Author: greedmammon PM
The gods have descended to fight for supremacy. We are the Avatars, fated to fight each other for rule of the skies. Greek, Hindu, Egyptian, and Norse. Please review, feedback is wanted!Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure - Chapters: 13 - Words: 68,762 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 12 - Follows: 14 - Updated: 10-01-12 - Published: 11-06-11 - id: 2967971
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The sound of the door opening is what finally wakes me up. I sit up in bed and try to rub the sleep from my eyes. A stream of light coming through a gap in the curtains has narrowly missed slicing into my sleeping eyes. I was lucky enough to win the coin toss, so I got the bed, while Marc had to sleep on the couch. Sleepily, I look over at the other bed, where Elly is sleeping. Well, where she should be sleeping. It takes me a few seconds, but I quickly realize that the frost giantess is not sleeping in the bed where she should be.
Cursing under my breath, I throw the thin covers off of myself and leap out of bed. As I'm frantically looking around for my clothes, I hear Marc's voice from behind me. "Glad to see you're up," he says mockingly. I wheel around to see him holding a Dunkin' Donuts bag in one hand and a large Styrofoam cup in the other.
"She's gone," I say hurriedly. "If we hurry we might be able to find her quickly."
"Don't worry about it," Marc says. "She had just left when I woke up. So while you were still snoozing, I was out finding her and getting us breakfast. Something tells me this motel won't have a free breakfast."
I let out a sigh of relief," Thank god. How many times has she tried to escape? Seven?"
Marc chuckles," I think it's only six. She's surprisingly tricky. I thought she'd be a little more… forward."
"I know," I say, thinking of the other two monstrous frost giants that were with Elly. She's never tried to openly attack us. The first escape attempt was simply trying to climb out through a rest stop bathroom. From there, it's only gotten more and more devious. Yesterday, she claimed to see a deer running across the road, so she naturally wrenched the wheel sideways and almost wrecked the car. She would've, if Marc hadn't been able to keep us on the road.
"Well, here," Marc says as he hands me the Dunkin' Donuts bag. I reach in and pull out a chocolate muffin.
"Really?" I say sarcastically. "You go to Dunkin' Donuts and got me a muffin?"
He smiles coldly. "If you wanted something different, you should have come with me. Anyways, I had more pressing matters on my mind."
"What could be more important than getting me breakfast?" I ask him before taking a bite of the muffin.
Before Marc can answer, Elly pops her head around the small divider. "What do you call this… thing?" she asks as she holds out a muffin so that we can see.
"That would be a muffin," Marc says, trying not to smile. I'm slightly less successful than he is.
"Well, I love these muffins!" Elly proclaims with a grin before ripping a massive bite out of her poor, chocolaty prey.
"You don't have muffins in … Frost Giant Land?" Marc asks.
"It's Jotunheim," Elly and I say in unison. That causes a short, awkward silence before Elly continues. "And no, we do not have muffins. Frost Giants prefer to sustain themselves on more wholesome foods, such as fresh meat and fruit." I shudder at the thought of a group of Frost Giants ripping a deer to shreds. Unfortunately for my stomach, I know that the Frost Giants wouldn't bother cooking- or killing- their food before they ate it.
Marc walks out to where the living area and opens the bathroom door. He looks inside for a few seconds, then turns around and asks me," Can Frost Giants shrink or anything like that?"
Before I can answer, Elly interrupts me," We aren't gods or anything like that! All we can do is control ice a little. It's not even a good power."
Marc ignores her and looks at me. I shake my head and he says," Okay then. Elly, do you mind staying in here for a second?"
Elly looks at him for a few seconds," Why in Midgard would I have to go in there? I already did my business at the market, remember?"
Marc blushes," N-not that. I need to talk to Tanner alone for a little while."
"Oh," Elly says with a giggle. "Whoops. Well, sure then." She walks into the bathroom and closes the door behind her, yanking it out of Marc's hands.
"My god, she's a terror," I say as I sit down on the couch, pushing Marc's blanket out of my way. "So, are we discussing strategy? I kinda think we should send her back to Jotunheim. I'm sure that she'd be able to find protection." Then I realize that I'm still in my pajamas. I stand back up and walk back around to the bedroom section, where our suitcases are and begin to change.
"While that does sound like an excellent idea, that's not what I wanted to talk to you about." Marc sits down next to me. He quickly explains to me about his dream while I change. When he's finished talking, I've also finished and have returned to the couch. We sit in silence for a few minutes while I think. Then I say," Gaia's a cougar?"
Marc looks at me," Is that really what you've been thinking about? Really!?"
I sigh," No. It's kinda how I cope with bad news. And it doesn't get much worse than this. A primordial force has gained awareness and wants to destroy all of us and is already pretty close to its goal is about as bad as it gets."
Marc nods," But we'll win. What else can we do but win?"
"Philosophical of you," I say as I take another bite of my previously forgotten muffin. "You're right though. As much fun as being absorbed into Chaos sounds, I don't think I want to experience it. So that means that we're gonna have to win."
"Well… now that you're up to speed, what do you think we should do about Elly?" he asks me. "I know that she'll be in danger if she goes back to Jotunheim, but she won't stop running away from us."
"Like I said before, I think the best option is for us to send her back. She can get more protection like the two goons we fought before. Whatever she says, this 'Leaf' organization can't be that powerful. And if push comes to shove, she can hide somewhere. Jotunheim must be a pretty big place."
Marc shakes his head," I just feel like we're being selfish. She'll be in a lot of danger back there."
I stand up and sigh," She's in a lot of danger here, although it's mainly by association. A Titan won't stop attacking her because she's not really a god. She'll be guilty by association."
"Well, let's get her out of the bathroom and talk to her," Marc says. "Maybe she'll be willing to go home now that a few days have gone by."
I shrug and we get up off the couch. Marc walks over to the door and knocks," Elly? You can come out now." A few moments of silence passes before he knocks again. "Elly?" This time his voice is urgent. He pulls open the door and stares in. He curses as he turns around and runs back into the bedroom section. "We have to get out of here," he says urgently. "I am going to kill her."
I look into the bathroom and wince. A massive hole has been torn into the wall, leading into the next room. Luckily, no one was in the room, although I can make out the corner of a suitcase through the wall. I'd hate to see the bill for that. A bill that we'll probably have to foot once the staff discovers this beauty. "I think we forgot about the super strength part of being a Frost Giant," I call out to Marc.
"You go after her," Marc yells at me. "I'll get us ready to go. She can't have gone far. I'll meet up with you once I get us ready to hit the road."
I nod and run out the door. I know she'll have gone outside, but I don't know which way. I look down at the ground, which gives me a pretty big hint in the form of a trail of small rubble leading to the left. I grin as I take off towards the stairs, although I do wish that she had taken the elevator.
In a few seconds, I'm standing outside, having just left the hotel via the handy door right by the steps. I look around for any sign of Elly. Unfortunately, there isn't any, so I have to run out to the road to look for her.
With an amazing streak of luck, I manage to catch a sight of her running down the sidewalk. Luckily, this small, Virginian town doesn't have many pedestrians, so I am able to run after her with ease. On the other hand, that means nothing will slow her down. As she runs, Elly looks over her shoulder. She waves happily at me and continues. I mutter angrily under my breath and continue giving chase.
Soon, the sidewalk ends and the chase continues on the roadside. For a little while, it's kind of touch and go. While I may be an Avatar, I'm still only human. Elly, on the other hand, is a Frost Giant who probably runs faster than this every day back in her world. I can tell that she's teasing with me. If she wanted to get away, she'd be long gone by now.
Suddenly, Elly veers to the side and vanishes into the woods that have begun to appear on either side of the road. I put on a burst of speed that takes me right up to the beginning of a small path leading into the woods. I peer into the forest, but all I can see is trees, trees, and more trees. I consider giving chase, but that forest is the perfect place for an ambush. If Elly wanted to attack me, for whatever reason, this would be the place to do it. It'd probably be a much better idea to wait for Marc. Unfortunately for that plan, he has no idea which way we went. I check my pockets, but I realize that I left my cell phone back at the hotel, so calling him is out of the option. I guess I'm on my own.
Before I walk into the forest, I summon Mjolnir. The hammer is heavy, but after the past week, I've gotten used to it. Of course, if what Gaia told Marc is true, then I've been used to this feeling since the moment I was born. It's a chilling thought, but I banish it from my head and venture into the forest.
A few steps in and I'm cut off from the outside world. I know that if I look back, I'll be able to see the road, but the whole forest part makes me feel so isolated. I've never been in a forest like this. The redwood forests in California didn't have this feeling and I almost had to stay relatively close to Dad's filming sites when I visited him. This is new for me and I wish I could take the time to enjoy it. The escaped Frost Giantess prevents me from doing so.
I follow the path through the forest. Every so often, a bird lets out a loud cry, but that is the only noise I can hear in the forest. I advance slowly, taking the time to check my surroundings for blonde hair peeking out from behind a tree. Spider webs cross the path every so often and I'm not lucky enough to be able to dodge most of them. I end up spending most of the walk wiping the webs away from my face and arms.
After twenty minutes or so of walking, I decide to give up. Elly doesn't have to restrain herself anymore, so I doubt that I'll be able to catch her if it comes down to a race. She also has more acute senses, so I can't sneak up on her. It's probably time to head back. Maybe Marc will have some ideas about how to find her.
I turn back and walk for a few minutes. At least now the spider webs have all been wiped away by my journey into the forest. Just as I start to see the outline of the road, I hear a piercing scream rip through the forest. I don't know if it's Elly, but it's definitely female and definitely very scared. I turn around and sprint back the way I came.
About five minutes back into the trail, I see a familiar shape come barreling towards me. I try to slow down, but I don't have enough time. Elly crashes into me and we're both knocked to the ground. As I struggle to my feet, she says, with fear in her voice," Run!" Whatever terrified her is more than enough to frighten me. As Elly resumes her dash for the road, I follow her, with only a glimpse backwards. At first, I don't see anything, but then I see a figure effortlessly gliding through the trees after us. With a gulp, I look ahead and focus on making it to the safety of the road.
We burst out of the forest and back onto the road. Elly looks around wildly before taking off down the road, heading away from town. I risk another glance behind me, but the figure has vanished. Then I look back up at Elly and prepare myself to follow her once more.
But before I can start running, the figure leaps from the trees just in front of Elly. She leaps back just in time to avoid the reaching arm of the figure. The Frost Giantess runs back towards me, fear clearly etched into her face. The figure just watches as Elly reaches me and stops, panting heavily. "We have to get out of here!" she says urgently.
I ignore her and look over the figure. It looks completely different than it did in the forest. Instead of the tall, menacing presence, I see a young girl, about my age. She has long brown hair that is tied into two pigtails. She has on your average teenager clothing: jeans and a t-shirt. All in all, she seems pretty average. But then I notice her face and a worm of revulsion starts to squirm in my stomach.
The girl's face is amazingly beautiful. From this distance, I can't make out her eye color, but whatever color they are, they must be radiant. Her lips are curved upwards in a cocky smile and her skin is a peachy pink. Then I look at the other half of her face, which is the complete opposite. Half of her face looks like it was caught in a fire. The flesh looks like it's rotting on her skull. Her eye socket is filled only by blackness. As I look closer, I can see that her entire body is like that: half beautiful girl, half rotting corpse.
The girl laughs," I see you've noticed my … interesting condition." She motions at the side of her that is corpse-like. "It's a shame, isn't it? I designed this container to be beautiful as a goddess, but it appears that this particular trait travels with me." The girl starts to walk forward.
"Who are you?" I call out to her," and what do you want with us?"
The girl rolls her eyes," How unoriginal of you. I had hoped you would come up with something clever. Anyways, I'm hurt, Uncle. I thought that you'd be able to remember me." The beautiful side smirks," I mean, I'm very hard to forget."
I think furiously for a couple seconds as the woman continues her advance. Just as I get it, Elly whispers the name into my ear. "Hel," I call out across the narrowing distance.
The goddess's eye lights up," Good job! Not many people would remember the child of the family's black sheep."
"Loki isn't technically related to Thor," I say calmly, a lot more calmly than I feel. Hel is the goddess of the underworld and one of Loki's three major children, the other two being Fenrir and Jorgunheim. She's always been a little nutty and has never been a big fan of the rest of the pantheon. Legend has it that she prevented the revival of Beldur- it's a long story- by refusing to cry over his death. All in all, she's not the best person to run into.
Hel shrugs," It's much too confusing to figure out how I'm related to everyone, so you'll just be my uncle."
"How long ago did you take her over?" I ask the goddess, who has finally stopped advancing so that we're only a yard or two apart.
"Who, this?" Hel says with a chuckle as she indicates her body. "Oh, it hasn't been that long. A year or so, I'd say. I wanted to have more fun while I was here and I just couldn't do it with someone else's brain in the way."
Disgust for the goddess fills my body. How can she not feel any remorse for essentially killing an innocent kid?! Then I remember why: she's out of her mind. As Hel takes another step, I raise Mjolnir and point it at her, stopping her advance. "What do you want?" I ask her.
The deformed goddess smiles wickedly," Oh, I don't care about you. Well, not as much as the Frost Giant cowering behind you." As she continues talking, Hel rolls up the sleeve of her T-shirt, revealing her shoulder. On it is a tattoo of a three pronged leaf. When she sees it, Elly lets out a choked cough. "You see, she has some very important information about the keys of Yggdrasil that my master is just dying to get his hands on. And believe me, when my master wants something, he gets it."
"D-Don't let her take me!" Elly suddenly exclaims after being silent for the whole exchange. "S-she'll kill me! She's with them!" Suddenly, her voice drops to a whisper. "They want your key!" she says urgently. "If they get it, they'll be able to travel around Yggdrasil and take everything over!"
I look up at Hel again. "So you're with Leaf?" I ask her.
Hel chuckles at the name," Oh gods, that name is awful. I mean, who trembles in fear over the word 'leaf'? I wanted something darker, more fear-inspiring. Maybe Darkness, Duske, or even Shadow. But the Master thought Leaf would suffice, so we were named that. And I must say, the name has done wonders in assisting our undetection. Before the Fall, we didn't even have to sneak around. No one would suspect anything evil of a group called Leaf. The other gods didn't even suspect a thing." Hel smirks," Now, of course, we don't need to restrict our teachings to print. With the gods stuck on Earth, our missionaries are free to spread their teachings."
"So Leaf is basically a cult?" I ask her. "That doesn't sound so terrifying."
Hel smiles coldly," Oh, we're not a cult. Our beliefs are purely centered in control. Do you know how important the barriers between the worlds are? You've seen Frost Giants, although the one trembling behind you would be a bad example. What would happen if they were sent to Midgard, this realm of weak humans?"
"It'd be a massacre," I say. "We wouldn't last two days against them."
"Oh, give yourself more credit. Two and a half is more likely. Anyways, our overall goal is domination or destruction of Yggdrasil's branches. With our powers, it'd be easy to overpower the inhabitants of most of the realms and with each realm, more troops would join us. That left just one problem…" Hel trails off, looking at me expectantly.
"You can't get to the other realms," I reply. "Not without the keys."
Hel nods," Good, you've been paying attention. And you're right, of course. We couldn't get to the other branches of Yggdrasil. While we certainly had some gods among our ranks, we couldn't get the majority of our forces, or any manner of information, to the battlefields. So our glorious Master came up with a plot."
"I'm sure you know that Odin was the one who held the keys. He was the perfect guardian, as few would dare to steal from the Allfather. He always had two guards with him that would alert him to a thief's presence instantly. Then, Odin would simply smite the intruder and continue on with his day."
"But," Hel says as she grins wickedly," Odin failed to plan on one thing: the corruption of his guards. He was certain that his two pet ravens would never go against him. He thought they'd never dare. But unfortunately for him, the call of Chaos was much more powerful than their faith in Odin. Hugin and Munin stole the keys while he was slumbering and then gave them to our Master."
"Okay, but how'd they get into Mjolnir?" I ask her.
"We put it there, of course," Hel says. "After stealing the keys, our Master divided up the keys between his seven godly generals for safe-keeping. However, there was one key left, the key that led to Jotunheim. We needed a hiding place that Odin would never check."
"And what better place than his son's weapon," I finish for her. "You must have slipped it in while he wasn't paying attention. When Odin discovered the loss, he couldn't exactly tell that he had messed up. He would have searched the realm for it. He never would have considered his favorite son a possible thief."
Hel giggles and claps sardonically," Good job. You're absolutely right. We hid the key in the hammer and waited. We knew that we could get it back once this competition started, because you'd be weakened. Then, one of us would find you and take the key back."
"There's the one flaw in your plan," I say. Hel's expression turns to curiosity. "I won't be handing over the key."
Hel throws her head back and laughs," Oh, I'm sure you won't. But that's not why I'm here."
I look at the goddess," What now?"
"I'm here for the Frost Giant who knows of the keys and our deception. She could warn Jotunheim of our attack and that would make our work so much more difficult. It is so much easier to win with the element of surprise."
"Well, you aren't getting her either," I say, readying myself for a fight.
Hel chuckles," Humans are so much fun." Then her face turns cruel," This is one fight you can't win, though."
"We need to run!" Elly says urgently. I look back to see her running down the road once more, this time at her full speed. I look back at Hel and point Mjolnir at her. A blast of lightning falls from the sky and flies into her. But Hel just raises her hand and a swirl of darkness appears above her. The lightning hits the darkness and is absorbed.
"Now, let me have a turn," Hel says as she snaps her fingers. Instead of waiting for the attack, I turn and sprint after Elly. She's already almost out of sight and I doubt I'll be able to catch her. But suddenly, she stops and turns back, running towards me. In a few seconds, we're next to each other.
"She's bringing them back!" Elly yells at me, fear on her face. Before I can ask her what she means, I feel something wrap around my ankle. I look down and instantly kick at the rotting hand reaching out of the ground. Another kick and the hand lets go, only to start pulling itself out of the ground.
I turn to run in the other direction, but Hel stands there, surrounded by an aura of darkness. Out of the ground behind her come more hands. Soon, their owners are freed from the ground. And Elly and I are surrounded by zombies.
"C'mon, play with me!" Hel says with a cackle and, as if doing something rehearsed, the zombies begin to advance. They look like Vikings: massive bodies, fur clothing still wrapped around their flesh. One or two even have the horned helmets. But now is not the time for the history lesson.
I raise Mjolnir and lightning starts to crackle out of it in a circle. Whenever a bolt hits a zombie, it doesn't even notice it and continues walking towards me. I curse under my breath and focus a blast on another one of the zombies. When the condensed lightning hits the zombie, it crumples to the ground, but only momentarily. After a second, it slowly stands back up.
"Help me!" I yell to Elly, who has so far remained motionless. My words bring her to life and she puts her palms against each other. She turns to face one of the zombies and her hands start to glow. A pillar of ice erupts out of the ground and smashes into the zombie, battering it to pieces. She doesn't celebrate, just turns to the next one.
Even with Elly's help, I can see that we're not going to win. Not only are there already too many zombies, Hel is still here and summoning more. It's only a matter of seconds before we're overwhelmed. I shake my head and continue to blast the zombies. I refuse, absolutely refuse, to let Hel win.
Just before the first zombie is close enough to touch Elly and I, who have resorted to standing back to back, I hear the beeping of a car horn. The zombies look away from us for a second, then remember that they have perfectly good prey right in front of them. That, however, is going to be their last thought.
A silver minivan crashes into the zombies standing in front of us, barely missing Elly and I. Marc yells from inside," Get in!" Elly and I quickly hop in and Marc starts to pull away from the smashed zombies.
"Where are you going?!" Hel yells out across the waves of newly resurrected zombies. "You can't get away from me."
"Just try us, you hag," Marc says with a grimace as he puts the minivan into reverse. We don't move quickly, being in a minivan, so the zombies are able to start pounding on the windows and doors. However, Marc soon has enough room to swing the car around and point us back towards town. He floors it and we jump ahead of the zombies.
"That was too close," Elly says with a sigh of relief. She looks at me with gratitude in her eyes," Thanks for your help."
"My pleasure," I reply before turning to Marc. "How'd you find us?" I ask him.
"There are only two roads out of town and I doubted that Elly would have been sticking around," Marc replies. "I tried one and didn't see you after three miles, so I tried the other one, although I did have some troubles getting there."
"What kind of trouble?" Elly asks, but Marc's answer becomes apparent to us in that moment. The second we enter the main part of town, figures start to appear on the road. Slow, shuffling, undead figures.
"The rest of town's like this," Marc says grimly. "I made it through in one piece last time, but my luck probably won't hold out for a second trip." Suddenly, one of the undead stumbles into our path and he yells," HOLD ON!" With a sickening thud, we smash into the zombie. Its head flies off and the body gets trampled under our wheels.
"So we're stuck in a zombie apocalypse?!" I say nervously.
Marc turns around and looks at me and nods," We're stuck in a zombie apocalypse." With fear writhing in my stomach, I look out at the zombie-infested town and shudder. I can almost hear Hel's chuckles of laughter following us from the forest.