PARMSWEIR UNLEASHED
Roleplaying Log: PARMSWEIR UNLEASHED
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Thor has a surprise party for 98 year-old Margaret Carter. An unexpected guest arrives with tidings of his own

Other Characters Referenced: Odin, Son of Jacob
IC Date: April 23, 2019
IC Location: Embassy of Asgard
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 24 Apr 2019 19:45
Rating & Warnings:
NPC & GM Credits: Atli as Parmsweir
Associated Plots

EONS AGO.

"Warriors of Clan Jau-Sum. I, Odin, Son of Bor, All-Father to Ten Realms, do cast judgement upon thee for the pillaging and general shark-ridden nonsense you have seen fit to inflict upon the realms. For these crimes, I sentence you and your people custody of Parmsweir, Devourer of Stars. You will float upon this bleak rock at the end of nowhere, until your penance is paid, and should Parmsweir remain imprisoned by the the coming of the next age, I shall grant thee my pardon."

SOME MONTHS AGO.

Atli Wodendottir stands upon a rock floating at the edge of nowhere, her spear resting on her shoulder, her smile beaming up at a giant shark-man. "So, what do you say, Battlemaster Gorax. Want to help me save Midgard from invading demon things, earning the gratitude of Tony Stark? My understanding is that he owns the planet of Mars, and so, he could easily relocate your people there."

The Battlemaster rises, drool hanging from his great, toothy maw. "Does Mars have a pool?"

And so, that's how those who were meant to guard Parmsweir, the Star Eater, found another home. And stopped guarding Parmsweir. Parmsweir, who wakes in the wake of the glittering Bifrost, working again and again to recall Asgard's finest from their embassy on Midgard, because it seems someone might have stationed Asgard's finest there without the All-Father's favor. Parmsweir, who could not hope to visit his ire on Asgard while the All-Father is awake.

Midgard is a different matter all together.

NOW. The embassy is abuzz with some activity, lead by an Asgardian of great purpose and focus. But not by Atli Wodendottir, who is somewhere else entirely. No, while she is indeed a part of this mission, it has required her to travel across town to 177A Bleecker Street, where she did indeed bang on the door and make overly polite requests to see the Lord of the Manor. To which she explained, in a somewhat drunken, certainly slurred voice.

"And so you see, after Scott Adsit, Agent of Shield and Ambassador to Asgard revealed this information to me, my grandfather and I sprung into action. A hero such as Margaret Carter must be honored on the day of her birth, and that is why I am here. As one of her closest and dearest friends, you would have will to summon her to the surprise party Thor is gathering at the embassy as we speak." Atli's smile is beaming, fierce, and oh so confident. And so she implores her host to offer his aide. "What say you, Lord Stark? Will you aid me in this quest? Also, when I had heard you were abandoning your tower I had never imagined you would purchase such a place filled with old and arcane things. Have you encountered your middle life crisis?" says Atli Wodendottir, who believes she has been speaking to Tony Stark for the last fifteen minutes, and not Doctor Stephen Strange.

* * *

The Embassy of Asgard.

An abandoned building like no other. Imagine a mead hall that was sculpted by the labor of immortal craftsman. Wood and beams woven with impossibly thing strands of gold that seem to stretch to the sky. Weeks ago its tenants departed in a sudden fashion. Residents describe a 'shrieking rainbow' that persisted for nearly forty-eight hours as the Bifrost transported the denizens of this place into the heavens and left it deserted.

The neighborhood association, who expressed numerous concerns about the gods whose drunken brawls (sometimes involving monsters) spilling into the street, breathed a collective sigh of relief because City of New York was not quite certain how to enforce an ordinance against an extra-planar embassy.

Their problems were solved.

RECENTLY!

Do you know Thor and/or Peggy Carter?

Then, a courier arrived at your place of residence or place of business. Perhaps it was a man upon a bicycle. Perhaps it was a mystic raven because you live in another dimension.

What each of you received was a scroll. Sturdy parchment sealed with wax. When broken and unfurled it read in calligraphy of magnificent quality:

**

FRIEND,

MARGARET CARTER SOON TURNS 98 YEARS OLD.

JOIN US FOR A CELEBRATION IN THE EMBASSY OF MY FATHER. IT IS A SURPRISE PARTY. IT WILL BEGIN AT 8. FOOD AND DRINK PROVIDED.
THOR

**

The members of 'Strawberry Moan' have been fretting for weeks. Imagine posting a flyer in Manhattan and then a few days later you're practicing in your drummer's garage when the whole structure shakes and suddenly the Son of Odin himself stands before you, flyer in hand, and needs you to perform at the party of his 98-year-old friend.

Currently they are doing their very best at a progressive metal version of 'Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy'.

Several long tables covered in plain white cloth were transported in by a catering company earlier today. They are filled with food, not of the gods, but of the 'Mockingbird Restaurant'. Their staff circle as servers who, to their horror, realized this morning they care catering an event in a building with only a wood burning kitchen.

At least there is ale. Ale for miles. This ale is of the gods. Each of you received a commemorative drinking horn. Is it, a goat's horn? Well, they have been preparing for weeks.

Thor has positioned his chief servant at the door. The Son of Jacob, doorman, keeps an eye out for Peggy Carter whom he knows because he chiefly works the building where she and Thor dwell. When he sees he arrive, having solved the mysterious riddle which no mortal could decipher in less than a half hour, he is to give 'the signal'.

And as he explained when you entered, 'everyone is supposed to hide'.

"Do you know this song?!" Thor asks Bucky Barnes, "The electronic oracle did declare it the mighest song of your time!"

* * *

Things have been so insane as of late that Peggy Carter's birthday was almost forgotten, especially by Peggy Carter. Fortunately for her, she counts 'Asgardians always ready to remember an Occasion' among her acquaintances, who are even now trying to put together a surprise party to which Bucky and Jane were asked to come.

Bucky was reluctant at first, what with the mess that registration has become, the lingering aftershocks of the fall of the Triskelion, and the way Jane seems to be looking paler and paler in the mornings when they get up. Bucky wants to blame her time in the Raft, but her stay there was short and some subconscious part of him knows it's not so simple as that. Regardless, in the end it was decided it might be a nice break from all the crises. And besides, they couldn't very well just ignore Peggy's birthday.

About five minutes into the party, Bucky is mostly regretting the decision, except for the one small shred of enjoyment he is deriving from the ale. Which he currently needs in order to endure Thor.

"I knew something like this song," is his grim reply to the God of Thunder. "I knew the version of the song that this is nominally supposed to be. I think."

He is looking at Jane. The signal he appears to be trying to send with his eyes is 'help.'

* * *

IMAGINE being charged with the protection of reality from forces that constantly try to tear it apart, things that strive again and again to reduce existence as most people understand it to nothing but bloody tatters of madness. Imagine having as part of your responsibilities the policing of beings from other Realms, at least while they're on Earth. And then one of them just kind of walks right into your house, drunk.

Wong probably let her in because he thought it was going to be funny.

It's with the carefully cultivated patience of a Master of the Mystic arts that Strange listens to Atli - a being who is not only in a Realm she shouldn't be in, but a time she shouldn't be in, and don't think he can't tell - as she slurs her way through an explanation of why she'd come to call. And it's only after fifteen minutes of what might've been rambling nonsense that she a) gets to the point, and b) reveals that she thinks she's talking to Tony Stark.

The Sorceror Supreme lifts a hand to smooth his mustache, basically so that his palm is hiding the way he frowns. It's part of why he keeps the facial hair.

"I'm not Tony Stark, Atli Wodendottir," he says with perfect pronunciation - because of course he does - that hides any icy annoyance he feels at being confused with Iron Man. "But I'll tell you what. Just this once, I'll go get Agent Carter for you."

He rises from his chair as he says this. Somehow as he does, his clothing changes from casual to the garb of the Sorceror Supreme - there's no transition, it just is one thing and then is another thing. And then, with a gesture, he opens a hole in reality, spacetime bending to the formidable will of the Master of the Mystic Arts, bridging the gap between two places, between the interior of the Sanctum Sanctorum, and the at least partly abandoned Asgardian embassy.

And he opens it… Riiiiiiight under Atli's feet.

So maybe he's a little upset about the Stark thing.

"Khalid!" Strange calls, to gather his apprentice(?). "Come on, apparently we need to go round up a war hero and attend a birthday party."

* * *

'MARGARET CARTER SOON TURNS 98 YEARS OLD.'

"Did he seriously put that on the invitation? That's being sent out to everyone? That everyone will see? That she's /98?/" Jane Foster had said before, half-sputtered to Bucky Barnes, upon receipt of same.

She exhaled, slow, deep, and foreboding. "I usually hate attending birthday parties, but I think we both need to go see a murder happen."

Perhaps the least likely to be in attendance, Jane arrived at Bucky's side — looking surprisingly in spirits despite what was recently reported of her. Arrested amongst others during the Mutant Town riot, and forced to stay a few, long days within the walls of the Raft. Between the efforts of Tony Stark and Matt Murdock — not to mention the threat of the Winter Soldier nearby — her release came soon, and no formal charges have been pressed, though same seem to be promised the moment she steps out-of-line. A veiled threat for good behaviour, and a lesson to be passed along to the rest of the Avengers breaking ranks to play vigilante.

At least, this evening, it's difficult to see whether Jane is carrying any anger from imprisonment; if so, it's been packed away, compartmentalized, and forgotten in lieu of better things. Like spending a night celebrating with close friends.

Also watching Bucky Barnes die inside, care of Thor. Meeting that look of help, Jane has to press her lips briefly to hide a smile. "Thor, it's lovely," she can't resist but say. "Look at that. I've never seen James look so touched. It's like you're right back in the 40s. They'll have to do an encore later, right?" However Bucky will kill her later, it's worth it.

* * *

Somewhere, right in the middle of the birthday festivities, there is a fish-dragon sitting at one of the tables, turned away from the seats and the conversation and focusing more on the band — with a mug of Asgardian ale in hand, dressed nicely and hair pinned up, Sloane L. Albright is … not exactly in /conversation/, but more paying rapt attention to the band.

Her invitation arrived through the same kind of arcane means as any invitation Atli extends her. And though the redheaded Asgardian may not have delivered it in person, there's just this /way/ where beings and trouble (the good or bad variety) follow her around as surely as she is deigned to be the daughter of the Wehrsweir.

She's kept her jacket, too, as part of her ensemble tonight — one of her few articles of clothing and personal worldly possessions to escape the collapse of the Triskelion — and wears it even here. Though the sleeves are cuffed up halfway up her scale-swathed arms, it is a museum-quality vintage replica of the same jacket a certain Bucky Barnes famously wore during the war.

In her hands, a big tankard of ale — and it's helping her figure out just what this music is supposed to /be/.

* * *

Once you're acquainted with an Asgardian it seems impossible to ever become unacquainted with them. Case in point: Atli who has attached herself practically by the hip to their merry band of misfits, a.k.a. the Guardians of the Galaxy. Point two- oh yeah, they know Thor. They'd kind of hoped he'd forgotten about them too, considering the mess that had essentially resulted in their being on parole here on Terra for so long. Granted technically they were no longer required to be here, but their stay and visitations in and out of orbit have been for the most part, voluntary. There's just something about the place that draws you.

Today, it's an invitation. Rocket had found it first, which was probably why he was the only one who'd come out here as he puzzled over the words. He knows both Thor and Peggy, so he's hoping more that it was due to the latter that the invite had come at all. Of course, it could just be some Atli thing. That's always a possibility. Of course a party in New York seemed to be the last sensible thing to hold these days, more so to even go to when you weren't playing nice with the new local law. But hey. Asgardians. Perhaps one of the few things Rocket can appreciate about them. They do what they want.

Also: Booze. And their parties are definitely not to be missed. He's conveniently ignored what had happened the last time the Guardians had partied hard in Asgard. He's even left most of his grenades at home.

…what, you expect him to go anywhere unarmed? Please.

It's not through the front entryway but the kitchen that the small Guardian enters. Hey, he may not care about the law enforcement but he's not dumb. Absently brushing off bits of vegetables from his fur, Rocket strolls right in, looking much like he usually does, dressed for a fight or a bounty hunt. He wasn't sure if he was expected to get dressed up for the occasion. It's just Peggy, after all.

He does like the party favors though. Free drinking horn? Sweet. He's knocking it back as he wanders casually into the main venue, dark eyes skimming those arrived and coming in like normal people. "Oh hey, faces I know," he says aloud as he waves a clawed hand at Bucky, Jane, and perhaps just a little hesitantly, also includes Thor. "So is this really a birthday party or is this a spit-in-the-face-of-the-law kinda stunt, cuz really, I'm down for both."

* * *

He's supposed to be studying for a mid-term tomorrow.

In Khalid's personal but humble opinion, whoever decided a mid-term should be given after Spring Break needed to get their head examined. But it brought up a decidedly separate question: did he even go on break???

Instead, somewhere in the background as Atli regales the most recent of her adventures to Doctor Strange, Khalid can't help but lean back into the frame after passing by the first time around. The stack of books in his arms make the move a little more challenging, but he manages well enough, arching a brow at the Asgardian who drunkenly goes on about…a party? Is he hearing this right?

He doesn't even need to see Strange's face to know how much the case of mistaken identity is affecting him. He also has no idea Wong had a hand in this, but maybe he'll figure it out later.

As much as he would have rather left the two alone, his name is called almost immediately. Startled, Khalid drops the topmost book from his stack as he steadies himself, his brow furrowing at the very sentence. "A birthday party?"

The options are weighed. Study? Or fun party times?

A pause. And a shrug. "…Well, okay then," he replies, freeing his arms of the books at the nearest table and stooping briefly to snatch up the one from the floor. And grab his bag. It's important. "Sounds like a grand ol' time!"

* * *

When Dr. Strange reveals that he is in fact not one of Atli's close friends but is instead someone else entirely, she scrunches up her face with the utmost confusion. Her hand rises to rub at her chin. Perhaps it was not that Pepper Potts had become a bit heavier, and much more male. Well, whoever it was that had let Atli in, she was certain this was Tony Stark. After all, he can change his clothing in an instant! Well, except for the one thing. "Hmm. It is true, I have never seen you wear a cape before Lord Stark." She says, to Not Lord Stark. "Wait, if you are not Lord Stark then why do you look so familiar?! Verily, I demand to kno-"

And her demands are met with a sudden THUD as she drops in a heap through a portal to land not all that far from Thor and Jane and Bucky, but much closer to the feet of Sloane.

There is a grunt as she pulls herself up, a glare cast to the closing portal. It certainly could have soured her night, but seeing Sloane has made it immediately brightens her mood, and so she hops fully to her feet and nearly tackles the fish-elf-dragon-woman into a great big hug.

"CHILD OF WEIRSWEIR!! How fare the Dying Lands of Boston? I am sorry I have not been close at hand, but the shark people needed saving and, as you know, I'm good at Fixing Everything."

No she's not. Exhibit A.

The heavens begin to part. A swirl of lightning that is not lightning. Black and churning against an abyss of it's own making, like smoke cast underwater against the backlight of a night sky. It emerges, not violently, but as if it belongs here. Certainly, it does not, and those who can sense such things will feel it's presence foul upon the wind. Glimmering like a violet nebula and backlit stars cast upon a great, scaled body, it's forelimbs are long and drag in the air behind it as it's sinewy body churns through the sky with great wings that have long since given up hope of tasting air.

BOOM.

Atli stops mid-hug to let Sloane go, blinking as the doors to the embassy are thrown open. Not by a person, but by the tumbling of goat as it flies across the room to smash against the wall.

Poor Toothbender. Perhaps tomorrow will be better to him.

BOOM.

Outside a great foot slams the ground, one that had just gotten done kicking a charging goat through the embassy.

Then, the roof peels back, bits of it falling all around, and a great, big boat of a thing nearly crashing into Jane and Bucky. A big boat of a thing that had been hanging from the ceiling, with a great big bow on it.

As Asgardian handywork undone in mere moments, the great face of the ancient wyrm reveals itself, violet eyes burning in the dark as light fails to fully catch upon it's scales.

Parmsweir has come.

It regards those inside, most especially the God of Thunder, who it seems to recognize at least in some part as being kin to the All-Father.

"I sense few immortals in this place." It decrees, it's voice iron and silk alike, almost magnanimous, if it weren't seemingly bent on casually destroying the top of the building. "But I do sense you, foul creature. WORRY NOT CREATURES OF MIDGARD, no longer will you be forced to toil under the yoke of your Asgardian Masters. Instead, you will toil under MINE!! For I claim this realm as my vengeance upon foul Odin and his kin! Watch as I slay them for you, watch as I make them suffer, and KNEEL before PARM!!"

* * *

Indeed. Bucky's grim endorsement of the song has made the God of Thunder appear momentarily skeptical. The fusion of a 1941 wartime and Norwegian progressive metal is somehow idyllic to Thor who seems to judge James Barnes from beneath his furrowed brow.

"Jane," Thor's deep baritone resonates fondly as features brighten at her praise as he reaches outward to draw her closer in a side-hug, "I am glad you came," awkward beat looking at James again, "I am glad that you both came.. Yes," he gestures with his drinking horn and releases any grip he had on Jane to gesture towards the band, "for many weeks the minstrels of Strawberry Moan have been practicing the greatest songs of Peggy's youth."

"They have recorded their ballads upon compact disc," Thor notes, "When the party has ended I shall see that one is delivered unto you so that might never forget this way."

Thor hefts his horn to Rocket then. He gives a slow grin to spit-in-the-face-of-the law. Except in his mind 'the law' has been replaced by 'his father' although he would never so flagrantly lay bare his tension with the All-Father before mortals and so he just says, "Whatever reason puts the drink to thy lips." Which is a non-answer.

Reality bends..

BOOM! Thor turns to the sudden merger of realities and looks to the Son of Jacob. Was that signal?

CRASH! The roof bends backward. Wood and beam are split as the hall is opened like an aluminum can. The servers shriek in terror and begin retreating as large splinters of wood falls about the area.

Thor's reaction is a purposed but unstartled pivot. Metal sings. From somewhere to the side of the party Mjolnir flies in and impacts the flat of his palm as his gaze turns towards the heavens.

'KNEEL before PARM!!'

Thor's visage twists for a moment and despite the terror of the servers around him his demeanor shifts to the sort-of surprise one might have if someone completely unexpected dropped into a surprise party for your 98 year-old roommate.

"Parmsweir! The Devourer of Stars!" Thor seems to come forward though from above maybe it's just a lot of chaos circling about him, "I did not expect you to join us! Why, you are supposed to slumber for another /hundred thousand years/ before you come to blanket this world in darkness."

The God of Thunder grins slowly his voice building in boisterous compliment, "In truth, I am glad to see you! Your cousin, the Void Wyrm, once spoke highly of you." There is a beat of hesitation and he looks to their surroundings, "but this is /not/ a good time," he explains, "Between you and I, the neighborhood association has lodged many complaints against me because they are unable to sleep and so I am in a *bit* of trouble."

"And so I ask thee to do as I do and to /please respect the hour/," He gives a gesture towards night sky, "And know that you will need to be a great deal smaller if you are to surprise anyone," Thor suggests, a movement of his wrist spinning Mjolnir slowly at his side, bringing a metallic hum, as confidence builds in the Thunderer's visage, "But if you are to wake the neighborhood know that we shall visit your cousin together.." Thor's features broaden with a taunting arrogance, "When I hang your head alongside his in the hall of Asgard."

Large grin.

* * *

"What's the problem?" Bucky had inquired to Jane's outrage on Peggy's behalf. He might have been trolling. He might not have been. "She is 98. — I mean, I guess women care about that kinda thing, but I'd think after this many years Peggy'd stop giving a damn."

There was a long pause.

"But probably she will murder him," Bucky said speculatively, and that is how he and Jane wound up here as spectators to potential deicide.

Unfortunately, the only person who seems to be dying at the moment is Bucky, and Jane is helping Thor twist the knife into his heart. The look of betrayal he gives her is salted with a definite look of 'You will regret this later.' "I'm certainly touched in some kinda way," he says, because he can't exactly say anything else with Thor beaming with compact disc magnanimity so close by. "Thanks, Thor," he says, in defeat. "We'll treasure it." Guess who is getting the CD inflicted on her in the near future.

Turning away, he catches sight of Rocket and extricates himself from the rather painful music conversation by returning the raccoon's greeting with a nod. And… that is about when Sloane catches his eye.

They made replicas of that??" Bucky is suddenly standing next to Sloane. "They never told me this existed. Where can I get a replica of my own jacket?!"

Whatever answer Sloane might have given is likely interrupted first by Atli's raucous arrival. Then, by Toothbender's much more painful arrival. And lastly, by the arrival of PARMSWEIR, which is frankly much more impressive than the arrival of either of the previous two. The erstwhile Winter Soldier doesn't waste significant amounts of time on trivial and honestly futile questions like 'why in the fuck is this happening?' Backtracking immediately, Bucky slings an arm around Jane and twists them both out of the way of the falling boat, interposing himself between her and any flying splinters.

"Oh, come on," he complains in the background, as Thor addresses the great wyrm. "Can't we go outside just once without this kinda thing?"

* * *

Amelie heads to the FRP Room Hub.

* * *

Sounds like a grand ol' time!

"Never been to an Asgardian party, huh?" the Sorceror Supreme says, with a certain wry amusement. "They're pretty rowdy, but… Ah, probably nobody will get killed." Which really raises some questions as to just what Strange's threshold of 'rowdy' is. Maybe he's just assuming that they'll be trying to play nice out of respect for the local standards. Either way, the portal through which Atli fell snaps shut almost immediately. No point in letting any of the rowdiness filter back into the Sanctum.

With that done, Strange turns and starts to open up another portal, this one making a mockery of the distance between the magical residence on Bleecker Street and wherever Peggy Carter happens to be (how did he find her? he's a wizard, shut up) and as he steps through, presumably with Khalid in tow, Strange turns on his best 'ominous Sorceror Supreme' voice.

"Margaret Carter!" Strange declaims. Honestly, he seems like he's getting into it. "Your presence is required for a matter most grave!"

And then, he feels it as something else tears its way through time and space, crossing Realms and realities, his head turning to look directly at the embassy's location from wherever they managed to find Peggy.

"…getting graver by the moment."

* * *

Well that didn't take long at all.

Rocket squints up at the ceiling as something rips through it, then peers at the drinking horn in his hand. "I know I just had two'a these…" he murmurs before downing the rest of it so he can hook it to his belt. He jumps back after the crumbling bits from above hit the floor and skitter towards his feet, narrowly missed by a larger chunk that would have surely knocked him more than silly.

Even with a giant boat hitting the floor not all that far off, and even with a giant lizard sticking its head through the hole, Rocket's still not completely written the stunt off as part of the entertainment/guests/because-Asgardians.

The great beast makes its claim.

"….yep. Because Asgardians," the raccoonoid sighs, even as he casually unslings the alien rifle from over his shoulder. With the way he extends it, it seems to be his usual gun, save for the fact that there's more…well, teeth to it, its casing sleeker on the front and along the top. Terrans might liken it to a certain deadly, finned and toothy sea creature.

"Parm? Like…ain't that some Terran cheese or something?"

"Parmsweir! The Devourer of Stars!"

"…or that." Beat. "Should I shoot 'im in the face?"

Rocket's really holding back here, on the account that he's still not quite sure that this is actually a guest. People get really upset when you shoot their guests for some reason. …not that he knows that by experience or anything.

Thor's words really don't clear things up, more for the fact that his greetings are long-winded so by the time he gets to the punchline Rocket's yawning.

"Blah, blah, blah." He almost laughs at Bucky's complaint. Probably because this is very much the norm for the Guardians.

Rocket's been grossly generous. Overly so. Which his why he pulls the trigger on his shark-rifle, and not without a slightly malicious grin that near matches the expression applied to the decoration of his weapon. That's because he's seen what the thing can do to walls. He's eager to see how it fairs against Other.

* * *

"Okay, so, pro tip number one: if you see a menacing bald dude in an eyepatch, just run. Run away. Run far away. And don't ask about the eyepatch. It's a sensitive subject. But you know mostly run."

Peter Parker has been doing this vigilante thing for close to five years now. It's maybe not as long as the storied tenure of certain old people veteran heroes like Captain America or Peggy Carter or Bucky Barnes when he's not mindcontrolled by HYDRA or HATE or HYDRATE, but it's long enough to have had to deal with some pretty weird crap.

And so, he's taken the revelation that there is another spider-person from another universe sort-of-stranded-but-not-entirely in HIS universe pretty well in stride so far, all things considered. It's not the first time.

Also, finding out he's sort of dead in that other universe, also taken fairly well in stride, because that also seems to happen with distressing regularity.

Sometimes he kind of wonders about his parallel selves' survival instincts.

All this to say, he's been as supportive as a spider can to the new addition to New York City's spider-ranks, and this is why he is currently accompanying one Miles Morales, parallel universe Spider-Man, on patrol, and giving him some valuable spider-advice in the process.

"Also, there's this guy, J. Jonah Jameson, he's probably going to hate you and write mean things about you in the papers. Sorry. It's like — it's a thing. It's our dynamic. Like that old tv show with Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon, The Odd Couple? Except one of them is trying to turn the entire city against the other one instead of just like getting mad he's a slob or something. Anyway, he's harmless, mostly, unless he's secretly building some anti-Spider-Man robots somewhere, but that's ridiculous. I think. … I hope."

Web-line after web-line, advice after rambling advice, Peter weaves through the city streets. He's fairly confident in Miles' ability to keep up — New York can't be THAT different across multiple universes, right? … right?? — and so he just fills the empty space with words, as Spider-Men are wont to do.

"And most importantly, the best place for subs in the entire city is without a doubt ohhhh holy baloney"

At least, until DANGER ARRIVES.

One might never know where the best sandwiches in NYC truly are (it's not holy baloney); moments before this grand revelation, Peter's Spider-Sense hits him like an angry truck driven by an angrier trucker sporting the world's angriest truck nuts. "WATCH OUT-"

He begins to warn —

BOOM

— seconds before something great and terrible crashes into the front doors of the Asgardian Embassy.

Peter -yanks- himself upward, suddenly, violently; coincidence brings his trajectory in to the path of great, spreading wings, narrowly avoiding getting casually swatted from the sky by a limber twist of limbs through the air increasingly foul air. "holy crap holy crap holy crap err i mean I KNOW WHAT I AM DOING THIS IS FINE FOLLOW ME, YOUNG WARD!"

… young ward—??

"ugh, instant regret"

Also, instant regret: his descent leading him to land right on top of the head of the massive creature in a very precarious perch as the others talk and taunt. And here they might see a young, red Spider-Man, clinging on for dear life.

"Holy crap holy crap — oh hey it's Thor and Mister Barnes HI THOR AND MISTER BARNES! CHECK IT OUT, IT'S AN EVIL CHEESE DRAGON!"

Don't mind him.

"I'm not sure the deal here but I THINK he's trying to assert the superiority of parmesan in a market increasingly dominated by halloumi??"

Please for the love of god don't mind him. He'll probably get eaten soon.

* * *

Atli never arrives subtly. The portal is something that Sloane looks at, but it's hard to tell if she actually /processes/ is normal or not, given that … frankly, it is /Atli/ arriving, and then with the monumental and loud crash and flop and fumble of Toothbender flopping around before trying to get his footing. She has enough experience with the space goat that the second she hears him, her drink lifts, pulled closer to her chest in the event the beast comes flying even remotely close to herself.

"Atli! I—" And then, a bone-crushing hug. Like, there's even some actual pops of bone as she's swept up into the hug of her Asgardian future-friend, face pulling into a scrunch.

Her attention flicks to Bucky, even while an arm stays firm on Atli to keep herself steady after a space-hug the likes of which would make even the fish-dragon-elf-woman stop and catch her breath. Looking up, up, and /up/ at Bucky, the ginger metahuman's mouth opens. "I— this—"

Her stammering answer is not heard, because… Holy shit it's a dragon.

Serpent? Thing?? Wait, did she see that wizard guy once before? And is that a spider-boy clinging to the back of a dragon?

Sloane, Agent of the SHIELD, that friend Atli may not know is in the middle of an Awkard Phase, holds to her friend protectively as she exclaims, "Atli WHAT THE HELL?"

* * *

"What is the problem?!" Jane sputtered back at Bucky. "First of all, we do not slight special relativity in this house. She technically never aged because of of her inertial frame of reference, but — you are allowed to be one hundred whatever. Steve is allowed to be one hundred whatever. It makes you both distinguished, and antiquated, and classy. Women aren't allowed to age a day over thirty-five."

There was a long pause. Jane stared at Bucky, look in her eyes as dry as a desert.

'Probably she will murder him,' he concluded. Jane concurred. "Don't say a thing to her, because I kinda like your face, and I don't want you as collateral damage."

And now, after valiantly ensuring her boyfriend is not part of Peggy Carter's potential murder list, Jane spends the party night destroying Bucky in other ways. Her smile crooks up at his withering look — god, he's so fun to tease —

"Good to see you too, Thor," she replies, answering the side-hug with a pat to his shoulder, before noticing the Asgardian Heir's lacklustre inclusion of Bucky. Jane slips Thor a long-suffering 'can you not' look and a brief elbow to his side.

"Rocket!" Jane greets in the next breath, as Bucky goes to interrogate whoever is wearing his coat. "Been too long. What's up? Please don't tell me Quill's here. Though I'd kinda like to see Thor give him a complex—"

And then the giant space snake.

Jane looks up, promptly pales, and seems frozen in place, because she's fearless, she's brave, she's reckless, really, but it's a SNAKE. SHE HATES SNAKES. SHE REALLY, REALLY HATES SNAKES, AND OH GOD IT'S A SNAKE AND IT'S A REALLY BIG SNAKE AND —

Bucky's swift interception pulls her out of the way of being crushed. Jane, at first glance, is white as bone, and barely able to find the breath to enunciate, eloquent: "SNAKE BIG SNAKE JAMES BIG! SNAKE!"

* * *

Hefting his backpack over a shoulder, Khalid glances back over at Strange, brow lifting just as the latter finishes stating as much about Asgardian parties. "—I'm sorry, what?"

SO MANY QUESTIONS but no, it's time to get distracted with the insta-meeting with the birthday celebrant, Peggy Carter. He also lets the supreme sorcerer do all of the talking for now, casually looking out of place in his normal clothes as he offers a mild wave.

Unfortunately, there's nothing mild about whatever is now going on in the other portal leading to the Asgardian Embassy. Because that sure doesn't sound like a party.

"Uh. That thing you said about people not getting killed?" Khalid asks, the tremor in his calm noticeable. A hand points in said direction as he looks over his shoulder at the other two. "I wanted to ask earlier, but what were the chances of staying alive during one of these shindigs??" His nose scrunches slightly. "Slim to none?"

* * *

"Yeah I got it Jane it's a big snake!!" is Bucky's eloquent response, because she's yelling right in his ear.

* * *

The Son of Odin claims to have felled the great and mighty Void Serpent, Wehrsweir, and Parmsweir, dutiful cousin, scoffs. No really, it scoffs in quite an emotive way, flinching backwards. In fact it begins to laugh, that silky voice of his, no doubt provided by famed celebrity Binderbatch Thunderbun, echoing outward. Even if Thor's ploy seems to not be exactly working, it has paused in it's destruction long enough for the wait staff to flee, for other less mighty party guests to at least hide.

Well, except for that one thing.

Something catches Parmsweir's eye. Something scaled in a familiar sheen. Slitted pupils widen. Nostrils flare as he leans in slowly, right towards Sloane Albright.

"NO. IT CANNOT BE!! YOU!!"

The creature recoils, a great clawed hand wading in to remove the front of the embassy, leaving a rubble filled causeway to the street, where the rest of his long body sits, his tail thrashing too and fro, tossing aside cars and destroying several businesses that have, on occasion, complained about this very embassy. The good news: The embassy is mostly about three walls barely standing as one great clawed hand comes crashing down on what used to be the embassy daycare. ..Because it had a daycare. Was that a green, empty carseat it just crushed? No matter.

"YOU DARE!! YOU DARE KILL MY CHERISHED COUSIN AND STEAL HER OFFSPRING?!?! WORRY NOT CHILD OF WEHRSWEIR, I SHALL FREE YOU FROM THIS FOUL CREATURE AND TOGETHER WE SHALL RULE THIS REALM AS-"

And then Parmsweir's eyes cross, fixed on a Spider-like creature that lands on it's snout. Really, there's only one reasonable response to this.

PARMSWEIR THRASHES.

As afraid as Jane Foster is of giant snakes, and it certainly is very snake-like, Parmsweir, Eater of Stars, cannot STAND spiders, or things that move like them. Really, it just hates the sticky feeling of those little hands and feet on it's nose, oh god it's so gross!!

Atli responds to Sloane in kind, and lightning flashes as her spear becomes whole in her hand. "Verily, your family is the worst!!"

And then Atli throws her spear, an object blessed by Thor's blood to cut through the armor of Celestials.

it sticks in the great serpent about an inch. Then it clatters to the ground.

"Rocket, quickly, use your gun to fix everything!! Oh where oh where is the Son of Coul when you need a serpent seduced?!"

And so Parmsweir rolls over in the middle of the street, wings flapping, tail thrashing, claws scouring it's snout to dislodge the MAN SPIDER.

* * *

Luckily for Strange and Khalid, the surprise portal opens up not to the new base that SHIELD is setting up. Unfortunately for them, they have stepped into Peggy Carter's home unannounced and uninvited. While her alarm systems are not quite set up for 'Sorcerer Supreme Surprise Visit', she can tell when something is happening as she does so.

Peggy was waiting for Thor, as he told her he had a surprise for her and that it was 'worthy of a formidable and aged warrior' and that she should 'dress for a banquet fit for Valhalla and also to arm herself appropriately.' With Thor, that could mean anything. So, she dressed up. A nice red dress, hair done in victory rolls, proper makeup. And also she has her guns and a sword strapped to her hip. This is Thor, who knows if guns will work. And also, what is happening?

As Strange appears, her gun immediately points first at Strange and then at Khalid. "Who the hell are you?" Pause. "Wait. Did Thor send you?"

* * *

The beast scoffs at Thor.

The Heir of Asgard's grin twitches at its edges and starts to fade. The Thunderer's nose twitches faintly and he gives a furtive glance to those about him; his audience.

Peggy has arrived. Not a single soul is cheering him. Rocket is yawning! A knot of embarrassment twists in Thor's stomach and his jaw quivers with anger.

Above, there is a peal of thunder as the stars are rapidly obscured by a thick bank of clouds. The thrum of the hammer rises to a metallic howl as it moves faster and faster until it is nearly an invisible blur. Then all at once his arm goes skyward and he shoots upward.

*KRAK-A-THOOM*

Lightning impacts the hammer as he goes high and then HEAVES the mallet down at Parmsweir's middle where a serpent's lungs would be. Without his hammer Thor falls-but-twists into an expert dive his hands moving together to cleave atmosphere and accelerate his drop. At the last moment arms go wide, big hug, aimed at the creature's throat in expert sleeper hold.

Except there is lots of thrashing. Is he winning? Is he holding on for dear life? Arms and legs attempt to wrap around the creature's majestic serpentine form. Every once and a while a word is audible as the thrashing bangs him about.

"NOT." *BANG* "GUEST." *BANG* "SHOOT." *THRASH* "CHEESE?" *WHAM* "HAPPY BIRTHDAY"

* * *

"Okay, so I didn't know you hated snakes this much," Bucky says, once he gets some of his hearing back and wrangles both himself and Jane back behind cover. Kind of necessary, as Parmsweir's frantic thrashing upon noticing a SPIDER on its face. A pretty familiar spider, actually —

HI MISTER BARNES!

"…is that the Spider-Kid? Why does he always have to stand RIGHT on top of whatever it is? HEY KID GET DOWN FROM THERE," he advises, already paging through his STUFF app to try to find a weapon to contend with the serpent.

Eventually he pulls out the TAC-50 he's been favoring, but after seeing the lack of effect of Atli's spear, he seems dubious even about .50 caliber. Worth a shot though — literally. "You got something up your sleeve?" he asks Jane, already readying the weapon.

* * *

"Really Jane! You act like you've never seen a giant serpent before!!" Rocket shouts above the rise of sound as all hell breaks loose. He doesn't need Atli's prompting to make use of his rifle, perhaps even believing for a hot second that he can indeed Fix Everything with the pull of a trigger.

…which is why he's sorely disappointed when all he gets is some marred scales for his efforts. But his perfect headshot had been ruined thanks to—

"SPIDER-MAN YOU FLARKIN' MENACE!!"

He shakes a fist at the red and blue interloper. And then something else comes to mind as he looks over where Sloane is. "-wait, you're related?" This is very confusing. Typical Asgardian party, all right. But Thor's giving him the go-ahead, at least Rocket thinks he is but it's kind of hard to make out when the guy's being swung and bashed around like that. Eh well.

Shrugging his rifle back into position, the Guardian tries to line up a better shot for the thing's face.

…better move, Spider-Menace.

* * *

Despite the popular cultural image of 'squishy wizards', Strange seems entirely unfazed by the fact that Peggy points a gun at him. There is, at most, the faintest twitch of one of the corners of the Cloak of Levitation, the red and gold garment prone to those sorts of slight movements on his own anyway, shifting even without a breeze. His protective spells, naturally, keep the Sorceror Supreme largely inured to mundane harm… But that doesn't mean the Cloak hasn't gotten any practice catching bullets anyway.

"Hmm," Strange muses, even less fazed when the gun barrel wanders towards the probably much less protected Khalid. He's not sure exactly what he was expecting since Atli was insistent about it being a surprise party, but…

"You look very lovely, Ms. Carter," he says, conversationally. Way too conversationally. "My name is Stephen Strange, I'm the Sorceror Supreme of Earth. This is my assistant, Khalid. Thor didn't send us, it was… Eh… Look, there's some kind of giant monster just came through a hole in reality, so we should go. Is that sword magic? You know what, nevermind, here." He is, suddenly, holding a sheathed blade that he holds out towards the agent. There's a lot of weird runes on the scabbard. It probably is magic. "A loaner."

And then, well, there's nothing to do but open another portal, right onto the battlefield.

"Khalid, you might want to get your game face on."

* * *

Never, ever, ever is a party with Atli involved ever something that can just be a party. With Atli letting her free, she looks up as the great serpent Parmsweir booms, bellows, and — makes claim to her being the spawn of the Wehrsweir. Sloane's mouth opens, her sharpened canines baring as she prepares to speak her mind —

— and then they snap shut.

"Goddamn it—"

She starts to yell, first looking at Rocket. "GODDAMN IT, I—"

Her arms pull out wide, summoning great spheres of water to either hand. "I" she yells. Her arms pull back, " AM—" she adds, and then her arms thrust forward, palms pressed together to compress a jet of water and send the high-pressure blast toward the great serpent beast destroying the embassy.

"— FROM BOSTON!!"

God knows where her meta-genetics are from, at least where the Asgardians are concerned…

* * *

"Because there aren't any snakes in New York, James!" Jane sputters back indignantly —

— only to get ribbed by ROCKET, who is currently airborne.

Jane repeats her sound argument. "I HAVEN'T SEEN ONE BECAUSE THERE AREN'T SNAKES IN NEW YORK!"

For all her fearlessness when it comes to everything non-snake, she's asserting herself very emphatically behind Bucky Barnes's shoulder, physically repulsed by the great Parmsweir as the serpent turns on the others in congregation. "I just — hate snakes!" Jane tells Bucky, in case he doesn't know this. He's going to know this. KNOW IT FOREVER. "I hate! Snakes! They're slimy and don't let it touch me! Oh god! James for the love of don't let it touch me!"

She wrings her hands out. "Oh god, oh god, it's going to eat us, and what is Thor doing? Is he trying to strangle it? You can't strangle a snake! They don't have — throats? Oh god. I babble when I'm terrified. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Uh, up my sleeve. Up my sleeve…"

Jane's eyes reflect the fight. She grimaces. "I don't — have anything — they confiscated a lot of it. I don't think I can work the way I used to… well. On your arm, James. There's an experimental feature on your last upgrade."

She can't look away from the snake. She's still sheet-white, bloodless. Looking on in horror, as Sloane shouts something over the furor. "She might know Matt Damon," she says aloud. She didn't lie about the babbling.

"Sorry!" Jane yelps back at Bucky. "Can't help with the gun. You might be able to entangle with your arm. I haven't tested it — you'll have to — "

* * *

"—Don't shoot," the med student hastily adds, eyes widening a bit at the gun pointed his way. His hands stay halfway up as he nods in Doctor Strange's direction. "What he said."

Survival seems to drop in percentage way too often for him, but he breathes a sigh of relief when he realizes they aren't getting shot at. "N-nice to meet you. I guess."

Since the circumstances are far from light-hearted affairs and all.

Already things keep propelling forward, and Khalid forces himself to catch up. He draws in a sharp breath, blowing it out quickly. "Right." A few seconds and the backpack swings around, unzipped and revealing a golden helmet.

His facial features are instantly obscured once he slips it over his head — which is the only major change on him due to not having any cool change of clothing.

"All right, let's do this," Khalid speaks again, his voice much deeper now as he joins the fray. Flying straight through the portal, he keeps to the side, making a diagnosis on the first pass with what's been going on.

* * *

If there is one true thing that damns Parmsweir in this frantic, flailing moment, it this simple fact:

No one is more clingy than the Spider-Man.

wait no that came out wrong

The eternal struggle with his inner monologue aside, it is frighteningly true that once Spider-Man has a grip on something, there's very few things that can make him let go unless he wants to or unless they're prepared for the terrible collateral damage that comes with it. This is a great, amazing, super spider-power in theory.

In practice it means he's just kind of whipping around on top of PARMSWEIR like one of those whacky inflatable tube men but in reverse as the serpenty serpent monster bashes itself around.

And in between each increasingly desperate smash, Spider-Man has very important commentary:

"WOW I DON'T-" BOOM "-THINK HE-" BOOM "-APPRECIATES MY ASSESSMENT-" BOOM "-OF HIS CHEESY LIFESTYLE."

And:

"OH MY GOD-" BOOM "-DID YOU JUST ALMOST SHOOT ME??" BOOM "VERY NOT COOL, MAN-RACOON!"

And of course:

"SORRY MISTER BARNES I CAN'T HEAR YOU BUT-"

BOOM

"-IT'S SPIDER-MAN, I MEAN SERIOUSLY, IT — oh wow hey it's thor again he sure looks ma"BOOM

And this is the sound of Spider-Man FINALLY dislodging with a "oh cheese and crackers!" so as to avoid being HORRIBLY ELECTRIFIED by a runaway chokeholding god. A, "can cheese dragons conduct electricity-??" later, and the webbed vigilante is flipping off the beast's head — and then subsequently webbing the back of its flailing head in as he lands to try his best to hold it still for a few precious seconds while Thor goes all pro wrestler on him.

"nngguh — NO BUT SERIOUSLY, CAN ONE OF YOU MAGIC TYPES ANSWER THIS FOR ME — ARE THERE LIKE, ANY NOT-EVIL DRAGONS OUT THERE? I FEEL LIKE THEY'RE ALL EVIL, OR NAMED AFTER CHEESES, OR BOTH, BUT I'VE ONLY HAD EXPERIENCE WITH LIKE TWO? IS IT TWO?? I'LL GET BACK TO YOU ON THAT. ANYWAY, YOU SHOULD STOP GETTING SO UPSET, PARM THE CHEESE DRAGON, I'M SURE YOUR NAME HAS OTHER PRETTY COOL MEANINGS, LET'S JUST LOOK IT UP ON URBAN DICTIohhhh. Oh, oh no. No. Don't look it up on Urban Dictionary."

"Oh no no no."

* * *

Parmsweir, the Star Eater, is not enjoying his new collar made of Asgardian muscle. This makes him thrash even more, smashing his tail against buildings here and there, and bringing at least one ambitious police car to a halt. His scales melt under the assault of shark-enhanced munitions, which as it happens, is specifically designed to keep a serpent like this in line! Imagine that! Do the bolts of energy even look like mini, chomping sharks?! Maybe.

A blast from Rocket's gun hits Parmsweir in the cheek, and he cries out in terrible pain. "My faceparts!!!"

"Truly Boston must be a dismal place to host such onory serpentkind of all sorts! I for one am glad you could cast off the evil ways of your forebears and-" Atli maligns Boston to a room full of New Yorkers. Or at least four New Yorkers, playing to the crowd of sorts. She also tries to get her spear. She instead gets tail-lashed through one of the remaining embassy walls, and her spear tumbles through the air to embed in the floor nearby Noble Barnes.

Atli stumbles from the rubble she was just lashed through, and the very first thing Stephen Strange, Khalid, and Peggy will hear upon stepping through the portal is: "Hold on, grandfather!! The Sorceress Supreme Jane Foster is going to summon a Matt Demon to fight the beast!!"

She nods twice, cupping her hands around her mouth.

Then Atli Wodendottir is hit by the tail again, and goes spiraling past the big boat nearby Jane and Bucky. Which lights up with a whiiiiiirrrrr sound when Atli hits something inside it. Because it is not a boat at all, but something far more Asgardian and dangerous.

"…hnng what is the Man-Spider on about."

Mjolnir slams again and again into the great beast, and slowly they can see a change. As if a shield is lifting from the creature's scales. The darkness pushed back by magical hammer and shark-gun-munitions. Water SLAMS into the dragon, the force of nature bowling it back over and onto it's chest to scrabble at the ground as it finally dislodges the spider-thing. Webbing layers across it's frame, seeking to hold it in place, and in some ways it does.

In others, it rips the webbing to tatters and gives a terrible roar.

"NO!! CHILD OF WEHRSWEIR, LISTEN NOT TO THE FOUL, SEDUCTIVE WORDS OF THE GOD OF THUNDER!! HE IS NOT YOUR MASTER!! BREAK FREE A-" And then webbing hits the dragon in his mouth.

His gaze narrows on Spider-Man.

Parmsweir unleashes the Parms-breath, a crackling blast of Dark Energy that pretty much annihilates part of the street, but thankfully no people because it misses Spider-Man and mostly destroys the catering truck.

Which sends burnt cheese from the cheese fountain they were going to have later everywhere.

* * *

Battle?

Dammit Thor, she really planned her outfit wrong. Valhalla. The hall of fallen warriors. She should have gotten some chainmail or something. She was expecting a banquet! That's poor research work on her part. Holstering the gun, she nods to Strange and Khalid.

"…let me switch to my battle flats, then." Kicking off her heels, Peggy quickly pulls on a pair of reinforced boots. They still, somehow, work with the outfit. Grabbing the spelled sword, she pulls it from the scabbard for a quick inspecting and then adds it to her arsenal. Why not! It's a party! "It's a pleasure to meet you both." Pulling the sword out, the portal opens again into the battlefield and Peggy steps through and basically ready for the fight.

As Thor greets her, she blinks. "Happy birthday?" Confusion reins as she quickly takes cover and attempts to ensure that she is not burnt by the cheese fountain. There are quite a lot of things to process: the large snake, the people gathered, the fact that Jane is apparently summoning Matt Damon? Her reply is: "Thor! My birthday was more than two weeks ago!"

* * *

*WHAM* *SLAM* *BALM*

Thor is thrown and goes skittering off of the beast head-over-cape crashing into one of the tables. Seemingly unphased he leaps to his feet and Mjolnir tumbles back into his grasp its metallic head white-hot and crackling with divine power.

There is a moment of respite here when he assesses his foe as it tumbles about. Knees bend and he seems about to leap back in but gives Jane Foster a pointed look, "Jane. A snake is only throat." He says in somber defiance of her science, "You can strangle all but its tail." He throws his arm forward and shoots back into the fray like a rocket.

*THOOM*

He strikes it once. Lightning arcing from the sky to his hammer. Weaving between shots of webbing. Torrents of water. Impacting at each part that comes free. Then to the next. Seemingly preternaturally attuned to this odyssey of conflict.

Between peals of thunder. Beyond flashes of lightning. His voice ring out in a staccato of thought.

"Falkor. Was. A. Good. Dragon." Watch out Parker. You're going to be drawn into Asgardian movie night.

* * *

Patiently enduring Jane's repeated reminders that she does in fact HATE SNAKES, Bucky has no rejoinder up until this last: "Snakes aren't slimy, Jane, they're actually kind of dry."

So Jane basically gets mansplained twice.

He pulls a rifle out of his app, with the timeless calm of a man who has been in countless firefights against all sorts of threats, from the fields of WWII to… whatever this is, now. His life has gotten markedly stranger since it intersected with Asgardian nonsense. "And I kinda need you to focus because if you could do some of that quantum tunneling stuff right now that would be helpful, I think…"

They confiscated a lot of it, Jane admits. But there's an experimental feature in his arm…

Bucky looks at her. "You put the quantum tunneling thing in my arm? Well — okay, stay back here then so it doesn't touch you — " James Barnes puts his gun away, takes something else out, and takes off running instead. He does not react to the Matt Damon thing because he honestly didn't hear it. He's that used to the babbling.

Now, the Winter Soldier can't fly, not like Thor, but he can run pretty damn fast, and he stays low to the ground with a practiced assassin's agility in order to avoid notice until he gets close enough. He grabs onto Atli's spear as he passes, but not to actually use it as a weapon.

Instead, once he's close enough, he stabs the spear into the ground and pole-vaults right up over it to get up high enough to clear the creature's curving claws and land in a light horizontal crouch right on the front of Parmsweir's foreleg. It's certainly not a sustainable position, which is why he has only one goal for the mere seconds in which he is in place: to plunge his left arm forward towards those preternaturally tough, shielded scales.

The metal lights up and flickers as the quantum tunnel activates, and Bucky tries to reach straight through the thing's scales to leave behind in the vulnerable flesh what he was holding — a whole lot of grenades — kicking off in a backflip afterwards to get clear before they go off.

* * *

"KEEP CALLING ME THAT AND THERE WON'T BE NO 'ALMOST' ABOUT IT!" Rocket yells back at Spider-Man, not that he does anything to correct his own tactics. The Spider-wonder seems pretty nimble as it is.

Sloane's protest doesn't really clarify anything for him. What does being from Boston have to do with relations to a giant killer serpent? There's probably, who knows how many Skrulls around Terra and myriads of other off-worlders besides. Jane's shouts in addendum mean little more to him, and he dismisses it as mindless babble from being scared senseless. She really did seem to be terrified of this big ol' scaley thing!

"Atli, watch— …out." That girl. He breaks off from firing, shaking his head as he scampers across the debris-strewn ground towards the fallen boat, ducking as he feels the air charge with electricity before Thor lets it loose. His ears perk at the odd sound and the light that emits from the boat, and he slings his rifle behind him as he clambers up. Well, the female Asgardian is still talking so she must be all right, but he's seen her take much harder hits than that. And since there seems little point in asking how she is, Rocket turns his head towards the source of the sound.

Just Bucky's luck that he's distracted while the old soldier brings out all the fun toys!

"What is that..?"

And then his nose is hit by the scent of burning cheese, making him shudder as he throws his hands over his face. "Yeugh!! What the hell- did the snake fart?!"

Another voice cuts through the chaos, and Rocket steals a glance towards the portal that's opened up. Eyes narrow, but neither of the two males register as familiar. Oh, but here's the main event.

"Is that s'pposed to be Matt Damon? -oh, hey Pegs."

* * *

…Sorceress Supreme…

Doctor Strange lifts a hand to rub the bridge of his nose, his eyes fluttering closed despite the terrible danger they're all surrounded by, as he tries to soothe away an Atli-sized headache. It doesn't help, though.

"Sometimes I really feel like the Ancient One got the last laugh here," he mutters to himself. "He's off being one with existence and I'm stuck here dealing with Asgardians and children playing at conjurer."

The Cloak of Levitation flutters dramatically as it lifts Strange into the air, the Master of the Mystic Arts taking to the sky with casual ease. There, airborne, he considers; though considering there's an enormous dragon shooting dark energy everywhere out of its mouth. So there's… Oh, of course.

A murmured word, an arcane gesture - Doctor Strange invokes a name, draws upon the power of an entity beyond, feeding that eldritch thing the only coin that matters to forgotten gods: To be named, to be remembered, to gain some semblance of its old strength thereby. And then there are two Doctors Strange. Then four. Then eight. Then sixteen. The sky above and before the surely ruined former Asgardian embassy is now positively lousy with identical wizards.

And then…

"Hi," says Strange - one of him, or all of them, it's actually very difficult to say. "I have to tell you that you're trespassing on Earth, big… Dragon guy, and this is me giving you your one and only opportunity to return to your plane or pocket dimension of origin." It probably won't work, it almost never works even leaving aside teleported grenades or Uru hammers wielded by the mighty arms of gods or the like. "If you can't get back on your own, I can see to it that you're returned safely, but first let's get you to stop blowing up the street."

Again, he invokes - this time, by Cyttorak. From the hands of each of the mirrored Stranges launches trails of burning red energy, crimson bands meant to restrain Parmsweir by just… Binding its mouth shut.

* * *

Primary diagnosis: Raccoon with giant gun blasting holes in the snake-shark's skin. Scaly woman with Boston accent angerly water-blasting the monster, adding to epidermal damage. Asgardians being Asgardians. (At least, Khalid assumes this is what Asgardians are like.) More explosive stuff from a guy with a metal arm.

HRm.

Sadly, this alone is on par with some of the other strange things he's seen in his brief heroic career.

"Hold on, grandfather!! The Sorceress Supreme Jane Foster is going to summon a Matt Demon to fight the beast!!"

Khalid — Fate, now that he has the helmet on — balks in the middle of his mental notes. "What does Matt Damon have to do with any of this?!"

And then he sees the spilled cheese from the poor upended cheese fountain, blooming across the Great Hall's floor like a liquid flower.

From this particular angle of his golden head, it looks like the eyes of his helmet are squinting. A deep sigh escapes him, resonating into his next spoken thought. "I can't believe I'm thinking about doing this." The cheese is a liquid. THERE IS A LIQUID-Y SUBSTANCE IN IT SOMEWHERE it counts, doesn't it??

As much as he can try to bend— er, send molten cheese flying at Parmsweir to get into the light wounds he's sporting (or into his eyes, for that matter), he also thinks amplifying the power level of Sloane's water blasts is a better backup. "I second that motion," he says, glad to not be the center of attention while he does what he does.

* * *

"THEN WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO CALL YOU? CRACK-UP COATI??"

Falkor. Was. A. Good. Dragon.

"Yeah but-"

A number of thoughts go through Peter Parker's head at this exact moment:

1) Is Thor trying to convince him to watch Neverending Story??

2) Does Thor not know movies aren't real, and if so, would it be cruel to correct him, like telling a small child that can flick planets around like marbles that Santa isn't real?

3) The whole planet thing was just a non-sequitur but now Peter is legitimately concerned about what would happen if an Asgardian child threw a tantrum

4) What if Thor DOES know Neverending Story is just a movie and movies aren't real but is still talking about Falkor as if he's real because—

"oh my god is falkor real"

And with these whispered words of shocked revelation, Parmsweir turns upon Spider-Man. White lenses go wide.

"Uh oh. You looked your name up on the dragon internet, didn't you—"

FWOOM

And this is the sound of Dark Energy rippling -straight- past the webbed menace as he -backflips- around it, raw power crackling just beneath his spine seconds before it obliterates the food truck behind him. Rather than take the time to ponder his nigh-obliteration at the hands of something named after grated foodstuffs, Peter fires off a line of webbing in mid-aerial twist, attaching it to the biggest, cheesiest chunk of truck he can find —

—before swinging it about in mid-air to HAMMER it into the top of Parmsweir's skull.

"HEY! Bad! Inside voice!"

Hoping to disorient it enough to let the others do… whatever insane things they're doing what is even -up- with Bucky's arm these days —

"Yeah, snakes feel like, ropey leather, or maybe cheese when they're magical, it's unclear—"

— and also, long enough to hopefully web up that mouth a bit for like the entire half a second it will last before it gets shredded and Doctor Strange one-ups him with the BANDS OF CYTORRAK. Magic, right??

"And YOU, sir, stop taking your anger out on the cheese, the cheese did nothing to you, you had your time to shine! And people still appreciate you plenty with a nice piece of chicken sometimes!"

seriously this webbing is supposed to be tough is he going to have to update the formula again

* * *

'ARE THERE ANY NON-EVIL DRAGONS OUT THERE'

Almost on cue, Sloane looks up at the Spider-Man, gesturing to herself, looking almost pointedly offended. "I WASN'T BORN BY SOME WEIRD DRAGON, AND—"

The Parmsweir attempts to appeal to her draconic side; calling out, asking for her to join with him, to avoid heeding the call of Thor Odinson. "I swear to god— I WAS BORN ON EARTH," she starts to yell, almost stamping her feet on the damaged floors of the building. "I KNOW WHERE I'M FROM."

Matt Damon, eh? "THAT'S NOT— WE DON'T—"

Pulling back her arm, Sloane draws in water, coalescing the mist into a javelin of sorts; a literal water spear. "How about — THESE APPLES," she calls, hurling the bolt of 'sharpened' water at the dragon-beast and his open wounds, using her hydrokinetic abilities to propel the bolt of water forward faster, harder, and in a tightly-compressed burst.

Wait, did she just — ?! … Goddamn it. Her face starts turning … pretty darn red.

* * *

"What!" calls Jane over the calamity. "I can't summon — if I could summon Matt Damon, I would've done it already for my seventeenth birthday! And Atli, for the last time, I am not the Sorceress Suprem —"

Oh, and Strange is here, wielding actual sorcery. Here and hearing this again. Jane Foster's grimace is eternal. He's going to think she's going to Trump Tower the world's magic economy, if he doesn't already. She gave up technomagic!!

And then Jane Foster is being double-mansplained by Thor and the Winter Soldier. The Prince of Asgard decrees snakes are all throat, and she looks a little bemused. "That doesn't sound right —" and snakes are apparently dry, "and that really doesn't sound right, James, but then again, your era thought cigarettes were tic tacs."

Even more outrageous is how Bucky Barnes acqually questions whether she quantum tunnelled his arm. Jane stares back a beat. Pauses. Answers, matter-of-fact, "Well… yeah." Another pause. "This is me." Third pause. "Just be careful!"

Hanging back, Jane's eyes follow Bucky's advance on the destructive Parmsweir, still wringing her hands with undisguised phobic panic. She needs to do something more. But she's kind of primordially terrified. But —

Something activates, with a low, beyond-Earth hum that draws Jane's ear. Her head turns as that apparent Viking-relic skiff — comes to life in a way it should not.

"I'm stupid," is Jane's mantra as she clambers into the skiff, running hands down the alien controls. "I'm stupid, this is stupid, I hate snakes, I hate them so much, it's gonna touch me, and then I am gonna — AHH!"

She doesn't take long to activate it. She doesn't take much longer than that to know what to do with it.

The master plan is to steer the skiff right into one of the dragon-sepent's open wounds, and jump herself free an instant before impact. It's fine. Bucky should catch her. He'll definitely kill her, but that'll come after.

* * *

Two seconds after Jane bails out, Bucky catches her out of her freefall and carries her clear.

"I told you you couldn't drive anymore, Jane!!"

He is definitely going to kill her.

* * *

As Rocket powers up the Asgardian Sky Skiff, what was to be Peggy's birthday present from one Girl of Thunder, Atli shakes the cobwebs free and rises up to stare after Noble Barnes pole vaulting with her spear. She watches in complete awe as her Grandfather and one of Earth's greatest heroes work in battle coordination, Noble Barnes going low, Thor going.. well, wherever Thor goes. Lightning crashes into the beast, and Atli calls her spear to her hand once more to loose a lightning blast to help the cause.

"By Odin's phoenix-drenched beard, you shall not win this day serpent!!"

And then the great big serpent makes a choking sound, perhaps proving Thor right. In fact, Thor is technically correct, but in this case it is the quantum tunneling of an arm into the serpent's body that causes it to choke and gag, and then it's eyes roll back until the arm is withdrawn.

It looks, for the first time this evening, terrible disturbed.

Then it looks bloated. Eyes go wide, wings flail and strain against webbing until it belches a gout of quantum fire as it's insides are both set alight - and not - all at once.

The dragon stumbles.

Doctor Strange becomes much - many - more strange. The dragon opens it's mouth, perhaps to respond to the proposal. Likely to blast all the Stranges with Dark Energy.

An Atli sized headache shouts, "Verily, the Matt Demon and his duplicates look much like Lord Stark's brother! A brilliant strategy, Sorceress Supreme, the serpent cannot help but envy that beard!"

If Khalid uses cheese or the water Sloane has dumped everywhere, he will find either most malleable, and sensing such power nearbye Parmsweir would turn an eye in his direction, if not for his eyes being filled with red laser whips and whatnot. A final thrash is given, as each hero breaches armor, detonates his insides, and generally beats poor Parmsweir down, who probably would have had a better time if he had just attacked Asgard.

The tiniest bit of exposed tail twitches, hitting the backend of the catering truck - the only part of it to survive. It rolls, twists, and then a box on wheels spills out, half-destroyed, but still rolling. it sqeaks along towards Peggy Carter until it hits the curb, the box flying off to reveal a very beautiful birthday cake (or half of one anyway), with a little saluting Captain America figure on top.

Parmsweir struggles to open his mouth. Struggles to breath, really. He does manage a response to Doctor Strange.

"I.. will.. not.. y-"

And then the skiff comes for him. Parmsweir, restrained by vast amounts of webbing and even more vast amounts of MAGICAL BANDS panics. That little bit of his tail twists up, deflecting the skiff - right into the side of his head.

His eyes cross, the skiff spins wide. Atli, in the back of the skiff, reaches for Rocket, and Jane too. But Jane bails out. Atli looks somewhat alarmed until she remembers that Jane can turn into a magical bird at will, or something.

Jane will of course land right in Bucky's arms as a police car comes to a halt in front of them both. And the skiff comes to a sliding halt into the front of another police car.

And the massive serpent falls smashed by super-sharp water, and a skiff to the head in it's final moments.

Three surviving little poppers around the cake go off, showering Peggy Carter with confetti just moments after the serpent slams into the ground to embrace the Parmsleep.

* * *

There is a lot of things happening.

There are a lot of people she knows here. And then also a bunch of people she doesn't. The main offender being the large snake that is crashing about, crashing into trucks, tables, friends and generally seeming as if it is trying to eat them all and - literally - party crash.

The Asgardians tackle, Rocket fires, Bucky spears, the magicians magic, Jane skiffs. And Peggy? She watches. The sword that is in her hand a gift (was it a gift? It was more like it was on loan, but if this is her party, maybe she can simply keep it) remains tight in her grasp. Many things conspire and as she is drenched in water and then cake splatter (is that Captain America as a cake topper?) she finds another opening. Poppers go off and the confetti sticks to the SHIELD agent as she quickly moves forward to slash right at the head of the snake as it thrashes downward in its last throes. Perhaps it's a mercy killing, or perhaps just a measured strike. No one may ever know.

Blinking a few times, she picks up a waterlogged invitation 'FRIEND,

MARGARET CARTER SOON TURNS 98 YEARS OLD.

JOIN US FOR A CELEBRATION IN THE EMBASSY OF MY FATHER. IT IS A SURPRISE PARTY. IT WILL BEGIN AT 8. FOOD AND DRINK PROVIDED.
THOR

Holding out the sword and the invitation at the same time she yells, "Thor! What the hell!"

* * *

*SPLORTCH*

Cheese mixed with dragon gore rains down upon the area. The suddenness of it causes Thor to stop with a moment of true confusion. This confusion is followed by realization of what is raining down and why. Slicked with gore, Thor's grim features shift to joy and he thrusts fist-and-hammer towards the sky laughing.

The god of thunder saunters forward grinning at the party, "A hundred thousand years," Thor says with a roll of his eyes and his tone becomes quite mocking, "Look at me. I am a fierce dragon. I have slept until," Thor drops Mjolnir to the ground and reaches to take Jarnbjorn from Atli looking at Jane, "There are no techomancers," to Strange at Khalid, "or wizards," to Sloane, "or scions," to Rocket, "or rabbits," and Parker, "or spiders," and finally to Bucky, "or.." something of a longer pause, "champions."

"Left upon Midgard." Thor walks towards Parmsweir's head, "Oh no, Thor, I did not mean to wake up early and interrupt your party." Head turns back towards the beast and he shifts the axe-turned-spear into a two-handed grip before swinging high above his head and then down.

Severing its head completely.

Without even looking at her he turns slightly and then pitches the spear towards Atli. Grabbing one of the horns upon the serpent's head he begins to drag it across the street.

'Thor! What the hell!'

Locking eyes with Peggy his grin only broadens, as if this had all been great sport, "Surprise!"

Pause, "Son of Jacob?! That was the signal! Surprise!"

*FLASH*

A hundred thousand years from now a faded picture rolls across the desolate ruins of Earth. The champions of Earth gathered around the rotting head of Parmsweir. A quarter mile away its rotting frame sits empty the tiny plaque upon it reads 'Peggy's 98th Birthday'.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License