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Scion: Rise of the Fallen - Scion [Thor]: Ride of the Valkyries

Dave ST

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Within the dust filled, hollowed halls of Valaskjalf the rays of the morning sun pierced through two massive windows on either side of an intricately carved gray granite throne. Set within the stone were carvings of all manner of beasts doing battle amonsgst themselves or against mighty heroes from times long past. Upon it’s surface one could see the heroic deeds of each of the Norse Gods, locked in epic conflict with the titan spawn for all eternity. Heavy foot falls echoed through the halls until finally a ring of dust scattered at the sudden impact of a thunderous step. The unknown God, obscured by the shadowy mingling of morning dust and the sun’s rays stood staring at the massive granite seat, Hlidskjalf, Odin’s throne and the seat of power amongst the Aesir.

A sudden glimmer filled the hall, a sparkle of light that flashed softly leaving behind a beautiful woman clad in a black breastplate with golden accents. She was lovely beyond reason with long black hair tied tightly in a thick braid that ran down to her hips. Upon her belt was a finely crafted broad bladed sword and with every step the shaft of the massive, intricately designed spear she carried tapped softly upon the stone floor.

She approached and knelt behind the throne gazing God. “We have found him.”

“It’s about time, Brynhildr.” The God replied. “Send Sigrun to claim him.”

“Claim him?” Brynhildr, eldest and most respected of the Valkyries failed to keep her enthusiasm in check and did not go unnoticed. “Then, he is to be allowed home once more? Our Thunder God returns?”

An iron fist clamped tightly about her throat, and all her great strength was nothing compared to the Gods crushing grip. “You misunderstand and forget your place Valkyrie. I am the Lord of Asgard now. Your precious Thunder God is gone. He is no longer a god, but he was once our finest warrior. He will serve in Ragnarök, one way or the other and since he’s no longer a god it looks like he’ll be serving as an ‘other’.” Brynhildr choked as her spear fell to the ground while she struggled to stay on her feet but to no avail. Her knees slammed to the floor, cracking a stone. “Send Sigrun to collect his soul.”

His grip loosened and the mightiest of the Valkyries fell to the floor, clutching her neck. Instinctively she grasped the handle of her sword with the desire to cut the bastard’s heart from his chest but her sense got the best of her. “It will be done.” She said, disgusted with the sight in front of her. She body glimmered and she faded once more from view in a soft light.

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"You zay VOT to me?."

The other long-time patrons of the bar reacted with the keen instincts of barflys who knew that someone was about to hit the zapper. First, they secured their drinks and moved discreetly away from the booming, slightly accented voice. Then, of course, they turned to watch. Gunnar was drunk again. And, from the hint of accent that came through in his speech, he was angry too. The towering man hadn't even gotten off his groaning barstool, but he still loomed over the female police officer like a thundercloud. A big, mean, angry and drunken thundercloud.

"I said that you have to give up your keys, sir." The officer's professional manner did her credit as she met the bloodshot blue eyes, though the 'sir' came naturally enough. What do you call a 600lb gorilla with a machine gun? Sir. Jesus Christ on a pogo stick but he was a big one! And not big as in 'fat, beery and too many burritos', either. The arms sprouting from the sleeveless denim jacket looked as big around as her thighs and considerably more solid. He had tattoos all down his arms, some so faded as to be barely visible under the fresher ones that had gone over the top. Skulls, runes, dragons, lightning bolts, barbarian warrior women with huge... Well, all the usual staples of biker-chic were there, at any rate.

"You;ve had a lot to drink, don't you think?" she asked him, trying to see if the big guy had a better side. Lord, let him have a better side. Her partner stood a little way away, ready to back her up in case the gentle approach didn't work. She reflected that if the gentle approach didn't work, they'd need more people. Like a SWAT team...

"BAH! Dis... dis is nothink. Why, I used t' dr'nk gals- galleys- gallons of beer. REAL beer, too. Not dis horse-piss!" The big drunk: Gunnar, the barman had called him, was at least not in a fighting mood right now. Still, that could flip suddenly. In her five years on the LAPD, the cop had seen placidity turn to violence in a heartbeat. "An'- and if I give up my keys, how am I to get home, hey?" he asked with the grin of a (drunk) man who thinks he's won an argument.

"I'll get ya home, Gunnar." A burly older man, wearing construction boots and with dust creased into his hands, said as he came up to the bar and stood just beside the cop. Gunnar's blue eyes blinked a few times and he smiled faintly and lifted one arm, pointing a huge finger at his co-worker.

"You... You are good friend Robert. Hey, everyone, let me tell you about my good friend Robert here!" The large man rose to his feet, arms going up as he turned to the rest of the bar, his voice booming like a cannonade. "My friend Robert, he is foreman at place I work. I come to City of Angels years ago and I haf no job, no home, no money! But I can work. I can work like ten men! Robert, he gives me job and gives me a bed until I earn enough money to look after myself. He has heart bigger than... than... than whole damn country! Men like Robert, dey are rare! Dey are diamond!" Gunnar clambered onto the bar, shrugging off restraining hands and moving with the slow grace of someone who was used to moving around drunk off his ass. He straightened up and lifted his beer to the heavens.

"Robert, my friend, I vill remember you forever. Skol!" he lifted his drink to his lips, then paused and glowered at the other patrons of the bar. "That means you all drink now to my friend Robert now. Altogether: Skol!"

Glasses and bottles were raised hastily, Robert (Bob to everyone else: only Gunnar called him by his full name. Gunnar called everyone by their full names) clapping his face into his palm as everyone chorused "Skol!" and drank. Gunnar drained his beer in a single pull and tossed the bottle into the bin behind the bar before beaming down at the cops. "Good! Now I give the keys to my friend Robert, and he gives me a lift home, and I sleep. I haf work tomorrow!"

He hopped down off the bar, stumbling a little but catching himself and swearing in something that sounded Scandinavian. He stood and fumbled his keys out of his pocket and very solemnly passed them over to Bob before smiling at the lady cop.

"You knows, you are very pretty woman. And brave! And kind! You remind me of how my wife used to be." His brow furrowed a little. "And my daughter too. That is because you are young, I think. Everyone is so young, Robert." he said, his booming voice taking on a slightly plaintive tone. The officer looked puzzled for a second: the guy was scarred and huge, but he didn't look old. He couldn't be more than ten years older than her. Except his eyes weren't. Even drunk and bloodshot, his eyes looked ancient. Weird.

"Yeah, I know." Bob said, giving the cop a shrug and smile as he moved to take Gunnar's arm. "C'mon, big guy."

"I can walk by myself!" Gunnar declared firmly with a scowl, moving his arm out of reach and bringing up his other hand to point at Robert. "Do not think that I cannot walk by myself, friend Robert. I haf been walking a long time, you knows."

"Okay, okay." Bob shook his head and motioned towards the door. "After you, yer highness." Gunnar moved to the door, grumbling under his breath, and Bob shrugged at the cop again.

"He's got some issues."

"Yeah, well, just get him back to his wife and kid then." The cop said with a shake of her head.

"He lives alone." Bob said matter-of-factly. "Sometimes he says his wife and daughter deserted him. Other times he says that he left them. But he only talks about it when he's drunk. Trying to talk to him about it when he's sober isn't a good idea. Last guy that did that lost teeth."

"Great." the cop said with a snort. "No wonder they ran out on him."

"Ho, Robert! Hurry up! I need to piss like a horse, then I wish to eat pizza!" boomed Gunnar as he stuck his head back in through the door, glaring.

"Yeah, yeah. Comin'." Bob shook his head again and made for the door.

* * * * *

The alarm clicked on, filling the air with the sound of music. The thunderous snoring that had preceded the music cut off in an annoyed snort that would have done a rhino proud. Thor blinked. His left eye was stuck closed by something. An examination confirmed that it was triple-pepperoni pizza. With a groan, he picked himself up from the floor where he'd fallen from the couch during the night. His mouth tasted like a Jotun's private parts and his stomach felt vaguely queasy from the shit he'd been drinking. There was another groan as he remembered toasting Robert last night. "Fucking idiot!" he grumbled at himself, shambling to the bathroom to get himself set for the day. He sniffed at himself: he'd do. He'd bathed yesterday... or was it the day before that. Whatever, it'd do. He'd bathe later.

He scraped his mouth clean with toothbrush and paste, then wandered back into his lounge. The small apartment was cluttered with empty, half-empty and nearly-full bottles, takeout containers, and discarded clothing. It stunk. Anyone else would have called for a cleaning crew, or perhaps a flamethrower. Thor barely even noticed, save to think that he might want to leave a window open. It wasn't like he had anything worth stealing. He grunted and grabbed his keys from the table where Robert had left them.

Time to go to work. After a stop at IHOP.

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This is Asgard's mightiest warrior? Sigrun asked herself as Gunnar walked past her to brush his teeth. He didn't see her, he couldn't see her. She was a divine creature born of myth and legend and to the mortal minds of The World, her mere existence was to much for their minds to perceive and thus, she walked invisible among him. Every step she took within his refuse strewn home went unseen, indeed even at those moments where their paths would have crossed his own mortal inability to understand the power of Legend and the divine forced his body to simply step around her, an impulse Gunnar didn't even realize had happened. This mongrel? This slovenly, filth ridden, poor excuse for a mortal is... our Lord Donar? She scowled at the still half inebriated man, wanting to run him through then and there... but even she had a code she had to follow.

It sagged to one side thanks to his weight and faulty shocks. It was loud, small and it certainly was not pretty to look at with its myriad of various primers. Rest assured the history books certainly had the fallen God of Thunder in finer chariots than 1978 AMC Gremlin. A billowing stream of white smoke filled the L.A. streets compliments of his jacked up exhaust system and the looks of complaint from the those on the side walks went unseen as the massive man shoveled in flapjacks as he tried to keep his eye on the road. He was far to small for the vehicle, but it served it's purpose: a swift means of getting to food, beer, and work to buy more food and beer.

She was invisible among the mortals. High aloft the concrete jungle below the Sigrun, the Valkyrie flew upon mystical wings of white plumage that seemed spun from a gossamer aether. Much like her superior, Brynhildr, she was lovely beyond reasoning and the same thick braid of raven black hair danced on the wind at her hips. Her armor was polished to a pristine shine with a deep greenish hued lacquer applied to it. The divine assassin had several opportunities to take him out and claim his soul this morning, hell, at least ten of those opportunities were before he left the house, but she could not just kill him, no, he had to die a warriors death and he would, fighting for his life in one of the greatest honors Sirun could imagine... death by her own hands.

As his work day ticked on she waited, perched upon the building across the avenue, giving him time to purge the alcohol from his system and get his body limber and loose for the upcoming battle. The large construction worker handled about all of the heavy lifting and grunt work with ease. Not that it would help him any, she was an epically strong, divine harvester of souls. Finally, the time had come and she flew from her vantage point to hover several stories above the giant mortal man.

Loudly her spear impacted the earth only a single step from where Gunnar stood, walking to lunch break. The concussive force knocked him back and off his feet, slamming him into a pile of scrap two by fours. Pedestrians and his coworkers stopped in their tracks as the ghostly image of the Valkyrie appeared there in the air, aloft on her gossamer wings and clad in her green armor.

"Gunnar Torsdag!" She bellowed in a deep, commanding voice. Her wings slowly flapped as she coasted downward. "Donar! Thunor!" Her eyes narrowed in obvious disgust. "Thor. Your wretched existence is at an end, God of Thunder! You are to serve in the Halls of Valhalla! Come to me, my einherjar..."

Her boots set down gently, crunching the dust and gravel as the eerie sound of steel grinding on steel echoed around her giving the mortal time to swallow hard in fright as her sword was drawn from its scabbard. Even Thor knew this was audacious, even for a Valkyrie, to appear in broad daylight before hundreds of mortals to claim an einherjar... had things changed so much since he'd been gone?

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A thick-fingered hand scrabbled reflexively for a length of two-by-four as Gunnar got to his feet, fear-spawned adrenaline flooding through his veins as this mortal frame made itself ready for fight... or flight.

To be fair to him, even when confronted with a radiant and deadly harvester of the valiant dead, Thor was still Thor enough that his first impulse was to the former. His teeth gritted, blue eyes narrowed as he straightened up with his makeshift club raising. Sigrun waited for the brave-but-futile charge: honor demanded she give the warrior a chance to prove his valor and skill before delivering the final stroke.

In Gunnar/Thor's mind a conflict raged. A fight was before him, and even as a mortal he'd not done much running away from single combat. None, in fact. On the other hand...

"Me an einherjar?" he rumbled with scorn and incredulity. "The All-Bastard must be pissing his britches. What happened, Sigrun? His master plan for ducking his doom not pan out? Jotun on the warpath?" Thor lowered his club, throwing back his head and laughing with little humor in his tone. "HAH! I'll bet the nithling feels ol' Fenris's jaws in his guts already."

"You will not speak that way of Odin, you pig on two legs!" Sigrun snapped back, stung by the obvious disdain Thor showed for the honor she was sent to grant him. Then again, after being the Thunderer, being a simple soldier in the armies of Asgard probably wasn't much of an honor by comparison. "He has extended his hand to you." she insisted, driving home the message. "This is more honor than he is obliged to give you."

"Pfah! I'd rather march beside the Jotun!" Thor snorted. "I'd rather season his wrinkled hide with salt and pepper for the Wolf than raise a weapon on the old fucker's behalf." Thor grinned at the increasingly furious valkyrie and flipped her the bird. "I'll raise this for him, though."

"You swi-!" she started, then stopped as the length of two-by-four came hurtling at her head. Thor's arm was impressive, but constrained by the limits of his mortal body. The valkyrie's sword came up in a blur of silver and cut the piece of wood in half neatly. "Yes! Fight me Th-" she stopped again, eyes wide in shock and dismay at the sight that met her eyes as they returned to Gunnar. Thor, the strongest of the Aesir, the doughtiest fighter in any godrealm...

Was running away from her.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thor didn't know, how could he? With his thousand year absence the fallen god had no idea the changes that took place within the Godrealm of the Aesir. Either way though, he was no an exile, a no one, and now her enemy. Without hesitation she sped off after him.

The blow to the back of his skull sent the ancient god of thunder flying forward and completing two full flips in the air before gravity finally claimed him and he came crashing down on his back. She soared ahead of him and spun about to face him. She was cheating, but hell... did it really matter at this point? The mountain of a man struggled to get his wind back as he hand grasped his throat and she effortlessly lifted him off the ground like he was but a few pounds and no more.

"Fight me Thor." She growled through gritted teeth. "You are arrogant, spoiled, and have learned nothing since you were cast out!" The man flew through the air and slammed into a half finished wall, going through it in the process. Dust, mortar and brick fell everywhere about him as he turned and spat a mouthful of blood into the dirt. "At least stand tall and regain some of your lost renown."

She stepped towards him slowly, giving him the opportunity to compose himself. He had to fight. He had to be brave, powerful, and worthy of the death she was about to give him or his soul would not be admitted to Valhalla... Sigrun really hoped he didn't remember that part.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Gunnar rolled, partly to put more distance between him and Sigrun, and partly to get his hands and feet under him. His hands clenched as he glowered at the valkyrie, wanting nothing more than to fly at the impudent wench and go out fighting...

No. He shook his head as he stopped mid-rise, spitting blood and dust onto the floor. He would not give Odin the satisfaction of his service, ever again. He would not dance to the old bastard's tune unless physically forced through each step. He paused for a moment more, looking up at the shiningly beautiful valkyrie waiting to take her warrior to paradise, and he dropped to his knees, his face crumpling.

"You're right. I'm worthless. I've always been worthless, and it took Odin's punishment to show me that, rail against my fate as I may. End it then. Free me from this unbearable life." he sobbed, childlike, drawing on the darkest, bleakest years of his exile from Asgard and the pain of those memories to fuel his deception. Red-rimmed eyes stared at the ground between him and Sigrun, his voice hoarse and broken. "I cannot stand the endless conflicts of this mortal life. The privation, the wars, the constant battle I have endured... I am nothing, Sigrun. A broken shell of a once-god with no fight left in him." he cringed a little as she stepped closer, not looking up. "Just... just make it quick. Please." Sigrun appeared taken aback, her sword half-raised as she considered the quivering wreck in front of her. Silently, Thor hoped that the deception would last long enough, for the ex-Thunder God had taken in the unstable support for the ceiling above, the 20-pound sledgehammer nearby, and most importantly the couple of floor-to-ceiling support beams a few feet to his left that, he hoped, would combine with the other factors to give the valkyrie a nasty surprise. Or, at least, slow Odin's hunting bitch down long enough for him to find something more... permanent.

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  • 1 month later...

It pained her to do it. To see the once proud and mighty Thor reduced to groveling for mercy. While her king had sent her to collect him as an einherjarr it the purview of the Valkyrie to determine their worth and Thor, sadly in his 1,000 years of imprisonment had become sorely lacking...

"It was never Odin who punished you, arrogant son." Sigrun said calmly. "The All-Father died defending your choice, you were cast out, he was struck down."

Sigrun's words cut Thor to the bone, he had seen Odin, he had argued with Odin the very day Thor was cast from Valhalla! How could this be? A Valkyrie would never lie about such things, especially before a killing blow was struck. Her arm came down in a mighty arc and before Thor had time to consider her words his mind was forced back into the conflict.

He dove to the left, scooping up the sledge hammer as he rolled and came up swinging, not on the Valkyrie, but on the weakened supports. Splinters of wood launched in all directions as the Ex God of Thunder devistated the structure. Mighty hammer in hand the blond behemoth of a man looked, for all intents and purposes to those watching, to truly be the mighty Thunder God the armored woman claimed him to be. Dust and sand were cast all about as he rolled once more out of the way in time to see the look on Sigrun's face as the roof collapsed down upon her.

Crawling to his feet Gunnar, sledge still in hand, staggered towards the massive crane on the lot. Sweat mingled with dirt, his breathing was heavy and briefly he appreciated his chosen profession, lest his stamina would have given out long ago. The mountain of rubble exploded into a shower of debris as Sigrun flexed and threw her weighty prison off her back with ease. People ran and dove for shelter a few were even crushed or struck with random wreckage.

"Enough." She said through gritted teeth. "No longer are you strong enough to defeat me Fallen One. Except your death with dignity." She kicked off and was in a full run towards him when he threw the sledge hammer, a desperate move, but he knew she was faster than he was. Her great cry for his head echoed throughout the lot, drowning out the 'cling' as the hammer smashed a lever inside the control booth of the crane.

He turned on his heels and faced his impeding demise, chin up and contempt on his face. So this was it? He would stand accept his death with dignity, if that was what the Valkyrie desired of him.

The earth shook as the 12,000lb wrecking ball fell from the sky and landed squarely atop the advancing demi-goddess. Bystanders looked away in revulsion while a few of Gunnar's co-workers cheered him a bit, claiming the crazy bitch deserved it. And there Gunnar stood, nine and a half feet from the wrecking ball, unflinching from the impact and unshaken by the deed he had to commit. He'd accept his death with dignity...

...just not today. Hel would be putting in some overtime if she thought Thor, mortal or otherwise, would go down without fighting.

"It was never Odin who punished you, arrogant son." Her words echoed in his mind. "The All-Father died defending your choice, you were cast out, he was struck down."

Not too far away...

"Awww shit!" A black man screamed from an alley way across from the battle. "You see that, lil homie? He won! The fucka won!" He looked down to the young eight year old boy with tight cornrows. "I thought you said he was mortal, dog? Ow' d'fuck did he beat that bitch if she's a god or some shit?"

The African-American boy stood calm and with his arms crossed. White tank top and baggy pants, labeled him a child of the streets, but behind his skeptical eyes shone an intelligence far beyond his years. "Course it's him, and even as a mortal there is, nor ever will be, a finer warrior. I just have to convince that idiot of that, or we're all fucked, with a capitol fist of the ass."

"So whatchu' wanna do, Key?"

"Po-po is on their way, duck out for now. We know who he is, finding him won't be hard." Into the shadows of the alleyway the two walked as the blaring of sirens filled the Los Angeles streets.

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"The All-Father died defending your choice, you were cast out, he was struck down."

He sat in the interrogation room, hands clasped on the table before him, head bowed in contemplation. He ignored the mirrored glass, ignored the noises beyond the door with a cop standing beside it studying him. The clarion notes of the valkyrie's words rang in his mortal mind.

"The All-Father died..."

He was dead then. Odin... Wotan... One-Eye... Grimnir... Father. Gunnar blinked slowly. His father was dead.

It was hard to digest. For a millenia, he'd blamed Odin for casting him out, sworn oaths of vengeance should he ever find a way to recover his power. He'd hated his own father enough to consider the horrible crime of kinslaying.

"...died defending your choice..."

Hadn't it been Odin that threw him from Valhalla? Or Odin's order? Remembering the events of a thousand years past was hard for this ichor-less mind better suited for remembering mere decades. He'd rejected the offer, that much he remembered. Then he'd cursed all those still considering it for fools and cowards and stormed forth from the hall, to cool his rage in peace and quiet.

Then they had come for him... Or had they? He struggled to remember. He had definitely been cast down... He furrowed his brow darkly, but it was no use. Even when divine, he'd not been the greatest at remembering the past unless there was a rousing saga or song associated with it. Sif used to tease him about it, making up and singing silly little rhymes to remind him of small, personal things. Sif... From anyone else, the teasing would have roused the storm of his ire, but from sweet Sif it made him laugh.

My father is dead. Slain. He died defending me... and I have scorned that sacrifice with a thousand years of sullen, wrongful hate. I am a fool. The dusty, bloodied, dishevelled man closed his eyes against the womanly tears he felt pricking there, his clasped hands tightened on each other with an audible creak of tendon and bone. Father. I will find a way to repair that dishonor. I will search for a way. And whoever is responsible for this cowardly ignominy will die screaming if there is but a breath left in my body to cause this to come about, I swear.

He looked up at the guarded door, and the uniformed cop standing there shifted slightly at the look in the red tinged eyes. Gunnar was keenly aware that if his enemy, the one that now commanded the Choosers of the Slain, was to strike again now he would be as a fatted pig in a slaughtering pen: unable to run or hide.

"How much longer does it take?" he asked the policeman with a tinge of impatience.

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"As long as it takes, buddy. I like standing here as much as you like sitting there, trust me." The door opened a crack and the officer leaned towards it, listening to the person on the opposite side. A few moments later he nodded and looked over to Gunnar. "Lucky you," The officer said, walking towards Gunnar, reaching for the large man's arm. "You get to hit the showers and some new clothes, the Feds want you clean when they arrive."

The officer swallowed hard when Gunnar stood to his full height, towering over the out-of-shape officer like a perfectly chiseled statue of muscular granite. The Fallen God had a humbling quality about him at times.

After was cleaned up and more presentable, now in an orange prison jumpsuit, it seemed like the trial and verdict were already in from where he sat, once again, at the large metal table.

The door opened after another long wait and Gunnar's heart nearly beat out of it's chest. Time slowed as a woman entered, the loveliest woman he'd ever seen. Her blonde hair fell over her shoulders accenting her full lips and alluring eyes. He knew her. He remembered her. It was her! Yet she didn't seem to have any clue who he may be. His beloved Sif had entered the room and was walking right towards him...

...then her briefcase slammed down on the table and snapped him clean out of his reverie. "Good evening, Mr. Torsdag. I am Agent Fredrikson, with the U.S. Marshalls." Indeed her federal badge verified her claim. 'Fredrikson, Samantha I.' It was true: Fate was a bitch. "I understand you had yourself quite an interesting day today, I've read your statement, but I'd like to hear it in your own words."

Click to reveal..

The role of Sif will be played by Elisha Cuthbert (you're welcome Peter), well not the real Elisha Cuthbert since I am on a budget y'know but if you have a really good imagination then I'm sure you can already see the story unfolding around you.

For Thor, yes, this is the actual Sif, not someone that looks like her. It smells like her, sounds like her, it is her, aside from the little detail of her not having any clue who Thor is. Feel free to make a complete ass of yourself and remember that we here in Scion love you.

For those that missed it, her initials spell S.I.F. and Fredrikson is a true Scandinavian surname.

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Gunnar just stared at her, his mouth slightly agape. Samantha Fredrickson resisted the urge to sigh and roll her eyes. Great, another knuckledragging primate who saw blonde hair and boobs and regressed even further down the evolutionary chain. She regarded Gunnar Torsday patiently, slowly beginning to realise that there was something off about the long look he was giving her. She shifted uneasily. The blue eyes never wavered from her face, drinking in her features as though she were iced water to a man dying of thirst. The granite-like face under his eyes never wavered, save to close his mouth as he got over whatever shock seeing her had caused. His eyes, though...

Those eyes showed a mixture of caution, sadness and something deeper and more compelling.

"What about the statement? Those were my own words." Torsdag rumbled quietly, still looking at the Marshal as he hedged for thinking time. It was hard to think... harder than usual. She moved like Sif. She sounded like Sif, though the voice had none of the ring of divinity. Fredrickson snapped open the case and slid a manila folder out of it, looking at him with professional stoicism.

"Have it your way, Mr Torsdag." Gunnar searched her manner, her lovely eyes, for any clue that this was a deception or a trick to free him. It was Sif, damn it. She couldn't have forgotten him. She mustn't have forgotten him. Fredrickson opened the folder and scanned over the front page inside it. "You say you were attacked by a 'crazy woman' who was probably ' on drugs'. And that you 'had never met her before'. Is that correct?" Looking up, she saw the huge man still staring at her with that deep, undefinable emotion in his eyes. He merely nodded.

"I see." she said, turning the page. "That doesn't tie in with what some of your co-workers and other witnesses said. I have several reports that the first thing your attacker said was your name. With a bunch of other names added on afterwards. Seems she knew YOU, and under several identities, 'Mr Torsdag'. If that is your name."

It was too much, that look of careful suspicion that she levelled on him. Gunnar leaned forward at the table, his expression beseeching her.

"It's me. Don't you recognise me? What is this... this game? Don't tell me they punished you for what I did. Please, tell me that you know me, dearest one." he said in a low, urgent tone, his manner pleading. "Remember me. Remember US!" he slid a hand towards her, cracks of raw emotion showing in the granite of his features. "I have dreamed of you." he said in a weary, broken voice. "I have missed you. Your warmth. Your kisses." He stopped, seeing the way that she drew back from him, the wary expression on her face as she glanced at the mirror, then at the door.

"Do you hate me now? Is that it? Are you seeking to punish me for something?" Grief turned to sullen, bitter anger. "Hah. Then by all means keep me here, Sif. They will seek to kill me again, and send someone to make it so." His eyes bored into her. "Would that please you?"

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Perfect. The Marshall thought to herself. Guys like Mr. Torsdag (if the was his real name) were just the sort of whack-job terrorists she and her division had been focusing on removing from the country for some time now. But to go so far as to call her 'Sif' after the statement witnesses gave claimed he was called 'Thor' by his attacker... oh, this guy was a loony bin gold mine.

She'd never been one for mythology, but she certainly knew who Thor and Sif were. With a roll of her eyes she continued. "Mr. Torsdag, I assure you, I've never met you before in my life. I am U.S. Marshall Samantha Fredrikson, not 'Sif'. I'm not here to punish anyone, I'm here to help. Please, Mr. Torsdag, tell me, when is that you did that they might punish this, Sif for it as well. Who are, 'they'?"

His eyes were strangely familiar, and the way he spoke to her something within kindled with familiarity over his words. She buried those thoughts swiftly. She was a woman of logic and reason and she didn't work this hard in her life, and come this far to believe the words of some half crazed lunatic who just murdered a woman by dropping a wrecking ball on her.

She noticed he was hesitant, and offered him a warm smile. "Mr. Torsdag, please, I can't help you if you don't let me. Now, who are they, and what did you do?"

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The great shoulders slumped, and the scarred, battered, but undeniably powerful man sat back in the folding chair, his weight making it creak as he slowly wiped his hands over his face. Samantha watched him carefully, feeling that odd sense of familiarity with the gesture, his body language. He wasn't beaten or defeated, she somehow knew. He rested his hands on the table again, focusing his eyes on a mid-way spot on the smooth surface.

"Fine. I know how this should work." He set his jaw and looked up again. "What am I charged with, Marshal?"

"Nothing yet, but we're looking at murder." she replied briskly. Gunnar cracked a lopsided grin that, despite it's annoying quality, was oddly endearing.

"Of whom?" he asked bluntly.

"The woman who attacked you."

"And who was that?" The grin widened. "Where is the body? Find anything yet?" He leaned forward, blue eyes alight with humour and something else. Something ancient and bitter. "Tell me, Marshal. I am dying of curiousity. Why are you here?"

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Her eyes narrowed. Apparently he was smarter then she gave him credit for. "I'm here, because, body or not, you dropped a wrecking ball on an armored woman who was attacking you with a sword. I've reviewed footage from just bout every angle you could imagine, and we all know what we saw. I want answers Mr. Torsdag, who was she, why did she want you dead and where did the body go?"

She folded her hands over the table and looked at him. "You can either do this easy way, or pretty soon the F.B.I. will be here and I guarantee you they are no where near as nice as I am. I want answers, because trust me, just because I can't officially keep you here, they can. That sinking in up there, or do I need to write it in crayon?"

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"You want the truth?" Gunnar started to laugh, a low growling sound that had little humour in it. "You would not believe it. You would call me crazy and lock me up in..."

"Try me." Samantha said, eyes narrowing as she cut across his ramble. "Really, Gunnar. Try me. I want to help." If you deserve the help, which I doubt. Gunnar stopped laughing and stared at her for a moment, then looked up at the ceiling as though considering something.

"Very well. The truth. As much truth as I think you will believe, Miss Fredrickson." He sat up straighter, clasping his hands in front of him and looking at her.

"The woman you saw, she was sent to collect me by force, to take me back home. I was cast out, you see. Exiled. They stripped away my..." he hesitated "My rank. But now they want me back to fight for them. But they killed my..." he hestiated again, but this time it was the pause of a struggle for control rather than editing. "They killed my father, Marshal. The person or people who sent that woman. They killed my father!" His eyes were blazing like lightning as he looked up at her once more.

"As for the body... There is none, because she is not truly dead. Merely beaten. What you thought you saw... Was not entirely what was. I cannot explain it better to you. Or to the FBI. But I tell you this, on my life and soul." Gunnar leaned forward and stared Samantha intently in the eye.

"They will come again. Maybe that woman, maybe another. Maybe more than one. You say you saw the fight? Then you saw her throw me around. They are all like her, Marshal. Your guns, your laws, your prisons will not stop them. They will come, and my choice will be to die a cowards death or to go on as a slave."

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  • 1 month later...

The door to the observation room slammed shut. Gunnar sat on the other side of the large mirror. "He's a psycho." Marshal Fredrickson tossed his file on the table then turned back to look at him. "I want him held for further questioning and I want a team at the site looking in ever crack, crevice and splinter. I want a body. People do not just up and disappear after they die, we are not living in a magical land of fairy tales gentleman."

"We already sent a team, they-" One of her fellow Marshals spoke up.

"Send them again." She shot him a glare.

"Yes ma'am."

"What about him? What do we hold him on?" Marshal Turner asked.

"I've an idea." The door opened as the comment filtered into the room. A man in his early forties stepped into the room dressed in business casual earth tones with a strong western theme. The cowboy hat gave it away. His hair had gone white a long time ago, but for a man in his forties he was broad shouldered, healthy, and powerfully built. Honestly aside from his hair, the man didn’t look a day over thirty. “I think we should let the boy go.”

“Chief Cerauno?” Marshal Fredrickson took deep breath and tried to calm herself in the presence of her superior. “But, sir, regardless of what we do or do not have, I can’t justify letting a man like this free. Not without some assurance-“

Chief Cerauno smiled and raised his hand up to quiet her down. “Now, simmer down a sec darlin’. I understand where yer comin’ from, really, I do. He’s obviously a dangerous man, got a history of violence and drinkin’, n hell now there’s a video of him beatin’ some gal senseless at a construction site. Look’it what you have though, hun, y’got nuthin’ on the boy. We’re T.O.D. darlin’ this is a local issue, let the local authorities handle it.”

She pointed and even tapped the glass with her finger. “He dropped a six ton wrecking ball on person, and we’re going to let him go? I don’t buy his gods and monsters story sir. We have him; we can hold him and let the local authorities finish up the paperwork. At least he’ll be off the street. I mean, seriously sir, thunder gods, disappearing women, and a story that sounds like he stole it from The God Father? This man needs help, not out help putting him back out there.”

“Cut’im loose.” Was all Cerauno said and with that order every Marshal scattered do carry on wit their own part in making sure the man went free. Marshal Fredrickson scowled like a teenage girl who hadn’t gotten her way and stormed out of the room, the door slamming behind her.

Once the room was empty Cerauno just stood there staring through the glass at the former God of Thunder. “Life is the fire that burns and the sun that gives light. Life is the wind and the rain and the thunder in the sky. Life is matter and is earth, what is and what is not.” He sighed, reflecting on his poetry. “Get yer shit together, Thor. Get your life together. This world needs you.”

Marshal Fredrickson’s eyes narrowed as she leaned against the wall just outside the room. Cerauno was in on it too apparently and she wanted answers. She stormed off down the hall, her heels making a hell of a racket with each of her determined strides. She’d seen a lot of strange things come by her in her years as a Marshal, but this was big, this was very big. What the hell was Cerauno talking about? She was going to get answers.

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  • 4 weeks later...

They turned him loose at 2 in the morning. Dry thunder rumbled ominously in the sky somewhere distant, and the still night air tasted of iron. Gunnar looked up at the sky at the sound of thunder, but no fork of lightning presented itself. No fire of the gods split the sky to herald his fate. It was just L.A. in summer.


Naturally, his car wasn't here. It was back at the construction site. Gunnar sighed, beating some of the dust from the worn, faded and -now- bloodstained denims they'd handed back to him once the order had come from someone to let him go. He bowed his head, pondering. He was probably fired from the site - the main foreman didn't like him, and the strange battle, the property damage, and the mysterious death would only give the miserable son of a bitch reason.

"Swina bqllr." Gunnar cursed wearily under his breath in Old Norse, then plodded down the precinct steps, ignoring the eyeballing he was getting from the blues outside. He felt like utter shit from the beating that the valkyrie had inflicted on him. Under the t-shirt his torso had been bandaged - the doctor had cheerfully told him that two of his ribs were fractured, chuckling that it must have been some woman to hand out such a beating. Gunnar had been three heartbeats from showing the doctor what fractured ribs felt like first-hand - the main reasons not to being the handcuffs and three cops present. He walked away from the building, head lowered in misery until a thought slowly made its way into his forebrain. A slow, wry grin spread itself over his battered face.

He'd bested a valkyrie as a mortal man. And Sif was alive. True, the besting of the swordmaiden had been a combination of luck and skill, more the former than the latter, and Sif wholeheartedly believed she was a Federal Marshal and that he was a dangerous nutcase. Even as he contemplated this, however, the once-god felt an overwhelming urge to bitter laughter. Fate was indeed a bitch, but not so subtle that he couldn't feel her at work in his life once more. The workings of Fate had been more his father's area of expertise than Thor's, but even so the ex-Thunderer knew some of the rules. The moment 'they' - whoever they were - had sent a Chooser of the Slain to kill him, they'd embroiled him in Fate's web once more after a millenia of being a nobody. Valkyries didn't come to kill nobodies, and by Fate's twisted reasoning, anyone a valkyrie came after was henceforth a somebody. If they survived. Which he had.

So far.

Somebody up there fucked up Gunnar/Thor mused to himself. He looked up at the horizon, imagining the thunder that lay beyond it. Once a god, then a mortal, but now a mortal touched by Fate. Is there more for me than this? Am I the great rock reduced to a pebble by the ages, yet still capable of starting a rockslide to shake the mountain? He concentrated, trying to feel if there was anything different about him, subconciously holding his breath as he sought the recesses of his being for some sign of his former glory. Give me the lightning, give me the thunder. Let me be more than this broken derelict of a god. he pleaded to some faceless power. Nothing presented itself.

Nothing but echoes of greatness in a dusty hall. Gunnar sighed again, wincing in pain from his ribs, and turned to look back at the police station. This was his world now: no more lightning, no more causing the earth to shake and mountains to shatter with his might. His glance moved upwards and there was Sif staring back down at him from the second floor windows, her face a veritable thundercloud. It was so reminiscent of how she'd used to glower at him when he'd unwittingly crossed some feminine line of behaviour (which constantly shifted, so he'd given up trying to mark all of them) that Thor couldn't help it: he grinned at her. Marshal Fredrickson's lips parted in an unheard curse and she disappeared, turning away from the window.

Thor laughed then, a deep chuckle that rumbled into the still heat of the LA night, like a shadow of a pale shadow of his old thunder. The sound was enough to attract the attention of two nearby cops, who stared at him, and Gunnar gave them an apologetic shrug before heading to the building site to get his car. It promised to be a long walk.

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  • 1 month later...

In unison the three men strode down the busy hallway in a 'V' pattern. One in front, two on either side of the leader just a single step behind. Like the Men in Black of urban legends their suits all matched and they insisted on wearing sunglasses in doors. Each of the three men looked strikingly similar. Six foot eight inches tall, extremely broad shoulders, and built like each was a clone of Mr.Universe. Were it not for the scar that ran down the left eyes of the one in the lead, one would thing they were identical triples.

No one ever accused giants of being creative with their mortal disguises.

They stopped and the lead giant leaned against the counter of the desk sergeant. "Greetings mortal pig-cop." The man's think Norwegian accent took the female officer a moment to translate. "I amz Agent Larry Smiths. Diz is my brother, Agent Daryl Smiths and my other brother, Agent Daryl Smiths."

Or creative with their aliases.

"We've comes from the Ceeya Headquarters-"

Agent Daryl (the one to his left) leaned in and murmured something in Agent Larry's ear.

"Apologies mortal morsel of protecting and serving, I mean C.I.A. Headquarters. We have come for Tho- Gunnar Torsdag. He is to be coming with us if you pleases and thank yous." He slapped a folded stack of papers on the desk with an arrogant authority that made the officer twitch.

Completely unsure what to say, or do, at this point (aside from wanting to punch this asshole square in his jaw, if she could reach) she read the paperwork and then smirked. "Uh, I'm sorry... gentleman, and I use the term loosely, but Gunnar Torsdag, the psycho with the god syndrome? He was never here. This is the Los Angeles Police station... you're looking for the U.S. Marshals Service." She turned the papers around and pointed to the large print and bold face type: 'U.S. Marshal Service, 312 N Spring St. Los Angeles, CA 90012'. "Not to sharp there, are ya boys? Call into headquarters and get your intel guys to Google directions for ya. Have a good one." With a sarcastic wink and a smirk that said 'get fucked' more than it said 'have a nice day', she went back to her work.

Behind their glasses all three giant agents narrowed their eyes in anger. Sure, they were dumb, but they didn't like for people to point that out to them... especially soft, delicious mortals. "Oh, we vill." He lowere his glasses down the bridge of his nose and smirked. "After we be having ze lunch."

Several blocks away...

Gunnar walked silently down the street, his thoughts still wrapped in the days events. The things he'd seen, heard, what the Valkyrie said and Sif... lovely Sif. One thousand years of nothing, and now this? Like a violent wind an LAPD squad car, sirens blaring, sped past him followed my another and yet another. Didn't matter much to him, he was just thankful they weren't taking him in for something else. One thing was certain though, something big was happening, and the farther away from him it happened... the better.

He walked past a lone man leaning against a wall with long straight red hair. Thor said nothing and neither did the man who simply sat with his arms folded. He was wiry but muscular wearing denim a t-shirt and a sleeveless denim vest the Gunnar was certain had some biker gang logo on the back of it. He thought the wallet chain was a nice touch since it'd give him something to beat the man with if he tried to mug the ex-god. A few step farther and the man stepped from the shadows and into the area of the street light. From behind him Gunnar heard. "Hey pops. Just going to keep on walking huh? No hug for ol' Magni?"

The name jump started Thor's attention and he turned to look over his shoulder. Sure as the thunder itself it was him, Magni!

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"Magni?!" It wasn't really a question. There was no doubting the identity of his own flesh and blood. A smile began to crease the time-worn features of the once-god of thunder, but then Gunnar's mouth clamped tight and he glared at Magni. "Are you here to kill me now?" Inwardly, Thor winced at the thought. Could the gods have fallen so far that they would send his own son to do such a deed?

"Pops, there is no way in Hel I would do that!" Magni said heatedly, his ire obvious to his mortal (now) father. "Chri- I mean, fuck, dad. Give me some damned credit!"

"Then you've been banished too? For my rebellion? Oh, my boy. I am sorry!" Gunnar started forward and hugged the slimmer shoulders of his son, moaning miserably. "I did not mean for others to suffer! I swear." To his surprised, he felt Magni's hands pat him on the back, then easily lift his larger father away. Thor looked down astonishedly - his feet were a foot off the ground, Magni holding him aloft effortlessly.

"Cut that out, dad." Magni said with a weary smile. "I'm not banished." He set Thor down. "But it's not all good, either. I don't have time to explain it all - but I'm here to give you a hand."

"A hand? A bloody valkyrie tried to kill me and make me an einherjar, and you want to give me a hand? I see Sif, who doesn't fucking recognise me or herself, and you want to give me a hand?" Thor's temper started to surface, regardless of the fact that Magni could break him like a stick.

"For Asgard's sake, father, will you shut up and listen?" Magni said angrily, divine wrath flashing in his eyes. "You need help - I'm here to point you where you can get it. You realise what I'm risking here? They learn what I'm up to and I'm worse off than you are, believe me." Thor calmed slightly, if only because he wasn't quite angry enough to attack a god almost as strong as he himself used to be.

"Alright." he said sullenly. "I am listening."

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"Sif?!" It was Magni's turn to ask a statement it seemed. Although Sif was not truly Magni and Modi's mother she had always treated the half-giant bothers with kindness and respect. "You found her? Oh, pops I'm sorry, I'm so sorry. To further hurt you her mind was sealed along with her divine powers, she'll never remember anything of who she used to be. Every lifetime she simply awakens with no memory of the previous one. It was seen to that no power could ever break her curse, not even the Fates. She's forgotten you, father. Forgotten all of us." His voice trailed off with a healthy tone of sorrow.

Magdi could see the rage mingled with confusion building within his father. "Listen father, Vidar is completely out of control. Everyone answers to him now and he's planning something big and the other Elder Gods are in on it too. I'm not sure what it is, but we're fucked if they pull it off."

Magni sighed. He hated coming to his father with such little information and bad news, but it was all he had. "Do you remember Auric Broder, the immortal? He's been searching for you, and other Fallen. He thinks he knows of a way that might get you your power back, a way to break the sorcery that has sealed away your divinity."

He presented Thor a business card. "He's meeting with the other Fallen he's found very soon. Meet him there in two days and hear him out, I think he's planning on going to war with the Gods and the Titans all at once and you're the only one I can think of who is stupid enough to even consider such a campaign possible."

Click to reveal..
Elder God - A God who is pretty much first on the list of the divine heirarchy. Zeus & Hera, Odin & Freya etc... basically the big dogs of any given pantheon from which most other gods are born from or who came before any of the others.
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The other words were a wash of sounds and meanings that Gunnar absorbed without digesting them.

Sif... gone forever. No power can break her curse, not even the Fates. How in the hells did Vidar manage THAT? It cannot be true. That cannot be the end of Sif. My Sif. He gazed at the business card, at the golden embossed name, without truly seeing it as tears welled up in his eyes.

"... you're the only one I can think of who is stupid enough to even consider such a campaign possible."

"No." The word was growled, a sound that came from somewhere deep in the huge torso of the fallen god. He raised his red-tinged gaze, unheeded tears flowing down cheeks worn by a millenia of sullen anger, sadness and bitterness. The grey-blue eyes blazed with something more than those right now. For the first time in centuries, Thor's gaze burned with rage. "Not stupid, son. Angry. Broder can break the curse? Then my anger has a purpose. My anger has direction."

"Vidar." he spat. "My brother. Favoured son, the golden child. He who was Doomed to survive Ragnarok and slay Fenris. He is behind this? He slew Odin, the father he was supposed to avenge? My father?!" Gunnar thumped his chest with a clenched fist, his voice rising. "Then he has defied Fate. And so shall I. If Broder can break one curse, then a way exists to break the other. And if it exists, I shall choke that lore from Vidar, have him scream it through broken teeth, and then..." he paused, looking Magni dead in the eye, his chest heaving as though it would burst from the emotions coursing inside him. "And then I'll feed him to the damn Wolf feet first." he finished in a deadly tone. "Thus I swear." And he bit his tongue, wincing with the pain of it, and spat the blood on the ground, sealing the oath.

He turned to go. "You should return, before they realise." he said over one shoulder. "I would not have you suffer also. Stay alive, and stay safe, my son."

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Magni watched his father walk off down the street wit a satisfied smirk on his lips.

"You sure know how to ruffle his feathers." Came a playful voice, seemingly from nowhere. A woman faded into view, no older that Magni. She appeared to be a strikingly gorgeous woman in her late teens or early twenties. Long and straight strawberry blonde hair flowed down her back. She had an athletic build and a sultry sway to her hips that accented her tight denim pants in all the right ways.

"It's a gift." Magni shrugged with, smirk never leaving. "Remember the time I stole his chariot and wrecked the goats?"

"You said Modi did that." She smiled and leaned against the strong man. "Gods was he furious."

"I knew he'd believe me," Magni continued to watch as Thor stopped off. "Modi would be the only one courageous enough to steal from Dad. Perfect plan."

"Do you think this one is going to work?" She asked as tears welled up in her eyes.

"If anyone will find a way, it's him." He replied with a sigh. "Mother will be home one day, trust me Thrud."

Wiping the tears from her eyes and sniffling slightly she regained her composure. "It was nice seeing him, but it hurts to see what he's done to himself." With a sigh she straightened herself and slapped Magni on the shoulder. "Come on, we have to go. Modi's been stalling all day and it's only a matter of time before everyone realizes that you two have spent an entire day apart and not wrecked something."

"Aye." Magni nodded and faded from sight.

Thrud stayed for just a second longer and watched as her old man rounded the corner. A loving smile formed on her lips as she faded from sight. "Uncle Vidar." Her smile broadened. "You are so fucked."

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Two days later

The Bar wasn't Gunnar's usual kind of place. For one thing, it was clean and didn't smell like the toilets had been visited by a crowd of camels with poor bladder control. The counter didn't have sticky pools of half-mopped up beer on it. There was a carpet, rather than a hard wood floor. Pretty much everyone here in the lunchtime crowd was wearing either preppy casual or business clothing. They served food, and by food they didn't mean a seared lump of burger meat stuffed in a bun.

"Well." Thor muttered to himself as he stood in the doorway, ignoring the few stares that came his way - stares that could hardly be more surprised if a horse had just walked in. "At least I washed."

That much was true. He had washed - in the gym showers at a high school he'd snuck into this morning before first light. The last two days he'd been living in his car, sleeping in a different place every night and always on the move. His neck ached, his shoulder complained, and despite his cleanliness he felt dingy here. Even his clothes were clean, if not new. Frayed and worn denim jeans and vest, a white tank top stretched over his solid chest and his favorite work boots (still with some blood on them if one looked closely enough) were his ensemble. The naked barbarian woman who shook her tits when he flexed his arm was clearly visible on his right bicep. Yup, he was class all the way.

He moved into The Bar, reminding himself of why he was here when he saw one of the staff approaching him with a pleasantly neutral expression. Thor knew what was coming before the effete arsehole even opened his mouth.

"I'm sorry, sir. But we have no free seating-"

"Spare me the bullshit." Gunnar cut him off with a snort, looking the soft-fingered fop square in the eye as his voice rumbled off the walls. "I am here to see Broder. By invitation." Grey-blue eyes studied the waiter's face, then he leaned down ominously. "That means you are to take me to him, yes?" he suggested in a voice that promised mayhem if the answer was other than expected.

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