The distant future

As with all starships of the Leandarr class, the superlative flagship carried a complement of mystic entities.

Experience over long millennia had taught the Narssons that a blend of the most advanced technology married with the most powerful mystic entities was a good insurance policy. Against pretty much anyone.

On this occasion, with the Emperor designate, Zdahlin Tihler, on board, the complement of mystics had been doubled. No chances were being taken with the soon to be most powerful entity in our Universe. A mystic himself.

This made it all the more surprising when, without warning, the great vessel fell out of hyperspace while, oblivious, its escorting starships continued their hyperspace journey.

"This shouldn't happen," said the flagships Commander "there is no precedent in our history."

"It has happened," responded the flagship's Captain, "live with it." Telepathically he indicated for his subordinate to calm down.

Immediately and without instruction the starships biological computers announced their present location. The vessels machine computers confirmed this a few seconds later.

This area of normal space was known to the Narssons. It had been known to them for thousands of their years. They never came here and if the Narssons weren't game to come here neither was anyone else.

The bridge crew took in the immediate navigational projection directly above them. A scaled down three dimensional actual image of the area of normal space commencing half a light year from them.

An area of space larger than any known star system that was subject to permanent roiling cosmic super storms.

A place that had only ever been known as the Asgard Anomaly. For reasons now largely lost in the obscurity of time.

Narsson technology was good – the three dimensional image mapped the area of space showing apparently moving pockets of calm amidst the inconceivable fury of the storms.

At that moment the Emperor designate supported by his prime mystic and seer teleported on to the bridge.

"Arcane forces pulled us from hyperspace," said the prime mystic both verbally and telepathically in a manner that got everyone's attention. Even those crew members not on the bridge "Just a momentary application, but enough," he finished.

Then the great man himself spoke up. Zdahlin Tihler, soon to be Emperor of many thousands of star systems. "The cosmic storms are enhanced by mystic forces" he announced to no one in particular, and everyone in general.

There was a moment of verbal silence. Everyone on the bridge looked up at the three dimensional actual scale image of the Asgard anomaly. Some in fear, some in awe, others in a more calculating manner.

"What I couldn't do with such additional power at my disposal," thought Zdahlin Tihler a thought that he couldn't quite keep from the more receptive minds on the flagships bridge.

"We are being pulled toward the anomaly," announced the flagship Captain, somehow beating even the biological computers, "Sire – your mystic defenders may be required to augment the flagships reverse thrust."

"Stay those actions good Captain," came a voice that was now never challenged, a voice of absolute authority. "This may be no bad thing," continued the voice, "and our escorting fleet should be rejoining us, almost any moment now?" Zdahlin Tihler's face took on the cruel smile that the flagship captain knew only too well.

Up ahead, at the edge of the Asgard anomaly, a lone humanoid type figure appeared. The ships computers projected and enhanced the image.

It was not a holographic projection nor, as the prime mystic confirmed, was it merely an astral projection.

"What is that entity?" asked Zdahlin Tihler. Was there a very slight tremor in his voice? the flagship captain decided not.

The ships biological computers did not respond immediately and the machine computers did not respond at all.

The biological computers were quite old. Which was a good thing. Biological computers are always evolving, adapting and changing and, with some ultimate limitations, improve over time.

Finally the biological computers responded:

"It is an entity, Excellency, thought to have existed in the Universe before ours, the Universe that was destroyed." "A survivor, somehow, of that destruction." "A god, no less, a true god, from the race that this anomaly is named after."

"Magni, Thorson of Asgard."

The entire bridge of the flagship stood transfixed as the entity, Magni, Thorson, drew the great ship closer to the anomaly. It or he seemed to be assisted by something held in both hands and raised high.

"What is that contrivance, that artifact that it holds" asked the Emperor designate.

The biological computers took even longer to respond, to this second direct question from ultimate authority.

"Excellency, it is a weapon from the time before the destruction of the previous Universe."

"A weapon once wielded by the entities father, the greatest weapon of that time before time."

"The mighty Mjolnir, the hammer of Thor of Asgard, son of he who was once known as Odin the Allmighty."

"Begin reverse thrust Captain" came the voice of ultimate authority, Zdahlin Tihler, as a micro second later his telepathic communication washed over the great starship "all mystics to my side!"

The flagship captain and the prime mystic looked at each other.

There was a slight tremor in their masters voice and telepathic communication that neither of them had ever heard before.

Zdahlin Tihler had become acquainted with something we all know, yet that was hitherto only a theoretical concept for him.

Fear.

To be continued