A Small Skirmish...
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Thanks again to everyone. Your reviews have inspired me to go beyond the movie.
I would like to thank iamjmph for the Recommendation.
June 13/ 2012
While taking a break Tony and the rest started asking Dawn questions about what had happened earlier.
She explained about her depleted energy reserves and what she was doing trying to replenish them with ambient energy.
She then explained about the cosmic ethereal network that was broadcast by the spear. After that she explained what happened when the spear almost burned her to a crisp when he flooded her body with cosmic energy.
"Xander mentioned something about this network, but at the time we were busy trying to come up with another way to get here," he waved his hand around, in a circle.
"It's a network for the spear to communicate with the wielders. But it's also a sensory web, or net used by the spear to predict threat assessments. During the invasion Xander told me that he had something like 360 vision, overlaid on top of his own. Like a transparent holographic 3D map of wherever the spear was able to reach."
"And the spear keeps increasing the range of its network?"
"Yeah. It's not just the spear that spreads the net Tony, it's the wielders too. That's why the spear slipped that strand of DNA into everyone. He's constantly feeding us energy, but it's usually just a trickle. For the wielders it's like a pipeline. Natasha?"
"I agree. It's like a pipeline with me. I don't know about the others, and what it was like before, but after the bonding and the change, whenever I'm in contact with IT, I'm never tired. Energy to burn. After I'm filled to capacity, I slowly leak the rest of the energy into my environment."
"Do you have the same access to the sensory net like Xander?"
"Yeah. That too. That could come in handy when I get back to the field, if only there was a way to hide this..." she held up the hand still physically bonded to Gungnir.
"We're all soaking up all this energy?"
"Yes. You are all concentrated batteries, or dots of energy depending on how far you are away from my position. The other wielders show up like giant representations of themselves, no matter how far they are. He keeps close tabs on them. Plus there's now a constant presence of someone else, just outside, but still connected to the net that's watching."
"Are you telling me we're being watched?"
"I wouldn't be surprised if we are."
Tony didn't like that at all. "Any idea who?"
"Knowing the spear and where we are I'd have to say the original owner."
"Big 'Poppa Odin' himself? Is it two way communications channel or what?"
"I don't know Mr. Stark. I've been either blocked at home, or he didn't get access until we arrived here." Natasha shrugged. She wasn't happy with the situation and there was precious little she could do to remedy it at the current time, not with the resources on hand.
"And this energy is constantly getting pumped into the atmosphere?"
"Like a never ending fountain."
"Or a cosmic power plant..."
Natasha didn't like the look on Stark's face. She'd seen that looked before, it never ended well before.
June 13/ 2012
"Are we there yet?" Xander whispered from behind the cover of the windy ice cliff.
"Will you shut the fuck up." Clint hissed. "Sound carries from this height."
Xander raised his eyebrow, "Over all this howling wind?"
"All it takes is for the wind to blow in the other direction and they'll hear us."
"Nu uh! No way." he smirked at Clint, he pointed his thumb at Thor, "I saw him do something with the hammer, didn't you catch that?"
"No...I didn't. I still have problems with all this magic crap."
"Whatever. Dawn offered to tutor you, but no. You had to turn her down."
"knock it off. Nows not the time."
"Kay, but later..." he promised. He returned to silent communications. All that was mostly for Thor's benefit anyway. "What do you think?"
"Our target is definitely down there..." Clint signed and Xander agreed.
"I got twenty eight so far..."
"Ditto, but I think more will be on the way..." this time it was Clint who agreed.
"Take them now...or later?"
"I know I'm good for about a dozen if I start reducing their numbers from here, but the wild card is their shaman. He could tip the scales..." Clint studied the camp, looking for anything that they may have missed.
"I think Thor can take care of the rest, but my main job will be making sure that we take the shaman alive. He's the only one down there that could have pulled that disappearing act on our problem child."
"When do you want start?" Clint asked.
"As soon as I bring the big gun up to speed. When we start drop a few smoke arrows on the shaman's position. Magic needs line of sight to work most of the time, and if he's busy trying to remove the smoke, or get out of the zone, he'll be too busy to either run, or get tricky..."
"It's your play. You know this crap better than I do. Get Thor ready, we're go in sixty..." Clint began to select his arrows with care while Xander prepped Thor.
"Kay bro. We'll do death from above as soon as the arrows fly. Thor'll start with those outside the smoke and I'll go for our boy." Xander pulled a light mask and goggles for his eyes and gave thumbs up.
That was the signal Thor was waiting for. He grabbed Xander and flew into the sky. Clint started to shoot arrows around the shaman's position.
The five arrows dropped around the shaman and exploded. Thick grey white smoke covered the area quickly. Two would have done the job, but he and Xander thought overkill was a dirty word. No such thing when a magic user was involved.
Thor dropped among the ones outside the zone and began to bash ice giants left and right. Xander had activated his Feather-fall tattoo and went straight for the shaman.
He was bouncing in and out of the smoke like a Mexican jumping bean looking for the target. His black sword in one hand and a net in the other. Where the net came from he didn't need, or for that matter want to know.
Clint loaded exploding arrows and went for head shots as he slid down the cliff. It was like Snowboarding only with shoes. He fired his arrows on the move.
Xander jumped out of the smoke with his target in hand, he kept jumping until he cleared the smoke zone.
The shaman was trying to get free from this flea, but Xander kept him off-balance by jerking the net this way and that. He was jumping towards Clint as fast as he could.
Clint redirected his shots from the general melee with Thor and the ice boys to covering Xander's mad dash.
When Thor saw that Xander had the target in hand he let loose with the full fury of the lightning at his beck and call.
Most fell to his wrath. The rest fell down to the archer's exploding arrows. When the battle was done, the only ice giant to survive was the shaman.
Thor walked menacingly back to his companions. "Stop your foolish struggles Mage. Or face my wrath."
The shaman was not a fool. Those unknowns who captured him might have fallen to his tricks, but not the thunderer. He stopped, "What do you want Odin spawn? Have you not done enough?"
"What I want foolish one is MY. BROTHER!"
He's not your brother. He's my nephew. Your father took him as hostage at the end of the war. I have sent him to safety. You will never see him again!" the shaman spat the last word. The icy spittle bounced off Thor's face.
Thor roared and swung his Hammer with all his might at the trapped shaman to crush his skull.
Both Xander and Clint jumped back twenty feet. The still trapped shaman came along for the ride in Xander's net.
"The fuck is wrong with you. Can't you see he's goading you into killing him, before we find where he sent them."
Thor looked at Xander with battle madness still in his eyes. he was about to charge the Knight when the Knight asked, "Say. Is that a duck?"
The odd question stopped Thor is his tracks.
"What?" Thor turned around trying to see what the Knight was pointing at. He saw nothing, when turned back to see what foolishness the Knight was up to, he saw him smile.
"You with us now?" he asked.
Thor though about the foolishness that transpired and had to admit, that silly trick was worthy of Loki himself. When he thought about his brother, he calmed down further. Cooler heads would have to lead in this instance. He would let the knight and the archer have their way. "Aye. Make him talk fast Black Knight, or I will start by crushing his limbs, one by one."
"See what you just done. You got him all uppity, with the giving of the orders. That will just not do." Xander drew his sword and slashed the blade across the ice giant's forehead. He let the sword drink a bit of his life force, "He was the nice one. I'm not letting you off so easy, as to just crush your limbs, no, no, no. You know what I want. Where are they?"
The shaman trembled as his body struggled to handle the loss to his soul and magic just suffered, this monster was a thousand time worse than the thunderer. "I sent Loki and his wife to the 'Land of Timeless Mists.', my niece and nephew are beyond your reach." he coughed as his body was wracked with pain, trying to compensate for the loss of a sliver of his soul. He knew that if he survived, he would recover, but first he would have to survive and get away from these monsters.
"Loki and his wife? Niece and nephew? You married him to his own sister?" Xander was at a loss for words.
Clint started to laugh at the irony of it all. He hated Loki with a passion. Payback was a bitch, glad to see that it was happening to others and not just him. Others like a certain someone by the name of Loki.