Thwarting The Deep

November 05, 2015:

After weeks of searching, the waterfolk find the Lord Of The Deeps plan for The Surface … and take action

Los Angeles

Characters

NPCs: Emelina, Kukana, Kaia, Liko, Lio and Ikaia, The Tide

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Once the Blue had discovered that the hills around the 'Hollywood' sign it had been a simple matter to start keeping a discrete eye on the Santa Monica Mountains and of course, contact King Arthur and Queen Mera. For a day or so nothing had happened, but around ten pm tonight Lio reported that people were starting to gather. People who were taking great pains to conceal their features. Those hills are dark at night and if one is not looking it's pretty easy to hide in plain sight. Add a small rocky dell and no one will see anything. Not until it's far, far too late.

By the time word gets to Rowan and he gets into the air there's already a green glow from the ground that's fairly well visible from the air though probably much less so from the ground. Anyone attuned to magic though even a bit will feel the prickling in the air, the tang of blood and salt on the tongue and hear the scratch-scratch-scratching in the back of their minds of something else trying to get in. Get through.


Hax arrives in a swirling mist of black smoke a stone's throw away from the hills. He's dressed a little more unusual than normal with his casual business attire replace with a dark blue cotton shirt and a pair of denim jeans. In addition he's wearing a leather trench coat with light metal plates reinforcing the shoulders and areas towards vital organs. The coat itself and the metals are adorned with several swirling patterns which one would assume to be Hax's runecraft. On top of all that Hax has his leather satchel slung over one shoulder filled with rune stones and other magical tools… but no staff.

"Hm." Hax seems to taste the air. "Tastes like tangy blood and salt." If something is trying to claw it way into Hax's mind he doesn't seem to pay much attention to it. His brain is crowded enough as it is.


With Lio on stakeout, Ulani arrives, through rather more mundane methods with the other five Blue Commandos, Emelina, Kukana, Kaia, Liko and Ikaia. They're all dressed in muted tones … and … surprisingly, like Surfacers.

Joining Lio at his vantage point, Ulani sends a signal - to Rowan, Mera and Arthur … and she expects her Trio of Tide will be joining them.


Tide do not do stealth insertion on the surface. Underwater some of their active camoflage abilities are shockingly good, those equipped with that sort of armor, but on the surface, active camo or not, they're still nearly eight foot tall heavily armored warriors suddenly lacking the grace a water environment allows them. It's like walking with a trio of small mechs everywhere you go, mechs that don't talks, don't joke, occasionally make burbbly growly noises of barely surpressed rage or hunger. It's hard to tell. Creepy dudes… dudettes? Freakin' Atlantis, amirite??

Arthur made certain the gates to the American pacific coast were up and running ages ago and his people were on alert. As soon as the signal arrives he and Mera are off, seeking the nearest gate and orders are dispatched to the Navy, a half dozen stealth cruisers also headed to gates that will allow them to set up off the coast as a last resort if needed. Silently Arthur sincerely hopes they won't be. The surface is already on pins and needles as far as Atlantis is concerned, if they knew he'd parked 6 warships invisibly off the coast of California shit would get real, real fast. Days like this he misses Orm more then he cares to admit.

«I miss Orm.» he admits to the one person he admits most things too. «This magic crap was his thing. Remind me to scout the Council for a suitable replacement upon our return.» If they return. He shoots his wife a glance and then pulls slightly ahead, passing from the Atlantic to the Pacific with a shimmer of the event horizon. Behind his queen comes the half dozen Tide.


«I know, Arthur. And I'll be sure to remind you.» Mera refuses to contemplate that they might not return, as much as she knows that that is a definite possibility. She lets her husband take the lead through the gate to the pacific coast, mentally coordinating the Tide following them and the Navy cruisers approaching in their wake.


Hax alone of the group will feel the full extent of what's happening. There's a dimensional fold in the little valley ahead of him. The one that Rowan and the Blue elite are approaching. It's a lot bigger inside than it is outside. Why would you want to do that?

To hide something really big.

Rowan can't see much but light from the air, so he lands and stands, a bipedal draconic man head and shoulders above the rest with a coral spear. "How far are the Atlanteans?"

The answer? Not far. Difficulties aside Arthur and Mera should just be appoaching a point where they can see the Blue Elite.

And that's when the ground starts shaking. Something is spreading outward. Magic. Powerful Magic. The glow brightens. Hax can feel the tearing. He might be able to stop it. Temporarily, before it gains power. But then the source will have to be dealt with. Whatever's… in there.


Hax takes a couple of steps backwards as he feels the shear magnitude of the magical force. This stuff is strong. And folding space? WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND DOES THAT!? No. No no no. No nononono. Hax isn't about to let this kind of magic continue. Physical holes in reality is one thing. Holes and stretching of the fabric of space and time is not only dangerous but reckless. Drop the veil. It's hiding something. Disrupt the magic and maybe that will provoke a premature response, something no one could have planned for. When plans go awry thats when people begin to make mistakes. That's something Hax is counting on.

Hax's famous magical interface materializes in front of him, and he begins to write a spell to dispell the veil and prevent further distortion of reality.


"Not far, Rowan." Ulani murmurs and gestures to the Elite Six with her, they fan out around the perimeter, armed quite well it seems, reporting back whatever it is they see to Rowan and Ulani. Mera should be able to pick up the images from them directly.

Hax, who is now visible to her, gets a raised eyebrow "I believe he is an ally, Rowan. A Homo Magi." Which is good, because right now, they need one.


«Low preassure wave, aim for the mountain… there.» Aquaman indicates with his trident as he leads the way through the waters. He waits for Mera's magic to kick in, the sudden lowering of preassure before the group of warriors and the sudden increasing of it from behind them. The feeling of being shoved, of being hurtled, and then there's a plume of water arcing up from the shoreline and sprinkling down on the sand like a short lived rain.

The water cannon fires the Atlanteans through the air to the roar of whipping winds and the ground beneath their feet zips by in a blur of color. Arthur grins for just a second… this must be what it's like to be Clark. Then there's the moment of weightlessness that comes at the arc's apex and the Atlanteans begin to desend, once more the King leading the way. You know what happens when you fire several tons of Atlantean from the ocean like human shaped charges? They land /really/ hard. How lucky for them something else is already causing the ground to shake and tremble. Hopefully no one will notice when a series of small craters appear in a hillside roughly a mile from Ulani's signal's origin point. Aquaman stands from his crater, brushing the remnants of a pine tree from his shoulder, "Come on," he says aloud and starts off at a quick run, "We still have ground to cover." Steal is for pussies… apparently.


Mera stumbles slightly on the landing, mostly from the effort expended launching all eight of them out of the water. She recovers quickly enough, though, and moves to follow Arthur, keeping pace even as she frowns and plucks a pine cone out of her hair.


Where are the Atlanteans?

Booom. That's where.

Hax codes like a madman. His 'program' starts to run just as Arthur hits. The shaking of the ground abates… after the Atlanteans make it shake more. But reality is no longer tearing itself apart at the seams.

The fold in space is affected by Hax magic as well. It expands slightly to cover new ground and suddenly Arthur, Mera, Rowan, Ulani, Hax, the Blue and the Tide are all in a wide open flatteeed space. In front of the hilltop that Arthur just leveled there's a circular stone platform hundreds of feet wide. On it stand hundreds of squid faced monstrosities and in the center a circle of magi work feaverishly to reopen the tear. "Bring the mutants. Blood for the Lord of the Deep!" Thirteen struggling captives are dragged toward the circle as the army of monsters looks at the sea people (and Hax), roars and charges.


Hax wastes no time activating his hot-keys at the end of his ten fingers. In flash of fire and smoke Hax steps forward only to reappear a few yards closer to the squidmen. "Evening. Care for some calamari?"

Hax presses a hot-key on each hand and magical constructs appear on his for arms which appear to made of some red hard-light like substance. Upon activation the gauntlets begin to fire the magical equivalent of shotguns which project lashing tongues of fire into the unsuspsecting squids. When his first assault is over Hax begins to do his same flash-step and starts a series of hit-and-run attacks aimed at keeping the enemy off balance while slowly hearding them away from the captives.


"Abot a mile out—-" Ulani's words are cut off as the area around them is flattened… and they're rushed by those lovely squidfaced foes. With hundreds of them, the Elite Six and Ulani waste no time… Hax has obviously led off a number but there's still more. Energy beams from Blue Weapons (Ulani's bracelets for example) fire into the mass … sizzling flesh and hopefully dropping a number.

Question is, what to do about the Magi…


Aquaman eyes the squid faced men and sighs. He's going to have dreams about this… they look like a measureable portion of his own people. Usually's he'd question the whole thing with the flattening of the land, the massive rewriting of topography and geography but come on, his best friends are a billionaire orphan with a leather fetish, an interstellar cop with a thing for jewelery, and an alien from Kansas. Weirder stuff. Though this honestly is starting to rank. "Phalanx!" he shouts and points with the trident as he rushes forward. The Tide respond instantly, leaping past their king and landing in a rough line. They square up with quiet dicipline and form a wall of armor and weaponry. Some of the heavier units has chitonous spines that dig into the earth, anchoring them as plates of armor crack open like oyster shells and reveal bristeling spines that fire of like clouds of flechettes into the unrushing enemy. Other's seem to opperate multiple armored apendages at once, tentacle like weapons with hardened ridges and edges that rip and tear flesh they land upon, like prehensile chainsaw blades twenty feet long. Others secrete toxic mucus along their armor and weapons, firing careful venomous darts into the crowd of enemies. Arthur stands behind the wall and survey's the battle, "Where is the real threat?" he asks anyone who can hear him over the din. This smacks of distraction and with this defensible possition behind a dozen of the Tide, he'd like to find the actual bad guy. So he can punch him. In the face.


Mera blinks in surprise at the sudden change of scenery, but she doesn't knock it. She does, however, have a very rapidly growing dislike of anything squid-like, and considering how things have been going lately, she'll apologize to Arthur later if this disturbs him. She reaches a hand forward, and anyone with tentacles for a face that isn't an Atlantean citizen will start feeling really dehydrated very quickly. She has yet to decide if she's going to completely dessicate them, or just leave them wishing they were dead. Personally, she's totally happy with the former.


The warriors begin to make dents in the horde of enemies, followed by Ulani and the Elite. In short order they've cleared a path around around them and there's a way forward. "The enemy is right there!" Rowan shouts as Mera brings dozens more to their knees. There's a rift opening. If someone can't close it, or if they don't rescure those mutants… "Mage!" He calls back to Hax. "Do something! And cover the king!"

Rowan shifts into a fire dragon and launches forward. In an instant every spell and weapon is turned on him. He can't last like that for long.


Stalking behind the Atlantean Phalanxe, Ulani and the Elite 6 follow Mera's example … and target the creatures holding the mutants … they're going to remove every ounce of water from those warriors bodies … there's nothing soft or kind about these seven…

"Rowan!!" Ulani calls … hopefully what they're doing will stop at least some of the assault on him.


Hax's fists go Mega-man as the constructs re-shape themselves into cannons and he steadily advances towards towards the growing rift while casually incinerating squids advancing on both Rowan and Arthur alike. Upon reaching the rift the constructs disappear and Hax reaches into his satchel and drops a rune stone in front of him.

The rune stone begins to emit a protective aura a few feet around the stone. Without saying another word Hax brings up the interface and works a spell to close the rift.


Aquaman lets the Tide do their work, this is the sort of thing they excell at. If he wanted quiet and silent infiltration ops, he has the Drift, but when you absolutely possitively need to kill a metric ton of motherfuckers? The Tide. Accept no substitutions. This is also why ther are traditionally kept in stasis, they don't usually get along well with normal people for long periods. "Hold the line." he says as the Tide's march starts going a little to slow for him and they split to curl around the warriors in question, using their bodies as shields to protect the others. Arthur leaps over the line and towards the rift, an almost nonchalant backfist sends a squid faced cultist out of his way in a thirty foot airbourne arc as his eyes remain on the tear itself.

*WRONG!* Arthur blinks and shakes his head suddenly, a weird sensation flickering through his mind. Mera, for her part, will suddenly find herself thrust out of Arthur's mind by a power far greater then her own, a none to gentle expelling of their connection by something else, something that seems to flow into the empty places, the small furrows and quiet spots of Arthur's mind and fill it all. Not unlike water. Arthur's eyes begin to glow golden. "Oh…" he says softly in Atlantean. *WRONG!* the feeling, word, whatever, flows through him again and his vision swims as the sense of Something Else fills his being. When his sight clears he can See things, See the edges of the tear, See what waits beyond it, See the magic itself. "My…" he finishes the thought.

In his hand the Trident begins to hum audibly.


Now that she's started the dessication process on the squid-faces (Ulani and her Elite finishe them off), Mera has a supply of water to work with. As Arthur advances toward the portal, she sees the other enemies focusing on Rowan-dragon and starts spearing them through the head with hardened-water spears — technically three foot long needles of solidified water. She only has enough to make three or four at a time, though.

And then some … thing shoves her out of her huband's mind. "NO!" She races toward Arthur ready to physically defend him or restrain him, or whatever ends up being necessary.


Rowan manages to make it to the side of the platform opposite Hax before being brought down but Ulani and Mera prevent him coming to more harm. Just how bad off he is at the moment remains to be seen. Hax scythes the beasts around him and then starts to code. The rift wavers. The pressure on it is great. Hax can lock it, but a great force is needed to close it…

And then Arthur's trident starts to hum. Reacting to the rift. To the thing beyond it trying to project itself onto the land. Mera and Ulani can both see the mutants being bound up and made ready to sacrifice. They'll need to prevent that… while others deal with the rift itself.


Hax's code is ready but until the forces around the rift hit a specific threshold he can't close it… but this might be an opportuniy. "Parasite." Hax summons the dark force taint in the form of AI. "How may I serve, creator (a tone of mocking as he says that word)"

Hax points to the rift "Explore and analyze. ALL of it". Parasite-AI gives a little nod and zips into the rift to run a quick analysis.


Mera's call has Ulani looking to her, understanding at least that something has Mera worried. But not worried enough to direct her or the other Blue… which means that Mera can either handle it herself, or wants them to /finish this/.

"Save the people." Ulani directs the Elite 6, who move in with the Atlantean warriors and form swords made from the very water in the air. It soon becomes apparent why these are the cream of the Blue Warriors, as they move through the remaining creatures to the sacrifices… Ulani with them.


Aquaman's fingers tighten on the trident and the hum grows louder. Anger radiates from it. Through it's connection to Arthur the anger begins to simmer in the heart of every Atlantean, a righteous fury flows through the King and his jaw tightens into a firm grimace. The Tide, more primal then most other Atlanteans, respond explosively. What was a diciplined defensive stance against the cultists turns into a furious slaughter. Screams, animal and man alike, rip from the Tide, amplified by inhuman lungs and magical rage.

*BEGONE* The trident speaks to Arthur, to his people, in a voice that is a part of all of them, in the voice of Atlan, the first King of Atlantis. Arthur plants his feet and lunges forward, golden fire flickering from the trident's head, pouring from his blazing eyes, and the fury of a people pour from his lips in a roar of defiance. Waves of energy roll from the weapon in his hand, pressing at those around him like waves of invisible force, dust is pushes away from him in puffs and clouds, pebbles and stones hurtled through the air, and he leans into it, his feet digging into the earth as he marches forward into the face of the rift and the force trying to shove it's way through.

Contact. He raises the trident over his head and slams it forward with both hands, golden light pouring from the weapon until it's blinding, to bright to look at, to hot to be near, to loud to hear, the war of forces this powerful was never meant to be witnessed by lesser beings. And yet.

And then there is nothing.

No light. No sound. No heat. No wind or pressing force. No sense of wrongness or rage. Nothing but silence and stillness. And a King on his knees, leaning heavily on a golden trident buried 2 full feet into solide bedrock stone as if it had melted it's way through butter to be there. Oh yeah, and smoke. Seriously, for a guy who lives underwater most of the time, Arthur spends a lot of time steaming and smoking and otherwise being covered in oddly colored vapors. That can't be healthy.


After the bright light and all stops, Mera rushes over toward Arthur. She seems completely mindless of whatever vapor or smoke or whatever is around him. « Arthur? »

Oh, and all of the fighting around them? Might as well not exist anymore. Not for Mera, anyway. Not right now.


The portal is gone. And most of the monsters are dead. By this point Ulani and her elite Blue have rescued the mutants. Anyone opposing them still living is fleeing and very quickly. The day is won. Mera stands guarded by her Trident. The Blue await Ulani's command. Arthur is unassailed for the moment, which is a good thing, considering.

And the Lord of the Deep's presence is vanished.


Ulani and her commando's are not unscathed … there are several serious injuries amongst them. Ulani staggers and lifts up her shirt, a wicked slice marring her hip and blood oozing from it … they're going to have to get her to water and soon.

Emelina and Ikaia move to free the hostages, releasing bonds as gently as possible. The other four check over bodies, making sure things are dead … and if they're not? Well, they soon will be.

"Rowan, are you well?" Ulani's voice is fading "Their majesties?"


Aquaman groans and slowly opens his eyes to look at his wife, "I … think I understand now." he says, glancing at the trident that's stuck in the stone. "Also, ow." he then looks back at his people and the Blue, and winces as he spots two of his Tide are down, one seems to have nearly a half dozen blade buried in the chiton like armor around it's neck area where clearly some of the enemy mounted the warrior and stabbed at it. Two of the blade are snapped in half near the base and the pool of blackish red blood around it isn't growing anymore. The other downed Tide appears to have been impaled on a shattered by of tree, as if it had been ridden down to the earth and forced backwards over the jagged edges of an oak. It's saw like tentacle weaponry is laying around it haphazardly, lifeless and glistening. "We need to go." he says to everyone, "Before the authorities arrive with questions." and there will be questions, "You need to go." he clarifies, meaning of course that he will stay behind to manage the cops. There's simply to much evidence of Atlantean envolvement laying around for him to ignore it, not with the political climate as it is right now.

He uses his grip on the trident and Mera's help to stand, grunting as every muscle in his body cries out unhappily at the motion. "Ow again." he mutters, lifting one hand to look at the palm where burns are starting to appear, blisters from gripping the trident while it did it's work. "When you return gather the Council and find Vulko," he says to Mera, "Ulani, Rowan, one of the Blue ought to be there as well. I have some things to share. I think."


Mera hesitates, seeing that Arthur's clearly in pain. But, he's right. She and the remaining Tide need to leave, and quickly. "I will do so, love. Please, be careful." «And if someone here can offer you healing, please let them.» She stays next to Aquaman for a moment longer before turning to the Tide and nodding to them. Time to go, and they have a longer overland trip to get back to water than how they got here.


Rowan isn't moving. He's not dead, to be sure, but he's not moving. Possibly out. As he lays there though his form begins to revert. Someone will have to carry him, he looks fairly badly hurt. Arthur's right though. They need to go. Now. The surfacer authorities won't be far behind.


Lio can offer healing and steps forward to Mera and Arthur, although he'll probably follow them out of the area first. Emelina and Liko go to pick Rowan up and take him away. Ikaia helps Ulani and the group starts to depart. "Your Majesty" Ulani remarks to Arthur as they begin to leave "Both Rowan and I will be there" beat "when we're healed."

It won't be long before Ulani and her Elite 6 have departed.


Aquaman speaks up as his wife begins to gather the troops, "Take the dead. I'll not leave them here for the scientists to toy with." and a soldier that passes in service deserves better from his King then to be left on forgien soil. He nods at Ulani's words, "Thank you." he looks back down to the trident and his mouth firms into a line as he pulls upward on it, the tines pulling free with a metalic ringing sound. "I can hear the sirens, the rest of you should go, I'll take responcibility for this." he looks around at the slaughter and idly wonders how this will play in the surface press. Atlantean king ruthlessly slaughters countless humans on hilltop in Hollywood, or Justice League Founder fights off monster invasion.


Mera nods to Aquaman and helps the remaining Tide collect their dead (two is still two too many), and they move away quickly, waiting until they're back under the waves to coordinate with Ulani to make sure everyone receives medical attention. « I'm sending the Tide home, love, tell me the moment you're heading home. »

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