1963-08-18 - The Red Badge of Courage
Summary: In which the underestimated achieves great things and there's not much to laugh about.
Related: Keep The Home Fires Burning
Theme Song: None
amora thor rogue louis 

A sanguine smile pulled at her lips, a flash of white teeth bared as she looked between the intruders to the throne room. Still, a white hand stretched out in welcome, held out most pointedly toward the eldest and golden Prince. "You should join me up here, my beloved Prince. There is room enough for two. Besides, what good is there a victory without someone to share it with..?" She fluttered her eyelashes, her voice barely more than a purr that still carried throughout the room.

At a glance the fire in the center of the room remained the only illumination within the entire hall. Ghostly shadows played upon the floor and walls, all etched with the hands of thousands of years of tormented artisans and the alike. A smattering of mosiacs and runes and other dead and gone languages blanketed every available surface.

Eyes that were normally a deep verdant flickered paler in the firelight over toward the darker Prince, and his requests. A roll of shoulders donned in scarlet armor with blackened spikes in a faint mockery of a shrug. A laugh escaped her, echoing off the chamber walls. "Then you should come and lift this burden from my lap.."


Thor looks down and away, a chuckle playing, sounding deep in his chest. He looks up again as he approaches, brows rising, "Have you forgotten that which vexes you so already, Amora?" Though, perhaps it's not a good idea to make her mad, in hindsight. But since when has the blond Prince been quite as.. mentally adept as his brother? "I'm not seeking yet another throne."

He looks back at the other two before he twists around once again, addressing the sorceress. "Come down from there. There is a child that requires our aid, and I would like to have you at my side in her rescue."


In the shifting balefire glow of the room, Scarlett's stillness remains a constant. Her elongated silhouette alights upon the wall to the copper-infused illuminating the vast and lengthy hall, but resistant to warping and cavorting in a joyous dance. Slim fingers entwined among one another present nothing but a diplomatic approach. The upright brushstroke of her carriage yields not and at once is disposed towards a measure of graceful accord for the moment's gravity. Both men stand before her, separated by a shade, she the gift-bearer and the witness.

"As was said, we should come, and we have," the mortal speaks in a soft tone vaguely evoking the native cadences of Muspelheim. It must sound rather odd upon her lilting soprano, softening the inherently sibilant cast.

A faint nod granted Thor and Loki could mean anything, though she yet gazes off to the ancient friezes as though they might hold some inner secret she can decipher. How, there's the rub.


"Thor, Scarlett." Loki's tone is sharp, his eyes distanced as he steps forwards, the silvered blade upon his back is drawn and wreathed in faint wisps of frost with ice clinging to its length. He takes a step forwards up a step and closer to Amora to stand farthest to the right with Thor beside him. A gauntleted hand lifts, faint eldritch energy flickering to life over the fingertips and causing a /flash/ of brightness that coalesces into a gleam that pushes those shadows back.

From the four corners of the room those will'o'wisps he had released earlier rush back towards him, one petering out and disappearing with a quiet echoing shriek that signals its passing from existence to not. The other three launch back and remerge with Loki, causing his brow to furrow.

"That is not, Amora." And as he says this his features take on a look of concentration. The sword draws back, and his left hand curls around the guard as he focuses his attention upon it. For those savvy to the magical flow of such worlds as this, they will feel him gathering… gathering.

"I must not be disturbed." He says this matter-of-factly… as if it were that easy.


A 'tsking' sound could be heard at Thor's denial of a throne, but the smile remained painted upon her features as he approached and she shifted her grip on the sleeping child on her lap. She waved her hand out, magic lacing her tone this time as she dipped forward with a sultry fire in her gaze. "Come and help me down then? The child you seek is here.." Her voice dripping with suggestion, not the will to supress Thor's mind, but to coax, to suggest that everything would be so much better if he just came to help her.

Then Loki's words were ripping 'Amora's attention toward him, a high pitched hiss escaping a snarl of lips pulled back. An echoing thump of energy slammed down over the room, invisible and crushing with all the heat of the realm behind it with a sorching anger. Yet no words fell from her lips. Instead, a booming voice, aimed only at the Trickster held in offer to him alone.

"Why not side with me, Loki of Asgard? Put away your magicks and come join me. With Surtur's daughter in hand and the Enchantress we might steal the realm and the others out from those that would rule above us…" Was a hissed and gutteral mental voice projected at Loki.


Loki's words, 'That is not Amora' gains Thor's attention. He looks back at his brother, his head quirking, his expression momentarily confused. It dawns on him, however, in that 'aaaaaah' sort of way, and he rolls his head back and he looks back at 'Amora'. The next words, 'I must not be disturbed' gains more of his attention. He knows those words. And what he must do.

Now, Thor moves forward in answer to the suggestion. It's not something he is against, therefore, the suggestion is quite easily heeded. "Come—"

Then, however, the Crown Prince halts as she speaks to Loki. No.. not good.

"Who-ever you are," Thor's voice booms in the hall now, demanding to be heard, "Do not play games. Give us the child, and you are free to rule this realm." Uh huh… but it sounds good, right?


The bittersweet cadence of a smile alights upon Scarlett's lips. Another discreet adjustment beneath her forearms surrenders the hold of a buckle upon the twisted loop, freeing another inch of armour proven useless in its service.

"Such a pity to come all this way and not partake of the fair hospitality provided unto us. I wish to cause you no offense by seeming ungrateful for such a grand display," replies the redhead, brushing a step closer to the thunder god. Noblesse oblige performed in a street may see its repayment tendered in gratitude now. Or, if push comes to shove, not much is going to shove him aside carelessly to reach her. Thor can read it however he likes.

Her words are directed to Amora enthroned, gaze yet averted though the somnolence of her long-lashed gaze could well be mistaken as tumbling for the heady wiles of the famed Enchantress. However not, when she is but a humbled soul naked 'ere the shining splendours of a throne?

"Forgive me that I should be fully unaware of your custom. May I be graced by a glimpse of the child, o honoured sun among the battle-gods, glory crowned among the eldjotnar?" Those kennings slip with an ease of hard, cold study. "Or would you bid us away to speak of the tidings, and fall the joy of Frigga hard upon such memories?"

Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies…


"You think I would choose to rule this land?" Loki's voice is heard again, though he maintains his grip upon that sword as the power coalesces into a more focused beam of light that serves to cast Amora in a greenish glow. Almost like a spotlight directed upon the throne, yet that light is sickly, slithering and grasping at the very edges of the flaming woman's facade. His lip twists into a roguish and wry smile as he feels the energy come together. "Whomever you are within Amora Incantare, you underestimate me rather well."

It's then that a wave of energy lashes out from him and follows along that conduit created between the two beings, lashing out at Amora and trying to shake that creature free of her form. It causes the God of Mischief to scowl, his features tightening as he snaps rudely, "To rule Muspelheim? Some backwater realm."

His features curl into a sneer, "I'd sooner take the throne of Detroit."


At Thor's approach and Rogue's sweet nothings, a roar or irritation burned from 'Amora's lips. Flames flew up around the room's edges and a handful of eldjotnar came crashing in with all the force of their master's rage. Pillars crumbled and twisted as fire lit weapons and flaming axes grounds toward the Thunderer and Rogue without pause. Blacken basalt rock smashed into the floor, shaking the entire structure further with a stomach turning screech of iron as walls and turrets fell.

The thing that was Amora screamed at the magic lashed at it, and the image of her form caught on fire as she threw back blasts of fire toward the Trickster God. The magic faltered, as his spell hit home, ripping at the fell creature that had so entangled itself with her person. Her image blurred as if there were doubles, a multitude of screams echoing in the chamber.



What… What? Mother, what? All Thor really heard was Frigga's name, and something.. something about maybe disappointing her? He's not sure what, but with Scarlett moving up towards him, he's got a person now close to protect, in his mind at the very least. (Who brings a mortal to things like this? Oh.. yeah. Loki.)

Now, Thor is a little more tense, and his hammer comes bidden to his hand. He looks as if he's had just about enough of it all, and he takes another purposeful stride forward. He can hear Loki's words behind him, trusting his brother to be right… but… Detroit?


No matter! Flames burn up, and Thor is there, ready to fan them back and away from Rogue, from Loki, keeping them from the pair. He strikes out at the weapons, throwing Mjolnir to keep that which comes at them at good distance. It's like a magical, hammer-shaped yo-yo, as the relic returns to his hand, and he can stride forward again, defending, blocking that which comes at them. One, two may pass.. burning a path against a shoulder, a scorch of the red cape.

"Give her up!"


And who said words never failed to accomplish anything in war? Precipitating a distraction works beautifully.

Basalt tumbles down in treacherous chunks and stinging grains, the castle riveted to its foundations by a rocking force. Who indeed brings a mortal to this?

Leather gauntlets hit the ground, shaken free in a double snap of Scarlett's wrists. They'll good as blow away in the hissing rush of Mjolnir's passage around the pair.

She gives Thor a pointed look and calls in English, "Can you hold open a path to her?" The implicit ask — don't hit her with that hammer — dare not reach her lips but stands there all the same. The space between the question and the moment she launches airborne is perhaps two seconds. No more. She hurtles off to meet one of those larger stones dislodged from the ceiling, easily a score beyond her height, and flings it in both hands at the throne itself.

Then it's rather hard to see where the girl is, her aerial ballet a thing of sublime poetry in motion and an attestation of delirious violence. All serves a purpose: get her closer to 'Amora' from an unexpected angle and wait for an opening in a spell she can just sense.


"At the ready!" Loki's voice lashes the air even as the magic sears between them and weapons fly. There is flame and power and spite evident in the vicious lashings between the Enchantress and the Trickster. Loki brings the sword around his head as he extends his open hand forwards. He whirls the weapon around, curiously akin to when Thor whips Mjolnir about in preparation for smiting the enemy. It's as if the magic were a great thread to be woven and then he lashes it forward, "I say thee away, foul creature! The Might of Asgard shall not fail! Avaunt!"

And at the last word the blade slashes forward and like the crackle of a whip energy roils across the distance to slash wickedly towards Amora's form, seeking to rend the creature from within and to shock it loose with an anger that is rarely seen upon the features of the green-clad god.


The fire giants tremble in awe and perhaps fear as several of their number are struck down by the legendary weapon of the Thunderer, and yet press on, attempting to batter him down with sheer numbers and might. Even as their leader roars out orders for the intruder's death. 'Amora's hands curl and she flings them outwards flames licking up the remains of the fortress and pulling its crumbling walls further down into ash and rubble. The creature stamps and roars, a last ditch effort to shake the spell that ripped it from the Enchantress of Asgard.

Lava spurts as turrets of stone strike upwards at Loki from the ground in the last spell the creature casts from Amora's stolen form before its ripped free from her form with a shriek. The blonde's figure collapsing to the stone throne still as yet untouched beside the sleeping figure of Surtur's child.

The general of the fire giants wavers in the light, like a mirage on a dessert. All spirit and lacking true form as it roars in its gutteral language curses down upon the Asgardians. Unaware of the mortal that lurks unseen.


A path? Blue eyes look to Scarlett, and he's got that look that Loki will know so well. The love of battle burns deeply, a delight of a most basic of states. War. "I can—" though he looks back at his brother for a split second; Loki is a priority. That child, too, that is with this 'Amora' must be saved.

Thor cleaves a path, albeit a small one, with brute force in his swings as opposed to the more delicate styles as shown by Scarlett, and the Valkyrie-trained Prince in green.

"Ready!" is bellowed back; Thor doesn't even have to turn his head to be heard in the tumult.

And then there they are… fire giants. There is something truly to fight, and the Crown Prince does move into battle, Mjolnir cast from him again as it speeds towards one of those that would stand in his way of gaining the child. One.. and the hammer returns to him just as he pounces towards it, giving him the added push to land with a mightly strike on one more, as if pushing a peg into the ground.

It's the shrieking that is disconcerting, however, and out of the corner of his eye, Thor can see his brother's handiwork, and the grin rises. The blond calls out as he briefly defends, and now, he has his attention divided. Suddenly, it just got easier?

"You can't tell me you did not miss this!"


Nothing quite delicate about a girl colliding with rocks to outright punch them out of the way, when they refuse to alter their course from her flight trajectory. She cutt through the debris towards the throne, though she has a much less blase attitude about fire. It may have trouble burning her, but her clothes are quite the opposite.

Revolving silently midair, she plunges like a stone through the miasma on a hope and a soundless prayer crackling in her thoughts to the one power she holds any faith in. A moment to wait while Loki's sword cleaves a spell in two, unleashing a horror that stalks their thoughts, and the opportunity opened by Thor striding triumphant through the fray to join violence to simple joy for life.

She collectively holds her breath in anticipation, practically shaking with adrenaline and intuition.

Then she drops. In the space of a held breath: the mortal descends out of a hellacious night, her gentle arms reaching to scoop up the dreamers to her bosom. A strike of a cobra made in the guise of a benevolent mother, she seizes Amora around the midsection and the child around the torso, hugging them in that awful grip to herself. Then the crimson-tressed rogue flies directly back from the throne and the spirit as fast as she can without smashing through the walls, curling around the child and woman to protect them from her chaotic, swerving course.

"LOKI!" It's the quicksilver soul-cry, vigorous and a warning, that might suggest the Nornsdottir played her hand.


As one of the thin stalagmites surge up like a molten hedgehog's spines from the very earth beneath his feet, Loki's armor rings with the impact of several of them clanging off of that silvered breastplate, though one flashes crimson as it slips underneath. He winces, staggering back a half-step, expression sharpening to a scowl tinged with pain.

The silver blade whirls around and strikes the ground point-first even as those rocky tendrils shatter and decay almost instantly. He goes to one knee and answers Thor with a smirk as the green of his robes darken. He says sidelong, "I am of mixed opinion on it, brother." He winces again, one eye scrunching shut as he then slams his hand down upon the ground and immediately slashes a ragged tear in the reality around him.

Another portal surges to life, "To me!" He calls towards Rogue, and then gestures Thor through the portal. Their escape route is ready even as he steps halfway through it to maintain it with one hand lifted and resisting the urge of the dimension to reassert the fabric of its existence once again.


The heat of battle demands Thor's utmost attention once again, and upon his brother's response, the elder brother laughs. He hasn't yet noticed any insult given. Though, Amora is down. The giants? Well.. Thor can get a path towards the sorceress and the child even as Loki yells 'To me!'. He bellows out to Scarlett, "Go! Leave here!" in midswing as he makes his way, his gaze now on the fallen and the harmless. It's a little late, however, as the Midgardian takes hold of that whom he was going to save, and instead, then, guards her path back to his brother, and the portal, and safety.

Thor approaches, ready to speed through when he finally does catch that pained expression on his brother's face, and as he steps through, reaches to take hold of Loki to support his younger brother. "You are injured…"


Midgard sounds like a fine place to crash. Scarlett contends with her own limitations, entangled among one unconscious Asgardian far heavier than she looks, a magma-brindled infant, and all the clashing warriors struggling in a shadowy castle.

One supporting the fallen other. Blood. Danger. Fear widens the girl's eyes for a moment, a harrowed pause for an emotional detonation. She's only human. Another tumbling column breaks over her rounded shoulders as she flinches barely in time, protecting Enchantress and princess both, knocking her wide as she holds on for dear life to her precious quarry. Cloth shredded and skin peppered by the shrapnel loosened from the debris, she presents a suitably battle-worn sight when storming for the floor. An importune giant in the way might react faster if not for the looming golden distraction yonder, and that's all she can focus upon. Red cape, green robes—/home/.

"/Go/!" The glimmering fissure opens and for better or worse, the girl flies through on a leap of faith that kicks up a trail of dust, blood, and the burnt citrus scent of her skin. Should anyone have especially noble notions about holding the gate and standing about to talk.

Should her pace be too gelid, then throwing her treasures into their care to bring back into another realm will suffice.


Once the others are through, Thor, Rogue… the Enchantress and the child. Loki turns to look at the approaching beings and offers them a small ragged smile as he snaps a small wave in their direction. And then he darts through the gateway, picking up the sword as he passes through the portal, the charmed weapon breaking the spell and causing it to snap shut behind him.

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