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 Grab Life By the Horn, [Namor] [February 1996]
Doctor Doom
55 years old
King of Latveria
114 posts
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Latveria's relationships with neighboring nations were still in their infancy. Sure, most of the more advanced Eastern European nations of merit were allied with Latveria, but beyond that it was...not as easily taken care of. While Latveria was now placed well within the United Nations, it was still considered an ugly duckling by many. A third-world country trying desperately to be a major power and failing utterly. Had they looked closer, they would have been less disdainful and more absolutely terrified.

The foolish idiocy of Stefan had been burned away. In less than a decade, Victor had managed to bring Latveria well into the twenty-first century. Yes, he had had to make progress beyond the current years to make up for the dark ages that Stefan and his predecessors had forced his homeland into. Now, Latveria was a nation under Doom, and Doom would not allow Latveria to stay in the dark any longer.

Thus had come the alliances, and one such alliance was paying off when the government of Denmark had sent a missive requesting aid from Latveria. They had discovered something rather...interesting. Victor was intrigued by the choice of verbiage, merely being told that it was a thing that had been lost in the oceans of time. When he arrived, Victor found himself briefed on what it was.

It was a HYDRA base that had been built into an underwater cave system off the coast. One that had been built around ruins of some kind. Victor held no sway within the United Nations to read the files kept by organizations like S.H.I.E.L.D. on such things (yet, anyway), but he knew enough of HYDRA to know that they had not pursued false leads. There was something to the place, even if it were simple information. So Victor had been given a ship with the blessing of the Danish Parliament - the Breath of Astrid.

With a crew of thirty, they were sent out to the coordinates of the base, anchoring as Doom prepared his equipment.

Six of his Servo-Guards emerged from their locked position. The crew marveled at the advanced Latverian technology, robotics that they did not yet imagine existing outside of science-fiction there before them. The robots, pre-programmed for scouting, lifted up into the air on the power of their thrusters before sinking down into the waves below. From a set of monitors he had set up, Victor followed their camera feeds as they approached the remains of the sunken base...



Posted: Jul 9 2018, 07:54 AM
Sub-Mariner
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Monarch
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Day by day, the empire was being rebuilt. Every day, Namor worked to more tightly bind the disparate and factious tribes and city-states. It both used and took up his power, and it grew his power. It was exhausting, but the dream of a unified Atlantis was so close to being achieved, how could he even think to stop?

Sometimes, it required some sort of hard confrontation. In the more traditional communities, Namor could add to his empire merely with a show of strength against some chieftan. Sometimes it required the heavy lash of his own armies. But mostly, the power needed was a soft power. Atlantis was the crown jewel of the old empire, and even now, centuries after it collapsed, most of the merfolk had some longing connection to it.

Culture, in other words, was Namor's greatest strength. The music, the art, the cuisine, and the stories of Old Atlantis. The stories, especially, were useful. Nothing binds a nation like a story. A mythology. Empire always required a mythology. Remus and Romulus. King Arthur.

The only thing better would be a mythology that's true.

The fantastic past of Atlantis meant there were plenty of myths that could be mined. The texts were ambiguous, but it was worth the Prince's time to go after it. What he could obtain would be an important piece of Atlantean history. An artifact of the most glorious civilization to ever exist on earth, something that could be a rallying cry for all those who live beneath the surface of the ocean.

If the texts were true, then it would be worth obtaining by itself. It could be a source of hard power. Which is why it was distressing to find some sort of surface dweller exploring the area that Prince Namor's logomancers had tracked it. He was alone. He preferred it that way. He didn't want his search to be bogged down by a large party. The horn would want to be with him, the rightful Prince, his logomancers told him. Knowing now, that apparently some air-breathers were interested in this location, it seemed even wiser. He doubted they knew what they were searching for; perhaps they only were interested in the structure.

He grimaced, knowing what he had to do. The dark and murky waters would certainly hide his approach. Strike as suddenly as a sargussum fish.

He swam forward, confident in his approach, stalking his prey. He wondered how quickly he could take out these strange metal men.



@VICTOR VON DOOM
Posted: Jul 11 2018, 10:36 PM
Doctor Doom
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King of Latveria
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Victor watched with apt attention as the video feed from each of his Servos showed him the base hidden beneath the waves after so long a time. Left abandoned until this very moment that it would be graced by the presence of one Victor Von Doom. Truly, the most glorious moment in its existence since HYDRA had created the structure in the first place.

"Begin a scan. Full length." Victor, linked into their computer systems, saw confirmation across all six monitors that their systems had obeyed. They were scanning the base by sonar, through every spectrum, and every other method applicable at the moment. It was the sonar, in particular, that interested Victor. Sea life would, generally, avoid his Servos. Those that did not would learn the folly of that thanks to the advanced nature of their automated defense systems. Yet, even so, a strange distortion appeared in the scans. It was...moving. A lifeform that behaved unlike that of the usual denizens of the deep.

'Curious...' Victor thought, as the Breath of Astrid made its way to idle on top of the waves above the facility ruins.

"King Doom, what sho-?"

"Call to the mainland, have them prepare the excavation equipment." Victor said, seeing no reason to deviate from their plan. At least, not yet. "See that my instructions are followed to the letter." The equipment was not of the Danish, but from Latveria. His own custom make. If used appropriately, it would raise a larger portion of the ruins up onto the surface of the water for better examination. It would have to be done with absolute precision. As such, Victor trusted only himself to do so. That did not mean, of course, that the underlings could not get things into position. If the Danish were halfway as competent as they claimed, at the very least.

The distortion came up again, this time closer. Using the interface, Victor had one of his Servos break off the scanning the perimeter to answer it, using its systems to track it down. While Victor knew of none who had the technology to rival him, he knew also that the world was not only one of science. It would do well to see that no stone was left unturned.

His Servo would find the cause...it was only a matter of time. And, with the monitor before him, Victor would see what it was he was facing...if it was anything at all and not a mere equipment malfunction.



Posted: Jul 12 2018, 01:48 PM
Sub-Mariner
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Monarch
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A cosmic coincidence, was it? The surface dwellers here now? The air breathers had explored such a small percentage of his realm. This structure clung to the rocky trench-walls, and soon would fall to the ocean's floor, beyond their petty grasp. Namor sought it now only because he dare not let the horn be damaged in the structure's collapse. Perhaps one of their dully clever engineers realized that this air-breather outpost wasn't going to survive much longer, and came to the same conclusion that the Avenging Son did.

Their machines would soon be rust, Namor decided. With a flourish, he twisted forward and shot into one of these metallic men. What hubris caused the air-breathers to make these tools resemble themselves? Did they think their lumbering bodies were the best suited to under the sea? Namor smirked as he stroke the machine.

And yet, the machine didn't crumble or shatter as the Prince of Atlantis expected. Perhaps their engineer was slightly more clever than he had thought. To withstand a moment of the wrath of the Lord of the Seven Seas was an accomplishment.

Turning back quicker than any human-made projectile, the prince made another pass at the machine. He aimed carefully at the point where the "man"'s head met the neck. "Ha, Imperius Rex!" he crowed as the machine crumpled. Nothing could withstand the might of an enraged son of Atlantis.

Already, the machine's comrades were coming around to defend themselves. "<Show yourself, before I show you the true face of what you seek,>" the impetuous monarch said in Russian, assuming that they were the most likely of the surface worlders in this part of the world to invade his realm. He had already decided that he was going to tear the head off of these apes who sought his kingdom's treasures. The old ways had failed; the old princes' policy of non-intervention had let them take advantage of the realm again and again and again. This incursion would be mankind's last.
@VICTOR VON DOOM
Posted: Yesterday at 08:56 pm
Doctor Doom
55 years old
King of Latveria
114 posts
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Victor was not surprised when the machine he'd sent after the disturbance was impacted. Attacked, in truth. Yet, Latverian engineering held out and it did not crumble, at least at first. At this range, the devices were able to pick up a heart rate. Locking onto that, Victor sent the other Servos after it...as the feed on the first was abruptly cut off. The last image it had taken in appeared to be...a man. A man, swimming towards it at breakneck speed. The only way this had been revealed, however, had been through slowing down and enhancing the footage...and even then, revealed only the shape of a human male. No...no, there was something different. Something that Victor could not place by sight...

He was distracted by the musings by...Russian speech. Curious. The Servos, now surrounding the interlope, revealed it to indeed be a man. Lightly-clad, possibly of Asian origins from the look of him. A noble brow. Muscled and lean. A royal demeanor about his being.

"Should I have the evacuation crews wait, King Doom?"

"No." Victor said. "I shall tend to this matter myself." The armored monarch moved to the edge of the boat. "You will await my return. Your departure would be...most unwise." He warned the captain of the Breath of Astrid before his suit's booster rockets lifted him into the air. His suit then sealed itself with his life support systems coming fully online as he lowered himself beneath the waves.

His eyes adjusted quickly as his suit provided a vision correction, aided by the fact that they were still high enough within the waters for the sunlight to stream through. Victor's hands were raised, a Zefiro Mandala appearing around each one in a blazing red-gold color, the sigils about his hands manifesting the magic he intended to use. It was not true telepathy, merely the means by which they could both speak and be understood by one another.

"I am Victor Von Doom, King of Latveria. Speak your identity and your intent." The Latverian spoke his projected thoughts. He did not care much for the fallen Servo, it's remains could be retrieved later. For now, he had far greater concerns that now floated across from him in the deep.



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