Strike One, Ball Three...Ymir...
Sorry for the repost. I screwed it up as I was writing it.
I hope I fixed it.
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Cliff Overlooking the Encampment.
"You know what my problem is Clint?" Xander sighed heavily as he watched the Ymir free himself from the ice.
They were surrounded. The only reason they were still alive was it was too much effort to kill them. The Ice Giants were down there in their thousands. After trying to get at them three times, someone with brains figured that they'd let Ymir grind their bones beneath his feet.
Clint looked at Xander as he sighed heavily. He could plainly see the reason for the sigh. All they had to do was hold out for a couple of hours more and Dawn could try and zap away from this place. Anyplace would be good at this point. "You mean beside the other many obvious problems that we all know about, or is this something new?"
"Har-Hardy-Har Har, I say. You sir just think you're funny, but all those who hear you know the truth. You. Are. Not."
"All right tell me about this problem. I'm suddenly curious. It's the last thing I'll discover about the universe, just before I die. Therefore I'll die a happy man, because Xander freakin' Harris told me about his latest mental problem."
"We've discussed this before Clint my man. Leave the jokes to the pros. You don't have the timing, you don't have the ..."
"Enough already. What is you problem?"
"I'm glad you asked..." he paused for effect while Clint rolled his eyes, "I, I don't think big enough."
"Yes we all know that you struggle with small things, but what is your problem?" Clint smirked, while it was Xander's turn to do the eye rolling thing.
"It,s. That. Damned. Thor. If he'd only left the fuckin' sleeping bear alone." Xander fumed, "See when I said we should prepare for bear, I didn't think the Bear's Godzilla sized cousin would pop up. I doubt a nuke would do the sucker in. Thor already tried that."
"Get of it Boytoy. It was your toxic piss that started this whole fucking thing." Faith instead of Clint told him.
"How do you figger Faith?"
"You pissed on their holy spot. The spot that 'The Big Bad' over there used to go to sleep. Most if these guys were happy with the way things ran. They liked the freedom..."
"He was the parent and while he was asleep they grew up. Now that he's awake he'll want to take over. He's the 'Big Poppa.' and no one is gonna argue with him. They can't. He sleeps, they're free to do whatever shit they wanna do. With him awake they gotta follow the party line. And like I said your fuckin' toxic piss is what did it all. So lay off the big hunk."
"You do know that I love it when you talk dirty?"
"Yeah so eat me and get your shit together. I want my family out of his mess, so your shit better be in top gear. Ya hear me?"
"Ooh baby. Just wait until I get you alone tonight."
"Promises are a dime a dozen Boytoy. I hear that action is much sexier. Ya wanna press my button get to work."
"Ma'am! Yes dog-diggyty-ma'am!"
"He's almost out. What next? We can't stay here?" Clint asked. He was scanning the horizon for any sign of escape, there wasn't one.
Tony was working with Jackie and JARVIS to build something that would take care of the non-fliers like him, but it was gonna take more time than they had.
"You know what?" declared the head Scooby.
"What?" Faith and Clint answered together.
"Clowns. You've been practicing. I can tell." he winked knowingly.
"WHAT?" they yelled together.
"Okay, okay. Yeesh, talk about short attention span..."
"Out with it Harris, or so help me..." Faith said menacingly.
Xander held up his hands in surrender, and then though better of it, "You can help me with 'IT' later Faith my love, but for now...For now I want to give these guys a piece of my mind."
"You sure you can afford it. I mean seeing as how challenged and stuff, you just finished telling us all about your problems. It's just not fair you sharing all that with Frosty's kin..." Clint smirked as Xander gave him the look. You know the one. Yep that's it.
"Why. Why, why must I be surrounded by these doubters?" Xander asked the sky.
"Who's he talkin' to now?" Faith asked Clint.
"I don't know. I stopped listening when he started talking about his problems."
"Yeah, me too." she agreed.
"Philistines. I'm surrounded by Philistines...say Faith, when did I turn into Giles?"
"About ten years ago, but being the loving wife, I didn't wanna say anythin'."
"Thanks. You couldn't have said something, before the problem became too much to reverse? there's no knowing how much damage's been done by this time?"
"Oh we know how much, but Dawn liked the change, she said it made you more respectable, I don't agree, but then I love her more than I love you, so I let her shape you into a min-G." she shrugged, in the slayer code she kept on telling him, 'Ain't no big loss...'
"We'll talk about this when I deal with these guys." he told her mock seriously.
"I'll pencil you in my calender for next Tuesday." she said all smiles.
"Tuesday's no good for me? All them Apocalypses and stuff, say is this...Tuesday?" he asked.
"Probably, so next week it is." she confirmed.
"I've never seen you use a calender in your life." Clint told her.
"That's it. I'm officially ignoring you." He announced.
"Then stop talking to us. Jeez, he can't even get that right." Clint agreed with her. This Xander baiting was old, but fun.
Xander ignored them and went up to the edge of the cliff, he activated his Feather fall tattoo, just in case, he was all topped off on cosmic energy from Gungnir and was being constantly topped off by the ethereal network. It wasn't just for communications after all.
He picked out an Ice Giant with the most impressive headpiece. "HEY! YOU!" he shouted, "YEAH, YOU!" he confirmed when the Ice Giant pointed at his chest.
"WHAT DO YOU WANT ASGARDIAN?"
"THAT'S JUST IT. I AM NOT AN ASGARDIAN AND I WANT TO TALK."
The Ice Giant was intrigued. This wasn't something he expected these Asgardians to pull. To deny who they were just to save their lives, especially after putting up such a stubborn and valiant fight.
The Chieftain, got a few of his advisers together and talked with them for a few minutes. He kept pointing at Xander from time to time. They quickly came to a decision, and broke up. They walked back to the bottom of the cliff, and together the advisers, built the Chieftain an ice ramp so he could get closer to the leader of these people.
When he was close enough he signaled his people to stop. He looked at Xander for a few moments and came to a decision, His clothing and weapons, were unfamiliar, these were not the accessories of an Asgardian warrior. "If you are not Asgardians, then what are you?"
"We're from Earth." Xander declared proudly.
"Earth? You mean Midgard?"
"Yeah I guess you guys would call it that."
"You are far from home, and your people seem to have changed much since the last time we were there."
Xander was a bout to reply when it occurred to him, "My name's Xander by the way. What's yours?"
"You may call me Utgar-Loki"
"Nice to meet you and all, but why are you guys attacking us?"
"We thought you to be Asgardians at first, but that doesn't matter, after defiling one of our most holy places and for waking him up we have to put you all to death."
"What? even the women and children?" Xander joked.
"...If the women are attractive we will use them up first, then kill them, but only if you surrender." he obviously didn't get the joke, Xander thought.
"That's mighty generous of you, but we'll keep that as a last resort." Xander snarked.
"As it should be. The harder you struggle the sweeter the victory." again this ass didn't get the underlying message. Xander smirked openly at the giant, "What is so funny?"
"Come get some when you have the time." Xander openly challenged the Ice Giant Chieftain.
"Are you challenging me?"
"You do realize that even if you win that we will not let you go."
"Yep." again with the smirk.
The smirk was getting to Utgar-Loki, "I accept your challenge!"' he replied angrily.
Utgar-Loki wasn't certain, but he thought that the fight was on. "We will hold it challenge at the bottom of the cliff. None shall interfere." he declared to all.
"'Kay." again with the smirk.
Steam began to rise from Utgar-Loki as his cold blood began to boil in his icy veins.
'Ha! Got you! This should at least give us some time for Stark to finish what he's working on and for Dawn to get ready. I just hope that 'Big Boy' gives us the time to do this. 'Cause after he's loose, I'm thinkin' all bets are off!'
Utgar-Loki slid down the ramp and Xander floated down to the bottom of the cliff on his own like a feather. This made Utgar-Loki suspicious, he didn't think that flight was one of the Midgardians abilities, but then more than a few of them were seen flying around and about the battlefield earlier. He wasn't there to see it then, but he was here now to lead his people to wherever Ymir commanded. Most likely Asgard.
"Make a challenge circle!" Utagr-Loki commanded his people.
At first there were a few murmurs, but it slowly built to a roar. There was to be a challenge? Why? Why would Utgar-Loki give these Asgardians such an honor?
As the Chieftain's advisers set about creating the circle, he addressed them, He raised his arms and waited until all was quiet.
"THIS IS XANDER OF MIDGARD!" he announced.
This announcement stunned everyone. You could hear a pin drop, as even the winds died down. Apparently the Wind Elementals wanted in on this.
"HE AND HIS PEOPLE HAVE OFFERED A CHALLENGE OF HONOR! SHOULD THEY WIN OR LOSE THIS FIGHT, THEY WILL NOT RUN OR BE ALLOWED FREE PASSAGE! THIS IS A FIGHT OF HONOR! LET IT BE SO!"
Again the noise became a flood. This was exciting news. No one has ever offered such a challenge in their history, to fight them just for the honor of it. And to do it with all the proper ceremonies being observed. Whatever the outcome was, Those of Midgard would be honored after this, just before they were killed, or turned to slaves. After all it was only proper. Respect must be returned in kind.
"Cool. So how do you want to do this? Weapons, no weapons..." Xander left the challenge open ended. He would let the Ice Giant chose, as this gave them even more time, and the fight haven't even started yet.
"DO YOU HEAR THIS? HE WOULD FIGHT US ON OUR OWN TERM. LET IT BE SO. WITHOUT WEAPONS AND ONLY YOUR NATURAL GIFTS!" again the roar of approval was deafening.
'Man I've never been more popular in my life. And to think...all it took was for me to throw down with an Ice Giant, this would never have happened in Sunnydale.' he thought.
"STATE YOUR NAME AND TITLES!" Utgar-Loki was milking this for all it was worth. He was confident with his victory. He had observed that they used powerful weapons, but without a weapon he didn't give the Midgardian much of a chance at winning this challenge.
"He's really draggin' this thing out." Clint said approvingly.
"Yeah..." agreed Faith, "Now all he has to do is survive."
Clint nodded his head in agreement.
"This should be me down there." said Thor coming up on the two Avengers.
"No. It really shouldn't" replied Clint.
"How so Archer?" he asked.
"Would the offer have been made in the first place if it was you?" Clint replied with a question of his own.
Thor thought about it and he confirmed, that indeed that would be the case. The cowardly Ice Giant would not have dared make the challenge in the first place.
"Besides, Xander isn't doing this for glory. He'd down there fighting for time, and the jerk is gonna let him beat on him to buy us as much time as possible." Faith informed Thor.
"Is this true?" he asked Clint.
"If you know Xander, and believe me after twenty-one years of hanging around with the guy, I know Xander, then yeah, he's going to go though hell to buy us the time we need to get gone."
"We should put a stop to this..." Thor was about to charge down to stop this travesty, but Faith held him with a steel grip on his bicep, she then felt up the bicep, which had the double effect of stopping Thor in his place and embarrassing the hell out of him, "Um, Faith this is unseemly. Thy Husband fights for his very life, we should not act so..."
"Hm? Oh yeah, anyway. Stay. Xander went knowing full well what he's doing. So let's not ruin his plan. Besides, he always has something up his sleeve. If he survives, he'll be okay. He'll regenerate most of the damage in a few minutes, I'm just worried that the Giant might pull some funky shit that Xander won't be able to deal with..."
"Thor reluctantly agreed. He was also impressed with how she was able to quickly subdue his hot tempered nature, she was a woman well and truly worthy of the title Avenger.
Below the fight was about to start. Thor and the rest watched from above while down below Xander was about to enter a world of hurt and pain on their behalf.
"ANY LAST WORDS MIDGARDIAN?"
"Bring it on Muthafucker!"
Utgar-Loki didn't know what this thing Muthafucker was, but he thought it was a term of respect. He would indeed fight like a Muthafucker. He charged Xander at full speed intending to smash the smaller man with one blow to end this quickly and to get a chance to enjoy the women he saw on the clifftop before Ymir was out of the ice. alas it was not to be as Xander barely side stepped, lifted his leg out of the foot sweep and jumped over him when he tried to grab him in a bear hug.
"You are fast. That is good. This will be a good fight." he was also disappointed. This will take more than than he was planning on. If this kept up there wouldn't be enough time to enjoy the spoils of victory.
On the next lunge, Xander blocked the flurry of blows, using hands, elbows knees. Whatever was appropriate. After twenty-one years of practicing this kind of fighting daily with the Slayers and Clint, he was more than ready for this chump. He saw that the Ice Giant left himself open a lot, so he chose one particularly obvious opening and threw a few hits of his own.
The force was enough to bring the giant down and fling him across the ring to the other side. This had effect of stunning the watchers. Both below and on top.
The Ice Giants were silent as their Chieftain slowly stood up. He revised his estimation of the man standing against him. Those were not the weak blows he was expecting. If anything he had hit harder than most Asgardians he had faced.
Thor who was watching this from above was silent as well. It seemed to him that the Black knight was about to turn this fight into an epic.
"HA HA HA HA! THAT WILL TEACH ME TO RESPECT A TRUE WARRIOR. I WAS AFRAID THAT THIS CONTEST WOULD END QUICKLY!' he lied. He really wanted it to end quickly, so he could sample the delights that waited for him, and if the women were made of the same stuff as this man, then they would last a long time.
"I aim to please. Let's make this into something that your people will talk about for a long time." Xander smirked again.
"AND SO WE SHALL!" he approved. This would just make the taking sweeter. He had not thought of that. The accolade from his people would be well worth the wait.
Before he charged again, he threw an enchantment meant to deceive his opponent.
Xander let him get closer and he also let him think that what he tried succeeded.
When Utgar-Loki was close enough to try again, his blows were blocked and once again he found himself on the other side of the circle.
'That should not have happened. He should have seen an image of me, ahead of me. Let's see if he can do that again.' the Ice Giant Chieftain charged again and with more caution this time, and again the results were the same. He landed a few powerful blows, but they were on the arms and legs, none on the body, and he was still flung across the ring.
'He can see through my enchantments. That is not something I remember his people able to do. He is clearly a warrior and not a mage. Have his people changed so much in the time we have been away?'
Utgar-Loki extended his hand and made a fist. Ice began to form around it and as Xander watched a blade of ice extended from the hand until a sword complete. This time when the Ice Giant attacked he was careful. He swung a few feints in Xander's direction trying to back him to the circle's edge.
Xander dodged and weaved, until his opponent committed himself to a serious attack and then he jump-kicked the sword at it base. I shattered and a large section fell. Utgar-Loki backed off to reform his weapon.
Xander put his foot under the blade and kicked it up to the air. He caught it on the flat edge and gave it a quick once over, "It'll do." he smirked. He pulled an armored gauntlet from his jacket and put it on. He transferred the blade to that hand and motioned for the Chieftain to try again.
The Ice Giants roared their approval. What they thought was a slaughter, was turning into an entertaining fight indeed.
The fighters met in the middle for a quick exchange of blows. Utgar-Loki was careful to get hit by his blade. It would be just as effective against him as it would be against his opponent. He made the hardest and the sharpest blades of any of his people. It would even stand under the hottest sun without melting. It was a blade crafted from Elemental Ice. The shard in Xander's hand was the size of a small sword. For the Midgardian it was the size of a full sword.
After two quick exchanges he came to the quick realization that his foe was possibly better than he is. He backed off and began to circle the smaller being. This was more like fighting an Asgardian, except it was not. Familiar weapons were used, but not the moves. The giant frowned after another pass he had a gash on his leg that was closing slowly and the Midgardian was putting something hot over a slash on his arm, that got through his guard.
'Fuck this hurts.It's not healing as fast as it should. Gotta be careful I was counting on regenrating faster than he could dish out the dammage.Who was the fucking genius that came up with combining magical healing with nano bot technology. Oh yeah, Bobbi and Jackie with a little help from Dawn to make it work, that's who. Note to self thank them properly the next time I talk to them. It burns from the frost, and it burns from the heat.' he winced visibly as the heat generated by the emergency field dressing melted the frost that formed on his arm. 'Just great. He gets me on one of the few places I don't have armor.'
The Ice Giant Chieftain saw that despite his bravado, the damage he had done was taking it's toll. He smiled at his opponent and this time it was him that did the come hither gesture. 'This feels right. I must use it more often in the future, no wonder he uses it so.' he thought as he prepared to meet Xander's charge.
They clashed again. No sparks were given, but stinging shards of ice pelleted both of them. They stung Xander more than they did his opponent. Xander closed his eyes and relied on his other senses to see him through this exchange. This was why he had insisted that everyone master blind fighting in the 'Land of Timeless Mists.', it was paying off here. Although, he had an unfair advantage here. The ethereal net was larger and had more detail than the one generated by him and Faith and later on when the children started to learn how to tap, and add to the field.
Utgar-Loki saw that Xander was fighting him with his eyes closed. When he backed off he analyzed that exchange as quickly as he could. In the mean time the Midgardian had pulled out a sort of face guard to cover his eyes. He figured out what happened from that action. 'He was blinded by the shards. But he also recovered quickly and continued to fight without his sight. This one is dangerous. I must put more care into this fight, or I shall be the one to lose his his life and not him. He is strong, fast, skilled and more importantly full of surprises, almost as many surprises as me. Those enchantments should have worked. His ability to fight without his sight might explain how he got through the magic, but there might be more there as well.' He then got into a serious stance and waited for his opponent to get ready for another charge.
The Ice Giants saw that and howled with glee. This was a lot more entertaining than they thought it would be yet again. It also explained why they were having such a hard time defeating these tiny fighters. It made more sense. They were much harder to kill than most Asgardians.
Thor and the rest of the Avengers watched the fight as it progressed away from the cliff's edge. JARVIS had put up a large projection screen that showed a closer view of the match.
The Asgardian were impressed by the display of martial might, and Thor had to re-evaluate the Black Knights skills upwards yet again. He had been doing so constantly from the very first moment he had met this man. It was humbling to see how fast he had progressed in twenty years of practice. Very few beings in his memory had ever achieved that. Be they Asgardians or something else. he would keep a closer watch over this new Asgardian hybrid in the future. Even more so than he promised himself in the past.
There was now a constant roar coming from the Ice Giants as the match progressed. The two fighters got into a serious pissing match to find out who could do more damage, and who could outdo the other. Xander won most of these exchanges, but he was doing less damage with the Giants own weapon than he would with his own. Had he been using his black sword this match would have been over much sooner.
Xander was covered in ice and breathing raggedly, but then so was Utgar-Loki, they both back off long enough to catch their breath.
"You are much, better than I thought possible." he complimented the smaller man.
"Heh. You're just lucky you're not fighting my friend Buffy. She would have whipped the ice with the both of us." he grinned at the thought.
"Such warriors exist on your world?" he asked surprised that the other man was not boasting of his prowess, but espousing those of others, "Is she a Valkyrie?" he asked, as he struggled to gulp in lungfuls of much needed air.
"Nah. She's a tiny little thing about this high..." he moved his hand above the ice about five feet or so, " She can pommel the both of us with little sweat." Xander actually meant that, he just didn't realize how much he changed since the invasion. While Buffy may have been the Slayer Supreme of his youth she had not changed as much as he had, she did have the same physical advantages, but he had two decades of constant training that evened out the field.
Utgar-Loki didn't know that and he read the false truth, and utter conviction in Xander's voice, eyes and even in his very soul.
The rest of the Scoobies who were watching this fight shook their heads. They knew the truth., "Xander you idiot." Faith said what they all were thinking. After all this time, and after all he has accomplished, he still thought that he could never measure up to his heroes.
"It's why we love him, and you'll be there to help me break him out of this stupid habit of his?" Dawn asked and Faith promised with her eyes and the code that she would do just that.
"Are there truly warriors that are that much better than this..." she pointed at the battle on the screen as the smaller man was beating the Ice Giant king like very few beings could.
"I have met the one he speaks off, and although she moves and talks and has the confidence that would indicate that it is so, I am unsure that it is so. For the level of skill before us would put the lie to that statement."
The Warrior three muttered and agreed among themselves that it would have to be so. To think otherwise would mean that Mighty Asgards days as the 'Supreme Power' in the ine realms were numbered.
As the fight progressed almost everyone forgot about Ymir's struggles to get out of the ice. Everyone but the AIs JARVIS and Jackie and a few others watching from different locations.
The Asgardian host watched the fight as it was projected into the ether before them by the rebuilt observatory’s projection system. The bridge was still in need of repair, but the observatory had been completed not long ago.
“Tyr, Heimdall. Your observations.” asked Odin.
“He fights like a Champion of his people. There are few warriors that would be his match.” Tyr answered.
“I agree. He is Jord’s Champion and if his words are correct, and I have seen the one he speaks off, his estimations’ of her abilities are not quite accurate. She would have a hard time besting this warrior, but she could do so. For in his heart, he would want her to best him. The need would have to be great indeed for him to overcome such an obstacle.”
“Thank you for your observations. But their time grows short. Ymir is almost free. We must get ready.” He told them.
Heimdall agreed with his liege Lord’s estimation of the Giants bid for freedom from the ice.
Cliff Overlooking the Encampment.
The two combatants were once again exhausted. They had backed off by mutual consent to try and regain some strength.
'Man this cold is sapping my strength like nothing else. If it wasn't for the constant influx of cosmic energy from Gungnir, I'd have been a goner by this time. C'mon Stark get you shit in gear. I can't take this much longer.' he thought.
'Where is his energy coming from. Very few beings in the universe can keep this up. He is the better of us two, but he has been playing with me for a while, but why? to what purpose?' thought the Ice Giant. 'Enough it ends now!'
Xander saw the killer intent in Utgar-Loki's eyes and he agreed. This has gone on long enough. They charged each other and at the last moment Xander pulled every dirty trick he could think off. He slid beneath the Ice Giants feet. On the way he thrust into his groin and used the sword stuck inside the Giant to swing back against the left leg. He then viciously removed the sword and heard the agonized cry from his opponent, but with no mercy he used the sword to hamstring both legs.
He jumped on his back as he crashed to the ice and drove the sword into his back and hopeful though the heart. He wasn't sure, but knowing Hilda he must have come close.
Utgar-Loki stopped struggling and lay still. He was still breathing but he didn't know how long this would last, As he was about to deliver the 'Coup DE Gars' a loud CRRAAACCKKK!!!! stopped him.
"If you survive, maybe another time. You have fought well. It was an honor." Xander activated the Feather fall spell and left the ring and flew back up the cliff. He saw that his friends were almost ready to leave, but not quite, "Aw, c'mon. You should have been ready by now." he complained.
While below Utgar-Loki closed his eyes and let the Elemental Ice heal his injuries. The Midgardian had spared his life, in the future if there path were to ever cross again, he might spare his. The last thing he saw before his eyes closed was his people on their knees, paying homage to Ymir, who was finally free from his icy bed.
This was my longest chapter on this story to date.
Thank my prof for taking off early.
This chapter is done.
Next stop Asgard.