March 31, 2008
By J.D. Cook
9. The Hammer of Thor
Jeremiah’s eyes opened and his vision was filled with sand. He was in a desert somewhere. “Had all he had just gone through been a dream?” he thought to himself as he stood up. It was hot but dry as the sun scorched him from above. He suddenly became very self concious to the fact that he was naked. Further, on his chin was a large beard and his hair had grown well past his shoulders. “How long was I gone?”
He looked around there was a small village nearby and in the sand, just inches away, were the gloves and belt from Thor. “Guess it wasn’t a dream.” he thought.
After convincing the only local man who spoke English to loan him some cloths, Jeremiah started his journey into the desert. He had no idea where to go – the gods had left that part out. Fortunately, however, he felt almost drawn in the direction he was traveling. He was thirsty and the last thing he needed was to die and show up in Asgard again, so he arched on. When the sun set, it got extremely cold and he wished he had something warm to wear. Off in the distance he spotted a bright light.”Perhaps it’s another village.” he thought to himself as he raced over towards it.
Soon he realized that it was no village, but a small temple partially buried in sand. A flame was lit on the top but it otherwise looked deserted. Jeremiah looked into the half-buried opening. It was too dark, but there were a few pieces of wood and Jeremaih was able to fashion a makeshift torch from one. Inside the temple there was a maze of tunnels. After a few moments, he began to hear a growl and then footsteps. He wasn’t alone in this tunnel! He quickly ran back to the exit but he couldn’t find it. He was lost and soon the growl turned into a roar. It was something large. Breathing could be heard just out of the torch light.
He raised the torch and on the outskirts of the light stood a ferocious wolf. It was covered in brown fur and was not of normal height, standing nearly as tall as Jeremiah himself. The wolf’s jaws could rip his head off in one foul swoop. It barred its teeth and dove forward toward him. Jeremiah summoned his electricity in the knick of time, knocking the wolf back. He then began to run away and had to find the exit quickly. Suddenly, he was falling through the floor and soon splashed into a pool liquid. He had a horrible felling that there was something in there with him.
In the distance a small island glowed and in the center stood a mighty hammer. Jeremiah began to swim for the island when something brushed his leg. Then something he couldn’t quite make out in the dark rose out of the water and lunged for him. He again used his powers, this time electrifying the water. A horrid screech came from whatever it was that swam with him. He crawled onto the shore and walked towards the hammer. It was surrounded by some kind if electricity which, of course, had no effect on Jeremiah, who was actually energized by it. He took the hammer and felt unlimited strength. “Now I have to figure out how to get out of here.”
It took him three weeks to get to out of the desert, which he later found to be the Sahara. Then he had to find a job to earn money for a plane ticket home and, last but not least, he had to figure out how to get a hammer on a plane. He decided to work for the local airport and, after about a week, he stowed aboard a flight to London.
Once he safely got to London he found out that he had been away for nearly a decade and all of the Northeastern United States was under Loki’s control. Loki managed to capture all of New York, New Jersey, and New England, half of Pennsylvania, and parts of several other states and Canada. Initial fighting stopped seven years after Loki’s first attack at Times Square, but some dedicated soldiers continued to fight Loki after the U.S. signed a peace treaty. Don was one of these men, who called themselves the “Sons of Liberty”. They were an organized group of former military that fought against Loki’s occupying forces without the U.S. government’s consent.
It took Jeremiah another week to get aboard a flight to Pittsburgh, the nearest “free” city to the east coast. Once he landed he made his way straight to Hazleton, which was under Loki’s control, partially by bus, but mainly by foot. He made remakable time by sticking close to the power lines.
Once in Hazleton, Jeremiah was shocked to find the town in ruins. It had been the sight of a major stand against Loki and now only a few buildings remained. He wondered who was still alive that he knew. Was his parents still here? What about the girl he used to like? Out of the rubble came a small group of people. They were not normal, however, as their eyes glowed and they stank of death. When they were in view, Jeremiah realized they were covered in blood that probably wasn’t their own. He quickly ran away to hide in a building, which had once been his high school but was now little more than a few crumbled wall. The death people were drawing closer when suddenly they were thrown into the air. Jeremiah watched as the earth itself went into upheaval and opened, up swallowing them down. In the distance stood a single man in soldier attire. Jeremiah was shocked when he realized it was someone he had not seen in ages.
“Don?” called Jeremiah to the man in the distance.
“Jeremiah?” he replied back.
They both started to move closer to each other and sure enough it was Don. “I thought you were dead!” exclaimed Jeremiah.
“Likewise.” said Don. “Your Battle of Times Square is now legendary!”
After a moment, the men hugged on impulse. “Let’s forget we ever did that.” said Jeremiah jokingly.
They spent the rest of the day talking, both explaining where they had been and what they had gone through after the meteor strike. Don, who carried an M-16 rifle on his back and dual pistols at his sides, fought for six years as an Army specialist, and another three with the Sons of Liberty, before much of that group were lured into a trap and killed by Loki’s forces at Middletown. Don managed to escape death, but wandered aimlessly for a week due to a head injury. Unknowingly, he ended up in his hometown of Hazleton, and now fights alone.
So why do you carry a hammer?” asked Don, curiously.
“It’s a long story.” started Jeremiah, before retelling his adventure to Valhalla to Don.
“Dude, what are you smoking?” Don said laughing at the story as if it were a joke. “If your hammer is so special, make it do a trick?”
Jeremiah looked at his hammer and sighed. “Don’t believe me then, but it’s true. I need to know where Loki is.”
“Loki is easy to find – New York City. He’s made the Empire State Building into his headquarter fortress.”
Jeremiah got up immediately. “Well, it’s been nice seeing you again, Don. I truly am glad that you are not dead. But I’ve got a god to kill!”
Don stood up after him. “Even if you are crazy, would I ever let you go alone? You’re stuck with me now.”