Monday, April 11, 2011

Episode 10: Take a Shot

RECAP: Thoki has just beaten up his brother, the World Serpent Jormungandr. He’s hoping he can convince his brother to transport him and Lor to Egypt to look for the source of all chaos, ISFAT. Lor is trying to remember something important, but can’t remember what it is or who told it to him, or whether or not it was related to Cookie Monster.
Thoki was thirteen when his brothers and sister were banished from Asgard. He’d overheard the whole thing one evening when he was at Freyja’s house. He was beginning to recognize what those funny fluttery sensations were when he was near Freyja’s daughter, Hnoss.  One evening he’d snuck into her room to make boyish professions of love. He’d been making good progress when they’d heard voices by the hearth. Hnoss and he had paused in their clumsy petting and crept to the door to hear the conversation.
Freyja’s brother Frey had come visiting.
“We leave tonight. I’ve come to tell you to bar your door.”
“So soon?” asked Freyja
“We can’t leave it any longer. They begin to grow in power and mischief as we knew they would,” said the handsome Frey. Like his sister, he was paler and more slight than the Aesir, but there was a power to him that made Tyr and Heimdall hang back. “And please mention this to no one until we have succeeded.”
“Why not?” asked Freyja. “Surely you sought the All-Father’s approval!”
The three men looked uncomfortable and exchanged nervous glances.
“Odin has agreed to it… but if Thor should overhear… you know that he thinks Loki his dearest friend in the world,” said Tyr, rolling his eyes. “He would never knowingly turn a hand against Loki.”
“But this is NOT against Loki, only his brood, which are Jotun… and you know how Thor is incensed by Jotun,” said Freyja.
“We’re not taking any chances,” said Frey.
“Do you agree with this plan then?” asked Heimdall.
“I have had enough run-ins with Jotun… and with Loki… to know that his children cannot be trusted,” said Freyja nodding. “The sooner they are disposed of the better.”
Thoki listened as his stomach turned to ice. Disposed of? He had no doubt that, despite the fact that he and his siblings didn’t share the same mother, Freyja had meant to include him too. Hnoss’s grip on his arm convinced him further. What should he do? Should he run? Should he warn Jormungandr and Fenrir, and hide behind them? What was to become of them?
“Odin said that we must not harm them; His blood flows in their veins no matter how diluted. But he has consented let us imprison them,” said Tyr.
“You are sure of yourselves, but I’m worried about the ease with which you’ll conquer the eldest, Fenrir,” sighed Freyja.
 “We’ll manage it. I’d bet my right hand on it,” said Tyr with a grin, waggling his fingers.

“You know, wiener, (hic) I’ve …never hadanyfriends,” slurred Jormungandr swaying where he sat. He was sporting several cuts and large bruises, the crowning glory of which was a large swollen black eye. Thoki was wearing similar badges of honor, primarily a split lip and some very bloody knuckles. He, Jorm and Lor were seated around a cheerful fire, toasting fish on sticks. The bottle of Tanqueray was now changing hands as each took long pulls of the fragrant gin. Lor was either being very quiet, or was asleep with his eyes open again.
“You were ev’body’s favorite, lil’ Thoki,” moaned Jormungander, taking another drink and swallowing the piece of fish that was trying to escape. “E’body’s always like, ‘Ahh reverse course! It’s a gian’ sea-monster! We’re all gonna die!’ Nob’dy dossat with you, righ?”
“Nah. They jus’ ignore me all the time,” said Thoki sadly, blinking back tears. “ Or worse, they pity me. Poor lil’ short Thoki who’s a sissy an a failure. Nob’dy likes me—likes me—likes me neither.”
Jormungandr sniffed and wrapped a muscly arm around Thoki’s unresisting shoulders, briefly laying his head on him in a show of affection. He and Thoki were silent and still for a moment before the serpent-man handed his brother the green bottle. Thoki raised the bottle to his lips with some effort as there was still over 1.75 litres in it.  He pretended to drink, stopping the liquid with this tongue over the bottle’s rim. He then passed it back to Jorm who took three large swallows of the stuff before belching loudly. He then began to sing,
“Memories… all alone in the moonlight…”
“So there’s not anny-anny chance that’choo can take us to Egypt?” asked Thoki interrupting Jorm before he really got started.
At this, Jorm burst into tears. “I caaaan’t!!! Not even after that …rreally grreat fight we had!” Big fat drops were cascading down Jorm’s angular features and splashing wetly onto his t-shirt. “He would totally kill me!”
“Who’d kill ya?” asked Thoki, trying to maintain his drunk-act.
“I can’ tell you, ‘cause he’d killme,” said Jorm shaking his head. He then realized this was a bad idea and had to hold it in both hands to keep it from falling off.
“Who’d kill you for telling me who’d kill you?” asked Thoki. He was too anxious to slur his speech, but Jormungandr didn’t seem to catch on.
“Fenrir would,” said Jorm before clapping a hand over his mouth in horror. “Oh shit. Oh, God, don’t tell him it was me that told you!”
Thoki wasn’t listening. Instead he was feeling sick to his stomach and a prickly sweat was breaking out over his body making him feel feverish.
“You ‘kay, brah?” asked Jorm.
“I’m gonna barf,” whispered Thoki.
“Me too. I think we ate something funny,” moaned Jorm stifling another hiccup and wishing the world would stop spinning. “I’m gonna go to sleep now,” he said before flopping over backwards.
“I thought Fenrir was dead,” said Thoki.
“This mattress sucks,” mumbled Jorm from the smooth rock floor.
Thoki leaned over and shook his brother, who whimpered pathetically.
“Jorm, I thought Fenrir was dead,” said Thoki again, more urgently. “Vidar killed him. I saw it! He died in Ragnarok!”
“So did you,” said Jorm with a drunken laugh.
Thoki stopped breathing as the realization hit him. “He’s back?”
“Yeah, as it turns out, he’s related to the chick who gaurds the gates to the underworld,” said Jormungandr sarcastically before dissolving into giggles.
“Hel let him out too,” said Thoki.
“If it makes you feel any better,” said Jorm, “I don’t think she wanted to.”
“Does he know I’m here?” asked Thoki shaking his brother.
“Whuh?” asked Jorm muzzily.
“Does Fenrir know I’m on Earth and looking for Isfat?”
But there was no answer, only light snores rattling from Jorm’s serpentine sinus.
“Jorm! Wake up!” cried Thoki anxiously. “Jorm! Does Fenrir know!”
“He gave me a message,” came Lor’s voice form across the fire.
Thoki jumped to his feet and looked at the Jotun. “He knows then?” he asked in a hoarse whisper.
Lor nodded. “He said not to look for it. He said not to go to the city of the sun.”
“The city of the sun?” asked Thoki. He frowned. “He said that?”
Lor thought. “… Yes, but he also said not to tell you that it was he who told me.”
Thoki gave him a half smile, despite his jangling nerves. “God bless your oatmeal brains, Lor,” he said simply. “Now, we need to find a way to keep him here until he agrees to take us to Egypt,” he added, pointing to the supine Jorm.
“We still going then?” asked Lor.
“Are you kidding, Lor? If Fenrir is afraid of Isfat than it’s guaranteed to be something good.”