2019-11-07 - Brother Shadow, Prince Thunder


Thor seeks out Hod only to find him in a state of distress.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Nov 7 03:25:20 2019
Location: Luke's

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Luke's appears to be closed, which maybe isn't completely weird for a bar in the afternoon? It /totally weird/ for /this/ bar in the afternoon. The lights inside are off, the sign is flipped around, frankly there is simply no sign of life inside the place, and it's not like Thor is the normal clientel. Aryan doesn't make a big showing this far up into Harlem after all. He stands out.

From inside the building, somewhere in the back, there's a crash of something glasslike and a curse that only makes sense if you're of a certain upbringing. "BOR'S SWINGING COD!" And it's not in a voice Thor recognizes. This is followed by a hiss and a groan, a sound one would only pick up with extremely acute hearing.

It is true that where Thor goes he does tend to stand out, eventually. Second glances are common and third, telephones often come out and when he stays overly long in one place then people get up the gumption to approach and ask him for a selfie or an autograph or something along those lines. And often he is rather game about it. But the second glances he's getting here as he stands out front of that closed bar aren't exactly for the same reasons.
Clad in his jeans and his grey hoodie, Thor Odinson peers curiously at the front door, the twisted sign, and the lack of signs of life within. His features pinch a little as he lifts a hand to the back of his neck, rubbing there faintly as he frowns and then starts to turn away…
Of course that's the moment when the Norns deem it proper for Hod's voice to sound and arrest the Thunderer's retreat. Eyebrows raise as he shifts his grip on his umbrella, frowning.
One hand rests upon the door and with a little exertion of strength…
He'll have to remember to pay for that later, but once inside Thor's voice lifts as he calls out, "Hello?" A pause to give whomever may be inside a chance to respond, but then he adds. "I bid you greetings."

Hod freezes solid. He /knows/ that voice. He's feared it's arrival ever since the damned embassy showed up in his city and brought with it no end of trouble and misery. Which, upon reflection, is pretty much just about keeping with tradition for Hod. He tries very very hard not to make noise, to breath, to bleed, but one of those he has to do and the other one he's doing whether he has to or not. In fact, he's done a lot of it. Lot. Of. It.

Coming in from the door, which wasn't broken until just now, there are smears of red, hard to see from outside with the refractive nature of glass and all, but there none the less. Smears that grow increasingly dark and wide the further they go towards the bar, and from there, through the swinging doors into the back of the bar. Hand prints match them smear for smear as someone clearly dragged themselves along the floor painstakingly and somewhere into the back, if not out the back and into the street. Said someone is currently holding his breath (poorly) while leaning against an industrial style steel kitchen prep table in the back, coating the white tile in something new and sticky.

Arriving like a spectre from the past, heralding naught but the ills of what fell between them, Thor enters the room. His footsteps are quiet, though his brother likely can hear the faint sounds coming from those Midgardian shoes he wears, aptly named sneakers. But there are pauses with each step, as he perceives his surroundings and gauges what has passed here.
The blood, the ichor, the curse and the sudden silence that hangs heavy like a pall. It all bodes ill in some ways, at least to one of his thinking. He shifts his grip upon his umbrella and moves through that bar as he lifts his voice.
"Hello?" He calls again, just before reaching that kitchen door and resting a splayed hand upon its surface. Slowly he pushes it open and calls, "I mean not to intrude…" But he gets no further than that before his blue-eyed gaze falls upon Hod.
And as quick as that his hesitance is gone as he says quickly, "You are injured!" And with that he closes the distance across the way.

But not all the distance. Because in his headlong rush forward, Hod activates Light Bringing, and the unassuming cane of ebony in his hand snaps out to it's full length battle spear, the glistening Uru tup hovering scant inches from Thor's chest, "And you…" Hod pants through his teeth, "still charge like… like a drunken…" and the spear's tip wavers, wobbles, then clatters to the tile floor.

Hod turns his head so that he can glance down at it, "Traitor." he accuses it, whether he means the spear or his hand is questionable. The one time god of winter and darkness and secrets is sitting in shredded clothing that is very Midgardian. His face is splattered with blood and caked in among it are the remains of ashes and cinders, clinging to him nearly everywhere. He smells like sulfur and basalt and the acrid stench of flowing molten stone. His glasses are missing, so his face is a deathshead, great empty sockets where eyes should be just peering out of a lean and pale face, making him look like a skeleton given just enough life to move about. His beard is matted, his hands scruffed and scrapped, there are still bits of broken wood sticking out of a sizeable hole in his thigh, and a gash along his cheek just beneath the space where his eye would have been had he had one. The wood looks… familiar. The smell is… familiar. Everything about this scene is wrong. Starting with, Hod is dead. Everyone knows that. Secondly… there shouldn't be gray in his hair. He's not old enough for that. And there's the tattoo's peaking out through the torn clothing. And the scars. The lines in his face. Things Asgardians simply don't have until much later in life, Hod has in abundance. He looks at least two millenia older then he is, maybe three. They are not so far apart in age, and yet, he could pass for Thor's uncle or eldest brother at the very /least/.

The spear checked his advance, but then with its lowering again he moved toward the downed deity. A quick glance was given, noting some of what ails him but likely missing aspects so taken in with the entirety of the situation.
"What has befallen you?" Thor says quickly as he is both taken aback at the state of his brother, but not just because of his injuries. The last time he beheld him he looked far different than was the case now and there were a myriad of questions that sprung to life in his thoughts.
But then that puzzlement is replaced with focus and determination as he realizes that none of that matters in this moment. "Stay still, Hoder." He shakes his head as he sets the umbrella down with a faint click upon the tile. "I shall tend you until you are fit to travel and then we shall see you healed."
Ever so presumptuous, ever so 'heroic', likely just as Hod remembers him.

Hod used to have muscle mass like an Asgardian, he was strong, square shouldered, even smaller then his brothers he wasn't weak. This creature looks like a starved wolf, all lean sinews and whipcord muscle. Little in the way of mass to fill out the frame that still has hints of Asgard in it, but at the very least he managed to keep his spear which would be enough to ID him if his look was to far changed to do the job. "Adventure." he snears, his lips parting to show pink teeth.

When Thor offers kindness Hod snorts, a wet sound that comes with heavy coughing and a wet phlemy sound, ending in a bloody mass of something being spit out onto the floor to the side of him, "So now you offer aid." he says flatly, his head bobbing in a light nod as if understanding something that's long vexed him. Hod doesn't realize he's doing it, but he's slipped into Asgardian proper, out of Allspeak, and even his accent is different, rough and rusty at the edges. Heroic is not how he remembers Thor at all. Heroic is how everyone /else/ remembers Thor. "So gracious." he reaches down with his fingers and digs around in the wound on his thigh, his teeth gritting and cords in his neck standing out as with a squelch he pulls a splinter the length of his pinkie finger out of the muscle and flicks it aside.

Thor is not gentle, few would accuse him of such. But he is aware of the physick that can be needed on the battlefield though no healer he. Instead he is aware of the tell-tale signs that are there when a soldier is given over to Valhalla, and when there is yet life in them. And Hod fits firmly in the latter category. But as the Prince works on the other, he speaks with a steady even tone.
"Aye, now I do." The hoodie, his favorite, is pulled free of his shoulders. Already blood smeared and bedraggled by the ichor of what drives the other Asgardian, It is given into strips and rent asunder with strong hands. First the wound in the leg, a length tied high to prevent bleeding out as best as possible with the artery so close. He works his way through the movements methodically, precisely.
"Tell me of this adventure." He says, still distracted, though wanting to keep him talking. "Did you confront Surtur, brother? Bold of you."

Hod shoves at Thor's shoulder when he begins to tear up the shirt, fat lot of good it'll do, but it feels good, "NOW!?" Hod roars, well, sorta roars. Mostly just yells. "Do you not remember father's ruling? Exiled. None of Asgard shall offer solace nor succor, no bargain made shall stand nor aid be rendered." he says, quoteing the exact words of his 'trial' such as it was before he was thrown out, physically, to land on Midgard. "You were not there when the Athenians slaughtered my first friend. /Ares/ offered greater aid then mine own family, and I had to earn it the hard way. Did the Thunderer come when I was enslaved by the Romans and put into their fighting pits, sent against monsters and beasts without the strength or power of the Aesir? Oddly silent were the skies. Or Karakorum? Byzantium? Londinium? Nanjing? Aksum? Where was your aid when your siste-"

Hod shoves at Thor's shoulder when he begins to tear up the shirt, fat lot of good it'll do, but it feels good, "NOW!?" Hod roars, well, sorta roars. Mostly just yells. "Do you not remember father's ruling? Exiled. None of Asgard shall offer solace nor succor, no bargain made shall stand nor aid be rendered." he says, quoteing the exact words of his 'trial' such as it was before he was thrown out, physically, to land on Midgard. "You were not there when the Athenians slaughtered my first friend. /Ares/ offered greater aid then mine own family, and I had to earn it the hard way. Did the Thunderer come when I was enslaved by the Romans and put into their fighting pits, sent against monsters and beasts without the strength or power of the Aesir? Oddly silent were the skies. Or Karakorum? Byzantium? Londinium? Nanjing? Aksum? Where was your aid when your siste-"

Hod falls silent and seems to deflate into himself, his shoulders bowing and curling around what one can only hope is the pain of the wounds, "The number of the days of my life where tradgety followed dogged in my steps and the skies remained unclouded, silent, and full of glittering sunlight are uncountable. Because where were my brave and fightful warrior brothers when Hodr the Cripple needed them? They were doing Odin's work." he makes 'odin' come out like a curse, reviled and loathsome, "But worry not great Thor, for now that I have suffered these wounds you can rescue me and once more be the ever present hero." Hod literally cannot weep. He doesn't have tear ducts. He cannot express emotion the way others do, he has no eyes, no lids, most of the musculature that allows one to manipulate those parts of the face are even missing from his, leaving a great many markers one uses to read a person missing from him. But he can convey tone like he was weilding a blade, and right now he's disgusted and weary and clearly uncertain as to which takes precidence at the moment. "Go away." he says after a long pause, "Just… go be somewhere else, like you always are. I will be fine. I have Seen my death, and this is not it."

The shove gives Thor just a furrow to his brow as he focuses on what he's doing, but he takes no umbrage, not yet at the least. Instead he works on getting the wounds tended as best as he can with what little is there. Pure triage effort for now, to control the bleeding, to make sure there is naught threatening internally. It is likely much more hands on than Hod would care for, but then again… he is not in much of a position to do anything… save argue.
"Whatever ills you have faced brother, I can change them naught." He looks up for a brief moment, his blue eyes finding only those empty sockets to peer into, but then he shakes his head and lowers his gaze as he focuses. "Whatever failings I have before you, I can only address them going forward. I came here to see you. To find you." There's a pause as he sits up, hands slick with his brother's blood and then wiping it on an errant dish towel nearby.
"I did not expect to find you so." He says as his eyebrows lift with a hint of incredulity as he grimaces and bites off another length of that hoodie, tearing it to create another bandage that shall have to serve. "Though I knew it would likely be difficult. I am here now to do what I can. Not out of any sense of…" He sits back slowly, only now letting himself breathe a little easier as the worst may have been dealt with. "Heroism. I knew I had done you ill, and I would make what I can right with a future we can share."
There's a pause, then a few more words rush forth, "We have been apart for two thousand years? Must two more pass before we attempt to make peace?"

Hod barks a laugh at Thor's words, "Two thousand years?" he grins a mad little grin, "Because we were so close for the thousand before that?" he asks incredulously before hie head flops back with a bong against the steel leg of the table. He's quiet for a long few seconds, letting Thor tie up whatever wounds he feels like and poke about him ungently or not, to very little reaction from Hod. "This is not your fault." he says after a long moment, "Not turely. You are but father's blunt instrument," he waves a dismissive hand at the umbrella sitting nearby as if it were a living representation of the analogy, "you can hardly be blamed for what damage is done when he swings you at a problem. Or fails to swing you." as the case may be.

Hod 'stares' off into nothing, just bleeding and resting and nothing much else, "You had sisters-in-law." he says suddenly out of nowhere, "And nefews," he's quiet for a long moment before adding, "and a neice." though that last part is much quieter then the others. "You'd have like my boys. They were much like you and Baldr, all golden sunshine and laughter. Took after their mothers."

"At times, indeed." Thor agrees with the first few statements, more toward the idea of his being a blunt instrument aimed and let loose with their father's words. But he takes a deep breath and straightens up, frowning still at the state of his brother. Likely not just the physical one.
He then looks up at the countenance of the man who was so ill-treated by not just himself but the others that were around him, those that would be called family. He takes a deep breath and murmurs, "Aye," He finally answers to the mention of children, and wives taken over the course of time lost. "Perhaps some day you will tell me of them."
He then pushes himself to his feet, moving to try and get a shoulder under one of Hod's arms and to heft him upward, accepting the weight of the other Asgardian upon himself. He turns his head and murmurs, "I intend to take you to be treated by better talents than mine. Bjarke holds station at the embassy if that is a place you would go. His talents far exceed my own. Or we can seek the aid of Lady Sigyn if you would allow me to take you there. But barring those options if you must then we can trust to the efforts of the mortals."
A pause then he adds, "What say you, Hoder?"

Hod grunts as Thor lifts him, and he pushes at the bigger man's arm, "Get off me." he says with heat more equal to what he started with then what he was ending on there, and he's dropped the Asgardian tongue again as well. Instead he reaches out to pat about atop the table he was leaning against until his fingers touch glass, and he comes back with about 2/3's of a bottle of bourbon, "Father may have crippled me further, but even he can't strip an Aesir entirely of their birthright." he uses his teeth to pull the cork from the bottle and spits it out across the floor, "I told you, I have seen my death and when it comes you are not the brother present."

He puts his lips to the bottle and upends it, swallowing a good four heavy mouthfuls before coming up for air, "I will live. What are more scars at this point? I don't trust our people, and the mortals don't know what to make of me when they get me under the knife. We aren't like them, in case you didn't know." Another two heavy swallows, "So I will stay here in my friends tavern where I will drink heavily from his stocks and try to forget old wounds reopened in the pursuit of debts repaid." he sort of stares off over Thor's shoulder a bit before, "You wanna help? Get me a handkercheif or something to wrap around my face. The mortals see me like this and there'll be hell to pay, trust me. You live through fifteen or twenty mobs with torches and pitchforks screaming 'witch' or 'demon' and you start to figure out the root cause."

"Mmm," Thor says as he's pushed a bit to the side, letting Hod take his balance from the table and the support nearby, but not stepping away nor presenting the image of an individual sufficiently convinced nor cowed about the situation. "And if we all dealt with our destinies as fates unchangeable what point is there for any of us to go through the motions and hold any agency beyond what destiny grants us?"
Thor says simply, calmly even as he moves to the side and takes up his umbrella. "I intend to take you to be cared for as you can be. If you intend to strike me, then strike me and once you are sufficiently tired… then we shall go to a place of my choosing."
And at that he seems to feel that the argument is sufficiently over. He turns and slips his umbrella under his arm, reaching for a length of wash cloth that rests near one of the sinks. "Now put this on as you wish,"
The Thunderer turns fully away and moves to take up that cloth, shaking it loose and inspecting it to make sure it is sufficiently clean. "And let us be off." Only with those words said he turns back then.

Hod sighs, "Every one of you is a child playing with their father's sword and thinking because you know the pointy end from the blunted that you are unrivaled swordsmen. Thor," he says, and his tone becomes serious, "I have Seen my death. Capital S. Everything I have ever Seen has come to pass exactly as I have Seen it to come. I have railed against the fall of empires and I have had all the effect of a gnat in a hurricane. /Mortals/ are given the gift of freedom. They are short lived, weak, fragile, often cruel and deceitful creatures, but they are /free/. We are what we are and I have come to understand that the cost of all that power is servitude to a Fate greater then us. Do you think in all these years I have not sought a way in which I would not kill my brother?" he asks softly.

He opens his mouth once more to say something to Thor about forced heroics on the unwilling and how it's insulting. He starts to form the words to tell his brother to simply fuck right off, he even considers trying to swipe up Light Drinker and poking him once in a glute to make him go /away/. But none of those things work, of course. Because trying to explain complicated things to Thor is as useful as explaining them to a tree. Deep empathy is /not/ one of Thor's strong suits. So, instead, when Thor lifts up the tea towel and snaps it out, Hod just lets out a slow breath, swallows the pain and vanishes.

Honestly, it's harder then it sounds. Once upon a time disappearing was easy for him, the darkness would answer his call and poof! Gone. Now it's more like ninja smoke, the vanishing is all him… but he's gotten /really/ good at it in the years since last they met.

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