Episode Thirty-Five: Stalemate: Scene 20

Thruor came back a bit later. “I see them. We definitely have company.”

 

“Surtur?”

 

“On horseback.”

 

He’d have to leave the horses. “We should…” I grinned. “Reckon our horses could herd his off somewhere?”

 

“So if he…” Thruor laughed. “Loki’s daughter.”

 

“It’s petty, I know.”

 

But I sort of felt sorry for Surtur’s horse. I’d been surprised to find they used them. Frost giants didn’t.

 

Angrboda. Somebody else I feared I would not see again, but there was nothing I could do.

 

He was coming, and task or no task, we were going to finish this. Unless it was so firm a prophecy that I could not be involved with killing him at all.

 

That might explain some things. If this did not work I would suggest to Thruor that I needed to pull out altogether. Help somewhere else.

 

I thought of Kanesha, used her as a sort of lodestone to focus my mind. Not that I was just doing this for her, but she was part and parcel of everything I was doing this for.

 

Focused. Dropped behind the rock. Waiting. “Maybe we should do another light show.”

 

Thruor nodded. “I’ll toss up a flare. Don’t need you.”

 

I suspected she wanted me to save my strength. My fire was far more useful in a fight, even against fire giants, than her, surprisingly lesser magic.

 

Or not so surprisingly. She was a valkyrie and a warrior. I was…what I was.

 

I was fire. Nurturing and burning. I let it grow within me.

 

Waited.

 

He would probably be dismounting right about now. Thruor said he had eight with him, men and women.

 

More elite forces. Nine might be more than we could handle. What would they do if we took him out?

 

What if we sniped him? None of us had the requisite skill, or did we? “Could take him out right as he comes around the corner,” I murmured to Mike.

 

“I thought of that, but he won’t come first.”

 

I nodded. “Well. If we get a shot we should take it.” It might only wound him. But it would weaken him.

 

And if we took him out, then would those with him go crazy for vengeance or would they fold? I knew he likely hoped for the former.

 

But given how fire giants felt about assassination, they might…

 

He was coming up the mountain. I realized I was holding my breath. Forced myself to take deep, patterned breaths, seven in, four out.

 

It helped.

 

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