The Tale of the Dazzler
Roleplaying Log: The Tale of the Dazzler
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

When Atli Wodendottir and Sloane Albright crashland in the Xavier Institute's pool after events best not explained, Warren takes the opportunity to finally wrest the story of THE DAZZLER IN ASGARD from the Girl of Thunder. Sloane is overall traumatized.

Other Characters Referenced: Dazzler, Jean Grey, Rachel Summers, Thor, Loki
IC Date: January 14, 2019
IC Location: Xavier Institute, Westchester
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 15 Jan 2019 15:04
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots
EARTH. TWO DAYS AGO.

"Verily, Child of Wehrsweir, who's scales shine oh so bright, I require your aide with the fishpeople of Niflheim have grown onory, and only your great power over liquid in all forms can put an end to their gilled malice. What say you, Sloane Brightscale, last Scion of the Dying Land of Boston?"

NIFLHEIM. FIVE MINUTES AGO.

A goat bursts from the cold waters of Niflheim and into the mist above, rocketing skyward with two red headed heroes and trailing spears that arc through the sky to try and catch it's hindparts. The fishmen of Niflheim, it seems, are still onory. Now that Atli doesn't have to hold her breath any longer, she gives her take on the situation. "COULD YOU NOT HAVE CONSIDERED HIS OFFER OF MARRIAGE?! HE HAD QUITE THE SET OF ABS FOR A FISH-MAN!! TOOTHBENDER, QUICKLY, TAKE US TO SOME PLACE SAFE BEFORE THEY LAUNCH THEIR NETS!!."

XAVIER'S SCHOOL FOR THE GIFTED. NOW.

Rainbow light bends and shimmers some fifty feet above the X-Men's grounds, specifically over their well used, abused, and often repaired pool. Reality bends and shimmers and opens, and through it, a goat comes, racing towards the pool with all the power of it's rainbow-streaming hindparts.

SKA-PLOOSH!!!

In slow motion beneath the water, Atli watches as the trio race towards the bottom of the deep end, stopping just short. They made it! They're safe! And the pool is even intact.

Or would be, if Toothbender hadn't decided to take out his unspent aggression on the bottom of the pool by headbutting it, believing it is yet another barrier to their escape.


Once upon a time, visiting a distant world was something that Sloane only dreamed of. Of course she saw That Space Movie, and of course her Dad watched that old space TV show and had fond memories of it. The last two years have, however, given her all of the space that she can handle for a whole lifetime. How? Enter: Atli.

Admittedly, the trip started out pretty well. Atli was the closest she ever has been to "reserved," and until their mission (quest? journey?) was near it's completion, she'd been incredibly on-target. And then, right in that perfect, shining moment where this trip could have been considered almost a vacation, everything just — goes horribly wrong.

Crouched down low while harpoons and spears fly overhead, Sloane's face is red and her tone completely incredulous, holding twin spheres of water over her hands. Nominally, Merrow, Agent of SHIELD has eradicated the accent of her hometown, but every so often it just comes raging out of her:

"IT AIN'T MY FAULT THAT PISSAH GOT HANDSY ON ME, ATLI, HE GOT WHAT HE DESERVED."

FIVE MINUTES LATER:

It's a good thing she's holding those spheres over her hands. Pools are either emptied or curtains of ice by the time the winter rolls around, and as they are plummeting into unfamiliar territory, breaking the ice — pun intended— is good with a pair of high-pressure jets being thrust out of her hands, pulling what water she can out of cool, dry air in the process before
it all
comes
rushing
up

SPLAT-FWOOSH

Sloane, face up to the water, stays low for a few moments before slowly easing up toward the surface of the pool, floating to the top. Not sure of the weather in Niflheim of all places, she made the mistake of dressing a lot more casually— a jacket, long-sleeved t-shirt, jeans, and some nice ankle-high boots— than in her SHIELD-issued super-wetsuit.

"f'fuck's sake," she just murmurs to the sky.


SKA-PLOOSH!!!

This hasn't really been an unusual sound effect at Xavier's Institute, over the years (which is concerning in and of itself), but it's still plenty alarming enough to get a stir of activity in response. Some faces appear in the Institute's windows, as the older students which still linger on at the school stare out in alarm, jostling one another to get a better look. A few who were on the ground floor actually open the french doors leading out from the kitchen onto the back patio and the pool area, venturing out cautiously for a closer look.

They can do this partially because some of them have awesome powers to resist the cold, and partially because it's a relatively warm day for January in upstate New York, the thermometer actually above freezing after a week of a significant cold spell.

This is highly relevant, because it means a certain someone was up sunning his wings on a second floor balcony, and therefore has a perfect vantage point to see everything — and to respond.

Vaulting over the railing, Warren Worthington skims down to ground level with a few beats of his wings. The students hesitate on seeing him. "Go back inside," he tells them, sweeping his right wing out to its full spread to veil their view of the pool off, and to herd them back indoors, which they do with some protest. The young lady in particular goes only reluctantly, because of the reason Warren was up sunning his wings in the first place: he was drying them off after a shower, and is completely topless.

He seems used to wandering around in this condition.

Once the students are back inside (still staring through the doors), Warren refolds his wings and carefully approaches the pool. It says something that he's facing off with the unknown with no armaments and no backup, putting himself physically between the gawking kids and whatever goatly perils lurk at the pool bottom. Of course, all this valiant gallantry ultimately comes to naught once he gets a look at what floats to the surface of the pool —

"…Agent Merrow?"


FOOSH!!

Toothbender goes sailing from the pool, tossed bodily by someone or something beneath. The goat crashes into a pool-side chair, and skids to a snorting stop, just as Atli breaches the surface, one hand taking hold of the side of the pool so that she might vault from the water, land on the concrete, and begin shaking herself out much like a dog might. "Fool of a goat! The pool is not for destroying! This time!" But it's to late, someone is going to have to fix the bottom for sure. There is a flap of her vester in protest, and Atli looks utterly pathetic, hair plastered to her face, which she claws at to get out of her eyes, which reveal to her glory untold.

Eyes go wide when she sees those wings, legendary, like the angels that Old King Thor had told her of. Except with less breasts, Well, somewhat less, for the Girl of Thunder does indeed stare at those pectorals as if they had the power to solve all the problems in all the realms. It even occurs to her that she should ask Warren to come with her, and talk the fish man out of their invasion of Niflheim's landlocked areas, but that sort of responsible thing is utterly dashed from her mind, replaced by a beaming smile and a quick shake of her entire body, as if she might dislodge the water as a goat might.

And what is the goat doing? Slowly walking towards Warren to nudge his head in against his arm, a measure of greeting he reserves for only a special few.

"Truly, he is worthy of T H E D A Z Z L E R ' S loins!"

This Atli says under her breath, and then turns to Sloane. "Sloane! Look! It is the beautiful bird man! Come to think, this place seems to house a great many bird people. Hello?! Lady Firemind?! Are you about? Lady Flamefeather? Do you also reside here?! Warren the Worthy! Is your flock about? Is.. is.. "

Atli is almost shaking at this point. Though, she might just be cold. Who knows.

"Is.. The Dazzler here?!"


'…Agent Merrow?'

Sloane's eyes widen a little, then her head tilts to look toward the source of the voice, and it is … Warren shirtless Worthington, shirtless mutant of the shirtless X-Men in weather like this. Weather that takes a moment for it to sink in with her; deep water is cold, and good lord it's cold as hell now that she broke surface abs Warren is here too.

"H…e…..y… Misssster Worthington," the SHIELD Agent replies, the drawl long and specific: She's confused, a little terrified, and she didn't really expect any of this HOLY SHIT what is he even doing here, but she really should have considering the company she's keeping.

Genetics tell her to stay in the water, but courtesy pushes her toward getting out. Swimming to the side in a few powerful strokes, Merrow is quick to pop up from the water with little fanfare, though she lifts her hand to shield herself from the Atli-shake, frowning /so hard/.

Slit, fiery orange eyes just stay turned toward Atli and /stare/ at her excitement; the adventure of a few minutes ago is still catching up with her and she's a little out of sorts at the moment. Head lifting, looking around, her mouth presses into a line. "Where are w— wait, is this Westchester? Christ, I— I'm sorry, Mister Worthington, it's…" Sloane trails off, yet makes a wild, yet nebulous gesture toward the Asgardian and by extension, her goat.

Her attention turns downward for a moment, frowning at the state of herself, as well as tugging on the collar of her jacket. Leather. That's ruined now.

"I didn't mean to interrupt your, uh. You know."

damn


Warren is fully accustomed to being stared at. In fact, he probably wouldn't know what to do if he weren't being stared at. The goat he also takes in stride. Toothbender's approach garners him a ruffling of his ears. "You gonna behave?" Warren inquires of the goat, with the sort of look that suggests he would be just shattered if the goat let him down.

Glancing back up as the two approach him, a hint of amusement starts to play in his eyes as he takes in the stares, dashed with a bit of wickedness as A Thought formulates. He could dress them down a bit for their careless meteoring into the pool — not ten yards from where people are studying! — but that would be a Scott thing to do. The Warren thing to do is a much more cruel sort of punishment.

"Hello again, Atli Wodendottir," he says. It is a certain power of his to remember people's names impeccably even after only one introduction. "I regret to say the rest of my flock isn't here, no." Somewhere Jean and Rachel no doubt chafe, without knowing why, to be claimed as part of Warren's rooster flock. "Just me. I left the Dazzler back in the city. She's very tired out, lately."

Oof. Alison would kill him. If only she knew. Fortunate she isn't here.

His attention turns, full-force, on Sloane. "No interruption," Warren says. He is watching her a little like an eagle might watch a fish. "I was nearly all the way dry, anyway." His wings flare demonstratively, the feathers shaking out slightly in the chill air; they still look a little damp, truth be told.

"You are in fact in Westchester," he explains. "And now — do you want to tell me what you're both about, frightening the students?"


HE REMEMBERED HER NAME OH SHE MIGHT FAINT. But then. BUT THEN.

When those wings flare, Atli claps and points, and looks to Sloane. It is only now that she seems to notice that Sloane is staring at her like that, and she scoffs immediately, as if no words are needed for her to feel such silent admonishment. Finally, the Asgardian straightens her duster a bit, and tries to play it off oh so cool, whipping her hair back (and nearly smacking Sloane with it) before she comes close enough to give a nudge of her foot to the goat's hindparts.

And why did she do that? Well, the look Warren gave the goat was mistaken for some invitation to sample the Worthington fruit. Which in this case, is his many, delicious looking feathers. Only a few know of the goat's love of pigeon flesh, especially giant pigeons, that explode over New York City. But Atli is one of those few, and she nips that particular problem in the bud, the goat making a sound of protest before it saunters away, stopping to pick up an errant, shed feather from the ground and chew on it as it half-flops onto another pool-chair, putting it to the test.

"Ah, yes, our mission. You see, we're great heroes, much like yourself and The Dazzler, and so we were coming to the aide of the people of Niflheim. At some point The Brightscale could no longer stand having suction cups on her hindparts, and took exception. And so, my plan to Fix Everything had to come to a sudden stop. But worry not! We'll return with a greater force. Perhaps the Mini-Sorceress Supreme, Darcy would agree to wed the Fish-People Prince."

Atli chinrubs at this, and then shakes her head.

"But do not worry yourself of such paltry adventures, oh great Worthyton Glorywing, I would not wish to ask your help in this with your other mission, keeping the unbound energy of the great Dazzler in check, weighing so very, very heavily on your perfectly sculpted shoulder-parts."

She beams a smile at Warren. Then at Sloane. Hands on her hip, she looks to her friend to fill in the awkward silence.

Shockingly, Atli does not address the exact concern of why they landed in the pool, and disrupted the studying.


With a quick utilization of her powers, Sloane fans out her fingers in front of herself, palms turned back. The worst of the water in her clothes is drawn out in streams and strands, but she still looks like a drowned ginger from the totally alive city of Boston. Just, you know, kind of scaly.

"I'm sorry, we—"

'Ah yes, our mission!' Sloane tries to speak, but Atli keeps going. And going, and going. "Atli—"

'suction cups on her hindparts'

— as if her face could not get any /more/ red at this point—

"Atli!!"

Face lowering into her hand, the Agent starts thinking about her life, her career, and whether it's not too late to just give it all up and try the music thing again. Maybe she could get a favor from Dazzler? Maybe not just have a soundcloud?

Letting the awkward silence hang, her thumb and forefinger pinch the bridge of her nose. "So anyway, Atli asked me to help her and this meant going to another planet, and then I offended a space fish prince that tried to grab me and then we had to escape, and for some reason, Goaty McGoatchomps ran us … here."

Sloane looks up, pressing her fingertips together and having a drawn, almost deadpan look in her eye while staring at Warren. "Jesus Christ, I cannot believe those words all came out of my mouth. But, I apologize. We really didn't mean to land here."


The look of amusement on Warren's face only increases as Atli takes it upon herself to answer his query with a most thorough explanation.

"This is why I don't usually recommend space to people," he says. "Among… other reasons."

There is a pause, before he looks at Sloane with the most grave of curiosity, and inquires for his edification, "So was this fish prince the one that suctioned your hindparts? There wasn't any lasting damage done, was there? That would be a crime."

But again, Sloane apologizes for crashlanding into the pool. "It's fine," allows Warren, very generously, folding his wings back in with a snap of feathers. "You can pay me with this currency."

He looks between Atli and Sloane. "Tell me this story about the Dazzler in Asgard. She keeps refusing to tell me."


A hand claps Sloane on the far shoulder, and Atli gives her a rocking, kneading squeeze that will shake the Child of Wehrsweir all over. This, of course, is to reassure her since she is clearly overwhelmed with the both the calibur of her own heroics and Warren Worthington's abs. Atli blinks when Warren folds his wings back, the sound of the feathers snapping drawing her attention and widening her eyes. She might demand, in a polite way, to inspect those wings, to know the fathers that command the other bird-people of this, the home of Mega Man X. But Warren asks for payment, a manner of recommence for the pool and the disruption, and he asks for precisely the thing that Atli can give.

Fumbling for her belt, she produces a flask, walks over to one of the pool chairs near the goat, and flops down, nearly destroying it with her Asgardian weight.

"Come then friends, gather round. Take leave of your worries, for the tale I tell you know is a tale of the ages. You, Worthyton Glorywing, may think you know a great many things about The Dazzler. Perhaps certain sounds she makes, when only in the company of silken wings."

Note: The Warren/Alison romance novel will be called In The Company Of Silken Wings.

"But you have never known the sound of her triumph, and this is the tale I lay before you now. You see, it all began when Odin was being a fool, as Odin is want to do. What sort of man asks a firebird woman to perch upon his arm? Madness, I say. But that is a tale for another time. It seems he had gone and lost the Odin-Force, or a portion of it anyway, in some sort of 'Earth-Disco'" Atli air-quotes here. "Whatever that is, and the Enchantress thought she might steal it. Why was it there, in this disco? When asked, Odin stated that he was 'turning the beat around'. Again, I have no idea what this means! Several Earth-years layer, this place continued to be a place of song and dance. Turns out, not on the watch of Dazzler! She was performing that night, and soundly defeated the Enchantress, but Amora was not to be outdone, and found her trouncing at the hands of a mere mortal to be far, far worse than losing a chance at Odin's power. And so, she captured Dazzler, and brought her before Odin and all of the people of Asgard!"

Atli pauses here, and.. is she.. is she about to cry? Emotion overwhelms her, because now she remembers the first time she heard Dazzler's winning song, and trying to speak about it chokes her up.


The embarrassing talk about her hindparts continues. Sloane cannot help but suck air between her teeth, pinching again at the bridge of her nose as though it will give her some kind, ANY kind of salvation from this talk. Even the arm around her shoulder and the violent, friendly jostling does little to calm or sway her emotions.

Fortunately, Atli is about to tell a story — and it pulls the focus /away/ from her for a few moments. As the tale starts, Merrow is somewhere between attentive and distracted, digging her phone out of her pocket (yay!) and then shaking it as water seems to pour out of the reinforced case (noooo!).

Admittedly, she's listening to the story a little more attentively as it goes on, her brow creasing at first, then her head slanting to the side. Her mouth opens to speak, but then she just can't even find the words.

"I feel like I should ask her about this if I ever see her again, but I'm pretty sure if I do I'm gonna get thrown out of the place by the scruff of my neck."


It is an unfortunate day for Sloane Albright, to be caught between Atli Wodendottir on the one hand, and Warren Worthington on the other. Both seem quite amused with her discomfort, though one of them might be just a little less oblivious than the other about it.

This is the blood price SHIELD agents who appear on Institute grounds, uninvited, must pay.

It's not helped by Warren outright encouraging Atli, who he seems thoroughly amused by. "Those are the least of the things I know about her," he says sagely. "But go on — my knowledge is clearly missing this significant piece."

And listen he does, though his gaze does distract slightly when Merrow moves to pull out her phone. That aquiline blue gaze watches her a few moments, perhaps watchful of what she's going to to do with the phone, but after a few moments — and an apparent assurance that Sloane isn't doing anything but pouring water out of it — he looks away again.

"Oh, I wouldn't advise asking her," he says. "I tried to cajole the story out of her any number of times with any number of bribes, but she just wouldn't have it. I can't imagine why — capture by an Asgardian god really isn't the strangest thing that has ever happened."

Clearly there was Something More going on here.


It takes a few moments, more than enough time for Warren to warn Sloane, but Atli finally composes herself. "There are few in all the ten realms who can claim to have moved the All-GreatGrandFather to tears. Thor did once, when he dropped Mjolnir upon FarFarFar's foot. The backhanding he received was momentous enough to form a black hole, or so I'm told. Another such tear was drawn from Odin when he first met the Phoenix, brilliant and fierce and devouring almost everything in sight. So stricken by her beauty, Odin spent ten thousand years learning all the proper ways to love her, but never learning the proper place a woman should sit upon you. His arm? What a fool."

Letting out a steadying breath, she continues.

"It is said that he shed another tear when he found his son Loki, the boy that, with some irony, might have brought some peace to the old fool's heart, ending his ways of war. Even Thor hadn't done that much. But none of these things compare to The Dazzler, who stood before Odin in judgement, who set the rules of engagement and told them both he saw all and knew all, and so they must compose three songs each, on the spot. Back and forth they went, the first two songs leaving them even."

Atli's eyes go wide and wild, and she tilts back her flask before offering it up to Warren and Sloane. It has no label, other than a single, Asgardian rune.

"Then, it was time. The Enchantress wove her magic. Wove her song into the fabric of reality itself. People in the crowd swooned and grappled one another, overtaken by passion and love. It looked dire. It looked, perhaps, hopeless. A mere mortal against the might of Amora? Impossible."

Her gaze rises, and her hair sweeps back with the tilt of her head. Tears are clearly there on her freckled cheeks.

"And then the Dazzler Dazzled. She countered this tapestry of false love with light and sound that rolled over the crowd, rolled over warriors young and old, and over Odin himself with a ballad that turned her apparent weakness to her advantage. What was time, if it was endless? What was opportunity, if never missed? What was life, if it was immortal? Languishing in Asgard, our people had become fools all, taken by the whimsy of timelessness and spurred to inaction by the gluttony of forever. But on that day, she showed us. On that day, she roused all of Asgard to new purpose. For so many years we had left the realms to rot and roil in their own filth. An entire realm saw for the first time ever, Odin, the Allfather, sobbing as if he were a child. He had wasted so much, and this mortal had shown them all what purpose really meant."

There this a long pull of breath, and then she finishes. "So you see, these songs and others she recorded for Odin before leaving Asgard ARE the songs of my people, the driving force in all the things we have done to keep the realms safe, even as the whole of the galaxy was consumed by terrible fire, and Thor ruined almost everything after Odin evaporated or whatever the fool did. Well, you know, all of that is in the future. But Dazzler is the reason I protect this world. If you ever need to know purpose, Warren Fairfeather, ask her but to sing a single line of the song called Transience. Then, prepare yourself.. for untold GLORY!"


The amount of water coming out of the case suggests if this thing /was/ waterproof, it isn't anymore. Then again, interplanetary goat-travel, battles, and then crashing into a pool probably all played an equal hand in the whole big stupid mess. Looking defeated, flicking her bangs back, Sloane crams it back into her jacket and instead zips it up, folding her arms snugly while Atli offers her… the flask.

She made that mistake once. Never again.

After a clipped shake of her head and fingers lifting to politely turn down the drink, she just /listens/. A lot.

Her eyebrows can't go higher. She tries — she really tries — to ask questions, but she can't. Atli occasionally tells some whopper stories, but this one is one of those things that's so absurd it's all probably true, all of it.

Hell, ten minutes ago she was defenestrating fish royalty on another planet. If you wonder why fish-men need windows, you clearly have not been to other planets yet.

"'Transience,'" Sloane repeats. Her eyes flick to Warren's, eyebrow raised. "If you ask her please have a camera rolling 'cause I'm pretty sure the reaction would be, like." The SHIELD Agent pantomimes the classic chef kiss in the next moment, savoring the mental image.


There is only one thing that can interrupt Warren's overall amusement with how this is proceeding: the anecdote about the Phoenix, and Odin.

That puts a troubled look on his face for various reasons, none of which he shares. He… probably should not ask.

The renewed story of this epic song battle soon helps him forget those terrible thoughts, at the least. The offered flask is similarly turned down, because children are watching, and Warren has to at least pretend to try to set some kind of good example while he's up here. He may never know how close he came to calamity.

Besides, this story is of the sort which requires a clear mind to fully take in, all the way up to its glorious conclusion. Atli may not expect Warren's response, at the close, to be 'laughing for ten seconds straight.'

"She does tend to have that effect, she's terribly stimulating. Certainly for me," Warren says genially of Alison, whenever he finally recovers. He nods towards Sloane's request. "Well you know, she won't sing me any of her songs, no matter how much I entice her. Perhaps I should ask Atli here to make the case. She's got much more of a way with words than I do."


What's that? Worthyton thinks she has a way with words. She waves a hand, as if to brush it off, and then rises from her seat, leaving the pool chair in an unrecoverable state. After another warming swig from her flask she sticks it in her pouch, and then looks between Sloane and Warren with her ever-present, utterly oblivious smile. Oblivious to what? Well, almost everything. Except for Warren's innuendo, which she just takes as fact.

"And yet I am sure she sings songs for you that she sings for no other."

Beaming smile.

"In bed I mean."

She gives an exaggerated wink. Atli Wodendottir, smooth as finely raked broken glass.

"Of course, I would be honored to come to The Dazzler's court and request a performance, or perhaps I could arrange for all of you to return to Asgard. While I can't say I know much of what goes on in the Asgard of the present, I am certain they would welcome both her and you with great fanfare. And certainly, this would be an opportunity to introduce the Child of Wehrsweir to Odin, which could be dangerous of course, since I have heard his love of fish is rivaled only by his love of birds. Speaking of which, and not to change the subject to much, but have you seen any of the firebird women about? I was hoping to show them my very wonderful goat."

And then Atli leans against Toothbender like someone might lean against a car they were trying to use to impress the object of their affection. The goat, who had only come back to sniff around for more feathers helps by wandering away, which drops Atli like a stone.

She pops up almost immediately, straightening her vester again and trying to pretend that never happened.


Sloane busts out with a big laugh, shoulders shaking as she tries to imagine Atli woo-ing someone like Alison Blaire into singing her secret Asgardian song-battle tunes for Warren. Carefully dabbing the tears at the corner of her eye, she grins lopsided and looks at Atli. "You could totally do it, you know. I'm sure she'd love it."

'love of fish rivaled by love of birds'

Sloane immediately goes from the big grin to a flat face. "Likes … a lot of stuff, doesn't he…" she trails off. "Oh god. /Please/ don't introduce me like that. I am /not/ that thing's kid, I keep telling you."

And now, Atli has designs for the firebird women. Her eyes flick from Atli to Warren, then back to Atli. And then she starts thinking really, really hard:

'Rachel? Atli's here. Goat. Here. Love stories. Dazzler. Music. School. Run.'


"Arias," says Warren Worthington, with a flashed smile one could almost call… dazzling.

Hopefully Alison never finds out about this conversation.

"If I were younger and unattached I'd see what kind you sing, but alas, I am old and responsible," Warren laments, though there's a coy slyness around the edges of his smiling. "We'll simply just have to be friends. You'll help me coax it out of her yet, I imagine — though I think it'd test even your persuasive powers to get her to go back to Asgard. For whatever reason, the entire ordeal seems to embarrass her. I can't imagine why, it's an epic."

Someone please save Sloane from this.

Sloane's salvation, mercifully, comes with that question about Jean and Rachel. Warren smoothly reroutes. "Oh, them? Sorry to say I haven't seen them in some time. I'm pretty certain they're still back in New York, unless they've been carried off by aliens." Again.

His wings flick open absently, as he tests for any lingering dampness. Totally dry, now. "I'd go have a look there." His gaze turns towards Merrow, and for a moment all the jesting is gone. His eyes are serious with the knowledge of who she is, and of a sudden it might be noticed: he never shifted his stance from where he stood between the two, and the Institute itself. "The kids here need some peace to study."


'Arias'

"Yes, of course."

Atli has no idea what that means. Even Allspeak has it's limit, it seems, and yet she just keeps smiling as if she knows exactly what Warren is saying. But when he says he will be her friend, well, rather than the other thing, her expression becomes perhaps even more genuine. Stricken in that moment and looking to Sloane, as if to find some mirror for this precious moment, she steps forward and offers her hand in a way that suggests her entire forearm is up for grabs. If Warren gives her arm the shake, she'll give him a thumbs up with her other hand.

It has all the makings of the heroes of an eighties movie meeting, right before everything goes right to hell.

"Do not worry about that, my new good friend, Worthyton. If you arrange for an audience with The Dazzler, I shall convince her that all the realms would be better off should she come to Asgard."

This assurance given, Atli nods at Warren's comment about giving the kids some peace to study. "Then you'll be needing a shirt, then. As soon as possible."

A moment passes, and then she actually realizes what he's saying, and nods again. "Ah, yes! Come, Toothbender, Brightscale, let us depart. And never be ashamed of your heritage, my scaled friend. So what if you come from a dying wasteland, once ruled by your mother, Wehrsweir? So what if you are from monstrous origins? I am born of Woden, who was born of Thor, who was born of Odin. That's three fools in a row!! But somehow I've risen above it! Just as you have. After all, you had royalty pawing at your hindparts today! That has to count for something."

Another clap on Sloane's shoulder, and then she mounts the goat.

"Fair thee well, Glorywing. May you have many, many arias in the future, and know the sweet tones of Transcience before the day is done."


Sloane's eyes close. She draws a deep breath, completely lost, standing there with nothing to say— for she cannot say anything. Casting one last look to Warren, there's age and wear in her eyes— wear that only comes to be seen now, as Atli continues to speak her invented story for the SHIELD agent.

There's defeat in her eyes — she's tried, she's tried so many times in the past to explain this to the Asgardian, but it just does not work. One day, she might have to get a book made, with pictures. Or weave it into a song?!

Tired, exasperated, and still soaking wet to the bone, Sloane climbs up onto the goat and then turns to look back at Warren, still, with those same tired eyes.

And then she counts it off on her fingers:

"I'm from Earth. I'm from Boston. I am not the child of a mythical sea-serpent. I deal with this reality every day."

And then she just mouths out 'help me' before Atli ushers on her goat and their next leap … and hopefully it is the leap home.


You know that laugh Tom Cruise gives? That one that truely lets you know he's in a world all his own? Atli gives that one when Sloane says all of those things, giving an exaggerated shrug at Warren.

Then the goat powers skyward, into the clouds! What was Sloane hoping for? More rainbow bridge?

Don't mind if I do, thinks the goat.

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