4701/It Came from the Deep: Bazaar of the Bizarre

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It Came from the Deep: Bazaar of the Bizarre
Date of Scene: 12 January 2021
Location: Atlantean Bazaar, West Pacific Ocean
Synopsis: Maxima, Supergirl, and some of Supergirl's Titan allies follow a tip from one of Namor's agents about a possible lost city sighting. There they are confronted with more of the Lurkers that have been plaguing Atlantis before following a trail leading to the deepest of all oceanic abysses.
Cast of Characters: Maxima, Kara Danvers, Donna Troy, Terry O'Neil

Maxima has posed:
It has been some time since Maxima first came to Earth searching for Brainiac, a missing Almeracian city, and her simulacrum that had somehow seemingly gone rogue. That her city was not to be found among those that had been recovered from Brainiac was a setback. Clues however pointed to it possibly being lost undersea amidst the chaos. After much time spent in and around Atlantis searching though, Maxima had begun to wonder if this was simply another dead end. That was until one of Namor's agents brought word of a rumor from a distant part of the empire. A wondrous object like a miniature city encased in glass had appeared in a bazaar there. The information was months old but it was still a clue.

Thus far in her time on Earth there has been only one individual that Maxima found she could rely on, one that actually seemed genuinely willing to help instead of impossibly belligerant, Supergirl. So it was only natural upon receiving this information that Maxima turned to her friend for assistance. She was not expecting the cat man or tiny submarine, but such was apparently necessary.

Usually travelling all the way to the western Pacific ocean would be a very long trip by submarine, a military nuclear submarine would take days to make the trek. Even with the likely improvements to the T-Sub's engines by the science team, the trip still shouldn't be this fast and yet somehow instead of days it takes only a matter of hours. Maxima spends much of the trip looking out the windows, watching the sights of the sea floor. Eventually in the distance the crystal dome of the Atlantean Bazaar can be seen, surrounded by all manner of bio-luminescent coral growths, artistically shaped to provide illumination as well as aesthetic enjoyment here in the otherwise lightless depths.

Kara Danvers has posed:
    "Tempest used to tell me about the Atlantean cities. I have been interested in visiting them ever since. He is a very elusive member of the Titans. Coming and going for long periods of time. His life must be complex," she assumes the best of it and continues, "I'm glad you got in contact with me Maxima. I have been worrying about your missing city. It's good we've got a lead, even if it is a bit old."

    She smiles to Terry and says, "Vorpal, Maxima. Maxima, Vorpal. Vorp is.." she suddenly blinks and blanks, "extraordinary?" She nods her head, "He makes portals for us to travel through and keeps Gar from turning a paler shade of green."

    The ocean worlds doubtlessly don't know that much about Supergirl. They may know about Superman, but it is like visiting an alien world. Strangers in a strange land. She's been getting used to this concept of late. Life really took a massive 90 degree turn when she was forced to leave her dying home.

Donna Troy has posed:
    If Vorpal and Supergirl are going to be taking the T-sub out for a jaunt, then Troia's coming along. The Titans have only just got it back after Cyborg had taken it for a month-long joyride, and Donna's not letting it out of her sight -- or so she claims. It probably has more to do with not letting Kara and Terry wander off into the depths of the ocean without her to keep an eye on them.

    So it is that she finds herself following Kara along on another jaunt to places unknown with Maxima. The last time had been the trip to ZZGU's dimension and the fallout from that was still ongoing. She's equally in the dark on the details of what had built up to this mission, but the Amazon figures that it's a potent quartet and they will probably muddle through one way or another.

    The T-Sub is fast. Even without a telekenetic boost, it travels closer to the speed of a rather slow plane than most submarines. This is due to some work Cyborg had put in based on his sonic canon technology, a 'supercavitation' system that shrouds the sub in a swarm of tiny bubbles when it goes at cruising speed, reducing the effective density and thus the drag of the surrounding medium by a large margin. Nevertheless, it shouldn't be going this...

    "Fast. We're going rather fast. I mean faster than usual," Donna says from the pilot's chair, an arched eyebrow observing Maxima with amused suspicion. As the dome comes into view she kills the drive without a word, waiting to see how long it will take Maxima to notice and cut the additional thrust.

    "It's all new to me too," Donna says to Kara. "Never been to one of their cities. Uh... probably best not to use the word 'Amazon' around these people, please. Our shared history has been somewhat mixed. Current status could be described as cordial, if you were being generous. All the same, probably best if the issue just isn't raised. You got a letter of introduction or similar from Tempest, Supergirl?"

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"How do you do, Maxima?" Vorpal smiles in response to the introduction, "We've seen each other briefly. You were pounding Winslow's dome close to Christmas."

"I... can't quite make portals right now," the Cheshire cat smiles apologetically after being given that introduction from Kara, feeling that an errata had to be submitted. "Someone stole that power. Another me, actually, but that's a story for another day, to be told at another time." Otherwise it would be a story that just never ends. The Cheshire's right arm is still bandaged and slinged, but otherwise he is whole... if looking slightly different. There's a lot less red than there was in his fur. He had left Kian in charge of watching over Gar... but really, since the other Vorpal had never been inside the tower, they had no danger of him coming in. And if he tried to go through the front door, Raven...

Well. Cleanup on aisles four through fifteen.

"So that bit from Plato about the war between the Amazons and Atlantis was actually true?" he asks, surprised, "Iiiis there any chance I can get the skinny on that?"

Maxima has posed:
Maxima smiles listening to Kara speak of her desire to visit Atlantis, attention pulled away from the ocean scenery outside for the moment. "The capital city of Atlantis proper is beautiful, very civilized, much more advanced than the surface world. I think you would enjoy it. It is almost hard to believe that something like it exists on such a remote backwater rimworld and yet also has not unified the planet yet. Though their King Namor claims he has no interest in the surface, he seems to completely lack a conqueror's drive." She nods when Kara brings up the city, "It will be found. I will not rest until it is, such is my duty to them as subjects of the Empire."

She turns when Supergirl introduces Terry, almost like she is seeing him for the first time, "Portals you say? Interesting. Almerac also makes use of portal technology. Though some of our elite soldiers do not require it." She regards Terry with a discerning eye like she is trying to figure out what caste he belongs to.

When Terry brings up Winslow Schott, Maxima's expression darkens and her eyes flash, "That insolent excuse for a man, he cannot hide from forever. I will destroy him." Though the quick change of subject seems to successfully distract her from that topic, "You lost your power?" Now she's regarding Terry even more closely, "Another you? Did you create a simulacrum?"

"Yes, I have increased our speed." Maxima informs Donna. "I am not fond of taking more time than is necessary." Impatient, she means she is impatient. Though with a city's worth of lives at risk it is hard to blame her. When Terry asks about the War between the Amazons and Atlantis, Maxima seems to look upon Donna in a new light. "Your people made War with King Namor's Empire? I wonder how many powerful societies this planet hides beneath the surface. It seems to be a mystery wrapped in mysteries." She already knew of Donna's strength after the ZZGU incident, but that there is a whole society like her, that is new information.

When Donna cuts the engine of the T-Sub, it doesn't take long at all for Maxima to notice and also decelerates. The final approach to the Dome is quiet, perhaps too quiet. For such a large trade bazaar one might expect all manner of comings and goings, but save for the T-Sub's approach beneath the glow of the bio-luminescent coral, the ocean around them is still.

Kara Danvers has posed:
    Kara lifts up an amulet she was given by Garth if she ever found herself in the situation to need to prove she belonged. She hangs it around her neck and smiles, "I did think of that. Somehow I doubt we will run in to Tempest down here, but you never know. It's hard to imagine he was ever Aqualad from those pictures I was shown."

    Kara's expression changes to one of concern as she looks at Terry's arm and says, "More doppelgangers. I was told SHIELD turned on a detector in time to see thousands of them fleeing their world. They should have stayed and helped rebuild their world instead of running from their problems."

    She folds her arms, clearly displeased with the humans of the other Earth. "I didn't realise your powers could be taken from you Vorpvorp," she comments and then listens with interest at the mention of the war between Atlantis and Themyscira.

    "I will go to their capitol city one day. I applaud civilisations who find ways to live next to each other in harmony, though Atlantis prefers to keep to itself. I wish the world had more understanding of each other; that they talked openly with each other about their problems," she says thinking of how Krypton became stalemated in to indecision.

    "Please, don't 'destroy' Toyman. He may be a misguided killer, but there is always hope. No matter how dark and dire a person is, we should always seek to find ways for them to live a harmonious life," she suggests and then asks, "Shouldn't there be more.. traffic? at a bazaar?"

Donna Troy has posed:
    "Platon is not a reliable source for Amazons or Atlanteans," Troia warns Vorpal. "Before my people moved to the Islands of Themyscira we were not so unified. It was a big world and there were Amazons in different parts of it. Not all of them came to the new Themyscira. We believe Platon had some garbled report of a conflict between some of the Amazons in North Africa and an Atlantean contingent during one of their civil wars."

    The sub drifts closer to the city dome, and a small frown creases Troia's brow. She switches the engines on and nudges the sub forwards, making for a broad inlet tunnel in the dome's exterior at minimum speed, the engines barely humming. "Long before King Namor's time, Maxima." The sub enters the mouth of the sea tunnel, and the sound of the engine changes from a background rumble to a more ominous drone, like the final echoes of a tolling bell drawn out to one endless note. Troia's voice drops a little too, unconsciously acknowledging the change in the soundscape here. "For a time the Amazons and the Atlanteans were the great powers in the world. Sometimes we worked together, sometimes there was conflict. Atlanteans can be an obstinate and aggressive people." They probably say the same about Amazons. "There was never a war of conquest, and neither alliances nor quarrels ever lasted long. They live under the waves, we on the land. There was no great reason for conflict, and few shared threats to bring us together either.

    The T-sub slows for a few moments as it has to break through a knot of overgrown seaweed crossing the passage and tangled in spars of collapsed metalwork on one side of the tunnel, but it quickly breaks through. Donna falls silent, not wanting to say the obvious.

    The passage drops down and then rises again. Through the murky walls of the tunnel, strangely bulbous building rise up in the murk, lit an eerie pale blue of bioluminescence through many windows, all round for structural integrity, in varying sizes but far fewer in number than would be expected on a terrestrial city. The tunnel dips again, into the darkness, then rises up into an airlocked pool a hundred or so feet across, a circular dock surrounding it. A lone vessel sits at dock, unlit, but the rest is empty.

    The note of the engine changes again, becoming soft in the spacious chamber, as if even the T-sub felt the need to whisper. Finally the engine stops and the T-sub drifts the last few feet to dock, stopping with a gentle bump.

    "Nobody say the 'lights are on but...' line," Troia mutters.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"There is... a duplicate of me running around. And I didn't think my powers could be stolen either. But apparently, while there can only be /one/ Cheshire Cat in the universe, nothing says that the soul apparently can't be split equally between two versions of the same person. You live and learn," the Cheshire cat sighs, shaking his head.

"I have heard that Atlanteans are obstinate, definitely. Namor has been trying to make the speedo and little winged ankles look work for fricking ever, and he just won't take a hint." Is the cat talking trash about royalty? Well, old habits never change. The sepulchral state of the dome cause him to go a little quiet.

"You know... I have a bad feeling about this."

Maxima has posed:
Maxima studies Kara's amulet for a moment, "That is very nice, hopefully it will not be necessary. King Namor should have sent word of my coming.." She stops as she too notices the lack of traffic, though for Maxima it is something more, this place should be full of minds, Atlanteans and others. The mental silence is as oppressive if not moreso than the stillness in the physical world. There are things Maxima intended to tell Kara about Winslow, that he attacked her, that he was given chances to apologize on his knees, but they are lost in the moment.

Maxima certainly has questions for Troia, like why a powerful society of women would relinquish control of the surface to such 'lesser states' but those too are lost. "Something is very wrong here. It would seem they have all fled or died."

When the submarine reaches the dock, Maxima wastes little time in exiting. The sight that greets her and any that follow looks like a widespread conflict raged through this place, but there don't seem to be any bodies. Just broken buildings and streets leading towards the central bazaar and what might be months worth of accumulated dust and sand. "I do not like this, be on your guards."

Kara Danvers has posed:
    Kara joins Maxima as they leave the submarine. Her eyes roaming over the devastation. Her eyes widen a touch and she touches the amulet around her neck. "Oh no," she murmurs and then her lips thin and she says, "Whoever did this may still be here, or waiting nearby in case others come.. which we have."

    "We may not be able to find what you're looking for here today, but .. we should check for survivors or records, or evidence of who did this. May be they are pirates and stole the bazaar goods - possibly including your city Maxima," she suggests trying to put a positive spin on it.

    Kara looks back to Troia and Vorp and says, "This just got a lot more complicated.. but we've got this. Even if you can't make portals at the moment Vorp."

Donna Troy has posed:
    Troia powers down the sub and switches out all the lights, leaving it dead but for the security systems, which she double- and triple-checks before deboarding the sub to join the tohers on the docks. Her nostrils flare briefly. "I am nto experienced in underwater environments," she says barely above a whisper. "But there is a staleness in the air, and a smell of old, lingering decay. I think it has been like this a few months at least, perhaps a year. If they were attacked -- why has no relief force arrived yet? This is very strange."

    She looks around slowly, her eyes sweeping across the circle of the docks and to the buildings visible beyond. "The light here is wrong. Unsteady, shifting. One window is brighter, then antoher window. The shadows move without people moving in them. Trust to your ears, sound will carry far here."

    Troia loosens her lasso, and glances to Kara. "Supergirl, perhaps it would be best to keep that talisman out of sight for now. We don't know how it will be received, if we /do/ find anyone alive here."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
At the mention that he can no longer make portals, Vorpal says quietly "My usefulness to this team has been decreased by ninety-nine point nine percent. I'm here mostly for moral support. And any aid that my illusions might provide."

He glances around, staying by Donna, who has more experience in Atlantean matters than he does. Technically speaking, everybody here has more experience in that regard. But he would have been a fool to turn down the prospect of seeing yet another piece of history, since the chances of him seeing Themyscira were basically zero.

"There are no bodies... that is at least... potentially encouraging."

Maxima has posed:
"Or the bodies have been consumed." Maxima notes morbidly. The Warrior Princess seems prepared to meet whatever they might find headon though and immediately sets off down one of the main throughfares towards the central bazaar square. Midway down that road, however, she reaches up and grabs her head for a moment, wincing like she is in pain, "Such strong hunger and malice, it appears we are not alone after all. Prepare yourselves! They're coming!"

Even as Maxima calls out her warning there is a burbling, a flowing of black ichor into the streets from multiple directions. It is hard to describe any real shape or form to the various patches as they bubble up, at least not any sane form. By the time they are done expanding in size, the plasmic entities are easily the size of a bull elephant and seem to be composed of little save for masses of grasping tentacles, hundreds of eyes, and far too many mouths full of razor sharp snapping teeth. One burbles up from the direction of the bazaar, while two more flow out of the side streets and a fourth bursts out of a building cutting off the path back to the T-Sub. They are drawn by the warmth of fleshy prey and they seem very very hungry.

Kara Danvers has posed:
    Kara is happy to let Maxima stride on ahead. She walks along not too far behind, getting the feeling that may be they're being watched. "Such a strange creepy vibe to this place," she says to no one in particular. She tucks the amulet away though, underneath her clothing.

    As the ichor starts to form up in to blobularly mouthed monstrosities she frowns intensely, "So.. it seems we have found the culprits after all. And you say they hunger? I sure hope this isn't linked to that darkness that attacked Metropolis last year," she warns.

    She slowly turns eying the enemies and then charges toward one, throwing a punch in to its 'body' - either it's solid enough to do that or she's about to have a very bad day. Probably the latter. "Let's literally see what you're made of!"

Donna Troy has posed:
    Troia takes her hand from her lasso and shifts to sword instead -- this has very much the look of a hack rather than that tie sort of situation. "Pack hunters!" she calls out. "They want to surround us. Do not let them!"

    She leaps high into the air, unslinging her shield mid-jump, and comes down next to the one attempting to cut off their retreat. As soon as she lands she is spinning away, whipping her sword around in a tight arc with a powerful back-handed slash, testing the resilience of the tentacles at its side - and the speed of the creatures reactions - as she steps nimbly out of its way.

    Troia brings her shield up and retreats slowly with a flurry of jabs at the creatures flank, trying to draw it closer to one of the blobsters coming from the side, to attempt to break the circling and draw them together where the blobs instead can be surrounded. "Vorpal! Stay back and do not trust on invisibility, they may taste your scent. But they have eyes and live in a dark place. Could a very bright illusion blind them?"

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Vorpal takes several steps back. He is very, very aware of what a pushover he is without his Rabbit Hole. Even Robin, the little twerp, was far deadlier than he was without any powers. He clenches his fists. They had eyes? And they might have the ability to chase by scent? He could take care of those two, at least.

The overwhelming scent of roses floods the area. It is so strong that it can overwhelm just about every other scent, courtesy of the chaos cat,

As for the sense of sight, he invokes a bright illusion, alright. But not the kind Donna was hoping. Dazzling, dashing and daring around the glogular heads of these creatures, constantly crossing the region of their eyes in bindlingly fast orbits, is a streak of burningly bright rainbows, emitted from what appear to be a small army of hybrid cat-poptarts. If these creatures could track by hearing, then the incessant high-pitched sound that the cats produce should be enough to take them off the scent, alright.

Maxima has posed:
Maxima shakes off the wave of primal negative emotion from the creatures as she wills her defenses into place. The alien warrior princess scowls, if these creatures have done anything to her city there will be hell to pay. For now not particularly wanting to touch the gross ichorous things, she summons an energy blade in each hand and lunges forward with an intense burst of speed towards the one between her and the Central Bazaar. She is fast, but so is the creature as the tentacles come for her and the two are forced into a graceful yet lethal dance as it tries to wrap her in its countless limbs, while she weaves between them slicing. Though even as the tentacles are cut, they seem to grow back almost as quickly.

Supergirl's efforts fair similarly. The punch towards its body opens a rather large hole and for split second it might seem as if this battle isn't going to be so hard afterall, until the hole begins rapidly closing again and ichorous tentacles come seeking her from all directions, what's more even the tentacles seem to have mouths and eyes of their own, hungry seeking mouths.

From above it becomes very clear to Troia that they are being surrounded. The aerial perspective also offers a view of other ichorous creatures elsewhere in the bazaar, spread throughout the streets, many of which seem to be gathering in the central plaza. The sweep of her sword cuts away a host of tentacles, but they do not stay gone for long. Returning mere moments later to probe at her defenses from all angles. However it is one of her quick jabs of all things that has an unexpected result, piercing straight through one of the 'Eyes' the entire blob-like entity seems to shudder in pain.

The creature between the heroes and the T-Sub lunges for Vorpal despite the illusions, slimy ichorous tentacles coming for him from all angles, even some angles that make absolutely no sense because these things apparently think Euchalid was a dork. It would seem that perhaps those 'eyes' are not really eyes after all.

Kara Danvers has posed:
    Kara is quite pleased with the hole she has made in this creature, even if she didn't intend to hit it quite so hard. Calibration. Troia will tell her to practice more when they get back no doubt. But then it reforms itself.. and this is a problem, because she notes more and more of them starting to gather toward them.

    "Ahh, we may need a better plan than this, such as flying away really quickly," she suggests, then she sees one finally respond to something negatively, that strike from Troia's sword. "The eyes? try going for the eyes?"

    Supergirl does not have to try very hard to be extremely accurate with her heat vision. What scares her is how powerful it can be and when she first came to Earth she had no idea how to stop it, let alone start it. Thanks to her cousin she learnt control and with that a semblance of confidence in its use.

    Her eyes and the skin around them glow red hot until an intense beam of heat shoots from her vision not at just one set of eyes, but at a whole line of them slicing through the field of battle in a sweeping motion as a test. Retreat is always an option if this fails.

Donna Troy has posed:
    "The eyes aren't eyes," TTroia calls out. "Nerve cluster, or something. We could use Hawkeye here! Supergirl, precision not power, like we trained. Remember the Danger Room excercise! On and off as you move your sightline, reserve your energy! Try targeting the largest ones first. Maxima, can you target them with a cloud of rubble?"

    Troia has already changed her own method of attack - darting in and out in lighning fast attacks, crouched behind her shield which she uses to batter the creature she's fighting to cover a single precise jab with her sword with each motion before stepping quickly back again. She moves from side to side, keeping it guessing, and ensuring herself a view of the field of battle around her to keep an eye on what everyone's doing.

    Seeing Vorpal's illusions not having the desired effect, TTroia calls out to him "Forget meaningful illusions, Vorp! Make it raw, make it pure chaos. Try to overwhelm its senses with raw magic. And..." Her next charge breaks the pattern. Instead of the same buffet and jab, at the last moment Donna launches herself up, her foot coming down hard on one of the larger 'eyes' near the top of the creature and her sword swinging low to slash another as she vaults the creature and springs towards the one closing on Terry, a flurry of sword strokes aiming at a rapid assault on many eyes rather than decisive blows to a few, to draw attention away from the cat-man.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"I ... I don't /have/ raw magic-" Vorpal's voice is tight. As the tentacles close towards him, he raises an arm to shield himself. He hasn't felt this defenseless or this useless since he was-

Well, since he was simply Terry O'Neil, accident-prone cub reporter. And he's suddenly very aware that if he hadn't turned into the Cheshire Cat that one fateful day with the mechanical spiders, he would be /dead/.

"FUCK OFF ME!" he snarls, in a combination of anger and panic, arms spreading wide. As he does so, and without meaning to, he releases the Chaos Wave, unpredictable and undirected. He realizes, too late, what he has done. Goodness knows what it will do now..

Maxima has posed:
Kara uses Heat Vision and it is Super Effective! The beams of condensed Kryptonian occular thermal emissions slice through the ichorous creatures from the side streets ...and several buildings on either side as well leaving a swath of destruction through the thankfully uninhabited bazaar. Where the eyes are destoyed those parts do not regenerate, leaving behind smoldering stumps instead. As this happens, far from a shudder, a terrifying screeching fills the air as all of the mouths of both creatures scream out in unison as they flail in wounded agony. The screams are haunting almost like Humans or Atlanteans in their death throes.

The creature Donna is fighting also screeches thorse horrifying screams as she methodically cuts away at it, darting around its defenses with precision and speed. As she soars upward and lunges down on the largest of the eyes the entire mass shutters in a violent howl before the whole thing near explodes outward in a release of whatever energy was holding it together.

Maxima for her part also as laser eyes and notes the effectiveness of Kara's use of them. Focused beams of occular telekinetic force lance through the creature she is fighting with the pinpoint accuracy of one who has spent years of training mastering their use. Donna's suggestion is also taken to heart as she begins gathering up a cloud of small debris and lancing the pieces of wreckage through the creature from every angle at once, until it too explodes outward releasing its energy with that violent banshee-like keening.

It is Vorpal though who manages to dispatch the monster accosting him in truly spectacular fashion. One moment a myriad of tentacles are closing in on him and the next... nothing? That's not right... When he opens his eyes Vorpal instead finds a very lifelike stone state of a monster in front of him, savage tentacles a mere inch from his face. Everyone else witnessed the spectacular sight of the moment Vorpal flinched and released the Chaos Wave, the ichorous beast was transformed from flesh to stone as the magic passed over it.

Kara Danvers has posed:
    Kara's sweep of her heat vision results in mass destruction. She flinches as she stops and feels a shiver run down her spine. It's all well and good for Troia to remind her of her training but cold sweats hit her immediately. She battled her doppelganger, heat vision vs heat vision, and they were not quite equals. Her doppelganger was okay letting go. Kara may never be so eager.

    She nods to Troia though and tries again. There are more monsters to destroy after all, even though they make those horrible screams. They may be what is left of the Atlantians, but not much is really left in this state is there?

    Her heat vision starts to shoot in small bursts at the eyes as she swivels her head around the battle field, sending out little pulses of intense energy like a scatter ray disco ball of doom. She shouts out in anger as she lets loose her rage against the creatures that remind her so much of ZZGU.

    She stops after a moment and catches her breath.. and also surveys the destruction she has laid bare around her. It is why Maxima likes her so much is it not? and also why some fear the Kryptonians. Why a whole world had been conquered by another version of herself.

    Kara recoils a touch at what she has done, pressing her lips together and looking down at the ground, the shame filling her up and the fear of who she could be. Somehow, the thought that she could ever have been like Dark Kara disgusts herself.

Donna Troy has posed:
    There is a surprising and discordant ringing of metal on stone, briefly following by a cracking sound a >THUNK< as a stone tentacle hits the floor. Troia, who had leapt to engage Vorpal's assailant moments before it turned to stone, glances quickly at the edge of her blade, and not for the first time gives a silent prayer of thanks to Hephaestus, god of metalworking, for the secret techniques he has taught to the smiths of Themyscira.

    Troia pokes the stone Thing with the tip of her sword, to see if it will move. "See, raw magic," she says to Vorpal. "Or at least uncontrolled magic. Probably not much different. In magical terms, it is the animating spirit - be it soul or as I begin to suspect in this case, magic force derived from the /ending/ of souls - that differentiates life from mute earth and stone. If that element is severed from a body, it may revert to the stone it was shaped from. I had thought you might overwhelm its senses, but you appear to have overwhelmed the connection to its body." She looks at him thoughtfully for a moment, then nods her head slightly, and quietly adds "Well done."

    Donna walks through the wreckage of combat to where Maxima and Kara have defeated their own combatants, and rests a hand gently on Kara's shoulders. "Console yourself, Supergirl, with the thought that there is a good chance that what you have done is to free lost souls from being bound into that nightmare of undeath. I think I can guess what has happened to the people who lived here... and why there has been no relief force retaking the city."

    " It would be unwise of us to stay in this place without a knowledgeable magic specialist. Though Maxima, if you feel this is a lead you cannot afford not to follow, I am willing to go on. I suggest though that we no longer remain on the ground."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Vorpal stares at the petrified abomination and blinks a couple of times. Then, he carefully extracts himself from the circle of tentacles that he had been surrounded with, staring at his hands thoughtfully.

"I have no clue how I did that," he says to Donna, "So I am the furthest possible thing from a knowledgeable magic specialist. You want Rae here, not me."

He looks around and exhales. At least they weren't dead. He winces and rubs his bandaged arm. "... I don't care what Richter said. You should never make out with your doppelganger." A lesson well learned.

Maxima has posed:
The keening death throes are answered by other cries throughout the dome and other death throes as Kara flies up into the air and does her best impression of a laser artillery turret. "You are a born warrior!" Maxima compliments her Kryptonian friend as she joins her above and now there are two sets of laser eyes pulsing out at the various creatures throughout the city. However, unlike Kara, Maxima seems to be enjoying herself as the thrill of the battlefield and putting ones life on the line against a dangerous foe overtakes her.

"Magic?" Maxima stops her onslaught for a moment when Troia's words reach her, "I am not familiar with this.." she seems to be puzzling over the concept and what she can glean from the way the minds of those around her understand it, though it would seem she herself has never come across it in a meaningful way.

The combined onslaught is seemingly enough to turn the tide, the creatures seem to have stopped hunting and instead seem to be fleeing the keening deaths of their 'compatriots', fleeing the city and out into the sea, even if this involves punching holes through the dome...

"I cannot rule out these creatures having some possible connection!" Maxima shouts as the bazaar begins to fill with seawater. "I would know where they flee to!"

Kara Danvers has posed:
    For just a fraction of the smallest moment, something their speedster friends would have picked up on, Kara recoils from the touch to her shoulder. But she recovers, for it is Troia who has rapidly become one of her best friends on Earth. She rests her hand atop of Troia's and lets out a sigh.

    "I hope you're right about that Troia," she says and looks to Maxima who may even know if it's true. She's not sure she could get a truthful answer from the Warrior Princess. "It is not my job to be a warrior," she parrots what her cousin once told her. She is not sure who she is, she is being pulled in so many different directions at once. It would be dizzying if she weren't challenging herself to stay on top of it all.

    "Maxima, perhaps we should stay focused and be hasty. We should look for clues about your lost city."

Donna Troy has posed:
    "Being a warrior can be a good thing or a bad thing," Troia counters. "It all depends on your reason for fighting. It should be nobody's job, but for some it can be a noble calling. Some wars may be ended with compassion, but other wars... it takes strength of arms to make space for that compassion to truly grow. And because of that, sometimes... sometimes we fight so that others are not forced to, because we /can/, and because we can retain our compassion when doing so."

    She may have a very different concept of the ideal warrior to Maxima.

    "The city is flooding," Troia points out. "We will not be able to search much of the city before it is flooded. Unless there are some solid leads on where to look, there may be more sense in following Maxima's suggestion rather than trying to search without the proper equipment for searching underwater."

    "A city in a bottle should not suffer from spending some time at the bottom of the ocean, and an underwater search looks like it's going to be what it will take to do that search very soon anyway. We should have brought Wally. However those creatures are going /now/ and now is the opportunity to find out more about them."

    "They are solid enough to hew, so they are probably solid enough to give a sonar return." Donna nods her head back the way we came. "Perhaps we should follow one at a distance in the T-Sub to learn where it goes, as Maxima suggests."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Vorpal nods, "I think we'd rather go and follow them in our little submarine. Wet cat hair may not be as offensive as the smell of wet dog, but it's still not comfortable for the poor wet cat."

Once they go inside, he summons a little illusory ukelele as he prepares for the voyage- for they have to wait until there's enough water to go through. Strumming a few strings, he begins to sing quietly:

~With the team where I am from
In a land under the sea
I went on and risked my life
In the Titan submarine-
So we sailed to the bazaar
With Maxima, who's kind of keen
And we fought beneath the waves
In our Titan submarine!


We all fight in a titan submarine
Titan submarine, Titan submarine...

Maxima has posed:
Maxima looks between Kara and Donna as they discuss the nature of the creatures. "These things," Maxima begins and then pauses looking between Supergirl and Troia, "I do not know what they are. They are hunger and malice but in their destruction, there was something like the fragments of minds released. Nothing coherent, only fragments. The way they are running when they seem to hunger so, however. Could they be some twisted form of harvester?" When Kara declares it is not her job to be a warrior though, Maxima gaze returns to her again, with an encouraging smile. "You have the potential to stand among the strongest of the Warrior Caste." She informs Kara. "Your job can be whatever you want it to be with such strength. It would be a pity to waste it though." She truly seems to believe that.

She listens Troia describing what she believes an ideal warrior. "Having strength allows you to follow your convictions. Without it you cannot protect those who are pledged to you." Is about as far as Maxima gets to musing before the dome losing its integrity commands her attention instead. Apparently her ideal of a warrior focuses heavily on individual strength to enable ones convictions and noblesse oblige towards her subjects.

She closes her eyes and focuses, in a similar manner to what Supergirl witnessed in the Watchtower on the Moon. After a few moments her eyes snap open again. "I do not sense any Almeracian minds within this Dome, if they were here they have already been taken. For the sake of your friend with the 'magic', I do not think we should linger." She isn't concerned about herself, but clearly thinks that Terry will not survive. With that said she begins moving in the direction of the submarine, though bringing up the rear in case any of the creatures decided not to flee afterall or perhaps one more for the road.

Later she may come to regret that concern for Terry's wellbeing when the singing begins.

Kara Danvers has posed:
    Kara pauses as Troia gives not her first, but her second speech of the mission. She sort of stares at her for a long moment, then smiles a touch whimsically and says, "You remind me of someone. /tuvzha khap/" Her mother. She watches as Maxima attempts to find the minds of her people and nods her head, "Very well, we move on."

    She wanders with the troupe back to their submarine and taps her foot to the beat as Terry makes up his own version of yellow submarine. "That was really good did you write it yourself?," ..yes, Supergirl has never heard the Beatles. There's only so much culture you can take in in two years.

Donna Troy has posed:
    "I am not certain what you mean when you talk of a 'Harvester'" Troia admits, "But from the name alone I would concur. They have the scent of something magical, but while I may be the best qualified in this group to discuss magic, I am far from an expert. It did however seem very like they had multiple centers of animating force, in those things that looked like eyes. They may feed on the souls of those they kill as a way to grow, absorbing the soul-force to give themselves life. Is that what you mean by 'harvester'?"

    Troia stays close to Terry on the journey back to the T-Sub, though more because she figures he's the one who most needs protection than matching Kara's love of the song. There is no more speech-making, at least if nobody raises the subject of warriors again. The Amazon in her just can't let that one go. Athena, Artemis - who could question /that/ model of what a warrior should be? Maxima, while she certainly seems to have a moral code and have contributed significantly to good deeds since she has been here, is distinctly closer to Team Ares in Troia's mind.

    "Vorpal," Troia says when the arrive back at the T-Sub. "No Ukeleles on the T-Sub. Sorry, it's a thing. Gar got himself one and Vic buried a routine in the T-Sub computer so deeply Caitlin has never been able to find it. The sound of a ukelele playing triggers the ejector seat. Didn't work though, Gar enjoyed it. All he had to do was turn into something both aquatic and capable of plucking strings. The sight of a green octopus playing the ukelele is one that will never leave me."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Vorpal dismisses the ukelele promptly after Troia's warning, and crosses his legs, trying to look dignified. "Very well. I am not quite ready to suffer for my art..." but he does smile, "It's kind of frightening Gar would choose the same weapon, isn't it?" he muses.

He smiles at Kara's delight, but tempers it by saying "It's a song by a group called The Beatles. Look 'em up when you get back to the tower. All I did was change the words extemporaneously, accompanying myself on a rough instrument and therefore fulfilling one of the Encyclopedia Britannica's definitions of folk music- that being, the uncouth vocal utterance of the people."

God bless you, Anna Russell.

Maxima has posed:
The T-Sub manages to escape the domed bizarre just as the ocean pressure widens those domes into cracks and then fissures and then the space is simply reclaimed by the unstoppable might of the Pacific Ocean.

That Donna is able to convince Terry to stop singing may have saved his life, we'll never know.

"Yes," Maxima agrees with Troia, "I have never seen this particular phenomenon before, perhaps it is souls like you say. But they seemed almost like they were gathering minds, feeding off their power to expand themselves. But more of a master slave relationship with a core being chaining the others to it." She does her best to explain the glimpses of what she saw in the mental death throes of the creatures. "But also just their behavior, their hunger seemed endless and yet when some were destroyed they fled almost like they were protecting what they had already consumed. They seemed connected somehow, to something."

It is not hard to track and follow the fleeing blobs themselves. The Sonar does its job, though the creatures are surprisingly fast in the water. It is a merry chase that leads to the yawning abyssal chasm that is the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the entire ocean.

Donna Troy has posed:
    The T-sub slows, drifting through the cold waters of the deep pacific. "A collecting mechanism, perhaps," Troia replies to Maxima. "Given a hunger that drives them to collect, and an instinct to preserve what has been collected so it can be gathered. Yes, I can see why you would call them harvesters. I do not like the idea of harvesters of souls."

    She flicks a couple of switches on the control panel, and two brilliant beams of light stab down into the dark chasm below the T-Jet, into which the 'harvesters' have fled. The on-board lighting flickers from the sudden power drain of the external high-intensity lamps. The beams can be seen a long way, but there's nothing there for them to illuminate except the occasional dark forms swimming through it, the strange shapes of abyssopelagic life.

    "A long way down," Troia says slowly. "And a lot of pressure. The T-Sub isn't rated for that depth. Given the reinforcements that have been done to the hull... it would probably survive. There are... gaskets and things though. I'm sorry, Maxima. We know where they are now, but we can't follow them. Not today."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Definitely too deep for our little ship," Vorpal muses. "You'll probably need a ship better suited for that depth- but you'll know what you need. Maybe borrowing something from the league?" Emphasis on the 'you', as he's not likely to return in the next mission. Wally, Raven or Caitlin would be far more useful since he was... and he hated to make this pun, out of his depth!

The Cheshire finds an unobtrusive corner in which to sit, and remains fairly quiet for the rest of the return voyage, occasionally using his abilities to seem less colorful and therefore easier to miss. Looking out at nothing in particular at all, he muses on the things he has learned today- that without his Rabbit Holes, there isn't a great deal he can do for the team. Was this all that he was? A one-trick pony without a trick? Robin's disdain, dripping all over him, was justified, perhaps. Standing among Titans, he was the least, the smallest and weakest.

He's become very good at disguising his moods with his body language. Anyone caring to look would see him gazing out as if deep in thought, but with a neutral expression. Once they are on their way back, that brilliant grin appears as he says in a perfectly normal voice:

"Who's for pizza?"