Lynch Mob

August 20, 2016:

Zee and Ryden are confronted by a lynch mob in Steel City. Attempts toe negotiate fail and … it turns nasty. The Atlantean Queen lends a hand (emits by Fenris)

Steel City


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Ryden and Zee have been working 'together' in Steel City, observing what the local 'powers' have been doing. The answer is quite a bit. They've been rallying support. They've been building a power base. They've been responding to the attempts by the outside world to intrude upon them.

And apparently they've been watching Ryden and Zee with some amount of suspicion.

The phrase 'pitchfork wielding mob' does not usually conjue images of goblins and centaurs and satyr and naga… but tonight it's all of these things. They've surrounded Ryden and Zee's 'residences' and they've errected wards to prevent teleportation.

This… might just be a problem.

Pushing a hank of hair back from her face, Zee faces the mob from the front of her 'house', a short gleaming sword in hand. She had expected that something like this might happen, particularly after the other night, but hadn't expected it quite so soon.

Fenris and Jericho will likely have something to say about being prepared - and they likely won't be echoing the words of Bayden Powell either.

"Leave now and you'll all live." her voice rings out confidently, if she only felt that confident inside, as she glances around for Ryden.

Ryden is entirely annoyed and depressed to find his tower surrounded when he wakes up from a quick nap to the sound of Damnyou and the tower both screeching in alarm. He'd known this would happen after the meeting when he started quietly attempting to urge anyone he thought he had the slightest chance of doing so with to leave.
There were, the lorekeeper is certain, people on the watch for just such a thing and while he's usually a good judge of character, Ryden knows he's far from infalliable. The magi is still cursing himself for not seeing the making of this place for what it really was.
At least he's prepared for this, there is now a tunnel running from beneath Blackstaff Tower to the outskirts of what used to be Steel City. It's a magical tunnel complete with track and cart lifted from one of his favorite book series but hey! still a valid escape paln. He just needs to find Zee and- "Qwek!" "Huh? Oh. Yeah probably pants. You're right.. she don't wanna see that." 'We're trying to save her. Not scar her for life.' Ryden glares at the goose and he hops into a pair of purple silk boxers. "Dude, harsh." Pink bunny slippers, a magic wand, his travelpack, the damned goose "aaannnnd.." Ryden looks around. He's forgetting something isn't he? Long sigh from the goose and gentle peck to the temple. "Oh yeah the portkey! The magi grabs a rusted tin can from the window sill and looks down, spotting Zee facing off against the crowd with a sword. Perhaps predictably, he panics and is downstairs and out the front door at her side faster than Damnyou has ever seen him move. Clutching and juggling his goose, a brown wavy stick and a rusted food can. His travelpack is on his back and he's wearing silk boxers and bunny slippers. "I'm here to…..*pantwheezhecough* "to…save you…*almostfaints* "Zee!"

There are a number of legitimate magi in this group. Even with 'magical' creatures, the ability to directly manipulate arcane energies isn't common, or at least not with the versatility that most magi usually have. The crowd - which is easily in the low hundreds now - mockingly jeers at Zee as she makes her threat. There's more jeering as Ryden shows up.

A saytr clip-clops out from the group, arcane energies glowing in his hand. "You've been undermining us. You've probably been working for the Outside this whole time. Now you're either going to come with us quietly or come with us in wards and chains but either way you're both going answer to the Shadow Queen."

There's a lot of weapons in evidence and at a guess, twenty or so people with an ability to manipulate magic more or less on Zee and Ryden's scale.

"Save me, huh?" Zee gives Ryden a sidelong glance as he arrives. "How did you propose we leave? They've warded the area and the sewers will be teeming with more of them. If you've got any other idea's I'm listening."

With the wards up against teleporting, his portkey won't work and her normal mode of travel won't either. She's going to brazen this out.

"I don't think so, to either of those. When we took this area we were told that land rights remained ours as long as there was no conflict with others. We've not attacked you or yours, and you come to our doorstep with blood in your eyes. You're breaching the terms of your agreement. Do you really want us to see the Shadow Queen under those conditions?"

She's not really bluffing. She's done nothing to bring the notice of the Outside here, though she has been spying. They'll have to prove that of course.

"I think it is you who will answer to the Shadow Queen."

Of course, if they get out of the warded area … as free folk, they can both 'port out if needed. Right?

Ryden isn't absolutely certain his portkey will get them to the basement. It is made of a forgein magic that doesn't belong in this world, and he summoned it days before they laid down their dampening spells. He thinks it will work. Certainly desperately hopes so because this is going to be a helluva fight if it doesn't.
He also may have set Blackstaff tower to explode and take out this chunck of the city when it goes. While he's still capable of seeing and hoping for the best in people after a thousand years, Ryden isn't stupid. He'd known from the start this wasn't likely to turn out how he was hoping and if he wants to be on the side of magic, and usually is, he's also on the side of humanity and the world as a whole too. He'd suspected they'd have to run, and leaving behind a big enough mess will keep their foes occupied for a time, likely take out some of the more dangerous and stupid ones and show that he and Zee aren't to be messed with.
He finally catches his breath enough to answer. "We just need to get to the basement! and I think this might work.. I hope.. I mean.. i didn't have time to test it.." He frowns and touches the portkey with the wand, his expression turning disappointed when nothing happens. "Shit." Well then. Fighting it is. He'll give them one more chance to listen to Zee and then he's going to show them what happens when you piss off the last lorekeeper. Considering his current state, this is probably alarming to no one.. but that's part of the disguise. No one judges the hapless mage a real threat.

Since that attack on the Surface from the Fathom Five, Mera has been 'sneaking out' to check in on various parts of the surface coastline. Her most recent foray has found an area that positively reeks of magical taint. And what little she's gleaned from Arthur, that is NOT normal for the Surfacers. Thus, she is curious.

Drawing from various water sources as she travels inland from the coast, she moves on a pillar of water that is less ostentatious than usual — only about four feet tall. She's got a finite amount of water at her disposal, so she's trying to be frugal here.

Seeing a gathering of creatures, she pulls all of the water from a stagnant fountain and moves closer, just in time to hear a dark-haired woman say something about a Shadow Queen. Must be one of the many Surfacer rulers. And while she may know shockingly little about Surfacers, she recognizes an attack force facing off against a pair of greatly outnumbered foes. And that's just not fair. So now she's frowning, standing behind the group that includes the satyr.

The wards are indeed thickly woven. This mob set up beforehand which indicates that it's not a spur of the moment thing. Mera can feel the anger from the crowd, a 'bubbling, simmering' thing very close to the surface. It's been stoked though by rhetoric or unnatural power isn't clear. What is clear is that these people are largely beyond any kind of reason. They're angry and they're looking for something to vent their anger on.

Seems like they've found it.

"Well in that case you shouldn't have any problems coming with us. Last chance magelings. Disarm and surrender or we'll take you by force…" The Saytr smirks. "We'll talk to your ghosts if we really have to."

No, they haven't noticed Mera. They're probably about to, though.

"I'm not fighting about this. You are breaching the peace of these lands." Zee holds her head high. She's not disarming, not with the mob like this. "How about I don't disarm but agree to go with you?" She won't speak for Ryden, but she'll back his play. Her face hardens just a little at the 'mageling' … she's a mage - but if they want to forget that, be in on their heads.

Looks like it's down to a fight and the odds have just shifted in their favour. Yes, the Mistress of Magic recognises the Sea Queen. Not that she acknowledges her.

Oh yes, this group will likely have to 'throw the first punch' unless Ryden does.

Ryden sighs and tosses his tin can aside. He hadn't wanted to hurt anyone. He really hadn't. "I'm sorry Zee." He will not let them take her.. too many things to go wrong there and they're all obviously past the point of reasoning. "This is gonna suck. Look, don't let it touch you and if I lose control or it gets on me, run like hell. I'll be back. Eventually." Damnyou makes an alarmed sound as Ryden sets the small goose by Zee's feet where he won't be in the way. It'll be safer with her if he fails. Of course, the lorekeeper isn't planning on failing but this is a very dangerous, very powerful spell.
At least its only a minimal drain on his reserves due to the magic being held in the wand and stored for just such an occasion. There are reasons this was considered a dark magic spell in the book he borrowed it from. Not even magically enhanced water can douse fiendfyre and it takes strength and grows in power from everything it feeds on. There is a lot around here to feed on… Ryden suspects it will ignore, eat or slowly burn through the wards and protections the group might have set too, given enough time. In any case, it's hot, its angry and it's almost, but not quite yet, out of control as it bursts from the end of his wand in stream of orange, red and yellow. Three times he shakes free of the stream and it forms into a mythical beast, a chimera, a dragon and some sort large fire breathing crab. The animals tear into the mob, intent on devouring them. Ryden is shaking with the strain of keeping the fyre turned on their foes and only momemnts later the lorekeeper is covered in sweat. He hasn't seen Mera amidst the mob but wouldn't recognize the Queen if he did. This world's Atlantis is one of the few places he hasn't visited.

At the Satyr's less than subtle threat against the pair of Surfacers and the small creature, Mera decides that enough is enough. At about the same moment as Ryden creates three fiendfire creatures, Mera uses her limited collection of water to skewer about a half-dozen of the various creatures closest to her. She's kept just enough water to create a pair of sword-like constructs, which she uses to slice and slap her way toward the satyr. Because he seemed like the one leading this angry mob.

The first thing Mera hits is a Centaur. The next thing she hits is a saytr. Creatures yelp and jump out of her way, unprepared for violence from behind. The Sea queen will have a path carved to the saytr leading the mob in no time.

The violence from behind ignites violence at the front as well. Basically the entire front of creatures charges at Zee and Ryden screaming at the top of their lungs. Things like 'treachery!'

Looking at Ryden, Zee shakes her head as she watches the magic explode from the wand. As it does, her eyes glow and blue energy licks up her arms and she turns her attention back to the charging mob.

With Mera entering the melee from the back, the young mage has to be careful. No wild casting and bringing sheets of lightning down on these creatures.

With a murmur, she grasps the ropes of energy in her hands and throws a spell at the front rank… she's going to turn them to pillars of salt if she can. Irony much? The statues at least should slow the next rank down enough for her and Ryden to do more.

Ryden hates this kind of fighting dirty, to kill and kill fast, as many he can. He's never been fond of that kind of battle when it's real and is even less so at the moment knowing these people have no idea that he and Zee aren't actually their enemy. And he knows this is likely to make helping some time down the road even harder but in all of existence there are two things you don't do in front of the lorekeeper. Threaten Zee, the magelet he thinks of almost as a daughter, and threaten his familiar. "The bond between a man and his goose is sacred!" Ryden screams and slings a trail of Fiendfyre into the third rank of oncoming horde. Far enough away from them to be safe he hopes.
Meanwhile Damnyou gapes at the magi with his beak hanging open and then covers his eyes with the tips of his left wing. If any one is actually listening they probably think his idiot human is talking about his own ass. It's not like a little goose like him is all that visible down here what with the water swords and the fire monsters raging around. He does send a quick mental image of Mera to Ryden though, pointing out she isn't one of their enemies. Hopefully Dumbass Mcdumbasserson over there can keep from frying her. She looks important.
"Dude! I'm trying to save your go-uh..ass." Oh no. No no No. He is not even going to…Damnyou stares at the lorekeeper as if attempting to burn a hole into the man's rear. Ryden quickly changes words and gulps as he feels his familiar's glare. Somehow it seems hotter than the fiendfyre…

Mera keeps on carving her path to the satyr, her water spears leaving their targets behind and forming a sort of sea urchin arrangement of sharp points protecting her back. She has to sidetrack to one side, though, as one of the two Surfacers is flinging more fire around and that's something she can't afford to get too close to. So now she's making a zig zag path. Inefficient. Really.

That saytr is readying a spell. It looks like something big. Mera knows what the signs are. It's too well protected from the front but she might be able to get at it from the back.

Zee and Ryden are being swarmed. There's no other word for it. They can cut them down by the tens, by the dozens. Ordinarily that might be enough to make the others think twice but their blood is up. Every time lightning or fire fells one, more take their place.

And yes, they can feel that spell getting ready to go off as well.

Use your brain. Zee's thinking to herself as she watches the mass swarm. Now would be the time to get the hell out of Dodge, but she can't. "Find the spellcaster, take them out…" She mutters to Ryden, eyes glowing brightly with the magic she's channelling.

She's fought Limbo battles that weren't this pitched.

Using her sword to run through one of the creatures that gets near, the young mage ducks the attack of another. The masses have broken through and are within arm lengths… this is not good, not good at all. From where she stands, this battle seems unwinnable.

With a yell, a wall of magical force comes forth, pushing the nearest creatures back into their companions. She can only hope that Ryden gets the caster.

Ryden pants heavily as he wrests control of the fiends and forces them to move away from Mera and give her space. He can't believe how determined these guys are to kill them. Anyone with a lick of sense would feel the power of the fiendfyre and haul ass. 'Anyone with a lick of sense wouldn't have summoned it in the first place.' Crystaline eyes roll at the goose but Ryden's too focused on keeping them from getting fyred along with their enemies to turn around and argue the point.
Really though, they are getting too close now and Ryden drops the spell but not the wand. The fiends will die out.. eventually. For the moment thought Ryden sends them racing towards the center of town and the Shadow Queen's palace before giving up control. That out to keep someone busy for a bit. He's a sweat soaked mess, has lost one of his fuzzy bunny slippers and his boxers aren't leaving much to the imagination now that they are clinging to him but he isn't down and out yet! The lorekeeper reaches around and unsnaps his lightsaber, the pink blade humming to life as he thrusts and whirls, going for the feet and legs of the closest denizens as he tries to clear a path to the Satyr. The magical wall certainly helps and while Ryden is alarmed by not knowing where it came from, he uses it and his long practiced sword moves to get close enough to jab the saber towards the Satyr's throat. Then he grabs the wand from where'd he'd tucked it into the back of his boxers and points at the Satyr and shouts "Avada Kedavra!" For good measure.

Upon seeing that the satyr is about to unleash a spell, Mera tries to get to the creature faster. But, she's not quick enough before the strangely dressed Surfacer yells out some very strange words. So she's going to stay where she is in the middle of the mob of creatures, and if needed, she'll send a spear of water at the satyr.

Mera's spear and Ryden's spell strike the Saytr at virtually the same time.

And the spell goes nuts. As the Saytr expires the energies he was gathering go wild. Something tears in space and time, a large circular flaming portal that immediately begins to disgorge…

Well there's no other word for them. They're demons. That's a portal to hell that somehow tore open from the dying sayter's now uncontrolled spell. It's sucking in everything remotely nearby and spitting forth demons. That's not Limbo, Zee will know. It's something else, and the things behind it are hungry for blood.

This is bad. This is very, very bad.

The one bright side? Suddenly the creatures aren't fighting Zee and Ryden and Mera anymore. The downside is of course that there is a horde of demons coming through.

"Shit, shit, shit." Zee rarely swears but this is one of those times. At least portal magic is something she does right? "That's a hell portal, Ryden. Going to try and close it." Which will leave her exposed for the most part. But it can't stay open, it just can't.

At least the horde is worried about something other than mageling supper right now.

It's going to be a choice, she thinks, close the portal stranding these demons here and having to deal with them, or letting more through.

Blue energy grows to form ropes around Zee's wrists and the mage slowly separates them, holding the strands in her hands as she slowly cants the words to a spell … sending strand after strand magic flying towards to the portal that has been ripped open.

Ryden stares at the portal, then at the satyr, then at the portal again. Clearly despite his advanced years and active imagination, the lorekeeper hasn't yet seen everything. He'dve never expected that to be what the satyr was doing. Damnyou looks from Ryden to the Satyr and then "Qweks" an apology. The dead one will now be known as dumbass mcdumbersson and not his human in his memoirs.
The magi rolls his eyes and mutters "Gee, thanks buddy." Before reaching out to lend a tendril of his power to Zee so she can draw on him if she needs more. He'll try to disctract the demons while she closes the portal. The lorekeeper has a bit of a dark streak when he's pissed and he's honestly tempted to just close the portal and leave whatever demons that make it through to wreack havoc.
He doesn't really want to be responsible for that kind of loss of life though. He's also not sure if there are enough people with the kind of faith you need to effectively fight these guys left in the world. Soo.. "Hey handsome." Ryden winks and grins at the nearest demon. "My, what a big… horn ya got there. Say.. Ooh look at your friends too.. Why don't we go to this bar down the street and…" He is so going to blow that tower as soon as they get free of here. How long can he mutter nonsense until they start trying to eat him? Or.. whatever. Does a lightsaber work on hell demons?

Well, that stopped the spell caster. But clearly, his spell went off anyway. She's more familiar with portals, though not with this particular purpose. And, yuck. She charges forward and starts trying to mow through the demons as they emerge from the portal. Her water supply is dwindling, though, and she soon won't have enough to form the water swords she's using. And that's… potentially very bad.

The demons individually aren't any problem. It's their numbers. Well, their numbers and the fact that Mera is one of the few fighting them.

There's a bigger problem. This spell is wild, uncontrolled and sustaining itself. It reaches out to any sources of magic in the area to keep itself going and latches on to two of the biggest - Zee and Ryden.

It feels like being ripped in to. In a very literal sense the portal is trying to eat their soul. They've got to get this thing closed or they're gonners.

Zee can only do what she can do. She's already got the spell going to try and close the portal. Rushing magic, particularly magic like this is likely to cause more problems or not, and despite the pain that she's feeling, she keeps casting. The words might come out through gritted teeth, but their precise and their accurate.

Rather than drawing on Ryden though, something within her reaches out to the Demons and pulls from them … sending their own fell power back against the portal.

Ryden keeps talking at the Demons, he's not very good at portal magic and worries he'd mess it up more. He's also alarmed at what the portal is doing but doesn't have a way to block it. Damnyou rolls his little goose eyes at the lorekeeper trying to literally flirt with evil and steps up to Zee's side again. He can feel the portal trying to drain her and his human's souls and that's no good. He loves Zee and Ryden… *sidelong look at the Lorekeeper* …well, it'd take too long to train another human.
The familiar has been watching carefully and begins to mimic Zee's actions, drawing on the demons and attempting to push the portal shut. He's no where near as practiced as her but he's seen the two of them do magic often enough.. maybe it'll be just enough to help.

Mera keeps right on slicing and dicing demons, though her water blades have become a singluar blade, and that one blade is starting to shrink visibly with each strike. Are there any other water sources nearby? If there are, she'll draw all the water she can from them immediately. If not…

There… actually are other water sources. There's one through the portal. It's definitely water. What else it might be is a good question. Still, it might respond to Mera's command, this 'hellwater'. Worth a shot yes? The sea queen has killed a hundred or so demons and they don't show any sighsn of stopping.

The portal is starting to shrink. It's getting there. But it's drained too much magic into itself from all the available sources and there simply aren't enough demons to complete the shrinking spell. The only things left at this point that haven't fled are Zee and Ryden.

Closing it is still possible. But it's going to kill one of them. Either that or it'll drain the magic from them both and kill both of them.

And Zee won't flee. She was also told, by two men she greatly respects, that one day she might have to make this choice. She hadn't believed them then and might not believe them now.

There always has to be another way, doesn't there?

She tries to draw from the blight that's laid on Steel City, the magic that is interwoven with the very land - and it doesn't respond, depleted as it already is.

Turning blue/black eyes, so much more black than blue, to Ryden - "Draw from me… close it." She could do it, but as her magic ebbs away taking her life with it, she knows she'll loose control and possibly fail.

That is something that she just can not allow.

"Zee, no." Ryden sighs in exasperation. In what world would it be okay to sacrifice the young instead of the old? Not this one. Besides, he'll be back eventually. She probably wouldn't be. There are loads of magical things inside his pack that he could use but there just isn't time, there are still more coming though. "You stay with her." The lorekeeper tells Damnyou as he drops his pack at her side and dives through the shrinking portal. He doesn't want to risk Zee stopping him or sacrificing herself anyway, so he'll send the rest of his power, and his life force into it from there so that she can finish closing it.
Strangely, the pack makes no move to go to him. Ryden is fading fast and it seems to know this. He's spelled to stay with her in the event of his death. It could and hopefully only will be a matter of weeks but it's taken months and even years before. The lorekeeper has no idea what really happens when he 'dies' and is pretty sure he's glad of that. All he does know is that he'll be back at some point, and hey, it'll be interesting to find out if there are any side effects from dying over here in Hell. Huh.. shit. That might be a problem actually… well, he'll worry about it later.. Ryden closes his eyes and slumps over.

Mera is, perhaps a bit sadly, unaware of the goings on with the two spell casters, her attention on the continuing influx of demons. She's out of water now, and … wait. She can feel the water on the other side. She draws it out and then sees a chance. She uses the hellwater to fill and block the portal from the other side. Think Stargate's iris. But made out of water.

That's certainly unexpected. At least the demons don't seem to know what to do with it and tellingly, they don't want to get into the water. Mera can see fish in it.

Really ugly fish.

As Zee and Ryden both push spell energy into the portal it shrinks to the size of a pinpoint and then there's a rather sudden white flash and all three of them are…

On an island? They're on a deserted island far from Mera's home waters. South Pacific it looks like. Blue territory not that anyone but Mera knows that.

There's a being nearby that looks like a pre Raphaelite angel, all androgynous features and flowing hair and glowing eyes.

"Well done, the three of you. Particularly you two mages. The Vishanti are well pleased."

"Ryden, don't do this …" Zee's voice nearly breaks but she can't stop him. Later, she'll have a stern talking to herself.

As the 'event horizon' forms over the portal, with those really, really ugly fish swimming in it, the dark haired mage looks to Mera and spares a nod.

And then she's on a beach … in all black leather. Yay! Can anyone say sand?

Blue/black eyes turn to the androgynous figure, her arms folding loosely over her chest. It's an affectation that she's picked up from a colleague. "I'm glad we've pleased you." Her tone is neutral. "Is the portal closed? It hadn't quite before you transported us here."

Ryden's last thought is that he hopes Damnyou watches over Zee while he's gone and that someone stops in to feed cat. Someone who isn't alarmed by a four foot long, pink and green furred cat actually. He also wonders if he'll remember to go find Zee. It usually takes awhile to sort himself once he gets back and he never rememebers the actual dying….huh that's kinda of a lot of last thoughts actually. Shouldn't he like, stop thinking? And why is he suddenly less tired and more…*smack!* "Uh!"
A startled crystal blue eye opens and Ryden stares at the assend of what must surely be the ugliest fish he's ever seen in his life. He's dripping skanky water all over the …sand? And there's some guy talking about.. "Oh god not the Vishanti again." He'd rather be in H…actually no, no, maybe he wouldn't. Ryden scoots away from the fish grimacing at the sand." "Zee! Sorry. Look I.. I woulda came back. You know. You might not have and I hope to the gods and…" he turns and glares at teh Vishanit Messenger, "and everything else you never have to actually do that! but this time at least I could spare you. I had no idea it was another one of their bloody tests." That admission might not help him with her but he hopes she won't be too angry and even if he'd known he isn't sure he would have been able to do otherwise. Might as well tell the truth. Damnyou appears, huddled at Zee's feet and trying to glare a hole through the Messenger's forehead, Ryden greets the familiar with a muttered.. "Dude. I have sand.. in.. places.. places sand should never ever be.."

Mera has no clue what angels are in the Surfacer sense, or what the Vishanti are. She just sees another being, and now that there's alllll the water nearby. A water tentacle snakes its way up to the spellcasters and almost abruptly there is a wall of solidified water protecting the two mages and the gander. She's THIS close to openly snarling at the Vishanti being.

"Peace be unto you, Queen of Atlantis. I am an agent of the Vishanti and mean you no harm. Your help in mitigating the damage to this sphere is noted and we are grateful."

The 'angel' turns its attention to the two magi.

"The Vishanti wished to know how the potential defenders of this realm faced death, since death is always a possibility. The trials are now over. We will find you soon."

And with that the messenger simply fades from view.

"Peace, Queen Mera." Zee murmurs as the protective wall appears between them. "I thank you for your care, though." Her attention returns to the Vishanti's messenger, her face passive as it imparts its message. What can she say to that?

As the creature fades from view, the young mage murmurs to Ryden. "Don't ever be sorry for doing what you think is right." She's not angry, she'd been prepared to die as well.

Finally turning to the Atlantean Queen, the Mistress of Magic inclines her head "My thanks, Queen Mera, for the timely intervention. Without your assistance, we might not have made that. Is there anything I may assist you with, in return?"

Ryden sputters and opens his mouth to exclaim. Damnyou pecks him on the ankle. Anything the damned fool mutters about having died before is not likely to improve Zee's mood and that's the Queen of Atlantis over there and a little decorum might be in order. At least a tiny bit… the goose honestly isn't expecting much because.. well.. it's Ryden. The man might know alllllll the words but that doesn't mean he makes proper use of them.
So the gander is very surprised when the lorekeeper suddenly shuts up upon noticing Mera and figuring out she's behind the wall of water. Not only does the man quiet, he snaps his legs together and puts his hands in his lap before bowing his head respectfully. He peeks up at the Queen with a meek expression, then smiles at Zee, so grateful she isn't mad. "Zee Zee! That's the Queen. The queen of Atlantis!" Ryden covers his mouth at least but she can probably still hear him. Damnyou sighs and shakes his head. For a moment there, he'd actually thought they'd make it through this with some shred of dignity intact. One of these days, he'll stop hoping that the goose is sure. And then Ryden, being Ryden will manage it. Why is the one that has to deal with this!? The gander turns and stares out at the ocean.

Mera watches the Vishanti messenger warily, and only after he disappears does she release the wall of water. All of the water falls into the sand. Finally she turns to look at them, her eyes studying all three Surfacers for a long moment. She's simultaneously telepathically trying to contact the only Blue Liaison she knows, to get safe passage for all four of them back to more familiar waters.

The Blue will arrive shortly to give the Surfacers and Mera safe passage back. With their hydroporting it won't take long.

Which only leaves one question: What will happen when the Vishanti's agents come calling next.

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