Of Odin Blood and Phoenix Force

October 18, 2018:

Atli Wodendottir crashes her space shark in the X-Men's pool. Again. Jean Grey fixes everything, and finds herself recruited on a mission to save the universe.


NPCs: Slowjaw the Space Shark

Mentions: Polaris, Thor, Loki, Rocket

Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

"You know what I miss about my home, Slowjaw?"

Slowjaw does not answer, because of course, Slowjaw is a space shark. More than that, he is an old space shark. Carefully plucked from among those who might soon fling themselves into stars because they had eaten their fill of the universe, Slowjaw would not converse with Atli even if he could.

He is not fond of children, and them being on his space-lawn, you see.

"I miss Grandfather's stories. I can't very well ask Thor to tell me now, because they're all about snakes and how beautiful they are. He isn't out of that phase yet, you see. I.. Slowjaw? Are you listening? Did you set fire to one of those noisy white birds again with your nose-lasers? I smell smoke."

Atli Wodendottir, Girl of Thunder, finally sits up from her lounging position on the space shark, her head having been nestled against it's beat up and dented dorsal fin as if it were a pillow. Scrunching her brows, she looks towards the forward end of the beast, only to see what must be some sort of demon or another, who happened to be flying to close to the shark as it's anger over being talked to reach impossible levels.


Poor demon, he never stood a chance. Poor space shark, that demon was made of.. well. Psychogenic Demons probably are far more common on Limbo than one might imagine. The shark is immediately blazed.

"Slowjaw? Slowjaw!! You're headed right for the ground, foolish beast!! Pull up you stupid shar-"


From inside the mansion, it might be almost muted. It shouldn't be a surprise at this point, but the pool as once again acted as a landing zone for a space shark carrying Atli Wodendottir. The only difference is, this time they aren't fighting. Most of the water leaves the pool. The space shark drools into what's left of it, leaving Atli to haul herself, sopping wet and disgruntled, up onto the cracked edge of it.

"Verily, more than all the stories in the whole universe, or songs that might be one day sung of my deeds, I want my goat back."


It might be muted, but Jean Grey knows immediately what that sound is. She sits bolt upright in her chair, her head swiveling so she can glare out the window behind her.

A moment later, a most singular thing happens around the Girl of Thunder. All the displaced water suddenly jumps right back into the air, droplets streaming upwards to re-coalesce together into a spinning ball that grows steadily overhead. Whatever power is moving the liquid is visible as a guiding twine of energy, the fiery aspect of it forming a rather interesting contrast with the pool water.

That energy sparks and flares into something wider. It spreads like the fire it resembles. For a few moments, the entire pool is awash in what appears to be flames. Incidentally, this includes Atli and shark, though neither experience anything other than a vaguely warm sensation.

The damage suddenly repairs itself as that wash of fiery telekinetic power flickers over it, rearranging the concrete back into its proper shape, shoving plumbing back into place, and smoothing away the impact crater.

The last touch? That entire ball of water abruptly falling straight back down into the pool, with a colossal splash as its shape is released. The psionic flames gutter and die out.

The woman responsible is finally close enough to see by the point this happens, walking to the pool's edge through the lingering mist in the air. Her arms fold as she regards Atli. "Miss," she says, "we need to discuss why you keep repeatedly appearing in our pool."


Once upon a time, in a future that no longer exists, or rather, somewhere in another timeway that ALSO no longer exists, Thor made the sky rain fire. That day, Atli Wodendottir looked up in awe and knew exactly what she wanted to be when she grew up. Here and now, watching the water leech from every bit of her, pulling her cape and vester up and away, and making her hair billow in the seething song of Jean's telekinetic mastery, she looks very much the same.

Such a resplendent display tells a story of fire and water reflected in the face of a god, child-like in wonder and awe, and she thinks to reach out and touch it, even as that fire leaps from her skin to join the water in mid-air.

Even when it crashes, she barely winces away, and Slowjaw makes a bellow that must be acceptance of all that lovely water washing over his old skin.


Atli actually leaps into the air, fist to the sky. It is only then that Jean's words sink into her overwhelmed mind. Whirling about, her long, newly Phoenix-dried hair whipping behind her, she is struck dumbfounded in the aftermath of such grandeur. But she does know one thing. She can't be seen this way by someone who commands such raw power! Fingers straighten her vester and adjust her cloak, she even reaches up to straighten her hair, which is pointless, because one assumes a Jean-powered hair cleaning leaves it perfect.

"Yes. Yes indeed, I have, it is a difficult tale to explain. Last I was here, the Princess of Green Melanins took such exception but , you see, the shark forced the issue. This time it was also the shark's fault! While he and I are allies, he seems to have eaten a demon he shouldn't have and.." Somewhere along the way she reaches out to do that casual lean thing against the diving tower, and half-misses half-grabs the railing to make herself an utterly awkward mess. Withdrawing her arms, she beams a smile at Jean and crosses are arms, utterly convinced she has played it cool. "But of course I would pay any recompence you might require, if you had not already used your wonderful fire magic to fix everything. Speaking of which, do you smell that?" She scrunches her face just a little, still smiling as she tilts her head up. "It reminds me of untold power, warm feathers, and unbridled rage. A most alluring combination!"


Some of Jean's exasperation evaporates at the expression of pure joy and awe from Atli. Her expression is a little softer by the time the Asgardian finishes making herself presentable, which is a bit pointless, as Jean's power-washing did indeed leave Atli's hair looking pretty great.

What with the strain of trying to figure out what has befallen New York, looking after the refugees which have flowed into the Institute over the past few weeks, and meanwhile trying to maintain a stable environment for the children still treading through the fall semester despite all the chaos… Jean has been run a little ragged. Such simple things as a young woman's wonder and enthusiasm are a bit of a balm on the soul.

Nonetheless, there is a faint aspect of sternness remaining in the features of the school's headmistress. Her head cants at Atli's explanation — such as it is. "The… ah. You mean Lorna." Jean scrubs a hand over her face. "Look, recompense really isn't necessary, but I must caution you to take more care where you steer your shark." Things Jean never thought she would be saying. "There are children trying to study here, and refugees, and neither are done any favors by too much excitement."

The mention of warm feathers, however, freezes Jean's expression on her face. Does she smell it?

"No," she says. "Not at all. Now, was there somewhere in particular you were going, Miss…?"


As Jean talks, Atli moves closer, close enough to be conversational. Maybe just a little closer than that. It's enough to make their height difference more than noticeable, and as Jean talks about the refugees and the children studying, Atli looks up and over at the mansion, deciding immediately that this must be a most noble soul. Really, she should expect nothing else from this place, given how it was described to her by Lorna.

"Hmm, well. If it is respite the people of this grand fortress require, you are almost certainly correct, for when the Goddess of Thunder is around, few people can claim to sleep. For.. many reason. Like the thunder, and also other reasons. In any case, it is very good to meet you, Miss Firemind. I am Atli Wodendottir, Grandaughter of King Thor, and I'm headed wherever adventure takes me. Because that's what heroes do." Her fingerguns will never help her case, but she saw it on TV once, Rocket seemed to like it, and now she has claimed this action as one of grand poise.

"Tonight I'm hoping it'll take me to the skyways, where you might come with me and teach me how to wrangle this shark with your wonderful power. Miss…?" Again she squints at Jean, her smile fading just a little, even as she fishes for her name. "Are you certain you do not smell that? By Odin's good eye, it is maddening to behold. As if I can feel the fires of creation have eaten a cinnamon twist and swirl in this very mist."

Atli holds out her hand to catch the mist. Of course, it's already gone. No, the spark of Odin-force in her blood feels something else entirely.


Jean does not seem troubled by Atli's proximity. Her presence is a sea of calm, seeming to grow warmer and more enfolding the closer Atlit comes. The redhead's demeanor certainly befits someone who claims to look after the welfare of children and refugees: motherly, stable, giving.

Except for that persistent smell Atli keeps picking up. That spark of something within Jean, or perhaps surrounding Jean — or both. Beneath the outward placidity is a searing and familiar generative fire, a deep hunger that has no beginning or end, a cyclic ouroboros that consumes itself and cries for more.

Or the echo of one, at least. It is not here now — but it is never far, either.

Miss Firemind. Jean blinks slowly. "My name is Jean Grey," she corrects, though she cannot suppress the smile at the fingerguns. This is probably just encouragement for Atli, honestly, to keep fingergunning. The smile turns a shade wry. "And I am pleased to finally make your acquaintance, Atli Pool-Destroyer." She squints. "I was not aware Thor had granddaughters."

She frowns. "I'm afraid any shark wrangling will have to wait, however. I've got quite a lot of paperwork to get through tonight and a lot of people here to look after…"

Are you certain you do not smell that?

Jean looks uncomfortable. "It may be me. I have a certain relationship with fire." She does not seem open to discussion.


Odin-blooded, Thor-blooded, and Woden-blooded, Atli is a thrice damned moth to the flame, even if it might be an echo of embers from long ago. And this is not even to mention the influence of her Aunt Loki, which can't be helping anything at all. Worse still, is that encouraging smile, one that lights a spark in the Goddess of Thunder's eyes that isn't likely to be dissuaded by paperwork.

Her expression scrunches in that still-smiling, somewhat incredulous way that's a hereditary trait to be certain, her head tilting back and forth just a little. "Do you though?" Oh, she actually does. She winces when she says it. "What I mean to say, Lady Grey, is that we can all use a brief reprieve from such vaunted heroism as you engage in every da… wait. Hel's Bells!"

Atli's jaw goes slack. Her eyes, wide.

"Lady Grey! A name most familiar, from my grandfather's tales of old!! You DO have the fires of creation!! I knew I smelled cosmic poultry and unbridled femininity!" If Jean thought she saw awe before, she didn't know what was coming. Almost giddy, and with thunderclouds roiling far away at her outburst of emotion, she throws up both her hands and and jumps up and down.

Just once.

"It is fate that has guided me here this day, not simply some stupid shark! Lady Grey, Wielder of Power Untold, all of creation, the whole of the universe may need you. You see, we have a bit of a problem. Gorr the God Butcher has returned." A beat. "For the first time. He will stop and nothing to kill all the Gods in all the universe, and anything that smells like one. Which, I'm sortof sorry to say, you smell like the most God. Not that it doesn't smell amazing, mind."

Her double thumbs up is twice as absurd as her fingerguns.


Jean is still working her way through processing 'Lady Grey' when Atli herself finally realizes the import of the name 'Jean Grey.'

Some people beam with pride at recognition. Some take it in stride. Jean Grey, in contrast, winces a little to be recognized. Especially in this context. She's never been called cosmic poultry before — that she remembers — but most people who have this reaction to her have one thing in common. One reason they esteem the name Jean Grey as they would a hero, a celebrity… or a goddess. "Ah," says Jean, awkward, with entirely too much familiarity with this subject: "You must be from a future."

Her eyes open a little wider as Atli illustrates that the world — no, all creation! — may need her. For there is a small problem: Gorr the God Butcher has returned, and he is intent to kill all the Gods of the universe. And sorry to say, Jean smells like the most God —

The gentle, welcoming expression of Jean Grey does not… change, per se. But her head tilts forward, just a bit, and her eyes reflect with a certain emptiness at this new angle. For a beat, it is not purely Jean in residence. "I am not a god," she says. "I'm taking a break. Too many universes… all crying."

A slow few moments swirl past, the woman lost in some long thought.

Then Jean's head lifts again, and her eyes are clear and kind, and only human. "But you say he is coming here? He threatens this world?" Her gaze turns to the refugees in the distance — to the serene shape of the Institute. Innocents, all. "Our universe?"


"Well, yes, actually. Quite a far bit into the future but-" It does not go unnoticed, the way part of Jean Grey cedes to something else, and her words carry the hallow cast of someone so very tired. It warrants some break, too, from the unending, full force absurdity that is Atli Wodendottir. Quiet syncs with Jean's moment of consideration, and rejuvenation to her wholly human self.

It is not until she follows Jean's gaze to the refugees that other feelings wash over her, those that should be more ever-present in her mind. But she is still a young god. Still learning what it really means to be a hero. Often she waits for a look from some man or woman, some sign of some greater meaning in their eyes. Atli had waited for it too, tonight. She simply did not expect it to be this look, stretched out to those who need them the most.

In but a glance, Jean shows Atli what it means to be a better god, and Atli reaches forward to curl her hands over her new friend's shoulders with all but the most godly of reassuring squeezes.

"Not if we go find him first, and smite him with all the power creation gave us. Not if we stand before him, unyielding until the heavens fail and the stars fall from the sky! I swear to you by Odin's beard, by Thor's hammer, and by my own goat, I will not let these mortals come to harm while I still draw breath. You see, I'm putting together a bit of a team. All the gods who stand for Midgard, and some regular mortals who just happen to be the greatest heroes I've ever known. Will you join us, Lady Grey, and help save the whole damned universe?"

Her smile grows from the depths of that inspiration, and her hands slip away, but she offers one before her, as if she might want to arm wrestle her. This is simply the Asgardian way of offering a handshake, to make a vow to stand beside one another and battle to the bitter end.


The Phoenix is destruction — a withering truth beyond all biases and petty human moralities. But it is also life and love, light and protection. Possessed of its fires, Jean has both destroyed and sheltered innocents. People have lived and died, both, in the shadow of its wings.

It is clear which aspect she bends towards now, when her eyes turn to the people who even now seek refuge at the Institute. They have already suffered so much. And now this? Jean's heart breaks with compassion. She can feel their pain. She can feel their fear.

No more, she thinks. No more of it.

That psychic awareness turns towards Atli. The young goddess brims with earnestness, but the slightest brush of Jean's mind nonetheless tastes for the truth of her words, to verify all that she says is true. Jean must be satisfied with what she sees, because after a moment she nods to herself, and she does not draw back or push away Atli's touch.

Something in her pangs to potentially leave these people. To leave her children. But they will be well-cared for here, and someone must face this new threat before it overtakes the world, while so many are distracted struggling against the demonic threat. What good to save New York, if this God-Butcher sweeps the world away a moment later?

She reaches forward, clasping that offered hand. "To protect all the lives in that universe," she says, "I will."


"It is settled then." Atli announces, finally letting go of Jean's hand after an awkward moment of, well, you know. Basking in Phoenix power. It would be unheroic to fan herself, and so she does not. She simply sweeps an arm towards her shark, which is looking quite a bit better now that it has passed the demon. Sssssssssssoooorrry to whoever has to clean the pool next.

"We shall storm the gates of eternity, wherever they may be. Don't worry, we do have a plan. You see, it's quite complex, but also quite simple."

She gives a whistle, and the shark begrudgingly rises from the waters to glide onto the ground beside them both, huffing it's displeasure that it is no longer allowed to meander in Phoenix cleansed waters.. Straddling the great beast, Atli looks back over her shoulder at Jean, her grin infectious in it's authenticity, and bountiful in it's full spirit. She means every word. "We're going to Fix Everything."

Certainly, it'll work out just fine this time.

"I'll be by within a fortnight to retrieve you, Lady Grey. In the meantime, I shall bring bounty for these people, who need it most. Then, to Gorr's face, and many punchings!"

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