We were down a person for Hollow Earth Expedition this week, so with a bit a soft-shoe we pressed on with a bit of “talking about or feelings” — we saw that Gus Hassenfeldt was shacked up with his mermaid “wife” in a damaged warehouse on the waterfront, where she was out of the ever-present sun of the Inner World, and had access to water from the interior boat dock. Dr. Gould is throwing himself fully into the campaign against Atlantis in a desperate attempt to save Olga (now known as Lady Morana, the emperor’s “favored” consort…) and has been showing tactical acumen that is impressing the turncoat, General Inanna.
They visit the impressive Royal Library of Thule, where Lord Trevor and a couple of the German science team from Deutschland have been digging through the history of the Hollow Earth. They ascertained that the place was artificially created — something all the denizens seem to know — by some “Great Lord” about 1000-2000BC, to rid the world of the evils created by the “gods” of Man. They posit this might be Ahura Mazda, or even Yahweh… The Atlantans were the guardians of the gateways to this prison, and they seemed to have fallen from grace somehow. This led to the “sinking of Atlantis.” Most of their people died along the way, replaced by their servants, the vril. There are vril with Atlantean blood, but for some reason some of the Ancient tech doesn’t work for them, only for humans with Atlantean blood.
Their visit with the scientists is cut short — Atlantis is sending an envoy to parlay, responding to their request to open a dialogue. She arrives in a saucer, a slinky smart woman with a pantherwoman as a pet on a leash. This is Captain Iris of the Imperial Secret Police. She is here to suss them out, and delivers the emperor’s offer to talk, but only with the Outlanders. He sees them (rightfully) as the impetus of this rebellion, and wants to find out what they want. Everyone on the alliance side realizes this is almost certainly a trap to get their hands on the Atlantean-blooded Gould. They agree, but say that will only send Gus, but they want Olga there, and want a meet in a neutral spot. (They intend Gould to be hidden until the right moment, hoping he can win Olga back to their side.)
After Iris is away with their counter-proposal, they get more disturbing news: the German airship, Deutschland, was seen yesterday heading toward Valhalla…but why? They were supposed to be doing a goodwill tour and picking up more troops for Ultima Thule’s defense. Is it some kind of double cross? They’ve left two scientists and a platoon of their men in Ulitma Thule under Linz, a junior Obersturmfuhrer…he is as gobsmacked as they!
Gould and Gus race to Valhalla in a saucer and arrive to find Deutschland and Los Angeles both gone. King Woden was informed their attack on Ultima Thule had failed, and Obersturmbahnfuhrer Werner convinced Admiral Byrd to take Los Angeles and head for the surface. Both airships have a pair of the Atlantean saucers they were given as gigs, and they took the craft with them! (They know that Werner would have needed the LA to get out of the Hollow Earth — Gould’s brother, aboard the American airship, is the only other person they know whose presence can open the Northern Entrance.)
Woden knew the story about their loss at Ulitma Thule was a failure, but let them go. There was obviously some ulterior motive for the Outlanders decamping the Inner World. Fortunately, he has some idea of why from the same place he knew the reports of their failure were false: his new friends, the remaining crew of the crashed Soviet airship SSSR-V6! With the crew is the GPU psychic, Galina Obreva (an on-going antagonist) and her superior, Capt. Arkady “the Ghost” Lenshev, a man with the power to “cloud men’s minds.”
They warned Gus and Gould about Olga — that she had powers far beyond those they knew about. Even the Special Department of the GPU wasn’t foolish enough to train her. But if the Emperor of Atlantis has wakened those abilities in her, no one is safe — not here in the Inner World, or on the surface.
They must stop her, and they will help with the rebellion to do so…