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Saturday 

April 23, 2016 

9AM

 

"This is Franklin Martinez at Waterplace Park in Providence, Rhode Island..." From behind the newscaster came the deafening chorus of voices raised in song - a bellowing, eerie song that could come from no human throats. He moved aside, letting the camera see the thousands of green and white-bodied creatures occupying the park, squatting in the river and the streets, hopping and singing their songs even as more came out of the water behind him. Deep Ones! Some were naked and weaponless, looking like the giant frog-fish humanoids they were, others wore black armor that looked like wrought iron and carried long, lethal-looking tridents. "Beginning early this morning, the Deep Ones began emerging from the Woonasquatucket River and occupying the heart of the city! So far the police and military have established a perimeter to keep back the invaders, but with their numbers increasing - " 

 

Suddenly, the Deep One nearest the newscaster (some thirty feet away, and behind barricades) leaped over and licked him, slapping him across the cheek with an arm-length green, bumpy tongue. The man shouted in surprise and staggered, nearly falling down, but kept his feet. He looked up at the camera, obviously rattled, and began to speak. "I, uh..." He wavered for a moment, then suddenly began stripping off his shirt. "Te veo a Jesús ! ¡Te veo!" he declared, his eyes wide and staring, a moment before the camera cut off entirely, returning to the news broadcast about the Deep One invasion of Providence, Rhode Island.

 

At Aquaria and Jessie's apartment, Aquaria rose from her bacon-wrapped kippers and croaked, her voice warbling with the hiss that spoke of holding back a shout, "Jesssie, we need to go. We need to go there right now.

 

 

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"And so, you see, it's a matter of feeling for the ripples of a disturbance, and--" Huang's mom broke off from explaining how she kept an eye on Freedom City to frown in concentration. "Ah, we need to go. That's never a good sort of ripple."

 

Without giving her erstwhile student a chance to catch her breath, Fred was pulled through the odd eldritch Void that Phantom used as her personal path through the realms and spat back out from the folds of Phantom's robe into the sky above the congregating Deep Ones in Rhode Island. From deep within her hood, rumbled a sound that was never very positive to hear, "Hrmm."

Edited by alderwitch

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Although the lodging was meant to be a temporary stop while the Atlanteean consulate sought a more proper means of residence for the landbound princess, Thaelia had grown quite accustomed to the studio apartment she occupied in the Cline Building.  True, its furnishings were far less lavish than she could experience in the short swim it would take to go back home.  But, that was no different than staying in Claremont's dormitory.  It didn't hurt that the building was well within the delivery area of a cafe that brought the demigoddess her bacon wrapped kippers.

 

"By the gods!  Who dares sully the wondrous this songstress?  Know they not of her plight as a single mother of three?"  Thaelia, shouted at her tv set.  Irate that the singing competition she was watching had been interrupted.  But, not self aware enough to realize that some of her neighbors might think she was calling for them with such a statement.  Her eyes narrowing as the Deep Ones began appearing on her screen.

 

"So the wretched ones have come for war.  Then war they shall have"  Her destination quickly decided.

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Jessie had been up for almost six hours by 9am, but because it was technically morning she had still poured herself a bowl of Cheerios to eat as she did the assigned reading for her American History class. She'd missed a lot of school last semester, enough that she'd had to take incompletes in all her classes to avoid failing everything. It hadn't been a very auspicious start, or a very good use of Erin's money, but Jessie was determined to make a better showing of herself this term. Thus far, things had been going well. Chagrined from her misadventures with the Spectrum Knights armor, Aquaria had been amenable to staying at home more often and letting other heroes do the dangerous, time-consuming, potentially probation-violating work of keeping the city safe. And when Aquaria wasn't putting herself in danger, Jessie could stay home too and concentrate on her studies, and maybe even catch a few deep breaths from time to time. 

 

Her chest tightened painfully at Aquaria's shout, and reluctantly Jessie looked up to take in the scene on the television. It looked scary and violent. It looked like it was probably not within the Freedom City limits. "Do you think we should?" she ventured, rounding her shoulders and stirring her cereal with a slightly wrinkled spoon. "There are probably other people going to fix it already." 

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It had been a bit of a surprise when the young, time-displaced alchemist had requested Mrs. Faretti for her co-op 'ride along' credit but then the list of heroes capable enough that the Academy felt comfortable leaving in charge of Winifred out and about in the city was almost comically short compared to the more curated lists of suggestions her classmates had received. She had a scientist's somewhat tiring conviction that magic could be analyzed and explained just as any other force of nature but at least she hadn't for a moment tired to disprove anything Phantom had told her, instead taking copious notes in line after line of tight shorthand script.

 

When she abruptly found herself suspended high off of the ground, however, the girl's composure suffered momentarily. Taking one look down she snapped her chin back up and squeezed her eyes shut, fingers fighting around her notebook while she focused on slowing her breathing and not thinking about the way her feet were hanging loosely beneath her. "Not to be difficult, miss," she managed in a strained voice, "but perhaps a modicum of warning, going forward?"

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Samantha Carson was at work. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to be precise. She had a 9:30 class to teach, and so was in her office, alledgedly preparing. Truthfully, she had finished ages ago. Minor alterations would be required, of course. However, she had built flexibly and thus this was not a problem. She had done such a good job her TA could fill in without a hitch. Which was useful, whenever Terrifica needed to put in a daytime appearance. Speaking of said, TA, she rushed into Sam’s office, smartphone in hand. “Professor, you have to see this!” It was the news report from Providence. “This just never happens outside of Freedom, does it?”

 

Sam had already half slipped into Terrifica mode. Her battlesuit was in the concealed section of her briefcase. She could change on the way. “Almost never, but yes. Could you cover my 9:30 and mention to Professor Bradley that I’ll be documenting this? If someone doesn’t Professor Brown will complain about it until he finally retires. And as low woman on the totem pole, I’d be the one asked anyway.” She stood and walked to the door. “I ought to be back before afternoon classes.

 

“Yeah, I can do that. Your notes are fantastic. Go on.” Sam Carson was out the door. And soon afterward, Terrifica was on the road to Providence. A thousand and one thoughts and theories rattled around in her head.

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Phantom and Reagent found the park a scene of chaos. The Deep Ones were hopping around the park in a mad frenzy, another half-dozen emerging from the water every minute or so to join the booming chorus of voices. They were marking the park, and the city as their own, inking eldritch patterns onto the pavement, tearing up the grass with their tridents, the police barricade by now largely abandoned.

 

Phantom understood what the Deep Ones were singing - "<The Day of Liberation Has Come! The Chosen One Will Summon Dagon! The Stars Are Right - And The World Is His!>" For her part, Reagent noticed something else - she didn't just see full-grown Deep Ones below, giant frog-fish men that they were, but also young ones - infants clinging to their parents' backs, younglings at play amid the elder signs, and more besides - this was no mere invasion, this was a full-fledged occupation. 

 

The human occupants of the city seemed to be in a panic, running around and screaming at each other in the streets and throughout the park, the melee too wild and frenetic for them to make out without getting closer. 

 

 

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After making a few calls (upon realizing the relative distance to Providence and the need to stop the unholy invasion as quickly as possible) Glamazon wound up hitching a ride with a young woman named Quickstep - a smartly-dressed Claremont alum in a green bodysuit who was working her way through college by using her powers as a mass transit service. (She was a subcontractor for the Atlantean Embassy.) Quickstep deposited Glamazon at the Amtrak station near the park, where crowds seemed to be fleeing the park in large numbers - no surprise, given the booming chant she could half-hear from that direction. "Be right back," said Quickstep, looking down at her beeper. "Getting you a special consultant." 

 

By one of those lucky strokes of fate that happens to superheroes - or maybe because Terrifica, with her vast intellect, had headed not for the park but for a natural staging area for arriving superheroes from outside the city, no sooner had Quickstep disappeared than Glamazon was joined by Terrifica, just riding up on her bike after a hard twenty minute ride from MIT's campus, the cowled superheroine cutting a distinctive figure amid the crowd of fleeing civilians.

 

-


Back in Freedom City, Aquaria hadn't hesitated a moment before opening the closet where she kept her armor. She'd had to fight hard for that armor, submitting sworn statements from the Voidrunner crew and the Star Knight that she'd used it for peaceful purposes, making her case before their probation officer, and (she guessed) benefiting from some intervention by Jessie's sister. But she had kept the armor, and now, "No one else knows my people like I do. If I don't go, They'll probably just send some Atlantean thugs who'll try and kill everyone in that tribe. I can keep that from happening, and I...haven't seen another Deep One in so long..." she croaked as she stepped back to let the armor wrap around her, its seams glowing green as she disappeared inside it. "And if they're invading the Surface because of another vile Surfacer cultist, I can show them that they don't have to live that way. You don't have to come if you don't want to. I'll be okay.

 

In the armor, she hopped out of the closet to crouch next to Jessie, looking up at her with her big eyes visible behind the open faceplate of the armor, a question on her face. Despite her confident words, Jessie could see how nervous Aquaria was from her posture. After all, if she really was confident her own people wouldn't hurt her - she wouldn't be in the armor. Just then, the cell phone rang, Jessie standing the closest to it. 

 

Jessie heard, "Hello - this is Quickstep. Is this the number for Sea Devil and Singularity? Under, uh, the Public Service Act of 1942, and the terms of your probation, I've been hired by the Liberty League to transport you both to Providence, Rhode Island to deal with a regional emergency." 

 

 

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"Mmm... yes." Phantom replied from under hood, in more of a distracted parental sort of tone than one actually overly concerned about Fred's other half. Eldritch energy held Fred aloft, crackling faintly with power but feeling almost like firm 'hands' holding her up in place. The bulk of the woman's attention remained on the disturbance below but although it was a situation that she wanted to see resolved, the dimensional guardian took the time to pause and explain, "Humanity calls them 'Deep Ones', among other generally less pleasant appellations, they are devout followers of gods who hail from Primordial dimensions that are highly unpleasant and generally result in madness and worse when called upon in any significant fashion. World-devorerous, really, although Dagon is arguably not the worst of that particular lot. They seem to think he is coming which they are hopefully incorrect about. That would be a much more serious situation. They're native to this world themselves though."

 

Apparently this had not yet reached the milestone of 'significant cataclysm' in Phantom's book yet. "Probably best to start by figuring out who they've decided is their 'Chosen One'." Her sigh was beleaguered as she added more to herself, "Why is it always Chosen Ones. SO much better when its a book or a statue."

 

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Jessie listened to the phone call, then very carefully and very deliberately took her half-finished bowl of cereal into the kitchen and dumped it down the garbage disposal. She set the damaged spoon aside to deal with later. "It sounds like we're both being called up," she told Aquaria. "And you know I wouldn't let you go alone. I'm going to get dressed." Singularity's dark grey one-piece uniform was heartlessly plain, but it was better than the orange she'd had to wear while still in-house at Project Freedom, and it was extremely durable. It was the work of a moment to get changed, and just another to pin up her blonde hair, safely out of harm's way. She picked up the baton that she kept safe in her underwear drawer when she wasn't working, then returned to the living room. "All right, let's go." 

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"The statue might disagree," Winifred offered gamely. Swallowing with some difficulty she forced herself to regard the scene below them analytically, quieting the part of her that insisted she was going to fall to her doom at any moment. "Parallel biological development, then? Fascinating. And 'god' here being any non-local entity of sufficient scale and potency or am I missing additional criteria? The word held rather specific connotations in my day." Anything information she'd garnered from Phaedra on that front had frankly only raised additional questions and the topic seemed fraught regardless of whom she asked. She appreciated an empirical approach to theology as much as the next alchemist but the way certain terms were thrown around in the present was a bit much. "Madness I have some experience with, unfortunately. Not to be an inconvenience but I'd just as soon not see what reaction sanity snapping stimuli might have with my... condition."

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Which of the two it was, Terrifica would never say. Instead she turned off the motor and swung one leg. Planting it on the ground, she got off the Terrifi-cycle. Not only had she changed clothes, she’d flipped the colored panels from their standard grey paint to the blue and orange Terrifica favored. Terrifica did in fact see Glamazon, but hesitated to address her. She knew the Atlantean was a good and noble hero. She had a brave heart, a noble spirit, and a generous heart. This did not change the fact that Terrifica just didn’t like her. Loud, obnoxious, and completely obvious, in total tonal opposition to Terrifica, who preferred the quiet, subtle, and discreet approaches. Add to that the known prejudice many Atlanteans had for Deep Ones, and an already uncomfortable situation could grow more so. She wasn’t interested in punching them back to their homes. She wanted information. Why were they here? What had changed, deep under the waves? It wasn’t entirely impossible that Glam would prove decidedly unhelpful in achieving her goals, but past experience and knowledge were the things Terrifica relied on more than anything else. So, instead of going over and greeting the woman she’d worked with before, she simply observed and listened to the celebration in progress. After all, the Deep Ones didn’t seem to be actually harming anyone. At least, not intentionally. Perhaps they could be persuaded to take their jubilations elsewhere. Alternatively, this “Chosen One” might be in need of a beating beforehand.

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The Deep Ones were still singing, even as more and more of them made their migration onto the surface, gradually filling the streets of the city. Their song went like this - "/The one who comes from above will be our liberator. The oceans will be ours. The land will be ours. All will belong to the people of Dagon and Hydra./" Down below, Phantom and Reagent could make out what was happening where the growing crowd of Deep Ones met the fleeing humans down below - and it was bad. Whenever a human got close, one of the Deep Ones would lash out with a long limb or maybe a long, arms-length rubbery tongue, and touch bare skin. When that happened, the human reacted - sometimes babbling, sometimes stripping off their clothes, other times joining in an off-key, phonetic version of the chant, or a million other things. The Deep Ones were literally driving the city crazy in a growing anarchy that was beginning to bubble through the streets. 

 

"It'll be okay," Aquaria reassured Jessie, nervous as she watched her friend throw perfectly good food down the hole in the sink. "It can't be worse than the sea of stars." When their ride arrived, a serious-faced young woman who gave Jessie a long, intense look before opening up a hole in the universe for them to leap through, Aquaria moved through it without hesitation. "Let's go!" she croaked happily, diving through and landing between Teriffica and...Glamazon. "You!" declared the armored Deep One, only her active armor keeping the crowd from recognizing her nature, "what-what's happening here?" she croaked, demanding the question of Terrifica rather than the monstrous Atlantean. 

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Glamazon made no such leanings of silence.  Instead the Atlantean princess shouted with enough force for her voice to ring over the fleeing crowd.  Making absolutely certain that her fellow heroine could hear her.  "Hail, fair Terrifica.  We march to battle on this day!"  Glamazon didn't recognize the armored being placed between her and Terrifica.  Although the voice was slightly familiar.

 

"I know not why these wretched beasts have chosen this day to invade the surface.  But, let us defend the innocent and push back their assault."  Thaelia called out to the armored stranger.  Unknowingly speaking to the Deep One she met on an equally unpleasant occasion once before.

 

However, Glamazon did not actually stop to listen to what either party would say to her in response.  Instead sprinting off in a haze of speed towards the park.  Keen on getting a first hand look at the situation.

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"There's the cavalry, looks like," Phantom said as she caught sight of Glamazon heading towards the fray. Floating over, out of reach of any tongues dashing out, Phantom appeared above the heroes heading towards the park and the invading Deep Ones. Fred was deposited gently on the ground with Phantom floating down after her erstwhile student. Raising her voice, she offered the information that she had to the heroes, pitching her booming tone so Glamazon might hear it as she headed close to the line of defense but wasn't about to try and stop the Atlantean in her course. 

 

"They're singing about a 'Chosen One' from the sky and the raising of Dagon." Phantom explained without so much as a proper introduction. Introductions could really wait. "Their tongues - or some secretions - appear to be engendering madness in the human population." She paused, glancing towards Fred before adding, "They have their young with them. It appears we need to address the raving humans, separate the two species until an accord can be reached. Suggestions?"

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"They're not beasts!" Singularity snapped at Glamazon, giving the Atlantean a fierce glower that was negated by the fact that Glamazon was already racing away. It was very loud where they were, between the croaky singing and the screams and shouts of crazy and panicked humans. Jessie took two deep breaths and concentrated, trying to filter out the overwhelming noise and chaos, then began making her way towards the park as well. She didn't move anywhere close to her full speed, perhaps because she didn't want to lose Aquaria and Terrifica, or perhaps just because she was not eager to arrive. 

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And there Glamazon went, charging in with a mighty battle cry. Just as expected. Terrifica sighed heavily and addressed the flying newcomer. “Barriers would be a good start. Get something solid between the two groups. Strike teams to retrieve the afflicted individuals. A gate of some sort in the barrier would be good for extraction purposes. And if one of you knows how to talk sense into the Atlantean, that would be lovely.” Terrifica looked out at the insanity. “Then we’ll have to do something about this ‘Chosen One’. Likely, it will involve punching.”  She glanced at the armored figure. “And if you could corral your friend, that would also be lovely. Teamwork will be key today, unless one of you is a literal god and has thus far failed to mention it.”

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"Even the young of the wretched, are still young.  It would be unbecoming to bring harm upon them."  Glamazon openly pondered stopping short of barreling into the waiting crowd of Deep Ones.  Drawing her own conclusions, she moved a short distance closer so as to remain within earshot of the woman who had provided her information.  "A magical artifact should be the catalyst for this madness.  I do not believe it is within their capabilities to induce a derangement in these surfacers."

 

It did not sound like the work of the Serpent Staff as far as she knew.  But, the number of magical objects under the sea did not start and stop there.  Perhaps it is something they ingested?  "Evacuation should come first.  If we aid the fleeing, we can deal with the invading force unencumbered."

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Oh Dagon and Hydra - the spawn! Aquaria had guessed what was happening the moment she 'heard' the deep, booming echo of the sacred chant, the call of an oppressed people for liberation from captivity. Some chieftan, or cult leader, had taken his people onto the Surface for loot and plunder with promises of divine liberation - when that liberation wouldn't come, he'd lead them below again and return 'when the stars were right' to some other Surfacer place with things to steal for the chiefs and their most powerful offspring. 

 

Sea Devil kept pace with Singularity as she ran, the 'fins' projecting from her back and the rear of her legs glowing a brilliant green as they intersected with Earth's gravitic field (or so the Praetorian scientists had told her - she didn't really understand any of it except that it flew) and propelled her forward, the whole suit lighting up with glowing lines that highlighted the general outlines of the being within. "I'm going to try and talk to them, Jessie - stay calm and follow my lead. Jump over those Surfacers!" she called, encouraging Jessie to avoid trying to run through a portion of the mob obviously half-crazed by their exposure to the powerful secretions of a Deep One's body. 

 

Sea Devil landed amid the middle of the Deep Ones at the center of the park - she didn't know the tribe's regalia, but she guessed the big old male with the scars, towering taller than Aquaria even inside her armor, and wielding a brilliant golden trident - was either the chief or tribal shaman. Taking a chance, she retracted her helmet, revealing the face beneath that was clearly that of a Deep One like them! The look of surprise on the chief's face, and the warriors around him, was certainly gratifying. Squeezing her hand together produced a projection of briefly colliminated ionic energy that bled off into triple blades at the rear to match the three projectors in her 'hand' - and one in the back. A glowing green trident made of pure fire was how she thought of it. 

 

"/BEHOLD!" she called, her voice a demand as she spoke to the chief, her voice echoing in a booming roar that filled the park. "/I AM WATER-BEARER-IN-HIS-MOUTH OF THE ISLAND TRIBE! WHY HAVE YOU COME TO THE SURFACE?/"

 

To Aquaria's obvious surprise, stepping back and pointing her trident up, the warriors surrounding the chief pointed their tridents at the ground and declared, "/The one who comes from above! The Chosen One!/"

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"That certainly is a great deal of yelling and screaming," Winifred observed largely to herself, visibly taking deep, regular breaths in through her nose and out through her mouth as she situated herself on the street. The new vantage point didn't do any more to explain the specifics of the situation to her than had the aerial view but she was familiar enough with mobs as a concept; they seemed to be as readily abundant in the present as her own time.

 

Reaching into her coat and pointedly ignoring whatever was going on with the armoured figure and all the chanting, the teenager produced a pair of disposable gloves from her stately white coat along with an empty glass tube. "If someone could procure a sample of that narcotic toxin they're secreting I'd be happy to provide a field analysis? It's really rather my speciality." Her perfect posture and dictation helped compensate for the note of question in her voice. The verbose one speaking with Huang's mother had an air of superiority about her and nearly everyone else was already caught up in the rising tide of emotions but it wasn't as though she could find a secluded corner to wait out the altercation. "I think it best I not get too close myself, considering." That sounded cowardly, she was sure, but better the lot of them be alive and unpulped enough to hold her in low regard than risk an appearance by the Alkahest.

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To those who didn't speak Lemurian, the exchange between the armored Deep One and the thick-necked chieftain of the Deep One invaders seemed like something better-suited to the Discovery Channel's more obscure spinoffs rather than the middle of a brewing super-battle. They bellowed at each other, necks bulging and mouths gaping impossibly wide, and struck their tridents against the ground - Sea Devil's raising an electric hiss and flashes of light when it hit the damp concrete they stood on, the chieftain's wrought-iron blade bouncing and raising sparks when it did the same thing. Were they exerting dominance over each other? Was it a mating display? It was hard to say if you didn't know them. 

 

For those who did speak Lemurian, though, the conversation was easy enough to follow. The chieftain, Water-Scorpion-With-Poison-Fang, was vigorously asserting to his warriors that this was no Chosen One. "/Merely a Surfacer pretender - or worse, some foul apostate! Look at her Atlantean armor!/" For her part, Aquaria was asserting vigorously that she was no Chosen One "merely a daughter of Father Dagon and Mother Hydra, like you!" She made sure to add that "/This is no Atlantean armor - but one won by me in a contest with the sea of stars!/

 

Her three-chambered heart pounding in her chest, Aquaria added, "If your people are hungry, we can find them food - but this will only bring down their defenders upon your head and-

 

Suddenly, the noisy argument was interrupted by an even louder sound. 

 

"ARRY SMILA!

 

It came again, along with a boom that shook the ground. 

 

"ARRY SMILA!

 

And then, descending from the sky in a parabola that suggested a distant leap, there came a crash - and down dropped a Deep One. And not just any Deep One, a vast, hulking behemoth that even crouched on all fours towered higher than Aquaria or Water Scorpion was tall, a gigantic creature with wide goggle eyes and a huge gaping mouth. "ARRY SMILA!" it called again, fury in its voice, before leaping away in a gigantic lunge that took it out of the melee of Deep Ones on the ground - and past the evacuation perimeter, where a tremendous crash and the sound of screams told everyone where it had landed. 

 

The Deep One crowd was in chaos now, some leaping after the gigantic paragon of their kind that had just arrived (albeit impossibly from land), others still circling Aquaria - and a great many, especially those with children, remaining where they were - some were showing particular interest in the abandoned breakfast carts and other foods left out in the park. 

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Thaelia opened her mouth to give her standard explanation of how languages commonly spoken in an environment that left your mouth full of water were hardly quiet endeavors.  But, the explanation was quickly washed away by the unnerving sight in front of her.  First, the sudden appearance of the Deep One who.  Sure, she helped save the day once.  But, she was still likely a Deep One scheming to invade the surface by embedding herself in their ranks.

 

Then came the fact that said schemer was being worshiped right in front of her.  Then came the assorted chaos birthed from the arrival by some monstrosity.  "I shall acquire your sample."  Glamazon began running forward to leap over the crowd and try and arrive in the proverbial eye of the storm.  The most tumultuous location for an Atlantean royal to possibly try and arrive at.  Her eyes never faltering from the creature repeating that one phrase.

 

"I am princess Thaelia of Atlantis.  You have invaded the surface and brought madness on this land.  Return from whence you came and part with your vile secretions and I give my word this will be a tale the fates forget to weave.  Attack further and you shall find no quarter." 

 

Looking at the Deep Ones who made no secret of their hunger.  Thaelia added with absolutely no  hint of enthusiasm.  "If you require sustenance.  Take what you require.  But, know that you shall cede this ill advised claim on this land."  She took no pleasure.  But, a Deep One was just as likely to just eat a sleeping Atlantean as an abandoned bagel.  She heard the stories.

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"No, of course not. You're here to observe. I wouldn't expect you to throw yourself into the fray," Phantom agreed sensibly as if chaos wasn't erupting around them all. Fred would notice though as her mentor-for-day turned translucent and ephemeral as Phantom relaxed into her natural state of having one foot in the Void. "Hmm. That's not Lemurian," she commented about the large Deep One's insistent croaking. "I'll take the big one," she volunteered, as she rather doubted any of the creatures were going to leave willingly she looked down at Fred, "Let us know if you need anything more to process your sample."

 

Offering that advice, the cloaked guardian took to the skies once more to pursue the large 'Deep One'. 

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Jessie watched the entire scene unfold, unnerved and baffled by turns. "Where the hell did that come from?" she mused, then shook her head and said it louder, to Aquaria and Thaelia both. "Where the hell did he come from? There's no water back in the direction he must have been coming from, the river is in the opposite direction," she insisted. "There aren't any other Deep Ones living in surfacer cities are there?" She had her baton unholstered and ready, but seemed uncertain who needed to be hit and why. Most of the Deep Ones weren't doing anything, but the few that were, were causing a great deal of trouble. "Do we fight them?" 

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"Whether or not we're engaging them, perhaps we shouldn't continue standing in front of them debating the point?" Winifred opined, leaning on her cane with a tight grip as the giant Deep One crashed into the street. She didn't bother trying to hide how much concentration was going into keeping her breaths slow and steady, spending the energy instead trying to understand the situation. Religious fervour she recognized well enough, especially with the context Mrs. Faretti had provided, nor was the desperation of hungry immigrants on the docks an alien concept. Massive, frog-like creatures dropping from the sky while shouting in strange dialects was a different matter entirely.

 

Pulling a flash free from her bandolier with her free hand the alchemist made a point of catching the attention of the rather agitated woman with the club; that one didn't seem like someone she wanted to startle. "Some breathing room, then. Though one should endeavour not to breathe this in if possible." Lobbing the glass container a surprising distance for such a slight teenager, she spun on her heel and made for the nearest cover to duck behind. When the flash impacted with the ground its contents burst forth, a near-black cloud of smoke interspersed with gleaming flecks of something metallic that expanded outward like a dark tide.

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