HYDRA and Atlantean Separatists (Part 1)

December 17, 2015:

New York


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

The immediate threat of Orm and his Atlantean invasion passed almost a year ago but the remnants of what transpired is still heavy on the hearts and minds of all who were involved, the surface world and the Empires of Atlantis. Under Orm's banner many ralled, many still hold to the idea of war and a hatred mingled with fear of the surface world and this tends to force odd alliances. This is one such scenario.

A clandestine meeting on the under docks of a collapsed factory. Underdocks? Yes. Hydra submersibles were once used from this location but thats a thing of the past. SHIELD had already dealt with this particular branch and very few people know of this location. Those who do are several transients who made it home briefly and of course the orgs in question.

"What the hell did the fish just say?"
"They don't like it when you call them that."
Voices echo and rebound off the collapsed underground and old structures. Two parties have gathered, men and women in dark green armor and Atlantean operatives in black and blue. Standing in the center of the two groups is a blue and grey armored man with a stylized combat mask in the form of a skull. A shield worn on his back with a large T on it, a sword under that and a multitude of other weapons. He is the lead of the human side of this dialogue.
Opposite of him is a blue skinned and tall Atlantean woman with a single fin-like purple mohawk. One of the not uncommon mutations in Atlanteans. They're a very mutable people.
"Silence your airbreathersinsults, Taskmaster or our deal is off and I will let Delfo cut his head off. He already has a nice collection."
"Fancy. You heard the lady, shut your mouth or you become chum."
"Chum for us or… "
"Silence! It is not important. The weapons are here and we want your side of the bargain held up."
"It will be. Part of the contract after all."
" Right, your contract… you'll have to pardon us if we don't feel you will uphold your end of this. We want it done promptly and we are not opposed to threats."

The things that Rowan has dealt with are rather more… existential of late. But the thought of war between the Surface and the Sea horrifies the Blue. He's seen precisely what Surfacers are capable of when pushed.

His presence at the docks is actually something of accident. He's been searching for evidence of Atlanean 'Cult of the Deep' cells and mistook this activity for something of the sort. It doesn't seem to be the case but… this is just as bad. Time to call for backup.

Ulani this is Storm Surge. We've got a problem at my location. The Blue reaches for the 'baton' that turns into his spear as he peers around. Blue skin. So not 'Blue'. Southern Atlantean, if he remembers right. And… the man in the skull mask. He doesn't recognize that one. But he might be a 'champion' of some kind.

On my way Ulani slips into the water near her apartment and heads in the direction of Rowans signal. Her manner of dress? That of the Blue, which is to say - not much at all.

Approaching the Blue Warrior, surveying the scene as she does, she grimaces. "They're majesties won't like this, Storm Surge." He's using his code name, so will she. Water forms as she's talking and a sword appears in one hand, as the other operates the coral necklace she wears - coating her body is sleek, form fitting, armour that looks something like coral, really.

"That is kinda insulting, Karnaxa. We're supposed to be ambassadors of good will here. A future for my employers and your rebels. I don't know how you do business unda da sea but we don't start by flinging insults." The electronic distortion in Taskmasters skullmask making his words sound hollow and inhuman. The intention after all. "The only thing you can go off of is my word. Just like I have to take it on your word these hydro-ionized-particle whatevers are up to snuff. It's a whole new playing field out there now and it's kinda important these do exactly what they're supposed to."
The finned woman named Karnaxa snorts and waves a long fingered hand in the air, "Show him then." A bubbling sound from her as she speaks through the rebreather of her exosuit.
The man beside her broad of shoulders with wild unruly blonde hair grunts and lifts up a heavy blaster taking aim at a pile of rubble that looks it once might have been a transport vehicle but rust and age have claimed it. It's actually fused with a part of the under docks. "Behold, simple human." This one, unlike Karnaxa was one of the Imperial tribesmen not a Southerner. Taskmaster had to give these Atlanteans props in their diversity and acceptance of one another. I mean, you never hear about racists comments from one pale, blue or green Watery folk. It must be a human thing. So progressive of them.
Two quick succession blasts and the target is now a melted pile of sludge.

"Eh, yeah, not bad. I mean, we got guys in tin suits flying around calling themselves superheros that can do this and their shit is way more compact. I mean, this is cool but so bulky… "
"Grow stronger then human, the size of it is not important so much as what it does." Drelf bites.
Taskmaster can't help but laugh at that. A very strange grating sound.
"Enough, is it suitable, Hydra scum?"
"It's Taskmaster, gorgeous. I just work here. These guys are Hydra scum." A thumb thrusts over his shoulder. "It's fine. We'll figure it all out. Water sealed and ready for you is the information on you wanted, I omited some of the no longer used facilities as you know… some of your intel is way out of date. But you're all set."
"Omit? Why would you tamper with our demands?"
"Because they're not used any longer. Your shit is out of date… "
"No, human. You are wrong."

Ulani and Rowan are unseen. The darkness and general clutter of this partially submerged under cavern gives a decent amount of cover. Also, the HDYRA personal are relying on helmet lights and internal visual aids as opposed to the night sight adapted Atlanteans.

Rowan flicks his baton, extending it into a spear made of corral. As Ulani speaks he's already starting to scale over. His legs and arms and head reshape and he also turns blueish. He looks not entirely unlike some of the 'fantasy' depictions of humanoid dragons (what do they call those books? DnD or something like that) that Ulani may have seen in shops around town. "No… they won't. I don't think we should let it get too out of hand either."

The Dragon-Blue's free hand glows and s short, compact crossbow made of light comes into being around it. "Three… two…"

With a heave and a snarl Rowan spins himself around the corner and lets several bolts of superdense corral fly before charging in with the spear at whomever is nearest.

Ulani might have a sword made of water to hand, but she's also those coral slave bracelets of hers. Most people think them a simple adornment, but this group is about to find out differently.

"We shouldn't." the Blue Envoy agrees with Rowan and he transforms. No longer surprised by his forms… but yes she's seen the books (was must bewildered by them really). On his count she's moving with him, aiming beams of energy from the bracelets at the next nearest target … the one that Rowans not going for. She moves fast, perhaps not as fast as the Dragon man, but faster than your usual human - which, she mostly looks like.

Ulani may not be surprised by Rowan's shifting but the Hydra troopers, Taskmaster and the Atlantean terror cell members are not so accustomed to it. The rumor of Storm Surge has circulated through the ocean's many armies, tribes and units but to witness it all together is something new. He, like several others are probably seen as nothing more than chosen operatives of King Aquaman and Queen Mera, which translates to them as : enemy.
"You brought Jurassic Park with you… " Taskmaster accuses Karnaxa while drawing his shield. "Open fire."
Not so collected as their commander the men and women of Hydra stand in awe as Rowan spits an Atlantean through his armored exosuit carapiece.
"I said open fire!"
"Warriors! Retaliate… " Karnaxa screams as a whip and energy sword snap in to existence, the now half a dozen men and women of Atlantis around her draw weaponry. Several of them opening fire. They're quicker to respond than the humans, they come from a world where marvels like the Dragon-Blue are a more common occurence.
A few heartbeats after the Atlanteans are firing on Rowan the automatic weapons of the HYDRA soldiers begin as well. Each round armor-piercing and those that are not are surprisingly laser tech. Hydra is no slouch in the technology department - not with the likes of AIM backing it. "HAIL HYDRA!" A rally cry.

Rowan is not invulnerable. His scales are armored but casually shrugging off energy weapons fire and armor piercing rounds is not something he's learned how to do yet. Well, not while he's this small anyway. He ducks and finds himself winged, energy singing the scales on his shoulder. But the quarters are close and in a moment his in among them, swiping the haft of his spear out and around to catch a HYDRA trooper in the gut and fling him into the water near by before squaring off with one of the Atlanteans. "You should have stayed home!" He snarls.

Ulani's energy beams pierce the armour of one of the Atlanteans, slowing but not stopping them. She hadn't expected it too. Most of the weapons fire is concentrated on Rowan, but the rounds that are directed in her direction 'ping' off her armour … the Atlantean weapons knock her back though.

As an Altantean bears down on her, the Blue female speaks "Do not do this, please …" she doesn't want to fight waterfolk - they should be standing together - but she will if she has to. Bringing that sword into play, she moves fluidly, swiping across targetting a vulnerable point in the armour, blade biting deep.

Pulling the blade back, she spins to face the next attacker as the water around it begins to swirl … the Elite Blue is calling on her inate ability and will use the water to hole the attackers at bay.

"Stayed home? You mean cower in the depths while the surface worlders destroy our planet. No. We are the rightful rulers of the Earth." Karnaxa snarls exposing white sharpened teeth as that whip slices out with the tip toward's Rowan draconic eyes, "Scum. You are nothing but a slave to that weak halfblooded usurper. Orm is our true leader, Ocean Master is the one you should be kneeling before."
While Karnaxa speaks behind her Rowan catches sight of another oddity, a Blue, one of his own people lifting his hands in to the air and forming a pillar of water around himself that forms in to a long snake, one almost the size of the Dragon.

"It's a 'power struggle?" Taskmaster considers. As quickly as he thinks about it he is losing interest, "Don't engage them in melee, they'll whip your asses. Concentrate on cover fire and prepare explosives."

"Warriors do not fall! Kill the misguided!" The Atlantean referred to as Delf shouts before launching himself in at Ulani and past the streamers of water she is forming, each weapon in hand scimitar in style, energized and whirling in a flashing display of brilliance. A dervish of a fighter he seems agile, deadly and very enthusiastic. "Prepare to die, traitors."

Rowan has to hope that being in the scrum helps keep the bullets off of him. Then again, HYDRA might not much care about shooting the Atlanteans and honestly… the Atlanteans might not care about being shot either. Depends on how high powered those rounds are. "Yes! Because if you had I wouldn't have to do this." That spear lunges forward powerfully, seeking a gap in the armored plates of the Atlantean warrior and penetrating. Rowan swings the man around between him and HYDRA, letting him soak up the bullets before kicking him off. And then his eyes light right on Taskmaster and he levels that spear once more. En garde?

Rowan has to hope that being in the scrum helps keep the bullets off of him. Then again, HYDRA might not much care about shooting the Atlanteans and honestly… the Atlanteans might not care about being shot either. Depends on how high powered those rounds are. The Dragon Blue whips his head back but not quite fast enough. The whip catches him on the cheek and sears. His scales sizzle and he rolls back, giving ground to the tall Imperial leader. The humans firing? He's gonna have to hope someone else deals with them.

The snake. Of water. He recognizes that kind of water shaping. Blue it is. He knows his own people harbor hatred toward the surfacers in some numbers but he's surprsied to see the Blue here. This is a fish of a different kind. Literally.

"Kneel to this!" The Blue snaps as he whips his spear around and channels a sonic blast powerful enough to boil water through it right at the group of waterfolk.

Ulani winces… at least one round from the weapons fire has cut through that coral armour of hers. She could shift to her water form and heal nearly instantly but … there's a dervish reaching for her through her water wall. As one of those scimitars bites into her hip, slicing through and drawing blood, she parries the second blade up and out and fires the energy beam straight into his chest… that … is likely messy.

Karnaxa's eyes widen at the blast from Rowan and she lunges in to a roll only to come up in a kneel. The Blue was not so fortunate or nimble and remained poised in that summoing stance with water high and coiled in to a viper, upon impact a water gurgling scream is released and the snake threatens to dissolve but quickly seals back together and crashes down on Rowan with the impact of several tons of water. Immediately it begins to try and loop around the dragon so it can begin to constrict.
"Now!" Now being? Yes, a daisy chain of explosives go off between the Hydra line and the Atlanteans. It appears they're using it for cover so they can move forward and grab the weapons packages and haul them back towards the exit ramp up. Covering fire being put down by thoes not lobbing grenades or retrieving the goods.
"You will hold true to your word, Taskmaster or Karnaxa will come for you!"
"You got your own worries right now. I suggest you handle that before worrying about us." The mercenary calls back at her. The shield is away and a bow is in it's place, an arrow being aimed towards Ulani, "Hey Godzilla! Ever see what an explosive vibranium arrowhead does to a fish lady?"
The arrow looses for it's target.

Delf is no amateur and every ounce the swordsman that Ulani is and it shows in his movements, he prides himself on his talents. The energy beam is a cheap shot though, an unexpected move that catches him just off the center of the chest, his shoulder being lanced through and he releases a cry out only to topple. Unfortunate aspect of this is him being down and rolling in pain, clutching himself.

… to be continued

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