OdinForce

Neandarr, the teacher, the last surviving Elder of the Multiverse, looked out among the few stars.

With him were his students, just a few human children, a very select group, and the last sentient beings that would ever be born.

"Please tell us Elder," pleaded one of them "of the first of the time wars."

"Also of the second Multiverse war," pleaded another student,

"And the third time war," requested yet another child.

"No account of those wars," replied the Elder, "indeed no account of the history of the Multiverse, can be complete without mention of that which the gods called the Odinforce." "Nor the Thorforce that succeeded it and the Magniforce that succeeded the Thorforce."

The few children fell silent, just as children throughout history had fallen silent at the mention of these great names, these great forces for good. Their small faces filled with awe and wonder. All the more so because these children knew the ancient one before them had first hand experience of that of which he spoke.

Where can I start? thought the venerable one knowing that the stories of All father Odin, All father Thor, and the mighty Magni, Thorson had been distorted over time. He would separate the fact from the fiction. The actual events from the less substantial myths and legends that had grown from them. These of the "last born" had a right to know.

"The first of the great inter-temporal wars was a direct challenge by the dark fates, and those who followed them, to the authority of the then Times Guardian" began the Teacher, his mind drifting back into that inconceivably distant past.

The Elder recalled how after the now moment wave was destroyed; Times Guardian himself had asked the gods of Asgard for help. How great Odin holding the spear gungir and the mighty Thor the hammer mjolnir had called forth the mother of all time storms. How they had become as one with it and, with Time's guardians help, thwarted the assault on time.

At the mention of the hammer of Thor, the greatest weapon ever known to have existed anywhere, the children moved closer together. Not in fear but in total awe.

A great pride grew within the Elders breast as he related the histories. Unlike his fellow Elders, Neandarr, youngest of his ilk, had called Odin, Thor, Magni, and others of the gods of Asgard friend.

Neandarr remembered the first of the Multiverse wars. An immensely destructive and yet inconclusive conflict. Afterwards there was a hiatus during which the gods and cosmic powers re-gathered their strengths. The so called second Multiverse war was really a continuation of the first. Yet the surviving cosmic and abstract powers had been more cunning. Waiting until the Odin sleep before commencing hostilities. The mighty Thor had been able to protect his sleeping father during the conflict. Yet with its inconclusive end no one, not even Thor himself, had been able to awaken Odin.

Eventually Thor was able to mystical ensconce the life force of Odin and the essence of the Odinforce and indeed all that was his sleeping father within the artifact known as the ring of Odin. The Thunderer wore this on his finger at all times so best to protect his eternally sleeping father.

Yet in the second of the time wars as the mighty Thor destroyed the dark fates themselves the ring came from his finger and was lost. Buried deep in the well of time and a labrynth of dimensions. A final act of vengeance by the defeated dark fates. Though ultimately the second time war is known more for something else. Weary beyond all measure Time's Guardian passed on the burden of his responsibilities to the mighty Thor, the new Time's Guardian. It was one of those unexplainable mysteries of the Multiverse that even the mighty Thor, now the protector of the time stream, could not locate the Odin ring.

Neandarr remembered the third and final Multiverse war. As Times Guardian the mighty Thor did not, could not participate directly. The war led to victory for the gods and the final defeat of the cosmic powers. Yet at a terrible cost. All father Magni and all of Asgard paid the ultimate price for the success of the gods.

The mighty Thor would continue as Time's Guardian destined to fulfill that role until Time's End, yet an intolerable sadness was upon him.

As the historical account came to a close, the smallest of the children sitting before the Elder looked up at his teacher. The boy, the last born among the last born themselves, was the first to notice. Why had he never noticed the ring on Neandarr's finger before? It was large and chunky and seemed to be growing brighter with each passing second.

Then a force which had not seen the light of day in untold eons began to emerge from within the ring. Just as the stars in the heavens grew not only brighter but more numerous.

Neandarr watched on with just as much wonder as the small children. Long ago when even the mighty Thor as Time's Guardian had stopped searching for the ring, Neandarr the teacher, Elder of the Multiverse, had quietly continued the search for his friend. The longest search in history.

That Neandarr now bore the Odin ring on his finger, was testament to his eventual success.

Who knows what the reasons were for Almighty Odin awakening now from the sleep eternal? Perhaps some unstoppable mechanism of life reasserting itself here so close to Time's End. Do the reasons matter?

As Odin and the Odinforce, refreshed, renewed, invigorated, came forth from the ring no less a personage than Times Guardian, the mighty Thor himself was there to witness the event. To welcome his father. Did the children see a tear running down his cheek?

And a young boy, knowing intuitively that he would no longer be the last of the last born, cried with tears of joy.

End

Garth