Farewell, wherever…

I am still quite full of cake from yesterday, but our hosts have prepared this large, round breakfast, which I gather is a day-after-the-wedding tradition. I don’t altogether trust it, but I will sample it to be polite. Sigyn, that thing is bigger than you are…


It is time to leave this place, whatever it is called. (The Great Goober really could use a diction coach.) He has sprinkled me with some noxious powder and chanted a long string of unintelligible, dire-sounding syllables, which he assures me will restore my magic when Sigyn and I cross back into Midgard. He had better be right, because I have an agenda…

By way of thanks for all of his help, I have given him the purple crystal and provided him with a detailed account of our travels so that he can go look for more. If he retraces our route, he should meet with each of the delightful characters we encountered on our way here. I wish him good luck with the armored chaps with the automatic weapons ( whom I “forgot” to mention. Oops….eheheheheh.)

Sigyn, my sweet, are you ready? Take my hand. Goober, do your thing! Let us depart!

P. S. As part of leave-taking preparations, I also took care of some long overdue business and blackened just the central of Iggle-nix’s three bulbous eyes. I trust you can appreciate the skill required.

L + S = ?


Several things happened at once.

–The gibbering in the room ceased.

–The purple crystal I chipped out of the rock cave we spent the night in fell out of my pocket and clattered to the floor.

–The Great Goober stiffened and stopped shouting.

–His hands, which had been bringing us to his mouth, froze where they were. His tentacles just brushed my face.

Then pandemonium broke out, and the next thing I knew, Sigyn and I were gently lowered to the ground. My helmet and spear were returned. Goobers great and small surrounded us, petted us, touched our hands and hair.

I am still not sure what is going on. From what I have been able to gather, from the Great Goobers garbled orations and a painfully slow yes/no session with Burble, Gribber, Iggle-nix, and Ynnerp, we seem to have inadvertently stumbled upon the two things Goobers love most:

Shiny trinkets and a good romance.

The Great Goober coveted my purple crystal on sight and decided to save me, in case I could tell him where to find more.

All of the Goobers, when they heard me declare my feelings for Sigyn, seized on us as Couple of the Year. Though they would have enjoyed our demise as a good, tragic love story, they would much rather see us alive and together.*

The ensuing exchange went something like this:

Great Goober: This is your wife?

Me: “Um, no.. Not ye–… Er, No.

Sigyn: <blushes>

Great Goober: But she pleases you?

Me: <Opens mouth. Nothing comes out. Nods.>

Great Goober, to Sigyn: You like this man?

Sign: <uncomfortable smile> Um?

Great Goober: Then you must be married at once! <to the other Goobers:>: Prepare the ceremony! <to us>: If you give me this magnificent gem, you shall be wed! We shall feast, and then I shall give you gifts and send you home. I, the mighty <unpronounceable> have spoken!

I looked at Sigyn. She looked at me. Trade a chunk of colored quartz and a few words for our ticket out of this realm? I raised an eyebrow. She shrugged and nodded. Goobers scattered to make preparations.

Which is why we find ourselves now, in what I suppose must be the holy shrine of some long-dead Goober saint, surrounded by intricate tile-work and a huge assortment of Goobers. Sigyn and I have both been tidied, though I guess there is no clothing here to fit anyone who is not deformed, so we are to be wed in our own battered clothes. Someone has found Sigyn some flowers. Burble has a tear in his one good eye, Yennerp is grinning like a fool, and Iggle-nix is still looking at my dearest with a triple leer that I am going to wipe off his face with my fist at the earliest opportunity.

The Great Goober is mumbling his way through some intricate rite, which seems to require nothing of us beyond our presence and the occasional “Yes.” Every “Yes” earns a cheer from the Goober congregation, except in one spot which must require a “No,” because they all frown and start muttering. We change our answers to “No,” and the garbled ceremony continues.

Is the God of Mischief actually getting married? Does this even count? Is it binding? Oh, never doubt that Sigyn is my dear heart, my only. Those who know me would be surprised to learn that I actually do intend to be true and kind to her. But what about her? What is in her heart? After all, one can say words under duress and not mean them.

It may very well be that, once back in our own realm, she will walk away from the man who kidnapped her, led her into danger, and all but forced a farcical wedding on her. The Trickster. The Liesmith. I couldn’t blame her if she did. I tell myself to cherish this moment but steel my heart for what may prove a greater loss than either kingdom or throne.

L + S = ♡ ?

* (My theory is that since they are so variously and hideously misshapen, very seldom can any two Goobers come together in such a way as to make more Goobers, so romance is in short supply. By my horns! Anyone could conquer this race with a few Harlequin novellas and a Barry White album.)

Loki’s big mouth.

The Goobers have walked us for half a morning through the ruins of yet another city. This must once have been a metropolis larger than New York. (Why can’t I get my hands on a city this big? I promise I’d take good care of it…)

I have tried to get a history of this place out of the Goobers, but there is only so much one can accomplish with Yes/No. Is it more than 100 years old? [Yes.] More than 1,000? [Yes.] Did your people build it? [Confusion. ] Did another race build it? [Babbling.] Interesting… How about: Do all of you belong to the same race? [No.] Very interesting. Is your leader like any of you? [Yes] and [no.] Very, very interesting.

How can I use this to my advantage? Perhaps there is a power struggle or bitter feeling between peoples which I can exploit? If there is no way of leaving this place, I might as well rule.

(a bit later)

Now we are in a part of the city that appears to be still inhabited. Bulbous eyes peer at us from windows large and small. Small Goobers are running after us—we have acquired a misshapen, rubbery tail of gibbering smalls. (I do not know if they are young or merely small. No two are alike.)

Up ahead is what can only be described as a palace. Its white and green stone shines in the sunlight. I like. It appears we are to enter. Vast, cool halls stretch out in every direction from enormous rooms. I could get used to this. We go up stairs and down stairs and around corners and finally stop before two immense doors. Is it here where we meet your leader? A gurgled [yes] and the doors open.

We go in, and facing us across an immeasurable expanse of cool white marble is the biggest, greenest creature I have ever seen. He makes the Hulk look puny. And pretty. Slowly, Sigyn and I cross the floor while our escort shuffles around the doorway looking awed.

I will not kneel. Monarch to monarch (king? president?), I bow briefly, and Sigyn curtsies. (Which would be more effective if she were in a gown befitting her beauty and not in travel-worn garb. I must find something else for her to wear.)

The Great Goober speaks first. I can understand him–just. The tentacles do not help matters. “Greetings. I am <unpronounceable>, king of <unspellable.>

“I am Loki, rightful King of Asgard and future King of Midgard. And this is my…Sigyn.”

“What do you do here in my realm?”

“My powerful magic carried us to this world. We have lost our way and require–”

His beady eyes narrow. “Magic? I am the most powerful magician! You call yourself a sorcerer? You have powers? What can you do?”

“I…Yes. I have mighty–”

“I must have your power! I shall consume you and it shall be mine!”

Augh!! This is the end for us!

“Sigyn! I’m sorry! I love y–”

Off we go…

The–I shall call them Goobers for lack of anything better–surrounded our tree perch and kept up a steady stream of gibbering and squeaking. After about three quarters of an hour, with a building headache, I shouted down at them, "Will you lot shut up?

And they did.

Taken aback, I asked, "Do you understand me?" Nods from all but the littlest.

Heartened, I peppered them with questions. "Where are we? What do you want? How do we get to the nearest town?"

More gibberish. I was reduced to the equivalent of that infantile Midgardian game, Twenty Boring Questions That Can Be Answered Yes or No.

"Can you take us to safety?" Yes.

"Can you take us to food and water?" Yes

"Are there any of the armored men with weapons near here?" No.

"If we come down, are we your prisoners?" No again.

"Will you take us to your leader?" Yes. Promising!

"Does your leader speak our language?" Another yes.

It’s about damn time!

We have climbed down and are performing the introductions. If I understand them correctly, their names are Burble, Gribber, Iggle-nix, and Yennerp, and the little sprout is Snerxx.

Perhaps I have had too much sun, but they look a bit familiar. Surely the one-eyed Burble is this realm’s Odin. Big, red, dumb Gribber is no doubt a Thor-analog. Green, three-eyed Iggle-nix, who needs to stop ogling Sigyn or I will pound him, is Fandral with a prettier face. Little Yennerp, with his horns, is a Heimdall that has been through the laundry and dried wrong. And the youngling Snerxx—well, I have seen the Lady Sif make just such an "I’m-so-scary" face. (And no, you’re not.)

Well then, let’s be off, shall we?

Dazed and confused

I can scarcely believe we escaped. It was a very close thing and owes more to luck than anything else. I know I shot some of our attackers. Sigyn did too, amazing girl, but I am not sure she knows she did. She was firing pretty wildly and not actually aiming. She also ran over a couple of them. I don’t think she realizes that, either. I have praised her for her quick thinking and very effective driving, and I think I will leave it at that. She doesn’t have the killer instinct (as I do) and was simply in “get out of here NOW” mode. It would devastate her to know that she actually killed someone.

Me, I don’t care. Shoot at me and mine, take your chances.

At any rate, we fired until we ran out of ammunition and took turns driving until the vehicle ran out of fuel. We were not pursued, so I can only assume the remaining members of that ambush didn’t have another transport and are happy enough just to have us gone.

We spent the night in the middle of nowhere, having made a meal of such rations as were stashed in the vehicle. Not much–some sort of protein bar, I think. There was also a container of green goo, but we could not decide whether it was meant to be food, medicine, or axle lubricant, so we left it alone.

So now we are on foot again, heading in the same direction as before we were attacked, since that seems to lead into an area that is (or was) inhabited–still our best chance for getting out of here.

(a bit later…)

Odin’s left eyebrow! Not again. Sigyn seems to think this little goober (her word–she’s been on Midgard too long) means us no harm. She is such a trusting soul. I am reserving judgment.

No time to think.

Beyond "I’m sorry," there is only time to think, "If Sigyn and I are going down, I am taking as many of you bastards with me as I can."

No magic, dammit, but I have dealt with a few with my staff, and I’ve used it to knock away two of their grenades. I have kept them off Sigyn, and she has been doing some nimble ducking of her own.

Ironically, there are so many of them that they can’t use their guns too much at such close quarters without hitting their own or taking too much precious time with every shot.

Aha! Now I have managed to get one of their weapons and can return fire. Where is Sigyn? Oh, my heart–where is Sigyn?!

What?! How did she —? By the nine realms, I had no idea she had it in her! That’s my girl! All right, then! Let me hop up here and I’ll cover our retreat. Floor it!


Yggdrasil’s little green leaves! Here is a vehicle, with more of these marauders!

Sigyn, I am so sorry… I should never have "rescued" you, only to have you perish in this terrible desert, surrounded by creatures with deadly weapons and no pity. At least in Midgard you were safe. My magic has failed you. I have failed you. Forgive me…

Unexpected company

Well, that’s the last of them. One by one, the little mechanicals slowed to a stop and fell by the wayside. Out of power, I suppose. The largest one held out the longest, but even it has ground to a halt and is now a hill and a bit behind us. We’ll never know what they wanted, or what they hoped to find, following us.


I was right about our eventually finding a city. We’ve been walking through one for half an our or so now. Unfortunately, it is in ruins and completely deserted. On every side are the crumbling remains of roads and buildings. At one time, this must have been a bustling hub of commerce, but now there is only rubble. Once, I had magic that could have compelled the stones to speak, but now I am powerless. I do not like how the wind mutters through the broken walls, and Sigyn has stopped singing. The echoes are too eerie.

Wait! Over there! What was that? I think I saw something move…And that! That was definitely a footstep. Someone is here! Sigyn, stick clo—-