The Lord Of The Deep

May 30, 2015:

A new threat appears under the water… The Blues and Atlanteans respond


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

It's hard to miss, really, the sound of fighting beneath the waves. Far south of the tri-city area, south of the Caribean the noises echo. Thuds. Explosions. Weapon discharges. For those who know how to listen, or have equipment to sense, none of combatants are either Blue or Atlantean.

Ulani has received priority retasking. Something has emerged from deeps. Something that the Blue have not seen in an age. A Black warship. Its intent is unknown but the Blue first detected it crossing from the Pacific to the Atlantic an hour ago. It appeared to be damaged. Right now it's on the Atlantean frontier, in waters belong to kingdoms in the Atlantean hegemony but not in the waters of the Imperial state proper. It is imperitive that their intent and status be discerned. Rowan happened to be with her when the call came.

Ulani looks to Rowan, relays the most of the content of the message she just received and opens a Hydraport to the last known location of the warship, with a small allowance for the time the messages have taken. "You may join me. This may need… " she glances at the Dragon Blue "your unique talents." Gesturing to the Hyrdaport, she'll lead the Blue Warrior through.

When they exit on the other side, Ulani casts around and seeing the warship heads towards it. In the missive from her Government she'd been given certain methods to communication with the Black…. she uses that now to signal the ship that she, and another, are approaching.

"The warship was last spotted by our people here." Oken states, his hand waving over the mapping table in the Atlantean warroom, the surface of which ripples and reforms to show the ship as it was seen then and the surrounding area. It zooms out and leaves a glowing beacon on the table as the topography grows wider and wider. "The Blue don't possess warships of this size," Arthur says, his brow furrowed, "and they're not the sort to attack without attempting to contact us first." he glances at Mera silently wondering if she'd heard something he had not. From her expression he knows she hasn't. "Ready quadrant fleet, placing our forces…" he scans over the map and with a mental command zooms it our further, "here, here, here and here. Get the Drift out there in the stealth pods, tell them to prep for intelligence work. Send word to Prince Namor of what is occuring but tell him I want him to stay where he is until we know what is going on. I'm going and we can't risk he and I both being in a warzone until we know what we're dealing with." he glances at Vulko, "Go." he says, sending the man away. He shoots a look Mera's way, "You're better with the magic then I am, where's the cloest one to the ship's projected path?"

Mera studies the expanded image for a moment, then indicates a frequent transit point. "Here. But it will take nearly an hour to reach it. I don't trust things to remain as they are for that long." She looks at Arthur to see if he's planning on heading out that way. She's almost positive he is. ~ Should I request Envoy Ulani and Rowan's presence as well? ~ Of course, she's unaware that they're already out that way.

Booom An underwater shockwave is what greets Rowan and Ulani as they arrive. The Black Warship, almost invisible but for the weapons fire its giving off, is gliding through the darkness of the deep ocean. Well, limping through the darkness. One of the main drive units is damaged. It turns broadside to the two Blue, Ulani's hail for the moment unanswered… and then they see why.

Pursuing the ship is a tentacle. It must be a hundred yards around and it receedes into the darkness as far as either Rowan or Ulani can see. Miles. Along its trunk other, smaller tentacles grow and its these that are lashing out at the ship with an unearthly strength, rocking it even as they're methodically blasted to ash or severed by shockwaves from the ship's weaponry.

Aquaman frowns at Mera's answer. An hour. How the hell can it be an hour? The portals were built specifically to… but of course. It's on the border with the Blue, where the portals were closed for diplomatic purposes. His fingers curl into a fist as he stares down at the table, a table which suddenly alters it's form and Oken curses softly, "We're reading weapons fire here." he says, altering the table again, "The scryers can't quite link their full vision to the table." Arthur's expression doesn't get any sunnier, "Set the remaining fleets to alert in case this is a feignt, I want the dreadnaughts prepped for launch in case they are needed. Keep anything heavier in reserve but get them mobile if needed." He turns to his left and his mouth begins to form the word 'Orm' but he stops at the O when his eyes find no one there. Oh yeah. "Where is the new leader of the Council? I want the mages on stand by if they're needed." «I miss him.» he thinks in the general direction of his wife, «He'd know what to make of this mess.»

Thrown backwards by the concussion of the blast, it takes Ulani a few moments to recover. "We need to tell Atlantis, Rowan." Ulani knows this, but how… she tries something…. « Queen Mera » she thinks loudly « If you can hear me, it's Ulani of The Blue. There is a ship on your borders, but it is not a danger. Something else is though. Rowan and I are investigating. » Focussing clearly on the tentacle, the Blue Envoy draws the image to the front of her mind and thinks about that loudly too. Ulani isn't telepathic, but Mera is… maybe the Queen will pick up on that?

"Can you engage it, Rowan?" Ulani's on the move… she wants to try and get a better visual of what they're up against.

Mera nods to Aquaman slightly. ~ I know. I just hope that in time we can welcome him back. Until then, though, there might be a way to get there more quickly. Ulani's wa… ~ Her eyebrows draw together in a faint frown as she picks up the Blue's thoughts. "Husband, Envoy Ulani is contacting me. She says this vessel we're tracking is under attack. Something with tentacles…" She looks up at Aquaman sharply. "On the scale of a Kraken." ~ Ulani, I hear you. I have told Arthur, but we might need assistance getting there quickly enough to help mount a defense. ~ It takes a bit more concentration and she basically starts ignoring the rest of the room as she puts one hand on her husband's arm and 'conferences' his thoughts in with Ulani's. ~ The nearest transit portals are closed to us, and the closest open one is an hour's swim away. ~

The Black ship is, in fact, making for one of those Atlantean portals. Rowan is staring, mouth agape. It's possible Ulani's vision is not adequately conveying the scale of this thing. He can't see where the tentacle ends. "Right. Help them. On it." He shifts to dragon form. Thirty feet of lizard which seems very tiny as he darts toward the wounded Black vessle. Even the sub-tentacles on this thing are larger than he and some of the larger ones are larger than Atlantean cruisers. Or well, longer than, anyway. Sonic blasts issue forth from his mouth, powerful and driven by magic. Not quite on the scale of the weaponry the Black ship is unleashing but, you know, he's able to target them more precisely. The dragon-warrior weaves among the writhing, slapping sub-tentacles, blasting chunks off them and avoiding counter-fire from the warship. The main trunk of this thing… doesn't even seem to notice.

"Ulani! If the Atlanteans have anything or the Blue, they need to send it now!"

Ulani opens a Hydraport to the city of Atlantis… or within a few minutes of the city… She knows the location from Ambassador Kraye. Thinking the location of the Hydraport to Mera, Ulani adds « Hydraport to my location. We need big weaponry, Your Majesty, please send what you can. I'm requesting the same from The Blue. » The fact she can even do that…. they'll discuss later.

A comms signal is sent back to her supervisors requesting backup. It's not really a request… it's a demand of a soldier who knows what they're facing.

Aquaman is quiet as he stares at the map, his jaw set. Mera's words don't cause him to move as he considers the angles, the plans. "damn you orm." he whispers quietly to himself, though everyone in the room can clearly hear it, the trouble with living in a nation of superhumans. He closes his eyes and then straightens, "You," he points at an aide, "fetch Commander Tula immediately. You," another aide, "inform King Garth of the impending encroatchment, his lands are near enough to that border that he may become somewhat jumpy and I don't want him doing anything rash. You," another aide, "find Prince Namor and tell him to return home, I'm about to do several foolish things and I'll not endanger what we've begun here by leaving us open for another succession war, I need my heir ready to take his place." he shoots a look at Mera and his expression softens for a moment, «Love you.», but it soon hardens once more into one of resolve, "Sound the Silence Sirens near the chasm," he says as he takes a deep breath, "I don't want anyone harmed by potential telepathic bleedoff." Oken pales slightly and suddenly in the quiet of the warroom no one will meet their King's eyes, "Mera, join Ulani and Rowan, see what you can do to assist them, let them know help is coming." his fingers curl around the trident and he straightens, "I'm going to speak with the Monster." then he's gone in a sudden current, swimming for the throne room and the conch shell that summons Atlantis' oldest and most powerful ally… and occasional natural disaster.

Mera blinks in surprise at that, but then turns and rushes toward the portal Ulani has created. ~ We need to talk about this. After. ~ She has a small group of warriors with her — maybe six, no nearly enough to do more than maybe help distract the thing — and soon they're appearing on the Blue Envoy's side of the portal.

"Envoy Ulani. King Arthur send me to assist as possible, and bid me to tell you that help is coming." The scary part about that? She herself isn't entirely sure what he meant. But, for now, the warriors rush forward to help Rowan try to fend off the tentacles, and Mera moves to try a slightly different tactic: creating a solidified water 'shell' around the damaged ship and start pulling it clear. This is going to take every bit of her concentration.

The Black cease their weapon fire as Mera's shield goes up. The Ulani gets a message back from the Blue. They're responding. Though they dare not send major military assets across the border this situation clearly demands a response. Hydroportals open up and a dozen attack craft emerge, swinging into action against the… massive tentacle… with other tentacles.

The interference and renewed firepower gets a response. Now Ulani, Rowan, Mera and the present Blue and Atlanteans are the targets of the sub tentacles. The big one seems to be moving again. Somewhat… ponderously.

Ulani approves of the Blue measures. « My apologies for opening a 'port in your territory, Majesty » Ulani sends to Mera. She's sure the woman understands and they will discuss capabilities later. Ulani's skills aren't nearly as developed as Mera's, forming a blade from the water around her, the Blue Envoy darts in and out of the tentacles, slicing as she can…. « The Blue are sending a small engagement, Majesty. Please understand that we consider this a major threat and it's not an incursion on Atlantis. »

Aquaman is quick to the throne room to fetch the horn and quick to the summit where he pauses, his eyes casting down into the chasm. He can hear the Silence Sirens, those that tell anyone within 'earshot' of the chasm to close off their minds, to see to their own wellfare. Children are removed from the area, those to young to know what needs to be done, others board up their homes and prepare. Arthur takes a knee and leans on the trident, clearing his mind, trying to order his throughts and remove the clutter. This was easier when he was younger, when everything was simple and nothing was complicated. Before betrayal of a brother he loved dearly. It's… not easy. As clear as his mind will get, the telepathic sirens fall dead and he stands, raising the conch to his lips and letting loose. The horn sounds for a moment and then the earth moves. Arthur plants the trident into the rock and grips it as the water surges hard enough to flick boulders and dirt away, loose bits of foliage fly by as if carried by an explossion as nearly two hundred feet of Monster raises up from the chasm, tentacles the width of ships rise up before falling with BOOMs agianst the chasm's edges, gripping it tightly as the creature answers the call. Arthur smiles slightly at the sight of one of his first underwater friends, "Hello Topo." he says softly.

Mera stays still and out of the range of the tentacles as she concentrates on pulling the damaged vessel clear. ~ Tell them to send EVERYONE they can, not just a small contingent. ~ Her reply to Ulani is brusque and likely a bit harsh, but she's struggling over here. It's not intentional.

Tentacles slap against the shell of hard water Mera has made but… don't break through. The Sea Queen may that her shield is being reinforced by the Black crew's own hydrokinetic abilities. Two of the Blue craft go spinning out of control as they're hulls are crushed and one of the Atlantean soldiers is snared and… yanked too the main trunk, there to be held fast. Rowan yelps as he takes a hit. The sound of his cry echoes but he can't be seen in the melee.

"HELLO ATLAN." Topo thunders. "SO GOOD OF YOU TO VISIT ME." Mmmmm. Inside voice. Not a thing. And it's all in Arthur's head.

Ulani relays the Sea Queens to her leaders. Ulani's training, her skills are no match for the beast they are battling, and yet, the Blue Envoy still continues her dance through the tentacles, adding to the distraction « I've told Your Majesty » she's knocked out of the way as one of the smaller tentacles hits her… head over tail in fact…

Aquaman's eyes close for a moment, his mind weathering the storm as he learned to long ago. You don't stand against Topo's voice, you bend like a reed in the river, resisting just enough to remain planted but not so much that you break in two. "Arthur, Topo, it is Arthur. Though perhaps it makes sense you do not recognise me, it has been to long old friend." he reaches out to run a hand along the nearest tentacle, which is very much thicker then he is tall. "I would like to sit with you for a time, talk of old things, but I fear age has made my mind an unquiet place. I seek your council on a threat approaching Atlantean waters." he closes his eyes and concentrates on the image sent from Ulani to Mera and from there to him. He focuses mostly on the monster itself, less worried about the single warship.

Mera is very glad that the Black inside the vessel are helping her shore up the hardened water shield pushing them clear, because she can't just stay here any longer The moment the vessel is past the reach of the longest tentacle, she releases the shell she made rushes forward to engage the giant tentacle herself. First goal, get that warrior free. And, as if inspired by her favorite snack, she's surrounded by a urchin's amount of solid-water spikes as she moves and follows in the wake of a pair of solid-water 'blades' that are slicing at anything that gets in her way.

One of the tentacles slaps at her only to shred itself on her field. The warrior is struggling, held fast by a tentacle that's nearly as thick as he is. And it's one of the small ones. Mera can cut him free though. It's tough, this thing's flesh, but not beyond her. Well, that one isn't.

Ulani spins down, winding up near Rowan, who is floating listlessly in the ocean. His left side is mishapen as if several of his bones are broken. He's not conscious.

Her message was heard though. More hydroports open and a twenty Blue warships slide through from their eastern floatilla. Without a moments hesitation they open fire on the huge tentacle, which seems to be withdrawing. Slowly now but increasingly rapidly.

Topo is silent for a moment as he read's Arthur's mind. THE LORD OF THE DEEP AWAKENS. AN ANCIENT BEING OF GREAT POWER AND A SOUL OF MALICE. A picture forces its way into Arthur's head. He can see his wife cut an Atlantean soldier free of his confinement, see the Blue arrive and engage the huge thing. And then… suddenly he gets a sense of scale of what this is. The tentacel isn't miles long. It's not dozens of miles long. It's not hundreds of miles long.

It's thousands of miles long. It's pulling back now, away from the Black ship. Away toward a deep darkness in the Marianas Trench. It'll probably take days, if not weeks to get there. If it doesn't change course. THE REACHERS SEARCH FOR PREY.

Grasping Rowan by the shoulders, the Blue Envoy strives towards the surface. «Your Majesty, the Lord of the Deep" » Ulani shivers at the name that is only ever heard as a legend of horror « advises they will observe the Blue and the Atlanteans and attend the Council of Waves. » Mera and Arthur should know this has never be done…. EVER!

With the tentacle retreating, the Black Warship is clear, the Blue ships start porting out of the area. Ulani finally reaches the depth where Mera is, dragging the stunned Dragon Warrior behind her "Is there somewhere safe we may speak, Your Majesty?"

Mera looks from Ulani to the unconscious Rowan and back then nods. "And healers for Rowan. Come."

Aquaman grunts under the sudden mental onslaught, sinking slowly to a knee. He reaches up as he tastes blood in the water and finds a slow trickle slipping from his nose. He blinks spots out of his vision and nods his head, "Thank you old friend. You should prepare yourself," he says as he turns to look up at the creature, "in case this thing should return." He uses his hand on the tentacle to push himself to his feet once again and pats it once, "Go. If I fail I trust you will protect my people as best you can." he winces under the volume of the responce before gripping the anchoring trident again as the monster disappears back down into the darkness from wench it came. Arthur wipes his nose once more and then turns his eye to the distance in the direction of the threat. "Tula," he says as the Commander swims up towards her King cautiously, her gaze flickering in fear towards the chasm, "Yes Majesty?" she asks, "Gather the Drift and prepare them for war," he says softly, "and Tula," she pauses as she was about to turn away, "I am not Orm and we are not invading. It is time to wake The Tide." Tula's eyes widen slightly, then she nods once and slams her closed fist against her armored chest. "Now I'm going to meet my wife and figure out what the hell is happening." and with that he's gone.

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