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I Crush Everything [IC]

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Saturday, September 2nd

1:31 PM

Summer was on the way out, but damn if Eliza wasn't going to try and wrangle some life out of the last remaining days. Visions of school awaited her - new teachers, new assignments, and new excuses. Trying to pull off the superhero thing during the summer was one kind of challenge. Doing it while having to handle homework and extracurriculars was going to be another thing entirely.

"Hey, come on!" Malia and Kevin were dragging her towards the Ferris wheel - at least, as well as they could while balancing their ice cream cones. "You're the one who wanted this little beach trip. Try and enjoy it!"

"I am," said Eliza. "It's just a taciturn kind of enjoyment, you know?"

"I'll take your word for it," said Kevin. "See you soon." As he and Malia took off for the rides, Eliza looked out on the ocean. Most people liked to think of the waters off of the Boardwalk as tranquil and peaceful. She knew enough about her dad's affairs to know they were anything but. She could see the ondines swimming under the surface, the servitors of the great Atlantic seeing to the motion of the tides. But it was calming nonetheless. To look out onto the world and see the order of all things, to know about the ticking of the great machinery.

She smiled as the cool salt breeze washed over her. School could wait. The ocean was forever.

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My mother's domain will not last forever, but it will outlast all who swim in it thought Wave-Eye as he propelled himself through the dark waters with slow strokes of his powerful tail. He had decided to travel a little further into the city's reaches, "Perhaps even show myself to the humans? It cannot hurt after that...event on the Centurion" he grated to himself, his enormous eyes swiveling around to watch the passing schools of small fish that prowled the waters of the Boardwalk and nibbled at humanity's refuse. He wondered idly if there was a stronger connection between himself and them than there appeared to be.

He could feel the soft thuds of the feet pounding away on the shore, and he realized that there seemed to be more around this part of the city than had been felt a little downriver. A gathering of some kind? Perhaps a celebration, though I cannot judge the step. He shook his head I will not learn how to move in this civilization just by listening, let us see... he turned languidly to the shore, his tail transforming into a pair of thick legs as he let himself drift to the sloping bank. Once his feet touched and partially sank into the mud, he walked laboriously uphill due to his heavy and ornate bronze armor decorated with the animals that lurked in the depths, black eyes fixed on the glittering world above, fin-like fans of hair waving in the sluggish river and catching stray strands of seaweed.

With a sudden uproar in the water, the massive red-scaled triton burst out with a splash directly in front of Eliza, lidless fish eyes staring coldly around at the sunlit city for a few minutes. At last deciding to notice the human directly in front of him, he turned his heavy head towards her, opened his fanged jaws and spoke in a harsh gurgle that resolved itself in her brain as "Hail, human. I am Wave-Eye, a defender of your city's waters, what is..this? I have never seen anything like it before, what does it do?" he asked, gesturing with a spined claw at the mighty Ferris wheel "And what are you called?"he asked, one eye flicking over her with grim curiosity while the other stared at the passing humans.

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Eliza was not struck dumb by the gigantic red fish-man standing before her, but she was certainly caught off-guard for a second or two. Then again, it was not like he was the freakiest thing she'd seen crawl out of the ocean, especially when her sight was up. She looked him over, just to make sure he wasn't another ocean spirit - that'd be a hell of a thing, if they started seeing that I could see them - but he appeared corporeal enough. So, she decided to go the familiar route of diplomacy.

"Oh, that?" She followed the claw to the Ferris wheel. "That's what we call a Ferris wheel. It's designed for amusement. Kids go on it because they want to see everything from high up. Teenagers go on it because they want somewhere to make out." She took a good look at this "Wave-Eye," trying to place him. "And my name's Eliza. What brings you up on the Boardwalk?"

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"A Ferris Wheel, hm?" commented the triton sourly. He stared at the slowly revolving wheel for a few seconds, wondering how such things were made. It wasn't like how the Atlanteans were able to do it, that much was obvious. No water pressure around it to keep the thing steady. At length he shrugged his ponderous shoulders and switched his cold attention back to the human.

"Eliza? I heard of a human named Eli...something, ending with 'a', once. It was very long ago" he added with a faint note of doubt in his voice "I believe he stole the chariot of Helios a few thousand years back..." He stared at her for a very long minute, finishing suddenly "...No. That was another. As for why I am here" his voice strengthened noticeably "I am come to walk among your race, to see you and allow you to see me. I only rarely venture into the city, most of my days are spent in the bay where few of you go" walking up out of the water, he strode up to her heavily, stopping when he was ten feet from her and sitting with a crash and jangle of armor on the sandy mud "I felt the steps of many of your kind, and came up here to see what was happening. Some manner of celebration?" he hazarded, casting a glance back at the small crowd around the Ferris Wheel "You have much to celebrate, I am sure."

He suddenly looked fully at her "Why are you here? Why do you not join them?" he asked, his breath salty and almost sickeningly sweet, his head leaning against a pauldron.

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Jennifer Owens herded the children from the group home she was chaperoning around the park, letting them enjoy their last few days of summer before school set in for them and work picked up for her. She knew she wouldn't see many of them again for months, some of them might get adopted in the time her schedule tightens and she would likely never see them again. Shrugging off that line of thought she turned towards the other chaperone, an older woman in her early fifties with a matronly face and greying hair, "So, what's next Mary? The closest rides to here are the Ferris Wheel, the bumper cars, and the scrambler."

She was looking to gauge the lines for the kids as the half dozen all clambered at once for this ride or that and made the choice, "Okay guys, the Ferris Wheel has the shortest line and the best chance to get everyone on at once. After that, we'll do the scrambler and bumper cars. Sound good?" With minimal complaint she and Mary guided the orphans towards the ride.

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"Ferris Wheels aren't exactly my thing," Eliza said. It was only right that she felt more at home close to the water than up in the air, she supposed. "And it's... kind of a celebration. Memento mori, I guess. Everyone's trying to get the most out of summer before things go back to normal. School, homework, all that stuff. Not exactly a formal holiday, but every kid's got a reason to celebrate it. Now if --"

A noise arose from the Ferris Wheel - screaming. The person in the topmost car was screaming, and as others approached that point, they began doing so as well. Eliza looked over the wheel, trying to find some source of mechanical distress, when she realized the riders weren't reacting to the behavior of the wheel. They were looking out to the ocean. She turned to look out on the horizon -- and saw it rise.

Something was digging its way out of the deep ocean. It was rising like a tidal wave, a mass of jaws and tentacles that seemed to be formed from the water itself. It was streaming towards the shore, and it didn't look like it wanted to make friends.

"We need to head that thing off!" She dropped her backpack and extended her hands over the rail. To Wave-Eye's sight, the water rose up to meet her hands and folded like kelp in the current, freezing in a second into an elegant mask. She slipped it onto her face, where - despite lack of string or strap - it held perfectly. "We can't let it get to the Boardwalk, whatever it is!"

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"'Remember that you shall die'? A grim saying, Eliza" the triton commented, though with a smile of dour approval. He opened his mouth again to ask how such a device was made on land when he felt a sudden, massive disturbance in the reverberations of the water, the feeling that something incredibly vast was moving nearby and a powerful sense of impending doom. He heard the scream and turned sharply, a claw reaching for the conch at his side while his eyes searched for the source of the cry. Then he heard and felt the rush of water.

"Teeth of Tlaloc" he breathed as he stared in horror at the universally-feared beast of the oceans majestically appearing in a throne of water.

We need to head that thing off!

"'Head it off'! Are you mad?! Do you even-ah, of course not" he subsided after the initial outburst with a sigh, launching to his feet and marching into the sea. With a flash, his legs joined together into a powerful tail tipped with a dragon's arrowhead. Treading water with slow waves of that limb, he stared at his and Eliza's enemy. "Bah, this would happen just a decade after I sold my orichalcum arms and harness. If I see that merchant again, I will strike him."

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Jen had the last car of the wheel's current run to herself. As it rose to the zenith she was able to look out over the immediate area, the various lights of the attractions and crowds milling about, enjoying their summer's end festivities. She was musing about a night out with some of her friends her own age when the screams of Mary and the children a few cars ahead broke her out of her revery.

She looked out towards the water and saw what they were screaming for. With what privacy she had, Jennifer pulled her costume on before forcing open the door and jumping onto a support pole and then back onto the top of the car she had just occupied.

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The thing at sea still had a ways to go before it touched the shore, but Temperance didn't want to let it get one inch. Fortunately, she had a lot to work with. She raised her hand, and the ocean rose up to meet her. Water ripped itself from the sea, floating suspended in mid-air. She knitted her fingers, and the water parted - first by halves, then quarters, their eighths, until the air was full of shimmering droplets. Quickly, they froze - despite the summer heat - into a veritable hail storm.

Ready... aim... She sighted the approaching behemoth through her fingers - not like it was hard to miss, but she didn't want to take any chances. Fire.

The hailstones took off in a singular barrage, crashing against the scaly hide of the beast. But the stones quickly pummeled themselves into ice chips before slinking back into the ocean, having seemingly done nothing to the great creature.

All right. Time for Plan B.

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Seeing the creature heading for shore, after shrugging off a barrage of hailstones from what she assumed was another hero near by, Silver Spider leaped from the ferris wheel while focusing on the slight sensation that occurred every time she altered her personal graviton field. After a quick swing off a nearby light pole she landed in a crouch on the roof of a nearby food stand. Her mind raced as she surveyed the area, Okay, giant monster heading for land. What do I have to work with?

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Storming into the river, muttering and snarling all the while, Wave-Eye bound his legs together, and in a flash of light they were transformed back into his powerful dragon's tail. He stopped to watch Temperance's attack, scowling a little when it simply bounced off the creature's thick hide "Allow me to try" he rasped, ducking underwater and speeding like an arrow towards the towering beast, halted when he was right next to it, called out "Hrach! Leviathan! Face me!" drew his Conch, put it to his lips and uttered a mournful roar that shook the river.

A mighty blast of red-streaked water shot out from the Conch's mouth, hurtling towards the Aspect of Leviathan and slicing, gouging and slashing at it like a thousand weaving blades! It stirred up the river mud into a cloud that briefly hid the monster, and roiled the water around it for dozens of feet.

Wave-Eye kept up the blast for several seconds before he had to stop for breath, panting a little as he stared into the settling murk. "Show yourself" he muttered "I'll not leave you for those infants on the shore to deal with..."

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The hostile current sliced at the creature's bulk, arresting its gradual progress towards the land. Its tentacles lashed out in all directions, but Wave-Eye was easily able to dodge them. They were not an attack - despite the fact that the creature's hostility seemed apparent - but an attempt to regain balance as the blow sent it reeling. The water churned around it, sending great waves breaking over the surface and washing up towards the beach.

In its stumbling motions, Temperance saw opportunity. And there was a lot to work with in the ocean. "All right," she muttered. "Let's see if I can pull this off..." She brought her hand's together, fingertips to fingertips, then pressed until the fingers slid in between the gaps, forming a cat's cradle. Then, she brought them out again, mimicking the cycle of contraction and expansion. And soon enough, though with some great effort, the salt water of the ocean turned to ice, forming a floating prison around the behemoth.

"An iceberg... in salt water... at the tail end of Summer. Yeah. I am good."

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Silver Spider watched, her jaw almost going slack as the salt water rose from the ocean and snapped into a massive block of ice. Okay, that's pretty impressive hydrokinesis and thermal alteration, she thought as she looked for a way to aid in stopping the creature from reaching the crowds of civilians, a crowd seemingly split between lining up along the railing to look over the water and those running to get out of the vicinity.

When she noticed a fissure in the ice around the creature's eyes, she raised her wrist and fired a blast through the crack, unfortunately for her the sea beast managed to shift in its prison to avoid the blocking of its ocular cavity with synthetic webbing.

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Still submerged, Wave-Eye was in an excellent place to observe Temperance's creation of the icy prison, murmuring to himself in awe at the sight as the water cooled and formed itself in a block around the mighty Aspect of Leviathan. He hadn't even expected the sorry band to be able to dent the Terror of the Seas, and seeing it reeling and then enclosed in ice was utterly mind-boggling to him. Still, it wasn't bested yet, and he knew that if they let up they might well lose the lead they had on the creature.

Coiling his tail into a corkscrew, he tossed the Conch back over his shoulder, bent his head forward, and shot towards the aspect like an arrow, aiming a punch from one of his powerful claws straight into a stretch of the massive thing that was still exposed to harm.

"Ye Leviathan, I ask your pardon! But I cannot allow you to attack this place, I have sworn to defend it!" he called out, though he knew that the beast would neither listen to him or really care about what he was saying.

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Wave-Eye's blow managed to weave its way through one of the empty spaces in the Leviathan's icy prison, connecting with the bulk of the giant swimmer. It cut deep through the layers of scales, scraping against tissue like bedrock. But it hit home, and the song of the Leviathan rung out through the ocean. To Wave-Eye's taxed ears, it was something like the cracking of earth as it rose from the ocean. It lashed out against the blow, its tentacles striking hard against the ice. Heavy cracks formed, large enough to slip a tentacle or two through, but the prison held.

Up top, Temperance took aim, looking for gaps in the ice. "All right," she said, "maybe there's such a thing as too good..." As the behemoth thrashed, however, a gap in its cage became clear. The waves rose beneath her part of the boardwalk and swept against the tide, crashing towards the Leviathan. It broke before hitting the iceberg, the water forming into daggers of ice. They rained down on the bound creature, but bounced off of its rock-like flank.

"Oh, well. Can't win 'em all."

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Silver Spider watched as the cracks started to form in the ice prison and before the monster could even try and slither one of its whipping tentacles through one she once again raised her arm and fired a long, steady stream of the Weaponized Epoxy Binding fluid, sealing several of the cracks in the walls.

Shaking her head as she glanced at her wrist to check her fluid levels she sighed, "Better living through chemistry." And adding mentally, And projects contracted for law enforcement that got canceled between the prototype and mass production stages.

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"You are on the brink of defeat, O Fin of the Leviathan" Wave-Eye called out "yet you need not suffer this ignominy! I will carry you beyond these waters, out to sea where we shall sink you into the element and return this part to your greater self. Only let me do this" so saying he put his harsh lips once more to the fluting mouth of the conch, he blew a great note upon it that caused once again the thin red bands to gush from the wider mouth and swirl around the impromptu iceberg, trying to catch hold of it with the water that surrounded that fraction of the Terror of the Deeps and its frozen prison.

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The bands swarmed around the bound behemoth, which struggled with all its might against the new indignity. It let out a terrible shriek that danced on the edge of everyone's vision, a thunderous crash that could be heard three blocks up from the Boardwalk. And at once, the ice prison shattered around it, sliding off into tiny icebergs in the summer surf. It tried to push forward once more, but found itself hampered by Wave-Eye's bands of force. It dragged with such force than the godling was afraid he might lose a grip on his horn.

Temperance, meanwhile, knew that she could not afford to let that beast get any closer to the shoreline. She drew a column up from the surf, one the size of a statue. The column twisted, splitting off into gouts of water that solidified into gigantic hailstones. She was pouring all her effort into the phase change; she wouldn't have much chance to aim, but hopefully, she didn't need to. The barrage took flight - and slammed into the caught creature with almighty force. It thrashed against the surf, desperately trying to retain purchase, but eventually went still. Before Temperance's eyes, it began to melt away into flotsam and jetsam, joining the rapidly liquidating ice in the tides.

Comes from the depths. Voice like the tides. And returns to the ocean when dismissed. I hope they've got some really freaky stuff on Kaiju Island, because I really don't like where this is going...

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Silver Spider made several bounding leaps from where she stood to land on the railing of the pier closest to the aquatic heroes. She climbed down one of the pillars to keep from being jostled by the swarm of people gathered to watch the fight. "Hello Wave-Eye," she called over to the armored triton, "Good to see you again."

She looked over at Temperance but not having seen the young woman before she merely nodded, "Ma'am. Impressive hydrokinesis and thermal variation." Temperance couldn't see it but she could tell Silver was smiling. Then the mask hid her expression once more, "So, anyone mind telling me what in the hell that was?"

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The Aztec triton had drifted to the surface, and stared at the disintegrating body, elation mingled with a powerful blow of remorse coursing through him for a moment 'I..we just struck down an Aspect of Leviathan. But why did IT wander so close to the shore? And why now...? Ah!' he started at Silver Spider's greeting, replying with an awkward "Grgh, yes, it is good to meet you again, Silver Spider. Once again, we triumph!" he cried, raising a triumphant fist towards the place where the remains of the Aspect, letting the rush of glee at the defeat of even such a minor fraction of dread Leviathan flood through him.

He stalked out of the water, shaking the mud off of himself before offering a streaming claw to Silver Spider and Temperance "Please accept my gratitude. Few can claim to have fought so much as a fang of Leviathan and prevailed. I could never have driven them off on my own." He turned to Temperance "You said you can see the spirits that swim invisibly around us. Could they help us uncover why this has happened? I never speak with them myself, and Dread Leviathan's reasons for every stirring is a mystery even to us sea-dwellers."

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Temperance looked out to the ocean, trying very, very hard not to completely lose her grip. To hear her dad talk about the Leviathan was like hearing a local priest talking about the Pope... or perhaps something higher than that. "The Leviathan is usually more... docile than this. As much as an ocean current or a sweeping tide can be said to be 'docile.' But from what I hear, it's aware of its own functions. It's aware of everything that happens in water. So if one of its aspects is running amok without the others rising to control it, then either the Leviathan is quite angry, or..." She shuddered at the thought. "Someone has wrested control of it."

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"Hold on, you're going to have to take a minute for the non-aquatic one here. What exactly is the Leviathan? I recall it being mentioned in the Bible but, well, my being Catholic is about as correct as saying that if a cow is born in a tree then it's a bird...," Silver said to the pair of aquatic heroes.

"And, given that what I'm able to surmise the Leviathan is, I have a feeling I won't be of much help. At least, not without a little time in my workshop to put together something so I can function in a sub-aquatic environment."

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Nochehuatl sat down on the riverbank, looking up at Silver Spider as he spoke

"I am unfamiliar with the teachings of your Bible Silver Spider, but from what I have learned andseen Old Leviathan is the great power of the deep, the vast watery creature that fears no spear, not even the Lance of Izanagi, nor any hook that can be devised. Its wrath is the lashings of the waves that crush and scatter your dwellings, and its peaceful slumber permits the trade between your nations across the sea" he shrugged his massive shoulders "IT does not awaken often, though as of late it's sleep has become more and more restless. If what you say is right," he said dourly to Temperance "then someone has on their side a power that none of the sea gods I served dared to try and make covenant with. But I cannot fathom how anyone could do such a thing" he ruminated, getting back to his feet ponderously with considerable inefficiency "no summoner could possibly control all of Leviathan, IT is too vast and too great for a human mind to command, it would be like a pebble trying to shift a mountain!" he shook his large head vigorously, turning back to stare at the remains of the iceberg that had entombed the Aspect.

"I am confident that you will be able to turn your ingenuity to that bent, Spider. If they wanted to control IT, they might have journeyed underwater in a submarine to escape possibly being its path when they send it against the shores." He turned back to the two human women "I admit I have not the mind for deciphering such riddles. Where should we start?"

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Temperance stroked her chin, looking out at the choppy surf. "I'm afraid my list of contacts is more towards the shallow end of the ocean," she said. She turned to Silver Spider. "The Bible talks about the great beast of the waters. That's something of the truth. You've heard of elementals, correct? Spirits of fire, air, water, and earth? Imagine that there is a hierarchy of such spirits, starting at the smallest puddle and reaching upwards. And at the top would lie the Leviathan. What we saw today was just a fragment of the Leviathan - an eye, or a finger, of the greater beast. I've only heard tales of it, but... if it were awake, aware, and rather angry, it could possess the entire ocean."

She didn't want to think about what would happen if whoever was responsible for this show of force decided to let loose after seeing their first pawn taken out before it could reach shore. "Which means we need to find out who's trying to wake the Leviathan, and why. Wave-Eye, I don't suppose you have anyone well entrenched amongst the ondines?"

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'There is no good way to answer her. I shall be plain.'

"I never had dealings with the ones you now call the ondines, except when they served a god whose armies I was battling, and then I killed them. I..have never spoken to them, and they have never spoken to me if they can instead evade me. To my sorrow, I have few allies or friends whose favor I might call upon for you" he admitted glumly, looking wearily at the sand for a while before looking back up. "I know where many of them live, however, and the mysteries of the deep are as an open scroll to me. I can guide you to where you" he looked to the two humans "could commune with them, and serve as a translator and guard if you need one."

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