Carrying Pickles on her back, Jean Grey is scaling an icy mountainside.
After her encounter with Namor, she now knows she has to become a badass warrior and learn to slay an immortal god creature made of sentient fire. And this is the most sensible bit of advice she has gotten since this whole mess started.
She is no shrinking violet. She fights. Even leads an X-team. But warrior? Slayer? No. A few months ago, she still used her telekinesis to cut up cake. She’s never been to war or fought to the death. But there’s a guy on top of the mountain who absolutely has. Again and again.
Holy hell! she swears. On the other side of the pass are a group of orcs, intent on taking the Odinson’s head. Silently, Jean runs ahead.
A hall further up in the mountains. The Avengers were mighty, yes, the Unworthy Thor or Odinson as he currently calls himself rambles but also green. Green as the flesh of the cursed toads that plagued them that day. Loki had them all but beaten. Every advantage clutched in his trickster fist. And he knew it. But Thor knows his brother as he knows his own self. He acts out the battle with his stein instead of his hammer.
That moment, Jean bursts in. babbling about what she went through to get here. She apologizes for being over-caffeinated. She introduces herself and reveals there is an army of Orcs up here on their way to murder him. Odinson replies with a noisy belch. He apologizes and she realizes he is drunk. She orders him to snap out of it. She grabs his stein and empties the beer, looking around for some coffee. The barmaid pours her some.
Jean barricades the door telekinetically and muses aloud that a drunk Thor is better than no Thor. She hasn’t seen his hammer anywhere. So if he left it near the toilet or anything, now would be a good time to get it. Sore topic, the barmaid coughs. Oh right, Jean recalls. He’s Odinson, now. Thor’s a lady. He’s more than well-armed enough, he replies showing his battle axe.
He asks why she came to see him. Jean explains she’s got this big crazy battle coming. Not just the orcs. Something worse. The only way she will survive is if she levels the hell up. This may sound dumb, but she thought maybe he could teach her to become a warrior.
The barkeeper, Lana, has dressed for outdoors and wishes them good luck as she leaves. Odinson tells her goodbye.
Whatever, Jean shrugs as she looks outside. She’s probably screwed. And that’s assuming they survive the next few minutes. Adding something alcoholic to his coffee, Odinson muses, her dilemma reminds him of his own misspent youth. He was just a boy then, just past his fifteenth nameday. His brother and he wanted so desperately to prove themselves in battle. Yet no one would allow it. Were they not the sons of Odin? Had they not been born and bred for the battlefield?
So young Thor and Loki set out on their own to prove themselves. Armed with smug grins and borrowed weapons from Father’s armory.
Jean sees the horde advancing and suggests they do story time later. They are going to be kinda busy soon.
Undeterred, Odinson continues. They had it in their fool heads that they could tame the fabled Lavadon. Squelch its fire by sheer force of will and ride the proud beast back to Father… as irrefutable proof they were ready to join him in battle.
Again, Jean stresses she wants to take a raincheck on the tales of yore.
That Lavadon torched them from toes to nose, Odinson continues undeterred. He’ll never forget the taste of Loki’s burning hair at the back of his throat. They sprinted from that cave. A pair of bellowing blustered buffoons. But that was a lesson well learned-
As the orcs smash through the door, Jean shouts exactly how drunk is he? Please get over here and hit someone! Thor looks up from his drink, Verily! he announces and joins the battle. Apologies. He boasts there aren’t enough orcs in all the realms to kill the Odinson. Jean points out he was so drunk. He begins boasting about his stamina. Jean interrupts suggesting he stop his grandpa stories for five minutes. Odinson points out she came here searching for him. He assumed his reputation… Can they please talk later?! she shouts.
While Odinson still manages to down the occasional mead, Jean admits she isn’t super comfortable being outnumbered. Her comment calls to mind another of his stories.
Long ago, he answered a call to cross the Rainbow Bridge. An army of men begged he lead them against a rival tribe that stole their land and lifestock…
He figured it would be a quick affair. He was newly worthy of carrying Mjolnir. They didn’t realize their rivals had a sort of god of their own, a Frost Giant. He fought Thor’s men then beset Thor himself. They fought day and night, and Thor knew, even if he won, he would have to contend with the enemy army afterward. Finally, he threw the hammer into the sky and called the thunder.
Cool! Jean still fighting shouts. Too bad she doesn’t have a big friggin’ magic hammer! However, with psychic energy, she manages to create one and uses it to smash down the next orc and quite a few others before wondering what the hell that was.
Odinson smashes the orc who was about to attack her. Looked to him like a big friggin’ magic hammer, he opines. Jean thanks him for the safe. So warrioring, he continues. Lesson one. Teach! Jean tells him.
Thirty minutes later, the job done, they both sit at the bar. This reminds him of another story, he begins. Jean groans. Last week, he was on a drinking holiday down in Bergen when a little bird flew in. Told him a horde of Orc assassins has been asking after him. As she can see, he can always handle a few Orcs. But they are a sloppy bunch who fight hard and dirty. He knew, Jean realizes. Odinson continues that he made a loud drunken show of heading up the mountain for a high altitude drink. And lured his enemies to the highest ground where collateral damage would amount to a few broken bottles of mead.
Jean realizes that with all his stories he was just trying to answer her questions. Odinson admits teaching is not his greatest skill but he can spin a drunken yarn and most of them are true. Surviving means shuffling this way and that. In an attempt to strike balance between preparation, execution and dumb luck. Know your enemy. Know yourself. Plan whatever you can and control as much as they let you. But never let those feet fall flat. Improvise or die. Experience is of course the sturdiest armor, but as she saw there is nothing better in this world or the next than a big friggin’ magic hammer.