Jameseteiberiusekeirk wasn’t a conventional prince. He was a starry eyed young man with a curious mind and a wanderlust in his heart.
Which was why he was usually in trouble.
Today he’d managed to elude his royal bodyguards (more like babysitters) and escape the city, to explore more of the ocean outside. In his last escapade, he’d stumbled across the wreckage of a ship from a culture he’d never seen the like of before, and he was eager to study and collect its artifacts.
Breathing through his oxygen storing apparatus, Jameseteiberiusekeirk (or as most simply called him, Jim) swam slowly around the merky vessel. It was small, most likely only meant to house one or two beings (if the beings were about the size and shape of humans, that was). He fingered the alien script on the hull. It was unlike any human language, but Jim had studied enough to know that it came from the Vulcan race. The script hung down vertically rather than running side to side, and curved and circled beautifully. It reminded Jim a bit of upside down seaweed. He wished he knew what it said.
On the inside, Jim found what looked to be a control room with steering mechanisms. By the light emanating from the blue crystal around his neck, he examined the controls. Two chairs, suited for a humanoid species, sat before the console. Jim tentatively sat at one, imagining piloting it through the ocean’s depths.
Further on, he found sleeping quarters. There were two small bunk beds in the wall, and stowed away under the bottom one was a steamer trunk. Jim of course, had to open it.
Inside he found what appeared to be the waterlogged ruins of heavy yet elegant robes. How strange! Jim rarely wore more clothes than necessary to protect his private bits, since Atlantis was tropical and Jim was quite proud of his body, but the species that had piloted this vessel apparently dressed quite conservatively. Or perhaps they were simply from a cold climate?
Underneath that was a box, containing a metal circular pin with an arrow in the center. Jim bit his lip before stowing the pin in his satchel. The previous owner would hardly miss such a trinket, since it had been here for quite a long time.
Jim checked his oxygen levels to discover they were starting to run low. Better swim back...and face the wrath of Georgisamuelinkierk. His brother. The king.
”If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times: you are not to leave the palace unattended! And you are not to leave the city limits ever!”
Jim had heard this rant so many times, he could practically recite it by heart.
”Imagine if you’d run out of air before you got back!” Georgisamuelinkierk, or as Jim called him, Sam, continued to shout at him. “Or if you’d been attacked by a shark or a barracuda! Or worse-“
”’Or worse, one of those barbarians who live on our land, who came from the stars to murder us humans and take our planet. The same monsters who killed Mother and Father. Do you want to end up like them, Jameseteiberiusekeirk? Do you want to be killed by Orion whaling ships like they were?’” Jim glared at his older brother. “You say this every time I sneak out.”
”Apparently I haven’t said it enough, since you still won’t learn,” Sam growled. “There is a reason we Atlanteans retreated to the bottom of the oceans—to escape the killers that now enhabit our ancestors’ home.”
”But they weren’t all killers, Sam!” Jim tried to reason with him. “The first race that met our people, the Vulcans, were peaceful. They were there on a mission of friendship.”
”Yes, and who soon followed? Klingons. Orions. Ferengi. Cardassians. Borg. Romulans! You cannot trust those from the stars, Jim!”
”You say that, but I’ve never even seen the stars in person! And I bet you haven’t either. I’m 400 years old; I don’t need a royal guard watching me all the time! Just because you use Mom and Dad’s death to defend your bigotry and fear of the surface world, doesn’t mean I’m as much of a coward-!”
”JIM! That is enough!” This scolding came from Kristoferipike, previously their father’s trusted advisor, and now Sam’s, who’d always fancied himself a surrogate father to the boys. Jim saw as not much more than a mild nuisance. “Your brother is right. You cannot trust the offworlders. They peruse our waters constantly. It is only our sacred crystals that has protected us all these years. When you venture out of the city, the crystals begin to lose their magic. They cannot protect you then.”
”I don’t need this stupid crystal to protect me!” Jim shouted, snapping the cord of his and throwing it on the floor of the throne room. “I just need all of you to leave me the hell alone!”
He then turned and stomped out of the room.
Sam sighed, sinking into his throne. Kristoferipike (Chris) gave him a sympathetic look. “I apologize, your Majesty. But you know how boys are at James’s age.”
Sam laughed weakly. “Was I ever that young?”
”No,” Chris smiled sadly. “You had to grow up too fast.”
Sam shook his head wearily. “What am I ever going to do with him?”
”Jim may be headstrong, but he has a good heart. I predict he will grow into a fine man...someday.”
”If he ever grows up at all,” Sam chuckled.