Unwelcome Reunion

Summary:
June 25, 2014: Loki and Fenris bump into one another, then butt heads with some other do-gooder sorts. (Mild language)

Central Park

THE Central Park. It's central. And..parkish.


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:


Summer in the city is in full swing. The temperatures are rising, and in some areas of the city, so are tempers. Gridlock is truly a city phenomenon, and the angry horns blare in concert with the angry cries of 'I'm walkin' here!' and 'Watch where you're goin'!'

Within the park itself, it's made up of so many different types; tourists, natives looking to spend an afternoon outside under a tree, and businessmen still dressed in their suits as they cross the greens to stay out of taxis that may or may not have their air conditioning pumping at full blast. Loki Laufeyson looks very much like one of those businessmen, though with a touch of European flair. Suit jacket, white shirt, deep hunter green tie is worn, and the entire affair is finished off with a cane and.. a newspaper tucked under his arm, the page turned from the front page to a side, 'Metro' page. Hinting on the newsprint is a touch of red ink…

*

*SMACK*

Steve Rogers peels himself out of his La-Z-Boy and heads over towards the window of his small, sparse apartment. He slams the side of his window air conditioner, trying to get it to work again. He never had such luxury back in his olden days, but now that he has living without it is nigh unbearable. With another slam the good news is the air conditioner kicks on again, but the bad news is that there's a heavy dent on the side of the panel.

"Don't make them like they used to, I suppose."

He returns now to the chair uncomfortably, and hopes his "HD Antenna" can pick up the game. Sam assured him it was the best route for someone who wanted to pinch pennies.

*

Jeremiah Wolfson, as the Fenris Wolf is commonly known these days (it's on his ID and everything), is - strike that - was just enjoying a day in the park. Simple grey button up and slacks go with a sports coat for a casual look of a man who could be doing just about anything. The Park's atmosphere is one he enjoys, it being an odd blend of urban and wilderness that somehow ends up being more than the sum of it's parts. Now though he has a mildly pensive look on his face. There's… something here. An odd presence tingling on the back of his unseen senses, like the phantom feeling of a bug moving on the back of his neck.

That in and of itself isn't terribly unusual. There've been enough magical and odd things about of late to set his senses off fairly regularly. Part of Midgard becoming stranger. Well, returning to being stranger, would be more accurate. The world had largely pushed aside it's oddness in the last couple hundred years and now it seems to be pushing back. This feeling though… is familiar, and he can't quite place it. So the tall, lean, vaguely predatory man simply stops and looks about in curiosity and mild apprehension as the crowd flows around him, unconsciously put off by his other-wordly air.

*

Currently stuck within all of this traffic is a lone matte black SUV, devoid of any obvious markings which would link it back to belonging to SHIELD. In that SUV is one occupant, dressed down in jeans and a plain olive green shirt, though dress alone isn't enough to hide the identity of anyone that happens to be familiar with the Assistant Director.

Maria breathes out an audible sigh while slumping back into the seat, one hand loosely draped around the top of the wheel as the other idly pokes at a terminal built into the center console.

"Yeah, I don't care about the I-84D's, we've already covered that. If you basement geeks can't come up with something better by Tuesday then a lack of materials is going to be the least of your concerns, this project is how far overdue now?"

It's turning out to be another one of those days. Then again, when isn't it one of those days?

*

Normal people don't have weird jobs that require them to dress up in bizarre spandex and fur costumes, with hats that have improbable horns on them. Normal people don't spend a summer day in Central Park with a hundred-person film crew (if you count Craft Services, which you should because it's in their contract). They don't go through elaborate fight scenes in the hot summer sun, with additional stage lights positioned to make it even hotter, and they do not, ever, finish the day's work at the peak of the day's heat by being blown up dramatically. Of course, the fact that Central Park is being used, and that traffic has been slightly rerouted to protect the access to the film crew, is not helping traffic. Normal people hate this stuff.

Simon Williams is not normal. Simon is dressed in costume as The Thor-minator - Mickey Baye's latest work of slipshod genius, and he's being blown up by the (practical effects) equivalent of a locomotive, being dropped on him. The small crowd of onlookers — the police are restricting the lookie-louies from getting dangerously close — oohs and aahs when the pyrotechnics go off, and the engine drops with a very realistic CRUNCH. Then they cheer when Simon Williams walks out of the middle of the conflagration.

"AND CUT" says Baye, and the ten-man-army of pyro workers with hoses go to work extinguishing the remainders of the explosion. Another one hoses Williams off, and a props guy hands him a replacement fur cloak and stupid hat.

"That's it, final shots done. We'll call you all back for any fill shots within the week," says the assistant director, shooing off the actors. Simon is left with Mickey Baye.

*

They say like attracts like. (And yet others say opposites attract, go figure!) It's never truly been more true than for those self-styled gods, those who believe themselves to be immortal. Beyond the reach of humanity, and beyond their ken, even. A child born of magicks; of god and giant.. well, that's a bit difficult to miss, isn't it?

Slowing his pace, Loki doesn't stop as he scans the immediate vicinity, the briefest hint of a smile playing upon his features. Is that? Oh, this only gets better…

Loki's direction doesn't change, his step remains that touch slower as in-line skaters muscle and elbow past. The moment one deigns to come anywhere near that little 'personal space' of the Asgardian Prince, the feet of the girl flip back and over her head as if she's hit some invisible force and she lands full force on the ground with a *whoomp*. Not even a slight course correction is needed.

The hat… however. There are many things of the city that Loki detests, and there are some things that he actually truly does appreciate; those industrious little mortals. But… that hat. For a moment, Loki simply stares before he actually laughs. Oh, he'll have to tell Thor all about this one day…

"I see you, Fenris," is murmured now, though Loki is pretty sure he can be heard. "It's rude not to greet me."

*

Every minute or so the feed on the Yankee game flickers out, sending Steve's state of the art flat screen television into a blank black screen. One of the neighbors had assured him that Samsung was the way to go. Doesn't America make a half decent television?

Time to go for a drive. He grabs his wallet and aviator glasses, as well as his keys and heads down to the back alley where he keeps his bike. Within a few moments, he's heading over the Brooklyn Bridge and into Manhattan.

*

That voice. Fenris knows that voice. And he turns, not seeming particularly concerned with the girl. He knows what he's feeling now even without the clue of his right name which no one but that fae Seer knows presently. He keeps these things hidden for a reason. Mortals don't react well to meeting creatures such as him, often, and it's not worth the headache.

"Loki." He murmurs as he greets his father. "So you're the one I felt. I was wondering if it was you or uncle dear."

There's not much affection in the voice. In fact there isn't any. One might almost think the god-wolf isn't happy to see Loki. One might be correct about that. At least there's not, at present, any open hostility in the offing.

"I've not felt your presence in this realm in an age. What brings you slumming down here?" Joggers, bikers, skaters, none of them get anywhere near Fenris. It's as if some part of their hindbrain is telling them he's dangerous.

*

"Simon, you never cease to amaze me, and by that I mean, none of my other stunt-men can act their way out of a wet paper bag," Baye says when Simon sits in his 'actor chair'. The reinforced one, with his name on it.

"Yeah, that's probably because they never get any lines," Simon replies. "Anyway, we're not going to have to do anything else here, today?"

"Well, no, but if you could help the cleanup crew…"

"Uh, no. Union, remember? If I help you still have to pay them, and besides, they do a better job than I do." Simon has learned from experience, yes. He grins at Baye, who had the grace to blush, and gives him a fist-bump, and he gets out of the chair and starts to walk away.

"Call my people when you want to talk about the Mole thing. If it ever gets out of development hell." Still wearing the stupid hat and fur cape as if it were a cool spring day, Simon stops at the Craft Services tent, grabs a small box of donuts and a large cup of coffee, and heads out towards where the normal people are. He waves to the other actors who are having very cold drinks and possibly ice packs applied.

*

Being stuck in traffic means that one has a lot of time to research their surroundings. Such as the stunt acting going on nearby in the park.

"Christ, if NYPD was half as efficient at re-routing Manhattan traffic as these idiot film crews this place would be running a whole lot smoother," Hill mutters under a lengthy breath.

"Just get the damn thing finished already, okay? If Lowe screwed up with the order then get rid of him and find yourself a more competent team, I'm not micromanaging you people."

The call is ended with an irritated flick of a hand, causing the video feed to blink back to a screen full of text. She only pauses long enough to rub her forehead and mutter another choice word under her breath before looking up, and out, just in time to see that skater goes flying to the sidewalk. With emphasis on the 'flying.' Slowly her head lifts up away from her hand, her brown stare now following that man with the cane very, very intently.

"Recognition scan, two-ninety degrees." The screen beside her changes pictures once more, cameras hidden within the vehicle isolating the faces of pedestrians and motorists alike. When it attempts to process the man with the cane, however…

No match found.

That's not the most peculiar result. 'Jeremiah Wolfson' pops up out of the corner of the screen, the profile immediately flagged due to the fact that it has some notable history connected to the man. Like..over eighty years' worth of history.

"Okay, what have we here, boys..?"

*

"Oh, you've not felt my presence before because I didn't want you to. I've been here for some time discovering such wonderful new things. They are always a surprise.. a delightful surprise."

Loki looks down at the girl that is still on the ground, effectively at the Prince's feet.

"Oh, get up," is sneered. "But—" and here, his mood shifts and he looks almost benign. Benificient. He hands over the newspaper open to a page of 'Metro news' to the girl and in the next second demands, "Where is this?"

"Um.." The girl slowly begins to try and work to get to her feet, brushing off the small rocks, the dirt.. and mostly her dignity. For a moment, it looks as if she's going to argue— but then she looks into those blue eyes and looks as if her body completely relaxes and she's deferential, to say the least.

"That.. Museum of Natural History. If you go— I can take you there?"

"Not at this moment.. though you can do me a little favour for later?" Leaning over, Loki whispers in her ear and the girl nods. Once he straightens again, the Asgardian Prince looks pleased.

"Now… slumming? Such a harsh word. Visit. Touring. Taking in the sights and sounds of this lovely city." With each word, Loki's voice rises, the clipped English-accented words pressed to the air. "And, like all visitors, nothing wrong with a souvenir or three, yes?"

Immediately after, Loki's voice drops, and his tones sound a hiss, "Your 'dear uncle' is off doing who knows what. I don't particularly care."

*

Amongst the many loud noises of New York City, Steve Rogers motorcycle rumbles along inconspicuously. As luck would have it, he finds a parking spot rather close to Central Park and decides to have a walk. It's one of the few places that hasn't changed as much as the others and doesn't feel so awkward.

Steve strolls along quietly, gathering stares from one or two people who either know who he is, or think they know who he is, but is mostly left alone.

*

"That makes two of us." Fenris says, a low growl flavoring his voice.

"And you? Finding out 'wonderful things', mmmmm. Not how to read, apparently."

He looks at the girl and then back to Loki as if to say 'seriously?'.

"I take it you're not in town just to look me up. In fact, I'd be a little disturbed if you are, since I've been trying to avoid notice." He smiles sharply. "I'm not very fond of family reunions understand. I always end up… fit to be tied."

He looks up.

"But if you're here, then Thunder-Head can't be far behind. I suppose."

He sighs. Just… he'd been hoping to avoid re-entangling with his family.

*

The tear-down takes place with rather amazing speed, as the various pieces of giant set-equipment are craned onto flatbeds and the grounds-keepers replace the sod where the fire-pit had been laid for the pyrotechnics. The actors are driven off to their various places, the stunt-people as well. Even Simon's chair is packed up and shipped away.

"Hey, Simon, you need a ride anywhere?" That's the assistant director; Baye's already gone with his many gigabytes of camera data.

"Nah, I'm gonna hang here. Too nice a day."

"Well, some of us gotta work. See you at the wrap party."

Simon waves to the departing director. Craft Services is the last to go, but they also disappear with amazing alacrity, and the barricades are gone. Traffic quickly returns to normal - that is, still slow. But now there's nothing to protect the actor from the crowds. Fortunately, only a few people still managed to hang out in the afternoon heat. So they each deserve a donut and an autograph.

*

A horn sounds out from behind the matte black SUV, causing Maria to shoot a glance back to the side view mirror before extending a middle finger over her shoulder. Not that the other driver is likely to see it through the dark tint of her vehicle's windows. It's all enough to break her concentration for a moment, her thoughts rapidly processing the information on the tagged metahuman and the unknown.

Even without having a documented history she's feeling wary just looking at the image of Fenris. Wary enough that she opens up the com channels once more, this time aiming to speak to some individuals a bit more action-prepared than a bunch of goons down in R and D. People like the Avengers.

"This is Special Agent Hill, if anyone's near Central Park and not too busy rescuing kittens from trees then consider this your formal invitation. We may have a possible metahuman situation here, no clear hostile intent but it's turning out to be an interesting crowd. One unknown male approximately six foot and thirty years old, one known prior to World War 2. I want proper eyes on this asap."

…Huh. Oh, bloody hell.

"Be advised..Simon Williams is also present," she adds with another slow massage of her forehead.

*

Nope, not learning how to read. Why should he? He's got servants and minions to do so for him. Loki has so much more important things to do. At the look, the Asgardian come to Earth simply smiles and shrugs with a single shoulder.

"Useful. Please. You can't get anywhere in life without a little help." Uh. Huh.

The quip regarding family reunions, however, that.. that gains a rather pained chuckle.

"It wasn't my doing, nor my choice. You simply needed to choose your playmates more carefully."

Loki looks into the sky reflexively when Fenris does; there's no sound of thunder in the near cloudless day. No rolling rumbles, nothing. That's.. something of a relief to say the least, and for a flickering second, his expression shows it. It's there and gone in the beat of a heart, and again, a light shrug lifts his shoulders before he steps forward to put his arm around his estranged son.

"Now that the reunion is done, there are people I'd like to introduce you to.. and perhaps you can be of some actual use?"

The man with the hat.. he's given a wary, watchful eye.

"Who is that man with the stupid cow hat?"

Yes, that is supposed to look like Thor.

The second the horn blares, it certainly does do its job in that attention is gained. Loki's gaze moves towards the scene; the matte black SUV looking far more conspicuous in the fact that it has stopped… and he 'tsks' slowly.

"Oh dear…" Not that he sounds overly concerned, however?

*

"Rogers here, Hill. I'm already in Central Park. Unarmed. Any chance this is going to get nasty?"

Before World War 2? Sounds right up his alley.

"Where are they?" Assuming he gets directions from Hill, Cap will start to head over towards that direction to get visual if nothing else.

*

Fen follows Loki's eyes and actually cracks a smile. Oh that's too good. He's gotta see that. Reaching into his coat he withdraws a two foot oaken rod with some feathers attached to a leather thong on one end. He swirls the tip around and the wind abruptly picks up, blowing the hat right off Simon's head and tumbling it along the ground toward Fenris, who lets his arm drop and turns his attention back to Loki.

"Use, yes. I'd be happy to be of use to the man who came and rescued me from the clutches of Gleipnir and… oh wait. You didn't do that did you. No one did."

Another sigh as the hat tumbles toward him.

"Who are these people you want me to meet? And are they even people?" Loki's had some odd associations in the past, and no mistake.

The hat comes to rest against his foot and he bends over to pick it up, examining it with a smirk as he waits for Loki's reply.

*

Simon's signing one last autograph when the Stupid Hat improbably lifts off his head thanks to a completely unexpected and rather out-of-character gust of wind. Solid-red eyes look over to where the hat has been stopped by a man holding a stick with feathers on it. Normal people wouldn't think anything of this except, "huh, dude has a stick with feathers on it, bizarre," but again, Simon isn't normal. He has experience with people who use sticks with feathers tied to them - although this one doesn't seem to be a person wearing a ridiculous rooster costume with realistic chicken feet, nor are there zuvembies in evidence.

Still.

The stupid hat needs to be retrieved, at least.

Simon walks over to where the two men are apparently engaged in whatever conversation normal-ish people would have.

"Hey. Thanks for catching my hat that was blown by that surprise gust of wind out of nowhere," he says, deadpan.

Up close, the costume is even more classically goofy: the Thor-minator has a midnight blue spandex shirt with four convex mirrors attached, and the fur is lined with red. The tights are midnight-blue And his boots are fur, tied on with straps, classical-style, yet he has knee-guards made of brass. At least they didn't make Simon wear a red wig, or worse, the blond one they wanted to.

*

Well thank God one of the responsible ones answered the call, Hill bitterly thinks.

"Copy that, Rogers. Sending you the coordinates."

Hopefully he'll know how to use that information by now, too! Trying to get the super-soldier-cicle caught up with modern living has been a big enough chore to merit delegating such tasks to the rookie agents.

Just to try and speed things along some, however, she offers, "East side of the park. Let's start with 'looking unfriendly' and escalate as necessary."

'Wolfson's' trick with the oak rod and the wind causes her eyes to widen slightly, getting her own visual confirmation on there being superpowers of some variety at work.

"Knew I should have stayed in the office today."

Back to comms, she adds, "Forecast is starting to look a bit windy, possible that there's -" (Ugh.) "-..Magic..at play."

She really, really doesn't like that whole 'magic' nonsense. She's also, oddly enough, getting a little annoyed in that traffic is continuing to creep forward, which now threatens to sweep her along with it. Away from the park. Now might be a good time to find a parking space. Or a patch of sidewalk, depending on how things progress in the next few seconds.

*

"Of course it's a person.. after a fashion."

Loki actually sounds a little impressed, though not with Fenris' antics, the wind and such. Nor does he seem terribly upset about the comment about Gleipnir. It is as he said, 'Be careful who one plays with…' . There, in his own thoughts, it's a discovery made and he's so very pleased. Leaning in, his voice is a stage whisper, "A mutant. I admit to not knowing they actually existed… side by side with humanity." And oh the wonderous discovery!

Straightening, Loki looks… perplexed as the man comes to get his hat back. A tilt of his head comes and straightening, he has to ask, "Are you really supposed to be… Thor?" It's a guess; a shot in the dark.

"You know he has feathers on his helm… not horns. He's 'chicken'."

*

"Is that Loupi?" Steve asks, unable to keep it to himself. About 30 yards away, the Sentinel of Freedom stands aghast at what looks to be a former ally of his in the second World War. Perhaps this is who Hill meant, perhaps not.

Slowly he begins to make his way over; his eyes still shielded by his sunglasses but the shock on his face unmistaken.

"Magic…" Steve's voice trails on the com as he gets closer.

"I'll be careful."

*

Fenris sighs.

"After a fashion. Jotun, alfar or svartalfar?"

How any of them put up with Loki, or indeed any of the other Aesir is completly beyond him. It's possible that Fenris is a bit biased in that department though.

"Yes, the men-that-are-not-men. Humanity is coming to terms with them. Again. Cute little phrases like demigod or spirit-touched or shaman have ceased to be adequate to explain their presences."

'Wolfson's' voice is dry, as if he is at once both amused and disappointed by the way the mutant drama is playing out.

"Yes they are here. What have you to do with them?"

It's not that he cares about them, as a group. He doesn't. But he lives in M-Town, among them, and as anyone who has ever dealt with mundane wolves can tell you, messing with what is 'theirs' is a sure way to pick a fight.

Fenris glances over at Simon as the man approaches, offering the hat back and putting the rod away.

"Nice prop work," he says, deadpan. The guy looks… a little bit ridiculous. Just a bit. But he's not laughing… not laughing… much as he wants to, cause man, Thor would so not approve. He hasn't noted "Cap's" approach yet, though he'd surely be a bit shocked to hear that name. He's not used it in a solid fifty years.

*

Simon has the good grace to look slightly embarrassed at the question about who he's supposed to be.

"The 'Thor-minator' — a robot clone of Thor created by a mad scientist who wants to use it to destroy the last humans who resist his evil rule. Or at least, that was what the script read last week. It might change. Mickey Baye changes his mind a lot at the last minute. Usually when he can find a way to squeeze in another explosion somewhere."

He does get a good stare in at the Gale Rod that Fenris has in his hand before it goes away. That's not Voodoo, it's not covered in blood. So it must be something else.

"I'm Simon Williams, actor. Thanks for returning the stupid hat. Like you say, it's a prop so I have to turn it in to the costume department. I'd keep it for Halloween otherwise … oh, and no, I'm not a mutant, not that that's a bad thing."

*

Oh, GREAT. Now Williams is directly involved. Way to turn a potentially dangerous situation into a barrel of Semtex with a faulty detonator switch.

"You and me alike, old timer," Hill responds while pulling the SUV onto the side of the street. She may be facing the wrong direction from the situation but that's not about to stop her if she needs to step in. Or drive in. Very quickly. In reverse.

In the meantime she's got more work to do tracking down info on that Jeremiah fellow. If not for all of the ambient city noise she could try for an audio feed on the conversation, though with traffic being as crazy as it is…

"Come on, guys. Do something noteworthy or break it up and go home. I don't have time for this."

*

"You forgot M├║spellsmegir," the fire realm where the fire elves dwell.

"And yes. Men that are not men."

Perfect description for a mutant.

"And I'm learning about them from a delightful young woman."

Loki leaves it at that for the time being, his attention moving towards Simon- though the posture of that man just beyond gains the Asgardian's notice.

"Tell me who that is."

Simon Williams, now that he's introduced himself, gains a quizzical look.

"A robot clone of Thor…" is echoed before he laughs. "I see."

If Fenris doesn't crack, why shouldn't he? He doesn't introduce himself quite yet, however. There's something not quite right…

The laughter is short lived, as Loki lifts his cane towards the lurking Steve Rogers once again, pointing the man out with the top tip, the bottom now caught firmly in his hand, wielding it very much like a club, or sword.

"Approach and kneel.. I will allow this."

*

Steve's eyebrows bridge together as he cuts a confused look. Steve's head tilts, looks to Loupi, Simon, and then back to Loki.

"Beg your pardon?"

*

"Jeremiah Wolfson, Mister Williams."

Ah, he's heard that name yes. One of those modern day skalds. Tends to be in movies with lots of… pyrotechnics. He'd wondered, since the man seems to like fire so much if he wasn't a fire-elf himself. He's about to say something else when Loki whirls on Steve, causing him to follow with his eyes. And then his eyebrow shoots up. Even from that distance Steve can see the recognition on the man's face.

"Is this your contact, Loki?"

Shapeshifter perhaps? Why else would Loki be so bombastic in a public… wait, this is Loki after all.

"If so, I am not in the least amused. The Captain was a good man, so far as they go, and does not deserve to have his memory mocked."

Not a friend of humanity, no, but protective of those he recognizes as his. Fen's eye cut now suspiciously to Simon. Loki is nothing if not very, very clever. And manipulative. Possible this whole thing is a set up?

*

Simon laughs along with Loki - because it is ridiculous - and acknowledges Wolfson's introduction. He is about to take his leave when the guy who somehow seems older — maybe it's the aura of cranky arrogant crazy that so many old European royal-types get? what is that anyway? — decides to go all strange on the newcomer, and then Wolfson says "Loki" and "Captain" and the expression on Simon's face goes from "be nice to the civilians" to who turned on the weirdness electromagnet THIS time?

*

Unfortunately, backing an SUV into someone isn't a valid response to 'you looked suspicious.' Maria's only choices are to sit and wait or take off and potentially leave the Captain out on his own should something bad come out of this. Lack of patience be damned, the responsible thing for her to do in this moment is to wait.

…And to discover that Jeremiah's lengthy record is surprisingly clean. Notable longevity and feather-capped stick of wind aside, she's having trouble finding any dirt on the guy.

Why, then, does she have such a bad feeling about all of this..?

She can't decide which is worse, if they would suddenly decide to level half of Central Park or if she would have to admit that the whole thing had been a false alarm. Wasting time is not high on her list of enjoyable past-times.

*

If he knew who it was, he wouldn't be— okay, maybe Loki would ask if he was putting on something of a performance. But, he's not. He really doesn't know who this guy is, and with some information spilling in from Fenris?

"Captain?"

Military. Perfect… and the Asgardian Prince takes a couple of steps in order to close that distance between then by just a yard or three.

"Friend of yours?" is tossed over his shoulder, now that his back is partially turned to the pair.

"Even better."

The singsong-tenor returns and calling out to this 'Captain' once again, he works a slightly different tack.

"Captain, is it? Do you know my son?" A hint of a smile now dances upon his face as he gestures grandly, "Come and reacquaint yourselves."

*

A protruding lip and a head shake, "Sorry, partner. Can't say that I do. I don't even know who you are, to be honest."

His shoulders shrug, "No offense." He looks over at Fenris once more, gaining more and more assuredness that this man is in fact his old friend.

"Was? I sure hope you're not talking about that time I took seconds at the pasta bar on 42nd. I didn't know it wasn't all you can eat. Honest."

*

Fenris takes a half step back and turns slightly so that Loki, Simon and Cap are all in his field of view. He's eyeing Simon warily and Loki's back downright suspiciously. He reaches up, Hill has the best view of this, and yanks an odd necklace on a thin silver chain off his neck, holding it in his left fist.

"I told you ca ne fait rien…" He says, his voice switching to familiar and perfectly unaccented french the moment he starts speaking it.

"Steve, if that's really you, be careful. That man is not what he seems."

Eyes cut back over to Simon as he reaches in his coat for his rod again.

"And neither is this one, I suspect."

Dressed up as a bad impersonation of Thor? Just the kind of plant Loki might plant.

*

And now he's French? Simon does not speak French. Not even Canadian. Maybe a little bit of Japanese, some German, because of business stuff, but no French. He looks at Loki then at Wolfson and says, "I'm sorry? Could you please not do the wind thing again, there are too many innocent people around if you plan to go nuts with it."

*

"What the Hell's going on back there, Rogers..?" Maria asks to herself rather than over the comms, constantly breaking away from the screen in order to stare back at the three through the vehicle's mirrors. The lifting of the necklace is noticed, alright. What in the heck that might happen to mean, however..?

Somehow she gets the feeling that the Cap isn't going to be able to convince the others to turn around and walk away with nothing more than words.

For now, she's getting some great video footage of the man with the cane. Here's one more mystery for the Division to lose some sleep over.

*

Loki still has his cane wielded in left hand, and the moment this 'Captain' turns ever so slightly to speak to Fenris, he's lightning quick with his reflexes, and should his aim and timing be true, there just may be a sharp 'THWACK' and a dull thud of wood-not-wood making contact with the probably stronger than expected skull. Just in case, of course, he spins around in a deadly pirouette and goes for a leg sweep, just to make doubly sure of his attack. Friend of Fenris' would be a perfect target and a perfect… minion. Servant.

"Your warnings are too late, son…"

Simon, well… he's more concerned with Fenris and nothing to concern himself with- buffoon in Thor-clothing. Okay… perhaps he's a dead ringer for his brother.

*

"Nothing Hill, I h…"

THWACK!

The cane catches an unsuspecting Steve right under the chin just as he speaks towards Loupi. A flash of blinding pain erupts from under his skin and Rogers staggers backwards just before he gets taken out by Loki's swift kick. His back hits the ground first before he smacks his head hard upon the pavement. Despite his strength and healing abilities, there's a bit of blood left behind on the asphalt as Steve tries to roll over, clearly concussed.

*

"Gladium."

It's called a grand sword of war for a reason. Forty inches from blade to tang and glittering silver, it just springs from his hand where the necklace had been. And he doesn't seem to have any problems using it one handed, either. The rod comes out in the other hand and he flicks it back toward a park bench and then forward again at Loki. Hurricane force winds, albiet very narrow ones, rip it from it's moorings and hurl it toward the Asgardian Prince. Granted, this is Loki we're talking about so it may not do more than annoy him but Fen hopes it gives him a chance to close the distance.

Knowing he can't hold back, much, before this turns very ugly, he lets his divinity pump through him, rending the illusion of humanity he usually maintains. In the space of bolting forward a few yards he seems to grow a foot and a half, gaining claws and short fine fur along the way. Oh dear, if Steve remembers any of this he may have some explaining to do.

*

Loki. This guy answers to Loki and he seems to be … real? Because unless he's a madman, and no madman moves THAT fast, this is someone who thinks he's the REAL Norse god. Simon can't just stand there and let the guy knock around another person, and he DOES have lightning reflexes. Unfortunately he doesn't have the wisdom of Odin … which is why he moves with that lightning speed to try to jam the steel conical helm with the bull-horns down onto the head of that guy calling himself Loki, confident that it will be at least two sizes too big and thus blind him. Of course his confidence may be over-extended.

Also?? Wolfson. Right. WEREWOLFSON. Simon will try not to panic yet.

*

The instant the 'cane' comes flying through the air… Okay, not the instant. Hill's response time isn't quite on par with the Asgardians, though she's still got the armored black SUV geared in reverse in record time. With the accelerator dropped to the floor.

That guy just one-hit KO'ed Steve Rogers!

"Let's see if that stick works as well against a three-ton Acura, you sonuvabitch."

That there's now a sword, a park bench, and a Simon Williams also getting involved is noted but, ultimately, set aside for the moment. She's got her bumper cross-hairs set on Loki.

"Special Agent Hill, where the Hell are my Avengers?!"

*

Asgardian to Asgardian, it's not an easy fight to say the least. The park bench shimmers and disappears 'long' before it makes contact with Loki as he spins to stare at the now revealed wolf of a son. One step forward, and the suit disappears to reveal the glory of his gold and green leather coat, his 'cane' becoming his own sword Laevateinn; a weapon that gleams dangerously as its held. His jacket billows in the gale force winds, and even he is forced to raise a hand in order to 'see'.. it's the dirt and debris that whips around that is actually more difficult to deal with than that park bench.

"That's the boy I know…" comes in a laugh that holds absolutely no trace of humour. "You need me."

The hat.. well, it's a little hard to peg the man in the magical cyclone, so the chances are better than not that the hat simply is dragged by the wind that is about.

It's the SUV that Loki doesn't truly register until it's too late, and as the Assistant Director of SHIELD tests its off-road capabilities, the Asgardian Prince so helpfully becomes a speed bump. It doesn't kill him, obviously.. but getting up is a little slow, though he still has his sword.

*

Fenris actually has to jump back to avoid getting run over himself, since he was aiming for more or less the same location. God-wolf or not, he's can't take a hit like that and not get put on his butt. Brave mortal. Or stupid. Probably both. Right now though Fenris is more concerned with making sure that probably-Captain-Rogers gets out of Loki's crosshairs. At least for the moment. So he places himself between his father and the car, magical-but-not-legendary blade in one hand and rod whirling in the other. "Take the Captain and go!" He calls back to whomever these people are, hoping for at least the moment that Simon's attempted hatting of Loki means that he's not one of the Lie-smith's minions. "Need you, father dear? Need you to do what? Be the thing I left Asgard to stop being?"

The most curious subtext to this all is that there's no venom, no hatred in Fen's voice. He objects to seeing the Cap hurt or used but, he doesn't hate Loki for this. Loki is what he is. He always has been. Fenris knows this better than most.

*

The thing about Simon Williams, Wonder Man, that's not terribly obvious because of his lifestyle as an actor, is that he was intended, by the mad scientist who created him, to be a (mind-controlled pawn) match for heroes and villains everywhere. He could, on a good day, take down the Hulk, or win at arm-wrestling with Thor, but on a bad day, not so much. Today isn't so much of a good day. He's blown back by the sudden wind, and he has the stupid billowy fur cape acting as a sail — how does the real Thor move with that stupid thing on anyway?

He discards the helm as a waste of time and snaps the cord holding the cape on, and it blows off as well. Before he can return to attack Loki, though, he is reminded (by Fenris) that the Captain is still on the ground. All the other civilians have fled, with that New Yorker "super-fight" reflex that's been well-honed over the years. Simon simply stops being moved by the wind. With a KRzzzaKKLe of ionic power he jets down to pick up the fallen hero, and looks around. The SUV that struck Loki? That driver's a hero. So he needs to get her clear before the guy can retaliate. He lands with the unconscious Rogers next to the vehicle and yells, "Hey, are you OK in there?"

*

(Holy crap, that's an Asgardian. I just backed over an Asgardian. This probably isn't going to do my service record many favors.)

The heavy SUV screeches to an abrupt halt after effectively sucker-punching Loki, though Hill knows she doesn't have much time left to work with.

The door flies open and the dressed down Assistant Director jumps out with a .40 caliber sidearm in hand. She's just about to raise her voice and attempt to gain some control over the situation (see: Brave, Stupid,) when Jeremiah says 'take the Captain and go.' So, it might appear that she's got some unlikely assistance here. Which is good, because Rogers is not the lightest of fellows.

In a fight of this magnitude Hill's going to need all of the outside assistance she can get. One half of that is already bleeding on the ground. Before she makes herself a primary target to Loki she needs to get the downed Avenger into the vehicle so she can bug out if she has to. (Which she will.) And fortunately enough again, Wonder Man is already helping haul the unconscious man around for her.

"Back seat, move it!" she yells (because she's so grateful and all) while doing her best to cover Wonder Man and the injured with her sidearm. Then growling under her breath, she adds, "Where the Hell is Thor when you need him…"

*

Just because Loki can stand the hit of an SUV doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. It does… but only for the moment, and as he gains his feet, that moment passes. He's mad, and the SUV is about to gain a rather large measure of his ire. His hand shoots out, and there comes a rather strong telekinetic *push* to the black car, the intent to make it tumble in ways that the crash testers never dreamed.

Once that ant is stepped on, Loki's attention swings about, not concerning himself with Simon for the moment, his expression intent as he approaches the wolfman, his tones low as he speaks.

"Asgard.. a world that just begs for a new beginning. Any who see fault leave that world. I am not cast out, nor are you.. we left on our own volition because we are not like them."

He cants his head before shaking it, "My fight is not with you, Fenris.. surely you see that.."

*

Fenris is actually quite glad that Thor isn't here, because that would turn this into a regular old Mexican Standoff… minus, you know, the standoff part. Fen's rod snaps out, a countervailing wind attempting to catch the car and put it back down before it's crushed into uselessness. Hopefully that works. Fen's innate magical prowess is far below Loki's which is part of why he uses artifacts to make up for it. Even if it does work, it may make the driver pretty sick… Not that Apocalypse Wolf is paying attention right now.

"Nor do I have a quarrel with you. Not, at least, one any more significant than I have with the rest of them that bound me, and I long since decided that to be not worth fighting about."

He won't trust any of them. And they're kind of on his shit list, but no, not worth immediately attacking someone over.

"I do, however, protect what is mine. Even when it shows up in a park seventy years after it's supposed to be dead. Simply my nature. You ought to understand that. Besides, I don't think you came to this park for this, did you?"

Most of the people are gone and Fenris isn't concerned at this point with outing himself just a bit to those present. Hopefully they'll be more concerned with Loki anyway.

*

That gesture … Simon's just gotten Rogers into the car when the Father Of Chaos does his thing. The car rolls, buffeted on one side by a pushy kind of magic and on the other by a gust of wind, and Simon reflexively grabs the frame, fingers digging into the metal. He steadies it the rest of the way, then puts it back down on the ground.

"You coming?" he says to the SHIELD agent with the gun. Hopefully she won't mind too much - hopefully he hasn't messed up her door so it won't open.

*

Hill is, first and foremost, a Marine. She's not just a desktop jockey with a commanding voice. Being in the thick of things is nothing unusual to her. That said…

She still gets startled enough to yell out.

The only thing sparing her from taking an open door to the head and shoulder is the combat reaction to drop low as the SUV very nearly goes tumbling overhead. If not for Fenris and Wonder Man it would have become something akin to a ball bearing in a world of aluminum foil; the other vehicles wouldn't have stood a chance against the heavily outfitted rig.

There Hill stands, out of uniform with what amounts to a slingshot in her hands. To say she's looking slightly nervous would be an understatement, yet she still manages to look pretty darned determined.

Now she gets to hear Loki's thoughts on Asgard, as well. SHIELD's going to have a new problem on their hands, and very soon. Perhaps more importantly though, she still has her ride, complete with the Captain.

"Do I have a choice?" she answers Simon while practically throwing herself back in behind the wheel. Agent down, no reinforcements nearby, and an estimated survival time of about fifteen seconds for herself. Yes, leaving is an excellent idea.

*

Loki is also quite pleased that Thor isn't here. Or Sif. Or even Amora, that smitten sorceress. Finally, it's just him… and Fenris, as far as he's concerned. As for 'outing' himself? Let the mortals learn that gods walk amongst them and demand their obedience.

"I do understand it, Fenris.. but I can't allow you to run counter to my desire. One mortal.. just one, and you're standing like this against me? It wasn't me who bound you, son.. and sadly, I also wasn't the one to set you free. But to protect a mortal in a mortal world? Really. Have you learned nothing of your time here? How fleeting this life is… and none can be your equal. But, you can learn from me, my son."

Loki catches movement again, and there enters a slightly wild look into those blue eyes of his, and spinning around, his hand thrusts out once more, ready to catch the car, and if the hit is right, to send it careening into that gridlocked traffic just outside the park, his voice rising to yell.

"They mean nothing! Just subjects to rule. They need us."

*

Up snaps that rod again and a blast of wind catches the car once more. Unfortunately Fen didn't catch it because his friend is inside — he actually didn't quiiiiiite catch that part with his back turned and figured it's been moving too much to get Rogers in — nor did he catch it for the sake of the gridlocked traffic because he's pretty ambivalent on humans as a group himself. No. He caught it because it was the largest, heaviest object conveniently to hand. Er. Rod.

"Funny you should say that. 'They mean nothing…' That's exactly how I feel about the Aesir," Fenris growls low, low enough perhaps that only Loki will hear before he turns the car's rear bumper to Loki again and chucks it back down at him.

*

It's not bad enough that Loki is knocking the car around, now it's Wolf Junior. Simon's very annoyed by now. He's in the back with an unconscious man who could be hurt badly by all this jolting, and a woman with a gun and a military attitude, and now the wind thing again has turned them all into a projectile.

FINE

"Hold on," he says, grabbing the frame by the door on either side - and he kicks his feet out the back window. Oops, sorry window. Ionic jet engine time. The SUV starts moving faster, MUCH faster, but it doesn't QUITE hit Loki. Nor Fenris. It does, however, move PAST them. Maybe someone can get her Marksman Medal while they move.

*

Once more the SUV starts to get flung then gets arrested and dropped back down. Before Hill can punch it and go she finds it getting thrown backward into Loki all over again, too. That can't be too great for the transmission. It's also not too great to her, the sudden lurch of unusual motion banging the top of her head against the interior of the doorframe then shoving her forward into a suddenly deploying airbag. Oh, and somehow the rear window gets broken out, too. That in its own right is a good trick!

Driving out of here isn't going to be easy. What's a Marine-turned-SHIELD agent to do?

Roll down the window and shoot Loki in the face.

"This still means something."

BAM!

Then the SHIELD SUV turns into an airborne vehicle before it ever gets introduced to Repulsor tech. The way Maria's suddenly clinging to the wheel might suggest that she thinks it still does something useful.

"What the Hell did you just do?!"

*

'That's exactly how I feel about the Aesir'…

Oh, Loki can use that, should he get the opportunity to stop having to dodge large things heaved at him. Now, the Asgardian Prince leaps to close the distance between himself and Fenris, ready to take the battle to blows, the SUV more than capable of putting a dent in the earth, causing the death of a few carefully manicured flowers beyond. (It doesn't, however.) When he does make his moves to get closer, he'd be too close for swords, but daggers are perfect in such close quarters. In the next heartbeat, Laevateinn shrinks to its proper size, a dagger, and it flashes out towards the midsection of that wolfen form.

"There is no love between them and myself either," is snarled. "I don't understand how you could believe such a thing."

All those centuries of his trying to please his father, to answer the call of 'Loki, I need your help…' only to be castigated, to be reprimanded when he did just that. Help. And no 'thank you' ever forthcoming. Instead, it was always 'Thor this'.. and 'Banquet for Thor..'. He -tried-. He did.

And now? Loki blames them for this. All of— ow!

A bullet *whings* by, leaving a blood-streak trail along the side of his face. Spinning around, he's granted the vision of… red tail lights and a being that is pushing, no.. flying the car out.

*

There's an almost canine yelp of pain audible even from the now airborne government SUV. And they say those things are just conspiracy…

"You… bastard…" Fenris snarls. "Come here and endanger what is mine… poach on my hunting grounds will you?"

Pain. Anger, yes… still no venom. The pommel of the sword comes back around and rams into Loki's side as the god-wolf tries to force separation.

"I don't suppose…" he pants, blood running over his shirt, "you've seen wisdom and come to join me in exile then? Renounce… Asgard and its blind, idiot King?"

"You've got… something on your cheek… by the way."

He stares, blade held in a low, defensive guard, seemingly less interested in fighting now that might-be-Rogers is away.

*

What did he just do?

"I DEPLOYED PIXIE DUST!" Simon yells, kicking his ionic flight into high gear. He's almost completely obscured by purple-red krackle-aura by now. But this is not the most aerodynamic vehicle, which is why it won't quite hit the speed of sound; still, it's definitely moving faster than the speed limit.

"Where to?" is the next thing he says, once he's sure they're past the point that the Asgardians will use them for immediate target practice, or impromptu weapons. Of course he expects to be told 'Back to the park!' … but maybe not.

*

Pixie dust?

"And you call yourself an action movie hero!" Hill yells back over the howling of wind, among other unnatural sounds. It's all she can do to hold on, not go flying out of her seat, and not lose her sidearm. Oh, and try to keep track of where they are and where they're going.

That's when the secured radio comes back to life.

"Miss Hill! Is everything okay? Your GPS shows you traveling across Manhattan at … five hundred and ninety-four miles per hour..?"

"I topped off with premium!" she shouts back then hastily slaps a button to end the call before taking the wheel in a full-on deathgrip once more.

"How about 'anywhere that doesn't get me killed!'"

*

Loki is shoved back, and with him comes the bloodied dagger. His expression is blank; the fact that he's tried to kill his own son simply not registering on that 'important' scale. He is, after all, who and what he is.

A hand rises to wipe at the blood seeping upon his face, the little droplets forming an irritation.

"Renounce Odin? I deserve to rule there. Odin. My brother Thor. The whole of Midgard will be mine first so that Odin can fall at the hands of those whom he loves so dearly."

And the fact that Fenris has amassed a 'small army', or at least laying claim to such? That can be used.. and straightening, Loki wipes at his face again before he sets his dagger onto his belt.

"Fight by my side, Fenris. Not against me."

*

"Show me something worthwhile and perhaps I'll think about it."

Which is truth, so far as it goes. However he trusts none of the Aesir, especially his family, any further than he can throw Mjolnir. Which is to say, exactly no distance at all.

"Know, though, that these mortals have become dangerous. Understand, if you can, that even I hesitate to trifle with them. The power to end worlds is not in the hands of the 'All-Father' alone any longer."

Nor his. Though he doesn't have hands when he's ending worlds.

Fenris straightens up and eyes Loki. He shrinks back down to normal size and appearance. His blade vanishes too, reforming into the necklace that he replaces on his neck. The rod goes away as well and he holds out his empty left hand, opening a portal beside him.

"Remember who your son is, Loki. Don't shit in my hunting grounds, okay? I'd say goodbye, but I expect this won't be the last time we talk."

*

"I am an action hero, I just don't have a writer."

They're moving too fast, the tip of Long Island is coming up and that probably means they're in the traffic pattern for Kennedy. So. Time to drop down the speed.

"Hang on, slowing down," Simon says in a slightly staticky voice, and the car — which may be getting a bit of its own purple-red krackle — begins to bank and aim back towards the main part of the city. At least it never went above 1000 feet, so it was all legal, right? Experimental aircraft!

Thirty seconds later, they're back at ground level, in Brooklyn. Simon aimed for a hospital, but he might've over shot, or undershot.

*

Great. Hill was just saved by a man in a terrible Thor knockoff costume. She's going to go ahead and be thankful that Rogers is unconscious right now, because this..? This stays between Wonder Man and herself.

Now she just has to peel herself out from behind the wheel. This might take her a little while. On the upside, the Acura should still run!

Without turning back to look at Simon she manages to steady her voice enough to say, "We'll be in touch."

*

"Sorry about the window. I think you shot Loki in the face, though," Simon notes.

He lets go of the frame, and the krackle stops flowing through the car so much, and floats backwards through the window.

"Oh, crud. I need to get that stupid hat and cloak back."

And, he's off, heading back for Central Park.

*

Loki is still back in the park, and as the portal is created, he… watches. Ignoring the crass threats, he instead considers his son's words regarding the mortals. 'these mortals have become dangerous'. Turning about now, his form moves from the gold and green leather back to the business suit attire, minus the cane. (The dagger is still on him.) The newspaper is retrieved, though blown into a million different directions, and he begins to make his way from the park to the Museum of Natural History. He still has something to do before the evening is over…

"The All-Father has always been blind."


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