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Bard
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
Alanna spared nothing. While a storm raged during the night she told them everything from the moment she had left them until her return. While Tom finished preparing their meal she told them of Arthur's half-brothers. While they ate she spoke of how Orus had kept her docile and compliant, of Vulko and Murk. While Tom had stoked the fire to keep the room warm, she told them of the war for which the Raths were trying to gather support in order to tighten their holds on Xebel and Atlantis and how they had created a false narrative blaming the surface dwellers for the malaise they themselves had subjected Alanna to in order to help better foment that support.

Tom sat in silent shock until Arthur broke it. "I don't understand, how did you go through all those years like that?"

Before Alanna could try reformulating her explanation of how the mind-magic used on her impacted her, Tom stepped in. "Arthur, do you remember the Merry Weather and Captain Donald?"

Arthur looked to his father and nodded, "yes".

"Do you remember how he was never the same after taking that pulley to the side of his head?"

Arthur glanced to the side in thought then looked back to his father. "He said he couldn't focus on anything?"

It was Tom's turn to nod. "Right, he used to tell the most vivid tales about his travels but after that mishap he had trouble just speaking his own name on some days. On one of his good days he told me that trying to grasp those memories was like trying to grab the tide. His mind might have been wet with a few scraps of memories but the vast majority was simply beyond him."

Arthur looked to Alanna. "Is that what it was like? Not being able to grab the tide?"

Alanna thought for a moment. "Close. It was like not even knowing there was a tide there to grab."

"And Orus did this to you to steal the throne of Atlantis from our family," Arthur asked, a hint of incredulity and outrage tinging his use of the word "steal".

Alanna nodded, almost missing the importance of the last part of his statement.

Arthur's hands rested on the table in front of him, he now looked down at them. After a moment he nodded to himself. After another moment he got up, went around the table and embraced her. "I'm so very sorry this happened to you," and a heartbeat later, "mom."

Alanna had been surprised at the embrace at first, but then quickly moved beyond that shock to relish the hug. She had told them everything and they had accepted her back. She felt as if a great weight had lifted from her shoulders but that lasted only until she thought about what was to come next.

Alanna finally pulled away from the embrace just far enough to look over to Tom. "I can't begin to express how happy seeing the two of you again is making me." She looked to Arthur, "and you, you're growing into such a handsome, young man!"

Out of the corner of her eye she noted Tom's face falling slightly. "But you have to go back," he prompted.

Without taking her eyes off of Arthur she agreed, sadly. "I have to go back."

Arthur took her hands in his own. "But why?"

"Because whether I like it or not, because even though I never wanted this responsibility, the House of Fen has always been the one to guide Atlantis. These are my people and they are being duped into a war of greed and ego and it's being done in my own name. Even were I not of House Fen, their attempt to falsely use me as their propaganda is not something I could allow. I return to not just stop the war, not just for revenge on behalf of my brother but to take my rightful seat as sovereign of Atlantis so this cannot happen again."

This time it was Tom's turn to ask a question. "If it's so important then why are you here? Is this one final 'goodbye'?"

She turned to Tom. "Not exactly. My love for you is deep and true but were it so simple as just sitting in the throne I would have done it then come back later once things had calmed." She looked back to Arthur, "for this to work I need you."

The table shook as Tom slammed his hand down with force. "NO! You have been gone for almost a decade due to being trapped in some insane political scheme and horrible magic, leaving us with no way of knowing whether you were alive nor dead and now you return just to drag Arthur into that hell!?! Absolutely not, I forbid it!"

"Dad..."

Tom looked at Arthur now, "no, Arthur! NO! You do not get a say in this. I am your father, I am the only person to have raised you all these years and I will not see you succumb to the machinations of those who took your mother from us for all these years!"

"Dad, I'm going."

"Absolutely not! You are only thirteen years old, barely shave! This is not a story from one of your books of knights and dragons, these people your mother is talking about would kill you the moment they find out about you. Don't you get it, son? You're half-Atlantean, half surface-world. You're a testament to peace between our peoples, you're the exact opposite from what the Raths are trying to accomplish."

Arthur did not raise his voice, did not shy from his father's posture or the desperate anger contained in his voice. "You've always taught me to do the right thing 'not because it's expected, but simply because it's right'. What's the point of all of those books teaching that, what's the point of your teaching me that if it's really just for when it's easy or convenient?"

Tom didn't have an answer for that.

"I'm not looking to be a hero, but people might die if I don't go with her. My people. Like mom just said, 'whether I like it or not' these are people I might be able to save. If I don't at least try then I haven't learned anything from those books and have not deserved them."

Tom looked defeated. The truth of Arthur's words had taken him down like an old sail that's lost the wind. He sat back down then turned a sad smile toward them. "Well we had best make use of the time we have now because you can't leave during the middle of a Nor'easter."

So they stayed there, talking of other things while the winds howled throughout the night. When the weather calmed the next day, Arthur and Alanna began their trek to Atlantis.


Green Chili Tiger
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
quote:

On one of his good days he told me that trying to grasp those memories was like trying to grab the tide. His mind might have been wet with a few scraps of memories but the vast majority was simply beyond him."


This is just a fantastic analogy. Very well written. Bravo.


Sneaky__Sally
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
quote:

quote:
On one of his good days he told me that trying to grasp those memories was like trying to grab the tide. His mind might have been wet with a few scraps of memories but the vast majority was simply beyond him."


This is just a fantastic analogy. Very well written. Bravo.




I'm enjoying this as well - helping me get in the groove trying to figure out my own voice and prose.


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Bard
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
Namor loathed his father. He knew it was not normal and Vulko had often counseled him to keep that to himself, but as he aged it became harder and harder to disguise it. He recognized that Orus was most often a soft-spoken charmer with a pleasing yet commanding tone in his voice while in public. Behind closed doors though he would let down his guard. Namor was far more familiar with Orus' cruel insults, his naked lust for power, his barely contained jealousy of his children's inherited positions and his flagrant infidelities while their mother laid immobile in her chambers. Even at such a young age he had already come to understand his father was not someone to admire.

"But, Father," Namor protested.

Orus put on his belt then closed his eyes and sighed, almost as if in pleasure. Namor never understood how a simple belt could elicit such a reaction from his father.

"Father..."

Orus whirled on his son then glared. "Who am I, boy?"

Namor hated when his father acted this way, which was happening far more often in the two months since his mother's surface-spawned illness worsened. He had not been allowed even into her suite of rooms, much less been allowed to see her since then. Orus Rath stalked toward his son, a haughty anger flared in his eyes. His voice suddenly lost all of its normal soothing sound, replaced now by a tone of grating anger. "Say it."

Namor gritted his teeth at having to acknowledge his father in this way. It went completely against the laws of Atlantis but he knew he had no other choice. One day though, one day when he was older and stronger... "You are the Imperious Rex."

Orus' eyes almost glowed with the naked lust for power now. He took another step toward Namor. "Say the title again."

"Imperious Rex."

Another step closer. "Again!"

"Imperius Rex!"

Another step closer. "AGAIN!" Orus had his face now within inches of Namor's. This had become a dance between them with Orus always leading and Namor reluctantly following.

He knew the expected response so he spit it out even though it galled something deep within him to do so. "IMPERIOUS REX!"

And now mollified, Orus would gloat for a moment then go about doing whatever he was doing, Namor knew. Or at least he thought he had his father figured out. Instead of lording his authority over Namor as normal, this time his right hand shot out and grabbed Namor by the throat. He followed that up by using the leverage of his greater size to ram the back of Namor's head into the wall behind him. "Watch your tone, boy! I am the ruler here! I am the sovereign!" Orus was almost rabid as he held Namor pinned against the wall at arm's length. "Don't make me replace you with your brother!"

Namor struggled against the iron grip as he thought of Orm. He was far too young to be put through this and Namor felt it was his duty to be his brother's shield against their father's increasing anger.

He could feel the pressure his father was placing on his neck but it was not enough to actually choke him. Namor knew it was a fruitless endeavor but nevertheless he reached up with both hands in an attempt to remove his father's hand from his throat. Namor did well to not show his surprise when he was successful in beginning to ever so slowly peel one of his father's fingers from his neck. He quickly turned his surprise into rage of his own to fuel his resistance. He was fighting back!

Orus' eyes widened almost imperceptibly before anger clouded back over them while his left hand shot out to pull back Namor's hands. When Namor tried again, this time Orus back-handed him across the head. Hard. Physically hurt and emotionally shocked by the action, Namor relented. His father had always had a quick temper, Vulko had remarked before on how he believed Namor learned that trait from him. Namor had seen his father use that anger on subordinates, especially the ones he believed to be Atlantean natives, but he had never used it on Namor before.

Orus tossed Namor across the room to land roughly against the floor. "Enough of your sniveling. Make yourself ready for the event and I do not want to hear another word of you wanting to disturb your mother. I have spoken! I, Imperious Rex!" Orus turned and left the room.

Namor had recovered his wits from the ordeal in time to see his father leave. He rubbed the still-stinging side of his face as he glared in the direction his father had been. "'Imperious Rex', indeed," he quietly said to the empty room.
This post was edited on 10/12 at 1:50 pm


Bard
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
Orus had created this event to rally the people of Atlantis to his side. He had spent the last year sending spies out to quietly gauge the sentiment of the populace on a host of issues. Did they favor him over Alanna? Did they believe his story about Alanna's "failing health" being at the hands of the air-breathers? Had they yet accepted Xebel forces being stationed in Atlantis? How strong was the opposition to him? Who were its leaders?

The answers didn't please him. Most Atlanteans still did not trust Orus but he was given a wide tolerance because of Alanna, Namor and Orm. His debauchery was widely assumed but never proven. The commoners still loved Alanna (and loved her children as well) and believed the stories about the surface-worlders being responsible for Alanna's ailment but that seemed to boil down to being mainly because they could think of no better reason.

No, Orus decidedly did NOT like those answers, but he could work with them.

Orus had organized this rally to reinforce the hatred of the surface world. He had no idea where Alanna had disappeared to nor how, but he had enough guards loyal to him guarding her rooms to keep out anyone (and everyone) he wished. He initially believed Vulko to be involved. It was Vulko who had discovered her disappearance but he seemed just a shocked as everyone else. His spies had followed Vulko for weeks afterward but had discovered nothing other than his penchant for making noxious potions that permeated his chambers.

Just as with the views of the commoners though, he could work with that. He had planned to use her presence as a visual stimulus to goad the masses into warring on the surface world. Instead he used her absence to enhance the tale, she was now worse off than ever before and because of it the drylanders were planning to attack. The story was starting to take hold, every one of his spies corroborated that, but he still needed more propaganda to help seal enough support for his war. Once the people associated him with destroying the enemies of Atlantis, they would be far more likely to let go of the old ways of following House Fen.

It would be such a shame when his sons were lost to the blades of surface spies. And then his poor Alanna would die from a broken heart. The sympathetic support would be tremendous. He was a young man though, he had decades to remarry and produce other heirs, ones not tainted with outdated loyalties.

Even with all of his machinations he still needed some binding agent now, some sort of symbol to make up for the missing Alanna. Providence had smiled upon him when he heard tales of the brute, Murk, losing his right hand fending off a freak shark attack while on patrol outside the protective magical boundaries of Atlantis that kept out such predators. Luckily he had been present when the behemoth had come in with his incredible tale. Shark attacks like that were rare but they did happen.

Orus had quickly taken over the situation and had secured Murk's agreement to go along with the new version of his story, one which had Murk losing his patrol and his hand to vile surface dwellers testing the defenses of Atlantis. The simpleton asked only that he be allowed to be the guard for the royal children. Orus had initially thought him to have some sort of filthy Lemurian ancestry due to his enormous size, that ridiculous request cemented his belief. Murk was nothing more than a big, dumb tool, just like any other Lemurian.

And now the stage was set. Orus had set this rally in the center of the city in the hopes as many as possible would come. He peered through the curtains set to hide his grand entrance. It was looking as if his wish had come true because the place was packed. It looked like very single resident was in attendance and possibly even some from nearby settlements. He smiled savagely for this was his arena. He would have them eating from his palm and then begging for more.

Orus glanced back to make sure everyone was in place. Namor glowered but he knew his place, at least for now. Namor was his first-born but he would be glad to be rid of him. There was far too much ambition and rigidity in that one. Orus shooed those thoughts away, it was time to begin his performance.

Orm swam out to loud applause. It wasn't raucous nor even impressive, it was just above polite approval. He would change that soon enough.

"Fellow Atlanteans, heed my words!" The crowd quieted quickly. "A decade ago we were all witness to a tragedy; the terrible event of the death of King Orvax Fen the second. Many times I have told the tale to my advisors, to my children... but I have never told you, the good people of Atlantis. Today I fix that oversight and in doing so I hope you will agree with our next course of action.

On that fateful day years ago King Orvax, his guards and I met with my brother, King Callum Rath of Xebel, and his guards near the Trench. Rumors had spread of air-breathers plunging into our depths to find our cities and plunder them for their own selfish gain. We met far away from both cities in an area we believed too harsh for topsiders to tolerate.

We were wrong.

A horde of Trenchers attacked, but this was no minor scuffle; these beasts were led and controlled by topsiders! They wore special garments which allowed them to exist in our realm and they used their own magic to control the Trenchers.

We fought for hours, the water was so thick with blood it actually frightened away sharks! Eventually we realized their numbers were just too great and that's when I witnessed the bravest thing I have ever seen: King Orvax Fen took control of the remaining guards of both cities and held the line as he ordered Callum back to Xebel and myself to return here to prepare a defense against a certain attack on both cities. An attack that, as you all know, never came."

The crowd was silent. He was feeding them and, just as he predicted, they were starving for more.

"For ages untold, since the time of the Cataclysm itself, we have quietly and peacefully created this world of beauty and strength out of nothing and we spend our time now maintaining and improving it. None can deny the blood and tears required to fashion this stunning achievement, this testament to the souls of its creators.

And now we find ourselves, centuries later, under attack for what we have achieved, things others cannot achieve for themselves. Although we did not seek to keep up lines of trade, or even communication, with our distant cousins of the dry lands, neither did we seek trouble from them. We were happy and content to live our lives here below the waves, separate from them. They were able to pursue their dreams and we could pursue ours.

At some point in history they forgot we existed. The believed themselves to be masters of the world yet they knew only of the lands where water did not fill its surface. And still we flourished. They waged numerous wars between themselves while we stayed hidden and in peace. They faced disease and famine while we remained health and well-fed. Had they never re-discovered that we yet lived, we would still be living in bliss.

Unfortunately though some vile dweller of land caught our wonderful Queen Alanna in their net while she was out exploring the world. Before her health waned she spent many nights telling me of the horrors she endured during their tortures. I can still feel her tears as she would share these tales, I can still hear the rage in her voice, the desire for vengeance. Our beloved and noble queen believes herself responsible for the death of her brother as even her steel will broke before the unrelenting onslaught or their torturers."

He could almost feel the gasps echoing through the crowd. He had them now.


Bard
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
"By the time poor, brave Alanna had escaped and made it back to her home to warn you, her people, it was too late. The rest, you already know. They had infected her with many noxious and devious diseases while they had her, some of which only became active once she was freely back under the waves again. And now, even though we have not struck back at them even ten years after they took our king from us, they come for us again! Their evil work has placed our most loved Alanna into a sleeping coma and this seems to be a prelude to their desire to invade us.

But didn't we believe this same thing ten years ago? That an attack from the world above was imminent? What is different now?"

The hook was set, now it was time to reel them in. He motioned to the giant Murk.

Murk stepped forward, his awesome size causing trepidation among those nearest the stage. This was enhanced, undoubtedly, by the huge, golden spear now in the place where his right hand had once been. "Fellow Atlanteans, I introduce you to one of your own, the most brave and honorable Murk!"

The crowd roared its approval. Murk had become something of a local legend after his surviving of the surface attack. Orus's spies had followed him for the first few weeks after his recovery. He had visited almost every tavern and guard house in the city and while he had the disposition of an angry eel, people seemed to admire and respect him.

Murk stood beside him now so he floated a little higher so they appeared to be of the same height to any who could not see how much higher over the stage Orus swam than did Murk. "This incredible Atlantean and his patrol fought off a contingent of a dozen air-breathers and their Trenchian allies! After a brutal battle this amazing son of Atlantis was the only survivor on either side. After losing his right hand in deadly battle he bravely tied off the wound and continued fighting until he alone was left standing!

Many would think that enough, but not might Murk! Instead of laying down and succumbing to the seas he powered through his injury to search through the bodies of our enemies and there he found information detailing how and where the surface world would be attacking us. The 'when' would be once the waters above warmed enough for their weak skins to tolerate it."

He could feel the admiration for Murk pouring from the crowd. He needed to move the attention back to himself lest me make Murk their defacto leader.

"I gave this courageous soul his choice in commissions for the unbelievable duty he performed for Atlantis. Murk's request was humbling, he has asked to be the personal guard for the royal children and I could not agree more!"

The crowd cheered again. "Who better to insure the safety of the throne's future generation than a warrior of such inestimable strength and resiliency!" He turned to Murk now, "Murk, I hereby declare you 'Master of the Successors' High Guard'." Murk bowed as the crowd roared.

Orus once again silenced the crowd, this was going even better than he had planned. Now to end the rally and begin the war planning. The House of Rath would soon have complete control of the Atlantic.

"Dearest ladies and gentle men of Atlantis. We did not seek war with the surface world but now that they have brought it to us, we cannot stand by and let ourselves just be killed. You will be asked for much in the coming weeks as we gear up for war but know that it is a war we will win. A war we MUST win! And I promise you this..."

His promise was never made as a shout came from the crowd.

"LIES! Orus Rath of Xebel feeds you nothing but lies!"

The crowd parted to reveal two cloaked figures floating in front of the stage, murmuring drifted through the gathering.

Orus had no idea what was going on but he had to act quickly. "Guards! Grab these surface sympathizers," and just for good measure he added, "someone go check on Queen Alanna! NOW!"

Before the guards could make it to the duo, the taller one removed their hood. A sinking pit opened in Orus' gut as he realized it was Alanna.


Kvothe
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
Edge of my seat for more Namor


Bard
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
Even with Alanna's identity exposed, the guards still advanced. They were loyal to Orus. As they neared Arthur too pulled off his cloak. Alanna saw the confusion and fear on Orus' face and she allowed herself a quick moment to enjoy it. Her glance slipped over to Namor, still floating a few steps behind his father. Her few memories of him made her think him always a serious child, this encounter was no different. Namor was glowering at the events transpiring. Orm was too young to be present and wouldn't understand anyway but Namor's demeanor quickly dulled the sharpness of her joy.

She pulled her focus back to the guards advancing on her. With all the power in her small frame she shouted, "ATLANEANS! DEFEND YOUR QUEEN!" Suddenly the crowd around her bled armed warriors in plain clothing. The guards engaged the first of the defenders and battle was joined as the number of those defending Alanna swelled.

On the stage Orus was shouting like a madman at the remaining guards, demanding they attack their queen. "She's obviously been seduced by the air-breathers! Stop her NOW!" When they did not move to do so he moved to the nearest guard and grabbed the guard's spear by the haft, just under the spearhead with his right hand. "You would disobey your king!?!"

The guard made no move other than to tighten his grip on the spear. Orus put his other hand on the guard's chestplate then, amazingly, began to tighten his left fist which caused the metal of the chestplate to crumple under his strength. He yanked the spear from the guard, reversed its angle then stabbed it up under the guard's jaw and into his brain killing him instantly.

Orus spun to face the spot of his soon-to-be-defeated guards and Alanna's cadre. None could match his strength. They may slaughter his guards but, he decided, he would kill not just them but any others who may still have any sort of loyalty to House Fen.

Before he could advance a grip as strong as steel wrapped his right wrist, immobilizing his sword arm. He turned into the grip, his strength and speed allowing him to use his left hand to grab the shaft of the small spear that had been going toward his chest. It was a small, golden spear attached to a prosthetic covering where a large right hand had once been. "This is how you repay me, chattel?"

"This is how I make up for failing King Orvax," Murk snarled.

Murk had always been strong and resilient, absurdly so in fact. Others gifted with such abilities would have eventually questioned how or why they were this way, but not Murk. Murk had a simple and straightforward view of life, he was tough and strong and that was all there was to it. It didn't matter to him that he could accomplish feats and go places others couldn't even if they had magical aid. He was simply magnitudes stronger and tougher than anyone else and that was as much about it as he needed to know.

This immutable fact of his physiology, this truth of self was such a given to him that at first he didn't realize he was slowly losing ground to Orus. It wasn't that he couldn't believe it, it was just that it was so foreign to him that he didn't recognize it for what it was: Orus was stronger than him.

With a growl Murk redoubled his efforts. Maybe this imposter was stronger than him but he would not fail Atlantis again. He would push, he would fight muscle to muscle against Orus until his heart burst from his chest due to the strain. By Poseidon's oily hide he would beat Orus or die trying!

Alanna and her group were still busy fighting their way to the stage and Orus had met Murk's redoubling with one of his own, one in which Murk knew he would ultimately lose. As if in answer to that thought, Orus snapped the spear from Murks's prosthetic, leaving only a jagged tip.

Orus made to stab Murk with his own spear but Murk was far more experienced in fighting. Instead of trying to move out of the way Murk stabbed Orus' arm with what was left of his prosthetic's weapon. Orus dropped the spear point but quickly recovered enough to grab Murk's arm once again. They had returned to a stalemate, one that was slowly tilting in Orus' favor.

Murk and Orus were locked not just in grasps but they locked glares as well. Murk would not enter the realm of Lord Hades without being able to honestly say he faced the insane gleam in his killer's eyes and never flinched.

Orus looked down. Murk, sensing some deception, kept his gaze on Orus.

"What are you doing, whelp!?! Stop that! STOP THAT NOW!!" Orus's split concentration caused him to stop making progress against Murk.

Murk spared a quick glance down now and saw the cold, angry look of Namor staring up at his father. As they had struggled for leverage, Orus and Murk's lower halfs had drifted apart until their grappling forms created a bit of a semi-circle. As their battle of might waged Namor had simply swum up between them. Namor's right hand was at Orus' belt, Orus was now trying to disengage but Murk would not let him.

"DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM," Orus was nearly hysterical now jerking and twisting as much as he possibly could.

Namor, never releasing his father's gaze, allowed a slight smirk as he released his father's belt. He had seen him don it and undo it hundreds of times, the catch was childishly simple. "Imperious Rex," he snarled as he whipped the belt off his father's waist then held it up before him.

Murk felt the strength drain from his opponent as Namor slipped from between them. Murk held Orus' sword hand immobile while Orus strained in vain to stop the jagged spike on Murk's right hand from slowly nearing his chest. Murk grinned in spite of himself, his vengeance was going to be sweet as he slowly drove his spike into Orus' chest then held him there, watching as he died.

"Murk! Hold!" It was Alanna off to his left. As he and Orus had struggled they had turned a bit in the water.

Murk glanced to his queen, he wouldn't be happy with her if she settled for sparing Orus' life but he would oblige.

Suddenly, from behind Orus came the shout of "IMPERIOUS REX!"

Murk's spearpoint, the one Orus had snapped off, was now exploding from Orus' chest. Behind Orus was Namor, holding the other end of the spear.

This post was edited on 10/13 at 12:18 pm


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Bard
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
quote:

Edge of my seat for more Namor


Ask and ye shall... ya know.


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Bard
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
The Atlantean Angle: Post Mortem

Alanna sat up quickly and turned to face Thomas. "He was here?? Namor came... here? Why? What did he say? How was he?"

Thomas never lost his gentle smile as he looked at his wife and nodded. Slowly she allowed him to pull her back down to snuggle beside him. Far too many years had passed with the two of them being far apart for her to waste time now on things which could not be changed.

"From what I gathered from what little Namor allowed to slip out, he came here not long after it was decided that Arthur would ascend to the throne. He wasn't exactly angry about it, but something was bothering him. He stayed almost six months but never said more about it than that." Namor had left just weeks before Alanna had arrived.

Alanna nodded. "I think I understand. The ruling of Atlantis has always been a patriarchal role. There have been queens in the past but only until a suitable male heir was found. Due to Arthur's mixed heritage, being half drylander, it was thought Namor would take the throne once he was deemed ready."

Thomas cut in, "he wasn't deemed ready fast enough?" This was not a jab at Namor. Anyone who knew him knew he had little patience. If anything it was a straight-forward recognition of knowing him well.

Alanna paused before her answer. Thomas could feel she was struggling to walk the path of this particular conversation. "No, it was found out that Arthur wasn't the only son with half land-dweller blood."

Two of Alanna's three children had been conceived of her without her knowledge, much less any desire to be unfaithful to Thomas. He was full of questions but his wisdom held them back, certain Alanna would answer when she was ready.

When no questions -no accusations- came from Thomas, Alanna continued. "One of my last memories before the mind-fog set in fully, wiping almost a decade from me, was of my old mentor, Vulko, giving me something to drink. I remembered it was to remain a secret but nothing more beyond that. It seems that Vulko knew Orus was going to attempt to create an heir with me to tie himself to the throne so he beat him to it."

Thomas stiffened at the immediate implicaton.

Alanna sat up and face him again, wide-eyed. "No, no-no-no-no! Nothing like that, my love! In some manner I do not wish to think on he had seed obtained from some surface-dweller. The man was the lone survivor of a shipwreck on a mount... 'island'... somewhat near Atlantis. A man named 'Mckenzie' who died a year later."

Thomas relaxed a bit and nodded as Alanna once again snuggled back into his embrace. "That makes sense, then." Alanna looked up at him as he continued. "While he stayed here with me Namor was full of questions about the surface world. The recent war, the technology, the different races, the different cultures... he found it amusing, or as amusing as Namor can find anything, that surface-worlders often define boundaries by water features of geography."

"When he left," Alanna began, "he refused to talk to but to, very formally, tell Arthur he was leaving Atlantis to 'see what is to be seen'."

"He left to find himself," Thomas added.

Alanna continued, "Namor always held himself above others but did so by constantly striving to be the best at what he did. When he learned languages, he drove himself to learn them faster and speak them more naturally than any others. When he learned to fight, when he studied diplomacy, everything to him was a competition that he must win. Namor always envisioned himself in being the best Atlantean he could be so he could therefore be the best King of Atlantis ever to sit the throne. I believe his having a father like Orus, one with so many egregious failings, had a lot to do with that."

"Namor was embarrassed by him, you think?"

Alanna pondered on this for a second then went on.
"More like ashamed, and deeply so. It's why he never one grieved after killing him."

Thomas considered that. "That makes sense as well. I got the feeling from him that he sees much of the world in black-or-white terms. Very little is gray to him."

Alanna nodded her agreement while Thomas continued his thought, "I guess that's part of why he has such a quick temper. Being a perfectionist like that, someone who sees things if clear striations of right or wrong with very little wiggle-room in between, has to be frustrating when you live in a world that is the exact opposite."

Alanna nodded then reached her hand up to turn Thomas's head downward to face her. "Enough talk about others for now, let's talk about us."


Bard
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
It had been twenty-five years since Alanna and Arthur had left, twenty-one years since Namor had come to stay with Arthur for a time and twenty years since Namor had left and Alanna had finally come home to stay for good. During those many years Alanna had come back to visit Thomas when time allowed while preparing Namor then Arthur for the throne. As Arthur's coronation drew nearer and then was completed, she was able to spend more and more time with Thomas until one day she no longer leaving Atlantis to visit Thomas but rather she was leaving Thomas to visit Atlantis. That revelation still made her smile.

She was smiling and thinking on that as she watched Thomas move around the small kitchen. He was still as warm, wise and kind as ever but age came upon drylanders far faster than it did those from the waters. Alanna looked the exact same as she had the day Thomas had found her on the rocks outside his island home, meanwhile Thomas' skin had wrinkled and his hair had greyed considerably and he needed a cane to keep his balance when he walked. She knew she had less than a decade or two left with him, an eyeblink of time for an Atlantean, but instead of dwelling on losing him while he still lived she focused on how much she loved him while she still had him.

Thomas had just turned off the radio, some news about goings-on in Europe, when someone knocked at their front door. Normally any visitors would come during the day, the rare few who had shown up at night had done so during storms. The waters had been uncommonly quiet all evening.

Before Thomas could fully open the door a group of men burst through, their momentum hurling Thomas onto his back. The men were armed and they fanned out across the entryway as they entered the room, there were at least a half-dozen of them.

One of them, Alanna assumed him to be their leader, pointed his gun at Thomas, "you will unlock the lighthouse and show us how to use the controls."

Thomas attempted reason, "look, we don't have much..."

The man fired a shot into the floor near Thomas' head, Alanna screamed. The group's leader shouted at Thomas, "the lighthouse! NOW!"

One of the men said something to the leader, the language sounded like German. The leader seemed to consider what he said, nodded then raised his gun from Thomas to point at Alanna. He looked down to Thomas and calmly reiterated, "now".

Thomas hesitated. During that moment the leader sighed, retrained his weapon on Thomas then shot him three times.


Bard
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
Namor had spent the last two decades traversing the world both above and below the waves. He had seen the filth and squalor of Lemuria, he had trod the desert shorts of Arabian lands, he had learned first-hand of the xenophobia of the Muans, he had ridden the surf of great storms and witnessed the calm, quiet of vast pastoral lands. He had learned to cover his pointed ears and ankle winglets to better blend in with the surface world and had learned that almost none had any idea Atlantis even existed.

On his journeys he had learned many things about himself as well. He had learned he was stronger than others, both above and below the waves. He had learned he could survive the depths of even the Trench with little discomfort. He had also learned that he could soar through the air similar to how he could swim through the oceans.

He thought of all this as he shot out of the water to land near the base of the island's lighthouse. He would speak of his travels and thoughts to the only land-dweller he respected, he would speak with Thomas on this and then -perhaps- return to Atlantis.

He was jerked out of his thoughts by the sound of gunfire from the direction of the island's home. Fearing the worst, Namor took to the air and made a direct line to the house. Before he had made it halfway there a female voice cried out from the house, "NOOOOOOOOO," followed by a large crash then more gunfire.

Namor did not waste time going around to the opened front door but instead exploded straight through the nearest wall to find three men trying to extricate themselves from between the large dining table and the far wall with another three men holding pistols, their barrels still smoking from firing on the couple lying on the floor in front of them.

There before Namor were two bodies, one partially covering the other, neither were moving and both were bleeding from multiple bullet wounds. Alanna Fen, former Queen Regent of Atlantis lay there dying in front of him, her body covered in bleeding bullet holes. Below her was the bullet-ridden body of Thomas Curry, the father of his eldest brother and the only air-breather Namor had ever respected.

He turned his gaze on the men, their shock at his entrance wearing off. They were attempting to reload their weapons. Their tiny, insignificant weapons. One of the men had succeeded in crawling out from behind the table and fired at Namor as he shouted "Heil Hitler!" The bullets stung but didn't even break Namor's skin.

Namor's eyes swam with tears of grief and righteous rage. He moved like lightning as he launched himself into the group, the last words they heard were Namor's fury-laden, "IMPERIOUS REX!"


Green Chili Tiger
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
Keep up the great work Bard. I'm loving this!


Bard
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
Thanks! I'm thinking my next story will be a little more current. I've got a lot of ideas for the next subject(s) so I may do a couple of stories on them.


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Bard
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Tigerdroppings Platinum Member
Member since Oct 2008
38782 posts

re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
Batman & The Outsiders

Fifteen year old Dick Grayson looked skeptically at the new school down the street. "Bruce, are you sure?"

Bruce Wayne narrowed his eyes at his ward. Even though he wasn't in his Batman outfit that look still carried a smoldering hint of danger. Dick could feel the scowl coming from behind him but had learned to brush it off.

"After seeing him stop a mugging attempt at Maple Grove Park I was able to follow him as far as Forest Hills before I lost him. What I saw of him and from hearing his voice it made me think he was around your age but I couldn't be positive with his mask and costume. I collated all of the sightings and, when possible, the direction he was heading. Daytime sightings during the week spike in this area so if he is your age..." Bruce was prompting Dick to figure out the rest.

"Then he must be a student here at Forest Hills High School, him and about three thousand other kids," Dick obliged, "and it's my job to figure out which one he is."

Dick could feel Bruce's scowl soften, there was almost some warmth in his voice when he said, "Exactly."

"We usually stick to the city, what's so special about this guy that we have to come out to Queens and enroll me here?" Dick was still looking out of the darkly tinted window of the limousine, making note of the homes and the kids walking along the street toward the school.

"He has potential but his fighting style is sloppy. He did well enough against two thugs trying to score drug money but if he could be in real trouble if he ran into someone like Hammerhead and his goons."

Without looking back, Dick responded. "He was good enough to lose you. In Queens."

He felt the scowl return.

Dick thought for a moment. "Alfred, drive past the school, go two blocks, turn in either direction then let me out there. If our target sees me getting out of a limo it's going to be harder for me to find him by just blending in."

"Very good, Master Grayson," came the response from the driver's seat.

Dick looked back over to Bruce as the car passed the tree-lined front of the school. You had to know Bruce Wayne well enough to tell which was an approving scowl and which was a disapproving one. Although no one else beside Alfred could tell, Dick could see Bruce had stopped scowling and was all but beaming with pride.

Dick grinned back at Bruce as Alfred turned onto a street two blocks away from the school (and out of sight of it) then said, "This is good, Alfred." The car came to a smooth halt. "Don't worry about picking me up this afternoon, I can make my own way back. I want to learn the neighborhood a bit and see if I can find out more about our guy."

And with that Dick Grayson let himself out of the car and began heading toward his new school, taking the first steps in what he hoped would be a successful mission to find this person people had begun calling Spiderman.


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