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Ari

Party on the Breach (IC)

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GM

 

October 1st, Saturday, 2016

Miles offshore from Emerald City, Oregon, the PanStar Pacific Proliferation Platform(P3 Station)

 

"We're very excited to have you both here, Dr. Delacroix, Dr. Anderson." Though easily a few heads shorter than either of the two men, Olivia Oum, Director of PanStar's  Ocean Developments division, seemed a positive giant among the ever-present crush of workers, technicians, company people and sundry humanity scurrying around the shiny-new fish farm and cloning facility. All of them quickly made way for the quartet of Dir. Oum in her crisp blue suit, her PA whose eyes never left her phone (which did nothing to impede the rest of her work) and the two visiting scientists. There was certainly plenty of space on the Platform, an enormous silver-white dome intersecting two massive rings cradling an advanced force-field system that let water and nutrients in and kept a great many other things out. Every ceiling and floor bore PanStar's gold star, the symbols of its associates(Emerald City's MarsTech, Ming Xi Visions and Saito Solutions) while the rain-streaked windows looked out at a recently-passed storm front and a heaving deep-grey sea.

 

Leading the way to an elevator, Oum went on blithely "PanStar has worked hard to make the world a better place, and with this, a way replenish our dying ocean's ecosystem, we hope to avert a disaster even this world's heroes have been powerless against." With a swipe of her thumb against a colored bar the door rematerialized behind them.

 

The PA's head tilted slightly upward "Zhou in manfac needs another bulk order Ma'am, 203E-5s, tungsten."

 

"By all means, Panita, put it through." Oum smiled benevolently to the visitors as the elevator descended swiftly, the Pacific Ocean surrounding them and the submerged levels of the Platform as a cloud of darkness and shifting shadows deepened by the facility's lights..

 

"We understand UNESCO's need to ensure our full compliance with the law and the highest ethical standards, given the stakes at play. Rest assured, Dr. Anderson, we have nothing to hide and every member of our staff will comply with your review. Or I shall know the reason why." The dazzling smile the compact woman shone at the Englishman did nothing to undermine the undertone of ferocity. Turning to the American, the Director added "Dr. Delacroix, we appreciate the willingness of the Institute to gives its second opinion. Your work in bioscience and the in-depth understanding of business your brothers have displayed fills us with confidence that this will lead to a swift and mutually-satisfactory conclusion!"

 

Relaxing against the transparent metal windows, Oum asked brightly "Do you have any questions?"

Edited by Ari

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"Not just yet," the young scientist replied, still casting his gaze widely around the facility.  "I'll wait until I can actually see your operations; then I should have more to comment on.  Although so far, this is an impressive undertaking.  An ethical one, too, in light of the catastrophe our marine life is likely headed toward.  No one wants to drastically limit their fishing industries, so unless some other drastic action is taken, we'll eventually be left with a watery wasteland.  It's a shame the public has such an anti-cloning bias; hopefully your success here will prompt similar facilities in other parts of the world."

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Nathaniel Anderson had remained mostly quiet on the trip down into the base, nodding his head in acknowledgement when he found something to agree with amidst the conversation but otherwise remaining a silent observer up until he'd been asked if he had any questions.

 

"Several but I feel the answers to most will reveal themselves; though for now I'd be very intrested in hearing about your quarantine protocols to prevent the spread of diseases and possible degenerations from repeated cloning to the outside environment and internal farms." he says with both an air of Scientific Interest and concern, Though he was no enviromentalist he was intelligent enough to know the potentially devastating effects. "not to mention the waste products from the Mass cloning procedure and livestock's handling and disposal, It would not do to solve a problem by creating several more after all, Doctor Oum."

 

Edited by Exaccus

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GM

 

The doors evaporated as they slid to a halt, permitting the visitors and their guides into a quasi-transluscent labyrinth of white and clear walls outlining brutally square rooms. In every direction pristine corridors ran, these also full of busy people doing busy things in a great hurry. Almost all of them acknowledged to Oum as they passed, and the few who didn't quickly did so a few seconds later when they realized who she was.

 

On the floor a discrete and stylish series of lines led to the various sub-sections of the submerged portion of the base. Oum conferred for a fraction of a second with Panita before marching rapidly along the red line, soon burying the quartet in the 'gestation processing' of P3 Station.

 

"As you can see, we keep all possible risk of contamination to and from the outside ocean to an absolute minimum." the director explained breezily, the walls turning transparent as they passed to show thousands of fish in various stages of life contained in massive tanks attached to machinery attended by dozens of people "A meticulous chemical screening process ensures that all our fish have as low a risk of birth defects and illness as wild salmon or pollock. Lower, even, thanks to selective breeding from our initial pairs that resulted in a strengthened auto-immune system and better ability to process and remove metals, toxins, etcetera."

 

They came to the end of the red line, which lay before a blank wall stretching for several hundred yards. Oum rapped it once, and suddenly the wall was a window into a teeming mass of adult Pacific salmon, foraging from the ocean floor and visibly glowing with health. Standing beside and smiling proudly at the result of the Station, Oum gestured expansively at the animals outside "As you know, the P3's forcefield actively prevents any chemical combination we don't want from getting inside. As for degeneration, we have a contract with Maruha Nichiro for regular replenishment via wild stock from their fisheries."

 

Folding her hands and beaming at the visitors, Oum added cheerily "Our read-outs and sensor data are at your disposal, as are-"

 

~"PANSTAR! MY PERSECUTORS! DEFILERS OF THE DEPTHS! HEAR ME!"~

 

Panita yelped and her phone dropped from her hands to clatter on the floor, startled by the sudden burst of noise from the Station's intercom. Oum, meanwhile, had frozen stiff, staring out the window. And well she might, as a gigantic shark-like submarine gleaming with dark red lights sled into view. A hatch opened and a man-like figure darted out, swimming with incredible speed through the forcefield and up to the window, looking the four behind it right in the eye. He was in some kind of caped armor that resembled a manta ray, but unlike Devil Ray's black and red he was in white and olive green, and while armored he didn't have any obvious weapons. He was holding some kind of electronic mask over his mouth.

 

~"I AM RAYZER, CHAMPION OF CORAL, AVENGER OF ANGLER AND WARRIOR OF THE WAVES! THIS FACILITY IS A DEATH-BLOW TO LIFE, WHICH ONLY I AND MY RAIDERS CAN TURN ASIDE! LEAVE THIS STATION AND WE WILL NOT HARM YOU, BUT IF YOU STAY...YOUR FATE IS OUT OF MY HANDS! YOU HAVE TEN MINUTES, CHOOSE!"~

 

With that, Rayzer turned and sped back into the gargantuan submarine, passing again through the force-field without so much as a blip.

 

"It's that eco-terrorist," Oum growled, her fists and teeth clenched as she glared after the man "I'm sure you know how many of our installations that maniac has destroyed over the years! And it looks like in ten minutes we'll be next!"

 

Throughout the station, the distant sounds of panic could be heard beginning.

 

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For a long moment, Tristan just stared in shock.  No, he didn't know that PanStar was routinely fending off an underwater terrorist.  That would've been nice information to have before he made the trip out here.  Now he was in a rather awkward position; this was clearly a job for Leviathan, but the scaly monster had only once been sighted outside Freedom City, and that was in another dimension entirely.  Even if he could transform without being caught, this was a terrible trail of breadcrumbs he kept leaving behind.  How long before someone noticed that Leviathan kept showing up in the same general area as the youngest Delacroix brother?  How long before someone knew?

 

If he didn't take action, people might die, valuable equipment would almost certainly be lost, and the important work that PanStar had spent years preparing for--regardless of what this well-intended idiot thought--would be all for nothing.  If he did, then Tristan was one step closer to personal catastrophe. 

 

He felt more than a little ashamed of how hard that choice was.

 

...Wait, maybe it's just a bluff.  This Rayzer doesn't seem entirely sincere.  But if he's done this before...maybe I can manage to talk him out of it.  But not from in here!  I'd have to swim outside, and for that, I still need Leviathan!

 

Wishes and fishes.  Tristan had no other option, not if he wanted to keep calling himself a hero.  He whirled around and locked eyes with Oum.  The fear in his voice was entirely genuine, even if it wasn't born from the same source as everyone else's.

 

"Everybody has to evacuate!  What's the plan?  Where do we go?"

 

By which he meant, Where will you be, so I can slip away and...change into something more comfortable.

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Alexander Anderson felt his eyebrow rise a fraction as the sheer absurdity of the man, Rayzer he called himself, proclaiming some kind of ownership of the ocean through sanctimonious delusions of grandeur.

 

He could almost feel his eyeballs rolling back into his skull as the panic errupted around him but he had to remember that his fellow man were maybe not as well adjusted to such situations and more than likely not as well equipped to deal with them.

 

"Indeed, A full scale evacuation is in order." he states bluntly as he turns to face the two fellow scientists "I imagine that it wont be long before some cape or other finds there way here and this becomes the siit of a meta-human brawl if not this rayzer character making good on his threats."

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GM

 

Oum snapped her finers "Right, the evacuation plan...at this point is useless. It would take far more than ten minutes just to evacuate the base levels to the surface. Getting away from the Platform would take even longer. It's more designed for earthquakes or storms or incoming ships rather than Krios there threatening to blow this place up in a few minutes. Regardless, Panita?" 

 

"Already sent, Mz. O!"

 

"Excellent." The short woman allowed herself a weary smile as the red alert blared into action, recorded voices announcing in several different languages the need to escape and where to go. A "Rayzer event" was mentioned.

 

"Surfacing lifeboats are just down this hall, if you'll follow us, sirs." Settling into a light jog, Oum and Panita led the way to a wall full of recessed egg-shaped craft. Already the hallways filled with the site's workers and technicians, very confused but thankfully not panicking. As they hurriedly filed into the lifeboats, which closed around them and launched up and out with a dull roar, the PA system crackled again with Rayzer's voice 

 

~"SEVEN MINUTES!"~

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Nathaniel followed behind director Oum at a respectful distance as the panic erupted around him though he often distanced himself for emotions to ensure the validity of his work in the field of biology he found it much harder to do when people were involved rather than mere microbes on a slat of glass, a small twinge of empathy resonated through his stoic heart as he watched the mad dash for the lifeboats mill around him like a chaotic sea of flesh and desperation.

 

biding his time and waiting for a moment in which Oums attention was drawn away from him and his fellow scientist anderson took full advantage in the opening and offering his place in line to a nearby worker slinked off into the cover of the crowd, silently willing his suit to activation as its silvery mass poured from its container and slowly subsumed him in the film, just subtly enough that he had managed to slip down one of the corridors as the silver began to creep up his neck from beneath his collar, the purple armour coverings materializing to cover his hands, feet  and torso even as his formal suit was slowly digested by the symbiotic cells of the chrysalis armour.

 

where once there had been Alexander anderson now stood doctor deoxy armed and prepared for battle with this rayzer his unbroken stride  suddenly replaced with the amazing speed his armour provided him via tachyon enhancement as his raced towards an airlock, intent to buy time for his fellow man to escape if he proved incapable of more.

Edited by Exaccus

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The young physician approached this problem more cautiously.  He fled with the crowd, gradually dropping further and further back until he trailed along as one of the last stragglers.  Along the way, Tristan didn't have to fake his fear to blend in; he might not be afraid for his life, but other risks made his hands shake.  Every camera he passed brought another lump to his throat; what if someone reviewed the tapes afterward and noticed something, anything, suspicious?

 

Maybe if this place sinks, then at least it'll erase the evidence, he thought, immediately regretting it in a surge of guilt. 

 

Only when they neared the lifeboats did he finally take action.  One moment Dr. Delacroix was at the back of the mob, and the next, he cut away sharply and looked for cover.  Once he was certain that neither cameras nor the staff were watching, he took a flying dive right over the side of the platform, into the cold ocean water. 

 

So I panicked in all the confusion and fell over.  No one notices me until I manage to somehow swim after the lifeboats after Rayzer's dealt with.  That seems plausible enough, surely.  I'll have to make my own clothes after I transform again, but I've tried that trick before.  No one should notice without a close inspection, so I'll have to stall any medical personnel somehow, or else come up with a story for why I ended up naked.

 

He reached that state quickly; unable to (yet) breathe under the water, Tristan held his breath and struggled to rid himself of at least the sturdier items he wore, namely his belt and shoes.  The rest tore to pieces when his body shuddered gruesomely into a new, much larger, shape. 

 

...Damn it, I should've left my phone and wallet somewhere dry.  At least it helps sell the story if I lose them in the water. 

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GM

 

Having vanished by the very efficient means of going where ordinary humans could not survive, both men had a moment's breather to take in the situation without the Platform's walls getting in the way.

 

The escape pods droned surfacewards, propelled by something invisible on their blocky, bulbous bodies.

 

In the gloom the massive sharklike submarine should have been invisible, but instead its silhouette carried through the mineral-rich depths as strongly as its lights. If it wasn't a giant submarine shaped like a shark, that would have been by far the most interesting thing about it.

 

 It sat idle, while around it faintly-visible figures darted to and fro about a glowing yellow globe bigger than Delacroix's mutate form. The self-proclaimed Rayzer was lit up by one of the sharksub's 'headlights', regarding the Platform with an air of what could only be described as impatience and unease.

Edited by Ari

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Not exactly trying to hide, are you?  And you're not getting ready to fire on the facility...do you have a team in that sub, ready to do it for you?  You mentioned "raiders" in your group.  Or did you put bombs on somewhere inside, beforehand?  Well, whatever your plan is, you can tell me all about it after I knock out all your teeth.

 

Usually this was the part where Leviathan charged wildly into combat, but he worried that Rayzer might be a quicker swimmer than he was.  Merely chasing off the criminals might not be enough in this case, either; if they planted explosives on the platform, then Leviathan would need Rayzer's cooperation.  He decided--probably unwisely--to attempt a bit of stealth.  The huge reptile gently paddled his way closer, trying to keep the sub mostly between him and the villain.  If he could reach the propellers and damage them, then Rayzer and his "raiders" would hopefully be stranded.  And then they would hopefully be punched. 

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Doctor Deoxy sized up the situation before him, as of yet unaware the hulking reptilian ally in the battle to come and unsure of his creations offensive and defensive capabilities he used his enhanced speed to swim upward like a flashing silverglint and focusing on the integrated psionic amplification circuits based in his helm reached out with his very thoughts to touch the mind of the man calling himself rayzer.

 

<Halt this madness Rayzer, wanton destruction and thoughtless wrath work no righteous causes, the age of barbarians enforcing their wills through brute force and blind ignorance is long since ended...leave now in peace or face the consequences of your actions.>

 

though he hoped that his message of peace would be well recived he knew better than to rely on wishes and reasoning where meta human powers swelled and whilst awaiting a reply split a little of his attention away to modify the symbiotic armour's energy projection nodes to fire concentrated sonic blasts, more likely to better suit the aquatic environment than the usual flicking purple plasmoids could.

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GM

 

The eco-warrior started at the mental voice, wheeling around and catching sight of Leviathan's massive bulk cruising through the ocean. With a sharp wave he sent five people in advanced SCUBA suits to intercept the mutualist man of science. Rayzer himself sliced through the water to meet Tristan, halting just out of the super-smart sea monster. Clapping the electronic mask over his mouth guard, he spoke through the water "Leviathan? And Dr. Deoxy? What are you doing here, it isn't safe! We're going to destroy this place and stop PanStar from buying the trademark on life!"

 

This close, the Devil Ray comparison vanished. Rayzer was visibly grizzled and tired, with none of the submarine pirate's erratic menace.

 

"We could use your help, Leviathan, and I think I can prove this is justified. Will you listen? Please?" 

 

Meanwhile, the squad of Raiders had caught up to Dr. Deoxy, and were fanning out  to block his progress, also keeping their distance from the science hero.

 

One of them tapped a button on the side of their helmet "Hey, you're Deoxy! What the Hell are you doing protecting PanStar?"

 

"You with that guy?" another asked, pointing at a hulking scaly humanoid sea beast nearby "We've gotta get everyone clear before we destory this thing! You get it, don't you Doc? You know this is a horrible idea."

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Doctor deoxy had to admit that he hadn't been expecting this at all, he'd been more than ready to enter battle with these wantonly destructive eco-terrorists but he was nothing if not inquisitive and decided that whilst things hadn't kicked off into a violent crescendo he could use this oppertunity to glean more.

 

<Explain.>

 

His simple telepathic statement rang out through the psionic silence that surrounded him, able to feel dimly the prescence of there minds around him.

 

<The theories of this place are sound...I assume you know something that i do not.>

 

casually running what he had been told and what he had seen from his own limited tour of the facilities and the various wall mounted floor plans.

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Under any other circumstance, Leviathan would at best roll his eyes.  "Trademark on life"--what nonsense.  The "playing God" argument never swayed him before, and it wouldn't start now, not without substantial evidence of actual wrongdoing on PanStar's part, other than, apparently, their dastardly love of science. 

 

Instead, the enormous beast nearly blushed, had his scales allowed it.  "You...know who I am?" he growled out a stream of bubbles.  That, too, should normally be alarming--especially this far from Freedom City--but positive recognition as a hero was all Tristan had wanted since childhood.  It dangerously clouded his judgment and made Leviathan begin to doubt the motives of people he trusted not fifteen seconds ago. 

 

His posture straightened.  Although his webbed feet continued to kick and keep him floating in place, his fists went to his hips in the classic pose, and his thin, reptilian mouth involuntarily flirted between its usual forced frown and a more honest grin. 

 

"What, ahh...what seems to be the problem, then?"  A moment ago, bombs were the problem, but now his blind spot flourished and he had far too much trouble remembering that. 

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GM

 

The one who'd intercepted Deoxy paused for a moment to glance at their comrades, then began talking in earnest "It's the deal with Maruha Nichiro, it's all connected! This isn't about saving ocean life, it's just to stretch out the lifespan of their fishing subsidiaries and look all innocent when things collapse anyway!"

 

"Think about it, Doctor. Maruha sends them fish, they augment the fish, their engineered fish outcompetes natural species and then what the Hell are we gonna do? Did they even tell you this isn't the first Platform? Have they told you about the others up near the Arctic Circle, or near the Weddel Sea? They're trying to normalize something horrible!"

 

The others nodded fervently, their maskéd faces shifting between the besymbioted man and their looming, gleaming target of destruction.

 

"I have heard a great deal. All good," Rayzer added with a wry smile "part of what I've followed is your dedication to protecting and preserving healthy science. I don't trust people like Americana or Daedalus, they're too close to the problem. But I heard about your efforts to help OCEAN-Freedom. One of my people works for them. They saw everything you and the...patriot heir did. As for the problem..."

 

The smile died and Rayzer's eyes glittered fiercely as they slitted "...at base it is a problem of control. PanStar holds the genetic future of all mass-harvested marine animal life(a problem that must be dealt with soon) in its bloodied hands. You know what PanStar has done everywhere they've been. They can, thanks to technology leaked from a certain penumbral acronymed organization, control where the animals go and what they do. They experimented on sharks and have it down pat."

 

Rayzer looked Leviathan in the eye "The law protects them but they're as much villains as any Megalodon. If anyone dies here because if what I do you can take me in and I won't make a murmur, but I won't shed any tears about a broken building. One blast from my ship and there won't even be any debris for a minnow to choke on."

 

One light on the Platform had been growing steadily, as Rayzer finished it condensed into a harsh red dot and the water began filling with deepening vibrations, slowly heating up...

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GM

 

On the Platform, fingers swiped at touch-sensitive bars, dials were turned and switches clicked for the very first time to unleash a flood of pent-up energy that hurtled through the water, boiling it into vapour in its path, until it reached the small knot of aquatics and self-named heroes with a WOORMPH of exploding plasma!

 

The searing barrage missed the Rayders entirely, but its clear target, Rayzer, was struck full in the chest by the shockwave and a sizzling dart of plasma that burnt through his suit and skin faster than any human could react. His scream of pain echoed and shuddered as the electronic mask did its unfeeling work, the man flailing and thrashing but quickly going limp.

 

The boiling bolts had glanced off Deoxy's armor and splattered harmlessly against Leviathan's scales, so the Rayders had only to look between the origin of the attack and its victim to leap to conclusions and to action.

 

Two knifed through the waters, grabbing their leader by his arms and dragging him back to the sub, which the others were already racing pell-mell for, shouting furious curses at the PanStar power base as it thrummed, readying for another attack...

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