1963-07-31 - A Game of Two Halves
Summary: With Muspelheim at the gates, two brothers have a tete-a-tete with a few friends.
Related: Columbia: Hell On Earth
Theme Song: Pink Floyd - Dogs of War
rogue thor crystal louis 

Yesterday the barrier between realms had been rent asunder by the aggression of creatures, Giants, seeking to gain access to the realm of Earth. They were successful, emerging from a portal of fire and proclaiming their demands to the individuals that were there to greet them. Yet their efforts did not prove fruitful. They were confronted by a young Inhuman and then in turn by two Asgardians, both of which stood and accepted the delegation from Muspelheim. The fire creatures then departed. Words were shared between the individuals who had been there, and word had been sent out at the beginning of the crisis. Asgard was aware, Heimdall's all-seeing eyes having turned upon the realm of Midgard and watching. And a message was sent to the Thunderer, Thor Son of Odin. It was enough to let them know he was planning to investigate and once he discovered that Central Park would need his attention… he let them know that is where he would be.

Yet now it was a day past. The other Odinson was standing amongst the twin lake in Central Park, upon that slender strip of land that wends its way through the middle and provides a bridge of sorts over several of the paths for those seeking a leisurely walk through the greenergy of the park. Yet it was here that Loki had found another weakness in the barrier between realms and so even now he stands sentinel at a point upon the lines of power, his hands extended to his sides and an interplay of energy flickering between them. Beside him is a young woman whom he addresses sidelong, "If something occurs you are to flee. I do not say this in an effort to protect you, I say this to you as I most likely will be fleeing as well and I won't have time to stop and protect you." His lip twitches.

Normally to observers the magical energy would be amazing to behold, but for some reason they will see nothing more than an indigent man trying to sleep off a tough evening of booze… unless they move closer or are the individuals he has informed of his actions.


To most of the denizens of Xavier's Institute, Crystal is just another mutant. Older, with a past she doesn't share much about, but there's been nothing to suggest that there is even a non-mutant option. She is, however, remarkably in control of her abilities compared to most of the students still learning to deal with theirs.

The previous encounter with the giants actually left her a little bit bruised, an unusual situation for the young Inhuman woman. One which has left her a bit piqued, and thus in no state of mind to remain at the institute. Instead, she's come to the park to investigate just what is being done about this would-be invasion.

Rain clouds form in the distance, as as the Thunderer gets closer, so do those clouds. They hold off the rain, however, but it's more by chance than by design. Thor is in no mood, though his concern isn't for what folly his brother might have unleashed, no. That's been settled and buried as far as the elder brother is concerned. This… his world is threatened, and it's by his presence that those of Muspelheim had found their way.

"Brother." Thor strides in great steps seemingly covering ground at a greater pace than most. "Speak to me of—" Beat.

They're not alone.


The tall young woman with hair like a bloody sunset infused by Muspelheim's endless magma glow inclines her head to the other child of Odin. At a distance she pays no more heed to warning than that, though the razor-thin dip of her firm chin assents to the request. "Responsibility to my welfare is foremost mine," she agrees, the softened volume assuring words will not pass.

Among the myriad individuals spattered through the Nine Realms and other planes, she may appear an unlikely candidate to bring to any sort of parlay involving the denizens ill-disposed towards Asgard's rulers. Thor may remember her upon coming to her rescue through a succession of stalled traffic, and receiving a kenning by way of greeting. Scarlett acknowledges him with a deeper dip of her head, expression a fairly calm mirror. As far as formality goes, Scarlett manages in a long hunter-green cloak trimmed in white and, notably, leather gloves buckled in a gauntlet from elbow to knuckle. In Central Park she makes for an unusual addition, given the average summer day beckons for capri pants and a light shirt, but the heat hardly bothers her. When rain threatens to tumble from the bruised sky, she raises her hood over her flaming tresses, casting her face largely into shadow.

Even Odin had his shrouded witness for the fates in the Voluspa. The role Scarlett accepts for herself doesn't give much hint to her capacities, something she intends to keep that way.


At Thor's arrival, Loki lowers his hands and the eldritch energy fades. He rounds on the larger man and gives a nod, "Thunderer." His lip curls a bit, sardonic as he steps away from the faint shimmering that was there in the air at the apex of that bridge they stand on over the walkway. It's right there, but a foot out over the edge so to reach it one would have to jump off the bridge as it were.

Looking past the other Asgardian, his gaze rests upon Crystal and he lifts a hand towards her to signal it is safe to approach if she was having a moment of hesitation. Once that's done he gestures towards Rogue beside him. "This is Scarlett. A child of the atom here in Midgard."

A look is spared for her, but then he looks back to his brother. "I find we are without information. She may be crucial in gaining some."

A step back, "Scarlett of Xavier's, this is Thor Odinson, my brother and Prince of Asgard." He looks back and cocks an eyebrow, "Shall I relate what has passed or is there aught further you would know?"


The arrival of another does give Crystal a moment of pause, as does recognizing Scarlett. She quirks a brow, but at Loki's invitation steps forward again. Of all of them, she may be the most likely to pass for normal in a full, mid calf skirt in green and pink flowered cotton with a simple yellow blouse on top.

"We've met," she smiles faintly to Scarlett at Loki's introduction. "Though I hadn't realized you had friends in such unusual places." Catching Thor's introduction, she dips her chin to the prince, knees flexing in a slight curtsey. It isn't deep, but it is a gesture of respect, royalty to royalty. "Why here?" she asks Loki, extending a hand slightly as she extends her senses into the elements around them, searching for a reason.


To look at it, Thor can catch the hint of a shimmering, once he looks to it. His jaw shifts as he pulls his attention away, and blue eyes land upon this 'Scarlett' first. "We've met." He offers a smile in the recognition and he nods to the woman. "Keeping your path from the streets, then?"

It's Crystal's response, however, that really brings Thor's attention around. He can recognize the etiquette, the propriety, and he inclines his head and extends his hand at the curtsey so as to aid her when she does rise. "My Lady."

The brief 'spell' broken, Thor looks back to his brother, and his voice is low. "Tell me what they said, brother. What it is that will need to be done should be within their words. You know that as well as I."


Deathly silence maintained from the dark-clad young woman should not be mistaken as rude. She understands at least the mortal rules of propriety against a profoundly odd worldview, and Scarlett avoids interruption by largely being resigned to comfortable silence in the background. Her gaze skims along the ground and absorbs as much as it might, the fullness of her focus given over to observation since she no longer relies fully upon the other great distraction of her life. Dressed as she is, there's no need to fear of someone inadvertently brushing up against her with disastrous results.

Crystal receives a warm smile all the same, the glint of her firebright eyes measured. "I cherish the esteemed company I have, yourself included." Warmth gilds her voice, then she goes silent anew. This isn't about introductions.


"And this is Crystalia, of the Inhumans." Loki gestures towards her with one hand. He's not garbed as he was when he stood against the giants. Instead he could pass for a mortal rather easily with his black suit and his green tie. He steps to the side so he can see the three others, it puts the rift at his back but he seems comfortable with that for now.

"What has passed is thus." He looks between them but then shifts his attention primarily to Thor. "The Fire Giants emerged from a corridor that linked Muspelheim to Limbo and from Limbo to Midgard. Crystalia confronted them and she stood strong against them. I realized what had occurred and must to her aide."

Loki frowns, arms folding over his chest as his brow furrows. "They spoke of their demands, and it was for your capture they wished, Mighty Thor." He gives the man a stern look as if to say, 'what did you do?' but he presses on. "They stated their demands, a fortnight's time and we must produce you for you to be taken and set to Surtur's mines. Despite how amusing that might be, I think that is a resolution we should best avoid."

He then turns and motions to the rift, "They were able to circumvent the bindings and defense of Asgard, as well as avoid the shattering of what treaties they hold with the All Father. They stepped through a corridor not from Muspelheim to Asgard, but from Muspelheim to a land known as Limbo and in turn to Midgard."

At that his hands open, as if waving off all of this, "If their demands are not met they proclaim it shall be war with the Earth realm."

"Personally, I would prefer to avoid an interdimensional war," Crystal opines, lowering her hand and crossing her arms loosely over her chest. "But we have never cared for kowtowing to the demands of those who would make threats. Humanity," she notes, looking between Loki and Thor, "Is in no place to be dealing with threats from other worlds or other dimensions. There is too much going on with their own nations, with their own people."


Thor handles the introductions easily, and he looks out over that connection bridge, his arms lifting to cross before him as well in echo of his brother's gesture. "Limbo," he says finally, and he looks to Loki, brows rising. "I am unfamiliar with such a thing. What is it? A new path that you've discovered? You've always known how to leave without being seen…" It's not a time to tease his little brother, but he can't help getting a dig in. "You will have to tell me this secret at the least."

Though now, Thor's expression grows sober once again, and he sounds serious. "I cannot allow Earth to be a battleground, but neither will I return home to fight in our Realm." That's the adknoweldgement at least of Crystal's words.

"What about in this Limbo? We will meet and we will send them away."


"Borders are scratched upon the hearts of men by strangers with a harsh, alien pen, and when the borders bleed we watch with dread, as lines of ink across the map turn red." The distinct meter to Scarlett's words holds a whisper of poetry, a sort of grim solemnity for an occasion conjecturing blood and invasion. Her fingers skim up the length of her forearm to test one of the slim buckles binding leather across the cloth.

She regards the three royals in their various capacities, nodding slowly to Crystal's statement. Naturally as the one resident almost-human, her sentiments can be guessed. "Very little would stop them finding a pretext to fight anywhere." Calm in the storm, her stillness defines her, basking in the calm of the park. "Here happens to be serve them conveniently, and if I were to guess, a goad to rouse your anger."


Loki glances at Rogue and maintains that slightly wry smile he holds, but he turns back to Thor and Crystal to address them as much as her. "Limbo is a pocket dimension it seems, the only texts I've found is that it was a place of demonic forces ruled by like. Yet now it seems to be ruled by a human girl named Illyana. It may be a facade but I could discern no deception, though perhaps with more time I may be more sure."

With that said he rests his hand upon the railing that separates them from the small shimmer in the air. "I informed her, however, that Asgard would be most grateful if she did not grant them passage. As well as informed her that matters could progress ill should she in turn allow them their march."

Hands spreading to the sides, Loki grimaces. "So we have several courses of action here, brother. I know how I would proceed, but as you are the main individual who will suffer should it follow their current trend… I felt you should have a hand as well." His lip curls a touch wider.


"If taking the fight elsewhere in the universe is not an option, then perhaps we might consider meeting them in a…less-populated part of the world," Crystal suggests, looking around the park. "There are many people who could have the power to stop these giants, in sufficient number. But this would not be the place for it."


"And for that, I thank you, brother," Thor returns gamely, though it does hold something of a lighter tone. "I hope you didn't promise her anything beyond Asgard's gratefulness. Even that, you'd need a horse to pull anything of a 'thank you' from Father."

Rogue's commentary gets a quirked head of confusion, and he looks back to his brother before he's once again studying Scarlett. Thankfully, she speaks with some semblance of reason that he can discern, and Thor nods. "If they are after me, then it stands to reason they will track me. Nothing has been said of 'if we do not take him', and such. So, it then depends upon where I wish to make my stand."

Thor looks back to his brother now, turning his back on that dim bridge, a smile lighting upon his face. "You will fight this battle with me, Loki? The two of us.. and perhaps I can find where Sif is, at the very least. Assuming she has forgiven you all these years."

Limbo.. "Can she give us leave, then, to her world? I would rather not fight upon the grounds of Midgard, and most decidedly not on Asgard. I will not go to Muspelheim."

A nod is given to Crystal, and Thor echoes the sentiments. "The Lady is correct in that a less populated area is desirable if the battle arrives here. But," Now, however, the Crown Prince looks to the Princess, "Are there? I know the mortals have grown, and progressed. Are they at strength that some may answer a call to battle?"


Scarlett speaks quietly, a question lingering upon the air. "Is there anywhere such they would be at a disadvantage? In the Arctic islands, a high elevation, over the ocean?" It's to the latter a faint crescent of a smile touches her lips again, speculation brought forth in a rather simple explanation. "Doubtful they would be as effective dumped midocean in the Furious Fifties or Screaming Sixties, given the far distance to land and the ferocious waves whipped up by storms in the vicinity. It is so remote you would be unlikely to find any observers to what happened, and any news reports could be written off as some kind of weapons test or mariner's tale." In short, a lie.

"Some of us, your highness, are better equipped to fight than others. There's a great risk in trying to unite human forces, but reward if it plays out." A glance follows to Louis, and her mere hesitation lingers only an instant. "Some will seek a political advantage from this. If they thought they could weaponize a giant, or make an alliance with it to secure their borders and interests, they would. Call it an alien invasion in the right places, however, and you might find us closing ranks. Humanity is very good at removing its enemies without care for the consequences. Regardless of how it happens, I'm willing to stand with you and seek aid if you wish it."


A shake of his head is given though his smile is easily offered as he tells Thor what was offered to Illyana, "Gratitude, and perhaps a touch of knowledge should it be required in the future. I presented myself to her as an individual who would perhaps best be made a friend of." As he says that he looks towards Crystal and gives a nod. "Ideally I would prefer if no battle comes about. That is my current goal at the least."

Turning back to Thor he smiles crookedly, "We have two weeks, Thunderer. I do not plan to waste that time, though it would be wise for you to prepare a stand against their forces should my efforts fail, gather those you might feel would be of aid." He looks towards Rogue and cocks an eyebrow, then shifts his attention back to his brother. "The Lady Scarlett holds an ability that may give us better information upon which to act. I intend to capture a giant and extract what can be gained from him. Though it will need to be one of prominence."

He looks between the others, "As Scarlett has said, mankind could twist this ill. I feel we should be able to handle this matter between ourselves. In some ways it may be best to let the majority of mankind sleep in ignorance while the worlds roil beneath them. Crystalia." Those green eyes shift to her, "You are not bound to this matter, none here would fault you if you chose to withdraw yourself from this. If you yet wish to make this fight your own, then assist the Odinson in his preparations."

Finally he stops and looks between them. "I will continue my study here, then enact my plans. Are we all decided on this course of action for now?" He looks between them for agreement, and if there are no objections then he nods. "We will meet back here in a day's time to confer. Off then."

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