Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Stormclouds and Chariots, part 3

"Return to Rome," Thor threatened Mars, who was now grunting and returning to his feet, "and take your toys with you." He motioned with his hammer toward the Roman legion.

Mars growled as he stood, and rolled his neck, popping it. He grinned maniacally as he stared up at Thor. "The only toy I see," he mocked, "is that hammer of yours, barbarian scum."

Thor's eyes narrowed in anger, and his muscles tensed. He gripped the handle of his hammer tightly with both hands and clenched his teeth.

"You'll find Mjolnir a worthy weapon when she is caving in your arrogant skull, god of hubris," Thor retorted. With the finishing of his sentence, he swung the hammer straight down at the ground, and as he did so, a bolt of lightning from the stormclouds above mirrored the motion. Mars, faster than could be perceived by the gathered humans, rolled out of the way of the lightning. His dogs were not as nimble, and their flesh was seared from their bones, killing them instantly. The frontlines of the Roman legion went flying backwards from the shockwave of thunder the bolt emitted as it caused the very air around it to explode.

"Don't think the same trick will work twice, pretender," Mars hissed. He charged up the hill at the thunder god, his swords trailing as before. Thor dashed forward as well, pulling back with his hammer.

Hammer and swords collided in a cataclysm of fire and lightning. The earth shook from the force of their blows, shockwaves knocked the awe-struck armies to the ground.

Thunder rang out across the sea. Suddenly, Japan was hit with tidal waves. Aborigines in Australia felt the ground tremble. Monks in Tibet ran from the avalanche of snow crashing down the mountains. Trees begin falling in a forest, scaring off the white-tailed prey of a Cherokee hunter.

Blow after blow, they fought. Mars, wildly swinging his enormous broad-swords, Thor blocking and striking his equally god-sized hammer. For the onlooking warriors, seconds turned into minutes. Minutes turned to hours. All time seemed to slow around them as the gods did battle at blinding speed, with earth-shattering power.

Parrying Mars' attack, Thor dashed in closely and struck him in the chin with his hammer. Thor grabbed the god of war in a powerful embrace and roared. The stormcloud lit up once more and a lightning bolt struck them both. And then another, and another. Bolt upon bolt came down from the sky, striking the thunder god and his helpless opponent. Finally, after dozens of blinding blasts of electricity, Thor let go. Mars collapsed to the ground, his flesh charred and black, his armor melting off of his skin. It was evident, however, that he was still breathing, and he coughed smoky air out of his lungs. Thor stood, triumphant, electricity crackling in his beard and arcing across his skin.

"Leave," he yelled down at the cowering Roman army. "Before I call down my lighting on all of you."

"Your lightning?" A voice boomed. "Who dares to lay claim to Jupiter's birthright?"

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