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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:13 pm 
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Jake and Kunja had done something entirely uncharacteristic when the Lords of the Deep had arrived.

They froze.

Both had spent the short battle simply staring in awe at the majesty and glory that was the Lords of the Deep. It wasn't until the gun fire suddenly went off that the Aussies finally snapped out of it and got into the air, just in time to see Reynolds disappear under the waves, swallowed by one of the massive creatures, or crushed to death. Either way he was gone and Jake involuntarily winced.

Then, just as suddenly as they had appeared the dragons were gone. "I know Captain Reynolds pissed off a lot of folks, but I didn't think Lords of the Deep were among them." rumbled Kunja.

Then Flinder got on the radio and the Aussies started looking more intently at the water. Most might dismiss the ramblings of the Dreamweavers, but most Aussies that had seen one knew better. "Well hell. How are we supposed to get him out of there?"

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:21 pm 
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"now how'n th' hell kin he be 'live?" Jebediah asked as Flinder's announcement roared over the radio.

"Ah'm wonderin' how Flinder kin be sure," Judith answered, looking towards the pale white streak plunging though the water, the last of Frostfell's tail vanishing. "An' it ain't gonna help Frostfell none."

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:02 pm 
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"Worse if he's alive," said McKenzie, flicking ash over the side. "There's no way Frostfell will survive that death dive. Second dragon to die on Nathan, this one he raised from a dragonet. Lord biting him in two would be kinder."

He took a long drag on his cigarette. "Of course, since that drugged out Aussie wyrm fired the shot that started this fight when the White Devil was trying to smoke the peace pipe with those bastards, might be better this way. Bloody Wendigos are as mean as a barb wire noose."

"He was our captain, Frostfell our dragon," objected Watson.

"Yeah," said McKenzie, "and Reynolds was a cold, mean bastard and the wyrm was every inch a Wendigo. Forgiveness isn't in that dragon's nature. May they both rest in peace and may our next captain and dragon know what the bloody hell they're doing and not be miserable sons of bitches."

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:03 pm 
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Kunja looked up towards Jebediah who was in flight. "Do not question the ways of Dreamweavers. Besides, he's never steered us wrong before."

Jake meanwhile was scratching his head. "No really, anybody know how the hell we're supposed to get him out of there?" He paused. "Wait, isn't there that... uhhh. Damn. What the hell are those things called. Sceed? Theed? Tweed? No... Scub?"

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:32 am 
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McKenzie flicked his cigarette at Kunja. "The dumb bastard just got my captain and my dragon killed by starting a fight when even the White Devil realised talking was the better bloody option. Don't start with that 'never steered us wrong' bilgewater, not when their bodies aren't even cold."

He held his hand out. "Cigarette." Watson fished into his pocket for a pack.

"Here," he said opening.

McKenzie took the cigarette and lit it. He took a long drag. "Couldn't smoke around the boss. Scarred lungs. God I fucking miss this."

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:02 pm 
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Jebediah had landed, and was glaring at Frostfell's crew. "Tha' young-un was lookin' fer a meal, nothin' more," he stated firmly. "So wha's this 'bout Frostfell smokin' a peace pipe?"

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:30 pm 
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Kunja snorted. "It was the dumb bastard's crew that got this started, not that dragon. If he says Nathan ain't dead yet, Nathan ain't dead yet. Now you wanna stand around and bitch about how life's so unfair or do something?"

"SCUBA!" Jake suddenly yelled out. "We got any scuba stuff on this boat?"

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:59 pm 
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McKenzie snorted at Jebediah and blew smoke at the American dragon. "They were hunting alright, but not for a meal. Before the Aussies started shooting Frostfell managed to communicate with the Lords. They're after an egg. And SCUBA isn't going to do it. This the North Atlantic, far from shore. Too cold and too deep."

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:20 pm 
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Jake and Kunja snorted some and looked down at the water. "So what, there's an egg somewhere on the ship that some stupid son of a bitch was idiot enough to take?" Asked Jake after a second.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:31 pm 
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"Not us... but Ah'm betting th' Krauts got it," Judith replied as she dismounted to check Jebediah for bullet wounds. A few of those shells came too damn close for her liking.

"Ah'm sur'n they do," Jebediah added. "Might well be wha' all th' fuss is 'bout, with th' Bismark 'n' all."

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:57 pm 
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There was something wrong.

Not that Frostfell was capable, at this juncture, of determining that there was something wrong, for Frostfell was not presently in his right mind, but nevertheless there was something about this that was not quite right.

A Lord of the Deep, in its native environment, was the end of the world. Agile as a lightweight in air, and yet strong and tough as the strongest and toughest heavyweight, it danced through the water, while other dragons labored. Wendigo, unlike most dragons, could swim like fish, and yet even they were at a disadvantage, from sheer size if nothing else. Even had they not been, there were at least four Lords here, and no one Wendigo could hope to challenge them, no matter how maddened. And yet rather than turn on Frostfell and tear him to bits, the dragons led him on.

Led him, for they positively dawdled. Lords of the Deep could, at need, outpace any dragon alive underwater. Even the Brownwater or Ultramarine could never hope to catch them, and yet Frostfell did. Though some of the dragons were nursing injuries, that should not have stopped them from either turning to fight or outpacing Frostfell and losing him in the inky depths, yet they did neither. Indeed, every so often, one of the dragons would crane its long, slender, pleisiosaur-like neck back and glance at Frostfell, seeing him clearly behind the small pod, yet this revelation did not result in them moving any faster, or scattering. They paced Frostfell, but they did not outpace him, and on and down they descended, into the briny deeps.

Dim was the light and cold the water when they reached what appeared to be their destination. Ahead, stark and rugged in the shadowy twilight, there loomed an underwater mountain. As one, the Lords winged around and vanished into a massive cave in the lee side of the mountain, instantly disappearing into pitch darkness, leaving Frostfell to follow, or not, as he would.

*------------------------------------------------------------------*

And suddenly there was light.

The entire chamber that Reynolds was being held in heaved sharply, and before he could tell what had just happened, he was violently expelled from it, hurled onto, of all things, a beach of wet sand. This however was not as strange as two very salient facts. He could see. And he could breathe.

Where he was was not immediately discernible. He was kneeling upon a beech of packed sand, moist but not soaked, inside of a titanic enclosed cavern. The cavern was air-filled, fresh enough, though smelling strongly of dragon and seaweed, and the walls of the cavern were damp and covered with a luminescent glow that might have been lichen or phosphorous (or both). The ceiling towered some hundred feet overhead, and bore obvious claw marks all along it, as did the walls, as though this place had been burrowed out of solid rock. Ahead of him, the cavern loomed into the distance before vanishing in darkness without apparent end. Behind him, roughly a hundred yards away, there was a great pool of water, which might serve as entrance to this bizarre place.

All around him were dragons, massive dragons, many of them larger than the ones that had attacked Ark Royal. They were ranged in a semi-circle around him, with the open side being that which faced the pool. Central among the ranged dragons was a titanic slate-gray hellbeast, a full hundred and fifty feet in length, who loomed like a thundercloud above the man below, and watched it in silence as a cat might a mouse. A full dozen dragons were arranged here, yet none so much as moved, nor sought to hinder Captain Reynolds from getting up or doing what he would. It was painfully obvious that they had no fear of any weapons he might have with him, for Lords of the Deep were beyond the ken of sidearm or sabre. Feral in look, they nonetheless remained where they were, and said nothing, either unable to speak or unwilling. The central dragon watched Reynolds intently, but the others, particularly the smaller ones, watched the pool behind him, as though they shortly anticipated a guest arriving...

*-------------------------------------------------------------*

As though things were not chaotic enough, right then, the sirens chose to ring. Loudspeakers began to scream instructions to all assembled.

"Scramble! Scramble! All air-crews to your dragons!"

"What now?!" demanded Æquitas, whiplashing his head around to the Naval officer running out onto the deck towards them.

"Admiral Cunningham's regards sir," said the Lieutenant, saluting. "Radar contacts off the port bow, twelve miles."

"What?" demanded Æquitas, not bothering to wait for Rankin. "More Lords?"

"Too large, sir," replied the officer, "even for Lords. "Way they just appeared, I'd say surfaced U-boats. Whole pack of them."

"What in damnation would a wolf pack be doing surfacing here?"

"Don't know sir, what with visibility, we can't see them at this range. Admiral's ordered Ashanti and Hostile to take them under fire, but the dragons can get there quicker. He requests your squadron to engage at once."

Rankin nearly threw his hat onto the deck in frustration. "I've got a bloody Heavyweight overboard!" he shouted at the hapless officer, gesturing back to Æquitas. "I need some damned retrieval equipment!"

"Sir, we have no equipment for Midweights," said the Lieutenant. "The Admiral requests that - "

"I've no torpedoes or bombs loaded! What in bloody hell am I supposed to attack U-boats with, his teeth?!" shouted Rankin, gesturing wildly.

The Lieutenant stalled before this outburst. "Sir... I..."

"Nevermind," said Rankin, and he turned away dismissively. Kunja and Jebediah were ranged on the deck, and he crossed towards them rapidly, even as the crews, responding to Jake's frenzied command, were busy dredging several sets of D-SCUBA gear up out of the hold.

"I don't suppose either of you have tried this before?" he asked, knowing the answer already. "We've U-Boats on the surface and the Admiral's orders are to attack. If you're willing to try, we can kit your dragons out with these and go after Frostfell. If not, you'll have to join us in attacking the U-boats."

He glanced back at the flight deck, where Fulminatus was already taking to wing, along with Capricorn. "We haven't much time," he said. "The crew can instruct you on how to use this damned gadgetry if you need, but I won't... order anyone to go into that soup with angry Lords about."

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:13 pm 
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Kunja and Jake looked from the water to the Scuba gear then at each other. This was not something they were comfortable with. Submarines were just big metal things that went under water, very annoying. Going underwater? Well they'd never really done that before.

There was several more seconds pause before dragon and rider nodded, not having said a word to each other. "Right, we'll get Frostfell and Nathan out of there."

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:22 am 
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"Didn't you listen to a damn thing I said?" asked McKenzie. "I'm the senior NCO of a special operations trained dragon that likes to swim in the Arctic. You can't go down there. The cold and pressure will kill you. The Lords are going below maximum submarine depth. Nathan can only survive that if the Lords are carrying him in some kind of sealable pocket. You won't."

He looked directly at Kunja. "You can go down there and come back, but you can bounce a .45 off your chest. It's a death sentence for any human in conventional SCUBA gear and that includes your captain. If it wasn't I would be suiting up and going with you."

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:38 am 
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"Mr McKenzie is correct," said Rankin. "The pressures down there would kill any man, even one well versed in underwater operations, which none of us are." He turned his head to Kunja. "If you go down there, you must do it by yourself."

The D-SCUBA (the proper name was SCUDBA, but the French inventor had rejected that term as too hideous for words) was simple enough. Two enormous man-sized compressed air tanks strapped to the dragon's back, between the wings, fed to a harness via rubber tubes that fit over the snout in the manner of a muzzle. A proper set of gear involved much more, including fins, masks, even an experimental wet-suit, but there was plainly no time for that. And Kunja would not have a prayer if it came to fighting a Lord underwater in any event.

"If you're willing," said Rankin, "then Captain Collington is welcome aboard Æquitas until you return." He did not speculate on what the chances of that might be, nor had he the first idea of what to suggest when it came to retrieving a berserk Wendigo underwater. This was not a situation covered in any flight school manual, to say the least.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:20 pm 
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Although he had lost all mental traces of the Lords, Frostfell, and his mysteriously hostage captain, Flinder continued to circle the ship, peering down into the murky depths, oblivious to the activity on his back as the munitions and harness were resettled and tightened.

"Do you think they'll send us after him?" one crewman called out.

Bennett shook his head. "Nah. That gear they got, the frog-man gear, is too small for Flinder."

At a loss, Allen was about to order the crew to prepare for landing back on the deck, when his radio crackled. All activity froze as the word "U-boats" echoed clearly across the wind, followed by a bearing and distance.

Allen acknowledged message received, then turned to Bennett, who shook his head grimly at Allen unvoiced question. "We have about half our usual payload for the machine-gun, and only seven shells left for the topgun."

"Well, we'll have to make due then," Allen sighed. "Flin! Sorry mate, but you might have to get a little wet!"

Flinder roared in response—half in irritation, and half in battle-defiance—as he swung about and joined up with Fulminatus and Capricorn as they headed out to sea.

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Last edited by Avian Obscurities on Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:08 pm 
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Jake crossed his arms. "Yeah alright. But I ain't flying crewman. I'll be here when Kunja gets back, and then we'll go help you with your U-Boat problem." He did not look pleased about having to stay behind on this one, and looked more than tempted to slug McKenzie just on principle. But, this was a situation that wasn't covered in any flight school manual, which was why Kunja was one of the best for the job.

Kunja didn't look happy either as they started loading on the D-Scuba gear as fast as they could.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:19 pm 
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"So," said Reynolds to the huge dragons, "you're waiting for Frostfell to join the party." He turned to the water. "He's a good swimmer and very motivated because he thinks you ate me so it shouldn't be much longer."

Water erupted from the pool as a white blur shot forward to maim and destroy. There was a small army in front of Frostfell and he would leave his mark on the survivors, of that he could promise. They would-.

Claws gouged up sprays of sand as the Wendigo braked and turned. Frostfell pounced like an oversize cat, landing in front of Nathan and ready for battle.

"Easy," said Nathan. "Easy. You were right all along. They wanted to talk and they still want to talk. That's why they took me. To get you down here."

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Last edited by Cynical Cat on Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:01 pm 
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Judith and Jebediah had been looking over the D-Scuba gear, when Rankin pointed out that ONLY the dragon could go. That made the choice painfully clear.
"Tain' nothin' doin'," Jebediah answered with finality. "Kunja, iffen you've a wild hare up yer ass 'bout goin' yer goin' 'lone. Ah ain'tent built fer swimmin, an' Ah ain'tent leavin' Judith." Rankin should have expected that much -- since Judith's rescue, the SmokeDevil rarely let the girl out of his sight unless she was with Jake or Kunja, or both. That he trusted the Aussie with her said much about how close the pair of them had grown.

"Jake... Jeb coul' carry one more, iffen ya want ta ride shotgun," Judith offered. It would slow Jeb's speed and make it harder to gain altitude, but an extra gunman might help.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 5:12 pm 
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Kunja looked gravely at Jeb before snorting. "Ha, fine then. I'll go about it alone. But don't expect me to share the glory." The Aussie dragon was grinning.

Jake meanwhile looked once at Jeb and shook his head. "No. I'll be extra weight you don't need. Besides, I don't fly with anybody but Jack."

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2009 9:10 pm 
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Jebediah snorted, as Judith rolled her eyes. "Yer own choice, Jake..," the SmokeDevil said as his Captain jumped back into harness. "Kunja... ya best com' back in' one piece, ya'hear?"

"Cap'n Rankin, wha've got tha'll hit these U-boats tha' Jeb kin' carry?" Judith asked, looking down at the commander.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:02 pm 
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Frostfell relaxed slightly. He eyed the Lords of the Deep with a sweep of his blood red eye, a piercing, stare. He turned towards the assembled dragons. "Talk," he said.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:50 pm 
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"Not a bloody thing," said Æquitas, answering for Rankin as he scrambled aboard. "We haven't time to load with armor-penetrators or minitorps, and nothing short of those will even shake a Uboat. Best we can hope for is that they stay on the surface long enough to close to melee range. Might be able to force a hatch open, or plant charges on a weak point."

Rankin took his seat as the last of Æquitas' crew scrambled aboard. "We'll have to improvise," he called down to Jebediah and Judith. "Let's go see what there is to see..."

With that, Æquitas took off and flew after the other dragons, vectoring in on the radar plots as the two undamaged destroyers churned after the small dragonflight.

*---------------------------------------------------------------*

"Talk," said Frostfell, and no doubt the Lords would have, but they could not. Only rudimentary sounds could they make in the air, without sufficient complexity to approximate a language, even a feral one. Yet it was plain that they did understand what Frostfell had said, or could at least guess at it, not that this was terribly difficult. The smaller dragons growled and barked, meaningless sounds of formless anger, teeth bared, wings splayed out like the folds of circus tents. The leviathan at the center however, did no such thing. It raised its head like a soaring mountain crag, peering down its snout at Frostfell, yellow eyes narrowed to slits, and then growled.

Like a switch had been thrown, the cavern fell silent, the other dragons shutting maws and folding wings, until the silence was deep enough to hear the dripping of water into the pool behind frostfell, the breathing of a dozen Super-heavyweight dragons, like enormous forge bellows, and then the hiss of a gigantic tail sliding over the sand.

The tail in question was that of the seated behemoth at the center of the Lords' formation. As the dragons next to it cleared a space, the center dragon slid its tail around to its side, coiled like an anchor chain on the deck of a sailing ship. The dragon's eyes bored into Frostfell's, paying no apparent mind to the human beneath the Wendigo, as it slowly slid its tail into the light, and suddenly it could be seen what was contained within the serpentine coils.

A young boy, eight or nine years old perhaps, was being gently pushed into the light by the mast-sized tail of the frigate-sized dragon. Pale and thin, dressed in brine-streaked, torn rags like some shipwreck survivor, his eyes were wide with apprehension, and he visibly hung back, coaxed forward only by the inexorable pressure of the tail pushing him ahead. Yet it was plainly not the enormous dragon at the boy's side that gave him pause, for he barely spared the giant beast a glance, staring instead at Reynolds and at Frostfell as though he expected them to leap upon him with claws or daggers at any time. The dragon pushed him into view, but no further, and as the dragon's tail withdrew, the boy skittishly slid over to the enormous beast's front leg, climbed up onto the foreclaw, and seated himself there warily. The dragon made no move to stop him.

"Where's the eggs?"

The boy's accent was American, or something similar, with a faint trace of the New York accent still detectable, though what questions that posed were plainly not on discussion right now. As the boy posed the question, the dragon towering above him leaned forward slightly, mouth curled back in a dragonic sneer, as it ruffled the wings on its back and slid a forked tongue out through rows of razor-sharp teeth.

*-----------------------------------------------------*

"What in the name of..."

The Radar plots had claimed there were five U-boats, but only four were visible at present. Where the last one had gone was not immediately clear.

But judging from what had caused them all to surface, it could be guessed.

The sea was alive, alive and angry, whipped into a frenzy by monsters below and above. The four U-boats rocked and shook as dragons danced around them, in the water and above it, enormous dragons, more Lords of the Deep. They roared and howled like raging demons, and beat their wings and tails and claws against the steel of the U-boats, tearing guardrails and deck guns from their moorings and ripping them to pieces with their teeth. One of the boats had plainly tried to send crew up onto the deck, for whatever reason. The gory remains of the German submariners now littered the water around their ship and festooned the Lords of the Deep abovewater.

Suddenly, three of the dragons surged from the water and landed atop one of the Uboats amidships, crowding together to bring all of their weight down on one section of the boat. Perhaps the boat was already weakened, or perhaps the combined power of the Lords was that great, but the boat groaned and listed, and hung for a moment before splitting like a melon. Water flooded into the punctured submarine, drowning the cries of anguished sailors as the dragons roared in outraged anger and tore at the ship's vitals, ripping men loose and tearing them to pieces as the sundered halves of the Uboat downflooded and sank in less than thirty seconds.

The three remaining Uboats could do nothing to save themselves, as the Lords rent their propellers and periscopes and beat against their hulls in furious rage. And yet somewhere, within one of the three boats still functional, someone managed to rig up a radio, and broadcast a desperate signal, sent in brokenEnglish, in the plain.

"This is Fregattenkapitan Kretschmer, Kriegsmarine Unterseeboot 99! Englander ships, we surrender! We surrender! We are being attacked by fetzig draken! Wild dragon! Please assist! Englander ships, we surrender! Mayday! Mayday!"

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Havoc: "So basically if you side against him, he summons Cthulu."
Hotfoot: "Yes, which is reasonable."


Last edited by General Havoc on Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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"Ahh," said Frostfell, "now we're getting somewhere."

He walked up to the boy, beneath the shadow of the titanic Lord of the Deep. "This is a little complicated. Let me start simply. We, that is the British, don't have them. I know that for a fact because if the British wanted to take them the dragon at the top of the list to do that job happens to me. Since I didn't take them and I wasn't asked to take, we didn't steel them. Got that?"

"So, who stole them?" Frostfell paced back in forth in front of the huge dragons. "An excellent question. Now knowing the facts of the case will help narrow things down, but logically the leading suspects are the Germans. They have the means, submarines, D-SCUBA, and Wendigos; and they have an unusual and highly effective dragon breeding program which would certainly benefit from Lord of the Deep eggs. The Germans are operating in the area and they have U-boats which could have stumbled across evidence of the lair. This is supposition, of course, but it fits the facts. Are they following so far?"

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:30 am 
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Rankin took his seat as the last of Æquitas' crew scrambled aboard. "We'll have to improvise," he called down to Jebediah and Judith. "Let's go see what there is to see..."

Judith tightened the last straps and Jebedith took to the air following Aequitas. It was a short flight, as the submarines were easy to find.

"Looks lik' th' Lords foun' 'em first," Jebediah radioed, watching the roiling sea as the huge dragons attacked the U-boats viciously. As one U-boat split in two, the West Virginians could only watch, troubled. The radio crackled, shouting out the German's Mayday.

"Aequitas? We ain' gonna be able ta help, are we..." Judith asked, looking a the number of dragons swarming the sea.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:47 pm 
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With the last of the D-SCUBA gear on, Kunja looked back once at Jake, who smiled and waved, and then jumped off the ship, landing in the icey cold water he immediately yelped in shock. "Freeze my bits off... Frostfell and Nathan better be damn happy I'm coming after them..."

With that, the Victorian dived under the water and headed down into the depths, looking for anything that might signify where Frostfell went.

Jake meanwhile stepped back and away from the deck, taking efforts to be far away from any sort of fighting that could break out. On Dragonback he was invincible. On land? Much less so.

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