The wind howled, a lonely, desperate sound that sent shivers down the spines of all who heard it. It deafened the ears to all other sounds, making talking impossible so long as one was out in the midst of it. It tugged and whipped at one body's, causing clothes to rustle and skin to experience it's chilly kiss, leaving a person shivering, desperate for the warmth of a fire.

Fortunately for Alicia and her companions, they had one. It crackled, the flames alive and radiating heat, the fire burning all thanks to Dallas magic spells. Alicia stayed close to the fire, enjoying it's heat, taking comfort from it. The fire lit up the cave they had sought shelter in, casting enough light to make the shadows on the wall twisted, reminding the princess of incorporeal demons that seemed to lurk just out of sight.

She hadn't wanted to stop, Alicia wanting to press forward and find Lenneth, get their mission over with. But the sudden onset of a blizzard had left them no choice, leaving them practically blind in the fall of snow that seemed to be never ending. The snow got into everything, on their clothes, in their packs, covering their tracks. They could no longer tell which direction to move in, a dangerous situation while on the ground, made even more perilous by the fact they had been navigating a narrow path at the edge of the mountain.

They had been forced to move or be buried under the snow, pressing their backs against sheer walls of ice. Smooth was the surface, leaving nothing to grip as they moved along the wall, seeking shelter. They had found it in a cave, the cavern empty and a welcome sight to the travelers. They had quickly set up camp, not quite relaxing as they warmed themselves by the fire.

Dallas was poking at the flames with a stick, a nervous habit as he prodded the tinder again and again. He huddled as close as possible to the fire, shivering though he wore the thick robes of a mage. Alicia's own armor offered some protection from the elements, the girl finding it insulated her somewhat from the cold. It still wasn't enough, she had goose bumps underneath her clothes, wishing she had thought to take a cloak with her.

"Do you think it'll be much longer?" Alicia asked, Dallas glancing at her with a frown. "The storm I mean?"

"Ah...would that my powers extend to divining the weather." Dallas sighed. "But your guess is as good as mine."

"It's not letting up, not any time soon." Lydia's voice, carrying from the front of the cave. The blond archer was leaning before the entrance, arms crossed over her chest as she stared out into the storm. "It just keeps coming and coming, growing heavier with each passing minute..."

"Great." Dallas grumbled. "What if we're snowed in? We'll die here!"

"Calm down." Alicia advised. "I won't let that happen."

"At least we'll have a Valkyrie here to collect our souls." Lydia said, keeping her back to them so they could not see her expression. "Our souls will not be transformed into vengeful spirits that roam these mountains."

"How can you make light of the situation?" demanded Dallas, poking viciously at the fire.

"I am not." Lydia answered, but other than that she was silent. Dallas sighed, his eyes meeting Alicia's over the fire.

"How do you feel?" He asked, eyes intent on hers.

"Cold." Alicia answered, and he shook his head no.

"I meant about what's happened." Dallas clarified. "About becoming Lezard's Valkyrie."

Alicia looked away, only to see Lydia had turned, the archer watching her carefully. "I'd like to know too." She said.

Alicia blinked, casting her eyes downwards towards her lap. Her hands were folded neatly together, almost as though clasped in prayer. Her rings gleamed on her hand, the ruby seeming to burn brighter as it reflected the fire. Over the back of her hands, stopping just short of her fingers was the start of her gauntlets, the light teal metal gleaming, showing her face reflected on their surface. Her eyes looked worried, a combination of sadness and resignation.

"It was the only thing I could do at the time." She said at last. "What choice did I have?" She was shaking her head, letting her hair fall over her face like a curtain of gold. "We can't win against him...we are only human..." A sigh then, Alicia repeating her words. "Only human..."

"It leaves a bitter taste in my mouth." Dallas' words made Alicia glance up, seeing him concentrating on the fire once more. "Seeing you tied to him like that."

"I'm not too thrilled with the idea myself." Alicia retorted. No response from her two companions, they seemed to be waiting for her to say more. Alicia didn't attempt to fill in the gap of silence, instead turning inwards as she gathered her thoughts. It had all happened so fast, no time to think, no time to hesitate. She doubted Lezard would have waited for her to devote proper time to thinking her decision through, the crazed God hadn't been able to conceal his impatience at finding Lenneth.

She had been desperate herself, wanting to broker a deal that was favorable to herself and her friends. Becoming his Valkyrie seemed liked the only option, the only way to survive against him. It wasn't a win nor was it a defeat, it bordered the two, leaving Alicia dissatisfied with the potential outcome. She wondered what Lezard was thinking, tying them together in this way.

Alicia wondered what Silmeria would think, to see her as a Valkyrie now. Would she be proud? Or would the fact that she worked for Lezard taint Silmeria's opinion of her? Alicia feared the latter, thinking she could hear Silmeria's sigh of disappointment in her ear. Would Rufus be any better? She cringed at the thought of her husband, hoping his eyes wouldn't turn cold and uncaring at learning the news.

They were all becoming pawns of Lezard's. Rufus and Arngrim were out there somewhere, fighting his war, while she was no better, on a mission to retrieve Lenneth for him. She'd never have believed it if asked a few months ago would she actually give Lenneth to the crazed God. Now she was about to do just that, something she had yet to reconcile herself to. Could she really sacrifice Lenneth's happiness for her own?

Alicia sighed, her mind turning over angles. The Dragon Orb was warm on her hip, giving off a reassuring heat as it sat nestled in her pack. She had concealed it's presence from Lezard, even Dallas and Lydia did not know she had it. It's power was only a thought away, she could use it, burn Asgard to ash. But then what? She'd be responsible for killing countless lives, destroying a world in a frantic attempt to kill Lezard.

The Dragon Orb was flawed, a treasure with a limit. One use only, burn the world to ash, and then it's power would ebb, the orb turning cold and lifeless. Midgard would mirror it's fate, the realm falling into ruin at the loss of it's treasure. To use it meant Alicia would be responsible for the destruction of two realms. Something she could not abide!

She was stuck with the age old question, the choice of weighing the fate of one person, their happiness, their life, against the good of millions. Lenneth versus the countless souls, the known friend against the unknown strangers of Midgard and Asgard. If she thought about it, really thought about it, Alicia realized her decision would have been the same.

"It's not that I wanted to become his servant..." Her voice drew their gazes back to her, Alicia speaking slowly, carefully. "I won't forget what he did...I won't forget how he betrayed us."

"He's liable to do it again." Lydia pointed out, vocalizing a fear that had been nagging in the back of Alicia's mind. "He's a snake, scum. He cannot be trusted."

"Don't you think I know that!" Alicia exclaimed. "I'll never put my faith or trust in him again. But I...I can work with him...at least long enough to find Lenneth. It buys us time you see..."

"To do what?" asked Dallas.

"To live. To think. To..." Alicia hesitated. "To plan."

"Do you mean to betray him before he does the same to us?" Lydia questioned, and Alicia sighed.

"Maybe."

"You'll have to decide soon." Lydia pointed out. "The storm will delay us only for so long."

"And once we return Lenneth to him, he'll have little need of us." Added Dallas.

"Yes. That would be the time he would most likely seek to dispose of us." Alicia agreed, staring moodily at the fire. "He's given me powers though...perhaps the power to keep from dying at his hands..."

"But you are no Goddess." Lydia reminded her. "You are different from the other Valkyries. You remain human."

A heavy sigh from Alicia, the girl pushing up to stand. "Yes. Perhaps..." She shook her head, frowning at her thoughts.

"What is it Alicia?" urged Lydia. "Tell us your thoughts."

"The Valkyrie is a symbol...To both Gods and einherjar alike. A symbol of hope, of power...They NEED a Valkyrie." Alicia walked over to the cave's entrance, staring outside. She joined Lydia in watching the snow dance, feeling as though she was on the verge of a break through. "If needed, perhaps the einherjar would stand up to defend their Valkyrie...At the very least, Lezard cannot afford to kill us in front of the others...not when we have been seen as doing nothing wrong."

"He'll want to make it look like an accident." Came Dallas' words. "A causality of the war perhaps."

"That's most likely when he'll strike." Agreed Alicia. "We'll have to be ready for him...ready to make our stand..."

"Perhaps we can flee...during the midst of the battle." Dallas suggested, both women turning to look at him. "Collect Rufus and Arngrim and run from this place, return to Midgard."

"That'll never work." Sighed Alicia. "He won't believe that we are content to leave him in peace. If he doesn't want to kill us, he'll want to keep us close by...to keep an eye on us. I don't want to be his prisoner anymore than I want to die."

"So what do we do Alicia?" Lydia asked.

"I don't know..." Her face was close to crumpling, Alicia feeling tired and weary. She had bought them time, but what good was it if she couldn't think of a plan!? "I wish Silmeria was still here. She'd already have worked out a plan, one guaranteeing our survival."

"It can't be as hopeless as it seems..." Lydia said, tentatively touching Alicia's shoulder. The princess tried to take the comfort offered to her, but inwardly she was growing depressed.

"Perhaps..." Alicia answered. She glanced out the cave, staring through the thick snowflakes, thinking she could see the hint of a light. "The sun's coming out..."

"Looks like the worst of the storm is over with then." Lydia said. "Won't be long now before we can move again."

"Yes." Unspoken was the thought that moving meant one step closer to Lenneth. Time was starting to run out for Alicia and her friends. "We better get ready to move." Alicia said, approaching the fire. "No telling when the next storm might hit."

--

The wall shook, vibrations echoing up and down the stone structure, hallmarks of the fists that were pounding into it. Things crumbled, stone being worn away bit by bit, the very foundation of the wall being withered down. It wouldn't be long now, the wall would fall, and then the battle would truly commence.

Both sides of the wall watched with held breath, monsters gathering some distant away as the giants labored. They stayed out of reach of the arrows, never venturing closer, waiting patiently. On the Asgardian's side, the einherjar waited, weapons already held in hand, the army of the Aesir spread out, ready to defend this land from the giants.

The time for working on the wall had ended, every able bodied warrior needed on the field. Ambrosia fortified them, gave them a glow of strength, the men and women filled with anticipation. Nerves were tense, excited energy filling them, bodies wound up tight and only combat would relieve them of their tension.

Few einherjar were on the wall itself, mainly the archers and a few warrior who labored with the oil barrels, pouring the heated mixture down on the giants. They were determined to take down as many as they could before the actual battle started, knowing that though their numbers were greater than that of Jotunheim's, the giants themselves were a force to be reckoned with. Groups of humans forced to work against one at a time, a slow and laborious task to kill them.

Rufus dipped the head of his arrow into the oil, quick to set it aflame. Hurrying before the shaft could ignite, he placed it on his steel bow, drawing back the string. Twang went the bow, the arrow flying free, hurtling towards one of the oil covered giants who was stumbling away from the wall. His aim was true, the arrow set the oil to flame, the giant screaming and twirling around in place, desperate to avoid the fire.

Rufus was already readying another arrow, watching as the flaming giant stumbled into a group of monsters, the beasts screeching as they tried to avoid getting hit. Some inadvertently stepped into reach, archers lobbing arrows in their direction, piercing key points on their bodies.

The wall gave a mighty shudder, Rufus nearly toppling forward, only the stone guard rail kept him from slipping off the edge. He let slip a curse, dropping his arrow. A call went out as he righted himself, voice commanding.

"Archers stand down!"

It was time, Rufus realized as the wall continued to shake, seeming to groan as it fought to remain standing upright. They had done all they could, now they were forced to abandon their posts, flee to safety before the wall completely gave way. Rufus felt impatient as he carefully moved along the top, wishing those in front of him would walk faster.

Cheers from Jotunheim's side, they knew the wall was about to come down, and they screamed for einherjar blood. The sound was chilling, sending shivers down the half elf's spine, Rufus relieved when his feet were on the steps leading downwards.

"Come on, come on!" He muttered under his breath, bristling with impatience as he waited for the girl in front of him to move. She was picking her way carefully down, stopping occasionally to cling to the rail. She was making the trip downwards longer than it had to be, Rufus having to fight not to push past her.

He could hear the pounding of the giant's fists, coming faster now, dust being strewn up in clouds as rock was smashed beneath their fists. Rufus had four more steps to go, when there came such a shudder, a mighty heave of the stone that he nearly tumbled off the side of the stair case. Holding onto the rail, he turned, seeing the wall was falling, smoke everywhere now, einherjar screaming as they fell down with the wreckage.

Even as Rufus winced at the sight, knowing those who survived would be trapped under the stone, he was moving. With a yell, he took a leap forward, jumping down the final three steps, jarring his feet as he landed. His knees almost touched the ground, but he caught his balance at the last second. The sound of stone hitting the ground still rang in his ears, Rufus drawing an arrow from his back sheathe as he ran, hurrying to make it to cover.

The army of Asgard was surging forward, coming his way, a loud rumble as they screamed out their battle cries. Rufus ducked behind some rocks, finding another archer had already positioned themselves there, both men pausing to catch their breaths. Einherjar swarmed all around them, Rufus scanning the crowd, trying to spot Arngrim.

A flash of blue, Rufus catching sight of what little armor the beserker bothered to wear. He was standing, ready to make his way towards his friend, when the man turned, spotting Rufus. He lifted his sword in acknowledgment, starting to push his way towards Rufus. The half elf met him part of the way, smiling in relief at his warrior friend.

"Almost thought you were a goner back on that wall." Arngrim grinned, his eyes relieved.

"I can't die just yet...I have to see Alicia!" Rufus told him, watching as Arngrim nodded in approval.

"Good...now let's go kick some giant ass!"

"Just don't forget our goal." Rufus reminded him. "We have to make it to the bridge somehow..."

"I won't." Arngrim was already moving to rejoin the einherjar, Rufus following close behind him. "Be a lot easier if Lezard would come lend a hand."

"Yeah..." Rufus thought back to the other night, the shock he had felt at seeing Lezard flying around the battle field. He had been accompanied by another God, and together the two of the had made quick work of the giants that had infiltrated the camp. Rufus and Arngrim had been too far away to see the einherjar that accompanied Lezard, not daring move any closer and risk detection by their former friend.

He shook his head, focusing on the present, seeing the first of the combatants meet. The einherjar sought to circle around the giants who had been at the wall, intent on bringing them down while they were still tired from their recent efforts. The next wave of soldiers ran past while the first wave of giants were distracted, covering ground a distance away from the wreckage of the wall. They ran into the monsters, and there the two sides were more evenly match, weapons against claws, voices raising in challenge and in pain.

Groups of five were surrounding the stone giants, composed of swordsmen, axe bearers, spear wielders. An archer was with each group, the close quarter combatants working to distract the giant while the archer tried to get a bead on their eyes. The frost giants were being dealt with more easily, the swordsmen driving in close, providing a diversion while mages set about to casting their fire spells. Flames licked across their skins, melting them down, weakening them to sharp weaponry.

A second wave of giants were pushing their way across the field, large fists smashing into einherjar, casting their bodies to go bouncing into the ground. They were doing an aggressive sweep, trying to take out as many of the Asgardians as they could, looking to move deeper into the shining realm.

The camp was soon over run with the enemy, einherjar bravely holding their ground, battling to keep them from taking one step further. The healers were scrambling to get out of the way, watching helplessly as giants set about to dismantling their tents, supply wagons being crushed underfoot. It was a chaotic atmosphere, a frenetic melee as both sides took massive losses.

Rufus and Arngrim didn't even have a chance of making for the bridge, the giants stopped all such advances, leaving the two friends to hold back and wait. They skirted the borders of the skirmish, picking off monsters, Rufus' bow singing as arrow after arrow flew true, shooting down chimeras and the like. Arngrim got even closer to the battle, running right into a group of demons, his heavy blade swinging about to clash it's sharpened edge into mid sections. Rufus kept a careful eye on the beserker, occasionally lending his arrows to aid the man when it looked like he was in a precarious situation.

He was making sure every arrow counted, careful not to waste any on a shot that wasn't a guaranteed hit. And still he was rapidly depleting his stock, wondering if he should fall back until he could replenish his arrows. Other archers were facing a similar problem, slowly beginning their retreat, ready to scout out the remains of the supply wagons in hope of finding an undamaged cache of arrows.

"Arngrim!" Rufus shouted the beserker's name, trying to catch his attention. His voice was lost in the roar of the yelling, just another scream that went unnoticed. Rufus bit back a curse, hurrying closer to his friend, determined to drag him back. He did not want to abandon him, but if he didn't get more arrows and soon, Rufus would be of no use on the battlefield.

"Arngrim!" He tried again, louder this time, almost within reach of the man. He shot one of his last arrows over the warrior's head, the silver head embedding itself right between the eyes of the demon who was trying to break the beserker's guard.

"Thanks.' Arngrim said, shifting from a defensive position to one of offense, his sword swinging downwards to cleave the demon in two.

"We got to retreat for now." Rufus shouted, another arrow notched into place, Rufus taking careful aim. He hoped to bluff the demons into backing off without firing, thinking to drag Arngrim off with him.

"Retreat?!" Arngrim sounded surprised, heavy blade being stabbed forward so it's tip grazed across the black skin of a demon with smoldering red eyes. "But the party's just getting started!"

"And I'm almost out of party favors!" Rufus hissed in his ear, hand on his muscular shoulder. "Come on, we have to move before I'm completely useless to you."

"Damn." Arngrim said, tone grave as he smashed his sword into the chest of the demon. "Sorry ladies, we'll dance some other time." His tone was mocking, the demons growling and hissing in rage. As Rufus and Arngrim began their retreat, walking backwards steadily but slowly, the group of demons pursued them, trying to press what they perceived to be an advantage. Whenever they ventured too close, an arrow would fly, or Arngrim's sword would slice through the air in warning.

They traveled in that precarious manner for several minutes, trying to lose their pursuers as they drew closer to the other combatants. They sought shelter among the einherjar, dodging attacks from the warriors of Jotunheim, Rufus pushing to move beyond the fighting. There were a few others trying to retreat, warriors whose weapons had broken on the battlefield, or even injured soldiers who were desperate to get to the healers.

Little by little, the Asgardian Army was being pushed back, all signs seeming to point to an early win for Jotunheim. Rufus wasn't sure how he felt about that. On the one hand it meant a defeat for Lezard. Heck if they were lucky, perhaps the twerp would be killed. But then what would happen to the einherjar? Some were already dead, would more die? He just didn't know, and even more troubling was the fact that right now he and Arngrim would end up suffering their fate. Win or lose, if they couldn't get to the bridge, they were stuck in Asgard, at the mercy of the victors of this war.

He was wasting too much time thinking, worrying when he should be concentrating on the fight at hand. He just barely missed getting stepped on, Arngrim knocking him out of the way in time. Rufus accidentally shot off an arrow, the metal shaft rebounding harmlessly off the bottom of the giant's foot. It did little except to attract unwanted attention, the giant growling and turning to glare at them.

Rufus fought to keep from cursing, and from the sound of it, Arngrim had no problem in letting profane words fly free. The warrior had his sword ready, keeping a watchful eye on the giant, seeing it turn from the einherjar it had been attacking. They breathed a sigh of relief, trying to get their bearings, leaving Arngrim and Rufus to face down their opponent.

"A little help here guys!" Rufus called out angrily. No time to wait for an answer, he was placing the very last of his arrows onto the bow. Arngrim was slashing at the giant's legs, forcing the creature to do an odd dance as it tried to avoid his blade.

With a frustrated cry, Rufus let his arrow fly free, holding his breath as it sped towards the giant's face. He winced when it bounced off it's nose, Rufus taking a step back, all out of ammunition. Arngrim bellowed out a challenge, driving forward with his sword, Rufus amazed the blade didn't shatter upon impact against the rough, stone skin.

Suddenly the giant froze, letting out a grown. Cracks began appearing all over it's body, Rufus turning to stare wide eyed at Arngrim. "What did you do?!"

"Wasn't me." Admitted an equally stunned Arngrim, starring at the crumbling giant. A loud bang was heard, cracking the stone flesh further, limbs falling apart. It kicked up dirt clouds on the grass, causing everyone to choke. Coughing, with tears in his eyes, Rufus squinted, trying to see what had happened.

"It was me." A man's voice rang out, grim satisfaction sounding in his voice. Rufus looked up, craning his neck back to see what had to be a God standing on two storm clouds, one at the bottom of each foot. He was blonde, with a beard face, his eyes a vibrant blue. In his hand was a stone hammer, archaic in design, dating back to the early days of Midgard.

Rufus stared, and the very battle field seemed to go quiet, friend and foe alike turning to view the newcomer. The einherjar didn't quite bow, but Rufus heard the reverent whispers, voices repeating a name over and over.

"Thor!"

Rufus's eyes widened, his jaw surely dropping in shock. Thor floated a moment longer over the wreckage, and then with hammer in hand, it glowing a yellow white color reminiscent of lightning bolts, the God took off, speeding towards another giant. Thor the giant killer had arrived, and not a moment too soon.

--

Lenneth sighed, a deep huff of air as she paced, agitated beyond belief. She had failed to get the door open, and what's more she had failed to get the band off her foot. Loki was nowhere to be found, but she felt his presence in the way the metal band mocked her, runes sparking to life with her every attempt to be free of it.

She had explored her prison, pulling the table over to the high window that allowed light to shine down on her. Perching on the shaky remains of the table, she had managed to reach her hands to the window, pulling herself up by the bars to peer outside. Her first glimpse of the world outside her prison was less than encouraging, showing nothing but snow and ice for miles around. In the distance she could make out the fabled ice mountains of Jotunheim, knowing that somewhere beyond them laid Utgard the city of the giants.

With a sigh she had lowered herself, returning to the floor. That was when she had began pacing, feeling as though her feet would wear a hole in the floor. The bed lay against the wall farthest from the door, blankets drawn back, Lenneth trying to piece together a sturdy cloak out of the warm material. She gripped the table leg in her hand, liking the feel of having a weapon, primitive though it may be, in her hand.

And so she was ready when she heard footsteps outside her door, saw the door start to shake and rattle on it's hinges. Pressing her back to the side of the door, Lenneth raised her hand high, ready to bring down the leg like a club against the one attempting to enter her prison.

She tensed, hand clutching the wood tightly, hearing voices speaking in a low, muffled murmur on the other side of the door. A voice spoke, female and calling out her name. "Lenneth? Lenneth Valkyrie!? Are you in there?"

Her eyes widened, she recognized that voice. "Alicia?" Lenneth called out, tone wary. It could be another trick on Loki's part, but how would the God know of the girl and her friendship with Lenneth? She heard the girl sigh, a quick exhalation of air, and then she was speaking once more.

"Thank goodness we found you! Stand away from the door...we are going to break it down."

"We?" questioned Lenneth, but she was already stepping away. She backed all the way to the bed, sitting down on the lumpy mattress, watching the door with her breath held. Ice formed on the metal, she recognized the discharge of energy as a release of photons. Cracks began appearing on the ice, and then an explosion rocked her prison, sending shards of ice to the floor as the metal door busted open.

Lenneth had ducked down, placing a pillow over her head, trying to drown out the sounds of the explosion ringing in her ears. She was glad she had been sitting, if she had been standing, the vibrations would have knocked her off her feet.

"Lenneth?" The Goddess cautiously looked up, and gasped at her first sight of Alicia. The girl was dressed like a Valkyrie, her armor a light teal color. Silver embellished the edges of her gauntlets, forming patterns on the metal. The silver was at her neck, separating the light brown material of her high collar into segments. The brown and silver disappeared under the her chest plate, a long piece of form fitting metal that was teal and had huge round shoulder guards connected to the bodice.

That metal cover her waist, where the silver returned, forming patterns as it split into two long pieces to cover her hips. A skirt of white descended from beneath it, and Lenneth was taken aback to see the shortest skirt she had ever seen worn by a Valkyrie. It was hardly proper, being a few inches above the knee, with a ribbon of pale blue winding around the hem.

Boots up to the knee, metal greves that followed the teal and silver pattern of her armor, Alicia's brown, thigh high stockings forming where the metal stopped. She tore her eyes away from Alicia's legs, to glance at the feathered helm that rested on her head. A multitude of colors decorated her feathers, greens, blues, and black. It was the plumage of a peacock that sprouted up from the metal, making Alicia's blue eyes seem to blaze more vibrant.

Alicia blushed under Lenneth's scrutiny, the girl looking sheepish as she slid her sword back into the scabbard by her side. "It's a long story." She said, and Lenneth nodded.

"Indeed it is. You must find time to tell me, starting with how you survived Lezard's attack." She saw Alicia look downwards, the girl uncomfortable by her question. "Alicia?"

"There really is no time." She said, and now Lenneth noticed her two companions. She recognized the blonde as one of the einherjar her sister Silmeria had released, but the man was unfamiliar to her. She felt as though she should have recognized him, should have known him in another lifetime, but her memories were hazy.

"Please Goddess, come with us." Said the woman, Lydia. "The ones who have imprisoned you could return at any time."

"She's right." Alicia said. "We have to get you out of here, and back to...to..." She was faltering, unable to say it.

"Back to Valhalla." Lenneth supplied for her, seeing Alicia's eyes widened.

"But that's where..."

"Yes, I know, that's where Lezard is." Lenneth answered, and offered her a kind smile. "It's okay Alicia. I know I have to go back to him."

"But..." She was wringing her hands together, looking wretchedly at Lenneth. "How can you be so calm about this? So...accepting of your fate?"

"Isn't that why you came here?" Lenneth asked. "To bring me back to him?"

"Yes...no..." Alicia sighed. "I don't know...! I hadn't really decided yet."

"Well, I am making your decision for you." Lenneth told her. She turned away from Alicia's pained look, reaching for the blankets on the bed. She chose the warmest of the bunch, moving to wrap it around her body. "Let us go." She turned, nodding at Alicia. "Lezard must know of Loki's treachery."

"Loki?!" gasped Alicia, and Lenneth lifted an eyebrow.

"You know of him?"

"Know? I've met him!" exclaimed Alicia. "He is the one behind your disappearance?"

"The very one." Lenneth told her. "I've been his prisoner for a while now, this band prevents the usage of my powers." She lifted her skirt, just high enough to show off her ankle. The man stepped near, bending to peer at the inscriptions.

"It's ancient Norse." He announced, reaching out with his hand towards the band. Lenneth shied away from his touch, seeing his confused look.

"It's enchanted metal." She explained. "You'll only release it's power if you meddle with it." A sigh then, Lenneth wrapping the blanket tighter around her body. "It will take another God or Goddess to remove it from me."

"Then let us hurry to Asgard." Alicia said.

"Right." Lydia said, and the man nodded. Together the two stepped back outside, Lenneth moving to go past Alicia when the princess touched her shoulder.

"Lenneth? Are you sure about this?"

"Yes, Alicia. I thank you for your concern." Lenneth smiled to reassured her. "But things have changed between Lezard and I. In fact, I feel it would be remiss of me not to return. You could say...it is my duty..."

"Your duty?" questioned Alicia, a quizzical look in her eyes.

"Someone has got to keep a rein on Lezard and his more...impulsive urges." Lenneth explained. "Believe it or not, he actually listens to me somewhat..."

"I see." Alicia's hand fell away from Lenneth, the girl allowing the Goddess to move past her. Lenneth heard her sigh, but whatever Alicia wanted to say, she held back. Lenneth shook her head, walking out the room, not once looking back at the place that had been her prison for so long. She moved quickly, fearing hesitation would allow for Loki's return. But so far the God was nowhere in sight, Lenneth allowing a relieved smile to cross her face. She was free at last!

--

Gasp pant wheeze...long chapter is long...

To Be Continued...

Michelle

SamuRaidou, yes they both are pretty bad ass as you said! Should make for an interesting fight when they clash together in the fic! XD