[This week, we have TWO parts! The first HERE, and the second YONDER at Mia's blog, to whom I give special thanks for approving my use of both her likeness and her zombies! So when last we left our um, heroes? Bragi had accused Amalia and Thor of being an item, a dangerous rumor likely to result in terrible, terrible things, if it got back to Asgard.]
Thankfully, we didn’t run into any Satyrs between the police station and the Asgardian Embassy. Thor punching one in the face would only have added fuel to Bragi’s fire, and we needed to do some serious smothering of those flames. Damage control with Z could wait until I saw him next – be that in the police station or at the embassy, but first I was going to make sure that Bragi’s lips were sewn shut. Literally, if necessary. After all, it wasn’t like there wasn’t a precedent.
“Straight inside,” I told Bragi when we reached the immense oak doors of the embassy. The building was roofed with round metal shields, and the rain pinged and chimed against them. I was soaking wet and the sooner we got this done and I could change into dry clothes the better for everyone. “We’re going to see Baldur and Forseti, and if I have to charge you with some kind of libel or slander or whatever label your kennings fall under to keep you quiet, so help me, I will!”
“Perhaps we should call you Thorskona the Humorless,” Bragi grumbled. Lightning flashed, and Thor gave him a shove forward when he wasn’t moving quickly enough. Thunder gods aren’t big on patience, and judging by the storm, Thor was somewhere between angry and furious. Bragi snorted. “And you Bilskirnir’s Grim Lord.”
“You may call me by whatever names you wish, Bragi, provided you keep your assumptions to yourself.”
“A wise man recognizes the truth unspoken, and only the fool believes what one man sees others have not already realized.”
“You’re looking so hard for a story to tell you're inventing things,” I said. “And I’ll swear as much in front of Balder and Forseti both! We’re just friends!”
But when we burst through the door to Baldur’s blindingly silver office, it was already occupied. Mia was sitting in front of the large, shining desk, and it was clear to me, if no one else, that Baldur was beginning to regret his association with sparkling precious metals. Drool, zombie fingerprints, and glitter were EVERYwhere. All three of us stopped dead, and even Bragi had no words but for a half-muttered, “What in the nine worlds…?”
Baldur cleared his throat, gently prying a zombie from his thigh. Of all the Norse gods to be trapped in a room with zombies, Baldur the Shining, Baldur the Bright! So beautiful and brilliant that light shines from his very person. Poor, poor Baldur, who had barely detached one zombie before another took its place. Feathers clung to his hair and clothing, and by the lines carved into his face, I could only guess that he’d been suffering this invasion long enough to try even his divine patience. And there was no one in Midgard with more patience than Baldur. Normally.
“It appears,” he said stiffly into the silence, “that my immunity to harm does not extend to deflecting zombies.”
Mia paused in her attempt to lure the zombies away from Baldur with a few hot dogs, and turned, giving me an overbright and enthusiastic grin. “Amaliaz! We are so glad you are here, finally and at last! We didn’t know where else to go.”
“Um?” I said.
“Well you must have heard,” Mia said, her eyes widening. “The Zombie Treaty is broken! They’re being rounded up as we speak! Something to do with the Satyrs who started rioting this afternoon after some guy punched one in the face. You know how excitable the zombies can get. It wasn’t their fault at all that some of the Satyr’s got bitten. It was poor zombie handling! If they’d just read my book –”
“Ms. Hayson,” Baldur interrupted, “has requested Asylum for herself and her zombies. She’s named you, Thor, as her sponsor, and Amalia as a character reference for her, ah, friends.”
That was when the storm outside turned abruptly into a hurricane. Admittedly, I wouldn’t have noticed, except for the tree branch that exploded through the window and sent glass flying into my face.
Klikk here for episode III point V!