This is not the Bifröst you're looking for

February 02, 2015:

A pair of Asgardians pay Gotham a visit.

Gotham

Robert Kane Memorial Bridge.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It's been a busy month or thereabouts after the events of the 'terror' attacks in the Tri-City Corridor. Between efforts to clear away debris from the fallen bridge in Gotham, to the restoration of power in Metropolis, and the dedicated work on the conflagration site in Central Park, there's been no stone unturned for work on rebuilding.

Even with the interference of several winter storms and harried work crews and the occasional assassination, the work has been continuing.

Which brings us to today. James Reha, a person from Stark Industries Q&A, intermittent dabbler in the occult, and partner to some strange entity from the depths of primordial space - time has been researching the ley line charts and the power grids of the three major metropolitan areas with increasing alarm. While there was a safeguard built into the Metropolis grid of dubiously hopeful intent, the other two layouts seemed to indicate that this had already been done.

Mystical gobbledygook aside, the portly salt and pepper'd fellow is trying to ascertain if recent additions to the fallen bridge area — 'for recovery efforts' — are actually something far more sinister.

He's currently bundled up almost as much as an Innuit, with face barely visible as frozen fingers make checks on a plastic sheet covered clipboard.


It's why he's here, really. Thor. Midgard, that is. The attack on the three cities brought the Realm's plight to the surface, and to Heimdall's attention. A word here, a nudge there, and the Crown Prince of Asgard is at the bridge in person, his eyes lifting to the uppermost reaches of the poles for the tying in of the cables. Perhaps the man with the papers knows of Thor's presence, perhaps he doesn't. Regardless, there will be few who won't know he's there soon enough.

"This does not seem a design that could withstand another attack. So," and here broad shoulders shrug, "We will be sure it does not happen again."


Two leather gloves held a white and orange wrapper up to the moonlight. A calm but confident voice read out, "Smart for Life. Gluten-Free. 190 calories. 20 g protein. Peanut Butter Chocolate. No preservatives. No GMO. No Trans Fat. No Cholesterol." With a shrug of his shoulders, which were coated in green, just like the gloves, the man opened the wrapped and took a bite out of the protein bar.

He was seated, high above the bridge, looking down at the reconstruction. His feet dangled off the edge. That was quite the drop. One slip and he'd be done for. But he had come to see the progress that had been made. Queen Consolidated had invested heavily in Gotham's reconstruction, and he wanted to see where that money was going to.

"Not bad," he said of the protein bar, talking while chewing. There was no point in manners this high up. If anyone knew he was there, they deserved to get a sight of his immaculate white teeth crunching the beige-brown bar.


The weather doesn't seem to be bothering Loki — however, the fact that he's been brought to a bridge to help do… something… seems a little more irksome. Or maybe just boring. However, sometimes Thor needs to be humoured and it is very different having someone nearly on his own level to spend time with. He may be jealous but the man is still his brother, albeit adopted. Does Thor know that yet?

"Surely you don't intend to stand guard on this bridge and prevent an attack that way." He wouldn't put it past him, but no doubt he'd be bored before too long. "You aren't Heimdall." That said, his own eyes peer through the storm to see who might be about. They land on the man with the clipboard for a moment before they land on the green-clad man seated above. "Don't look now, brother, but I believe we're being watched."


The bundled - up guy makes a few more notes before pausing a second.

That doesn't look like one of the construction workers. Or Security. Or heck… even a cop. That looks more like… No Way. That has to be an actor or something. The short-handled maul was a nice touch, though. Not as many folks knew the story of why the item was like that.

But then there's that other guy up there, and there's a bit of a squint as the bundled head swivels in the direction of the two brothers to peer intently despite the weather.

That would explain so much. And the seeming cohesive randomness. But… there's no sense to it. No, this is definitely some sort of publicity stunt.

Despite that, he makes a few more hurried notes on the board before unzipping his jacket long enough to ensconce it within, then zip it back up.

Stupid cold out here, feels like my fingers are going to freeze off.


The weather doesn't seem to be concerning to Thor either. There is something of a slight chill, but nothing that can't be addressed with a long sleeved jacket that barely fits over his shoulders and arms. The large man is dressed as those on Midgard would be, but there is little mistaking the hammer that hangs easily at his belt, seemingly weightless.

A hand reaches out to touch one of the girders that seems embedded in the concrete pylon under the water, and gives it a light shove, just to test its tolerance. "No, I shall not stand guard like faithful Heimdall," is chuckled softly. Canting his head sideways, his gaze lights upon his brother. "Certainly you can find some way to protect this bridge? A man of your learning, it should be easy." There it is, the teasing tone of challenge. As if the man never grew up at all, and the pair are 'forever' locked in that sibling rivalry. Whether he knows or not, it seems the older brother doesn't particularly care.

Lifting his eyes up, Thor looks for those whom his brother points out, and shakes his head. "If they do not seek to cause trouble with the bridge, we should let them be."


After having finished his meal, the Green Arrow just sat there. He was high up, he wasn't making much noise, and it was dark. Chances are few if anyone see him. But Loki is no ordinary man, he's not even a man. But dressed as they are, they don't seem out of the ordinary.

Except of course for that hammer. Mjolnir is no mere piece of construction equipment. It's a weaponised hammer, the kind that could be used to forge a weapon. That thing sticks out like a sore thumb. He had heard about it, and the man who wields it, but he had never had the pleasure.

Rising to his feet, he took a look at how best to get down from his perch, and more importantly, how to do it unseen. If he kept this up, he'd develop a reputation like Hawkeye, the male one.


Loki is also dressed casually… well, casually for -him- which is a little more formal than his brother. He doesn't even seem to be concerned by that light 'chill' that the other does although it's surely not a topic of discussion between the two.

No, rather it's that challenge. "Why this bridge and nothing else?" Loki counters quickly. "Why would you spare this over buildings or parks… or that power plant?" Among other things. See? Thor's going to get it right back — there's a rivalry and Loki isn't going to be made to feel inferior anymore. "Also, I am not an engineer." Bridges are things to get you from one point to another over something else difficult to cross. He doesn't know how they're built, nor does he really care.


Okay, the blonde guy is tapping the bridge. Is that some sort of signal for an attack, a testing of it for some sort of power distribution? Jim isn't sure, and he panics a bit, ducking down behind a generator to break line of sight, putting his back to the equipment as he starts assessing his options.

While not an amazing person for the combat acrobatics, he's picked up the trick of 'duck for cover'.

With his other hand he's fumbling out his prepaid phone to try and find a particular phone number to dial, unaware that the exertion is causing tell-tale clouds of vapour to waft upwards over the edge of his cover before being briskly blown away. As a result, he misses most of what is going on at the bridge…


"Because obviously those who would seek to harm others have no imagination?" Thor almost sing-songs the response, just to get a rise out of Loki. "You have droned on and on, hours upon hours about how dull-witted they are, after all." And that cursed grins.

Still, Thor's not too terribly put out that Loki didn't rise to the bait. Another time, another day. It's as inevitable as, well, Odinsleep.

Movement always draws the eye, and if Thor couldn't truly see the shadows before, the glints and gleams of light as they are hidden and revealed once again is enough for the God of Thunder. It's not that which keeps his attention, however. It's the rapid movement of another figure that reveals itself, and it's a great deal more suspicious than anything else to that moment.

It's a natural drop of the hammer into his hand, and the next action should be very familiar to Loki. He begins to swing the hammer around, and around… and around before he simply 'takes off'. No sooner does he than he lands heavily (to make a point), and quite close to the ducking and covering Jim.

"Why do you run and seek safety? Have you done something that would harm this construction?"


Reaching into one of the pockets, Ollie withdrew a listening device, which he would intricately attach to his ear, and aim for Thor and Loki, intending to listen in on their conversation. It's a delicate piece of equipment, but it works very well once you get the hang of it.

He will also drop back, behind part of the tower, so he can cloak himself in shadow, leaving a limited face. He would prefer to listen, but he doesn't want to expose himself as a target. Who knows who else is observing.

And he gets it all set up just in time to see the God of Thunder fly through the air. The crackling of the energy surrounding him comes loud and clear through that fancy listening device. Not knowing who Thor is or what his purpose is, Green Arrow disengages his listening device, just turning it off and leaving it in his ear, so he can fire off an arrow, creating a cable for him to ride down, theatrically, towards Thor and Jim.

He lands on the ground, rolling to cushion the fall at the end, and spins to his feet, bow in arm, arrow aimed at Thor. His voice is deep as he demands, "who are you?"


Loki glances up as Thor goes after some movement, but he isn't entirely unawares. As his brother flies up and another zip lines to join them, Loki shimmers and reappears, behind the archer. What was a walking-stick in his hand before is now a full-on spear with a rather wickedly curved blade at the front and a glowing stone near the shaft. The tip is mere inches from the archer's back, "We could ask the same of you." His voice is calm, almost conversational. Let Thor do the booming.

Loki has always been more subtle.

"You aren't Hawkeye…" is then noted. There are more archers? How many does this world need?


The heavy landing is enough to make Jim drop the phone in the snow and mud of the construction site. That does happen sometimes, especially with someone trying to dial with gloved hands. He starts to reach for the device, then pulls his hand back to see who is addressing him.

Okay, if this is a publicity stunt, they really went all out with the actor.

There's that gut feeling, though. No. That doesn't seem to be an actor.

Guardian of the bridge, though… wouldn't that be Heimdall? And wouldn't that be… Oh god, is this some earthly manifestation of the Bifrost? It'd explain the power requirements!

"Um, no, I — "

And then the hooded man shows up. He looks familiar for some reason.

Oh, god, not that guy!

" — everyone ah, just — weapons down… be cool… no need to fight, just take a deep breath, slow down…"

He's still sitting with his back to the generator, but definitely keeping his hands in the open. It'd be nice to stand up but right now that could start a total cluster.

"We can all just back off a bit first… okay?"

It's not quite a mewling plea, but it is a subdued request for some form of civility before this goes south.


Thor looks at the man at the ground before his hammer is replaced upon his belt and a hand is extended in order to aid the man to his feet. As for the booming voice behind him, the Asgardian doesn't even bother turning around, his attention is at the man before him rather than the one behind him. A touch of a smile graces his features when he catches his brother's voice.

"If you do not know me, you will soon," Thor replies. In his voice, there is the deep bass tone of a rumble of thunder. Or perhaps it is simply the skies that answer the question for the Prince.

"Stay your hand, brother," though Thor's pretty sure Loki doesn't need the words. "Though I would know his name. Curiosity," and here, the smile reappears upon the blond's face, hand still outstretched.


The shimmer precedes the appearance of Loki, and the Green Arrow uses that split second to begin moving. Never stay in one spot for too long during a combat situation. It's one of the rules. The walking-stick may have transfigured into a full-on spear, but the back of that green outfit is already on the move, rolling forward and to the left, taking up a position near a large crate, which ideally might provide some cover. During the course of his roll, he's stringing his bow and knocking an arrow. "Arrow, Green Arrow," he introduces himself to the second Asgardian.

He isn't ready to attack, but he's not about to leave himself vulnerable to an attack. He's not that trusting. Though he will explain that "Hawkeye wears purple. Now, who are you?" He's never fought an Asgardian before, but he has fought some phenomenally powerful people. For a seemingly ordinary human, he's one tough son of a bitch.


And another Loki with a spear appears before Green Arrow as he moves. He's also quite wily when he chooses to be. Thor's the Mountain and he's the Wind. "Another Archer." He doesn't sound terribly impressed by the name nor by the posturing. He's seen it all before.

"I am Loki, Prince of Asgard, and this is my brother, Thor… also Prince of Asgard." Just as an afterthought, of course. "Do you mean this bridge harm then?" He's seem what some arrows can do and wouldn't be surprised if there could be explosives in one of those tips.

Thor's instruction merely get narrowed eyes, but the spear(s) lift and one of those Lokis shimmers away, revealing only the one by Green Arrow. "Or," he adds, "The two of you are, perhaps, guarding the bridge? So no others will attack it?"


Jim takes the hand. While not Volstagg by any means, he is a bit on the weighty side for a Midgardian. He does get up quickly enough, though. With his left hand he swoops up the phone so it doesn't get crushed by errant feet, but keeps it out. Not brandished, not threatening in any way, and totally not holding it like it's some sort of triggering device.

OKay, take a deep breath. Let it out.

"Jim Reha, Stark Industries QA, on assign—"

As Arrow leaps away and Loki does his introduction, Jim pales a bit. Because while Thor of legend can totally smash someone's head in, the legends are full of the trickery that the Norse god of Mischief can pull. Plus… said Norse God had an 'encounter' with the partner…

He gets very QUIET as the spear - wielding scion of Asgardian fame asks the questions, then considers.

"It's more keeping an eye on the entire area. Someone's gone to an awful lot of trouble to make certain magic and tech patterns match up, and this… well, *ahem* I'm sure you both could ah… understand why that'd be a… point of concern?"


"I bid you stay your hand too, Arrow." Not that Thor is terribly worried about what sort of damage that arrow could do to him. "Unless you seek to harm him," and he nods to the man that now grasps his hand to be pulled to his feet. Only once Jim is on his feet does Thor move around to face the archer with a nocked arrow, at the same time making sure that he is in front of Jim, shielding him. "And then we shall have words."

And Thor isn't one for words. He really isn't.

Loki's introduction earns his brother a quick glance, but nothing more. The thunder recedes into the background; didn't forecasters talk about storms this evening? Wind, at the very least, and ice storms a little more north of their location.

Brows rise at Jim's words, but first things are first. "Jim Reha, well met." And just in case it was missed, "Thor. This is my brother Loki." If they're actors, then they're probably rather good actors?

"As for the magic, that you will have to speak to my brother about. Such things are truly beyond me."


Two Loki's with two spears? This could become problematic. Where was Arsenal, Hawkeye, or the other Hawkeye when he needed them? Another arrow is knocked on the same bow, and the angle is set so he can shoot both Loki's with the same bow. "Oh, a Prince of Asgard? Is that like Sealand," wondering if these two, make that three guys bought themselves princehoods from a country of questionable standing.

Of course, most people don't fly, make duplicates, or teleport, so it might be a prank, they could be delusional, or is this the genuine article? When the first Loki disappears, both arrows are pointed at the solitary Loki. Only when the spear lifts up do the arrows go back into their quiver. "The people of the Tri-City Corridor have suffered enough."

"Are you all right, Mr. Reha?" He will ask, still wary about the two alleged Asgardians, but his arrows have been put away, his bow lowers. He's backing down. After a pause, he will ask, "what business, might I ask, would two Asgardian Princes have in Gotham? Did you run out of ale?"


Loki merely watches and listens as introductions are made and Thor begins to make new friends. He was always good at that sort of thing while Loki always seemed to search for the angle in that supposed 'friendship'. When Jim mentions his reason for being out, there is a bit of a scoff, "That's ridiculous. Magic has no patterns." As for technology… that's not really his forte.

At Green Arrow's interrogation, he turns, slowly, to face the archer, "Why do you ask? Are you the ruler of Gotham? Is our presence any of your business, or are you planning on shooting us with your toy? If that's really your plan, I suggest you go ahead and get it out of your system. It will make you feel better, I'm sure."


If they're actors, they're awesome at it. Fine, I'll bite. If it's just Candid Camera or whatnot, we'll take the hit and let Pepper know.

The fellow bows respectfully to the two divine figures.

"I'm doing fine, Mister Arrow. And… please don't do that. The goading thing, the shooting thing, that is. We're all talking like properly civilized folks, let's keep it polite, shall we?"

Jim gives the others arrayed about a bit of a glance, slowly stowing his phone. He was going to pull out his clipboard, but thinks better of it. If Loki, father of Fenriswulf, does not want to know or believe a thing, far be it for the portly fellow to give away the information.

"Pretty sure he isn't, pretty sure we're all just folks that had bits of curiosity or duty clinging to us that had us here for our various reasons that the Norns would only care to know about or maybe the wisdom of your Father would be aware of?"

Jim leaves that out there, hopefully deflecting some of the animosity.

"Since y'all are in from out of the region, want a drink? We can stop by a bar, or something?"

Yep, that's our Jim, trying to keep it diplomatic….


"I do not know this 'Sealand'," Thor shrugs.

It doesn't seem to tax the Crown prince's head any, and the questions posed gains something of a patient expression upon the warrior's face; very much when a child riddles a parent with questions. Always questions. 'Why? How?' "I was called to aid in the defence of Midgard, as I have sworn to do such nearly two thousand of your years ago." If that doesn't answer the question, nothing will.

Now, Thor looks to Jim, brows rising. Loki's response sounds about right; magic is chaos. Harnessing it hardly has the intended results. But, ever patient Thor is more than aware that such things are sometimes beyond the understanding of mortals.

Thor's smile grows at the mention of Odin, and even moreso for the offer of drink. "And you can then explain why you were at the bridge," is said with absolutely no guile. He hasn't forgotten, no.

Loki's own words gains no response from Thor. His brother is well within his rights, though once it seems he's vented a little, he reaches to take a light hold on Loki's arm. "Join us, brother. A drink will go far."


Ollie isn't really interrogating Loki, but he is making his presence known. "Gotham has no ruler. Gotham needs no ruler. We're a democracy. Every citizen gets a vote. But we do need guardians. We do need protectors. And I'm one of them. And as long as you two are guests in our city, you should treat it with the respect it, and its people, deserve."

"And I can guarantee that my toys pack more of a punch than you'd expect." Now, where did he put the arrow he got from that Sorcerer Supreme, or whatever it was he called himself. Third one down, fourth row, right? Hopefully they didn't get jostled at some point.

Drink usually goes well. It calms people down. But too much can be just as bad. Still, it's not every day he gets to have a drink with a couple of Princes of Asgard. Why not? "Sounds like a plan." He doesn't know where Jim was going to suggest, but he offers up, "the Frog and Nightgown is about three blocks from here." And in case Loki and Thor doesn't understand, he'll say theatrically, "mighty alehouse, much choice of hearty spirits."


If his brother wasn't here, Loki might have more words… and actions for the impudent Green Arrow, but now isn't the time. He stores this meeting in the back of his mind, however, and he'll revisit it. One day. "What do you think we're about? To destroy your city? For what purpose? It really doesn't look like all that much and if your sorcerers are trying to make order of magic, what use have I with the place?"

Silly Midgardians. Thinking that they can control something as wild and chaotic as Magic.

When Jim mentions drink and Thor accepts for the both of them, he sighs. Fine… not like he hasn't tasted Midgardian drink before. Surely it won't be as good as the brews in Rain's cellar, but they'll have to make do. At Green Arrow's theatrics, he asks, calmly, but with a slight edge to his words, "Are you seeking to be as obnoxious as possible or is that your natural state? I've half a mind to remove your mouth so that you can think before you actually speak for once."


"That sounds like a wonderful plan."

Because telling someone who may have the ability to paste your head with their mighty mallet 'No, on second thought, let's NOT get drinks' is definitely not the sort of thing a person who likes breathing should do. He has to fight the urge to face palm at Arrow's rant, even though he kind of agrees with it. Guy's probably new at this whole hero/protector thing. Come to think of it, Jim is, too.

"Frog and Nightgown sounds like a plan, then, if our guests are up for it."

It wasn't the bar that Jim was going to mention, but since it got mentioned and it's closer than what he was thinking, it's probably for the best. Besides, if he can get drunk fast enough, then he won't be able to divulge the information that the Loki wants to know, right?

Like that would work.

The offer to take Arrow's mouth gets an unbidden snicker from the portly fellow. Because Loki said what he was almost wishing would happen. Jim sobers up, though, when he realizes that he's that much in agreement with the God of Mischief because that can never end well…


How strange is it when Loki remains his ever cool, collected self and as Arrow speaks thusly to them, the rolls of thunder that had been a distant sound minutes before now rumble ever closer, with flashes in the sky as lightning dances from cloud to cloud. Thor's brilliant blue eyes are an echo of the coming storm. "Speak carefully, Arrow," the God of Thunder warns, "I answered you and yet you choose to insult. I will not protect one who believes themselves above such things," even though they're the ones, quite probably, who need it the most. A lesson for another day, undoubtedly.

As Jim seconds the suggestion of the pub, the rolls of thunder do not dissipate, the storm clouds are darkly present, the lights in the sky are still bright, and obvious as the lightning continues to dance. And Thor's mood is still such that it is becoming doubtful that such light fare will improve such a thing.

"We will drink, and we will speak of such things, like the bridge. And this city's people."


Green Arrow prefers to know what his enemies, and allies, are up to, before they even do. He can quite the control freak. But for now, he's been testing the Asgardians, and Loki in particular. Thor seems to be an easy one to read, but Loki, he's far more sinister, more calculating. He reminds Ollie of someone, but he can't quite place it.

Deciding to take a different tactic, he offers a gloved hand, "Loki, Prince of Asgard, welcome to Gotham. May your stay be a pleasant one." How does one put surveillance on a god? That may take some doing.

As new as he may appear in Jim's eyes, Oliver's actually one of the more experienced heroes. He's just been good enough to stay out of the limelight, avoiding cameras, news articles, and even his name becoming well known. Mostly, people know of him in passing as the mysterious guy in green, the hood, the Arrow, and sometimes, Robin Hood. Which is of course weird. Who's he going to steal from, himself?

As fancy as Thor's theatrics are, they don't impress the Green Arrow. He's just a man and he's faced down creatures that had the power to destroy this world. He is not a man who scares easily. Too bad bravery, courage, and gall aren't celebrated in Asgard.


Loki actually gives a small sort of smile as Thor's anger begins to build…on his behalf. Yes, they could smite the archer, but why waste the energy? "Drinks it is then," is offered to Jim. As Green Arrow offers a hand, he looks at it for a moment before taking it in this gesture of politeness. "Thank you." He thinks. He may have to keep an eye on this one if he doesn't just take his mouth now.

However, at more rumbles from the thunder above, he reaches out to clap a hand on Thor's shoulder, "Come, brother. Let us drink and eat with these fine people of Gotham. Perhaps they will be able to advise us how to protect this city against additional attacks."

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