|The Wild Hunt|
|What: Loki brings a little bit of Norse Tradition into the 21st century just outside of Times Square.|
New Years Eve in Metropolis. New York City. All over the world (depending upon time zones), revelers are in full revelling mode-- Drinking, dancing, Auld Lang Syning. Everyone celebrates in their own way, as according to their culture. As the clock ticks down in Times Square, London and points east have already concluded theirs, and so those who can't yet sleep watch the brightly lit ball in Times Square drop slowly to mark the passing of the old into the new yet AGAIN.
It's cold and damp out, but that doesn't keep the tourists from their desired location, and when Times Square fills up, the spill-over creates security nightmares for Metropolis' Finest.
Roads are closed, barricades are up, security details are on foot and on horseback, and vendors are all over... after paying the city lots of money for the permits for the area, of course. From outside Times Square, not a lot can be seen, but the ball is pretty much visible above the buildings and through the chasms known as 42nd Street or 7th Ave. Music blares from the sound stages dotted through the Square, with such notables as ... eh. Whomever would play in the cold for hours for a scant few bucks.
The skies above the city are ... virtually unseeable for all the light pollution the city puts off. Neon, city streetlights and the Ball all make for near impossible visibility. As noted by the weather greats of this fair Metropolis, however, it is overcast with the threat of snow squalls.
There... perhaps it's a trick of sound in the steel and concrete canyons, but coming from the south, is that the sound of baying hounds? Loki Odinson. Laufeyson. The Exile upon a large grey charger in a gallop down the middle of still-free city streets, in full green and gold armour, with horn'ed helm and ... sword in hand.
With each passing block, the horse appears to rise in the air, as does the two dozen hounds, only they're not quite HOUNDS.. all baying.
It's been a busy couple of weeks for the blind lawyer known as Matt Murdock, both with and without the mask. It's fair to say that he's definitely not firing on all cylinders right now, though it hasn't stopped him from doing his job.
After meeting with a potential client downtown, Matt was on his way back to his home in Hell's Kitchen. This journey is made by bus, the large vehicles travelling across special routes in order to avoid the large gatherings of people.
Matt, who sits in the middle of the bus with cane in hand, tilts his head a bit. The sound of 'clopping' falls across his ears. The hooves stand out amidst the regular chatter and gossip of people quite well. As do the footsteps of many other creatures. He focusses a bit, before pressing the 'STOP' button on the bus. It pulls into the next bus stop, leaving Matt to exit and stand on the street. Perhaps a good two hundred meters or so from where Loki is.
Plans for a team get together may not have worked out but that hasn't stopped Axiom from coming out tonight. Having been ducking in and out of being findable but keeping active, he's decided to come down to Times Square to lend a hand with security and keeping people safe. Perched in an out of the way spot in costume and armor, Axiom's watching the crowd for any signs of trouble or people needing help. He's not too concerned by the clopping at first, knowing the cops have horses. But the baying gets a frown, Axiom moving to try to get a better look at what's causing the strange sound.
The door is shut in Peter Parker's face up on the 37th floor of the Hartingford building. He looks down in his hand. A tip of 47 cents. That'd be great in 1803. That'd be great in 1903. 47 cents. On New Years Eve.
Turning on his heel and shaking his head he makes the lonely trek back to the elevator. It's a long way back to the pizzeria. A longer way to get back to Queens. With these kind of tips he's going to need to bike back and forgo the train. Winter break is difficult on pizza guys.
There are those who really don't count the passing of a year as anything all that important. Brynn has celebrated her centenial a scant twelve years ago. That was an eyeblink. She really doesn't understand why these mortals wish to announce every individual solitary year. It must be so exhausting! But... it is what it is. Brooklyn is where she calls home these days, and when her shop gets a lot less business for the day, she peeks outside and sees roads closed and such.
With a sigh, she closes up shop, locks up, pulls on a black New York Yankees windbreaker over her Harley Davidson teeshirt and decides that if nobody will come to her, she will go out and see the city and how it loses its mind collectively.
It is however, a good thing that she can fly. For when things get too crowded, she simply levitates herself up and over the crowds. This is how she ended up on a rooftop, peering down over things when she noticed the man in armor with horns. "Oh... the brother." she remarks softly. "I -do- hope he enjoyed his meal the other day."
Natasha Romanoff is not really one for Times Square on New Year's Eve. It's far too crowded. Crowds make it very hard to track potential threats, which, yes, she does do fairly regularly. She has too many skeletons in her closet not to.
As it is, however, the Avenger isn't really much in a party mood. Her ribs are sore, there are bruises on her face, and one of her lips sports a small split, all thanks to a bunch of parademons.
That doesn't mean, however, that she's not 'partaking in the festivities', however. Meagre, though, for her, they be. She stands, wrapped in a warm coat, on the roof of the building in which she has her apartment, overlooking the city. From here, the crowds in Times Square can be seen, though not as clearly as on the large screen tv in the warm living room behind. But, really, they're close enough.
The faint sound of a galloping horse and baying hounds, however, attract her attention, and she leans over to see just where it's coming from.
Now, along the path, those that look up at the figure upon horse suddenly disappear. Gone from the street. Gone from the sidewalks. Gone from cabs (which put on their 'available' sign). Gone from apartment windows. Shops.
With each disappearance now, the God of Chaos, the God of Deception, now begins the Wild Hunt. Hounds, of the like rarely seen upon this realm (except for this time of year), bay, the sounds sending chills up the spines of mortal men as they pass overhead, spreading out as if keenly upon a scent.
A scent of what?
Now, however, there are some below the hunt that look excited. Happy... and there are even groups of people that are pulling something from their coat pockets with no little curiosity. There, in the gleam of the lights, glitter something in the colour of gold.
Leaning on his cane in the snow, Matt tries to track this horse as best he can. Though it's difficult, especially when it takes full flight. Perhaps it was a special feature of the festivities?
The sound of the hounds is what does the trick. This was certainly not part of any festivities that Matt had heard of! As he breaks into a run through the snow, he discards his shirt, unbuttoning the thing to reveal his red costume underneath. His mask is pulled on, the cane breaking up into his billy club.
He takes to the buildings, swinging up onto a rooftop in order to get to his destination faster. He was still at least three or four blocks away, after all. He will need some time to get there.
Not as agile as other heroes and lacking some of their cooler means of transport, it takes a little time for Axiom to get close enough to see things coming. Tumbling onto one rooftop after jumping from another, he squints and tries to see if he can spot the source of all the baying. The glitter catches his attention first though and Axiom glances down at the people. "What the..." he trails off, making a mental note to start carrying binoculars more often.
Peter Parker plods out of the peristyle doorway of the apartment building and out onto the street. He gives a heavy, weary sigh, but just as he does his phone begins to ring. His hand rakes wildly at the pockets of the two coats he wears on his body until he finally finds it. It's always the last place you look. Because if you kept looking after you found something, you'd be an idiot.
"Hello? Nah, that's fine. Nah, the tips were garbage tonight anyways. I'll just head home. Thanks Ned."
Peter smiles. Maybe things aren't all that bad, you know? Get the night off...Maybe watch some television, see what Illy's doin, that sort of thing. Ideas are popping all over in his airpop mind when he notices Daredevil streaking across the sky.
His face dips. No rest for the weary.
As the crowds in Times Square continue their festivities, outside her penthouse apartment, on the roof and overlooking the city, Natasha slowly clues in to what she's hearing. The baying of otherworldly hounds and the galloping of an airborn grey horse. She can just make out the green and gold garb of its rider.
"Oh, sonuva..." Pushing herself off the retaining wall with a wince and a soft grunt, Natasha turns and sprints (gingerly!) back into her apartment to grab her com and change into something a little more... combat oriented.
Stripping off a sweater, she puts the com on the dresser, on speaker and activates it. "Avengers, this is Widow. We have Loki sighting in Times Square. I don't know exactly what he's doing, but he's on horseback and there are a bunch of dogs chasing him." A beat. "Well, they're on the chase, anyway. I don't think he's their prey, but I'm betting the people in Times Square are..."
And, indeed, as she glances to the big screen tv through the door of her bedroom, pulling on leathers and reaching for her weaponry, she can see the NYE broadcasters scrambling to make sense of the sudden chaos beginnging to errupt.
"Did I mention the horse and hounds appear to be flying?"
Pepper Potts is at home as well, having been hoping for a quiet evening. Tony is doing his New Year's thing, and she is only too glad to stay away. However, this means she knows he isn't in any mindset to answer Natasha's massage, and that is very likely why JARVIS sent the call directly to her. Keying her phone to reply, she says, "Natasha, I can be there in about five minutes. Will you need a lift?"
Thor, under no circumstances, is fit to answer any such calls, but he answers anyway. Summoning the now slightly heavier relic to him, Thor leaps from his rooftop garden, taps his ear piece and flies as he speaks.
"I arrive shortly, fair Natasha. A flying grey steed and hounds? Is he before them or after them?"
Hounds... it has been quite some time since Brynn observed anything remotely akin to what is going on with Loki. And then... people start vanishing. "Oh, this is not good." she mutters as she pulls out her own cellphone and starts dialing Sif... but she stops when she recalls Sif's current situation. Perhaps... well, she steps off the rooftop and starts descending on an intercept course with Loki's horse. Though, it looks like she is walking down invisible stairs.... aaaaand, a sword has just appeared in her hand....
Those that disappear have loved ones left behind; one here, one there, and perhaps more than a few in another. The panic, therefore, that begins to rise comes not in single doses, but in groups. In...
Couple that with the fact there is a figure upon a pale horse galloping just overhead, 30 feet or so, with seeming hellhounds at the fore? There's more than a little cause, perhaps, for concern!
As for the rider, Loki, his expression is a mixture of intensity and sheer pleasure. Perhaps even a laugh can be discerned from the noise of the crowds in the street now as they run, as others now richer by a gold coin serve as something very close to an impenetrable wall.
It's a good thing Matt takes to the rooftops, as travel in the street is becoming difficult, what with the screaming and those that are absolutely stumped as to why and how such.. largesse happened.
As for Axiom, one thing he may notice is that it seems completely random, who gains a coin and who disappears. Be that as it may, there is more than a little consternation when people seem to simply pop out of existance. Though now the push is -towards- the even more crowded venue of Times Square proper.
As for the airborne horse and rider, and dogs that lead the way, they continue up 42nd street, now scattering all that still stands before them. No one is keeping still for that chance of a gold piece in the pocket! Now, now the rider speaks, and the green and gold clad Asgardian yells to the night's sky, "The hunt!"
Now, however, Loki catches the movement of Brynn in the corner of his eye, and there's a smile that creeps across the armour-clad god of mischief.
Each landing that Daredevil makes onto a rooftop is made with a wince. He stumbles a little awkwardly on occasion, though a few quick breaths are enough for him to keep going. Like Widow, he appears to not be in the finest of conditions.
Yet still, he focusses. Through the sounds of thousands of people chattering and buzzing away, music in the distance and traffic just a few blocks away, Daredevil is able to narrow in on the feel of Loki. Even when panic erupts as loved ones vanish, the volume increasing substantially, Daredevil can pick out the loose form of of Loki. Just... hovering there. The heartbeat of this God was... odd. Unique. It made it slightly easier to hone in on.
Gritting his teeth, Daredevil leaps off a high rooftop! The red-clad hero plummets down through the sky, before firing his billy club at a window ledge. The resulting swing causes him to arc through the air, right for Loki's location!
He doesn't aim to kick Loki in the face, or perform any such precise strike. He aims to just crash /into/ the God of mischief with all of his strength and collected momentum. His covered eyes almost glow an eery red, and his teeth are clenched. A true daredevil indeed.
Randomness, panick, people vanishing...all not good. Axiom taps out a quick call over his team's com-link for if anyone's able to help. He can't figure out if there's a pattern but he's pretty sure there's a connection. Especially after he sees Loki. Eyes narrow behind his mask and he scowls. The hounds get a quick gasp as Axiom recognizes them as at least similar to some of the things he saw in Malekith's palace in the land of Dark Elves. Spotting Brynn and Daredevil, Axiom nods. He'll leave handling his uncle to them.
Hopping down signs, ledges, and windowsills, the teen hero calls out to the crowd below. "HEY! This way! Calmly please! Don't worry, things will be okay now, just be careful and don't knock eachother over!" he calls out, trying to provide a safer path away from the crowds. Glancing at the hounds, he scowls again before looking towards one of the people with the coin. "Excuse me! Where'd that come from?" he asks, pointing at the coin with his armored hand.
Just after Peter looked up, his notification beacon on his super duper awesome Avengers communicator thingy starts going off (it looks like a pen). "Yeah, yeah, yeah. I got it, I got it." He disappears into an alleyway, but soon after he's swinging as his heroic alter-ego, SPIDER-MAN, and taking to the spaces in between the buildings, getting higher and higher. Down below, as Daredevil attempts to hit Loki from one side, Spidey careens from the other, "I'll have the Double Whammy, thank ya, Sammy." He speaks to no one in particular.
"Loki!" calls out Brynn as if she were a parent speaking to a misbehaving child, "You will return those people immediately!" The blade of her sword is decorated with Asgardian runes, and of course... it is as black as the night sky, the runes twinkling as if they were stars. Though, she's not like.. swinging it, throwing it, or anything. "Surely you know better than to think you can do simply as you please, amusing yourself at the expense of the locals, without the reprisal of their protectors.... as..." and folks come swinging down, jumping down, or otherwise making themselves known. "As the locals say.. I rest my case."
"Love one," Natasha tells Pepper, crossing from the bedroom to fetch a long black coat that compliments her fighting leathers and promises to keep her somewhat warm on a cold New York night. Letting out only a small grunt as she slings it over her shoulders and shoves her arms into it, she glances to the tv again before checking she still has easy access to her weapons. Satisfied, she scoops up an earpiece and jogs lightly out to the rooftop again to await her lift.
She moves back to the retaining wall around the top of the building and looks up 42nd street, fitting the earpiece to her ear as she does, her com automatically switching to it when she places the transceiver into her belt. "Before him, Odinson," she answers the Thunderer shortly. "I'm pretty sure he's playing Huntsman, leaving everyone else to play prey."
Officially Not Good.
She unhooks a small pair of binoculars to get a closer look... just in time to watch both Daredevil and Spider-Man careen at Loki from opposite sides.
Pepper Potts doesn't bother with changing out of her casual lounging-around-the-house clothes, picking up her teal bag and slapping one hand over the round medallion.
Right on time, Rescue sets down next to Natasha lightly, though still with a bit of a clunk. "Ready?"
As Thor nears, spying his brother at the head of The Hunt and getting swooped in by two mortal heroes, the THunderer's eyes flicker with lightning. His temper already more than slightly frayed, he grounds out into his com while moving to sweep in to put himself as a wall between Loki and Daredevil. Human, meet brick wall that is the Asgardian Prince.
"Bring thee cold iron, and fell thee as many of the hunt-hounds as thee can. This is Yule-Tradition, the Hunt of Midwinter. Any who harm my brother will answer to me," says Thor. Unhappy Princeling is unhappy... and possibly not a good judge of anything at current.
Brynn's presence does indeed cause Loki's inattention as it is a potential problem with all of this. It's that momentary lapse of attention to what is going on that allows Daredevil's maneuver to work so beautifully. It's the complete surprise by which he's attacked sideways and a little up, and not by any true weapon.
Over Loki goes.
Unhorsed 30 feet in the air.
As Spidey does that secondary attack, the Asgardian is pushed several yards in that opposite direction as he falls to the ground, and rather heavily. This time, he doesn't crater the road, but he does cause a few cracks.
Above, however, the scene is less than serene. The grey courser is of this world, while the hounds... are not. Those red eyed brutes sense, then, that their master no longer has the reins and begin to turn on the flesh and blood that is horse. Without rider, the horse, too begins to fall, and it flails in the air on its way down, only to land in a *crunch* on the ground. As blood rises in the air, the horse has little time to suffer... which sets off more screaming, and those revelers that still are of this realm and are in the immediate area are losing whatever it is they drank. And ate.
As for Eddie, the responses he gets from those who have lost a friend, a loved one, are filled with fear. Terror. Fear for their own lives, for the lives of their lost ones. One of those who gained the moral equivalent of a couple thousand dollars in the blink of an eye looks at the questioning Axiom, and postures. "I dunno. It just appeared." And from the sound of it, he's sure as hell not going to get it!
And there... now lying in the street, on his back, staring at the dark sky, and Loki has to roll, flipping out of the way of falling steed. Reflexes! Priorities! And, only now, on the ground, does he catch a rather... distinct voice. Oh. Dear.
Daredevil's senses pick up the form of Spider-Man just as the wall-crawler is about to crash into Loki on the other side. It's a familiar heartbeat, and one that he is relieved to hear. "I'm not stealing your swinging thunder here, am I Spidey?"
...is the sound that Daredevil makes when he shoulders Loki hard, sending him off his horse in a direction for Spider-Man to finish off the combination.
A fraction of a second later, not even, the feeling of something immense just 'appears' before Daredevil's sensory. He barely gets a reading on it, really. "Whu--?" WOK! The fleshy form of Daredevil crashes into the body of Thor with all of his residual momentum. It's a decent amount, too. Bouncing off the Asgardian body some thirty feet up in the air, the red eyed figure begins to fall. He manages to fire his billy-club to sort of swing himself a little, saving him from serious damage. He lands roughly though, tumbling along the hard road amidst the crowd of panicked people.
The fear and pain he sees from those people just makes Axiom want to put his fist in Loki's face a little more. He shakes it off for now though and puts on his best 'reassuring hero smile'. "More heroes are showing up so don't worry. We'll save the people that disappeared," he says, eyes glowing bright blue. The people may be scared but he's all about faith and hope and he radiates it. The sound of the horse and Loki falling makes him look back and frown. "As for you guys," he points at the nearest group of people with coins. "See the g-guy who was riding the horse? He's a bad g-g-guy and he made the coin show up. And see those monsters?" he gestures back at the hounds. "They're going to come after whoever has the coins. And they'll keep coming as long as you have them. We c-c-can protect you but you'll have to give me those coins so I can lead the monsters away," he goes on to the crowd. He's got no idea if it's true but he's figuring anything Loki gave people probably can't be trusted.
After striking his target, Spider-Man is quick to fire another web to get him back on course. His hands and feet suction-cups him to the side of the wall as he responds to the crashing and rolling Daredevil. "Not you stealing my thunder," points to Thor. "The Thunder guy is stealin' my thunder. Yo, goldilocks, what do you mean no one gets to touch your brother? You switched sides now on us?"
"Iron?" Where the hell is she going to find iron?
Even as Rescue sets down beside her, Natasha winces and pulls the binoculars from her eyes, having seen the two red-spandexed swinging heroes collide with the sons of Odin. "Thor? Thor, do not hurt those men!" she says, her hand coming up to her com, as if the touch is going to make her any clearer.
She glances to her teal-armored friend. "One sec. I got an idea."
For the record, Nat is still feeling the effects of her fight at the north pole. Her face looks like it was used for a punching bag and she's obviously careful about her ribs, though she's not straining with them. She's just stiff and ginger.
Nevertheless, she trots back into the house and comes out with a wrought iron fireplace poker. Because... well, it's either that or the skillet.
Returning to Rescue, the Black Widow holds the poker like a rapier. "Ready. Let's go."
Noticing Thor's arrival distracts Brynn from what is actually happening with Loki. She would rescue the horse, but... it's too late when she sees the smack of the beast into the pavement. A wince crosses her features, and she looks back to Thor. "Thor! If you wish your brother kept safe, perhaps you should stop him from -taking- uninvolved, innocent bystanders... citizens of Midgard who are not in any way asking to be involved in this hunt of yours.... I understand -your- traditions, but they are not the traditions of these people. People who have been... whisked away against their will by your brother. Now... I suggest that you consider stopping him, or allow others to. Which would -you- prefer Thunderer?" she asks, floating towards big 'n blonde, once again, just a hair too late to prevent Daredevil from his own tumble. Though she did try to make the gesture to stop his fall... a half second too late.
Rescue really hopes the few times she practiced flying with a 'passenger' helps now. Thankfully it seems to, as she is able to carry Natasha to the epicenter of the chaos without too much trouble. She aims to set the other redhead down where she and that iron fireplace poker can do the most good against those hounds, and tries taking a potshot at one of the creatures herself. How well do they stand up to repulsor energy?
Seeing his brother go down, and thereby with some satisfaction that pesky mortal bounce off him to tumble disorderly upon the steet below, Thor drops so that he stands at his brother's side, partly of him, partly beside him. His left hand is offered down to Loki, to haul him to his feet.
"Stodva!" calls out the Thunderer in clear and beautiful aesir, Old Norse. The hounds turn from their disorderly dismemberment of the hunt-steed.
"Aye, Black Widow. Cold iron, untouched by a smithy's flames to forge it into bright steel. What comes is fae-blooded," Thor says into his Avengers comm, blue eyes upon the hounds of The Hunt. His eyes narrow upon Brynn, lightning flickering there, but for the moment he holds his temper in check.
"Langr," Thor adds to the Asgardian canines, making them circle about him, their hackles still raised and ready.
"Thou art quick to blame the Trickster for thy woes, my friend. I understand the temptation," Thor almost growls at Brynn just as Pepper drops down to the ground.
"Blood ties shall not be ignored, Mortal," Thor says now to Spider-Man after he has gotten the pups in line. His eyes sweep about the street, clearly looking for something.
"Brother. Preytell, what is it that thou art at Hunt for?" Thor is asking of Loki as Pepper blasts one of the less well behaved hunting dogs. Thor glares at Rescue, eyes flashing more dangerously for a heartbeat, before with what appears to be visible shakes, he calms himself enough to almost sounds level headed.
"Hold thy attacks upon the Hunt Hounds for the moment. They are restrained," says Thor, the rune upon Mjolnir glowing with an odd pulse, like a warning, a steady tick of countdown.
It's a mess. The red-eyed hound-looking creatures have indeed turned upon the poor, hapless Midgardian horse with remarkable results. The horse no longer moves, no longer breathes, and the shrill screams that come rise from the crowds that continue to push their way to the barricades that is Times Square. Adding people that that venue simply can't absorb.
Over the loudspeakers from various spots on the outskirts comes, 'Do not come any closer. This area is now off limits as per the Metropolitan Police Department!' Oh dear... does this mean those cars are beginning to ready the tear gas and pepper spray to contain the mob? (Answer: Probably.)
Loki's discovered, much to his chagrin, that his brother has, indeed, arrived, and before rising to his feet, offers a softly uttered groan. Now, with his feelings on the matter expressed, the younger (exiled) Prince of Asgard gains his feet, and looks all the world as if he is unarmed in that green and gold suit of armour (yes, including helm).
A shrill whistle sounds from Loki, though he may be a little behind his brother in terms of calling off the hounds... but it certainly does gain their attention for Thor's commands.
Eddie's speech to the gathered doesn't gain the 'bad guy's attention as he's got more than a handful of problems that lie before him in the person of Daredevil, but moreso?
Thor. (Loki didn't catch the fact that people were bouncing off his brother in his defense! Blame it on asphalt filler.)
It's Spidey's words that brings a smile to Loki's face, and it's not a pleasant one. Perhaps this is a time when the brothers can fight together- after, of course, Loki gets his anger out on the fact that his older brother is the cause of his complete and total banishment!
Pepper's landing at ground zero, as it were, and blasting at the now heeled hound... the hound doesn't flinch. As Thor explains, they are fae-blooded. Asgardian hounds bred for the hunt.
Well now. Loki's blade shifts in his hand, still tucked away but so very ready for use. It's explanation he wants, in the middle of this, a Midgardian street during their holiday, and words he shall receive. Bitter, harsh words.
"You've left me with nothing, brother," Loki seethes. "No home, no family.. I might as well be Laufeyson." His tones lighten, an airiness feigned with the anger that reflects in those eyes. "A hunt.. just as the All-father did so many centuries ago." (We'll leave out the fact that it was upon Sleipnir. Kthnx!) "Only, I'm searching for something so very different than he."
Loki whistles again, and he raises his voice, "Gold for an army!"
Daredevil is slow to get to his feet. The hero from Hell's Kitchen props himself onto all fours, wheezing heavily from that fall. Despite the fact that he rolled to safety, it looks like it has taken a bit of a toll. Emergency rolls still do damage, it seems. "Urgh. What the hell was that?" He slowly gets to his feet amidst the crowd of people, gripping his head at the same time.
The noise was deafening. Being right amid the sounds of a panic like this throws 'devil completely off. A dazed wander is made, before he leans against the wall of a building.
"Gotta get higher..." Daredevil mutters to himself, before firing his billy-club straight up. The end of it latches onto a balcony some ten floors up, which then reels Daredevil up and onto 'higher ground'.
From here, he 'looks' down at Thor and Loki below, as well as trying to get a gauge on where his allies are.
The words that Loki and Thor speak can scarcely be believed. They speak on topics that Daredevil has little knowledge about, causing his masked eyes to narrow. His fists clench, though he holds himself back for now. He'll let those who know more of these matters deal with it first.
Axiom's attention is drawn by all the other heroes but he makes sure to keep an eye on those hounds. When the police star calling out over their loudspeakers, Axiom frowns. He looks around quickly and then spots Rescue. "Rescue! Ma'am! Can you d-do anything to make sure the police don't make this worse please?" he calls out, hoping she's got something helpful in that armor. When Loki raises his voice, Axiom tenses and glances back at the people. "S-seriously, please hand over the coins before this gets more dangerous. It's for your own safety," he pleads with the people. Taking a breath he looks towards his adopted relatives and points Loki's way. "Why're you looking for gold you m-made, Loki?" he calls out, glancing at Thor before fixing a glare at Loki.
Spider-Man turns to look off to the side, "Is anyone getting this? I'm not getting this. Are you getting this?" He points to someone on the road a story below. "Didn't think so." Spidey shakes his head, "Anyways, Goldi, I gotsto admit I'm a little perturbed you got such fraternal love you're not much caring about the innocent folks who have been disappearing to and fro, left and right. I realize blood is thicker than water but right is right and wrong is wrong and if your brother likes to hunt there's places for that. Like Nebraska. Or Gotham, for goodness sakes."
Rescue doesn't try to shoot at any more of the hounds when Thor says he has them under control, but she is still a bit wary of why Loki has brought them here. Then Axiom points out the police she nods once and 'hops' over to whomever is in charge to try and keep them from making this fiasco even worse.
Well, everyone else is explaining things. Brynn just gives Thor a cold -look-. She gestures at Spiderman as the man speaks. Once Spiderman has said his piece, Brynn nods and says, "This. This is wisdom Thor. You would do well to heed it. You are destined to have the crown upon your head someday. A wise ruler listens to advice." Then she looks to Loki and adds, "Search for your gold elsewhere Odinson. Perhaps do your hunt with those who have agreed to be a part of it." With a gesture, she causes the sword in her hand to vanish and folds her arms over her chest. Yeah, she's a bit torqued off. Gonna be a lot of work at the forge to enhance -her- calm tonight.
Black Widow finds herself deposited quite near the front of the snarling hoard, her iron poker cold in her black-gloved hand. She raises it, preparing to take on the nearest of the charging hounds, when Thor's command and Loki's whistle call them to heel... for the moment.
Just as well. Widow's pretty sure facing down a pack of the slavering, nordic beasts is on par with the parademons from the day before... and she only fared passably well against them, until she had someone at her back.
Problem here, of course, is that all the rest of the heroes here, with the possible exception of Axiom -- who's trying to do crowd control, it seems -- are all airborn... or at least not at ground level. Which, frankly, she can't help but think, is the much smarter position to be in.
What she wouldn't give for iron shot and a little black powder, right now. Too bad the natural history museum's halfway across town.
However, as Loki raises his voice, calling for an army, Tasha begins to get a sense of at least part of what he has planned. Her head turns to look back over her shoulder at the mobs in the Square. "The gold's payment," she calls out to Axiom, starting to run towards the crowds now, towards the police. "We need to keep the mobs from rampaging!"
Just don't ask her how. She hasn't got that figured out yet.
Thor glares at Spider-Man and at Brynn and at Loki. It's everyone's fault? It's his own fault? By the Norn's would life give him a moment to just THINK, for ONCE?! Frustrated Thor is Angry Thor, and so he grabs at Loki's upper arm, squeezing perhaps a little tighter than he should.
"Thou art a Son of Odin, and Once King of Asgard. If only one of us can act accordingly, then thou must do so. If this Hunt was called by thee, then tell us how to end it and quickly. If the mortals so taken were taken by thee, tell us how to retrieve them. If thou art merely playing another's game, stop thy womanly sobbing and aid us in ending this," Thor almost bellows into Loki's face. See, Brynn? Thor took advice! Unfortunately, Thor sounds a lot like what he's saying is: Hurry up, Loki because I want to go back home and curl at the bottom of a dozen or more barrels of mead for I have done a bad bad thing.
Now, as Thor's presence make it appear as if the heroes are standing down, Loki looks so very, very pleased. Smug. The smile on his face is one that conveys a sort of victory. There are plans going through that head of his; thoughts never cease, each building upon the next. He knows the value of starting small. Teach those how to follow and one day they'll be leaders.
Spider-Man is holding.
Daredevil is paused.
Eddie is dealing with other now, though his words gain something of an eyeroll, and he's about to say something before Loki holds out the hand that doesn't hold a dagger towards the Black Widow. "THANK you..."
It's that next moment, however, that his arm is taken, and there's a wince from it. If it was a mortal's arm, the bone would break and be crushed. "Thor.. your hand.." is pointed out by a suddenly empty second hand.
Regardless, Thor's words earns Loki's ire, and his own are no less heated, but they are delivered in a soft, reasonable tone. "Brother, it needs to run to its conclusion." Apparently it is the Prince's hunt. His expression hardens, as if it could before he simply shrugs, "The mortals that are gone?" Loki shakes his head and makes a soft 'tsk' sound. "Could be anywhere."
There are those now that are comparing their gold pieces, and not one of them look willing to give it up. It's those who've lost their loved ones that push towards the barriers. In fact, however, those who hold their newly found money? They're paying a little bit of attention to those speaking and are beginning to discover -who- their benefactor is!
Daredevil continues to listen intently from his perch some ten stories up. His head cants towards Spider-Man, a small nod following. That was a sentiment he could agree with, though he will not say as much right now.
He remains up there, collecting his breath. Slowly getting the stamina that he spent just before back. Sweeping his senses across the scene, he finally picks up the form of Black Widow, headed for the crowd.
When Loki speaks after being addressed by his brother, Daredevil moves. Firing his billy-club, he swings back down to the road to where the two brothers from Asgard stand. He gets as close as he can, which itself could be seen as quite bold considering the hounds that are nearby.
"/Anywhere/?" He repeats angrily. "You come into such a place and make family members of this world disappear? Thor," He turns to face the blonde haired figure. "You make your brother return those people right now. He is not above the law here, and neither are you. If you are taking his side, then you've committed the same crimes as he."
When he hears what Black Widow has to say, Axiom's eyes widen. He looks towards the crowd before glancing back at the running Widow. "Brace yourself!" he calls her way before directing his boosting powers her way. She'll find herself stronger, faster, more durable...and perhaps best of all, healing faster than a normal human and with a sudden energy boost. He looks towards the Odinson exchange a moment longer before taking a deep breath and following after Black Widow. "What's the plan, ma'am?" he asks. "And will it end with me g-g-getting to put my boot in my uncle's face?" he adds a touch more quietly, not being completely serious even if he really does want to deck Loki.
If there were tables to flip... Thor growls toward Daredevil, those words stinging more that he'd care to admit. Roughly, the Thunderer lets go of Loki's arm, almost shoving the Trickster from him.
"Have care how thou doth speak, Mor-" Thor is starting to say to Daredevil before he forcibly stops himself and turns back to Loki.
"I go weary of these games Loki. Name the prey of this Hunt and I shall take the Hounds to finish it," he says. Because his thinking is that if he can end the Hunt, all will be right with the world. Or something. Really. he should have just tossed the comm unit into the fireplace, called up a few drinking buddies and sang Woe is Me.
Widow isn't particularly focussed on Loki, at the moment. She can hear him through the various coms, and the fact voices carry further in the cold. She sees Rescue moving to speak with the office in charge of the security detail, but she knows instinctively that won't really be enough. Loki's words will incite enough people, else she's no (cynical) judge of human nature. There will be a riot... or at least a grand attempt made at one. And while she'll agree that tear gas and pepper spray may not be the best idea, something needs to be done to corral the herds. (Because mobs are little more than herds at best.)
Then, as she nears the crowd trying to breach the barrier, an idea comes to her.
"Rescue, you've got that non-toxic fire-foam, right? Maybe we can use that to quell the situation." A beat. "And call out the bots, if Tony's not coming."
As Axiom calls out to her and, more importantly, give her the surprising boost (not to mention the much needed healing shot -- thank God for that!), she glances back to himm. "Containment and redirection," she tells him. "We need to keep people from storming the Square, it's too full as it is. And we need to keep people from leaving the Square without anyone rampaging." Because she knows the rampaging is exactly what the so-called god of chaos wants.
As for him putting a boot in Loki's face, well... she won't stop him. Thor might, but Widow won't.
She doesn't always see eye-to-eye with the Thunderer, in any case.
"You know, I love the Asgardians...I really do. If there was a fan club, I'd sign up. I'd sign up twice. --Wait. Maybe there is a fan...Anyways, my point is, I love you guys. But as soon as y'all start opening your mouths and talking in that Mid-evil, Minnesotan, Shakespeare/Tolkein manner, I start losin' focus and my eyes get all glaz-y. Is your brother gonna finish the job, Goldi? Or we going to have to go all Hulk on him and smash him up?" Spider-Man holds his hands out and shakes his head quickly and hurriedly. "I don't care which one it is, but one of em is gunna happen."
Well, nothing more need be said right now. Brynn just -looks- at Thor, and then turns to walk off through the air. She is just... frustrated right now. She also just had a case of pot kettle black. She refers to these people as 'mortal' more often than not, and it has just been struck home to her that they deserve more than that. She rises up above the crowds and calls out, "Those who are injured! I cannot wave a hand and make you well, but given time, I can repair some of the damage!"
Loki doesn't appear to notice Daredevil, but this time he's got the hero in his periphery. The smugness of his smile shifts to a smirk, and while he doesn't turn, his voice rises in a lilt, "You are wrong.. I am above your petty laws. I've seen your civilizations rise and fall. Pathetic as you try to reinvent yourselves over... and over."
Now, however, Loki looks to his brother, "There is a magical maiden, Thor. Do you dare search her? And those that have disappeared?" He leans forward, his tones a stage whisper, "Each one of them was due to die this year." The Trickster simply, possibly hastened the event? Maybe? After all, the Norse myth does have something of a parade of the dead for the Ride. At least some do.
"Will you continue the Hunt, brother? Find a horse and search? The hounds have the scent."
But then... is that the suggestion from Spider-Man that Loki continues the Hunt? Really? Turning his gaze upon the masked one, he can't help but grin. "Get me a horse and I'll continue."
"Wrong." Daredevil growls to Loki. "You're no better than the common thugs I have to beat in Hell's Kitchen. Justice will one day reach you." Hearing that Thor is going to take charge of the matter though, the red-masked man backs down a little.
He turns on his foot and moves in the opposite direction to 'Widow and Axiom, perhaps in an effort to help with the crowd control on the other side. A brief nod is given to Spider-Man as he passes the wall-crawler.
Axiom isn't focusing much on Loki right now either. The crowd control is more important then dealing with the villain. He nods to Natasha and then starts to mimic her at the same time as he boosts her, his costume shifting into a combination of his own and her combat gear. His hair might even get a little redder to the keen eye. "Yes ma'am. J-just tell me where you need me to go," he says. He's trusting she'll have a better idea than the 'go with hope and faith' that Axiom tends to go with. "Everyone please stay c-calm!" he calls out to the crowd as he starts on the crowd control.
Spider-Man pinches the bridge of his nose, and turns away again, tilting his head as he talks. "I have no idea what's going on. Is this dude a good guy or a bad guy? Is Thor a good guy or a bad guy now? What happened to the missing people? Is anyone going after them? What are these folks talking about? I hate shakespeare. I remember the good ole days. Back when you knew who the good guys and the bad guys were and you punchapuncha and then everyone goes home happy." He turns back to the pair of Asgardians, "Yo. Horny Head. What's the status? It's past my bedtime and I want to save those folks before my mommy reads me a bedtime story."
Natasha appreciates the boost Axiom gives her and his willingness to help. But, crowd control? Not really in her assassin's training. Well, okay. It is to a degree. But, well, Russian crowd control involves more tear gas and pepper spray than what they want to see used here.
Still, she makes the best suggestion she can. "Redirect the people in on 42nd up Broadway. The Majestic hasn't reopened, yet. It's parking lot will do," she tells him. And, perhaps the young Thorson's message actually gets through to at least some of the crowd. Which is probably a good thing, considering Rescue does indeed have her non-toxic foam. Frankly, a hero like her is much better-equipped to deal with this sort of thing than either Widow or Axiom. A couple of white mob bombs later and only the die-hard gold-hoarders are strugging to reach their leige lord's side. Those, however, are much easier for a faith-boosted Widow to deal with than full mobs of people are.
Those poor misguided folks, she can put down the old fashioned way... and without either guns or poker.
Happy New Year.
Thor eyes Loki, sighs, and glances about for a police.. on a horse. Striding over, the Prince tries really really hard to be polite through the sheer amount of *I just want to bash it with my hammer and go home!!!* running through his system. When the officer relents after some conversation, Thor returns to Loki, leading the horse by the bridle.
"Here. Horse. Finish thy hunt, leave off the collection of an Army to the Valkyrie. And speak not of banishments and exiles. What thou did-" Thor stops speaking, eyes turning away from Loki while his hand presses the reigns into the Trickster's hands. Saying nothing further, Thor steps away, twirls Mjolnir once, and heads skyward. Thor's out. This has picked at his last nerve. He needs more mead and some guy talk.
Thor goes home.
Daredevil is gone.
While it looked like he was heading in the direction to handle the crowd, he has actually used them as cover for escape. His legs were screaming at him, as was his shoulder -- which he's pretty sure is bleeding from torn stitches. It was worth it, though. Even for the small amounts of knowledge he gained here tonight.
He slinks away, eventually heading back home where he can treat himself once more.