1963-12-11 - Then The Hammer Falls
Summary: Loki has fallen. So have the wards he put in place to safeguard the realm. (Emits by Louis!)
Related: Unfair Judgment
Theme Song: None
louis liv thor merlin brunnhilde 

At first there's the shock. It's news that races across the city of Washington DC, then the nation, and then ultimately the world. For people in front of their televisions it was abrupt, a simple news transmission abruptly marred by noise and light and fire and finally an explosion that ended with a blaze of heat that melted the television cameras.

Yet for those that didn't see it on television… they can still feel it as they pass by crowds in the city. There are murmured words, whispered. There are people standing gathered outside of department store windows watching newscasts and the repeated broadcast of the images that they have. The man holding up the weapon, the burning imagery, the bodies.

Reaction to it all is a mixed bag. There's fear mainly. Fear of what could happen, what is coming. Some people celebrate, cursing aliens and gods and whatever they are. Screw them. Some people are just trying to get home with the added traffic. It all lends a palpable air of tension to everything.

Yet it's even as Loki's final words fall from his lips that the world trembles. The cessation of the spells that he held in check. The reinforcement he'd placed throughout the world in his century of time augmenting the defenses of Midgard.

And it's barely thirty minutes after the news broke that the first breach occurs.

Screams herald their coming. Down the street in Times Square and suddenly the cross-street freezes as crystaline ice forms in an explosion across the sweep of the wide streets. Screams coming from people whose feet are now caught in the ice. Then suddenly screams from the people as from the ice upon the ground shatters great giants of cold and snow that seem to emerge from the now frozen over asphalt as if they had merely been buried here some ages ago.


Before she had heard the report on the radio, Liv Sigrunsdottir had felt it. One moment, she was trying to work out a puzzle with Reed Richards and some of her colleagues from SHIELD at a diner in midtown, close to the damaged Baxter Building.

The next, she was… not.

Clad in a suit and a long, warm coat, Liv's motorcycle goes tearing down the street as she races back towards Chinatown with a very grim set to her jaw, her grip on the bike white-knuckled with barely-contained rage. Normally, in a mood like this, she'd be impossible to distract from her chosen course.

Normally, however, Liv does not have to try and steer wide around the very abrupt appearance of what she is virtually certain is a frost giant in the middle of the road, her eyes going wide as she yelps out a swear. Okay. Questions for Director Carter will have to be… delayed.


ROLL: Brunnhilde +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 76


There is no need for a television's broadcast to tell Thor what transpired the moment the act happened. It was a shot that pierced the soul of Thor Odinson. A shot that Heimdall witnessed, and in turn, the All-Father and Frigga, the Queen of Golden Asgard witnessed. Odin sat still and silent upon his throne, stoicly taking the news while Frigga, his Queen, removed herself to her chambers to mourn. For Thor, however? His was something more immediate, more sudden, and the skies darkened over the city in which it transpired, the thunder sounding in rolls, the lightning dancing from cloud to cloud in ominous formations. The God of Thunder was mad. Beyond mad.

Tears creased the elder brother's cheeks as he called out, "You who would do that! Come fight me! I would seek your head in battle!"

While not the answer Thor would have expected, there comes, then, the first breach.. the veils are falling. Now, at least, there is purpose and a way to vent his anger, his frustration, his grief. He walks up 42nd, in the middle of Times Square, calling out in a hoarse voice, "Depart Midgard, giants, or I will dispatch you myself. I am in no mood for this!"


Dinner. She had just been trying to make some dinner which was rather promptly abandoned on the stove in the little apartment in midtown. At least Hilde remembered to turn off the burner. But the promise of death, violence, the mourning of the worlds across too many planes, it was far too much for the fragile medic to push aside. The very basis of her soul, her consciousness in this life, was being called to. No, screamed to — a mourning wail. She walked out the front door of the apartment, not even having put on a coat, her eyes wide and silver as coins as she steps down to the street, smelling of poppies and blood.

While the thin woman really looks little like Brunnhilde in life, there is something about her now which just screams Valkyrie. She is *the Valkyrie*. Her blonde hair a touch more golden, power pouring over that tiny mortal body, as she steps fearlessly over the streets of Midgard and takes in the start of chaos. No weapons in her hand. She is not here to fight that which comes. She is here to accept the dead.


Television was not what a certain old wizard was sitting in front of when he felt a great disturbance. No. Merlin was content, having a cup of tea, and reading a book…all on the ceiling of the Sanctum Sanctorum. Suddenly, however, he was not content. Everything on the ceiling went back to their original positions on the floor. Hats were placed on heads, swords were securly fastened to belts, and staves were retreived.

Promptly opening a portal, his magic knows where to, Merlin steps through, closing the portal behind him. An pained expression crosses his face. Now he knows that the walls have fallen. He prepares for a battle to save his realm. He raises up his staff, a bursting of light springs from its tip. "YOU…SHALL NOT…COME TO HARM THIS LAND!" He shouts, rather strongly for a man of such age. Perhaps his voice is helped by magic.


Despite the trapped mortals and their wailing around them, the first five creatures that emerge pay them no mind. The very air around them seems to coalesce into hazy vapor, small shards of ice manifesting into being as they move and the air writhes with the crinkling crackling sound of shattered and breaking ice from each of their movements. Some twice the height of a man and weighing perhaps as much as a dozen of them, they are creatures of great strength and a primal hatred that gleams behind the bluish glow in their eyes.

With a raspy scrape blades are drawn, long two handed weapons longer than some of the parked vehicles so near and suddenly covered with frost. Those first five step forward creating a perimeter facing first Thor… and then Merlin… even as the ice crackles further as three even larger beings suddenly burst forth in a scattering shower of ice shards that threaten the mortals so near by.

A great cloaked creature with electrical power racing all over its cowled form faces in the direction of the former Sorcerer Supreme, its own hands lifting as arcane energies grow. And to either side of this taller, are two brutes over twenty feet high. One garbed in rusted and pitted armor with the skull of some great beast serving as his helmet. The other has a spiked hammer of his own that he brings forwards and swirls it around once as he glares at Thor… a swirl of motion that looks like the giant will just entirely too casually try to smash a trapped mortal nearby into pulp lest he be stopped.


Motorcycles can be replaced. People cannot. Liv doesn't even think twice about steering her precious ride into the path of icy shrapnel, ripping her sword from the scabbard strapped to the bike's side before she abandons ship. Let the bike take the damage for some people. She'll go get a new one, if she manages to survive this.

Part of her is certain that even if the giants don't kill her, Thor just might.

Even so, with her sword in hand, Liv immediately takes off at a dead sprint for the closest of the creatures. Maybe it's her own lack of confidence, but she's targetting the smallest of the beasts at first, trusting that someone more suited will be able to handle the big ones while she goes into melee with the lessers.


Thor isn't paying anyone too much mind on the street, to be very honest. The Prince is fixated upon the entrants from Jotunheim, ready to serve as the one who stands between the Realms. He'd promised, Asgard had promised. Thor pulls his hammer, the skies still dark and dangerous in their rumbles, in the flashes of light that still dance from cloud to cloud in echo of dark thoughts. With a flick of the wrist, Thor begins to spin it round and round and round as he approaches the larger pair in the back, completely unconcerned with the lessers. Those larger ones, he knows them; recognition clouds the Thunderer's face. "You have no business here. I carry word of the All-Father. Remain and die. Depart, and I shall let you live."


Rushing to the side of the prince of Asgard, Merlin looks to him with urgency. "Your highness." He forgoes his usual bowing. He glances around at the appearing ice giants and their cloaked creature, whose energy he knows he must stop. "We need to stop them." He states the obvious. "I believe they may be attempting to hold this position from us. If they can hold us at bay long enough, it may allow them to firmly establish an archway, a bridge, between our realms, allowing an even greater number of their force to enter Midgard."

Holding up his palm in the direction of the cloacked creature, with its arcane energies, he a round bolt of energy bursts forth toward it. With any luck, it will at dampen the energies being produced by the creature.


While most mortals should fear the terror and destruction before them, Brunnhilde walks forward without hesitation or nerves. Power lines her hair and skin, drinking in the death and mourning that's already occurred, but it's the great beasts she watches as they fall. She does not taste death of any of her people, other than the great one who already fell. But those beasts have made a sore mistake tonight. So, she walks towards them, fingertips out and open, almost welcoming, tracing the air and power so few but she and the valkyries that followed her may see. Liv is given a flickering look for just a heartbeat, a proud smile, "…You will do us honor today…" She calls across the chaotic street to her once student. Thor gains even more of a proud look. The blonde is basking in it all, chaos, death, anger, mourning.

And as she walks, a slow, low hum begins to break from her lips. No more speech. She's fallen to this song which seems both ancient, but changed. Something of the old songs but with Midgard behind it. It makes her power shiver more on the air.


Liv's motorcycle pays the price as it roars onto the scene and /smashes/ into the debris and that giant's hammer, knocking it aside and causing the great creature to shift its glower from the Thunderer to this abrupt challenge…

And suddenly she's amongst them.

The blades come together with a loud ring of metal upon metal as the giant she's chosen steps forward to meet her in mid stride, a loud roar launching from its lungs as they come together with such lethal intent.

The tall brothers, Sturm and Drang for those whose memories reach back the hundreds of years to the time last they trod upon this earth, raise their weapons and one shrieks a ululating cry even as the other points to Thor with his two great blades, "Death to the other child of Odin." Somehow the words are not English, yet they are understood all the same.

And suddenly everyone is in motion. The giants rush forth, the cowled creature's focus is abruptly snared and brought up short by the sudden pulse of a spell from the great sorcerer. Eldritch power lashes out suddenly between them, charging the air with the intensity and power potential that the Mighty Thor could wish for. Oh it has been some time since the gift of battle has been offered and offered so well.


"My brother," Thor calls out, his throat hoarse with sorrow and emotion, "He knew. We'd closed the veil before against the Muspell." His anger, his rage is getting the better of him in the recounting, "I should let them take Midgard to prove to them he was right!" He can't, though. He simply can't do it.

The song.. Thor knows it, can feel it course through his body as it forces the tears again. Loki's death wasn't a fall in battle; there is no claim to Valhalla this day for the younger Prince. Maybe, just maybe the Valkyrie will guide him there regardless. As a favor to her sister, their mother.

The demands of the pair, however, is necessary. These two aren't simply 'monsters'. To those of Midgard, perhaps.. but there exists rules. Etiquette. Conversation from one ancient line to another. But now?

There is nothing but fighting, and death. The hammer never ceased its spinning, and in the next second, Thor hurls it with no little speed towards the first, Sturm while making his approach, ready to throw a car at the other, should the swords come near. Of course, the Prince is ready to catch his hammer when it does, inevitably, return to him.


Liv is not consciously aware of the Valkyrie's presence, and it is probably a good thing. Knowing her old teacher was there, watching, might distract her… but hearing what she can of the woman's humming over the roar of the glants and the flashing of blades? She can dismiss that as something she's only imagining. It's safest that way.

She would feel a lot better about this fight if she had her armor, but it's sitting out of reach within the basement at SHIELD, leaving Liv entirely reliant on her speed and the positioning of her sword. Without her armor, she is a bit freer to move. Small favors.

"You shall not have him!" Liv bellows, blue eyes bright with fury as she and her target clash. "You shall not have any of them!"


The song isn't meant to be heard fully by the living, not the lyrics, at least, a mix of new English and old sentiment. It's meant for those dying here — mortals trapped in cars or trod underfoot. Other beasts who have died. Whatever remnants of Loki's soul she may find, reaching strings of power as far as she can, that is what the song is meant to reach. Other's may hear, but she isn't singing for attention. She's singing as focus. As witness. As the one who will hold the hand of those who Valhalla, to Hel… To other places. Her power no longer just tastes of Asgard. Perhaps that is why the Valkyrie's song is in English.

"On the day that I die, put shoes upon my feet, that they safely carry me to where I and Hel will meet…On the day that I die, tell tales of all my deeds; for this is how I live on in everyone who heeds…" The giants gain her eyes, silver ice, staring hard at the two that Thor begin to fight, but she reaches for no weapon. Heck, Brunnhilde isn't even CARRYING a weapon now. She's standing there in a pair of sweat pants and an oversized teeshirt and, somehow, looks like the absolute goddess of the dead that she is.


"Dagda dang it! Don't tell me that it's Sturm and Drang? Not again?" Merlin says, mostly to himself, in an annoyed tone. To those who can differentiate languages, they might notice that he spoke those words in Old Norse. He seems to find a sense of calm in the song that can be heard from the Valkyrie. He smiles and nods to himself. He's confident that they shall win.

He glances to Thor. "The loss of a brother is a terrible thing, Thor Odinson, but let not all those of Midgard suffer for the hubris of a few." His attention on the prince is short lived, as he turns back to the creature with its arcane power. He does not run toward it, but rather walks. He flicks some magic toward the ice giants, though the spells are mostly to distract them so that the Asgardians might get a few more hits in.

"Beast of arcane power!" He shouts toward the beast. "Your power is no good here!" He shakes his head, furrowing his brow. "You shall rue the day Sturm and Drang brought you here." He points his staff toward it and a bolt of magic bursts forth that he hopes will blind the creature.


The mayhem is a wild thing, chaos manifested in the movement of such powerful beings. Sturm and Drang have fought together for millenia, have each learned the ways one must use to fell the great and even the divine. Even as one charges forth, Mjolnir /smashes/ into his face and shatters the skull helmet in half with a resonant crack that is not unlike the snap of lightning followed by the rumble of thunder. The giant rocks back slamming hard onto its back but buying enough time for Drang to close with his own giant hammer coming up and around and _Down_ to shatter the ice covered concrete near the Thunderer's feet. The entire /block/ rumbles with the power of the impact and suddenly…

A part of the nearby building's corner begins the cascading crumbling fall that signals an oncoming collapse.

For a moment the giant's blade slams hard against Liv's as they come corps-a-corps, each straining and pressing against the other. That great creature tries to hold her there as another brings its own great blade around seeking to bisect her in the most brutal fashion… even as the one with its icey breath is right in front of her and breathes the vicious words, "All of them. We shall have /ALL!/"

And all through this mayhem there are flickers of eldritch power lashing out back and forth, dancing between the combatants, flashing with a wild abandon as the cowled electrical creature rears back and pushes the hood from its features. A storm giant, of some renown apparently for all the skulls that he wears in the matted locks of its hair. Its flickering yellow eyes lock on Merlin's as its tongue hangs from a head that lacks the lower mandible. No typical spell play is this for assuredly Merlin could throw off the greatest of spells with subtle manipulation.

No, for what this great being wields is chaos itself that it grasps, twists, knits, and then hurls back towards Merlin as the two practicioners of magic try and gain the upper hand over each other.

Yet through it all, the singing of the Valkyrie drifts amongst them even as she tends to what inevitable casualties there must be. No blade is raised against her, no hand lifted. For in some ways even to the Jotun she is inviolate as she performs her duty.


It's luck more than anything else that saves Liv's life.

The cracking of the building nearby has her looking away from the giant with whom she's struggling with, and that allows her to see the second blade coming for her. It is not a very dignified or elegant dodge, the way that she simply allows herself to fall backwards — but it does mean that she hits the ground in one piece.

All the giant's sword is able to take with it as she twists and drops out of its path is the majority of her long, golden braid.

Liv doesn't even give herself time to notice, just scrambles back to her feet so that she can go charging blade-first back into the fray. She can't afford to be distracted right now. The beasts must fall.


Thor doesn't quite get out of the way of the strike onto the ground, and he rolls backwards with the concussive force of the blow on the ground, pushing through cars parked along the road, shifting them, finally finding a brick wall that would (mostly) stop his progress. No way could a man hold ground for something like that. It's only sheer luck that a water man or a sewer line wasn't ruptured, spraying all manner of things into the air. Only as Thor gains his footing once again does Mjolnir come flying back around, fitting easily into his hand once again, ready for the fight.

In this case, then, Thor begis to swing his hammer, ready on the approach to throw it once again.

The loss of a brother… the more Thor thinks about it, the more it threatens to send him over the edge. The Vikings had a word for it.

Beserker. Given the next opportunity, the one on his back is going to be dealt a finishing blow. Should he not have to defend, that is.


There is a sharp, momentary look to the side as Liv so narrowly escapes death that Brunnhilde can taste the echoes of what might have been. A wicked, proud smile dances across her pale lips instead, watching the woman move. Her song never stops, that quiet focus of power, sweeping up souls both Asgardian and mortal. If others were less distracted, they might taste the change in her power. The fact that Midgard invades it as much as Asgard. She has learned to send people to peace on multiple levels, so to speak. But that's hard to discern in the middle of a chaotic battle. She still picks up no sword, basking in her inviolate right as Valkyrie, herald and maiden of death.

"On the day that I die, pass a horn around, make a toast and raise it high, and lay me in the mound…On the day that I die, speak aloud my name; cattle die and kinsmen die, what never dies is fame." She's still touching the air, searching for something else with one hand that reaches higher than the palm turned down hovering over the ground of her other hand. Searching for a soul she does not find. But she will continue to try. As debris rains around her, she barely even side steps. Perhaps she simply has no fear, no awareness, or perhaps she knows she will be that lucky.


"Storm giant!" Oh, this gets better and better. A strong one, too. "Mine eyes, too, have seen the glory of chaos, giant of storms! Are you prepared for the chaos of the storm that rages within myself? The chaos that dwells within the soul of a mage who has peered into the souls of gods and demons unscatched?" Yes, Merlin likes to talk. Maybe it's a way to distract his opponent. Or maybe he just likes the sound of his own voice. With his free hand saved for defensive magic, Merlin twirls his staff over his head.

Energy crackles above him with sparks flying all about. Soon, a blue glowing light starts emiting from his body. The light builds, getting brighter and brighter until finally it bursts forth from him, flying toward the storm giant.


There's perhaps a bare moment of gloating as the one giant before Liv chortles, its own blade whirling back and then swinging around entirely too fast for a weapon of such size. But she is up faster than the Jotun can expect, its own blade cracking a furrow into the ground where she had been but a moment ago…

Abruptly she's charging forth and then there's an Asgardian shield maiden in front of him with sword thrusting forth. She'll feel the blade press into the crackling flesh, feel teh jarring impact against the spine of the frost warrior, then the rough snap and rending tear as the blade twists when she rips it free.

That giant falls to its knees. Yet her victory has no time to be savored, for in the next instant another is upon her.

Sturm roughly gathers himself to his feet, spitting bloody teeth from his mouth as he roars a spittle-encrusted battle cry. Staggering he moves blearily forwards, and then towards Thor even as Drang's great hammer comes up and back around again, almost seeming in slow motion with an air of inevitability to it.

But then Mjolnir lashes out again before Sturm can fully regain his feet. Another strike, with lightning lashing out around the point of impact snaps the great creature's head to the side sending him reeling.

Then the hammer falls. It crashes into the ground, leaving a great crater with shockwaves slashing outwards from it… only for something under the ground to ignore and explode with a burst of flame that fragments the asphalt and hurls the great giant back. It's through the front window of a club that the great creature falls, an arm the size of a tree trunk reaches out to arrest his fall, fingers digging into the concrete of the walls as if they were play-doh.

The flames are suddenly blown out with the rush of that blue energy that /launches/ from Merlin and crosses the gap between him and the mouthless giant sage. It raises its hands, a rumbling gurgling curse uttered as the chaos interplays with the power… and then is washed away with a rush of power that causes the electrical fields around the storm giant's hands. The next instant it sends the creature /flying/ back through the faint outline of what would have been a great gateway.


As soon as Liv's first foe has been felled to its knees, she's on the move, darting around it to use its body as a shield between herself and the one who comes to replace him. Without thinking, she slips the toe of her boot beneath the hilt of her fallen foe's sword and gives a sharp tug upward to bring it within reach of her free hand.

Liv has no intention of keeping the second sword, however. She just wants one that she's willing to throw, hurling it like a javelin towards the back of the spellcaster Merlin is tangling with.

Hopefully, that first giant's body will be a sturdy enough shield just long enough.


ROLL: Brunnhilde +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 52


There is a momentary frown flickering across her lips as the energy the woman is trying to find is simply not there. She would have to search elsewhere, or perhaps his soul has already passed. She pushes the last of that song, that focus, out into the world, "On the day that I die, sing no mournful song; I go to Gods and Ancestors, right where I belong…" And while what is left of Loki does not ride on her power to other places, there are still others. The violence tonight was glorious and much needed. It had been so long since she took her sacred duty across an actual battlefield, though working as a medic in New York City often felt as such…


The spell was almost powerful enough to drive the other magic user all the way back to where it came from. But not quite. Which is why, when a sword is thrown like a javelin into its back? He's certainly grateful for the distraction. He'll have to thank Liv later. Now it's time to really focus up. Raising up his free hand and his staff, he brings them together in a swift motion. There's a loud clapping sound, similar to thunder, and a blast of magical energy bursts forth, pushing the storm giant fully back through the gateway to the other realm.

Lowering his staff a little, he points its tip toward the portal. It starts to flash with magical energy as it closes. However, it's a powerful gateway, which will take at least a few moments to close, hopefully allowing any who have remained on Midgard to realize that they may not be able to leave Midgard, and to return home should they wish to.


No matter how subtle the wizard, a blade between the shoulder blades will seriously cramp his style. That caster howls aloud as the large weapon slices through the air and strikes cleanly into its back, quivering there for a moment even as Merlin presses the cessation of its conjuring. She accomplishes her objective, in as much that suddenly it snaps its head to the side to affix her with its glare, a finger lifting as it /somehow/ gives voice to a single word aimed at her. A word that demands a price from her in that all speech, even as it causes the blade in its back to slough to the ground like liquid mercury falling free from a test beaker.

But with that utterance of a spell, it gives Merlin the opening he needs. The ancient being can manipulate the dimensions of what occurs, not merely pure power, but also the subtle adaptation of a spells boundaries. Changing them to engulf the vanguard of Ice, and Storm, and Rime giants in that hazy outline of what was to be the first great gate into the realm of Midgard. He's able to push them back, to ready the door, and to prep it to slam it shut.

And through it all the Thunderer has lost his focus on the greater situation as a whole. Buildings begin to fall around him and the two elder giants. Walls crumble, people rush and scream. Drang slowly pulls himself out of the collapsed wall. But too slowly, not fast enough at all for him to save his brother.

Sturm is still roaring as he tries to find where Thor is, one massive orb of an eyeball dangles ruined from a shatter eye socket. A heavy blade is swung wildly only for Thor to smash it aside and with a great roar he brings Mjolnir up and then down… again… and again. Crashing and crushing the giant with the strength of such an impact that the monster's roar is broken into a ragged scream of pain before going abruptly silence with a sickening crunch.

Drang only has enough time to shriek his rage as he rushes towards the Thunderer, bringing his own hammer around heavily…

But then that is the instant when Merlin's spell begins to fully take effect. When the giants waver as the gate seems to simultaneously grow and shrink. One moment the creatures from Jotunheim are there…

Then the next the street is empty save for the heroes, for the huge remnants of ice, and save for the dead and dying. Sturm lies unmoving in a great crater at Thor's feet. The giant Liv had slain lies dead, sprawled forwards over a VW bug. The rubble continues to settle…

Thor, bloodied, looks up and around. His jaw sets as his berserker rage is unappeased. He holds Mjolnir aloft and /roars/ angrily, the hammer whipping around in a small circle before he launches himself up into the sky. The next moment he's gone, into the air and away.


Somehow, having the street go so abruptly still fills Liv with far more dread than the knowledge of what she's done does. She couldn't hear what the spellcaster had said, but she's lived long enough to know what it means when an angry sorcerer points at you and says one word.


Liv finally casts a look around the Square, leaning heavily against the VW next to the corpse. Her eyes follow Thor as he goes soaring up into the sky and her lips twitch into a deep, troubled frown, one hand coming up to run over her hair.

…where did her braid go. "Shit."


ROLL: Brunnhilde +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 76


As the Jotunheim fall, that is where Brunnhilde finds herself. Though they were fighting those whom she considers friends, allies, heart deep bonds over centuries, it makes no different. Sturm and Drang were great warriors. And, for the first time this fight, Brunnhilde picks up speed. Running, actually running, so she might come to their sides and help their souls onto Vahalla. Her power doubles, doing all she can to ensure they are ushered on…

When suddenly the other creatures are gone. The complete chaos has been broken. It's just the dead, the dying, but the power of other places that sang through these streets is no longer present and Hilde, who has been fighting for control of her own damn SKULL, finally manages to push through. She's on the ground. Next to a giant. A dying giant. She still has work to do, but the expression on her face is suddenly very different. Small, now slightly shaking hands reach out, trying to weave through what power is left on the air. "… help me… Help me… do this…" She begs to no one immediate. No one physical, at least.

And, for the first time every, Brunnhilde dares let some of her true power and true mind open to the fragile mortal host. Because the honored dead were simply that important. They had a duty to do. Together. Tears crackle down Hilde's cheeks as she traces her fingertips through the last few bits of power and a trembling, quiet strain of a song hums in the back of her throat.


"World of ice…cold and unforgiving." The sorcerer closes his eyes, the scared screams of the mortals of midgard filling his mind. For a brief moment, a white light glows from him. "You." He points to Liv without looking, without opening his eyes. "Your help was most gracious. Please, if we can find more of your kind. If we can…get through to Thor Odinson. This was but the first battle, but it shall not be the last. There are other gateways. The are opened."

Merlin's eyes open wide and his feet guide him to Brunnhilde and the dying giant. "His story is ending." He kneels beside them. He places a hand on the giant and mutters a few words. "But he no longer feels pain. No doubt his sacrifice will be honoured amongst his people, which I'm sure shall bring him some semblance peace."


The quiet does hang heavy, broken only by the distant sound of sirens as emergency vehicles begin to make their way to Times Square. The crowd gathers, people crying softly, moved to such by the song for the dead, by fear… by pain. It all weighs upon those nearby even as someone calls out for help as a few people begin to dig around in the rubble for survivors.

But Merlin's words are prophetic for this is a quiet that does not last long. Distantly, several blocks over… the sound of screams are heard once again as it all begins anew. The winter's night shall be long tonight, and it shall be rife with fear.

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