Three days later, the Nameless god, last of the gods of Aesgard, stood beside Mavis and watched the Wolv transport rise in the atmosphere. The ogres and trolls Danna brought to protect them for three days while Martok did the repair work were home and safe. They only had to kill six Wolv that lost patience and tried to eat Mavis or Martok, or whoever worked on the ship at the moment.
The gray-backed Wolv kept most of the Wolv under control for those three days. There were only forty survivors by then out of the original hundred on the transport, and most of them were women and children, but the gray-backed Wolv understood, even if the others did not, that Earth was one planet that would not be won, even if they mounted a full-scale invasion. They tried that once already, and failed. It was not because Earth was full of unbeatable monsters, though from the Wolv perspective it seemed to be, but because the human race had reached just the right sort of primitive development where it had disciplined armies and effective weapons.
“Will they survive?” Mavis asked as she shaded her eyes against the sun for a better look. The four hundred-year-old transport smoked a little as it rose.
“They should make it out of the solar system. How far they will continue into deep space remains to be seen,” Nameless said. Nameless felt something then he had not felt in a long time. He put his arm out toward Mavis in case he needed to draw her under his protective wing. An old man appeared, in his robe, holding his staff, and Nameless named the man. “Mithras.”
“You have always been a good one to clean up the messes made by the gods,” Mithras said, as he turned his eyes to the diminishing spot in the sky.
“As Lord of the sprites of the earth, air, fire and water, I kind of had to specialize in cleaning up messes. Even if I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, history is already written and the future is already set. Keeping that written word on track mostly involves cleaning up messes.” Nameless blinked and brought the three of them to the place of the ancient dome.
Mithras appeared startled. “I am not used to being carted around by another god. That is not easy to do.”
“But it is,” Nameless said. “This remains Aesgard land, my land, and you are an intruder who does not belong here.” He turned to face the old man. “Your place is Persia, and I will not begrudge you the Indus or the Tigris-Euphrates, but you are no longer welcome in the land of Aesgard.” Nameless traded places with Danna. “And you must stay out of the West and the old lands of Vanheim as well.” She traded again with Junior. “The Near East, Egypt and North Africa are off limits to you. You have no place among the Jews and the Christians.” He traded again, and Salacia filled his shoes. “In fact, the whole Greco-Roman world including the Mediterranean and all the lands and islands around are now off limits to you. Stick to your own place, but not for too long. You should be on the other side as you know perfectly well.” Salacia went away so Nameless could come back again. He whispered to Mavis, “Now I am dizzy.,” but they looked at Mithras and saw him begin to cry.
“I’m afraid,” he said.
“I am not the judge,” Nameless said. “But I would say on the scale of things, you have not done badly. You should not fear. The new way has come and it is full of mercy and grace.”
“But am I subject to the new way, or am I stuck in the old ways?”
“We are all subject, even the gods. Only you must decide which way you will go and which path you will follow.” Nameless turned to face the last broken blocks of what was once a magnificent dome in the wilderness. “Grandfather Odin wanted this to remain as a reminder that the gods should not make promises. He is gone now. The old ways are gone now, and this particular reminder of the ancient world should go with them.” As a true god of the earth, Nameless reached far down below and drew up the great stones of the underworld. The stone broke through the surface and Nameless shaped it into a bit of a line where it might one day serve to remind him of the past, a reminder no one else would understand. Then he crumbed the great blocks of stone to dust with a thought and blended the stone dust into the stone from below until they were made one. Then he stood back and spoke again.
“One day, men will come here. They will build other domes and rule and worship in this place.” He stepped back, and Mithras had a thought.
“I spent a hundred years trapped in this place. It would not be a bad place to die.” He looked at Nameless. It took a moment for Nameless to figure it out, but when he did, he took a step back.
“No way. Greta killed enough for a lifetime, and Lucius became a horror for her. She will never get over that.”
“You killed Mithrasis.”
“I made my contribution, and Junior killed your Jupiter, and Gerraint killed the Sun-runner, and Salacia killed the Persian and far too many men with her fury, the fury prompted by Greta who had to kill Lucius. No, I will do no more killing.” Nameless stepped back and watched Mithras cry. “And for the record, don’t even think about trying to manipulate me into doing the job. I will not be manipulated again, and any innocents you kill will be a mark against you in the eternal ledger, and I don’t believe you can afford that.” Nameless paused to think before he added, “It will be five hundred years before a man convinces a whole nation that the Almighty will somehow reward people for killing the innocent. That darkness will spread from that day far into the future, but that is not this day.”
Mithras paused in his cry. “The Don? She has not had a turn.”
“Danna has her own reluctant and disobedient children to worry about. You just need to let go of your flesh and blood yourself, and be done with it. It won’t be so bad, and I am sure your brother Varuna, who loves you, is waiting with arms open to welcome you to paradise.”
Mithras nodded and faded from sight. Mavis finally opened her eyes and lifted her head to look at the most noble face of the god beside her, and he smiled for her and said, “Let’s go home,” and they returned to the grassy place beside Bragi’s house, this time when no one stood there to watch. Greta returned with the smile still on her lips. She took off her red cloak for Mavis to hold, since after all, it had become a warm early spring day.
“And in six to eight weeks,” she said to herself. “I will be welcoming a new life into the world. Marcus.” She had to get used to the name. “Now Mavis,” she spoke up. “Let’s go inside. I feel like cleaning something.”
“As you say.”
We begin a Christmas story, in twenty-one posts, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of each week, for the next seven weeks. The final post will be on Christmas day.
A Holiday Journey
The London Symphony Orchestra
And I hope they don’t have lawyers (solicitors) who want to behave stupidly. The website/blog is not amortized (there is no money). The stories I post here are free reading, like a Christmas present all year long. I am sure the CD Guys won’t mind because they will probably sell more CDs. But unless someone buys one of my books, and there are presently only a few of the first Avalon stories up on the bookseller sites, there is otherwise no compensation for me. That’s okay. I hope you enjoy the stories.
Don’t worry, we will get back to the Middle Ages soon enough. After A Holiday Journey, the plan is to post Avalon, Season Six over twenty-four weeks. Then, about the beginning of next summer, we will return to Light in the Dark Ages. Festuscato will meet Beowulf. Gerraint will search for the Holy Graal. And Margueritte… She will struggle with ogres and unicorns, fairies and knights, dragons and witches–just about everything a young medieval girl could hope for.
I hope you enjoy your holiday journey. Merry Christmas in advance. (Give someone a Christmas hug), and until Monday, Happy Reading.