Jump to content
RISING PHOENIX GAMING an rpg play by post community

[Plot Thread 1.1] Seahawk [Complete]


Malachite
 Share

Recommended Posts

5:38 PM WST, Thursday September 19th, 2019


Ryan
The storm had blown up out of nowhere and it wasn't just wind and water. Lightning lanced through the air around him, the plane shuddering as air pressure and wind currents danced in angry whorls. The instruments in the cockpit had gone out several seconds before the actual storm nearly just appeared around him - not a great help and certainly a little unnerving. He hadn't lost the engines, but the power kept flickering for no apparent reason and that was starting to raise his heart rate. Over the middle of the Pacific, a water landing wasn't really one you could walk away from, not even if you made it down to the ocean in one piece.

The storm seemed to pulse again. It'd done that several times over the minute or so that he'd been fighting winds and ducking lightning clusters. His whole body ached with the pulse this time and the bright flash that followed after only made sense when he realized he could feel rushing air and a tingle along his hands and hair. The plane had been hit and the screech of metal, along with the hard drag on the controls, told him that he shouldn't worry about the cargo anymore - it was gone already.

Lightning struck again, feeling decidedly personal in its attack on his plane. The cockpit thrummed with the energy and split open beneath him, the metal curling back with a sheen of blue light around it. That's not right, he thought to himself as his chair began to rip itself apart as the light moved up towards it. His hind-brain grabbed control of motor functions and unbuckled him from the falling furniture. It didn't exactly improve the situation, but at least he wasn't grabbed by the light and torn limb from limb himself. 

He fell, feeling the thin air rush past him and knowing he'd pass out from lack of oxygen before he'd actually hit the sea and die of anything else. A glint of white on the water caught his eye. A ship, his mind informed him while also playing a reel of the highlights of his life in expectation of adding the final frame. It took a moment to realize the speck was getting larger than it should. It'd been closer to the horizon and should have slipped over it as he fell closer to the water, but instead it was steadily resolving itself into a twin-stacked white and blue NOAA vessel. That was beneath him. He'd somehow fallen sideways

He stared at the ship, his mind caught in the weirdness of the moment. It'd stopped growing. He was still a hundred feet or so above it. He'd stopped moving. There was an honest-to-go sea monster attacking it. And he was still a hundred feet above it, hanging in mid-air.


Emily
The Hi'ialakai had just crossed the international date line and it'd been a pretty good day, all in all. They'd been bringing in a range of sea creatures onto the ship to chip and install the new mini-cameras they'd just gotten, then release back out into the wild (usually after a free meal for the indignity). The research would help them understand what climate change and changing fishing patterns were doing to the Pacific wildlife. They'd dropped a couple of sensor-bots too, intending to come back after a year and pick them up.

Emily was in the computer lab, sending out pings in a rather bored fashion to the 'bots and noting how long it took them to ping back. Necessary grunt work to make sure they'd made it to the depth they were supposed to float along at and hadn't already gotten eaten by a whale or something. There was a betting pool already on how many of the bots would be in the area, in one piece, or what they'd be in by the time they came back for them. She had a few dollars in the "used as a play toy by a pod of dolphins" bin. It usually paid out. 

The storm alarms blared across the speakers, startling her almost off her chair. She rolled her eyes at her own antics and resettled herself. A storm, great. She didn't get seasick, but there were some new civilian recruits that apparently hadn't worked that out of their system before signing up for a life out on the water. Everyone suffered for it. She sent out her next ping, waiting the 12 seconds it should have taken to get back to her. There was an odd whirring sound instead and after a moment she realized it was the CPU cycling up like crazy. The program she used hadn't frozen, but it was stuck counting up the data it was receiving from the probe - it should have been about 4 bytes of data and it was already past 26 kilobytes. And climbing quickly. The computer gave out a sad whine after another few seconds and then died. 

Emily blinked and frowned. She tried to reboot the computer, but in the moments of silence that followed she began to hear other sounds from the ship: the sounds of ripping metal and screams. Something was terribly wrong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ryan quickly took in his surroundings, his eyes narrowing picking out the people who'd been knocked into the sea, and able to hear their heartbeats, he quickly moved, swooping down and taking hold of them.  All of them were nearly in shock from the events, and he scowled, scanning for anything floating as bringing them back to the ship would be unwise.   Finding some large debris that was floating, he deposited all of the people he could find on it, careful to make sure they didn't overburden it.  "Who are you?"  one of them asked, shivering in the cold.  "Just a pilot."  Ryan answered.  "Now, all of you huddle together, use your body heat to warm each other.  I'm going to try and rescue anyone else in the water, and then see if I can find a launch or escape raft for you all."   

He came back twice more, those who were awake watching the man fly through the sky carrying their comrades,  entrusting them to them, and then disappearing again.  Even as scientists they couldn't believe it, this man was actually flying but they heard nor saw any craft.  Once done, he turned his gaze to the ship and the Kelptapus ravaging it.  "What the hell is going on?"   

It was all so strange.  He'd lost his plane and cargo, and could fly unaided.  in a small part of his mind he knew this was completely insane, but those thoughts were pushed away, all out of concern for those in the water and those still on the ship.  He wished for a radio, to call in a mayday, knowing they weren't going to need help with the creature.   Still he had to get aboard and get the launches in the water.  He flew toward it, and made his landing on the aft section of the Hi'ialakai, noting the ships name as he knew he'd have to try to radio in a mayday.  With that he began his search for survivors, rafts, and the keys to the launch he saw suspended in the cradle nearby.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Emily had made her way topside through a couple of twisted sections as if something had collided with the ship but as far as she could tell the hull was intact. She had tried to reach the bridge via the intercom but the thing wasn't working so she had to go there physically.

When she stepped out onto the deck she was greeted with a gale that was a lot fiercer than the last weather report and then lightning flashed and in the strobe she saw the thing, then darkness and another sudden flash but this time it felt as if the lightning had hit her but there was no light. She felt transfixed the world slowed...stopped she could see the individual drops of water floating in the air before her felt them on her skin in her body. The light-less strobe ended and she fell to her knees onto the hard deck as the ship lurched and a wave crashed over the side. The fall should have hurt, but it didn't, she reached out and grasped the the gunwale and pulled herself up as lightning, real lightning flashed again, she saw people in the water, her people, and she saw a flying man.

 

A loud metallic ripping sound jerked her attention to the upper deck where the things thrashing had caused the radar tower to snap and was toppling to port where it would crush the 29 footer, and probably her, as well as do who knows what amount of damage to the ship itself.

 

Emily raised her arms instinctively as if she could stop the inevitable. Behind her the water roiled and two thick arms of water shot up past Emily, over the small boat and grabbed the falling tower slowing it. Two more arms of water shot up from the depths and took hold of the tower stopping it entirely. Emily knew that she had done this, she held the water and the water held the tower. With a gesture and a thought the living water tore the tower free and hurled it off the port side away from the men overboard and clear of the ship.

 

Scrambling up the ladder on to the deck Emily turned her attention to the thing between the stacks wrecking her ship!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The overboard sailors gave him thumbs up, settling the new water-companions on to floating debris as Ryan brought them over. The first one he'd rescued, an older woman with a scar from her ear down her neck, called out, "Yellow squares on the side of the ship. They're rafts, just grab one and toss it here, we can get it open. God bless you!"

On the ship, crewmates had scrambled to clear the space under the tower and were now staring at the water arms - an unfortunate pause that cost several of them their place on the ship as the kelptopus flailed out with it's tentacles and swept them out to sea. Ryan could see the woman that had directed him to the lifeboats pushing off from her flotsam perch to swim over to where one of the unlucky sailors had splashed into the ocean. The kelptopus let out a strange howl across the boat - a sound the sailors could recognize was modulated to carry underwater, not through the air. Ryan and Emily both felt a sickening pulse along with the noise. It gave them vertigo: Ryan swerved drunkenly in his flight for a moment and Emily grabbed the rungs of the ladder to keep from falling off. 

Whatever they were going to do, it needed to be done fast: another few thrashes from the kelptopus and there wouldn't be a boat left to save. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

despite the vertigo, he soldiered on, annoyed by it, but there were still lives at stake.   He moved to the starboard side and quickly found the rafts, tossing one out to the people he'd already saved, and keeping another for any others he found, trusting in the camaraderie of those in the water to rescue those just knocked in.  He moved to the bridge, and saw four more there.  he could see them trying to get the hatch open through the broken windows, but it seemed it was jammed.   He floated just outside the window, the winds and wave motion not fazing his control. 

Something he could do flashed through his mind and he knew it could work.  "Remain Calm!  I'm going to get you out."  he tossed a raft in, and nodded.  "How many are left inside and where?  I can get them out!"   The captain didn't ask questions, though he had many, and relayed there were still more than ten people remaining aside from them.  Ryan nodded.  "Alright time for you to go then." A portal the size of a man opened up, revealing the water's surface.  It took alot of focus, even talking was hard.  "take the raft and jump you're only about 3 feet up, it's like walking off a diving board." 

The quartet didn't argue with the first person taking the raft and heading through, then two more and finally the captain.  Once he was through, the portal closed, and Ryan grunted, taking a moment to refocus, before moving around to the port side.   It was three he saw a woman clinging tightly to a ladder, and called out, even as he flew towards her, still in the upright position.   "Ma'am are you alright?  remain Calm and I'll get you out of here, over to the rafts with the others!"  his voice was loud and strong, enough to be heard over the wind, and out the corner of his eye, he could see one of the big tentacles.  It was clearly not happy, but nor was it able to move well out of the water.  They had to do something about it, but he wasn't sure what, and definitely didn't want to put it into the water anywhere near the rafts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Emily tottered at the top of the ladder as the sonic assault, which sort of reminded her of something she couldn’t quite put her finger on. She grabbed the hand holds to steady herself when suddenly he was there in front of her hovering, impossibly her brain screamed, several feet off the deck.

 

"Ma'am are you alright?  Remain Calm and I'll get you out of here, over to the rafts with the others!"  his voice was loud and strong, enough to be heard over the wind.

 

Suddenly a light-bulb went off in her head, “Shit, get out of the way and get those people out of the water, it's calling something!” Emily pushed away from the ladder and the flying man and raised her arms again but this time it wasn’t arms of water. Her arms outstretched hands several inches apart the water on the deck and in the air quivered and in tiny streams and droplets flew into the empty space between them until a sphere of water the size of a basketball floated therein, then with a forcefull gesture Emily thrust the sphere toward the creature and torrent of water jetted out from the sphere at the beast!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The water blast shoved at the beast. It made another cry, tentacles flailing as it batted at the water stream. The shove also took it to the edge of the Hi'ialaki; as tentacles curled over the side, the beast gave a great heave and rolled into the water. Around it, the water began turning a sickly purplish orange color. Those in the water found renewed strength to swim away as fast they could, taking some nearer the group in lifeboat. Three were headed off alone in different directions. 

Ryan stared at the beast for just a moment, caught in the terrifying-but-beautiful of what he was seeing. The water wasn't being poisoned - the creature was glowing as it submerged completely. Another shudder went through the ocean, vibrating through the water as the beast called out a third time. To Emily it was clearly all call, though for whom or what need, she wasn't sure. Her time on the Hi'ialaki wormed some idea into her mind: it sounded like whale-call but octopi used chromatography to communicate with each other, not sound. The ocean felt quiet to her in the moment after the sound, and then erupted into a churning of activity below where it would show on the surface. Something is answering.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The creature submerged and Emily grabbed a guide wire to steady herself. Something else was coming she was sure of that and she had to do something, she watched as the flying man (how the hell…) swooped down and grabbed another swimmer and she saw two more out further away and drifting.

 

With a deep breath she reached out into the water which was, now, as much a part of her as her own fingers. She felt the currents, the waves, the individual molecules which made the oceans. With her will extended through the sea, she lifted the two swimmers with the ocean itself as her hands, and propelled them gently to the nearest raft, depositing them safely into the waiting arms of those already in the small lifeboat.

 

The two men were barely settled when Emily felt the change in the ocean, a disturbance as what ever the creature had called answered.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ryan quickly moved to get the other person in the water, and knew he had only seconds to get them somewhere safe.  The rafts were close together, and he'd just dropped the last one as Emily deposited the other two, and he knew he had one option.

 

Gritting his teeth in concentration, he could feel a throbbing pounding sensation in his head, quickly reverberating through his whole body, as he stressed his newfound abilities,  surpassing all normal limits, and  grunting in both pain and annoyance.   Beneath the two rafts, and to the surprise of everyone within them, a gleaming blue portal opened.   The scenery within was the beach at Golden Gardens Beach, near Seattle, a place he was familiar with.  "The water's abit cool, but you'll be safe."  he said and the Captain looked at him as the rafts and their human cargo fell into the portal, and into the the shallow surf of the beach.   The portal above them closed quickly, leaving a handful of utterly bewildered onlookers, and two rafts of survivors who'd just been transported over twenty five hundred miles in an instant.  

Looking haggard after the tremendous effort, Ryan slowly began to rise into the air getting up to at least sixty feet, turning his gaze back to the ship and the only other person here.  "It's just us!"   He called out to her.  He'd need a quick breather before trying that again but he wasn't planning on dying out here, or letting anyone else do the same.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seattle, the little slice Ryan could see, was being lambasted by it's own storm. It was raining heavily (surprise!), and waves were crashing against the sand. The boats were quickly beached and the sailors and scientists pulled themselves gratefully out of the ocean. Out on the beach, storm-watchers stared at the impossible for a moment before rushing over to help. 

Her senses extended into the ocean, Emily could feel dozens of creatures converging on the kelptopus while hundreds of other marine life did it's best to scatter away. A moment of focus and she was able to feel the differences in movement and shape. The dozens, they were all octopi. As they came near enough to the kelptopus to touch the glowing, far more than eight, tentacles, their own bodies began to emit the purple-orange light. They grew. Thankfully not to the size of the boat-smashing kelptopus, but rivaling giant squids or even surpassing them. Light played like a disco strobe scene below the waves while the thunder grumbled loudly above. Lighting rained down on the water in a blazing display over the pod of monster octopi as they sank deeper into the water. In the aftermath, Ryan and Emily were left with the listing Hi'ialaki as the ocean and the night quieted. Overhead, the clouds began to part.

 

Spoiler

+1 XP for you both!

Emily: Take one dot of Fame. 
Ryan: Take a dot of Fame (if he fesses up to who he is) or one dot of Covert (if he's going to try fly under the radar).

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Emily observed in silent wonderment at the Kleptopus and it new family and she realized that whatever had happened to make her become this ….this Waterwitch, and allowed a man to fly, had created something new and wonderful, and deep down inside she knew the world was a very different place now.

She looked up as the man glided over to the ship and settled on the deck a few feet away. He was an older guy, forties probably, in pretty good shape and not hard on the eyes. “We should probably go, I’ll be able to open a…, hell I don’t even know what to call it.”
“Not yet, Mr.…?”

“Hawke, it's Ryan Hawke.” He started to stick his hand out but stopped realizing how ridiculous that was under the circumstances. The woman in the uniform stepped closer.

“Thank you, Mr. Hawke, you saved a bunch of lives here. I’m Ensign Thompson, but you can call my Emily. Where did you come from?”
Ryan look over the side of the ship then up at the sky then he pointed up, “I was flying a cargo plane, it was hit by the storm and came apart. Then I was flying myself. And this is all just really weird. You were doing stuff with the water…”

“Yeah,” she nodded as she walked over to the hatch leading below, “it is weird, and I don’t know why I’m not freaking out more, but I’m not. Maybe I’m in shock.

Look I didn’t get a head count before you sent everyone through that thing you made, so we need to make sure there is no one trapped below, and I need to assess the damage and make sure we aren’t sinking.”

Ryan nodded and couldn’t help but smile at the young officer taking charge, she was cute and all things being equal she was the captain of the ship now. Resisting the urge to salute, Ryan pointed toward the bow, “I’ll check upfront and leave you to the engineering spaces. You probably can get a better Idea of the damage than me. But if you ask me, I don’t think just the two of us can sail this and we don’t have a radio anymore.” He left the rest unsaid.

Emily paused on the lip of the hatchway to the lower deck, “If we aren’t sinking, I am not leaving her to become a hazard to shipping or someone’s salvage. I’ll get her home even if I have to get out and push.”

They searched the ship and inspected her bow to stern and found that indeed, the two were alone and while damaged and listing to port noticeably the Hi'ialakai wasn’t sinking. And so it was that with Ryan Hawke keeping a close watch on the surrounding sea, that Emily Thompson commanding not only the ship but the sea itself drove the wounded vessel across the ocean solely with the power of the waves and safely back into her port at Pearl Harbor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...