Background information: Jack, although a Scion of Thor, was first Visited by Odin. Thor commited suicide by eating a shotgun barrel when Jack was a child. He couldn't take the slow wasting that was being an Old god in a New world.
The band has frequently come into conflict with The Agency, a government group with a mandate to hunt down and convert or destroy supernaturals. They have badges which show whatever agency they wish, although supernaturals have a chance to see through it, especially those with Epic Perception.
Brok is a long term family friend of Jack's, and up until Odin's death was Odin's right hand man. After the Old Gods won the battle, Brok went to Washington and has been acting as an advisor to Cheney / Loki.
Jack was born Jack Miller, but when Odin said he would be proud for the Scion to call himself Thor's Son, Jack took it literally. He now goes by Jack Thorson.
Asvin Maruti is a teacher-soldier, and Scion of Ganesh. The band first encountered him when some of their number rescued Asvin from the same Government installation where they had been captured. Asvin and [url=http://fionajohnson.tripod.com/picmain.htm]Fiona Johnson[/url] took over the command of the ragtag army during the battle, with Fiona's excellent people skills complimenting Asvin's intellect and tactical knowledge.
Jack, on a visit to Norway, met another Thor and Odin. They were not his father, but they showed him to Asgard and Odin's runes told him that they were the same yet different.
The day after the battle Jack gets a call from Brok asking him to come to Washington. Loki / Cheney wishes to meet with him. There is a plane waiting at the Creech Air Force Base, about 80 miles South East of Austin. The plane is a B-52 Stratofortress. The Brigadier General that meets him shakes his hand and offers him the ride "compliments of Mr. President. He felt the craft would be appropriate for you."
When Jack gets to the White House he is taken in via a side entrance. The door is watched by three men in suits, one of which introduces himself as Mr. Baker. He shows Jack a Secret Service badge, but it momentarily flickers to reveal a badge for The Agency. "I'm sorry sir, but we're going to have to search you for weapons. I understand that you're a personal guest of Mr. President, but policy is policy.”
Jack has brought his hammer with him, and refuses to leave it sitting with these guys. They were enemies not more than a day ago. He insists that if Brok wants to come and speak with him about it he will be more than happy to explain and leave it in the dwarf's care if that's possible. “Short of him or someone else from the group being there he is not willing to leave it with the man who killed Odin. In short if he wants to talk to me, its an extension of me and I'm not leaving it just like I'm not cutting off my arm and leaving it.”
They wait for about an hour and an exasperated Brok comes out. "We won, Jack. Hand over the hammer and get your ass in here. The world is falling apart and we don't have time for your paranoia." The outburst is completely unlike him, and Jack can tell he's incredibly stressed. He looks haggard and pale as if he's been awake for days.
He sighs. "I'm sorry son; it's been an incredibly trying week. Coatlicue has broken free and must be stopped. There's more than that, but I can't discuss it out here. Will you please leave that thing behind so we can talk? Your father was more heart than hammer, and so are you. Besides, if they do anything to it we can rob the Smithsonian's meteor display and I'll make you a new one."
Mr. Baker clears his throat disapprovingly, to which Brok replies stiffly. "Are you disrespecting a superior?"
Baker gives a curt "No, sir."
Brok gives a half-hearted laugh. "Don't worry, you legalistic automaton. It was just a joke." He turns back to you and says under his breath, "The National Space Museum has better specimens." Continuing at normal volume, he asks expectantly, "Are you coming?"
Mr. Baker issues Jack a bright orange visitors badge with Jack Miller printed under the picture. The Agent instructs him to keep it on and facing outward at all times. He starts into a standard spiel about visitor chaperoning policies but Brok interrupts. "Thank you Mr. Baker. That will be all."
The dwarf takes Jack through a pair of double doors and into a hallway, where they take a T to the right. The floor feels like it's made of plywood and gives a hollow thump with every step. The ceiling is covered in row upon row of foot long spikes that look like they're made of either rubber or foam. The hallway turns right after a few feet, right, left, left, left again, and finally right. There are no exits along the way. It finally opens into a small waiting room with a few chairs and three elevators on the wall you came in on. Brok swipes his badge and the door opens.
They go down 3 floors and the doors open on a lushly appointed hallway. Brok takes him past several doorways and a huge presidential seal on the floor. At the end of the hall are two more agents whose badges read Butcher and Chandler. They open the doors and the pair walks into an Oval Office, complete with outside facing windows. It takes a moment for Jack's divinely enhanced eyesight to realize that the windows are flat panel displays with almost completely lifelike clarity. Seated in a semicircle around the desk are three men and three empty chairs. Behind the desk is President Dick Cheney, a.k.a. Loki Laufeyson. "We've got a lot to talk about. Pull up a chair. Brok, introductions."
Brok gestures towards a man in Navy dress blues. "This is Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff." Next he points to an older bald man in a blue suit and red tie. "Michael Chertoff, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. And I believe you know Asvin Maruti, newly appointed Intelligence Liaison. He'll be handling information flow between the CIC, CIA, FBI, DEA, DOD, and a few others." He turns to them. "Gentlemen, this is Jack Thorson, child of Thor, grandson of Odin, and the last of his line."
The screens behind Loki change to show satellite images, timestamps and lat/longs in their lower quadrant. One of them brightens and the other two dim as Loki asks Admiral Mullen "what are we seeing here?" The screen animates, and a bird's eye view of the aftermath of the battle in Nevada shows fleeing cars, people, and supernaturals appearing on the roads in central Nevada. They wink into existence as they leave the Desert of the Old World.
"This is the direct aftermath of the battle. Based on media coverage of the fight and head counts of the retreating combatants we estimate 85-90% losses, 30% of which occurred after Coatlicue made her exit from the chasm." He waves a remote and the scene jumps forward one day and two hours. "Here we see Coatlicue has managed to escape the field." The play speeds up and covers several days of the humongous pregnant crocodile woman making her way from Nevada to Washington state. Twice aerial and ground troops try to stop her, but she fends them off easily both times. When she reaches the foothills of the Olympic Mountain Range she fades away.
Loki interrupts. "She's going to Olympus. As far as we know, none of the Olympian deities: Zeus, Ares, Aphrodite, etc. have been seen in the Americas. We need to know if they're still on Olympus, and if so, will they help us. Asvin and his fiancé, Miss Johnson will investigate."
Jack tells them that Dr. Juan supposedly met Hermes at an airport and tried unsuccessfully to help prevent Mercury from being downgraded from planet status. They're heartened by the news, and Cheney orders Chertoff (and therefor Homeland Security) to find Hermes asap.
Cheney continues, "What we see here are some unexplained disturbances around the Caribbean sea." The projector switches to a view of choppy waves. Huge spouts of water burst chaotically into the air. Admiral Mullen thumbs a remote and a scale appears over each spout, following it up into the air and disappearing as the spout turns to mist and falls back down. The smallest is about 15m across, and the largest is over 100m.
As they continue to churn, Admiral Mullen says "This continued for fourteen minutes and twenty-eight seconds. During that time immense amounts of seismic activity were detected around the islands. Large waves and quakes hit the Southern tip of Jamaica, but no major damage was sustained."
Chertoff interrupts, "Gitmo?"
Mullen shakes his head. "Only a few minor tremors reached that far North, although I understand a few of the troops got in some good surfing." He thumbs the remote again and the scene on the screen speeds up drastically. Moments later the sea is calm and the timestamp has advanced forty-five minutes. Debris begins to float to the surface, mostly large chunks of wood but also a few bodies. "We're unsure where this came from. Satellite imagery shows only one vessel lost during the upswells, and it was the HMJS Cornwell of the JDF. It wouldn't leave this kind of wreckage. But here's the worst part."
He thumbs the remote one last time and the feed jumps ahead another five minutes. A huge shadow rises from the depths, and a monstrous fin barely cuts the surface of the water. The frame freezes and the scales reappear. The shadow itself is over 100m long, and the fin breaks out 25m, with an indeterminate amount left underwater. A gasp goes around the room for everyone except Loki, who says "shit!"
"Yes, sir. Shit is exactly right," says Mullen. "It hasn't been spotted again, but I've got our boys in tech racing to reprogram the Coast Guard systems to scream bloody murder if that thing gets anywhere near us.”
He slides the remote back across Loki's desk, and the President tells everyone the meeting is adjourned. As they file out he says "Jack, hold on a moment." Brok looks back, nods to the Scion, and everyone else files out.
Cheney / Loki pats his belly and your heightened hearing detects a faint metallic ping under the thud of flesh. "I understand your loss. And I hope you believe that I regret having needed to do it. But you must understand that we had a deal. He was to reap the power of the battle for the Old, and I in turn was to have that of the New. We worked for almost a century to build us up to a war, and give us a world in turmoil that would need great leaders afterward. But his need to be the top of the heap, and a misguided desire to right wrongs made him turn traitor. Surely a man with your history of loyalty and duty can understand the need to punish traitors?"
He gives a chuckle devoid of mirth. "And now it would seem that perhaps those wrongs he thought he was righting weren't even my actions. If your findings overseas are to be believed.
"I want to make it up to you if I can. The world is turning, and we must grow to meet it."
Loki opens the bottom left desk drawer and pulls out a bottle of Johnny Walker Red and two glasses. He fills one with scotch, and then opens the top center drawer and pulls out a silver dagger with a blade as long as his forearm. Rolling up his sleeve, he draws a short line of red along his wrist and black blood pours into the glass. When it's three quarters full the wound heals itself and he pushes the glass across the desk towards you. "I don't expect you to ever drink it, but you have my word it's safe. Take it to those more learned than you to make sure though." Jack gets a strong feeling that the trickster is telling the complete and unvarnished truth.
"It will gird you in the coming storm. We giant spawn are strengthened by the blood of our elders."
Loki continues, "Enough with family matters, let's get down to business, shall we? I'd like to offer you a position attached strongly enough to the government to grant you access to our resources, but far enough detached to grant you freedom of movement in the coming battles. You'd be given free reign to follow your own leads. I trust the ichor in your veins to find it's way into the thick of things without any prodding."
"Currently our resources are stretched thin, especially in the military sector." He works at the computer for a moment. "If needed we could probably free something up for a major engagement, but it's likely that anything we could send your way would be inferior to the skills of yourself and Mr. Koikkolainen, so I wouldn't count on much unless you need a distraction or a way past foot soldiers and into the presence of generals. The troops are coming home now that their presence will not be an overpowering factor in The War, but most of them will be assigned to the new Mid-American border."
"You would of course have an attache to your office: driver, record keeper, personal assistant. I have several candidates in mind and can forward their files to you once we've got you cleared and on the system. Even Government Himself isn't immune to the tides of bureaucracy."
"However, there are resources we have that don't run out if used, such as information. I can get you a notebook plugged into our network which would offer you access to intelligence files, profiling databases, and more. Obviously the occult information currently available is slim, but I and Mr. Maruti are working overtime to get it filled in. The Agency had decent, and sometimes very amusing, records when I found them. But they're picking up."
"We're also on very good terms with Money, both credit and cash. I know the All Father kept you on a short leash financially. He was always worried about the power of Money. He played a good game, and a large part of that is owed to the fact that he kept a tight grip on the cards in his hand. But that pot has moved to the back burner, and to the victor go the spoils."
"In return we need information. If you encounter something supernatural, a sitrep would be sent in via the secured network and our databases updated with everything you learn. If we determine that the entity is a threat to humanity or divinity, and if you've got time available, we would hope you could take a detour and deal with the situation."
He tosses back the rest of his scotch and pours himself another. "I know there's a mythology around me that's hard to trust, and your Grandfather's death at my hands makes that even harder. If needs be we can sever all contact here and now, and leave you to report to Mr. Maruti. Or not, should the offer not sound appealing. I'd much rather keep things in the family if possible."
"So, what do you think?"
Loki looks expectantly across the desk, sipping at his drink.
"Desperate times call for desperate measures." Never one to be overly cautious Jack picks up the glass and slams it back draining the very last drop.
The poison that built up in Loki's body through the millennia spent trapped beneath a snake burns as it courses through his body, despite the superhuman stamina. Jack drops to his knees but then steels himself against the pain, and it rapidly becomes a warm glow. New strength enters his arms, and the new Demigod's movements take on the speed of fire itself. As Loki's ichor merges with his own, Thorson's thoughts rush to impossible levels, forming connections before he realizes he's noticed the clues. He is certain his mind is now light years ahead of anything Thor ever demonstrated.
With a steely glare Jack looks directly back at Loki. "I'll play the blunt instrument and do what I can to help stop the destruction you and Odin have wrought with this war. You tell me what ya need done and I'll make sure it happens. I'd like to keep my companions as help and acknowledged as such if they are willing."
"Of course, of course. It's even possible that they will be the ones to lead you into whatever Fate has planned. It is no accident that the elders sit and study while the new generation seeks adventure. Kismet's threads twist and flail through the air around you and your companions. I wish we had someone with us more skilled at deciphering them."
"I noticed Mr. Barbeaux speaking with Mother Mard during the battle. Do you perhaps know where she is? When last I heard, she held the Eldest Rune of Ansuz, which teaches the ways of prophecy. She could be a valuable source of information."
Jack does not, and Loki continues, "A pity. Should you see her, let her know that it was never the whole family which turned their backs."
"In any case, there are some benefits to being president. While you'll need to attend a few boring briefings, I can get you added to the payroll and out seeking glory in just a few short days. Shall we say the Office of Information Management, CIA Headquarters in two days? I believe that Brok wishes to speak with you about your father's birthrights, but that should be plenty of time for a man of his skills."
"I'll be there" Jack replies in response to the suggested meeting date. "Make no mistake tho, me and you will settle up once this is all done." He tosses Loki a uncharacteristic mischievous wink and grin then turns and makes his way out.
Loki winks back. "If you insist. It's good whiskey, but only thirty bucks a bottle. Not that I'd think of charging family."
As Jack stands to leave Loki also
stands up from behind the presidential desk. "I understand what
it's like to have a relative killed by another. Thor himself killed
Laufey, and Farbauti died at Thialfi's hand. But, as with me and
Odin, it was the right thing. However, just in case you're looking to
put that hammer where it doesn't belong..."
As he trails off, he wrestles his shirt out of his waistline to reveal a metal cylinder encasing his stomach and chest. The front is plastered with the familiar black and yellow radioactivity warning. "If I go, this takes everyone in the city along for the ride. I'm sorry for the necessity, but not sorry enough to leave myself open to misguided retaliation."