Aquaman remembering the events that lead to Atlantis
DC Alternate –
The Justice Society: Four Seasons
Volume 1 “Autumn”
Chapter 6 – Arthur Curry
Before Atlantis, he thought he knew what it meant to be born to the sea and oceans. He had grown up in the shadow of an already famous explorer/scavenger. A Spanish galleon or two went a long ways to funding expeditions. All of this work had led to Atlantis, a dream that wasn’t just chased by his father but so many others. It was luck that they found clues to the everglades of all places. A journey through that place was a change from the ocean but it led to so many treasures including a building buried in the swamps. Inside they found tablets in ancient Greek detailing several islands off the coast of Florida but only one of those islands even seemed to be on the map. Their journey had nearly ended with that discovery when their guide abandoned them and nearly buried them I the lost building.
The building would have been their grave had Arthur not found a strange necklace with the image of a trident of Poseidon etched into a golden coin hanging from it. It was then that Arthur began his journey into magic. What he saw when he picked up the necklace was hard to describe to others. How do you explain an image of a deity walking through the walls of a buried building?
He felt different, stronger than he was before. Something he left out of the book he wrote about his experiences. Who knows what people would think if they knew just how strong he actually was. The blessing of Poseidon had increased his strength a fraction of what he had now but it was more than enough to escape the tomb. Traveling through the Everglades without a means of transportation delayed them long enough for their guide to get a fairly good head start on them. The everglades nearly became a grave for them several times as they ran into several dangers ranging from alligators to quicksand to snakes to even spirits of the dead. The snakes and alligators turned out to be less of a danger to him than his companions; the animals didn’t seem to want to mess with him at all. It was as if they sensed something about him had been changed or altered.
The strange house they found in the swamp where no house should have existed turned out to be the true danger, despite the respite it provided. The house itself reminded Arthur of a darker version of the New England houses he had seen growing up. The graveyard that surrounded the house was stranger still than the house. It was far from any settlement and the tombstones each bore epitaphs in different languages. Some of the languages he recognized although he was unable to read them but a number of the headstones bore languages he was certain was alien. The caretaker of the home, Cain, welcomed them as if he had expected company.
Cain had called the house the house of Mystery and it certainly was that. The odd little man took them on a tour of the house which seemed far more like a museum. From the tour, he gathered that the house moved from its usual location for to the north in the state of Vermont. If he had not seen the image of Poseidon and gained inhumanly strength from him he wouldn’t have believed it. Even now it seemed so strange than what he had grown up with. The world of magic that he was introduced to was enough to shatter the mind. That night at midnight the graveyard became active, and from Cain’s description, it did so every night and with that, he added they should be thankful it was not Hallows Eve. From the graveyard images of long lost dead rose as ghosts. Romans, Greek, the ghost of important figures from every culture on earth drifted through the graveyard before perhaps sensing life in the mansion. Many of the ghosts halted at the windows and doors of the house barring exit but a few perhaps foolish ghosts slipped into the mansion itself.
The ghost that did enter the mansion seemed drawn by the necklace Arthur had retrieved. Each one a pirate that spent their lives hunting ships through the Caribbean. The short respite they gained from the house had ended at midnight, and the hunt began. It was a strange hunt as the ghost tried and failed to corner the group. While they could not touch the living they did bring the cold of the grave with them. The air around each ghost froze whatever it came into contact with, freezing water regardless of its location. Only Dawn had spared them from the danger they found there. They attempted to persuade Cain to leave the house with them, but that proved useless as he stated it was his duty and his punishment. When the left the house Arthur had wondered about that statement and when they passed the line of the graveyard returning to the swamp it felt like the something long dead had placed its skeletal hand on his shoulder. When he turned to see what had touched him, he only saw swamp. The house and graveyard that he and his companions spent a night at fighting for their lives for a portion of that night, was gone. It was only later that he found other stories that matched his about a similar Mansion throughout the ages, the oldest story taking place on the outskirts of Rome. In each story, the caretaker was described the same exact way, Cain.
The hunt for Atlantis had resumed when Arthur and his father found the island only to realize their guide had arrived long before them. At the beach where they landed, they found Speed Saunders recovering from a gunshot wound. It was a touchy situation until Tom Curry was able to convince the FBI agent they weren’t affiliated with the pirates he was hunting. When they found out that the pirate was the same guide that had left them to die in the everglades both Arthur and his father both offered to help Saunders capture the fiend. They ran into the pirates deep in the island inside a cave lined with drawings and text in ancient Greek.
The gunfight that erupted proved too much for the cave opening as it collapsed cutting both pirate and explorer from the outside world. The only retreat for Saunders, the Currys, and their party was deeper in the cavern where they came upon a strange door in a room filled with skeletons. Filled with men who attempted every way they could to open the door each failing and finally falling victim to the imagined riches behind the door. Arthur wasn’t sure why he thought of it but he inserted the coin on the necklace he found into a slot on the door, it opened. The tunnel continued past the door deep into the ground leading the group far from the island and into the ocean bed where they found several sunken buildings, Atlantis, or so he thought. As the years passed he began to wonder if he actually found it or if he found one of the trading outposts. A number of buildings still remained but it wasn’t that large of a city. It was in one of the abandoned buildings, a temple that formed a cavern that the pirates caught up with them. It was there that Arthur found another gift from Poseidon, a trident. He had just touched the trident when he heard gunshots ring out, the pirates ambushing them. He felt a strange tapping on his back and only later realized it was bullets bouncing off him. The pirates were far easier to handle after that. He wished that the adventure had only brought good things, but there was tragedy. Arthur stood on his family’s property looking at those tragedies, the gravestones of the members of this crew that were not so lucky. With each return from the sea, he felt drawn here to tell them of the new stories and tales.
Now with Speed Saunders talking with his aunt, he was about to go on another likely dangerous journey to yet another island. Arthur eased his soul to know that at least this time they were going to save a life, if they could find Steve Trevor, rather than exploring. If the crystal ball he found for his aunt proved true that is, but so far the crystal ball always seemed to be right on the money. With his visit completed Arthur headed towards the house, the sooner they left the better.