Where the Dragon Suns

Summary:
March 23 2015: Rowan meets with Aspen, Ulani and Mera show up

New York Harbor

A large rock at the edge of the New York Harbor/


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
[* None]


Find the place where the dragon suns himself. Rowan told Ulani how to find him if she ever needed. But he didn't promise he'd be alone. Part of the problem with not knowing if you're going to have guests from the deep is the fact that you may be doing other things when they arrive. In this particular case Rowan had called Aspen Matthews to give her some news from below and see how she was doing mastering her new form. Called. Because when he'd gone down to DMD she hadn't been there. He supposes even dedicated marine propulsion scientists need to come up and get some sun sometimes. Or maybe it was Namor's charming manner that… made her decide to take a short break. Either way, since she's not down there, he figured odds were good that she was up here.

***

Aspen Matthews is dressed in surfacer-casual. Jeans, T-shirt, sneakers. She's walked out on the small spit of land to where said dragon is. "You know, you draw a lot of attention like this!" She calls out his way. She isn't dressed like Blue, or traveling like a Blue, and the bag in one hand as she balances her way over is definitely not Blue.

***

Mera's very existence quite possibly flies in the face of all of Aspen's marine propulsion research, but she has no way of knowing. She just … swims. And, she's chosen to take some time away from Atlantis. She's still too stressed over the way things happened, and she honestly does not care if some Surfacers might be angry at her, or scared of her. THat's their problems. Not hers.

Red hair and an emerald-jewelled tiara break the surface of the waves, and Mera looks around to try and locate the 'place where the dragon suns himself'. That is such an odd phrase.

***

Find out more about Rowan and this Aspen Mathews. Find out about the Atlantean situation, but don't engage them diplomatically. These are Ulani's missions.

She's come from the Blue city of Rhan, somewhere in the Carribean, hydraporting some of the way to New York. As she nears the harbour, she slows her pace recognising the form of Queen Mera. Pulling up next to the monarch, her long dark hair flowing behind her, she allows her head to break the water and bows her head "Greetings again, Queen Mera. May I enquire what brings so close to the Surfacer city? I'm looking for Rowan, myself."

***

Rowan is hard to miss at the moment. He's on a spit of land at the edge of the harbor. Lounging. As a thirty foot long, firebreathing lizard. "You know." He says as Aspen approaches. "The first time I did this they called the Coast Guard. I had to slip away fast. I figure a bit of gawking is a fair price to keep them used to the idea that the big lizard isn't going to hurt them." Certainly he's something of an urban legend around the Harbor. No one much knows who he is.

"You're looking well. Everything alright at DMD?" He looks in on it quite a bit but visits less often. They're busy and mostly he just wants to know that they're safe. "I've some interesting news. I've made contact with our people."

***

"Well, I only brought coffee and doughnuts for a human-sized you. Also, you'd look really funny trying to drink coffee like that." Aspen notes, finding a spot to sit and unpack the bag she brought with her.

Aspen has torn off a piece of pastry, just about to pup it into her mouth when Mera surfaces and the monarch is given rather wide eyes. "Oh. Uh. Hi. Again." She offers a hand out. "I'm Aspen. You probably don't remember me." It's… the hand with the pastry. Which would make shaking it awkward.

***

"We are here on similar missions then, emissary Ulani." Mera looks toward the dragon speaking with a Surfacer woman, then gestures toward them. "Shall we?" And, you know, since Mera isn't one for subtle entrances she will do the whole approaching the basking rock standing on a Russian water tentacle and bring the Blue female with her if she so chooses.

***

Ulani looks as Mera calls the water and not wishing to appear rude, joins the Monarach. As an ex soldier, the Blue female knows to stand behind and to the side and old habits die hard. "My thanks, your Highness" she murmurs as they stand on the water. Rowan and Aspen get a nod of acknowledgement.

Ulani's appearance may look strange to Surfacers. She's humanoid enough, but her clothing is really just a two piece swimsuit. Her only adornments are a coral necklace and pendant and what looks like slave bracelets made from coral on each hand.

***

Rowan glances as Aspen's eyes get wide. Ah. Ulani and the Sea Queen. Aspen's about to get a… crash course in Blue fashion if nothing else. He shrinks down back to Blue size, the extra mass smoking off him in white whisps. "Mera, Ulani." He bows.

"May I present to you Aspen Matthews." Mera's met her. Once. "Aspen this is Queen Mera, as you seem to remember, and Ulani of the Blue. Fortunate that you two arrived. I was about to share with Aspen news of our situation." 'Our' being the two Blue who live on the surface. The only two blue who do so far as he knows.

***

Aspen Matthews seems to realize, if belatedly, she is offering the queen of Atlantis a partially eaten pastry. Luckily she rethinks stuffing it in her mouth, as there's way too much to fit politely and then she'd have the obstacle of trying to talk around it. She transfers it to her other hand, wiping the first furiously and, as Mera seemed disinclined to take it anyhow she then offers it over to Ulani with an open smile. "Hi. Nice to meet you."

***

Mera nods to Aspen in that way that royalty seem to all learn, and doesn't seem offended by offering of the partly-eaten pastry. Though her declining the handshake isn't because of the foodstuffs. She's just not in the habit of touching people… that aren't Arthur.

"Aspen Matthews. I rememeber you from the odd structure on the ocean floor. You have been well?" If Ulani's outfit is a bit out of place, Mera's is even more so, as she's wearing typical Atlantean armor-scaled attire. Very much not Surfacer average.

***

Stepping up beside Mera, Ulani obviously remembers she's not a soldier anymore but really, with Mera's presence she could be forgive. It takes a few moments, the Envoy looks at Aspens hand and finally looks the woman in the eye before offering her own "Greetings Aspen Matthews. Rowan has spoken of you." She's got the handshake down, but not the greeting.

Despite her relative level of undress, the Blue Envoy does not appear to be affected by chill in the air.

***

Rowan helps Aspen at this point by relieving her of the extra pastry and coffee. There. Besides, he likes these. And Mera doesn't like sweet things so… win.

"Aspen, Ulani is an Envoy from the Blue. She's been assigned to find out more about me and you." Turning back to the other Blue he inclines his head slightly. "Did your superiors have any messages? I had hoped to secure permission to visit our people in the Pacific." And, you know, be told where they are.

"Mera, it's nice to see you. What brings you to the surface?"

***

Mera considers telling Rowan that she's here to escape the less than cheerful atmosphere in Atlantis, but with the other two relative strangers here, she's going to keep that opinion to herself. So instead she says, "Free time. And urchins." Sure enough, she's got a sack of snacks.

***

Aspen Matthews eyes the urchins somewhat dubiously. Yeah, she grew up in California but… they still weren't part of her usual dining fare. "Urchins. Right.." She offers the two other woman a smile that's a little on the forced side, giving Rowan a grateful glance for relieving her of the snacks. "Sorry, I didn't know you were dropping by. I'd have brought more coffee…"

As to someone 'finding out more about' her? Aspen looks a bit worried. "Are we in trouble?"

***

Mera's urchins get a cant of the head from Ulani. Urchins to the waterpeople are a delicacy. The fact that Mera has free time gets an interested look, the Envoy clearly file that tidbit away for later. Does she believe Mera? Who can say.

Aspens worried look and question, has Ulani looking at her flatly "Have you done something wrong, Chi… Aspen, to be in trouble?" Thinking on the question a little further, the Blue shakes her head slowly "Ahhh, surfacer speak. No, I simply wish to get to know you better." A nod of head towards Rowan "He has told me of the 'lost Blue' and his wish that you get to your people better." A slightly sardonic smile "We are a …. reserved … people, do you blame us for wanting to know more first?"

"No messages yet, Rowan. Her Majesty's" Ulani inclines her head towards Mera "recommendation of you seems to hold water with my superiors. They are still deliberating."

***

"If anyone is in trouble, Aspen, it is not you." Rowan assures. He might have scared the living daylights out of the Blue Military Establishment by way of getting their attention. But that shouldn't affect Aspen. "I am a stranger, as are you. Had we… well, papers I suppose but they're not paper down there. Were we registered citizens this would not be necessary but as things stand I did not want a trip below to be marred by… legalities." And he wishes to not be seen as being sent by Atlantis.

Mera's announcement of urchins gets an 'Ooooooh'. "Aspen I believe you'll find that you can eat those. Remind me to introduce you to some underwater foods though. When we go, assuming you still want that, it might be handy to know what to expect." In fact… "Her Majessty can probably help you with that."

***

Mera nods again. "I would willingly help as I can. Edibles are the simplest of ways to find commonalities. And," she tilts her head a bit as she sniffs at the air. "I have tried this 'coffee' before. I do not care for all of the sh… sweeteners frequently added."

***

Aspen Matthews gives Ulani a blink at that flat look, and then tries an easy smile in return. "Everyone's done something wrong by someone's standards. I just hope the wrongs I've done aren't that bad." Her tone makes it mostly a joke, even if the sentiment is true. "And nothing purposefully wrong. Captain Matthews tended to be a stickler for the rules."

As to going? Aspen bobs her head in a rapid nod. "I do! I was able to get DMD to buy off on it too. And since I'm doing my own research, it's not like it's getting in the way of anything anyhow."

Of course, Ulani's comment about the Blue being reserved? That does have the SurfacerBlue giving the OceanBlue's attire a bit of a squinty look. Reserved. Riiiight.

***

"There is no… trouble." Ulani tries, what she hopes is, a warm smile at the SurfacerBlue "for either of you. My people" she cuts the sentence short "Rowan, as a soldier, will understand the need for caution. Particularly in light of recent events." She really hadn't wanted to mention that and she casts a sidelong look at Mera "My apologies, Your Majesty. My people are just overly cautious."

Aspens apparent eagerness has the Envoy canting her head "You wish to visit a city, Aspen. May I ask why, when you appear to know little of our ways?" Blunt, Ulani can't help it. The squinty look gets a raised eyebrow.

***

Rowan is aware of the Blue opinion of recent events. He did speak to the Blue ambassador as he was leaving Atlantean Waters. And to Mera shortly after the Blue withdrew from Atlantis. He'll let Aspen answer for her own why she wants to learn. He's just glad that she does and that her superiors at work agreed to let her. He does wonder about DMD though. Might make a nice, neutral meeting ground for various waterfolk and the surface if things ever stabilize. He'll have to talk to Aspen later about that possibility. They'd need more room, to start with.

***

"Well, not knowing much of your ways is likely because of that whole 'reserved to the point that you don't know we exist'." Aspen jokes. "And leaning about a people is best done by going to them. Being around them. Reading, watching, talking.. none of it does it quite the same as being there." Something she learned from her adopted father being in the Navy. He does a lot of travelling. "Things haven't quite added up for a long time. But now it's starting to. Which leaves a whole lot of new questions. I'm not looking to learn things for the surface or the government, I want to know for me."

***

Mera understands Ulani's and her people's caution. Atlantis is very similar, so even though she's standing with the trio, she's intentionally not contributing much to the conversation. "In light of recent events, this sort of sharing of culture is even more important. Or so Arthur insists upon repeatedly."

***

Her head turning towards Mera, Ulani regards the monarch with interest. "I realise your King is only recently returned to you, Queen Mera." the Envoy speaks with great respect "How does Atlantis mean to achieve that type of sharing, may I ask?"

Aspens response receives a small wry smile "Good point Aspen, and noted. We are an insular people." Ulanis' own appearance here may attest to the Blues changing policy, or it may not. "What hasn't added up for you, Aspen?" her tone conversational, the Blue is obviously interested.

"What say you, Rowan? To the current state of 'diplomatic affairs'?" The Blue Envoy smiles warmly "I know you are a soldier, but I'm assuming there's an opinion there."

***

"Soldiers always have an opinion. I think the current state of diplomatic affairs as best I understand them is a recipe for this happening again. I do not undertand it." Rowan sighs, explaining to all three women. "On my world Atlantis had been allied with Surface nations for decades. The blind hatred they display here is… distrubing. I can only hope things are not that way with the Blue."

***

"When I was fourteen, I was an Olympic swimmer. I'm… not sure if that means anything to you. But it's a big thing for athletes here. I had just won. I made a new World Record. And then I came up positive during the routine drug testing. But I *knew* I hadn't taken anything. It was… the end of my career. The whole life I'd known. And I never found out what it was. Until Rowan crashed into DMD." It's an old pain. one that Aspen is used to. But the story is still hard for her. At the time, it had seemed like her whole world was ending.

***

Rowans response does not surprise Ulani. As an ex soldier turned public servant, his dilemma is familiar and she smiles softly "You have a different perspective to me. By your own words, you've seen this… or something similar… occur and witnessed the results." It really doesn't take much for a smart soldier to extrapolate the results of ongoing conflict.

Aspens story has Ulanis' interest and she looks to the Dragon Blue befor looking at Aspen again "Blue physiology on the surface, differs." she says with a shrug "I can only report what I see, as I see it." a small sigh "Aspen Matthews, I am sorry for your pain" another small sigh before she turns her attention to Rowan "So Soldier, what would you expect from here?" another test "Roles reversed, what would you do?"

***

"In your place I would seek to verify the story. But I've long had familiarity with gaining information on the surface that you do not. So instead I suggest you come with me to Deep Marine Discovery. You can meet Aspen's fellows and judge for yourself. And it will give you a chance to see how I have interacted with the surfacers." Rowan pauses and turns to Aspen. "The scientists there, do you think it would be a problem if we visted them? And would you like to be present?"

***

Mera looks about to answer Ulani's question when she abruptly turns her head as if to listen to something, then looks at Rowan. "I must return." She offers him the sack she's had slung over one shoulder — there are urchins and similar inside the sack — and once he accepts the sack, she turns and disappears back into the water.

***

Ulani regards Aspen, waiting to hear what the SurfacerBlue has to say "Rightly so, Rowan. Information is currency, the more I can observe, the more I can report on. I admit an interest in your Surfacer science" a wary, cautious interest. How can she, as a soldier, protect against it when it goes wrong. Looking at Aspen, the Ocean Blue nods "If your superiors will allow it, I would like to visit."

Mera's departure has the Envoy bowing deeply as she takes the offered sack "Is there anywhere, Rowan, we can partake of these and get to know each other better?"

***

"While DMD keeps a low profile, they've already learned that going unnoticed from the water-folk is… not feasible." Aspen remarks with a quirk of her lips. "They'll have some guards tag along to make sure you don't try to get into anything as a precaution but otherwise you should be fine." The Blue aren't the only ones that can be cautious. "The bigger worry will be can you manage to keep from going insane from all the questions they'll try to ask you." Her blue-green eyes dance with amusement. "Luckily for me, I can't answer any questions."


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