|| Asymmetry | Role-Playing | What If | Over the Rainbow ||
Plans are made.
"Well then, lead on good guide." Victor feels a sudden optimism about the mission now that they have an inside 'man.'
"And I don't suppose you have any clothes in there that would make us look less conspicuous?" Union glances over to Dumas and shrugs, "OK, so we find friendly native guides immediately, and the kingdom is under magical siege. Perhaps it is a Republic Serial"
"Perhaps those writers know more than we thought." Dumas grins.
"Step inside the gatehouse valiant ones and we will attend to this matter."
Victor steps forward in his phased form figuring if something bad were to happen, he might better be able to handle it that way and warn the others.
Aegis follows, with a lingering glance behind them at the rainbow bridge. *If it does come down to some sort of ritual battle..... Dammit, this is almost exactly what I was hoping we could avoid.* She turns her attention ahead once more; no sense worrying about the fate of the best-laid plans at this point. Once inside, she takes a look around, but concentrates mainly on their unlooked-for Valkyrie.
"The warriors uniforms on yon wall may aid you in your plan" pointing to rows of soldiers uniforms Ravdna entreats the group to disguise themselves. As they begin to do so she says "It would seem Loki is not the only trickster free in Asgard" smiling slyly as she hands Dumas peasant's clothing.
"Ha. Good one fair Ravdna, but I know there would be no poor and downtrodden in fabled Asgard. Besides with my arrogance, I could never act the part." He smiles. Dumas reaches over and grabs a warrior's uniform and puts it on.
"I'm sure we'll think of something," Rick puts in as he pulls on a tunic of forest green. He follows the tunic a moment later with a long dark cloak with a full hood. "Gotta get a real costume one of these days," he mutters. With the young man's build and lack of heft the simple choices are better than donning armor.
Delta V takes some armor off the wall and puts it on. *This is all just too much. I'm in ASGARD. We just crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Wait until I tell Martha about this.*
"Hm," Aegis remarks; she has to suppress a chuckle at Ravdna's idea of a joke. "This may present something of a problem. I rather doubt I can pass myself off as a Viking soldier -- or a Valkyrie," with a glance at their Amazonian companion. She removes her helmet, shaking her hair free of its confinement.
Ravdna sizes up Aegis with her concerns in mind "Asgardians come in various shapes and sizes just as you mortals -- it might be possible for you to be concealed in the same manner as your allies. Perhaps if you can take to the skies as some of your party seems able it would aid us?"
A few moments thought and Adrian grabs a heavy fur tunic from the wall, and a pair of strange lace-up leather boots. Looking over at Aegis she her predicament, he sees her unarmored face for the first time, *younger than I thought...* "Looks like I have an advantage over you here, Aegisat least my armor already looks like Chain Mail!"
She quirks an eyebrow. "The design specs weren't written with this sort of thing in mind." Assessing the materials at hand, she settles for a long, hooded cloak, which will suffice to cover up her own rather flashy armor and also hide her face without restricting her freedom of movement should any excitement come their way. She bundles the helmet up inside a shirt.
Union stands, his armor mostly covered by heavy fur and course cloth. He waves his hand and a Viking helmet flies across the room and slaps into it. The headgear performs an impossible roll up his arm and lands lightly on atop Union's current helmet, *I still get caught up in the sheer joy of this thing.* Finally Union reaches over and uses his enhanced strength to heft one of the Asgardian broadswords over his shoulder and strap its sheath to his back, completing the odd by fairly disguising ensemble. "Union the Barbarian. I feel like a pulp hero."
"You might need to act like one," Aegis reminds him. *Sheesh, they're like a bunch of kids playing dress-up.* "Okay, we seem to have the disguise angle covered -- and you have our thanks, Ravdna. Now, how can we do what we came here for? If publicly humiliating Thor is the only way to go about things, I suppose we'll have to give it a shot. What does a formal duel look like in these parts?" She's somewhat familiar with German tradition on the subject, but that's as far as her knowledge runs.
"Yes, what should our next step be Ravdna?" Dumas smiles at Aegis and wondered why she was always in such a bad mood.
"It would behoove us to have Thor issue the challenge. By so doing we will determine the rules of the battle. Verily, one would be discarding weapons as the might of Mjolnir is legend. If we are victorious then he would have no choice but to free your women and halt the raids."
Captain America's grim silence dissolves as his eyes brighten. "That would be perfect! as tough as these folks seem to be, it's their weaponsThor's Hammer and Skurge's axe that could really cut this mission short. On the other hand, we probably need to keep this as clean and orderly as possible: a duel turns right into a free-for-all brawl the second anybody extra jumps in!"
With the heroes disguised as Asgardians as well as possible, the group, led by the Valkyrie Ravdna, moves deeper into the gatehouse, through a winding, wide tunnel, the walls of which are irregular but tightly sealed blocks of some igneous rock. In short order, the tunnel ends in a wide, high archway. Beyond the archway is a majestic street, flanked by fantastic buildings of alien architecture that still seems strangely familiar, almost Gothic. The street itself leads up a low hill towards a palace more incredible than anything dreamt of by Bavaria's Ludwig the Mad: high walls, impossibly slender towers, formidable battlements, a veritable host of flags of all colors, sizes, and shapes, all rising towards the starry night sky overhead. Hundreds, maybe thousands of Asgardians in all manner of outlandish dress, most sporting some sort of melee weapon, are walking towards the palace.
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© 1999 Mark L. Chance et al