Aquatic Barrage Release! Curiosity

Summary:
February 02, 2015: Namor and Rowan investigate the site of an explosion and some wreckage. A science Explorer is likewise doing the same.

Atlantic Ocean

International waters.


Characters

NPCs

  • Atlanteans (Trasix, Zaku, unnamed extra)

Mood Music:
[*<http://insert.video.or.music.link.here>]


The Atlantic Ocean and the eastern storm has made for turbulent seas and to see lights of a low flying aircraft above the waves is out of place.

For Aspen Matthews? Reported by those working with her monitoring the ocean that something exploded over the ocean last night and at first light multiple helicopters had scanned the area. They left having found nothing. The disturbance on the aquatic life was thankfully minimal but whenever those of the above world venture like this something always seems to go amiss.

A 'Trident' Leader (South Atlantean War Bands) by the name of Trasix guides Namor and their guest Rowan through the dark watery depths. "We are not far now, my liege." The man assures the two behind him.

Rowan has been allowed honored guest status among the Sub-Mariner's Fleet. He has met a number of individuals within the Prince's charge in that brief time. Despite their barbaric and bloodthirsty reputation they are a civilized and honorable people who treat each other with the kindness expected of a very close people. The man even met Namor's betrothed, his very distant cousin Dorma - when asked about their relation Rowan was quite simply informed EVERYONE in the Fleet can tie their roots together at some point. They're a dying people. Breeding with outside of their branch has even spawned several who lack the blue skinned coloration the Southern Tribes are so proud of.
Though these mutts are rare they're still amongst the numbers and tend to be of a lighter shade. Very few are outright as pale as their half-human Monarch.


Rowan is not in dragon form, a concession to a certain amount of discretion desired for an outing like this. It limits his speed, not having the hydrokinetic abilities most of his people do and he does vaguely remember being able to move faster in another world. Perhaps he can study his elemental alignment later, find out why.

In any case he swims close near Namor, watching carefully. The Blue has found Namor's people to be clannish and insular, but fierce, honorable and proud. They remind him in some ways of distant branches of his own people from back home. "That did not sound like battle." He says of the large bang that had echoed through the water some time ago.


The happenings above the surface caught the attention of the Deep Marine Discovery station, a habitat 1200 feet below the surface of the ocean studying a variety of topics. A team was forming up to see if they could spot any phenomena and Aspen tagged along to get a ride back to shore. After weeks without seeing sunlight, even Aspen was ready to get some time out of the bubbles.

It does mean that she's stuck hanging around while the team does its investigation, and she's found a spot at the edge of the deck to stay out of their way.


Namor pauses in his swim to turn and look at Rowan, "We approach human territory. They are supposedly neutrals and we have yet to witness violence from them. Just be cautious… " Especially considering any surface location right now could be hostile with what is going on with Arthur's death.
"There… " Trasix points to objects adrift in the waves, a helicopter rotor, a corpse that has been half-chewed and floats upon a piece of hardened foam. It's purpose fulfilled. Though, it didn't save the life of the man (or woman) who deployed it - the person is that badly gnawed upon.
The Prince swims through the wreckage, his brow furrowing. Something is not right. The explosion was much long ago, this, some of this that is drifting above still releases tendrils of smoke or is warm. A recent assault.


Rowan frowns as he too surfaces. "Surfacer flying device." He too looks about seeing the signs of recent weapons fire that doesn't match up with some of the wreckage in evidence. The Blue cautiously breaches the surface and pales as he calls Air to him. Wings sprout from his back, four feathered ones and he pulls into a hover above the waves to better survey what has transpired. Mera can do this trick just be controlling the water, floating on it as on a mobile pedestal. He has no such luck.


The DMD Explorer is powering its way over to where the Atlanteans are, reaching the other side of the wreckage. Of course, their arrival is the equivalent of fireworks and banners to the water-dwellers with powerful engines humming through the water. The craft downshifts, slowing and Aspen rises as divers leave the boat to investigate.


Trasix motions at the incoming lights and his small squad of Atlantean soldiers scatter ducking deeper in to the darker waves or hiding behind debris. Staying out of sight until commanded otherwise.

Namor lifts himself free of the water as the arrival of the DMD Explorer has him distraction from his investigation of the wreckage. "You see what I am seeing?"


Rowan is familiar with the sound of research ship engines and the general layout of such vessels. He has, after all, made his living on the surface by being an underwater specialist for several oceanographic foundations. They're generally more than happy to pay him to help since his help generally means they get the research they're after or find what they're looking for. And he's cheaper than a submersible, by a fair amount even at a rather high rate of pay. So as the DMD research ship approaches he only gives it a passing glance. Curious surfacers. Unarmed. Harmless. He's used to the type. Even finds them often engaging if occasionally incomprehensible in their enthusiasm and terminology.

"The surfacers or the wreckage." Rowan's still hovering midair and will be quite visible from the ship soon if he's not already. "The surfacers are scientists. Likely they detected the noise and came to investigate. They're harmless. I work with their like often. The wreckage though… this was no surfacer conflict. I know these scorch marks and signatures. This craft was shot down by Atlantean weaponry."

There's a pause as Rowan flits over to the largest section of the fuselage and frowns. No markings, but definitely not the type of device he's accustomed to seeing in the hands of civilians. A military aircraft then. "Something is wrong. This craft is not marked as it should be."


The pilot of the boat does indeed spot Rowan, the divers attention focused below the waters. He gives a shout of surprise and cranks the rudder over hard so he's not headed *at* the… dragon!

Aspen, who had been holding onto the railings while leaning out to get a good view sees the dragon a few seconds earlier, eyes going wide in surprise and so the usually watercraft savvy scientist is taken by surprise as the boat suddenly moves hard to port and with a yelp she goes over the railing.

She'd be embarassed except you know, dragon!


"Exactly and I have no report of HYDRA in this vicinity. Yet unmarked and clearly military. " The man folds his arms over his chest and glares at the water where the DMD vessel drifts through the waters. It's then that Aspen goes over the rails and Namor is about to move in when one of his younger warriors breaks cover and slides forward to grab at the woman, a knife in hand.
"What is that seal pup doing… " The Prince murmurs.


Rowan looks over at the DMD research vessel as the engines rev in that odd way that signals a hard turn. What are they avoiding? Oh… him. Right. He forgets sometimes that not all surfacers are used to seeing him like this. The ones he usually works with are. He's explained to them that he's a mutant among his own kind which is true enough. Made to be one, but they don't need to know things like that. This specific craft isn't one he's seen before except… wait… those markings…

DMD. The lab he crashed into when he first arrived. The scientists there had been most curious about him. The first Waterfolk they'd ever seen. He'd consented to allow them to study him a bit, if only to quiet their incessant slightly overenthusiastic requests. But if this is a DMD craft that might mean the slightly familiar looking woman who just went into the water is…

The dragon gives the prince a brief 'I'll be back' look and flies over to where the 'Lemurian' warrior is grabbing at Aspen. He rather sincerely hopes that neither of them hurts the other though he is reminded that this Aspen is't his and hasn't been a warrior her whole life. Odd, he was just thinking about this Blue recently. Perhaps the only other waterfolk in hundreds of miles who doesn't want war with the surface.

"She is Blue." He rumbles rather meaningfully at the soldier making it quite clear that whether Aspen identifies as such or not he'll quite willingly defend his (sort of) countryman.

"Aspen." The large red lizard greets her.


Aspen Matthews was easily treading water when Namor's warrior starts swimming towards her. Surprise is easily evident on her face when she spots the blue-skinned man and then that turns to alarm as she spots the knife. She's just starting to swim away when the dragon swings over and that puts a bit more enthusiasm into her efforts whent he large creature speaks her name.

Aspen's mouth works a bit and when she speaks, it's a little high. She's in a bit over her head here. "Yes?" That was not a squeak. Really. It wasn't.


"Looks like a dry to me." The boy replies to Storm Surge, he is perhaps barely more than eighteen. Top knot style hair with tattoo markings allover his blue skin (typical of the Southern Tribes).
"Release her, Zaku." Namor commands as he joins Rowan's side. "Further display insolence and you will face the wrath of your King." Chin uplifted, arched eyebrows arch even more! he lithe warrior frowns and sheathes the blade letting his grasp on Aspen release, "Yes, your majesty. She stank of breather anyways… I will be was-"
Splash!
Namor is in the water and has already struck Zaku across the jaw sending the lad skipping like a stone before he vanishes in to a large wave. He'll live of course but the side of his head will be swollen and look like an oversized grape.
"Apologies, the ill-mannered exist in any culture… " Namor manages - his cheeks still heated in embarrassment.
"Trasix, return Zaku and the others to the Fleet."
A salute in the form of a trident slapping a shoulder and all leave but Rowan and Namor. The unconscious member of the Trident being hauled away by his companions.


Rowan smiles faintly at Namor's rather… strident insistence on manners from his men. The man is abrasive to those he believes enemies or beneath him, but paradoxically hospitable to friends, allies and (usually) noncombatants. It's a tribal kind of hospitality, but it works. His smile, though, might not be comforting. He has… rather large, sharp teeth.

It takes a few moments for Aspen's shock to register. Ah. She's… nervous. Worried. "This is King Namor of New Atlantis." The dragon nods to the Avenging Son by way of introduction. "Your Majesty, this is Aspen Matthews…" He almost says 'of the Blue' but catches himself. "A scientist at Deep Marine Discovery. Or she was last I knew."

He pauses regarding Aspen for a moment and reaches down a claw. "Would you like out of the water and back to the ship perhaps?" The discussion of the strange craft and it's mysterious fate can wait a few moments for manners and hospitality's sake.


Aspen Matthews is still a bit wide-eyed through all of this, even though she's been unhanded by the knife-wielder. She's not exactly used to tribal-style discipline. And while Rowan's being friendly enough, he's still a damned big dragon and she's only met the Blue a few times. The last quite some time ago. "Yes… Yes I'm… still with DMD." She says looking between the pair. She blanches a bit at the introduction, because there are few less desirable to meet some sort of royalty than soaking wet amidst wreckage.

"It a… pleasure to meet you, sir." Americans aren't terribly well versed on how to address royalty. The claw is looked at with some trepidation before she finally reaches out to take it. "I think you might have scared them off." She notes. "Am I.. are we trespassing? We were just investigating.." She looks between the pair.


"The pleasure is my own, Aspen." Namor offers with the grace befitting his station by taking her hand and pressing his forehead to her knuckles then releasing. At her question he looks the downed helicopter over, "No. These waves belong to none save Neptune himself."
"We as well were simply investigating." Indicating himself and the draconian Blue.


Rowan glances over… at the ship. Which is indeed now a fair distance away. He sighs. "We've met before." He offers by way of explanation as he settles Aspen on his back. Ordinarily he'd just take her right back to the ship but that's going to involve possibly actually having to catch them and then explaining that no, he's not ging to hurt them. Of course, they've never seen him as an Air dragon before and a water dragon only once. The best he could manage for months was reptilian humanoid form that was a cross between a DnD monster and a velociraptor. With a spear.

"These waters are free." Rowan nods in confirmation. "Though dangerous, I think. This craft, it bears none of the markings of the local militaries, and it has been destroyed by fire from Atlantean weaponry." And since he's been with Namor he knows it hasn't been his men in the last several hours.

"What was it that got your attention? If it's not… very important I would not linger overlong."


Aspen Matthews obviously isn't used to being greeted as Namor does, and she works on not being too terribly awkward. Settling on Rowan's back? Well, that she can't help but be a bit awkward about. Definitely not something she's done before.

"We have?" She says of their meeting, before leaning over somewhat precariously to peer at him. "Rowan?" He mentioned the Blue, and he's all dragon-y… Aspen can put things together. Eventually. "I was just hitching a ride. They were going to see what happened and then drop me off at shore." Well, the harbor of the nearby settlement.


"We will traverse with you. For safety… " Namor says, not the real reason but then the Sub-Mariner is well known for being mercurial and rather… whimsical especially where women are concerned. Lucky for Aspen she is not a blond.
"Tell me of this underwater human study group. I know it has been a concept in the past, I once had surfacer allies who wanted aid in creating a Hydro-Base but… " A shrug of the man's broad shoulders. A pass off of the explanation.
"Those entrepreneurs and forward thinkers are of another time."
Literally and very aged now.


Rowan nods in response to the question of his identity. "The same, yes. I look a bit different, I know." His voice though, while deeper and changed with each draconic incarnation, is still undeniably his. And he still has that odd habit of speaking only loud enough to be heard when not in battle. Though… when a dragon, there's only so softly one can talk.

The Blue gives the Prince a slight incline of the head, letting him lead to begin the 'traverse' then falling in alongside him at wavetop height so he can continue speaking to their 'guest'. Whether they head for the (apparently now yet more distant) ship or the shore itself he leaves up to them.

Aspen Matthews finds a comfortable perch on Rowan, holding on tightly. Given she's still soaked from her impromptu swim, the holding on is rather necessary. "It's not a uhm, well-published facility…" Which is to say, it's kinda classified. But Rowan knowns about it and the waterfolk can just wander up to it, so trying to deny its existance is just silly. "We have a bunch of different scientific disciplines studying things from the creatures at that depth, to the pressure effects on materials to uhm.." Now she colors just a bit. "Artifacts of indeterminate origin." OK, so they've found some Atlanten stuff. But that's not her department.


"Artifacts? Atlantean or Alien? The sea is a wealth of both." Namor asks quiet bluntly, it's not as if he seems too concerned by it. This is conversation after all. He comes from a society that became advanced enough the separation of magic and science was a very blurry line. The surface still has much to learn. "The Atlanteans who pass by this area or lay claim near here have found you passive enough, I am surprised you have not seen more of us. Perhaps they study you as much as you study the ocean around you."


"I rather got the impression from my arrival that it was understood that the surfacers were to be left alone." Rowan supples as he glides along. His large six winged form allows for some very precise control of his movement, likely why it was chosen for the element of Air. Or perhaps it was just a quirk of how magically reactive genetics work. Rowan's a solider, not a mage, he couldn't say.

"In fact I understand that but for your contact with the surface seventy or so years ago, neither Atlantean nor Blue nor any others have ventured above the waves except in isolated incidents." Indeed the surface world seems to know very little of them indeed. Many, in fact, are only discovering about them now through Namor and Arthur's own activities. Rowans are low key enough that they rarely go remarked upon and few associate a dragon or draconic humanoid with the races below the waves.

"But perhaps they do watch. Certainly, they watched closely enough on the day I arrived."


Aspen Matthews cranes her neck a bit to try to look at Rowan, which is a bit hard to do when she's on his back. "You have a thing about Ocean royalty, don't you? You were with the others then." A bit belatedly Aspen realizes the Bad Timing of that comment. "Oh. I'm sorry, by the way." She's still a bit fuzzy on the Atlantean versus Blue versus New Atlantean versus who knows what else!

Turning back to Namor she clarifies, "Atlantean. I think. Not that we'd be really good at telling the difference." She admits. "When Rowan was there he put a whole section into a tizzy. He's lucky he escaped." The teasing tone of her voice takes any real concern that he might have been detained out of her words.


"Recently more so than before yes and always isolated. Our involvement during the Third Riech largely forgotten by both of our people. Like much of that time." That far-away thousand-yard stare takes over Namor's gaze, as quick as it appears it is gone. "Pointless to separate, Blue, Southern Tribes, the Unified, the Colonies, Lemurians… a wise man once said to me, we are ALL Atlanteans and all spawned of the same sea. Those born of the sea are Atlanteans." It's a point of view much practiced by all the differing tribes, Lemurians are much more prideful about their separation - Lemurians being the actual Lemurians and not what the Southern Tribes are commonly or intentionally wrongly called.
"As for watching you Dragon… you have yet to show much in the way of subtlety, I expect less else from a beast of your nature though." A friendly jab and a grin? Namor seems to be warming up to the extra-dimensional super-Blue.
Namor adding to the confusion for Aspen no doubt.


"My entry was not… quiet." Rowan admits. He fell through two miles of sky and three miles of ocean to hit a laboratory, crack one of the main observation galleries and nearly kill a few people. Aspen would have been dead had her Blue heritage not saved her.

There are others, more divergent than the rest. The Black - alien and seemingly not at all related to anything in the ocean -, the Trench, again a ravenous force of the utter depths. The Blue themselves are different enough in appearance and ability that Rowan wonders. Not that it matters for some purposes. To an extent they must all share the same ocean… though there's a lot of it to share.

"I do not intentionally seek out royalty." Rowan rumbles with some humor, looking over his shoulder back at Aspen. His muzzle is more pointed and delicate than the powerful crunching maw of his sea-beast form. "Though I do seem to find them a great deal. Perhaps it is because only they seem to venture to the surface for anything. Present company excepted." And the present company is an exception in several ways.


Aspen Matthews hasn't forgotten the hard-to-deny truth that came from Rowan's appearance, but as the Blue seem to be the shyest of the ocean dwellers Aspen hasn't really had much ability to go out and learn about them. Even if she was inclined to show up on their proverbial doorstep and go 'Hi!'. The scientific evidence is there, but all her memories are of the surface.


"I admit I'm not much up to speed on ocean politics. I'm bad enough at surface politics." Hell, Aspen's pretty bad at US politics, for that matter. Being 1200 feet below the surface hasn't helped with current events much. DMD is sort of in its own little world.
"Politics is an acquired taste." Namor agrees, his awareness of the multitude of races within the ocean is well documented and he could go at length but it's a boring subject and best left to later meetings than a first one. Especially if this woman could just be playing coy and clueless. Never arm your enemies with knowledge unless it's to your advantage. The man isn't even sure this woman is friend or foe yet.
"Your… " He looks at Aspen a moment, "The air-breather's stories often have nobility clashing with Dragons, perhaps it is just testament to the age old story. Where there be dragons… "


"Fortunately none of the nobility I've met have tried that yet…" Rowan has been mildly acquainted with the stories of knights slaying dragons. Of course where he's from it's rather the opposite. Dragons, and indeed most magical beings, were depicted as champions in the long conflict against the forces of the Overlords. One man's monster is another mage's hero. He's not himself sure whether he was made in a dragon's image or if that's just the form his peculiar combination of genetic engineering and magical science took.

"If it makes you feel better, I'm not an expert at them either." So they're both learning. Namor on the other hand is one of the experts on underwater politics. Politics that seem to be getting very dangerous. "However I do know enough to tell you that it may not be safe at your laboratory anymore. I might suggest evacuating it before there is a… situation. I shall come and ensure that no one interferes if you wish." He's breaking 'exile' to do so, but he doesn't care. No one down there deserves anything untoward happening to them. The worst their guilty of is occasionally letting their curiosity override their manners.


"Give me my microscopes and some choice waves any day." Aspen says over politics, her words a bit wry as her lips curve into a smile. If she's being duplicitous, she's rather adept at it.

She notices the catch in Namor's words and there's a chuckle. "I'm a US citizen. All I remember of my life is living on the surface. I'm not going to be insulted if you call me one." Admittedly, her memory starts at 11 years old, but it's not a lie. "I don't even know how to be all underwater-y."

Rowan's offer of protection has her frowning. DMD would make an easy target for any Atlanteans but a single man, even a dragon-man seems a bit suicidal to put in the way of any concerted attack.


"Not by choice. My people would not readily attest to my talent in the court." Namor is known for being at times volatile, easily bored and short of temper - age and experience are his saving graces anymore. "It is easier to be 'underwatery' than not. As a creature of both I will give you my word on that one. On the positive side if you are threatened with the Dragon near, you all would make much less of a target. Who are your superiors Aspen Matthews? What company sponsors you? I wish to know more. My curiosity has not been piqued like this in a very long time. Have you had outside aid or is this all human engineering?" If so they have come a long way. He also realizes he is firing a salvo of questions at her, "Pardon the enthusiasm. I have held myself in check for some time in regards to your settlement, several days a drift I have stared upon you and yours and considered just… knocking."


"Such things can be taught." Rowan adds to Namor's assurances. "Though now is perhaps not the time to teach them. I offered once and the offer still stands though… should you wish to find other Blue or even a friendly Atlantean…" Which might be hard at the moment. "Certainly that'd be reasonable. The most difficult thing will be overcoming some of your ingrained… physiological misconceptions." Like having her breath in water without worrying that she'll die. The panic itself might cause her to pass out. Of course… she's unlikely to drown as a result but still. Passing out is not conducive to learning.

As to the offer of assistance - he does not think of it as protection per se - he'll let Aspen and her fellow surfacers decide. A risk yes, but a calculated one and the dragon-warrior is used to making such calculations. Namor's own line of questioning has him listening curiously.


Aspen Matthews flashes the Rowandraon a brief smile. "You did, yes. I'm sorry. I got busy at work and as usual I put it off, and then put it off…" Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. "I would like to, but I do understand if now isn't a good time."

Namor's flood of questions has her looking a bit uncomfortable. "I'm not supposed to talk about it." She admits. "Non-disclosure clauses." She's already had one scandal ruin her career. She'd prefer not to have that happen again. She chuckles then. "Knocking might be your best bet, though I'd wager that you'd get asked at least as many questions in return."


"Friendly Atlantean in these times is a shot in to the Abyss." Namor says a little put off by the fact she cannot speak further on the subject of the DMD. "I suppose I will have to knock and demand an audience with the keepers of your aquatic science base, later. Not today. Today I must deal with domestic concerns." The man pauses, "Rowan, perhaps it would be best you remain with the woman longer. I am to return to my Fleet and deny the writs hopefuls have delivered me in regards to your presence. It would seem some our women are wanting breeding rights with you." A wave of a hand in front of him and the Prince is floating away from the two.
"Return when you like, just give me time to diffuse this nonsense." A dying people. Rowan is a unique and new one of their kind who was seen alongside the Prince. Of course they were going to put in their requests. "Farewell, Aspen Matthews. Prepare your supervisors and peers for the inevitable arrival of Prince Namor. My eagerness has not waned and my curiosity holds strong."
A flicker of his light skinned body in the waves and he vanishes.


The… little bombshell Namor drops on them causes Rowan to hover for a moment in shocked surprise. Then he's gone and the Dragon-Blue shakes his head and pulls into a climb. There silence is… well, he's quiet for about a minute or three. "Um, yes, so. I have time. But the oceans are less safe than they were before." For a variety of reasons now. "Though I suppose a lake would do for the basics if you like. Either way, I'm pleased to do it if you wish. And if not…" He shrugs, not much though because he doesn't want to knock the woman off his back.

"So would you like me to return you to your ship? Or just head for shore?" If the former, he imagines there'll be questions for them both.


Aspen Matthews struggles not to giggle and ends up coughing a bit. A hand comes up to hide her mouth as she struggles not to make too much of a fool of herself. After all, it might not be a joke! She doesn't know these strange underwater waves.

She clears her throat in time to wave to the departing Namor, "I'll keep an eye out for you!" The question of where to go? "The shore works. I'll call them and tell them I'm fine, before the write me off as lost at sea." She says drily.


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