Ancient Pacts and New Enemies

June 19, 2018:

Carol engages Thor in diplomacy. Valkyrie would rather they all fight space criminals.

Peggy's Apartment (Rooftop)

Characters

NPCs: Thor's Housewife Fanclub

Mentions: Brand

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

There's a famous saying in Islam. 'If the mountain will not go to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain.' A suitably religious account when dealing with actual Living Gods. Captain Danvers learned long ago that sometimes the best way to get someone's attention is to strike the 'voluntary' part out of the equation.

Thankfully she knows where one Living God is currently bunking, hilariously enough with one Time-spun agent of antiquity. An improbability making bedfellows with the unfathomable. They do have a habit of going hand in hand.

Calmly, Captain Marvel flicks the switch on a handheld device she received from the boys in R&D on the Peak. The EKG-looking thing issues a crisp whine of activation, tiny arms unfolding as it harmlessly radiates emissions very similar to the ones the unnamed Asgardian was looking for earlier.

She's pretty sure this should bring the woman running as assuredly as a pager, it should also give her a few minutes to speak with someone she's been meaning to address for some time.

Captain Marvel stands on the sidewalk in her full superhero regalia. Placing the device at the sash on her hip as she looks up to the tall high rise that should contain one Thor Odinson, Prince of Asgard and Lord of Thunder. Blue eyes turn to the small building intercom by the main door as she mutters to herself, "… Would he even know how to answer the darn thing?"

She takes a moment to puzzle out how best to get him outside.

*

It’s become quite clear that it’s difficult to contact Thor through official channels. The cellular number SHIELD provided him was ringing to a full voice mail. Sixty days ago it stopped ringing altogether as if the device were turned off, out of power, or destroyed. The electronic read-receipts attached to his e-mails are sometimes returned, sometimes not, and receiving an written response seems to depend upon whichever of his real-life acquaintances can be badgered into typing out his dictation.

Prior to his death Phil Coulson had noted ‘Thor regularly checks notes taped to the fridge,’ then adding, ‘but you should probably knock first.’

Luckily the XO of SWORD would know that Thor lives with Peggy Carter and her clearance is high enough for HR to provide that address and when she arrives her keen powers of deduction can put two and two together.

Across the street and upon the roof there is a gathering of middle-aged house moms in yoga pants trading back and forth a pair of binoculars. Closer examination would reveal they have beach chairs and wine. This has become something of a regular ritual. Thankfully, the regularity of it means the cat-calling has mostly stopped.

[Rooftop – Peggy Carter’s Penthouse – New York City]

The afternoon sun is high and the skies are clear. Thor, the God of Thunder, stands shirtless upon the roof of the building. A pair of leather pants cling tightly to his form beginning at the waist and stopping just below his ample calves. The remainder of his legs, along with his feet, are as bare as his chest.

The Prince of Asgard wields a garden hose. The tail of the long black serpent is affixed to the spigot near the roof-top entrance. His right hand, so often photographed bearing the legendary Mjolnir, squeezes a chrome sprayer which expels a fine mist onto the area before him.

Within that area there is an arrangement of sixteen potted plants. A green shaft between two and six inches arises from each sporting either buds of small stems sporting nine elongated leaves. They glisten provocatively in the spray of mist. As the breeze buffets the water Thor also glistens, provocatively. A fine layer of water has settled over his form.

As long blond hair becomes saturated with moisture he tosses his head in private adulation. A halo of droplets surrounds his features their movements seemingly in slow motion about him.

Nearby, the Goat-Lords graze contentedly upon what appears to be a pile of the building’s recycling.

*

In reverse order of appearance, Captain Marvel notices the Goat-Lords first.

Her attention moves to the creatures chewing on items that are clearly, CLEARLY marked for recycling. She decides after a long moment that this could be considered a form of biodegrading. However they do not hold her attention as much as a slight glint of light from high above, light reflecting off some chrome item. She looks straight up, even direct sunlight not harming her vision in the least as it so happens.. Which is good because the light off of that man's incredible six pack is blinding.

She considers calling out before just crossing her arms, head tilting to the side as she can't say a word. Jaw working silently as she side-glances over to the Housewives of New York Skyline on the opposite rooftop and debates joining them.

After yet another very long and well-considered moment she clicks her tongue and looks downward, mumbling, "Sometimes I have an okay job. Sometimes."

Clearing her throat and giving the Goat Court a sideglance, she rises into the air as if carried by invisible hands. Her stands shifting little with her arms remaining crossed. Once she rises to a conversational distance she calls out, "Hey. Thor." Her form emerging over the lip of the rooftop as she steps onto the surface a short distance away, trying to avoid any garden-slick spots or knock anything over, "We need to talk." Offering the man a curt smile if a fraction of the honors the Son of the All-Father is due.

*

Thor looks upward when he hears his name the brief flash of confusion fading as Carol emerges over the lip of the roof. He smiles; a broad grin as if wanton for the company of another the look evoking a rainbow about his head as if the sun itself were dazzled by his smile. After a pregnant pause he blinks, looking to the hose, suddenly realizing that he is needlessly spraying the air about his head and so he releases the sprayer causing the rainbow to fade as the droplets evaporate upon the air.

As she approaches with curt smile his grin twitches faintly at its edges and then collapses perhaps realizing that her presence here was likely not to drink ale and water the plants with him, “Carol,” he says arms going a bit wide, “Welcome,” and then falling to his sides. He drops the hose then and observes her with faint scrutiny as he attempts to work his way back through his day. Surely this was not about the brawl with the troll in Brooklyn nor the – eyes widen a touch. Where are the goats?! The noble officer from animal control did say he was out of ‘chances’. Yes, he is accustomed to scolding and that is what this appears to be.

“Then let us speak,” he knows that Captain Marvel is a warrior of great renown and so he adds turning, “over a tankard of ale.” Holding hope that after a drink or two having done whatever he has done may not seem so bad.

*

It turns out Thor's unabashed smile is infectious. As the big lug turns to face her with rainbow glitters from the hose, she can't help but shift one corner of her lip upwards. She does hover back a fraction to avoid a few incidental droplets, perhaps unconsciously. Usually showing up 'in uniform' like this is enough to put people on edge and adopt a game-face. She almost regrets seeing that brief look of vexation in his eyes as he seems to predict a scolding.

She isn't here to scold him! Per se. Exactly.

Precisely. A little. A bit.

"Ah, thanks for the offer but I'm on duty." Captain Marvel waves a red gloved hand in dismissal, "We don't do that on duty around these parts. At least most of us." Her own history with boozing will go untouched here.

She does take a moment to observe the plants a moment, looking them over before steel eyes drift up to him with mock accusation, "Those.. Wouldn't happen to be Asgard plants, would they?" She puts nothing past his inattention to small details like invasive species from mythical realms.

She doesn't let that question linger long before she moves on to another bit of business, "I need to talk to you about your people. Specifically your people that are on .. uh.. Midgard." Deciding to take up his own terminology to make this go over easier.

Ah hell. It's just fun to say out loud. "In fact I thiiiink one should be showing up at any minute.." She tilts her head back and looks over the edge of the rooftop again, checking for any cloaked figures that might be meandering about.

*

Valkyrie has neither a hammer of legend, nor abilities that allow her to fly. That means getting from place to place is…slowish - at least in spots where she can't sprint at Asgardian speed without drawing attention to herself. The rooftops are the easiest and quickest way to move about, and she's been hopskotching them for the past few minutes, device in hand. The signal's not moving. Good.

The figure that lands one roof over looks like she's at least made an effort to blend in. Her long hair has been gathered up and back, giving an almost mohawk hairstyle with a braid hitting between her shoulderblades. She's wearing her own pants and boots, but exchanged the cloak for an asymmetrical black leather jacket. She skids to a stop, spots Carol. Glares. Glares from one roof over. She's not running away, but she's giving the Captain a look akin to a feline who does not like what was put in her food dish.

*

Thor stops as she rejects his offer and then sort-of stands for a second. Unseen is him weighing whether or not it would then seem improper for him to have a drink. These thoughts are sidelined though as she looks over his plants and questions, “Nay!” He is quick to say, “I know well that bringing plants and animals to this realm can be vexing to Walter of Building Maintenance. We have agreed that I shall bring no more living creatures to my dwelling,” he gestures to the arrangement, “I am raising only the medicinal herbs of Midgard to aid my allies who have become afflicted.”

She then moves past the introduction of plants and onto the introduction of whole people. He doesn’t even seem to consider her request, “Of course, Carol,” he says and then after a moment of introspection asks, “With … whom am I speaking and about what topic?” Suspicious that the magnet-people have filed a complaint against Atli never once thinking of Loki whom he believes to be too clever for Mortals to deduce his schemes.

He does not notice a woman glaring at him from the rooftops. That, he has learned, is customary of those who dwell nearby and whose husbands are away on business.

*

It turns out Carol shouldn't have bothered looking down. The leap of motion in her periphery turns her attention over beyond Thor, "Ah! Theeeeere she is now.." Taking a few steps around and past him as she then waves to the glaring angry Asgardian, waving her gloved hand back to her like a smiling neighbor. Offering her a wide, welcoming grin as she thumbs to her side indicating the very Prince of Asgard himself and theoretically the nameless headhunter's Liege Lord. Right on schedule.

Addressing Thor in a conversational tone, likely not loud enough to travel the gulf between buildings she furthers, "We'll.. Uh.. talk about those herbs later. By all means introduce me to your kin and countrywoman over yonder."
She then waves 'Asgard' over, knowing full well she could make the jump that would be completely fatal to most mere mortals. That and she suspects the woman would not take well to Captain Marvel's offer to ferry her over like a sack of potatoes. No, better to let the mystery woman maintain her pride and approach under her own power. If she makes a run for it.. Carol will deal with that should she turn and leap a different direction.

While the woman makes her choice she turns to Thor again, "The topic iiiiiiiis.. You're the Prince of Asgard right? I think it's time we make some .. Formal treaties between our peoples. At least our institutions. Especially if more and more of your people are coming to this world." Starting the topic up on a respectful note.

*

The difference being, Valkyrie is glaring rather than leering, and most of her attention is on Carol. She turns off the device she was using to track the signal and slides it into her jacket. She grits her jaw, huffs like an angry horse, then leaps over on to the next roof. She could run, yes. But she has a feeling if she did that, the good Captain would be on her like a burr.

After she lands, she straightens and casts a sideways look at Thor. This was bound to happen eventually. That doesn't mean she's happy about it.

After a moment of pointed silence, she addresses Carol. "What do you want?"

*

Thor turns as she moves past him and raises a hand to also wave, good-naturedly. For a moment the nuance that that they were waving to a woman whom Carol has claimed to be one of his kinsmen and instead believing they were just being extraordinarily friendly.

The Vaklyrie’s leap doesn’t startle Thor. His hand does stop mid-wave though as he watches her arc between the building and begins to piece together how the new arrival intersects with their earlier conversations.

There is a weight to his gaze then as he sizes the woman up. The brusque way she handles Captain Marvel causes him to look back and forth between them sensing a piece of the history between them, “Greetings,” says to the new arrival his boisterous tone not in anyway unfriendly, “I am Thor, Prince of Asgard.” Asserting himself then, “Welcome to my garden,” he gestures to the array of pots, “I invite you to stay and enjoy an ale as we discuss …,” then he looks to Carol, “What transgression has occurred?”

Remembering he has no servant he begins walking backward toward the nearby wood barrel which has been tapped, “I am uncertain why a treaty is required,” he says proffering a tankard towards Valkyrie as if to say ‘are you drinking?’, “The Asgardians have visited Midgard since before mankind walked the Earth. Long ago did the first men pray for our aid and did we vow to protect this realm as we do eight others..,” and then he adds, “I am certain this agreement is recorded upon a scroll in some house of knowledge.”

Then he looks to Valkyrie and says, “What say you?” Inviting her to weigh in on her own purpose.

*

As the nameless Asgardian deactivates her tracking device, Captain Marvel does the same. While the possibility that a different party, or even one of the alien outlaws in question, investigates is not large but it isn't non-zero either. It was a risk but a small enough one, and she knew it would bring the woman.

And if those poor outlaws happened to track the signal to her and Thor? It would not be Carol that regrets it.

She doesn't bat an eyelash as the powerful woman leaps the distance, nor surprised that the woman didn't bolt. She doesn't know Asgardians to flee from their problems in general but she tries to keep her thoughts flexible in the event of surprise.

As the unknown arrives with great athleticism Carol simply replies, "Actually with you.. Little. You're here more as a case in point." Revealing that the bounty hunter's presence serves as an example to Thor for.. The very problems he raises in the here and now.

As he begins to pontificate on the nature of the ancient treaties, Captain Marvel does what she can to maintain a straight face. Her knuckles going to her lips to stiffle a lau-cough. Pressing her lips firmly together as she plants her hands on her hips, nodding slowly with the meticulous detail with which he lays out the history.

Only once he considers the matter resolved does she speak up, "..Aaand that's all well and good. I'm glad for the help of you and your people Thor, I really am. You've done a lot for us and that isn't meaningless. BUT.."

Holding up a gloved finger, punctuating the hanging beat.

"These aren't the old days. We aren't the same people as back then. We do not need Asgards protection any more. We need Asgard's partnership."

She tilts her head, "Partnership. You understand the difference right? This is a sovereign planet owned by humanity. We're .. Not exactly one government yet but we're getting our act together. We need to make a new pact between our peoples. If anything to give people like.."

She gestures then to the newly arrived and still nameless woman, "Her proper representation and recourse. And also accountability."

*

If there's anything that is going to get Valkyrie to stay, it won't be threats from Carol, nor the fact that Thor is Asgardian royalty. No, it will be that tankard. She steps forward to take it. She gives it a sniff, then chugs enough to mark her as a champion drinker by any world's standards. "I'm quite aware of who you are," she says plainly to Thor.

Then she seems to tune out of the conversation. She wanders off a few steps. Only after they've both said their piece about past and future treaties does she speak up. "There is a flaw in your logic as it pertains to me," she says with a gesture towards herself. "I haven't been a proper citizen of Asgard since before there were Odinsons." Except, how does one truly abdicate Asgardian citizenship? "I have no desire to be caught up in galactic politics. In fact, I would very much like to be far away from exactly this type of conversation." She waggles a finger between the two of them.

*

Thor grins at Valkyrie as she first takes his tankard and then acknowledges his renown. He would be a poor host if he allowed his guest to drink alone and so he takes another tankard, filling it. The thick amber substance moves to the brim of his container and he moves to take a sip but, seeing the zeal with which Valkyrie polishes hers off, and never to be outdone, Thor chugs his tankard as well.

The Odinson squints at Valkyrie, “Really?” He asks as she tries claims to have renounced her citizenship. The term ‘galactic politics’ causes his brow to furrow as if only then recalling what they had been discussing previously.

“No,” Thor says giving the Carol’s rebuttal a thought and then his gaze falls to her bosom, “This does not seem right.” He waves his cup vaguely. “The pact between Asgard and Midgard stands,” he declares looking up again, “and if the Kree would move against us then I would have words with them,” pushing the tankard outward towards the starburst on her chest for emphasis and then moving to fill it once again.

Then he seems to realize they’re talking about the very thing Valkyrie was uninterested in and so he steps forward reaching outward as if to bade the woman to stay, “Wait, do not leave.” Thor says to with a note of concern for the prospect that they might both fly or leap away robbing him of both conversation and at least one drinking companion, “Carol has summoned you for a purpose.” Then he asks them both again, “Reminds me again, why are you here?”

*
Carol turns to look at the nameless Asgardian with a perplexed expression. It quickly becomes clear she made the classic blunder of assuming all Asgardians know each other. She had suspected Thor would at least have offered Captain Marvel some kind of hint at who she was. That she's a very, very, very old expatriot catches Danvers off-guard.

Carol squints, mentally calculating how old someone would have to be than be older than Thor. Whatever that very high number is, this woman does not look a day over twenty something.

"Huh." Is what Carol has to say on that factoid. This development derails the point she had initially tried to make, but not so much to be beyond salvation. After a few seconds of spinning wheels in her head she begins a new point, ".. It's not that she's completely unwelcome. She's actually doing us a favor but.."

Thor's point continues before she can pick the thread back up. She only registers the shift in gaze as a gesture of thought, at first. Until he brings up the 'Kree'. There's a puzzled pause for another moment before she closes her eyes in realization, "No Thor. I don't represent the Kree, I represent Earth. I work with.." In a heartbeat she realizes how completely impossible it will be for Thor to appreciate what SWORD and SHIELD mean in this context, deciding to boil it down fast, ".. The United Nations. They've empowered me to talk to you about her." Thumbing over towards the unnamed Asgardian, "Among other things. Including discussing this 'treaty' which.. I'm pretty sure none of the security council ever signed."

*

Valkyrie smiles approvingly into the tankard that only contains a half-sip of dregs. In their few encounters, Carol would know that smiles are a fairly rare thing. "And she…" she begins to Carol, "…can hear you just fine. She's not drunk yet." She does have some manners, so she motions to the barrel with a questioning look and a motion of her empty tankard. "Though she'd like to fix that. Haven't had a proper drink since ending up on this planet."

She looks between them, then exhales. Then, a thought seems to occur to her, flickering for a moment in her eyes. She works her jaw to the side and upnods at Carol. "Look. I've been having a think about it. I think I can help you and your cavalcade of fancy acronyms. I'm not, as you may have guessed, in a hurry to go home, either to Asgard or where I was before this." She's not in a hurry, it seems, to disclose that, either. "You've got him," she motions to Biceps McBlondelocks, "…you've got treaties. You've got the might of Asgard should invaders appear. And from what I've seen, this planet has its share of potential protectors. What you don't have is someone who knows about the threats that might sneak past your defenses. The ones that won't come here riding at the front of an army. The ones who slip in one at a time and slip back out again."

Criminals. She means space criminals.

He waves off the security council, “The lives of men are short, Carol Danvers,” Thor explains to her, “They have never known a century without conflict amongst themselves. What do they know of battles against the enemies that lurk beyond?”

Then he turns to Valkyrie and the lines of his face darken as she speaks of those who would sneak past defenses. Who won’t ride before an army. Who slip in and back out. “I wish to know of such things,” Thor asserts, “Can you aid us in finding them?”

The Thunderer looks to Carol and then back to Valkyrie.

*

Very notably Carol is not making a move for any tankard. She supposes drinking is part and parcel of good form for Asgardian dealings but she doesn't foresee Thor or this woman taking much umbridge at the refusal.

As the bounty hunter cuts in with a new tone and story, Captain Marvel turns her attention towards her, arms now crossed over her starburst. A blonde eyebrow slowly arches as the suggestion takes shape, deciding to add, "And I'm hearing that someone is getting around to make an offer?"

Is the Captain interested? Perhaps. She was clearly impressed with this woman's ability in the fight previous. The misgivings play out in her expression but she lets the woman confirm or deny before pushing on that line of thought.

As Thor flatly denies what truth men might know, Captain Danvers ruffles a fraction. Before she treated the Thunderer as that big lummox brother who means well but sometimes says silly things. Now, in Carol's estimation, the man is venturing into Insult Land. Her arms uncross.

"Hey." A sharp retort, "The noblesse oblige thing is cute until you start telling us what we do and do not know. I may not be a thousand years old but I am fully aware of the powers that be out there." Notably tapping on the starburst emblem that Thor pointed out is a military symbol of the Kree Empire, "Earth is making the transition to a space-faring nation. Maybe a thousand years ago we needed the protection of you and your people but that's not what we want anymore. We're growing up and we're going to talk to you, the Kree, the Lanterns, the Nova Corps, the Shi'ar, or anyone else who thinks they have some kind of claim on this planet. A friendly claim or otherwise."

*

Seeing as Thor didn't wave her off, Valkyrie helps herself to filling up her tankard. She just keeps half an ear on the banter between them. And then, miraculously, she sips rather than chugs. It's a thoughtful sip, even. "It's become clear to me that tracking down my quarry by myself for extradition off-world is a losing proposition. And the longer they're out there, the more allies they'll make and the more they'll adjust to this planet."

She lets that pause for a moment, which is curious since she's pausing on her own failure. Then, "My mistake was perhaps in avoiding the authorities on this planet, but I wasn't sure if you would have me arrested, or bring me before him." She motions with the flask towards Thor. "Neither seemed appealing, so I endeavored to solve the problem on my own. My primary problem so far has not been in tracking down my prisoners, but in capturing them and keeping them held somewhere. You can provide that." This to Carol.

She's quiet again for a moment, and when she speaks, it's clear she's not too happy to be doing this in front of another Asgardian, let alone a royal one. "I propose we work together. I can provide expertise in tracking off-worlders of the criminal variety. You have the resources to capture them and hold them, and if appropriate, extradite them to the relevant planetary authorities."

Carol’s sharp retort draws Thor’s gaze but displays no umbridge at the correction nor does he apologize for what he said, “As is your right.” Thor is agreeable to that point and after a beat his blue-eyes brighten as he gives her a welcoming smile once more.

Whatever was to occur next is forestalled when Valkyrie suggests that ‘he is not appealing’.

The God of Thunder glowers a bit there not for real anger but for some perceived offense that her earlier statements regarding his renown are now colored as something less than appealing. He softens the blow to his pride with a long drink from the tankard and wipes his lips upon the back of his arm when he pulls it away. He looks away then, across the space between buildings, where housewives still gather with their wine and binoculars. This seems to make him feel slightly better.

“I agree,” he responds then, looking back at them, and setting the mug down before clapping his hand together. He works his palms together with anticipation for the quest that has been proposed. Clearly assuming he’s to be part of it even though Valkyrie is talking to Carol, “Where do we begin?” Eager for some challenge beyond his garden.

*

Captain Marvel's annoyed look lingers upon the mighty Thor as she turns her head just enough to signal that she's listening to the nameless woman speak. Avoiding the planet authorities goes unaddressed .. especially since it's a moot point now.. But as she comments on avoiding the Thunderer she fully looks to her, "What? Him? Apart from him looking down on mere mortals he's a pretty reasonable guy. He isn't exactly trying to stuff you in a bag to bring you back to the All-Father right now.." Though the point does pique her curiosity.

Do they even let Asgardians leave Asgard? How does immigration work from that City State? Can anyone just casually leave the rule of Odin if they felt like it?

Her continuing point brings the Captain back from her digression. She seems to give the offer some thought, though cutting these kinds of deals was more Agent Coulson's expertise than hers. She never could get a read of people like he could. That said she does like this woman's moxie, "You do seem qualified.. Though I do need more information. Starting with a name would be good." Slowly pointing that out as her eyes shift back to Thor, fully expecting the man to interject on this matter. As he agrees with her points her expression improves, regaining a bit more of that earlier playfulness to his banter. Until he does more than agree and.. Seems to sign up?!

"That's no..Mmm." Cutting herself off, lowering her finger as fast as its raised. Already she has Special Agent Brand in her ear offering her two cents on the entire matter. She isn't terribly sure she could dissuade Thor even if she wanted to. Maybe working together with the Prince of Asgard on this will prove to him that Earth isn't a child nation that requires babysitting by an adult?.. Maybe. And also learn a bit more about some of Asgard's deeper mysteries as she glances over to the woman again, "Sssuuuuureee.. Why not?"

Carol flinches at Brand's words in her ear.

"Starting sooner the better would be good."

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