Friday, October 17, 2008

After the Devil, in the Deep Blue Sea

"I'm getting tired," Havok said as he sat down on the castle steps. "When are we going to sleep?"

"You can sleep when you are dead," I said, dragging him to his feet. "But we didn't get yielded this week, so we can go right away. So let's GO!"

Havok groaned. "Now where are we going?"

"Well," I began, "once again we get to fit into a craft that is only large enough for one, and this time, we get to squeeze in our camera man."

We both looked at the camera man.

"Nice," Havok said dubiously as he eyed him over. "But I don't want him sitting on my lap. And you," he said, pointing at me, "make sure you move your light sabers off the back of your belt before getting in this time."

"No problem," I answered, pulling them off and sticking them in my boots once again before making our way over to the SHARC vehicle. I looked it over and it reminded me of the small fighters I've flown in my own galaxy.

"This actually looked a little more promising," I said crawling up into the cockpit. "There's a lot more room in this than there was in the drop ship on the last leg – there is even enough room to shove the cameraman into the nose of the cockpit."

"Good," Havok said, as he climbed up into the cockpit. "Let's get strapped in then."

The cameraman was less than thrilled with his position in the nose. But he still didn't seem to mind.

We took off from Doom's castle and followed the coordinates to the signal buoy before diving into the waters and down to Atlantean water space. It was not as nerve-wracking as the drop from the space station, and was even rather relaxing. So much so, that I had to poke Havok a coupla times when he started snoring in my ear.

Arriving at the port tower for Atlantic, we disembarked into a decompression chamber. The cameraman was terribly relieved and glad to stretch his legs. Havok had a great trip, as he slept most of the way – at least he got that much needed nap while I drove. Slacker.

We were directed to a table where there were a set of vials for all the race participants and their crews (read: cameramen). I picked one up and looked at the translucent, blue-green liquid. Running it by my nose, it smelled like a Mon Calamari after a week long binge at Corusant ground level.

"Ew," I said, looking at Havok. He had already downed his and was savoring it as if it were a fine wine. I looked at the photographer and he had done something similar, seemingly enjoying the taste.

I put mine down and tried another, but they all smelled the same. Holding my breath I downed the thick liquid and forced myself to swallow the vile-tasting drink. My first breath afterward left me coughing and gagging from the after-taste.

"Oh," I said, trying to catch my breath, "That was horrible."

"I don't know," Havok responded, "Tasted like root beer."

"I thought it tasted like maple syrup," the photographer commented. "A little too sweet, but not bad."

"I won't even describe what it tasted like to me," I answered, still trying to work the flavor out of my mouth. Another door on the other side of the room opened: an invitation to leave the decompression chamber. Once in the new room, the door closed behind us and water started filtering in, rising quickly to our knees and then our hips.

I felt my weight give way beneath me and I slipped into the water, unable to stand up. I attempted to maneuver my feet back under me, but something was wrong – they just didn't work right.

At first I thought I might be intoxicated, and then wondered if I were having an allergic reaction to the drink I'd just had. But a quick look under water and I saw the problem. Havok looked at me with new found respect.

"I didn't think you were a mutant?" he said to me as the water continued to rise.

"I'm not," I answered. "I think it's a side affect of that elixir they gave me. I just hope it's not permanent."

"Why?" he asked.

"Well, it would be rather difficult to pilot a star ship with only a tail," I said, shaking what would have otherwise been my feet.

After the room had filled with water, several Atlanteans entered, greeting us.

"Welcome to Atlantis, Air Breathers," a woman answered before she saw me. Her surprise was evident, but quickly regained her composure as she instructed us to Namor's throne as well as the strict protocol required from visitors.

"Enjoy your stay," she said, then pointed our way.

Rather than walking, we found it much easier to swim our way there. And with my new appendage, I found I was much better at it than the other two.

Arriving at the throne room we swam before Namor and settled before him as he sat on his throne. He also greeted me with a strange look, but only spoke of the task before us.

"Welcome to my realm," he said quietly. "You have two options and one choice to make on your journey here: do you want Maim or Game?"

Havok and I looked at one another. I think we were both thinking the same thing: stay with what you are good at.

"Maim," we both said at once.

"So tell me," Namor began, leaning forward staring at me, "what do you think a siren such as yourself could come up with besides singing a bewitching song to lure lonely sailors to their death upon the shoals?"

"Global warming," I said. "That will cause the polar ice caps to melt and flooding most of the land that is currently left. Since humans cannot breathe under water, you will win it with no losses of your own."

"Ok," he answered skeptically. "What's the catch?"

"It takes hundreds of years," I answered.

"That doesn't do us much good right now, then, does it?" he answered, obviously perturbed by my answer.

"Well, no," I answered. "But if we could come up with a way to cause the polar ice to melt faster, this could happen a lot faster when you wanted it to happen."

Namor rubbed his chin a moment in thought.

"I can use an electric current to melt them," he commented.

"It would have to be a really large or long lived current to be effective," I answered.

He nodded. "There are enough creatures in the oceans that can generate electric current that we could superheat the water beneath the Polar Regions and cause them to melt much faster."

"Then I recommend that when you are ready, you do that," I said. "Then if you still want to take over the remaining population on the land surface, you will have a much easier victory."

Namor stepped down from his throne and stood before us. "That seems like a sound plan," he said. "And I approve."

I smiled and looked at Havok: amazingly, he didn't have to say a word or do anything stupid to reach our goals this time. What a surprising turn of events.

Namor sidled up to me, invading my personal space. "And since you are already at the pit stop for this leg of the race," Namor said slyly as he eyed my fins and scales, "we can leave your companions here while I show you the royal relics."



Professor Xavier said...

Namor is a smooth one. From what I've heard, he's all hands. Just FYI.

Jan the Intergalactic Aviator said...

That's interesting that you got turned into a mermaid. I sure hope your condition doesn't prevent you from competing in the next leg of the race.

Paula Abdrool said...

I totally get you! I wish I were a man so we could get married and have a ton of babies! They would be the most beautiful kids in like the whole universe!