The Tides of Blood: Assassination Of A King

January 29, 2015:

Aquaman calls a Press Conference to make an announcement and it all goes horribly wrong.

Tomorrow Gardens, Metropolis.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

The world knows Atlantis is real, they've all seen her King on the news, standing beside the likes of Superman and Wonder Woman over the years. They've seen the golden armor, the gleaming trident, but for all they know they remain painfully ignorant.

Today will change that.

The media is in full attendance, functions with any Royal usually draw in the gossip mongers, but there are legit papers there as well, representatives of the Bugle and Daily Planet, the Times, the Post (the reputable one). Agencies have sent envoys from nearly every developed nation to cover the event, the first press conference Arthur, King of Atlantis, has held (not including original JLA functions) since he was outed at 16 by the now infamous Dr. Shin.

Then of course there's the onlookers, and the venue, Metropolis' beautiful Tomorrow Gardens, usually a large open snow covered space with more then enough room for anyone to lounge and enjoy fine weather, is today packed to standing room only despite the cold weather. Stands have been erected in the back so that late comers will still have a place to see the Royal couple, cordoned walkways have been erected for ease of movement among the gathered.

Rumors abound concerning the announcement that is to be made, the gossip rags all assume there is a Royal baby on the way and they hold up blatantly manipulated photos of Mera showing bulges and bumps, beneath the omnipresent green scale armor. Left leaning reputable journalists comment on perhaps the release of environmental technologies, long rumored to be a forte of Atlantis, meant to help save the surface world from it's own fossil fuel addictions with to much fervor. Right leaning news agencies set up panels of pundits who shout over one another trying to claim these will be declarations of war and terror, using the recent actions of Namor to justify their claims. CNN just shows lots of holograms of Aquaman and his wife and compare them to holograms of Superman and odd blurry images of what they assure viewers is The Batman all while studiously saying nothing of note.

***

Carol Danvers may be going back and forth about it, but for now, she's still editor at the Daily Planet. Which means if there's a press conference going on that she's interested in, there's absolutely no reason she can't wrangle herself an invite. She has a press pass, after all. Besides, it's good for the reporters to have some oversight. Makes them a little nervous. In practical slacks and a button-down blouse, she's standing with the rest of the press, waiting for the announcement at hand.

***

Also, Rain ended up in Namor's basement, and that sucked a bit but she did meet some nice underwater folks. So she is/was made aware one way or another. Plus, fish are pretty cool. But people still have a fascination with royalty. Nevertheless, she does at least in part owe Mera her metaphorical bacon. Depending on where the person she walks in with wants to see, she will follow. Rain herself has a thermos of hot cocoa, and is curious to see what's going on.

*Metaphorical basement. It was a ship.

***

Having met Arthur during the course of clearing a ley-line recently, Zee is interested in what the announcement maybe and has convinced Misfit to go with her. Giving the younger woman a clear picture of where she should bounce to, Zee herself, teleports into that spot, and waits for Misfit to join her. Given the nature of the event, the young magician is dressed in a dove grey business suit with an emerald green blouse underneath, high heel boots and around her neck is a diamond encrusted collar, with a tag with writing in a script that no one seems to be able to read.

***

Loki seems completely unfazed by the cold or the crowd as he walks along with Rain in Metropolis. He does glance about at the buildings and at the people gathered to witness this announcement. He also has a cocoa, but not for warmth. It's held in one hand as his walking stick rests lightly in the other. Leaning down some to the shorter woman beside him he asks, "Do these people have gills? Or scales like fish? That would be fascinating…" Maybe they don't have sea people on Asgard?

He's dressed in his dark suit, wool overcoat, and green and gold silk scarf about his neck. He's just one of the crowd, aside from his noble bearing and arrogant, bemused expression. As he catches sight of Zatanna, he waits to catch her eye before offering a slight nod of his head and a smirk of a grin her way.

***

Well one moment there isn't anyone by Zatanna, and the next moment Charlie is standing there in her civvies. She isn't expecting to work. Loki sees the girl just appear in a slight flash of pink and purple smoke >pinkurple> and slowly look around. "So this is the place.. wow this is a big crowd… what do you think they are going to announce. To the seasoned magical eye she is wearing something with Asgardian magic under her shirt.

***

From the center of the crowd there is a hush, then a cheer, as the couple step onto the frozen surface of the Garden's fountain. With a small gesture from Mera, the ice beneath their feet lifts the pair into the air on a pedestal of glistening liquid, refrozen in mid motion it looks more like flawless crystal then water. Aquaman, in his traditional golden scale armor and with his trident in hand, leans over to whisper something in his wife's ear, then turns to the crowd and grins. There is a soft whisper of magic that flows outward from the newly crafted 'dais', subtle and soft, though even those versed in such things would be hard pressed to have felt the masterful spell work.

When he speaks his voice is amplified by no means anyone can see and he seems to speak in whatever language the listener speaks natively. The effect even carries across recordings and live feeds to other nations.

"Many of you have questions concerning my homeland and my people. Recent events, and a few conversations with my Queen, have convinced me that perhaps it is time to hold this event so that I might answer a few of them."

He looks across the crowd, his eyes settling on the knot of gossip mongers, "I can assure you, my wife is not pregnant and if she were I would not hold a press conference to inform anyone. That would be a personal matter and no one's business but out own, sorry to disappoint."

Then his gaze settles on the group of left leaning eco-nuts, "We do possess recycling technologies that could assist the surface, but introducing them without careful consideration would have greatly adverse effects to the global economy. When the time comes and the world is less addicted to fossil fuels I will revisit the subject with your leaders."

And finally to the fear-mongers whispering of terrorist attacks the like perpetrated by Namor in recent months, "And finally I am not declaring war on anyone, nor am I apologizing for the acts of another nation upon your people anymore then I would expect Australia to apologize to Atlantis should it be attacked by someone else. I have however offered aid in rebuilding destroyed coastal ports and sea trade locations, though few have taken me up on the offer, perhaps understandably."

His eyes seem to scan the crowd, slipping over faces and offering the sort of personal familiarity in a public setting that a good speaker can.

"Now that we've settled that…"

***

Carol crosses her arms loosely over her chest, lifting the collar on her wool pea coat as she listens to the list of responses to the expected questions. There might even be a little bit of a smirk at the baby talk. She's not going to step on her reporters' toes, though. Not yet, at least.

***

Rain looks to Loki, glancing around. She's actually pretty tall as humans go. But to an Asgardian, well. "I don't think they have gills. They just breathe underwater differently," She doesn't seem sure on the scales. If she sees Zee, she'll wait and smile politely to the two. Although there's a brief look of quiet distance. And she's soon distrated. There's a quiet moment at the effects. It's lovely. And stuff is going on. She's a good audience member, at least.

***

Seeing Loki's nod and smirk, Zee waves back and flashes a brilliant smile to the Asgardian just as Misfit bounces in. "No idea, but yeah there's heaps of people here." Nodding towards Rain, Zee murmurs to Misfit "There's Rain… she's with Loki though, so it's probably best to leave her be for now, OK?"

As Arthur and Mera appear, Zee's attention is caught and she cants her head towards the royal couple. "Can you feel that, Misfit?" She's not sure the young womans magic will detect it but 'oh my'… and it's not the magic that raised the dais up she's referring to.

***

"That's a shame," Loki offers when he's told that they probably don't have gills or scales. He looks to the dais as the couple steps forward and the speech begins. The Trident is indeed noticed and scrutinized rather closely before he turns some attention to the words. Really, he's far more interested in the man speaking and the woman at his side. "She's rather lovely. Although why would he mention that she wasn't with child? Is he trying to say that he believes she's gaining weight?"

***

Charlie was pretty distracted looking around, and then well she looks to Zee "What…" then around "Feel what?" okay she isn't the most attuned despite how much magic she packs in those teleports. Odd that. She peers "Is that Rain and some really tall guy…looks rich… is Rain's thing old rich guys?"

***

Aquaman smiles a bit wider, "I thought perhaps I could open the floor to a few questions from those present and maybe we could put to rest some of the ru… rum…" his brow knits with a look of confusion as he turns his head to the side to eye Mera with a 'what was that' sort of expression. A trickle of something red slips from the corner of his mouth. Golden scales from his armor suddenly appear in the air behind the dais and something warm and thick lands on Mera's cheek.

Aquaman slumps slowly down to his knees as more golden scales scatter out of his back, and blood begins to trace it's way down the grooved on the armor's front. He reaches for his wife as a fourth spray of blood and armor exits his back, thsi time the weapon tears a visible hole in the front of the King's armor high on his stomach, showing a neat clean slit from which blood instantly begins to flow.

***

Mera stands quietly next to Arthur while he speaks, for the most part simply looking over the assembled crowd without looking at any one person in particular… well, until someone in the crowd makes an idle comment about her gaining weight. Then her eyes move to focus on Loki for a long second before shifting to look at Rain. There's a faint brush against the young witch's mind, a sensation of disapproval, though not aimed at the witch herself, but instead at the dark-haired man standing beside her.

Mera's attention returns to her husband just in time to flinch in surprise at something hitting her cheek, and then she's reaching to try and keep Aquaman from slumping further at the same time as needle-sharp water droplets spray out from their location in every direction like glass shattering. "ARTHUR??"

***

There's a split second before the blood where Carol starts to frown. It isn't magic she's picking up on. But danger? Danger she picks up on. She's just starting to turn to look around herself when the first gasp goes up from the crowd, looking quickly back toward the dais. "Shit," she murmurs under her breath, stepping back from the Daily Planet reporters to find a more clear spot, somewhere she might be able to get a better sense of what's happening.

***

Rain pauses. She looks to Loki, "She is. And people like to spread rumors to stir up scandal or news. It's gossip-mongering mostly. I don't think she looks any different. People can alter pictures," She offers her own theory. Fortunately, she doesn't hear Misfit's words or she'd die. Just die. She smiles, watching Aquaman. Then her expression turns to one of horror and surprise. "Oh no."

There's no sound. This seems all wrong. What's going on? She reaches out with her magical senses, but - this seems all wrong. "I don't see anything, do you?" She looks to Loki. This sort of thing is worrying. "Atlanteans are a lot more resilient than humans. It must be bad…"

***

Loki just shakes his head, "Humans can be so petty…" but he stores that bit of information away even as he continues to watch the proceedings. Whether or not he heard any comments coming from any others in the crowd aren't known as his expression merely seems to be one of slightly bemused attention. When the attack begins, he continues to watch before he turns to Rain at her commentary, "Well, it certainly looks like the fish-man is being attacked. Really, an assassination in public. It's really a bit gauche, if you ask me." Not at all subtle.

***

Zee looks to Misfit with a worried look "This is bad, Misfit." The young magician looks around trying to find a better vantage point. "You got your phone? Can you bounce up to one of the roof tops and see what you can see?" Zee is already pulling her phone out. The young magician will start moving closer when she gets confirmation from Misfit.

***

Charlie twists around to look "What is bad?" she was staring at Rain and the rich guy. She finally looks at the stage and blinks "Oh crap… right on it." she disappears in a flash of smoke >pinkurple> heading up to a nearby random rooftop for a better vantage. Fishing her earpiece into her ear as she does and kicking off the teamspeak app with Zee.

***

As the King hits the dais top things that were moving slowly suddenly speed back up. Throughout the crowd men and women immediately shuck hats and thick winter coats, showing offer glistening armor of their own. A dozen or more of them make the leap through the air, with shocking ease, that carries them up to the dais holding the downed King, and more water rises from the fountain to hold them, forming a larger podium. They take up positions around the King, their armor seeming to come alive as it slides into place from backpack like protrusions on their backs. It takes a matter of seconds before the Royals are surrounded by a dozen people in powered armor bearing a striking resemblance to crustacean exoskeletons. Weapons bristle from the throng, all pointed outward at the crowd, large bore projectile weapons attached to the armor's arm like a mix between Mega Man and Ironman. They all glow ominously. A woman, lean and sans power armor, stands before the group of guards, her glowing eyes narrowed to slits of rage. She raises a hand and more water pours suddenly from the fountain, spewing forth to create a spiked wall that begins to expand quickly, forcing everyone near the dais to evacuate the area or be speared on the glistening needle like spines.

<Look to his Majesty!> she says, clearly the translation spell is gone as her words are gibberish to anyone incapable of understanding Atlantean.

***

This…could get ugly fast. At least Metropolis is relatively super-friendly. Once she's clear enough, Carol pushes off the ground and into the air, clothes transforming into the black and gold Ms Marvel costume at a thought. Probably not the time for new costume reveals, anyhow. From the air, she searches the crowd for the source of the trouble, though she keeps an eye on the Atlantean contingent as well.

***

This already is probably ugly. Although, props to the Atlanteans if they have mantis shrimp power armour. She looks to Loki, "Yeah." She seems to agree. They really can be. "I - wonder who would do that," She frowns. "Let's see what we can see. His wife helped save me once, so I should at least look," She remarks. Plus, Rain likes water. She watches them all, uncertain. But if those spikes come anywhere near, Rain is going to have to get away before she gets skewered. What happened…?

***

Loki continues to watch the chaos, seemingly unconcerned. As the Atlantean guard reveal themselves, he gives a sniff, "Really…filling the crowd with their own people?" As if that's somehow cheating. When the water spikes appear, he seems rather interested, "Water magic. Fascinating. Really…I haven't seen much of that." Asgard has water, certainly, but it wasn't a focus of his magic. Granted, the spikes are trying to clear the audience and Rain wants to get a better look, "Well, if you insist." A hand goes to her shoulder before he basically teleports them to a nearby building to get a better look.

***

Zee's activated her teamspeak app and is waiting to hear from Misfit, until then she's going to hold her place. Considering the armoured Atlanteans on the dais, she's not going anywhere near there just yet. Time to change though…. as the young magician speaks quietly to herself that lovely dove grey suit transforms to her unitard, swallow coat, fishnet stockings, thigh high boots and her top hat, all topped off by that collar.

"What do you see Misfit?" Zee speaks into her headpiece. "Where do you need me to be?"

***

The sudden convergence of the Atlantean guards around her and Arthur pretty much completely block them both from the view of the surfacers in the area. In the same language as the lean woman used, she calls to the guards surrounding them.

<Get us back to Atlantis. Now.>

The lion's share of her attention is currently being used in a manner that Rain might recognize — she's using water to stop her husband from bleeding further but that leaves them both honestly rather vulnerable. She's so focused on what she's doing that she doesn't register pinkpurple puffs of smoke, a blonde woman taking to the air suddenly, a young witch and her dapper companion abruptly disappearing, or the lean Atlantean woman's use of water-spines to push all of the Surfacers away from the fountain.

<NOW!>

***

Charlie pivots on her perfect rooftop vantage looking out for snipers or strange people. Then she blinks as Loki and Rain appear "Oh hey Rain." not really sure if Rain has seen her in her civilian clothes before, just jeans a tee shirt with an anime wolf on it, and a coat. "Zee I don't see anything useful up here.. just Rain and the old rich guy. Think they teleported up here too."

***

Tula doesn't take her eyes from the crowd.

<You heard the Queen! Exfil!>

The wall of water spikes continues to expand and one of the power armored men takes a knee amid the throng of weapons. He scoops water from the dais into his hand and makes a series of complicated motions while speaking in his ancient tongue. The water raises into the air and forms a triangular shape in the air, and beyond it is the absolute pitch blackness of the deep ocean where sunlight never reaches. The kneeling man trembles slightly and Tula begins to back towards the portal.

<GO GO GO!> she says, her people moving as a shield unit physically herding the Queen and her cargo through the gateway.

Of the attacker there is no real obvious sign. No one holding a smoking gun or a bow, no one standing calm and still amid panicking masses, no one acting out of place… Well. Except Zee. And perhaps the floating Carol. And… well the other super types that showed up to eyeball things.

***

Just great. No one to catch. And the Atlanteans don't seem like they want to stick around for diplomatic chatting. Not that Carol's the go-to girl for that sort of thing. She's really more of the take no prisoners, punch and smash type. "Dammit," she mutters, starting to circle the area. So many things wrong here.

***

"Thanks," Nod. Teleporting always makes her heart jump a little, but Rain appreciates it. Her teleportation oft ends in whackiness, which is why she prefers broomstick travel or portaling. "It looks like they're heading to Atlantis," Pause. Rain looks thoughtful. "I remember - she's healing them," Rain recalls quietly. "I wish I could help but I suspect going over there would end all kinds of badly for us," A soft sigh. She frowns. "And no sign of an attacker. It feels really odd."

***

Loki arches an eyebrow at Rain, "No doubt, unless it's too late. Strange…perhaps this is some sort of internal job?" Weaponizing one's clothing…it's an interesting ploy. He may have to ruminate more on that. "I would imagine that they would be rather busy with trying to keep the man alive." With all the excitement over, Loki's getting rather bored now. "If you want to go, I can send you, but you need to decide quickly. Otherwise…well…no doubt these -fine- heroes," he notes the others currently there and trying to investigate, "will welcome any help at finding the invisible attacker."

***

Zee teleports up to an opposite roof, overlooking the dais and the retreating Atlanteans. "I considered trying the dais directly, Misfit, but well…. I didn't want to get skewered." She's making herself rather obvious to the Atlanteans, if carefully, "They're heading back to Atlantis and I can't see anything from here either."

***

Charlie wanders over to join Rain on the rooftop once Loki has ventured onwards and looks over waving to Zee "I found Rain." she notes chipperly and then grins at Rain before peering down at the crowds once more.

***

As the last of the Atlantean's exits through the portal Tula remains behind, glowering. When she speaks her words are clipped with an unfamiliar accent and they flow in an off balance cadence as if she were speaking out of tempo.

"You have no idea what you have done here today. I assure you, understanding will come quickly," and she steps backwards into the portal as well.

She floats there on the other side of the water, her body lit in extreme ways by the single light-source of the event horizon. She holds out her hand and closes her fist tightly. The portal snaps shut, and when it does the entire center of Tomorrow Garden's trembles… then shakes.

Fissures and cracks appear in the landscaping, in the concrete, and the earth itself begins to heave upward in slabs and showers of earth as water explodes from the fountain and the pipes that feed it beneath the Park's surface. Great spears and walls of ice shear through the carefully maintained lawns and form a dangerous glimmering labyrinth. The Atlanteans are gone, leaving only it as a clear warning.

***

Rain is quiet, frowning. She shakes her head, "We shouldn't follow them." Loki has likely headed home once the warning has been left behind. Rain eeps and blinks at Charlie. She smiles faintly, though she looks worried. "I wish I knew what happened." She genuinely cares about the Atlanteans. "I don't know… I guess I'll try-" She takes a deep breath, and decides to try to feel for the magic in the area. Likely, it's probably mostly the portal stuff, alas.

***

"No one here-" Whoops. Too late for reassurances. Carol grimaces as the last of the Atlanteans disappears into the portal, firing off a quick blast of energy at an ice spine that gets close to a too-curious bystander. "Dammit," she curses again. "Because a fight with Atlantis is just what we all need right now." She glances to the gathering of people by the roof, but now…is clearly not the time. Instead, she goes lower to interface with security, trying to minimize the panic down below.

***

"Just what we need…" Zee mutters as the middle of the garden erupts. Without even realizing, she follows Carols example, and teleports from the roof to help with keeping people safe. She hadn't detected a thing when Aquaman was 'shot' and still isn't detecting much at all. "Say Hi to Rain, Misfit." Still be cheerful and bright until she adds "It looks like we're going to need to do some good old fashioned detective work…"

***

Charlie hmmms "Detective work eh… well we could break out the bat evidence kit or something.. I'm not the world's finest detective though." she smiles to Rain "Zee says hi.. who was your old rich friend? Date?"

***

And to top it all off, there's thunder in the distance… Kinda? Whatever, it's hard to hear over the still astonished cries of the on lookers and the fast talking 'reporting' being done by the countless on hand media personnel trying desperately to spin the sudden violence into whatever narrative they can. It is chaos… but controlled chaos. This isn't Gotham after all, these people are used to alien invasions and the occasional over powered super jerk blowing up a couple of sky scrapers. They rebound quickly, especially with someone flying around over head being all protective. Even if said person isn't Super so much as super.

***

Rain blinks at the thunder. She furrows her brows. Then Rain looks to Charlie, eyes widening. "Hi to you, too. And no. Just a mentor and someone I know," She offers quietly. "I'm very much single. I wish - I had seen more. I'm really worried about the Atlanteans."

***

"Tell Rain, Misfit, that the attack was magic free." Zee turns her head towards the sound of the thunder and frowns. Now the Atlanteans have departed, she teleports to the dais and takes a look around. As she does, she speaks to Misfit assuming the young woman will relay the information to the hedge witch "I'm not detecting any other magic than what they used to portal and destroy the park." Walking slowly around the dais, Zee looks at the amount of blood "There's so much blood here, more than you'd expect for someone to live." she sighs "I don't know Atlantean physiology though… it could be possible. Does Rain know someone we can speak to? Hang on…." Zee bends as she speaks and picks up something, holding it up to get a better look and frowns "Maybe you two want to come and have a look at this…"

***

Misfit looks over to Rain now "Zee says that the attack seems to be magic free Rain… and um… lot of blood and she is worried the king might be dead.. oh hey.. .she says come on down to her." with that Misfit vanishes >pinkurple> and appears right by Zee.

***

Rain will pick up on that. She pulls her broomstick out from seemingly nowhere, and hops on. She slowly lowers herself to Zee and looks around the scene sadly. "They are definitely more resilient than humans," She offers. "I realize I am at a normal person in terms of - er, well, injury survivability but…" She shakes her head. "I know they have sort of a sea dragon friend," She offers. "I can try to contact him." But she'll look over as Zee holds the object up.

***

As Misfit and Rain appear, Zee nods "Yeah… It's probably worthwhile making contact Rain. That's an awful lot of blood." Holding out the scale, Zee nods to it "There's more of these, they seem to be some form of scale made of a metal I've not seen. If I concentrate hard enough, there's traces of magic on them… not that it seemed to help Aquaman." she sounds sad at that. "We need to collect all these scales so they can be tested." She looks to Misfit "Might be time for your Bat detective kit."

***

Misfit peers at the scales "O… okay.. we should probably be really concerned with all the swarms of international incident police coming in too.. one second." she bounces home >pinkurple> and rummages around in her utility belt, finally just popping the thing on and telporting back >pinkurple>. "Here…" she crouches down and with a set of tweezers and a small clear vial she gathers up scales.

***

Rain grunts softly, "I'll do my best to find him. May I take a scale? And poor Aquaman. He seems like a good guy." There's a tinge of sadness. "If it helps, her highness was healing them. I remember that spell. Granted, I was bleeding out in the ocean at the time, but …" She trails off. "I suspect collecting what we can here and not lingering too long is best, unless any of you has a burning itch to hand over your scales to cops or whatever."

***

Though, Rain does smile to Misfit. "Yeah. And that's neat."

***

Zee doesn't want to speak to anyone right now and she's obviously grateful for the other two help. "Sure Rain… please do, do you want want two?" She sets about helping Misfit collect all the scales, making sure Rain gets at least one. "I might have the equipment to examine these back in Shadowcrest, you two want to join me there?" Zee's not sure but it's a start. "If I don't, I met a nice sciency guy yesterday and I'll go pester him for some help."

Right now, it looks like all three women are keen to get what they can find and get out of there.

***

Charlie drops a few more into the plastic container. Then she pauses and holds one up to the light. Should have brought her goggles. "This one is sliced clean through…" she drops it into the collection. "Okay I have a variety of them… I can go sure." she has no idea where Shadowcrest is but .. doesn't ask either… disturbing chaos muppet.

***

Rain will accept one or two. "Thank you both. I'll let you know if I find anything," She promises. "Or get a hold of Rowan," Nod. "Be well." She hops back onto her broomstick. Tally ho! Er, wait.

***

Zee frowns as Misfit shows her the sliced through scale. "I don't even know what these are yet… let alone what could do that to them." Checking the scene one last time, she waves as Rain broomsticks off "You know where to find me!" Clapping the younger chaos muppet on the shoulder, Zee grins "Let's say we get out of here before someone starts asking difficult questions? See you back at Titans base, and then I'll take you to my home, Shadowcrest."

***

Misfit slowly tilts her head "Why don't we just pop over to your place… do we need to stop by the castle for something?"

***

"I don't have to stop by the base… we can go straight to Shadowcrest." Watching Rain head off, Zee calls to her "Call my cellphone, I have reception there and I can summons you." Turning around, one last time, Zee surveys the scene "You know… I can't help but feel we've missed something here, Misfit." With a shrug, the young magician gives Misfit a clear description of Shadowcrest and then with a 'pop', she's gone… no Zee to be seen, anywhere.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License