The King, The Queen and the Dragon

Summary:
August 15 2014: Rowan heads out to try to find some traces of his former life and ends up meeting Arthur and Mera again.

Atlantic Ocean

About 20 miles from Deep Marine Discovery labs.


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
[* None]


Rowan… finally had to make an excursion from the lab. Leave it? Perhaps not quite yet, but he had to find out if the world really was as different as he'd been hearing. Without the Blue's hydrokinetic abilities his travel speed is a bit… limited. Limited without his special trick that is. Rowan, you see, has magic. Not much. In fact he can only really do one thing: align himself with elemental energies. So he calls water to himself and begins to swim. He just picks a direction he's fairly sure there was a camp in. Four hours in he's also fairly sure he should have seen it by now. Nothing. No battlegrounds, no military patrols. Not a damn thing but water and rock in sight,

*

Mera found out from the lab people that Rowan had chosen to … explore a bit. She's not sure which direction she went, so she finds herself 'pacing' outside of the surface dweller structures on the ocean bottom. After all, if he doesn't return, or worse, starts trouble out there, it's very likely that Arthur will consider it her failure.

*

Aquaman doesn't ever consider things his wife does as failures… but that doesn't mean he's not occasionally disappointed in her. Usually in her temper. Still… As far as Mera is from Rowan, Arthur is from her, his eyes piercing the veil of shadows the water creates with ease as he watches his wife watching the soldier. Far afield a teensy wee fish swims a small tight circle and The Drift hold their positions in the shadows. The man was a giant sea serpent, he's clearly a soldier, and his magicians tell him they can sense magic on him. How lucky for Rowan Arthur isn't a knee jerk reaction kind of monarch. He's not a fool either, he brought back up… just in case.

After a bit he silently makes his way through the water until he slides up next to his wife. He doesn't speak the words because he doesn't have to, <Have you been able to glean anything from his mind?> sometimes it's nice having a telepath for a wife. Sometimes… less so. Fights are way more difficult to win. Like whoa. Seriously. Unfair.

*

At length Rowan gets frustrated and perhaps a little depressed. He decides to head back toward the sufacer lab and see if maybe he can get in contact with people who know what's going on underwater here. Even if it does mean talking to King Arthur's frightening wife.

Because he wants to move now and not explore he closes his eyes and concentrates, activating his secondary genetics. A long, finned draconic tail manifests behind him, giving him extra oomph to slide through the water. Back to DMD he goes.

*

<No. He is as confused as he claims, anything beyond his current thoughts either clouded or jumbled and disjointed.> She stops her 'pacing' when her husband arrives, though she's still clearly a bit agitated. <He left, and I did not see where he went. I do not want to think the worst, but… he's been gone for quite a while.>

*

Aquaman nods once and his expression hardens, <Then I suppose I will have to speak with him abo-> the thought literally stops mid word and then Mera's tossed into a tumble by the sudden surge of current around her, a sign her husband has boogied out in a hurry. He arrives before Rowan in a flurry of bubbles and a wash of water many degrees higher than the rest of the ocean, a side effect of rapid transit, and the light gleams on the pointed prongs of a familiar looking weapon, one who's business end it pointed at Rowan's chest, "Stand down." the words come out like a hammer, they're spoken with Authority. Capital 'A'.

*

Rowan had been mostly on autopilot. You know. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimm- ohholyposidonstwistedbeardthatsarhturandhistrident!

The tailed and slightly scaly man pulls up sharply and, out of instinct throws his arms into a defensive position but doesn't otherwise move.

"Uh… your majesty… I… Um…"

*

Mera mutters a nice choice of harsh words at her husband for his really, really abrupt departure and moves to follow him. <Arthur. What is happening?> Her thoughts are laced with concern, and the first hints of anger.

*

Aquaman's eyes are hard as the emeralds they look like, "Tail." he says firmly, "Lose it. Now." It's the first time he's looked like the King Rowan remembers. The eyes. They're 'younger', meaning they've made fewer hard calls, clearly seen less death, less war, but it's there. The willingness, hell, just the will to do what is necessary. He hasn't got the scars, hasn't lost the body parts, but he's clearly willing. It's almost like a time capsule… but not quite. <He began a shift.> he informs his wife, and the last shift he made… well.

*

There's a subtle shift as Rowan switches off his augmented genetics. The tail just kind of shrinks away in a matter of moments. "Um…" Rowan resists the temptation to back away from the angry, less hardened king with the trident. His confusion isn't getting any less. In fact it's getting downright tumultuous in his mind. "What… what have I done, your Majesty?"

*

Mera catches up to Aquaman just in time to NOT see Rowan's partial-dragon form, and so looks from the increasingly confused Blue to her husband and back. <He is honestly confused, to such an extreme that it is distracting.> Her eyes return to the sometimes giant reptilian whale and she watches him like one might a science experiment.

*

Aquaman seems to relax as the tail disappears and the trident comes to rest at his side, cradled against his arm in a deceptively relaxed position. "The last time you had a tail you crushed a lab filled with innocent people and set off every defensive alarm my military possesses. That could have ended very, very badly." he clarifies, "You are a weaponized man in my lands that I do not know. You are clearly a soldier, but not of any nation I'm aware of. Obviously you are not of the surface, which means you are something of an enigma." Arthur waits for his wife to arrive before continuing, "I have some experience with the curious however," understatement. JLA duty lets you see some seriously messed up stuff, "hence this polite conversation."

*

Rowan makes a silent ah. "I was looking for Blackwater Outpost." His last clear memories of any definite location are from the joint Blue-Atlantean military base.

"It's supposed to be over there…" the soldier waves vaguely behind him. But… there's nothing. No trace it ever was." He sounds almost depressed about it. Nothing here makes sense. Surfacers in a scientific research outpost underwater. Arthur and Mera having semi-cordial relations with them. Aspen not knowing her own people. Whole military bases with thousands of people just… gone. Everything looks familiar… but nothing is.

*

Mera tilts her head a bit as she regards Rowan, then drifts a bit closer. "Remain still." She reaches to put her hands on either side of the unusual Blue, not because physical contact aids her telepathy, but simply to keep him from moving away. She stares intently as she tries to glean a mental image of this Blackwater Outpost just mentioned.

*

Aquaman glances at Mera with a quirked brow, "Blackwater Outpost." he says before looking back at Rowan, "This is close to the surface, our people do not venture this close to land, especially when there is so much of the ocean floor left for us to make a home of." he's quiet for a moment, "I suspect you have a tale to tell us Centurion…" and he falls silent as his wife works her own brand of magic.

*

The image is there. 'Outpost' is apparently something of a misnomer. The location looks to be on a small seamount ten miles from here. He'd been headed back from that direction. Thousands of soldiers, Atlantean and Blue. War machines of every description. Powerful mages maintaining a defensive shield. He knew every pathway, every building of this outpost. Knew the commander and the quartermaster and the civilians who had accompanied some of the soldiers. Incredible detail. Also nothing that's ever existed at that location.

"It was… our main staging area for this front of the war. We supported the Homo Magi and their allies from here…" To have it not have been there feels to him like Arthur or Mera might feel to swim back to Atlantis itself and find it simply not there, nor have there be any memory of it among the populace.

*

Mera shares the images with Arthur as she gathers them, honestly disturbed by how clearly Rowan remembers something that she knows for a fact has never existed. … in this dimension. She has a bit of experience with that herself. She backs off again and turns to look at Arthur. This is something he'll have to deal with. She's deferring to him.

*

Aquaman tilts his head to the side and lets the images roll over him. He's growing pretty comfortable with telepathic communications as of late, so he manages to 'see' the images as well as keep an eye on Rowan. After a moment he nods, "What year is it?" he asks Rowan curiously. This is the easiest way to rule out time travel, which sadly, is a thing in his world. Seriously, being under assault from all 3 dimensions wasn't enough, people have to strike out from alternate realities and a 4th dimension too? That's just rude.

*

"Year Fifty PA or Two Thousand and Fourteen by surfacer reckoning," Rowan looks a bit wary at the question. Some things are just odd. He's fairly certain he has not travelled back in time. There'd still be a war if he had. The only thing that'd explain away is Arthur's face. Not the camp, not Mera and not Aspen.

"Your Majesty… do you… there's… there never was a base there, was there?" Either he's losing his mind or something is very, very wrong.

*

Mera furrows her eyebrows as she looks at Rowan again. "Year Fifty PA?" That's nomenclature she's not encountered before. The surfacer reckoning is actually more familiar for a change. Go figure. <Do you think others will follow him?> she silently asks Arthur without taking her eyes off of the Blue.

*

Aquaman nods at the news, "Centurion, what do your people know of alternate realities?" he asks curiously. <If he were my man…> Arthur doesn't have to finish the statement. Arthur would go find his soldier… assuming he knew he was missing. <But I gather they were in a battle, he may be presumed dead, captured, there's no telling. They may not even have the science or knowledge to understand there /are/ other dimensions. How different his people are … we cannot imagine.>

*

"I've heard the theory yes…" Rowan says slowly. That's all it'd been though, theory. "Mostly, your Majesty, we'd been concerned with fighting the war in our own dimension rather than worrying about hypothetical others. Although…" He pauses. "The device we assaulted. We never were sure what it was for. Some kind of teleportation gate we'd assumed."

The Blue swims back a few feet, just to get out of easy stabby range. Well okay, nowhere near Arthur is out of easy stabby range, but it makes him feel better.

*

Mera looks at Rowan sharply again. "What manner of device? And who built it? The surface dwellers?" Does that mean that THIS dimension's surfacers are close to that same level of technology? That level of destruction? <This is increasingly concerning.> "And what started this war you speak of?"

*

Aquaman nods his head, "A great deal of teleportation technology borders on interdimensional travel as I understand it. I'm somewhat familiar with the theory behind the science, but I fear the specifics have never been entirely clear to me. I know those who would understand it better however." he doesn't move when Rowan slides back, he feels no need to really, "I am not certain Centurion, but I suspect you've been shoved through a breach between the realities and you've ended up in this one. I have seen such things in the past, /been/ to such places in fact. It is a disorienting experience." he sounds sympathetic. <Calm yourself Mera, that level of technology already exists on the surface, in fact I know of a man who uses it to explore other worlds with his family. His tech is stable however, and I presume that theirs was not.>

*

Rowan answers Mera's question anyway. "One of the Psychic Overlords. I do not remember which one." This is mostly because he doesn't remember any of their names, just that they were the group he fought against the most. "It was some manner of gateway… or perhaps energy collection device. Surfacer structures underwater tend to be bad news. Our usual policy is to blow up first and examine the wreckage later."

The news that he may have travelled dimensionally meets with simultaneous relief and sorrow. On the one hand he's not going crazy and this explains much. On the other, it means he's stuck and without a way home unless he can find another gate and figure out exactly 'where' home is.

"I… need to find my people. Do they still live in the Shining Sea? The place the surfacers call the Caribbean?"

*

Mera turns from Rowan to Arthur at his question about the Shining Sea. She thinks she knows the place being referred to, but again, she defers to Arthur to answer that. So instead, she goes back to visually studying the interdimensional visitor, or more precisely, his armor.

*

Aquaman is quiet for a long moment as he peers at Rowan, his gaze pinning the man like a butterfly to a board in a museum, "Yes." he says after a pause, "I will send an envoy to meet with their ambassador and she will decide whether or not your are to return there." his lips purse slightly, "Honestly, I suspect she will wait for my opinion before making that call." politics. God how he hates politics. As long as Arthur keeps Rowan to figure him out, the politicians can bitch about a native son being kept away while letting Atlantis take all the risk of housing the soldier. And once he's sent home they can rejoice about how well they did, winning a battle against the King. And of course, if he goes all Serpenty and kills people they can blame Arthur for not doing a good enough job vetting the man to begin with. Politics. Double sigh.

"While your story has the ring of truth to it, you have to understand I cannot take your word for it. You will be housed as a guest in a settlement nearby. I will post an escort for you, soldiers like you, who will help you make sense of things that are different here so as to minimize any misunderstandings that might arise. They will also protect you should you fall under any sort of attack." his expression hardens, "Under no circumstances are you to change your shape from the one you currently wear, leave the area your escort will tell you is appropriate for your current habitation, or attack anyone from the surface world unless I expressly tell you it is okay." He softens again slightly. "When I am satisfied that you are not a danger to my people, yourself, or others, I will tell the ambassador my opinion and I imagine she will see you home. If you do not follow these guidelines or harm my people in any way you'll never be forced to deal with the ignominy of suffering defeat at the hands of my warriors. I will personally subdue you and decide a fitting punishment then. Have I said anything that is unclear to you?"

*

It's not, but the soldier narrows his eyes anyway. He's not particularly eager to leave the water… but one does not to be a telepath to figure that being under house arrest in a foreign nation on a foreign world isn't exactly… a pleasant thought. "If my own people are uncertain to have me, and I am a risk here, would it not be best to have me depart the waters?" Strike out for the surface. Though he's honestly not sure that's any better. On his own would he could count on Homo Magi allies. Here he's not… even certain there are any.

*

Mera scoffs. She actually scoffs. "The surface is not a place to visit lightly. Their people are almost entirely ignorant of what truly lies in the oceans, too absorbed in their own little lives to consider the implications of everything they do. Would you really want to leave the ocean for that?"

*

Aquaman shakes his head, "No." he says firmly, "The peace with the surface is tenuous at best and I'll not have you misunderstanding the world above and laying waste to innocent civilians and hurtling me and my kingdom into a war. You will do as you are ordered soldier," his eyes narrow slightly and his fingers tighten on the trident still 'lazily' cradled against his forearm, "or we will discuss this matter less politely right now. I do not like resorting to violence, ever, but I will not allow you to wander about when you could be the spark tha-" he pauses, about to make a 'fire' analogy but realizing that's pointless changes it, "the minnow that leads the shark back to the school. My people do good work, be patient and this will be over soon enough. Only a man fearful of something to hide would wish to flee to a surface world he just claimed was his lifelong enemy's home."

*

"Or a desperate man with no home, no friends and very little left to lose," Rowan profoundly respected the Arthur he knew… and in truth he's likely to go along with this, so long as it does not drag out, but he does wish to make the point that outmatched or no, this is not something he can simply expect of one who is not his subject. Especially one pushed back into a corner in this manner. His eyes harden. He knows this is not a fight he can win.

So after a moment he rather sensibly relents. "But fine, as you wish, your majesty." Rowan is clearly most unhappy being made a virtual prisoner by his 'allies.'

*

<Perhaps it would help if I were to remain as part of this Centurion's security detail? If he did truly come from a planet that had been at war for generations, he can only take this sort of monitored residence as the equivalent of imprisonment. He is already resenting your decision.> Of course, Mera says nothing aloud, merely watching Rowan as neutrally as possible, though sometimes her version of neutral resembles the gaze of a shark.

*

Aquaman nods his head, "It's not fair," the King admits freely, "but few things in life ever are. If this world were nothing but me and the Queen, I would allow you to wander as you saw fit, but it is not and you do not know it. Your actions will have ramifications on Atlantis, and that is my responsibility. It's rare I can afford to be fair Centurion, and for that I am sorry." he offers a smile and his grip on the trident loosens, "That said, I wouldn't overly worry yourself. I am giving you a large patch of ocean to wander and while our Atlantis and yours are different I imagine there must be some similarities. You will not be alone," he glances at Mera, "my Queen has volunteered to assist in your transition. She has some… experience with this sort of thing and I think you'll find her insights helpful." he grins at Mera wider before looking back to Rowan, "And don't be afraid of her Centurion, I promise you beneath the hard abrasive coral like exterior is more coral, then a hardened armor plated shell, then a stone reef filled with predators, and then, very deep, a kind and thoughtful woman. She will answer any questions you have, truthfully," he eyes Mera and then adds clearly, "and she will not punch you without adequate cause." he brightens suddenly, "This will be good for you both. You will push her and she will educate you. Yes. This idea is growing on me already."

*

Oh Sweet Merciful Poseidon. He hopes that the woman just described is less frightening than the woman he knew. Rowan inclines his head in silent acquiescence and glances back toward the DMD labs. Hopefully they'll be in the patch of ocean he can wander about in, if only because he's quite sure that the scientists there would like to take more blood samples and indulging them will give him something to do when he's bored. Hopefully this will be over quickly. If not…

Well, burn that bridge when we get to it, as they used to say back in the Corps.

*

Mera nods once as Arthur says she volunteered and looks at Rowan, but then as her husband goes on to describe her in a manner that had BETTER be a joke, she turns to look at him, which turns into a glare, which leads to a frown, which becomes a scowl. "No punching without adequate cause, Your Majesty." He said nothing about throwing things. "So. Rowan. Shall we?"

*

"After you, your majesty. I fear I wouldn't know where to go other than back to the Lab. Unless that's where we're going, in which case…" Without transforming this is going to be sort of slow going. Calling water to him helps, but only does so much.

*

Aquaman grins at the two of them. He trusts Mera to keep the new guy terrified enough not to worry about fleeing… and the new guy to annoy Mera enough to force her to work on her self-control. In the end either she'll kill him or she won't, either way he suspects they'll both learn something from this. His head tilts to the side, "As much as I would like to stay Rowan, I must go. My brother calls, he has something that requires my attention." he turns to go, then stops, glancing back at the pair, "When time allows I would like to pick your brain a bit however Centurion. I do not intend to go to war with the surface world, but a great general once said that if you want peace, prepare for war. I imagine your insight into our defenses would be invaluable. Please, think on it while Mera shows you about." and then he's gone in a tug of currents and blur of bubbles.

*

Rowan looks to Mera as the King disappears. Well… crap. What now. "Um, shall we then, your Majesty?"

*

Mera nods once. "Let's acquire suitable accommodations." As hospitable as the surfacers in the research facility have been, she'll never find their strange structures to be anything better than 'uncomfortable'. They're just far too … dry.


Back to: RP Logs

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License