|| Asymmetry | Role-Playing | What If | Over the Rainbow ||
In the throne room of Asgard.
A guard near the archway nods the to Ravdna and gives the party a curious look, but a frown from the Valkyrie discourages any questions. "Amora hath called for the court," the guard tells Ravdna, his voice showing obvious distaste for the golden-haired enchantress's name. "No doubt she intendeth to boast of the raid on Midgard. Mayhap e'en display the loot thus ta'en."
Aegis actually growls at that last comment, but only one standing *very* close would hear her muttered, "Like hell she will." She had been glancing around at the street as they walked, trying not to be too obvious about it, feeling a surprising touch of wistfulness that the urgency of their mission allows little time for appreciating this wondrous place.
Suddenly much more in the mood for a fight, she remarks to their guide, "A good time, perhaps?" *What the heck. If it's the way they do things here....*
"Loot from Midgard seems hardly worth the show." Dumas adds as he looks at the guard and then up at the palace. Half turning to view the rest of the group on hearing Aegis' words Ravdna says "What say you all?"
"Well, I don't see any other wayunless we can somehow get the women out in the hustle and the bustle before hand, we'll need to make use of the open forum to run with plan BCap here challenging the god of thunder" Union slaps the now barbarian-clad teenager on the back, hoping beyond hope that the youngster was as powerful as he claimed.
It takes every ounce of the young Captain's considerable strength not to *gulp* audibly as Union's comment stops him cold for an eternal half-second. "Right," Cap manages, surprising even himself with the steadiness of his tone, willing his face not to go white as a sheet. Then a strange clarity comes over him as he continues. "Actually,"--*NO! what am I saying-don't!* --"That may be our best plan. If I can keep Thor busy,--*Gah! Am I suicidal!?! Why won't my voice listen and just stop!?!* -- the rest of you can figure how to break Amora's or Loki's or whoever's control over him. Not to mention keeping the fight 'fair', I wouldn't trust the 'trickster' or 'enchantress' as far as I could... Well, I wouldn't trust them."
"This ought to be good," Emerald mutters, perhaps a little louder than he intended. "And him being the Trickster god Loki's just gonna let us undo his control spell? Well, nobody ever said being a superhero was gonna be easy. We're headed for the palace up there?" the young man points in the direction they appear to be headed in. There is tension in the teenager's voice, but also an eagerness to be in action. As he speaks his eyes once more wander to the Valkyrie, and a hint of something else enter his eyes.
Dumas walks way from the guard and towards the others and speaks with a whisper. "Might I suggest a good old fashioned prison break, though they may have their magic in effect, I can get us through any solid objects that might separate us from them. I have the ability to phase others."
"How many can you phase at once? Perhaps a two-pronged approach would be most effective," Aegis suggests. "Some of us can distract the court, while others try to free the prisoners." Dumas looked at the young woman named Aegis. "I can phase all of our numbers here with ease."
"And the hostages?" Aegis questions; she guesses that Dumas does not want to reveal too much about his abilities in front of any Asgardian, even their new ally. *Maybe not even in front of the rest of us, for all I can tell, but if we're going to have any kind of plan at all, we need to know a little more.*
"I can phase as many people as needed. They must all be in contact with me or in contact with those who are themselves in contact with me. A chain reaction can be performed." Dumas looked around as he quietly commented to the others.
Aegis chews her lip under her hood, "That might make our getaway easier, at least. On the other hand, we'll still need to discourage these guys from coming back... Ravdna, how might we incite Thor to a challenge? Will he be sufficiently irritated just by us being here, do you think? And you mentioned that not everyone likes the way he's running things -- how much support does he have with the general population, would you say?"
"Perhaps." the warrior woman says to Aegis. "Unfortunately, It is a growing number. Many warriors have been idle to long and the raid appealed to their baser instincts. If they knew of Loki's devious role then that would change I am sure. If we can gain his attention those Asgardians of a like mind to mine own would surely demand that Thor challenge us."
"Again if he does so then we would have the right to set the terms of the duel regarding accoutrements" "If worded properly the fantastic garb you were would be allowed and Thor's Hammer would not" she says looking to Aegis and Union.
"Do we really want to chance that?" Cap asks.
"We should stand our ground as a whole if we are to succeed" she says attempting to dissuade the group from splitting up. "That would mean however that Thor would also be able to call upon a like number of allies...Skurge would surely be chosen."
Dumas regarded Ravdna. "Are you aware whether Asgardians are more powerful in their home dimension than on other worlds? If so, that could be an important piece of tactical information. I ask this only because my knowledge of the Asgardian mythol.. er... legends suggest that your people are in fact stronger here in Asgard."
After a few minutes of discussion, the mortal heroes and their new Asgardian ally join the edges of the crowd moving towards the majestic palace in the distance. Overhead, the host of Valkyrie are arriving on their winged mounts.
In short order, the group stands at the rear of the audience chamber. Nearly three hundred feet away, standing on a dais at the center of the awesome room, with its high, arched ceilings, massive support columns, and colorful banners, are four familiar figures. Amora, the tall blonde enchantress, stands flanked by the brutish Skurge the Executioner and the towering Thor. Next to Skurge is the cruel-faced Loki, surveying the assembled Asgardians with disdain.
Victor had marveled at the Asgardians thus far, but these four figures seemed majestic and beyond powerful and a step above everyone else. It reminded Dumas of his days as Premier of Latveria, though his executive study was not like this throne room.
Before these four, kneeling on the floor before the dais, are six women, dressed in dirty, tattered clothing, their hair disheveled, their eyes wide with fear. Their necks are bound by thick iron rings, and a heavy chain connects each ring to the next in a row.
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© 1999 Mark L. Chance et al