The International Sealab

Roughly ten years ago, nations in The East Pacific, in order to understand and study at previously unlivable depths, came together to build an International Sealab, a facility used to further education and development in the region, as well as strengthen bonds in the realm.

The building, which consists of various ‘sections’ built and designed by different nations, is connected via a series of tubes (no pun intended) and, in some cases, is joined wall-to-wall. The facility is massive, providing sufficient space for some 50-60 people to live comfortably for an extended period of time. Central to the lab is a greenery where plants and vegetation can grow (as well as supply sufficient oxygen), and a cafeteria where all scientists may eat. Classrooms also exist for students wishing to learn more about the sea on a more personal basis. Sleeping quarters and living quarters are located in the central section as well. Here’s some pictures:

Living quarters, located on the Central Section.

Inside an occupant’s living quarters.
Cafeteria / eating location A (B is a lesser cafeteria)

View from a gathering room, overlooking the living quarters.

((OOC, you get the picture)).

Various underwater subs / diving equipment have been fashioned exclusively, donated by various nations, for the advancement of underwater exploration and discovery.

FINALLY, the facility is completed, powered up, filtered, ready to be of service. Nations have been contacted to invite their team of scientists / observers / students into the facilities, and diving subs have already started to dock with the various national boats in the region.
Clumsy and brainy, Elana Navinsku climbed out of the diving sub and entered the sea lab, representing the first vulpine sentient aboard the confines. She looked around the premises - a large gathering room with chairs, tables with various magazines and papers, some televisions, and a refrigerator - with her glasses she quickly picked up and set on the bridge of her muzzle. The short and thin Vekaiyun sentient jerked her arm from one of the loose bolts on the portal, yet managed to keep her lab coat in tip-top shape and walked into the room, her white tennis shoes scooting across the floor, peeking over her loose jeans.

She was a bit nervous at the structure, overwhelmed with the fact of living underwater, not just working underwater too. It wasn’t really the fact that she hated being underwater, but that there were always precautions to be taken, and a very healthy imagination only magnified those precautions.

“Hello? Anyone here?” she spoke in English, hoping it didn’t sound too off.

Elana was the ‘storybook child’ of the fishing village of Denur. Every kit in that town wanted to grow up to fish, to dive, to live on a boat and let the sea determine where one landed. That… didn’t entirely appeal to her, though. Sure, she was able to go to college and learn about the sea, and, Almighty forbid, live in the sea, but she just never felt like she belonged. She hated getting her hair wet. She needed a special prescription swim mask because her eyesight was bad. She could barely stand upright on a boat because her coordination was poor. Heaven help anyone who entrusted her with the skill of knotting, or spearfishing, or shipbuilding. But math… and biology… and science in general… that was her skill. That was her shipbuilding, her spearfishing, her knotting. Something her townsfolk didn’t quite understand, no matter how many times she tried to explain those things were more fun to her than her failings with her own people.

She brushed the hair out of her eyes, falling slightly around her neck. “Come on, I can’t be the only person here - you mean to tell me they let me do that?” She moved further, actually picking up her feet this time, and sat in a chair, enjoying what appeared to be a Scientific magazine in English. “Alas, a challenge.” She smirked as she worked her way around the different characters, different text, and reclined in the chair, paying little attention to the thousands of pounds of water above her.

Since Lazlowia has been always surrounded by the sea, the people has formed an interest towards it. Before the revolution, the government of East Hungary took part in the construction of the sealab. After the revolution, the goverment of Lazlowia renewed the participation. The government sent to people to the station: Soltész Rezsó, a marine biologist, and Orosz Jenő, an architect, who was sent to study the effects of the water on the structures and come up with new designes for further underwater buildings.

Jenő arrived to the recreation area, and noticed the fox woman reading there. He went over to here.

“-Good morning. I hope I’m not bothering you. My name is Orosz Jenő, at your service.”

“Oh, thank you,” she replied as she stood up and pushed her glasses back on her face once again. The magazine she was reading tumbled to the ground, completely forgetting it was in her lap, so she awkwardly reached down to get it. Unfortunately, Elana wasn’t as skilled with her nails and worked at the cover of the magazine, trying to pick it up, then trying to grab it on the edge, finally gaining some leverage.

“Sorry. This is… kind of my first time being in a new place like this. Most of the labs in Vekaiyu don’t really have a lounging room.”

“-Well, I don’t know to much about lab conditions in Lazlowia, since I’m not a scientist. Comrade Soltész could tell you, but he’s busy right know. I’m an architect. I see that you’re from Vekiayu, but I didn’t gather our name, miss…”

“Elana… um, Dr. Elana Navinsku,” she replied hesitantly. “Where exactly are you from? You’ll have to excuse me, us Vekaiyuns don’t bother with the international community often when it comes to science.”

Søren Bohr was nervous. This was his first time outside of Tingst, and he didn’t like what he had seen so far. Airplane to some godforsaken place he couldn’t pronounce, boat from there to some other place smelling weird, and now this submarinish sort of thing. The International Sealab. The Sealab part was fine, it was the international part he had problems with. International meant other nations meaning other people from these other nations. Søren Bohr was of the opinion that the best thing about something foreign to Tingst was imported products that could be enjoyed within Tingst. The worst thing was foreign people. Granted he hadn’t meet that many of them, but he had made up his mind a long time ago, and wasn’t about to change it any time soon.

Why him? Why send him to this Sealab thingy? Not because he was the best, because… well, he wasn’t the best. He tried to light a cigarette but was reprimanded by the man driving the underwater vessel.

“Great. Just great. I bet you can’t smoke in the sealab either.”

A big underwater complex materialized in front of the submarine and it quickly docked. Søren Bohr left the submarine and took his first steps within the International Sealab. He wandered down a hall and ended up in what looked like a sort of common room. Inside the room he saw two other people and what seemed to be a female Fox standing upright.

“This is just getting stranger by the minute” he thought to himself.

He stood in silence. No way he was gonna give away the first word.

“They can say hello to me.”

E.A.N. Swift

Walking onto the bridge from her Ready Room, Captain Katrina Daz, moved towards her chair in the center of the bridge.

“Mr. Hanson, please inform Dr. Harrison and Morris, that we are about to dive and to be ready to depart soon,” ordered Captain Daz as she sat in her chair.

“Aye ma’am,” Mr. Hanson immediately replied. He got on the communications channel and informed Dr. Megan Harrison and Dr. Vaughn Morris.

“Bring the under water systems online and prepare for our decent. All hands Blue Alert,” announced Captain Daz.

The bridge of the Swift went dimmer, alarms went off for a few moments, and emergency lights flashed blue.

“Bring us down Ensign Granger, bring our under water lighting online, and set a course for the sealab. Remember to not to bring us down too quickly, I don’t feel like having to deal with micro fractures,” order the captain.

“Yes ma’am, I can’t agree with you more, I’m taking us down,” replied the ensign with a smile remembering back to the previous mission when a thruster failed.

The ship descended into the darkness of the deep.

Elana waved to the new face in the room as she stood and decided to take a look around. She was amazed at the aesthetics of the structure, new-age but at the same time… old fashioned. But why old fashioned? Maybe it had to do with the fact that they had front-row seats to the ancient world, creatures which had probably remained the same for hundreds of millions of years, perhaps billions. She was always kind toward them, especially since gutting a fish made her stomach turn.

Often, when swimming with them, she’d feel free - less clumsy, less awkward and odd. But, of course, land would always call her. And her experiments and observations were typically more important than recreation. Even the simplest, shortest of dives required some brainy observation.

But, at least for the first day, she didn’t need to really do anything. Enjoy the waters, watch the fish, have slight panic attacks meeting new people, and, of course, trying to sleep without worrying about the structure caving in.

“-I’m from Lazlowia.”-answered Jenő-“Our countries nearly started a war against eachother a few months ago. Although frankly I’m not interested in politics. Anyway, what is your field?”

She smiled. “I think I remember reading that in the papers, to be honest. But, politics is also not my strong suit - I more or less work in my field and whatever happens, happens. After all, no one can really own the sea. But my work is mostly marine biology, especially when it comes deep-sea organisms. How about yours?”

Elian Wyleth, Master of the Second Keep of Dyr Nasad, climbed down into the docked submersible. Father will be furious when he learns of this, he thought. His father wanted him to grow up as a politician, and become a great Lord of the Keep when the time came. Elian, on the other hand, simply wanted to pursue his passions - studying aquatic life and nuclear reactors. He gave orders to be taken to the new, International Sea Lab, where he could study in peace. He looked over his luggage - a few bags and a small reactor that he had made himself.

He drops into a seat in the noble quarters of the sub and dreams of discovering a new species of jellyfish…

“Don’t worry, everyone! I fixed the leak!”

“There’s nobody here but me, Jack,” sighed Ceseso. They were in one of the airlock storage lockers, packing away the equipment that they had unloaded from his father’s submarine. “And it wasn’t much of a leak, anyhow.”

“Ah, but I’m sure it would have been really dangerous, in a year or so!” Jack said enthusiastically. He was enthusiastic about almost anything, especially this. This was a Big Thing.

The Nemite did not show his displeasure – it never helped, not with him. He tried to remain collected, instead, as practice for his future role as captain. He closed the door on the diving suits, and went out into the airlock.

“I am ready, father,” he said.

A tall, refined man came out to meet him, with weathered features and an immaculate beard. He appraised his son, and appeared to approve, as he suddenly reached forward and tussled the boy’s previously well-combed hair.

“My son!” he said, enjoying Ceseso’s indignation, “This is it, your first tour of duty with another crew! This may be different from what you were expecting, but I am certain that this will be a rewarding time for you. I have confidence in you.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll look after him!” shouted Jack from the other end of the corridor.

Ceseso Senior winced and closed his eyes. “Utmost confidence…”

“Goodbye, father.”

“Goodbye, Ceseso. I’ll see you, soon.”

With that, he went out through the airlock, and closed the large metal door behind him. Soon it was filled with the sound of flowing water.

“Don’t worry,” Jack said, coming up behind Ceseso. “You’ll see him again before you know it!”

“Hm,” he absently replied, as a rhythmic hum started through the structure and his family’s submarine started to move past the tiny porthole. Soon it was gone.

Turning and clapping his hands together, he says “Let’s get everything packed away, then, then we can meet our crew mates!”

Bohr experienced a warm sensation as a result of the friendly wave offered to him by the pretty fox lady, and in that instant, his hardcore though-guy image just seemed to melt away. He adjusted his tie and took two big steps ending up smack in the middle of the common room.

‘I am Søren Bohr of The Democratic Republic of Tingst. My field is Biological Anthropology. It’s a pleasure to meet you all.’

After that outburst of emotion, Søren Bohr felt reborn, and a part of him began to hope that perhaps his assignment to the International Sealab wasn’t that bad after all.

Elana nodded in acknowledgment. “Glad to meet you. My name is Elana Navinsku, researcher and diver. My main field of expertise is marine biology, especially deep-sea life. I come from Vekaiyu, and it is believed certain creatures down here may possess different cures for our diseases, based on the little biology we know.” She paused as she picked her glasses back up on her face. “Nevertheless, it is a pleasure to meet you.”

“Vekaiyu? I must admit I am not familiar with that part of the region, and to be perfectly honest, this is my first time meeting a foxy lady, no Fox Lady… I mean… I’m sorry Miss Navinsku, but I’m not quite sure under what name ‘Fox People’ such as yourself goes. Forgive my ignorance and please don’t be offended. It is truly a pleasure meeting you as well.”

Søren Bohr couldn’t quite believe the politeness of his words, but something made him feel humble (and that would be a first) in the company of the others within the room.

‘Must be the deep-sea level’ he thought to himself.

“-Pleased to meet you, Mr. Bhor.”-said Jenõ-“My name is Orosz Jenõ, an architect from Lazlowia. It appears I’m the only non-marine biologist here. I guess you will work with Dr. Soltész, a marine biologist who came with me. I’ve came here to study the effects of the sea on the buildings and to designe new underwater structure. Lazlowia has recently become interested in utilizing the sea, and two approach has been made. I’m for the underwater colonies, but some others suggested floating colonies. The goverment only want to purse one approach, so we are competing with eachother.”

“Oh… well, this is far more… upscale than I had been expecting.”

The words were those of Samŕ Pembrok, who had upon seeing his new underwater dwelling for the first time felt compelled to speak the impromptu evaluation. It would have not made any difference if he had instead chosen not to speak. He was alone, Rykkovaa’s sole denizen within the sealab. But talking aloud to himself was a favorite habit of his.

Over the initial shock and excitement of actually being inside the structure, he started to walk. His head turned side to side and up and down as his eyes tried to take in every last detail of the incredible place at once. This was a fantastic, other worldly realm for him. It was not just that they were under the water. The ocean was not something that he had grown up with. His coat of rust colored fur betrayed his origins as a son of Rajjot, split from the ocean by the entire breadth of a country.

His family had once taken a vacation to the ocean shore instead of the lake to satisfy their curiosity. They had not cared for it. But from the moment he had set his eyes on the crashing waves Samŕ had been hooked.

And now, fresh out of college with a degree in biological oceanography and with the grace of the central government, he was being afforded an opportunity explore everything that was waiting for him beneath the waves. He very nearly jumped and shouted for joy thinking about it. The only thing that stopped him was that fact that, at the very moment when he had become overcome by such a euphoric emotion, he also stepped into the recreation area and promptly noted that three other people were already present. Such an outburst in public, with others around to witness it, would have been grossly unprofessional.

Instead he stopped, exhaled, and took a moment to observed. One vulpine, almost certainly from Vekaiyu, and two humans of less certain national origins. Most likely his fellow residents. Samŕ now frowned and pondered the best course of action and to his dismay found himself ignorant of what was regarded as proper protocol abroad. It was, he concluded, safest to simply approach and wait to be recognized to simply interject himself into the group uninvited.

“This is totally exciting! Even with my phobia of water…” remarked Dr. Vaughn Morris to his friend Dr. Megan Harrison as he carried his things from the shuttle into the sealab.

“I got over my phobia of water when I was young. I don’t understand why you study what you study when you have a phobia of water!” Megan said turning back and gave a sly smile.

“True, my professors said the same thing,” and with a pause Vaughn said, “I told them that I believe that fear is what drives me and that plenty of anxiety medication keep me calm.”

Rolling her eyes, "Yeah, yeah, yeah…lets go meet our new colleagues for the duration of our stay. I’m glad I packed my jacket, its chilly down here.

With that they continued to walk around until they came to a group of people.

“Hello, I’m Dr. Megan Harrison,” and the gestured back to her friend, “and this is Dr. Vaughn Morris. We’re from East Malaysia.”

“Doctor,” she replied while smiling. “But you can call me Elana. After all, we have to get along in this bubble somehow. As far as us fox people are concerned, we tend to go by the accepted race name of vulpine, or the names of the people native to our home land of Vekaiyu - Vekaiyuns. Either way is acceptable; we’re not too picky either way.”

As Elana turned around, she noticed new people in the confines of the room. There was team of doctors from East Malaysia, and a lone Rykkovaan, if she wasn’t mistaken. She approached the two East Malaysians without caution.

“Hello, I am Dr. Elana Navinsku, pleased to meet you.” She turned out of the way so others could introduce themselves as well. She felt like introducing the others by herself, but thought the better of it. Noticing the Rykkovaan in back of the room, she started walking toward him, but quickly caught her fall as she nearly tripped over an ottoman lying astray on the ground. She decided instead to shout to him, rather than risk looking even more like a klutz. “Hello there!”