Undersea Extraction - Water Team

February 19, 2017:

So, everyone came down to the deepest depths of the ocean on a supersecret save the world mission. And then, see, kaboom. Everything went to crud. Someone has to take on the big nasty in the water. And this is their tale!


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Flash, Fairchild

Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Barry's message to the others was pretty simple. Flash had set up a non-descript harbor pickup for the group. The scarlet clad meta is currently at the dock itself, with a few SHIELD vehicles about as the speedster moves back and forth quickly as he tries to figure out where everyone is going to be, and looking out over the darkening water to see when the ship that Aquaman promised is going to arrive. "Please, don't let him thing we should ride down in the belly of a whale like Jonah.." he says to himself as he waits for the others to arrive.

Normally, Caitlin would fly on her own power— but there's some gear she needs, so there's a *whoosh* of motion overhead, and a hatch opens from nowhere. The Invisible Jet, on loan by Diana's graces, disgorges Caitlin Fairchild and a heavy steel lockbox she carries negligently on one broad shoulder. She turns and waves at the ship once the ramp is clear. "Thanks Plane! Head home, I'll get a ride home later," she chirps. Whether or not the plane understands her is anyone's guess— but it does take off on its own power, and Caitlin walks towards the docks. Her red hair is bound back in tight, coiling braids at the base of her neck, perfect for swimming. She wears her usual leotard, but the loose utility belt has been cinched tight and her boots have been traded in for lightweight 'approach shoes'.

"Hey folks," she greets, wandering up. "I've got the modified SCUBA gear. Do I need to ask permission to board?" she inquires, looking around.

Lara Croft's black jeep is one of the SHIELD vehicles that is now on site and the owner, is gathering up a couple bags out of the back before closing the door and stepping away from it. She's come with her assostciate, Jonah who she knew was as reliable a companion as one could bring on any expedition. She smiled over at him. "Back in the water we go, huh?" She said to her friend, while moving to board the ship and join the others, nodding to anyone who would make eye-contact with her.

Flying under her own power? That's the very definition of Captain Marvel. Hence golden glow-enshrouded figure that drops out of the night sky and alights on the docks. She doesn't come with big cases full of gear. Just the heroine herself, marching across towards the gathering of others. "Hey, Flash. Nice ride in, Red." Some day, Carol will fly the invisible jet. But not tonight, apparently. Something to stay alive for, perhaps? "Anything else we need toted onboard when Fishstick arrives?"

An indistinct presence made whole..

Focus pans from one arrival to the next only to re-center in at the final panel to focus upon the Flash and then upon the impending arrival beyond. Without any sort of entrance there is now a lanky olive-green figure which stands just at the edge of the frame his crimson eyes peering across the sea from beneath the shadow of a beetled brow.

(That was J'onn)

The waters off the docks ripple for a moment before rising up as if alive, surging upward a trio of stories into the air before splitting apart and crashing back down upon itself in a foaming mass, revealing the glisening black carapace like covering of a distinctly 'alien' ship. It appears to be made of metal, or something metalish, and has a design asthetic that's distincly 'shellfish meets naval destroyer', sleek and aquadynamic, but large and with clearly interlocking armor plates. There are no visible weapons, but then how would one tell exactly? It's a shockingly large ship, easily large enough to include the entire retinue plus their vehicles if they were so inclined. It's /not/ the smallish ship that Barry rode on during his last visit.

A part of the outer hull lifts with a hiss and a spray of water, to show a large open bay area and Aquaman standing in it's entrance, "I was this close," he holds a forefinger and thumb a quarter inch apart, "to bringing one of the whales." he says to Barry, as if he could read the speedsters mind. "But I like Cap so…" he quips, teasing his old friend. "Come aboard if you like," he motions towards the opening and the part of the ship that's dropped down on the dock to act as a gangplank, inviting everyone in a single gesture, "just remember if anyone tries to steal tech or baubles it's a long walk home." he grins. Which means he's kidding. Right?

"And people complain I'm slow!" Flash grins at Arthur, and then waves around. "If you haven't met him, everyone, this is Aquaman, king of the seas. Like he said, we're only checking to see if there is Mists intact, we're not taking tech.. or baubles." he says with a roll of his eyes. "No pirating!" he offers, before he adds, taking out some earpieces. "We have a Bat on overwatch tonight, Oracle will be feeding us information as we go." he says, as he passes them around and then puts his own in. "Overwatch, Flash. We're loading up. Reading us okay?"

"This takes me back."

Slowly, the shoes of Captain America make their way onto the ship as people shuffle aboard, Steve considering when he went on a big boat for a massive war overseas. But that was a few years ago… But what's a few decades between friends. Having arrived simply on his motorcycle, Rogers has answered the call in order to get to know other heroes and if possible, lend his aid. Dressed in blackish-blue variant of his costume (some would call it a 'Stealth Suit', despite the fact that it has a white star still in the center), the only real odd thing is that he has simple flip flops instead of boots and a dufflebag that likely has his underwater equipment. He nods to everyone gathered, remaining rather silent as to not steal the thunder from others since he knows he has little right to call the shots for a water mission.

"Hey everyone," he states unaware that he is being mentioned, perhaps distracted by taking in the ship and the people. "Nice day for a swim, right?" he offers in an awkward attempt of friendly small talk. As there is talk of introductions, Cap offers Arthur a wave, only giving a handshake if the King is willing to do so. "Happy to be on board," he says with a small smile.

The Martian moves with broad arms clasped at the small of his back. The high-collared cape he wears flows with an unnatural pseudo-motion as he steps upon the gangplank and then ascends towards the belly of the vessel.

J'onn seems to avoid looking at Arthur until the social distance becomes perilously close. The Manhunter looks at the King of the Seas and nods with simple reverence before crossing the threshold into the vessel's dim interior.

Caitlin whistles when Aquaman's boat— ship— disgorges itself from the waves, and admires the alien hull with an engineer's appreciative eye. "Wow. That is a piece of work," she says, admiringly. Shouldering the heavy crate once more, she heads towards the vehicle, ducking her head at Aquaman with a polite smile as she passes him. "Permission to board, sir?" she asks, a bit hesitantly— no one actually said if that's a courtesy or custom, after all!

She waves at Carol in greeting with Captain Marvel joins them, and ends up entering the vehicle when Lara and her friend arrive. "Er, hi! I'm Caitlin, Caitlin Fairchild," the big ginger says, smiling down at Lara. "Are you with the League?"

Lara was wearing a black denim jacket, some blue jeans and a red tshirt beneath, she had her leather duffle bag hooked on her left arm and a backpack slung over her right shoulder. There was so much interesting things going on / people arriving that the young archaeologist barely knew where to let her eyes linger next.

But when Caitlin spoke to her she put her attention onto that of Fairchild and she offered a soft smile and extended her hand for a shake. "Lara, Croft… This is Jonah Maiava." She motioned to the big Hawaiian man. "And uh, no, we're representitives of SHIELD." She glanced at Jonah and then back to Caitlin. "Well, that is to say, I am. Jonah is my protector." She grinned at her friend for just a moment.

Lara had heard the bit about not being able to take any items back with them and that sorely disappointed her, but she'd play along… if that was the rules.

Captain Marvel follows the Martian, Captain America, and Caitlin on-board. "Your Worship, good to see you." she teases Arthur, with a smile and a little bow of her head. "I really do appreciate you being willing to help out with this. I know it's a pain. We'll keep things in order, as promised." She nods to Cap, glad to see that he has agreed to join on this operation, whatever his ongoing status with the League. "You ready for this, Red?" she asks Caitlin, curious about the other woman's preparations. She offers a little nodding salute towards Lara. "J'onn. It's been a while."

"Indeed," the Martian speaks with a baritone so hollow it somehow conjures images of an infinite wind blowing across an endless red desert, "It is good to see you again, Ms. Marvel." There is warmth in the final two words.

Jonah Maiava stands by Lara offering a nod as he is introduced. Honestly he was happy to be called her body guard because honestly it was true. He knew his friend wouldn't like the part about no trasure hunting.

Aquaman takes Cap's hand in his own and beams a little bit like a fan boy at Cap, "My Grandfather was 101st," he says in that same tone of voice that Steve's likely tired of hearing from people who knew people in The War, "and Namor talks about you once you get enough darkwine into him. He doesn't talk about /anybody/ so it's kinda noteable." he releases Steve's hand quickly, realizing it may have been one or two pumps to many to be polite and clears his throat, "Anyway, welcome aboard." he finishes lamely before moving on to the others as they board, handing out nods and smiles.

"Through the door at the end, hang a left, follow the path until you run across the," he pauses, translates in his mind to soemthing that'll work, "war room. Mission briefing there, and smaller private rooms for people to gear up as they see fit. This should be a dry mission but I would suggest the precaution of wearing protective gear in case there's a breach. Might buy you the scant moments required for me or mine to get you into preassure chambers back on the ship." Welcome to ocean life where everything really is trying to kill you all the time. "We'll be at slightly over three miles deep and I cannot stress how much I would like SHIELD, the Leauge, and Atlantis' first triple joint mission to /not/ have a body count."

Carol gets a raised brow, "Keep that up and I'm gonna convince all the algea that there's yummy things inside your suit." He's threatening Carol with slime before nudging her with an elbow fondly. The doors hiss closed as the last of the group boards, and seel with a soft sound of seals meeting. The floor trembles slightly, signalling they're underway, and Arthur begins herding any loiterers towards the aforementioned warroom to get the show on the road. One may notive the odd lack of crew as they make their way, and the plethora of large sealed hatches they pass. Shy people the Atlanteans.

"Well, I thank you grandfather for his service," Rogers replies with a sincere gratitude as he returns the handshake. If there is a frustration in people saying who in their family served their country, it never shows on iota on the Super Soldier's face. After all, considering the sacrifice so many made, he owes them at least an honest appreciation to them and their loved ones.

Namor, however, causes Cap to give an awkward grin. "Yeah, Namor and me go back," he muses as he rubs the back of his neck. After all, the two might fight together and respect one another, but they truly have different mindsets on how the world should work.

As Maiava is introduced, Rogers offers him a hand as well. "Good to meet you, Mr. Maiava. Sure Miss Croft is lucky to have you around," he states with a hint of a grin. A brief nod is returned to Captain Marvel as he merely sets down his equipment in a place that makes sense, only to pick it up when he realizes they are going to be on the move. Like a good little superhero, Steve allows himself to be shuffled around as needed without a word.

Flash bites his tongue so he doesn't snicker too much at Arthur's quip back at Carol as they get on board and move to the war room. Once there, he sets up his own briefing and draws in a breath. "Alright, as some of you know in here, several months back, when the Terrigen Mists were first unleashed on the world, the mutant known as Apokolips had a flying fortress. With the help of a multi-group force, led by Iron Man, they were able to bring it down. We had thought the ship destroyed and under SHIELD jursidiction. That is until I did a little bit more research and spoke to Aquaman and Aquawoman. The ship has surviving areas, including the main lab area. Our purpose tonight is to breach the ship on one of of the sublevels, work our way to the lab, and then recover what information we can. I do not know if there has been any Mists released in the area.. as the tide there is dangerous." he admits as he looks to Arthur. "They've been keeping a vigil at distance on the area."

The ship continues it's journey down, as Flash considers. "Lara, you're going to be our expert in this. Apokolips was heavy into the Egyptian thing, and we'll probably need your help to translate some of this." he admits as he hears over the comms that they are approaching the base. He brings it up on a viewscreen, the massive wreck sitting on the bottom of the ocean, undisturbed since it's downing. "We should be ther shortly. Heavies.." he smiles at the Caps, J'onn and others. "…if this turns out to be a boring walk, I apologize in advance."

Caitlin smiles affably at Lara and Jonah. She's probably not any older than Lara— no more than her early 20s. But she walks with a certain confidence, and besides that, she's got all the mass Jonah does and a few inches on him, to boot. "Glad you're here, then!" she says, and means it. "This should be a lot of fun!"

She sets the heavy crate down with a *thunk* that translates that she's idly bandying around several hundred pounds of gear, and pops the lid for Captain Marvel. Inside is modified SCUBA gear, all bearing the hallmark of Justice League engineers. "Pressurized liquid oxygen for anyone with a lung capacity that can handle it," she explains. "We figured out a safe way to phase shift the liquid into gas. This little container's good for almost thirty minutes, even for me," she says, waggling a canister at Carol. "But the pressure is high enough that anyone who can't bench press a city bus probably shouldn't use it."

J'onn gets a curious look— she's never met him, but the similiarities with M'gann are uncanny. And then, speaking of bench pressing, Captain America is shaking hands with Aquaman, and Caitlin pinks a little and tucks a stray bit of red hair behind one ear. "Oh my," she murmurs— then, focuses! Mission! She beams at Carol and shuts the footlocker again, then tilts her head towards the direction of the war room as indicated by the Lord of Atlantis.

Cait listens carefully to the briefing, her excellent memory taking thorough notes. At Flash's quip, she smiles and shakes her head minutely. "Boring is fine by me," the big ginger says. "I'm looking forward to seeing some of the ocean. I've never been deep-sea diving."

"All points, check in," comes a young female voice into the earcoms of anyone that's been given small Comunits. Spoiler sits at Oracle's auxillary station, headset on, watching things on her monitors, trying not to sound nervous. She's mostly successful. Push to talk is weird. Honestly, she should have done more PC gaming with the ex. It would have come in really handy right about now. C'est la vive. Stephanie takes a breif moment to inhale and steady herself, before . She watches the various comlines come to life as people check in, counting them off against the list of operatives Flash had given her earlier. She might have made icons for each. And color coded everything. Spoiler flicks a glance at one of the monitors, checking some vitals she has on a certain scarlet clad member of hte party before she reaches for her water for a sip. Just a sip. Once this raid starts, ther ewill be NO potty breaks and no way she could call AFK.

Lara glanced over to Captain Marvel when she approached, offered a smile to the other woman but she didn't know who she was. Croft wasn't the most versed at super hero knowledge, it wasn't really something she focused on and being that she rarely watched television, and rarely used the internet for anything but research… she didn't know really anyone on this ship, other than Steve and thats just because he was on a date with Darcy in the park that one day (It was a date, right?) She did offer a smile to Steve too and a nod!

At the briefing: Lara stood near the back and she kept her arms crossed over her stomach, holding her elbows. She nodded when she was specifically spoken of. "It won't be a problem. I grew up nose deep in Egyptian history." It was one of the fields she was most confident in her knowledge of, as she first started drawing hieroglyphs when she was four years old and her father would make up little mysteries around the house for her to solve, based on them.

"Captain, J'onn. Ms. Marvel is the girl in Jersey City, now. Great kid, too." Carol offers with a smile, her own warmth filling the words. Quite the good gathering of personnel for this op, and she's glad to see it.

"Slimy. Nice one, Arthur. Glad to see court intrique hasn't robbed you of your talent at the burn." Carol offers with a wink att he handsome King of the Seas. Then she turns to follow the others down said hallway. No special gear for Captain Marvel, but neither pressure nor vacuum is going to harm her. She doesn't need to breathe, either, though she does have the habit. No, the worst thing for her is that down in the depths she's going to be almost blind. 'Cause if she lights up to see better, she'll be swarmed by those that like to eat the glowy ones.

"Evening, Cap. Didn't know you were joining us on this dip. Good to have you. Flash, do we have everything onboard?" Carol finishes, just as she is ducking to step through the hatch into the passageway.

Carol settles in for the briefing, and nods. Alright. "OK. So, we're going to need scanners to detect for terrigen release in the water. No telling what it could do to us, or Arthur's people, or the wildlife." She glances around, and then reaches up to tap her ear as her League comm unit starts offering up a voice she does not know. What the … ? "Hello? This is Captain Marvel. And you would be …?" Not Oracle. At all.

When Carol speaks to the Martian his thin lips stretch into a faint smile.

The simple action seems to convey a sense of good-spirit as beetled red glare settles upon the hero, "Captain." He restates the word with a familial pride, "Good."

Unable to possess a communication device while shifting between insubstantial forms the Martian relies upon the psychic impressions of those around him to communicate. As others check in he seems suddenly less present as his mind searches for the consciousness woman at the other end of the radio.

Aquaman nods his agreement with Barry's words, "My navy's sitting a half mile out, they've had this place blockaded just in case." he tilts his head to the side as if hearing something the others can't, "Dock in four… three… two…" he flicks a finger and there's the slightest of tremors. He grins at Cait, "Sorry, nothing to really see this deep, well, not unless your eyes are better then I suspect. But instead of ocean depths I can offer you one Egyptian super lab filled with aresolized mutagen?" he offers helpfully!

"The image on the screen is a computerized representation built from modeling done by sonar and overmapped by footage of it before it fell from the sky, it's not an actual real ti-" his eyes suddenly go wide, "BRACE FOR IMPACT!" he bellows as he himself reaches out to grip a handle like protrusion that's grown into the wall, likely for just this sort of thing.

The ship lurches slightly under everyone's feet, just enough to knock the unwary on their backsides but not enough to hurl anyone around the room. "We've been breached!" he says, though there's no actual sign of it. He pulls the trident from his back in a flurry and points at the doorway, "Get back to the bay, by the time you reach the room the breach will be complete and you can get into the pyramid. We may have to seal it and flood the ship." his brows knit and the fun loving slightly fanboyish surfer of a moment ago is gone and in his place is a furious King, "Something is ripping into my damned ship!"

"It's was a last minute thing, but glad I could make it," Rogers admits with a grin to Marvel's words. As talk of a 'boring' trip is given, Steve shrugs. "Regardless of what's needed, I'm here to help. Despite my skill set, I'm find with being here 'just in case'. Just because I'm good in a fight doesn't mean I'm looking for one."

A glance is given toward Caitlin, taking in the pink in her cheeks with a slightly arched brow in confusion. "Something wrong?" he asks, looking at himself in cause his zipper was down or the like. He doesn't have time to wait for an answer as there is suddenly something hitting the ship. He is thrown forward, but he rolls along the ground and pops up swiftly enough.

As the situation is given and the mission understood, Rogers nods, pulling out the oxygen tank from his duffle, clearly preparing just in case this becomes true swim. "You heard the man, we need to get going," he offers, racing to the bay. He might only have the mission briefing given here to guide him, but as a man used to missions, it's all he needs to get going.

Flash's eyes go wide as the first lurch of the ship causes him to react, moving at a sudden burst of speed to secure himself as the ship is lurched into. "Aquaman, take those that can handle the pressure, and figure out what that was! Captain America, take the lead of the search team. I know the way to the lab!" he calls out as he already has the map memorized.

Then Steve is suiting up to possibly go outside. "Captain, you sure you can handle the pressure out there?" he asks as he's already opening the door to move people from one location to the next that are on the lab team. Within the pyramid, the walls are a mix of technoorganic looking brick and heiroglyphics. They have been long since dormant, several pipes hanging down from where they hit the water hard, but the pathway ahead seems clear.

"Huh?" Caitlin looks over— slightly down— at Captain America, and promptly turns pink again when he addresses her. "No, nothing's wro—"

At that moment, the ship collides with the … whatever, and Caitlin's flung sideways! Strong though she is, she is not as dextrous as others, and with a wide-eyed yelp, she falls heavily at Captain America.

The gentlemanly thing to do, of course, would be to catch her.

The /smart/ thing would be to not stand in the way of a 350lb amazonian ginger being flung violently sideways. Caitlin is /deceptively/ heavy for a metahuman.

Down they both go, and Caitlin— for the second time in less than a month— finds herself staring in horror at a pancaked Captain America.

At least she didn't throw a table at him, this time. "Cap! I'm so sorry!" She heaves to her feet and grabs Rogers by the front of his uniform, and with one arm, rights him on his boots. She brushes him off and straightens his uniform— taking a little longer than needed, if one was to be very particular about it— then jumps a little at a second *thud*.

"Right! Er… I'll go with the land crew," she volunteers. "Aquaman, I've got my rebreather if you need me in the ocean!" she calls, before joining the rush towards the docking port.

The vessel lurches…

The sudden pitch topped the Martian off of his feet to send him topping towards the ground only to, evaporate into a rapidly fading olive-colored cloud..

..only to reappear as an indistinct form that registers more as thought than presence..

When the water floods and the pressure settles the Manhunter becomes more distinct. Adapted for the deep his arms and legs are finned with hands and feet that seem more like webbed appendages than terrestrial apparatus. His neck has become thick and muscular with wide gill-slits that open and close with each shallow movement of air through his chest.

As others exit the alien remains.

Gold starbust lights up: "Good evening, Captain Marvel. I'm Spoiler. Snape kills Dumbledore," says Stephanie into the mic, keying in the private line to the glowy meta after greeting her. Just Spoiler making sure she can toggle to priavte and back without issues.

As J'onn searches, he'll find the girl's mind in Gotham. A feeling of being slightly overwhelmed by what she's doing while at the same time being completely determined to be perfect at it. She's focused on her task, on watching information and keeping it flowing to all parties while simultaneously being more concerned about two individuals more than the others. That's not to say that everyone else isn't important to the girl. There are just two she seems to know more than the rest and likes better. One of the two, her subconscious would strike as a lot more than just 'like'. And just as the ship lurches, she's suddenly alert, eyes scanning over the screen and information.

"DELPHI. Get into Aruthr's ships sensor bay. They need to know what's out there," Stephanie tells the AI that Babs left to assist her before leaving the girl to learn this for herself.

"Your Majesty, I am attempting to figure out what's out there. Get your teams moving," Spoiler says to the whole group, still not pleased that only one person seems to have checked in. So, she repeats: "All points. Confirm comms."

"Spoiler. You subbing in for Oracle?" Carol returns, as she smirks. Spoilers indeed. Thankfully, Carol already knows the plots of those books; she read them to Kit as they came out. Quite well balanced and usually flying innately even when standing still, Carol has a terrible habit of not lurching when the ship does. But she notices.

"I'm with you, Art." That's about all Carol gets out, as the water rushes in. She can't really speak without air, so while she can hear, she can't really respond worth anything now. But she does help push people where they need to go to be safe. And then … time to go out and glow temptingly. Here, elder evil godling of doom. Stop messing with Art's pretty sub, and chase the glowy Captain Marvel!

Lara was used to ships she was on violently lurching and eventually dying, so she wasn't terribly surprised when this one did the same thing. She braced herself and attempted to follow the direction of those who were clearly commanding the scenario, at least this time she wasn't alone in the dark with a ship filling to the brim with sea water (yet).

Lara would carry her gear to the indicated bay, moving with the others to keep up as best as a very non-powered person can/could.

Aquaman automatically corrects anyone that uses his 'title' at moments like this, "Aquaman." he says, then sighs. Dammit. They got him to /say/ it. He hates that name. «Murk! Soon as the surfacers are clear, seal the breach and break us free before whatever it is uses us to rip a hole in the pyramid!» he doesn't wait for a telepathic acknowledgement of his order before he's sending more orders out into the waters with narrowed eyes. Outside, in the lightless depths, stars begin to spark to life. "J'onn! Link us up!" how the hell Arthur can speak under water, and do so in a manner that everyone can hear just fine, is just… wrong. Science says it's wrong. Says it can't happen. And yet. There he is. Talking. "I'm calling in outside light sources, use my eyes if you need to!" Arthur is mad. Someone scratched his ride. The water and it's currents seem to have little effect on the Atlantean as he surges forward in a motion that's more like flight then swimming.

He hurtles down the hall, which noteably is no longer filled with closed doors so much as open ones which show the helmed and armored forms of Atlantean soldiers, gearing for battle, «Back to your stations! We'll handle the threat. Get this ship to a safe distance and see to the damage.» The ship is larger then one likely thinks, having only seen it from the part that surfaced, much larger in fact, and as Aquaman leads the others deeper into it's core they can see signs of their intruders passing. Doors twisted out of shape, long gouges in the metal of the walls and floor, there a bulkhead, nearly three inches thick, is peeled open like a tin can, the large tear's edges folded outward like the nightmare version of a flower's petals. Twice they come across Atlantean soldiers, one with his entire chest cavity caved in, armor and all, and another simply torn clean in half, the water black with his blood and offal, causing Arthur to hold his breath as he hurries past. Linked into his mind as they are, the others can feel the spike of grief he has at the sight and how hard he clamps down on it. "Oh no…" he whispers as they pass through the torn bulkhead and the trio lay eyes on their foe. The grief returns, stronger this time.

The creature is armored in layer upon layer of chitonous armor, but while it appears natural it's layout appears more designed then grown. It's massive, it's torso along nearly four feet high and just as wide. One of it's arms ends in a lobster like claw, only it's been covered in spines and spikes and is slightly to large for the almost grotesqely muscled arm it's attached to. It's torso ends in an odd apendage like a human pelvis grown far to large and inflated, and from it spouts six long, spiked, many segmented legs, a horrors mockery of a crab perhaps. Set above heavy shoulders is a face covered in armored chiton as well, but oddly fused, as if it were armor that had become welded shut somehow rather then a natural growing of exoskeleton. "No…" Arthur says again, and his eyes are wide in horror. "Thanis." he names the creature.


The vessel lurches…

The sudden pitch topped the Martian off of his feet to send him topping towards the ground only to, evaporate into a rapidly fading olive-colored cloud..

… only to reappear as an indistinct form that registers more as thought than presence..

When the water floods and the pressure settles the Manhunter becomes more distinct. Adapted for the deep his arms and legs are finned with hands and feet that seem more like webbed appendages than terrestrial apparatus. His neck has become thick and muscular with wide gill-slits that open and close with each shallow movement of fluid through his chest.

Each time J'onn exhales a jet of water is expelled from chitenous armor at his back propelling him forward with near Atlantean speed. The Martian can feel the other's grief but the overpowering emotion causes the Manhunter to withdraw into the complex alien maze of logic of his own mind lest he become over powered by alien passion.

'Thanis..,' Arthur states.

"I shall distract it," the Martian voices across a desolate mindscape.

Concurrent with this statement and in one swift motion the Martian turns to face its horrendous foe and forms muscular organs within its torso. Squeezing water through it throws itself at its foe with tremendous speed while simultaneously changing shape..

The form of the aquatic humanoid shrinks as dozens of muscular tentacles emerges from tis center mass. The Martian drives itself directly at the creature's face attempting to fetter the eye-stalks of its hammer head while drilling other limbs between the slim armored cracks of its face. Merely an annoyance, most likely, but possibly a very effective one given drilling tentacles.

« Someone you know, I take it? Or knew? I'm sorry, Arthur. » Captain Marvel answers. A shimmering golden halo wraps around her, and when it recedes Carol is now in her full costume, including the helmet she usually wears in space. Handy, that!

« OK. Most of those transformed by the Mists have a period of confusion that drives them destructive. If we can calm him down and get him out of the ship where he's hurting others, we may be able to bring him back to himself. But you'll be key to that, Aquaman. » Captain Marvel sends along the telepathic link.

Then Carol actually hunkers down on the deck like a sprinter in the blocks, getting ready. « Don't suppose you can point me to the nearest exit? So we can push and tempt him out of the hold? » Given a little direction, she pushes off, shooting through the water far slower than she would like, but far faster than she has any right to, since she's basically flying through water, and waits for the opening when the creature pushes past J'onn to unleash a blast of diffused photonic energy - bright light- at the creature's head and then swim/fly rapidly towards that exit. Follow the glowy target, fishface!

The creature once known as Thanis moves with a shocking speed of it's own, it's new found size apparently not hindering it's acceleration in any real way, and skitters across the metal plating while a heavy armored fist hammers towards J'onn's uh… back. Back like space. The place where a back would be if one had a back when one was amorphous(ish). As the tentacle limbs crawl and pry at the armor, the creature flexes and the spines on it's carapace extend suddenly, a bit like a porcupine, and each sizzles with a toxin potent enough to be virilently acidic on contact. It thrashes and claws at it's face, trying to hammer and stab J'onn away in a fit of rage.

«He was my bodyguard during the war last year.» he struggles to harden his heart, clamp down the emotions raging within. Thanis has lived a life of suffering already, of sacrifice for others, and to see this done to him tears at Arthur as a comrade in arms, a friend, and a King. It's as if it were a personal attack on everything he is were currently ripping its way through his ship.

Battering J'onn away only to recieve several hundred thousand lumens of light directly to the eyes causes the creature to recoil in pain and it's heavy claw slaps out in vicious swipes, one such impacts shatters a bulkhead on contact as if it were a pane of glass, chunks of broken metal spiraling away through the water. «Becareful! Before he was made into this he was altered! Enhanced! Like… Like Captain America, only way worse. We're already strong, tough, but he was made more of both. He's a weapon, a living weapon, like a beserker, Iron Man, Captain America, and me all rolled into one soldier.» He continues to hold his possition, waiting for the right mome-There! Thanis makes his move to follow Carol and he moves in behind the creature 'helping' him along with a shoulder in his spiney back armor. "Thanis! Calm yourself!" he tries as he shoves the creature speedily down the corridor and towards the bay where the greatest opening awaits.

Without a rigid skeleton removing the Martian is harder than one might initially suspect. The sudden extension of poisoned spines elicits a shriek echoes through the fluid like the sound of a dying whale.

The giant crab-claw snaps furiously around the bulbous body which slides fluidly through the great pincer. Once. Twice. At the third grasp it manages to get a great portion of J'onn which it rips off of its face and spines. The grip tightens causing fleshing sacks to inflate at both ends like a rapidly deflating balloon pinched in the center before being hurled through the depths..

Losing shape the Martian becomes a mass of bio-polymer that seems to lose cohesion and then dissipates into the sea…

…seconds later he reappears just ahead and forty-five degree to the starboard of /Captain/ Marvel.

'A soldier cannot harm what does not exist.'


The waters evaporate as a burst of intense crimson energy lances outward the power likely more of a means of getting the creature's attention with sudden pain. If charged the Martian Vision suddenly stops but the physical presence does not move. If attacked it is suddenly-less substantial. What little form is available is displaced by the movement of fluid as the Manhuner merely an immaterial shade in this reality.

Unable to shout, Captain Marvel just keeps pushing, 'flying' as fast as she can through the water in the direction Arthur has guided her to find the large chamber and the larger exit out into the ocean. Just follow the sparkly, glowy bipedal fishie! Of course, if she gets caught, she can't go insubstantial like J'onn. It's going to hurt. But that's what being a hero is all about: taking the hit when you have to, when it has to be done. Thanis would know that and respect it; Carol is sure of that. « Good to see that didn't hurt as much as I was afraid it did, J'onn. »

The two exit the ship right behind Carol at high speed, Thanis trying to turn in place to rain blows down upon Arthur but Arthur keeping his shoulder firmly in the other man's back, pushing him onward. Until the steam happens. The problem with energy attacks underwater is two fold. First, they tend to have limited range as water naturally dissapates them, and secondly, if they're powerful enough to over come that weakness they have a tendency cause steam pockets. Water expands. The water at this depth is frigidly cold. Water flashboiling to steam under the preassure of 3 miles of ocean weight followed by the sudden cooling that causes the steam bubble to collapse leads to a single unalienable (no pun intended) conclusion. Ka. Boom.

J'onn's vision fills the world with heat and steam and creates an expanding bubble of air way down where air shouldn't be. The instant he stops, it collapses in on itself. With the weight of nearly 300 atmospheres. In common parlance, a depth charge creating preassureized shockwaves that hurl the two Atlantean apart as if they'd been hugging a grenade between them. Arthur is limp and blood trickles into the water around him, mostly coming from his ears, while Thanis twitches and jerks spasmodically as if suffering a minor seizure as he slowly begins to sink down towards the sea floor.

« Arthur, I am nearly there. » Mera is travelling toward the fight as fast as she can, having created a 'bubble' in which she and six other Tide warriors are shielded from the effects of travelling through the water so quickly. She feels the shockwave of the explosion J'onn just created and is now visibly concerned, but they're already travelling as fast as possible.

« Arthur? »

Cutting into the fight, Spoiler's voice can be heard by anyone in the water still awake and with communits. "I need a status report. Something caused the power in the pyramid to flicker, and Fairchild's down. Can anyone read me?" nerves and adrenaline make her voice tighter, younger sounding.

« Fudgeknuckles, Spoiler. » Captain Marvel comments mentally. She'd never say that out loud, but this bloody telepathy short-circuits her usual censor circuits. « Arthur looks out of it, and Thanis is twitchy. » Carol can't borrow the Atlantean king's sight if his eyes are closed and he's half- or un-conscious. So that leaves her to do it her way:


Shedding LOTS of light on the situation, Captain Marvel takes a look around, and then fly-swims in to push Thanis further away from the pyramid and the retreating Atlantean ship, out into the open depths of the ocean. « J'onn, check Arthur, please. This guy wakes up, he's not going to recognize me, and that's going to hurt … »

The sheer force of the explosion has little effect upon the intangible Martian although his molecules are momentarily scattered into particulate before forming again.

'I am relatively unscathed,' the Marian's voice echoes in the minds of his nearby allies though given the rapidly changing circumstances it might be momentarily difficult to ascertain which portion of the conflict he is emerging from.

'Of course, Captain.'

The Manhunter's atomic structure passes between the thick molecules of the sea water until he has come to Aquaman's side. One hand cradles the back of his head while the other goes flat against his chest in some sort-of Martian mind-meld which is meant to simultaniously assess and arouse the King.

To Mera's receptive telepathy the affair would be a beacon to guide herself towards them.

Aquaman's mind is awash. There are a lot of Leaguers with enhanced senses, Arthur is ranked among their best. He can hear heatbeats in a room, see perfectly fine in utter darkness, feel minute shifts in currents and airflows, track prey by scent or taste across miles of ocean water. It's not really the sort of thing he lets get around to much, but it's not a great secret either. Dropping a depthcharge on his face while someone turns into the worlds brights nightlight mere meters away from him is a good way to more or less blank him out however. Which is what J'onn finds, finally, in the muddled recesses of Arthur's mind. A safe, quiet, dark place where his mind went when every sense he had suddenly exploded, retreating to recoup. It took his consciousness with it. And there it sits, in the dark, protecting him.

If only this were a time for protecting Aquaman. One can be certain it is not by the audible and telepathic (to those sensitive to such things) bezerk cry of rage. It's not a scream, it is something more primal then that, more tortured, and it's enough to send every single bit of sea life in a half mile fleeing for calmer waters. As if the explosion wasn't enough. Thanis meets ocean floor and his clawed hand comes down hard enough to cause a gyser of clay and sand to instantly blanket the area for meters in every direction. A second blow send out a ringing of carapace on bedrock with a sickening CRACK noise. Without someone within reach to smash, and eyes still reeling from the overload, he's clearly lashing out at anything he can touch. Like the planet.

Mera finally catches up with everyone in time for Thanis to start attacking the ocean floor. A quick telepathic sweep of the area alerts her to Carol and J'onn's presences. Also, Arthur's mind has her worrying, but she can feel that he's mentally retreated to protect himself. There's no time to deal with that right this second. Instead she addresses J'onn tersely as she prepares to try and subdue Thanis. «Get him to safety, Surfacer.»

« OK. This is getting worse, not better. Damnit. Something's wrong in the pyramid, and with Arthur out, we have no one to reach Thanis. »

As together as Captain Marvel is, sometimes even she can't help but moderately uselessly recap the particular problems she faces, without proffering a solution.

« J'onn, I'm nearly blind down here. If I light up, I'll just make more chaos, and Thanis has already recovered. Can you find his insane brain, and point me at it? I need a targeting assist, and we have to stop him before he cracks the sea floor and destabilizes the pyramid ship. »

That said, assuming she gets the help she asks for, Captain Marvel takes off again, pushing herself to the best speeds she can achieve while flying through water rather than air, and missiles herself in on Thanis. It will be messy, but she has limited options right now.

Momentarily the Martian loses track of the physical world. The storm of conflict becomes ephemeral haze at the edge of his senses as he searches for Arthur's mind and finds it, hidden, and at peace.

'..get him to safety,' Mera's words are a compulsion and as he withdraws from the Aquaman's brain he senses Carol's needs as well.

Having already displayed a lack of aquatic acuity with his earlier actions he is uncertain if the form of some armored lobster with a protective pouch is the most prudent course of action given Carol's lack of vision. Wrapping his broad arms around King Curry he begins to swim away from the conflict with powerful strokes.

After a moment of distance his head turns around one hundred and eighty degrees. A burst of X-Rays peel back the obfuscation created by the clay giving him a clear view of the shapes within. These images are sent to Carol, disorienting as viewing one's own location from another mighty be, but demonstrates direction and distance — if somewhat lacking in the specific physical orientation of her foe.

Thanis pauses suddenly, his head spinning first one way, then another, and just as Carol slams into him he seems to brace for the impact. It's hard enough to crater the ground he stands on, the long thick spined legs digging deep into the bedrock even as he sinks nearly to his knees under the force of the blow. And then he's pushing back. If it weren't for J'onn, seeing in the dark, much less the soup of mud made by hammering at the ground, would be impossible. But this close up and with the Martian's help, Carol gets a very close look at the thick muscled arm that snaps out to grab at her, the clawed hand that looks to sever her head from her shoulders, and the armor plating that's welded over the one time Atlantean hero's face, the chiton having formed into an expressionless mask that gives all the impressions of a man's face with none of it's humanity. Not even eyes. Good news. Exoskeletons mean that x-rays give you a very good image of what you're aiming at. None of that weird 'glowy skeleton' nonsense, just a bit armored glowy thing trying to pummel you to death.

And damned if the creature isn't /strong/.

It's almost as if Mera was waiting for Carol to tackle the creature. « Hold him as long as you can! » And then she's floating still, letting the un-mutated Tide who came with her to protect her as she telepathically delves into Thanis' mind. « Heed your queen. Calm yourself. »

Sure. Right. Holding him, Mera suggests, when Thanis is the one olding Carol Danvers, and trying his best to sever her damned head from her shoulders. Thankfully, she may not be a Kryptonian but she's hard to hurt, and she's determined. Caitlin would say 'hard ass', and be right.

But while Captain Marvel holds onto Thanis, and he onto her, trying to cut her head off, she's not being idle about it. She can't fire photonic blasts, because they scatter and dissipate in the water. But up close, with physical contact? Boanzai! Carol's right hand reaches up, an incandescent golden glow surging around her hand, and she pushes her fingertips like a speartip right up against the lower edge of the chiton faceplate, becoming a laser saw. Or so she hopes.

Of course, Carol cannot breathe. She doesn't actually have to, however. But that claw's pressure hurts like Hell, and it may very well be able to do this soon enough. She may even black out. But she will not give up. She can't. It's just not in her. That's what makes her Captain Marvel.

A moment after Carol impacts her foe the Martian's enhanced vision stops, the scene now lit by the photonic buzz-saw which boils like lightning within the choking clouds of clay and rock.

The stir of the water upon his arrival is likely unfelt for the storm but the Manhunter's presence is with them again. Grappling the creature's outstretched limb he shoves his hand into the joint of its pincer bio-morphic fluid filling the space and then hardening. Expanding. Prying. If only to create inches to keep Caro's head atop her shoulders.

Thanis' mind is a warzone. Atlanteans are prone to telepathy to varying levels as a gift, which is why it's been somewhat odd to find that the Tide's minds are so shielded from such intrusions. Made for war as they are, one would think telepathic orders would be secure and simple and tactically superior in everyway, and yet none of the Tide possess the gift and most are resistent to it's effects. Mera can see why as she forces herself past the resistence and into Thanis' thoughts.


So much pain. It's as if Thanis' body were an open raw nerve. The man he was has long since faded way into the background, the memories faded to the point of being indistinguishable from dreams and in their place only the Tide remains. Remained. But the Mists took that from him. The sacrifices he'd made, the wars he'd faught in Atlantis' name, the thing he had volenteered to become, all gone. Taken by some leaky green shit floating unseen amid the water he breathed when he was sent to do the first recon of the downedship. Stripped from him. Literally. The Mists ripped his already altered body apart inside the cacoon and had begun reassembling it when his own enhancements proved to much to contain, allowing him to break free of his crysalis before the transformation was complete. And now it's all pain. Every movement is pain. Tearing muscles, ligaments twisting in places they shoulder be, his sensory organs half formed and both useless and to sensitive all at once. It's like living a full body migraine where /everything/ is like shining a light into your eyes. The touch of water, the sound of voices, the preassure of the sea, and the only relief comes in combat. Because here he knows his purpose and he can make everything else fall away. Here he fights. He knows fighting…

Carol's laser blade works at the edge of the facial armor, causing the hardened material there to bubble and hiss and twist, the heat doing more to effect it then any sort of 'edge' to the weapon. The more it burns, the angrier the creature seems to become. J'onn's sudden prying at the claw doesn't help matters either, and the scream of rage reaches a new pitch, which luckily for Carol whos face is so close to it's origin point, it's beyond human hearing range. Also luckily, she's /almost/ through…

Mera visibly winces at what she finds in Thanis' mind. He is so far beyond reason she's not left with many options. She sends a focused, telepathic spike into the mist-mutated Tide's mind, a single overriding imperative to SLEEP. That's it. Just sleep.

Of course, she's not at all sure that this tactic will work, but she really doesn't have to fall back on her last resort, and something she's never actually done.

Carol takes the opening, though her collarbone has nearly snapped through with the pressure of that claw. Her trachea is going to be so bruised. But Captain Marvel grits her teeth, hauls off and jams the photonic-edged spear-strike through the chin edge of the armor and then yauls off to yank upwards with a twist to prise open that face plate and present something soft enough to harm.

The last thing a woman with Captain Marvel's feelings on loyalty and service wants is to kill a man like Thanis. But like it or not, the threat he now represents to everyone, Atlantean and surfacer alike, is too great not to take action to stop him.

Carol will just deal with the guilt as best she can. Hopefully it won't drive her to drinking again. But that happens. It's called relapse for a reason.

The face behind the armor was once that of a man. Maybe he was handsome once, or rugged, or ugly. Maybe he had kind eyes, or big ears, or a button nose, or dimples when he smiled. Maybe. Maybe he had a lot of things, was a lot of things. But no longer. What lays behind the face plate is milky white in the few places it's not transparent entirely. Beneath gummy, mucus like flesh that seems to have no skin, Carol can see blue and red veins like spiderwebs, snaking through out what should be his features. There is no nose anylonger, merely a pair of slits that flare and close not unlike flapping gills with every breath he takes. His eyes are half dissolved in their sockets, a gooey sort of yellowish mass that was either turning into something more or being taken away in lue of something else entirely, it's unclear. His mouth remains, but there are no teeth, merely bone like ridges that protude from a lipless hole in the center of his face, ridges that had only just begun to consider shaping themselves into something defined.

Mera's command to sleep hits about the same moment the face plate cracks and is tossed aside, causing the creature to stumble and thrash it's head violently. The preassure on Carol's throat fades, as does that of the arm holding her in place. It stumbles a bit, as if dazed.


The placid lake of the Martian psyche ripples as the dam that suppressed the flood of emotions cracks in a place stirring a ripple of raw empathy for his remembrance of past suffering. This is evident in his features as tiny mouth purses and thick beetled brow sags with sadness. But only for a moment the dam sealing itself and the emotion suddenly wiped clean from his features.

Disentangled from Thanis now the Martian's physical form seems gaunt as he reaches outward with long slender fingers as if closing those few extra inches would somehow strengthen the connection, 'Sleep.' He suggests in support of Mera. The stillness of his own psyche a comforting whisper to the boiling confusion of th eother.

Despite her preparations, Captain Marvel hesitates. She holds her blow, rather than striking for the kill. Thanis stumbles, he has nearly released her. And she waits, to see if it can work. If he can be given some measure of peace. Some peace other than the watery grave.

But she remains ready. Grimly, darkly ready.

Thanis' mind was prepared for psychic battle millenia ago when he was reformed into his original enhanced form, but millenia ago Atlantean psychics were rare and a fraction as powerful as Mera is today. Hybernating for a thousand years left none of the Tide prepared to do battle on a new psychic field littered with such skilled combatants as Atlantis has. Even further enhanced by the Mists, Thanis cannot withstand her commands entirely. With the addition of a Martian mind he had no chance at all.

The giant shudders once, twice, and then seems to go limp, the grip on Carol slipping away freely as his bulk rocks back on his legs and for the first time since they laid eyes on him, Thanis drifts almost peacefully to the sea floor and settles into place with a tiny puff of sand. His face remains bare to the sea, it's gelatinous ooze like features melding into the consistency of a puddle now that they're not twisted in agony and rage, making them hard to make out at all. It's no sleepy baby face, but it's better then the alternative.

As soon as Thanis finally succumbs to the command to sleep, Mera slumps as if a world of stress had suddenly just been released. It takes her a few seconds to recover and then she and her escort approach the others, the Tide warriors with her moving to collect Thanis, handling the now unconscious individual with what might be surprising amounts of respect.

For her own part, Mera approaches Carol and J'onn and looks at each of them as if trying to assess their injuries at the same time as she asks the green man, « Where is my husband, Surfacer? » She's not asking it in any sort of rude manner, but she's brusque and worried enough that that's possibly how it seems.

The Martian's outstretched hand follows Thanis to the floor of the ocean.

J'onn's gaunt arm falls to his side and he turns at the neck to look upon Carol, 'You are wounded,' his mind projects with a hollow voice that stirs images of a vast and empty red desert, 'it does not appear, disconcerting.'

With a faint swimming movement he reorients himself to face Mera the frail Martian suddenly sturdier with a thin membrane of webbing between his fingers and elongated toes, 'Close,' his dry voice assures her telepathically, 'Safe. Summon your kin so that we can tend to them both.'

Then he takes off in a swoosh of bubbling current, presumably for Arthur.

With a groan, Carol shakes her head and floats in the direction of the conversation. She's not feeling too peppy right now, but she's alive. Y'know, mostly. « I didn't have to kill him. That's a step up. What I need most right now is energy to absorb. But we're not going to get much of that down here. Let's get Arthur and get back to the ship. Check in with the pyramid team, J'onn, and let's make sure they don't need any backup." Not that Captain Marvel is feeling up to being 'backup' right now, but she'll doit anyway. That's part of that whole heroism thing.

Aquaman is floating not to far off, having just returned to his senses, and he raises a hand as J'onn approaches, "I am well my friend." he says looking anything but and ignoring it anyway. He had a series of holes shot through his chest once not to long ago and then went to war with his brother while the wounds bled out. Then there was the years of his life he gave up to help fight that Elder God last year. Life's been rough on Arthur recently, perhaps that explains the gray showing up in his hair and the lines around his eyes. He swims over to watch the Tide take their own up and begin to head away, two of them move to stay behind but Arthur shakes his head, «Go.» He thinks to them somberly, «Take care of our wounded.» Our. Not your. Our. «See that the Council of Magi see him quickly. If any of them play politics with you-» his features harden, «show them the errors of their ways. Gently.» He has to add that last part to avoid a body count. The Tide are not kind or gentle in principle. The two nod and hurredly move to catch up with their fellows.

He heads for his wife, feeling her concern for him through their link more keenly then he's feeling the pain that's right between his eye. "Thank you." he says aloud to everyone, ignoring once more the fact that they're underwater and shouldn't be able to talk aloud, "All of you. He was an innocent and if-" he stops and reaches out to take Mera's hand for support silently. "I'll see to the ship, we need to secure a new breach point and a ride out of their for the others. Immediately. Thanis is proof some portions, large or small, of the Mists escaped."

Mera watches the warriors convey Thanis away, then follows J'onn to meet up with Arthur, clasping his hand as he reaches for hers and going so far as to hug him while he's addressing the others. "There are ships en route, Arthur. They should be here soon."

Captain Marvel offers Arthur a nod. « We all here understand service, and the prices that can be paid in its wake. And we all respect the desire to save those who have served, even when it doesn't seem expedient. » In short, Carol respects and honors Arthur's desire, and that's why she held her supposedly killing strike. She rolls a badly bruised shoulder, and followed the aquatic royals as they make their way to the next ship to resume the mission. « Obviously, it would be a good idea to do a sweep of the waters around here, to see if anyone or anything else was affected by the leaks that must have nailed Thanis. And for the record, Arthur, I'm really sorry. Looks like yet again the people from above the waters ended up dropping their poisonous garbage down into your waters without much thought of the consequences." Not that it was on purpose. But without the ongoing crisis on land, no one would have been in any hurry to get down here and check out the fallen pyramid ship.

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