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Defenders of the Deep

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GM

 

December 12 2018, 11 PM Local Time

Somewhere over the Pacific Ocean

 

The A.E.G.I.S. vessel that had carried the heroes so far was finally beginning its descent. They hadn't had long to prepare, but now they were almost at the destination. Asad, Sgt. Shark and Sea Devil. An unlikely group, perhaps, but they had been the ones available that would actually be able to participate in this mission.

 

The A.E.G.I.S. commander was a frail little man, with thinning grey hair. He was reading from a tablet, looking over his bottle cap glasses, explaining the situation to the three heroes.

 

"Err... yeah, so... A company that I'm not legally allowed to name was drilling for oil here. And, err, they kinda hit something." He fidgeted a bit with his glasses, adjusting them, before scrolling further down on his tablet. "Turns out that some, errr, aliens had crashed under there. We don't know how long they, err, have been there. But, they're rather annoyed at being woken up, so, errr... They threatened to basically flood the Pacifim rim and the rest of the world?" He looked up, a little smile on his lips. "So, please go stop them, and save the world?" 

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Asad was sipping coffee, wearing an AEGIS wet suit that was stripped down to the waist, and listening to what was said.  He had been having business near-ish by, and despite whatever public reservations an agency might express about the billionaire playboy superhero, this was not the first time they had asked him along for these sort of things.  As he never spoke to the media, and seemed content to downplay whatever had happened.

 

"Aliens.  Underwater.  Flood the entire Pacific seaboard, got it.  Isn't this something the offending company can be fined over?  You should fine them.  I'd fine them.  Like, the cost of the operation, and then some," he smiled at the commander.  Gosh, I am so helpful, Asad thought.  "Also, are we authorized to negotiate with them?  I mean, if they can do that, and be asleep for who knows how many years, this is the sort of tech that Summit could really capitalize one," he stopped and looked suspiciously at his cup of coffee, before asking the Commander, "Are you sure you don't have any bourbon on this rig to put in the coffee, it would really help."

 

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Sgt Shark

 

"Yes Sir!" answered Victor Tiberius Finn, saluting. 

 

He had been studying the geological data of this area. Nothing interesting. High levels of Potassium, which he supposed might be of interest to Kazakhstan, but otherwise unremarkable and not of interest to the mission (he supposed). He was pleased to see the region was at least reasonably geologically stable...they didn't want any underwater volcanoes....

 

"The mission objective is to stop the flooding of the pacific rim and to neutralise aliens capability to do so" he repeated. To his military mind, clarity was key. Getting off course was dangerous. 

 

"Do we have intelligence on aliens, sir?" he asked, politely. 

 

He was all about tactics!

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"Why are they aliens?" Her face invisible in her opalescent armor, Sea Devil's voice was obviously artificial in nature - an electronic rendition of a booming bass that suggested nothing human underneath the armor. She rested the trident, points up, against the deck in front of her, a three-fingered armored hand curled around it. She realized she did not know the Deep Ones of this great ocean, not more than to  know they existed. What would they make of flooded cities of the Surface, and the times that might follow? "If it was their ocean long enough to sleep in it, why are they aliens?" It occurred to her that these might well be Deep Ones that the Surface-Men had misunderstood. She was reasonably sure they wouldn't send her against her own people. The question helped distract her from Sgt. Shark, whose exotic good looks (his manly build and feminine odor were intriguing to say the least) were the second most-interesting thing about this mission. 

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GM

 

"Errr..." The commander had obviously not expected all those questions. He quickly scrolled a bit around on his tablet, trying to find the answers. Then he addressed the concerns in turn.

 

"I do not have any information on whether the company was fine. Err... Yes, you are absolutely allowed to negotiate. And we are still not allowed alcohol here, Mr. Asad." 

 

He turned to Sea Devil. It was a valid question, he supposed. He had left out that part. "Well, they are aliens. Space aliens. The thing that the drill hit was their space ship." He paused, doing some more scrolling. He was obviously not great at remembering things like these. "Err, they look kinda like... Squids? And they're advanced and intelligent? And we could at least understand them." Some more frantic scrolling. He was sweating a bit. "That is about what we know."

 

He paused, looking at his watch. "We should be at the drop point in a moment. Any other questions?" His tone made it clear that he hoped they didn't, but he would probably respond if they did.

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Sgt Shark

 

"No sir!" snapped Sgt Shark dutifully. "We will succeed, sir!" he added, trying to make everyone as confident as he was. 

 

Confidence was perhaps not strictly true. Committed. Fearless. He had been in plenty of tight spots in the Special Boat Service. True, this mission was full of giant alien squids, but it was a mission like any other. And he had always stayed true to the mission. No time for doubts!

 

Caution, perhaps. That was always prudent. But not doubt. 

 

"Ready to drop at your command, sir!" he finished, giving a shark-handed salute. 

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He blinked a bit, at the barking, and then he smiled, politely, restrained.  Somewhere in that he produced a flask in his free hand, and then knocked back a mouthful.  "Good thing I brought my own, and that I am a civilian here by choice."  His cheeky tone and expression reinforcing the whole 'why the hell did they bring him along,' but Asad's record belied his flippant attitude.  Of course, being worth in the tens of billions means that he was here entirely of his own volition.  And when pushed that smile became tighter, and he might remind them of how many damned contracts AEGIS had with his companies.  And didn't remind everyone involved that AEGIS wasn't military, despite any assumptions or pretenses.


Setting the cup down, after emptying it, he pulled up the top part of his wetsuit, and zipped up, tucking the flask in the suit.

"Do you have any coms for us?  And are there any contingencies?  Like a large scale energy weapon, a nuke, or what have you, that you're going to drop on us if we don't succeed in so many hours?"  He laughed, and rested his hands on his hips, arms akimbo, "I mean, it's not as if prior dealings with AEGIS has ever had these little unexpected surprises crop up."

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"I am here because of my parole," croaked Sea Devil unhappily. She had made it clear by embarassed noises (there was no better word for them) that she did not want to talk about what had put her on parole on the voyage out, but the information was no secret. "And because a flood would be bad." She knew that well enough - what would Surface-Men do if their cities drowned beneath the waves, not just to these aliens but to any who made the waters their home? Perhaps they can be made to flood a place the Surface-Men do not claim - but then what place is that worth having? She drew herself to her feet, her knees bent forward to look more like a Surfacer, and raised the trident to fasten it to the back of her armor to free both her hands. Seeking to reassure the unfamiliar Surfacer, she said, "They would not destroy us. My friend knows where we are, and her sister has defeated your gods. She would be angry.

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GM

 

"Err..." the commander was obviously surprised by Asad's comment. A nuclear warhead, a large scale energy weapon? "We..." He was interrupted by Sea Devil. It was clear that he was uneasy about her presence, and Asad's comments had not helped. He looked fully up from his tablet for perhaps the first time since he had started his speech. "Yes, err, nothing like that. I hope. At least not until you are out. I, errr, really don't want to anger any sisters." He didn't seem quite sure about what he was saying, at least. 

 

He stopped, listening to something on his headset, before turning back to the heroes. "We're there!" And then he realized he had forgotten something. The realization was entirely visible on his face. "Oh, yes, communicators!" He walked over to the side of the room, quickly bringing back a briefcase, opening it to produce three small devices. It looked like headsets, with some additional features. Probably water resistant, at least. The ones for Sgt. Shark and Sea Devil had been modified for their physique. "These should work, I hope."

 

"If that is all, I will move back, before the doors open for your drop."

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That cheer, one million watt al-Misri smile never left his face.  There was not a hint of overt menace on his face, "Of course, of course."  He took his headset and put it on, "Just between you and me, though, I really, really hate getting nuked.  Just really makes the rest of my week off, and I'll have to not waive my normal fee for services rendered."  With that he turned, and walked towards where the writing was for the entrance into the sea.


"I hope this is better than the last time I talked to extraterrestrials, or was deep underwater!"  His tongue completely flippant, almost giggly.

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Sgt Shark

 

Victor put the communicator in and dutifully gave it a test tap and croaked out "testing testing...alpha bravo charlie" before giving a thumbs up. 

 

He took a look at Asad and Sea Devil. Both strange bedfellows, neither military trained by the looks of it. Never mind, I am sure they can handle themselves. Sea Devil, at least, looked like she was born for the sea. Or, at the very least, looked like she was born in the sea. Asad seemed too flippant for his disciplined mind, but, on the other hand, some jocular banter was no bad thing for a mission. As long as it had its time and place. 

 

No, what he ws most disturbed about was the lack of intelligence. It seemed...patchy....although some intelligence was better than none. 

 

"Well then. Down we go" he said, with a thumbs up. 

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GM

 

The A.E.G.I.S. commander seemed unsure of what to respond to Asad. He seemed like he wanted to say something, before he just moved to the door and exited the room. A voice came a loudspeaker in the room. "Gonna open the doors now, boys an' girl! Get ready for a big drop!" It was obviously not the commander. Maybe the pilot. A door unlocked, and it was clear that the flight had moved lower. 

 

Opening the door would reveal that they were about 20 meters above the water surface, with the vessel simply hovering. Not a short fall, by any means, but nothing that either of the three heroes should have any trouble with.

 

"Good luck, heroes. It's go time." The same voice as before. A much friendlier tone than the commander. 

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Sgt Shark

 

Twenty feet was nothing for Sgt Shark. He could probably jump out onto concrete without much difficulty. He did not much ponder on the voice - he had his orders, and the mission seemed clear enough. And justified enough. For all his military reflexes, he did not follow anybody unquestioningly. Stopping a devastating Tsunami was unquestionably justified. By any means necessary. 

 

He felt his teeth and claws tingle at the thought. 

 

"Go!"

 

He dived into the water elegantly, and started swimming straight down....

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When Sgt. Shark was gone, Aquaria let herself make a rumble down in her throat, snapping her teeth inside her armor with an audible sound. This won't be so bad. And then she leaped into the water, her forward limbs cleaving into the water as she dived deep. Underwater her long, gawky limbs and big hands became elegant instruments of underwater motion. With quick, powerful motions, she kept up with Sgt. Shark, exulting as the sea water poured inside her armor and replaced the gel that usually kept her lubricated. She wasn't home, but diving deep into the ocean, she was home. As she swam, not having been cautioned to stay silent, she sang, a deep, booming bass that echoed from her like whalesong - on the small scale, anyway. 

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Sighing at the burst of air, and he stepped out of the aircraft plummeting ungainly down to the water, until it hit it, hard.  Enough of a smack to knock out the wind of someone his size, except there was no splash, as the force of the impact collapsed in on itself, abated by his power.

And he pushed down, using his ability to fly to force himself through the water after the other two.  Fortunately they weren't going to the Mariana Depths, or anything, but this was going to be a  long swim, and he kept close to the other two as he moved deeper and deeper, aware things were going to get interesting.  Or ugly.  Or both.  Should have charged them, Amir.

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GM

 

Sgt. Shark and Sea Devil gracefully dove into the water, with Asad's bellyflop attracting like attention, as they dove down. Thankfully, as Asad pointed out to himself, it was not the Mariana Depths. It was nowhere with an absolutely crushing pressure. 

 

The ocean was teeming with life. Fish of all sizes and colors quickly surrounded them, most making sure to stay a safe distance away from the strange trio. A turtle swam by, also making sure to stay clear. Perhaps it was simply that the three were foreigners to these depths, or perhaps the animals sensed Sgt. Shark and Devil Fish for what they were.

 

It wasn't long before the came over a ridge, and up ahead, they could see lights. Light green, light blue. Flashing, turning on and off. Being projected out into the water. They still had some distance before their target, but they were getting closer.

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Sea Devil stopped her singing suddenly and closed her eyes inside her suit, listening to the ocean's song all around her. Underwater she didn't need her eyes - and indeed she could hear, and smell, a whole new world down here as the magnificent salt water poured into her suit. Fresh water had been her place of birth but salt was no less pleasant for that, a bracing fire against her skin like the gods that dwelled within. After a moment's consideration, her voice came croaking out through the electronic communicators each party member wore. "We are being attacked. Sharks." Sharks were generally not a serious threat, even when she wasn't wearing her armor and carrying her trident, but warning her friends was only polite. "The lights glow strangely. Be watchful.

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Sgt Shark(s)

 

"Sharks?" spluttered Sgt Shark, sniffing the air. Indeed. The smell of sharks was there, and he was rather annoyed he had missed. Stay Frosty! he had the funny feeling that Se Devil's smell was affecting him. She was hideous, of course. But the smell....

 

One of the strangest mutations he had acquired after being bitten by a radioactive shark was the ability to speak shark. He took the communicator from his mouth, and instead bellowed through the water, in Shark....

 

"Bretheren Shark! Stay your fight unless you wish to feel my teeth on your flesh! We are friends if you wish it, but feircesome fangs if you wish to be our foes!!!!"

Edited by Supercape

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He wasn't blessed with a lot of things, and in this situation some of those flaws were glaringly obvious.  He couldn't see any better in the dark, and he couldn't talk underwater, so he just had to stick close to them.  Looking to where they gesture, as they were being... weird.  Of course AEGIS seemed to always pair him with the oddities, but he was a reliable heavy for them to lean on.  

 

Well, sometimes. 

In any case, he was keeping with the other two, rather hoping he wouldn't have to be contending with another swarm of mutated sea life again.  A non-humanoid alien race was bad enough.  That coupled with an uncertain timeline to accomplish this.  At least he had the consolation in knowing that his suit wasn't going to be ruined by energy weapons, or slimy ichor that resided inside the body of said aliens.

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GM

 

A frenzy of four sharks had approached, though not undiscovered. They began slowly circling around the group, though not making any overly aggressive moves. One of them, slightly larger than the others, seemed to stop and stiffen for a fraction of a second when Sgt. Shark called out to them. Then it continued swimming.

 

"You have few teeth. We have many." Its reply was short, as one would perhaps expect from a shark. "Guard the strange squid. Keep danger away. Keep you away. Eat you."

 

The circle began to close in. Words would probably not persuade the sharks.

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Sea Devil listened to Sgt. Shark growl at the sharks and wondered if he was going to rip them open with his bare hands, or perhaps snap at them with his great jaws, filling the water around them with the intoxicating scent of shark's blood and liver oil - she blinked her great eyes and then shook herself inside her armor. Stop thinking with your glands, female! she chided herself. There is a danger here! She called something out, pitched so that both Sgt. Shark and the sharks around them could hear, but wasn't really paying attention to herself. "Stop or we will eat your bladders!" I don't think that's going to work. They were probably going to have to kill these sharks, but she had no hesitation about killing food-that-spoke. All food that lived below the waves could speak, and so did many things that were not food. It could make life confusing sometimes. 

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Well, this is fine and dandy.

 

Asad was not worried about the sharks that were threatening him.  He had precious little that actually scared him, the crushing depths?  Aliens?  Thermonuclear detonations?  Getting spaced?  None of that was going to bother him.  He knew he couldn't talk to them, so that limited his options.  So running through the contingencies, he pushed himself through the water.  Ahem.  He moved past both Sea Devil and Sargeant Shark, his body starting to flicker with a coruscating white-blue flame, before he drew both hands back, and brought them together.  Sure there was resistance under the water, but that didn't matter.  He was stronger.  And the cavitation bubble was sharp the hero was able to generate immense force in an instant, before it blew open and surged outwards from him at the rest of his makeshift team, and towards the sharks.

Eat super-strength you uppity flounder!

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Sgt Shark

 

"More teeth than me?" grinned Sgt Shark at the sharks. Although it often looked like he was grinning. In a not very nice way. 

 

"I will eat your bladders!" he snapped at the Sharks, showing all his wicked teeth. The intoxicating fragrance of the disgusting Sea Devil filled his nose. If she made a threat, then they must follow through with it!

 

He swam forward like a dart. This was his environment. He was dangerous enough on land. But here, he was king. At least, in his own head. And now, his blood was up. He felt his mouth fill with bloodlust, and visions of rending and biting filled his brain. 

 

In a moment, he was on a shark, clinging to its dorsal fin. He lunged froward, his mouth clamping over the flesh of the Shark's gill, and his claws raking over the skin. To his immense pleasure, blood filled the ocean...

 

 

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GM

 

If the aliens had thought the sharks would be a challenge to the ragtag group of heroes, they were sorely mistaken. Asad's shockwave blew through the water, catching three sharks in its wake. They were sent tumbling through the water, instantly unconscious. With no fight left in them, they simply began drifting.

 

Before the last shark even had a chance to react, Sgt. Shark was on it. He was the mighty predator, he was the alpha here. In moments, he had ripped the shark to pieces, blood filling the water around him, almost like smoke. 

 

The obstacle removed, the heroes would be free to resume their journey towards the aliens.

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Sea Devil made a low, rumbling noise in the back of her throat, a basso thrum that under other circumstances would have segued into something natural like striking Sergeant Shark across the face and daring him to catch her before swimming away at top speed so that he could catch her and  - but she wasn't some rutting child in her first season. She was just a little hard-up, and in the company of an extremely attractive male who probably didn't realize just how beautiful he was. Rather than actually beginning an attempted mating, which anyway a Surface-Man wouldn't think was sexy, she kicked off the seabed and boomed "That was impressive! Let us impress them! Come and follow me!" And then she zoomed forward, armor glowing brightly and trident raised high, ready to save the world and prove how strong and ferocious a defender of the weak she actually was. 

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