Sep 30, 2022 9:01 AM
Sapphire's unplanned adventures in Earth-16, or, supervillains don't schedule attacks for your convenience
« Previous Post
Permalink

For the next month Sapphire works to reestablish something approaching normality. She's not really comfortable being as important to the world as she's become but she isn't alone, she has the support of the league. She finds an apartment, sends applications to schools, and helps. She meets with the team from Star Labs, researches infectious diseases and starts working on what she can, researches hospitals and makes plans for how to improve them and she pays attention to the news and goes to help with earthquakes, tornados, and floods. There's a particularly bad flood in Pakistan and also a series of wildfires in Russia. Batman also sends a few requests for scans, she doesn't like the cloak and dagger work but she understands it's important and she helps. That doesn't stop her from keeping meticulous records and tries to understand his plan. She keeps herself very busy and at some point she decides she needs a break. She reaches out to Atlantis about visiting. It's amazing that it's real here.

Total: 216
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

Atlantis, it turns out, is a league of city states spread out across the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. The capital and largest city is Poseidonis. King Orin, better known as Aquaman, says she is welcome to visit.

Permalink

She settles on a day and when the time comes Transition.

Permalink

Her ring takes her just outside one of the gates of Poseidonis, a large arch interrupting a stone wall. The city itself lies under a massive, glowing, translucent dome. This deep in the Atlantic Ocean, there is little sunlight, but the city is illuminated by various objects—some of which vaguely resemble light bulbs—glowing blue, green, or pink. Sapphire herself is surrounded by the indigo glow of her environmental shield, protecting her from the cold water and allowing her to breathe comfortably. Her hair and skin aren't even wet.

Two guards standing outside the gate startle at her sudden arrival.

"Who goes there?"

Permalink

"Hello, I'm Sapphire Eyestone. King Orin said I could visit. You have a beautiful city."

Permalink

"Er... what?" How is she speaking Atlantean? Why is she glowing?

"No, she’s right," says the other guard. "It was in the briefing yesterday morning."

"Right then. Sapphire Eyestone, you are free to enter. Welcome to Poseidonis."

Permalink

"Thank you, is there anywhere in particular you recommend?"

Permalink

"The palace gardens are open to the public, they're quite pretty. If you've been to Atlantis, I suppose you might want to try the food. Unless surface-dwellers eat algae, but I think it's probably pretty different up there. And of course Poseidonis is well known for its enchanters and craftsmen, so you could stop by Pearl Street if you want to shop."

Permalink

"Thank you. Those all sound like excellent ideas." She'll head for the palace gardens first.

Permalink

Poseidonis is built on a series of flat-topped hills that divide it into layers. Dominating the city's skyline on its tallest and central hill, there is a large, elegant building which can only be the palace. She starts heading in that direction. As she travels through the city, these are some of the things she might notice. The 'streets' are completely unpaved, just spaces between the buildings with a rocky or sandy bottom, probably because everyone swims around without touching the seafloor. Most of those people swimming around look human, although many have visible gills or webbed fingers. About a quarter of the city's population has far more exotic features. Some look like mermaids or mermen, some are humanoids with animalistic features, like fins, tentacles on their face, or scaly skin, and a few look like sea creatures with a few human features. The streets are also shared with actual sea creatures like crabs and fish that seem to live inside the city. Corals, kelp, sponges, and other plants and technically-animals-but-resemble-plants grow in the streets, on the walls and roofs of buildings, and anywhere else the space isn't occupied.

The architecture and design style, surprisingly, strongly resemble ancient Greek architectural and design styles, despite however many thousands of years of divergence there has been. The buildings are elegant, carved out of pale stones, heavily featuring columns, arches, and domes. Although none of the buildings are taller than three or four stories, the city is quite vertical in design—buildings have openings at all levels, and people are able to simply swim up to their destinations instead of taking stairs (which Poseidonis does not seem to have). They are illuminated with presumably magical lights in the shape of orbs, crystals, or long cords that look like christmas lights, shining blue, pink, green, and other colors.

Permalink

She tries to get a better sense of the people, people watching has always been a hobby of hers. Are they happy? Does anyone look like they want to talk to her? Are there patterns in who is interacting with who? Are there uniforms or fashion differences that seem to indicate different groups? Do people with more or less aquatic features seem to have higher status?

Permalink

Some look happy, some not, on average it seems about the same as any other city Sapphire has been to, if more tranquil than Manhattan. Many people are giving her weird looks, with some combination of confusion, curiosity, and hostility. Some look like they might want to talk to her, but none are approaching her. She can't really identify the social or class dynamics, although it seems like some, but not all, of the human Atlanteans look down upon those with animal features.

Permalink

She'll move closer to one of the curious people who looks like they want to talk with her. "Hello."

Permalink

A woman with long black hair and an iridescent fish tail for a lower body responds.

"Er, hello. Why are you glowing?"

Permalink

"It's a side effect of how I'm breathing and moving around."

Permalink

"And how are you doing that?"

Permalink

"I got lucky and somehow ended up with a very special ring."

Permalink

Well, that's a vague non-answer.

"Er, okay. So you're a surface-dweller then?"

Permalink

"Yeah, I live on the surface most of the time. I guess I'm kinda a superhero by some standards but I do charity work not fights. My ring helps me do all kinds of things."

Permalink

"Okay. Well, don't cause any trouble while you're here."

She swims off.

Permalink

Well that was interesting. She doesn't feel like trying that again so she keeps swimming toward the palace.

Permalink

After about ten minutes of ring-assisted floating—that she's moving through the water without kicking or paddling with her hands is probably one of several reasons passers-by keep giving her looks—she reaches the palace gardens. They consist primarily of beautifully-sculpted corals and aquatic plants in a panoply of vivid colors, with paths converging in clearings with marble statues or animated light sculptures that resemble holograms.

Permalink

She floats around slowly just taking in the ambiance. It's beautiful.

Permalink

While floating around the gardens, she (proverbially) bumps into a young man wearing clothing that resembles surface fashion more than anything else she's seen in the city so far. He looks troubled.

Permalink

"Hello, are you enjoying the gardens? It's my first time visiting."

Permalink

"Your first time?" He turns around. "Oh, you're from the surface, I suppose that explains it."

Total: 216
Posts Per Page: