Massive fires broke out at oil shipping terminals at Cedarhurst four hours ago. The fires are not my concern. Tor’s presence and involvement in fighting the fires is what interests me. Approximately an hour after the fires broke out, he arrived and began working to create a thunderstorm of truly amazing proportions. Normally using water on an oil fire is bad practice, the oil floats and rides on the rising water, spreading the fire. With enough water that is sufficiently cold, the temperature can be reduced to the point the fires stop. Then it becomes a matter of cleaning up the oil spill. Applying enough water to put out an entire oil shipping terminal creates additional problems such as spreading the spill, in this case into the harbor where it can threaten shipping operations in the entire port.
While Tor did eventually put out the fires, it required three hours of torrential rain. Lightning strikes on vulnerable targets extended the fire-fighting battle. The fires were contained to the depot thanks to the efforts of fire-fighters, but it was completely destroyed. Additionally, sewers were flooded and backed up for miles and the entire harbor is covered in a layer of petrochemicals. Complicating matters is the fact that the severe weather interrupted flight operations at JFK until the storm dissipated. Power distribution and communications also suffered.
The power Tor exhibited was impressive and eventually effective; it was also alarming in precisely the ways indicated by the questions the public have raised about him and all the MetaXs. In his case, once he decides an idea is good, he acts on it without concern for the consequences or the opinions of others. If at first the idea doesn’t work, he tries it again with more force. This is a recipe for disaster looking for a place to happen; it must be checked. It is time I dampened his self-absorbed enthusiasm and make him take a very hard look at himself. My strategy is to give him enough opportunities to either display his true intentions for everyone to see, or curb his behavior and learn to be who he claims he wants to be – Earth’s protector. I do not believe he is really a god.
As the fire-fighting efforts give way to clean-up efforts, I watch Tor striding from the mess toward the Fire-Marshall and on-scene commanders who are pointedly ignoring shouted questions from members of the press nearby. As the scene leadership apprehensively notices his approach, I conspicuously emerge behind him. Several reactions among the press and scene leadership alert Tor that something is amiss and he turns to face me – as I intended.
I am unexpected to say the least – his expression and body language assure me of that. His assault near the Police Station was intended to punish me so severely that I would not dare face him again and at the same time deliver me into the hands of the authorities. My presence here and the obvious fact I intend to confront him unsettles him. I loom at him, a tactic the selfishly motivated vermin I so often encounter find very unnerving. If he is a charlatan, the underlying basic cowardice will surface with time and a couple high-profile defeats, leaving him susceptible to less carefully planned attacks than mine. If not, I will know that he really believes he is Tor. If so, it is possible that the mutagenic poison left him with Norse-god-like powers. That possibility is why I will simultaneously work on his ego.
He opens with his signature, table-turning presence attack – an accusing soliloquy laced with self-aggrandizing assertions. It is powerful, but this time I am ready. Ancient mythological gods frequently had an awe power which left mortals in a shocked state of incredulity and wonder, unable to function. I’ve felt this before when he used it to cause Blackwing and I to crash. This time I expected it, anticipated the accusations he would make, and steeled my mind against them. His sanctimonious accusations and self-adoring posturing have no effect on me now. He is visibly surprised. He should be; it was an overwhelming attack and anyone else would probably have melted. I stood unmoved while he orated.
After he finished, I asked, “Are you Tor? From the Ancient Norse mythologies?” I asked as if I really didn’t know.
“I said I was!”
“And are you a Son of Asgard? A place far from our world?”
“I am! Who questions me thus?” He is already becoming cross, his posture has moved from amused to confrontational. Good.
“And you make yourself ‘Guardian of Earth?'”
“Indeed I am! Who art thou to challenge me thus?” He is losing patience with my effrontery, his posture moving from confrontational to hostile. Just where I want him.
“You have no discipline! You showed up here unasked for and unneeded and started dozens of additional fires by lightning strikes. There is city-wide flooding from rains you caused. Dozens of flights are cancelled or delayed at the airport – dozens more had to be diverted hampering operations at other airports. The bay is covered in oil all the way to Broad Channel. You have turned a simple oil fire into a national disaster.”
I wait while these previously unrealized truths sink in, then I go for his ego. “When you cannot dictate the opinions of those around you, you lose your patience and become violent – like a child.” He is unable to answer effectively, I keep pelting him. “You frustrate quickly and anger easily at those who don’t believe you are a god.”
He is seething. It is time to push his button. “And you can’t do anything about it!”
He lost it.
“Villain! I smite thee!” He threw his hammer at me. I expected some sort of direct, physical assault, either a charge or his hammer. I was prepared for either, though his hammer is going to be much easier to deal with. No one and nothing has ever withstood its impact or successfully interrupted or even altered its flight before. Now I have the chance to make that work for me.
I step to my right and twist left watching the hammer approach the place where my head had been a moment before. As I move, I see Tor register my evasion and begin to charge at me. Easily predicted. As I continue to twist left, I shoot my right hand out and catch hold of the handle as it goes by. I quickly grab it with my left hand too, and hang on.
I’m not going to stop it. I’m not even going slow it down; I know this already. Every time he’s thrown the hammer before, it circled back around to him – I’m depending on that now. He expected to have to come after me when I evaded his throw. Now he expects the hammer’s trajectory to save him that trouble. He doesn’t expect nearly enough.
The hammer’s flight pulls me in a large arc through the air as it circles around heading directly back toward Tor standing there, grinning, with his hand out to catch his weapon and his fist ready to catch me. I execute my own swing from the handle of the hammer which serves as a moving bar from which I gain speed, using it to accelerate my own movement. I swing a wide arc outside the arc of the hammer, tuck and pull my lower body up tight as the trajectory of the hammer settles on its approach to its master.
I swing through the tuck position and extend my legs ahead of the hammer’s path, driving both feet into his chest. Surprise!
My double kick, powered by the force and speed of his own hammer, launches him backward. I let go of the hammer at the moment of impact and land near where he was standing.
He slammed into the side of a fire truck just before his hammer hit him in the chest, driving him and the huge truck a couple dozen feet sideways amid sounds of screeching tires, groaning, buckling metal, and rupturing water tanks.
As he figures out which way is up, I ask, “Is this how you protect us? By attacking us with enough power to destroy firetrucks?”
While everyone watches him free himself from the wreckage, I disappear into nearby shadows so I can continue my verbal assault without him interrupting me, “Does our ‘protector’ answer legitimate questions with angry tantrums? You’re no protector, you’re a bully. You say you are not even from this world! Do you solve disputes this way where you’re from? Do you expect us all to adopt your customs? Are you going to force us to adopt them? That makes you an armed invader.” I pause for a moment, I need him to absorb what I am saying, not throw another tantrum. I also need the press to register and apply what I am saying to what he’s doing.
Tor, the scene leadership, and the press all try to isolate my location. They can’t, because I don’t want them too.
When he begins to recover his bearing, I resume, my voice now coming from a different direction. “Why are you here? Aren’t you welcome at home anymore? Have your people grown tired of your behavior?”
I pause again, to let him attempt to formulate a response. When his expression begins to clear, I interrupt for the finish – my voice coming from yet another direction. “You call me villain. If you really are Tor from Asgard, then you don’t even live here legally. ICE has no record of you immigrating. No country does – I checked. You’re an illegal immigrant. If you have any papers, they are forged, that makes you a criminal. A childish, tantrum-throwing criminal, invading our world to force us to accept your customs and your rules. That makes you a Dictator. You resolve differences by brute force, physically beating those who confront you into submission – just like a first-grade school-yard bully. You’re no Guardian; you’re a despot! Worse than Emperor-X or Dr. Doom! We don’t want your protection if it means subjugation! You need to grow up and learn to control your temper instead of invading our world and telling us what to do!”
Through the miracle of television, the entire world saw me do something no one else has done before: use Tor’s hammer against him in combat and single-handedly put him on his heels. Now, I leave him mutely reeling from the weight of several well-founded accusations which undermined every good thing he claimed he was. I’ve arguably beaten the strongest being known in terms of sheer presence, physical power, and his own personal favorite; “worthiness.”
If he was Tor from Asgard, I had him nailed. If he was a metaX with powers received during the poisoning, then he was a fraud stuck with the prospect of either defending his pretense or admitting the truth and being subject to PRIMUS’ attentions like any other metaX. If he was delusional, a metaX who actually believed his story, then he would have to confront his own delusions and resolve for himself who he was. The jury was still out as far as which case was true.
The scene leadership and the press are all looking at Tor for answers. He doesn’t have any. For the moment, he’s impotent. I wonder how that feels.