1963-09-13 - Mamma Mia!
Summary: Loki's mother has a few words to say about recent events.
Related: Pain, Without Love
Theme Song: Holst - Venus
amora thor rogue 

Note: Thor plays Frigga, Queen of Asgard.

Afternoon slowly surrenders to the shortened daylight of September. This northerly latitude clings hold to summer a little longer than other points who paid homage to the Asgardians, and revered the pantheon as gods, not simply outsiders from another realm. Golden light slants through a window in an office tucked deep into the arts wing of Columbia University among those devotees to the Ivory Tower not quite as admired as the hoary old relics who probably sat here during the American Revolution.

The inestimable Mrs. Murchis, iron-trap secretary for the four archaeology professors ensconced here, bangs away on her typewriter, murderously efficient. The bell tone of the carriage return and the steady clack-click-clack of the keys as she dictates another letter, corrected student record or manner of esoteric correspondence with the Babylon god of mysteries and numbers is almost a comfort.

The door to the office of Professor Louis King — so the nameplate says — is mostly shut. At a desk he sits, coat shucked over the back of the chair, cup of tea placed on a shelf rather than the table. Visitors must pass a gauntlet of red pens, sorted piles of paper from the semester's first assignment… and a tripwire. Mind the wire is simply fabricated, a slender bit of fishing lure, and nothing that could not be explained away falling from the shelf across the door knob.

The man himself — at least to all but the very finest illusionists — diligently proceeds to review what the cream of New York intellectuals mostly under 30 produce. For the most part, drivel. Pabulum. Mental mush. He lounges there, feet resting flat on the floor, knees drumming a steady rhythm while his thoughts wander. The pile incidentally marked is larger than that waiting for his attention.


The true Prince of Asgard or not, Amora was bored. When she was denied the ability to mess around with her favored toys, she went to the last toy she had. Which, in this instance, was Scarlett as Louis King. So it was that the Enchantress of Asgard teleported behind Louis with a flicker of green light. She plopped a rather dusty tome, thick and crackling with age on the desk and over the papers carefully arranged there, with a heavy thump.

"So, I have been investigating the ley lines of Midgard, at least according to their traditions. I've been going about their ambient energies completely wrong. I knew I had a book buried somewhere in the Canterbury, I just couldn't for the life of me find it. Apparently someone in the Victorian age dug it up and got their greasy hands all over it! No wonder I couldn't trace it." She pouted, crossing her arms as she cocked her hip against the desk.

"Also I have been studying the samples I took from Limbo for ideas, I think I have managed a way to create a dream stone. Which would be so very useful just now."


Word is to the Hall. Word is out to Madam the Queen. A random whisper spoken by a random guard in a random unguarded moment. Explanation is pulled from Heimdall, Watcher of the Realms, and since the veil has been lifted from his sight, he sees all. There is no order in place by the All Father not to speak on it; after all, the subject is neither Loki nor Thor. There is no reason to withhold.

There is every reason to tell.

Yet not tell.

Upon that Realm known as Midgard, things are passing strange. Carriages that move without horse or oxen. People dressed in strange vestments. Thankfully, there is little need to deal with such things, unlike her son and of recent note, the Lady Sif. The Queen is in no danger of being run over, nor is she in passing danger of being accosted or the like.

Frigga appears in a murmur of magic; one attuned to such things might feel the tremble of soft yet formidable power as a lady of early middle age steps clear of a column as if she'd been there all the while dressed in 'high fashion' as befits her station. She carries herself easily, confidently and with purpose even as her eyes narrow to determine her path.

Now… where.


Mrs. Murchis might normally take umbrage to flashes of green light in the territory she guards fiercely as a sphinx. Not the sandstone lion declawed by time and rhinoplastied by the disrespectful Napoleonic forces, but the namesake with sharp teeth, sharp eyes, and a sharp mind. She guards the sacred precinct and challenges all who come with a riddle of their purpose and identity, though the choices are slim at this hour. Two of the professor's colleagues are long gone, and by the sounds of it, the third departs. "You have a fine evening ma'am. See to it he does not keep you too late."

Clack-click-clang! "Now you needn't worry about him. Have a care not to forget your briefcase this time," says the redoubtable secretary through the door. Once reaching fifty, she will probably remain that age for the next 2,000 years.

This, then, is why Amora the Enchantress does not receive a tongue lashing the likes of which violated privilege and right entitle Mrs. Murchis to. He doesn't startle at the appearance behind him, continuing a survey of the latest landscape overgrown by nearly inscrutable handwriting. Such impenetrable tautologies bring a pinch to his brow.

"Good evening, Amora." He won't reach for the cup of tea gone lukewarm, a fresh pot stationed by the door. "You turned your mind to another path of study, then." This tome flattening several essays addressing fallacies of modern logic to historical and archaeological practices does a service to no one.

The red pen is picked up, a tracery of notes made in the margin to correct an error in thought or argument. A bad citation is next. Straddling between encouragement and corrective is difficult, doubly so. But Scarlett, in the arcane guise of Louis King, consults a pad of notes and continues on while letting the Enchantress talk. Tick, clack, clang!

Little does 'he' know…


A grin flashed over Amora's features briefly, like a sun beaming behind clouds, and making her seem all the lovelier for it. She shrugged, "I thought if I cannot scry for Loki, I might as well seek him as he sought me. Our minds and magics are always alike, and to meld them while we both sleep shall be an easier thing with a dream stone. Imbued with magic already, I can save what meager stores I have for defense and the alike." She opened the book with a flip of her hand, and turned it up right to show off a hand drawn map of the world (not quite correctly detailed, but good for the 17th century mind that created it.)

"You see there was quite a bit of study on magic done by the mortals around the 1600s, most it utter b—" She broke off at the ping of magic that echoed down the lines of her body, her features draining of color rapidly as she twisted this way and that, trying to follow the tug of Asgardian power that thrummed.

"Scarlett, you have to change back. You have to change back, now.." Her voice was soft and her green eyes wide as she turned them over the professor.


ROLL: Rogue +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 53




Heels sound down a hallway downstairs with the illusion of sound, if only of her costume. Her face is the same; who would recognize her in this day and age?

Stairs are nothing to her. Up she comes, and up again before the regal Lady follows a path inexorably to the end, where her .. quarry? lies. Her destination.

The office door is open enough to look in, but Frigga pauses, blue eyes looking at the nameplates, her expression turning to a frown as she looks them over one at a time. There, 'Louis King' and she raises her hand to touch it ever so lightly but the moment passes quickly. She enters the office, her expression set, calm, but it's a look that truly brooks no argument. "I would like to speak with Louis.. King." The last name is given a touch wryly, but only one who could pick up on subtlety would notice. She can see within the second office, but even then, that's not necessary to know who at least one of those people are.


The benefit to seating in front of Amora means that perpetual, nagging voice in the back of one's head about their imperfections speaks only in a whisper, rather than a shrill hiss. A modest change allows for breathing space.

"Do have a seat. Some tea?" The manners are observed, perhaps a touch more precisely than the average visitor may expect. Then again has Amora visited him frequently when in this guise? Expectations exist to be broken, standards set only with intent to exceed them.

For all that solemn figure is inheritor to two magical traditions, one terrestrial and one otherworldly, certain influences resonate oddly to nascent senses. Long, agile fingers set down the pen after scribing hard-won advice.

Ice blue eyes widen a fraction. A heartbeat later, they narrow in speculation.

Step one, evacuate. "Mrs. Murchis, I'll be here abominably late," he calls out. "Don't worry about my supper. The rest will keep for the morning. I can host a guest properly." She takes the dismissal with a small shake of her head, like a mother hen used to brooding over a clutch of absent-minded professors. Even that one, too young, close to tenure.

Mrs. Murchis rises to fetch her coat. But she is very polite, nodding to the incoming Frigga with a sense of respect and dignity. "Good night, Professor. Good evening, ma'am. Professor King is inside his office. Do mind the books and disarray." The lament of parents everywhere, their charges forever leave them tidying up.

Step two, extinguish. Amora's reaction speaks plenty to the threat they might be facing. This well may be the first time such fear has crossed her face. Gathering the mystic web in the clear vision in the mind's eye, the spellbound psyche mentally reaches out for the very centre of the web and pinches it shut.

A masterful casting dissolves back into the accursed blood rushing through her veins. Scarlett crosses her arms at the wrists, leaning into the brace on the desk. Some anchor their magic on feelings, in the great romances and poems of the north. Few actually take the meaning literally.

Step 3, execute. She rises from the desk in a sinuous motion, betraying only the faintest indication of weakness as her energy follows renewed pathways. The bell is caught from the shelf, reeled in before Frigga, Queen of the Gods, falls on her face in her son's office thanks to his mortal.

Terror upon terrors. To Scarlett's credit, she will face it head on in her own skin. Standing to the side, surreal green eyes downcast, she gives Amora one look and then murmurs, "My lady." Stress upon lady. In French. Then, it's interchangeable from the title given to the mother of God or, for that matter, the queen.


A flicker of her own magic has Amora's summery, lime green dress of cotton and poly gold spinning away to something far more formal and more appropriate to greet a Queen. White gloves materialize up her hands of lace, and the lime color deepens to a darker, verdant hue piped in black and gold circles. She exhaled a shaky breath, smoothing her hand over her hair nervously.

Out of any in the royal family, Queen Frigga was one in which Amora not only respected, but /cared/ what the woman thought about her. Seeing as the Queen not only had been kind to her throughout the centuries, but also put up with both her and Loki's continued pranks from childhood, and /still/ seemed to like her—meant that the Queen, if anyone, truly held the Enchantress of Asgard's loyalty and respect. Without hesitation, Amora wound her way to the door after Scarlet and bowed. Low.

"Your majesty." She remained that way, unmoving until addressed otherwise.


The voice. Frigga's expression doesn't change in the slightest, though if it were any other time at any other place, she might have at least broken a smile. Or a curve of lip. But now? No, not right now. She's cool, and her response is measured, "I always have." Perhaps the long suffering secretary heard the comment in her departure, and perhaps she didn't, but once Mrs. Murchis is departed, gone from sight?

"What exactly do you think you are playing at?" The words are soft, though every syllable has iron beneath it. She huffs softly and looks to Amora first; one of her own. "Rise, Enchantress." There's method to having the Midgardian remain as she is; it's her way of discovering exactly what is known and what isn't. The fact that there is obeisance is a start. Recognition.

"And now you."

Frigga takes those last couple of steps and the door opens without a touch, and there she stands, expectantly. She cocks her head slightly, her lips pursed, and she asks again, "What have you done?"


Affirmed in the suspicions this be someone far, far higher ranked than Amora, Scarlett sinks down in a curtsey. Her left foot sweeps behind her, and in the absence of a floor-length gown or anything remotely suitable, she holds that descended position with her head bowed in suitable testimony to rank and privilege. Midgard may be her realm of birth, the mantle of its guardian resting in an ephemeral silver thread anchored to heart and mind, but she loses nothing in forfeiting any shred of privilege.

Madonna, they might say in another place. She will slip from French into English, though the previous measure of respectful regard. This woman's eyes she does not meet until bidden to look upwards, and if she should tremble somewhat within, she remains patient and composed. Her silence may speak to the mettle of the redheaded bohemian — or the affairs of days past, for she stole the King of Muspelheim's daughter from the Enchantress' own lap. Possibly, too, to rigorous instruction on how to behave around her betters.

"Your Majesty," she speaks softly, the British polish to her accent more pronounced than normally is her wont. "In his absence, especially a prolonged one, Professor King may have lost his employment at Columbia University. It would be noted soon. He worked hard to attain this position in life. With no recourse to contact him and know his desires, I sought to ensure he would have a choice if and when he returned. It was important to him." A pause.

"Any responsibility for this decision is mine to bear, not Lady Amora's or any other's."


The Enchantress remained silent, rising with a stiffness of courtesy and manners that had been trained for eons. She remained silent, her eyes downcast as she stepped back to at least give a modicum or the appearance of privacy to the two before her. She fold her hands before her, the very symbol of a proper lady, at least in this instance.

An ear was given to Scarlett's response and she swallowed back anything that she might have desired to interject. After all, how to keep Loki and her own apprentice from tripping up when it was in regard to the Queen of Asgard?

The very concept that the two should meet was alien and unthought of.


Frigga watches the ladies, each in their time. Blue eyes rest upon Amora and linger there for what may seem to be ages before she turns her attention back to this other one. Brows rise at the explanation, though perhaps it is at the title offered her, and her expression softens to hear it. By the end of the prelude and just before the admission of guilt and assumption of sole responsibility, she actually chuckles.

"Child.. This.. Louis King. Hear your own words. Do you truly believe he worked so very 'hard' to get where he is? Search now, and listen to your explanation. Do you not trust that he could walk in a door anywhere in this Realm and find a seat to do what it is he desires?" Frigga shakes her head and a soft breath escapes, "Your loyalty is noted but unnecessary. Misplaced, perhaps? When your sight should be pointed elsewhere, you settle on a trivial matter." A 'tsk' exits as a whisper, "It would be better suited elsewhere."

Now, Frigga looks to Amora, and her manner doesn't shift from the benign, graceful goddess that is also so very formidable in other forms. "Amora," she begins, "You were aware of this." It is a statement, "Tell me there was counsel and this soul couldn't hear your words." She takes a deep breath and looks around at the books on the shelves, the papers upon the desk.. the disarray that is all part of who her son is. Crowded, chaotic mind.. but so very smart. "A young lady attempting this is foolhardy. You know of what could have happened if we were not aware." That is, for the moment, as stern as Frigga will be.

"My son has chosen his path, and this does mean that those things here will bear his decision."


The faint sliver a smile touches the young woman's lips, equal parts rue and rosemary. Her downcast eyes share the very shade of St. Elmo's fire dancing on the masts, nebulae acting as a celestial nursery to vast collections of newborn stars.

"He might wave a hand and enrapture the department. He might pause at the necessity. I know the regret if he loses this piece of his identity, as circumstances force him to forfeit the name and position," she acknowledges Frigga's truth quietly, matching its like with its own. "Is it wrong to ease someone's sorrow by leaving open a door? An act of impulse, yes, and also hope." Her fingertips might be prone to rise to the slender, unremarkable gold necklace looped around her neck, but she forestalls that by curling her fingers into the dreamy bohemian dress dusted down her sides. "Where, Your Majesty, would you have my sight pointed if not here? Forgive me, but I do not fully comprehend what you advise me."

Mincing words is an art form, and she knows well when to forfeit the field or raise a verbal sabre and duel in the dance. Respect governs her, the luminous emotions and roiling wrack of her soul sheltered behind that flexible mask. "I would not dishonour him, Your Majesty. Nor do I profess the great wisdom, only the desire to aid him how I can."


A flickering look of guilt crosses Amora's features, unnoticeable for all save the few that knew to look for it in her gaze. In the tightness that pulled her lips thinner. "No, my Queen.. I.." She swallowed, daring a glance upwards at the Queen and down. So much like the young girl that had pranced around the palace beside the darker of the two princes.

"I did not think it wise to interfere with Loki's plans. I knew them not, other than this young mortal, Scarlet has been his apprentice.. and somewhat mine in times of his absence. I thought it was perhaps a sign that he wished her to practice illusions. He put her under his protection and I have tried my best to see it so." She did not mumble, but neither was her voice much above a whisper.

"Seeing as we've had no word of when he planned to return.. if at all, I was planning to try to contact him." A pause, "Before Thor attempted to return and see for himself with his new ..bride.." She bowed her head and trailed off, her hands wringing together.


"This identity? Child, he has been thousands of names as they hang upon thousands of pages within the stories of this Realm. This is yet another, so very fleeting," Frigga's tone is motherly, soft, but there is that ancientness about her as she speaks, "But not to you, I grant that."

A finger is lifted in Scarlett's direction and she shakes her head. "That is for you to discover."

Now, to the Enchantress Frigga returns once again, and she shakes her head. "I see." There is no word, however, regarding Loki's plans, should he return, or anything of that nature. Instead, brows rise at the news, and the Queen actually looks surprised. This bit of news was not passed on by the Guardian of the Gate.

"Thor is planning to return?" Bride? What?

"Tell me now."


What else could Heimdall fail to pass on? The very thing before their eyes, the very mischief of the Norns wound into the tapestry of a single figure. That spell anchors upon an infinitesimal sliver of a soul's essence wound into hers until they are nigh indistinguishable. Scarlett presses no more upon the Queen of Asgard, for patience of all strange things can be ended when the curiosity fails.

Her toes curl and flex, balancing the weight of her dipped body. Holding the position might be uncomfortable but for someone practiced in yoga asanas longer than she can remember, her calf and core muscles engage to leave her suspended easily enough. Dustings of truth arouse the mildest interest she does not conceal wholly, though her attention still lies to the pile of paperwork.

Promises as gossamer as a dream blown out in a hurricane. Some part of her weaves a tighter shell around the impossible.


A pause followed, brief as if Amora was collecting her thoughts at the Queen's command. Then she inclined her head smoothly, and she swept her hand toward a chair in silent offer before she started to speak. "With Loki's remaining in Asgard, the well, my Queen.. It was originally to see the situation with Muspelheim.. And as he never returned. We were concerned as to what may have happened. Thor and I planned to go and see—if my exile would be lifted as Thor was going to return." She hesitated and a grimace pulled at her lips.

"But then it rather turns out he is planning to court a Princess. Her name is Crystal and they met here. I believe her family is exiled. They apparently plan to announce their courtship in Asgard, officially."


Frigga glances at Rogue and inclines her head in the briefest of nods to allow the mortal to rise before she's back to Amora, her direct subject. "I will speak with the All-Father regarding this turn of events." A deep breath is taken in before she smiles tightly, and still there is no mention of Loki, or what he's doing.. or when he'll return, if he'll return. "I thank you for your words. They are noted."

In the next breath, there is a soft whisper and where Frigga was standing, there is nothing.

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