Metro Bay Rescue

September 18, 2014:

A group of assorted heroic types answers a literal SOS in Metropolis Bay.

Metropolis Bay

Full of boats. Oh, also water!

Characters

NPCs: Rescuees

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

The Metropolis shore is a bright and shining place, without the history and seedy past of Atlantic City, and with a more high-brow clientele than the Jersey Shore. It's where the rich and famous from other places come not to relax, but to see and be seen. And to gamble. In fact, one of the casinos on the shore does a handy business in steamboat trips out into the water where people can gamble, drink, dance, and do it all away from the madding crowds.

Usually, it's a fun evening. Tonight, though, something has gone wrong. A cargo ship bringing goods into the city lost control of some of its navigational software, and headed directly toward one of those steamboats. And in the dark, with so much going on? The captain of the gambling ship was too slow to steer away completely. Both ships scraped alongside each other, putting holes in the hulls, and are currently in the process of…well, sinking.


Rowan lives in New York now as one of Arthur's eyes up top, but he still enjoys the water. A lot. So it's no surprise he was in it tonight and no surpise that he heard the collision (you'd have to be deaf to have missed it, honestly). He's showed up partly out of curiosity and partly out of boredom, both of which fade when he sees what's going on. Ordinarily a fall into the water isn't a big deal but surfacers are so fragile. It's going to take some effort to get them out.

At the moment the elementally aligned Blue is sprouting scales, reptilian hindlegs and a large, finned tail to get him through the water faster. He doesn't look remotely human and after everything with Namor, folks might panic a little as he comes barreling up at a hundred knots.


That sinking feeling one gets when losing? Simon Williams has it. Of course, it's part of the script, right? He's on that gambling ship, y'see, and he's on a set, such as it is; the director (NOT Mickey Baye this time) has been working on this Riverboat Gambler Turns Vegas Sting/Oceans 8000 concept… that's actually a supernatural horror-comedy. Because the original script was sh*t and … anyway. Simon's losing. Per script. But then the extremely loud SCREEECHING sound and the shudder, and the sudden tilt to the boat? That's an indicator that Something Is Wrong.

"Richard, we gotta stop shooting," Simon says when he realizes the director is still filming. "This is a real problem, I need to see if they" LURCH "need my help, ok, fine," and he's suddenly purple-glowing… the ship alarm goes off, woop woop woop stfu woop woop, and Simon heads for the nearest door. Outside, it's a little messy. The steamer is smaller, so more likely the most injured, and he heads into the water to try to keep it from sinking.


The life of a would-be super-heroine in Metropolis is never boring. Even if the crises are rarer than New York, there's always enough work for even a relatively new power to do. It's an off-shift night, and Cameron Tenoaks — AKA 'Columbia', one of the up - and - coming new folks — has just had a nice relaxing filling dinner and didn't even bankrupt the all-you-can-eat buffet she was at.

She first hears about the incident when she gets a text for all available Metropolis Fire and Rescue to report to the shore for aquatic search and rescue. This starts her moving, and she overpays a bit on her way out, waving off the change from the register as she takes off towards the indicated area. Even if the local high-end folks are showing up for this, she can still do her part. And if the brawn isn't needed, she can still treat injuries.

Then she sees the collision point from above while en route.

Ah heck, this is gonna suck.

Learning at least some of her lesson from the MTown riots and the building collapse over in New York City, she carefully bundles up all of her personal effects into her windbreaker and tosses it down gently towards the staging chief.

"Watch my stuff for me, wouldja?"

She takes a deep breath and dives into the water to also help keep the smaller craft afloat, unaware that Simon is already heading in that direction.


One of the benefits of being a news editor is that no one finds it at all strange when you're one of the first people to hear about breaking emergencies, or when you want to be on the scene or demanding more information about them. So when the first news of the accident reaches the Daily Planet, Carol heads for the roof, giving herself an outfit makeover on the way. And from the roof, it's off to the shore as Ms. Marvel, zipping around skyscrapers and coming to a stop above the scene where she can see what's going on.

"Whoa, hey, that's new," she blinks when she sees Rowan moving toward the ship, setting herself on a course to intercept.

The cargo ship is listing, but it's the passenger ship that took the most damage. And, of course, the class of people who are on that ship? Not the best at following directions in a crisis. As the alarms sound, they start screaming and shoving, many of them right past the crew members who are trying to get the lifeboats free.


Rowan looks like… er… let's just say he's not the most reassuring presence when he leaps up onto the deck of the passenger ship, covered in scales and looking like something that Came From Below (which he did, in fairness) with a spear in his hand. He hasn't seen the other heroes yet, not Carol or Simon or Cameron, but he does recognize the need for crowd control when he sees it. And being the soldier that he is… he's very good at yelling.

"Alright!" He snaps through a fang filled maw in a voice clearly used to being obeyed in a crisis. "Stop shoving before I start shoving back. Line up along the walls, women and any children first into the life boats." Pause. "What are you waiting for? MOVE!!"


Simon is now under the ship. Oh, good. There's not really any hand-holds. Of course. Still… he finds a place where a hole was created and uses that as a purchase, and tries lifting… and it … tears. Good quality steel, er, aluminum. Whatever. Yeah, hope nobody was lurched too much by that. OK, plan two.

Simon doesn't like to admit to the inflation theory of egos, but he's noticed that he can inflate himself a bit. So… he begins go grow larger, bending his arms across the curve of the keel of the boat (such as it is) and trying to level it that way.


The bright orange hair is probably the first sign that Cameron's in the water, even with it being night-time. She makes her way reasonably quickly to the gash… and sees someone there already. Strong .. big.. glowing person here. This has potential. While they can't really mend the hull and the vessel has taken on a good amount of water, perhaps if they could leverage it upwards to prevent it from taking on even more it would buy some time for evacuation and or Rescue Services to get out here and lend a hand?

She slaps the side of the hull carefully, noting the tearing action from the giant man's grip, then points upwards, then at the gap. Hopefully, the guy can see her and gets the idea, even as she tries to push it a bit further up.


Metal shrieks, and trophy wives shriek even louder when the hull starts to tear beneath Simon's hands, jostling the ship from one side to the other. But with two hands on the ship, it lifts bit by bit. There's a struggle against suction as the sea tries to keep rushing in, but for now, it's holding.

Rowan's presence on deck is…a bit of a mixed blessing. A few people do pay attention to the barked orders rather than what they see, but most of them? Most of them freeze, trying to back away from the fangs and the gills…and, coincidentally, the life boats. On the up side, it gives the crew members the space to start bringing the boats to where they need to be for loading.

Carol has her share of military experience, though, and with other heavy weights down below lifting the ship, she swoops down to the deck, hovering above it. "The…man's got it right!" she shouts over the noise, gathering energy into her hands and holding them up to draw attention. "Orderly lines, people! To your stations!" Ms. Marvel, at least, is a little less terrifying than the dragon man. She shoots a look toward Rowan, an arched brow that says she'll check in with him in a minute.


Rowan starts to move among the crowd, his inhuman features melting away, literally into the aether as he does. When it's all done there's just a muddy haired young man… who is still it must be noted holding a spear. "Hurry with those, uh, life boats." That's the word right. He turns to see Miss Marvel hovering above the ship. Ah… a birdseye view. That might… that might be helpful. Calling Air to him he starts to change again, this time sprouting four large feathered wings that he uses to hover whilst prodding people into lines with the butt end of his spear. "There are enough, right?"


Once the ship seems to be stabilized, Simon starts slowly pushing up. That's much easier than trying to lift it fast - much less cavitation and stuff. Beware, oh ye fishies and clams, because the ionical energies are drifting down upon you! Well, it generally takes a lot of exposure before they begin causing spontaneous mutations and power-gain, so … it shouldn't be a big deal, yet.

"Tell me," Simon says, underwater… how the hell does he do that? Well, he exhales and then breathes in water and then talks. It took practice … "Tell me when I have the ship at a safe balance in the water, please," he says to the other person who is in the water.


Cameron gives Simon a glance, pointing to the more frail of the two vessels with her left hand and raising her right in the 'ok' sign when that point is reached to her best guesswork. It's hard not being able to talk back — that's just weird what he's doing. After that, she'll give him a 'thumb's up' and head to the cargo vessel to see what she can do to help with it, carefully making her way along the gouge in the hull while trying to determine how big of a hole has to be covered. Hopefully the freighter has less damage, because there's no way in heck she's going to be able to lift it. But she might be able to plug a small enough gap, or failing that, maybe bend down some metal to help cover the gouge. Worst case scenario, she'll try to throw her body into the space to try and slow the onrush of brackish waters.

No one ever said being a hero was easy work, right?

And at this point, she's just trying to buy enough time for the crews to be rescued. Saving the vessel is probably a lost cause for the time being. At least, with only her working on it.


The freighter is listing. But on the freighter, the crew has been drilled in emergency procedures, and as big a ship as it is, with as many emergency measures are in place, it's going to be a little longer before it really starts to go under. And the people on that ship will be long gone by the time it does. The goods on the ship may be another matter, but hopefully that isn't the main concern for the heroes of Metropolis.

Beneath the water, Cameron can see the long, narrow tear in the hull of the cargo ship. It's like road rash on human skin - lots of small holes, none of which are deadly alone, but which combined can have an ugly effect. Simon's efforts are - slowly - working, the ship rising a little bit more. As time passes, though, the effort of holding the ship will increase as it inevitably takes on more water.

And on the deck, slowly there begins to be a little more order. "I've got twenty in this line, next line starts here," Ms. Marvel orders, using a little bit of flight to muscle her way between the crowds and force them into some semblance of order. Rowan's question gets a slight smirk. "No one's going to ice over out there, if that's what you're asking."


Rowan flaps about the deck occasionally encouraging people to behave with lightning strikes to the deck nearby. At least he looks mostly human now, four wings and pale skin aside. "The ship is not going to stay afloat forever. Can we speed this up a bit perhaps? And are any of the um, surfacer authorities coming? What's the word… Coast Guard?"


Ship… getting… heavier. Well duh, it's taking on water… Man up, Wonder Man! Simon concentrates, expanding a bit more so he can apply more force.

Inside the ship, Richard has finally finished packing his equipment and is more than a little bit annoyed at the suggestion that he'll need to leave it here. Those digital cameras — the big movie versions — are not cheap. He curses, and takes the disk drives with him, at least.

The water around Simon is beginning to fizz purple. The expansion increases again. Hmm. Nowhere near the size of the oil derrick yet. This is probably a good thing.


Cameron comes shooting out of the water, splashing a bit as she emerges and takes a breath.

"Okay, not gonna work." Time for some more direct action. She dives to the side as the lightning comes down, then looks at the crowds for anyone that's in a wheel-chair, or otherwise have a hard time with a lifeboat.

"People with disabilities over here. I'm going to airlift you to the shore."

She attempts to work with the line systems that are already in place, so as not to disrupt the already orderly progress.

If there are any who qualify, as soon as she has a goodly armload that feels well enough-balanced she takes off. She'll be back for the next load momentarily.

In the unlikely event there are none with disabilities aboard, she'll hop back on down into the water to help Simon push the boat up.


"Surfacer?" Ms. Marvel arches a brow at Rowan again, and now that the crowds are at least being actively corralled, the crew is starting to load people as efficiently as possible onto the lifeboats. There's still some shoving, but with Rowan and Ms. Marvel watching from above the crowd, few of those objections get a chance to take root. "Coast guard takes some time to mobilize, but this is more people than they can handle at a go. These vessels and their crew are trained for this. We just need to buy them the time."

"Hey, welcome to the party," she calls toward Cameron when she shows up, smile flashing briefly. "Got a few over here could use help," she points toward one of the lines further down the ship, where people who couldn't shove didn't make it quite as far. "Do you know who's keeping us up? Can they hold out for another twenty minutes?"


The purple glow in the water can really only mean one thing. "That must be the Sufacer Champion, Simon Williams. Do you all know each other, you champions of the air breathing world? Or is it a bit less organized than that." The lifeboats seem to be going down admirably and Rowan looks quite pleased at that, really. Now they'll have to get the other side, but there's less panicky people to get in the way."


Cameron makes her way down towards the folks that are indicated.

"Columbia. Fire 'n Rescue staging, had to leave phone. Big glowin' guy. He's gonna need a hand eventually… huge hole, hull tinfoil and even though we've gotten it up above the waterline it's still coming in." Despite the rather terse commentary, she carries herself with the experience of someone used to emergency situations. Probably not military, though. Perhaps a firefighter or a paramedic?

"I've got this load, be back shortly"

She lifts off with a carefully locked together group of folks and makes for the shore. She's a bit wobbly at first, as if compensating for the irregular weight, then gets the hang of it and disappears into the night for the moment.


The water isn't boiling but it is starting to smell less polluted. Simon expands another meter to adjust for the ship taking on more water … he doesn't get fatigued exactly, not under steady-load conditions, but this isn't steady, and requires concentration. So he starts singing something about 'under the sea' and 'everything's better down where it's wetter'… bizarre if you don't know it.


"It's a small club," Ms. Marvel answers Rowan with an amused expression, as more and more people start to load into lifeboats. On the shore, the lights of coast guard ships are gathering to help with the evacuation. When Cameron drops off her passengers, she'll find emergency services setting up and ready to receive them.

The cargo ship, meanwhile, is drifting, and sinking lower and lower on one side. For now, though, the evacuation is ahead of it. "You want to check below?" she asks Rowan. "Or you think you can handle this while I go make sure we don't suddenly sink?"


The still spear armed winged Blue tosses Carol a salute. "They should be fine now. I will make sure of it. Go check." No one seems to want to get too unruly near a man who certainly hasn't shown any compunctions about prodding with the long, pointy implement and can apparently be some kind of lizard man when he feels like it. below he might help himself, but it looks at the moment like it's still behing handled so, no reason to go.


"Down by the ollllld millllll streammmmm, where I firrrrst met Yooooouuuu," the voice is now audible through conduction into the ship's hull.

Some people say that the sirens can draw people into the water. Simon's not a bad singer, but he's not really trying very hard and the acoustics are odd at best.


When Cameron arrives at the staging area with her cargo, she carefully and quickly places it down near the ambulance area then heads to the incident chief.

"Ms. Marvel says 20 on evac. Need Coasties stat. Freighter sandblasted hole, can't patch."

She kicks in the burners… well, as much as she has burners, at any rate, and is back to the sinking vessels in a matter of moments.

"Next group of mobility impaired, get ready, taking you."

It's like using a teaspoon to drink a glass of water to her, but it's the best thing she can come up with short of seriously damaging the vessel to make something that all the folks could get on. If the timetable needs to be sped up on the next load, though, she has an idea.


"Try not to do anything too fishy." Carol couldn't help it. It had to be said. And as soon as it is, she dives beneath the water, checking in on Simon and getting a better look at what's going on under the surface. She can't talk down there, but she swims up to where Simon is, making a bit of a face when she sees what he's working with. 'Crap,' it says quite clearly.


There's another load of weak and disabled waiting for Cameron, but the people on deck are starting to get antsy as the weight of the ship shifts again, thanks to more and more water seeping in. Beneath the surface, Carol gestures something to Simon. Something along the lines of 'going to get the other side.'

She surfaces briefly, long enough to catch Rowan's and Cameron's attention. "We're running short of time, guys," she says quietly. "I can take the other side of this ship, but we've got to move."


Once the last of the passengers are loaded and away, Rowan drops down into the water, reverting to scales as he does and dismissing his wings." "Everyone is clear but they require additiona time." When the ship goes down the suction could well take a lifeboat or two with it if they're too close."


"Not going to let it go down," Simon answers. "There's a drydock near. I saw it. Gonna move it to a berth there. It'll be a lot easier if other people can help though. Cause there's a second ship in trouble."

He sizes up by another four meters, stabilizing the ship again, maybe making a bit of headway.


"Got it."

Remembering the cargo ship is not quite what one might expect to be a potential life-saver. Cameron bounds more than flies over to the other ship and flicks open a lock on one of the longer containers, shaking out whatever the heck is in it as quick as she can (hopefully *not* people!) and brings it back to the rapidly sinking vessel. "Everyone IN the container! MOVE MOVE MOVE!"

"Help each other. Get in. MOVE!"

When it looks like as many folks are in that can fit, she'll take off with her improvised 'rescue container'.

She strains with the weight on this one, but manages to get moving towards the shore. Slowly.


"Nice thinking," Carol grins to Cameron, tossing off a bit of a salute before diving into the water herself. She swims by Simon, giving him a thumbs up to let her know everything is in order, then heading to the other side of the ship to help balance the load.


Rowan smiles as he sprouts a tail again and moves below to help hold up the ship. "I will do what I can down here… though when we are finished I hope you will forgive me if I do not remain to exchange pleasantries. I find that people often get nervous when they have seen what I am and I do not wish for that to be an impediment to rescue here."


"OK, big effort now," Simon says, and expands another three meters, and starts pushing harder up. He isn't trying to go too much faster than the rise and fall of waves, because the intent is to save the ship, not swamp the lifeboats with more waves. But it should come free of the water within five to ten minutes if he can just keep it going.


Cameron is way, way too busy trying to keep the container from dumping its precious cargo into the water to return the salute. Her arms are straining, her breathing labored as she putters along.

Just a little bit further. Gonna make… it. Got this… Ugh.

Meanwhile the staging area is clearing out enough of an area close to the shoreline when they see the container lifted on high, even as a few pictures are taken by reporters that have arrived on the scene, and via camera phones of bystanders.

Cameron keeps her focus on the patients. Just a little bit longer.


With the aid of the heroes, the steamboat moves toward the dry dock Simon pointed out, little by little. The more he lifts, the faster it moves, and between him, Ms. Marvel, and Rowan? It's short work to see the ship back to relative safety. The cargo ship is another matter. It's still taking on water…but the crew is safe.

It feels like an eternity, but it is not nearly that long before the cargo container is deposited on the ground with a bit of a bounce as Cameron loses her grip on it. Can't be blamed, really, as the metal she was holding on deformed under the stresses placed on the container at irregular points. But the skip is relatively minor and no further injuries are caused by the box's landing.

There's a cheer from emergency services when Cameron sets the container down, the people inside spilling out a little more uncertainly, but still grateful. From shipwreck to cargo container, it's hard to blame them for being a little rattled either way. Meanwhile, the steamboat finally reaches the dry dock, where it can be safely stowed.


Now that loss of life has been minimized, there's a chance to get a look at the cargo ship, which…requires a little less work. It actually only takes a decent amount of sturdy webbing turned into a makeshift harness let Simon and Carol tow it back to shore, with a little incognito steering work from Rowan beneath the surface.

And after that? Well, after that it's all over except for the media circus.

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