December 28, 1973 – A few days of alcohol, buffets and chain-smoking later

“You have a submarine?!” 

“No, I have the use of a submarine for a little while.  A very little while.” 

I cocked an eyebrow “So you’re NOT in the CIA but somehow you have access to a submarine?” 

“It’s a mini-sub.” 

I laughed “Oh, well you didn’t say it was a mini-sub, who doesn’t have one of those?  So this is a water mission?” I gestured at Martialla, who was leaning against the window and looking down at the street “Good news then, we can just send fish sticks here.  She’s a water beast and she claims that underwater she’s super strong.  Mission accomplished!  Break out the Cubans and premium rum, it’s time to celebrate!” 

“All indications are that the container we need isn’t going to be underwater, so you’re going to have to go.” He looked up at Blue “Unless you’re strong enough to rip open what is essentially a bank vault” Blue shook his head “Well there you go then.” 

“If the containers are not underwater, what do we need a sub for?” 

“Mini-sub.” 

“Whatever, why can’t we just take a boat and then have Aqua Lass swim around as necessary once we get there?” 

“It would be best if you weren’t spotted.” 

“Spotted by who?  Sea otters?” 

Alcazar held his hands out with his fingers splayed wide “Well that’s the thing, we don’t know . . . exactly . . . what happened.  There’s no reason the ship should have been so close to shore at that point.  And surveillance doesn’t indicate any visible damage.  So we don’t know what we’re dealing with.  Exactly.” 

Martialla turned towards us, sitting on the windowsill “Mutated Japanese Navy sailors capable of breathing underwater disabled the ship with explosives under the sealine and then two NBHs calling themselves Great White and Tiger Shark pushed the ship onto the shelf.” 

Alcazar did a double take “How do you know that?” 

I glared at her “Shut up, Martialla!  We don’t have time for your nonsense.  Alcazar, please continue.” 

Alcazar looked at Martialla for a moment, who shrugged and turned back to the window “In any case . . . uh, regardless of what happened, the scene is technically in the Jurisdiction of the Madripoor police and we know that a private security team hired by the shipping company is in town from Europe so it’s best to keep a low profile.  Hence the mini-submarine.” 

“How mini is a mini-submarine?” 

Martialla answered without looking back this time “Thirty ton displacement usually.” 

I scowled “What the hell does that mean?” 

Alcazar continued “It means it’s tight quarters in there.  How many additional people did you recruit?” 

“None.” 

Alcazar raised an eyebrow “None?” 

“We didn’t have many candidates.” 

Martialla snorted “We had lots of candidates.” 

“I meant we didn’t have any suitable candidates!  They were all either weirdoes or murderers and I won’t have any weirdo murderers on my super team.” 

Alcazar looked at Martialla and Blue back and forth a couple times “Okay then.  Well I suppose that’s good because as I said, there’s not going to be a lot of room down there anyway.  One thing you’re going to have to be careful of is the kelp forest.  Your best bet is to stick close to the seabed and make sure you keep orientated.  The kelp can clog up the fans and ports on the mini-sub so you may need to perform maintenance as you go.” 

“You make it sound like we’re going to be driving this thing ourselves.” 

“Who else is going to pilot it?” 

“You’re not providing someone to drive the damn thing?!” I held my arms out “Do we look like people that know anything about operating a submarine?” 

Martialla turned to lean/sit in the windowsill facing us again “I can do it.” 

“Shut up Martialla, no you can’t.” 

“After the experiment they used to take me out for free water tests all the time in min-subs.  I can handle a short trip like this.  Ela this isn’t a big nuclear attack submarine, it’s barely more than a submersible canoe, I can handle it.” 

“Submersible canoe?  You made that up.” 

“Starting in the 1930s special operations divers working in areas too shallow for conventional midget submarines . . .” 

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