Deep Water Blue

Summary:
August 10 2014: Deep Marine Discovery Labs has a few unexpected visitors

Deep Marine Discovery Labs

A deep water lab off the eastern seaboard.


Characters

NPCs

  • Lab Personnel

Mood Music:
[* None]


Falling… Rowan later said that's mostly what he remembered. Fire, yes, pain and the flashes of weaponry. The crazed need to lash out at everything, anything. And then… falling.

He fell for a long time. Or maybe it just seemed like one. A day. An hour. Through the air and then again, through the water - down, down, down until the light from the sun vanished and then further still. His eyes, his senses felt disturbed things flit way, disturbed by the passage of the massive fifty foot reptile he'd become. Still he fell, into the abyss. Into the deep until…

Thud.

Whatever it is, it's never been seen in the ocean before. Long, serpentine with four limbs and winglike projections. Massive, finned tail. It hits the north end of the lab back first, sending out shudders and groans through the entire facility as it's bulk stresses the metal ever so slightly.

*

*BRAAAAP* *BRAAAP* *BRAAAAP*

Alarms start to blare, red lights flashing all through the facility. Even a small stress of the stations superstructure is potentially deadly at these depths.

Aspen looks up as the station shudders and then the alarms kick in. She's in a labcoat with a number of other scientists, making notes on a tablet while watching numbers run on a screen. Frowning, she looks around to those about her. "What's…" But none of them seem to know what's going on either.

And then, through the clear plasteel walls, she sees the reptilian figure do a slow tumble through the water down towards the ocean floor. Her eyes go wide, mouth forming an 'O' of surprise. "What is that?" She asks, words almost a whisper.

Hers is not the standard reaction, as others start to notice the source of the disturbance as well and screams start to ring out. As if that were a button pushed to start a panic, other shouts and screams start to rise as white-coated scientists and lab technicians start to run. Where they think they're going to go in what is essentially an underwater bubble is anyone's guess.

*

Aquaman pinches the bridge of his nose and lets out a slow breath, "Orm," he says not unkindly, "I understand your heart is in the right place, but Atalantis cannot withdraw from the world so far as it would like to, not anymore. I /need/ to be there, to show them we are not a threat, that we can be an ally, and that we are strong and cannot be seen as victims either. We have had this discussion a thousand times, my people need me to be more than just here, they need me to lead th-" he stops talking and both his head and Orm's come up at once and turn to look in the same direction.

"Did you feel that?" Orm asks, his voice curious and hard at the same time.

"I did." Arthur responds, a frown furrowing his brow. He holds out his hand and Orm, without even looking hands over the Trident that he had been holding for Arthur while the King was shrugging into his armor.

"Go." Orm says firmly, "On at least this we can agree on a course of action."

Arthur offers his brother a wry smile and a hand on his shoulder, "We agree on much, but not everything, if we did you would not be the Council I require." then he's gone, fast enough Orm stumbles in the current Arthur's passing makes.

He has to be careful how fast he moves while in the city, unlike his surface counterparts who can fly through their domains, Aquaman's medium of motion can cause real damage if he were to just zip about heedlessly. A sonic boom under water is like an expanding depth charge, a pressure wave, not to mention the currents… Still, he moves quickly as he can, clearing the populated areas of his home, beyond the cities edge, and then he bares down. It's not hard to track the King when he does things like this, he leaves a trail of steamy super heated bubbles in his wake…

*

The dragon, that's the only word for it, seems pretty insensate right now. It slowly rolls off the lab structure, to the sound of groaning metal and comes to rest outside one of the larger bubbles. And then it just kind of… floats there. It's eyes are open, visible from the head resting near a large observation deck, but it's not at all clear that it's seeing anything.

And then it moans. It's a deep, thrumming sound, like a submarine sonar, audible for miles around and most definitely in the lab. And it's unmistakably a sound of exhaustion and pain.

*

This isn't exactly an event that DMD Security can do much about, but they can work on getting people out of the affected areas. They stand at the interstitial airlocks, waving frantic techies through while Aspen drifts forward, standing on the observation deck that gives her a great view of the huge creature.

The dome groans again, and high above, a crack starts to form near where part of the structure bowed inward just a bit at the dragon's impact. "Dr. Matthews!" One of the security guards calls out from the airlock ring. "Dr. Matthews!" He tries again, tone a bit more frantic.

Aspen turns towards the sound of her name and there is the *crssssh!* of fracturing glass. It jerks her attention upwards in time to see the lightning-bolt like pattern starting to streak through the thick plasteel under so much pressure. It gives way in a sudden explosion of pressure, tossing Aspen and the guard backwards. On the other side, another guard slams the locking mechanism, cutting that dome off from the rest of the complex.

In the control center, the room is filled with bustling guards and a fast running commentary. "We just lost Dome 1, sir!" while another calls out, tone higher and a little panicked. "Sir we have inbound! Coming in fast! No lock on what it is…"

*

Aquaman is the fastest thing underwater that he knows of, but even he has a hard time covering such vast distances in the blink of an eye. Not for the first time he envies people like Clark. Flying must be /awesome/. It takes time, too much time for his comfort, for him to reach his goal, and when he does he arrives in a swirl of water superheated to steam, or more accurately, a giant flood of bubbles. "What the…" he mutters, his gaze traveling over the damaged lab quickly, and then the big… snake… thingie… good lord.

*

Mera has arrived with Aquaman. How did she keep up with his scarily fast swimming speed? She didn't. She just did her impersonation of Superman's cape: With her face pressed to her husband's back between his shoulder blades and her arms around his neck hanging on for all she's worth. And no matter what Arthur tells her about those surface dwellers that swim through the air, she will never believe that that mode of travel could be any more efficient.

As soon as he stops she's looking over Aquaman's shoulder, and while the giant reptilian whale (?) is definitely noteworthy, she focuses more on the damaged lab dome and gathers her concentration to stop the water from crushing the structure any further.

*

The 'reptilian whale’ moans again as the lab dome cracks and shatters. There's a shimmer, and then a flash and the dragon seems to shrink, the form just vanishing into the aether until there's just… just a man. A man floating, bent at the back, arms limp, in what looks like a torn and tattered military uniform replete with ruined gear. It's not clear, unless anyone can sense such things, that he's still alive, but his eyes are still open.

*

Aspen Matthews hits the floor hard as the glass above gives way, falling in giant chunks towards the large dome's floor and water rushes in to flood the dome as the monarchs of Atlantis arrive.

Water washes over Aspen's prone, face-down form even as Mera uses her control over the ocean to pull it back.

In the control room, the tech's voice is puzzled. "It… it stopped." He looks around. "How does anything stop that fast?" Another tech calls out. "Uhm… We have… people. Outside."

"There's water outside, Lt."

"Yeah… and uhm. There are people. Outside."

*

Aquaman goes for the whale… snake… man… so help him, if this is another supervillain he's going to punch something. Hard. He's cautious in his approach, but not afraid, and he comes to a halt over the man, his brow knit as he reaches out to grip the utility belt. The man's not floating or sinking, which is extremely unusual for a surface dweller, "Can you hear me?" he asks, his voice carrying his words despite all the laws of physics that say it couldn't possibly do that. Some things you just don't ask about. He doesn't bother checking on his wife, assuming she knows her work well enough she doesn't need him poking about in it. "Are you hurt?"

*

Mera does indeed know her work well enough. And as she's really not even exerting herself overmuch keeping a thin layer of water covering the dome-structure solid enough to keep other water out, it's no big deal at all. This does, however, free up enough of her attention to start studying the structures themselves. Do they look like the sort of clunky and inelegant things that surface dwellers tend to prefer?

*

He is, visibly, hurt. There are cuts and bruises all over his arms and chest. His uniform and armor - somehow coral based - is in tatters, torn apart by some kind of sonic or energy blasts. Much of his exposed skin is burnt. There are scars that indicate some kind of fight with blades and a really, really good black eye to go with it all.

"Rowan… Centurion… serial number… Alpha X-ray One Five Niner Six…" Name, rank and serial number, mmm? Looks like about it.

The man is conscious, but not completely with it. It does look like awareness is slowly returning to him though. There's some kind of cybernetic tech implanted into him. It's subtle, very subtle, and also, apparently, somehow coral based. Or something. Odd.

*

Deep Marine Discovery is definitely surface-made. It took them months to build the station, an array of clear domes linked together with spaces within for the humans to work.

The control center is abuzz with confusion and needing to react. Techs are suiting up to get outside so they can work on a makeshift repair of the dome and while Mera's holding the water back, they're not willing to open the inner airlock in case she 'lets go'. Heck, they don't even know it's Mera doing the holding! Suited forms are starting to emerge from the domes, some with weapons and others with repair gear. Their manner is far more defensive than aggressive however.

*

Aquaman has seen biotech similar to this in Atlantis, it's not his specialty clearly, but he knows that something like it exsists… and there are reaches of his Kingdom he's not been to, city states, outlying provinces… a glance at his wife reminds him there are even dimensional pockets of Atlanteans he knows nothing about. At least this means he doesn't have to worry about the man drowning, "Fair enough soldier," Arthur says with a nod, "but Centurion Rowan Alhpa X-ray One Five Niner Six, what say we get you looked to by some sort of doctor." he looks around and then begins to move slowly towards the research lab, a grip on the back of Rowans tattered armor vest pulling the soldier along with him. He eyes the research station, looking for… Ah. Good timing that, he doesn't have to worry about trying to get them to open a door so he can communicate.

*

Mera approaches the surface dwellers daring to leave their little bubbles of air to speak (?) with Arthur and her. "Do you have some means with which to repair the damaged structure?" If not, she can easily maintain the protection until they've adequately evacuated. Oh, and yeah. Formalities? Pshaw!

*

The soldier just kind of floats along for a ways and then gets enough of his wits about him to start moving. By the time they reach the Lab's door he's actually moving more or less on his own though he's clearly confused and out of it. He will, very likely, at this point do whatever he's asked to do. Oddly, there's a blueish tint to his skin now that wasn't present before and he seems to be moving a bit easier underwater, not that he was swimming badly before. Rather like he'd been doing it his whole life, to be honest.

"Squad… where's my team?" He mumbles. "Have to regroup… contact higher…"

*

The techs and their guards exchange looks in those big, bulky suits they have to withstand the pressures down here. It's more like exo-skeletons than diving suits. Finally one of them clears his throat and says, "Yes uh… ma'am. We do. Do you… know what's holding out the water?" The guards don't back off, but they aren't advancing either.

*

Aquaman doesn't release the 'soldiers' vest because A) It's a wounded soldier who doesn't seem to have his wits about him, not usually a stable situation, and B) HE WAS A GIANT SNAKE THING LIKE 2 SECONDS AGO!! Mostly it's B.

"Mera, be kind to the scientists and see to this man's safety for a time. I am going to fetch a physician." by which he means an Atlantean doctor. He then turns to look at the men in their suits, "I will return with medics for any of your wounded and see to this man here." his voice alters suddenly from friendly neighbor to King of the Seven Seas, "Centurion!" soldiers respond to authoritative voices without thinking about it usually, "You will stand down and remain with the Queen until you have been looked at. You have been wounded. Remain calm and try not injure yourself further." he waits for a response before releasing Rowan's vest.

*

"I am," Mera states plainly. Have to speak simply for these surface dwellers to keep up, after all. "How much time will you need to complete your repairs?" She glances toward her husband and the slightly blue-tinted individual that used to be the reptilian whale, and asks her husband telepathically, «Who is that, and why is he here disturbing the surface dwellers?» Yes, he's disturbing, even if unintentionally.

*

Rowan couldn't say, even if he knew what was going on. So far as he's concerned there aren't supposed to be any surface dwellers. He's slowly getting more with it though. Arthur's command snaps him mostly out of his reverie. That's… the King of Atlantis. Why is his face… healed? And that's… the frightening woman he married. This may be bad. And that down there…

"Excuse me? You have a man down… well… woman down, down there." He points to the prone Aspen.

The sight of the security guards puts Rowan on edge. Damn. More enemies. Though… they don't look cybernetic. What's going on? And why is Mera just letting them stand there?

*

The reply that the woman is holding back the water gets a bit of a pause from the speaking individual. They are at least aware of there being some sort of undersea race though honestly, as none of them had ever seen them, there were bets as to if they were a hoax or not. "Yes… we… we think we can." He waves the rest of his crew with the equipment forward and the head for the shattered dome. The guards stay with, keeping an eye on the three water-breathers but it could just be 'holy crap!' rubbernecking.

One of the security guys does approach Mera, cautiously, as Rowan points out the form of Aspen, face-down in the water that's pooled in the bottom of the dome. "Can you keep doing… whatever it is you're doing if we open the airlock to retrieve our scientist?"

*

<His name is Rowan and he is a soldier of some kind, though none I recognize, perhaps from one of the outlying lands. Treat him as an ally until he gives you cause not to, but remain cautious all the same. We need to know his story but he's to scattered to tell it now.> pause, <And please try not to kill any of the surface dwellers, this is an opportunity to extend peaceful intentions I'd rather not waste… Unless they try to hurt you. Then explode their brains.> And then Arthur is zipping away through the water, slowly, but more quickly the further away he gets.

*

Rowan is with it enough to have swam a few paces behind Mera, deferring to her. She's… behaving oddly, but she's still one of the most capable combatants he knows. Surface dwellers used to feel her wrath regularly. Well, when she could be dragged away from her husband's side. Their allies topside always appreciated her aid. Perhaps this is a fortress? Or outpost? He can't seem to remember… well, now that he thinks about it, quite a lot. Not how he got here. Not where here is. And not… well, not much, actually.

"Your Majesty, what is going on?" He says quietly. Ordinarily he wouldn't risk talking to her but she's the only one here who he's certain is on his side. Of… what he can't quite remember.

*

<Of course, Arthur.> Mera looks at the approaching human and after realizing he's expecting some sort of reply, she says simply, "Yes." Doesn't he realize that that was her intention in the first place? Pah. Surface dwellers.

Letting the humans do as they will while she maintains the protection over the shattered dome, she turns to look at and study Rowan more directly. "It appears that these structures are not as structurally sound as the surface dwellers require to maintain their habitats." She looks the tattered soldier up and down once again. "Which city-state are you from, Rowan?"

*

Taking Mera at her word, the security diver radios back to command. Shortly after the airlock is opening below and staff are heading in with medkits. Aspen's been down there out cold and face-down in the water for quite some time and whole they're moving fairly quickly? They aren't rushing like they would if they were thinking she might still be alive. The techs head over and start to repair the dome.

*

Rowan shakes his head as he watches the drama below. He's familiar with the surface dwellers tendency to… drown. He wishes he could remember how this all happened though.

"I'm from Nova Ely- er… In…" He pauses, frowning. "In… the province of…" A very disturbed look comes over the lean faced man's countenance. "I… forgive me your Majesty but… I do not seem to remember."

*

Mera makes a note of Rowan's obvious confusion and simply nods once. "We'll discuss that later, then. What are the extent of your injuries?" All business at the moment. She looks back toward the dome, where the surface dwellers are approaching the woman that had been in there the whole time, and knowing how they seem to find working in water unpleasant at the minimum, she pulls all of the water pooled in the bottom of that dome up and through the shattered structure to meld with the water up there holding everything else back. Everything in that dome is likely still soggy, but at least they're not all in several inches of standing water.

*

When the medics do get to Aspen's form it only takes a moment for him to shout out with surprise, "She's alive!" Then suddenly there's a commotion as they start to work on getting her awake and conscious. There's a lot of chatter going on to the tune of 'wtf?' and 'do you know how long she was down?' but that's likely beyond the hearing of those out in the water.

It actually doesn't take much before Aspen is coughing up water and getting to her feet, confused as to what the fuss is all about. Amidst all that though, she looks upwards… and sees Mera and Rowan. Eyes of ocean-blue widen and the concern of those around her falls on deaf ears.

*

She'd just been a surface worlder woman a moment ago. Then they set her up and Rowan saw her face. "Aspen?!" The name, and the ideas associated with it come flooding back to him in a rush. The Blue's strongest water bender?! What the hell is she doing here? At the moment the only thing that makes any sense to his addled mind is 'captive'. How you hold a water bender captive underwater… don't ask him. He just fell 5 miles, okay?

Rowan's only met Aspen a few times, but she's a living legend and very important to the war effort against… er… someone. Quickly, shockingly so, he swims through the breach as the techs work on it and drops to the observation deck below in a fighting stance. The bracer on his left arm charges and humms and a crossbow like projection appears over his wrist as he grabs for a flashlight sized tube on his belt. "ASPEN!" He calls out.

*

The moment Mera sees what resembles a weapon on Rowan's person in reaction to what the surface dwellers are doing, she turns and grabs him by the throat with one hand. Very tightly. "You will power down that weapon immediately." Or his trachea will be crushed goes unsaid but is heavily implied. She doesn't know that surface dweller woman from anyone else and thus doesn't understand Rowan's sudden reaction. Maybe it's the black hair.

*

As Rowan comes into the dome and drops down on the deck with her, followed quickly by Mera Aspen backpedals in a hurry. Her hands go up in an instinctive 'I surrender!' sort of posture and her ocean-blue eyes are very wide. She didn't do it!

Of course the two watrefolk's arrival and the appearance of something weapon-like has the medics diving for cover. The security guards are bringing up weapons but there's a whole lot of confusion, especially with Mera taking the initiative here.

*

Rowan's instinct, both as a soldier and a living weapon, is to fight. And were it anyone else at his throat he probably would. The tube he'd been grabbing turns out to be some kind of concealed coral growth device. One moment it's a tube. half a second later it's a rather wicked looking spear. But Mera's sudden defense of the surface dwellers turns the soldier's world on its head. Again.

"I… but… your Majesty. She's one of ours." The man's hazel eyes show nothing but confusion, but after a tense moment, he does relent and power off both the omni-bow and the spear.

"She's one of ours…" He repeats in bewilderment.

*

Mera lets go of Rowan's throat only after the weapons are gone again. "If she is, then she is here by her own choice. These surface dwellers are here on a peaceful scientific task and under our protection." She turns a glance toward Aspen and the others as if silently saying, 'you had best not make a liar of me'.

*

"I'm what?" Aspen says in a little bit of a squeak. She still has her hands up, even with the weapons put away. It's gone a long way to easing the security guys though, and Mera's words get them the definite 'stand down' from command.

One of the medics works on getting Aspen's attention, while shooting Rowan worried looks. "Dr. Matthews, we should really get you into medbay so we can check up on you. You were… unconscious" He doesn't mention the whole 'drowned' bit, "For a pretty long time." He looks over to Mera and the injured Rowan. "We could uh… try to check you out too…" Though he's not sure what they could do. He definitely isn't human so how do you treat that?

*

Rowan simply nods mutely. He's not sure what's going on anymore and Aspen's question - which draws a somewhat incredulous look - just makes things worse. That's her isn't it? Aspen? The most powerful water bender the Blue have. Champion in their fight against the Over… the… damn it! Why can't he remember?!

"I… you're one of… you're Blue…" Is all he says as he allows the surface worlders and - probably more importantly - Mera to take charge of the situation and relocate to a med-bay.

*

Well, considering Mera has never seen how surface dwellers deal with illness or injury, she nods her acceptance of the medic's offer readily enough. And really, the worst that they can do is nothing. She WILL be watching their every movements and stopping them if she feels they're overstepping the boundaries of manners and ethical medicine. Putting one hand on Rowan's upper arm to lead him toward the medics, she tries to communicate with him telepathically. <If you can hear me, please give me those weapons while the healer checks your injuries. Surface dwellers are easily startled like cuttlefish.>

*

The comment about Aspen being Blue just gets a very confused and worried look. After all, Rowan has a bit of a bluish tint to him. And she glances down with herself to see if she's turned blue. But, no, she's her normal pink self. She lets the medics shoo her off toward medbay, but she still gives glances back towards the two water people.

Mera and Rowan are given a wide, respectful berth as they're led deeper into DMD. There will undoubtedly be a few questions as well, as to the big reptile that crashed into the dome.


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