This story takes place after the events of Frankenstein: The Illuminatus Complex, but is not required reading for this tale.
The Nautilus sank to the depths of Atlantis; hovering over the lost continent its search lights flooded an antediluvian city. Captain Nemo looked out over the submerged ruins from the observation deck of his ship. Before him lay the remains of what may have been the world’s first great civiization, whose only current citizens were the aquatic life of the sea. Below this particular city of Atlantis Nemo could see buildings that were inhabited before known recorded history, now abandoned with their roofs sunken in. As the Nautilus floated through the dead ruins Nemo could see forgotten monuments the Atlanteans made for their gods. Giant aqueducts darted through the city and Nemo could see remains of a Parthenon atop an undersea Acropolis, as well as a dock that would have sent off ships into a now lost sea. The city itself was surrounded by a crumbled wall with guard towers now empty except for marine life. Enormous mountains stood on each side of the city. The mountain to the left rose 700 feet into the water. A trace of lava flowed from the volcano on the right, bathing the submerged city in a faint red glow.
"Extraordinary." Victor Walton, the newest crew member of the Nautilus, couldn't believe his eyes as he and Nemo looked through the 4 inch glass. "My grandfather heard stories of Atlantis from his days as a sailor, but neither he nor I ever dreamt they were true."
"I never believed them myself." Nemo answered. "During my studies in Europe as a youth I'd read Plato's account, but only thought of it as a political fable like most scholars did."
"How did you ever find it?”
"You should know by now of my love of the sea! It is my life's ambition to explore and study all of its mystery. Such a find could not have escaped me for long."
"Amazing, you just found it by chance?"
"Come Walton, “Nemo responded, “we shall take a closer look."
"What do you mean?"
"Victor, I promised to show you Atlantis when we returned from South America. Did you think I meant merely to gaze at it from this ship? No, we will walk the streets of Atlantis ourselves!"
Victor was astonished, he never dreamt of walking the ocean floor. "What? How is that possible?"
"Come with me and I'll show you." Nemo then pressed a button on the control panel to his side, and spoke into a wire mesh, "Lower the Nautilus near the edge of the city, Walton and I are going on an expedition."
"Taking the newbie out huh?" an electric voice answered back through where Nemo had spoken. "Just don't get him lost."
"If I lost him who would beat you at poker?" Nemo quipped back.
Nemo and Walton departed the observation deck and went to a lower corridor. Before them sat two large metal suits. "What are these?" Victor asked.
"In these suits, we may walk the ocean floor." explained Nemo.
“Walk the ocean floor? Impossible, the water pressure would crush us in an instant!”
“After all this time you still don’t trust me? I’ve personally walked Atlantis myself, and you can be one of the first people to do so in 20,000 years!”
“But the suits are so large, how can we move about in them?”
“Victor, I assure you these are all in working order, they are from my own design.”
"You didn't design them yourself." Eva waited for them in the corridor, giving her Captain a bold look. She was an engineer from Prussia, who helped the design of the Nautilus with Nemo. Since then she'd been a loyal shipmate to the Captain, and one of the best poker players on the ship.
Suddenly finding a wellspring of courage, Victor said "Well what are we waiting for then, off to Atlantis!” Eva smiled as she watched Victor awkwardly try climb into this strange metal suit that just a moment ago he wouldn’t trust with his life.
"Don't worry newbie, I'll give you a hand." she said.
With ease Nemo climbed into one of the large contraptions while Eva helped Victor into his. Their bodies fit snugly inside, but the suits were large and bulky, around 8 feet high. On their backs was an electric motor which powered the suits, and aided in their lumbering movement. A series of small lights were attached to the shoulders and chest, allowing under sea vision. Inside Victor could see through the thick glass faceplate. He had only been a crew member of the Nautilus a short time, and was still fascinated by the invention Nemo referred to as a transmitter, which allowed for communication via what were called radio waves. A small transmitter was set up in the front of their helmets to allow communication with each other and the Nautilus. Nemo flipped a small switch around his thumb which activated the motor, and advised Victor to do the same. A quiet humming sound sprung from behind them as their motors kicked on. Victor felt a strange sensation around his body as the electricity kicked in, as if his body was being rejuvenated, and now they could walk in the suit without much difficulty. The suits weren't built for speed, but made slow deliberate steps. Eva handed Nemo a large steel pole spiked on one end. She approached Victor with another as he asked, "What sort of device is that Captain?"
Eva answered, "Why actually I designed it myself."
"Yes this particular invention of mine is called a walking stick." A slight grimace escaped Nemo's bearded face as Victor blushed in embarrassment. "It will help you not to fall over when you’re walking the ocean floor." She tapped the ground with the stick, making a dull clanging sound. "Do you need me to show you how to use it?" Victor smirked back nervously, at a loss for words. "Now don't get lost out there.” And with a wink said “And if you could bring me back something."
"You've never used these suits in the ocean?"
Eva gently clasped Victor's giant metal hand, placing the rod in his steel palm. "Just humor me will you?" Eva answered with frustrated smile before exiting.
Nemo and Victor lumbered into another corridor, this was a sealed pressure chamber from which they would exit the Nautilus. There Nemo instructed, "Hit the switch on your ring fingers, they magnetize your boots so you don't get swept away when I open the hatch." The door slid shut behind them as Nemo commanded "Open the hatch, preparing for departure."
Sea water soared into the chamber as the belly of the Nautilus slid open. In an instant the chamber was filled. Victor gasped for a moment as the water surrounded him. "Fear not." Nemo said. "I've walked the ocean floor with each one of these suits. You have no cause for alarm." Victor relaxed his body, but it took a moment to overcome the unusual sensation of being surrounded by water, yet still able to breath. Both adventurers activated their lights, and Victor could see the open door ahead of him, leading out into a new watery world. Nemo and Walton took baby steps out the hatch, alternating the magnetic current at their feet with each step. With a short hop they both exited the ship, their steel feet hit the ocean floor.
Part 2 here !
Nemo: The Power of the Coming Race. Part 1 The Depths of Atlantis