A duel is called.
Disorder in the Court
"By Odin's beard, I'll!" Skurge sputters in rage, stepping forward, but Thor catches him by the shoulder, and the warrior stops, turns. "Unhand me, Thunderer!"
"Nay, Skurge," Thor responds. Amora tightens her grip on Thor's arm, but the Thunderer pulls free. "Unhand me, woman." The tall enchantress backs away, exchanging a wary glance with Loki, who also steps back. Thor sets Mjolnir handle up on the dais. "Cleareth the floor! I shall show this mortal that he is the dog! Verily, I shall send him back to Midgard, whelping as a puppy, tail betwixt his legs!"
*Jeeze! I didn't get a clear look at this guy in New York. He's too powerful, I can't...C'mon, man, you can do this! He's just the god of thunder...*
Thor strides majestically down the steps of the dais, his red hair flashing, his blue eyes locked on Captain America. He waves for a warrior to move the captive women out of harm's way while the assembled Asgardians move back, clearing in the center of the chamber a space nearly the size of a football field. Loki, Skurge, and Amora move off of the dais, following the warrior escorting the captive women.
"Come, mortal," Thor says with a smile of anticipation. "If thou defeateth me, thy shall taketh thy women and depart. Come, anon, and let me cracketh thy bones."
The crowd flows backward at Thor's command, and The Specter moves along with the small crowd of chained women, guards, Loki and the Enchantress over to the side but manages to keep out of reach of them. Dumas watched Loki and the Enchantress with ill regard.
Emerald moves closer to the women, keeping his head down to avoid recognition by Loki or Enchantress. As he moves forward he thinks of another idea to help free the women. A green ring full of old fashioned keys forms at his right hip. As the fight draws more attention he plans to start inserting keys into the locks, hoping that one of them will open the chains.
*Ok, that went better than we'd hoped. Now we just have to wish that Captain America can actually beat this guy. The control Amora has over Thor is pretty obvious, and does seem to have it's limits. I wonder if it would cut out if she were knocked unconscious or just removed from his proximity?* Union slowly unsheathes the sword from his back, bobbing at the front of the flowing crowd and staying close to the prisoners. His magnetic powers reach out and gain a passive lock on both his own sword and Skurge's axe.
Adrian concentrates again, still trying to make the telepathic connection with Ravdna function *Hello? This is Union. Have you had any luck in contacting the prisoners? I'll use the flying sword trick to ward off any attacks on the women, and throw off the Executioner's swing if he decides to get 'involved' in this little affair of honor. I don't know what else I can do now except pray. Let the others know that the chains look like they were magically forged around the womenthere are no locks or anything of the sort for me to open. *
*Yea. The prisoners are expectedly afright and awaiting our aid. Our emerald emblazened compatriot seems to have summoned a solution. *
*Oh, and Ravdna, do you know if Amora will lose her control over Thor if she's distracted, hurt or just plain out of the area? It might work to just have Aegis pick her up and carry her off quickly during the fight. I don't know anything about magic...*
That sent, Union stays at the front of the crowd, eyes, ears and magnetic senses open for treachery and waits for a response. For the amount of movement he makes now that he's prepared, he may as well be a statue.
*A fair summation, friend Unionhowever I am unawares of the nature of her accursed enchantment. Loki may also be invested in the bewitchement with his foul magics. * Ravdna begins her march through the crowd to keep pace with the prisoners in such a way as to not attract attention to her fellows who are also closing in on the ne'er do wells.
A fair distance above the crowd, Aegis drifts backward, away from the clearing formed to hold the combatants, wondering what the odds are on their being able to get away with this cleanly, even if the young captain can hold his own. Loki's little remark she ignores completely, but she keeps an eye on himif it looks like he's trying to pull something, she's prepared to feed him both barrels of advanced SI technology. In the meantime, she checks out the upper structure of the hall for handy windows and load-bearing members. There are numerous windows up there.
Delta V bides his time, moving idly through the crowd. *I also think the key to this encounter may lie with the Enchantress. If we can take her out of the picture, Thor's power on our side would definitely change the situation. I'll keep my eyes open for an opportunity where I might be able to take out the Enchantress quick. She doesn't look as muscle bound as the others, so maybe I could knock her unconscious with a few high speed blows. *
Union responds to Delta V's transmission through the link, *Sound thinking, but be careful: all of these Asgardians are a lot tougher than they look. But don't do anything until one of them tries something firstif the information w have on Loki is accurate, I think it would be almost impossible for him to keep from cheating, and that should give us free reign to tackle the ringmasters while keeping in the 'rules' of the duel.* Adrian's eyes shift back and forth inside the helmet, surveying the crowd, *It will also hopefully keep the assembled throng from jumping us when we do so. *
Thoughts rush through Captain America's head as the battle approaches, *Okay, stay focused, He's probably stronger than me, much better fighter, better vocabulary. Don't want to fly if I can avoid it, they might think that's cheating...*
The young Captain manages a steady stride to the middle of the improvised arena, and stands silent a couple paces from Thor, his hand extended. *If he's just being manipulated to be such a jerk, maybe appealing to whatever sense of honor might still be in there is a good idea. Still, be ready to duck in case he tries to sucker-punch me...*
Emerald moves closer to the captives, his eyes examining the chains and manacles, ready to use his emerald energy to open any locks. Unfortunately, much as Union discovered, Emerald finds that there are no locks to be opened. Emerald quickly looks over to see if Loki is watching the prisoners. Green tendrils of energy reach out to grasp the chains and probe them for weak spots. Nearby he can see Dumas, the Specter inching ever closer to the captive women all the while keeping a keen eye on those who would oppose him.
Thor, towering nearly six inches over Captain America and with shoulders twice as broad, grins. It is not a friendly expression. He then takes Cap's proffered hand in a strong grip and pumps it once before releasing and taking a step back.
"Steel thyself, mortal," the Thunderer says.
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© 1999 Mark L. Chance et al