiss edge of my raincoat. So listen, Tsa: sit here, on this golden lion — be not afraid, he will not wake up and will not touch you. Sidi quietly also wait for me. I will return soon… I am one!.

Before Tsa managed to open a mouth, the Mudflow already ran down a golden path.

On the second terrace people in short clothes of slaves were visible. Some of them had only a bandage at hips. They pottered about fountains.

Near group of the inclined slaves there was a slender young man in the black short shirt drawn by a wide leather belt. Hands are higher than elbows and his broad chest were open. A thick curly hair is pulled together with a narrow thong. Despite this simple suit, the young man was beautiful as young god.

It was the slave Adishirna-Guanch, the ingenious artist, the sculptor and the jeweler.

Mudflow ran up to it behind and in confusion stopped.

Slaves interrupted work and raised the head. Adishirna turned and stood with surprise…

— You?!

— I came to look at works — she told. — What do you do here?.

To hide confusion and joy, the artist with great feeling began to explain:

— And here look. Streams of fountains are made of diamonds. We will recover them now!

Having bent to a well in the earth, he shouted on a Berber adverb:

— Sheeran, give light!

The fountain was lit with the ray of light going from under the earth. Light was poured by colors of the rainbow, slid in diamond streams of the fountain, and it created illusion of the streaming water.

Mudflow it was childly delighted.

— Yes you are a sorcerer — she told, laughing, and corrected a red rose on the breast. — Show what here is still interesting.

— Over there is a pond…

— We go! — imperatively she told.

The mudflow and Adishirna separated from slaves and approached a lonely pond.

— Water in it is made of rock crystal!

Adishirna bent to the earth, turned the hidden lever, and the pond was lit with blue light.

One more turn of the lever, and in crystal depth goldfishes slowly floated, moving with fins and tails.

Sorcerer, sorcerer! — And, childly delighted, the Mudflow clapped the hands.

— There is no sorcery — the artist told, and the flush of pleasure covered his swarty cheeks. — Laws of mechanics, it is no more! All these birds — and he waved a hand in the direction of branches with the sitting birds — can sing and wave wings. You wish to look?

— No, it is not necessary … — told the Mudflow and thought. — Tell me, Adishirna how the thought came to your mind to create this magic garden?

— How this thought came to my mind? — slowly the artist spoke, hanging the head.

He considered something and, appear, hesitated. Then, the resolute movement having thrown up the head, he looked directly in eyes the Mudflow.

— Here is how… For me this garden — a symbol.

— What does it mean? — asked the Mudflow, a little confused with a stare of the artist, but without looking down.

— Look at this garden! — with enthusiasm there began the artist. — You see in it magnificent fruits, but cannot enjoy their taste. You see exotic flowers, but cannot break them. And if you want to hurt it, they will only prick hands. Here everything charms eyes and nothing is available to possession… Life is a same Gold Garden…

Having sighed, the artist hung the head and became silent.

Was silent also the Mudflow.

Then, having approached it is closer, she asked an uneasy, low voice:

— You… you would like to have all colors of the world?

— Only one! — the artist exclaimed, again having taken of it a hot view.

— What? — asked the Mudflow.

— This flower you! — passionately the young man exclaimed.

— But you forgot that a garden in which this flower grows, for you forbidden — crafty laughing, objected the Mudflow and, having turned, ran to Tsa waiting for it.

V. By the light of stars

The blue dome of the star sky covered Atlantis.

At top of a huge pyramid, at Poseydonis’s temple, the priest Elzair, the astronomer and the astrologer, observed the movement of heavenly bodies.

On the extensive platform, paved various astronomical tools from bronze stood checkers of black and white marble slabs.

The astronomer wrote down the observations on bronze plates. He dipped стилос, made of the substance which is not dissolved in caustic acids in a glass vessel in the form of the opened lion mouth, and applied the signs reminding the Assyrian cuneiform writing on a plate. Acid ate away on plates these signs indelible dark deepenings. The small clay lamp representing a dolphin with the fibrous match inserted into oil threw weak light on the polished tables.

The priest was so shipped in the occupation that did not hear as in the hatch closing an entrance on the platform were knocked.

The knock repeated.

— Who there?

— Name of the Sun!

The priest lifted the hatch, and on the platform five priests entered: Kuntinashar is an architect and the mathematician, Anuguan is a historian, the lawyer and the diplomat, Zanutsiram is a chemist and the engineer of metallurgical industry, Agushattsa is a doctor and Nugi-Esttsak — the philosopher and the keeper of a cult…

— How your observations, Elzair? — asked Kuntina-shar.

Elzair made a helpless gesture:

— Or in my head, or in the sky something wrong is created. Planets move from the orbits, and even all fixed stars as if moved a little a little to the right foreordained by it in eternity… Look…

Kuntinashar approached tools, attentively examined them, performed-degree measurements, checked figures of tables and shrugged shoulders:

— Yes, puzzle…

— I will report about it Atsro-Shana, to the keeper of the Highest Secrets. If also he does not manage to explain, then one gods know what is created in heaven!

— Whether you checked tables for former years? — the historian Anuguan asked.

— I saw in four thousand five hundred years. Nothing similar in records meets.

— Well, here that — Zanutsiram said — you, astrologers and mathematicians, you are interested only in the sky, and what is created here, on the earth is interesting to us. Nugi-Esttsak, look whether the lifting door is well covered!

— Whom?. — asked absent-mindedly Nugi-Esttsak.

The philosopher did not hear a question. His thoughts were far.

Having looked at it and having hopelessly waved a hand, Zanutsiram approached to the door, lifted it, was convinced that below nobody overhears, and, having densely closed, told in a low voice:

— We are one… Agushattsa, tell what you learned in the palace today?

Agushattsa looked around, as if without trusting also this lonely place, and also quietly began to speak:

— Bad news… The tsar complained of pain of a head muscle [11], and I was at it… Anything serious.

— Anything serious? Yes, it is bad news — with irony Zanutsiram spoke.

— It is worse to eat — Agushattsa continued. — Coming back from the tsar’s bedchamber, I met imperial skoropisets. And he managed to whisper to me that Guang-Ataguyeragang reduced our income half and changed not in our advantage structure of the Supreme Council.

— It should be expected…

— So cannot proceed further!

— Here us five of seven members of the Supreme Council. Great Atsro-Shana, the keeper of the Highest Secrets, lives in the millennia — he is higher than our cares. Shishen-Ittsa since the tsar was captivated his daughter and «became related» with him, having taken her in the harem, is ready to lick imperial heels. Only we one can protect interests of a great caste of priests. We — salt of Atlantis. We — true force it. We keep knowledge accumulated by tens of the millennia.

— So we will refuse to build, we will refuse to treat, manufacture bronze weapon and to build the ships — and the tsar will feel at once that he means to quarrel with priests!

— The knife wants to stop being sharp, and the sun we heat? — with a smile the architect Kuntinashar said. — Whether will throw a knife and whether will make fire if the sun dies away to be warmed? You are fond, Agushattsa. It is a dangerous way!. And what if do without us? Look on it at the upstart, the slave Adishirnu-Guancha. He did not save up knowledge in the millennia as our caste, and he grew up in dirt, and managed to create works, worthy gods. He was and remained the slave, and nevertheless to me, to great Kuntinashar, it is necessary to envy this boy! Yes, to envy! Before you I do not hide it. When there come foreigners what strikes them most of all? Not my beacon, but his god of the Sun on whose palm we are located with all our temples and pyramids now. «Who created this miracle?» — foreigners ask. Slave. Not I!. How to transfer it? And among this crowd there will be a lot of such as Adishirna. We keep them in a semi-animal state and it we protect our legitimate rights. But what if untie their hidden forces?. Your plan, Agushattsa, is no good…

— But what to us to undertake?.

— We should move away objectionable the tsar.

All priests had this thought, but nobody dared to state it to the first.

And they sat in waiting silence.

— You are a philosopher, Nugi-Esttsak — the priest-architect broke silence — tell us what you would make if the stone barred you the way?

— To solve this problem, it is not necessary to be the philosopher — Nugi-Esttsak ingenuously answered — for it there will be enough mind and at the slave. I would reject a leg a stone aside…

Priests exchanged glances and understood each other.

— Yes, but how to make it?. — thoughtfully the architect said.

— Here is how — the philosopher honestly showed, having shuffled the sandal on slippery plates.

Priests smiled.

— If it was so simple! — the architect said.

— And what this… the head muscle — addressed Agushattsa the astronomer — than it is cured?

— Twelve mountain herbs infusion, collected at dawn in a new moon.

— Whether something is absent more strong? Yes, is stronger! That at once muscle this most head…

— Is, of course. But, maybe, you will give to the tsar this drink «more strong», Elzair? He forces to drink the first drink the slave, the second — me, and then drinks.

— What shocking mistrust to priests!.

— Let’s throw riddles — Kuntinashar told — Guang-Ataguyeragang is doomed by us to death!.

— History knows such examples — the historian Anuguan exclaimed — 8227 years ago priests killed the tsar Abunartsalagan, there was the same case of regicide 5016 years ago «for the benefit of great Atlantis». And it is written down in chronicles of our secret archive: «for the benefit of great Atlantis».

— But to priests — Kuntinashar told — it is not necessary to be directly involved. It is necessary to create a palace revolution. Let it will be work of the brother of the tsar — Kelettsu-Ashinatsaka. To the little princeling of Attsor [12] it is tempting to become the lord of the world. He will not be difficult to be convinced that he is the heir-at-law who is incorrectly eliminated from a throne. Behind proofs business will not become. It is possible to call to the aid magic and astrology is by your part, Elzair. Enthroned with our help, he will be the obedient tool in our hands. Let’s use his arrival for a holiday of the Sun and we will devote it in our plan.

— This plan is better than others — Anuguan, the tolstenky old man with half-closed eyes told. — But there is one obstacle: Kelettsu-Ashinatsak was born with heart of a sheep. It is sluggish, indecisive and timid. Hardly we will manage to incline it on such act… Well, we will try! And if it is not possible, for emergency I have a plan better… I have data that among slaves…

At a lifting door someone strongly knocked three times.

Priests exchanged glances, quickly dispersed in different directions and pretended that they went deep into astronomical observations of stars.

— Three knocks… The tsar … — whispered Elzair and opened the hatch. The tsar accompanied by two armed blond bodyguards and the priest Shishena-Itts entered.

The tsar suspiciously inspected priests.

— Almost all Supreme Council confers with stars? — the tsar told, ironically smiling.

— Great tsar! Stars grow dim when there ascends the sun! — melodiously, on court manners, Elzair said.

— Till the dawn still far! — cold the tsar discharged a flattering greeting of Elzair. — Make to me a horoscope for tomorrow. I want to learn whether successfully there will take place tomorrow’s festival on which all my vassals gathered.

— The horoscope is made, three times the great lord. Stars favor to you. Here it: «My sovereign-tsar is informed by me, Elzair, the chief astronomer of the city of Poseydonis. Hi with a world wish to my tsar. Yes gods to my tsar-sovereign will be mercy. In the sixth day of month Ana we started our observation, and we saw…»

The tsar listened and frowningly scanned attendees.

Faces of priests were impenetrable…

VI. Holiday of the sun

Night was on an outcome. Air freshened up. Stars turned pale. Pulled a breeze at dawn. On the huge platform breaking in the east abrupt rocks to the ocean by the light of torches attendants of the temple hastily finished furniture of altars. Slaves removed ladders, ropes, bars, having ended decorative works. At last everything was ready.

There came the great annual holiday of the Sun.

Poseydonis prepared for it the whole months. It was not only the religious holiday. It was demonstration which had to show to all visitors to subject tsars and governors magnificence, wealth and power of the mother country /

From the mountain, from Sacred Holm, on the mountain twisting road fires seemed, being extended and bent along a way as the long shining dragon. In the silence of the night shrill sounds of flutes, rumble of bronze chariots, heavy sighs of enormous elephants were heard.

The head column already entered on the platform, spreading on it fires of torches, and the shining procession tail still was seen on Sacred Holm.

The group of the soldiers sparkling bronze arms behind it — priests in the magnificent heavy office attires covered with gemstones was ahead. On a black stretcher, with gold disks of the sun on the parties, four attendants of the temple carried Atsro-Shana — the great Supreme priest, the keeper of the Highest Secrets who once a year, on a holiday of the Sun, left inaccessible even to many priests the palace at Poseydonis’s temple and was to the world.

He was considered as the oldest person on the earth. One defined its age in two hundred years, others — even more. The people were confident in his immortality.

The withered, wrinkled face reminded it a mummy. The dense white beard reached knees. On this lifeless pergament face big, the young people burning as coals of an eye made a terrible impression.

The crowd involuntarily rushed back. Many slaves fell on knees.

The Supreme priest was carefully seated on a high throne before the main altar. Other priests took the places at the altars located the half moon closing a platform ledge. In the center of this half moon there was higher throne of the tsar of Atlases, on seventy two gradually narrowed marble steps.

At the top of a back of a throne the big bronze disk of the sun supported by two intertwining bronze snakes was strengthened. Around this throne seventy two thrones of tsars of the major countries subordinated to Atlantis were located.

In a procession of these tsars surrounded with court guards all colourings and shades of human skin — from black as ebonite, skin of Nubians to white as ivory, northern Gauls were presented; all clothes, all variety of arms and jewelry.

When arrived took the places, all fires were suddenly extinguished as though lowered a dark curtain on all this motley, raznoplemenny human ant hill.

Only above the turned pale stars flickered.

Sharply the big bronze pipe sounded, and it became suddenly silent. If not a pofyrkivaniye of horses and elephants yes a casual clang of copper arms, from time to time breaking silence, it was possible to think that all enormous area is empty…

Among this terrible silence the priest’s voice suddenly was distributed. A counter-tenor, hysterically, with the modulations and unexpected pauses which are also unexpectedly interrupted by shrieks it sang about horrors of the gloom concealing in itself unknown dangers about fear of death, about melancholy of the soul deprived of the sun…

As if in response to this cry the chorus of children’s voices was distributed. The chorus sang a monotonous, abstruse melody, and the priest covered it with the crying modulations…

Suddenly, as though from an earth subsoil, the silent chorus of basses was heard. It was imperceptibly interwoven into chorus of children as noise of a surf.

At last thousands of bronze pipes of the huge body set in motion by steam shook coastal rocks — and suddenly everything ceased at once…

Sharp, unexpected transition to complete silence shook crowd more peals of a thunder…

Nerves of being present were strained to the last limit. People in crowd squeezed hands a breast as if to them did not gasp, fell to the ground, some tore on themselves hair…

But the ritual was constructed by a skillful hand. In this latest, extreme, dangerous limit of the first tension, among terrible silence which as the fallen rock, pressed down all, the simple, quiet, gentle aged voice of the Supreme priest was heard. Not singing, and prayer similar to a simple conversation full of silent caress and hope.

— The Sun God, hear our prayer and grant to the sufferer, the exhausted mankind the kind light…

To the invisible priest from crowd hands were given…

— You one — our defender…

— Savior…

— The defender before Almighty Gods … — the constrained, sobbing shouts from crowd were heard.

The weak voice of the Supreme priest got stronger. He did not ask any more, and almost ordered to god:

— Light up kind light your people, three times sacred god; your heat as a cover, cover your earth and it will grow fruits on requirement to the person. Let’s contemplate to us the shining your face!.

Saying prayers, the priest watched hourglasses. They stood on an altar, the crowds hidden from eyes sacred vessels.

The East zaalet. The black figure of the priest was already clearly allocated on a pink background of the sky. And suddenly the priest gave a hand with a staff and by a loud, imperative voice exclaimed:

— Be!. Be!. Be!.

And, as if obedient his ox, because of the horizon the gold beam scattered, the region of the sun sparkled, and it rose, shining, over the ocean and at once filled in with the light the platform, lit up on the polished bronze of soldiers, began to sparkle on brocade and diamonds of tsars and priests and filled all earth with bright paints. As if only now from under the earth the tall masts twined roses, arches from greens and fresh flowers, bright flags and motley carpets rose…

All ocean as far as could capture an eye, was covered with the decorated five-deck ships of the incalculable fleet of Atlases…

«Yes, the tsar of Atlantis is mighty, and it is difficult to struggle with him» — guests involuntarily thought, looking at the ocean covered with vessels.

Soldiers struck with copper swords in boards, joyful shout rushed on the ocean towards to the sun…

The thousand-voiced chorus started singing the anthem to the Sun — three times to sacred god, a zhiznepodatel, light, strong, joy bearing.

The ritual ended with ordinary sacrifices of bulls and Tauruses. On the flaring altar-fire wine and oil were spilled.

From bronze censers direct columns, pink in beams of a rising sun, still puffs of fragrant herbs and pitches when on a pipe signal the crowd was stirred up to go in the field of the god of war where the parade was coming troops rose.

The secondary sound of pipes forced crowd to start on on a way.

The procession dragged on a tape on the beautiful military road for which Atlantis was famous.

All way was covered in flowers and green branches.

Ahead of a procession on the high gold pole twined red roses, the disk of the sun sparkled.

On turn of the road, before the chariot of the tsar, the old man’s figure suddenly grew.

On it the clothes from the broken-off skin of a kid were thrown. The long, ruffled gray hair of the head and a beard covered it to a belt. On a face, bronze from suntan, big clever eyes flared.

The old man the power movement of a hand stopped the tsar’s chariot.

The guards rushed to the old man, but the tsar made gesture a hand, and soldiers stepped aside.

The tsar was afraid and respected the old man Na-Shang, the prophet and the prophet.

— What to hit you into — the old man terribly cried — continuing your lawlessness?. All head is sore, and all heart in grief… From leg foot to the head there is nothing whole… Ulcers, both the crimson spots, and the suppurating wounds which are not cleared of pus are not tied up and are not softened by oil…

Its voice turned into hysterical shout:

— Your earth is empty! Your cities will be burned by fire and will become empty from a deficiency, and the earth will address to the desert. Where there were one thousand grapevines, the blackthorn and a prickly bush will grow, and the burdock and on strengthenings — a blackthorn will increase in palaces of tsars… Owls and demons will have something in common in ruins… Here the anger of god, and fire devouring approaches will absorb you… Grief, grief, grief!.

The crowd became silent in reverential horror. The tsar listened to the type of unperturbable greatness confused, but trying to keep.

«Really anger of gods — the tsar thought — will fall upon me? In what I sinned before them?.»

And suddenly his look met the eye of the priest Kuntinashar turned towards it. And the look seemed to the tsar full of a reproach and threat…

Their views were crossed as swords…

VII. Aqsa-Guam-Ittsa and At

At a slope of the rock the small pise-walled lodge with a flat roof was stuck. The small square window had no frame; doors from thin boards on the belt veils beaten by bronze nails were open.

In a shadow the old woman stayed at home and spun. Tousle of a gray hair of drop to it on the person furrowed with deep wrinkles, and it took away a bony hand a lock of hair from the become hollow eyes from time to time. Her long nose almost connected to an outstanding sharp chin.

Before it on the earth the pretty thin girl sat. Touching dirty hands stones, she faced old women.

— Well, further, grandmother!

— Further. Yes… about what I?. — the old woman mumbled, connecting the torn yarn thread.

— — as you forgot about the Golden Age, the grandmother?

— Yes, yes… About the Golden Age… Well, here, I speak, long ago, long ago it was…

— And everything was gold?. And bread gold? Both stones and apples?

— Time was gold… All people lived happily as gods in the sky. There were neither tsars, nor slaves, nor the poor, nor the rich. The Sun God heated, caressed and indulged people as favourite firstborn. People did of green branches to themselves belts and wreaths on the head and so went, free and joyful, among gardens which all the year round yielded them sweet fruits. Pure sources satisfied thirst. People were born among flowers, enjoying life till an extreme old age, and peacefully went to the eternal rest, surrounded with children, grandsons and great-grandsons. And death them was also easy, simple and quiet as a sunset…

— And then?

— And then people sinned, and gods became angry with them.

— Than they sinned?

— They wanted to be equal to gods and to know everything.

— And gods took away from them this Golden Age?

Steps were heard.

Aqsa-Guam-Ittsa, the son of the priest Shishena-Itts approached the house. On it there was a black silk tunic embroidered at the edges by a gold pattern; standing it was light light yellow sandals. It picked up the girl on hands, and she, laughing, escaped.

— Hi, grandmother! — told Aqsa Guam, lowering the girl on the earth. — Ata of the house?

— At work. Will come soon.

— Even today at work?

— For us there are no holidays…

— And Old man Guamf?

— In the house.

Aqsa entered the room. Everything it consisted of one room which is purely bleached by a lime and partitioned by a homespun linen curtain with the small flowers embroidered on it. The rough wooden table, several benches and a locker with pottery made all furniture. In a corner the house mill for a grinding of grains was located: a stone cube and on it the stone cylinder with handles. The high stone mortar with pesty for oil squeezing stood nearby. In other corner, on a marble pedestal, there was a small statue of God Sun, the fine sculpture made in the childhood Adishirnoy-Guanchem.

Ded Goimf, bald, with a gray-haired beard, sat on a bench at a window and made a drag-net for birds. At an entrance Aqsa Guam it rose and a hand welcomed the guest.

— Sidi, sit, the grandfather Guamf. Congratulations! That you did not go to a meeting of the Sun?

— Where to me! There I will be crushed, the old man. Will be. To spend six decades in crude mines is not a joke. And I met the sun also here as it is necessary. The glory to it, it does not shun to send the light and to us, poor slaves…

— And Adishirna-Guanch where?

— Everything potters with the Gold Gardens.

— They say, he created surprising things.

— And what for it from all this sense? One only that do not beat with lashes. I have here them what, hems on a back from belt an osmikhvostok. And he will grow old and too will be as I, a drag-net to catch birds to support itself.

— Listen, Guamf. Did not come to you to thought mind what could be differently?

— How differently?

— But to any patience there can be an end. You are millions…

— Here where you bend! To revolt? Tried. Also revolted. Just from this left? We have picks yes of a shovel, and they have swords, sharp a spear…

— And if…

Guamf unexpectedly flared up:

— If… If… Leave! Be not picked old wounds! Let gnaw habitual pain…

Aqsa Guam hung the head and thought.

— Well, however, I will go — he told, rising. — I will probably meet Atu on the road… Farewell, old man!

— Yes presvetly god stores you!.

Aqsa Guam did not manage to leave the house as heard outside others voices and stopped. Having looked out of a window, he saw that two persons in clothes of attendants of the temple entered the yard. Joint stock company — са — Guam did not want that they saw it here.

— The midwife Tsalna lives here? — they asked.

— Here — Tsalna answered, in a fright dropping a spindle. — I am Tsalna.

— I order you to be a name of the Sun after sunset to gate of the sacred temple today. We will meet you there and we will carry out further.

— I listen … — Tsalna low bowed. — Childbirth, I will dare to ask?

— There you learn!

Attendants of the temple left.

Aqsa Guam left the house and went on the white, sparkling in the sun road. The scorching heat was moderated by a shadow of date palm trees and plane trees.

On right, nadgorny, the party mines where extracted ore lay.

At the left, to the ocean coasts as far as there are enough eyes, working settlements were stretched. Pathetic pise-walled saklyas nestled to each other as the scared herd.

In dirt of small court yard swarthy naked children rode.

In mines, despite holiday, there were works.

Aqsa Guam went down to one of mines.

His priestly black clothes with the disk embroidered with gold on a breast served it as the admission.

The supervisor inclined the head and gave to him a hand as a sign of respect.

Aqsa Guam carelessly nodded and went deep into a labyrinth of mines. The arches of mines were strengthened by the thick lop-sided logs. Here and there small oil lamps flickered. It was stuffy and hot.

The coming-out gases exploded in these mines from a flame of lamps more than once. Quite often there were also collapses. Workers perished in hundreds, but on it the attention addressed a little: in them the shortcoming was not. If ore was rich, on the place of a collapse made excavation. Alive buried workers left then the graves. But if layer of ore was thin or the collapse demanded too much time for restoration of the mine, they were just abandoned with the buried slaves, and the mine was laid in other place.

The further made the way Aqsa Guam, the already and the mine became lower. It was necessary to go having bent.

Towards to it the slaves put to the bronze backets filled with ore grabbled.

Some of them Aqsa Guam nodded and quietly spoke:

— After evening shift… in old mines…

The mine was narrowed even more.

Here, lying on one side, coalminers cut the ore-bearing soil with bronze picks.

Having bent down to one of coalminers, Aqsa Guam whispered to him:

— Tell the… after evening shift, in old mines today…

— Let’s be — the coalminer answered and wiped the plentiful streams of sweat dimming eyes from a face.

Aqsa Guam left the mine and sighed all breast.

There were further fields where for months ore burned. Its whole pyramids rose around, being smoked by smoke. Under them slaves day and night supported a flame.

Aqsa Guam threw them the same phrase and went further.

The sun burned down more and stronger. The road an arrow extended between the smoked pyramids. Here was to pant, and Aqsa Guam, despite fatigue, quickened the pace.

Heaps of the burned ore came to an end. Fields where ore was crushed began and sifted through bronze a sieve.

Further away stone fencings over which dense puffs rose stretched. Here melting furnaces were located.

Nearby higher wall surrounding the whole city where the purified ores of copper and tin turned into bronze alloy rose. Here bronze weapon was produced. Here nobody had access, except the priests watching works. Slaves lived at the plants and were not issued for a fencing of a wall which was protected by guards.

Ata worked for melting furnaces, moving in a narrow basket on a back slag.

Aqsa Guam stopped at gate. In gate a continuous chain vehicles with ore, back — empty drove. Slaves whipped donkeys, supervisors — slaves. It was full of the movement and it is expensive. A continuous stream the donkeys loaded with load, horses, camels and elephants moved. Whistle of lashes merged with a roar of animals and short shouts of slaves.

Women carried behind the back, in wattled baskets, children.

Behind a wall the bronze pipe sounded, and slaves began to leave gate.

Aqsa Guam became aside on a slag heap.

— Ata!.

One of slaves turned back.

Her black extended eyes sparkled joy.

Aqsa Guam turned and went up from the road, on a mountain footpath.

Ata, the sister Adishirny-Guancha, followed it at some distance.

After it several jokes and remarks from crowd of slaves rushed:

— Run, run behind it! He in the wife will take you — in the palace will live!

— It is not enough them the harems. For slaves are dragged! Fie! — maliciously the black slave said and shook the fist following at the being removed couple.

At was caught up by Aqsa Guam behind turn of the footpath which hid them from the main road.

Aqsa Guam gave hands to Ata.

— Do not take my hands, they are dirty from work… I will now be washed up in a stream — she told with confusion paint on a face.

Aqsa Guam took her for shoulders and kissed on a forehead.

— What you not during the holiday? — Ata, плескаясь at a mountain stream told.

The splashes gilded by the sun fell on her swarty skin. With involuntary grace it extended hands towards to the pure stream falling from above hrustalno.

Aqsa Guam admired her.

It was also well put as Adishirna-Guanch. In the same short black shirt drawn by a belt belt it seemed his younger brother. Only the thick plait twirled on a nape, extending even more her extended skull of Atlases and contours of a maiden breast said that it not the boy. Having terminated to wash, it broke a wild dogrose and pinned to hair.

— Well, here … — and she gave Aqsa Guam a hand.

Aqsa Guam hotly reaped her, and hand in hand they went deep into a dense shadow of a laurel grove, to that place where from a cleft of the rock fell a mountain stream.

They sat down.

Air was filled with a smell of a wormwood, bitter mountain herbs. From where pulled aroma of the blossoming orange trees.

From below, after the journey, discordant noise reached.

Further the strip of the ocean which is heated in beams of the midday sun was seen.

Highly over them lay a sex of the god of war.

From time to time from there peals of thunder of bronze pipes and shouts of crowd reached.

But in a grove it was silent. The many-voiced chorus of cicadas only ringing stood in air… Monotonous, he merged with silence. It was the ringing silence.

— Why you not during the holiday? — with a crafty smile repeated the question of At. She held the broken branch of laurels in hand and slowly tore off leaves.

— Because, that I here! — with the same smile said Aqsa Guam.

— And suddenly there will notice your absence?

— Well! The father poserditsya, business also will come to an end in that. There is enough of fact that I was at a meeting of the Sun. And, eventually, all this is very boring. Our troops will blind eyes of overseas guests the polished bronze, pipes will roar so that horses will begin to rise on racks and to fall on knees. Of course, this majestic show, but I saw it already many times. More interesting things exist!. — and he with a tender smile looked at it.

— And then? — asked At, lowering long dense eyelashes from which under her eyes blue shadows laid down. — What will be farther?

— Then there will be war games. Then by the light of torches the ceremony of a gift of gifts will be held. It is more interesting. White-faced people in fur clothes, speak, brought from the giperboreysky countries of a live polar bear and some exotic animal like fish, with the round head and strong fins. They say, they are found at the world’s end where water from cold becomes firm as crystal.

Ata listened with children’s curiosity, having widely opened eyes.

— Where these animals?

— They died of a heat…

— Poor animals!. Well what will be then?

— Then our tsar will present guests with fabrics, rare aromas from fragrant pitches, roots and juice of flowers, wines, gold, stones — everything, than our country, only not with bronze weapon is only rich…

— And your sister too during the holiday? She is a queen now? — Ata asked an unexpected question.

Aqsa Guam frowned.

— No, she is not a queen. It will be in an imperial harem. The father, Shishen-Ittsa, is excited about this «honor» … Poor my sister… As she sobbed! She hates the tsar… But I will not allow it!. — Aqsa Guam shook by the clenched fist. — Well, it is enough about it. Tell also you something to me about yourself… Why you were put on this hard work? I more than once asked you this question.

— Leave whether everything is equal!

— No, this time you will not evade the question! Otherwise I will deal shortly with you, as with the slave!

And, having taken from it a laurels branch, it joking began to beat her a shoulder:

— Speak, speak!

— Well, listen if you so insist. I served in the house of the priest Kuntinashar. One night, when I put to it for the night cool drink, he told me:

«You are pleasant to me, Ata. I want to have you in the harem». — «And you are not pleasant to me, Kuntinashar, and I do not want to be in your harem» — I answered.

— And told?! — delightfully exclaimed Aqsa Guam, clapping.

— And told.

— And it that?

— He smiled, including it the answer of the girl who speaks, without considering the words: «Do not forget that you the slave, and I am a mister yours. Go to me!» I was motionless. It rose and went to me. Then I one jump evaded from it and grabbed the short sword lying at its headboard. He was frightened and terribly became angry. «Snake! — he croaked and called the slave who was on duty behind a door. — To send it immediately for hard work to the Black city…» That’s all…

— What courage! — exclaimed Aqsa Guam. — It could kill you with the same sword right there. — And, having smiled, it added: — Yes, Kuntinashar is not lucky. Your brother forces to turn green him with envy, and you… But listen, Ata! So cannot proceed further. It is necessary to change all this. You know that I love you and for me you are not a slave. The father will never agree to our marriage, it is opposite to laws. But we will change laws. We will plow up all Atlantis a bronze plow!.

— I know that I will never be your wife. This thought also did not come to my mind. To me your love suffices.

— But I want that you were my wife. And not only it. The love to you opened for me eyes on horror of slavery, unfortunate destiny of my sister — on horror of imperial autocracy. And I saw the whole ocean of suffering of slaves… Their muffled plaints pursue me, make the life of me miserable. It seems to me that in each of them your soul groans. To release them, to release you — here that I want…

Ata took a broad view of it open eyes, in them the horror shone.

But Aqsa Guam did not see her any more. He spoke how delirious:

— I spoke with Adishirna, suggesting it to adjoin the preparing revolt of slaves. It soars in dreams, he is too an artist to think much of it. But also it will adjoin us, you will see. Its help is necessary. Among slaves there is a fermentation for a long time… I will become at the head of a revolt. I will lead them on the Sacred Hill. We will seize arsenals and we will cross swords to the tsar’s soldiers. And we will win against them because with us the truth!

At this moment the little wavy tremor kolykhnut the earth.

Ata swayed and turned pale.

— What is it?.

— We will not leave a stone on a stone! And then we will create new, free Atlantis where there will be neither slaves, nor tsars but only joy of free work. Also again Golden Age will come!

The second, stronger push forced to return Aqsa Guam to reality. Leaves of trees Kolykhnutsya. The small stone lying at the region of the rock broke and swept down, hitting against stones with gradually fading clatter.

— Something these fluctuations of the soil began to repeat even more often!

Having seen Ata’s face, pale from a fright, he a joke tried

to calm her:

— You see, Ata, the earth shudders from crimes of priests and the tsar!

But Ata did not smile.

She with melancholy looked on Aqsa Guam and quietly whispered:

— Do not do it!

— You are afraid?

— For you…

— You will be with us, Ata?

— I will die for you…

VIII. In a magic circle

In the room there were already priests: Kuntinashar, Zanutsiram, Anuguan, Agushattsa and Nugi-Esttsak.

— Here and Elzair — Kuntinashar told. — There is no Ke-lettsu-Ashinatsaka only.

— As usual, fluctuates. We purposely appointed this meeting at noon when the tsar and all his yard fill up. But Kelettsu-Ashinatsak will come for a horoscope which I made for it — Elzair told.

— Its star, of course, ascends?

— As truly, as the fact that the star of the tsar Guang — Ataguyeraga — on comes.

— It is good to be able to rule over stars! — with a smile Kuntinashar told.

— Do not laugh! Stars do not lie — the astrologer took offense.

— Still stars would lie! Only people lie!. But we will not altercate. Anuguan, you well prepared the old woman?

— Tsalna guesses from a half-word. Cunning old woman! She should throw couple of solar disks [13]. Let they will warm her old bones.

The door opened, and the room was entered by the brother of the tsar of Atlantis — Kelettsu-Ashinatsak, the tsar Attsora, accompanied by the priest Shitts.

Priests got up and raised hands as a sign of blessing and a greeting.

— Yes there will be light of your greatness with us — Kuntinashar told.

— Hi to you. Well, how my horoscope, Elzair? Well? Everything is safe?

Kelettsu-Ashinatsak had short-sighted eyes which he stared, having thrown several head. Its small dry handles were in the continuous movement. He fussy fingered fingers a reddish beard. Only at solemn exits it constrained these involuntary fussy movements which are not beseeming imperial greatness.

— Slava Solntsu! The great tsar, your horoscope is great! Stars favor to you. Allow me to read. — And Elzair began drawlingly: — To the great and awesome, powerful lord of Attsor…

— It is not necessary, it is not necessary … — Kelettsu dry handles — the main thing waved!. … the main thing say… and by the own words… yes yes…

— Your star, the great tsar, in the ascending current burned most brightly and cut off stars three times of the great tsar of Atlantis Guang-Ataguyeraganga, and beams of his star grew dim in beams of a star of the lord Attsor.

Kelettsu-Ashinatsak was excited, pleased and scared.

— What does it mean? What does it mean? — he asked, leading round priests a stare of the squinted, short-sighted eyes and strenuously fingering a reddish beard.

— Great tsar! — the priest Anuguan acted. — To answer you this question, I studied all bronze tables of the state archive from the date of your birth. And here what was learned by me: the lawful tsar of Atlantis — you.

— I?. Here is how! But I am younger? Though we were born twins!.

— You — the senior, great tsar! Tell about it not only our tables!

Anuguan approached a wall, opened a secret door and let in Tsalna.

— There is a midwife who accepted you and your regal brother. Speak, the old woman who was born the first: tsar Kelettsu-Ashinatsak or Guang-Ataguyeragang?

— The tsar Kelettsu-Ashinatsak was born the first. I well noticed a big right shoulder birthmark at the firstborn…

— Birthmark?. Yes, I have a big shoulder birthmark.

— Then Guang-Ataguyeragang was born. When babies were washed and shown to the parent, three times the great tsar Ataguyeragan-Kukulkan, he told, pointing to Guang: «Here firstborn and my successor!»

— But why? Why!. — with insult Kelettsu-Ashinatsak exclaimed.

— Be not angry, the great tsar! Your parent did not like hair color on your head. And still: the person you were similar to a sheep… And then: you were born weak, and the father was afraid that you can die or will be the sickly tsar…

— Sickly tsar? Yes? And told?

— Or the sickly husband — I definitely do not remember…

— You are not necessary any more, Tsalna — Kuntinashar told.

And Tsalna, low bowing, was removed.

Priests expectantly were silent. Kelettsu-Ashinatsak sat puzzled, fingering the small beard. At last Anuguan broke silence.

— Great tsar! I am a keeper of laws. And I consider that for sanctity of the law you have to be restored in the rights!

In short-sighted eyes of Kelettsu joy flashed, but he scaredly waved handles.

— That you!. That you!. And how brother?

— We will suggest it to give way voluntarily. If he does not agree, then…

— Of course, will not agree! Of course! So many years reigned — and suddenly…

— If does not agree, then you have an army and the fleet. A part of troops and Guang-Ataguyeraganga’s military leaders is dissatisfied with it. Among tsars subject to Atlantis you can always find allies. We — with you. You need only one: to declare the rights. The rest will be made by us… with you and from your name.

— I do not know… It is so unexpected…

— Your fluctuations are clear, the great tsar — Elzair told. — Related feelings… love to the brother… But our terrestrial way is foreordained in heaven. If you still doubt, then we will make here that. The power given me by gods I will cause a shadow of your father. Let he will decide destiny of a throne.

— Father’s shadow? — with a fright and interest Kelettsu-Ashinatsak exclaimed.

— Yes, father’s shadow! — And, having opened the door hidden in a wall, Elzair imperatively told: — Enter!

Kelettsu-Ashinatsak indecisively entered. Priests followed it.

Absolutely round room painted in blue color with a dome-shaped ceiling, reminded a heavenly hemisphere. Similarity was supplemented by the gold stars scattered on a dome. In the center of an inlaid floor from blue stones geometrically correct circle with entered in it pentakly was laid out. In the middle of a circle the narrow bronze throne, with a disk of the sun on back top towered. On the parties of a throne there were two high bronze lamps in the form of three intertwined snakes. Their bent tails served as legs. Three gold heads, with emerald eyes and opened how for a sting, mouths, were inclined over a flame.

— Sit down! — also imperatively Elzair told.

Kelettsu-Ashinatsak timidly crossed line of a circle and

climbed up steps a throne.

— Now time veil will become torn!.

And Elzair, having raised a hand, began to say solemnly and lingeringly spells: ATsAN, TsITA, ATITs, NATsA.

At each his word the flame of lamps grew dim and at last absolutely went out. The room plunged into an impenetrable gloom.

At Kelettsu-Ashinatsak from nervous tension rang out in ears and before eyes green circles went.

Painful silence lasted.

Suddenly in the distance gentle sounds of a flute were heard. At the same moment on a wall the snake of bluish light appeared.

The light snake continuously moved, inflaming, turning pale. Its movements and luminous intensity were inseparably linked with flute sounds. The melody sounded quicker and stronger — coiled quicker and more brightly the snake shone. Sounds were slowed down and calmed down — light turned pale and was slow in the movement; the monotonous melody consisted of only five repeating notes.

This monotonous music and play of light hypnotized Kelettsu. He could not understand in any way whether he sees the shining sounds or hears play of light.

At the same time the second light snake and the second flute joined. Then the third, fourth, sounds and light snakes caught up with each other, were weaved, dispersed. Gradually the shining circle was formed of separate snakes. Then the movement of snakes stopped, also flute sounds stopped. The circle burned with equal fosforichesky light. It began to go deep and turned into a round window behind which there was an empty space filled with a gaze.

Before the struck Kelettsu-Ashinatsak appeared as it seemed to him, a shadow of his father. The shadow raised a hand towards Kelettsu, and in the room the voice clearly sounded:

— Kelettsu-Ashinatsak! The throne of Atlantis waits for you…

Everything plunged into darkness.

Kelettsu screamed and fainted.

Priests took out it to the first room and brought round.

— Three times great tsar of Atlantis! — solemnly Kuntinashar addressed it.

— I yet not the tsar of Atlantis … — poorly said Kelettsu with the wandering look.

— For us you are already a tsar. The shadow of your father enthroned you!.

— Yes, but the shadow of the father told: «The throne waits for you…» Perhaps, on the death of the brother?.

Kuntinashar darted the angry glance at Elzair.

— The answer of your father is absolutely clear: «The throne waits for you».

Means, it is impossible to hesitate — Elzair told.

— Yes, yes… Well. I will think… I was too tired. I will give the answer… yes… Shittsa, see off me…

And Kelettsu-Ashinatsak, leaning on the priest’s hand, was removed.

— You could not force this shadow to speak differently! «The throne waits for you». Would tell: «Kelettsu! I order you to take away by force a throne from Guang. You are a heir-at-law of a throne», or something like that — Kuntinashar became angry. — Surprising at you, magicians, a habit to speak foggy, riddles. Here also peretumanit!

— Who knew it!. — confusedly Elzair spoke. —

He should spoon-feed everything…

— And the kinglet of nothing… suitable would be a kinglet — Zanutsiram told. — Very convenient!.

— Convenient when is the tsar. And to put him as?

— It is necessary to begin with other end — Anuguan told. — I know and now and you know that the revolt of slaves prepares. Aqsa-Guam-Ittsa, the son Shishena-Ittsa — a faithful imperial dog is at the head! That youth! Was fond, speak, some slave and now wants to turn all Atlantis!

Aqsa Guam we also use This. If to direct a revolt a skillful hand, they can kill Guam-Ataguyeragana. We also need it. We will deal shortly with slaves soon and we will enthrone this attsorsky lamb — Kelettsu. And we will be unlimited governors of Atlantis. And the revolt will break and Guang-Ataguyeraganga’s head will escape — the head Aqsa Guam will fly and to his father to nesdobrovat. We will stand aside.

— Here true diplomat of Atlantis! The keeper of laws supporting a revolt of slaves! — with laughter Kuntinashar told.

The little wavy tremor rejected all to the left. Somewhere the fallen-off plaster rustled.

— These tremors begin to disturb me!

— Trifles! — carelessly Kuntinashar told.

— But not always business comes to an end in trifles — Anuguan objected. — Our tables narrate about several awful earthquakes and eruptions of volcanoes. This pyramid which is stronger than the rock gave three thousand seven hundred years ago an enormous crack, and it had to be shifted. What was then with palaces and temples?.

— You are going to live three thousand years, Anuguan? I suspect, our century enough! And there… Let though all pyramids burst as a shell of baked eggs! — Having with pleasure yawned, it added: — However it is time also on rest!

IX. Viper

— It is over!

Adishirna-Guanch put a bronze chisel and the hammer, departed from a statue and took of it a view.

Before it as live, there was a Mudflow in a short easy tunic, with the spear in the right hand prepared for a throwing. All figure breathed a rush. The right leg is pushed forward and bent in a knee. On a thong, it constrained the left hand couple of ostromordy, lean dogs with the muscles strained for a jump. Hair the Mudflow were densely fitted by the tape which is chopped off ahead by a pin in the form of a half moon. This half moon symbolically represented her name [14].

Adishirna admired the work. Such he saw the Mudflow for the first time on hunting, in the wood.

The big moon already rose over the ocean. The lunar beam slid on a marble face of a statue, and Adishirne seemed that the Mudflow smiled to it.

In a love rush it approached a statue and kissed her on a cold marble mouth.

— Khe, a kha, a kha… gods sacred, it went crazy…

Adishirna in confusion recoiled from a statue and turned back. It was faced by the nurse of the tsarevna Sel — the grandmother Gu-Shir-Tsa.

— What happened? Speak rather!

Ца began to rummage disobedient, senile hands pleated of the clothes, lamenting and sighing; at last took the curtailed piece of matter and gave to Adishirna:

— On here… read…

Adishirna pulled out a piece of matter from hands of Tsa, opened and in nervousness began to read by moonlight. Then he screamed, thrust the message for a bosom and quickly escaped.

Adishirna-Guanch rushed on wide streets to Sacred Holm.

Inhabitants of Atlantis enjoyed a cool of night. From dark greens of gardens sounds of songs, flutes and a cooing китцар rushed [15]. Houses were lit. The drawn aside curtains between columns opened internal rooms for an eye. Atlases reclined at the tables twined roses and filled with dishes and bowls. Slaves poured wine in bowls a thin ruby stream, highly lifting narrow long amphoras. Jokes and laughter were heard.

— … You drink a little, because and are afraid of earthquakes — heard Adishirn a phrase fragment. — Drink more, and you will get used to fluctuations of the soil. The earth is drunk and is unsteady. Also we will drink. Slave, wine!.

Adishirna continued to go quickly. In a dense shadow of a laurel grove the cheerful song began to sound. Someone’s female voice sang:

Atlantis quietly dozes

In blue beams of the moon.

As the moon kisses the earth,

Kiss me and you!

The male voice answered:

Let eyes will be lit by passion!

Kisses, love,

Grape, sweet blood

We will fill a bowl of night!

Both voices merged in the duet:

Come what may! Do not mourn!

Brightly the moon shines us…

Sing songs and embrace,

Bowl of night bottoms up!

Laughter and sound of a kiss sounded.

Adishirna ascended to the drawbridge at Sacred Holm.

— Who goes? — the soldier called.

— Adishirna, slave. Me pipes in a bathroom caused to repair to Shishen-Itts’s palace.

Adishirna-Guanch, the ingenious sculptor and the jeweler who will be born once in the millennium was forced to execute upon the demand of priests and the tsar the most various works, up to repair of water supply systems and door locks. Adishirna was known on Sacred Holm, and he freely crossed forbidden line.

On Holm there was no such revival, as in the city. Palaces stood independently, surrounded with high walls.

Adishirna turned to the back road which is densely surrounded with cypresses. Cypresses made a solid wall, and here was almost dark. Smelled of resinous needles. Ahead the sand crash under someone’s sandals was heard. Adishirna hid between cypresses.

Slow gait, singing the song under a nose, there passed one of watchmen. When its steps broke off in the distance, Adishirna went further. At the end of the avenue palace fires shone. Adishirna made the way through a thicket of cypresses and began to approach the palace around. Curtains between columns were closed. Behind them voices were heard. On the platform before the palace, at one of columns, having taken cover behind an oleander bush, there was a slave Kuatsr, the servant in the house of the priest Shishen-Itts, and overheard.

Adishirna approached him and quietly asked:

— Where Aqsa Guam?

Waved Kuatsr on him, put a palm to the mouth as a sign of silence and showed on a curtain.

Adishirna listened to voices. The priest Shishen-Ittsa and his wife spoke.

— Shame! Shame! Damnation on your head! You gave rise and nursed the viper! Aqsa, my son — the traitor and the traitor!. He plans regicide. He spends time with slaves and prepares a revolt… It dishonored my name, great in the history of Atlantis… I have to inform on it to the tsar now!.

— But, maybe, everything can be corrected… Not to allow a revolt. To upset them plans. Take your time, I ask you!.

Adishirna quickly took Kuatsrom aside:

— Denunciation?

— Denunciation.

— Listen, Kuatsr… It is necessary to prevent by all means Shishenu-Ittsa… detain him, think up something… I have no time to think of it now… the tsar should not know about a plot, understand? At least, the later he learns about him, the better. Where Aqsa Guam?

— It in old mines, on a secret meeting of slaves.

— All right. So remember, Kuatsr!.

Adishirna quickly walked on the cypress avenue.

X. In old mines

Adishirna interfered with crowd of slaves.

Aqsa Guam finished the speech.

He spoke about heavy sufferings of slaves, about their life similar to eternal penal servitude, and urged them to rise, dump chains, to kill the tsar, to seize power in the hands and to become free what they also were once.

Bright beams of the moon poured over a human ant hill. Half-naked slaves filled an enormous hollow of the abandoned old mines. Slaves stuck around the bodies heaps of crushed stone, sat on rocks, trees, stones…

Adishirna attentively inspected crowd and at once felt: in it there is no unity.

One of slaves greedy listened Aqsa Guam, having semi-opened a mouth and nodding in the affirmative, others were motionless and looked at it mistrustfully and hostilely.

— Death or freedom!. — shouted Aqsa Guam and descended from the rock.

Its place was taken by the slave on a pro-rank Angry. It had light coloring of skin. Gray eyes watched it derisively. The evil smile made a wry mouth.

— Aqsa Guam, the priestly sonny, spoke to us about our sufferings. To it that it educated us, without it we also would not know thanks about it!

In crowd laughter was heard.

— But from where it suddenly had such love to slaves? Whether not together with love to one of our girls? — and it was lop-sided on Atu, standing near Aqsa Guam. — And what, he addressed directly to Aqsa Guam — if your love passes or Ata will throw you? Then you will blaze to slaves with the same hatred? You, slaves — it continued, addressing crowd — want to become free. What you begin with? From the fact that you elect to yourself the new kinglet Aqsa Guam. And what if it brings us under lashes, and will run away then on the Sacred Hill?. Only slaves can exempt themselves from slavery! A revolt — not matter of lovers in the clothes embroidered by gold. There is my opinion! — And it descended from the rock.

The crowd came to strong excitement. Now the crowd seemed unanimous. But this unanimity was obvious not in advantage Aqsa Guam. On it thousands of hostile eyes directed. Over crowd fists rose.

— Do not trust it!.

— It is sent by priests! — exclamations were heard. — To drive it!

On the rock appeared the Curve. The supervisor beat out to him an eye, and since then behind it this nickname was approved. A curve cunning blinked the only eye and moved the head here and there, then put a forefinger to a tip of a nose and told:

— And so…

The crowd became interested in this comic beginning and calmed down.

— Angry it is right. But only he looks one eye which I do not see…

— Huo-ho — laughed in crowd.

— And now I will look with other eye which I see… Whether tell me, in all honesty, you believe revolts in success, that you will be free that you win against legions of Atlases? No, you do not trust. And nevertheless the revolt will be. Why? Because there are no forces any more to suffer. Because to us it will not be worse: the killed — the world, live — the same penal servitude. At this time Aqsa Guam comes to us and speaks: «I am with you. I will help you». And though and so? Better with us, than against! What induced it to come — whether everything is equal? Our girl? Truly! But our girls at them full harems. Choose any. And it to us. Perhaps also voschuvstvovat our grief? What leaves? To trust do not trust it, and there is no need to drive too… Perhaps it is useful. Truly I speak?

And, having pointed a finger at a nose tip again, it descended from the rock.

Aqsa Guam wiped sweat from a forehead. He did not expect such turn of business at all. He got used to look at slaves as on the silent herd slaughtered and obedient. It is enough to tell them the tender word, to flatter, and they will go for it. He condescended to them. He so long be touched the role of the benefactor and savior — and suddenly all this meeting turned into some trial of it. These sharp free speeches about it, about his private life, this venomous or derisive tone… He felt how against its will in it century hatred and contempt of its caste for slaves rises…

Severe and proud, it rose by the rock.

— I came to help you, and you judge me. I am not going to become your kinglet. Let will become Angry at the head of a revolt… I…

The crowd suddenly became agitated, parted. Through crowd, parting forcibly slaves, quickly went Kuatsr. He carried in hands — which bag.

— Part! Part! Important news!.

Kuatsr approached the rock, lifted a bag and shook out from it on the earth some round sphere.

— What is it?. — bewildered asked Aqsa Guam and suddenly strongly turned pale and in horror started back.

Lit with moonlight, the head of his father, priest Shishena-Itts looked at it glassy eyes…

Aqsa Guam grabbed the rock, feeling what faints.

Ata hysterical screamed.

— Shishen-Ittsa learned about a revolt and went to the tsar to inform on you and to warn him about a revolt — declared Kuatsr. — Adishirna told me: «Detain by all means Shishena-Itts that he did not inform on a plot of slaves». I could not detain him differently… Better it, than you. He was angry mister… That not at once learned who is killed, I cut off the head and carried away in a bag… Here… I made as it was ordered me…

The crowd listened to these words in full silence.

Aqsa Guam of villages on a stone also hung the head on hands.

Ata timidly pressed close to it, without deciding to show participation openly.

When the first impression passed, slaves began to discuss the situation. Now the tsar inevitably had to learn about the preparing revolt. Heavy payment for a plot was also inevitable. It was necessary to decide to work immediately. After the long and hot discussions the plan of a revolt was developed. It was decided to go an attack on the Sacred Hill.

But here unexpectedly Adishirna-Guanch rose by the rock.

— This plan is no good — he told by a resolute voice.

— Brother! — Ata exclaimed.

Aqsa Guam raised the head and bewildered looked at Adishirna.

— Sacred Holm is perfectly strengthened from channels. Bridges can be lifted. You will have to fill with corpses channels before passing them. But there you will be met by a bronze bristle of copies. We will lead on an attack only a part of our army to distract attention. We will start up the main forces in a round and we will fall upon the Sacred Hill from mountains. It is the shortest road and to the imperial palace. But we need to seize weapon earlier. I will think over it…

— So, at dawn!. — Adishirna did not manage to finish. The strong tremor shook rocks and a wave swept on the valley. The falling stones rustled. — If underground forces do not destroy Sacred Holm earlier — he added.

But his words sank in noise of uneasy crowd. The ant hill started moving. Slaves dispersed, discussing events.

Aqsa Guam, Ata, Adishirna and Guamf went along the road.

— Forgive me, Aqsa, I was involuntary responsible for death of your father!. But I thought that Kuatsr it is cleverer…

Aqsa Guam only gloomy nodded.

They came to a deserted side path. At was taken by Aqsa Guam by hand and strong squeezed it, wishing to console. Aqsa Guam answered with handshake.

— You adjoined to… to a revolt too? — asked Aqsa. He wanted to tell: «adjoined us», but after speeches of slaves could not tell it.

— I do not believe in a revolt! — Adishirna told. — I pursue the personal aims and frankly I speak about it.

And, having taken out because of a bosom a piece of matter with letters the Mudflow, it gave it Aqsa Guam.

Aqsa Guam read:

«The father marries me to the tsar Ashur. I have to leave soon. The father learned about my appointment to you in Gold Gardens from the slave and very much became angry. It locked me in the Falcon Nest. Mudflow».

Aqsa Guam knew the Falcon Nest. It was some kind of prison for persons of the imperial house. The underpass conducted from the palace to the mountain. In the mountain the spiral staircase which removed to the room which is cut down at enormous height was laid: a small balcony over steep, as a wall, the rock. Escape was impossible.

— I have one way to the Mudflow — through the palace! — Adishirna told.

Both became silent, thinking everyone of the.

— Give up this business! — told Guamf Aqsa Guam.

Ata only squeezed his hand more strong and stared to it in eyes.

He heaved a deep sigh, to pain squeezed Ata’s hand and told by a deaf voice:

— Late!

XI. Atsro-Shana and Kritsn

The palace of the keeper of the Highest Secrets Atsro-Shana stood independently at Poseidon’s temple, surrounded with a high wall. The palace had two floors: lower was located underground.

In top there were ceremonial halls for reception decorated with fantastic magnificence. The gold statues of gods, furniture, tripods showered with gemstones blinded eyes.

Atsro-Shana very seldom happened here. Only early in the morning, having spent night behind bronze tables, it came sometimes to breathe fresh air. He sat down at a balustrade on the open area, shchurit eyes and quietly dozed or thought. The slave brought a modest breakfast — a small fresh roll in the form of two flattened spheres and a bowl of spring water.

As soon as heat amplified, he went down to the underground rooms. There was always equal cool temperature. Good ventilation refreshed air. Daylight got, refracted by polished mirrors. These mirrors rotated on the course of the sun. But in daylight there was no need: Atsro-Shana worked only at night.

The lower room represented full contrast with the top floor. White marble walls had no jewelry. Rooms were arranged almost poorly, the most necessary wooden furniture. The simple wooden bed was covered with two skins of leopards. Along walls of a long suite of rooms shelves with ranks of bronze tables extended. Each shelf had an inscription on a bronze plate and number; plates were also classified and numbered. One catalog of this library occupied the whole room.

There was a night.

Atsro-Shana sat in a wooden chair at a long table. Fire of the lamp gilded bronze plates, heaps lying on a table. Having covered with an eye hand from light, Atsro-Shana attentively read. Near it the young priest of Krits-na — his pupil sat. The silence was extraordinary. Any sound did not get from above.

The old man leaned back on a back of a chair and, having closed eyes, said in low tones:

— Poor Atlantis!

Kritsna did not dare to break silence.

— I am old… to me hundred forty nine years. It is time on rest — began Atsro-Shana after a long pause. — You were elected by me, Kritsna. I will let you into the Highest Secrets of Atlantis. You are young.

More young than others. But in you strong spirit and a fearless thought. Whether you feel ready to learn the truth? Whether it is ready to leave for the sake of it with the most expensive to you?

— Gotov! — firmly Kritsna said.

— So listen: The highest Secret in that… that it is absent!

Kritsna looked at the priest bewildered.

— For crowd, even for tsars and the lowest priests at us there are a lot of secrets. We know how to treat diseases. We know the course of heavenly bodies. We even know when there has to come the eclipse of the sun or the moon. We can call the dead. What it is more? Yes, we have great knowledge, but in them there is nothing mysterious… We watched thousands of years the course of diseases of the person and wrote down these observations. We tried thousands of times — at first on sick slaves — thousands of different herbs, infusions and mixes. Thousands of patients died of our drugs, but from some they recovered. We carefully wrote down all this, verified records, drew conclusions. So gropingly, blindly, by practical consideration we created our medicine. Why infusion of bitter bark of a tree known to us cures fever? We do not know. We only know its curative action… Thousands of years we observed stars of the sky and wrote down our observations. Comparing them, we noticed regularity and frequency of many heavenly phenomena and learned to predict approach of these phenomena… We have no other secrets, except one thousand saved-up observations. But also it is secrets only because we hide our experience from profane persons. And only in it our power!

— And calling of spirits?.

— We resort to many means to hold the influence and the power. Foreknowing about an eclipse of the sun, we say that the anger of gods will hide a sunlight and only on our prayer will return it to people. And by means of it we force the tsar to obey our will.

— And the tsar does not know?.

— The tsar trusts in a secret and is superstitious as well as the last from slaves. Education of tsars is in our hands… You asked about calling of spirits. Reflection on couples by means of mirrors of a waxwork and an ear trumpet… That’s all ghost… Somehow I will explain to you as it becomes…

Kritsna was struck.

After some fluctuation he told:

— But it is deception!

— In what the truth? Unless feelings do not deceive us? And then, the people love a miracle and a secret, and we give them to the people. Deception? Yes! But it gave us the chance to devote itself only to knowledge and to make a lot of useful to the people of opening…

— Why not to devote in this knowledge and people?. And what is received by slaves from all useful opening?.

Atsro-Shana frowned:

— Slaves?. Who will dig in mines if slaves begin to pursue science?.

Kritsna was not satisfied by this answer. The whole whirlwind of thoughts and doubts began to spin in his head. Having a little calmed down, he asked:

— And gods?.

— They are absent!

Kritsna felt that he turns the head.

Having askance looked at it, Atsro-Shana softened blow.

— If you want, they are, but are not that with what their tsars and slaves represent. The sun «divine» by the impregnating force, heat and light. But any slave does not execute the work with such accuracy as the sun the rising, a current on the sky and calling. May it lower the light or accelerate the way? Sun not god, but slave to time and space…

Kritsna was silent, having hung the head…

His face was pale, dense eyebrows are frowned. The enormous tension of a thought and internal fight were reflected in this face.

Imperceptibly watched Atsro-Shana it as the doctor observes the patient, making over it dangerous operation.

— I know, Kritsna, it is difficult… Doubts torment you and will torment… But you will come out the winner… And when the storm will settle in your soul…

The slave entered.

It was unusual. During the occupations nobody had the right to enter the room Atsro-Shana.

The priest frowned and discontentedly began to patter the withered fingers on a table.

— Something urgent?.

The slave bent one knee.

— Three times sacred! The bulletin of the Sun and Elzair ask you to let in them on an urgent matter.

— Let will enter!

Elzair and the Bulletin of the Sun entered, having hung the heads.

Atsro-Shana blessed them with a hand raising:

— You speak…

— Three times sacred! — Elzair told. — I did not dare to intrude upon your leisure earlier… I am disturbed for a long time by the extraordinary phenomena in heaven… Stars as though descended from the places… Their way does not pass already on the points established on our pyramids and tools… Whether predict these phenomena, I thought, great disasters?. And here the Bulletin of the Sun is, and its messages as though confirm my fears…

— Speak! — addressed Atsro-Shana the Bulletin of the Sun.

— Three times sacred! I made the usual detour on our possession for taxation and audits. And everywhere I found horrific images. On the East and to the west from Atlantis all islands on fire of volcanoes. Many cities already died from eruption and earthquakes. The earth fluctuates, buildings fall, and people rush about as herd of the scared sheep…

— Poor Atlantis!. — again quietly said Atsro-Shana. — You are right, Elzair! Your observations have connection with approach of sad events about which tells the Bulletin of the Sun. And still you were mistaken, Elzair. Planets were not displaced from the places, and fixed stars are also not mobile, as before.

— But my observations?. Check them! It is true! I saw with own eyes!.

— And you trust eyes? — and, having addressed Kritsna, he told: — Listen. Here good example of your «truth». What do you think, Elzair if after a bowl of strong wine seems to you that everything is unsteady around?

Elzair reddened for offense:

— But I was sober…

— I not about that. Whether you will think that columns were displaced from places, or will find the reason of the phenomena in the head?. And here. Not stars, but pyramids and therefore tops of pyramids and your tools do not coincide with usual currents of stars were displaced.

Elzair was absolutely puzzled:

— But pyramids stand is firm on the earth!

— And the earth?.

Elzair began to understand.

— Whether it is simpler to assume that one earth, but not all heavenly arch moved? So it also is. Underground forces of fire changed position of the earth; also all your points of observation moved. Just now I studied the phenomena preceding the awful earthquakes comprehending already Atlantis a millennium ago… Then there was the same… And the same as now, the first volcanoes began to act on the islands, neighboring to Atlantis; they less Atlantis, and to underground forces of fire is easier to cope with them — to break outside! Alas!. On the basis of my researches I came to conclusion that we before unknown accident… Atlantis is doomed!. Messages of the Bulletin of the Sun only say that we are closer to accident, than I assumed…

Elzair and the Bulletin of the Sun there were struck. Only Kritsna did not show special nervousness: «underground forces» bubbled in him.

— Call for tomorrow the Supreme Council… If we are powerless to warn misfortune, we will take care of rescue.

— Kritsna, report to the palace about convocation of the Supreme Council.

Kritsna rose upward and came to a marble balustrade of the palace.

Below Atlantis intoxicated with moonlight and aroma of flowers lay. As always, from the city the sounds of music and songs softened with distance reached. In the distance gradually the ocean sighed.

But Kritsna saw nothing. It strong squeezed the head and stood with the distorted face under bright beams of the moon. «All lie and deception… There are no gods… there is no secret… There is only a greedy, mercenary caste of priests which of knowledge does a secret to oppress the people and to roll in luxury…»

His look fell to the gold statue of God Sun shining in beams of the moon.

Suddenly in a rush of mad anger of Kritsn dumped a statue from a pedestal.

It with a ring swept on marble slabs of a floor.

XII. Revolt of slaves

Priests and the yard knew about the preparing revolt of slaves long ago though revolt time was not known to them yet. Sacred Holm quietly expected events.

Still these revolts did not constitute big danger to «state», that is to its dominating castes: imperial house, priests, military leaders. These revolts resembled rather unorganized revolts.

However this time events were developed differently. Long before dawn, in full darkness, slaves quietly, silently left mines. Sudden blows with heavy bronze picks in the heads of supervisors and watchmen were also silently struck. And they fell as sheaves, without having made a sound.

Did not pass hour as all Black city appeared in the hands which rose. The gloom and silence hid events.

At the roads and footpaths conducting to Sacred Holm sentry groups were put to detain incidentally escaped supervisors and watchmen who could warn about events Sacred Holm. But it was made only of precaution: in the Black city there is no watchman left, any supervisor with the escaped skull…

Slaves moved to old mines.

There were headquarters of a revolt.

— If we also do not win, we will let know to Sacred Holm the growing strength of slaves — told Angry, addressing crowd. — We need to arm with bronze swords and copies by all means. Arsenals are protected by the big and well armed groups of soldiers. To us not to overcome them our mattocks and picks. So, to get weapon from an arsenal, we need to be already well armed. A lot of ready weapon is available at the plant. It here, near at hand. The plant is protected by smaller group, than an arsenal. Perhaps, we will cope with this group rather. But at the first impact they can light fires with an alarm signal and summon to the aid legions on duty. It is necessary to seize the plants also quickly and silently as we seized the Black city. But how to make it?

— I know — told Aqsa Guam — that before dawn the group protecting the plant will be replaced. Change will go along Drakona Road. At two sources this road runs in the deaf place through a hollow… Let’s attack this group, we will be through with soldiers, we will put on their armor, we will be on the plant in the form of change and we will take its place. Then the plant will be in our hands with all its weapon.

— And password? — Adishirna asked.

— I recognized him: «Dragon and Sun».

The plan was accepted.

On Drakona Road, two sources, had the first battle.

Slaves passed group, cut off retreat and at once attacked it from three parties: in front, from the back and on the left side of the road — right broke the abrupt rock.

The blow was unexpected, but the soldiers of Atlases tempered in fights showed persistent resistance. Boards protected them from stones. A spear were longer than mattocks and picks. Soldiers struck them slaves without special harm for themselves. The group could be easily dumped from the rock, but it was necessary to keep arms of soldiers whenever possible completely. On the party of slaves there was a numerical superiority. A spear got stuck in bodies of slaves, but before soldiers managed to take a spear edge, tens of hands reached for a staff and it is tenacious grabbed it, despite blows of other copies. Little by little the majority of copies passed to slaves. The movements of soldiers were at a loss the insufficient width of the road. Having lost a spear, soldiers used swords. But a spear gave obvious overweight to slaves: swords were shorter than copies. One by one soldiers fell, encumbering with corpses the road that complicated maneuvering even more.

The group was doomed…

In some hour it represented a heap of bodies. Any person did not survive group. Slaves quickly removed arms from corpses of soldiers, washed away blood at a source and put on it themselves.

Aqsa Guam dressed up in an armor of the chief of group, and all started on on a way. The road had protecting group.

«Change of guards» at the plant happened safely. Chiefs of groups exchanged passwords, and a night shift, ringing bronze weapon, stretched in a way back. To their arrival all corpses were dumped from the rock, the way was cleared, tracks of battle are covered up.

To finish small group of internal guards of the plant did not represent big work. The enormous plants producing bronze weapon were in the hands which rose.

At the plant there were seven thousand ready swords and copies and five thousand of weapon, not polished, but suitable for fight, yet. Slaves exulted. Never before the revolt began such good luck. The belief in a victory over Sacred Holm got stronger.

The dawn came nearer, and it was necessary to hurry to finish an arsenal and till the sunrise to throw the main forces to mountains.

The armed slaves representing already terrible military force quickly moved to an arsenal.

Their arms misled garrison of an arsenal.

— Who goes? — asked the patrol pushed forward.

— According to the order of Kettsal-Kootlya, the chief of armed forces of Atlantis, protection legions for a reinforcement of garrison — answered Aqsa Guam.

A half of slaves managed to pass the bridge when deception was found, and that only through an oversight of slaves: a part of too zealous slaves who did not receive arms followed group with the picks. They were noticed and gave the alarm. But was already late. Swords were crossed, shaking silence of night by a bronze clang. Soldiers of Atlases battled against usual firmness. Slaves restricted them, soldiers receded in an enormous arsenal, giving each step with fight. With a crash heavy doors of warehouses broke, crowds of half-naked slaves joined there, leaving back in full fighting arms. Slaves won.

Still separate fights in warehouses and in corners of the wide paved yards continued, and the armed ranks of slaves already moved a bystry march on the mountain road to a round

Sacred Holm. Short skirmishes on the road with sentry groups did not detain this rapid advance.

For one night unarmed, powerless slaves turned into the terrible army armed with sixteen thousand swords and copies.

Despite all precautions, from Sacred Holm it was not succeeded to hide occupation of arsenal. The arsenal was located at Sacred Holm’s bottom. Fight noise clearly reached there in the silence of the night. But the same battle at an arsenal gave the chance to the main forces of slaves to move ahead far to mountains before slaves were noticed. At the head of these main forces were the Curve and Adishirna. On Zly’s share and Aqsa Guam the difficult task with smaller forces of a message offensive at the Sacred Hill dropped out from the most protected and to assume the main blow of the best legions of Atlases — a cavalry of «Neptune» and «Invincible».

Sacred Holm it is already dazzling sparkled bronze of the temples and palaces in morning beams of the sun when Aqsa Guam and Zla with the groups approached the ring channel at Sacred Holm’s bottom. Drawbridges were lifted. All embankment on Sacred Holm’s party burned as a bronze wall, arms of the soldiers who were built in a fighting order.

Slaves became gloomy, looking at the dense wood of copies of the opponent… The channel blocked a way to slaves.

But both conflicting parties not for long stood in waiting silence.

In the channel the coast had a set of small vessels. Angry waved a hand on these vessels, and work began to boil. Slaves pulled together launches and felyug to one place and under blows of the copies which are started up from that coast made floating bridges. The embankment rose over water by one and a half human growth, but it did not stop slaves. They moved on bridges and, becoming at each other, clambered on the coast. A spear dumped them. The eminence on which crept as ants, new ranks of slaves grew from bodies of slaves on vessels at the coast soon. All channel reddened from blood downstream. Corpses covered a water surface. But the main thing was made: before the sun reached a zenith, slaves were on other coast. Many of them for the first time entered on the Sacred Hill. Soldiers of Atlases departed on the wide square in front of the channel to receive big freedom of maneuvering, and long, persistent fight began here.

Soldiers of Atlases had a big advantage that they stood on the hill, slaves below, on the narrow platform, having for itself the channel. The reinforcement to slaves could join only slowly, in process of occupation of the square. Heaps of bodies complicated the movement. Slaves began to weaken. Atlases strengthened an impact. There came the moment when ranks of slaves pressed to the channel could be dumped in water. Zla and Aqsa Guam battled in the forefront. Having looked back, Angry saw that slaves recede.

«End!» — he thought.

But at this moment among soldiers of Atlases there was also a confusion. Their back rows hastily receded.

As then it appeared, on the mountain front position of Atlases was desperate. Adishirna and the Curve avalanche collapsed from mountains and closely approached the palace of the tsar. There also the reinforcement was hastily caused. The group Aqsa Guam and Zly sighed more freely. Slaves took the offensive soon and persistently restricted the enemy to top Sacred Holm.

But in it it is a high time on Sacred Holm there were events which predetermined a revolt outcome.

That night when slaves excited a rebellion, the tsar Guang-Ataguyeraganga had a farewell reception of the subject tsars who are driving off after a holiday of the Sun.

To strike them last time with wealth and magnificence of the yard, reception happened in the Emerald Hall which was located in an underground part of the palace. All walls of the enormous hall were entirely covered with gemstones. These stones which are picked up for flowers represented fantastic flowers and landscapes.

In the bronze sky the topaz sun shone, chrysoprase trees reflected the greens in emerald waters. Yellow and pink berilla, red rubies nimbuses of flowers rose from a chrysolitic grass.

The throne stood at the wall which entirely is laid out by one emeralds which different shades made a difficult pattern. It was in literal sense the emerald wall; it was separated from a main wall by a corridor in which lamps were located. Their light got through emeralds, having extraordinary lighting effect.

The tsar was warned already about a revolt. The ceremony of reception was tightened that by the time of its termination order on Sacred Holm was restored: visitors tsars should not have known about a revolt. It was easier for that to make it that no sound from the Earth’s surface got into the Emerald Hall.

But the revolt rushed also into this hidden room.

Before the soldiers removed from the field of battle at the channel appeared in time to the aid of the mountain front, Adishirna and the Curve seized the palace. The sound of swords was already heard in the neighboring hall. And suddenly the armed slaves rushed into the Emerald Hall. Guards of honor of tsars and tsars were forced to put swords on use.

Only Guang-Ataguyeragang sat on a throne with a stately immovability of a statue and watched fight. But in his soul there was a confusion. Palace guards and tsars fought with courage of despair, but ranks them thinned every minute… Death looked in the face of the tsar of Atlantis…

During that moment when the last defenders of the palace fell, the tsar suddenly remembered possible rescue. He wanted is proud to meet death as it befits the tsar of Atlantis. But the thought of rescue forced it to throw off a greatness mask. Having quickly run away on throne steps, it took out a heavy bronze sword, having strong squeezed the handle covered with diamonds and with scope split an emerald wall. Several blows formed pass in a wall. Large emeralds as peas, swept on an inlaid floor. The tsar rushed to the formed pass. On its heels to pass several slaves rushed.

Suddenly one of slaves, having seen large emeralds, bent to a floor, began handfuls to bring together them, thrusting into a mouth and for an armor. Other slaves with running start flew on it and fell. The heap of bodies covered pass.

The tsar ran…

Flaring anger of the Curve ran up to the slaves who tarried at the broken wall and began to beat them. Adishirna shook by a sword and called to order. Nothing helped. Without seeing more opponent, crowds of slaves dissipated on halls of the palace and were engaged in a robbery. In storerooms there were enormous amphoras with wine. Wine was poured in concave boards, and, exhausted with heat and fight, slaves greedy drank and right there fell from intoxication…

XIII. End of a revolt of slaves

As soon as priests learned about a revolt, they were going to council in one of pyramids. Here they were in safety. The underpasses connecting palaces and pyramids were well hidden. From the attendants priests knew about the fight course.

Despite the order sent by priests to military leaders to suppress a revolt immediately, unfavourable messages from above came.

The result of the continuing battle was doubtful.

In the neighborhood of Atlantis enormous garrisons were located. By means of them did not represent special work to suppress a revolt, but now each excess hour of fight caused to priests losses: slaves ruined their palaces, and besides most of slaves made «personal estate» of priests. These live goods were not bad regarded at the Sea Exchange.

Only to a sunset success of government troops was defined finally. The army Curve and Adishirna was pushed aside to mountains and disseminated in the woods. With a curve it was killed in the palace, and its corpse is split into parts by soldiers of «Neptune». Adishirna-Guanch was missing.

Having finished the main forces of slaves, soldiers of Atlases moved for the remains of army of Zly and Aqsa Guam. Slaves were pressed to the channel, they fell to the canal and sank.

Small group of slaves with Angry at the head as furious lions, protected bridges, covering retreat.

At last, pierced in a throat, fell Angry. Sacred Holm was cleared. There were only separate groups of slaves whom soldiers poisoned as dogs, drove into the yards and deadlocks and brutally killed.

Aqsa Guam it was wounded in a hand and the head. It was pushed aside from group Angry.

Beating off the pressing soldiers, it became in deepening of the bronze wall surrounding the palace of the Supreme priest Atsro-Shana, having leaned a back against a narrow bronze gate

From bleeding from wounds and fatigue at Aqsa Guam the head was turned and dimmed eyes fog. Dreamily, it mechanically waved a sword, striking aside blows of copies.

Бесплатный фрагмент закончился.

Купите книгу, чтобы продолжить чтение.