2020-07-01 - King Of Sharks


An underwater expedition

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Jul 1 08:25:49 2020
Location: Genosha

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T'Challa and Mari had arranged a… sight seeing cruise and little fishing trip on a 'small boat'. A small boat that turns out to be a two hundred foot yacht. If one is going to pretend to be a dilettante noble living it up, one might as well go for the full effect. In reality it is a rather nicely equipped boat used by Wakandan Intelligence services that happens to also be very comfortable.

The Prince had explained to Shayera on the way out that they were going for a swim but not to worry he'd already had something fabricated for her wings. The goal is to investigate a mysterious suspected facility that is here off the Genoshan coast.

T'Challa is just changing into a wet suit, though he is still wearing that curious 'claw necklace' that he always does which seems like an odd choice for diving. Rather than bulky SCUBA gear he hands out everyone small mouth pieces.

"Rebreathers. Any questions before we go under?"

"These'll stand up in place of SCUBA tanks?"

Oh, so the strapping blond in his own wet-suit will jump out of a plane without a parachute, but he's got questioning faith in going underwater without two cylinders of oxygen? Maybe hitting the ground is a faster death in his eyes. Steve turns the small mouth piece about, observing it from all sides. He's about as set as he can be now; only the hood of the wet-suit might be pulled up to hide the shine of his hair.

If only it hid the shield strapped to his back in an adjustment to the wet-suit's sitting on his body.

Shayera takes the rebreather — not so strange to her as her city's military has something similiar for the rare times they have to do to truly high altitude flying — but is far more skeptical about the 'something fabricated' for her wings. It had taken her literal days to dry her feathers completely after the last time she was forced to swim, and getting into a fight with waterlogged wings would make her far more of a liability than a help.

Already attired in a modified wetsuit — and THAT was a small adventure all on its own — she doesn't speak up with any questions, her own reservations already voiced quite adamantly enough before the set off in this overly posh dinghy.

Mari gives T'Challa a 'look' as he hands over the rebreather with such a cavalier attitude. She doesn't say anything though, just zips up her suit and smirks at Steve. "Don't worry, I won't tell Bucky about this, either."

"No questions, but I suggest we be … expedious. If we're away too long, our hosts will be suspicious and we still need to get photo's and such to 'prove' our trip."

"They take oxygen from the water and…" T'Challa stops himself before he can go into an explanation of how the whole thing works and laughs a little. "Yes, they'll stand in for a scuba tank." Wakandan aqualungs have been around for some time. Other people would probably love to have them but they're a vibranium based so they don't get traded. Or even mentioned.

"Now just one more thing. We aren't sure what to expect down here and odds are whatever this facility is involved in doing, it is secret for a reason. So be on the lookout, even in the water. After that we can get some photos of Shayera looking unimpressed by Steve parasailing or something."

And with that he goes over the side.

The dive down is a bit of a swim but sooner rather than later lights appear in their vision on the thankfully not horribly distant sea floor. There is indeed a facility down here. A small web of interconnected modules that look quite advanced. Curious. And expensive. There's a number of fish down here and while the natural light is limited they haven't gone down more than five or so hundred feet. T'Challa signals to the others to look for an entry hatch. There's probably more than one but they'll have to spread out to find them and avoid the windows while they look. Can't risk being spotted too early. Steve or Shay may note a mini sub on a docking collar painted green and yellow.

Thankfully T'Challa can't talk and thus can't make a comment about a yellow submarine.

"Buck's gonna learn about this one way or another. Not worried about him figuring it out," Steve notes drolly back to Mari. "Expedious is still the right word." The added thought comes as he look back to T'Challa, briefly over at Shayera. The Wakandan Prince gets a nod from the Captain, who gives the rebreather a thoughtful flick of brows and then appears to accept the explanation as truth. He's just as quick to drop over the size in a gleaming flash of shield and then silent descent along with the others.

The weight of the water becomes not so easy to ignore around three hundred feet or so, but still, in its way, Steve measures the silence as soothing. At least there aren't any sharks. He's still glad for the appearance of the lights and swiftly crawl-strokes towards one of the modules. Avoiding the bubble-windows as he goes, he seems to come across one of the hatches. A wave of his palm towards the group catches just enough light from one of the windows at the slant angle, not able to be seen from within the module. He signals: target found, enter?

The dive goes easily enough, Shayera using her wings far more than her arms and legs to move through the water. It's odd, almost flying motion that might actually be familiar to anyone who's seen birds diving after fish in the ocean.

When they reach the underwater facility, she looks to T'Challa and Mari to answer Steve's gestured question about entering. She's not calling the shots this time. She's just here as a bruiser.

|ROLL| Fenris +rolls 1d3 for: 1

Mari tips herself over the edge of the boat to follow T'Challa, backwards with her hand on her mask. Without tanks, she could have probably dove in - but habits die hard it seems.

Descending, the light fades very quickly and the water about them becomes darker. The lights up ahead are a welcome relief even if Mari wonders whether they've found the Octopusses Garden.

Spreading out, the glint from Steves gesture catches her attention causing the ex-model to move closer and nod. He can go first, she'll follow.

Those wings also let her feel the water a bit more than anyone else and it is Shayera who notices something pass above her. There's no shadow as there is no light except from the base to cast a shadow but still, something rather large just moved past her fairly close. Though… there's nothing to see.

T'Challa comes up to where Steve is and puts something on the door which unlocks it. Then he nods to Steve. They can go in and since Steve has a shield, he can go first. Once inside sneaking will probably be difficult so they may have to fight people.

He is utterly unaware of what just happened to Shay, but then Mari senses it too. At a further distance thanks to her own powers but something is circling them. And it is QUITE large.

If this is the Octopusses' Garden… is that the Gardner?

Confirm, signaled to Mari, and then he back-swims a short distance in order for T'Challa to move in to work. The gadget does its good deed and the Captain then reaches to open the entry hatch.

In his peripheral, he sees his cohorts reacting to something and pauses in turn. Even his serum-boosted vision can't pick out anything in the expansive darkness beyond the limited reach of the bubble-windows' lighting.

A quicker manipulation of the hatch now from the man and he makes to see about entering a touch more quickly now.

The feeling of something passing overhead has Shay turning and trying to see what it is, but it's too dark this far underwater to make out anything at all, but it sure as hell makes her want to pull a weapon and then gesture for the others to hurry it up already.

She's fully prepared to be the last one entering, though after whatever that was, she won't complain overmuch if someone else wants to be last through.

Mari gestures for Shay to go as the silhouette of a Great White shark appears behind her. Using the sharks sensing ability, the ex-model reads the movement in the water and moves backwards toward the hatch, ready to fight if she needs to.

Hurry. She gestures, eyes trying to pierce the dark beyond the lights. That's huge, whatever it is and it seems to be circling.

Probably the Gardener and she doesn't really want to meet it. Because really, it won't be fun to be under the sea in the Octopusses Garden.

Though no one can see it, Mari can sense thanks to her new senses that there is a VERY large shark nearby. As in 'probably actually shouldn't be here' kind of large. She knows its a shark because of how it 'feels' in the water. And it is circling slowly. It didn't attack them on the way in so that's something but it is circling closer.

Opening the hatch does of course let water in. And everyone has to get in. As people start piling in though the shark starts to draw closer. Not quickly but given its size no one probably wants to hang outside with it.

Once people are in T'Challa cycles the 'sea-lock' and pumps the water back out. Air floods the room and the inner door opens. It's… quiet in here. Thus far.

"Alright. This place can't be that large. Split up and look around or shall we move together?"

It's laid out like a rather boxy ring with chambers going inward from the outer most sections so everything eventually loops back around anyway.

There is a great, great sense of relief emanating from Steve once the water cycles out of the airlock. It's echoed by a gusty sigh as he removes his rebreather from his mouth and slicks a palm back to remove the hood of his wetsuit. His hair is still damp, blond, and spikey.

"No need to split up. Lots of blind corners, best if we had multiple eyes in front and back," opines the Captain even as he then reaches to remove his shield from its mooring on his back. A beat. "…what was that thing out there?" Because he has to know, one way or another, or his wondering will eat him alive.

Shayera is VERY glad to be in the now air-filled room, but she's REALLY having to resist the urge to shake out her wings even though they're not actually wet. It's way too cramped in here. "It was big," she says to Steve, not adding her opinion about splitting up as the blond man has already voiced her thoughts. "I really don't want to know the rest."

In deference to this mission, her mace was left behind (yes, that was another argument) but she's got a couple of slim blades on her person. Wait, she does have an opinion to offer after all. "I don't care what we do, but can we get moving, please?" Could she possibly be just a smidge claustrophobic?

"I'll take point then, with my abilities I'll be able to see, hear and smell anything ahead of us. You three, stack on me." Mari says removing her own hood and hooking her rebreather on her suit. Glowing silhouettes of a bear and panther appear behind her and for just a moment, her eyes close as she orients her new senses.

It's … disconcerting … switching those abilities so quickly.

"It was a shark. A big one and it was circling. It will keep circling until it determines we aren't prey. Leaving here the way we came, might be a little difficult but we'll worry about that when we come to it."

Carefully Mari leads them forwards, barely making a sound as she moves. She doesn't move quickly, but it is steady as she moves the group forward.

"Nothing immediately ahead but I hear footsteps about 30 feet ahead. I think."

She does. Fortunately those footsteps do not intersect with their hallway. They move inward and, after dodging a couple of researchers, slip past one hallway and then from the outer ring into the inner ring. Every so often they pass rooms with large windows looking out into the sea. And it's still quite dark out there. No sign of the monster lurking in the dark depths beyond. It's too much to hope that it went away.

The good news is that this place for all its size doesn't seem to be very full. There is room for a lot of people here but not actually very many people. Which is odd. But then things get even odder.

They come into a module in the inner ring that is larger than the others they've been in thus far. The room is festooned with masks and artifacts of Polynesian character and shark teeth and shark jaws are prominently displayed on wooden knives, on what look like an islander's take on brass knuckles, on necklaces, worked into decorations on the walls… the room is very much shark themed.

Near the center, by a window, there's a large plinth or… table or… cutting board? It is stained ever so slightly red and the floor around it is as well.

And there's something else. Near that table there's a pistol that is unlike anything anyone present has ever seen. It's very much in the style of a 20's or 30's era sci-fi 'ray gun' but sleek and finned as if it's meant to be used… under water…

There's also a large wooden knife studded with shark's teeth along the edges that seems like it has been kept FASTIDIOUSLY clean.

"What in the Goddess' name…" T'Challa murmurs as he takes it all in.

"Alright, a shark. A big shark." Steve echoes this information with a bland amount of emotion. Thrilling. It gets compartmentalized away in lieu of the need to be ready for whatever comes next — never-ending, the fight, in his true-blues. "Got the rear," the men then says with an absolute lack of understanding for the nuances of his words.

Or does he.

Footsteps bring them all to travel cautiously and Steve is certain to keep a careful watch over his shoulder as they travel, shield still up and readied to defend. They make it to the room in question and he straightens out of his careful air in growing (cautious) curiosity.

"Somebody's been messing with things they shouldn't be…" His steps have taken him to the vicinity of the shark tooth-studded knife. He frowns at it and over at the table. Back he looks to the others, brows now deeply knitted. "…magic?"

Keeping her wings tightly furled is just a good idea in the honestly cramped hallways of this place, but for anyone who knows Shay well enough, it's as much for that reason as it is because she's just that uneasy. This decidedly unusual room just makes her even more uneasy, very much because the items visible everywhere they look are truly incomprehensible to her. Except that gun-like thing and the knife, even if it's been made in manner that she's never seen before.

"…what IS all of this?" No, she's never had reason to get a good look at shark teeth or jaws, so she can't reconcile them. She reaches as if to touch something but stops a good several inches short. "Why do these make me think of pictures I've seen about Hawaii?"

Mari continues to move quietly through the complex, leading them unerringly onwards. She notes the rooms and the windows and the fact there's no sign of the shark and that makes her wonder - a lot. It was circling when they came in, she would have expected to glimpse something, surely.

Nearly gagging as they enter the room, Mari has to take a moment to dull her sense of smell. Blood … she can smell it. And fish. It smells like the jetties in some of the villages back in Mohannda.

"Ritual at least." She agrees with Steve, looking at the artifacts and the 'flavour'. "Look familiar, T'Challa?"

Vixen moves closer to the table with that faint sheen of red and starts to inspect the area more closely, looking for notes or any sort of clue.

"Polynesian, Shayera. Hawai'i has ties to the culture but it's more the 'islands of South Pacific' where you could find similar." She says absently.

"So we keep hearing." The Panther murmurs to Steve with a chuckle.

"Ritual yes." T'Challa agrees with Mari and nods to Steve. "Magic yes but not Magic in the way that you're probably used to the word. Not a spell or reaching out for energies and twisting them to do your bidding. This would be more akin to asking someone very powerful for a favor. Like, say, super powers."

T'Challa knows for a fact that is possible. It is how he has some of his own abilities.

"I think we can say pretty decidedly that this station is devoted to either researching, entreating, or both, some being that has connections to sharks." Which makes the really big shark outside even more worrying. "And… what is this?"

The gun. So strange. He takes it and then pockets it to try to make sense of it later.

Mari can see, and sense, that while this table has been cleaned it has had fresh human blood spilled on it recently. Hard to say if someone was actually killed on it but, er, the fact that there's a drain under this thing that presumably drains out into the ocean suggests that someone expects the area around the plinth to be wet. Disturbing.

That's when they hear voices approaching. They're speaking in a mix of Genoshan and English and not all of it is clearly intelligible but…

"Our undersea guests should be back soon with more fuel for the ritual. Best to do it quickly. You know how Kepanila likes them fresh…"

T'Challa looks to the others. It sounds like there's maybe half a dozen people coming down the corridor. They could retreat but they don't know what's out the other end of this room.

Steve listens to T'Challa carefully, his eyes narrowed a touch. "Prayers then," he murmurs, looking away from the Prince and specifically to the red-stained station — plinth — altar. He watches Mari for more reactions as to the room as a whole; the scent of the blood isn't lost to him either, clinging to the back of his throat like the smell of a midsummer car's under-carriage. He'll be tasting it far past completion of their task.

The sound of voices make him turn in place, immediately coming to a readied straightening of poise. A look to the others. "Element of surprise might be best here, we don't know what they're bringing to the table," he says quickly and quietly.

This is why Shayera hates sneaking around. They are inevitably bound to get caught. She pulls one of her knives as the voices and footsteps approach, perfectly okay with turning every last Grounder in this weird metal soap bubble into fish food.

"If we're going to run or hide, choose and do it now." Yeah, again she's refusing to make the call on this. If she chooses, there will be MORE need for that drain in the floor.

Her wings twitch, their restricted movement not helping her peace of mind at all.

"Not … exactly prayers but a reasonable enough parallel." Mari answers as she crouches and inspects the floor beneath the bench. "Human blood and, I'd say buckets of water to wash it down this drain. Whatever they were doing on this table, the … patient … was expected to bleed a lot."

It makes her ill just thinking on that.

Straightening when she hears the voices and steps, Vixen gestures. Either side of the door. Flank and surprise. She stands directly in front of the door, pulling her hood and mask back on making her somewhat unindentifiable. "Kepanila … the King Shark of Hilo. One of their … dieties." She says quietly to the group, casting a nervous glance over her shoulder out that window.

T'Challa does something and the Panther habit just materializes around him. He moves off to the side, noting what Mari said. There will be time for that later. The first pair into the room don't see anyone until they're already past the door way and by then it's much too late. T'Challa actually throws one of the heavier pieces of decoration at the second person in line, causing confusion and giving time for the others to get into action. All of these people are armed but none of them have weapons drawn so this shouldn't be too hard.

Especially since Steve, Mari and Shayera have the drop on them.

It may be of note that three people are wearing Genoshan Science Academy badges and three of them are wearing Green and Yellow coveralls with a prominent Skull and Snakes motif on them. No doubt really about who they are.

Or… is there? No time to question it in either case. Element of surprise GO!

"Now it's not just sharks, it's king sharks," mutters Steve to himself with a droll acceptance of the whole affair. Life is a weird place these days.

Element of surprise, it is. For his bulk, the Captain moves swiftly into place on one side of the door, leaving the other side to be taken. There goes the piece of decoration by T'Challa, Mari's in action, and he moves as well into the narrow hallway.

Between his shield and some exactingly-thrown punches, the man attempts to drop as many as he can with sharp raps to the head. Headaches are preferred instead of outright bloodshed…especially if the room is already latent with offerings inviting the influence of a big shark.

Shay promptly ducks to the side of the door opposite Steve, pressing her wings against the wall. This she's more familiar with. The moment their adversaries are through the door, she moves to slit the throat on one of them, but Steve is disconcertingly fast and he's knocked her prey out before she could do more than scratch him.

She glares at Soldier, but then mentally concedes that he might be using the better tactic and quickly reverses her knife to clonk her next target on the cranium with the back of her knife's hilt. Fine. This is how it'll be. She shoves an elbow in to the facemask of one of the green-and-yellow people. Oh, did that crack the face mask? So sorry. NOT.

Perhaps in a fit of spite, she knocks another green-and-yellow person with her wing, and quite possibly makes a mess of the nearby wall hangings from sweeping her wing out the way she did.

Mari would split hairs with Steve but they don't have time. When the group enters the room she speaks "Can you help me, I seem to be lost?" Which gives the other three time to jump the group from behind.

As one of the green and yellow coveralls lunges for her, Mari draws back her fist and punches - with all the strength of the bear. That should send him sailing back into the rest of them.

"We can't get let them go." She says to the other.

Questions of what to do with them, or whether or not the fight was so noisy that it attracted attention, are quickly rendered moot. Steve's notion to prevent any bloodshed was a good idea. But apparently the Shark-God does not need that kind of summoning because something RAMS the room they're in hard enough to crack the glass. And they can see the shark-face plastered on the window. It starts to back up and then rams the room again, breaching containment.

And that's a problem. They have to get out. But do they go out now, here, with the shark-being right there? Or do they flee further into the facility and try to commandeer some other means of escape?

The spangled shield is still resonating when Steve turns to look down the hallway towards the room dedicated to the artifacts and red-stained table. "Nope, can't let 'em go, they'll call for — "

SMASH. It's a shark. A big, BIG shark. The Captain holds his ground, but the way he thins his lips, he's not comfortable with the situation. At all.

"…help," he finishes almost ironically. "If anybody saw some signs for submersibles, now might be the time to pipe up. We aren't out-swimming that ugly mug."

We can't let them go? Mari's words make Shay look perhaps a bit too gleeful as she turns the blade in her hand again and then there's the CRUNCH of something hitting the bubble window. Startled into cussing in her native language, she stares at the cracked window with wide eyes. Well, until Steve speaks up.

It takes her a second or three to parse the unfamiliar word — submersibles — but when she does, she looks at Steve in a strange mix of incredulity and horror. "You want us to get into one of those even MORE cramped tin cans with that THING out there?" That does it. All Grounders are INSANE. "I'd rather fight it." It likely can't turn within its body length… right?

Mari's words weren't needed as person after person drops to the ground. Another one lunges for her and this time she gut punches him before grasping his hair and ramming his face into her upraised knee.


Mari startles and turns to look right into one of the sharks flat dead eyes. "Um. Guys? Back that way, the way we came. I saw the signs about three or four corridors back." Because she'd been paying attention.

Shay might have missed the bit about the King Shark being a deity. "I wouldn't, Shayera. That thing is a faith enhanced killing machine. No telling what it can and can't do and I, for one, don't want to."

"Move …"

"I have an idea." T'Challa says. And then he bows his head. "Oh great goddess, please return us to our waiting ship."

And then… there they are. No flash, no poof, no smell of sulphur. There IS a vague purring noise in everyone's head and Shayera will get a sense of 'oooh! Pretty bird.' But that's about it. Just sudden translocation. One moment they're in a bad spot, the next they've been whisked away.

"Start the engine." T'Challa tells the crew. "And take us back to Genosha. I think we've discovered everything we need." The submarine base HYDRA has appropriated makes sense now, as does Genosha's interest in what's going on. They're entreating deities of some kind for power and from the looks of it, it's working. Now they have to get the hell out and figure out what to do about it. Time to break out Wakanda's better toys. Like the REALLY fast aircraft with the cloaking devices.

"We'll have to wait for our tropical vacation later, Mari. I think this means we really, really need to get somewhere safe before we make our next move."

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