Merlin 2:41 “Ghost of Perdition”
A boot kicks Lynn in her stomach, she takes anger and umbrage as she sends her other sharp hand after Merlin’s heart under and thru his chest, a hand grasps her back and throws her to the solid wall of mystic fog, her feet above the ground she falls rapt by her new foe’s equanimity and stilled by fear. The assistance to Merlin comes in the form of the traveler with the same scar on many faces, his skin a healthy yellow in the shade, his hair the color of dark oak, his eyes the color favorite to the beholder. Lynn crawls in terror and disconcertion, backwards from the man, her hands in the dirt with her feet shuffling of chaotic disorder, he reaches down to her and lifts her by the cloth of her shoulder, and with his other hand he chokes her against the cloud wall.
Lynn: “No, master, I am unseen, it was not me.”
The terror in her eyes shows thru tears and longing, the stranger clenches her throat for silence, as he looks to Merlin, on the ground bleeding, but breathing. Her master looks back to her, silent intimidation and intimate fear, her feet do not touch the dirt.
Stranger: “Irreverent child! So many steps you now cannot take…”
Lynn: “I was…”
The stranger with great strength pulls and swiftly pushes her into the barrier once more.
Stranger: “Was, is what you’re going to be, you were, nothing I cannot erase! Take her from my sight, find her vital breath or take her soul to the realm of instincts into the abode of stillness.”
The cloud connected spell begins to fade, in the distance the sound of Troy and Alerion slowly falling maladroitly and Ana coughing water. As the fog lessens, further she looks as if recently pulled from a river. Three Valkyries approach and take her into their custody, the stranger surveys the scene then walks to Merlin, when close he tosses him a flask fill with the mead of poetry. Nickolas walks wearing a robe given to him by one of the Valkyrie.
Stranger: “On this merry day, greetings and salutations, Niccolo, how it is nice of you to join us.”
Nickolas drops to both knees and bows before resting on his ankles, upon realizing who has spoken thus.
Merlin: “Do you know each other?”
Stranger: “We’re practically cousins, family at times.”
Strangely unawares ostentation, Nick sees Ana and rushes to her. Merlin returns the flask to the man and tries to stand, he does so with sounds of pain and so the flask makes its way again to him, helped to rise by the stranger. Return to conference with them, Ana and Troy.
Stranger: “You should heal nicely with that in you.”
Nick: “I think it’s safe to say we’re in the clear, Merlin.”
Merlin: “…and to whom do I oblige the pleasure?”
Stranger: “My name is Loki, and I only ask you to remember my name.”
Merlin: “That can be arranged.”
Loki: “Well played by you all. I’m surprised you made it this far with such young magic.”
Merlin: “What in fie was her plan?”
Loki: “Bribing the people with their stolen money, employing the use of force, deception and fear, an inner core of conspiratorial power, it was about taxing a realm and having serfs, it was always about the money.”
Ana: “What did they want with Nickolas?”
Loki: “She was going to eat him; they would’ve turned his body into drops of blood and sold them around the nine worlds, then ate him when they willed.”
A sign of discomfiture is awash on Nick’s face, the unbecoming levity or pertness especially in respect to grave or sacred matters, bothers him with arrogance and embarrassment.
Loki: “We’re battling bad Valkyrie, you’ll probably be seeing a lot more demons, if you know how to contact me, during trouble you may, but don’t cross your fingers.”
Nick: “He says that, but it’s another of his tricks, he shan’t show.”
Loki: “How untrue, it was I that was your double when your beleaguered friend here battled the termagant, watched you stroll to the ghoul thru a horde of ghastly souls of war, following the witches three, helping you on your way so the nightlady could warn you. Helping at the river of glass, and here and there, a few cursed wands along the way, the dryads, I watched, but I had to be sure. A shame you broke the bridge of glass tho, perhaps one day, another.”
Merlin: “You had to be sure?”
Loki: “I needed to catch her in felony; I can’t just go around catching angels that are not mine.”
Ana: “What do you mean, ‘not yours’?”
Loki: “You know her as Lynn, but her name is Mist, a handmaiden Valkyrie of the Allfather, the Asagrim, shifty eyed spear shaker, visitor of the hanged, and the war-merry raven god that recently conquered the Vanir.”
Merlin: “We were washed down a mountainside!”
Loki: “…I heard specifically what had occurred, and I want to thank you.”
The sky is still grey, the light is still day, and a glow radiates from just beyond the Valkyries tormenting with Lynn. The glow attracts attention but causes not alarm. Troy cautious still ready to bounce into the sky and flee the Valkyries who bring a cloth-bounded baby to Loki and rests the tike in his hands. The child has sharp teeth and nascent wings but seems complicit in innocence.
Loki: “They are so cute when they’re young.”
Loki: “This is Mist, and she has now been reborn, notice the cherub wings, the man of snakes was born Ophiuchus, brother to the one you faced moons ago, he was having problems with fidelity, snake, liar, he no doubt was looking for Lynn when he found you and I, or I pretending to be you.”
Ana: “So you can be invisible?”
Loki: “I can be no more invisible than a mirror, I see all at the edge of darkness. Here Merlin, help me, hold the cherub, I have a gift for you, wait here.”
Loki walks towards the Valkyries while waving his hand, when he meets them they fly into the sky as he disappears by fading into nothingness as the sun breaks thru the clouds, shining on the path. Merlin shouts into the air confused and perturbed, cursing and quipping, as this adventure ends. The realm without impost grows its enterprises, for the commerce and commitments, the tithe and tide of illegal war, to ask of people and pray of faith, the system of survival, power to the purpose and liberty only for life. The gods, watching over immortality, without the ghost of perdition but not alone, thru the speaking darkness giving advice from vengeance and the lessons of dying, follows death in the hearts of warriors, never wreak nor rede until the beautiful disasters of Midgard are full upon the main, unabashedly arisen, like luring confidence. Importune prophecy rises of hope and the victor shall take the spoils, goals of summoning evil to find new masters play second to unmaking them.