An Ugli Altercation

June 08, 2018:

Thor and Atli confront Ugli, son of Nobody Really Cares, catch up, and plan new quests.

Brooklyn, outside the Goblin Market

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Magneto Quicksilver Scarlet Witch Iron Man Captain America

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

\[MOMENTS AGO\]
A magical storm cloud materializes over Brooklyn. A stroke of enchanted lightning spears into its heart.

\[EARLIER\]
\[Grobsnot’s Tavern – Goblin Market – Brooklyn\]
An empty lot stands at the intersection of Johnson Ave and Bogart Street. The chain-link perimeter fence missing in one section. Walk into the lot. Turn around three times. Walk towards the south-west corner and knock five times upon the wall. Speak aloud meter 3 of Boethius’s 5th book. Walk into the wall…

The Goblin Market is a bustling hub of commerce. It’s open air design is littered with portable stalls such that should its location be revealed to the mortal world the entire operation can be packed up and moved to another location faster than it could be exposed to the world at large. This is the primary rule of the market: Take no action that would reach beyond its dimensional barrier and expose its location to mankind. Otherwise the location is a mostly lawless. Bodyguards associated with the merchant association keeping the peace … sometimes.

Grobsnot’s tavern is a giant tent centered over top a great wooden bar shaped as a wide oval. The remaining area around the bar littered with tables and chairs without specific arrangements. A trio of silt-wearing goblins maneuver behind the bar serving drinks to those seated or providing them to the barmaids of various fey origin whom serve the patrons.

\[FORTY-SEVEN MINUTES AGO\]
A mighty palm slams flat upon the bar top and lifts to reveal a single gold coin emblazoned with a goat, “Ale,” the God of Thunder demands, “and do not allow my mug to empty.”

A barkeep scuttles over upon his stilts and beady eyes widen at the sight of Asgardian gold. He hefts the coin into one tiny hand and seems to strain slightly with the weight of it before struggling it to its tiny mouth and biting it upon its edge, “YesYes, RightAway,” it bows upon pulling the coin from its mouth and moves to fill the order.

\[THIRTY-NINE MINUTES AGO\]
Three very large fingers tap brusquely upon the leather and chain clad shoulder of the Asgardian.

Thor Odinson looks over his shoulder and up the trunk-like arm of the being that tapped him. For a moment the contentment drink had brought to his face deepens and then it shifts into a broad grin as he turns around to face the troll. There is a moment silence between them. Thor, with a smug grin. The troll, its face twisted with anger.

“I am Ugli son of Gorgg,” the troll proclaims with deep loathing.

“Ugli!” Thor responds suddenly, his boisterous tone making it sound as if they were old friends, “I did not know that you had returned to Midgard! Why, I think it’s been almost /three hundred years/ since I last defeated you. I see that your arm has mended. A pity that your face has not.”

Ugli, the troll, snarls in utter contempt. Large hands fly upward in a rage and close completely about the Thunderer’s head.

\[MOMENTS AGO\]
There is the explosive sound of a wall – both brick and dimensional – shattering as Thor Odinson is hurled from beyond the market and out into the streets of Brooklyn. He skids head-over-ass into the nearby intersection crimson cape twisting about him as he craters the center of the street.

Immediately he throws back the cape and bounds to his feet with a look of absolute rapture across his features. His right eye is nearly swollen closed and as he looks back along his trajectory it’s clear there’s a goose egg of a knot at the center of his forehead. Then the warm of the night air hits him and there is sudden realization that his sport has brought him into Midgard proper.

As Ugli’s hulking form squeezes through the broad hole in the side of the building Thor straightens to full bearing, “Enough,” the God of Thunder proclaims, “We have passed beyond the barrier,” he raises his right arm and reaches straight outward hand opening, “Yield, Ugli, you are beaten.” Metal sings as Mjolnir, which has rested upon the bar inside the market for nearly fifty minutes, springs upward and hurtles end-over-end into Thor’s grasp.

Ugli snarls, “Ugli does not yield,” the Troll counters despite the sudden rumble of thunder overhead his mighty steps causing nearby windows to tremble from the weight of his stride.

The rapture has left Thor’s countenance leaving only a grim expression as the troll bears down upon him, “Then the sport has ended,” a blinding flash of white as energy spears downward from the sky and connects to the head of Mjolnir. In that moment Thor is mid-air hammer heaved backward to deliver a finishing stroke. A form of coil and shadow moves, unseen, behind him.

\[NOW\]
Ugli is on his feet. The hair about his body puffs outwards and crackles with static electricity. With heavy fists he pummels Thor in the head with a series of vicious jabs.

Thor, who is suddenly fettered.

At the center of the street a very large reptilian constrictor with the upper-torso of a muscular humanoid has worked its way completely about Thor. It SQUEEZES. Thor’s eyes bulge and his tongue wags outside of his mouth. Very pained. Equally confused. Where did this creature come from? Likely the brawl created a sort-of maelstrom of godly beings and monsters clobbering one another within the market. Upsetting many other creatures. Most of whom did not find it to be good sport. At least one of whom is displeased enough to assist the troll beyond the market in the open streets of Midgard.

*

MOMENTS AGO.

"This is an outrage, Toothbender. How dare they conspire to make a fool of me. Upon hearing the man's explanation of what he meant when he called me a 'ginger', I was certain he was a staunch ally. A noble confidant. The very best that this Mac Donald had to offer from his various servants to see that I, Atli, had the very best drink he had to offer. Instead, this 'Ginger Ale' seems fit not for those of red hair nore for those who like ale!"

And yet, she drinks it still, only just now reveling in how delicious corn syrup is."I shall lodge a complaint with Mac Donald this very eve, and demand recompense." Gulpgulpgulp.

Then, the goat gets the cup, which he eats as happily as he's eaten all of the rest of her foodscraps and trash. Of course, given where they are walking, she's drawing attention to herself, all of Brooklyn looking on as the somewhat disheveled form of Atli Wodendottir makes her way through what might be the most beautiful day she's seen in nearly a week. Why is this the most beautiful day she's seen in a week?

Funny you should ask.

ONE WEEK AGO.

The magic of the Witch of Scarlet sucks the portal closed as quickly as it had opened it, and Atli makes her introductions to these, the residents of Jotunheim, who have come to see what her arrival was about. A whimper from the snow, a flickering flare of rainbow colored energy that can't quite form, reveals that Toothbender has a broken leg. This of course, means she cannot leave. So, she does what any Daughter of Asgard would do when faced with irate ice giants.

She invites them to drink, until her goat is better, and she can leave.

They politely decline.

The battle rages, snow turned to water and ice and then water again as lightning and fire rain from the heavens and the Grandaughter of Thor fights for her very life. While Thor himself had his own skepticism about her future-lineage, none would doubt her to see her now. Prowess burned into muscle memory by repetition that Old King Thor demanded. A love of battle and revels only her bloodline could assure in such great measure. The day it would have required to kill Toothbender and bury him so that he might rise whole again stretched on into a solid week, until the Jotuns cut the head off their own Captain and dropped it at her feet with a simple note: 'Leave! Take the goat!'

NOW.

She had wanted a drink straight away when she got back, and her flask was empty. Of course the Goblin Market was on her mind! Only there could she get the very best grog, ale, or whatever they might stew up with enough strength to drop a horse. Instead, she got gingerale (upsetting) and a Big Mac (just wonderful, after fasting on naught but snow for a week). Toothbender had a slightly different take on the matter, and refueled himself on as many pieces of metal, rubber, and brick he could get ahold of.

He may have also eaten an entire bag of frozen french fries.

The head of Captain Kurli drags behind her, melting in an awful smelling mess almost three feet high, his tongue dragging roughly on the ground as the chain threaded through one side of his neckstump and out the mouth tugs it this way and that.

"Verily Toothbender, I have not yearned for the sun on my face like this si-"

The crack of thunder and gathering of storm clouds kills her moment in the sun, and one eye twitches. This alone is enough to make her strap the chain to the goat again and climb on his back. The sudden explosion of a dimensional wall and a ruckus just a few blocks away brings the blade from her back. In the blink of an eye, it is a spear, and as she races towards the unsurprising revelation that this is all Thor's fault, she leaps from the goat and holds her spear high, calling to a power that she shares with her grandfather as orange lightning rips through the sky and finds three individuals: One immune to lightning, and two that are likely not.

By the time the Daughter of Woden Lands the goat will have picked his mark, rocketing towards the constricter-beast to give him a rainbow-ass-powered-headbutt-of-destiny.

"Thor! Stop choking to death and tell me what you've done to earn such ire! Their wives must be far too unattractive for you to have disrespected their marriages so. Did you speak ill of their equally, profoundly disgusting mothers? Verily, explain at once how you have insulted their heritage as garbage people!"

*

KRAK-A-THOOM.

For six blocks from the epi-center the surge of electricity the electricity flowing through the center is interrupted. Much to the ire of those who dwell and work nearby the digital clock on every device hooked to the power grid will need to be reset this evening. Many grandchildren, whom are not of godly origins, shall receive calls from their beloved but very needy grandparents asking if they might be able to drop by over the weekend and set the time on their clock radios. Car alarms going off all around.

Ugli is staggered. The direct strike causes him to waiver a moment listing from side to side and emitting the foul smell of burnt hair from the glowing embers of his folices. Then he falls to his knees with a THUD.

The serpent shrieks. Concurrent with the lightning strike Thor releases a mighty roar.

SPLORTCH

It’s as if someone detonated a steel barrel filled with green-black pus and a thousand half-digested things. The stuff goes a hundred feet in every direction. Coating /everything/. At the center of the explosion is Thor the pressure he generated in bursting his fetters forcing his arms above his head as if in triumph. Muscles quivering as he goes RAAAH with wide zealous eyes.

Wide with zeal. Then wide with shock.

Toothbender impacts him at his mid-section. THOOM. He goes bouncing down the street growing further caked in ichor as the bits of half-digestion stick to him.

Ugli groans and starts to his feet. Except he’s gagging. Viciously gagging. His first deep breath following the lightning strike causing him to inhale just as the pus-filled explosion struck him. It’s all in his mouth. He begins staggering blindly at Atli pawing at his face. Vomiting everywhere.

“Nay, well, aye but it was three hundred years ago,” Thor calls out answering one of Atli’s many questions, moving to stand, “and we were both quite drunk. I do not think they were even engaged,” Thor, heedless of Ugli puking, “Had you become engaged yet?” Thor asks plodding down the street. He pulls at a half-digested limbs whose fingers have become tangled in his hair outward. Combing his hair into a tangle as he does so.

No matter. Mjolnir leaps from the street and into Thor’s other hand.

*

"Wait, Thor, don-"

But Thor does. Not that Atli is much of a voice of reason, mind, she just saw the writing on the wall half a moment before Thor mightily bursts from his living bondage, splattering the whole of the street in disgusting slime that, of course, covers Atli from head to two. Very suddenly, she misses the snow. There is a wince as Toothbender impacts Thor, almost certain to turn the powerful plowing headbutt into a licking, face-cleaning doting of love once the goat realizes who he's bowled over. Of course, once there are errant pieces of fingers and whatnot on the ground, Toothbender is distracted with his new meal that he barely notices.

Stumbling and blindly vomiting in Atli's general direction, she does not wholly appreciate such aggression, and calls yet another bolt of lightning centered on herself, this one burning away the bile-slime and sending a shockwave of flaming electricity across the ground. It washes away a good twenty feet of the stuff. It probably sets Ugli on fire. Just a little bit. Of course, it leaves Atli looking like she just stepped from some hair product commercial, red locks billowing against the foul wind that only a troll-belch can generate. Still, as cleansing as her peculiar brand of lightning might be, she could still use a shower. A bath. A public fountain. Anything but troll vomit.

An errant Troll hand finds her chest just as she was about to address Thor. Ugli then vomits again, spearing ichor across the street.

Some splatters on her boots, which she just newly cleaned, and this and the Troll's unwelcome touch prompts Atli to gives a cry that the valkyries would be proud of, swinging her spear as if it were a baseball bat to catch Ugli just below the start of her spear's long, sword-like blade to send the troll tumbling in a flying, vomiting spin in Thor's direction.

This done, Atli finally succumbs to the stench of troll vomit, her lip curling and a hand liftng to her mouth and nose as she steps back from the mess.

"Verily, it smells of Odin's old bedpan mixed with that arm Rocket thought was a mechanical arm but was actually a living arm with a lot of expensive jewelry and decoration. It.. it rotted something most foul in his extra-dimensional bag. Ugh, that is repulsive. Troll-creature who's wife Thor once insulted, tell me what it is you often eat. I wish to avoid it at all costs, and perhaps find for you some Fiber One. It does wonders for the goat."

*

With the stumbling and vomiting Ugli seems well contained.

Thor strides down the thorough fair his every step accented by the SQUISH of soggy boots. He passes the goat who is dining upon the waste his blue-eyes sweeping downward the sight of it eliciting a fond smile.

KRAK-A-THOOM

The blast of lightning draws his gaze upward again. There is certain delight to his countenance as the young woman swings for the fences and sends an on-fire Ugli his way. He pivots, hammer-bearing arm to his side, as he spins in a circle gaining momentum. The hammer goes up. Swings down. Striking Ugli upon the noggin. The force of the swing his forward momentum and causing him to fall straight down. THUD. The earth shakes as he lands about a foot and a half into the street.

With a hearty laugh, Thor thrusts the hammer above his head in celebration. It begins pouring down rain. Dousing Ugli. Washing some of the ichor into the storm sewer. Which cannot be good for the environment. He continues hammer high for a moment and then his arm swings down.

“Well fought!” Thor celebrates Atli and crouches beside the troll to take its ankle. He stands and begins to drag. The beast’s head bouncing along the pavement as he approaches the Girl of Thunder, “Verily, and just in time for the second round … of drinks!” He turns as if to walk back towards the market but pauses mid-motion brow furrowing as he blinks, “Atli,” Thor begins a question to his voice, “Why are you bearing a frost giant’s head?” He squints at her there as if such behavior were not acceptable.

*

For all the time that separates this, Thor the Avenger from Thor, King of Asgard, there are certain things that will never stop reminding her that they are one and the same man. When first Atli met Thor the Younger, she wished to geld the man and take possession of one of the many hammers he seemed to have access too. Or maybe she wished to geld him because he was annoying.

She does not remember, really.

But as she has watched and learned from the Thor in this time, her Grandfather's stories made more and more sense. She understands now why Thor fought the Giant of Giants in Galactus to keep Midgard, but a barren, lifeless rock, safe from the beast's ravenous hunger. She understands why it cost them everything. Verily, she would not change a thing. To see him here and now and enjoying Midgard for all it is, for turning his fun to the serious matter of stopping a troll now on the loose, it shows the love he has for these people.

When he face-plats poor Ugli, her spear leans against her shoulder. The goat looks up. They both seem to be smiling. Atli is already turning to walk beside the God of Thunder when he notices the frost giant head, currently rotting. And covered in watered down bile. And rotting. If there is any shame in her actions, it does not show through, for while she takes up the chain again to hoist it along, she begins recounting a tail of love and loss. A tail of Pietro, God of Speed and Preening, and Wanda, Goddess of Jellyfish Speech and Portals to Cold Places. It is a tale that begins with her horning for the Man of Magnets, otherwise known as Magneto, for all his prowess and dignity on the battlefield.

And besides, he had a beautiful helmet.

Then, it moves on to catching sight of what she describes as a 'Mini-Man of Magnets.' Perhaps not built in such an absurdly muscled way, but streamlined, fierce, and certainly more beautiful up close.

And besides, he has beautiful hair antenna.

More, there was the Witch of Scarlet, a Goddess of some unknown power, who flung Atli to Jotunheim on a quest to prove her worthiness to share in revels with them. Of course if at any point Thor gets tired of hearing about Atli's pursuit of new and interesting bedfreinds, well, that won't matter. She'll keep talking about it anyway, especially the parts about using Jarnbjorn, Reforged to smite a whole host of Jotuns back to the veritable ice age. Or stone age. Whichever is worse for them. Finally she tells how they cut off their own captains head to get her to leave, for she chased them to the Mine of Frozen Kings and threatened to drown them in melted ice and snow.

The story ends with her slaughtering poor Toothbender so that he might be reformed the next day with a healed leg, and riding him back to Midgard, trophy in toe!

"So you see, I'm a bit of a hero. Let's drink!"

Atli's beaming smile is almost enough to quell the fact that she might have started some sort of inter-realm incident, though if she's aware of the politics or consequences of it all, she doesn't show it. The goat, of course, will join them back in the Goblin Market, and as if healing a wound, Atli uses the tip of Jarnbjorn to close the distortion behind them.

"So tell me, where has adventure taken you? Last I saw your hammer was having a squabble with you. Did that whole thing work itself out?"

*

For all who would say otherwise Thor Odinson is a man whose interest can be held. Good food. Good drink. A good fight. A grand story. As they shift from fighting to story Thor walks with her, unhurried for the Troll he drags, looking to her as they cross the threshold and seemingly unconcerned or unaware of the hundreds of eyes which glare at him.

As Atli seals the barrier he gives a throw of his troll-bearing arm, tossing Ugli fully into the marketplace, and then wiping his palm upon the soaked leather of his hauberk. A duo of wide orcs approach in livery approach and clutching catch-poles. A poor choice of weapons – certainly. Something they seem to realize as the number of gods has doubled and at this time both are armed. He waves at them broadly with his hammer and produces a few of those valuable gold coins to diffuse the fury of the mercantile association.

With their deeds completed the rejoin one another and the story continues Thor’s face swells with pride. Teeth together his features split in a broad grin as he hooks Mjolnir’s thong to his belt and reaches outward to clap her shoulder in esteem as they walk together.

“Yes,” he says when she finishes, “but you cannot just carry it through the city. It will be foul smelling now if it was not before. One thing that I have learned is that if anything smells fouler than the subway it will be most unwelcome as you journey through the city.” He says in display of his mastery of modern culture.

Perhaps we can trade it to an alchemist for a potion of some sort.” He seems to think about that for a moment, “What sort of potion do you think the Man of Magnets would favor,” the Thunderer asks having detected more than a hint of infatuation, “I should think he would enjoy being a snake for a time.”

“When we return to Midgard we should consult the electronic diviner known as Google to learn more about these magnet people,” thick brow draws together remembering that the computer Peggy designated for his use loads only blue screens now of ‘☹’ now, “Ah,” he seems to recall something then, “The League of Justice will no doubt have a window that leads to the diviner.”

Back in the tavern now he sets Mjolnir upon a table with a THUNK, “Yes,” Thor says to her then, “Mjolnir and I are inseparable as ever,” and so he continues conversationally, “I have not been recently expelled by a witch to Jotunheim. In truth I have been paying honor to my mother,” pause, he considers explaining but then realizes that surely his granddaughter his already acutely aware of her lineage, “I have begun growing a garden of medicinal herbs upon the roof of my home to aid my allies in Midgard whom might become afflicted of the eyes or temperament. It is going,” he considers head bobbing a moment, “okay.”

*

Of all the things Atli expected Thor to admit too, it is not that he has become a gardener. But perhaps he is expecting to attract snakes, which she knows that Thor finds adorable. In fact, at the suggestion that they trade her prized Jotun head for a potion to turn the Man of Magnets into a snake has her lifting a brow. At the same moment, her spear shrinks it's haft so it might become a sword of short stature, and she sheaths it at her back.

"No no, that won't do at all. I will simply burn the flesh away from the head once we are away from the market. Then it will only smell like smoke, and possibly whatever urine it has tracked from the ground of this grand city. Assuredly it will past this subway test you speak of. Then, I shall present it to those Gods of Midgard, so fierce and full of courage. Do you know they are fighting to save their people? A grand quest, most worthy of my assistance. And then they can get to the important part of life." In this she makes sure more gold comes forth, and that a very specific ale is set before them, a brew made here on Midgard, but holding all of the might that Asgard might muster. Of course, it's made in Australia, and then shipped here, so it makes sense it would taste so much like home. That good part of life is raised to her lips and she drinks it down, another round at the ready.

While a troll and a snake-bile-puss creature might be a trifling victory, they are victories none the less, and deserve every bit these revels, Atli smashing her mug against Thor's in a way that once again proves her blood is true. Still, after a drink or two, something gnaws at the back of her mind, squinting at Thor as an epiphany fires behind her eyes.

"That is.. an oddly specific thing to want to do to the Man of Magnets, grandfather. Verily, are you certain you do not wish to turn him into a snake only that you might drape him over your rippling arms and cuddle him and make those noises you make like you make at Snootildir, your pet serpent in the future? Mind, at this point I have moved on to a newer vintage. What you do with the Man of Magnets is no concern of mine. No no, for me, it is the Witch of Scarlet and the Avatar of Preening Speed."

Did she just sigh whimsically? Yes, yes she did.

So did Toothbender, who glowers at some of those mercantile orc enforcers and gives a snort as it eats an errant Coke can. And then the nose of the Jotun head, when that isn't filling enough.

*

Thor looks upon the bile-covered skull and is silent for his momentary assessment. Would mere fire purge it of its vile coating? In truth he has always borne trophies to the royal hall and simply slung them at the feet of whomever was protecting the throne room. In Midgard, oftentimes did he impale the heads upon a stake outside of whichever village had suffered torment. Drunken revelry would follow — what happened to the impaled heads? He begins to wonder..

Ale! The wonder disperses as he hefts the drink with a hearty laugh and slams his mug into hers spilling froth and golden liquid upon the table. He drinks heavily of Australia having worked up a mighty thirst after nearly an hour of conquest and slams it upon the table. Where the power of Asgardian gold sees it immediately replaced.

The Thunderer’s countenance dims then. A heavy shadow cast over his face as his brow draws inward. The words ‘grand quest’ offset by ‘save their people’. The latter phrase seemingly having more of an impact, “The people of magnets are imperiled?” Thor asks her grimly and his jaw sets causing cheeks to stiffen, “I am saddened that they have not prayed to me so that I might turn back the tide of..,” long pause and then he asks, “what is it you said sought to vanquish them?”

‘..drape him over you rippling arms and cuddle..’

“Nay!” Thor glowers his pale cheeks touched with crimson, “Have you never pondered the world as a different creature?” the God of Thunder asks her, “Often did I ask my brother to use his sorcery to hex me into a serpent so that I might feel the warm soil of Asgard about my belly and viciously slay vermin with fangs and coils,” he then gives a wistful sigh, “Alas once did he try to oblige my request as a surprise yet confuse frogs and snakes. Twas nearly a week that I did devour flies and lead the rest of mine glistening kin to victory against the rats and birds which did seek our flesh,” he gives a slow grin there as if the time spent as a frog, fighting birds, was not altogether unpleasant.

Then he levels his blue-eyed gaze at her, “If I possessed a serpent of magnets I would provide it with purpose,” he explains pounding a fist upon the table, “and allow it to achieve the glory in that form that I have been denied.” He begins drinking again.

*

After Atli has finished her first tankard, she assumes an almost defensive posture when Thor asks about how the People of Magnets are imperiled. Here her head tilts back as if to hold some claim to dignity, arms crossing as if to stave off the question by physical force alone. "It is a complicated subject. Very detailed and filled with an ancient history and the like. You know, something not easily explained and that which would require books and reading so, you see, I'm not sure I can give due justice to the story of their peril or who imperiles them."

Her hand slips forward again to get more of her ale, and just before she takes a sip, she adds. "We haven't gotten to the point in our relationship where they would discuss it but I'm sure things will no doubt become quite serious soon."

Then, Thor is denying that he wishes to cuddle Magneto-Turned-Into-A-Snake, and her gaze turns skeptical, for all she heard growing up was of Thor's love of serpents, and while the Asgardian preserve was mostly filled only with strangely-leafed plants and a cunning dark elf that managed to convince Thor he was but a plant come alive, he did have a number of snakes. Many hundreds, in fact. And so, Old King Thor has given up Thor the Avenger's game.

Thankfully his story about the Frog saves him any further accusation as Atli rolls her head back and lets out a wonderful laugh. "Yes!! I remember this story! It is most grand, and you tell it with an even better furvor than King Thor. I imagine that is because you do not know that Loki did this on purpose because he was hoping you'd get eaten by an onory bird of some sort. I almost cannot believe that you were so easily fooled by him! In any case, do not worry about Foul Loki, such days are behind him. He has promised me he is now redeemed after we summoned him through a statue carved of Midgardian Lard. This cleansed the wickedness from him, and he even makes us delicious bacon pancakes."

It really is to bad there's no one here to detect this terrible irony, other than Ugli perhaps. Who is just trying to wake up. Toothbender leans back and gives a gread heave, headbutting him back into unconsciousness.

"In any case, I shall do my very best to let you know once we find who menaces the Magnet people. I am sure that with two Gods of Thunder at their side, their enemies will give up this foolhardy pursuit to wipe them out and revels will be had all around."

*

Thor gives a low discontented sound and comes forward as she leans away. His broad forearm goes forward upon the table and he leans in scrutinizing the Girl of Thunder as she attempts to move about his question. When last the truth is unveiled he goes ‘ah’ understanding how complex relationships with the denizens of Midgard can be and thinking that it was not always so. There was a time when a bare chest was all that was required to seed a relationship here; but no more – the mini-man of magnets requires courting … perhaps he is one of the afflicted metrosexuals that Ellen did speak of.

He leans back then and uses the hand upon the table to heft the tankard again. That his heroism as a frog was still a subject of renown in the future causes him to lift his chin proudly, but only for a moment, for when she speaks ill of Loki his temperament seems to sour first then further at being called ‘foolish’ and then, “Do not slander my brother,” Thor warns her his tone suddenly serious but without real menace, “He cannot be faulted for his heritage. That he was spawned by cowards whom found him so small and distasteful that they would rather leave him as prey to the wolves than gather the tiny amount of food it would have taken to sustain him. Can you fathom growing up as he did? His weaselly visage in competition to the glory of mine countenance?”

“Nay,” Thor shakes his head in appreciation for how difficult it must have been, “Often has he vexed me with his trickery,” he says, “and often has he promised to abandon his ways. I pray that he finally has. Despite my anger at being transformed into to a frog or having been stabbed when while ensorcelled by some illusion or in trying to save the realm from his attempts to conquer my birthright I know that he does these things because he cannot help himself /but/ he is my brother. I can see that he only means to test me and that I am stronger for it.” A solid nod as if closing the matter.

“Agreed,” he affirms, belching hideously before wiping his lips, and again his tankard is replaced, “Once you lay your trophy at his feet and the Mini-Magnet Man sees that you have conquered his test he will undoubtedly bear his soul to you.” He taps the table with a heavy finger for emphasis, “and then we shall see what glory can be wrought from vanquishing his foes.”

*
Before Thor had worked out his problems with Mjolnir, whatever they might have been, Atli had liberally called him a fool. Here and now, she does so less often, though never with any real amount of ire. And lets be honest, he probably is a fool most of those times. It just means Atli's in good company. The scoff she gives when Thor declares his brother will always be his brother and it is not his fault is immediate, but does so drain from her face after a time. It is because something amazing is happening.

Her left eye twitches a little.

Her breath catches and is held as if she were anticipating a mighty blow.

The background seems to shrink away from her.

A stroke? No no, something far deadlier.

Atli Wodendottir has an idea.

"In…indeed, grandfather. In all your years, in all the time you spend teaching my sisters and I how to be warriors and true Asgardians, you often mentioned your sole regret was never changing your brother's ways. I think, mostly, you blamed Odin for not understanding him. Not…" Her hand curls around her tankard and she finishes off another.

There is a slow, long nod. Then, she reaches out to give Thor a MIGHTY clasp on the shoulder. "Verily, a plan has formed, and all your doing! Thor! You are a genius! Hold down all of Midgard, and protect it from the ale surplus I have been hearing about for what seems like ages now. Also, Lord Stark has been looking somewhat on low spirits these days. I have often seen but a single companion entering and leaving his keep, when all of your stories of him told me of the grand gatherings he used to have. Perhaps you can take him on a grand adventure, or throw him a mighty revel. For now, Toothbender and I must go. It is… a matter I cannot discuss with you now, but I promise you, when I return I will have a tale most bold, and assure you that your future will be better for it. And then, we shall tackle the mini-man of magnet's most maliscious menacing malcontents and find some way to save his people."

Atli reaches out to give the hammer a pat. Yes, she does take hold on it and give it a tug to be sure. Checking on worthiness is always a good thing. That done, and with the hammer unmoving, she leaps astride Toothbender, who immediately walks over Ugli.

"Also, if you could, when you stop by the Stark Stronghold, I keep my goldfish there and I have yet to see them since returning from Jotunheim. They are named Cersei and Jaimie, and this is very important, they require one large morsel of food, once a day, and some gentle talking too. Usually I tell them a story of my favorite hero, growing up. If you find it too awkward to boast to my fish of your acomplishments, Thor, then perhaps speak of Noble Barnes or the Shieldmaiden of Midgard, Steve Rogers."

Somehow she does not think it will be too awkward for Thor to tell her fish of his triumph, but that is in part while he will always be her hero.

*

Thor sees the germination of the idea. Though as the continuous tankards of ale have begun to lay their warm blanket across his mind he is not certain what is occurring. Perhaps..

When she throws back the tankard he can see that glory is about to be upon them. He too throws back his drink and when she clasps his shoulders he stands with her and gives a dutiful nod to her words, “I shall,” he affirms with purpose to the protection of Midgard and then listens to the rest.

Then, he too has a plan. Lord Stark is fond of ale. Revelry requires ale. With certainty the surplus can be remedied. He and Lord Stark shall revel with all of their allies day and night until the surplus has been vanquished. Then she gives him more instructions but thankfully these side quests are all within the realm of Stark Tower. Feed the fish. Tell them a story. Cheer Lord Stark. Host a feast as Stark’s keep. These are exactly the sort of side-quests worthy of a hero as they pursue their quest of saving the magnet people.

“Good journey, Atli,” Thor says hefting Mjolnir from the table, “Worry not for your fish nor that we might drown in ale. I shall see to these matters in your absence.” He reaches to clap her shoulder then and he nods once and then releases as they part ways.

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