Several weeks had passed since the defeat of the Food Court, and the Mariner was in a good mood for once as he sat in the armored car driving down Metro City’s streets. He had had some time to himself, the gallery he sponsored at the Metro City Aquarium, “Treasures of the Deep”, was going along swimmingly, and Ishmael had even booked Bright Man a one-man show in the theatre district at the same day so he wouldn’t show up. All that was left was to transport the most important item in the collection: The Crown of Atlantis, said to confer immense power on the Royal Atlantean who bore it. It was part of a three-part set, along with the Cape of Tides (water control) and the Shark Spear (aaaagh sharks). The Mariner had discovered in some mysterious ruins in the Sargasso Sea and, after some time spent in his vault, he was ready to finally unveil it to the public. He introduced himself to the museum director, along with the Wraith and the Descendant, who would be providing security detail at the event, sealed the Crown in the vault, and departed until the next day.
The event, too, proceeded smoothly, as the Mariner chatted up some of the other major donors to the aquarium. Finally, the time came to open the vault, and the director punched in some numbers in the lock and opened the door…but as soon as she grasped the handle, there was a tremendous boom from inside. The trio immediately kicked open the door, only to discover that someone had smashed through the six-foot-thick wall on the other side, smashed the case, and stolen the Crown. The team immediately jumped through the hole in the wall in hot pursuit, ending up in a warehouse filled with aquarium supplies.
In no time flat, the team found themselves on the business end of several machine guns, wielded by…orangutans??? A hulking figure stepped out of the shadows: A gorilla wearing a domino mask, the Crown perched on its head like a thimble on a coconut. The Wraith knew who they were dealing with: The Schmidt Family of Crime (Since 1939) had sent their best enforcer, the Silverback, to steal the Crown. After some taunting on both sides, the battle began.
The Silverback’s group of assorted primate soldiers was surprisingly effective, corralling all three party members at the entrance of the room with machine gun fire. However, the Mariner fired an electric blast that knocked the Crown off the Silverback’s head, and the Wraith created the illusion that the crown had actually flown out of the window. This brief window of confusion was enough to stop the Silverback, but the minions managed to wound the trio and cause the Wraith to drop the illusion.
The Silverback knocked over a tall piece of shelving filled with boxes in an attempt to escape, but the Wraith used this to his advantage, creating the illusion that boxes were descending on the extras to cause them to freak out and fall off their perches. The Mariner made a mighty leap over the fallen shelf and confronted the Silverback. While his attempt at entangling the ape failed, he fired a lucky lightning shot, severely wounding the Silverback. The crown clattered to the floor.
However, before the Mariner could pick it up, a powerful cannon fired a name through the wall, causing him to duck into cover. The name was that of the person nobody in the party wanted to see: BLÜDDGÜNN!!!!! The wall detonated, revealing the Schmidt Family’s youngest member, a shallow layer of water obscuring his feet but not the tree-trunk sized gun he was somehow holding in his tiny dinosaur hands. Noticing the crown on the floor, he leapt for it at the same time as the Mariner, who managed to kick him away just as a giant flood of water swept him away.
Realizing the water levels were showing no sign of decreasing, the party climbed up a ladder leading to the roof. On the way, the Mariner boasted about his armor knocking out the Wraith back when they were rivals, but the Wraith fired back that if it was such an advanced suit, surely it would be able to work underwater like every other diving suit in the entire world. This fight ceased as they reached the roof to find a hard rain pouring and Metro City beginning to flood.
Out to sea, a whirlpool formed, growing larger and larger. An ornate pillar of water shot up, and a figure advanced imperiously up steps that formed on the pillar’s sides. At this point, the Mariner’s player made a Homestuck joke and was deducted a Hero Point. A “screen” of droplets formed above the mysterious figure as he revealed his identity: He was Apathios, first in line to the throne of Atlantis. He had come to Metro City for two reasons: First, to reclaim the Crown of Atlantis, his rightful inheritance, and second, to flood the city and add it to the holdings of Atlantis.
The team had little time to ponder their next move as the Wraith barely dodged out of the way of a jet of water aimed at his neck. The Descendant noticed a hole in the window of the adjacent planetarium, and the Mariner leapt through it to check. Nobody was there, but he noticed a pouch on the ground. Picking it up, he detected traces of the powder used to convert fish into Atlanteans: In other words, bad news. What he didn’t detect was the mysterious sniper re-entering and shooting off his helmet. Although he couldn’t see who it was, the other two could: It was an archerfish Atlantean, probably from the aquarium. They jumped in through the window, but the sniper (later nicknamed Robin Hood by the team) had already gone through the door.
The Descendant detected water droplets on the floor leading into the domed movie theater, and the team cautiously pushed open the doors. Inside was the biggest surprise of all: A portal pouring a gigantic torrent of water into the column marking the middle of the theater and, presumably, into the street. Suddenly, Atlanteans armed with swords burst from the seats and attacked. Robin Hood shortly after opened fire from behind the movie screen with nerve-wracking accuracy, even managing to pinpoint the Descendant’s location (he was saved by his main energy shield working for once).
The fight continued, and although the Wraith was knocked out by a sniper shot, the Descendant knocked Robin Hood down through the screen and the Mariner defeated him with an electric shot. He was wearing a pendant, presumably the control device; the Mariner stomped on it and the portal closed. However, they were still sitting ducks with the Crown and it needed to be brought to the Lawyer’s time vault in the Financial District, a long ways away. The first battle had been won, but the war was far from over…