Episode Thirty-One: Roads: Scene 23

“Okay. Well, what can you tell me?”


“Too much energy being used.”


“Being used at once? Is that the problem?” The answer to where it was going. Too many fire giants?


He tilted his head as if listening. For a long moment. For a longer period of silence than I thought he was capable of. Thruor whispered to me, “He really likes those comics.”


I managed not to laugh. The ultimate Ratatosk bribe had been discovered. Now I’d have to collect Squirrel Girl stuff.


Possibly two copies.


Finally, he responded, “They fight. All the time.”


Thruor shook her head. “That’s in the nature of fire giants.”


“Doesn’t have to be,” the squirrel said. “Or rather…”


“Maybe what they need,” I mused, “is an outlet. But now…”


“Fire tied up in the weapons from their wars. They are at peace now, because they have to be…”


“Surtur thinks he needs to add fire back into the system. You’re saying it’s all still there but not in a form they can use?”


This had definitely been a good idea.


“The fire can’t go anywhere. Ragnarok will free it all.”


“I promise I am not trying to start Ragnarok.”


“But you will have to start something.” The squirrel sounded very serious. “You know, I think, what you have to do.”


“Right now, I’m most worried about stopping Surtur from starting random fires.”


“Can’t help with that. Any more stories?” He was abruptly back to normal.


“No, but I have trail mix.” I offered him the bag and he took it. Comics and trail mix vanished into belt pouches that were definitely too small for them.


“You’ll work it out.”


“Which means you know exactly what I’m supposed to do but telling me would spoil the fun.”


“Yup!” He laughed, then turned and bounded away, tail seeming to get higher with each bounce.


“That was a lot more than people normally get out of him. He must really like those comics.”


“Well, now we know what to bribe him with.”


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