Princess of Atlantis
By Eileen Holden
Date: March 29, 2019
Ch. 11

"Father, I know you love me, but let one of my other sisters be next in line. Just because I'm the oldest doesn't mean I'm the right person for the job." Kasey whined, she knew her father wasn't really listening to her. He never did. He had his own agenda and no one else mattered but the bigger picture.
Too bad she didn't want to be a part of that bigger picture, if only he'd listen. She had plenty of sisters who could take her place as the next leader of her people. Her father wanted to retire, he'd been leading their Atlantean people for over five hundred years.He felt it was time he was able to relax and enjoy life without taking care of everyone else for a change.
"You need to grow up, it's been almost a hundred years and you need to accept your responsibility as my oldest daughter." He turned to look at her, and she could see the worry lines finally showing around his eyes. Their people aged very slowly, so they often waited to have children, long beyond what many other cultures would have waited.
Their limited exposure to the outside world kept illness at bay, and since they were more of a science minded race, they generally procreated when it was the right time, instead of having multiple accidental children, and some decided never to have children.
She hated it. She wanted to see other cultures, other races, she was tired of living in a dome under the sea, with advanced technology in their dome providing sunlight and rain. It was always the perfect temperature. She'd read about what it had been like on the surface before her father had forced them to retreat underwater. She wanted to touch snow.
"I think it would be in the best interest of our people if one of my sisters were to be next in line, rather than me father. If you want what is best for our people, you'll listen to me." She said. "I'm not the leader type. I'm a free spirit, I don't think I'd make the best decisions."
"That is not how our system works, and you know it. Once you are leader, you can choose to abdicate, but we've never had anyone do that before. I don't think you'd do that to our family and be a black smear on our reputation." Her father told her gruffly.
Kasey didn't care. She wanted to see something outside of her watery prison that her father wanted to foist on her.
"If you make me leader, I'll send us back up to the surface." Kasey threatened him.
"I have faith that you'll do what is best for our people, instead of yourself, Kasey." Her father told her, ignoring her outburst.
"Why don't you ever listen to anything I ever have to say, or what I want. I don't want to lead our people. I want to be free, I want to go see dragons and swim with mermaids, I want to meet a werewolf and see an ancient Greek god. We've been down here for hundreds of years, you have no idea what the surface is even like anymore." Kasey told him, pouting. "Maybe it's time we went back to the surface. Our people have been trapped down here for hundreds of years. Their children have never seen real sunlight. I have never seen real sunlight."
Her father tilted his head and gave a stern look. "Sunlight is created by technology, it's no different than if we were actually on the surface. It provides the required nutrients for our food to grow."
"You are missing the point." Kasey blew out a breath in frustration. She realized she need a drastic plan. Her father was clearly not going to listen to her. Snapping her mouth shut, she stopped talking. She realized her only chance was to run away. She'd never have any freedom if she stayed here, and it was clear her father had no intention of caring about her desires.
As far as she was concerned, Atlantis was nothing more than a glorified prison stuck under miles of water. Beautiful and serene, she needed a way out. She wanted chaos, and excitement, and danger.
Luckily, she'd always been a bit of escape artists. She'd avoided her nanny over the years as a child quite easily. Her other sisters fit the bill of what her father needed, hand groomed to be royalty, they took it seriously. She had no doubts that any of her sisters could do the job required.
Kasey on the other hand was completely a free spirit, with no desire to conform. She wanted adventure, excitement. She wanted love. She wanted to be involved with a man because it was exciting and different, and he made her laugh, and made her angry. Not because it was a good strategic, political move. She didn't want to be like that. She wanted to lay in a field of grass and see the bugs crawling around in the dirt. She wanted to feel the real sunshine on her skin, and smell the sea breeze on the beach. She wanted to taste snow, and watch the stars twinkle in the sky.
Passion. That was what was missing from their science based community. Living underwater created new rules, they didn't have the ability to tolerate murders, they had a one strike you were out policy for major crimes, and for little ones, three strikes and you were out.
You got sent up to the surface to fend for yourself. There were days when Kasey wished she had it in her to be bad enough to get kicked out, but the fear of never being able to return and see her family again stopped her from being so drastic. Losing her mother had taught her how important family could be.
Her mother had died in an explosion, she'd been an inventor and was always trying to find new ways to expand the radius of their technology, her father had never completely recovered from her loss. He'd always claimed it was because they'd lost one of their best scientists, and it was her knowledge that made it possible to live under the sea.
In reality, Kasey thought her dad had loved their mom, and her loss had broken his heart. Her father would never admit that though, it didn't go with the whole scientific and logical persona he preferred to show to everyone else.
As much as she loved her family, and her home, she needed to see what else was out there. She just needed a plan.

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