The Tides of Blood: Releasing Simon Williams

Summary:
February 5, 2015: Mera is reminded that Surfacer Simon Williams is still being held captive, and goes to see that he is returned to the surface. (Emits by Aquaman)

Atlantis


Characters

NPCs

  • Vulko, advisor to the throne
  • Orm

Mood Music:
[*none]


Vulko speaks softly as he floats in the water before his Queen, "The military preparations are nearly complete your highness and our captains have reported that they've managed to contain the vast majority of shipping vessels as you commanded. The surface world continues to flounder without it's global communications and tensions there are reaching an all time high as nations are beginning to jockey for position among the super powers trying to decide what to do." he clears his throat in an embarrassed manner, "And of course there is still the matter of the Ambassador-Spy from the surface. The Forgotten may be able to hold him indefinitely, but the Prince has been growing increasingly insistent we activate it's magics and rehabilitate him. This plan has met with strong public support and the lack of active military campaigns on the surface is starting to build a tide of resentment towards you." his eyes flick towards the trident in her hands but he says nothing aloud.

~

Simon's been very subtly testing this "Forgotten" and working on his own abilities. From what Orm told him, they may indeed have used ionic energies and may still do so, but there is a big difference: Simon has neither seen nor detected any Atlanteans who are infused to the extent that he is. He's pretty sure that the sorceress who claimed to be Asgardian, whose magics stabilized him and kept him from evaporating, was something completely outside the range of Atlantean magic, for the same reasons that they're outside the range of Asgardian magic. They just don't interact.

"OK, Simon. One more try. Compress. You can go huge, now let's see if you can go small."

~

Mera narrows her eyes at Vulko. "Are you implying that my decisions are to be questioned?" She drifts closer to the counsel without appearing to move, leaning toward him but keeping the trident at her side. "The military will approach the surface when I say, and not a moment sooner." She straighten again. "I will deal with the Surfacer myself. Dismissed." She doesn't wait for Vulko to leave or even move out of her way, she just goes around him and heads for where Simon Williams has been detained since Arthur's assassination.

~

Vulko eyes her and her outrage with a look that clearly states he was implying nothing, he was merely informing that yes, in fact everyone /was/ questioning her decisions. His job is, after all, to let her know these things. He then bows once and turns to go. The Forgotten's entrance is deep in caves set outside of Atlantis proper, it's said that getting there means passing through Gates that take one to caves elsewhere further from the Capital. Atlanteans are, after all, super secretive about their location, it's why no one's ever found them. Still, it means the trip takes awhile, more time since her personal guard accompany her for the trip, four soldiers who frankly don't ever leave her vicinity.

~

Simon manages to shrink down to about a foot tall, but that's not nearly "microverse" sized like he'd hoped. Still, his density is amazing. He relaxes and shoots back up to his usual 6'4" and wonders if being mind-wiped is going to be permanent for him, or if it would work differently… certainly he wouldn't just fit back into the Atlantean populace. After all, if they hate and fear someone with violet eyes, then what does that mean for someone whose eyes glow? And who doesn't actually breathe water.

~

Mera leads her entourage to the Forgotten, and unless there is someone there whose job it is to open the door to that oubliette, she'll open it herself. "Simon Williams." So yes, there is Mera in the doorway. Holding Arthur's Trident. And looking VERY unhappy.

~

Simon hasn't forgotten courtesy, he's just surprised, so he has a moment of bewilderment before he says, "Your Majesty, I'm so sorry. I … Prince Orm told me, he said surface-worlders shot Arthur. I can hardly believe it, it seems so unreal."

And unlikely. Don't forget unlikely. Regular bullets wouldn't be able to do the job, not with that armor and his depth-hardened Atlantean body. But aside from a momentary surprise, that's something he hasn't really thought about, because Orm has managed to distract him from thinking about the details of Aquaman's death.

~

Mera's expression is so unmoving she practically seems set in stone. She knows what Orm has been trying to get the Surfacer to admit to, but she does not believe that Simon is a spy. Firstly, she was trained to be both an assassin and a spy. Simon doesn't know how to be a spy and does not have the temperament for it. Secondly, he has been very open and forthcoming with sharing his knowledge of the surface without asking any probing questions about Atlantis in return. But, she has to be sure.

Brushing past the white-haired Surfacer's mind, she asks him bluntly, "Why are you here, Simon? Really. And do not try to lie to me."

~

"First? Because you and Arthur asked me to be here. Because he was right about the surface not needing an Atlantean as much as you needed a Surface dweller to provide a human face. Second? Because this place is awesome. I mean, a whole civilization, learning how you live, how the Atlanteans survived the Calamity, even if I never tell anyone up-top, it's amazing. And a distant third? Someone has to tell Fury what's happening here, and frankly, all I've had to tell him before has been stuff he already knew. I figure my real value to him is to carry messages from you guys."

There's the whole usual mess of entanglements: duty, skepticism about the success of the mission, stubbornness in avoiding learning anything with military value as much as Simon can tell. For a spy, he's pitiful. He barely knows how the government works.

~

Well, that goes a long way toward helping Mera build a case that Simon is truly here with only positive intentions. It's even more helpful that the Surfacer seems to have no concept of concealing truths. His mind is an open book. With pictures. "All ties have been severed with the Surface." See, THAT'S how one should lie. "I am being advised to use this chamber to erase your mind." Sadly, that part is very much true. "I am still considering."

~

Simon nods, without much surface agitation. "I wish you wouldn't. Last time they did that it took me forever to wake up." Still not lying. How very odd. He's … almost resigned to it. Like he'd look forward to it if he could just still experience it. Because it would be a method actor's dream job. But he's also got that whole 'would this really work' thing, since he knows about how Garth was treated from listening and from one or two surface-worlder reports. Apparently Atlanteans are much, much worse than the Shogunate-era Japanese in terms of blind unreasoning xenophobia, and that honestly frustrates and saddens him.

~

Mera tilts her head as her eyebrows draw together. "This has been done to you before. When?" She mentally sends out a summons to Orm. He needs to know about this, and about what she's already gleaned from the Surfacer's mind.

~

Orm's mind is… hard to read. He hasn't removed his crown since he put it on and it's protective enchantments are strong. Still, it wouldn't be any use if he couldn't sense a summons, and it's mere moments later he materializes next to Mera, his circular Trident in hand and his armor in place. He cuts a rather daunting figure actually once he's in the full get up, "My Queen." he says, shooting Simon a look of contained glee. "Are we to begin?"

~

"Once. Shortly after I was given my powers, when the Mad Baron's pet Asgardian witch cast the spell to keep me from evaporating, I was half-compelled, half-conned into attacking a group of heroes. It's complicated, I don't know how much was despair on my part and how much was magical influence. Anyway, I was cursed with dissolution when I turned back on them and saved the heroes. My mind was the first thing to go. Everything went blank, I had no identity, then I died. I woke up a year or so later when my brother got a Voodoo guy to try to animate my body. It was so itchy and obnoxious that I just woke up."

Which, since it's Mera and she'll catch his thoughts anyway, means that he's told much more than he ever told anyone else. Still.

When Orm appears, Simon feels a very brief flash of fear, which he pushes aside with annoyance at himself. His distrust of the man is profound - the man may be a prince, but he took far too much evident pleasure in going over the tortures and miseries he was planning to do to Simon, and in the mind of the Surfacer, that's a sign of insanity… not to mention, the man acted like he had already assumed the crown, which just felt wrong. How very quickly he shrugged off the idea of finding out who actually killed his brother, as if that didn't matter at all. No, Simon doesn't trust Orm. But for Mera's sake, he'll submit to the room, if she tells him to do so. Her, he trusts.

~

Some of the words that Simon used make no sense to her, but she could alwaysNO. She can't ask Arthur what they mean. Her confusion doesn't really show on her face, but her anger at the entire world when she realizes she no longer has an easy way to make sense of Surfacer terminology… that is as clear as day. Then Orm is there and he's being obnoxiously gleeful about torturing the Surfacer who has proven his trust in the Atlantean crown by not once resisting being taken into custody or complaining about having been crammed into this cell.

Thus, she makes a decision, and likely one that will be received very badly by everyone. Except Simon. "No, Orm. I want this Surfacer returned immediately to the surface. Unharmed."

~

Orm's expression is mostly hidden away behind the three-quarter mask he wears, his Crown, but from the sudden stillness in him she can tell he's fighting a surge of anger. His mind is roiling with barely contained rage and a sense of odd… betrayal? "You are… certain of this Majesty?" he asks through his teeth.

~

Simon feels amazingly conflicted by this directive. His first thought is that Mera shouldn't be left alone with Orm and his whatever cronies exist - because the guy just rubs him the wrong way and he doesn't trust him. He almost says, "No, let him use the room, but have them make me into your guard not a commoner. You need an absolutely trustworthy guard here."

In fact it flashes across his thoughts loudly enough that Orm might almost hear it. But Simon forces himself to calm down.

"Whatever Your Majesty commands," he says. Because, really, it's her decision. (Not Orm's.) And even if it would frustrate him to have to leave her behind, it would mean he could find out what really happened, try to track down the surfacer killer. Maybe.

~

If Simon's thought was loud enough for Orm to pick up on, then Mera 'heard' it for sure. She refrains from looking at her brother in law, and refuses to change her mind now that she's made her decision regarding the Surfacer. "I am certain." NOW she turns to look at the helmeted Atlantean. "Unless you want to suggest that I keep him as a pet."

~

Orm's lenses hide his eyes from view, making it impossible to know what he's looking at exactly, "I was going to suggest random laborer, perhaps something with our power plants. He is durable and strong, they are skills that could be put to use." he pauses for a moment, "I've given up on you using his carcass as a warning to the surface world champions."

~

Simon … doesn't respond to that. His internal "as if that would work" just shows that he, unlike Orm, has a much better perception of what would eventually to Atlantis in such a situation. If there's a multiversal agent of fate giving warnings, the appearance of Rowan on this Earth would almost be a blatant warning, forgoing the usual oracular obfuscation.

He waits for Mera and Orm to finish. He's pretty sure he won't simply be allowed to fly to the surface, as it would show him far too clearly where Atlantis is. He's pretty sure he doesn't want to know that because he doesn't want to think about the nuclear fires destroying this place.

~

Mera looks at Simon for a long moment again, probably picking up on his desire to NOT know where Atlantis is on the ocean bottom. She is grateful to 'hear' that the Surfacer feels that way, but she can't express that to him with her brother in law standing so close by. So, all she says is, "Send him to the surface, Orm. Do it now." And then she's turning to leave.

~

Orm's jaw clenches slightly at this, but his mind is a studious calm front, "Yes my Queen." he says, dipping his head slightly and tapping his fist to his breast plate as she swims past. He waits for her to go as he turns to look Simon's way, his hand clutching the Trident tightly. He seems to be controlling himself… barely. "She is merciful is she not?" he doesn't await an answer, "Our people are not. I hope your life does not cost her her crown." He leaves the cell and motions for Simon to follow him through the twisting cavern passages. Once they clear the caves to open sea, Mera is nowhere to be found, the caves likely dumping them someplace she is not. Orm points in a direction that's vaguely left, "The surface is that way." 'up' is not always 'up' underwater, it's easy to get turned around, "We are beneath your southern ice cap." every word he speaks to Simon is through clenched teeth.

~

"I hope it does not cost her anything," Simon answers. "I am sure you took me by some sufficiently magic route that we're nowhere near the actual Atlantis. I don't want to know where it is. And, if there's any truth to you at all… bring Arthur's killer to justice."

He turns then to blinding red-and-purple energy, almost too bright, and rockets directly up, leaving the ice untouched behind him, in less than a heartbeat. He has been practicing in that room.


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