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Title: Nathan the Destroyer
Author: tikistitch
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Nathan Explosion accompanies his pal Skwisgaar to Valhalla, and meets a big Dethklok fan there.
Warnings: Reference to het. F-word. AU. OC’s up the yin-yang. Graphic depiction of reading for pleasure.
Notes: Due to popular demand, I tried to make this one strange but with a bit of teh funnieh.



THE STORY SO FAR: This is a Metalocalypse AU I’ve been dabbling in. Don't think anyone else has any interest, but it's been more fun to write than to deal with this week's Ragnarok in My Basement. There are other bits of it lying around here and there, but this is really all you need to know to get up to speed: Skwisgaar has been trying to get to know his birth dad - Wotan, king of the Norse pantheon - mainly by visiting Valhalla in his dreams. Skwis is feeling a bit overwhelmed, as the world of legendary gods is even stranger in its way than Mordhaus. Ofdensen is a fallen angel. He evidently shot off his mouth about The Fall of Man and was booted out of The Host. He’s still a bit cranky over this, so don’t bring it up. The head of the Tribunal, Selatcia, is actually a particularly malicious and powerful archangel named Uriah. Uriah/Selatcia has of late decided that it amuses him to torture Charles.

The last time Skwisgaar and Charles showed up at Valhalla, they were annoyed to find a not-quite-fallen-yet angel, a Seraph named Raziel, had made herself at home in the Court, and more especially in Wotan’s bed. She appears to have a soft spot for Charles (this is not mutual, as Charles does not have any soft spots), but her exact motivations remain unclear. To Skwisgaar’s extreme displeasure, Raziel and his father, Wotan, seem to be genuinely googly-eyed over each other at the moment. It is all so un-metal.

BTW, Raziel sometimes refers to Charles as “Little Brother.” This is an honorific, that is, a title of respect. Angels, being sneaky, conniving bastards, refer to each other with affectionate-sounding titles. Or did you think angels were sweet and played harps all day long?



Nathan the Destroyer

The small woman sat impatiently flipping through Hello! in the waiting room at Mordhaus. Why, oh why, she thought, couldn't a group of beings who had obviously accumulated substantial amounts of wealth afford a simple subscription to Vogue Italia, or some kind of decent fashion periodical?

Though, she reflected, turning the page, it was never exactly a bad thing to come across a picture of the human celebrity George Clooney wearing a well-tailored suit. She wrote down the name of the designer in her iPhone and plotted to get her boyfriend fitted for something similar in the near future.

Raziel, despite her appearance as a small, fashionably dressed human woman, was an angel. To be specific, she was Seraphim, or a rather powerful breed. In her True Form, she towered over buildings, had three full sets of wings, the largest of which might loft a 747, and could set off earthquakes by simply taking a step. Her current boyfriend in his long existence had been known by many names, one of which was Wotan. He was a god. Not a Hollywood god, nor a rock god, but a real god, as in the chief of the Norse Pantheon.

And, she thought, he would cut quite the figure in a nice Cavalli pinstripe.

Angels, unfortunately, are prone to many foibles. Cherubim gossip like magpies, and the Seraphim tend towards arrogance. One rather minor quirk among The Host entire was an inclination towards fine luxury goods.

In Raziel's case, it manifested as an obsession with human high fashion. A far more common outcome was an overabundance of precious metals and jewelry festooning one's domicile. Though Raziel considered Mordhaus - or at least what she had seen of it - less offensive than a typical angelic dwelling place, she still rankled at the "too too much" aspect of the place. Although, she realized, wealthy humans had their foibles as well.

She was a bit ruffle-winged at having to bide her time in such a non-conducive environment. Had Raziel had her way, "tackiness" would certainly have been listed as an eighth deadly sin.

"Raz!" She looked up at the familiar voice.

"Hey, Skwisgaar," she said, making sure to smile at him. No one could accuse her of at least not trying.

To her surprise, he threw himself into the chair next to her and slouched by her side.

Well, she thought, it's a resentful teenage boy type of acknowledgment, but it beats simmering hatred.

"Have you seen him around? I wanted to try to get in a meeting," she asked him in Swedish. She meant the man he called Ofdensen, although she knew him by a different, older name.

"Haven't seen him. He disappears sometimes, these days. Uh, not like you disappear, I mean."

She had to laugh softly at this, and she noticed what might have been part of a smile on his face. She tried to avoid angelic tricks like disapparating when visiting the human world, but had no such compunctions when in the company of gods at Valhalla.

“Who the fuck is the Swedish chick?” It was the big guy who had been looming beside Skwisgaar.

“Ah, it’s my dad’s girlfriend,” Skwisgaar told him, in heavily accented English.

“Whoa. THAT’S your stepmom? She’s kinda hot, dude.”

She pushed down her oversized sunglasses and regarded the big guy carefully over them. Despite the rather impressive speaking voice, he definitely appeared to be a mortal being. “OK, first?” she declared. “I speak English. Second, I’m not his stepmom.”

“Yeah, dude, she’s definitely not my stepmom,” Skwisgaar agreed in his broken English. They looked at each other. At last, thought Raziel, a point of agreement between us.

“Nathan,” he said, indicating the big guy. “This is Raziel.”

“Rozzy…”

“Raz is fine.” She figured it was probably the closest this Nathan guy was going to get. Like a lot of people with difficult names, Raziel had long ago given up trying to change the world.

“Hey, she’s got a creepy bird like you do!” He pointed to the raven, Huginn, who was perched on Raziel’s shoulder, peering at Hello! celebrity photographs along with her.

“They’s not creepy birds,” Skwisgaar protested. “It’s a raven. From my dad.”

“Wait! He sent you Muninn?” she asked.

“Muninn?”

“Your father has two ravens, Huginn and Muninn. Huginn hangs with me now. Did Muninn come here?”

Skwisgaar shrugged. “Yeah, I guess so. I don’t know his name.”

“You didn’t ask?”

Skwisgaar looked at her like she was from the moon. Men, she thought. Humans or angels or gods or demons, it really didn’t matter.

She stood. “Hey, come on. I bet they’d like to see each other.”

“Uhhhh.” He remained sitting. “He’s in my room.”

“What?” she asked. Skwisgaar looked sheepish. “Let me guess. Your room is full of women?” She rolled her eyes. “Yeah, like I’ve never seen that before. Come on.” Skwisgaar reluctantly led her to his room, Nathan, to her vast annoyance, tagging along behind.

Skwisgaar’s room genuinely impressed her. It was the first tasteful space she had seen in this entire dwelling. She personally didn’t care for minimalism, but could appreciate the aesthetic. At least, Skwisgaar’s room had an aesthetic. There might be hope for the boy yet.

The tangles of groupies were impressive in their own way. Raziel had gathered that Skwisgaar was, in the human world, a wildly popular musician, and that as such, many human females wished to have sex with him. He was also, as it happened, a very good-looking man, and had had absolutely no problems in that regard when he had visited Asgard. But what was impressive in the current display was not just the sheer number of willing females, but the dizzying array of shapes, sizes, ages, racial groupings – to use a Swedish term, it was a veritable smorgasbord, a feast of women. She mused on this for a moment. While at Valhalla, she had noticed, he had not only bedded quite an impressive number of Valkyries, but also that girl with the limp who worked in the kitchen, and, she was pretty sure, one of the elderly washerwomen. He appeared to treat each as if he genuinely believed they were beautiful.

Something to think about. But maybe not right now.

The ravens, Huginn and Muninn, appeared glad to reunite. She fed them both seeds from her pocket.

“So, yours is named Muninn. I don’t know what he likes, but Huginn loves cake. You can try feeding him bits of stuff to see if he likes it. And you can tell him things, and he’ll go tell your dad for you.”

“No shit?” Nathan asked. He was still hanging around. And, to her slight annoyance, he seemed to be more interested in any of this than Skwisgaar.

She nodded. “Probably to understand the message back, he’ll have to talk to you in your dream.”

“I want a fucking magic raven!” Nathan declared.

“You know, your dad has been talking about you,” she told the Swede. “You should come for a visit. You could bring your, er, friend.” She hooked a finger at Nathan.

“I dunno,” Skwisgaar replied. “Is there gonna be another Hunt?”

“Nah! Just come and drink and play cards. Visit the Valkyries.”

“What are Valkyries?” Nathan asked.

“Women warriors. But, they might be too much for you, Nathan,” Skwisgaar laughed.

“What? Damn! When are we going?” Nathan demanded.

“I’ll talk to your dad?” she said to Skwisgaar, who nodded, if a bit reluctantly. They departed his room, and roamed down Mordhaus’s broad corridors.

“Well, I probably oughta get back. Damn. I really wanted to talk to Sar – um, I mean Charles today.”

“Like I said,” Skwisgaar told her, “he’s been hard to track down.”

“Yeah. Even for us,” Nathan agreed, "and he’s supposed to fucking work for us.”

“He’s been looking like crap,” Skwisgaar noted.

“That guy was here again,” Nathan growled. Raziel stopped and tipped down her oversized sunglasses. There was genuine menace in Nathan’s voice. This sounded interesting.

“’That guy?’” she asked.

“Nathan says he’s seen a guy,” Skwisgaar told her.

“He comes around,” Nathan said. “Late at night. I don’t like him.”

“You’ve actually seen him?” she asked.

“I-“ Nathan started. “I know when he’s here.” He sounded a little defensive.

“Can you describe him? Anything about him?” she pressed.

“He’s a big guy. I know that. And he sounds … wrong. Like he’s talking bullshit.”

“Big fat face?” she asked. “One that would look better with your fist in the middle of it?”

“That’s the guy!” Nathan shouted. “Wait. You know him?”

“Unfortunately, I think so,” she told him “I don’t like him.”

“I don’t like him either,” Nathan rumbled.

They stood in the hallway, sharing a touch of righteous fury. If Nathan didn’t like that one, she reflected, perhaps he wasn’t a complete oaf.

“Well,” she said finally, “I’m taking off. I’ll chat with your dad, OK, Skwisgaar?”

He nodded. “Yeah, I guess so.” But she was already gone. She rarely used angelic methods of transportation in the human world, but she had concluded Mordhaus wasn’t entirely part of the human world. And besides, she had a lot on her mind. If her Little Brother wouldn’t come to her soon, she decided, she would simply have to hunt him down, knock the little bastard over, and then stand with her Valentino boot crushing his neck until he told her what the fuck was going on.

She was family after all. She cared.



“Whoa,” said Nathan, who had just realized Skwisgaar’s hot stepmom had disappeared.

“She does that,” shrugged Skwisgaar.

“That’s pretty cool.”

“Ech,” said Skwisgaar.



Nathan was a bit confused. It was a pleasant confusion, but confusion nonetheless. They were walking out of the woods. But the thing was, he had utterly no memory of walking into the woods. Or, indeed, through the woods. Not that he was a great fan of all that nature shit. Unless you were going hunting. Hunting was cool. But, he didn’t have his shotgun, and he wasn’t dressed right, so he gathered he wasn’t on a hunting trip.

Skwisgaar, who was walking beside him, didn’t seem disoriented, so Nathan thought it would be best to act normal and not lame. He seemed to recall, now that he thought about it, though not too hard, that they were going to visit Skwisgaar’s dad. Nathan hoped that the women would be cute, like Skwisgaar’s stepmom, though Skwisgaar didn’t seem to like her too much. Though, it would be weird to think that your stepmom was cute. And, Skwisgaar kind of implied that the women wouldn’t look anything like his stepmom. Though, they would be cool.

Skwisgaar had that black bird riding on his shoulder. Like, he thought he was a priate or something nowadays. He seemed a little glum. Come to think of it, Skwisgaar had gone hunting when he was here before. Though, he didn’t seem to like to talk about it.

He saw up ahead what looked like the grounds to a castle. There was an old wall around the grounds. Two figures stood beside the heavy wooden gate, a large man Nathan didn't recognize, and Skwisgaar's much smaller stepmom. There were what looked like very big dogs standing with them. Nathan soon realized they were actually very big wolves.

The big guy stepped forward to grip Skwisgaar's hand.

"Father, this is Nathan," Skwisgaar said, as the wolves approached to nose Nathan.

Skwisgaar's dad gripped Nathan's hand in one of his big paws. He was a good looking guy, Nathan thought, taller even than Skwisgaar, and bigger than Nathan. He had close cropped hair and beard, a little redder than Skwisgaar's, and had the look of a guy who spent a lot of time outside.

"I am Wotan of Asgard! Any friend of my son's is most welcome at my court!" he said, slapping Nathan on the back. And he actually sounded like he meant it.

Wotan indicated Skwisgaar's stepmom. "You've met the Lady Raziel of the Seraphim?" She was wearing those big sunglasses again, even though it was cloudy outside, and had a scarf wrapped around her head. Nathan thought she sort of reminded him of one of the actresses on those old movies where he would yell at Pickles to change the fucking channel already because they were kind of gay.

Wotan and Raziel exchanged a long look. They didn't touch, but you could so totally tell from their body language that they were doing it. Nathan had to steal a glance at Skwisgaar, who looked mortified. This was pretty awesome, Nathan thought.

"We are awaiting another guest," Skwisgaar's dad said. Raziel pointed to the distance, and Nathan looked.

It appeared to be three mounted figures. But, only two of them rode horses. As they approached, Nathan could see that the one guy was riding a giant bull. He was a pretty impressive guy, too. He was wearing really outrageous colorful clothes. It was silky and flowing, and it was threaded with what looked like real gold.

He had blue skin.

"Is this like those creepy mime dudes?" Nathan whispered.

"It’s Shiva. He's a Hindu god," Raziel explained.

"Oh," said Nathan, wondering how this explained the blue. The guy drew close and then gracefully dismounted. Wotan strode over to greet him. Shiva had four arms, all of which were constantly in motion, one holding his reins while another grabbed a trident and another reached to shake Wotan's outstretched hand. Shiva also had a third eye in the middle of his forehead.

Nathan noted the other two dudes at this point. One guy, who was still mounted on his horse, looked like a man who had the head of an elephant.

"What's up with that elephant dude?" Nathan asked Raziel, as quietly as Nathan could manage.

"That's Shiva's son, Ganesh,” she whispered. “He used to have human head, only Shiva cut it off. It was sort of an accident. I wouldn't mention it. It's still a sore point with these guys."

Wotan and Shiva were now walking over to greet the others.

“I am Shiva, the Destroyer!" said the blue dude. He moved effortlessly, like a dancer.

“I am Nathan Explosion, er, of Dethkklok.

“It is my high honor to meet you, Nathan Explosion. I am a great fan of the deeds of the band, The Dethklok.”

“Whoa. Cool.” Nathan hadn’t heard of this dude, Shiva, but it was cool to meet a fan up here.

"And this is my son, Skwisgaar," Wotan said.

Shiva bowed low. "Skwisgaar, Odinsson," he said.

"He is also a member of The Detklok."

Shiva folded two blue hands, as if in prayer. "I am doubly honored! I highly esteem the music of The Dethklok. I play it on my iPod when I destroy."

"So," asked Nathan. "You have our CDs, er, where you come from?"

"Of course not. I have downloaded your catalog from the Internet," the god explained.

"You get MP3s?" Nathan asked, a bit irritated.

"Shiva does not listen to MP3s!" the god insisted, waving one finger while he also spread two arms out, "as they are far too lossy! Shiva downloads the music of The Dethklok only as high quality FLAC files!"

Shiva motioned with yet another arm to the mounted dude who was not an elephant. This one appeared to be a monkey. A man-sized monkey. Nathan noted, for Shiva’s party, this was actually pretty normal. But, anyway, the dude presented a brightly wrapped package.

"For you, Lady."

"Shiva, you really didn't need to..." Raziel said.

"It is my great pleasure to bring a gift suitable for the esteemed Lady of Valhalla."

She tore off the paper to reveal an intricately carved rectangular wooden box. "Oh, gosh, Shiva, you really shouldn't...." she began, in that way people talk when you really should have. She opened the lid. She gasped and actually set the big sunglasses all the way up on top of her head. Her eyes were very dark.

"This is.... This is gorgeous Shiva! I can't thank you enough."

The four-armed god bowed low.

Nathan was now dying of curiosity. Was it a scarf? Or shoes? It had to be some kind of girlie shit. Like maybe lingerie? That might be cool. He decided he kind of hoped it was sexy lingerie. Especially because that would probably drive Skwisgaar batshit.

She reached inside the box and extracted a saber. The blade was elegantly curled. The hilt was jewel-encrusted.

OK, this was not quite what Nathan had expected.

She excitedly sighted down the blade. It actually looked like it was way too big for her. Then she started excitedly hopping around and feinting and slicing the air with it, and he realized it was not too big after all.

"Oh my god! Sweetie, you have got to take me demon hunting soon! This blade is amazing."

“As you wish, my Lady,” Wotan told her. “So, we will retire to my hall for the night, and on the morrow, we will make for Muspelheim.”

“Muspelheim?” Nathan asked Skwisgaar.

“I haven’t been there, but I think it’s their hell? With, fire and monsters and stuff?”

Nathan sincerely wondered if it would be possible to die of awesome.

“Do you ride, Nathan, my friend?” Wotan was asking.

“A horse, right?” Nathan asked. Wotan nodded.

“My friend, Shiva, is a little eccentric regarding his choice of mount,” Wotan confided.

“So, we’re gonna ride horses? Can I carry a sword?” Nathan asked.

“That is a splendid idea! My armory will outfit you with something.”

“Cool!”

“Um, do you think that is a good idea, my dear?” Raziel asked Wotan.

“Nonsense, my love! You never know what you will encounter on the road to the South!” Wotan insisted.

“Just, if I bring ‘em back in pieces, my Little Brother is gonna disembowel me. I didn’t specifically ask him permission for ‘em to be here,” Raziel sighed.

“They are grown men! They can do as they please!”

“Eh, you don’t know my Little Brother,” Raziel said.



Nathan decided he definitely liked mead and Valkyries.

Though, not necessarily in that order.

He was splayed out in one of the many sitting rooms at Valhalla with a generous portion of each. He liked this place. And he felt he knew this place. It was the kind of place where you kept fires burning to ward off the chill, because the doors were all propped open for the pets to ramble in and out. He was more used to cats and dogs than wolves and ravens being the pets in question, true, but it still had a kind of familiarity to it.

“Nathan Explosion,” said Shiva. He was polishing a sword with two arms and polishing off a pint of mead with another. “May I inquire, at what point will you release the official version of the song, ‘Sewn Back Together Wrong?’ For, it is quite metal!”

“Ah,” Nathan told him, “We never got that one to sound brutal enough.”

“I believe you should finish it, Nathan Explosion, as it is Dethklok’s most brutal number. I look forward to destroying things to ‘Sewn Back Together Wrong.’”

Nathan had to admit, the blue dude was a pretty committed fan.

He looked up when Raziel said his name. He saw she was motioning him into another room. Skwisgaar was sitting across the room glaring at him, but he shrugged and went along.

Wotan was sitting by the fire in a comfortable-looking chair. He had a book on his lap, and a wolf sprawled at his feet. He motioned Nathan to sit down. Raziel perched up on an arm of Wotan’s chair, as if she were another one of his ravens.

“Nathan, would you tell him what you told me?” she said. “About the guy coming to Mordhaus?”

Nathan took a seat. He wanted to talk. “Like I told Raz, I haven’t actually seen the dude. I don’t even actually know how I know he’s there.” It had seemed weird, but now here, when he was partying with a four-armed blue dude and a guy wearing an elephant head, Nathan admitted, maybe it didn’t seem that weird.

“What’s your impression of him?” Wotan asked.

‘He’s an asshole. He shouldn’t be in my fucking castle. If I catch him I’m gonna fucking strangle him.”

Raziel and Wotan shared a glance.

“Are you guys gonna tell me what you think?”

“We think he’s a guy I used to work with,” Raziel said. “Kind of a jerk.”

“So, he’s an angel?”

She nodded. “And he’s really fucking powerful. One of the strongest of us. So, watch yourself.”

“Watch myself? What should I do?” Nathan asked them.

Wotan scratched his beard. “Well, Nathan, I’m not a master tactician. I’m not like your … manager. But, I’ve led men and gods in war. And, I think I may be a bit like you. I don’t like an enemy I can’t see. I like to get a look in his eyes. So, I guess, if I were you, that’s what I’d try to do.”

Nathan nodded. He liked Skwisgaar’s dad. He seemed like a straight up king dude. When he had wandered back into the sitting room with everyone else, though, he noted that Skwisgaar kind of shot him an annoyed look.



A very strange group assembled in the courtyards of Valhalla in the late morning. Nathan had thought Shiva’s bull was strange, but Wotan had brought an incredible mount for himself, some kind of mutant eight-legged horse he called Sleipnir. Shiva was back riding his bull, and the unspeaking Ganesh and the monkey guy accompanied him on their horses.

Nathan was incredibly pleased that they’d found a large, impressive-looking horse and a big ass sword for him. Skwisgaar had a more elegant pure white horse.

Skwisgaar's stepmom rode the smallest of the horses. She was all decked out in some kind of designer-looking riding outfit. Nathan thought she reminded him a bit of that actress, the one who starred in those old movies where she rode the horse, but then she got fat and started hanging out with Michael Jackson.

After they had been riding for a while, he pulled his mount beside her.

"So, you're an angel?"

"Yes, Nathan, I'm an angel."

“And you’re really old, right?”

He heard Skwisgaar, riding behind them, start to object, but ignored him. Yeah, it was kind of a rude question to ask a chick, but she seemed cool about it.

“Yes, actually, I’m older than you can imagine. I’m older than even I know. Because at the beginning of time, we had no words, so I can’t even tell you any stories about back then.”

“Uh. You didn’t have words?”

“No. No words. There was music. I suppose I could sing you a song. But, you really don’t want to hear me sing.”

“Don’t you play a harp or some shit?” He heard Skwisgaar again attempt to shush him again, but Raziel didn’t seem to mind.

“No, I don’t play harp. That was another division.”

“So, what did you do?”

“Mostly, scare people, cut peoples’ heads off.”

“Oh. That’s pretty cool. So, you didn’t go flying around clouds and stuff?”

“Um, rarely.”

“But you have wings?”

“Yeah. But, All-Father really enjoys riding horses, so I’m trying to do that more.”

“But, you have wings?” Nathan insisted.

“I do, but…. Well, it’s actually kinda considered rude to have them out and flapping. I mean, when you're not using them.”

“Wings are rude?”

“Yeah, wings are totally rude. When you get wingy, you’re generally fighting, or trying to terrify the natives. So, you don’t really take ‘em out. Also, you know, they tend to knock over stuff around the house.”

“Oh, I didn't think about that.”

“I mean, I don’t wanna make fun of humans, because you guys really don’t know, but, you know, the way you guys depict angels? With the wings out? It makes us look like we’re saying ‘Fuck you’ all the time.”

Wotan was calling her name, so, with a nod, Raziel spurred her horse and made for the head of the pack.
Nathan fell back beside Skwisgaar.

“Your stepmom is hot, but she’s a little, you know, fucked up in the head.”

“She’s not my stepmom,” Skwisgaar sighed.

“I mean, a time before words? And, angels saying fuck you?”

“Nathan, you don’t fucking understand. When stuff sounds insane here, it means it’s true! The more fucked up, the more true.”

“Don’t get uptight dude.”

“It’s just…. It gets fucking frustrating here sometimes. You ask people questions, and the answers leave you more confused than you were at the beginning.”

“And also,” Nathan asked, “Why don’t you talk with an accent here?”

Skwisgaar sighed. “We’re not talking English, you douche bag. We’re talking their language.”

“How the fuck do we know their language?”

“I dunno. But, you now have a funny accent, dude.”

“I do not have a funny accent!”

Skwisgaar grinned maliciously.

“We’re coming to the bridge!” It was Wotan. He had pulled to a stop. “We will hold at this side until the fire trolls are taken care of.”

“The WHAT?” asked Nathan.

“Fire trolls. They tend to congregate under bridges here in Muspelheim,” Wotan supplied. “They’re pests.” The rode up to the bridge. Raziel and Shiva had already dismounted and were climbing down into the canyon below, Ganesh and the monkey dude holding onto their mounts. Shiva carried swords in two of his arms plus a trident, and Raziel wielded her brand new saber. When they were in position, Wotan rode out a few paces onto the bridge on the eight-legged Sleipnir.

Nathan noticed that the bridge was built not over water, but a stream of what looked like molten lava. He wondered how fire trolls compared to lake trolls. He figured if you could send Skwisgaar’s little stepmom after them, they were probably ankle-high.

They were, in fact, 20 feet high.

Nathan guessed the sound of horse hooves on the bridge drew them out. Shiva got the first one on his side. He first harpooned it with his trident, and then efficiently sliced its legs off, and, having downed it, cut the head off.

It steamed, and what had been pieces of its body turned to lava and melted into the stream.

“I am Shiva!” he called, somewhat unnecessarily, though it did sound rather badass.

The next one showed up on Raziel’s side. Nathan wasn’t quite sure how she jumped like that, but he saw the blade flash, and then the creature fell down, neatly bisected, right down the middle.

There were a couple more. Nathan noted that Raziel and Shiva began to seem less fixated on killing them and a bit more bent on impressing each other with fancy bladework. Shiva offed two at once, making sure to identify himself at each kill, and Raziel executed a complicated zig-zag cut that sliced another to about four or five pieces.

Then Shiva cut one to about 8 or 10 pieces. “I am Shiva the Destroyer!” he called. And then Raziel answered by basically cutting a troll to ribbons. Fire ribbons, but ribbons nonetheless.

Nathan felt heat at his back. He and Skwisgaar, still mounted, turned at almost the same moment. The fire troll that had been creeping up behind them fell back suddenly, a spear through its midsection.
Raziel was up then, slicing off the head. It puddled into lava, and ran off the cliff.

“Thanks, sweetie,” she told Wotan, grabbing the spear. “We must’ve let that one slip through.”

“My dear,” Wotan scolded, as she returned the spear to him, “you might want to pay less attention to fancy maneuvers and more attention to your defensive tactics!” Raziel grinned sheepishly.

Shiva was back up as well, grinning.

“That one counts as one of mine,” Raziel told him.

“Shiva thinks not!” insisted Shiva.

“Muspelheim is at the other end of this bridge,” Wotan told them. “Come on!”



The lord of Muspelheim stood courteously at the far end of the bridge, awaiting them.

“Welcome to Musssssspelheim,” he hissed. I am Sssssurtr.”

Introductions were swiftly made.

Surtr was all black. Really all black. His skin was black, his eyes were black, his horns were black, and needless to say, he was dressed all in black. He also smelled faintly of brimstone. He looked toasted, like he had spent the day inside an oven.

“I am so pleasssssed to welcome ssssssuch a dissssstinguished group to my gathering thisssss pleasssssant afternoon,” he told them.

“Surtr is renowned throughout the Nine Worlds for his delicious barbecue!” Wotan told them.

“Shiva esteems delicious barbecue!”

“On todaysssss menu, I have flessssssh ripped from immortal demonsssss, marinated in brine liberated by Njord from the bottom of the sssseea, basssted with a ssssecret sssauce, and roassssssted sssslowly over the lava pitsssssss of Hel!” Surtr told them.

“Metal,” said Nathan.

“And for the vegetarianssss among you, there will be a tasssssty three-bean sssssalad!” Surtr hissed.

“Oh, that sounds lovely, Surtr!” Raziel assented. “You must give me the recipe.”

“We sssssstill have ssssssome time before the firsssssst coursssse is readied, would our guessssssstssss like to sssseee ssssssome ssssssights of Mussssspelheim?”

“That would be awesome!” Nathan agreed. “What is there to see?”

“Well, there are the fire maidensssss….”

Nathan and Skwisgaar nodded.

“The fiery furnacesssss….”

Nathan and Skwisgaar nodded.

“Or the dragonsssss…..”

Nathan and Skwisgaar exchanged glances.

“The WHAT?”



Surtr had taken them to an overlook directly over some marshy land.

They were small, and resembled flying gila monsters more than Smaug nor Puff the Magic, but they were definitely dragons. They flew, long tails twirling in the air, and spouted flame at each other.

“I knew that fucking TV guy was totally incompetent!” Skwisgaar said irritably.

“What TV guy?” asked Nathan, jumping over the railing for a better view.

“Nathan!” Raziel warned. “I wouldn’t get so close! They might…. Oh, shit.”

Nathan sputtered.

Ganesh helpfully spurted water onto Nathan’s still smoking hair with his trunk.

“Thanks, dude,” said Nathan.



Nathan sat and picked a bit of barbecued demon flesh out from between his teeth. He had decided when they got back home, first thing, they would have a lava pit barbecue installed at Mordhaus. He idly wondered how one went about building a volcano.

“Nathan Explosion,” Shiva asked, tossing a demon rib into the fire with one arm while grabbing a fresh one with another arm and dabbing barbecue sauce from his lips with a napkin with yet a third arm. “I must ask you, my friend, about obtaining tickets to attend a concert venue of The Dethklok.”

“You want comp tickets, dude?” asked Nathan, slightly annoyed.

“Shiva can pay for his own tickets!” the blue god declared. “Shiva simply despises the tyranny of the Ticketron company!”

“Oh, yeah, those guys kinda suck. When I get back, I’ll ask about getting you guys tickets.”

“Yes, and for my beloved spouse, Parvati, as well, for she is a big fan of The Dethklok.”

“Oh, your wife digs us too? That’s pretty cool dude.”

“Yes. Are there not many female fans of your musical genre?”

“I could take it or leave it,” Raziel burped.

“WHAT?” sputtered Skwisgaar, spitting out some gristle.

“What the fuck kind of music do you like?” Nathan demanded.

“I like trance,” she allowed.

“That’s not music!” Skwisgaar declared.

“That stuff is SHIT!” Nathan agreed.

“Hey, you can dance to it,” she said. “It’s cool at rave parties.”

“Rave parties?” asked Wotan, patting his stomach, and quaffing more mead. “I don’t know what those are, but it does not sound like something I would like.”

“Raves are aweseome,” Ganesh said quietly, spooning his three-bean salad.

Everyone suddenly looked up at the elephant-headed god.

“Cool!” said Raziel. “Next time you guys are up, you and I are gonna sneak off to a rave. I know some good ones in Milan.”

Ganesh grinned a broad elephant grin.

“Are my guessssstssss content?” inquired Surtr, ever the perfect host.

“Oh, man,” said Nathan. “That is the best demon barbecue I’ve ever eaten.”

“You’ve got to give me your recipe, man,” Raziel grunted.

“I sssssahall sssssend you home with a bottle of my ssssspecial sssauce.”

“Ah, Surtr, you’re a doll!”



It had grown dark when, more than a little bit drunk and completely stuffed on barbecued demon meat, the party prepared to stagger home to Valhalla. Surtr insisted on escorting them back personally, and so mounted his own – of course – pure black stallion.

Just before they arrived at the bridge out of Muspelheim, Nathan pulled up beside Wotan. “Dude, I’ve got to ask you. The fire trolls?”

“Oh no!” Raziel said. “No! Wotan! I would get in such trouble!”

“Don’t worry, my pet!” Wotan assured her. “I have a brilliant plan! This is the most brilliant plan. It is a smart plan. You and Shiva, you will go down and chase one up. Just a little one!” He somewhat drunkenly held up his thumb and forefinger, indicating a fire troll that would have been about three inches high.

“Honey...” she started.

“It will be easy, the simplest thing. You wouldn’t want the boy to return home without the honor of slicing up a fire troll would you?”

“If he goes back as a bag of ashes, it’ll be my head.”

“Nonsense! Now, just scurry down the hill and scare us up some prey!”

Skwisgaar looked down from his mount somewhat skeptically, but Wotan dismounted and showed Nathan where to stand and how to hold his sword. Wotan and Surtr - Wotan holding his spear and Surtr a very cool flaming sword - positioned themselves in back of Nathan. Then Wotan shouted down for Raziel and Shiva to scare up a troll.

It wasn’t long before a somewhat small lava beast – maybe only 15 feet tall - had sizzled up out of the canyon and stood before Nathan.

Nathan grinned, gripped his sword, and swung.

And the creature ducked.

Annoyed, Nathan swung again.

And the troll easily sidestepped again.

Nathan heard someone snicker. He didn’t want to take his eyes off the troll, but he was pretty fucking sure it was Skwisgaar.

Furious, Nathan tried a couple more passes. And ended up with nothing but singed arm hair.

Skwisgaar was now openly chortling. Ganesh was laughing. Even the fucking monkey guy was laughing.
Nathan swung at air again.

“FUCKING HOLD STILL ASSHOLE!!” Nathan roared at the troll at the top of his lungs.

The troll, seemingly dumbstruck, suddenly froze.

Nathan wasted no time in slicing it in half with his blade.

“Well done, my boy!” Wotan shouted, pounding Nathan on the back. “That was excellent!” Raziel and Shiva, who had since climbed up to watch, both nodded, impressed.

“That was well met, Nathan Explosion of The Dethklok!” Shiva declared.

Nathan looked up at Skwisgaar, who glared down at him. Nathan grinned.



Raziel was safely back at Valhalla when her iPhone rang. She picked it up, tilting her sunglasses down to see the caller ID.

"Little Brother! I was just about to send my wolves out after you. What? I’m at Asgard. Of course I have a cell phone coverage at Valhalla. We have a very good data plan. Where have you been hiding, we've all been worried? What? They're both right here. No, they're fine. Shiva is visiting and.... Shiva! They've been out destroying things of course. You know how boys are. Oh, as it turns out, Shiva is a big Dethklok fan. I just told you, they're fine! Well, we got a tiny bit scorched at Muspelheim. Muspelheim? Surtr was having a barbecue. Don't worry! We'll have them back for your ... important band thingie. Well, whatever it is. You'll what? Ha, I'd like to see you try. I would.... You know I would cut your legs off before you'd even drawn your sword. No, you wouldn't. You are not even in my class! OK, that was.... That was.... I had a head cold that day. Oh, that reminds me; Shiva brought me a gorgeous new saber! You sound stressed out, why don't you come up, and we could go demon hunting. Of course you have the time. You should always set aside the time to disembowel demons! Otherwise, what is life all about? Wait, hold on a minute! Just a minute...."

Hearing a commotion, she ran to her window and peered into the courtyard below. "Surtr!" she shouted down, "I told you, you cannot light Nathan's head on fire! What? No! I don't care how awesome you guys think it looks, he's a mortal! It's probably not good for him! No, Shiva, cutting off Nathan’s head is NOT the solution. Yes, I know you are Shiva. No, Nathan, you would NOT look more badass with a wolf head! No! Look, do I need to come down there? Do I need to come down there? I have a fucking sword you guys! If I have to come down there, there WILL be dismemberments!”

She picked up the phone again, sighing. "Look, I need to go, um, take care of something. I've told you a million times, they are fine, they are perfectly fine. Look, when have I ever been wrong? Well, yeah, except that time. Yeah, and that other time. OK. OK! I AM HANGING UP THE PHONE! I. AM. HANGING. UP." And saying so, she did, and picked up her saber, and leapt out her window to the courtyard below.



Skwisgaar was making his way between the bedchambers of Valkyries number 5 and 6 and Valkyrie number 7. The night was still young. He passed by one of the sitting rooms and noticed that his father and Raziel were sitting there, pulled up in chairs next to a roaring fire. The wolves snored at their feet, dreaming wolf dreams. He paused, wondering what bizarre and embarrassing occupation they might be up to now.

Raziel held a book open. And she was reading from it, aloud. From her gestures, it looked like she was telling a story, acting out the parts. His father sat, listening contentedly.

Skwisgaar was baffled. The book looked to be old and dog eared. His father obviously must have heard is story before. Why would he want to spend his time listening to his annoying mistress read the same story again?

“Skwisgaar?” It was his father’s voice. Skwisgaar approached, awkwardly. “We’re reading. Would you care to sit with us?”

Skwisgaar sat down on the couch next to Raziel. Just to be polite. Raziel closed her book. “If he’s going to come and listen, we should start a new story!” she said. She hopped over to the bookshelf and grabbed another book. “Here,” she said, handing it off to Wotan.

“Oh, this is a good one!” the king agreed. He started reading. Skwisgaar was forced to agree, it was actually a pretty good story. There were horses and demons and brave men and sword fights. He started to feel a bit drowsy, and began sinking back into the couch. Raziel casually scooped up his legs and lay them across her lap, continuing to pay rapt attention to Wotan. Skwisgaar watched her looking at his father. He thought offhandedly he might like to have someone looking at him like that some day. She looked like….

“SKWISGAAR!”

It was definitely Nathan’s voice.

Skwisgaar shot up in bed. It was his own bed at Mordhaus. He started again to see Nathan Explosion hovering over him.

“Dude your dad is the most awesome guy in the universe we’ve totally gotta go back to that place for more demon barbecue and SOON!” Nathan was babbling.

Skwisgaar, still a little disoriented, said, “Uh, yeah?”

Nathan was now perched on the edge of Skwisgaar’s bed, talking a mile a minute. “Shiva is like pretty awesome for a blue dude and those women are fucking amazing. Hey, you don’t think it’s kind of gay that we’re talking like this in your bedroom? Maybe if we talk about pussy, then it won’t be so gay?”

“Yeah, maybe.”

“We’ve gotta get the other guys and GO BACK!”

“Uh, I dunno, Nathan, the other guys?”

“Dude, we totally have to bring Murderface to that place with the dragons. It would be AWESOME.”

Skwisgaar snickered. “Yeah, that would be awesome.”

“I’ll tell the other guys. You send a raven dude to your dad or whatever. That place is TOTALLY METAL.”

“Yeah,” Skwisgaar yawned, watching Nathan run out of his room. “Yeah.” He looked over at the raven perched on his bureau. “Hey, Muninn.” The bird flapped over and perched on his headboard. “I have a message….”
From: [identity profile] misdreya.livejournal.com
"Shiva does not listen to MP3s!" the god insisted, waving one finger while he also spread two arms out, "as they are far too lossy! Shiva downloads the music of The Dethklok only as high quality FLAC files!"

I cracked up here, I couldn't help it. ^_^

Nathan sincerely wondered if it would be possible to die of awesome.

Yes, Nathan, it is. I think I'm doing it right now.

“I do not have a funny accent!”

I immediately heard Nathan's voice in my head, only with him overly enunciating every word. Like I do noT have fuNNy aCCenT.
lololol I have no idea why. Either that or he sounds british.


Okay, after this part I started just reading aloud and doing voices. SHIVA IS MY FAVORITE! "I AM SHIVA!" "Yes, I know you are Shiva." This is the perfect mix of serious and mythical and I love it already. I'm going to try and read a few chapters every day or so and catch up. <33

ps,
I'm not sure if I'm supposed to, but I really like Raziel.
Edited Date: 2011-04-08 05:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tikific.livejournal.com
LOL! A journey into the past! :D

Yeah, I seem to remember when I first posted this, people liked the MP3 comment. I thought Shiva is from India, so he'd be hip to electronic gadgets, right?

And at this point, believe it or not, I wanted you to sort of be unsure as to what Raziel is up to.
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