For thousands of years the great hammer lay in the vast Australian outback just a few kilometres from the monolithic Ayers Rock. If time and the elements had scoured and pitted the hammer, it was not evident. Nor had the drifting sands covered it as might have been expected.
While various stories about the hammer existed, the most persistent was that it was the fabled hammer of Thor of Asgard, the long absent, and assumed dead, Norse God of Thunder. According to mythology the weapon was the greatest ever known to god or man. No one had ever taken the trouble to measure the weapon, if such it was, but the shaft was hundreds of feet long. Rumour had it that the mighty Thor had been of mortal dimensions, albeit tall and powerfully built. But he was a God and a God can assume any size he chooses can he not ?
In the early days the tourists came here and the hammer became a greater attraction than Ularuu itself. Children climbed scaffolding to play on the shaft of the hammer and on its huge head. But the tourists came less and less and over thousands of years the great hammer silently bore witness to the decline of man. The alien incursions took their toll upon the Earth. Their forays humbled the military forces of the Earth, even those of the United States, which persisted as it's greatest nation.
As they had done in times past some men looked to Asgard for protection when the first aliens came. Beyond their mortal heroes they looked to great Odin father of the Norse Gods and to the mighty Thor strongest of all the gods of Asgard. But the cries of men were not answered. Odin did not appear on his fabled steed Sleipner with his legendary spear gunghir in hand. Nor did the heavens open and the thunder bolts of Thor appear in mankind's defence. Gaea or Jord, the living human form embodiment of mother Earth suffered enormously. Legend had it that she was mother to Thor himself. But the son did not come to his mother's aid.
No person still living knew why Thor had departed our Earth or Midgard as the Asgardians used to call it. Nor did any existing repository of knowledge contain that information, if any ever did. Although no man had ever witnessed any activity of the great hammer this is not to say that none took place. In truth there were times when great natural storms occurred in the vicinity of the hammer and they were silenced almost immediately as the hammers head casually absorbed their fearsome energies as if they were but a mild summer breeze. Also on rare occasion vast energies were tapped from the hammer. The energies were hurled skyward before disappearing on route to an unknown destination.
If men had witnessed this they might have thought that Thor himself was drawing on his hammers energies from some vastly distant place. Only Jord herself knew the truth. Now no one lived within hundreds of kilometres of the hammer of Thor anymore and the only inhabitants of the Australian land mass were its original owners.
The earth had now reached it's lowest ebb sink the dark ages and probably even before that ignominious time. There was one benefit. The alien incursions came no more – the Earth was no longer a prize even to those scavengers ranked lowest on the extra-terrestrial scale.
Incredibly there remained a few true believers. Those that believed the son of Odin would one day return and take man back to his former greatness. Some among this dwindling group of persons made ever more infrequent visits to Australia and to the great hammer. Soon now, no one would come again.
The change came slowly, almost imperceptibly, and not with the tumultuous fanfare that might have been expected. Gentle yet eventually soaking rains came to lands that had not seen rain for many, even hundreds of years. Cooler temperatures began to prevail, fearsome alien irradiations abated . Glimpses of hope, all but gone, began to seep back in to the minds of men. Alien intruders, scavengers of the lowest order, on one last trip to the Earth turned tail and ran scared out of their evil minds by a power beyond their understanding.
It was supposed to have been the very last pilgrimage to the great hammer, but with things improving all over the Earth the small group resolved to return again. As the group gathered to depart the sky took on an ominous colour and for a moment they scattered to seek some form of shelter from the threatening storm.
But the storm did not eventuate and the darkness fell away to a beautiful blue sky. A great Norse warrior over a thousand feet in height could be seen slowly descending to the Earth. Suddenly the warrior was joined by an ageless human female form and as he reached the ground the two embraced – mother and son – Gaea the Earth mother and Thor Odinson finally returned to the Earth after a very long absence.
Was it too late one might ask ? too late for the son of Odin to return to men when so much time had passed and hope had all but gone. The answer to this is simple – and unequivocal - it is never too late, while humankind still draws breath it is never too late.
The rumours of the death of Odin had been true. Even before Thor had departed our mortal realm Odin had been laid to rest, now even his ashes no longer existed. As for Thor he had been engaged in a long and restful sleep but had been awakened by the great powers of the Universe. The great powers had sought his aid in a struggle that involved the very existence of our Universe. There had not even been time to retrieve his hammer, though he had drawn on its energies from time to time in a battle that lasted thousands of years. In this battle all of the great powers of the Universe, save Thor himself, had been destroyed, yet ultimately they had triumphed. Thor, exhausted beyond belief had again immersed himself in a great sleep of recovery.
No further explanation was given to men, nor was any sought by them.
With the help of the son of Odin and of his mother Gaea but ultimately through the efforts of all men and women, humankind returned to its former greatness and beyond.
Thor never left the Earth again at least not while men still lived upon it – he remained the guardian of the Earth until, millennia later, the last man departed Earth for the stars. What he did then is another story.