1963-11-07 - Foundlings and Ravens
Summary: On a late night walk of insomnia, Hilde encounters a man who knows the truth about her. But, of course, she's just fairly certain he's a crazy man in a nice suit.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
louis brunnhilde 

Late night, but then New York City was never really empty. Hilde couldn't sleep, not a new thing. But being off work just made it worse. Without the late night shifts to distract her, to get the adrenaline going, and with Barney off on some sort of job, she was going stir crazy. So, Hilde walked. A tall, too thin, lanky form in a dark jacket, one hand in a cast hanging at her side, the other tucked into one of her pockets. She's got a cigarette hanging out of the corner of her lips and ice pale eyes down on the ground, staring at the dirty concrete in front of her as she weaves her way through the half empty, late night streets. She looks like a ghost, so shadowy and thin… People almost instinctively seem to avoid her.


This part of the city is not entirely terribly, to be fair. Midtown is naturally overrun with gimmicky stores and coffee shops, but it has the benefit of being somewhat affluential with a higher class clientele than other parts of the city. That benefit has led to a subtle effect on the neighborhoods around. The sidewalks are more kept up, the concrete is intact, and every few blocks there's a splash of color with a grouping of trees or a dog park.

It's at a dog park that her footfalls most likely lead her, down the sidewalk that is curiously empty of other travelers. A lack of people in turn draws the eye to the lone occupant of that small corner park with its fifty feet by fifty feet of greenery and its all of two park benches.

He's seated on one of those benches, leaning forward in his rather immaculate and terribly stylish grey suit. A bevy of birds are at his feet, all seeming to pay rapt attention to him while he doles out treats from a bag to them idly.

But what might be all the more interesting is his voice as he addresses her without looking at her. "Good evening to you," British, definitely. Upper-Class Cambridge accent if she's aware of such, but still. Definitely British.


Surely he wasn't speaking to her? But, well, there was simply no one else near right now. Hilde's clipped, slow steps slightly slow even more, pausing within a few feet of that accented voice, as she looks behind her shoulder, then to her other side, trying to figure out any other person to whom he might be speaking. There simply wasn't anyone there. Not even any ghosts, which are so often her evening companions. She turns strange, ice eyes back to him, studying for a few heartbeats.

"…Uh…evenin'." She rasps out, voice a husky shell of an almost whisper. Just a decible or two louder than whispering, really. She seems wary that he's speaking to her, especially as he doesn't even really look up. She wasn't a woman that was used to being addressed by strangers. Most stayed away from her. Much less a stranger clearly several class levels and dress codes above her.


"I have found there are usually two ways in which these matters unfold." Louis turns to her and his smile is a rather open thing, somehow matching the casual levity offered in his green eyes. "Usually we play coy, hold our cards close to our vest, dance around the facts until one or the other shows their hand to a degree more than a little but less than entire."

It's then that there's a faint caw from one of the birds before him, and indeed it might draw her attention that they're not doves nor pigeons that are so ubiquitous throughout the city. No, they're ravens, black feathered and beaked. Some of them are looking at her, cocking their heads curiously to the side even as the man speaks.

"The other way is something perhaps could come up, a third element enters the mix that draws us together and some disclosures are made over such conveniently generated camaraderie." He looks over his shoulder, as if trying to see if a super villain were sneaking up on him, or perhaps a fire might break out. Neither happens.

"Yet I find such a thing tedious, at least for now. Instead I am going to say simply, you are not a native of earth. Are you? Or should I say, Midgard?"


The ravens are odd. She might be strung out, sleepless, worried and in pain, but she was a smart cookie. Hilde also knew the city where she was born and bread like the back of her hand and ravens weren't ALL that common, much less an entirely flock of them like this. She stares warily at those birds, goosepimples raising on her skin as they almost felt like they were intelligently studying her. Surrounding her. This was all getting more strange by the second.

The tall waif of a woman seems to curl in a bit deeper on herself, burying into that too large jacket and taking a single, wary step back from the handsome gentlemen before her. His words just draw more confused gazes from her, those ice pale, nordic toned eyes narrowed and wary. She genuinely looks completely lost, shaking her head slowly at his words. "Look, buddy…I… I'm born bred Bronx, and no, it ain't fancy, but it's home. I ain't ever heard of this… Migard place. That in Europe? I don't even got a passport." And her accent is nothing like most Asgardians, old fashioned and broadly elegant. She's got the Bronx accent and low class New York all about her.


"Ah!" Louis stands then and he dusts off his hands, a few bread crumbs dropping to the ground lightly as he smooths his jacket a bit and meets her gaze with that too too gregarious smile. "A foundling. Fortuitous."

The man's brow quirks, "I'm half tempted to cajole you into an ever widening gyre of activity using the premise of perhaps a prophecy and world-ending danger. But that would be terribly cruel of me and my mood does not entirely fit."

So instead he touches fingertips to the center of his chest and, indeed, shows some of his cards. "I am called King, Professor Louis King, if you will. Of Columbia. But the name that would most matter to your story would be that of Loki Odinson." He offers a faint bow, barely a shadow of the gesture for all its depth.

"A pleasure to meet you, foundling."


None of the words seem to ring true with her. There is no slight tilt of her head in understanding or recognition, no dawning realization. Nothing but the look of a woman who seems like she might be strung out on drugs, staring at a man who she is now CERTAIN is high as a kite on something, because no one talks like he does and she doesn't even know the meaning of half the terms he's using. So, Hilde just stares at him, pulling her uninjured hand out of her pocket so she can ash her cigarette before she gets on her jacket, then sticking it back into the corner of her lips.

"Uh… Okay, 'Professor' King," One can practically hear the air quotes in her voice, "I…I'm Hilde, but I ain't no 'foundling'…thing. I'm just… a medic. Or used to be. Off work now. Fucked my hand. But… I dunno who you're talking about or where you're coming from. You high on something? I can get you somewhere safe. Guy like you…you shouldn't be out here, not in your right mind. It ain't safe. This city'll eat you up. I… I can get you to a cab, or something…" She murmurs protectively.


"A moment," Loki stands before her and extends one arm towards her, a finger pulling down upon a cuff link as he tells her with that same smile, "Nothing up my sleeve…" He then opens his hands towards her even as those ravens all seem to gather around behind him in a semi-circle all of them facing her. He wiggles those fingertips towards her and then says, "Annnnd, presto."

At that last word it's as if the shadows of the world drop away, as if she had been wearing glasses her entire life and only now was her first glimpse into the real world. That park is no longer this weedy scraggly mass of barely surviving greenery. Now it is an edge of a great forest with trees so high it grants a canopy through which only shadow can reach. The ground is no longer asphalt nor concrete but instead some sandy ashy ground up meal of bone or old rock…

Yet the most staggering revelation is in the image of the creatures before her. Those ravens are all tall armored beings entirely too thin to still be human yet clad in tight plate mail as if it were bonded to their skin, all holding long wickedly curved blades that drip a steady black ichor. But then the man in them is a grinning and leering elvish creature with needle-sharp teeth in a too wide smile that reaches pointed ears with bright red hair that burns and dances as if it were on fire. His own armor is green and silver, a long sword upon his back which seems to hum inside of its sheath.

Yet through it all what draws the eye the most is that smile. And it is not a kind thing. It is a smile that promises only the warmth of blood and the primal mercy of nature.

And as quick as that… the image is gone. Leaving her there, once again, with the man and the birds. Alone.


"I don't need no magic tricks, buddy…" Hilde protests quietly, her voice still wary, getting more nervous by the moment. But he's still insisting, and she was somehow too nice to not just walk away from the crazy man. Then, well, there is no where to walk away TO. The city she knows and loves so well is suddenly gone, replaced by something ancient, strange and lovely. Hilde breathes in sharply in half panic and shock.

Maybe she was the one who was drugged. Or crazy. Maybe the insomnia had finally gotten to her. Hilde takes a few nervous steps backrwards, feeling grass crunch beneath her feet instead of concrete. This wasn't right. Yet, there was something about it all that felt… like a distant dream. That music she sometimes almost hears, but can never quite make out. Deja vu and lost childhood memories all wrapped up in one. Hilde's eyes turn strangely glassy as she looks around, trying to grasp at things just beyond her reach. Why did it all make her chest ache in something familiar but something she's never known?

Then it's gone, almost as fast as it came. She looks back to him, and the now regular birds, before looking back up to his elegant stance. She blinks against that faint moisture in her eyes, the chill of the night air probably just making them water. That's what she tells herself. She shakes her head very slowly, still backing away. "I…I don't know… what the hell you are on, or I am on… but… this.. It ain't right. None of this is real. I… I need to go." And she turns on the ball of her booted foot, the motion half panicked. She will try to make her escape this time, unless he stops her. None of this made any sense.


"Of course, dear girl." Loki's voice lifts to carry after her even as she goes. It echoes eerily off the walls of the buildings on either side of the street as if they were the only people in the world. "I'll be sure to look in on you." He offers her and perhaps those words might serve enough to spur her faster on her way.

And should she look back he'll just be that rather well-dressed handsome fellow casually feeding the ravens. And assuredly it will perhaps not reach her conscious mind. But what he is feeding them is not crumbs of bread.


"..You… you don't need to do that. I can plenty well take care'a myself, buddy…" Hilde's gruff, Bronx accented words insist roughly, the thought of him checking in unnerving her even more. But that's her last commentary. Speaking with mad men was just a practice in madness. The stick of a woman double times it back out of the park, towards that bolthole of an apartment where life was familiar and safe. She only dares to look back once, trying to figure if he was real. But he was still there. With his birds. And the strange bits of food. Then she's back off into the shadows.

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