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RocketLord

Defenders of the Deep

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Aquaria plunged her trident into the ground, tines-first, then again, so the vibrations rang through the ground beneath their feet. She stamped her foot too, and bellowed, "You have tried to fool us before! We need to see you - and if we have to come in, there will be troubles!" More quietly, to her peers, she said, "If they live beneath the sea, they should be able to hear my song - so either they are ignoring us, or they are alien yet. There are creatures that live in the deep that speak to each other by lights, not by sound or by smell." Experimentally, she channeled power through her armor, summoning an iridescent, swirling, emerald-crimson glow at the tips of her trident that for all the world made it look like she'd decked it out for Christmas.

 

"Perhaps they will see this, and know it is words they should hear... is that how you became so handsome?" she boldly asked of Sgt. Shark. 

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Sgt Shark

 

Brrrr! Handsome? Nobody ever called me handsome....not like this! I'm a freak!!!!

 

Sgt Shark found Sea Devil repulsive, of course. But, how she smelled was a quite different matter. And his nose was much more sensitive than his eyes these days. Disgusting and repulsive to the eye. But...the smell! By all the Gods of the Sea...THE SMELL!!!!!!

 

He wanted to rip her apart and smell her. He wasn't sure what that exactly meant. But he wanted it all the same. 

 

"Smell....yes.....how crazy it would be....to...communicate....by....smell....." he said through gritted teeth, his jaw muscles straining with horrible power. His whole body was full of tense and flexing muscles. 

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GM

 

Emerald and crimson light shone from Sea Devil's trident, creating a cascade of light that shone into the trench. The warm orange and red hues changed in response, becoming emerald and crimson as well, before shifting back to red, yellow and orange hues. Still, they did not move. The light that shone back towards the group would occasionally shift to emerald and crimson like Sea Devil's trident, but would otherwise remain in the warm hues. It seemed that the heroes would have to make the first move. After all, the aliens had nothing but time.

Edited by RocketLord

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Sgt Shark

 

And time was an ally. 

 

Sgt Shark looked carefully. He plotted the terrain of the depths in his head. The rocks, the currents, the shapes of the alien architecture. The clarity of the water, its sediment. The position of the lights. The strengths and weaknesses of his team, the way they moved, and their speed. He even took into account the pressure and the temperature down here. What might this movement do? Churn up  current this way? Churn up the sediment that way?

 

"Easy..."

 

Still trying to supress the olfactory part of his brain (that wanted to bite the Sea Devil, vomit over her, and then rip apart some sharks to impress her), he explained his plan. 

 

"I hope it does not come to a fight" he lied "but if it does, we must be ready..."

 

He pointed out the architecture, and the way they could effectively flank the lights. And the way the current moved, how they could use that to their advantage, and (presumably) to the disadvantage of the aliens. 

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"Run-tun-tun; run-tun-tun," Aquaria sang as she considered their situation. "Perhaps they _cannot_ hear," she admitted, swimming towards the crack in the sea floor with quick, powerful strokes. Whatever awkward hopping power she had above had been transformed into a natural kineticism that showed the deep water that was her natural home. There was something intoxicating about the high-pressure water filling her suit now, a reminder of the weight of the Ocean above their heads that was like a touch of the gods themselves. A reminder of the stakes, if they failed. "We come Below!" she bellowed towards the colorful gateway to the aliens' realm. "Prepare yourselves!" And so, with Aquaria in the lead, they headed down to where the lights glowed. 

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"Flirting later, saving the Pacific Rim now."  He moved in closer to the cable, it went somewhere right?  Had to.  It probably had power, lights said that much.  "It would be wise if anyone gets some cover, and makes sure I am in front, I may not be able to do much, but I can take a hit."  And he rammed his hands against the cable, and just started to take whatever energy was running through it.

 

He didn't understand why his power worked, he knew it did, and he trusted it.  It took concentration to focus on this however, but hopefully he could get them to stop, or something.  He hated that AEGIS pulled this, all the time, dump them into a situation that no one knew anything about, and expected miracles.  Miracles weren't Asad's realm, that was Allah's province.  Asad had all the hard, dirty work in situations like this.

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GM

 

The energy was strange, alien. Not quite like something he had felt before, but it was still something he could use. The power drained from the cable, the light slowly dying out. The light up ahead seemed to start dimming as well.

 

Continuing towards the now dimming lights, the group were in complete darkness. In the trench, not even the last bit of sunlight could reach them, all they could see was the glow ahead, and the glow from the Sea Devil's trident. Perhaps Asad might glow a bit, had he absorbed any of the energy that he drained from the cable. There was a deep silence around them, even deeper than what Sea Devil and Sgt. Shark would be used to under the sea. 

 

Up ahead, they could see the structure that created the light. It was certainly alien in design. A great disk, very thin compared to its length. At least half of it seemed to be embedded into the ocean floor, the other half sticking out. It was difficult to make out from the distance, but it was probably made from the same coral material. 

Edited by RocketLord

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Sgt Shark

 

"Here they come" said Shark, gruffly. His experience and training were finally starting to win over his olfactory centre. 

 

"Three of them, look like squids. Carrying something" he explained, his acute eyes picking up their forms even from a distance, even in the cold dark of the ocean. He could even pick up the exotic sense. 

 

His teeth and claws itched. Damn the Sea Devil! She was playing havoc with him! He couldn't think straight. His primal insticts were becoming dangerous. And he loved it!

 

"I hope its a weapon. I want to bite something...someone...."

Edited by Supercape

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Aquaria  made a small noise, reminding herself that as holy as these creatures looked, they were hardly the blessed beings they appeared. Still, she knew she had to take the lead, if only so the great male at her side kept her from doing anything rash. As the squid-things approached, she slammed the butt end of her trident into the ground, sending vibrations through the rock. "Brek-ek-ek, coax, coax!" she croaked, or at least that's what it sounded like to anyone who spoke no Lemurian. She repeated, in English, "Hold! We come to parley!" Her trident was still glowing now, red and green that cast a brilliant light against the opalescence of her armor. Squid. Colors and lights, as you speak. If they were truly at home in the sea, she should at least be able to understand them. "Who is your chief?

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Releasing the cable, he stopped the siphon.  It was energy.  Just energy.  Whether it was the solar winds dancing across the exosphere, or those fission chips that as he held that physicist that had fallen from the righteous path, it was the same.  When this started after the Gorgon's attack, he was a sponge, now he was a furnace.  Those same chips glowed in his skin, pulsing in sync with his heart beat.  His power forming ice over his body as he drew in ambient heat around him, those his movements shed off the thin layers of the stuff.

He put some distance between him and the cable, moving in proximity to the others, as he murmured into communicator, "Let me get into position, I can take the hit.  If they decide gunboat politics then you guys charge."

Then, louder, "I am sorry we had to get your attention this way, but listen to her, we want to talk, we'd rather talk."

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GM

 

The squid stopped. They were discovered. Rising to their full height, instead of swimming towards them, they now appeared to at least a foot taller than Aquaria, with their arms lazily moving under them. They appeared to listen, at least for now. Or maybe just stared at the glow from the red and green light having the full attention of their bulbous eyes.

 

One of them, the one that did not appear to carry a device, swam closer. Its formerly dull, grey body started to glow, quick flashes of red, filled with slower, green glows. The other two squid had the devices raised. It appeared to be boxes, the same length in on every side. There were handles, triggers, buttons all around, aside from at the front. They did not appear to make any attacks, but both of the squid were glowing with a faint red color.

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Sea Devil considered for a moment, then struck her trident against the ground, its colors flashing quickly up and down the human visual spectrum, and beyond. She spoke in a booming voice that rippled through the water around them in sympathy with the flashing colors on her trident - "Braaah! Braaah!" and what it looked like to the eyes of the squids was: 


The Surface-Men will take their revenge if you kill them or make them your slaves. Many will suffer. 

 

She considered, and made a gesture with her trident that included Asad. 

 

Bring us the one like him. 

 

 

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GM

 

The leader of the alien squid looked at Sea Devil, its dark eyes unreadable even to Aquaria. It turned to the others, quick, dull flashes of light being shared between them, before it turned back to Aquaria.

 

It flashed briefly flashed a yellow color, flowing into blues and purple. 

 

We came in peace. We were attacked. We just wish to leave.

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Aquaria kicked the ground, scraping her foot against the rough surface, to show her empathy to the trapped creatures. She knew all about misunderstandings when it came to those from Below and Surfacers, but she also knew that she had to be careful about this if she wanted to make a true peace . Understood. Free the ones like him, she added again with a gesture at Asad, and we can help. Innocent intentions were all well and good, but the friendliest whale in the world could still break your back if it landed on you. She translated the conversation for the benefit of the Surfacers in her company while the squid-things were seemingly discussing the matter among themselves. (She was having trouble with their dialect, their smells being almost indescribably alien, but she was fairly sure she understood them so far.) 

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GM

 

The lead squid turned away from Aquaria, to once more discuss the events in hushed hues of color with its fellow squid. Greens, orange, some yellow. A brief flash of red. Then it turned back to Aquaria once more, glowing in orange and green, motioning towards the lights that could be their ship. 

 

Follow us, and we will give you the air breathers.

 

They would move, the lead squid taking the lead, with one armed squid between it and the group, the last one following behind the group, if they choose to follow.

 

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Sgt Shark

 

Finally, Sgt Shark's brain was resembling something like a human's again. It had certainly changed since he was bitten by a radioactive shark. The mammalian, human components were still there, but he had a rather swollen, hypertrophied limbic system now. And when it fired off, it tended to overwhelm his more advanced cortex. 

 

He shook his head to try and clear it once more. The cool sea helped. The Sea Devil most certainly did not. It confused his brain, the dissonance between visage and smell. 

 

"We come in peace, eh?" he snorted. "Well, lets play along, and lets hope its not a trojan horse...."

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Sea Devil tossed her trident from limb to limb, considering the situation, then agreed, making the signs to Sgt. Shark and Asad to do as she indicated. We follow. If they could retrieve the Surface-Men and send the squid-things on their way, then the seas could be protected and the Surfacers might learn that not all creatures that dwelled Below were their enemies. A good lesson for them to learn, she thought contentedly. Still, it wasn't hard to imagine how this would be if she was going into the belly of a strange group of her own people. She kept a grip on her trident. So many things could go wrong, so easily, and then there would be blood in the water that would never be washed away. 


At least it would make Sgt. Shark look manly, though. She made big eyes at him as they went, and rumbled low in her throat, "Keep eyes open." 

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Asad had never been third wheel in a situation like this.  Sure, elsewhere, or he had made someone else the third wheel.  This, this was novel.  It, of course, made it more irritating, though it did let him continue the play.  The angle he never quite tired of.  Of course he may have played a card he didn't intend, and the aliens might view him as a threat.

 

He followed after, glowing, because of the energy he had taken in, given he moved fairly fast, even underwater, he moved to take point and eat any attack that might be aimed at them.  Or just him.  He really didn't like dealing with non-humanoids, he had a hard time figuring them out.

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GM

 

So they followed, into the cold sea water. The lead squid and one of the armed squid at the front, followed by Asad, then Sea Devil and Sgt. Shark, with the second armed squid following them at a short distance. Despite the alien nature of the creatures that surrounded them, even Asad would get the feeling that they were nervous, becoming increasingly so as the group approached the crashed space ship.

 

At first, it appeared to half of a giant plate, simply sticking out from the ocean floor. Approaching, it became increasingly clear that the flying saucer-like ship had numerous carvings all over. Intricate designs, most of which had sadly been ruined in the crash, but at least it seemed to show various shapes and sizes of squids, much like the group that currently escorted them. As they approached, the scale of the ship became clear. It was at least 820 feet in diameter, perhaps more.

 

As they neared, a gate opened on what would have been the bottom of the ship, if it had been upright. It was dark inside, but the light from several squids lit up the way. Would the group approach and enter, or find another path?

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Sgt Shark

 

If they are so peaceful, why are they armed?

 

A precaution? Maybe even a wise precaution. But that still didn't change the fact that they were armed. 

 

"That's a big ship" he said, impressed, voice low, rumbling through the depths. He peered closer, spying the light domes. And more armed aliens. The odds didn't look good. Not good at all, if violence errupted. He hoped violence didn't errupt, but if it did, he would rather have the odds on his side than theirs. 

 

OK. Maybe that was a lie. He half hoped violence did erupt. He admitted that with a clenched jaw and sharp teeth. 

 

"And those are big guns" he added. "If this is a trap, we are walking right into it..."

 

Diplomacy was not his forte. But tactics was. And this was about as bad tactics as you could get. 

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