Tyra, Chapter Three
Infinity Bridge, Copyright 1998
(Infinity Bridge materials are strictly for Mature Readers over 18 years of age!)
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This story is strictly for us 'grups', for those of us who remember the comic books and their limitations and who dare to go where the comics could not go. And for those of us who still have a fertile imagination, a love of fantasy, a sense of wonder and an appreciation for All The Myriad Ways...
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- How many times have you told me that there is always hope?
It was a question not meant to be answered, but the being did so anyway.
- Countless times, Joziel, countless times.
The first being, Joziel, turned back towards the chaotic view of the world below them, a world in another sphere of existence. It (for it was neither male nor female, having features reminiscent of both genders and still no particularly male or female appearance) sighed, and leaned back towards the silver wall behind it. The other being, one of considerably more power than the archangel beside it, smiled, if it was possible for a being not made of matter to smile.
- I tell you, there is a reason. The Aesir goddess will not be alone. It is all part of the Plan.
Joziel laughed, a silvery, beautiful laugh, but with a faint dischordant ring to it.
- The Plan? So the Word still follows the Great Plan, eh the same plan that sent our sibling Lucifer to the pits of the Abyss, the same plan that turned it into Samael? The Plan that caused so many deaths it is hard to count them? Really, Metatron, not even us archangels truly understand the Plan anymore
The Metatron turned towards the archangel, the strange energy it was made of trembling with some emotion.
- Really, Joziel? And will the Seven be Six? Like there was once Eight? Will the Seven archangels give up their positions in the Spheres and join the Betrayer?
Joziel smiled faintly, a slight nervous hint to its ethereal features.
- Off course not, we would never abandon the Word and besides, the Plan is too incomprehensible to us, the Word is the only one who knows it fully
The Metatron turned back, ignoring the being beside it. Then it touched the shimmering wall that separated the sphere from their own, and spoke in a language never meant for human ears. Joziel giggled nervously again, carefully attempting to leave the room.
- Do not leave just yet, Joziel I wish for you to send the Youngling.
The archangels pale face paled even more.
- What? Him? But he has no corporeal form! He will be powerless and if he does get power
The Metatron spoke again, with the full power of its office.
- Send the Youngling. He will find a host. He will again be an avatar of hope and courage on the sphere of Gaea
Joziel rushed out of the room. The Metatron remained for a while, staring at the world below it. It stared at the women from distant worlds, trying to fight overwhelming odds, at strangely altered men and women, attempting to do the same, only mildly successful. It saw the envoy of a race long since gone to other spheres of existence, wearing the jackals head, holding the power of the Travellers in his hand, not knowing the full impact of his very presence.
- It has been time for the gods to return for quite some time now
Damn, it was hot. What the hell was wrong with the weather, anyhow? They said Frisco was becoming covered in ice and snow, and now the Himalayan mountains were suddenly bathed in summer heat. It had been hard enough climbing up the Mt Everest as it was, now he had to climb down when the snow and ice was melting? Great way of committing suicide, by the way
Sometimes he wondered why the hell he did these things. Bungee jumping from the Hoover dam, skydiving above Las Vegas (landing on the roof of the Golden Nugget Casino), riding a sandboard after a camel in Jordania, all those stupid stunts and now climbing the Mt Everest without oxygen gear. It had sounded good when hed set out
And then he realized that most other people, when in their forties, would be saying "I wish I had done that when I had the chance." Whereas he would be able to say "been there, done that". That was kind of cool. And he wasnt even twentytwo yet. Well what the hell was that?
Deep inside a newly opened crevice, melted up by the heat, was something it glittered. It sure as hell glittered. Maybe nah. He had to get back down before the whole place started coming down on him. But something told him he had to examine this. Had to
It was just an old bronze medallion. With a burning bird engraved. Whatever oh well he pocketed the medallion and continued his climb down.
The first tremors gave him fair warning. A big avalanche, on its way. And he was only halfway down. Damn. He was doomed. Better try to climb faster then
Then a clump of snow hit him. It was a small clump, but it told him his time was up. Staring upwards at the approaching thousand ton mass of snow and ice, he instinctively grasped the round disc in his pocket, mumbling any old prayer he could remember.
He opened his eyes. What the hell he was alive! Standing on top of the masses of snow that should have killed him, unharmed. Laughing, he started running on the now barely sloping ground.
Never noticing that he was barefoot. Or that he didnt leave any footprints in the soft snow.
- Look, I dont care if shes the mayors daughter, shes wanted for at least ten counts of assault, forty counts of property destruction, not to mention the damage done to the reputation of Rodeo Drive...
Kara sighed, trying to placate Earth authorities was no easy task. The fact that the tall redhead behind her giggled slightly whenever they tried telling her beating people up was wrong, giving a slightly psychotic impression.
- Captain...Brooks, is it? I dont think you quite understand the situation here, were dealing with a religious figure. Not a priest or saint or anything like that, a real live goddess. Shes not human. Shes never even been human. Shes not even related to us. This is not a woman, this is an antropomorphic personification of an idea, a deity, a higher power. And besides, she could whup my ass so hard Id be sore for years.
Brooks stared at her for a while, and then understanding dawned.
- Oh come on! Look, Ive been a devout catholic my entire life, but this? A German goddess coming down from the heavens to make our life better? Get real, lady!
The giantess interrupted, that arrogant tone of hers cutting through any arguments.
- Catholic, eh? Would you like to meet an angel? I know several. Mainly archangels, but its the principle of the thing...and Im a Norse goddess, not German. Theres a difference. Not very big, but its there. How would you like it if people mistook your religion for Protestantism, hm? I have a right urge to...
Kara realized where the conversation was headed, and took a firm hold on Tyras arm.
- Dont...hit him. Youve caused enough trouble here. Do you have any means of repaying these people for the buildings you seem to have just walked through?
Tyra looked surprised.
- Repay? I can certainly do better than that!
She waved an arm vaguely in the direction of the area where people where cleaning up rubble and wreckage. A bright white flash blinded them, followed by a soft rumble.
- Oh my god...
Not a trace of the fight remained. Every house was in pristine shape, looking far newer than it had earlier, even, the cars were repaired and gleaming like new, as if nothing had happened. The tall redhead grinned at their gawking faces.
- I didnt repair the vehicle of the oaf I met earlier...he deserved his fate. But the others, whom I accidentally injured, are healed. One of the perks of being the daughter of a valkyrie.
Kara couldnt help grinning at the stunned look on Brookss face, as they walked away.
- You really should teach me how to do that...
- This is Red One, we have target in sights, do we have permission to fire?
The four Tomcats roared above the frozen waters in the San Francisco Bay area, heading for the dark shapes moving in the fog up ahead.
- Granted, blow them out of the water...
Michael "Uriel" Walker smiled under his oxygen mask, flipping the necessary switches.
- Allright, gentlemen, lock and load, you may fire at will...
He made the example by firing his first load, two smart missiles, designed to track large, moving shapes. Theyd had some bad experiences with heatseekers the other year in New York. But these missiles were better, more powerful. Smarter.
The first two hit their targets with a deafening blaze of booming fire, followed by a roar of...pain? Jesus, what was this? What the hell were they firing at?
As he passed by his target, he realized that this was a lot worse than Russians. Fifty foot gorillas made of ice and snow, bleeding red ice. The one he had downed was scattered all over the frozen surface, at least they could be killed.
He never noticed the whiteskinned man wearing heavy furs, standing on the remains of Golden Gate. The man raised a staff made of a single, unbroken piece of ice, mumbling some strange words that resonated in the air like harp chords, creating blueish vapors that resembled ancient Norse runes.
And suddenly the fighter jet was overfrozen, the pilot exploding when his blood froze and expanded, spattering his remains against the cockpit walls. The plane went down in a fireball, that vanished instantly, smothered by ice and snow. The other three planes soon followed.
- Damn it! Why is everything so damn fragile!
Tyra stared at the crushed pieces of a "remote control". Now how was she supposed to switch channels on this magic picture box? If she tried pushing the buttons, shed probably break that as well. As Kara came out of the shower, a towel wrapped around her scrawny mortal body, Tyra quickly hid the crushed device under a couch pillow.
- Whatre you watching? The news? Could you turn up the sound...wheres the remote?
Tyra gave her an innocent face.
- I dont know...
Kara shrugged, walking up to the "television", pushing a button, raising the sound level of the device. Interesting. How did she control her strength? Just as she was about to ask, something caught her attention.
- ...the military has already evacuated most of the area, but they so far have no explanation for the thick ice that now covers most of the San Francisco Bay. Several rumors say that some form of battle has been fought near Golden Gate, with the resulting destruction of both the bridge and several Navy fighter planes.
Ice? In this part of the world? And why not in this area? How very strange.
- Kara, is this sort of thing...normal here?
The blonde shook her head.
- No...I was about to ask if you knew anything about this whole thing.
Tyra stared at the pictures of a frozen city.
- I might...
Someone knocked on the window. They both turned.
Loki stared at the image his flames showed him. Beautiful. He would have preferred the city being destroyed by fire and brimstone instead, but one couldnt have everything, he supposed. Like freedom. Freedom would be nice. As it was now, he was bound to a magical altar with the entrails of his own son, binding him as efficiently as chains would against a mortal. And that damn snake above him, dripping acidic poison in his face. The pain never stopped. Not even when his wife held her bowl under the snake, keeping the poison from his face, if only for a little while. But things would change, oh yes. He would start the Fimbul Winter ahead of schedule (like, a thousand years ahead of schedule), and initiate Ragnarok before the Aesir bastards were even ready. Fools. Just because he was bound beneath the Earth didnt mean he was helpless. And now the icegiants and the frostmen were about to free him. The world would perish by his hand. Vengeance would be his. It had only been a little prank. Why were they so mad that he had killed that milksop Baldur? The wimp deserved it! But nooo, they had to beat up Loki, blame the firegiant, as usual.
He started laughing, his booming laughter laced with the roaring flames of his heritage, his laughter causing a minor earthquake above them. For three thousand millennia, he had been bound beneath California. No more. Never again.
- I really dont know whats happened to me...I mean, one minute Im falling to my death, the next Im a six foot naked powerhouse with an overpowering urge to go here...what am I? What is all this?
The young man sat down on the couch, honest fear in his face. Tyra stared at him, mainly at the tiny tattoo on his chest. A phoenix. Rising from flames. Could it be...
- I have an idea. Sit still.
She raised a hand, holding it like a knifeblade, and jabbed. Her hand went through the young mans chest, coming out his back. Kara shrieked and jumped back, staring at the display in horror, but soon sat back, as Tyra pulled her arm out of an already healing chest. The hole closed with a tiny puff of flame, leaving behind a faint smell of burnt flesh.
- How...how the hell did...
Tyra held up a hand completely devoid of blood.
- Just as I thought, hes a firebird.
Both turned towards her, saying the exact same thing in unison.
- A WHAT?
- Okay, so Im like, a phoenix?
- Well, yes. In the olden days, they were eternal spirits who inhabited the bodies of a certain kind of bird, they had the advantage that any injury done to them healed immediately in fire. So if you were to be completely destroyed, youd burst into flames and come back. Youre immortal, in a way. Its a little more than that, it gets complicated, but this explanation will have to suffice. What is your name, by the way?
- Uh, James Thurleigh, my friends call me Jimmy.
She stood up, holding out a hand.
- Well, I suppose its my job to welcome you into godhood. It has its advantages, believe me.
He stared at her for a long time, as if she was mad. Then something changed.
- Yeah...I...kind of remember now...there arent any gods around, are there? And were to replace them? New gods for a new era? That makes sense. Gods who dont force people to worship them, gods who live among the people instead of above them or below them...
He stood up, taking her hand. And then they both stared into each others eyes, burning red and radiant green.
- We have to welcome the others. Theyre probably pretty much in chock by now...
Mariko Noguchi stared at her body. She was made of water! She could even see a tiny dragonfish swimming inside, passing her navel. Good gods, what was this? Had she gone mad?
The voice was clearly American. She turned, not thinking about her nudity. Hovering in the air was an immensely tall redheaded woman with pointed ears, accompanied by a tanned white man, his eyes burning with an inner flame.
- I believe youre to be the goddess of oceans and water...
She stared at them both. And then she remembered. Yes...
Somewhere in the Kalahari desert.
Xao smiled to himself, emptying the last of his water bottle down his parched throat. Noone could have gotten this far. Not even he. But he had suddenly been able to run faster than the planes that passed them occasionally, ripping up a cloud of dust behind him. Had the ancestors made a prank on him? How odd. Now he was hallucinating. Surely there couldnt be two women and a man flying in the air above him?
- Excuse me, mister...?
He nodded at them. Even stranger still, one of the women seemed made of water! And the man...were his eyes on fire? Most strange.
- Xao. And you are spirits? Or gods?
The redheaded woman smiled, speaking in his own language, as if it was her own.
- Both, I would say. You are to be our god of winds. Are you interested?
He looked around, as the memories started pouring into his mind. Why not? He had always wanted to go off and see the world.
And so they were four.
The ground cracked apart, the frozen water in the pipes exploding, ripping the now brittle as glass concrete and asphalt to shreds. And was followed by a heat that melted the ice in seconds, a stench of sulphur and brimstone.
Leaping out of the crack, a tall man with fire red hair, wearing only the frozen remains of what looked like entrails. He laughed.
Loki the Trickster was free. Free to wreak havoc on the world again.
The frostmen stared at the bizarre sight, a city both frozen in ice and torn apart by lava and fire. The lead shaman shook his head.
- This has gone too far. We only aided this far because we owed the Trickster a favor. The favor is repaid. Time to return.
He waved his ice staff in a complex pattern, weaving strange symbols in the air. As he spoke the words necessary, a frozen gateway of ice appeared. Soon, all that was left was a clean, fresh crispness in the air.
It started to snow.
To be continued...