Tuesday, January 25, 2011

American Apocalypse IV - Chapter 18b - by Nova

I looked at our leadership cadre.  Ninja was looking out of the corner of his eye at Max who was standing there as stone faced as Freya.  I don't know what through his head, he didn't even look at Freya, he just started walking towards Carol and Zane.  As soon as Ninja saw that he broke away and headed towards me and Night. That was the signal for the crowd.  They broke ranks and like a wave headed towards us.  Most of them, especially the women, headed towards Carol but a sizable bunch came to us.

It was one of the more bizarre experiences of my life. I hated it, I loved it, and I didn't let go of Night.  It was like I had thrown the winning touchdown or won the lottery.  Everyone wanted a piece of me.  My face went rigid with what I hoped was a grin and I began repeating the same phrases I had seen on television a million years ago.

"I was glad to do it."

"He's a great kid."

"Oh, there were a few rough patches but we made it."

"Glad to be back."

"Damn. You're uglier then when I left."

Night was spooling her responses out just like I was.

"Oh yes! I am so glad he's back.

"I never doubted it.

"He would do the same for you I know."

I only got about thirty seconds with Ninja before he stepped away. It was time enough for him to say "What took you so long?" Punch me in the arm and grin. 

I did have time to see Freya had disappeared and Max standing next to Carol and looking as uncomfortable as I felt.  At least for him. 

Eventually we were left alone enough that I could blow off the few who didn't get the message by telling them "Don't you have work to do?" They looked like I had slapped them with a fish but they left which is all I wanted.  I felt Night shaking and looked down at her.  It took me a couple of beats to realize she was shaking from holding in her laughter.

"Jesus G. I love you."

Then using the arm she had wrapped around me she pushed me in the direction of Max. I whispered to Night "This is going to be interesting."  Night didn't say anything but Max heard me.  He looked over at us, flashed a quick grin, and began telling his people it was time to go. He was a little more diplomatic but not much.


  1. So Zane became a rallying point for the Horde? I guess they've all lost loved ones and it's good to see someone get a child back.

    I can't wait to find out what the hell is going on with the leadership dynamics of the Horde. Especially now that Gardener is the hero returned from a noble quest.

  2. What D^2 said... though G is not leader material, he won't put up with the necessary BS - more the returning champion it seems to me - who has made his warleader's life too damn complicated!

    Will Freya get more twisted off about Zane or ol' Thursday?

  3. That's a great question Energycon. Zane's just a kid and Carol isn't any sort of threat to Freya, IMHO. Warriors are expected to procreate freely, right? (I may have misread that bit.)

    I see Carol as more of a nuisance to Night- a woman not pulling her weight, but reaping the benefits of her relationship to Max and Gardener. Moreover, Night will know that Gardener still carries a torch for Carol, even if he doesn't admit it.

    Thursday has got to be the biggest threat. Freya could really feel challenged by the emergence of Thursday. Gods are jealous by nature, I hear. And how could you better challenge Freya than by asking, 'Can you level a city block by smacking a hammer on a table?'

    At the least, Gardener knows that he's got options. Extending the thought, if you were a jealous and slightly paranoid goddess, then you would assume that the horde knows as well. Freya may feel the need to bring her 'A' game, even if Gardener has no intentions of being disloyal. So I think she will crank it up to 11- a few bunnies dropping to the ground aren't going to cut it now that she's got competition.

    All of this may bring some unwanted attention from the robotic eyes in the sky, depending on how big the horde gets or how outrageous their actions become. So, further complications...

    Just food for thought. As always, I'm happy to be along for the ride. It's a take it or leave it kind of thing, no harm done either way, but I really enjoy riffing off Nova's fantastic work, and reading the insightful commentary of all the posters.

  4. yea im sure they are keeping the eyes in the sky on the horde, managing to hold any group past about 20 together in those kind of conditions is one hell of an accomplishment

  5. Yeah, I don't know. I have a personal attachment to the Carol character so I don't know if I could write anything really bad there.

    The eye in the sky knows. I am trying to write this using history as a guide. The king knows they are no threat to the kingdom. If anything they have proven that they understand their relationship. They can be played.

    I am thinking a tribe in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Pay them, supply them, and watch them. Let them do local enforcement.

    Or even earlier -- Marcher lords. In Rome they would have been auxiliary troops used to free up the Legions and supervised by a handful of Romans.

  6. Hmmmm, I suppose it could be possible that Carol and Zane become rivals to Freya and we get some interesting showdowns. If old gods can reemerge from the chaos, who is to say it wouldn't be possible for new gods to emerge as well....

  7. Maybe there are some warm vibes for Thursday from the old days (from wiki on Freyja):

    soon after the gods built the hall Valhalla, a builder (unnamed) came to them and offered to build for them in three seasons a fortification so solid that no jötunn would be able to come in over from Midgard. In exchange, the builder wants Freyja for his bride, and the sun and the moon. After some debate the gods agree, but with added conditions. In time, just as he is about to complete his work, it is revealed that the builder is, in fact, himself a jötunn, and he is killed by Thor

  8. "I am thinking a tribe in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Pay them, supply them, and watch them. Let them do local enforcement. "

    Isn't that how the Taliban got started? :)
    Now that America is more or less a military State under the General they will watch more carefully.


  9. Simple solution is Freya takes Carol as a shield maiden and gives her to Max as a concubine - making the reality an acknowledged and legitimate non threatening sanctioned relationship.

    Max remains her consort and what red blooded warrior wouldn't be happy with two hot blondes?

  10. FSHB,

    No way. It would poison G eventually. He can sneak around if it comes to that but otherwise he is going to have to keep his distance.

  11. Bad reality show indeed.