5226/Hello, Uncle Thor

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Hello, Uncle Thor
Date of Scene: 17 February 2021
Location: Asgardian Embassy
Synopsis: Thor meets Grani and they plot with hope, valor, and a lot of beer.
Cast of Characters: Thor, Jane Foster

Thor has posed:
Thor, Prince of Asgard, has a puzzle to solve, and as with most puzzles, his considers a good starting point to be a barrel or two of ale. He is parked in the meadhall that takes up one floor of a wing of the Asgardian embassy, crouched at one end of a long table, puzzling over the best way to liberate Jane Foster's quasi-catatonic body from the Triskelion and bring it here, without causing undue distress for his new compatriots in SHIELD.

Well, either he's puzzling over this imponderable, or he's just making that face because he's drunk. Hard to say for sure.

Jane Foster has posed:
Perhaps there might be a long list of reasons to avoid antagonizing SHIELD, starting with Nick Fury and ending with Nick Fury on the Moon. The in-between points matter a little less than the gimlet stare of a man willing to take down an airliner infested by snakes.

An evening falls chill and harsh over New York while some of the movers and shakers parlay tricks and drinks in the Hellfire Club. Others revel in different clubs as they have every night, this one no different. All manner of amusement and celebration evokes no sense of sorrow, only an unconscious awareness of the limited time left to all children of Midgard. To be born is to start the clock running.

"Outstanding. This is festive!" A masculine voice, somewhat deep, offers an approving opnion about the decor inside the embassy. Rather than the street party, anyway.

Typically a visitor to the Asgardian Embassy must run through the rigmarole of official business, at least marching up to the gates and presenting some kind of credential, a stated purpose for business, a song about the All-Father and how Thor's arms are much larger than Hercules'. Okay, possibly not the latter. Typically a visitor doesn't just step out of nothing and join the feast, but then certain guests require no rainbows to prance out from. Or those spiky portals. Or flashes of green mist.

Assuming the place isn't specifically warded, that is, a handsome creature in opalescent white is probably causing an apopleptic fit in some security poerson. It's only fair! Mr. Horse ruffles his wing feathers and smooths them flat.

Thor has posed:
Certainly the questionable wisdom of Thor's compromise with Loki has occurred to the thunder god. How fully it still occupies his mind is a simple function of time and blood alcohol content. But that is only really true in this nightspot; anywhere else in the city, there are distractions: adoring fans, interested women, tiresome social climbers, paparazzi, usually an upstart supervillain or two looking to make names for themselves. Here, his fellow Asgardians might be deferential, as befits royalty, but they won't //bother// him.

Not to say that nothing ever happens here that qualifies as a distraction. The brash, jovial voice that breaks into Thor's train of thought has his head whipping around, and it's not as though he has to hunt for the cause of the distraction. Even in this watering hole, a winged horse whose feathers and coat shine with the refracted light of other realms stands out. "Grani??" Thor practically shouts. "What in all the realms brings you to Midgard?"

Jane Foster has posed:
Time heals all wounds, alcohol but deadens them. Distractions impart forgiveness from the mind fading into the unwelcome weight of reality, cruel and harsh as it can be, even on someone as privileged and mighty as the Thunderer. Whilst the All-Father is often pitiless, perhaps the Norns reserve a certain kindness in Skuld's spinning, Verdandi's weaving of even a prince's thread.

What else to call a dram of pearl fire stolen from the moon and the proud lines of rearing neck, long back, those dinner-plate hooves set to trample any Witch-King that dared brave the shores of Midgard? A winged horse as large as this one might earn quite a few feminine squeals and shouts about Gandalf. As it is, his interruption in the watering hole of choice among the few Asgardians on the middle realm disrupts some meals.

Grani, for his part, does not preen. He flattens his wings comfortably to his mightily hewn sides and clops forward, barely setting down those shod hooves to impact the ground. "Ah! The best sight of all of Midgard, after that remarkable barrel of bourbon they were rolling into a lodging. How lucky they are here," he insists, not shouting back. He need not, he's a pegasus. Head thrown with delight, he politely dips his forelegs partly to let one of the servers past. No callous eye turned on the meat; if it doesn't fly, it's edible. "I came to prevail upon your hospitality for proper lodgings. I did end up in a fortress cleverly naming itself as a shield, but they could not accommodate me. The lord knight my cousin told me to present my credentials to could not be located, so now I approach you in clandestine form. Surely you may understand a need for such."

Those dark, glittering eyes sparkle, full of stars. "A terrestrial adventure calls."

Thor has posed:
Thor throws an arm around Grani's withers, answering him jovially, "Ah, well thought through, Grani! If there is a place on Midgard worthy to house such a noble creature as yourself, trust your uncle Thor to know it, and to charm the landlord on your behalf. A flying ship of metal, held aloft by great mechanical turbines! A mansion in the heart of a city, housing noble heroes of the realm! This house, humble though it might be, where Valkyries and Princes stop on their way through Midgard -- name your preferred lodging, and I will put my considerable influence to work on your behalf."

Thor begins to lead the horse back to his table, not by the nose like a steed, but by the shoulders as a friend. His voice lowers, but only slightly. "You must tell me, though, of this adventure you are undertaking. Much has troubled me of late, some in the tower of SHIELD you so recently quit, and I wonder just how linked our adventures might be, in truth." He seats himself at the bench again; fortuitously, at the end of the table, there's a benchless area where Grani can stand while still hunkered over the table like a co-conspirator. Thor waves down a server, calling for mead. "By the bucket, and that is NOT a figure of speech!"

Jane Foster has posed:
The winged horse might raise an eyebrow, had he one, at the notion of a flying ship in the sky. "Do you maintain such accommodations worthy of your status, uncle? For I have beheld a great many impressive sights in my brief foray into this fine city, though none so enduring as a stationary vehicle in such a manner," Grani observes. There's an air of Vanir musicality to be heard among his responses, just a narrow chord uplifted to the trained ear. "Such matters you would know better than myself, having but recently set hoof upon the paved streets. What marvels I have witnessed, their endearing habit of burrowing into the earth like dwarfkind prospecting after a jewel. The quick-moving vehicles within stink and steam, belching them out like snakes, and they look so veritably impressed by it all."

Just wait until he starts talking about Broadway.

The horse clops along, and while he cannot quite return Thor's embrace, one of those great white wings unfolds to brush the leading pinions against the warrior's side. It's as close as he can get to a shoulder clap without rearing up. "You have too been summoned to the SHIELD fortress? How timely. A most respectable feast awaited me there, and the women overseeing physicking would bring a nod of pride to any Vanir or Aesir hostess." He stands alongside the table, because how else would one of his stature lurk? Standing upside down on the ceiling, though fully plausible, is best reserved for another family member.

"I shall speak fiercely of their hospitality, indeed, I will." He whickers lightly. "They shared a superb meal seasoned by star anise and green onions, pork chopped and served in these fascinating soft wrappers. A variety of savoury buns. Uncle, let these samples be worthy of leaping among the branches of the great tree! Never seen the like, but let me commend them to you. They acquired such from 'the Royal Dragon.'" His revelations are couched in a much hushed voice, the rumbling whicker alone evincing some thoughts. "Most unfortunate to interrupt them in the midst of their physicking over some dolorous, bitter matter near to their hearts. Accidental, be assured. I knew not they had one of their fallen there. They directed me to the embassy." He pauses, thoughtful. White sides glisten gold by the radiance of the chamber hall. "Here, you may see my adventure begins anew in the lantern-shine and mead-glow of kin. For I have come with a magnificent purpose. I shall learn of cigars and this incomparable music they make down here, too."

Thor has posed:
"Ah, yes, Chinese food! 'Pot stickers,' if I do not guess amiss," Thor says, in the awed manner of one discussing a magnificent jewel or sprawling palace. "The treasures of Midgard are varied and surprising, are they not? Some among our brethren do not appreciate them as they deserve, but your own enthusiasm commends you." He tucks into his own ale as the bar staff bring over a barrel and set it down for Grani's refreshment, staring at Thor with mild alarm all the way. He does maintain a notoriously eclectic roster of drinking buddies.

"I myself am a welcome guest at Avengers manor, though I do not maintain a proper residence there. I am sure you will be welcomed as well, on my recommendation. The helicarrier is a magnificent warship, from which to stage aerial battle. It lacks the comforts of the other lodgings I have mentioned, but when you mentioned your adventure, I thought it might be taking place aloft."

Still, a thought gnaws at the edges of Thor's good cheer, and he eventually confesses, "I suspect it is that selfsame fallen sage who concerns me, Grani. We have a... storied history." Careful phrasing there. "Her spirit has gone missing, and where it resides, I do not know. Her situation brings together so many worrisome threads -- the dwarves, the valkyries, other realms, perhaps Hela herself. I have even consulted with my brother on the matter. There is so much suspected, so very little known." He drops his face into his ale again as this woeful topic overtakes his cheer.

Jane Foster has posed:
Thor's recognition brings a mild stamp of a hoof, just enough to make the ground shake and the bench fail to shift at all. It must withstand warriors; a pegasus of proper Aesir and Vanir stock isn't going to inflict woeful damage. "The very kind! What splendid flavours come forth with a bite. Did you know, Lady Johnson -- a fine woman for all she could not share her lodgings -- offered me a whole bowl of such viands? They were moist, soft buns, eminently suited to the peculiarities of eating from a bowl." The staff approach then and he stands still and tall, head lifted, to ease their two-armed manhandling of the keg into place. "Ah, excellent! You honour me with the most missed of drinks. To your good health and our continued appreciation. Nonsense that anyone would think themselves lost of proper food. The sauces alone!"

He's reflecting Thor's own humour before dipping his nose into the barrel, perfectly able to partake of a proper drink without slurping or sloshing. That would be wasteful. Sleipnir can guzzle a barrel without missing a drop using his teeth, it's hardly beyond Grani to indulge himself with gusto. Opal-white ears prick forward to listen attentively while he slakes his thirst. It's a mighty thirst.

A horse can look contemplative. Truly, when the sensitive brow steadies, the eyes measuring up the great blonde prince. "What life would it be to do things by half-measures? They grieve and persevere in their work, whatever it may be. I thought it best not to inquire too deeply. The sickroom was quite tight. Perhaps this is why I have been dispatched! Support, uncle, that you are not alone. Those goats do many things, but they cannot bestir you. Besides, Father would be really put out to hear I'd indulged myself and left you in such a state." He nudges Thor with a leg of marble and warm silver, just half as many as Sleipnir. But enough. "This is how the great stories begin. How all answers are found, doubting and riding out. Who else is so suited? It has come to you in this hour as such things must. We know these things. The foolish ponces prancing around the fields outside put all their stock in nonsense, so you shouldn't listen to them at all. Fancy words and fancy coats, no sense at all. You're /you/. It's already begun to turn for the better because you turned your head that way."

Thor has posed:
Indeed, any table that can't handle its weight tenfold in raucous behavior has long since been purged from the least Asgardian meadhall, by the simple principle of natural selection. "Truly, the ingenuity of the people of Midgard knows no bounds," Thor agrees with a hearty nod. "And nowhere do they put it to use with more variety and vigor than in the pursuit of filling their bellies." He holds up a finger to make a point. "And if nothing else proves their kinship to the people of Asgard, that alone speaks volumes."

He hunkers down at his table, rocking back and forth for a moment, and the feelings that play across his face are embarrassingly plain; it's clear that Thor is accustomed to a beard and flowing locks sheltering his expression, and with both recently cut short, he is even more an open book than usual. The worries, the doubts, the growing certainty as Grani speaks. "I could not have asked you to join me in this perilous undertaking, nephew, but it fills my soul with joy to hear you offer your aid unasked. I could not wish for a more valorous companion in my quest, nor a more steadfast confidant in my troubles. I would be honored if you would join me." A grin spreads across the Asgardian's face, and he suddenly stands from the table. "Tomorrow we shall face who knows what dangers, but tonight, we celebrate that our lives offer us such chances to prove our courage! And perhaps, I shall teach you the midgard custom of the 'fist bump.' I think it would be a most invigorating greeting against your mighty hooves!"