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I Crush Everything [IC]

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Running from behind her cover and leaping through the large window Temperance had been thoughtful enough to remove the glass from, Silver Spider focused on the sensation of graviton alteration. Seconds later, she regained her feet to stand upside down on one of the warehouse's exposed ceiling support beams, dusty cobwebs and flecks of rust floating in a cloud of gravitational limbo by her ankles.

"Hey, you, the overgrown anchovy!" she called, taking aim, she fired her web shooters at the first of the Deep Ones to turn and look at her. For a monstrous creature of the sea; it was surprisingly nimble on dry land, dodging and rolling out of being cocooned in synthetic webbing. Though it was still mobile, several strands of webbing had already entangled the creature, reducing its ability to fight.

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The webbing from Silver Spider managed to trammel up one of the Deep Ones, making it much harder for him to struggle against the onslaught of Wave-Eye's attack. Two of his colleagues manage to duck out of the way of the burst, but another was scalded by the dreadful burst.

God, thought Temperance, it's great to work with another water worker.

She raked the air, and the edges of the sphere rent with the blow, forming into talons. The claws tried to catch the Deep Ones, but two of them managed to twist out of the way, resulting in only the most glancing of blows. The other two, however, managed to get raked severely, tumbling back into the torrent of the sphere. A savage hiss emerged over the roar of the waves, and Temperance saw a burst of scarlet from within the sphere. She ducked out of the way, but not fast enough - the blast of energy blasted through the wall of water, boiling away a small part of it, and caught her head on, roaring over her and partially melting her mask.

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With an opening to attack created by the pair of water witches, Silver Spider released a line of webbing and allowed her control over her gravitational field to lapse.  Pulling herself downward, directly at the entangeled Deep One she rotated in mid-air so she was falling feet first.  She impacted with a solid, if wet and squishy sounding, thud before kicking away from the monsterous creature from the deeps.  The strike allowed her to slide along the slick floor in a three-point crouch, water slooshing from her boots and glove.

 

"So, who wants to be the next launching pad?" she taunted to the remaining ritualists, not entirely sure they understood her but the taunting helped her keep her mind from the fact these beings had taken at least partial control of something that scared the pants off her allies.

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"Well struck, Silver Spider!" Wave-Eye grated with his watery voice, grinning with quiet relief. The Deep Ones were going down with remarkable speed, which while a pleasant change of pace nagged at the back of the old soldier's heart, just a little. Reminding himself dourly that the twisted Atlanteans were trying to destroy the surface races with a shard of Old Leviathan because they couldn't do it themselves, he took a ragged breath(cursing the thin air) and blew another thundering blast that echoed through the very walls. Another gush of water sprang up, and again the bobbing and by now very badly bruised and slashed Deep Ones were surrounded by a flowing current and swung at from every angle by lashing red ribbons. Stepping a foot from from Temperance, the towering triton gurgled "This is like punching sharks! Let us hope these wretches have no secret weapon to contend with. Young waveblade, flying spider, I am glad for your help. I could not do this alone." he said with a grim look.

Edited by Arichamus

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"I don't think we have to worry about a secret weapon," said Temperance, as she dodged a blow from one of the Deep Ones. "They seem to be putting all their cards on the table." She could feel that inevitable presence yawning at the back of the head, the sensation of something churning up from the primordial abyss... I shouldn't be feeling this. I'm not... connected, like Dad is. But I am. That is really, really not good...

 

She raised her hands high, brought them together over her head, and twisted. The sphere twisted once more, forming into a roaring cyclone - and bouncing the Deep Ones about inside. She could only hold it up for so long, and the stress was starting to tear at the corners of her mind... but when she relaxed, two of the Deep Ones hit the ground, hard. There was only one left standing. 

 

"Let's finish this. Now." 

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"My sentiments exactly," Silver Spider muttered to herself.  Once the water cleared away once more at Temperance's command, the scientist raised both hands to unleash a pair of webbing streams at the sole remaining Deep One.  At the same instant they connected, she focused on her power to reduce gravity's pull on her as she yanked hard on the cords.  Flying towards her foe, she allowed gravity's pull to return to normal while flipping around to land heels first into the aquatic ritualist's form, its gurgling growl of pain telling the young lady she had certainly hurt the creature.

 

Using the impact, she put a little extra flourish on her strike and backflipped away, landing gracefully on her feet with her hands raised in a defensive posture.  "Are you going to actually throw a punch at some point?  I'm actually getting bored beating you up without resistance," she called, her voice dripping with mockery.

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"Battles never end when you want them to, comrades!" gurgled Wave-Eye as the mighty triton let the conch fall at his side, beginning to run. His footfalls sent tremors through the ground, and his voice rose to a hissing roar as he ran into the warehouse "If you want, we'll leave these ones alive for a rematch Spider!" he called over to Silver Spider, leaping up into the sphere of water with a titanic splash, hurling his spined arm forward as he rocketed into the last conscious Deep One, and impacting it with an audible *WHAM*, leaving a series of fine cuts on their face and jaw. Carried forward by the momentum of his attack, Wave-Eye glanced in triumph at his foe...and shrugged as he saw them grip the side of their head and vigorously shake themselves.

 

Laughing raucously, the triton clapped his hands, the blood caught on his fist dispersing through the water to join the red ribbons "Good! You're sturdy. Now, for that piece of Dread Leviathan you're trying to attack these surfacers with..." he turned his bottomless black eyes to the pool, claws grabbing for the conch. Every ropelike muscle in his red body tensed in anticipation.

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Temperance was trying to focus all her attention on the last of the Deep Ones. She churned the waves to the best of her ability, forming tiny floes of ice within to enhance its qualities as a battering weapon. They came down hard on the head of the fish-man, sending it reeling and stumbling about in its aquatic prison. But Temperance could still feel the Leviathan creeping ever closer to the shore, and had the sinking feeling that as long as one of the participants had any brainpower to dedicate to the ritual, he'd keep coming. But there might be other ways to sabotage the ritual...

 

"Wave-Eye!" she said. "Get this mojo-ridden surf out of here and into the bay! Silver Spider! Hit him with everything you've got!" 

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"On it!" Silver Spider replied, focusing on her gravitational powers to make the leap between herself and the last Deep One standing.  She came down in with a devistating heelkick to the aquatic summon's head and quickly followed up with a leg sweep once her feet were back on the ground and to finish the fight she kicked him across the room.

 

The web-slinging heroine glanced around the warehouse at the downed monsters, ruined ritual setup and her allies standing over the wreckage.  "So...  Anyone have an urge for sushi?  Or is it just me?" she asked once it became clear the trio were nolonger in immediate danger of more combat.

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Wave-Eye had just gotten the conch to his lips when Spider smashed the last Deep One senseless! Watching the roiling tank gradually still, his eyes never blinked until the last ripple ceased. Taking a ragged breath he leaped out of the sphere, blowing a dolorous note on the horn that sent the water ball cascading across the floor.

 

Lapping up some of the red that slid past him the triton gurgled "Well done humans! Dread Leviathan will not menace your city this day..." Rising to his full height he bowed to the two women in turn "Thank you for letting me help. I am curious wherefore these warped Atlanteans did this, and how they got the power to call on him. Shall I question one? I am good at that." he asked, striding over the wet floor to a prostrate Deep One and sitting on his haunches beside the still form. Poking it with a spined claw, he tilted his head slowly as he examined it.

Edited by Arichamus

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The last Deep One went down under the blows of Silver Spider, hitting the floor with the rest of its brethren. As it did, the creeping presence Temperance had felt in the back of her head stilled... and then began to recede, as the Leviathan slid back into the fathomless depths of the ocean. She locked her eyes on the water that had been used in its binding. "This water... feels substantial," she said. "I know how that has to sound, but I'm trying to find the best way to phrase it. As if it came from the primordial surf... they must have somehow carved it off of the corpus of the Leviathan. Then they used it as the base for a ritual to bind him."

 

She cracked her hands. "I have a feeling he would want it back." She twisted her hands, and the water began to boil away without any obvious source of flame. Soon, the warehouse was thick with fog, which quickly wafted out through the broken window and dissipated in the breeze. "It will get back to him eventually. In the meantime, it might be best to learn if someone led them to the Leviathan's corpus."

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As Temperance sent the water floating out into the air, Nochehuatl bowed his head in silent reverence, a deep, rumbling prayer echoing out of his throat. It was too distorted to make out what he said though, but whatever it was, it was heartfelt. He remained motionless for a while until the elemental's daughter suggested questioning their foes.

 

Leaping into action, the hulking triton gathered up the unconscious deformed Atlanteans, his scaly feet rasping on the wet concrete. He left one, however, the one who had seemed to be their leader slumped on the ground. "Now then, truth-seeking" he grated, splashing some water from his conch onto her face to awaken her, then lifting her up by one leg so her face was even with his.

 

"You are beaten." the fishman told the Deep One harshly "Tell us how you learned to do that" he pointed at the tank "and we shall let you go without harm. Be silent, and suffer the consequences you deserve. Your fate lies in your hands."

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The Deep One glared at Wave-Eye for quite a while, but his eyes danced between Wave-Eye and the tank that had once held the piece of the Leviathan. Then, shaking its head, it spoke. To Temperance and Silver Spider, the fish-man's susurrations were just a burble of clicks, sonar, and dry gasps. But to Wave-Eye, it was perfectly fluent:

"Vengeance on the dry... grant dominion for the Father... drown the soil, make it his domain... the Golden City backs us... the watersingers drew him close, cut him deep... arms will rise, the dry will fall..."

With that spat out, the Deep One fell silent. It came and went, like a burst of madness, and now there was just the calm of the sea in its eyes.

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The Aztec triton glowered at the Deep One, mostly out of ingrained habit. The twisted Atlanteans and the children of the sea gods had little love lost between them. Dropping him brusquely on the floor he gurgled "Our thanks. These small-eyed wretches wish to flood the uncovered earth," he told the two human girls, turning an enormous black eye in their general directions "their god desires greater dominion, and has allied himself somehow with the watersingers of Atlantis itself!" he gestured to the summoning pool with a claw "Those marine magicians were the ones who did this, it seems they have torn Dread Leviathan into pieces, the better to wield His power."

 

Wandering over to the pile of Deep Ones, he went on darkly "They have a deep grudge against your race. If their god's power is joined to the might of Atlantis, the entire surface world is in danger. We must put a stop to this at once. They have many arms not yet unleashed. If you a;ready know how to reach Atlantis, so much the better."

 

Spinning around with a rustle of scales to face the only conscious one left, he snarled gutturally "Who is behind this?"

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After the Deep One's unintelligible noises coming from it's fang-filled mouth ceased she mimed cleaning her ears.  "I've heard dial-up modems with less horrible audio discharge than whatever these things speak...," she muttered  After Wave-Eye shared what he had learned from the ritualist she added with a mutter, "They want to flood the planet?  Are they aware that at the rate we're going humanity will have done much of their work for them?"

 

Taking no chances, she piled the various unconscious Deep Ones and coccooned them in webbing.  "I don't have an easy way to reach Atlantis, no.  And I'm going to need some time in my workshop to whip something up if we're going to the bottom of the ocean next."

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The Deep One left out a strangled string of garbled gibberish and subsonic barks. It was only after a few seconds that Wave-Eye could tell it was laughing at him. And it kept laughing for a long time before falling silent completely, content to just glare at him. "I don't think he's going to be of any more help," Temperance said. "Atlantis. That's just grand." She knew a fair bit about the drowned city, but it wasn't like she was an expert - her dad had a few stories about the city, but he'd mostly heard about them down the line through his fellow elementals. "It's not like I'm any grand swimmer, but I can at least make it that far down without drowning or getting crushed. Wave-Eye, I'm guessing you're in the same boat. I can try to whip up an air bubble, Spider, but I think you might be able to create something more stable. Should we meet back up here tomorrow? Or will we need longer?"

Because I don't think "I had to go stop treachery in Atlantis" is gonna work on my teachers come Monday...

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Giving their informant a warning nudge in the ribs, Wave-Eye nodded "We can both go down there without danger. It is not pleasant, however.

 

"The Atlanteans guard their city fiercely, they will be suspicious of any entry" he grated, one eye turning to survey the horizon just visible through the tangle of the docks, beginning to tap his clawed hands together "We could tell them about this, but that would alert our enemies too. And we cannot know how deep this runs. If the watersingers did that..." he shook his monstrous head, having slowly twisted it around his powerful neck to stare at the tank again.

 

Whipping it back around quickly enough to send his heavy, fan-like hair swinging, the triton shrugged massively. "I will do what I can. They might know me. But that may hinder more than it helps. I can show you the way. Spider," Wave-Eye bowed to the silver and blue-clad scientist "if you wish, I will try and help make our vessel. I have no experience as a shipwright, but I am strong enough and can help ensure it will keep out the sea."

 

The issue of time was something he had no idea about. Whether or not Silver Spider could get her hands on one of those deep-sea capsules, or something even more amazing, was more than a little beyond him. "It might take more than a day. I am prepared to wait. Here is as good a meeting place as any, I will prepare a meal when the time comes" he offered with a smile that looked downright ugly.

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Looking back at Temperance and Wave-Eye, Silver Spider shook her head.  "No, no.  Half the stuff I need is already half-done for an upgrade to my costume.  Part of the problem with what I've got is just miniaturizing it for day-to-day... ," looking at the expressions on the aquatic heroes' faces she trailed off before stating, "Give me about half an hour.  Forty-five minutes if traffic's heavy between the skyscrapers."

 

With that the scientist slung webs back to her workshop, refitted her costume with a thin exosuit layer, did a rush install of a night-vision system into the goggles of her mask, and attached a rebreather she had been tinkering with.  The mini-thrusters she installed last around her boots had been intended for submarine-launched missiles but they had a tendancy to behave unreliably once out of the water.  After completing the rush-job, tieing off some loose wires inside the suit and duct taping everything close she made her way back.

 

"Not my best work," she sighed once she landed, "But I didn't have time for the spinning rims or undercarriage lights.  So, lets go have a chat in the sunken city."

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Huh. Well, at least I won't have to risk missing school. Yet.

"All right, then," said Temperance. "Let's go say hello to the royals of the deep."

Of course, getting to Atlantis posed a challenge for her. She was certain that Wave-Eye could lead the way, and that Silver Spider could provide her own transport. But she wasn't exactly a speedboat. She knew how to swim, of course, but there was a difference between "length of a pool" and "depths of the Atlantic." So as the water rose over her boots, she looked down into the shallows of the coast and hoped that this would work. She felt the ocean rush over her as she walked further in, enveloping her in time. There was nothing to worry about in the deep for her - no fear of drowning, no fear of hypothermia, no fear of pressure. But there was a slight fear of having to walk to Atlantis.

Hope this works... She drew the water around her and shaped it, forming something like an air bubble in the depths. And soon after, she pushed, hurling the water surrounding her as fast as she could. In this way, she created something like propulsion, ensuring that she could keep pace with the others. She kept her eyes focused on Wave-Eye, hoping he could find the quickest route to the undersea kingdom.

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"Commendable speed" Was all the triton said when Silver Spider returned with her specialized suit. He had barely moved a muscle during her absence, staring at the pile of Deep Ones and carrying on an idle conversation with Temperance about water spirits and modern schooling. Turning on his heel he marched to the edge of the water, sniffed the air, bared his teeth and leaped off into the South River with a titanic splash and flash of light as his legs joined together and formed the dragon's tail, his weight and impetus carrying him far below the surface where the sun was weak.

 

Shooting back up with another gout of water he called "Follow close! Many down in the depths are no friends of yours, and have no fear of me." with that he turned and roiled back under the surface, shooting off at an easy pace for the humans to match. It was smooth sailing as the three swam through the Centery Narrows and out the Great Bay, Wave-Eye taking a moment as they passed under a fishing boat to breath in the cleaner waters with deep relish...and fought back a pang of nostalgia as he recalled what was now gone. 'It will never be so clear again...'

 

Snapping his jaws with a *clack* that echoed through the water he announced "Drowned Atlantis lies to the east, and down" he gestured vaguely ahead at the oppressive Atlantic gloom. "They have transports, but we will attract less notice if we go around them and the city's outposts. This way." in a moment he had shot ahead, tail lashing from side to side and propelling him off for the distant sunken metropolis, for fabled Atlantis!

Edited by Arichamus

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Soon, the waters turned from a murky green to near black, as the trio descended deeper into the Atlantic. But eventually, in the distance, there emerged a golden glow - faint at first, like a candle at the other end of a midnight field, but glowing brighter and brighter with each passing second. There rose the grand, orichalcum towers of Atlantis, and below them, the waterlogged streets that had ensured so many years and atmospheres.

"Glorious," said Temperance. "I'd heard stories of its grandeur, but never had a chance to see it. We should likely decelerate. I have a feeling our presence may have drawn some attention..."

Sure enough, three forms came racing out of the darkened depths, almost unseen against the black water. Their armor was nearly as dark as the depths, done up with impressive filigree, and they held spears with tips with rubies in their hands.

"I doubt you found your way down here accidentally," said one of them. "Please state your business."

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Wave-Eye nodded slowly, eyes even wider as he took in the magnificent view. Atlantis was famed as the last great wonder from the old age, and Nochehuatl knew, as he felt the same quiet awe that he always did seeing the golden metropolis, that this was utterly true. His reverent "Yes, and this is in a dark age for them. What might it have looked like before, when it stood strong above the waves and did battle even with Drowned Lemuria?" was cut short on the third syllable when the Atlantean guard swam into view.

 

Flinching a little at their approach he glanced at the two human women. They knew what they were doing, they knew far better how to talk to people, he would be silent-'Yes, keep quiet again and let the humans fumble along. Faugh! I am a child of Chalchiuhtlicue, I don't need them to talk for me'

 

Swimming up to the three glittering soldiers, the bronze-armored triton bared his teeth as he grated in his watery voice and gestured to the two heroines and then himself "This is Silver Spider and this is Temperance, I am Nochehuatl the Wave-Eye. We come on a vital mission! Dread Leviathan has been cut into pieces by the Deep Ones and sent against the surfacers, and they had help from your watersingers. We must be allowed to enter Atlantis, and destroy the conspiracy in your midst!" That said, he folded his arms and glowered down at the city's greeting party, black eyes reflecting the light of Atlantis like a spectral gleam in their abyss.

 

 

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The guards traded a look between one another, and the look was a familiar one to Temperance - "Is this guy freaking kidding us?" One of the guards reached for an earpiece, his whispers cut out by the water around them. Temperance strained to listen, but the pressure of the depths swept away most of what they said. Finally, the other turned to the trio. "Come with us," he said. 

 

The trio swam down to some sort of dry dock, an alcove of tempered glass - or something like glass - and thick airlocks. Once the water had drained out, the group entered Atlantis proper, if just the furthest reaches of it. A man was waiting for them, and from the splendor of his uniform, it was clear he was the superior of the two patrolmen. 

 

"So," he said. "I have two surface-dwellers and -- if I'm correct -- an heir to the Drowned Gods arriving in my city, screaming of treason and a dismembered Leviathan. If you're mad, it's a singularly dedicated madness. So... mind explaining it in less hasty terms?"

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The splendor and beauty of the sunken city left the scientist more than a little awed as her improvised atmospheric diving suit propelled her towards the bottom of the ocean.  She was also pleasntly surprised that her rush-job had avoided breaking down in any significant fashion during the trip.

 

After Wave-Eye's brief conversation with the guards who had swum out to intercept them with the overly ornate armor and spears, she followed the guards as they lead Temperance and Wave-Eye to their superior, her awe at the architecture of Atlantis growing as she moved closer it.

 

"To be fair, Temperance and I hadn't spoken.  However there's a warehouse full of Deep Ones and ritual gear back in Freedom City that said they were working with 'watersingers' from the 'Golden City' to dismember this Leviathon being," she began while unclasping the wristmounted propellers from her suit, draining the sea water from the internal bits.  "Honestly, my companions understand this better than I do, I'm just here because the first fragment of Leviathon was sent after an amusment park on the boardwalk and I have a bad habbit of seeing things through."

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The sergeant looked at Silver Spider, and then to the others. "Did you bring any of this ritual gear with you?" he said.

Maybe I should've saved some of that water... Temperance shook her head. "We figured it would be best if that material was out of the hands of the Deep Ones as soon as possible. But... have you noticed any upsets in the deep, as of late? Any disturbances amongst the invisible dwellers?"

The sergeant looked extremely skeptical. "You're asking me to comment on matters of theology," he said. "That is decidedly outside of my purview. But... the priests have had some issues lately. Come with me."

Walking through the crystal and orichalcum halls of Atlantis, Temperance could see what Wave-Eye had said earlier - it was beautiful, but it felt like a master trying to reconstruct something otherworldly using mundane materials. "Tell me about these Deep Ones," said the sergeant. "Did they have a particular goal in mind, or was it just more crawling chaos?"

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