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Title: Ski Niflheim
Author: tikistitch
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Dethklok goes to Valhalla because they hear there are hot chicks there. Skiing and mayhem ensue.
Warnings: Cursing. AU. OCs brazenly stolen from mythology. Boring technical discussions of ski equipment
Notes: You want notes? Plenty of ‘em after the jump. Also, some time during the night, this got Russian novel-type sprawling, so I'm posting it in two bits.

This is a Metalocalypse AU that’s been eating my brain. Since it’s more fun writing this than dealing with my present reality, there are other bits of it lying around here and there, and even here.

Here’s what’s happened so far: Skwisgaar has been trying to get to know his birth father, Wotan, head of the Norse Pantheon. This has been a mixed bag, as family shit always gets complicated, and especially so when your dad happens to be a god. Wotan is actually a pretty cool dude, though he can be a little intense. The last time Skwisgaar visited Valhalla, he brought along his buddy Nathan Explosion. Nathan got to slay a demon, and he also thinks Wotan’s girlfriend is hot, so Nathan now considers Valhalla to be the best thing since chips.

Skwisgaar has a rather dim view of his dad’s annoying new girlfriend, a sword- and fashion-obsessed angel named Raziel. Though Raziel is not Fallen, she’s apparently out of favor with Management (the angel bosses) due to some of her actions around the time of the Fall of Man. It’s not clear exactly what she’s plotting, other than getting a front row seat at Milan Fashion Week, although, to Skwisgaar’s supreme annoyance, she and Wotan do seem to be genuinely rather smitten with each other. Raziel in turn is an old acquaintance of Charles’, back from the days when he himself was an angel by the name of Sariel. He’s since been banished, although little is known about the exact circumstances, basically since people who try to bring up the subject with him tend to get a fountain pen stuck through the heart.

There are of course plenty of other eccentric characters who hang out in Valhalla. Last time, Nathan and Skwisgaar got to meet one of Wotan’s old hunting buddies, Shiva the Destroyer. The four-armed blue god is a huge Dethklok fan. His son, Ganesh, a surprisingly intelligent and thoughtful elephant-headed god, often attends Shiva. The Dethklok boys also met Surtr, a Lord of Muspelheim, land of flame, who’s famous in the Nine Worlds for his flaming sword and his tasty demon barbecue.

Oh, and there’s yet more angels! As it turns out, the head of the Tribunal, Selatcia, is actually a particularly malicious archangel named Uriah. (He's not really in this chapter, but they talk about him a lot.) Uriah is not only quite powerful all by himself, he is favored by Management, and thus has the ability to call upon the Legion - a bad ass army of angels - if anybody fucks with him. Uriah/Selatcia has of late decided that it makes his happy fun time to visit Mordhaus to torture Charles, who seems to be slowly breaking under the strain. Convinced that the Legion poses a threat, however, Charles has been desperately trying to keep this a secret, which means that now pretty much everybody knows, and despite the danger to them all, Nathan and Raziel in particular are itching to get Uriah’s ugly-ass angel head on a pike.

A note on the languages: when people cross over to Valhalla, everyone speaks and understands the gods’ language there. Don’t ask - IT'S MAGIC. Charles and Raziel sometimes bicker in High Angelic. There’s no particular reason for this, other than almost no one but very high ranked angels speaks this language, and angels by nature just tend to be sneaky bastards. Or did you think angels floated around and played harps all day?


PART 1 of 2

Ofdensen lowered himself into the chair at the head of the meeting room desk. “So, guys….” He began.

“Dudes, we need to go to VALHALLA,” Nathan exploded.

Ofdensen sighed softly.

“What’sch in Valhalla?” Murderface asked warily.

“Hot chicks and demon barbecue.”

“Sign me up,” Pickles agreed.

“Ams it where Skwisgaar’s family lives?” Toki asked suspiciously.

“Yeah. Skwisgaar’s dad is AWESOME, and Skwisgaar’s stepmom is KIND OF HOT.”

“I’ve scheen her. Sche’s not asch hot asch Schkwisgaar’s mom,” Murderface said, carving his initials in the conference table with a large knife.

“Don’t talk about my moms that way!” Skwisgaar growled, striking and angry chord on his Gibson.

"Admit it, Skwisgaar, she's kind of HOT!” Nathan declared.

"What, his mom?" Murderface asked.

"No douche bag, his stepmom."

“Ew, Nathan, did you do Skwisgaar’s stepmom?” Pickles asked.

“She’s not my stepmom!” Skwisgaar persisted.

“NOOOO!” Nathan protested. “She’s got a boyfriend.”

“Skwisgaar’s stepmom has got a boyfriend? Who?” Pickles asked.

“Skwisgaar’s dad.”


“Wait, Pickles, what’s wrong with Skwisgaar’s stepmom dating Skwisgaar’s dad?” Nathan asked.

“Because… Huh. Oh, yeah, I guess yer right.”

"And, this chick has a sword! ALL the chicks there have swords! That's hot." Nathan sat back, as if the debate were over and won.

"I dunno, dude, what if she goes after you with the sword?" Pickles asked.

"Oh. Huh. I guess didn't think of that," Nathan admitted.

"But, what if you has a sword too!" Toki asked.

"Toki's right! Then you could duel. It would be AWESOME!” Nathan averred.

"If my girlfriend had a schword, I'd usche my gun," Murderface stated.

"Well, dat's obviously why you don't have a girlfriend," Pickles snarked.

"Guys, I don't suppose there's any possible way we could get back on topic?" Ofdensen asked a bit wistfully.

"Nope, dude, realistically, I don’t see it," Pickles told him.

"I didn't think so."

"All right,” declared Nathan, rising, “it's decided, we'll all go to Valhalla and visit Skwisgaar's dad, and this time we'll all get swords in case Skwisgaar's stepmom comes after us."



"She's not my stepmom!"

"I'm bringing my gun."

And they were gone.

Ofdensen put his head down on the conference table and wondered how his day could possibly get any worse. As if in answer, his Dethphone rang. He picked it up. “Hello. Where are you? Yeah? How the fuck do you get cell reception in Valhalla? Yeah they just…. They literally just decided to visit about 5 seconds ago, how did you find about this? No, I am absolutely not planning on coming along. Well. Well, they’ve reduced this place to a smoking ruin before, get used to it. What the fuck is Bangalore Fashion Week? You are making that shit up. No, I’m not going to Google it. No, if you’re not there, I am definitely not going either. Yes, this is something called mutually assured destruction. Well, I have been called worse. Yes, much worse. Yes, even worse than that. Well. Well, you know there are…. There are a lot of women who would pay to be sexually harassed by Nathan Explosion. No, you may not kill him. No, you may not wound him. Yes, Nathan needs BOTH legs to perform. OK. OK! I will be there. No, you absolutely may not go to Bangalore Fashion Week. Because…. Because frankly, if I’m going to be fucking miserable, so are you, Raziel! Yeah, well. Yeah. Tell Wotan you’re welcome for the Scotch. Yeah. OK. Yes, even worse than that! OK. Bye.”

OK. Now it wasn’t just a miserable day, it would be an entire weekend of misery. Lovely.

Ofdensen tried and failed to get up out of the chair. He paused, gathered himself and, using both arms to push up on the table, managed to get somewhat unsteadily to his feet. He thought about his desk, and the bottle of yellow Percocet tablets in the top drawer.

“Did you need a hand?” He nearly lost his balance turning around. Toki was standing in the doorway, looking moody. And the day continued to get worse.

“No. I’m fine.” He kept one hand on the back of his chair. “What did you want?”

Toki looked miserable. Toki was pretty much always miserable about some fucking thing.

“The guys are sayin’ I’m gonna get eaten by a demon in Valhalla.”

“Toki, you’re not…. You’re not gonna get eaten by a demon.” Seeing the Norwegian continuing to pout, he continued. “I am going along. I will personally guarantee you will not be harmed in any way.” He took a step, and missed his footing. He started. Toki, though still looking depressed, had caught him and was quietly holding him under one arm. He kept forgetting the kid was stronger than he looked.

“Which way are you goin’?” Toki asked quietly.

“My office.” They started off in that direction.

Ofdensen decided talking was less awkward than not talking. “Look they…. They have lots of guys with swords there….”

“And women?”

“Yes, they have tons of guys and women with swords in Valhalla. You’ll be fine.”

“Will Toki get a sword too?”

“Yes, we’ll get them to give you a big fucking sword.” The guitarist seemed to brighten on this. Yes, Toki with a sword. Big disastrous fucking weekend from hell. Or from Hel.

“Look, if anybody gets eaten this weekend,” Ofdensen told him, “it’ll probably be William.” This evoked a mean-spirited grin. OK, not a good long-term strategy for band management, but if it worked to get him to his stash of painkillers, he was good with that.

They were standing at his office door. Hallelujah.

“You’ll be OK. You’ll be fine,” he repeated to Toki, as the guitarist released him from his death grip.

“You’ll be OK too?” Toki asked, a bit hesitantly.

“I’m OK, I’m fine, I’m great.”

Toki finally departed, albeit looking a bit bemused.

Ofdensen stumbled for his desk, for the top drawer. His hands shook on the pill bottle. His body would feel better once they got to Asgard, for that was the nature of the place. The thought was of some comfort. Of course, that also meant Raziel had been correct and the outing would do him some good, which was almost as annoying as the pain. Between Raziel and Uriah….

He stopped himself. He needed to keep those two apart. Even in his thoughts.

Murderface was not feeling it.

Murderface was not Pickles. He did not like finding himself in a place he had no memory of traveling to. He liked places you could drive to in your car, or fly to in your helicopter, or ride to in your Dethtrain, as those were also places you could leave via the same transportation. Also, it had been at least five minutes, and he had yet to spot a hot chick at Valhalla.

A man only had so much patience.

And the other individuals they'd encountered so far? They were like freaks out of one of Pickles' delusions. Well, Skwisgaar's dad seemed OK, for a foreign dude. He didn't talk like a freak, like Skwisgaar at least. Come to think of it, why did Skwisgaar suddenly stop sounding like an asshole? He still sounded like a dipshit, mind you, but he didn't have that ridiculous accent.

But then there was Shiva, that creepy blue guy with about 16 arms who seemed to be Nathan's new best friend, and Shiva’s buddy Ganesh who no one else seemed to notice had the head of a fucking elephant. Were his bandmates all completely stupid? Well, probably.

At least the black demon dude Surtr looked pretty brutal, though the guy he swore smelled like he was actually on fire.

And everywhere there were birds flying over your head, like in that old movie with that really hot blond chick who wasn't Grace Kelly. And there were big fucking monster dogs like this one running up to him right now....

Nathan snickered. Five minutes in Valhalla, and things were already AWESOME. His new buddy Wotan, the king dude, had asked Nathan to lead Pickles, Toki and Murderface to their rooms, and then the wolf had charged Murderface. Wait until they introduced Murderface to those dragons, he thought.

“Freki!” somebody yelled. It was Skwisgaar’s hot stepmom. She was supposed to be some kind of army buddy or something of Ofdensen’s, although Nathan was a bit sketchy on the particulars. She was a short, dark-haired woman, who appeared to be somewhere around 30 years old. In reality, she was an angel – a rare female Seraph in fact – and by far the oldest being currently in residence at Valhalla, though it annoyed her to be reminded of this fact. She was now using a well-manicured finger to tip down a pair of oversized sunglasses and thus stare down a hapless wolf.

Freki! That’s a bad doggie! That’s not how we treat our guests, getting muddy paws all over them!” She was babbling a mile a minute in some sort of language or something. The enormous wolf, seeming abashed, gingerly rose up off of Murderface and then hung his head in front of her. “You! Get downstairs at once! Wait until I tell your daddy about you!” The wolf slunk off, tail between his legs.

Skwisgaar’s stepmom stuck out a small perfectly manicured hand and offered it to the still dazed Murderface. He took it and, oddly enough, as he was much bigger than the girl, she easily yanked him back to a standing position.

“I am so terribly sorry,” she said, now in a language they could understand. “The All-Father’s wolves sometimes get a little boisterous when we have company.”

“That was a wolf?” Toki asked her.

“You speak Swedish?” she asked him.

“Uh, Norwegian?”

“Close enough. Wolves aren’t like ravens,” she nodded to the bird perched on her shoulder. “They’re kind of dumb. They don’t understand our language too well. But if you speak to them in the Swedish, they’ll mind you, OK?”

Toki nodded.

“Sorry I don’t have time for formal introductions right now. You’re…”


“Toki. OK. I’m Raziel, but you can call me….”


She paused. As someone with a difficult name, Raziel was used to hearing just about every permutation but the correct one. She was a bit vain, naturally, being an angel, and thought her name, when rendered correctly, to be quite pretty. Hearing an attractive young man pronounce it perfectly caused her to smile at him. And it was not any smile. It was a full 100-watt angel smile. There’s a lot about angels that is simply not anything near what it’s cracked up to be, but when they smile, it can be quite nice.

Nathan decided at this moment that he would certainly murder Toki and bury him deep in the back yard.

“So, you guys head that way, your quarters are there, and there’s servants everywhere. Ask them and they’ll get you anything you need, OK?” She nodded to them and hurried away.

“Toki, what the fuck are you doing, flirting with Skwisgaar’s stepmom like that!” Nathan scolded.

“What?” Toki asked, still a bit dazed from the angel smile. He frowned. He suddenly found himself wondering what would happen if he asked the wolves in Norwegian to eat Nathan Explosion.

They had put away a considerable amount of Wotan’s beer reserves when the god emerged in one of Valhalla’s large common areas. Wotan was a tall, good-looking man with closely cropped reddish blond hair and beard. If he been a human, which he definitely wasn’t, he might have been about 50 years old. Shiva’s dutiful son, Ganesh, was at Wotan’s side. The elephant-headed god carried a small pad of paper and a pencil.

“Now, my friends, we prepare for the weekend’s activities,” the god declared. “You must answer one highly important question for our friend, Ganesh: skier or snowboarder”

“I’m a boarder!” Pickles answered immediately.

“Me too,” agreed Toki.

“I ski,” Skwisgaar sneered, more at Toki than Ganesh. Toki glared back at him.

“Ski,” Ofdensen said quietly.

“What?” asked Murderface.

“Shiva is a shredder!” announced the four-armed god, holding up a beer. “For Shiva is the most bodacious of gods.”

“What about you, Nathan?” Wotan inquired of the lead singer.

“I ski,” Nathan said, though perhaps not as confidently as was the norm for the singer.

“That’s SPLENDID!” Wotan boomed, planting himself in a comfortable chair beside the singer. “Skiing is the proper occupation of men! It is demanding, and precise! One skis a mountain like one prepares for war, with one objective: victory.”

“Dude,” Nathan said in his best imitation of a whisper, leaning over towards Skwisgaar, “Your dad is kind of INTENSE.”

“Now, snowboarding,” the god continued, his eyes drifting to Raziel, who had quietly perched herself on the broad arm of his chair, “Snowboarding is an amusement more suited for … impertinent rapscallions!” At this last she grinned broadly at him.

The motley and somewhat hung over group gathered the next morning at the Valhalla train station.

“A train?” gawped Nathan.

“It’s a Maglev!” Wotan explained with pride. “The very same designers who did the Shanghai line! We had a bit of extra money coming in from the oil fields the last fiscal quarter, so we decided to have this built to the chalet. I don’t trust those Germans, but they construct fantastic transport. At its maximum, it travels 600 km per hour!”

Nathan whistled softly. He wasn’t exactly certain what a kilometer was, but that sounded pretty fucking fast. And probably a bit more comfortable than sitting your ass on a horse for miles and miles.

Ofdensen had tried to quietly slip away from that section of the platform just about when he’d seen Nathan’s eyes light up at Wotan’s description of his Maglev. Mordhaus, he had decided, definitely did not need a bullet train system any time soon. But you could try explaining that to Nathan. Ofdensen nearly bumped into Raziel, who was busily directing porters in the appropriate handling of her steamer trunk.

“Raziel? You have an entire fucking steamer trunk? For a ski weekend?” He customarily spoke to Raziel in High Angelic, as it was his favored language for snarky remarks.

“Don’t humans customarily pack this sort of luggage when they depart on a romantic train voyage?”

“Only if they’re leaving for three months. And it’s still the year 1930!”

“Oh! That was a particularly stylish era!”
she said approvingly. “I wonder if I still have time to go change my outfit? This is more evocative mid-Twentieth Century, wouldn’t you say?” she asked, indicating her dress.

“What I would say? What I would say is, I am not here, and I am not having this conversation.”

“You’re not here? Then where are you? I didn’t think you ever quite mastered omnipresence.”

“I did…. I did quite well at omnipresence, thank you! I simply find it to be distracting if you’re talking about anything less ridiculous than fashion.”

“Well, sorry you’re feeling scattered. Don’t worry, maybe the fresh mountain air will revive you.”

As if in answer – in fact, completely in answer – Ofdensen lit a cigarette.

“Shiva seeks the non-smoking car!” the blue god announced. Ofdensen glared as Shiva strode by. He smelled brimstone, and turned around. Surtr was standing behind him, grinning blackly. As, all of the black Lord of Muspelheim’s pointed teeth were also black.

“The ssssssssmoking car, my friend?” asked the Lord of the Muspelheim.

“Sounds good,” Ofdensen grinned.

Wotan was striding down the platform, urging his guests onto the train. He grabbed Ofdensen by the shoulder and whispered, “Smoking car? I’ll be down later. With cigars.”

So. Sharing a train compartment with a lord of fire and some of All-Father’s cigars? Perhaps the weekend would have certain elements that were not completely horrible.

Gods and men and angels and wolves and ravens all emerged a few cigars and several whiskeys and not a few beers later at Wotan’s mountain chalet in the icy realm of Niflheim.

“It’s is a bit old fashioned,” Wotan apologized, “but I trust you will all be comfortable. If you would all like to change into your gear, we can hit the slopes. By special request, there will be a barbecue of the finest fresh-slaughtered demon tonight courtesy Lord Surtr of Muspelheim,” he clapped the black god on the back. The black god grinned blackly.

“Why don’t we have our own mountain chalet?” Nathan demanded of Ofdensen, who, annoyingly, rolled his eyes and ignored Nathan.

Nathan lingered at the station for a moment. It seemed unnaturally quiet here. There were a lot of porters and staff busy ferrying luggage. But not only didn’t any of them seem to be talking, they didn’t seem to make any noise when they walked or moved.

It was sort of cool, actually. He wondered if Wotan could teach that trick to the Klokateers.

Ofdensen did a double take as he saw Raziel emerge from Wotan’s chalet gripping a snowboard. She was dressed in…. Well, to put it simply, he would have had a difficult time imagining Princess Grace of Monaco skiing in that particular outfit.

“I would have actually laid down money that you were a skier,” he told her.

“Actually, I’ve never attempted either sport before! But the boarding gear was clearly superior in every way. This ensemble is so fashion forward!”

“Jeans with rips in them? Are fashion forward?”

“They’re not ripped! They’re distressed!”

“You do realize that snowboarding is an athletic endeavor that requires practice and skill?”

“Yes! Plus, it’s so very chic! Look how the patterns on the snowboard wittily comment on the piping on the jacket!”

“I’m certain you’ll look very fashionable falling on your ass all day.”

“I thought you said we could talk their language here,” Nathan asked Skwisgaar, who was beside him waiting for the lift. He inclined his head towards Ofdensen and Raziel. “What the fuck are they saying?”

“Eh,” Skwisgaar sniffed, knocking some ice off his boots, “They have some kind of secret language.”

Nathan squinted at them. “Whoa. You mean he can be an asshole in more than one language?”

Toki and Pickles, both holding snowboards, wandered over to where Ofdensen and Skwisgaar’s hot stepmom were conversing. Nathan watched her teasingly grab at Toki’s hat, and all of them start to laugh. He really was going to have to murder Toki.

William Murderface slid gingerly out to where the knot of people was talking. He almost took a header right as he reached them, but Skwisgaar’s small stepmom quickly reached out to steady him.

“This totally schucks,” he growled.

“You’ll be fine, dude,” Pickles assured him. “I’m totally rusty.”

“And you’ve probably never boarded sober before,” Toki laughed.

“Yeah, that too!” Pickles agreed cheerily.

“It’ll be great, Murderface,” Toki’s stepmom told him. “I’ve never skied before either! We’ll probably all be in casts at the end of the day, and we can tell stories about how we broke our legs!”

“I don’t wanna break my fucking leg,” Murderface pouted.

“Shiva is ready to shred!” the four-armed blue god declared as he and Ganesh joined the group. “Have we sufficient preparation to get gnarly on the pipe?”

“Shiva dude, I think Murderface wants to check out,” Pickles laughed.

“Shiva will assist you, William Murderface, bassist of Dethklok” the god supplied helpfully. “Ganesh! Escort William Murderface to the bunny slope, for some instruction!”

“Certainly, Father,” the elephant-headed god answered courteously. He gripped Murderface under the arm, and carefully walked with the sputtering bass guitarist down the snowy hill.

Toki felt his religious upbringing was not adequate for this.

He had been raised by parents who believed that not only did God exist, but that He was a serious asshole.

When he had at last freed himself from their influence, Toki had come to an uneasy agreement with his older band mate, Skwisgaar, that the universe was basically a meaningless and largely pointless affair.

Now, he realized, not only did every single supernatural being, from gods to angels to demons to strange four-armed blue creatures who kept demanding his autograph and of whose role in the pantheon he wasn’t exactly certain – not only did every single one really exist, and not only did several number themselves among his friends and colleagues – but in addition, it appeared that they all found it conducive to spend their weekends all on a ski trip together.

Thus it happened that Toki Wartooth had taken it upon himself to demonstrate some elements goofy style snowboarding to an angel. The angel in question drank beer and used the F-word freely, and in addition appeared to be dating a man who was actually a pagan god, but nevertheless, he had been assured she was a real and true angel. When she hit a patch of ice on the mogul, she had biffed in such a spectacular fashion that Toki was sure she must have landed in no less than five separate pieces.

Toki wondered what the punishment might be for killing an angel.

He hastened over to where what’s left of her might have landed. He hovered over her supine, apparently lifeless remains. But, suddenly, her dark eyes opened. She sat up, gripped his hands, and pulled herself upright.

“Oh my god that was the greatest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life can we try it again? PLEASE?”

Well, he could hardly say no.

Nathan Explosion was having a not particularly awesome day.

He had downhill skied before, of course, but on the relatively gentle slopes of the eastern United States. He had never really tried mountain runs before, and to be frank, that Wotan dude had them out on these batshit slopes that, in the real world, would probably be double diamond runs at least. Or maybe better termed, a fucking cliff.

It was not terribly disturbing to Nathan that Wotan could take these runs with no apparent difficulty. After all, he was the king dude, and this was pretty much his personal private terrain. It was slightly more annoying that Skwisgaar Skwigelf had evidently spent what time in his youth that he was neither practicing guitar nor fucking women (which, admittedly, must have been somewhat limited) perfecting his downhill technique. As it turned out, he was not only an accomplished skier; he was one of those assholes who fucking made it look easy.

But what really fucking rankled was that, half the time, Ofdensen would knock off the runs without even bothering to put out his fucking cigarette. Really, Nathan didn’t really wish ill on the guy, but would it be too much to ask for just a couple of spectacular wipeouts with maybe a broken leg or two?

Speaking of which, Nathan could now smell the cigarette smoke as he himself lay, sprawled in the snow, after completely blowing a turn. He saw the proffered hand, and his humiliation was pretty much complete when he took it and found himself yanked efficiently upright by the much smaller man.

“Anything broken?”

Nathan simply growled in reply, brushing the snow off.

Wotan skidded up to them. “I saw you on that corner, Nathan. You know, you might consider using Telemark skis.”

“Oh, he doesn’t wanna use Telemark on downhill,” Ofdensen scoffed. Which led of course to an INCREDIBLY BORING interchange between the two of them regarding how you put your goddam ski boots on your fucking skis. And then of course Skwisgaar skidded up and the traitorous Swede actually seemed interested in this tedious stuff.

“Look,” Nathan tried, “It’s only skiing.”

“ONLY SKIING, Nathan Explosion!” Wotan exclaimed. Uh-oh, Nathan thought. “SKIING IS THE ONLY THING! Each time you go out, think upon it like you go to war! It’s you, or it’s the mountain! Only one can win! Will you let the mountain defeat you defeat you this day?”

“Yeah, but…” Nathan sputtered.

“Nathan Explosion, are you not in your own world a musician of some repute?”

“Uh, yeah?”

“And, you are considered leader of The Dethklok?”

“I am their fucking leader.”

“And, if the music they produce is not to your liking, how do you procede?”


“Heh,” snorted Skwisgaar. “If it’s not brutal enough, he fucking deletes it. Everything! Even if we’ve spent the last 5 years recording it.”

“Did you find this ski run to be of adequate brutality, Nathan Explosion?” Wotan demanded.

“Well, of course not, I fucking wiped out, but….”

And with that, Wotan smiled and sped off.

Well, thought Nathan, at least he’d headed off a three-hour discussion on ski boots. “Dude,” he told Skwisgaar, “Your dad….”

Skwisgaar snorted and took off as well.

Nathan turned around to face his only remaining companion. Ofdensen had evidently finished up one cigarette, and was pausing to light another. Fucking dude already smoked too much, Nathan thought, but lately he seemed to live on those fucking things.

“So, you gonna be able to get those comp tickets for that Shiva dude?”



“Nathan, I know the guy. Believe me, you don’t wanna start getting comp tickets for Shiva.”

“Why the fuck not?”

“Because you end up with a fucking party of 60! Shiva’s a freeloader.”

“But, he helped me kill a fire demon!”

“Nathan, we get comp tickets for everybody who kills a demon in Valhalla, you guys are gonna have to spend the next six months of your lives doing free concerts. Killing demons is the national sport here! It’s like golf! Is that what you wanna do?”

“It’s like golf?”


“Well, have YOU killed a demon?”

“Yes, Nathan, I have killed a demon.”

“Have you killed MORE than one demon?”

“Yes, Nathan, I have killed MANY fucking demons.”

“Have you killed more demons than Skwisgaar’s stepmom?”

Ofdensen paused. And scowled. And tossed away his half-smoked cigarette and skied off.

Really, the day wasn’t going so bad, Pickles thought. That Shiva dude was a bit of a show off – after all, he had two extra arms to do all his stunts, of course he was good. He had been a bit surprised by how skillful Toki was, but then again, the dude was from whatever the fuck country in Scandiwhatever, where you probably emerged from the womb mounted on a board. And the angel girl wasn’t as horrible as Skwisgaar apparently wanted everyone to believe, plus she seemed to be getting the knack of riding a board pretty quickly, so she wasn’t holding them back too badly. And anyway it was pretty fucking hilarious to see Toki totally freak when she wiped out, like he thought a giant fucking lightning bolt was gonna strike him down for murdering a fucking angel girl or something.

The one thing that nagged him was that he was a bit too sober to be boarding. Actually, he was quite a bit too sober, period. He was surprised he could stand upright, given the lack of psychoactive chemicals currently coursing through his bloodstream. Fresh mountain air, yeah, but a body could only take so much.

“We’re gonnq go check on the skiers. You wanna come along?” Toki asked him. Pickles looked up at Raziel who was hanging on to her board and sort of bouncing up and down.

“She totally wants to show off for her boyfriend,” the redheaded drummer laughed.

“Yeah. Probably. But I thought maybe we could laugh at Skwisgaar falling on his ass.”

“I dunno, dude. I think I’ll hang here, try some more moguls.”

“OK. We’ll be back later.”

Pickles waited until Toki and Raziel were nearly out of sight, then he sidled over to Shiva.

“Hey, blue dude,” the drummer said.

“Yes?” asked Shiva.

“Um, are you holding dude?”

The blue god grinned widely. “What did you require, Pickles the Drummer?”

William Murderface had spent the majority of the past several hours lying uncomfortably in the snow.

There was probably something redeeming about skiing. But, he couldn’t think of it.

“What is wrong, William Murderface?” asked the weird elephant-headed dude.

“I thought this vacation was gonna be about scoring hot chicks, not lying on my ass in the fucking snow.”

Ganesh paused. “You wish to meet women, William Murderface of Dethklok?” he asked.

Ofdensen had stopped off to the side of the run for a smoke. And, quite frankly, to watch Wotan ski.

Ofdensen had seen champion skiers, up to and including Olympic medalist, take a mountain before. The Norse god was of course far beyond the capabilities of any mere human skier, including the most talented. And, he obviously knew the course like it was part of his body. He had, in all probability, been going down that same mountain since there had been a mountain.

What was most striking, however, was that Ofdensen had never in his lifetime, which was long one, seen a more aggressive skier. There was no clock running, and no medal at stake, but the man was out there carving turns as if the very devil were at his back. It was dazzling.

And Raziel, who, he reminded himself, had learned to snowboard only a few hours ago, was gliding down at about the same pace, taking a bit of a longer path to correct for his speed, hovering around like one of his ravens, and above all making it look lazy and effortless at a pace that most probably would have ended up in death or injury for any human foolish enough to attempt such a course. She wove in and out of his path, without ever getting in Wotan’s way, as if they had spent a lifetime, or really several lifetimes, together like this.

Ofdensen couldn’t decide whether to be impressed or worried. Those two…. This was unexpected.

He heard a scoff. Nathan and Skwisgaar had just come up behind him.

“I wish they wouldn’t do that,” Skwisgaar groused, kicking his boots together.

Ofdensen decided to be persnickety. “Do what? Ski?”

“Dude, you shouldn’t be so down on your stepmom!” Nathan protested.

“Quit fucking calling her my stepmom! Anyway. You just like her ‘cause you wanna fuck her.”

“So? When has that not been a reason to like a chick?” Nathan noted.

“Seriously, Skwisgaar-“ Ofdensen began.

“You don’t like her either!” Skwisgaar protested.

“Yeah, but I don’t like her for the right reasons.”

“She’s evil!” Skwisgaar said.

“Nah, just annoying,” said Ofdensen.

“And HOT! And that TOTALLY trumps evil and annoying!”

Wotan and Raziel had long since reached the bottom of the piste, and, judging from their gesturing, were evidently having some kind of animated discussion about it. Toki, who had been standing near the bottom of the run, had just shyly come over to join the discussion. Raziel grabbed him by an arm and pulled him over, gesturing towards him and talking to Wotan. She was obviously giving him full credit as her snowboarding instructor. The god responded by slapping Toki on the back so heartily Toki nearly lost his balance.

Nathan and Skwisgaar both suddenly grew silent.

“I’m heading down there,” Nathan growled.

“Yeah me too,” Skwisgaar muttered.

And they were off.

Ofdensen grinned, enjoying the brief moment of peace brought on by jealousy and rancor.

Raziel and Toki had headed back to join the boarders. They now glided over to where Pickles lay sprawled in the snow.

“Whoa, did he wipe out?” Toki asked Shiva, who was standing by with a slightly guilty look.

Raziel snapped her fingers in front of the babbling drummer. “What, me worry?” he muttered.

“Uh, Shiva, did you give him something?”

“He assured me he urgently needed to contact his immediate ancestors,” the blue god grinned.

“SHIVA!” Raziel shouted.

“He wanted to get high?” Toki said.

“Well, that too,” Shiva admitted.

“Gah, I can’t bring him back to the chalet like this,” Raziel fretted.

“Do not worry, it will wear off in time,” Shiva assured them.

“How much time?”

“Typically, anywhere from three to six months!” the blue god assured her. He grabbed his board and bailed.

She sat down next to the blithering Pickles and looked dejected.

“Portrzebie!” the drummer announced.

“I am a dead woman,” she moaned.

“Aw, I’ve seen him worse,” Toki consoled her.


“For him? This is coherent!”

“Veeblefetzer!” said Pickles.

“Aw, you’re just trying to make me feel like I’m not gonna get my heart ripped from my body and stuck on Surtr’s barbecue,” she sighed.

“Seriously,” Toki asked, “would Charles do that to you?”

“Well,” she said, “If something happened to one of you guys? Let’s just say, I wouldn’t wanna find out.”

“You’ve known him a long time, yeah?” Toki sat down next to her.

“Yeah. We used to work together. But, that was a long time ago.”

“You know,” said Toki, “my folks were pretty religious.”

“Oh. Oh! I’m sorry.”

“Could I ask…?”

“Look, you can ask me anything, but I think you’ll be disappointed by my answers. I worked for them, but I was mostly an enforcer. Like, a soldier? So, I didn’t really understand why they did what they did. It was all kind of over my head.”

Toki gripped his snowboard. “I just wanted to know…. I mean…. You’ve seen Him?”

“You mean Our Father? Yeah. Yeah. For a while, He was sort of working on…. It was like He was writing His autobiography? And I was picked to help Him with that. So, I was with Him like every day.”

“Wow. But, wait, I thought you said you were a soldier?”

“Yeah. Remember what I said about not understanding why the fuck they’d do what they did? It would drive you crazy. I think maybe it was supposed to be a big honor? Or maybe, well, there weren’t many girls who were as high up as I was, so I suppose when they needed a secretary….” She trailed off, rolling her eyes.

“What’s He like?” Toki persisted.

“Well, He could be really annoying.”

“How do you mean, annoying?”

“OK, well, here’s one thing that just used to make me crazy. He’d bring me into His presence, and He was painting, right? Because at some point He had decided He was a painter.”


“So, He’d call me into his studio. And, well, that place was so fucking tacky! Gold this and silver that and platinum the other! How anybody could paint with all the glitter, I don’t know.”

“And what happened then?”

Raziel sighed. “Well, inevitably, at some point, He’d turn around His canvas,” she mimed someone dramatically turning an easel, “and He’d ask what I thought.”

They were silent for a while. Finally, Toki asked, “So, how was that annoying?”

“THERE WAS NEVER ANYTHING ON THE FUCKING CANVAS!” she shouted. Toki flinched. They listened to the soft echo of her voice as it bounced off a mountain. “It was always blank. ALWAYS BLANK! And, I’m so stupid; I never know what I’m supposed to say.”

“What did you say?”

“I’d say it’s blank, Father, what do you want me to say? Fucking paint something and I’ll tell you what! I mean, I didn’t actually say ‘fuck’ in front of Him.” She looked at Toki. “Look, I’m sorry, I know this isn’t what you wanted to hear.”

“No,” he answered. “It’s actually about what I figured.”


There was a rustling behind them. Raziel leapt up instantly, drawing a sword. Toki regarded her. He hadn’t seen the sword a moment ago.

“Damn. I didn’t think there were supposed to be ice demons out today,” she said.

“Oh. I don’t think it was a demon.”


Toki pointed. There was some kind of reddish, multi-armed creature oozing along the banks of a frozen river.

“Um, sometimes when he gets like this, Pickles goes wandering as a spirit animal.”

“What? You’re kidding!” She waved her hands in front of Pickles’ face. “Huh. You know, he does kind of seem like his soul has gone away.” She looked at Toki. “That’s impressive, you know. Pretty advanced.”

“Yeah, well, he’s a pretty advanced stoner I guess.”

She laughed. “I suppose we should probably get him in before he freezes. What’s left of him, I mean.”

The chalet included a small nightclub.

Ganesh now owned the dance floor.

Though Ganesh was not the finest dancer in his family – that title went to his father, who was not by coincidence known as Lord of Dance - he could hold his own. The dance was intricate. And as it gathered steam, it only became more intricate, faster, and more frenetic.

Every single female at the chalet was out there with him. Or so it seemed.

Those who weren’t dancing, who had tired, or needed a moment, were gathered at a table. Around a very happy William Murderface.

“Wow!” said Raziel.

Wowee!” repeated Toki. They had just dragged the still incoherent Pickles in from the mountain.

“What’s going on here?” Ofdensen asked them. Raziel jumped. She hadn’t noticed him lurking in the dark.

“Uh,” said Raziel. Toki noticed she had turned even paler than usual as they let the woozy drummer collapse into a chair. “Shiva…. I mean….”

Ofdensen leaned over squinted into Pickles’ pupils. He shrugged. “Yeah, give him 90 minutes.”

“What? But, Shiva said it takes three months….”

“Like I said, 90 minutes. This is Pickles we’re talking about.”

“Uh, OK,” Raziel said. She pointed to the dance floor. “Uh, should we tell Murderface….”

“Tell him what?” Toki asked.

“Those girls….” Raziel began.

“Niflheim is the underworld here, Toki,” Ofdensen told him, flicking cigarette ashes.

Toki squinted at the crowd around Murderface. He noticed for the first time that the women never left the dance floor, nor William’s table. Instead, they seemed to fade out, and others would fade in. And they were all completely silent.

“You know Valhalla is where all the valiant warriors go? After they’re dead? This is where the rest of them end up,” Raziel told him.

“Oh,” said Toki. “That’s why everybody’s so quiet!”

“Yeah,” said Raziel. “Back at Valhalla, they give ‘em bodies, because they’re all supposed to be preparing for war. But here it’s just…. It’s just souls. You notice how all the workers and everybody is sort of misty?” She flickered her fingers like mist.

They stood silently for a moment.

“You know what I think?” Raziel said.

“What?” Toki asked.

“I think I’m gonna go get some of Surtr’s demon barbecue.”

“Ooo, yeah, that sounds good.”

Surtr presided proudly at the barbecue grill. His apron said, “KISSSSSS THE CHEF,” although it was difficult to tell, as it was printed in black, on a completely black apron.

“No. No, Nathan,” Ofdensen was saying, silently cursing for letting himself get cornered like this. “We have absolutely no need for a bullet train at Mordhaus.”

“We need a Maglev!” the lead singer protested.

“Where would it even go to?”

“I don’t know. Places!”

“You want to build a bullet train to nowhere? No!”

“And when are we gonna start digging the volcano!”

“We’re not gonna dig a volcano!”

“How the fuck can we have demon barbecue without a volcano?”

Ofdensen looked at his own barely eaten piece of demon meat and angrily tossed it into the bonfire. “We don’t need demon barbecue. We come from the real world where you can get real meat.”

“This is real meat!”

“That is something somebody tore off a monster.”

“Which makes it AWESOME!”

“Why are we even discussing this now?”

“Because you’re never fucking around anymore.”

“I am around all the time.”

“No! You’re either gone, or you’re locked in your office talking to that creepy dude!”

Ofdensen’s expression changed from a frown to an even darker frown. “What creepy guy?”

“Wotan says….”

“This is none of Wotan’s business,” Ofdensen said quietly.

Nathan’s expression darkened as well. “It’s my home. It’s my band. It’s my fucking business.”

“Maybe when you guys build your volcano, you can dunk the creepy guy in there,” said a female voice.

Nathan looked around. Raziel and Shiva were standing in back of him. Shiva was licking barbecue sauce off many, many fingers. Raziel burped, a bit more loudly than he would have expected for someone of her size.

“What?” he asked.

“You could throw the creepy guy in your volcano.”

Nathan considered. It was a pretty awesome idea, actually. “Would that kill him, you think?”

“Him? No. But it would be pretty amusing, don’t you think?”

“One might throw many things into a volcano, Nathan Explosion of the Dethklok!” Shiva enthused. “It is an efficient mechanism to destroy.”

“I know. EVERYBODY needs a volcano,” Raziel declared, helping herself to another rib.

Nathan spun around. “See, this is what I was trying to….” But Ofdensen had slipped away.

“Oh! I’ve got it! You could put a bullet train stop at the volcano!” Raziel pointed out, waving a rib at Nathan.

Nathan nodded enthusiastically. Whoa. Skwisgaar’s stepmom was hot and smart!

“But would one first excavate the volcano, or first construct the shinkansen system?” Shiva posited.

“Yes, that’s a great question!” Nathan commented. Finally, he thought, a meaningful conversation. Valhalla rocked.

Ofdensen stood on the balcony outside the chalet’s large common area smoking a cigarette.
He was feeling a bit queasy. He had eaten just enough of Surtr’s demon barbecue, he hoped, to appear polite. That was the problem with dining among mad hunters, he thought, no chance of getting a simple steak sliced from a creature that had spent its life placidly chewing crispy green grass on a picturesque farm. Instead, you were handed oddly prepared flesh ripped from some kind of beast who’d just been crawling in a swamp and probably ingesting grub worms, or something equally disgusting.

He noticed Surtr himself, along with Raziel, walking out into the snowy field behind the chalet. Surtr proceeded slowly. He seemed to have a bit of an aversion to snow, like a cat to rain puddles. He would gingerly step out a black foot, and wait for the heat of his body to evaporate the snow in the vicinity. When he was so unlucky as to brush the snow, he would shiver and nervously shake off like a wet dog.

Raziel had changed outfits for the barbecue, this time to something a bit more characteristic. It looked like she was dressed for après ski in some kind of 1960s spy film. Ofdensen had the horrified thought that some day he soon he would return to Valhalla only to learn the fortress had been transformed into one big walk in closet for this crazy woman’s couture.

When they reached a safe distance from the chalet, Raziel stood back and Surtr burned a small circular area clear of all snow. Raziel then watched while Surtr flourished his sword. Surtr famously wielded a flaming sword. In the twilight it actually looked very impressive. You could never see Surtr terribly clearly, no matter the light, but he had almost disappeared into the approaching night. All you could see was the dancing flame, and it’s reflection on Raziel’s ever-present oversized sunglasses.

A flaming sword was a fairly clichéd weapon among the elite. Raziel, he knew, brandished one in her True Form, as a hulking Seraph, but he had never seen her use the trick when she was in her smaller guise. Surtr, he suspected, was almost certainly using a different kind of magic to light his sword than the type the angels used. Indeed, when Surtr handed off his weapon to Raziel, and she started swinging it, he saw she was actually able to vary the intensity of the flame. Now, that was kind of cool. If the pagans were genuinely using different magic, he wondered how they might combine. He leaned forward. He speculated on how much magic it would take….

“Sariel, will you have a cigar?” It was Wotan’s booming voice, from inside. Ofdensen was off the balcony in seconds.

Some hours later, Wotan was holding forth at one of the chalet’s large tables when Raziel appeared before him. She looked flushed, as if she’d been standing next to a rather large bonfire.

She unceremoniously picked up Wotan’s beer mug and drained it. There appeared to be steam coming off her hair.

“Did you have a pleasant day on the slopes, my pet?” asked Wotan, rising and courteously extending his arm to his angel.

“It was hella crispy on the pipe!” she enthused, burping, her small hand taking his arm.

“Well, I have absolutely no idea what that means, but it sounds splendid,” the god averred, patting her hand. “I think we shall retire. Good night to you, gentlemen,” he said, and they departed together.

Ofdensen half rose. “Well I think I might…” was as far as he got before Nathan grabbed a shoulder and pulled him back down.

“No fucking way,” growled the lead singer. “If I’m gonna take those fucking triple diamond runs tomorrow totally hung over, then so are you.”

“I think my dad’s right, you should think of switching to Telemark,” Skwisgaar suggested, sipping his beer.

“Why would anyone use Telemark on alpine?” Ofdensen protested.

“It’s superior flexibility on turns….” Skwisgaar began.


“No discussing skiing? On a SKI TRIP?” Ofdensen asked, sounding annoyed.

“What the fuck do you wanna talk about, Nathan,” Skwisgaar sighed.

“I dunno,” Nathan admitted. “LET’S TALK ABOUT BROADS.”

Skwisgaar and Ofdensen looked at each other and then started laughing.

“OK, WHAT THE FUCK?” Nathan demanded.

“Nathan, the women here? Everyone here? Haven’t you noticed?” Ofdensen asked.

“Niflheim is the underworld, dude.” Skwisgaar chuckled.

Nathan’s brain clicked into gear. “Wait! So, all those women hanging around Murderface?”

“All dead souls, dude,” Skwisgaar laughed.

“Whoa,” said Nathan. “I wonder if he’ll even notice?”

Skwisgaar scoffed. “Not in a million billion years.”

“Dudes!” shouted Pickles, sitting down. “I just had the weirdest dream!”

Ofdensen checked his watch and smiled.

“I was off shredding with a blue insect dude and an angel!”

Just then, Shiva appeared at the table.

“How are you faring, Pickles the Drummer of the Dethklok?” he inquired.

“Whoa,” said Pickles.

“Toki!” Nathan shouted. “Why do you look like Pippi Fucking Longstocking?”

The guitarist grabbed one of his pigtails and grinned. “Oh, Raziel braided my hair so I’d look like a Viking.”

“Braided hair is for douches!” Nathan announced.

“What?” said Pickles.

“And you need to quit fucking flirting with Skwisgaar’s stepmom.”


“Why? So you can flirt with her Nathan?” Toki asked.

“EWWWW! Would that make Nathan Skwisgaar’s stepdad?” Pickles asked. And suddenly everyone was talking at once.

“I do not comprehend their conversation,” Shiva told Ofdensen, who held a finger to his lips as they departed the room together.

“Shhh!” the manager urged. “Usually if you stay quiet, it takes them at least a few minutes to realize you’ve escaped.”

End of Part 1

Date: 2011-04-10 06:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misdreya.livejournal.com
"Guys, I don't suppose there's any possible way we could get back on topic?" Ofdensen asked a bit wistfully.

"Nope, dude, realistically, I don’t see it," Pickles told him."


“Shiva is a shredder!” announced the four-armed god, holding up a beer. “For Shiva is the most bodacious of gods.”


Date: 2011-04-10 02:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tikific.livejournal.com
We haven't seen a lot of Shiva lately. I should bring him back. We see a *lot* of his family.

I think you probably saw, but in case not, I've backed all this up to a Dreamwidth account:


So, in case LJ ever gets funky when you're in the middle of a chapter (it kept dying on my yesterday), it oughta be over there. I just have to go through the index and point everything to the DW version.
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