There Is A Key That No One Remembers How To Use

March 27, 2016:

Rowan and Ulani make time to catch up with the Atlanteans

Pacific Ocean

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic or so said a surfacer writer once upon a time. This gets a bit confused when actual magic is thrown into the mix but to a certain extent, it… doesn't matter. So long as what needs to get done gets done, it's all good, right?

Though the Blue are currently in the South Pacific, there is time yet to confur with Atlantis and as it happens they have just the comms tools for the job. The call comes in, resolving when it's answered into two holographic forms, one of Ulani, one of Rowan, both looking recently injured. Clearly they've seen action though if reports from that part of the ocean are accurate, there's fighting going on in several places in the Pacific at the moment. "Your majesties." The Rowan holo-greets.


The longer the war goes on the worse Arthur seems to appear. To be fair, it's been an exceedingly hard year for him. He was killed. His bother betrayed them all, invaded the surface, gutted one of his best friend's cousin, sullied the name of all Atlantis, then vanished into the sea in exile. Then someone poked an Elder God with a stick or something. If ever there were a recipe for grimm expressionism, this is it. His armor isn't only less shiney then before, but bits of it are missing, scales having been flaked away in one fight or another and not replaced, old wounds are healing quickly still, but scars are beginning to pile up. His beard is longer then is needed, and his hair is getting shaggy as well.

His gloves are missing today, having been tossed aside at some point, and his knuckles are noticably scarred. It's not uncanny, but there are hints of the Arthur Rowan knew back in his home starting to show through, a dogged shadow around the eyes and a deepening of the lines around his mouth from weeks of hard frowning. He's not /as/ scarred up, he's not /as/ war weary, he's not /as/ angry. But the shadows are there, at the edges, and it's not that hard to imagine that in a few more months, were he to lose a hand, an eye, shave his head, he wouldn't look exactly as Rowan remembers.

Aquaman pulls himself up from the throne where he was slumping somewhat inappropriately and floats to his feet, his fingers curling around the haft of the trident, "Where do you need us?" he asks, his words fast and the newly scarred knuckles white around the weapon's still gleaming surface. These sorts of calls are getting to be common place, he just assumes someone needs him to show up somewhere and punch something repeatedly until it stops bleeding.


Mera had been standing by Arthur's throne when the communication appears, and she moves to her husband's side as he addresses Rowan. She looks at him with a momentary flash of concern, but quashes it quickly, and offers a nod in greeting.


Ulani's injuries aren't quite as bad as Rowans, not because they weren't, but because she's called on her natural ability and taken water form for a few hours which has accelerated the healing for her. Mera can reach out telepathically and speak to her about it if she likes.

"Your Majesties." her image greets the monarchs and casts a sideways glance at her companion at Arthurs question.

"We have news and if Atlantis would be able to join us, it would be … beneficial to us all." The Blue Envoy resists the urge to smile just a little. Arthur is quite direct when he wants to be. "We're co-ordinating an attack on The Lord to drive it back to the Trench. It will be a combined effort of The Wild Tribes, Lemurians, Blue and our surface allies."


"We're dealing at the moment with a bit of an… inconvenient second front. Something woke up in what the surfacers call the Pacific Pole of Inaccessibility and it's been spewing monsters out of an ancient cyclopean city." The dragon Blue shakes his head. "Our intelligence has accounted for four of the eight Reachers, at any rate, but the other four are rather MIA at the moment. We suspect that if they're not operating against Atlantis they will be shortly. It's possible our own offensives will draw its attention and compel it to devote all it's assets to defending itself. That's the hope, anyway." There's a short pause.

"Is there anything presently on your, uh, royal plates that we can assist with?"


Aquaman's expression darkens, "Attuma." he says flatly, his tone darkening at the name. "Namor will not appreciate that." he points out, and generally speaking what Namor doesn't appreciate he tends to express in massive property damage… though he's gotten a bit better at that since he became Prince. Seriously. It's been a rough year for Arthur. "I have gathered the Council of Magi under Garth," he says, having promised to do that weeks back and then having met resistence along the way it would appear he's finally managed to form them up, "a few surprising things have come to light since then." he doesn't say it, uncertain of the security of the link, but he makes a subtle motion with the trident as he does so. Likely he's found out something that had to do with the shocking light show that occured when the last attempt to force open the breach was shut down. "He's continuing his work and tells me he's making some headway. Something about portents and signs but it's all bit out of my league. My ancient surfacer Atlantean would generously be called 'rusty'." aka he can't read a word of it. Of course, none of that answers the question he was asked.

He glances at his wife, to see if she has anything to add. Her grasp of Atlantean magic is clearly light years ahead of his, maybe she has some good news? Honestly he's been so busy manning war planning sessions, commanding the Fleet, and punching things really hard he's a bit out of touch with anything not in the immediate state of combat. Hell. He's not yet managed to heal up all the way from the great battle at the heart of the Atlantic. Well. He would have if he'd quit adding injuries to the more serious he recieved that day.


Mera looks back at Arthur for a moment before addressing Rowan and Ulani. "There is some news, but I cannot yet be certain if it would be considered good." She doesn't relate it here, though, as she is also a bit leery of the security of this communication medium. She does telepathically offer Ulani a promise to speak in more detail when they are able to speak without fear of interception.


"We understand Namor might not appreciate it, King Arthur." Ulani murmurs "But the fact is we must unite to push back the threat. If that means dealing with the … fallout… afterwards, then so be it."

As to the security of the connection, the Blue Envoy can appreciate that, but time is of the essence now. "I can arrange a Hydroport to our location." She's not kidding either. Mera will know how seriously they take their security.

"The city we found at Pole of Inaccessibility does not seem to be one of The Lords but we are moving to close down the portals we have located so far."


Rowan seems to shift. In reality he's making room, should Ulani open a Hydroport to their now location. "The Blue are also attempting to… normalize relations with Surface powers in the aftermath of being revealed to… more or less the world in the battles near Hawaii." He sighs. "In fact I think Ulani and I have some meetings to attend as soon as we're done with our operations here." However long that takes. He's hoping only a couple of days, but…

"Queen Mera, we've had some interesting breakthroughs on the Lord of the Deep's command network that Atlantis might find valueable. It's psychic in nature and mostly based in surface based cultists. The Blue don't have any psychics, we've asked our surface allies for help. But Atlantis…"


Aquaman glances at Mera, then back at the holograms, "I'm not worried about fallout afterwards," he says candidly, "I'm worried about fallout during." he reaches up to run a hand down his face, "Attuma and I have issues, and he is a genuine threat to Atlantis." which is Arthur's politic way of admitting that Attuma is more then a match for Arthur himself, even in the water. He's stronger, by a magnitude, and it's been a problem in the past. "Namor and he…" he shakes his head. Attuma would take any chance he could to kill Arthur, he wouldn't wait for a chance to kill Namor, he'd just try it. An oppotunity to take them both out? Enemies everywhere and it's getting old. Grumpy King is getting Grumpy. When the Hydroport opens in the Throne Room he quirks a brow slightly and nods once to Mera. He then makes a mental note to have the Council recheck the glyphs that secure the palace from magical intrusion, clearly something has fallen into disrepair and it's a security risk, now more then ever. He then follows his wife through to the other side.


Mera leads the way through the hydroport, though she does reach for Arthur's hand the moment they're through. <Attuma has never had to contend with me before, husband. Let him try to harm you.> She nods to Rowan and Ulani then.


When the King and Queen arrive they find themselves in an otherwise empty conference room on a Blue Cruiser. They're in the middle of the South Pacific, about 800 miles from land in any direction. The Pole of Inaccessibility. Surfacer writer H.P. Lovecraft claimed R'yleh was around here, somewhere.

"Attuma thus far hasn't collected a horde. The Wild Tribesmen involved are from the South Pacific for the most part, and the waters near Indonesia and Australia. However the longer this goes on the more likely that the ongoing attacks by the Lord of the Deep will compell him to raise a Horde becomes." And on Rowan's world Attuma's hordes were the stuff of legend. Even here, the Blue seem to step warily around the possibility of one.

"We've hit another snag as well. The possibility that the Lord of the Deep may not be… singular…"


Aquaman is talking as he steps through, "Psychics we have in excess, understood." which is true, even his talent, while not useful with most bipeds, is more useful then even other Atlanteans when dealing with the sea and it's creatures. "I'll entrust that to you?" he says, glancing at his wife and offering her a small smile. Who the hell else would he put in charge of mind power warriors? Vulko? Pfft. <Good. Because he is the only creature under the sea I have known to stand up to Namor in terms of shear power. Attuma could stand toe to toe with Superman if he were careful about it, be wary.> "I don't worry about Attuma's hordes, for all their madness, they lack the will to continue the fight. He is the only thing that keeps them cohesive, without him they melt away into the shadows everytime, and when they do they seem to exsist more or less peacefully." Attuma has always been the main threat so far as the savages are concerned. One more thing on Arthur's 'get to it when I have time' plate that seems to grow fuller with every passing day. "That said, if you can harness him we could use the muscle." which is a much nicer way of saying what Rowan's Arthur once said about the barbarian.

The news drop has Arthur's jaw tightening, "So." he says carefully, "That's going to require some explination." see how calm he is? Like a the eye of the typhoon calm. Like before a storm calm. CALM. SEE HOW CALM!? ahem.


Mera looks at Aquaman and nods. She's been helping with some psychic things already. But at the news that the Lord of the Deep might actually be plural, she gives Rowan a hard stare. "Elaborate on that." Nope. No please this time.


"The creature we've encountered at the center of this circle has a psychic presence similar to, but not the same as, the Lord of the Deep. Or… that's been the consensus of everyone who has felt it so far." Rowan explains, gesturing in the direction of the mad 'city' they've encountered. "Fortunately, it doesn't seem to be fully manifested in this world and our presence here, and that of the Lemurians and Wild Tribesmen, is partly to ensure that it doesn't." That said, the fact that it's even partly manifested is a big concern. As is the fact that it exists at all.


Aquaman lets out a slow breath, for a minute there, he was conserned. "Atlan, the First King, did battle with the Elders, before the Cataclysm, before Nabu or Merlin or Shazam, Atlan was the Sorcerer Supreme of this world. Or so go the legends." he admits with a shrug, hey, like he said, he can't read the scripts, everyone's lucky he can read and write /Atlantean/, it's not exactly a staple of of the State of Maine's educational board requirements for it's public schools. "Apparently he was aware he would soon die and was concerned that whomever took up the mantel after him would not be up to the task, so he crafted a Key, a thing made to lock the doors to other worlds, other realities, dimensions, whatever you want to call them." Arthur's hand slides along the trident, "And then he passed it down along his line, King to King. In the millenia's that have past we lost the knowledge of /exactly/ how it works, but…" he glances at the weapon in his hand, "in theory it could be used to lock the gates to any Other Worlds we encounter." he shrugs, "Presumably even ones like yours, though I imagine it was designed for more divine realms, so to speak. If this thing hasn't manifested yet, then that means there's at best a crack? A small hole in Veil? I think I have the tool to slam it shut again, I'm just a little unclear as to the /how/." he looks sheepish. "So far." he squeezes Mera's hand, "All we know so far is that it feeds on the wielder's magic, or in my case my life, to do what it does." So. There's that.


Mera remains quiet for now, as she is also not raised in Atantis she can't read the ancient texts either. Her only contribution for now is to squeeze Arthur's back. WHatever his choices, she'll back him.


Ulani has been quiet for the moment, listening to the discussion as it unfolds. "We found a gateway, not far from here that transported us to the city Rowan speaks of. I've squads out searching the circumference of the area, looking for another such gateways." she explains.

As Arthur explains about the key, she cants her head. "That makes sense. Everything we know about The Lords first appearance here said that great magic had been employed to push him back." That the knowledge on how to use it has been lost isn't surprising. Look at everything they've lost about The Lord.

"Your life, King Arthur?" That's a concern for the Blue Female and she cast a look to Mera, questioning. That might explain why he's been so tired … "Is there no other way it could be wielded?"


Rowan looks at Ulani, then at Mera. He's not really keen to ask the Sea King to do that but if it's the best way to prevent a second front that they simply can't afford then there's 'no math' on it as they say. "If you can have it here quickly and you're willing to use it I'll inform our leaders here to prepare for an offensive into the city." Soon as they can they'll strike, seal this place up and proceed with their overall plan, freeing all the Lemurians and Wild Tribesmen here to go do something much more useful.

And dangerous.

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