Episode Thirty-Five: Stalemate: Scene 14

The sky cracked. It did so in the moment we did that. Perhaps something was angry with our intent to trick.

 

There were still stars, but there was darkness beyond them. I felt for a moment as if we were too late.

 

Had this been the warning? No, I rather thought that if it had been “You will make things far worse” he would have said that.

 

No, it was just the next step, and energy was starting to leap into the void. “Hell,” I said.

 

“Don’t insult your sister.”

 

I laughed weakly. “It’s too late, isn’t it.”

 

“No.” Ebba.

 

“You’re an optimistic dwarf,” I told her. But no, it wasn’t too late. It wouldn’t be too late until the temperature started to plummet.

 

Would it happen here first? Or would Muspelheim last longer with the heat it had?

 

“While the sun lives, it is not too late.”

 

I couldn’t see the sun. How long had it been night? “That may mean we only have until dawn,” I pointed out.

 

But all we could do was try to carry on with the plan. I was shaking, though. Shaking with real fear. It felt as if everything I did was only making things worse.

 

It felt as if I was caught up in the prophecy despite everything I tried to the contrary.

 

It felt as if I was ending the world.

 

But there was fire. I felt it flow within me, and I wondered if the rift was pulling it towards me.

 

There was fire and…Surtur could slow this down, I knew, if he was paying attention. And perhaps he was, because the rift shrank a little.

 

Fire within me, rising to the occasion. Threatening to join with the fire around me.

 

Maybe I should let it. Maybe I should accept that there was no escape, after all, for me. Last time it had been my brothers.

 

And my father imprisoned for an age of the world.

 

For breaking the cycle.

 

I suddenly knew that. That what he had done had been what had broken the cycle, not because Baldur had been causing it, but because there had to be a sacrifice.

 

There had to be.

 

Not my task to kill Surtur.

 

My brothers had died because Odin had lost his temper and because nobody had told him what was going on.

 

Not my task to kill Surtur.

 

Somebody else’s. I had thought it was the fire giant, Helgr. Not her. Then…who?

 

I looked at Thruor. “Let’s do this.”

 

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