PYRAMID POWER – snippet 49:
Odin was already heading away, so he didn’t see a Norn kick his henchman on the shins. Hard.
“Creep. Lowlife. Scumbag. Bottom-feeder,” he heard, as Thjalfi scrambled and limped after him.
These Norns were certainly knowledgeable. But Thjalfi was a useful creep, scumbag, and lowlife bottom-feeder.
The Krim device tried furiously to get Odin-Krim’s attention. He was right on top of them, positionally!
But Odin was not responding. He was even more strong-willed than Krim. Prukrin transfer selection involved the gullible, the easily-manipulated, and those with various emotional energy keys. Odin had none of those features. Instead he was very Krim-like.
Lying under the water, covered in a layer of weed and Liz’s skirt, Lamont waited for the inevitable to happen. How could he watch the kids and stay under water? He had to go and look. Had to.
Just then there were two almost simultaneous splashes. Lamont shot his head out of the water like a submarine launched cruise missile. A grinning Ty and Tolly were swimming towards them, splashing and laughing.
“I told them not to,” said Ella from above.
“Honey,” said Liz. “Why don’t you join us too? You were absolutely brilliant.” She was hugging a bemused but smiling Jerry Lukacs. “I’m never letting you out of my sight for one instant, ever again. You’ve got so thin, love.”
“It’s… been a bit of a rough journey.” He squinted at her. “And the last time I saw you, you were busy kissing someone else.”
Liz blushed. “It wasn’t what it looked like. And I think you saved me from getting raped.”
“She went there to look for you, Jerry,” said Lamont, “without realizing that Valkyries are the Norse equivalent of boom-boom girls. She was acting the part and trying to get her partner blind drunk. So don’t make a fuss about it, because she’s been tearing herself apart to think how she’s going explain it to you.”
Jerry blinked. “She doesn’t have to explain anything.”
“But I want to,” said Liz. “First, though, we need to get you out of here, get you dry, fed, and your hands untied.”
She looked as if she was about to start crying any moment, with the chin definitely quivering slightly, which was not something you expected from Liz. She also looked as if she was going to devour him with her eyes.
“Sounds good,” said Jerry. “Especially the fed part. I’ve eaten half a magic apple, thirty six nuts, four birds eggs, and bowl of gruel in the last nine days. Does anyone know what has become of Loki and Sigyn, by the way?”
“He took the Norns back off to Urd’s well. Sigyn went along to keep an eye on Skuld,” said Lamont.
“Skuld-uggery! She wanted to make sure he Urd on the side of caution,” said Jerry. And then gaped as Liz, instead of groaning, burst into a flood of tears and hugged him fiercely.
“It wasn’t that bad,” he said warily, once he could breath again.
“It was bloody awful,” she said, smiling through the tears. “But it’s so very you.”
“Are you absorbing wisdom through the skin?” asked Thor from the edge of the water. “What did you do to Odin? He and his troops are still galloping their horses away from this place.”
“That,” said Ella, with a scowl, “Was my little brother. He’s a menace.”
“I thought it was way cool,” said Tolly admiringly. “Especially the part about the drowned woman. How did you find out all this neat stuff?”
Agent Stephens watched the black bird warily. It did have a large beak. It also had a roll of parchment around one leg. “The message is for you,” said the bird. “I could peck it off, but it probably would be illegible. I was told to tell you Tom Harkness sent me.”
Agent Stephens had had a hard time in the last while reconciling himself with the fact that his entire purpose in life was now something he had to reassess, in the light of being somewhere where the US was not even a concept, and from where he had no chance of return or even of fulfilling his mission. He and Bott had tagged along with the party of moderns simply because they did not know where else to go. Preparation and briefing for the Harkness mission had of necessity been scanty. And then not only had they lost their guides, their destination and their way home, they’d also lost their mission… or so he’d believed.
Now, unless someone was deceiving them, he had to reassess again. With trembling fingers he undid the little scroll. What he saw there was enough to convince him that Tom Harkness was still alive—and in this myth-world, the Norse one, not still stranded in the Greek myth-world.
He was filled with righteous indignation. How dare these people mislead him like that? Not only had this Liz, Lamont and these children wrecked the mission, and destroyed his way home, they’d also deceived him about his mission objective.
“I have a message for you from Harkness,” the raven continued. “The Americans you are associating with are known collaborators and sympathizers with unfriendly foreign powers. We need you to act as our eyes and ears in their midst.”