Act Two: Recruiting some assholes.

Location: Somewhere other than Florida.
In the Kingston Hall of a building, a funding drive is underway.

Robin: Dane Quatrell is third generation in a family of great marine explorers, his grandfather published three books on sea mammals, several of which are still in publication today. Dane Quatrell's father was a renowned marine biologist who's research on sharks was the basis for over thirty medical patents, but today you have the honour of meeting Dane Quatrell the third, marine biologist and researcher who is about to begin his final phase in his ten year odyssey to discover Atlantis. Ladies and gentlemen it is my great honour to introduce to you, doctor, Dane Quatrell.
DQ3: Ladies and gentlemen. Atlantis: The last great adventure. A mystery wrapped in an enigma, buried deep in the sea. A civilisation that existed somewhere between fantasy and reality. And now each and every one of you can become part of the last great discovery of the new millennium.

Lets be clear on this, we're meeting DANE QUATRELL, a character so amazing we've named two other characters exactly the same thing. Lets also be clear, his grandfather published THREE books, several of which are still in publication. Several of three? So, two, then? I'll omit a passage on the likelihood that books written two generations ago would still be sufficiently valid to remain in publication. Oh, did we all get the 'DQ2 worked with medical stuff on SHARKS' bit? I suspect this will become quite relevant later.
Oh, and also, the last great discovery of the new millennium? The new millennium being, presumably, 2001-3000. This is set in 2003, so, two things, are we quite certain discovering Atlantis would be the last great discovery of the next THOUSAND years?! Also, what were the intervening great discoveries?

Dane is now post-presentation, smoozing with the punters, signing books.

DQ3: OK, thank you.
Misc Bint: Oh, no worries, have a nice day.
DQ3: OK, there you go, thank you so much for coming, thank you. Ooh, I want one of these, thank you, cheers, thank you so much.
Balding Geezer: Thank you.

DQ3 sidles up to his presumed partner.

DQ3: What's goin' on?
Robin: See those two blondes at your two o'clock?
DQ3: Oh, come on, girls like that don't have money, they have diamonds, porsches and sugar daddies.
Robin: Read, asshole, I got it from a very reliable source.
DQ3: Their father owns seventeen percent of Athena Chemical? That means he's worth about...
Robin: Two point six billion dollars. Both ladies have trusts. Fifty million each that they just got one hundred percent control of on their twenty first birthday.
DQ3: University of Arizona. Jack Nicholson. Heh. OK, gimme three minutes then bring the show cheque. Make it five hundred K.
Robin: Ooh, that's a big show.
DQ3: That's a big trust fund.

DQ3 saunters over to the girls.

DQ3: Jillian and Joanne Austin, right? Good to see you again, we met at Jack's birthday party.
BT1: Really?
DQ3: Yeah, he backed my exploration of the Gulf of Mexico back in '95.
BT1: Now I wemember you.
DQ3: You do?! Cool!

This seems like an appropriate juncture to mention one of the real, fundamental problems with the plot. DQ3, as we will find out later, is a genuinely known person, DQ3 is, for example, his real name, and he is genuinely a marine researcher of some type. The set up here seems to be that he is resorting to conning money out of people for spurious endeavours, rather than trying to fund an actual research project. That would be fine, except that by their nature confidence tricks are usually pulled off incognito so that the police would find it difficult to find the con-person. This would be rather like a group of investors being ripped off by Bob Ballard or Jacques Cousteau.
I'm also having to mention that at no point does anyone seem to think the Austin twin's extremely strong russian accent is in any way odd. To me this seems wierd, what would the problem have been to have the twins be russian? And what the hell does 'University of Arizona. Jack Nicholson.' mean? Did they go there? Are they meant to have fucked Jack? What relevance has either element?

Enter the hook man, Mr 'Given', with Robin.

Hookman: Doctor Quatrell!
DQ3: Mr. Given, Dane, please. Um, so, you sold a house?
Hookman: Liverpool! Mimsy and I just moved to Nice, full time, no more blasted British winters.
DQ3: I hear ya.
Hookman: What with the smashing success of your recent Caribbean exploits, I should like to be the first one to give you my full support.
Robin: Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, John Given.
Hookman: Hallo!
Robin: John is investing in our, uh...
Hookman: Third exploration!
Robin: Third!
Hookman: And with that I have a sizeable cheque.
Robin: Ah! Five hundred thousand dollars!
DQ3: Thank you John.
Hookman: Goodbye.
DQ3: (To the twins) I'm so sorry.
BT2: Zats OK.

Cut to later, DQ3, Robin and the Hookman are seeing 'how they did'.

DQ3: Alright, how'd we do?
Robin: About 680 in concessions, and 3,800 in the small fry.
DQ3: That's it? We barely break even!
Robin: Well, I gotta possible twenty five thousand from Glen York.
DQ3: The dentist?
Robin: Orthodontist.
DQ3: Orthodontist. He's good for thirty five.
Robin: Then you close him.
DQ3: I'm closin' the Austin twins.
Robin: Don't sleep with them until after you get the cheque.
DQ3: What's that supposed to mean?
Robin: It means, be an aloof, mysterious explorer. A drunken womanising moron with an honourary degree from State doesn't usually get the cash.
DQ3: That's cold. And you!
Hookman: I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I,
DQ3: Next time you pull that phony British aristocratic crap, you're fired. You hear me?
Hookman: I read a book on accents, I,
DQ3: Here, don't spend it all in one place.
Hookman: Hey, what;s this, it's short a hundred and fifty!
DQ3: Really? Well, get it from Mimsy.

Pathetic dialogue aside, a smattering of points here. What's with the 'don't fuck the twins' bit? Is the idea here that the 45 year old DQ3 is SO HOT that the 21 year old HOT russian TWINS are going to part with a LOT of money just to get the chance to fuck him? Really? Also, just so we're clear it'll come up later, we just established in dialogue that DQ3's degree is honorary, and from a very basic university.

Cut to later, DQ3 is in bed with both the Austin twins.

DQ3: Hmm, OK, so where was I? Oh, yeah, we were down about eight hundred feet, and my oxygen line got crimped. I couldn't breathe. At that depth? It's all instinct. Life and death, you know?

One of the twins drugs his drink, and pours it down his gullet.

DQ3: So, do you guys think you could help me with this mission to Atlantis? I mean, I really need your help, you know, hook me up with maybe a half million or so, say, hmm?
BT1 (or 2): But, if ve pay for ze whole trip, can ve come too?
DQ3: Of course you can come. And you can come too. Same time. As a matter of fact I'm going to rename the ship to 'two of you can come at the same time', heh, the USS Austin!

DQ3 passes out under a blanket of blonde nudity.

We'll skip the obvious inaccuracies in the story DQ3 tells as it's clearly bullshit, and just mention that DQ3 would be well aware that the prefix 'USS' is reserved for the United States Navy. Mind you, he is in the process of passing out, so perhaps this is forgivable.
What makes less sense though is what kind of motivation would two insanely rich debutante have for drugging and kidnapping a random punter?
Perhaps, though, these are not the actual Austin twins but merely some twins masquerading.

Act One: The Prologue

Act Three: Getting the 'Mission'.