2011 01 17 Of Gods And Man

Log Title:
Of Gods and Man (part 1)

John Aaron, Thor, Black Knight, Sersi

IC Date:
Jan 17, 2011

Upper East Side

Brief log summary::
The Avengers have their work cut out for them when an unexpected and Titanic visitor manifests to harass a construction worker. All is not as it seems …


There is no TS in this log::

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Almost quitting time. The whistle's about ready to blow signalling the end to another work day for the boys of Local 1137. Just a handful of minutes before five o'clock and then it's time to head home.
The construction site's still humming, however. Men are still moving earth, the girders are being lifted up by the heavy crane, and a bulldozer is humming off to the side. Things are progressing, and progressing nicely.
All of this is observed as the foreman, John Aaron, takes his usual place outside the portable office he works in. Lifting an arm, he checks the time against his watch, then looks around slowly as he starts to step down off the porch of that portable. His boots crunch the remnants of snow as he moves and he calls out. "Alright, start shuttin' her down. Get things secured for the night." He claps his hands together, "C'mon."

Hundreds of feet above John Aaron with the cold winter sky at his back Sigurd Jarolson, Local 1137's expert steeplejack, walks unaided across a steel beam his own balance the only thing saving him from a perilous fall onto the cold earth below.

"Sigurd, get that last beam set and pack it up. It's quittin' time."

The blonde haired man nods beneath his hardhat and hefting the rivet gun he sets to work his pace slow and his hands steady.

Standing sentinel far below, John Aaron rests his hands on his hips, looking across the site and the neighboring parking lot. He casts his gaze upwards, eyes drifting far far up as he perhaps makes sure his word is relayed to those out of earshot. He nods once, then folds his arms over his chest. "Like a well-oiled machine." He hehs to himself.
It's then that he turns towards the waiting bull-dozer even as the heavy machine's engine roars into life an instant before the driver shuts it down. "Frank, do me a favor, go around and make sure the section heads got their overtime req slips to their people. A'right?"
To which Frank nods, responding with his own casual, "A'right."

With a final adjustment the last rivet is set and Jarlson stands to survey his work with a slow nod. Looking over his shoulder he disconnects the air hose and coils it along his thick forearm before placing it with the other equipment and then walking for the lift.

Unhurried by the hour he's the last onboard. Soon he's carried downward as the hardhat upon his head it removed and hung on the side of hit belt.

Now upon the firmament he trails towards the time clock with the rest of them.

A construction site at quitting time? Definitely *not* Sersi's kind of place to be unless she's in a mood to catch catcalls and wolf whistles. But, today is something of a fluke, a bizarre anomaly — made more so by the fact that the Eternal arrives not in her usual, billowy garments and carefree attitude, but in a costume that she's eschewed for some time now.
There's a flare of golden light and, lo, the transmutational adept manifests, her normally friendly mien set in a mask that Thena would be both proud of and terrified by. Her usual imperiousness is tempered with urgency as she floats down from her aerial 'perch' in what might be one of her flashier entrances.
A shame it's not for fun. "/Ares/. We need to *go*. /Now/."

At first John lifts his head, an almost visible catch in his body language evident. His eyes narrow, a sharp furrow touches his brow as a strong scowl develops. It's a dark look, something grim that settles into place rather firmly as he rounds away from that bulldozer and turns to look upon…
"Great." He growls under his breath. His jaw sets, and the foreman starts to walk forwards. Luckily, for the moment, the co-workers down there are more utterly taken with the amazing vision of the beautiful woman who has just appeared in mid-air and is only now floating down amongst them. 'Ares' grimaces as he shoulders past the men and tries to affect some kind of order as he snaps out. "Get back to work, the lot of you. This is New York, you've seen flying women before."
His stride brings him towards Sersi and he says admonishingly, "Sersi…"


The time clock impacts upon the card labeled 'JARLSON, SIGURD'. The card is immediately filed back alongside the others and Sigurd begins to work at his toolbelt when the golden light cascades about them all.

He stares with the rest of them his countenance touched not by wonder for her beauty and powerful but one of grim question as John shoulders past and bades them to continue unaffected.

"You heard the man." Sigrud bellows and his great arms stretch wide as if he thought to physically consume the entire group, "Let's go." He walks into them, "Move."

With the force of a slow-moving glacier he tries to corral them out his grim look now upon those who do not do as told.

"This is neither the time /nor/ the place, dear," Sersi doesn't precisely touch down, hovering a scant inch or two above the ground. One hand is snapped out, fingers wiggling insistently. If he's close enough, she /will/ grab him by whatever she can and to hell with whether he likes it or not. A slanted, sidelong look is given to Sigurd — perhaps for his lack of awe or something far more abstract — and then her blue gaze fixes sharply on John again. "I'll explain /later/, just take my hand. Zuras-" is begun but doomed to be left unfinished as something else stirs.

The flutter of wings. A hollow *clunk*. Crisp and audible over the sounds of a worksite shutting down, yet without any clue as to just /where/ they're coming from. And then an eerie silence spills out over the work site.
An unseen urn shatters, the sound of broken pottery resonating through the earth and air to set all a-tremble. From the wreckage, a wretched fog spills and boils, darkness birthed of the urn in an echo of some ancestral tale. This time, however, there is no hope waiting at the bottom; just that seething darkness as it pushes up and up, sketching out the shape of a man-
No. No man is this, for the size alone is positively Titanic. Embers for eyes and hepatizon — the shadow-wrought brother of corinthian bronze — armor boils forth to form a haphazard armor upon him. It glints darkly, grim specters skittering across the surface.
And though he is silent for the moment, his powers slowly building to permit such a mundane function, those familiar with the fallen ancestors of the gods will know Epimetheus well.

Before even Sersi is finished murmuring, John is holding a hand up to her and saying sharply. "What are yo…" And that is the moment of Epimetheus' manifestation.
Around him the other men were starting to draw back, their gazes still flickering back to Sersi now and again, but the urging of their foreman as well as the stern words from Sigurd are usually more than enough to impel them.
Then the great elder being forms in swirling shadow and malice made real. It's too much, too quickly, and instinct kicks in as the men begin to rush past and away. Shouts go up and even a scream. Panic is almost there and as palpable as the presence of evil.
"Get out of here, all of you! Move!" John's voice lifts even as he waves a hand back as if urging all the men to their flight.

The glacial movement soon breaks as terror unleashes itself upon the mortals, "Go!" Jarlson's voice echoes and he pushes with them bodily dragging those who languish in confusion before shoving them out of the jobsite onto the sidewalk.

Taking the fence he pulls the gate closed and his mighty hands consume the posts where they join his mere grip molding it into one solid, twisted piece of aluminum as if such petty restraints could hope to contain the boiling nether.

Then turning he looks to the heavens and then some other great power stirs nearby.

"I /tried/ to warn you." So much for a quick escape. Sersi throws her hands in the air, fingers spreading wide and arching outward and down 'til her arms are fully outstretched to her sides. She lifts into the air again, her powers being made manifest not to strike at the Titan, but to start weaving her talents in a way that will blockade the area. Air is congealed and hardened, building up from the ground to form a wall once the last of humanity has fled; to protect them, of course, and not so much the two men and hellish creation that are within. She continues to spin her abilities, pushing herself quickly to ensure that — if nothing else — no others will come to harm until the deed is done.

The Titan's growth slows and finally ceases, leaving the behemoth towering over all — several stories in height and with a heavy build to match, it's difficult to make out his features. Just those eyes, sparking and smoldering, embers no doubt plucked from Olympus itself by his wayward brother.
And then he speaks.
His voice is more felt than heard, the movement of his mouth visible only by wisps of smoke and the occasional flare of fire within that mammoth maw. It echoes through the soul as much as in the ears, too vast to be contained, yet barely more than a whisper.
"Behold Epimetheus! Behold your unmaking, God of War!"
His vast frame stretches, arms lifting heavenward. Within those hands, more smoke begins to writhe, calling upon some eldritch weapon that demands some measure of focus to be made whole.

If there is one thing of his that is left of his former divinity it is the God of War's bearing, his presence. He stands tall there, a step in front of the floating form of Sersi as if interposing himself between the Titan and the others. His voice rises, words lashing the air between them like hurled blades, "What have I to fear of the dead, Epimetheus. You and yours are long fallen. Now you creep out into the light. I never bent knee to you before. Why would I do so now?"
And with those words hurled, John Aaron takes another step forwards. His gaze shifts quickly back and to the side. He espies Sigurd, then Sersi. A shadow flickers over his gaze as if there was something he would say, then he snaps back to the looming Titan.

Otherworldly power gathers near the time clock where a thick canvas bag has been shoved into a locker day after day for over a month.

'Behold Epimethus.' The words echo and Jarlson steps into a heavy stride his footsteps sounding against the Earth as he moves covering four meters with every step, "Mjolnir, to me." He commands throwing his hand out fingers reaching for the unseen.


An explosive force takes apart the side of the trailer as the bag and lockers disintegrate beneath unbridled power which hurls itself into the clouds.


Then the power falls as a cascade of lightning falling about the site with sudden fury and in its passing stands Thor.

The Aeserian prince stands a heavy look weighing upon Epimetheus, "Nay, Epimetheus, it is thee who art not welcome here." He raises the hammer in a slow gesture directing it towards the Titan, "Begone and do not return."

The Eternal remains aloft, her fingers working and features caught in a mask of concentration that looks thoroughly out of place on her. Costumed, hovering, and with arms outstretched, flares and flickers of green energy betray just how much effort she's putting forth in not only constructing the walls but in making sure they're solid enough to withstand whatever this … /thing/ has to throw at them.
She might have a few words of wisdom about this Epimetheus guy … but she's just a /bit/ too busy to utter them. Don't mind her; she's being helpful. For once.

Quitting time at the construction site … and it's chaos. Utter chaos. The construction site isn't wholly in shambles, though it's due to be ruined utterly if things go as they seem they will. Several feet in the air, Sersi is hovering, with her talents being set to work forming barriers to shield the mundane populace from destruction. John Aaron stands before a massive, shadow-wrought shape of a man — a creature of smoke and sparks and broken, arcane armor from Ancient Grecian times. And there, Mjolnir pointed toward that entity, is Thor.
There's but a moment of hesitation, though the spear is all but fully formed, forged of the selfsame black-bronze that bits of his not-so-ethereal armor is derived of. The spear is held horizontally and lowered to chest-height on the Titan, the roiling entity seeming to bend just a touch in a condescending manner.
One could assume there's a measure of mercy in the ghost, for Thor's words and Sersi's presence are spoken to in a hissing breath: "This is not your place, nor your battle; go and you shall be spared."
It's John who earns the bulk of his attention, ember eyes sparking furiously. "Because I do not ask you to kneel, little god. I will take what I need instead!"
And, with that, the spear is twisted and thrust, point angling sharply down in an attempt to skewer the man better known, these days, as John Aaron.

Madness surrounds him. It's the madness he swore he would take no part in again. This madness of gods, sorceresses, and titans is what he had hoped to spare his youn son. Only now it is upon him, and John Aaron must do as he can.
The giant black iron spear whistles through the air, slicing the distance between them almost instantly. The tall foreman of this particular construction site is able to dive to the side, /leaping/ with arms extended and tucking into a roll. It's barely enough as a cascading shower of dirt and debris falls upon him, the _KRAKOW_ of impact loud behind him.

Thor's gaze narrows slowly as the Titan hesitates his serious look tilting as a smirk pulls at the side of his mouth. He starts forward then lowering Mjolnir and a movement of his wrist spins the weapon. Thor releases and then retakes the hammer to assure a proper grip in his right hand.

"Nay." Thor continues to stride forward dropping the weapons grip and taking hold of its thong in the same movement, "I hath sworn an oath to this place and to the protection of those upon it.." Mjolnir begins to spin as Thor cranks and wrist, "..no more information shalt thee require."

He catches the thrust but is too slow to stop it.

Mjolnir howls as if furious for the action its form a blur as gale-force winds are pulled inward. Thor rushes forward and releases mid-spin the hammer barely a blur it screams for the not-so-ethereal chest plate as Thor cuts wide to step between Aaron and the beast.

One would expect a vehicle like a Wundagoran atomic steed to put out massive amounts of noise for the thrust it spits out. But the single-person vehicle ferrying the Black Knight into the crisis site makes little more than a high-pitched whisper as he carries him between the skyscrapers. Dane peers through the eyelets of his helmet at the monstrosity before him and frowns. "Helluva time for the team to be visiting Attilan…" He grabs his commcard and keys an open frequency. "Sersi, Thor, this is the Black Knight, presuming you've got your cards on you. I'm less than a minute inbound. Any insight as to what Mr. Gruesome here is?" With one hand on the controls and the other on his card, Dane's energy sword remains holstered for the moment.

Sersi mutters, "Honestly, dear. What /did/ you do?" This being to leaping John, there, though he might not hear nor be terribly inclined to respond. "Please tell me it was something /worthwhile/. I'd be a smidge upset if you just stole his girlfriend at some point in the distant past." Jokes. Yes, jokes will make this all better.
Or not. She doesn't really care at this point. This is all madness, madness of a sort that not even /she/ cares for — and she's pretty mad in the crazy way herself. Either way, those walls are growing slowly, only to stop roughly at waist-height on the Titan. She's available, of course, and hisses into the communit, "A Titan, dear. A zombie Titan, no less."

The Titan of 'afterthought' is clearly proving himself now. The spear is withdrawn, shaken out and readied again — but only to fixate on the man-god who had all but given up godhood. This, then, leaves him open to the assault of those far more dangerous to the likes of him — not the least of which being the embodiment of Thor himself.
Epimetheus' booming-whisper of a soul-echoing voice rises anew, a howl of rage and frustration at being thwarted so. The entity twists, images of unspeakable horror sliding across his makeshift armor and along the length of that weapon … and then he thrusts again-
Only for that stroke to falter and fall short, as Mjolnir strikes that plate. It cracks with a sound birthed of Hades itself, pieces falling away like drops from the Styx. But it's not enough to slay one who is already dead, even if he reaches to the gaping hole with a hand. Stalled, certainly, but not done yet.

Scowling, the mortal man known as John Aaron gets to his feet. There's no time for repartee, he offers nothing pithy. His features merely set in a look of grim determination. Something akin to the old rage flickers upon his brow, a blaze of red gleaming to life in those dark eyes of his.
He breaks into a run, his large form cutting across the grounds of the construction site towards the large heavy crane's control cabin. The diesel engine roars into life, loud but drowned out in part by the heavy /WHAM/ and /CLANG/ of the combat between God and Titan.
A lever is flipped, then the wheel is turned, causing the crane to sloooowly begin its turn, bringing around its hook and the payload of steel girders at the end of it.

Mjolnir connects with a flash of divine power the great hammer shattering power manifest and then spinning backward for Thor.

The hammer is caught, released, and then spun by its thong such that a wall of force is made manifest before the Thunderer and his charge. His blue-eyes pass over the shadowy Titan and then to the buildings which rise above the construction site beyond it. There is then the realization that he must truly act to defend this city, all of it, made resolute in his mind as Black Knight's voice echoes from the technological sorcery he bears.

With the creature stalled in that moment the forcefield dissipates and Mjolnir is gripped firmly and Thor steps forward. The hammer glows with a flood of power lightning erupting towards the sky which blackens to furious boiling storm clouds just above where the scene is set.


The sky booms heralding otherworldly fury as the call is cast across the winds in every direction. Then, "Black Knight, tis a Titan whose nature is not fully known to me. Take John Aaron from this place.." He watches the man break into a run, "..mine attention is, divided." He looks to the seething blackness then girding himself for the combat to come, "Begone or the fury of the nine worlds I shall unleash upon thee." He warns for the final time.

Dane knows better than to second-guess the Thunderer. "Copy that. Touching down in five." And in roughly five seconds, the steed cushions itself down onto the dirt of the build site. Once it's secured, Dane dismounts and breaks into a dead run for the construction crane. "Hey, buddy!" the Crusading Avenger calls out. "I know you're probably union and all, but this isn't exactly the best occasion to rack up overtime!" He pauses just within John's earshot. "C'mon, I know what you're thinking, but that'll just tick him off..!" His head swivels every second or two between John and the Titan, doing his best to keep tabs on the situation on all fronts. "Get outta there, man, your life isn't worth a piece of that thing!"

Catching some notion of just what John might be up to, Sersi pulls some of her focus from the walls — making sure, of course, to procure a gate of some sort for the Black Knight to pass through — and shifts it to the machinery that the god-that-was is now putting to use. Thor's theatrics do earn a raised brow and slight pursing of her lips in thoughtful approval, but the demand laid down is one that she might be better able to help with. With the constructs made and as solid as can be for the duration, she contorts in the air, pushing through it and toward where John and the Knight are, for lack of a better word, conversing. "I'd not get too much in the man's way if I were you," she remarks, her gaze flicking from John and fixing briefly on Dane. "But, he /is/ right. We really should go now. I think Thor has this all quite well in hand and-" she stops abruptly, attention caught by the next shifting of movement.

Shrugging off the inconvenience of the moment, Epimetheus finally deigns to turn his attention to the one who wounded him so. The arrival of another is thusly not observed, at least not in any discernible way; his focus is caught and held, his attentions locked in on the one that would stand against him so brazenly. The spear is hefted and he turns to face Thor properly, spear upraised and inhuman mouth gaping with another bellow of rage. This time, the spear is loosed upon the hammer-wielder, the fate of his initial target clearly being dismissed for the time being. To plot, to plan, to connive — all of that was Prometheus' lot, not his.
Words come, his tone rising to a properly unholy /boom/ as that spear is flung: "My work is not yet done and neither man nor fledgeling god shall keep me from it!"

The crane whirrs, rumbling loud with the engine straining against the weight of the steel girders. Within the cabin, John Aaron catches sight of the dark clad knight. There's a nod given, a short and sharp hand gesture signalling the man to keep clear. Then the former God of War slams the side of his arm into the controls, locking them into place and the sweep of the crane's arm starts to move faster… building up speed as it swings forty tons of industrial grade steel at the back of the large creature.
That having been done, the foreman finally takes heed of Black Knight's words. The door is kicked open and then he leaps out of the cabin. He lands heavily in front of the Avenger, kneeling. He gains his feet but doesn't move for now, instead looking at the conflict between God and Titan.

The son of Odin stands firm as the creatures rises again and directs its baleful presence upon him. Thor then nods as the creature retakes reforms its spear though whether his inaction is due to some sense of arrogant pride in allowing his enemy the chance to face him at full strength or because he wishes the advantage of the swinging crane is not made clear.

"So be it.." Thor says sternly and breaks into a jogging stride as the spear is taken aback. He pulls Mjolnir upward bringing it to the center of his chest as he moves and when the dark weapon is hurled he leans aside and forces the hammer out into its path.


The spear explodes in a peel of thunder as it meets the mallet showering white and black sparks outward across the yard. Thor falters a second, as if dazed for a step, and then regains speed. As the boom swings across he pulls his arm backward white-hot power crackling from Mjolnir the energy flickering to connect in static bolts between Thor and Epimetheus.

He leaps in after the crane swings inclined to take the creature whatever its posture be and then hammer it hard it with power untold as he places his form upon the Titan's mass.

Black Knight watches the display for only a brief moment to get an idea of where all the players are and any possible immediate dangers, then looks to John and waves him over his shoulder towards his steed. "This way, I'll get us clear of here…" He hops astride the vehicle and keys the ignition, but waits to take off until John climbs on the back. "C'mon, it may look weird, but it's better than rubbernecking around here… hop on the back and be sure to hold on to the handles…"

It can't be helped. All eyes are now on the struggle between two of the most potent forces known to man — and even Sersi's a sucker for this kind of entertainment. Perhaps entertainment's not the best word … but if this were on the big screen, one can bet she'd be munching on popcorn and staring agog at the scene with all the wide-eyed wonder as everyone else. Instead, it's a faint echo of horror that touches her face, her hands flaring with green luminescence — ready for /something/, though gods know what that something might be. Even with the potential for the other two to be making their way from this place, she's loath to move; it's all she can do to keep from utterly fleeing. So, she's rooted to the spot, figuratively speaking, still aloft and just … waiting. Speechless.

The crane strikes true, hitting /hard/ against some manner of armor that shields the Titan's back. While not nearly so potent as Mjolnir's might, it's enough to bewilder, enough for a cry of confused surprise to slip from the shapeless maw of the elder one.
Which, in turn, leaves him exposed fully to Thor's mighty onslaught. The alignment of the girders and the sheer /force/ with which that mystical hammer is swung conspire to impale the smoke-birthed figure, running him through with a spray of acrid-smelling ichor that quickly evaporates.
The Titan is staggered and lurches forward to pull free, only to be forced to an ethereal knee amidst the shattered wreckage of his spear, wreckage that rapidly dissolves, bleeding into the soil. His armor chips, crumbles, and falls away with a cacophany of screams and cries as whatever souls were rendered to form it are returned to their fate.
And it is done.
"My work-" he begins, voice trembling on the edge of dissipation. Trembling, yet still with an edge of smugness, of /knowing/ that burns bitterly in the ear or like a coin of copper beneath the tongue. The dying embers of his eyes roll, seeking out John. "My work here is done. I was only sent to keep you here, God of War."
In a rush, he collapses in on himself, chilled darkness both flattening and rushing out before being sucked in upon itself. The portal forged by the broken urn is quickly sealed, the shards of his fell armor melting into the earth.
And left behind are but two shards of pottery, each marked in such a way that, together, they spell 'hope' in ancient Greek. Broken, but with the promise of potential — or a portent more ominous than even Epimetheus' presence could be.

As Epimetheus meets his fate, so too must John Aaron. He rises to his full height, a haze to his brow, a flicker of momentary cofusion lighting in those dark red eyes. His jaw tenses, and then like a whipcrack his stance stiffens.
It seems it's only then that he registers the Black Knight's words, the man's place upon the atomic steed. He only then realizes the man is beckoning him. With a purposeful stride he steps towards Dane, gesturing with one hand.
"The vehicle. Give it to me." The words are darkly ominous, demannding, solemn. For now he seems to have forgotten entirely about the conflict that raged around him, the God and the Sorceress, the men he once worked with. Now there is one focus, one goal.

With clenched teeth Thor strikes hard the sheer force of his impact felt as the very air is displaced for a quarter mile. Once, twice, and then upon the third strike he relents backing off as he somehow realizes the sudden drain of power beneath him.

Moving clear he allows the beast its final moments to make known its purpose and then as it fades a puzzled look falls to Thor's features at the beast's cryptic message.

It is then that Thor looks to the others and to John Aarons and notes the man's desperation, "John." He intones then, "Where must we go?"

Black Knight blinks. "Um, beg pardon?" He doesn't immediately go for his sword, though the thought isn't far from his mind. Whatever the Titan wanted with this guy, it makes him important. Important enough to demand Dane just hand his steed over. He doesn't make any overt question of John's demand, but doesn't dismount either. As Thor approaches, he looks silently between the two men, trying to piece together what's going on.

Sersi's head shakes suddenly, as if to clear it. Vigorously. "No, John. There is no need for that." The mercurial one lifts a hand, pinching at the bridge of her nose as if to fend off a burgeoning headache — though it does little, in the end, to stave off such a thing. She heaves a sigh, then extends her hands, both of them, to be taken or not by the others present. The choice is theirs; hers is already made. "I have a feeling I know." There's just a faint look of apology angled toward John; maybe there's a measure of guilt in that expression, it's hard to say. "This will be faster, I assure you, but-" one corner of her mouth pulls with rueful amusement "-I do hope you all have a strong stomach."

Dark eyes flicker between the Avengers. John Aaron steps slowly away from the Black Knight, at least relinquishing any claim to the man's mount. He moves slowly towards Sersi, footsteps kicking up dust and some debris from the chaos that was alive only moments before. He pauses before the sorceress… turns his gaze upon Thor.
"I am in your debt." John lowers his eyes slightly, a form of a bow, then turns his attention back upon Sersi. A nod is given to her as he lifts that rumbling voice of his to her, "Take me there." Despite the moment, there is a precision in his movements, as if he were holding this instant, his thoughts in check.

The Thunderer looks between John Aaron and Sersi acknowledging the formers bow with a slow nod of his head, "Worry not, John Aaron, for we are with thee." He then looks to Dane to convey his own uncertainty for what is to come before looking at Sersi again nodding as if prepared.

Black Knight looks again between Thor and John, then gives Sersi his attention. "Just had lunch… and from the amount of jalapenos they put on it, I can't imagine I was looking forward to a pleasant aftermath anyway. Umm.. what exactly are we doing then, Sers?"

"Far more than you realize," the Eternal mutters to John. As for Dane, she merely looks askance at him, a brow lifted. "Teleportation, dear." And, no, she doesn't care for it much; that shows quite plainly in her expression. Some measure of contact is needed to ensure none are lost between and, once achieved between those willing to endure it, she sucks in an unnecessary breath, holds it, and shuts her eyes.
The light is blinding and golden, a column that could be conceived of as divine to those unfamiliar with it. Once within that portal, however, it's anything /but/ heavenly. Those with weaker stomachs might lose their lunches; others may simply suffer a crippling headache. All in all, the sensations are varying sorts of downright /unpleasantness/, which is only made more apparent when that moment, that instant, is well past.
A second or two that feels like eternity … and the quartet will find themselves on a ruined lawn, charred to near-ash. On the street, firefighters, police, and paramedics are clustered near their vehicles, with the foremost doing their best to put out the last, lingering flames … but it's a futile effort, at best. The house is utterly razed, reduced to a skeleton of what once was; littered about are strange, quasi-avian shapes that are distorted and twisted, with a few skewered clean through with- no, it can't be crossbow bolts, can they?
From one cauldron of chaos to another.

There's a tension in John Aaron's manner. An utter control has grasp of his limbs. The tall man looks around at the flashing lights of the emergency vehicles, their flickering movements casting his features in rotating reds and blues. He steps forwards. A glance is given one way, then the other, as if trying to verify… to make sure that this is indeed where they are supposed to be.
He takes a step forwards towards the cordoned line, towards the police officers blocking their approach. He seems untterly uncaring, unmindful of any potential intererence. Instead he moves towards one of those fallen avian corpses.

Thor emerges from the golden light prepared for battle with both feet planted and a two-handed grip upon Mjolnir. He squeezes his eyes closed and then shakes his head the disorientation fading rapidly as he whirls to meet the flashing lights and confused looks of emergency personnel.

He stands tall then and starts after John, "Stand aside." He orders, "Allow this man through."

"Ow." That's the only thing Dane says as Sersi's teleport deposits him and his atomic steed to burned suburbia. Shaking out the mental cobwebs, he guides his mount to an unobtrusive stretch of sidewalk, then dismounts and surveys the scene. If any emergency personnel display any sign of preventing Thor and John's entrance, he holds up a hand to ease their minds. "It's all right, folks, we'll do our best not to disturb or contaminate the scene." He then looks out at it and frowns. "Disturbing enough as it is," he mutters. Looking to Sersi: "Okay, I realize I dumped myself in at the beginning of Act 3, but could you Reader's-Digest exactly what's going on here?"

The revelation of just /how/ unpleasant teleportation can be is quite pronounced in Sersi's case. While her initial bounce /to/ the construction site seems to have gone without a hitch, this jaunt has practically done her in. She's barely able to stand, though she manages just barely; clutching at her head and eyes shut, the headache is … unfathomable. Thus, poor Dane is fixed with a baleful glance askance for his question and her answers are clipped through the haze of bright pain, "There's not much /to/ it. That man," no need to point, there's only one other in the lot of them, "is Ares. This is his house. And Thor just killed a zombie Titan named Epimetheus who, I might add, really /is/ the dullest Titan of the lot. Afterthought /indeed/."

The various personnel look … well. Bewildered is a fine start. Confused. Lost. Dazed. They're compelled to move aside regardless of what Thor says; something in the manner of the gathered men is more than enough to send people scattering or otherwise hustling to finish up their work in cordoning the area off and shooing rubberneckers away.
The fallen creatures, on the other hand, really can't be bothered to 'make way'. They're a bit too dead for that. Shadows stretched over wraith-thin skeletons, miniature harpies for those with a mythologically-oriented mind. Twisted, broken, but still identifiable.

The former God of War kneels beside one of the broken shattered forms of a harpy. He reaches down to the twisted husk of a creature, and withdraws one of the crossbow bolts with a short and sharp wrench of one hand. The bolt comes free, gleaming steel. He turns the shaft over in his hand, traces of carbon flaking off as he does so.
For a time he remains there, kneeling. Then quietly, very quietly he says. "Good boy." He stands slowly, knees giving a creak and a faintly cartilaginous crackle. He turns his head towards the center of the blasted crater that used to be his home. He begins moving that way.

Thor lingers back his gaze falling to the twisted forms and then watching John Aaron as the man moves more deeply into the scene. With a shrug of one shoulder he reaches back affixing Mjolnir to his back beneath the great red cloak he bears and then peering downward upon Dane, "He hath a son.." Thor says gravely in a low voice, "It is clear to me now.." He says his anger subdued only for Aaron's composure, "..he hath a mortal son and doth believe the attack to be a distraction."

"I know little more than this."

Black Knight blanches as he forgets himself and offers a hand to steady Sersi's posture. "Thought he looked familiar, but what…" It's then that Thor lays it out for him and his confusion turns to something that causes him to stop short. "A son? But if…" He looks out to the charred remains of Ares' home. "Oh, hell…" His resolve returning, he sees to helping Sersi if she still needs or wants it, and the knightly Avenger's mind is back on business.

Sersi's breath catches for a moment and is then released in a miserable groan, perhaps for Thor's words or maybe for a resurgence of pain. There's a breathlessly uttered, "I /tried/," but the rest of that thought falls to the wayside. She finds herself slipping toward the ground for a moment until Dane's offered hand is taken — and his arm as well, for good measure — though the Eternal seems far too drained to be of much help for now.

At the least, it seems there is no more threat to be found. The beasts slain, no urns lurking in dark corners, no twitching shadows. Only ruination is to be found here. One firefighter calls, "It's not safe to go in there!" before he's silenced by one of the others, who drags him aside. Low words are had and looks spared, some staring and others quick to look away. Unspoken is the realization that if anyone /were/ in that house, they'd have to be more than merely mortal to survive.

Those words go unheeded. The others are left behind as John moves over the broken timbers and the shattered wreckage. His footsteps are sure, steady. One large hand lifts to the frame of the door and braces while he pushes it open with the shove of one shoulder. With a creak it gives way, sending a small tumble of debris to the ground. The next moment he steps through the door, and passes from view.

Thor moves as far as the doorway but no further as he stoops low and peers inside. He shakes his head then unwilling to place his sizeable mass inside a structure so fragile, "John, I am outside if needed." He says just so the other will know of his presence but goes no further.

Black Knight cradles Sersi at the waist, mindful to be gentlemanly. "Easy there, Sers. Must've taken a lot out of you." He looks to the burning house, then says to Thor and Sersi. "It just seems sick… going after someone's child like this, this level of destruction…" He thinks back to the Crusades, of similar acts of depravity in the name of righteousness. Dane Whitman sees no righteousness in this.

"You try bouncing /to/ Olympia from the middle of planning, then /from/ Olympia, and then to- to /this/." Her irritation is tangible, if ill-focused. And her anger is there, just as with the others … but more poorly contained. Palpable. Sersi reaches up again, knuckles locked around the bridge of her nose and eyes shut fiercely.

For as loudly as the building is groaning in protest for the one person within it, it's definitely for the better that no others dare intrude. Something just seems wrong, and not merely for the fragments of history past that have been cast forth so suddenly.
What is within is only for one set of eyes to see.

The time within is long. Seeming perhaps longer to some than to others. It is time enough for the police to seem antsy, to consider moving in. It is time enough for the fire and rescue crews to look upon the Avengers for some sort of cue. But for now, they all hold.
To John Aaron it all blurs together. These last few hours. These last few minutes. These last few years. These last few decades. It all becomes one in the same, coalescing on this point where all of it seems to come crashing down and all rendered as utterly meaningless by what is found within the shattered remains of that former home.
Time passes. He emerges from that doorway. His features are grim, unreadable. He turns to see Thor standing there, then he lifts those dark eyes across the way towards the other Avengers.
"Thundergod. I would to Olympus. I ask this of you, I will ask naught else again of you."

Thor straightens as John emerges from the burning husk his own features turning grim at the sight of the other's face. When the request is made of him the Thundergod remains fixed at his spot considering things before nodding.

"Aye. I will bear thee there, of course." Then dipping one shoulder slightly he reaches to his back and pulls forth Mjolnir which he brandishes high before dropping his arm to his side, "I will join with thee and the others as well if they choose." Looking then to Black Knight and Sersi, "..but mine protection doth not reach so far. A quest for justice and I shall stay with thee.." His blond brow grows heavy, "..for vengeance such that thy folk wouldst turn against Asgard I cannot do for thee."

He nods then, "I have known thee not long, John Aaron, but I have known thee long enough to understand that thou wouldst ask of me that which was not in my power to give." He says as if to stave off any explanation, "Black Knight, Sersi, will thou join us?" He hefts Mjolnir then.

Black Knight looks to Sersi, still supporting her, as if to silently ask if she's up for traveling, then looks to Thor and nods. "Whatever's needed, Thor, I've got your backs." He keys his Avengers commcard and speaks, "Steed. Return protocol. Avengers Mansion." The atomic steed lifts pilotless from the sidewalk and soars off in the direction of Avengers Mansion.

Her answer is a sigh and a slight nod, with a low-murmured, "It's the least I can do. And if there were more-" Guilt resurfaces for an uncertain moment, then vanishes in the next moment, swept away and with Sersi leaning all the more heavily on the Black Knight for the moment.
"To Olympus, then, and gods help us."

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