I didn’t even finish the sub, but rather wrapped the end of it carefully and stuck it in a jacket pocket before stepping outside.
No. Not him. It was a giantess, and the only way I could identify her was the sense of her aura. But I also spotted Freya’s warrior on the far side of the street.
This was not the time or the place for this. The giant was leaning against the outside of the building.
“If you’re here for a fight, can we please take it elsewhere?”
“Not at all.” She straightened, turning to regard me. “I’m definitely not here for a fight. I’m here for a talk.”
I glanced at the warrior, nodded to her, then started to walk, tugging my sub out of the pocket to munch on. Between mouthfuls, “Then talk.”
“Not all of us want the war.”
I nodded. “I doubt there’s any population ever in the history of the world and all realities that was unilaterally for any war.”
She laughed. “I can tell you’ve been hanging out with Midgardians. Long winded.”
“But you get my point. I’m not surprised you aren’t for it.”
“We’ll lose,” she said simply. “It’s all set up to make sure we lose. Surtur has the fantasy that he can break the prophecy.”
“He’s not the only one. Wouldn’t stopping the war break it too?”
She frowned, as if she hadn’t quite thought that through. “Then that would mean we’re doomed, all of us. Just going through the motions, without even the illusion…”
“The illusion of free will these people have.” I flickered my fingers to the crowd. “I thought I was one of them for a while. I think it taught me a lot.” Maybe. I might not know how much until my memories were fully restored. I caught flashes now, though.
“You’re the long winded one now.” I actually grinned at her. We had things in common, and that made me feel oddly better about, well, everything.
“Hey, it’s good to meet a giant…other than Loki…who doesn’t act like a thug.”
“We’re supposed to.”
By which I guessed she meant it was their culture. And I understood in that moment exactly why Loki had taken Odin’s offer in the first place. He was a long way from being a dumb warrior type.
He hadn’t fit in. “Supposed to go around bashing people’s heads in? I know you’re not stupid. Surtur certainly isn’t. Ambitious, but not stupid.”
“That’s what I wanted to talk to you about. Please don’t go to him.”
I laughed. “I don’t intend to.”
“He would make you a queen.”
I glanced at the sky. “Maybe I don’t want to be a queen. Maybe all I really want is to be left alone. I’ve been offered high positions twice now, and all I have to do is sleep with somebody. No. He’ll have to take me by force if he wants me.”
“Which would start a different war.”
I nodded. “I know.”