(2014-06-28) Watery Touch-Down
Watery Touch-Down
Summary: Rom makes his first appearance as he 'touches down' in the waters just off the Gotham Docks near Adams Park. Doctor Mid-Nite is already on the scene, attending to another 'house-call', and initiates 'first contact' with the alien…
Date: (2014-06-28)


Scene Runner:


Social/Plot: Social

Doctor Mid-Nite, Rom



-----==[ Adams Park -- Port Adams ]==-----------------------------------------

Located amidst the infrastructure of Port Adams and the surrounding area, this small seaside park provides a respite from the hussle and bussle of the city. Easily accessible from the Financial District as well as Port Adams, this park provides adequate shade from the many trees and pavilions spread throughout. Pathways give the visitor the means to cross and acquire exercise if desired. The park overlooks into the port proper and allows the viewer to watch ships as they arrive and depart. In addition, it gives a clear view of the surrounding port and all its inner workings.



There are few places in Gotham that one could describe as 'safe' -- especially after dark -- and the docks are no exception. Thick tendrils of fog cling to the ground of Adams Park like the tentacles of an aquatic predator, searching among the rocks and trees for food, and causing the lights above the pathways to cast eerie, otherworldly shadows.

Just beyond the park a road dips down to the docks themselves, spilling out into a series of wharfs at even intervals. Even at this hour of the evening, the docks are alive with activity -- sailors loading cargo onto (or off) ships, fishermen heading out to catch the evening tide, and of course the less savory types who either loafing around, drinking too much, or waiting for that hapless passer-by...

On top of one of the warehouses overlooking the park, a solitary owl remains perched. Beneath the owl, partly illumined by a lamp that constantly flicks on and off, a cowled figure is crouching over a comatose woman.

In Chicago, a little girl sees a shooting star overhead, and wishes on it.

In New York, a mugger sees a streak of light pass overhead. Suddenly overcome with fear, he returns home.

In Gotham, something flashes past overhead, sheathed in a corona of fire from reentry. Plummeting downward, falling towards the harbor like that aforementioned proverbial shooting star. Thankfully it's going to hit in the deep end of the water, away from the ships and the docks themselves, with its size and the rate it's moving...

"...hush," the cowled figure tells the woman. "Paramedics are on their way. Didn't anyone tell you drugs are...what?" The streak of light across the skies draws the figure's attention and he instantly whispers a word. The owl takes to the skies over the ocean, while the man first makes sure the woman is relatively safe.

Leaving a monitoring device under the lamp, Doctor Mid-Nite stands up and makes a run for the water's edge -- firstly ducking behind one shipping crate, then another. Already, workers from the docks and other people who //had// been returning home, trace the meteor's trajectory across the sky with their eyes (or their smartphones). People onboard the nearest freighter shout and point out over the water. More than a few calls are made to the coast guard, the police, and a half-dozen conspiracy websites.

Mid-Nite lifts his goggled eyes to the sky, and zooms in on the object.

Ever read those stories about angels falling to earth? Yeah, this could arguably pass for a decent rendition of it. Mid-Nite's goggles feed better data than a dozen smartphones as it plummets, but the thermal distortion makes it hard as hell to get a solid read.

Then it slams into the harbor, with a respectable WHOOSH and splash, though there's not much wake or wave tossed up. Just a roiling spot where the water struggles to disperse the intense thermal energy from the falling star.
Deep underwater, something stirs. Limbs moving with slow purpose, for atmospheric insertion is never much fun. A flicker, and then two crimson optics flare to life, glowing steadily.

Mid-Nite tucks his chin in after getting whatever reading he can on the object, and signals the owl to circle the 'touch-done' site. He ducks back around one of the larger crates and whispers, "Nite-Watch -- I've just visually tracked an unidentified object that has impacted off the coast of Gotham Harbour... No, not a meteor... No. So no souvenirs. Prognosis -- it's artificial, perhaps a one-person pod. Pull up what you can from NASA and... alright fine. Mid-Nite out."

At the water's edge -- mere feet from where Mid-Nite is standing -- several sailors leap into some smaller motor boats and fire up the engines. Mid-Nite frowns.

"That could be... hazardous to your health," he murmurs and then removes a Black-Out Bomb from his belt. He lobs the tiny device toward the boats, and within seconds the area is coated in a thick of darkness. "Curiosity is a dangerous thing..."

Meanwhile, nearly at the bottom of Gotham Harbor, a creature of glimmering chrome and silver shakes off the last bits of fogginess. Cyborg or not, reentry is never a pleasant experience. Rom gazes around, mentally consulting the mapping data he collected on his course in. A fish swims past, and the glowing optics follow it with curiousity, before the spaceknight begins to rise upwards from the harbor bed.

At the surface, the water's boiling has slowed down. The nearest freighter has several sailors at the rails, peering down into the dark, helped imperfectly by a small searchlight that plays back and forth. "Hey, what's that?" one calls, pointing. Indeed, it looks like there's something moving upwards...

A sailor runs to the side of the freighter and cups a hand to his mouth. "Oy! What's going on?! Get the boats moving already -- Cap'n wants a closer look!"

There is a chorus of swearing from the blackened area just off the pier when Mid-Nite threw his black-light device. "We can't! Can't see a damn thing! You want us sailing into the ship?"

"I call dibs on whatever it is!" another voice, much younger, calls out into the fog.


"On what? What if it's a flesh-eating alien?!"

Mid-Nite chuckles to himself. "What indeed?" Overhead, the owl continues circling -- a device around its neck feeding images across multiple spectra to the Doctor below. He raised a finger to tap thoughtfully at his chin, and then sneaks past the sailors to the point closest to the object.

"Very well then," he murmurs. "Whatever you are... it's time for your check-up. Authorities will be here in moments, anyway..."

There's a humming sound, then, as Rom breaks the surface, floating smoothly upwards out of the water like he's on a lift. Light shines off the silver form, almost seeming to glow in the night, a contrast with the twin glows of his optical sensors. The searchlight plays over the seven-foot tall mechanoid, and the sailors on the freighter are momentarily struck dumb, not knowing who or even what they're seeing.

Rom, for his part, is just happy to see something that isn't deep space. After wandering so long, it's actually a happy surprise to find a gravity field, liquid water, and... lifeforms? Yes. There are lifeforms, MANY lifeforms, as his visual sensors finally resolve properly. Multiple forms. Bipedal. Most curious! Rom hovers to a point about five feet above the water, carefully taking stock of his surroundings. It appears he's landed outside a major population area. So he raises his hand, and speaks. Of course, what comes out is melodic, but utterly incomprehensible; who here is going to speak Galadorian, after all?

"GOD, it's a freakin' TERMINATOR!" someone on the ship yells.

"Shaaaaddup!" comes a sarcastic reply. "This is the real world, bub. It's probably just a visitor from another planet. Bosun! Go ask it if it comes in peace!"

The next reply is more hesitant. "Uhhh, Cap'n -- I don't speak... whatever that thing... speaks. What should I do, sir? Hand signals?" And so the banter continues.

Mid-Nite accesses multiple comm-frequencies for anything useful: NASA know it -- whatever 'it' is -- is here... now. Actually, a few departments know. Whatever abilities had masked the Visitor's arrival, have been circumvented by good old-fashioned frantic 911 calls... and Twitter, and Facebook...

Seeing the 'robot' raise a hand and try to say something, Mid-Nite steps back from the water's edge, his arms at his sides, contemplating his next move. "Clearly..." he muses aloud. "Communication is going to be an issue. Hmm..." A moment later, his goggles flash several times -- each time a different number, and always Prime Numbers. Mathematics is supposed to be a universal language after all: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11...

More and more of Rom's systems come to full power, as he hovers there. Radio and wireless signals sensed as they weave a blanket of communication across the night skies; subspace pocket access restored; and-- wait. Rom's optics are drawn to a pulsing light. Mathematics is indeed what unifies any race that wants to do more than relax in a mud puddle, and it is clear SOMEONE is trying to communicate.

Smoothly, the mechanoid glides through the air, floating towards the Doctor. As Rom approaches, he holds his hand out in a specific way, and there's a shimmer around it; a blocky-looking, silver plated device appears in one hand, a trio of what appear to be antennae unfolding from its housing. Lights flick on and off on its casing, as Rom repeats the incomprehensible words to the Doctor this time.

The Doctor consults his computer system, built into his cowl... still a few minutes before there are a hundred spotlights and a thousand officials with a million questions. His lips form a sardonic half mouth-shrug, half-smirk while his goggles flash the next sequence of Prime Numbers to show his understanding of the alien's reply.

Then he speaks.

"I cannot understand you," he tells the alien matter-of-factly, "But if you are half as sophisticated as you appear..." he pauses. "I am transmitting alphabet and language data on a broad-spectrum -- English, French, Mandarin, Italian... that should do. Analyze my speech patterns if you can."

The floodlights from the freighter track the alien across the water and settle upon the pier, this time illuminating Doctor Mid-Nite as well. The first sirens of the paramedics (called earlier by the Doctor) can now be heard, along with their car engines as they pull into Adams Park.

"Hey! Who's it talking to?!" shouts someone from the ship.

The reply comes from the still-darkened boats. "I don't know! I. Can't. See. A rutting. THING!!"

"My name is Doctor Mid-Nite," the Doctor continues on saying, this time with greater urgency. "Since you haven't... vaporized me, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt. You are... about to become... //extremely// popular."

The lights on the device in Rom's hand cycle rapidly back and forth, faster and faster as the Doctor speaks and it fishes for linguistic data. Dedicated translation systems work with astonishing speed, picking apart phonemes and latching onto key similarities in grammar. Information is fed back into the processors in Rom's suit, and from there into Rom himself.

The cyborg cocks his head initially at the Doctor, and a garbled burp of what sounds like -- well, several Earth languages, mashed together -- comes out at first. Then another, stripping out the Chinese and Italian. Finally, a third time, a quiet, surprisingly dignified voice if filtered through an electronic processor. "Can you understand me now?"

Behind the Doctor, just beyond the docks and within the boundaries of Adam's Park... "We've got a woman here, unconscious -- no, sedated -- just like the 'Doctor' said. ...no sign of him, though..." The voices die down a bit as paramedics go to work. At the pier more people (from either the freighters or the warehouses) congregate to watch the arrival of the 'Visitor'. By the boats there is a scuffle, then a yelp, then a splash, then lots and lots of swearing.

Doctor Mid-Nite nods to the alien... robot? "I can. Welcome to Gotham City, the United States of America, planet Earth, Sol System. Do you have a name? Designation -- " any other questions the Doctor might have intended to ask are cut off by the high-pitched whine of quinjet engines and other craft as the authorities bear down upon his position.

Doctor Mid-Nite swears.

"That... is my cue, I fear," he murmurs with profound disappointment.

Rom would frown, if he had the capacity. He can hear the radio chatter, unscramble the voices. There's a certain worry to them, an edge he doesn't like, and he doesn't want them to make any mistakes which could cause someone to be hurt. "Doctor, I do not wish to become entangled in a regional squabble or disagreement." He drops the translator back into its subspace pocket, the device shimmering and vanishing. "Who should I present myself to in order to prevent any misunderstandings?"

As jet engines rumble louder over the sounds of voices and water, Rom raises his voder to compensate. Reflexively, his head tips back to watch the skies, optics pulsing faintly.

//Now there's an interesting question.//

Doctor Mid-Nite lifts a hand to his jaw (the only half of his face exposed) and considers his response. "There are two I can think of, although I am inclined to trust one more than the other... the //Justice League// are equipped to handle a First-Contact situation with some degree of care... The other... calls itself //SHIELD//. I am less familiar with them, but I believe they have their own division for monitoring extra-terrestrial activity. Chances are, they both know you're here."

He pauses to glance over his shoulder again as the mist from his Black-Light device fades, and the sailors are beginning to see well enough to climb out of the boats (or out of the water). Mid-Nite starts backing toward the shipping crates.

"What is your name?" he asks again.

"Then I will locate them and proceed accordingly." Rom comes to a decision. This is too tense, too much fear on the airwaves. Time to remove himself from the equation. He lifts off the ground, no sound of rockets or jets for him. "I am Rom of Galador, stranger. And should we meet again under calmer circumstances, I will tell you my tale."

SHIELD is a well-equipped force, and even the more mundane authorities are capable and decently trained. But nothing can really prepare a person for what happens next. Rom begins to rocket upwards... faster and faster, gaining speed. Accelerating even faster than a quinjet, as he streaks upwards back towards the stars. He won't stay there long, though. There is work to be done.


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