1964-09-11 - Under the Sea
Summary: The secrets of a subsea broadcast begin to come to light.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
crystal triton vesper 

The coast of Vietnam was dark when the recon team met at their destination. Landfall was made just outside of Ha Long as to attract as little attention as possible which was a challenge considering it was still a hotbed for human interests rising in the current sociopolitical climate. Something was down there, deep down there, in the water and the Kree, by all accounts, had interest in it.

In an effort to remain 'less interesting' to the Kree, the team of Inhumans were off to investigate the object of the Kree's discontent and assess if it was an asset or a concern, get that information back to Attilan, and figure out what to do about all of this.

On short Triton finished hiding his emergency gear for surface side with a tracker buried in it and waited neck deep in the water listening above and below. He loved diplomatic missions, but there was no diplomacy to be found tonight, only answers, and that was if they were fortunate.

Particular coordinates don't hug the island-riddled coastline of North Vietnam. Those broadcast by some unknown source originate much further out to sea where the usually murky waters turn especially choppy and conceal their secrets in dull foam. Tonight is not particularly poor for weather, the oft heavy summer rains or howling winds absent. But still, it's no place for a small boat of any kind. The North Vietnamese still patrol where they can. American destroyers lurk somewhere deeper in the gulf; Chinese planes occasionally sweep overhead to protect their territorial claim. In every sense, the place is pretty hostile, especially for anyone who looks Caucasian.

Vesper looks like nothing to the average public because her form is barely cohesive. The water breaks around her without fail, unless she chooses to stand atop the sea like an apostle. Doing this might prick her Gallic conscience. Sitting is not much better but there she is; her outline is remotely visible as an ultraviolet shimmer.

Crystal and Lockjaw provided initial transport before Crystal sent Lockjaw on his way to wait for further instruction. Risking him, especially after the last time they were here, is not part of her plan. "So what do we know about what we're going into?" she asks Triton, making a final check of her uniform. There's little else for her to prepare - at least the elements are everywhere, and the best preparation she can have is being well-rested.

And of course, trust Maximus to go a little overboard. He is dressed in all back, including a head covering that ends up just showing his face, while the rest of his head is covered, and then over that is an attached hood. CUZ REASONS. He has an aparatus held in one hand, and an identical one in the other. Maybe he's the only one that needs it, but he was nice enough to make two. "Its probably a monster. Probably a female monster, so, obviously, it will be needlessly bitchy." Big swing at 50 of the population. He grins.

Triton waded idly in place looking back to Crystal keeping his voice down in case. Triton, though, was never easily riled and nodded to Maximus, "Presuming you're right, deliberate or accidentaly, if it is female it could be guarding a nest and if that's the case? Incredibly dangerous. So I'm going to applaud you on worst case scenario, and take two points off for the word 'needlessly'. Being fair? I am fairly certain I'd have the same reaction if the Kree woke me up. So. Before we head in, reiterating, the goal is to get information home, and engage as little as possible."

Looking back to Crystal he summed up, "The Kree have been sending signal trying to probe this area commonly called 'The White Dragon' or 'Mother Dragon' depending who you ask. Maximus believes," He paused in relaying the info and glanced to his cousin. He'd add the words 'correct me if I'm wrong' but he trusted Max to do just that and continued on, "the Kree are potentially here, and woke something they did not mean to and the relay coms are distress signal. Bottom line: we need to discover wht wa s'woken up. The likelihood if if this is the case? It's not going back to sleep anytime soon. We need to assess any threat to us, human population as to not conflagrate further issues already here, and to the Kree. This will help us understand what the Kree's intent was aaaand how they might deal with it. The situation has been designated as: uncomfortable."

The black waters aren't particularly friendly. Choppy wavelets slap about a chain of islets stretching out along the coast and further into the deeps. Nothing to see that way, no comforting submerged lights or broken towers. It doesn't signal any kind of civilisation outside Indochina. Once out of range of the glowing city on the horizon, the Inhumans are at the mercy of nature. Nature, who tends to be as grumpy than the Black Prince.

Triton is free to explain things. The petite geneticist in their midst fades out from view, though the occasional strobe of a warship might be confounded by the weird stray sonic distortion within their range. Seeing her manifest as an apparition is profoundly strange. She fills in topmost before anything else. "No signals. It is not broadcasting to anyone."

"Mother dragon does sound less than promising," Crystal admits, pushing a hand through her hair with a brief smirk in Maximus' direction. "But given the political climate here, best we deal with it quietly. I can't imagine a Kree warship would be a boon to the situation. Observation, minimal engagement," she nods in agreement with Triton.

Maximus puts the aparatus over his face and it fits snugly over the entire opening where his face was showing. Then he holds it to crystal as he offers, in a muffled voice, "Do you need it, or can you breathe water with your…powers? You know the water is going to be freezing." He will absolutely put on flippers. Dorkimus Maximus.

Triton left them to their devices and added, "And incredibly cold." Oh he was so cheerful wasn't he. With a twist and a turn he was off to finally descend, team in tow. There was little in the way of overhead light to truly be appreciable, but it made them harder to see as well at least. it was liberating, being back where he could move freely, but he kept a pace that the others could pace. He paused and tilted his head one way and then the other. "It's this way." And out out out below the riptide they pushed looking for… hell anything could be down here. The benefit was he had a familiarity with the upper and mid regions from previous recon and could cut them an efficient trajectory to their destination.

The Gulf of Tonkin is cold. Ask the men drowned in the Second World War. Its embrace probably comes as a shock for those in physical form not attuned to the cool temperature, the way it drains energy from limbs and leaves them sluggish. Of course, being marine adapted helps. Triton probably doesn't notice much. Faded light dissipates almost instantly after the first ten meters down. No stars, no moon. It's a very lonely sight. Sand and muck come together in clouds if disturbed, but otherwise sea life immediately around the shoreline is scarce. Into the depths they go guided by no more than an estimate of following the gently sloping dropoff.

As defined by a subtle approach, going invisible might be ideal. Vesper vanishes again after attuning herself with some difficulty. Reduced to a long, low note that even sensitive sources might not hear is suitable. Rather than float, she pushes along through the denser medium in circles around the others. At least it means no acoustic shark can sneak up on them.

"I should be able to handle it, but I'll stay close," Crystal nods to Maximus at his offer. For her, staying warm and dry is a matter of a careful layer of air between herself and the water. A larger one serves to provide enough air to breathe, constantly filtering carbon dioxide back out into the water and oxygen from the water back into the bubble of dry warmth. It's much easier to do for herself than it is to keep an entire party safe in the water.

Light is a more complicated matter. Fire isn't particularly practical for this sort of application, after all. Thankfully, flash lights are simple things, and no danger when they can be kept dry.

Maximus gasps in his mask, though he does not linger for long, just handling the cold bit by bit as he followed very close to Triton. He knows who the pro is down in these depths, and it looks like, sometimes, he wants to just grab his Cousin's shoulders and ride, he's so close.

Triton was at one with frozen waters of the Arctic, and the crushing depths of the great barrier reef and even the oppressive conversations of dinner in Atlantis. This was a nice swim really… if one ignored the Kree, island sized monsters, terrors of the deep that might see them as snacks, submarines and human gunfire at the surface. Those few tiny inconveniences withstanding, right? His eyes adjusted and shifted out of spectrum vision to filtering the darkness in varied spectrum allowing Vesper to show up with startling clarity really. Crystals's glowball? Most helpful as it turns out.

There was a crushing oppression that came with that much water pushing down on anything and it would try to hamper visitors. A glance back to Maximus actually trying to keep his hands to himself Triton shook his head. His gills vented a bit and he reached out, and grabbed Max's wrist with his webby hands that he could grab his shoulders and hold on. Crystal had propulsion and Vesper could move at energy speeds. OH this was about to go much faster. Cousin attached, Triton spun downward like a torpedo towards the destination no longer polite about it.

Now they were getting somewhere.

XORRAR-15 does not lie just off the coast of Ha Long. It won't be a ten minute wade in the dark, guided by the light of a single flashlight, far from it. Trouble may await Maximus and Crystal, even benefiting from Inhuman physiology. Though for Triton the distance is less troubling. For Vesper, distances are about as relative as they are to Lockjaw in ways.

Their destination lies halfway between Vietnam and the Chinese island of Hainan, miles offshore and seventy-five meters down give or take. It is hard swimming. It takes forever even with guidance. This isn't easy by any means.

10 meters down. Light wanes and bent beams from the flashlight reveal little but the refuse-strewn seafloor.
25 meters down, two kilometers out to sea, the muck and dirt overtake sand. Features become hard to see on a shallow plain spotted by islands. Submerged humps resemble turtle shells, others pillars of rock poking out.

20 kilometers offshore and the first signs of wrongness appear, warped metal spires and twisted shapes not common so much to nature as to shipwrecks. A lot of shipwrecks.

|ROLL| Maximus +rolls 1d20 for: 11

He's been king a long time. Not quite half his life, but…half the life that he remembers. And even still…he has made time for folklore and fairy tales…as important to Inhumankind as their own stories are. So, yes, he knows a few legends about sea monsters and shipwrecks and giant drawings of dragons in the sea, enough to be concerned that they might just be real when he starts seeing a mounting evidence. Since shipwrecks become oasis under the water, he expects to see a lot more sea life than the large empty spaces they have been through. He is /relatively/ insulated, though still cold by now, and he relies heavily upon Triton and pretty much /everyone else/ because his powers do not aid him at all in swimming. He can swim like a fit male with exceptional genetic material and that's about it.

Crystal has an advantage in any of the elements - here, that translates to an advantage for everyone, as she feeds a current around them, helping to propel the group a bit faster through the sea. It should help the others be slightly less physically exhausted, though it's a small drain on her powers. Still, better than trying to give Lockjaw a bath here. She swims doggedly, following Triton's lead in her thin skin of warmer air.

Vesper isn't out to lend a helping hand. Not by a disinterest to do so. Her tangible form would be a burden and her intangible can't do much to help pull anyone along. In the deepest dark murk of shadow she occasionally shifts to bioluminescence that fuzzes in, making her an undersea will-o-the-wisp to follow. Not often and never exceptionally bright as light travels too far in the depths. Otherwise she travels in zigzags to keep anything from much intercepting the group without warning.

Triton was, very literally, in his element like an armourd lionfish on a mission. With Crystal providing the current he was easily able to pick their path without snagging on the sharp juts of rock and coral that people forget about in deep places. Everyone loves to think the aquatic world flat, but really it was anything but. There was cold and darkness, but there were schools of odd creatures at all depths with one occasionally hitching a ride in the current being provided. It was still, at their collective speed they were able to make, just over an hour out before they'd start to see signs of what they were looking for. A glance back occasionally would look for Vesper showing up in ultra violet perhaps. Could she survive down here? Yes. Could any of them get lost? Oh yes and this was not the place to be doing that. So far, so good, though he did pause at the occasional flecks of light from phosphorescent fish. A webbed hand reached back to pal Max's head and swivel it in that direction before waving to Crystal and then Vesper to check out what was odd, and had absolutely nothing to do what they were looking for. Really though? Angler fish were neat. it was worth it to see things where they lived, especially if the Kree were going to accidentally destroy things. One never knew.

Maximus turned to look at the fish and…to no one's benefit but his own, his aparatus totally allowed him to speak, "Oh Kree, are you serious? Those things look like feces danglers…ugh…don't run into any…ohh…the light is nice though." He quips, totally falling for the soothing pulse of the bioluminescnence like some mindless fish.

|ROLL| Maximus +rolls 1d20 for: 6

60 kilometers out and the irregular masses that mark aged wrecks become conspicuously more problematic. Chunks of wreckage littering the seafloor turn ominous and long. The trained eye might recognize the long hulls of warships or freighters, the merchant ships used to transport goods from East to West and vice versa. Battered, twisted things linger in the gloom as sea monsters.

90 kilometers into their turbulent journey and the island chain falls beneath the sea entirely. All those jungle-humped islets become dark reefs prowled by unfriendly fish unused to light. They're alone without shelter.

135 kilometers into the ordeal, and muscles burn, lungs ache, regulators better be working. Because the first coral spires at nearly eighty meters down emerge, a weird broken crown of them as far as the eye can see. Albeit for human eyes, not very far.

By the time they're nearly at their destination, Crystal is beginning to think that Atlantis might have been a better option for an alliance than Asgard. Sit at home, ask some good friends to take a walk through their equivalent of the woods. If only. Instead, she's pushing the current, swimming along, until they're close enough that a stray current might disturb whatever waits. The movement of the water ceases, and her strokes slow as she checks in on Maximus.

|ROLL| Crystal +rolls 1d20 for: 17

Make angry man with winged feet do stuff. Sounds like a plan. Because that sort of guy is sensible in any way, shape or form, screw you Marvel. Vesper's luminosity shuts down the deeper and further they get from shore. Oxymoron maybe. But recon mission by her Gallic standards means invisibility. Distortions vanish and she's not there at all, though she hangs suspended over the seafloor chiming in low-level alarm best heard as a basso murmur to sensitive ears.

Triton still didn't let go of Max's head keeping every attempt to palm it like a basketball cautioning quietly, "You know it won't go home with you. And will likely try to eat you. To our merit? there's no dragons else-wise awake in the area or we'd have heard about it. It doesn't mean these hulls aren't infested with other natives. Be careful through here. Anything can really come up out of it." it was the last of the cautionary tales. He watched Vesper dim and his face was a faint concern until the thrummmm resonated. Okay that was workable. There was a brief check on Crystal and then pointed forward, to the right, and then down a ways apparently was the path through. Just because he could see for a long distance down here didn't mean that it made the trip any more safe.

|ROLL| Triton +rolls 1d20 for: 19

Maximus wriggles his head, trying to get loose of Triton's control though, he can't pull too hard because boy, it would be a bad time to screw up his aparatus. He does quiet down though, looking, peering into the dark. He shivers, once, but honestly, he does NOT have to outrun the monster if it attacks them. He just has to outswim whoever he mind controls to swim slowly.

Once she's had a moment to look over the space, Crystal spies something that doesn't look quite like it belongs. Keeping herself breathing here is workable, but speaking is a little bit trickier. She swims closer to Triton and Maximus, making a hand gesture toward one spot among the coral, drawing out a long shape, then making an explosion of sorts with her hands. Exploded sub? she mouths.

The chunk of oblong metal lies on the sea floor. At least half of it is torpedo shaped, if a torpedo hit the ground at speed and suffered some kind of explosive demise. The back end is conspicuously absent. Debris littering the seafloor alludes to a sonnet of violence orchestrated in black steel panels and gutted wires on a grand scale, beyond whales and apartments.

Triton still wasn't letting go of Maximus' noggin. Of all the times he told Gorgon 'I'm just gonna leave me there' he never had the heart to not forgive him irritations of the day. Maximus did return some quality of life to him, he supposed he'd continue on his path of leniency. He did tap his hand and conferred with Crystal with a nod mouthing the words 'new' and 'recent'. A webbed hand cupped by his ear worked to let him focus on possible signs of sound from the vessel. He paused thoughtfully and swam to get a better look for markings. The pantomime would suffice trailing a finger from some fixed point downward and then making a small explosion gesture with his hands before pointing to teh sub. OH, Nuclear sub? And here he was hoping for the kind of sub with pickles and cheese. it was not to be.

Maximus was also hoping for pickles and cheese, but apparently its just webbed hand and cold water. He obviously has no choice but to follow Triton, so he does, quiet, but instinctively letting a mental net cast about for minds intelligent enough to be a threat. He cannot control true animals, but entities of higher intelligence…depended on the critter.

Crystal follows after Triton, trusting their aquatic cousin to deal with whatever may be found around the sub. Instead, she guards their back, watching for anything else that might live here and take offense to their unannounced visit.

No minds dwell in reach of the coral spires or the wreck lying beached on the battered ground. Very few fish and the obvious crustaceans scamper around, but sea life here is simple, hesitant, and prone to scavenging. The only minds Maximus finds are his own folk. Maybe comforting. Perhaps not.

Other jagged coral stacks rise and fall in staggered cadence. Some rise ten to fifteen meters. Not all are immune to damage. Whole chunks of stone have fallen away, revealing the cemented reef architeecture like a scaffolding. Some are sheared off or gouged by scratches.

It bears noting that as lovely as the cool, dark waters are, they're likewise the sort of thing to make a sensitive soul as any Attilan-born child uncomfortable. These are not pure, pristine waters.

Triton swam closer and wasn't 'hearing' anything. and looking to Max and Vesper and Crystal seeing no one else pick up on anything he went in for a much closer, cautionary look. There were many things he found: Lack of rust, and a lack of native design,a nd most importanly, lack of the other half of a hull. Closer to it his skin instinctivly shifted to match and blend the sub in drab olive to greys. They were picking up any signs of alarm, but still little was taken for granted and with that he reached back pulling his hunting knive, at the ready as he started poking a look at the hole for signs of things or people left behind. Dead men told a lot of takes. Log books salvaged, equpiment? There might be a lot left to learn here.

"Do we /have/ to be so close to this mortal device? Its a /tomb/…and I do not want it to be ours." Maximus said softly, though sound has no trouble carrying underwater so that the others can hear it. They are feeling the pressure of all the water and its hard for him to flex his chest, even…the last thing he wants to do is to go inside that sub.

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