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My Gods, My Gods, Why Have Your Forsaken Me?

Odinson

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This takes place after the Diplomatic mission between King Enoch, Queen Sophia, and the Prime Minister of The United Kingdom.

The following day, Prime Minister Bourne had left with a reasonable amount of fanfare and appreciation from the people of Trondheim. Most of King Enoch's policies, and those he chose to associate with, were popular in the third most populated city of Norway. The vacation back home in Trondheim was something that Enoch had on his schedule for months, but truthfully it was because Sophia, Queen of Norway, wanted to spend time home. She and Enoch had an agreement that when they were on vacation, no business was to be done unless it was a national emergency. Enoch managed to skirt by these rules by inviting Britain's Prime Minister on the train ride on the way to their home town. Sophia did not appreciate the lawyering done by her husband, but he was technically within the rules of their agreement. To her surprise, however, Mister Bourne was a very friendly man. The night they arrived in Trondheim, their was an awful snowstorm. The weather was suppose to be clear the following day in Trondheim, but tonight it would be brutal. Sophia thought it would be a perfect time to be alone with her husband.

Enoch insisted on bringing Mister Bourne to his hotel room. She decided to head to Stiftsgarden, which was the official royal residence in Trondheim. They weren't going to be there long, however, because the plan was to head to a cabin in Bymarka, which was a large nature preserve just west of Trondheim. After a few days of decompressing there, they would return to Trondheim to meet family and friends that they hadn't seen in a while. Sophia was outside in the courtyard of Stiftsgarden when Enoch returned. She had on a jacket and an unzipped coat. She felt fine, though such light clothing wouldn't be enough for anyone else not accustomed to Norwegian weather. She looked up into the sky as snow began to fall, and said a silent prayer. Enoch watched for a few moments and said, "Praying for me, I hope?"

Sophia gasped and turned to face her husband. She crossed her arms defensively and stared at him, "You should have been a spy, all of that sneaking would have come in handy for you."

Enoch stepped closer to her and ran his fingers through her hair, which he knew would make her lower her guard. She looked up at him with big eyes and savored the gentle feeling of his fingers grazing over her scalp. "Will you come for tonight?" she asked in the sweetest voice she could utter. "No one will now that it's you, I promise."

He placed his hands on Sophia's shoulders and slowly moved them to her lower neck as she tried to convince him with an innocent upwardly gaze. "I'm not what you are," he said simply and without any judgement. "Do you think your friends would want someone there, just observing? They would know that I'm not one, and might think I want to expose you all. I don't think you need that trouble on your hands."

She grabbed ahold of both sides of his open jacket and pulled his upper-body down to her eye level so that she could kiss him. She did so, making sure that it was longer than it needed to be. "I know the trouble I can handle. Let me worry about that... Will you come?"

Before he could respond, she kissed him again. This time, after the kiss ended, she smiled because his faced was now red. "Yes alright... Just make sure they wont know it's me."

Sophia smiled, nodded obediently, and then let go of his jacket. A took a minute or two until Enoch fully realized how good his wife was at manipulating him. He was thankful that she never used that ability to hurt him.
 
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Odinson

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They were out among the towering boreal trees that dominated Scandinavia. The trees gently swayed and creaked in the wind as Sophia and Enoch continued their journey out into the hills. They were hiking alone, with only each other and the thousands of stars above to keep them company. Enoch was open-carrying one of his former service weapons as a sidearm, and had a few extra clips in his backpack. Both he and Sophia were travelling light, despite the fact that at this point they were in the middle of nowhere. Enoch had a panic button he could press that would summon a host of Valkyries to their exact location, so he wasn't too worried. Sophia, on the other hand, knew how to navigate by the stars. She knew exactly what direction they were heading in, and how long it would take for them to make it to their destination. It was cold out, and there was snow, but they had the proper boots to make it through without any trouble. Sophia turned to her husband, who was looking out into the darkness, "We're almost there. When we're close, I'll give you a mask."

Enoch nodded, and they continued on. It was about -3 Celsius. Their breaths billowed out of them like steam locomotives into the freezing night air. He was dressed as he normally would for a walk in the hills this time of year - hiking boots, winter pants, two shirts, a light jacket zipped up, a leather jacket over that to keep off the wind, and leather gloves. Sophia was wearing even less. She too was in hiking boots, but they stood out amongst the rest of her outfit which was a thin white tunic-like gown and a thick white-hooded cloak over it to keep off the cold. As long as Enoch had known Sophia, though, the cold never bothered her. She would only pretend to be cold when she wanted affection from him. He could only conclude it was the combination of Norwegian and Sami in her blood that made her some kind of Arctic Ice-Queen.

As they approached the top of another hill, Enoch was finally starting to see some flickering light - a sign of fire, perhaps. He and Sophia stopped walking. She had been carrying a large cloth bag over her shoulder which, unlike Enoch's backpack, was handmade. She reached inside and pulled out a black cloak and a mask. Enoch took off his leather jacket and put on the cloak. The mask was the skull of a reindeer, which had a strap to keep it situated to one's face. It fit very comfortably. While he was putting his on, Sophia had quickly managed to put hers on as well. When he looked over at her, it startled him - she was a figure in pure white with a dead reindeer skull on her face. Both of them had antlers that protruded about a foot above and over a foot out to both the right and left of them. He couldn't explain why, but there was just something deeply unsettling about a person with an animal skull and antlers instead of a normal head and face. It felt very... ancient.



She moved closer to him, and then spoke softly. "You look wonderful..." she said, "When we get up there, do not speak or talk to anyone. There will be a place for you to spectate."
He nodded and accidently clacked his antlers against hers which made Sophia giggle. This calmed Enoch down somewhat, but he still wasn't sure what awaited them above. She motioned with one of her hands for him to follow her, he did. They walked the final thirty yards or so uphill. The top of the hill actually turned into a plateau. Enoch's eyes gazed upon a henge of tall and pointed stones. The henge was approximately thirty feet in diameter, and there were small evenly-spaced fires that were burning outside of the henge to provide just enough ambient light that, along with the full Moon, allowed him to see surprisingly well. Standing within the henge were other people with similar masks. Though, some of them were full reindeer or elk heads complete with antlers, while others were more similar to he and Sophia's. Sophia walked Enoch over to a place outside of the henge. She took off her cloak and hiking boots, and was now only wearing a white gown that now went to her feet. The others were similarly dressed.

She walked to the middle of the henge, waited ten or so seconds, and then clapped once. They all turned and faced her. From what Enoch could tell, they were all women. Sophia raised her hands slowly, as did the others. Then they quickly stretched their arms out, and then swiftly brought them to their chest where they folded their hands, as if they were praying.

"Freya, goddess of love, we ask for your blessing," Sophia said slowly. After she said blessing, they all removed their masks, and set them aside. Sophia handed hers to someone so they could move it out of the way. Enoch kept his mask on, but he could now see the faces of most of the women. He recognized a few as members of Sophia's family, a few as important wives of high officials in Trondheim and even one or two from Oslo, but the majority he did not know.

Sophia remained in the middle of the henge as the women began a stepping dance between the stones. Occasionally, they would each pressed their hands against another, make a circle, and pass around a stone. Their movements were swift and well-practiced. They constantly came close to running into each other on several occasions, but never did. Sophia began singing. At some points she was chanting, but at other points she was singing her astonishing harmony. He could understand some of the words, but some of them sounded more Icelandic or maybe even older.

The singing and chanting intensified, as did the speed of the dancing. At some point, they stopped, and all rushed to the middle where Sophia was, and then rushed back toward the stones. Then they froze. Sophia continued singing as they each turned, so that each woman was facing the back of the next. They slowly started to walk and began to chant something in the same old dialect that Enoch couldn't totally understand or recognize. They continued walking around the edge of the henge until Sophia finally joined them, and she stopped singing. One by one, they each walked out from the henge, and it seemed the ceremony was over. They started hugging each other and lightly conversing.

"Sophia, who is your friend?" one of them asked.
 
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Odinson

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Enoch found himself walking up the side of a mountain. The skies around him were dark and grey, and there was a freezing wind blowing snow downhill into his face. He looked down to find that he was only wearing his pajamas. He didn't exactly know why, but he felt that he was on a mission and he needed to keep going up. He kept walking up at a 90-degree angle. Time seemed to speed up. He didn't know what mountain range he was on, only that it was desolate and that he was already very high. The mountain was becoming more and more steep. Eventually, he was walking up toward where the clouds obscured the rest of the mountain. Carefully, he stepped into the clouds. Mist and fog surrounded him - but it wasn't humid. It was tiny particles of frozen particles gently floating together in a cluster of air. He could feel the hair stand up on the back of his neck from the electricity that kept the cloud together. It was after a minute more of walking that he noticed he was no longer on the side of a mountain, but he was now walking amongst the clouds.

With each step, his feet would gently sink into the foamy white condensed water. Everything felt much more peaceful now. The surface gradually became flat which made the walking much easier. In the distance he saw a grand wooden longhouse with torches burning outside of it. His curiosity caused him to pick up his pace. As he got closer, he could see that a number of ravens were casually sitting on top of the longhouse. As he got closer, he couldn't help but feel that they were watching him. Eventually, he made it to the front door which had subtle, but real, golden fixtures. He knocked three times and waited. "Enoch!" said a sharp, unforgiving voice. He nearly jumped out of his slippers and turned around. No one was before him, but a curious looking crown was standing in the snow about five feet from him. Enoch cocked his head, and it did so back at him.

The door cracked open. "Young King... I've been expecting you, come inside." Enoch turned his head and saw a woman in her late thirties standing there. He stepped inside once she opened the door more, and then closed it behind himself. The woman brushed some snow off the top of Enoch's blonde hair and put her hands on his shoulders. "I still can't get over how handsome you are, young Enoch. Handsome and beautiful kings and queens either live triumphed reigns, or die tragically... I hope you live forever, young Enoch." She had a light golden glow to her person, it was mesmerizing.

Enoch felt like he could listen to the woman talk all day. "We wont be alone much longer," she continued, "come sit down in the hall with me and have a drink." Enoch followed the woman a short way in what turned out to be a Norse hall - basically the place where a warlord or king would hold feasts; it could also be the layout of a large tavern in a popular town. She guided Enoch to one of the many wooden tables and sat down. There were other people in the hall as well, most of whom had the same golden glow as the woman he was following. The woman handed Enoch a goblet filled with wine, she had one as well. They were both sitting across from each other one what was basically a more rustic picnic table. She took a sip and waited for him to do so as well. It was an astoundingly good tasting wine.

"Young Enoch, you have so much potential. My husband doesn't see it yet, but I do. I hope that you can all come to an understanding."
Enoch set down his goblet and finally spoke, "I'm sorry... I didn't catch your name?"
The woman smiled, "You know who I am."
Enoch did know who she was.
She started speaking again after taking another sip of her wine. "Young King, you have a difficult period ahead of you. It will start soon. I will do what I can to guide you on the right path, but I can only do so much from here, especially because of how my husband feels about you."
Enoch looked down at the wooden goblet he was drinking from, and gently swirled the wine around. "Is there any advice you can give me, anything specifically?"
The woman took one of his hands and squeezed it, "Lead fearlessly and from the front. This wont be a time for waiting, it will be a time for action."
"Thank you Frigg," he said quietly.
The woman smiled.

At that moment, everyone in the hall heard a door slam open. "WHERE IS HE!" roared a powerful, booming voice. A nearby rumble of thunder reverberated throughout the hall and shook the roof of the building. In walked a tall, broad shouldered man with long, thick red hair and deadly blue eyes. Enoch was muscular, but this man was practically beast. The man flung off his metal helmet. It clonked on the ground and bounced to the bottom of a nearby table. He made eye contact with Enoch and started walking to him. Enoch was too scared to even shit himself.

"YOU!" he said, wagging his finger at Enoch as he approached the table the king and Frigg were sitting at. "You come here, to my father's hall. You talk to my mother without him here and you drink his wine! Stand up! It's time we fight!" Enoch, not knowing what else to do, started to stand up. The man picked up a short-handled hammer that was hanging by his side and prepared to fight. Frigg, seeing how much of a curbstomp this would be, intervened by getting up and placing herself between the two. The beast man frowned.

"Mother, I am defending your honor!" he said.
Frigg shook her head, "No, no you are not. I am the one that brought him here."
The beast man looked confused, and lowered his hammer as Enoch sat back down in astonishingly unsoiled pajama pants.
"Why would you bring him here? I don't understand!" the beast man shouted in the air in some kind of rage. His red hair was a bit tangled and still had some snow in it. He was breathing pretty hard too.
"That's for your father and I to discuss. Please... Wait at one of the tables, my son," Frigg said. The beast man gave Enoch a brief glare before he turned around and stepped to one of the other tables. A few other people, who Enoch couldn't identify, quickly vacated it. Within a few moments, several women were fawning over the beast man he continued his glare over at Enoch.

"I... I really appreciate your hospitality, Frigg. But I think I may have overstayed my welcome," Enoch said as diplomatically as he could.
"YES" the beast man unapologetically shouted from across the hall.
Frigga stood next to Enoch and placed her hand on his shoulder, indicating that she didn't want him to get up. "It's important that you talk to my husband. This conversation needs to happen."
Enoch felt that it didn't, but he wasn't about to argue with the only person keeping the beast from turning his body into a more ground, liquid state.

A few tense minutes went buy until they all heard the door swing open again. It was done so angrily, but nothing could compare to what they beast had done before. Enoch was surprised that the north face of the structure was still there, to be frank. In walked a lone old man with white hair, a white beard, and armor on. The tension in the room could be cut by a knife. The old man took off his helmet and hung on it the wall, unlike his son who had nearly killed a man with his. One of the old man's most distinguishing features was that he was missing an eye.

"I had to walk here and see it for myself... Wife, have you been spending time with Oor?" the old man asked in a sarcastic voice. Frigga disregarded her husband's glaring tone and stared at him.

"I've brought him here, because you both need to have the conversation. Punishment with no explanation is just torture... I think you told me that once." The old man looked at his wife with a stern face. He didn't object to her logic being sound. By now, everyone except Frigga, the beast, and the old man had begun to slowly make their way out of the hall, not wanting to be caught in a confrontation. Even the beast's loyal fawning does reluctantly retreated.

The old man stood before Enoch and waited. Enoch stood up. "Do you know who I am, young king?"
"I... think so," Enoch responded unsurely.
The old man, keeping as still as a runestone, replied, "Then say my name."
Enoch hesitated for a moment and tried pinching himself. About fifteen feet behind the old man, Enoch saw the beast stand up and brandish his hammer again. "OBEY HIM!" the beast's voice echoed.
Enoch kept his composure remarkably well. "....Odin," he said simply.
The old man nodded, "Yes... Odin."
"Frigga has always made sure that I keep my wits, so I will trust her in bringing you here today. But I don't have kind words for you, young king." Odin's old voice was both rough and soothing at the same time. Enoch couldn't help but feel like he was listening to an ancient story being told.

"I'm not sure if I see a king in you. Like the others, your faith is gone-" Enoch interrupted him.
"I have faith, I'm a Christian." Frigga rubbed her hand in her face and sighed.
"Aye," said Odin. "A Christian you are... The least Norse religion in the world... If it were my choice, your wife would rule your kingdom" Odin ran his index and thumb through his beard, "I'm not here to convert you, young king. I only warn you that pain and suffering are coming to you, and your people. My lack of protection-.... Our lack of protection, is due in full to your lack of faith."
Enoch looked perplexed. "Why punish others for what I do?"
Odin stopped playing with his beard, "The best way to punish a king is to punish his people... Goodbye for now, young king."
Odin looked over his shoulder at his son, "Thor..."
The beast man stood up and marched over to Enoch. He picked up his hammer and hit Enoch in the middle of the face.


Enoch gasped awake, sweat dripping down his face. Sophia stirred next to him, "What's wrong?" Enoch put his hand in his face and just contemplated what he had dreamt. "It was so real..." he said aloud. Sophia rested her hand his outer thigh and sighed.

The phone next to their bed started to ring. Enoch picked it up, "This is Enoch," he said, his heart still rushing.
"Your Majesty, this is Oscar Lund. The Prime Minister is requesting that you return to Oslo immediately, the Ministry of Environment was wrong about the weather - it will be a disaster."
 
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