Bound To Service

March 24, 2016:

An encounter with einherjar brings Thor across Astryds path.

Manhattan

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

No matter how few Asgardians there are on Midgard, it's not really possible to avoid each other. No matter how hard one might try. There's something stirring that should concern the Gods and Goddesses, if they even sense it at the moment.

Certainly, Astryd doesn't sense, but she's been warned about it and she's undertaken, much to her chargrin, to seek the others who walk this realm.

Not that that's what she was doing just now when a group of four einhenjar had attacked her. Thank goodness the streets are quiet!

Whirling, spear held in her right hand and a small round shield on her left, the tall, stern looking, strawberry blonde woman takes the legs from beneath one attacker before quickly parrying an overhead strike from another.


For a seemingly backwater realm, there certainly seems to be no end of trouble that arises on Midgard. There is always some new threat, some new menace waiting to strike it seems. For most it would probably be a little stressful. Maybe even for Asgardians. But really, how would most people tell?

For his part, the Thunderer has certainly been running into more then his fair share of troubles as of late. Hunting them down really and his frequently sunny disposition is definitely a little on the scowly side as of late. Perhaps even a warrior born appreciates a little downtime now and then? Or perhaps it is just a natural reaction to a somewhat honed sense of responsibility. Either way, Thor has been spending a disproportionate amount of his time above the city — waiting, watching and striking when threats present themselves. Threats like a quartet of einhenjar.

There is warning of his imminent approach — there always seems to be as of late a rumble of thunder cracks the sky, a brief flicker of lightning playing through the clouds overhead before a dark form comes streaking out of the sky. Small at first, it rapidly grows larger with it's approach until the red cape is clear, fluttering behind him and the supposed God of Thunder lands in amongst the intruders in a crouch, hammer already in hand. "Thy presence is unwelcome in this realm. Get thee from it with all due haste or know my anger," he booms. Not one for subtle entrances, this one.


Astryd fends off the one attacker with her shield, knocking him back towards the Thunderer. "They are bound, God of Thunder" Astryd spins and attacks on the two who launch a two pronged offensive on her just as Thor arrives. "They can't desist even if they wish to." Sounds like she's familiar with this.

"I can send them back to Valhalla, but I need a distraction."

The first einherjar regains his feet and launches a flurry of strikes against The Thunderer.


Bound or not, the Prince of Asgard looks none too pleased at having his command defied and apparently is more then happy to take that annoyance out on her attackers. A scowl creeps across his expressive features and the sky above seems to mimic his mood perfectly, an ominous crack of thunder echoing across the sky on what had looked to be a rather pleasant evening. Spring. You just can't trust the weather.

"If time is what you require, time is what you shall have," Thor intones as he rises up from that crouch, Mjolnir already beginning to whirl in his grasp, turning faster and faster. The einhenjar propelled his way bears the brunt of that blow, the spinning mystical hammer catching him soundly in the side, sending him soaring across the street and into a parked car with a sort of brutal simplicity that is extremely effective. And to some undoubedlty painful. "Come then, face me dogs and lets put an end to your contrary ways," he exclaims again, leapping forward with hammer raised to occupy the unquiet souls.


Astryd knocks her two assailants back, spinning them to face Thor. They take a moment to recover before rushing the God, intent of stopping his interference.

Astryds wings appear on her back. Giant grey/black things that tower over her head and nearly drape on the ground until she extends them to their full span.

"Go home, my brothers. Feast in the halls of Valhalla!" Her voice clearly audible over the peals of thunder. Slowly the portal to Halls of The Dead begins to open.


Of course the honored dead have their place. But Thor has grown increasingly protective of this realm, of Midgard and his patience for those would come around to make problems is… scant. These days especially so. Still, these particular intruders are not of the same sort that he has dealt with as of late. A distinctly finer sort truth be told and as such the Thunderer seems more than willing to give them a measure of respect.

Parking himself in the middle of the street, directly opposite the opening portal, the Prince of Asgard blocks off any obvious avenue of escape, feet planted in a wide stance and Mjolnir grasped firmly at his side. "Heed your sisters call and withdraw in honor," he says flatly. Unspoken, but no less obvious for all of that is the unvoiced threat - or else. That stern visage keeps an unblinking eye on the trio even as he takes a few steps aside, moving to collect their fellow from his spot slumped against the somewhat battered car, lifting him to his feet with ease and sending him on his way with a shove — gentle, at least from Thor's perspective. Enough to get him moving, but not simply hurling them bodily back to where they belong. They have earned that much courtesy.


As the portal opens fully, the einherjar can't resist the call. The trio who had been trying to circle Thor are drawn to it… and the fourth stumbles a little before stepping through.

"Go in peace, Brothers. We shall find who is doing this to you." Astryd already has good idea. As the last fallen warrior disappears into the drinking hall visible beyond, the portal winks out, leaving Astryd with her wings, spear and shield in hand.

"Well met, Thunderer. My thanks for the assistance." the wings slowly furl till they disappear. The haughty goddess meets Thors eye "I have been meaning to come looking for you. I have news."


Despite the lure of the portal to coax the quartet of warriors back to where they belong, Thor keeps his gaze upon them throughout. More importantly, his hand remains firmly wrapped around Mjolnir, more then prepared to put his favored tool to work once more. Indeed, it is only when the protal winks out of existence that he turns his attention back towards Astryd, inclining his head ever so slightly at her prooffered thanks. "Think nothing of it. I have found myself intervening in these sorts of disturbances rather frequently of late," he admits.

That oh so formidable hammer goes back to its resting place at his side, it's familiar weight a comforting presence as he folds his arms across fold across his chest, lips pursed in consideration. "Is that so? Well then speak on. Mine ears hunger for what you have to convey."


"You have?" Astryds grey eyes rest of the blonde God, considering what he just shared. He of course knows that she has been bound to Midgard and can not return to Asgard, but whether he knows exactly how she isn't sure. The einherjar attacks on herself, are very specific and targeted.

"Twice now, I have been given warning… that the Midgard Serpent may be stirring. I … " the small quirk to her lips is almost self deprecating "… undertook to deliver this news to the Asgardians here." Of course, Thor should know that when the serpent wakes, it will bring about Ragnarok. "We believe that something deep within the sea is causing unrest."

Thor might be aware of the disturbance that occurred at Ewa Beach and Pearl Harbour, recently. There'd certainly be a lot of media coverage about it.


That is certainly not the sort of news one expects to hear. Oh sure, it is certainly more common for their type then the average human being walking the earth. But even still, it's not every day that one claims that the end of the world might be coming. Even in this line of work. Even given where they come from. Still, Thor takes it rather stoically, quiet and assessing as he gives weight to her words.

No immediate reply greets her news, though one finger taps thoughtfully where it rests against the haft of his hammer, his other hand lifting to idly stroke his chin. "And you considering these warnings to be credibule then?" he questions, breaking the silence at last. "These are ill tidings indeed. The threat, I perceive, remains nameless then?"


"The sources? Bast was one, the other a dream portent. They are as credible as anything else at this point." Leaning against the edge of the wall, Astryd considers for a moment "Nameless, perhaps. Did you see the disturbance in Hawai'i recently? Sea monsters sought to invade there. Strange, don't you think, that that should happen just as we receive these portents of our own?"

"There is some thought too, that this event may be tied to my current … situation."


It is a great deal to consider. A few years ago perhaps Thor would have been exactly the sort to be willing to jump to any, even every conclusion, to immediately storm off, attempting to do so in multiple directions at once to try and deal with this threat. Even now a gleaming enters his eye when she spells out her theory, but the Thunderer does not immediately bite, does not immediately leap into action. Instead he just gives a simple nod, frowing ever so slightly.

"Credible enough to take with due seriousness," the Asgardian Prince agrees, pursing lips thoughtfully once more. "You make a compelling case of course, certainly one that is worth of further inquiry. This world has a myriad of problems it seems, and more appearing seemingly daily to plague it so the possibility of coincidence is far from outside the realm of possibility. But the Serpent… yes, no stone is to small to turn over if it will prevent that," he muses.


"I have heard too that Vali and his consort has absented themselves from court." Astryd recognises the gleam in the Gods and is … pleased that he isn't railing at or talking down to her. "Other … sources indicate that Rindr seeks to alter a fate that none have been able to alter. They seek something from me, to achieve this." Seeking to alter a fate and Jorgamundr stirring? Astryd has her concerns there.

"Whilst this realm may have it's problems, that of the Serpent is something that we are perhaps uniquely able to address." Those grey eyes are serious as they rest on Thors face "What inquiries will you make?"


No, that doesn't sound good. And it is the sort of thing that Thor really can not stand. The scheming, the moves within moves. The deception. He might have matured — somewhat — in recent years, but even so, given him a straight up fight any day. Something straight-forward. Something basic, elemental. Something pure. Good vs. Evil. Then vs. Us. It is so much preferable then skulking in shadows.

"In that, I have no quarrel with you. Nay, by the sounds of it we are not just qualified, we are morally obligated to intervene," he agrees at once. "As to inquiries, I know not of specific ones I can make. But I shall certainly keep mine eys open for these disturbances. Should you find that you need me to converse with one — or my hammer — I shall surely answer thine call," he promises. "I have run into disturbances of mine own of late, though of a more minor variety. Trolls and shadows set loose upon the world by forces unknown. Perhaps it is nothing, mere mischief. Perhaps it is meant as a distraction," he muses before shrugging. "Either way, it seems it would behove us to speak more frequently until this mystery has been dragged forth into the light of day."


"I don't believe in coincidences." The grey eyed woman straightens, hard lean planes of her face not softening a bit "Perhaps it's nothing, but perhaps it is a distraction. It will bear investigating, Thunderer. The dwarves of Minneapolis have tried to bind The Devourer already at the behest of a Frost Giant." Astryd has not mentioned the God-Wolf thus far, knowing the relations between the pair are … not good.

"If you are seeing Trolls and shades, they may well be connected. Be watchful." His suggestion they communicate more gets a quirked eyebrow. The Midgard-bound goddess is usually treated with contempt - loosing a feather to a mortal! "If that is what you wish, Thor. So be it. You know how to find me…"


There was a time, to be sure, that the Thunderer's reaction would have almost surely been different. Perhaps not contemptuous, but almost surely condescending. But he has undergone his own trials and tribulations, has dealt with his own humiliations. For some it might be an excuse to harder, to pretend they had never happened. In this however, Thor has taken a much different lesson. Besides, this, thie situation, the possibilities raised by her — even if yet unproven — are far too serious not to take seriously. Of course that does not mean she will never have fun poked at her. For the moment at least though it would seem that the Prince of Asgard has… other priorities.

"And I shall do so, should I discover more. Pursue your leads and I shall pursue mine own. Should they point in the direction of confirming your fears I shall be certain to let you know of it," the blonde Asgardian agrees without hesitation. "You have seen that word is passed back to Asgard in regard to your fears? If not I shall see to it. The All-Father may frown on my close association with Midgard, but I suspect that he would set such disapproval aside if there is any chance that your fears are well founded."


Teasing she can cope with, expects it even. Contempt, not so much - she is still a proud and haughty Goddess. Shaking her head at his question, Astryd murmurs "I have not. I do not have the means to do that." And Fenris certainly has no love for Asgard. "The All-Father will not speak with me at any rate. As to my Sisters, it's been many years since I last saw one." beat "Given that Vali and Rindr are implicated in this, perhaps keep that information to yourself for the moment."

Those grey eyes fix the blonde god with a look "I shall also seek out Loki." her tone resigned, that one has never been one she'd willing look for "And advise him of the news. Though I doubt he will do anything about it."


The expression on the Thunderer's face turns faintly disapproving momentarily. In part, no doubt, because when it comes to the possibility of Ragnarok, he has little desire to avoid notifying Odin as soon as possible. Then again, he is the All-Father and if there is any validity to Astryd's fears, there is a good possibility that Thor's father is aware of the situation. And should he make the journey back to Asgard to inform him, inevitably the question of where his information came from would arise. He might not be interested in tossing contempt Astryd's way. That does not mean that everyone feels the same way.

Of course, some of that disapproval could just as easily relate to involving Loki in any way, shape or form. Involving Loki in anything almost always strikes Thor as a bad idea. Though in fairness, he has rarely been proven wrong in his justified fears. "I shall honor your suggestion and hold off passing word onto the gleaming halls of Asgard. For as long as I feelit is practical to do so," he promises, though also leaving himself an out. "As to my wayward brother, take care. Him taking no action on the basis of the news you bring might be the very best outcome you can hope for, not the one to regret," he points out, a hint of sterness to his words.


Passing news of Jorgamundr's stirring wouldn't hurt, it's Rindr and Vali that the strawberry blonde goddess is concerned with.

"As you wish, Thunderer." It's a good compromise and she may require eyes and ears in those gleaming halls before too long. His admonishment about Loki gets a slight smirk "I am well aware, Thor."

Glancing down the street and then back to him, the eyebrow gets raised again "Shall we go our separate ways then? Once more, my thanks for your timely assistance."


Okay, maybe he can still be a little patronizing. Nobody's perfect. And his brother is a particular… sore spot with the Thunder god. Half a mug, better than an empty one. "I lecture. Mine apologies to you. Thus far your judgement in this matter seems sound enough," he offers before nodding his head, taking a step backwards. Mjolnir is loosed from it's place at his side, falling back into his hand with an unmistakable sense of purpose. "Aye, 'tis the hour. 'Til we meet again. Fare thee well Shieldmaiden. May your hunt lay low our enemies," he says solemnly as he spins that hammer with growing speed before abruptly hurling it skyward, both it and the blonde Asgardian Prince soaring into the even sky above Manhatten. And he, he has his own hunt to continue.

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