It is a well-known story. Long before Odin Bor ruled the Nine Realms with an iron fist. He had thirteen shield-maidens, the Disir. One day while hunting, Bor chanced upon a cave. Inside, he discovered the Disir feasting from the open chest of fallen warriors. Horrified, he cursed them and cast them out. For their unnatural lusts, they would suffer perpetual hunger for all flesh. However, they would be prohibited from consuming anything but the spirits of fallen Aesir. And barred from Asgard and Hel alike, they would go perpetually unsated.
And they dwelt in the dark corners of the realms. The story goes that there were no survivors of that bloody feast. For the greater part of eternity, the Disir lived as a gory myth to be unnamed, lest you call them to you.
One day, Loki had need of souleaters. He prepared bait to bring the Disir to him and, with a blade forged in the fire of hell, he beat obedience into them. They swore magic oaths. Before they were freed, their possession passed from Loki to Mephisto. Not even saving the world saved them.
For, in the time of oathslaves, they had the misfortune to die in hell. Which meant they are perpetually Mephisto’s. They are now tortured, ever hungry, the running dogs of the devil. If such damned creatures could pray, they would pray for deliverance. They would pray that there was an older magic with stronger claims on them that could snatch them away. Alas, such a thing doesn’t seem terribly likely…
1129 Mission Street, San Francisco:
A young man muses about the meaning of the pattern of leaves blown on the kitchen floor. Last night he heard thunder but it was only thunder. Still it makes him wary. He steals a look at the woman sleeping in his bed, already figuring how to break it off with her. She left a toothbrush in the bathroom, so she has to go, she was getting too territorial. Nobody gets that close to him.
Another night and he wonders about the six young people who have moved in across the street a fortnight ago. He’s been watching them closely. They don’t seem quite… mortal. Is this the night finally closing? He needs proof. He seems to get it when what a familiar looking black-haired female knocks on the neighbors’ door to give away a puppy. “Tell me that’s not &§%/ Hela, the man swears. He decides to keep watching the house, hoping it’s not as bad as it looks.
And so, a few days later in the New Mutants’ new home during breakfast…
The mutants discuss potential jobs or in Roberto’s case why he would need one. Dani explains that, if they want to live in the normal world and lead by example, they have to do normal sometimes. Does she have to say that every day? Also did she just hear barking? Absolutely not! Warlock assures her and quickly leaves the kitchen.
Dani wonders why he is being weird. How can she tell specifically? Roberto asks. Dani asks if anyone heard from the mechanic about fixing their car. They should have never bought that piece of junk, Roberto complains. They need transport, she reminds him. They have Blackbirds, he shoots back. Civilian transport to go and do shopping, she insists. They have no money to shop with, so it’s moot, he replies.
Amara tells them she’s checking out a waitress job tomorrow. As she leaves, Roberto whispers that she’s probably gonna slip out to see her new boyfriend, the devil. Dani tells him to leave it alone. She went on one date with Mephisto a week ago to clear their debt with him. It was brave of her. She’s not about to enter into a long term relationship with the prince of darkness.
Roberto seems less convinced. He points to the window where their neighbor is watching them with a pair of binoculars gain. Warlock noticed it first. He watches them all the time. Perv, Dani mutters and announces she’s gonna run across the street…
Elsewhere in the house, Warlock whispers to the Hel-puppy which he is feeding to behave or his friends will notice him…
Soon Dani knocks at the neighbor’s apartment’s door and introduces herself. Introducing himself as Zig, the man sees more than just a young woman. He can perceive Dani’s Valkyrie nature. However, he pretends he saw nothing and shakes her hand. He’s busted, right? he asks her. Just give him one moment. He disappears back into the apartment and runs into his living room, swearing under his breath that she’s a Valkyrie. That was $%&§ Hela he saw! They’ve found him! He presses a button and a secret compartment is revealed displaying an ancient warrior uniform. This is it, then, Zig decides and takes up the helmet.
Mephisto’s hell, where he has just decided on the latest punishments (preferring the classics like screaming eternally in torment). He turns to his Disir prisoners. No need to torture the damned anymore for today, he announces. Work‘s over. Alas for them, his work is also his hobby. Now who is the unlucky lucky Disir who is going to be dismembered today? Brun? Hlökk? Kara? Or a sister whose name he hasn’t yet bothered to learn?
Gondul pleads with him not to take her. Another sister, Brun, orders her not to be so pathetic. Mephisto agrees. He isn’t in the mood for that. He’s in the mood for “proud.” What does Brun say to that?
But Brun perceives something else. This is it, Zig repeats elsewhere as he dons the helmet… The final portion, Brun announces as her eyes and those of her sisters begin to glow. She orders them to come and they disappear leaving behind a bewildered Mephisto.
Earthly Asgardia, Oklahoma:
Watching a wargame between Thor and the Warriors Three Ikol (Loki’s familiar as well as what’s left of Loki’s previous incarnation) asks Loki what he makes of Thor’s return. It’s good isn’t it? the boy replies. Oh Loki, Ikol sighs. The boy tells him to hush.
Suddenly, an image of Mephisto appears, telling him the Disir have disappeared and ordering to him to round them up. Why precisely is that his problem? Loki asks with a grin. Mephisto reminds him of their previous dealing and their contracts. Loki’s signature next to his alone would damn him. Now chop-chop, he orders and disappears in a burst of smoke.
So, soon, Loki informs his partner Leah that the bloody-mouthed ones have disappeared. Then he tells Thor that they must stop their inevitable bloody-mouthed rampage. Leah tells her mistress Hela and Thor informs the Warriors Three and Sif.
Hela asks her consort, the wargod Tyr how they can find them. Tyr suggests they let his Hel-puppy search for them.
Similarly in Asgardia, Loki suggests that his hel-pup can sniff them out. However while Tyr’s dog obeys, Loki’s foul-tempered pup Thori instead bites his master’s arm. “Down, Thori!” Loki shouts. Helping to wrestle the dog away, Thor asks if Loki named the dog after him. No, it was another Thor, Loki snaps. One who had the good grace not to die and abandon him among these barbarians! Vikings, not barbarians, Hogun corrects him mildly. Are they Vikings or merely Viking gods? Fandral wonders.
Again Loki orders Thori to fetch – villains” Instead, the dog growls “murder.” Fandral suggests the dog has already found a villain. Ikol suddenly suggests he has an idea where Bor’s fallen handmaidens might be.
In San Francisco, Dani has grown suspicious and enters Zig’s den. A moment later, much to her horror, the Disir teleport in. As they attack, Dani tries to dodge and calls the team on her comm-set. Luckily, moments later they arrive, asking who those villains are.
Cue for Hela and Tyr to teleport in. Hela announces the Disir are the greatest enemies of the dead and this is about revenge of the oldest and bloodiest sort. Is this more Asgardian stuff? Sunspot complains and asks Dani when she’s going to quit being a Valkyrie. She’s going to say, not right now, Dani ventures.
That moment, Thor, Loki, Sif and the Warriors Three (as well as Ikol and Thori) arrive as well. Silence! Thor booms.
Zig finally shows up again, dressed in his armor, as Sigurd the ever glorious. The Asgardians are awe-struck, identifying Sigurd as the greatest legend, the Blade of Bor. They didn’t know he was still alive. Or, as Sunspot summarizes: their creepy neighbor is a god.
The Disir get ready to attack Sigurd, wishing what they call the “final portion.” Taking out a scroll, Sigurd admits he wasn’t expecting other Asgardians, just the shieldmaidens. He’s sure it will turn out okay, though. It usually does. He pronounces the ancient runes on the scroll. The spell envelops them and when the light dies down, only the New Mutants are left, wondering if the gods vanished or were killed…
Meanwhile, in a house nearby, Helen, a woman with a strangely distorted face, orders her precocious foster son Luke to go to bed. He asks her to let him finish the chapter. The story will still be there in the morning, Helen tells him. It’s not a story, it’s a game, he corrects her. Nevertheless, he is ordered to sleep. Story or game, it’ll all be there in the morning…