We started up the mountain. Ethan had plotted that the most likely point for a rupture was on the south side above the Timberline Lodge. This was only a third of the way up the mountain and there was a good road.
We were almost there by 8:30 PM. We needed them to have committed as much as possible before we attacked. They had a roadblock set up at the Timberline Highway turnoff. They were wearing National Park Service uniforms and had a NPS truck as well.
"Sorry sir," the one walking up said, "road's closed."
Jim looked innocent, "Oh, what's wrong?""
"Got some trees down about halfway up. Crew is in the middle of clearing them."
"Oh really? That's all Gunnar had for a story?"
The 'ranger' started to draw his pistol, but Jim had already grabbed him by the collar and yanked his head into the door pillar. Lisil had bailed from the truck bed and had beaten the other guy to a pulp.
I slipped into their truck and started it. We had thought of a couple of different ways they could have restricted access, and we were lucky they chose the dumbest. With me and Captain Renard in the lead we continued up the slope. The road was clear and empty. We drove about two and a half miles on the twisty two lanes until we got to the gate at the bottom of the lowest ski run. I rammed it and killed the headlights, Jim was following close behind.
If we had continued on the road it would have twisted around a lot longer than the one mile we had to make it to the lodge using the run. There would also have been a lot more potential choke points for ambushes. Jim and I had plotted our root with the direct approach in mind. All our vehicles were real 4WD and we stopped and locked the hubs before heading upslope. Timberline is open almost year round apparently, because its highest runs are on Hood's perpetual snowcap. They have lifts running from the main lodge to the tops of those runs of course and we figured the bomb had been transported that way.
When we were only about a quartermile out I stopped and got out as the Captain took the wheel and Lisil slid in next to him. He had gotten her her sword, shield, and spear back, and she looked a lot happier. I took off at a sprint and started beating up biker sentries. before they knew I was there. The next step was to wave the trucks forward and take over the lodge. Checking my watch I saw it was 9:00, we had to move fast.
Tyr, Lisil and I crashed through the skylight and took out the guards on the hostages while Sam, Riley, and Jim came in through the back door. All the current guests were alive fortunately even though some looked slightly mangled.
"Okay, Juliette, Rosalee call the Staties after we get to the top of the first lift and get these people off the mountain. We should get there at about 9:30 I think," the Captain was in orders mode which was cool. I was getting into the zone. I had an AT-4 slung over one shoulder and was carrying a bolt action Remington 700 hunting rifle. Riley and Sam had my MP5s and Jim had his AR-15. Lisil was carrying one of my compound bows.
The 'Magic Mile' takes the guest from the comfort of the Timberline Lodge to the 7,000' foot level of Mount Hood. Giving the passenger an unparalleled view of Hood, the Palmer snowfield, and nearby Mt. Jefferson. Well that's what the brochure says and why shouldn't I believe it?
The Blessed of War had left it running because why not? We hopped on...Tyr got a seat to himself duh...and started up. They hadn't posted guards at the top. We knew this because Jim and I had been scanning for movement the entire ride. Me with my rifle scope and Jim with his...Jim-ness?
We sprinted to the Palmer lift. There were a couple of bikers guarding it, but they went down fast. Then we were on the lift and en route to the fight.
This lift moved considerably faster than the Magic Mile lift and we were closing on the top quick. Jim tapped me on the shoulder and pointed. There was a small flicker of lights then a bonfire burst into flame. I swung my scope over and saw a number of figures larger than normal humans.
"We got ogres."
Jim nodded and checked his magazine seating again before chambering a round in his rifle. I did the same and I could hear the bolts on Sam's and Riley's sub-machineguns slam into place. We off loaded at the empty terminal. The voices of drunken bikers carried clearly from over by the fire. We moved up to get a better view and I saw Dunham, Bishop, Farnsworth, and a few guys wearing DHS jackets laying in a heap in the snow.
"We've got reinforcements?" Jim asked.
"Maybe?" I replied. "Can you get them free? I know I know stupid question..." he was off like a ghost. I turned to face the others.
"Captain, you're with me. Lisil, you and Riley. Tyr, you and Sam."
"You give me orders?" the god of heroes gave me a sketchy look.
"Well yeah. And you are going to obey them right?" I shot back.
"Right. Lisil you head uphill and see if you can work your way around. Tyr you get their attention and I'll try to slip past downslope. If anybody gets spotted the time for stealth is seriously over. Get to the bomb.It will not be small or subtle. Sam and Riley, you've both done disarms before I know. It won't have anything complex for anti-tamper I'm pretty sure. It will have a redundant firing system though."
"How do you know?" the Captain asked.
"Because Odin likes fallback strategies. He probably has one in case the bomb fails to detonate, but the Niflhel team should have him out of commission by now."
We started moving. There was Gunnar in jotun size and another two not quite so with the huge. About eight ogres and twenty or so humans. The Captain and I had almost finished our loop south and gotten to the far side when the first shots were fired. After that it was an unholy mess.
I scoped in and started shooting Gunnar in the head with .375 H&H Magnum rounds. I had originally gotten this rifle to deal with a nasty Bunyip problem in the Cuyahoga river, and it seemed that jotun hunting was a suitable secondary use. The first round ricocheted of his stupidly thick skull, the second went right into his eye. The Captain covered me with his shotgun as I kept sniping whatever jotun stuck his head up. Bullets were flying everywhere and I noticed Jim, Olivia, and Peter heading towards a mechanical thingy that looked kind of like a washing machine, but had to be the bomb.
One of the jotuns had been taken out by Tyr and simply vanished, like Rillna had.
"Cool, self-cleaning..." I muttered as I put my last round of .375 through the mouth of the other non-Gunnar jotun. His head snapped back and he vanished too. I got up and readied an AT-4, leveling it at Gunnar. As I fired an ogre stepped in the way and involuntarily intercepted the antitank rocket in the upper chest. The blast vaporized him and got Gunnar to see where I had been shooting from. I unslung my pair of axes and whispered to the Captain, "Get clear of me."
The Captain shook his head and twitching changed into a grotesquely scarred creature out of nightmare.
"What are you sir?"
Together we walked towards the jotun.
He was bleeding from multiple bullet wounds and now missing an eye, but he still looked strong and really annoyed.
"Detective Summers..." he growled.
"That would be me. I would read you your rights, but in this case you don't have any."
"Funny little human," he pulled out a massive maul suitable for playing croquet with balls the size of a VW Beetle. "Time for all of you and your kind to perish."
"Not gonna happen. We're going to kick Odin's and your ass, and Surtur is staying locked up until it's the right time for the end of the world..."
He swung. To bad for him that I am much faster and was expecting it. I didn't bother trying to block just swayed back out of the path and attacked the shaft with both axes. Splinters went flying. The Captain stepped to one side and punched him hard in the upper thigh. Gunnar howled as the pressure point was hit and stumbled slightly. Obviously the Captain in his woged form was a lot stronger than normal. The jotun swept a 360 arc with the maul. I leaped over it and kicked him in the face while the Captain dived clear.
"Is that all you have for threats and taunts? No wonder I'm going to kick your jotun-ish butt. No quips, no sense of style and I bet you listen to Bathory, Hellhammer, or Screwdriver..."
The Captain had slipped in again while I was distracting him with my chatter and using his fingernails, had slashed open Gunnar's left leg.
"Ow! That looks painful," I smashed him in the right knee with the flat of one of my axe-blades. "Annnd so did that. You want to give up now? No? Okay how about this then?" After trading blows and dodges, I went flat as the maul swished about an inch above my head, kipped up and sliced deep into the backs of both his ankles as I rolled between his feet. I felt one Achilles Tendon pop.
He dropped to one knee and simply started spinning the maul around him like a propeller, "I don't need to beat you human. Just keep you from succeeding."
"Oh that? Check your watch..."
"What?" he looked confused.
I held up mine so he could see it, 10:45PM.
"How? Why didn't...?"
...it go off?" I pointed at Peter, Riley, and Sam leaning on the washing machine as Lisil and Tyr finished off the last of the ogres. "You might want to go home now. Odin lost."
He pulled a small bell from his pocket and rang it. There was a blare of sound and he vanished.
"Time for us to leave too," I pulled the bell we had gotten from Johannson out of my pocket and tossed it to Tyr.
He grinned and motioned us over.
I faced the DHS agents, "You only think you know weird..." then Tyr rang the bell.
We appeared outside Tyr's farmhouse. Juliette and Rosalee were outside waiting along with the Niflhel team. The two women had driven the jeep and Jim's truck back after they had called the State Patrol.
"Did it work?" Dawn asked. She looked kind of worn out.
"Do you see an erupting volcano? I sure don't! What happened to you Dawnie?"
"Uh using a part of me to make the trap almost was too effective...
The plan had been to break Hel free and use her to warn Jormagandr. The Niflhel team did one better. They got the directions and a Draugr portal, then Hel went to talk to her father...Loki put a word in Odin's ear and while the Asgard horde was moving through to the World Snake's lair he distracted the All-Father long enough for Hank to blow the horn again. This time boosted by some Dawn Summers blood. The ritual that Dawn and Ethan had cooked up, dropped Odin into Niflodin where he was now the ruler bound by the Horn of Syn. We were all sure he would escape eventually, but Loki said he would warn us and he seriously owes us a couple.
Olivia stopped by the house the next day and gave me a strange look, "I would ask you what exactly happened, but you would probably lie."
"Probably. It's just there are somethings it's safer not to know."
She nodded, "And that is the truth."
"Come out here in a few months and we'll talk. You can tell me about your job and I'll tell you about mine."
Lisil headed back to Valhalla, but Tyr stayed on his farm. He likes it there apparently. Loki let off the manipulation that had shut down the Council. Ethan headed back to ADX with a spring in his step and a god that owed him a favor. Sam and Riley headed back to DC, and Faith decided to move to Portland. Hank is now dating Tilly too.
I was in the backyard on the lilypads doing some staff work when I saw a huge squirrel bounding across the lawn towards me.
"Got message for you Detective."
"From Urde, 'Not even a god can deny fate'."
I smiled, "Well then tell all three of them I do it all the time...and I don't respond well to prophecies."THE ENDa/n
Thanks to Texaswookie, DianeCastle, AlanPitt, randyzoopurple, Duchess, jakedaman, CPTSkip, Mcspender, DaveTurner, Bradsan, ShalaDakiri, and everybody else who reviewed and commented!!! You guys are all wonderful.
The challenge was The Law. I decided to go with supernatural Law. Therefore, Grimm, The Sentinel, and a touch of Fringe. The other challenge I used was joehundredaire's Foresight. Where would the BtVS characters be ten years later?
I used the Norse mythology because, aside from Olaf and some comments from Anya, it was woefully underrepresented on BtVS, and since Grimm revolves around Germanic myth what could possibly work better?
In the myths and Eddas Odin is a slime. He is amoral, manipulative, and cruel. Who would make a better villain honestly. Even though Buffy never encounters him, she feels his presence most of the story.
I like writing Buffy first person and this story was a blast. I got to write her making mistakes, jumping to conclusions and being tricked. Great fun for me at least!
Watch Grimm it is a great series by Dave 'Buffy/Angel/Moonlight' Greenwalt. You'll spot the Whedon influence in dialogue and character I promise.