1964-10-10 - Asgard Aflame: Fandrakvida
Summary: Rogue, the Winter Soldier, Doctor Strange, and Hjuki invade Jotunheim on an alternate plane… via a Volkswagen bus. Right.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
kai bucky rogue 

|ROLL| Rogue +rolls 1d20 for: 18

|ROLL| Bucky +rolls 1d20 for: 10

Ice and snow make for a bitter experience in a thousand shades of grey and blue. The human eye isn't meant to distinguish among such variations and gradients. Hopefully giants enjoy a better range of monochrome vision, otherwise theirs is a very bleak world indeed. Stepping through the portal leaves the Sorcerer Supreme of Midgard occupied almost immediately with deciphering the rift, and it's pointless to try and trace his efforts.

"He grew up in the Himalayas," says Scarlett, for whom almost all acquaintances now seem to be Tibetan, Nepalese, or hidden sherpas. Nonetheless, the spot they emerge on is perilously exposed on a bridge leading up to a crystalline structure layered in slabs. It's very possibly grown from the bedrock rather than built, and on a scale suitable for the jotnar who dwell in this realm. Given even the young children are ten feet tall, the place by no means welcomes mortals. Neither have they a spot of cover initially, the icy wash of land wide open on that bridge. At least there's a dubiously inviting cave off to the side, blotting the way to the glimmering palace.

Kai has a well-earned aversion to spaces where he can be easily seen. Beneath his affected polish, he's restless as a stag scenting a wolf on the wind. When he spies the cave, he starts toward it, glancing back at Bucky and Scarlett. "How about we check this out?" he says. "There might be a way in." Instinct tells him to hide, to make himself small or — better yet — completely concealed. Caves are good for that.

Buck is in full drag, as it were. That heavy woolen coat, the ruby-lensed goggles, the mask, the long hair is hidden under the hood of an underlayer. He knows cold, albeit on a mortal scale. Popping out into the relative open is enough to make him immediately crouch down a bit, as if to make sure they aren't being outlined that much worse. "I see," he says, as he takes a pair of field glasses from a pocket, and scans ahead. The cave gets a looking-over as well. The wonder of being in another world is promptly quashed by Winter's practicality; he'll have to play tourist some other time. What's a threat? What's useful? Entrances, exits, cover, concealment…he's got his rifle slung at his back, and even the little sub-machine gun hung at his nape. Here's hoping he's brought ammo high-powered enough to do more than sting these people. "Right," he says to Kai, absentedly.

Small problem for the cave, given the hooked span of stone is a deep, yawning chasm over the bridge doesn't do the nicety of spanning. Whatever purpose that serves, it's clearly not intended to be a hop, skip and a titan's jump away from where they are. Snow tumbles down in drifts, obscuring the pinnacles jutting up around them. They're exposed, no two ways around it, and the notion of hiding on the underside of the bridge is all very well and good until one realizes that's a hell of a long drop.

Instinct tells Scarlett many things, notably cover the flaming red hair in a world without red. Even blood here is bluish, sluggish, cold. She lies flat directly behind Bucky, a frown on her face in the effort to maintain concentration. "Whatever I know of Jotunheim isn't necessarily going to help us here. Where I went wasn't as fabulous as this," she murmurs under her breath, largely unaffected by the cold. "And not a duplicate, obviously. Unsafe to make that assumption. You come here ever, Kai?"

Kai shakes his head, rustling his fur-lined hood. Frost puffs in the air when he speaks. "No, this is the first time." The beatnik is gone, left in Midgard, and there's a formality in the way he speaks drummed into him by his noble grandmother in her arguably vain attempts to turn him into a proper lordling. He'd never let her know, but her lessons weren't an entire waste of time. "I'm half-done with these icy places," he adds with a little laugh.

But observations don't get him into that cave. "If we could fly, this would be a lot easier," he comments. "Did you bring rope, Bucky? It's a lot of bother, not knowing what's in it, but I'm not seeing any other options that won't leave us exposed."

"I brought rope…and pitons," says Buck. He's even got Winter's tone of voice, which in cases like this is very much that of a heavily armed Eeyore. Thanks for not noticing me, giants. Then he's turning that blind red gaze on the cave. "I don't know that it's a good idea to go poking in there," he says, softly. "But that could be a guard house. That nearer building probably connects tothe one in the center - no bridge," he says, nodding at it. "We should probably try to find a way in there," a nod at the palace at the end of the bridge. "But we need to find a way across without being seen. Scarlett, can you support us? We could fly across beneath the underside - if we keep close enough, they might not see us."

"Perhaps in the bus." The bus. Right, that wheeled lozenge has to be somewhere, forgotten and stowed away behind a boulder. Scarlett trails off when the answer is given, her hands pressed flat to the ground long enough to feel the wedged ice under them. She's not particularly suited to vanishing into the greys given her own attire, even altered for the circumstances, is distinctly tinted green rather than grey or blue. But then there's a man with a bright red cloak out there, so that's a comfort of itself. "The wind is bound to be bitter. We can try scaling cliffs, but a mistake…" Shoulders dip and rise, and she stands up. "Neither of you will be a problem. You might want to use the rope to tie yourselves to me, though. Drag and swing time is bound to be a pain."

|ROLL| Rogue +rolls 1d100 for: 30

Kai perks up when Rogue's flying is mentioned. She can do that? Color the elf impressed, not to mention hopeful. He nods to Rogue and says, "That sounds like our best bet. I doubt I could charm them at the gates enough to explain arriving with someone armed to the teeth like Bucky here." Who gets a companionable clap on the arm. "Besides, declaring myself an emissary of the dark prince might not be met with friendship. The one who came before him left few friends." No, walking up tot he gate is right out.

"All right. Flying it is. And let's leave the bus. IT's hard to miss." Paisley curtains and all, "But sure." He's getting the rope out of his pack. Apparently Bucky will be playing Samwise in this attempt to get into Mordor. IT's heavy-duty climbing cord, enough to rope them all together.

"It also gives a degree of protection. I doubt they know what a bus is." Scarlett strums her fingers against her lips, unchapped in frost as they are. It's terribly unfair, her pale complexion barely mustering a spot of pink in each cheek. "Consider I could just creep the bus along the cliffside and then float it up in front of the place. It would make a rather Trojan strategy, really. Jotnar aren't always bright." Not always. But then, whom dwells here? She takes a step and seven inches separate the soles of her boots from the ground, surrendering protection of anonymity. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, for she's not there to simper and pose. She seizes the pack in one hand and hauls Bucky rapidly backwards, going for Kai with the other.

"Bus! Now!" They can protest all they like. A surge up and off the bridge into the wind demonstrates exactly how effortless their weight is to her, but the surrender to the howling atmosphere is like being slapped with an ice rink.

Kai protests not. He lets himself be hauled, then falls into step with Scarlett, moving swiftly. "This is going to make an amazing painting," he murmurs as he bundles into his cloak and digs in against the lift of the wind. "Whatever gets us out of this weather," he says. Sorry, Bucky, he's on Team Scarlett with this one. "Hopefully they won't crack it open the moment they've got us inside," he says.

HE's being scruffed like a kitten. But Buck doesn't protest. His eyes are wide behind the goggles. They're in the bus, and he's taking the passenger seat. That poor bus. It'll never be the same. "A'right," he says, faintly, after rolling down the window a little.

At least she's moving at only a fraction of her speed. Scarlett veers sharply back on the path they approached from, no doubt searching for a hideous teal Volkswagen bus that no one but a hippie would love. Hippies don't quite exist yet, but it's the thought in orange and yellow paisley curtains that counts. In they go, and she exchanges her handholds for the bumper. "Buckle up!" seems unnecessary given the winds hitting them, but hey! More effort to fly that unwieldy box up, and they're putting a hell of a lot of trust in her. But so they go, and the cliffs fall down, down, down beyond the windows further than either man can probably see. A sea of clouds and mist fills the basin.

A sizzling frozen bolt slams into the bridge, throwing fine shrapnel everywhere. Bucky probably recognizes the signature exactly. It wasn't so many hours ago he was the recipient of a point blank shot.

Doubling back doesn't help much, but the secondary salvo is already lighting up and chances are fair to partly cloudy hiding in the cave is right out. Another shot in their direction is only so successful, mostly because they lurch a hundred feet up at a shuddering whine of metal.

Kai loves it on the spot. He will be a hippy someday. He's already experimenting with tie-dye; it's only a matter of time. "This is so groovy," he says, lapsing briefly into his Midgard persona. The trappings bring it out in him. He buckles up in the seat behind the driver, then presses his face to the window. "I should've brought my camera," he murmurs. "It's lovely when you're not out in it."

He cringes as the bolt crashes into the bridge. "Saw that coming," he murmurs. And he's telling everyone now? The lurch causes him to grab the arm rests. At least the elf doesn't get motion sickness.

She's driving, as it were. So Buck is already shouldering that rifle - he can at least return fire, for all the good it'll do at this distance, and moving like that. "Fuck," he says. "Same guys as before that damn near carved me up at the portal."

Scarlett maneuvers the bus… from the outside. Hands on the bumper and undercarriage, because no one is driving that thing so much as steering at speeds reckless even on a test track. The blue lozenge takes flight because she does, a defiant and reckless yelp probably indicating another volley getting a hell of a lot closer. Kicking into higher gear means they're dragged at an angle, launched up, a bit like a speedboat in the waves. Wind knocks the steel vehicle around, but the blessing of proper German engineered seatbelts is evident if they're buckled in. Otherwise, they're bouncing around like madmen leaping through the waves at reckless speeds.

"Hold!" she shouts, as if it might be heard. The ground all but drops out from under them, so to speak, as she ceases to fight gravity. Another sizzling lance of pure ice and raging winter narrowly misses them, and it's coming from the retreating crystal palace on the far side of the bridge.

Another lurching motion reverses them, the bus slip sliding in their grip, undercarriage tubes groaning and complaining at the handholds Scarlett finds. But sooner than later, the bus is tossed onto the nearest icy ledge and sent spinning like a teacup at Disneyland.

Kai closes his eyes briefly. He doesn't get motion sickness, but as they go off spinning, he's certain he could learn how. His fingers stray to his pendant, and with a swift, two-handed movement, he unfurls them into wicked looking knives. IT's a pointless gesture, at least in his mind. What's he going to do, stab the bolts? But it's so much better than sitting there helpless, flung about through no device of his own. He doubts diplomacy would work on anyone boarding them, anyway.

Buck doesn't get motion sickness…generally. But he's gone gray in the face, anyhow. At least he's safed the rifle so he doesn't end up spraying fire and wounding his companions. "Oh, Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ," he says. "Well, so much for sneaking in….."

Try being the one slip-sliding on feet across the courtyard. The vehicle isn't on, at least, and brakes are a useless addition on solid ice anyways. But weight helps. Scarlett's momentum is all about spinning out in a wild gyre, then springing up as soon as she can decipher 'up'.

So much for sneaking in, indeed. Except the manic laughter from her is accompanied by a rattling vibration of Aesir: «Your aim is for shit, boys!» The numbing rattle of a sonic boom erupts from within the storm overhead, probably as suitable a warning to Strange as to pull the fire sideways back to the bridge.

Kai laughs helplessly. "We're all going to die," he says, and he almost sounds cheerful about it save for the manic edge to his voice. He flips the knives back into a pendant. The way the bus is flying about, he'll accidentally stab himself sooner than he'll stop an enemy. Instead of preparing to stab, he tries to think of what he'll say, what he can possibly say, that will get them out of this alive.

Oh so slowly the bus grinds to a stop, and not by smashing into a cliff! It merely loses its gliding rush, rumbling over scree and eventually sliding to a halt without going over the edge.

All right. Abandon ship. Buck's first out, rifle at his hip. Firing cowboy style won't likely do them much good, but…staying in the bright turquoise target won't help either. "Out, Kai, out," he barks, already darting for the nearest cover.

|ROLL| Bucky +rolls 1d20 for: 5

Snowy flakes tumble down from the sky. This close to the beam shot into the air, the storm churns according to centrifugal force. Maybe a few hundred meters from the bridge and the temperature difference is akin to New York on a December afternoon and Nome in February or Novosibersk any day that ends in Y. Sublimated ice gives off vapors in spirals of white, concealing anything at a distance that might be seen. Possibly a defense mechanism and possibly something triggered by anyone with body heat, that oddity.

Scarlett is nowhere to be seen, but then, anything past twenty or thirty feet obscured. More of those detonating hisses indicate the rule of ice, imperious and pitiless, and the distant basso shout in Jotun.

Kai is already unbuckling when Bucky barks his order, and he hauls himself out of the bus, following after the soldier on quick, nimble feet. Even on the ice, he's got a certain degree of poingy, ferret-like grace. Elves. He's all to ready to find cover, and it's all he can do not to bolt ahead of Bucky and leave them in the dust. It's that prey instinct from the Hunt. It's never fully gone away.

"Fuck my life," mutters Bucky, irritably. HE's thrown himself down between boulders of ice. "I can't see a damn thing. Kai, Scarlett, what about you?" he calls, pitching his voice as low as he can while trusting it to carry at all.

There's no such thing as afterburners for most people, short of Johnny Storm. Scarlett trecks a murderous route via another route, skimming along the storm-laced cliffs and tumbling aerially around the far bridge to hold attention to her, rather than anyone else. The giants clearly have an opinion that way, given the steady activity.

In their case, the two men and Volkswagen bus might have quite an impressive view of the glittering shaft of power, the gleaming rank on rank of crystal. Thin entrances are concealed in curves of metal, not impossible to find.

"I think I see a few ways in," Kai says, peering through the storm and grimacing as ice whips at his pale skin, leaving him apple-cheeked with a pink tip of his nose. Do the shadows grow deeper around them? Just a little bit? It augments their cover and hopefully doesn't stand out amidst the chaos swirling around them. This place seems prone to shadows; why not use this? It's not enough to dim their vision too much. Hopefully. He points. "Maybe we can make that one if we pull a runner." He looks around. Not without Scarlett.

HE doesn't like it. He especially doesn't like Scarlett being under fire. But there's nothing for it. "A'right," he says. "Count of three…." He waits for Kai's acknowledgement before he begins, though. No taking the elf by surprise.

Darkness drops a little in a place where shadows lurk and perpetually slatn inside the frosty halls of a mountain king. Now their route awaits them, how to proceed forward. It won't be hidden inside a VW bus, driving it through the corridors wide enough to take it. Beep beep, mobile canteen delivery service! Now serving: .45 slugs from a precision gun with a side of sass sauce.

Onward bound?

Kai gives Bucky an upnod. He's ready. One, two, three and he's off. He doesn't like it either, for what it's worth. He falls into line with Bucky with the ease of someone who's fought in at least four wars and never raised in rank. In this frame of mind, he feels naked without a gun, but he'll just add that to the list of things he's not overly fond of at the moment. Once more, he refrains from leaving Bucky in the dust. Let the armed guy go in first.

Onward bound indeed. Though he's very fast for a human, Bucky is not a graceful runner like Legolas there - if anything, he runs like a bulldog, powering ahead with furious short strides. He's left the rifle in favor of the submachine gun, against possible close-range attack, heading for that door. There's a scowl on his features, kicking up a roostertail of snow behind himself.

Through the narrow doorway, far taller than wide, then. The doorway opens into a vast, huge hall dominated by the spires of jagged ice that never melts. These walls appear as quartz but owe their birth to the heart of glaciers and suspended cold that radiate sfrom every surface. Shining floors and surfaces collude to create a dusky interior that has no light but the spellfire roaring through a central column. No escaping that atrium. Huge stone structures emerge like claws or the prongs of an engagement ring, somehow capturing the enormous flow of energy without trouble or melting away.

There are people here, of course. Giants, blue-skinned and huge, twelve feet tall as a basis. Furs cover them in pristine mantles, their clothes largely grey or white, denoting status somehow. Some go alone, others two by two.

They're in. They're in! Kai can't help but be awed by the sheer dimensions of the palace, not to mention the giants. He's a little on the short side compared to all his friends as is, but these guys! He presses himself flat to the cold, crystalline wall, and he says in a hush, "This is great! Now what? We need to find our culprit without getting caught." Bucky? He's looking to the soldier.

"We wait for Scarlett," Buck says, instantly, even as he also presses himself against the wall. It's like a pair of chihuahuas just wandered into a wolf pack's den and realized what they were up against.

These guys make Thor look short and stout, the Asgardian teapot. Loki is a toothpick and Odin remains Odin, larger than life, one-eyed, unimpressive. No doubt Strange's cloak will grow to titanic proportions dwarfing the Doctor to compensate.

Those wrapped up in the shadows will have to be cautious. The walls are cold enough to steal the heat from their bodies, digging through layers of clothing. Of course it's a bloody freezer, look at the frost jotun passing by and the reason is laid perfectly bare. On the other hand, there's no sign of Scarlett returning or their immediate notice. The revolution outside may be a war on the architecture.

Kai nods to Bucky, and while they wait, he shivers, and he keeps watch on those massive bastards passing by. In a low, measured tone, he says, "I'm becoming increasingly dubious on your need for my diplomacy. Though one might think they'd be alarmed that their home is being subsumed by another Jotunheim and would be interested in stopping it. Then again this might even be their idea; honestly, Bucky, these people are mad."

"…..fuck," Bucky says, under his breath. "You're right. All right. We go on. Scarlett may be distracting them for us….we've gotta find the one doing this." He's looking for more places to hide them, let them dart from shadow to shadow like rats. "Your new powers are working for us, though, at least."

What sticks out about the jotnar, with time. They wear little enough in the way of scruffy clothes to be common. Those with weaponry carry well-tended enough versions, clubs and knives — swords to everyone else — and rather nasty wounding versions of brass knuckles. Wealth is carried in their ears, plugs of precious metal or gemstones on display. Strung around thick bull necks are necklaces and trophies thereof. Not the sort of signs common to poor little soldiers. These aren't mere jotnar. They're a cut high, high above. No doubt they're in the midst of the court itself. A court with a monarch, a monarch with a huge spellfire column at his back.

"Still…" Kai eyes that column of spellfire, up and down, all the way to the monarch. "How about this," he says, looking back to Bucky, "You go find who's doing this. Do what you have to do. I'll go find out if these people are complicit or what." His eyes have that gleam in them, the one he gets when he's about to do something really dumb. He starts smoothing out his cloak so it hangs nicely. Off comes the hood so he can fluff his curls up. It wouldn't do to have hood hair if he goes to present himself to a monarch who could stomp on him like a roach. "If I fail, avenge and/or rescue me."

"Are you seriously going to walk up and talk to him," It really isn't a question. It's delivered in Bucky's flattest incredulous voice. "Are you kidding me. Loki will have my guts for bootlaces….." Then he sighs. "I'll go. They spot me, they'll know you're bullshitting…." And without a further word, he's creeping off.

|ROLL| Rogue +rolls 1d20 for: 12

|ROLL| Bucky +rolls 1d20 for: 14

"We play to our strengths," Kai says. His strength is audacity. So he waits til Bucky moves off, and then he insinuates himself into the flow of the room. The key is knowing how to act like you belong. Gran would be proud of his mannerisms now, just as she taught him: proud, chin uptilted, nobility in his bearing. It's a minor title, but damn it, it will be his someday.

He squares his shoulders and approaches the throne. Proud in his bearing, but there is a weary kindness in his eyes and no weapons in sight as he approaches the throne, his hands outspread. See? Harmless.

The Soldier frankly slinks away. He's got the rifle, now to find the high place….or the source of the problem, assuming it's not what's sitting on the throne.

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