The Leviathan Surfaces

January 16, 2016:

The Lord Of The Deep launches an attack on Atlantis

Atlantic Ocea

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

The Lord of the Deep is advancing. Again. After battling the Blue near the Hawaiian-Emperor chain, the ancient cthonic being has unleashed his forces everywhere. They are presently penetrating into the South Atlantic, the province of the Atlantean client states near the Spiess Seamount. They number in the tens of millions, monstrosities, leviathan beasts and odd organic coral like ships. The Blue and the Black are standing by offering aid despite the odd diplomatic relationships at the moment.


Aquaman floats amid a cloud of chum that was recently a small group of creatures from primordeal nightmares, his lips twisting in disgust as he inhales the floating corruption of blood and mucus and varied bits of now dead enemy. There is something to be said for the surface world in that regard. <Admiral, where are my damned Dreadnaughts?> he asks telepathically, emotionlessly watching one of the Tide repeadly stomp on the head of a chiton covered enemy until it explodes, smashing it between exposed bedrock and it's armored boot. It then continues to stomp on the torso, caving that in as well, the Tide's spiked and tentacled weapon laden apendages lashing about in agitation and excitement. <And I need a report on the evacuation of the civilians!> he waves his hand as if he were on the surface trying to push smoke from his face, all it does is stir up the chum that darkens the water for a hundred feet in every direction. It's only going to get worse once the main force arrives, soon they'll be battling through a soup made form the fluids of their foes. "Superman never has to deal with this shit." he mutters very quietly under his breath. He'd kill to have Hal or John or Kyle… of even /Guy/ at his side right now. Okay. Maybe not Guy.


Mera would be only too happy to push all of that grossness away from Arthur, but she is out beyond eyeshot and in a similar situation, her own group of Tide finishing off the last of the creatures they fought off. <Arthur,> she asks of her husband in a private telepathic message, <I can contact the Blue quickly if you authorize their assistance.> She knows that if he says no, they can't help. And she really hopes he won't say no, regardless of political BS.


Ulani, her trio of Tide escort and her elite six are standing just off the borders of Atlantis. The Blue Envoy looks rather martial - encased head to toe in her sleek coral armour a water Glave held in her hand.

Queen Mera, we are at your borders and will progress no further unless invited but can call reinforcements to aid you.

Ulani isn't telepathic, but she knows Mera is and has spoken to woman a number of times. 'Projecting' her thoughts should work to the contact the Seaqueen.

Some distance away, there's a large Blue force ready to answer Ulani's call. She'll have to create a aquaport to bring them through, but that's a moment of work for the Blue.


The Blue, a strike force of the 8th Fleet, are a calculated risk. The 8th fleet is the only unit whose loyalty is relatively unimpeachable and there is no way that the entire thing can be sent to Atlantis aid right now. So it's only one battlegroup. With the Blue, however, are six Black battleships. Ancient and advanced on a scale that rivals…

Well rivals pretty much everything at the moment.

They are also standing by to render aid in conjunction with the Blue. Rowan is on the bridge of the commmand ship with Ulani, watching. If they're cleared to intevene though it won't stay that way.

In the murk of the battleground, a battleground that is at the moment several hundred miles long, another wave of monstrosities and fast gunships surges forward. This is the eighth such wave that has been hurled bodily against the Atlantean battle line and while the enemy's numbers are not inexhaustible, they show no signs of letting up yet.

Your Majesty, The admiral reports back. Civilian evacuations are being slowed by enemy pressure further east. The 5th Trident's dreadnaughts were diverted there to prevent our line from being flanked. And then they're coming again. Arthur can hear, even if he can't see, the gunships screaming in toward his fleet even as the mass of enemy 'infantry' (swimfantry?) emerges from the murk all along the front. Arthur can see them now. As can Mera. There are (again) hundreds even to just immediate sight.


Aquaman's teeth grind slightly in his mouth and he turns his head to the side to spit bloody water out into the… bloody water. Enhanced senses are not always a boon. <We need a way to end this.> he sends to Mera and his Admiral at the same time. <We need to narrow the front some.> he looks about, ignoring the sound of the oncoming wave of monsters, <Bring in the Blue, have them push at the enemy from the flanks, force them towards the center.> he tells his wife before sending to the Admiral, <Summon up the Fortresses and the Cruisers, shore up the opposite line of battle. Tula is in command of the line, I want that flank pushed inward, force the enemy towards the middle.> Not coincidentally the middle is where Aquaman himself currently battles with a dozen of the Tide and small squad of heavily weaponized corvettes and their outliar crews. <Mera, send Garth and the sorcerors to back up Tula's line… And tell Ulani I'm trusting her people with a full half of my battle plans. I /need/ the enemy focused on me.> he turns in time to spear a creature with two heads and flip it up over his shoulder into the firing line of the soldiers waiting behind him. Over his head the corvettes big guns unleash hell in the form of a hail of magically accelerated hardwater projectiles. "Come on you bastard," he says, shouldering into the chest armor of a giant four legged mash made of what looks like 3 people and a lobster, "come at me." he snarls a grin and adds "bro." at the end. Dear god. He really can't get Guy out of his head today. No one need ever hear of this.


Well, Mera certainly won't tell anyone, she doesn't get it anymore than anyone else who might have heard that 'bro' comment. What she does do, though, is promptly relay Arthur's orders to Tula and Garth and the request for assistance to Ulani. She even includes the mention of how much he's trusting to her people. But, that's about all she manages to get conveyed before her own group is once again at risk of being overrun by the abominations that comprise the army trying to get past them.


"We have the go ahead, Captain." Ulani looks up at Rowan, her face grim. "Queen Mera advises that we're trusted with a full half of King Arthurs battle plans, he needs the enemy focussed on him." She doesn't voice her concerns that the troops they have may well be compromised, or that Arthurs themselves … might be.

With a nod to her Elite Six, Ulani concentrates, as so the others and seven rather large hydraports open … large enough to transport the ships and troops arrayed near the Atlantean borders to the locations that Arthur has outlined. It takes a few moments to transport that many, but the Blue and Black troops start deploying.


The Blue Fleet surges through the hydroports with the Black right behind them. They appear on the far western edge of Arthur's line in four weges. Sixty ships total. As they work up to cruising speed Blue Elite and marines and Rowan all disgorge from ready bays and the smaller 'gunships' and personal craft - fighters in any surface battle - roar toward the flank of the enemy line which has just unleashed another wave to hit Arthur's forces as they struggle with the one presently engaged.

"I'll follow you in, Ulani…" The dragon blue says as they swim. Even at range the Black's terrifying weaponry is ripping holes into the enemy line and the Blue's racial faculty for waterbending is causing the sea itself to begin to turn against the Lord of the Deep's forces. After minutes of fighting the line begins to bend back on the west, compressing as the foe attempts to reorient and face the Blue, unaware of Arthur's hammer blow from the east.


Aquaman can't remember the last time he was actually exhausted underwater. Tired, sure, even really tired, but that was always of the mind, this is the first time he can remember his arms and legs burning with the first faint signs of fatigue. It's unfamiliar. The water is cloudy now, limiting vision to made twenty meters tops and the heavy guns behind him fire into the swirling black clouds blindly at this point, just firing to fire, to keep the enemy honest. The mud and sand and stone kicked up from weapons impacts near the enemy lines isn't helping visiblity any either and what was a well organized battle is becoming a slog through a hellish miasma of corpse fluid and dirt, clogging up the gills of Atlantis' King and his troops. <I'm pulling my forces back two hundred meters!> he calls into the telepathic link, <Visibility is almost zero. Keep up the preassure, force them to the center, drive them towards my line!> this isn't super advanced tactics here, push in from the outside, slowly collapse the center, bait the hook. Simple basic warfare. But hard to maintain the required formations, to withdraw at the proper speed without triggering a full on paniced retreat, but not so slowly as to make the enemy consider a retreat of their own. He gives the signal and his ships begin to back away, his troops falling in behind him and backing out slowly, weapons held against their shoulders. The Tide seem remise to withdraw, and Arthur makes note that his dozen are down to ten, he doesn't even know where the other two went. <Another two hundred.> he adds into the link, another motion from him has his people firing into the blinding clouds even faster then before, covering fire, meant to hold off any reasonable foe. He's the last one back from the line, swimming backwards slowly, drawing his people into cleaner water, emphasis on the 'er' more then the 'clean'.


Mera is almost precisely copying the tactics that the Blue and Black are employing, using her cohesive water to shove the attacking forces toward the center, toward Arthur's position. It likely helps that the 'wall' she's using to shove the enemy about is solidified water spikes, impaling the abominations as much as pushing them about. Her Tide and soldiers are doing a very good job of laying waste to anyone who doesn't get stuck on the wall.


Looking to Rowan and her Elite Six, she nods and leads them into the frey. They've all fought together a number, she with her Elite Six for many years. Fanning out, Ulani, along with the Elite Six, send a wall of water that spans feet, many, many feet, into the turning enemy, trying to keep them disoriented and their attention /away/ from Arthurs ploy.

That will give Rowan an opening to do … whatever the Dragon Warrior wishes to do.


Surge through and rip appart a small coral gunboat with a sonic blast that boils the water in front of his muzzle, is the answer. And then do it again. Rowan is acting as a heavy 'backup' to the Elite Six even as other Blue Elite fan out to engage the monsters hand to hand. Mera and Tula's forces wheel inward even as the enemy, sensing weakness in the center at Arthur's location surges forward.

"I will not fail to speak of Leviathan's limbs, its strength and its graceful form.

Who can strip off its outer coat? Who can penetrate its double coat of armor Who dares open the doors of its mouth, ringed about with fearsome teeth? Its back hasc rows of shields tightly sealed together; each is so close to the next that no air can pass between. They are joined fast to one another; they cling together and cannot be parted. Its snorting throws out flashes of light; its eyes are like the rays of dawn. Flames stream from its mouth; sparks of fire shoot out. Smoke pours from its nostrils as from a boiling pot over burning reeds. Its breath sets coals ablaze, and flames dart from its mouth. Strength resides in its neck; dismay goes before it. The folds of its flesh are tightly joined; they are firm and immovable. Its chest is hard as rock, hard as a lower millstone. When it rises up, the mighty are terrified; they retreat before its thrashing.

As Arthur drops back and the Blue work to concentrate the murk to hinder the enemy but not their own, all can see a shadow moving in the main body of the enemy which now commits in full force in an effort to effect a breakthrough. It must be half a mile or more in length, hundreds of tons of seabest, a maw that could swallow a surfacer carrier and teeth the could break… just about anything. Atop it is a citadel. Atop it is really a small city. This. This is the enemy's command center. The Blue dealt with similar with a surgical strike. That won't be an option here… but the Blue didn't have Arthur and Mera…


Aquaman continues to back his troops up slowly, pulling them away, waiting as the enemy slowly collapses inward. The covering fire is effective, but that's more a cause of the milling mass of warriors they're firing into rather then one of good aim. <Okay.> he says into the telepathic link, having been fighting a slow covering retreat for the better portion of a half hour while his allies pushed, shoved, and corraled the edges of the funnel into place for him, <Hold the line.> it's not shouted or commanded, it's merely said firmly. Very. Very. Firmly. He holds up his arm and closes his first, his soldiers comeing to a slow stop, their weapons hissing and popping as the heat of exchanged magical energy running along the barrels turns the water around them to steam. His gunships slowly come to a stop, their cannons and heavy weapons billowing gaseous water from the over use, a few having even being forced to cease firing as their runes and glyphs became damaged beyond repair. The bioships life forms growing increasingly uncomfortable under the climbing heat. Then he says aloud, his voice carrying across the lines behind him, "Hold the line!" and this time it's a shout, "Atlantis fell once before," the trident comes down across his palms and his fingers curl around it's haft, "Never again." and he drives the triden down into the bedrock beneath his feet, the blow makes a BOOMing sound far louder then it ought to.

All hell breaks loose.


As the enemy surges forward into the silence following the end of the cover fire, Arthur strikes the ocean floor, his golden armor glinting at the head of his army, the tip of the spear. As the enemy's wave strikes him and flows past, surging into his people his voice carries over the din once more, "HOLD THE LINE!" and a second BOOM travels into the stone… followed by a vast explosion. Far ahead of his line, perhaps barely visible from the far edges where his allies and his wife compress the multitudes of nightmares araid against them, the earth beneath the water surges upward. A hundred. Two. Three. Spouts of mud and stone and sand gysering up throuh the murky bloody water. It's hard to see what causes it, but the contrails left through the dark swirling ocean are easy to follow. Arthur drives the trident into the coean floor a third time, and what little light filtered down from the surface is suddenly blotted out entirely. As the 'skies' fill with the form of sea creatures of every shape and size and form. Whalesong screams like sweet music through the ears of every Atlantean and booms like a weapon against the rolling hordes of the primordeal darkness. The shadowy forms of orcas swim by the hundreds, speeding towards the enemy center, led by thousands of sharks who are in turn led by tens of thousands of smaller fish of inumerable species. Master of camoflage, giant squids and octopi reach up from where they hid in the filth and the corpses, from beneath the coral and the dirt, arms ripping and rending and pulling at the enemies of the King of Atlantis.

And then the hundreds of minor explosions from before begin to trace their way back down towards the ground battle, their heavy forms falling nearly as fast as they exploded upward and their wordless scream of beserker fury fills the telepathic link. The Tide. In it's entirety. This is why they are not awoken save in times of dire need, they speak only in the link and their blood lust is infectious if carefully controlled. Arthur left them buried, waiting, in the center of the field and there he leaves them, far enough away their siren call of rage and violence will not infect his troops and where their madness can do the most damage. Slowly he sinks to a knee, his brows knit in consentration, a faint trickle of blood wicking from his nose as he forces out commands to more sea life then he's ever contacted before. The battle, in it's all it's fury, rages around him, his small group of Tide all that keep him from falling to the enemy.


Maintaining the press against the enemy lines, Mera can't help but feel a moment of gleeful rage as Arthur's plan goes into effect and the attacking army is in turn attacked from all sides, including above and below. She's only heard of this level of defense being fielded, and she can tell by the sheer numbers of wildlife answering her husband's call that he is pushing his ability to its utmost. And … she can't go bolster him. She's stuck here. And because of that, her fighting becomes all the more vicious.


Ulani can see it, the citadel … so similar to the one that she and her Elite Blue had to storm not so long ago. The citadel where they had fought so hard to make their way to the centre and set their charges off - she, and the three she had taken with her, knowing they might not make out alive.

And then the sea itself seems to respond to Arthurs command, and the instruction comes to hold the line.

The Elite Six are well trained and have many years experience at combat, their walls of water begin to encircle the enemy vessels, tightening in and crushing them…

Ulani can only hope that citadel is being dealt with.


Double, well, sort of quintuple envelopment. Attacked, and suddenly ,from all sides the enemy's discipline is hard pressed to hold. Beasts fall. Coral ships break apart. Monstrosities are ripped to pieces by weapons and magic and water. Arthur and his tide are now within striking distance of the leviathan cititdel…

It takes all of the Blue's strength to keep the enemy contained. No longer constrained by anything they attack, wildly at every quarter, pressing against Ulani's forces, against Mera's. Rowan falls back from his own attacks, reforming with his fellow Blue.

And in front of Arthur, the Leviathan's mouth opens… and power starts to gather.


That's okay. This is the sort of thing the dolphins are for. Diving against the leviathan's sides comes a swarm of dolphins, so many they appear like well coordinated wasps, a roiling mass of wet gray skin and glistening golden war armor. Fins set with blades, spines and ridges placed against the usually graceful curves the wave of dolphins roll over and around the great beast, every pass a cut, a gash, compounded by a thousand more, five thousand. Ten. These creatures Arthur does not control, he doesn't have to. These are friends, family, and they are protective of what they see as theirs. Where the water before was dark with blood, now it is opaque, thicker then water, almost soupy with the gore of countless dead, with the growing tide of gore and vicera. Arthur loses control of the sharks first, the glood to much and their frenzy ripping their minds from his grasp, but the other sea faring predators soon follow and he's forced to dismiss the more vulnerable and precious of his charges. They did their work anyway, vicious as the enemy is it wasn't prepared for an attack like this. Hell, it wasn't even prepared for the Tide by itself. Three hundred plus of the mad Atlantean beserkers have begun spreading out among the invaders, starting from their center where they exploded to the surface, growing the circle of dead they've created. Aquaman wobbles slightly on his knee, the trident the only thing keeping him upright. He needs to get it up in time to defend against the leviathan's attack but it's never before felt so /heavy/.


She can feel it from here. Arthur is on the verge of collapse. She does the only thing she can think of to do. She sends a telepathic message asking Garth to unleash his magic against that leviathan now, before it can do so itself. She can't leave her Tide and troops to defend against the increases ferociousness of the enemy, and it infuriates her. And she's taking that out on the enemy.


"Now…." Ulani calls to her to the others and as a group they push against the enemy line, water and energy weapons employed to good measure. An individual transport, sporting some abomination explodes as Ulani's energy weapons hit it. They had held line and now it's time to press the attack and chaos reigns supreme.


The Leviathan is weakening. The repeated attacks on its flanks and back tear chunks out of it. The water churns again with mud and blood as the forces of the Lord of the Deep die all around it and finally begin to retreat in numbers but the huge sea beast presses its attack, gathering power. Rowan is too far away to help. He's got his own worries tangling with a serpent thrice his length. Mera… might be able to get there. Ulani can hydroport. The Blue are slicing into them like sharks through a school… but the Leviathan refuses to die…

And then it 'fires.' Energy, arcane in nature, blasts from its mouth, instantly obliterating a section of water thirty feet around as a tunnel of steam and death races toward the sea king.


Garth is not like his mentor. He's fast and strong and tough, but not like Arthur is, he's pure bred Atlantean, going back generations, he is a Prince among his people, the heir to a city state of power and with a legacy of magical power. A line careful with it's breeding, millenia of plans and work and oversight culminated in creating him, argueably the single strongest magical talent on the planet. It's not the magic that saves Arthur though, it's the understanding, the thing that comes from doing heroes work for so long.

Garth pours speed into his legs, forcing himself to go faster, his own trident held before him like a spear, a mere breaker to part the enemies that stand in his way. Two find out the hard way one shouldn't stand before an Atlantean missle. Then he is beside his adopted father, tucking his head under Arthur's arm and forcing himself to his feet, "Come on old man," he says softly in English, a language the Atlanteans won't know so they can't understand the teasing disrespect, "on your feet." Arthur smirks once, a tired expression, and Garth reaches down, gripping Arthur's wrist, "Don't worry," he says as the dark ocean waters around them, black wtih the blood of countless dead, suddenly begin to glow with a blinding light, "we got this." and he lifts Arthur's arm for him, and with it, the trident, thrust towards the massive wall of blistering white hot magic. The tunnel of power barrels down on them and Arthur grins, "Come at us, br-" and they're swallowed by the beam.


Mera is still slicing at the enemy even as they turn to start fleeing, but then the leviathan 'fires' and she almost instinctively looks toward where she knows Arthur is. "No!" <Arthur?> She tries to not let her panic through the telepathic message, but it's almost guaranteed she's not successful. Hastily directing the leader of the group she's been fighting with to keep pressing the enemies back, she swims almost blindly toward the target of the leviathan's attack. <Arthur, please answer me!>


The beam of power strikes the tip the trident and sparks. The force of the impact shoves both men back fifty yards and digs a furrow in the sea floor half as deep. Arthur can feel the heat of the magic feet from his face. Can feel the power behind it. The malice. Can feel the thrum of the trident as its own ancient magic responds to something somewhere on it's power level…

From outside all anyone can see is Arthur vanish from where he was struck. The beam holds for a second, for two, for ten.

And then it fades. Water rushes back into the void it created and the beast, assaulted from all quarters, slumps in the water and expires…


Garth got Arthur to his feet when he couldn't stand on his own, pride and duty keeps him up under the onslaught of the energy beam. He digs his feet into the soil, dirt and stone that softens then glows then flows around him like water under the heat, his body sliding and slipping backward, digging a deeper and deeper trench into ocean floor that is rapidly becoming as liquid as the world around it. He stands before it, Garth's hand on his wrist, and screams his defiance, his free hand clawing at the stone, fingertips digging into the softening rock. Garth clings to Arthur now, screaming along with his mentor, their voices drown out beneath the power they face.

And then there is silence and steam and the sudden crushing weight of the oceans return, thousands of tons of water slamming down into Arthur and Garth both, engulfing them in their molten trough. And with the water comes darkness, save for the glow of the rock and of the trident. Long seconds tick by, made longer by the last of the battle, the clean up, and then from the trench's lip a hand appears, charred and blackened, but whole, and with a strain it heaves Arthur up out of the pit, another hand, this one holding a trident joins the first. Then another. Soon Garth and his mentor have crawled up to more solid ground, to tired to swim, to spent to simply leap from the hole. Both plop there amid the stones scoured clean of gore and mud and muck by the beam, and their laughter, soft at first and then louder, rings out over the battlefield. Sometimes it's all you've got.

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