Mareena closed her eyes and sighed contently as she felt the sun's ray touch her skin for the very first time. The ocean around her was calm and tranquil, nearly mirroring her mood currently. The surface world was much more beautiful than she had anticipated. The images she had seen in the books back in the libraries of Atlantis could never do it justice.
Mareena opened her eyes once more and lightly smiled as she looked up at the sky. The clouds above slowly moved in the sky and she was fascinated all over again. She had never seen anything close to this down in the ocean.
She looked forward and began to swim. If she had looked at the maps correctly and accurately calculated her course then she was bound to reach the city known as Metropolis. The very city home of the Justice League Unlimited, once allies of her father King Arthur or otherwise known to them as Aquaman. The very same father who had forbade all Atlanteans from ever going to the surface world years back. The punishment was exile for any found to have breached the surface.
Mareena knew the risk she was taking yet she felt as though she was living as a prisoner in Atlantis. She wanted to see the world as it was. Not what books would show her or stories that were told. She wanted to breathe the fresh air, feel the wind on her skin, feel the warmth of the sun, and to interact with the humans.
Humans intrigued her quite a bit. She doubted heavily they were as monstrous as her father had made them out to be. After all her father had worked a long side them for a good number of years before closing off contact with the surface world.
It did not take Mareena very long to reach Downtown Metropolis and thus the Metropolis Waterfront. The princess was nearly giddy with excitement as she climbed onto the docks and looked around.
"Amazing," she quietly said to herself.
The Atlantean was completely oblivious of the odd stares she was receiving from the people standing around her and had seen her come from the water.
Mareena giggled to herself as she began to walk towards the city itself. This had been a moment she thought only would be possible in her dreams.
The concrete under her feet felt so rough. A stark contrast to the marble commonly found in Atlantis. The buildings themselves were massive. Nothing in Atlantis, besides perhaps the palace, could even come close.
The hustle of the city was also something Mareena never experienced in Atlantis. There were so many people, so many sights, and so many sounds surrounding her. For a moment it had been overwhelming but then Mareena's excited glee returned to her and her nerves calmed.
The looks she was still receiving were ones of bewilderment. Though she was still completely oblivious to them as she meandered about the city.
Mareena momentarily paused as she looked at a parked car with curiosity. She placed her hand tentatively on the side mirror. "Their machinery is outstanding. I wonder what purpose it serves."
Mareena once again giggled as she continued to wander about. She had stepped into the street to cross it when a car suddenly flew fast her and blew its horn at her. The princess was startled as she jumped back onto the sidewalk.
"It's loud and moves fast. Perhaps it is not machinery after all but an actual creature," she quietly wondered to herself. "I suppose the one I encountered earlier was asleep."
"Excuse me dear," an elderly lady stepped next to her. "You're obviously not from around these parts. But that right there," she pointed to the crosswalk light. "That tells you if you can cross or not. The red hand means stop. Once you see the green pedestrian than you can cross."
Mareena tilted her head as she looked at the light before smiling at the woman, "Thank you, I'll remember that information."
Before Mareena could continue onwards with her journey she heard people screaming and large explosions. Soon after the people around her began to run all in the same direction.
Commonsense should have told her to run away with the humans but Mareena's curiosity had won her over once more as she ran towards the explosions. Though Mareena wasn't too worried about getting injured. At the very least she knew enough about combat to defend herself and she knew she was much stronger than these humans.
Mareena didn't get a chance to get too far when someone had crashed down onto the sidewalk before her. She looked over the seemingly unconscious figure and tilted her head in fascination. The being seemed to be a male human though he metal armor on. There was one facet that intrigued Mareena greatly.
"A human with wings?"
The male, however, turned out not to be unconscious. He let out a slight grunt of pain as he slowly sat up.
"Are you ok?" Mareena softly asked him.
He momentarily stared at her before scowling, "Get the hell out of here before you get hurt lady."
Mareena was taken aback for a second, never had anyone dared speak to her so crudely. Mareena smiled, he was brave to do so, and she giggled, "I can assure you that won't happen. I can assist you perhaps."
He scoffed, "Just stay out of my way and get out of here already. I don't need to be worrying about civilians getting involved."
With that Mareena frowned, "I am no civilian. I do know some combat I will have you know. I believe I can be an asset."
She heard him sigh as he rolled his eyes, "Yeah whatever just get lost."
Before she could retort a purple creature landed on the ground in front of them. If Mareena could describe it she would call the being a monster. It certainly looked the part especially with its razor sharp teeth and claws.
The purple being snickered, "And here I thought that would have killed you Warhawk."
"It's going to take more than that. What do you take me for Parasite?"
"A blithering, birdbrained moron," he sneered.
"Birdbrained?" Warhawk scowled and leapt to tackle Parasite.
Mareena continued to watch as the two fought. This Warhawk was rather ill-tempered and abruptly reminded Mareena of her own father. She giggled to herself once more. She was fascinated by this Warhawk. He was strong and courageous; everything an Atlantean soldier hoped to be.
Before Mareena could continue her observation the other being known as Parasite had grabbed onto Warhawk and seemingly began to shock him. She began to panic as she frantically looked around. Her eyes laid on a fire hydrate. She knew that feeling; there was water.
Mareena took a deep breath to calm her nerves as she focused in on the sensation. The fire hydrant exploded in a geyser of water. She then thrust her hands in the direction of Parasite and Warhawk, hitting the purple creature with the pillar of water.
Warhawk shook his head to regain his bearings. Upon doing so he skulked over to Parasite and pummeled the supervillain.
"Stay down this time," he angrily muttered before rubbing the back of his neck.
Mareena lightly smiled as she walked towards him, "I told you that I could help."
He briefly looked away before smirking, "Not bad for a rookie I guess. I've never seen you around here. You got a name?"
"Mareena," she felt her smile grow. "Honestly I've never fought before in a combat situation. I was only taught self defense. I was glad to be of assistance."
"Yeah well you did good and uh...I appreciate the help."
"Are you ok though?"
"Yeah I'm fine. Parasite got in a couple good hits earlier that's all," he waved her off.
"You humans are fascinating," Mareena stated. "I didn't know humans could have actual wings. My father told me stories of you humans but this is beyond anything I could have imagined!"
Mareena nodded, "King Arthur of Atlantis."
Warhawk's eyes widened a bit, "Aquaman is your father?"
"Yes the one and the same," she nodded once more. "I am Princess Mareena of Atlantis."
"Alright you need to leave, now, " he suddenly said. "Last thing we need is for him to find out you're here."
"I believe Father wouldn't approve either way," she chuckled before smiling. "This is absolutely amazing, the surface world is full of wonders. This is beyond the expectations of what I read about. I can't see why I couldn't stay just a bit longer. Father doesn't know I'm here. I wish to learn more about you humans."
Warhawk shrugged, "I guess it can't hurt if you stay a little longer. Let's get some things clear though. First thing I'm not human. Well technically I'm only half human. Second these wings aren't real. They're metal."
"Interesting so there are those that live on the surface that aren't human?" She tilted her head. "And why would you choose to have wings if they are not real?"
Warhawk nodded, "Yeah there's plenty of aliens that live here that aren't from Earth." He paused and looked at the unconscious Parasite over his shoulder. "How about we get out of here before we talk anymore ok? The police can handle him."
"And go where may I ask?"
"Anywhere but here," he smirked and held out a hand to her. "You trust me?"
Mareena didn't think twice before nodding her head, "Absolutely."
"Good I hope you don't mind heights," he grabbed ahold of her and took to the sky.
"I've never been in the sky like this. The feeling is incredible," she said to him.
"See why I have the metal wings now?"
Mareena nodded, "Yes I can see why. It's almost like being in the water. Being so free and moving wherever you please. I heard that creature call you Warhawk. Is that your name?"
"You could say it is."
"What an odd name. I've never heard anything like it. Do all humans have odd names?"
Warhawk snickered, "It's my hero name. You can call me Rex."
"Rex," she quietly repeated. "I have a feeling we're going to be seeing a lot of each other in the near future Rex."
"What makes you say that?"
Mareena smiled at him, "I just have this feeling. An intuition if you will. Mother always said I had a knack for predicting things."
He shrugged as they reached the harbor. He set her down on the docks as he landed, "Well I'm not going to argue with that. Look we can talk for a bit longer then you need to go back. Understand?"
"Perfectly," Mareena nodded. "So these aliens that live on Earth. Where do they come from?"
Rex paused to think, "Well they come from a whole range of different planets from across the universe."
"Really? How different do they look from an average human?"
"Not much different. I mean some look way different and don't even look remotely human. Take my mom for example. She looks exactly like a human but has actual wings. If she didn't have the wings you wouldn't be able to tell that she wasn't a human."
"Your mother isn't a human?"
"No, she's what you call a Thanagarian. She's from a planet called Thanagar. It's really, really, really far from here. That's why I'm only half human."
"Interesting," Mareena lightly nodded. "Why did she choose to come to Earth to live with the humans? Wouldn't she have wanted to stay with her own kind?"
"Um...well it's a long story," he averted his gaze as he spoke. "It's a bit complicated too."
Mareena smirked, "Perhaps I can come to the surface again another time and you can tell me it."
Rex returned the smirk with one of his own, "You live life a little dangerously for being royalty. Aren't you worried about your father finding out where you're at?"
Mareena thought for a moment before shaking her head, "Not at all. I can easily outsmart Father. He'll have no idea I'll be here."
Rex chuckled, "You've got guts. I like that."
Mareena softly smiled, "I believe this is a start of a beautiful friendship Rex. I can't wait to see what this world holds for me and all you have to tell and show me."
"I'll probably not be the best tour guide but I'll see what I can do. You just make sure daddy dearest doesn't find out. I'd like to not have any harpoons in my chest."
Mareena laughed, "Don't worry I'll make sure he doesn't know at all. Besides I believe my father would have quite the fight on his hands if he were to try to take you on. I can tell you are quite the warrior, especially with a name like Warhawk."
Rex gave her a rather bashful smile, "Well you know goes with the image of being a superhero and all."
"A superhero? So are you apart of the fabled Justice League?"
"Yeah," he nodded. "My parents are too. It's sorta a family thing. Your father knew my parents back in the day. He helped out the Justice League a few times. If you ever get the chance, ask him about Hawkgirl and Green Lantern."
"Won't that be rather suspicious?"
"Only if you make it. You said you read about the surface world in books and you knew about the Justice League. Asking a few questions never hurt anyone. You're just being curious about things you read after all."
"That is very true but I believe the idiom I read once said that curiosity killed the cat," she pointed out.
Rex smirked, "Good thing you aren't a cat then."
A/N: Man I so neglected Mareena and Rex for a while. They needed some attention.