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The Girls Make A Stop
The Girls Make A Stop
A couple months back, I posted the first scene of this in the current Nanosteps Brainstorming thread, to an encouraging amount of interest.  Well, it's finished, finally, and I can share it with you.  More than a scene, less than a full story, I present to you:


A "Girls Girls Girls" Meganecdote

by Robert M. Schroeck

Thor clung to the stainless steel spire as he called lightning
down to his hammer and unleashed it again at the Chitauri forces
pouring through the gateway above Manhattan like blood gushing
from a mortal wound. His brother Loki's misshapen army seemed
endless, and Asgardian though he might be, Thor still had his
limits. After a minutes-long barrage of continuous lightning
strikes that would have humbled a hurricane, the god of thunder
was forced to pause for breath in the face of the invaders.

As he drew in deeply of the befouled air above New York City, the
unending torrent of one- and two- and three-man flying sleds
paused to allow a half-skeletal leviathan of metal and fire to
enter the world of men. As it undulated ponderously in its
headlong dive toward the city below, need forced Thor to take one
more deep breath in anticipation of the demands he was about to
place upon himself again. Steeling himself, he tightened his
grip on the spire and raised his hammer once more...

When a feminine voice behind him shouted "Supreme! Thunder!
DRAGON!" and a bolt of lighting as great as any he had ever
called roared past him. As it homed in on the Chitauri leviathan
it expanded and took on the form of a great wyrm of old, its jaws
wide and its talon-tipped forelegs spread to rip its foe to
shreds. It did not strike the leviathan so much as engulf it in
a brilliant explosion that left the vehicle/creature plummeting
from the sky. It seemed doomed to shatter a score of buildings,
doing as much destruction in its death as it might have hoped to
accomplish alive -- until a pink streak of light shot up out of
the city to meet it. The crippled leviathan impossibly halted in
mid-air, rolled, and suddenly hurtled as if thrown toward the
harbor and the open sea beyond. The pink streak reappeared,
shooting upward and into the open portal.

"Go, Mirai!" shouted the female voice. "Give'em hell!"

Gripping the stainless steel so tightly it began to crumple under
his fingers, Thor turned slowly to find himself facing a girl --
no, a *woman* -- floating in the air some yards away. She was
tall, at least as tall as Sif, and more voluptuous. As beautiful
as any Asgardian woman, she was dressed in an outfit as
abbreviated as any he'd seen on a mortal woman in this age: a
tight, tiny dress of white trimmed with green and a bit of
incongruous pink. Her long chestnut hair was done up in a high
ponytail, and a golden tiara with a brilliant emerald cabochon
topped with a tiny antenna graced her brow. From her waist to
the short, low-heeled boots she wore, her body was sheathed in a
roiling, coruscating blue-white glow that was visible even in the
bright sunlight.

And small whipping, cracking wisps of lighting streamed along the
sides of her head from her glowing eyes.

"Well, hello there, handsome," she said with a flirtatious smile.
"Nice hammer. What do they call you when you're at home?"

Thor blinked and shook his head for a moment. "I am Thor
Odinsson of Asgard," he shouted over the wind. "Who are *you*?"

"Thor?" The woman's smile shifted from flirty to a full grin.
"What a coincidence. I'm Jupiter -- Sailor Jupiter." She
inclined her head and raised an eyebrow. "Care for a little

* * *

Natasha ejected the empty clips from her pistols and slammed a
pair of full ones home in a single efficient motion. For all
their armored appearance, the Chitauri were just as vulnerable to
a well-placed bullet as the average human, and the Black Widow
could place bullets very well indeed.

That her targets all seemed to be supremely overconfident just
made targetting them all that much easier.

"Natasha," Barton's voice whispered in her ear. "You've got

"Tell me something I *don't* know," she muttered as she squeezed
off another volley of shots that laid a quartet of Chitauri low.

"I don't mean the uglies. Something *else* is heading your way."

"Care to be a bit more specific?" she growled.

"I can't. From up here it looks like a streak of yellow light
and the Tasmanian Devil," he replied, absolutely deadpan.

Natasha paused in her firing and blinked. "Like *what*?"

Then the wave of Chitauri in front of her *erupted*. There was
no better word for it. Something blurring and bright yellow blew
through them, throwing them high into the air even as their
weapons went flying far away. As they dropped, a second blur,
this one looking more like a person spinning like a top, followed
at a slower but equally implacable pace; in its wake were left
nothing but dismembered, dying and dead aliens.

"Like *that*," Barton replied smugly as the yellow streak circled
her several times and the whirlwind dispatched the last of the
aliens that had threatened to overrun her position.

Natasha raised an eyebrow and lowered her pistols, but did not
holster them. "Bozhe moi," she murmured, "what *are* you?"

The yellow blur abruptly froze in front of her, resolving with
eye-watering suddenness into a young girl, barely into her teens,
in a bright yellow bodysuit marked with a red lighting bolt just
above her burgeoning bustline. A partial cowl enclosed her head,
revealing her face and the top of her auburn hair, while two
equally-auburn ponytails streamed through openings where her ears
would be; her features were Japanese, though her eyes were a
shade of golden brown Natasha had never before seen in an Asian

"Hiiiiiiiiiii!" she squealed, then launched into most rapidfire
Japanese Natasha had ever heard. "I'mthegreatKurataSanatheycall

"Breathe, Sana." Somewhat stunned at the verbal torrent, Natasha
looked up to find that the other blur had been replaced by a
tiny, slender young woman in faded jeans and a T-shirt touting a
band called "Ellen Aim and the Attackers". Her delicate features
were dominated by a pair of striking green eyes, and her long,
dark hair was pulled back into a low ponytail. She appeared to
be in her early twenties, and Natasha's eyes widened when she
realized that a pair of narrow sword blades, made of a
bluish-silver metal she couldn't identify and dripping with
Chitauri blood, seemed to grow out of the backs of her hands.

Catching Natasha's glance at the blades, a look of ... was that
embarassment? ... flashed across the young woman's face, and then
the swords retracted silently into her arms, each leaving behind
only a line of drying alien blood to mark where it had been. She
held out her finely boned hand, and as Natasha numbly shook it,
she said, in English, "Bibi Summers. Like Sana said, we just hit
town and saw you were having a little problem." She suddenly
grinned. "We're good at problem-solving."

* * *

"Natasha?" Barton called into the comset as his sometime-partner
found herself face to face with the two... somethings he had
spotted heading for her position. "Natasha? What's going on?"

"That's a very interesting quiver you're wearing."

The last thing Barton expected was to hear a voice from over his
shoulder. Not while he was perched at the very top of a building
and playing both sniper and spotter during an alien invasion.
Startled, he spun about, drawing his bow on an especially lethal
arrow to face...

A girl sitting on a flying broom.

Automatically he memorized key details about her. British
accent. Late teens. Waist-length dirty blonde hair. Grey eyes,
wide, surprised-looking. Wearing a dark grey cloak over blue
jeans; top not visible. Elaborately carved stick in right hand,
about a foot long. The other hand was gripping the broom, which
looked like a handmade antique except for the sculpted brass
stirrups on which her feet rested and the inlaid silver letters
reading "Nimbus 2001" just below a leather-wrapped grip.

And yes indeed, it was flying, bobbing up and down ever so
slightly in the air just past the low wall ringing his nest.

"And very interesting arrows. That's not very polite," she
added with faint disapproval, and gestured with the stick.
Barton felt a force shove his bow to one side, away from her.
"Shoot now," she added casually, and without thinking about it,
he did.

The arrow whipped past her head, close enough to send the ends of
her long hair swirling, and into the face of a very surprised
Chitauri as it rose into the space just a few yards behind her.
The arrowhead exploded, as it was supposed to; Barton had already
raised an arm to shield his face but to his surprise the blast
stopped cold a foot or so behind the girl.

She smiled dreamily. "I don't mind if they shoot at me from the
front, because I can see them to shoot back. But shooting me
from behind is terribly unsporting, don't you think? So I don't
let them. Duck now."

Barton registered that last bit just in time to drop to the roof
the moment she waved her stick and said, "Reducto maximus". A
bolt of light erupted from its tip and passed over his head; a
moment later he heard the now-familiar sound of exploding
Chitauri fightercraft, several of them, followed by the also
now-familiar sound of Chitauri screams fading away into the

He slowly got back to his feet, eying her dubiously. "Who...?"
he began.

"I'm Luna Lovegood," she said in that same dreamy tone. "We're
here to help."

* * *

Steve Rogers (CPT, US Army) followed the sound of the gunshots,
certain that he'd find more members of the NYPD cornered by the
Chitauri when he reached their source. On the way he had to
deal with another half-dozen of the alien warriors and their
flying sleds.

When he finally stepped through the smoke from a nearby burning
storefront, shield at the ready, he expected to find a police car
or three formed into an impromptu barricade as a handful of cops
made their stand against the invaders.

He didn't expect to find a ring of Chitauri corpses surrounding
a pair of blonde girls. One was in her late teens or maybe early
twenties, wearing a leather jacket and the softly faded blue
denim pants that were so much more common in this era than in his
time. She stood next to a motorcycle, once gleaming black but
now dust-covered, with golden back-to-back "BB" emblems
emblazoning its fuel tank and fenders. In one hand she held an
automatic pistol; in the other was an utterly incongruous
Japanese sword. Both she and the sword were splattered with dark
alien blood.

But where she was splattered, the other girl was *soaked*, to the
point that he couldn't tell the original colors of her clothes.
More blood was smeared across her face, giving her a savage look.
Steve blinked at the sight of her -- she was tiny and couldn't
have been more than ten or eleven years old. But she was encased
in a webwork of belts and bandoliers holding dozens of knives,
and strapped to her back was something that looked like a cross
between a trash picker and a miniature spear. She held a pair of
huge combat knives expertly in her small hands, alien blood
dripping off their gleaming blades.

Steve's breath caught when he saw her expression. It was one
that should never have been on the face of a child that young; he
had seen it far too many times on the faces of the soldiers at
whose sides he'd fought in Europe. But then he spied the long,
delicately-pointed tips of her ears poking through her blood-
drenched hair, and he realized that whatever she was, a child
probably wasn't among the possibilities. She howled a challenge
to the battle-filled sky in a rough English accent and a rougher
vocabulary that reminded him of more than a few long-gone
comrades: "Come an' get me if you dare, you buggerin' arsewipes!
I'm Chalotte of the Whitechapel Wallopers! I'm one of the
Magnificent Eight, killers of the Rumble High Command! C'mere
an' I'll slice you open from goolies t' goiter an' spill yer guts
on the ground, see if I don't!"

By the look of the blood that soaked her clothes through and the
bodies at her feet, Steve could tell that *many* Chitauri had
taken her up on her challenge, but none had won.

* * *

Tony Stark didn't want to know how many Gs he pulled as he took
a tight turn that sent most of his pursuers smashing into an
office building. He'd incorporated the equivalent of a pilot's
pressure suit into the lining of the armor almost from the first,
and its tight grip on his body kept the blood from draining from
his head. Blacking out during high-speed maneuvers was a *bad*
thing, and he always tried to avoid bad things.

At least the ones that weren't fun.

Like the flying armored whale-craft the Chitauri were sending
through the hole. One of which he'd just bounced off of --
"Shit!" he swore as the impact sent him momentarily tumbling --
and whose full attention he now had. "Shit!" he repeated when he
realized it was following him.

Okay, okay, if the little fliers were bad at cornering, this big
mother had to be worse. He just had to lead it into a situation
where it wiped out, right? Right. So, pull out of the tumble.
Quick jog to the left and a zig to the right to avoid a couple of
armored bastards on their flying treadmills. Up, then down to
break any target locks. Glance behind to make sure it was
staying on his trail the way he wanted instead of doing something
*smart* and attacking him from above.

Right. Still there. Not sure if that's bad or worse, but there
you have it. Okay, tight turn onto Sixth. The whale didn't wipe
out there, dammit, but that's okay, it's not where he'd planned
to take it out. So power down Sixth Avenue, past the girl with
the wings...

Girl with wings?

Tony blinked, braked, and spun in place.

He blinked again.

There was a girl with wings hovering a hundred feet over Sixth
Avenue. Hugely-feathered *pale blue* wings, the same color as
her hair, if he wasn't mistaken, making long, slow, lazy flaps
that shouldn't have kept her in the air. She wore a mix of
plate armor and something white and drapey -- and what a shame
that was, too, because it looked like she might have a smokin'
bod. In one hand she held something that was either the oddest
spear he'd ever seen, or a bright red ribbon with way too much

For a moment he thought to warn her about the armored whale, but
from her posture and the way she'd begun to brandish her ribbon
at it, he figured she probably already knew. With a deft flick
of her wings, she positioned herself directly in its path, drew
back the spear, then hurled it into the monster's face.

"What the hell does she think *that* will... Jesus!" The moment
the spear touched the whale, the creature exploded -- not with
flame and smoke, but into liquid, transforming entirely into a
thick orange goo that splattered nearby buildings and splashed
viscously into the street below. Tony raised his eyes back to
the winged girl just in time to see her catch the spear as it
returned to her hand seemingly under its own power.

Tony mentally shrugged, then jetted back up Sixth to hover in
front of her. Close up, he saw that she had Asian features, with
red eyes and translucent white skin which, had she not also had
hair of that most unlikely blue shade, would have said "albino"
to him. He decided she looked younger than he'd initially
thought; late teens, maybe. Still, it wouldn't hurt to turn on
the old Stark charm. "Hey, thanks for the save. Nice spear.
What's your name? Maybe we can get together after..."

"I am Ayanami Rei, the Angel of Heroes," she said in unaccented
English. Her voice was soft and almost uninflected, but somehow
carried a disapproval that stilled his automatic banter. "You
have far more important things to do at this time than flirt with
me, Anthony Stark." With a disdainful sniff she spun in place,
wrapping her wings around herself, and vanished.

Tony blinked at the empty space where she had been before
realizing that she was correct. There *were* more important
things for him to do.

* * *

Lt. John Callahan, NYPD, hunkered down behind the shelter of his
patrol car as yet another of those flying whatsits shot past
overhead. Peering over the hood, he took aim and fired. He
smiled grimly when his target slumped over the controls of its
flyer, which then augured in to a fiery explosion in the middle
of 70th Street.

A moment later, to his surprise, a figure on a brilliant white
horse burst out of the flames surrounding the wreckage -- a tall,
regal-looking young woman whose olive skin and long dark hair
gave her a vaguely Mediterranean appearance. Despite the smoke
and fire through which she had ridden, not a smudge marred the
pure white tunic-and-trousers outfit which she wore, an outfit
that somehow screamed "police uniform" to his instincts without
looking like any uniform in his experience.

As her blue-eyed horse came to a jingling halt in front of his
makeshift barricade, a second young woman dropped out of the sky
to hover unsupported in the air next to her -- a girl with short
blonde hair and deeply-tanned skin, in a brief white-and-blue
dress, blue gloves and boots, with a blue mask covering most of
her face. "We've got some civilians trapped in the second floor
of the building across the street," she announced without
preamble as John gawked. "It's badly damaged and looks like
it'll collapse any minute, so we can't just let them hide there.
But we need to draw the aliens away from that side of the street
before we can rescue them." Her speech was faintly accented;
Japanese, maybe, John thought, thinking of the waitresses at his
favorite sushi place.

"The creatures are simple-minded and vicious, from what I see,"
the woman in white stated flatly, and the horse gave an amused
whinny, almost as though it were agreeing with her. Unlike her
friend, she sounded like a native American. "They'll choose an
obvious and easy target over one within hard cover."

John thought he saw where this was going. "Now wait just a damn
minute, lady..." he began.

"I'll be the target," she went on without allowing him to finish
his objection.

"While she does that, I'll get the civilians down to ground
level," the hovering girl added. "We need you to get them to
safety from there. Can you and your men do that?"

His sudden anger doused, John gave the proposal a moment's
thought. "Yeah. We can get them into the subway station at the

"Good," the older woman replied with a grim smile. Before she
had even finshed speaking, and without a touch on the reins, her
horse was turning in place. She looked back over her shoulder.
"It should be pretty easy to spot your cue. Just be ready."

"You got it, lady," John said as he reached for his radio, then
paused. "One thing -- who *are* you?"

The horse paused, and she called back without turning, "You can
call me 'Herald'."

The flying girl snapped her hands down and to her sides, where
they began to glow. "And I'm Sailor Loon!" she declared brightly
before launching herself back into air above.

John allowed himself a little smile and a shake of the head as he
raised his radio to his mouth and thumbed the button. "Freakin'
Mondays," he muttered. "Always crazy as hell."

* * *

"...midtown area. I repeat, city authorities are urging all
civilians caught in the combat zone to shelter underground and to
use the subways to leave the midtown area. Do not exit on foot
unless you are on the edges of the battle. Extra trains are
being dispatched to help the evacuation effort."

Tom glanced at Jack, his pilot, as he continued, and received a
grim nod. "We're heading back to base before we get shot down,
but we'll continue to bring you up-to-the-minute information on
the evacuation. This is Tom Kaminski for CBS Radio in McDonald's
Chopper 880. Now here's Bernie Weiter with the mass transit
report." He cut the feed and turned back to Jack. "Let's get
back to Teterboro before we..."

He never finished, as Jack suddenly swore and yanked on the
control yoke, sending the helicopter into an abrupt turn-and-drop.
Tom found himself slung roughly to the side, his safety harness
the only thing keeping him from slamming into the thin plexiglas
door next to his seat. Before the unexpected maneuver had
completely registered, a fusillade of beam shots screamed through
the air where the chopper had been, followed by a pair of aliens
on their flying craft. The attackers overshot them by a good
quarter mile, and as Jack struggled to get the chopper under
control they banked into a wide turn that promised to bring them
around for a second salvo.

Only to run face-first into a wall of missiles that had appeared
from somewhere behind the helicopter and raced past it to
converge on their two targets.

When the exhaust plumes cleared, there was no sign of the aliens.
"Where did those missiles come from?" Tom asked, craning his neck
to look out the windows nearest him.

"If you ask me," Jack said slowly, "probably that." And he
pointed to the left. Tom turned to see something that struck him
as no less impossible than a hole in the sky spewing alien
invaders: a huge robotic turtle, dull grey steel in construction
and easily bigger than several city buses, flying with as little
regard for the laws of aerodynamics as the invaders' sled-things.

It had passed them up almost as quickly as the aliens had, but
then slowed to a hover and spun in place to face them. Panels
were closing on its back as it did so, but not before Tom spied
racks and racks of missle launchers. And riding in a saddle
mounted above where its head and shell met was a brown-skinned,
barefoot and bare-legged blonde girl in a short blue skirt and
white crop-top blouse with a sailor collar. She smiled, the
gleam of her brilliantly white teeth visible even from dozens of
yards away, and waved energetically at them.

Tom and Jack waved numbly back, which seemed to amuse the girl
greatly. Waving even more furiously, she turned the impossible
craft back toward the battle and took off like a jet fighter.

"Jack," Tom said a few moments later. "Teterboro. And I think
we'll both need a drink when we get there."

"Yeah," Jack replied. "I think you're right."

* * *

Safe inside the thick metal shell of Mecha-Rinrin, Minakami
Rinrin grinned as she pummelled yet another alien. One of these
days -- well, once she got back home after finding Doug-aniki's
Earth and helping Dee-aneki win her country's war -- she'd have
to tell Aniki and her sisters about the extra features that she'd
built into Mecha-Rinrin. Rinrin was pretty sure she'd never
gotten around to letting anyone in Welcome House know that
Mecha-Rinrin wasn't just a big robot, but a suit of powered
armor, too.

It was, after all, why Mecha-Rinrin was so big and still
articulated to mimic its creator's every motion. If it hadn't
been for the room for her to sit inside, and the armor, and the
weapons, well, Mecha-Rinrin could have been as small as
Mecha-Rinrin-chan. If not as cute.

Then again, something as small as Mecha-Rinrin-chan wouldn't've
been able to beat the crap out of ugly alien invaders, now, would

No, Rinrin mused as she rather vigorously separated an alien from
his very neat energy rifle-pike-thing (*gotta keep one of those,
see how it works,* she interrupted her own thoughts absently), to
hit *really* hard, you either had to use something really
out-of-this-world like Mirai's Mol unit, or you had to be *big*.
Like the green guy down the street.

Wait, what?

Rinrin tossed a screaming Chitauri over her shoulder and turned
back to confirm that yes, there was a big -- *huge* -- green man
at the other end of the block, and he was bulldozing his way
through the alien horde with a speed and ferocity she momentarily
envied. Then she remembered she was an *engineer*, not a

Despite having volunteered to fight in a war.

Okay, maybe she was a little bit of a soldier. Kinda.

Army corps of engineers, yeah.

Anyway, green guy.

Who was now standing over her and studying Mecha-Rinrin with a
puzzled look on his face as the storm of battle momentarily
whirled away to another part of the city. Rinrin watched his
image on her displays, and noted that even his hair and the
whites of his eyes were green.

*Would that make them the greens of his eyes, then?* she wondered
absently as she tilted her head and studied him right back. He
didn't seem inclined to say anything, but then, he didn't seem
inclined to smash her like he'd been smashing the aliens, so she
figured everything was cool. Rinrin tucked her arms behind her
back and smiled; Mecha-Rinrin matched her posture, but sadly
couldn't copy the smile. Not caring, Rinrin just looked up into
that green gaze and chirped, "Hi!" in English. It was, after
all, New York City. "My name's Rinrin! What's yours?"

An expression of ponderous puzzlement crawled across the green
giant's face. "Iron girl?" he rumbled slowly in a voice like
rocks scraping together. "Like iron man?"

*Iron man?* Rinrin decided to figure that out later. "I'm a
friend!" she declared confidently.

The green guy took a long time considering this, then nodded with
a quickness and sharpness surprising for the sense of mountainous
solidity that he exuded. "Iron girl friend." He thumped his
chest once like a gorilla. "Hulk friend too."

"Hulk?" Rinrin asked. "Is that your name?" Hulk nodded again.
*Certainly is appropriate,* she thought with a smile. A strange
friend, but green *was* her favorite color.

* * *

Tony sighed, his eyelids fluttering, when he finally released the
cruise missile. It continued on toward the Chitauri mothership
just as the systems in the suit finally shut down, leaving only
the head-up display in staticky, flickering life. Even as oxygen
deprivation began to steal consciousness from him, one corner of
his mind noticed how he began to fall back toward the hole in
space through which he'd flown with the nuke intended for
Manhattan. Odd that Earth's gravity would extend through the
dimensional warp into this... space? Place? He wasn't sure if
he was actually in the same universe as Earth or not.

A brilliantly pink streak of light flashed across his blurring
vision, and Tony realized he was starting to hallucinate from the
O2 starvation. *Strange*, his molasses-thick thoughts stumbled
to form a last spurt of coherence. *I always thought I'd die by
totalling my Maserati. Or from a heart attack in bed with a pair
of blonde Swedish twins. Not by saving the world.*

The pink light flashed again, brighter and closer, and suddenly
the sensation of motion ceased. He forced his eyes to focus and
realized that though he felt as though he weren't moving at all,
he was speeding past Chitauri craft so quickly that they seemed
to flicker in and out of sight. Then brilliant sunlight banished
the darkness of deep space and he watched the gate irised closed
around the pink trail he was leaving in the blue sky.

Pink trail? Tony was fairly sure he shouldn't be leaving a pink
trail. He tried to roll forward, but discovered he was being
held tightly by something. "Don't squirm," a woman's voice said
in Japanese by his ear, impossibly audible and clear despite the
rush of air past him. "I don't want to drop you."

Still muzzy, Tony turned his head toward the voice, and found
himself looking into the eyes of a beautiful young Japanese woman
-- girl, practically. Half her face was covered by a bulbous
blue face shield, surrounded by a shock of rich brown hair topped
with a purple bow. She grinned at him saucily. "I'll have you
on the ground in a moment. Relax."

He blinked several times as newly-reoxygenated blood rushed
through his brain. "Angel..." he breathed.

"Nope, that's my friend Rei," she replied with a giggle. "I'm

* * *


In the middle of the street, with Chitauri soldiers collapsed at
his feet like marionettes with their strings cut, the Thunder God
whirled at the sound of a vaguely familiar voice. There -- the
black-haired child in the red and white armor, running toward him
with a mallet in her hand. His eyes widened as he made out the
familiar features, however youthened.

Over his shoulder, Sailor Jupiter hovered, chuckling as though at
a private joke.

"Skuld?" he murmured, then shouted, "Skuld!"

Before he could take more than a step toward her, she skidded to
a halt before him, her ankle-length raven hair swirling around
her for a moment like the cloak he remembered. She stared up at
him disbelievingly, then shook her mallet at him. "You... you're
*blond*!" she cried accusingly.

He blinked. "And you're... short. Er. Shorter." Then, after a
moment and a suppressed wince, he added, "And *young*."

This time Jupiter laughed outright. "Shut up, you," Skuld
snorted at her before returning her attention back to Thor.
"This is my Vessel in another universe," she announced, twirling
in place to show off her youthful form as much as the red and
white scale mail she wore. "You like?"

Thor considered the cheerful teen before him and compared her to
the dour, cloaked seeress he had grown up in awe of. "Hm. It
suits you."

This Skuld brightened at that, a brilliant smile that would have
been alien to the Skuld he knew breaking out across the teen's
face. "You really think so? Thanks!"

He found himself smiling in response. "You seem happier, too."

"I am!" She put the long-handled mallet behind her back where it
vanished, then slid her arm through his. "Let me tell you about
Nii-chan and Keiichi."

* * *

Tony was almost fully back to his senses when Moldiver set him
down on the street in the midst of his... his teammates. And
almost a dozen girls, most of whom were as grime-covered and
sweat-soaked as he felt, and as Rogers, Barton, and Natasha
obviously were.

He blinked. He thought he'd recovered from the oxygen
deprivation, but one of the girls was sitting on a flying broom,
and two more simply hung in the air unsupported by even that
much. Oh, and the blue-haired angel was there, but she was in
jeans now and her wings and the ribbon-of-orange-goop-making were
both gone. Behind them was a blocky but vaguely female-looking
robot and a giant steel turtle. And a goddamned bleach-white

He turned and took his first good look at his rescuer. At
another time, Moldiver's red pumps, thigh-high stockings, short
skirt and skimpy sailor-suit-styled top might have prompted an
off-color remark or twelve. Now he simply nodded his thanks to

Then he realized that for the first time in what seemed like
hours, the city was quiet. He attempted to open his faceplate,
but it took a few tries before it gave a little protesting whine
and swung slowly up.

"What happened?" he asked after glancing at the empty sky.

A tiny, blood-covered blonde girl with pointed ears (Tony did a
double-take -- yes, pointed ears) spat on the ground. "We
fookin' kicked their ugly arses," she declared in a British
accent the likes of which he hadn't heard since his last London
pub crawl.

Steve Rogers, his helmet hanging from his right hand, winced then
nodded as a slow smile spread across his face. "She's right. We

Tony took a long deep breath. "Good." Forgetting that he had
almost no power, he tried to move and would have fallen over had
Moldiver not gripped his upper arm with a delicate hand that hid
a substantial strength. "I say we all take tomorrow off. Just
don't come in. Everyone okay with that?"

A ripple of laughter passed through the group, and Tony felt much
better. He turned to Moldiver. "You ever have shawarma?"
Without waiting for her reply, he glanced around at the others
and went on. "There's a shawarma joint about two blocks from
here. I don't know what it is but I want to try it." He tried
to take a step forward and nearly pitched onto his face. "Once I
can move, that is."

The girl with ankle-length black hair and red-and-white armor
laughed. "Girls? That's our cue." And before he knew what was
going on, Tony found himself caught up in a whirlwind of color
and sound. He barely had time to blink, then the girls stepped
back away from him and the suit booted back up.

The local copy of JARVIS whispered in his ear that all systems
were at a hundred percent -- or higher. Experimentally he raised
his arms; the servo systems soundlessly responded and they flexed
perfectly. He glanced down at his gauntlets. They were
spotless, gleaming red-and-gold without a single scratch or ding
to mar them -- as was the rest of the suit he could see.

He looked up again and stared at the three teenaged girls who had
just... swarmed him, for lack of a better term. "...the hell
just happened?" he demanded.

"We fixed your armor," the black-haired teen in red and white
said, with an unspoken "duh!" punctuating the end.

"That fast? *I* can't fix it that fast. JARVIS can't even get
it *off* me that fast." Tony narrowed his eyes at her. "Just
who *are* you?"

From *somewhere* the girl drew a croquet mallet in the same red
and white color pattern as her armor, and swung it to point the
head at him. "I am Skuld Ravenhair, called the Tomorrow-Maker,
daughter of Odin, Norn of the Future, Goddess of Technology," she
announced, and her voice seemed to reverberate with power,
echoing from Manhattan's concrete canyon walls more loudly than
seemed reasonable. She tapped the chest of his armor with the
head of her mallet, ever so gently. "And you, Anthony Stark, are
one of *mine*."

Tony blinked. The girl was serious, and more, he could feel,
somewhere deep in his bones, that it *meant* something real. Too
real, too serious, so he tried to brush it off. "Sorry, kid, but
you're too young for me. Look me up in a couple years, okay?"

She scowled cutely at him as she swung the mallet around behind
her -- where it vanished and failed to reappear when she brought
her hand back. *Nice trick,* one part of his mind noted before
one of the other girls with her -- the one with sun-browned skin,
blonde hair, bare feet and a bindi on her forehead -- suddenly
thrust her face into his.

"What is shawarma?" she demanded. "Is it good to eat?"

He smirked. "That, kiddo, is what I intend to find out."

"We're not finished yet," Thor pointed out soberly.

"No, we are not, Thunderer," the angel girl said quietly. "Your
brother has much to answer for. But first..." She turned to
face Steve. "Captain Steven Rogers, United States Army, called
'Captain America'." As Steve's eyebrows crawled up his forehead,
she held her right hand out to her side. The red band she wore
around that wrist suddenly uncoiled like a living thing, and
became a ten-foot, two-pronged spear-like weapon. Before he
could even react, Steve found its double tip touching the star in
the center of his chest.

The girl's red eyes seemed to glow with light. "I am Ayanami
Rei, the Angel of Heroes," she declared, and despite its whispery
softness her voice, too, echoed from the buildings around them
like a lion's roar. "And you are one of *mine*."

With a sudden flick, the strange spear swept away from his chest
before writhing and twisting back into a wristband as she stood
there, watching him impassively.

"You're an angel?" Steve asked. She nodded.

He gestured at Skuld. "And she's a goddess?" Another nod.

He shook his head. "I can't accept that. What gives?"

The so-called "Angel of Heroes" looked into his eyes, and for a
moment, Steve felt... Something. Something greater than himself,
something powerful. Something strict and unyielding, but

Then she closed her eyes, and he was released. When she opened
them again, she said, "Know this, Captain Steven Rogers: Every
god ever worshipped devoutly in the hearts of men is the One True
God." And then she turned away from him, and toward the Stark

* * *

Loki Laufey's Son slowly returned to consciousness, and with
consciousness came a powerful headache. Without opening his eyes
he tried to remember where he was. It wasn't his bed -- it was
too hard and uncomfortable. But he didn't remember any drinking
or feasting that might have led him -- again -- to someplace odd
or embarassing, probably at the instigation of his oaf of a
brother. In fact, the last thing he could remember was...



He slowly opened his eyes to see not just his brother and his
motley band of mortal allies, but a dozen others as well
surrounding him. Some of them had wings, and one seemed to be
holding a lightning bolt in her hands. His eyes widened when he
realized that one of the numerous weapons currently pointed at
him was the Lance of Longinus. And another was a red and white
mallet that *reeked* of the power of the gods. His eyes
travelled up its length to find a strangely familiar black-
haired teenager holding it.

Loki squinted and tilted his head until he worked out who she
*had* to be. "Skuld?" he croaked, not quite believing his own

The teenaged girl's face bore the nasty smile that he had seen
worn so many times by her older doppelganger in Asgard. "Hello,
Loki," she said with a false sweetness that made him cringe
inside. "You've been a bad boy again, haven't you? You've made
Belldandy terribly upset, you know. She's very fond of Earth."
She grinned nastily. "I wouldn't be surprised if she wanted to
talk to you about it."

Loki's eyes widened in alarm and fear. "Oh, crap," he rasped.
"Kill me now."

The archer, Barton -- such a useful follower he had been! --
flicked his eyes over at the impossibly-young Norn. His weapon
never wavered from its target. "What's she going to do, torture

"Worse," his brother said with a certain smugness that Loki
longed to wipe from his brutish face. "Verdandi will tell Loki
how he has *disappointed* her, which will make him feel *guilty*
and *ashamed*."

The do-gooder in red, white and blue nodded with grim
satisfaction. "Good."

* * *

Arms folded behind his back as he stood at something
approximating parade rest, Nick Fury studied what he personally
considered the single most dangerous collection of high-school-
and college-aged girls he had ever had the opportunity to
encounter. "You will excuse me," he declared, "if I hope that
you ladies continue on your journey as quickly as possible.
While I am *grateful* for your help with our... little problem,"
and here he allowed himself the tiniest of smiles, "I can't help
but worry what repercussions your presence in my world may have."

He turned and began to pace in front of the group. "You are
perhaps the largest accumulation of destabilzing elements I have
ever seen gathered together in one place. If the details of your
origins and experiences were to become public knowledge, the
results would be potentially catastrophic. Miss Ayanami and Miss
Ravenhair alone would be enough to incite religious violence the
world over."

Skuld glanced at Rei, who (true to form) had not reacted at all
to Fury's comment.

"And not just religious extremists," Fury continued. "My people
are still analyzing the orange substance left in the wake of your
attacks, Miss Ayanami, and are telling me in no uncertain terms
that what they are finding disturbs them greatly."

"Good," Rei said, fixing him with a rock-steady, unblinking gaze.
Fury matched it for a few moments before shaking his head and
returning his attention to the group as a whole.

"I harbor no illusions that I have any right or ability to
command you," he said, "and attacking you would be very much a
mistake. All I can do is offer you a place to stay well out of
the public eye until you continue on your way."

Lisa glanced at Delandra and raised an eyebrow. A murmur rose as
the other girls discussed this among themselves.

"Let me add that you are not and will not be prisoners in any
way," Fury noted. "You'll be free to come and go at will, and to
depart en masse if you so wish. I suspect," he added without a
trace of humor or irony, "that any attempt to compel any of you
would go very badly for SHIELD. So we won't try."

"Will we be able to visit with Stark-san and Banner-san?" Rinrin
asked from the middle of the band.

Fury shook his head. "I'm afraid most of the Avengers have gone
their separate ways after we confirmed that the Chitauri threat
was over."

"Darn," Rinrin pouted, and the Girls laughed.

"Someone's got a crush," Mirai sing-songed sotto voce, and Rinrin
blushed as the laughter continued.

As the good-natured ribbing faded away, Lisa and Dee traded a
look. Then the Herald stepped forward. "On behalf of my friends
and myself, we accept your kind offer, Colonel Fury."

"You know," Bibi said conversationally, "when we catch up with
him, we'll have to tell Doug about this world. Before he left
my Earth, he mentioned how few timelines he'd been to that had
metahumans. One where they're just starting to appear? I bet
he'd be very interested." She smiled at the colonel. "Don't be
surprised if you get another batch of super-powered visitors --
friendly ones! -- in a few weeks or months."

Fury did not look amused. "Don't go out of your way, Miss
Summers. Please."

The Girls laughed again.


This fiction is copyright (C) 2012-2013, Robert M. Schroeck, and
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike-
Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.
Fun story, Bob.
"I've always wanted to be somebody, but I should have been more specific." - George Carlin
Thanks, Timote.
-- Bob
Then the horns kicked in...
...and my shoes began to squeak.
Ah, now I can write the rest of LoGG without worrying about what I can and can't reveal... (Other than one detail that I've already hinted at and another that's an extrapolation of something you posted years ago, you've used everything I was thinking of using.)
Rob Kelk
"Governments have no right to question the loyalty of those who oppose
them. Adversaries remain citizens of the same state, common subjects of
the same sovereign, servants of the same law."

- Michael Ignatieff, addressing Stanford University in 2012
Huh. Well, glad to be of service. I hope I didn't reveal something I told you years ago was a major, hush-hush supersecret detail that just couldn't be bandied about... because that would mean I was stupid.
-- Bob
Then the horns kicked in...
...and my shoes began to squeak.
Considering you didn't tell me anything was major supersecret hush-hush, I think we're okay.
Rob Kelk
"Governments have no right to question the loyalty of those who oppose
them. Adversaries remain citizens of the same state, common subjects of
the same sovereign, servants of the same law."

- Michael Ignatieff, addressing Stanford University in 2012
I think I've isolated the two reasons I'm not a huge fan of this:

First, the girls seem to steal the spotlight from the Avengers, instead of sharing it. The bit with Thor and Jupiter at the beginning avoids this, and has them fighting together, but for the others, it feels like they are hijacking the Avengers' scenes. Even though stuff like the Hulk's rampage, or Cap 'dealing with' the Cheltauri soldiers is mentioned, it ends up feeling like they didn't do all that much.

Second, the 'claiming' scene. While it works for Tony (likely in part because of his reaction), the part with Cap just makes me think of the reasons that Doug doesn't like gods. Rei just walks up to Steve, announces who she is, and says he belongs to her. When he objects, she hits him with a dose of divine power, to which he seems to have no response. Really, any response on his part would be good, for example, telling her to accept all the soldiers, policemen firemen and so on as heroes, not just him, or something. As is, it feels like he gave in to her, when he refused to bow to Loki.

Hope you don't mind the criticisms, and I hope that I was able to convey my thoughts adequately.
Just tossing in the edit to make sure you see this post, as it appears that we almost simulposted.
Stand between the Silver Crystal and the Golden Sea.
"Youngsters these days just have no appreciation for the magnificence of the legendary cucumber."  --Krityan Elder, Tales of Vesperia.
Okay, cool, then. Always glad to learn I wasn't stupid.
-- Bob
Then the horns kicked in...
...and my shoes began to squeak.
Mm. Valid points, Jorlem. Maybe it needs a dramatic rewrite.
-- Bob
Then the horns kicked in...
...and my shoes began to squeak.
I do have to agree. Maybe have the Girls' actions more along the lines of covering the Avengers' backs, taking out some big stuff that we don't see them deal with on-screen, and basically letting the locals carry the day and come out in better shape than canonically? And more 'back to back badassery' like Luna and Clint works well for me, too.

As for Rei and Steve, I do -not- get the impression that he 'just knuckles under' to her. On the other hand, she presents herself as an -Angel- rather than a -Goddess-, which IMHO is going to be a lot easier for Steve Rogers' whitebread WASP upbringing to accept.

The Loki/Skuld chat is absolutely precious, though. I love Steve's reaction.
Sucrose Octanitrate.
Proof positive that with sufficient motivation, you can make anything explode.
Part of the problem with the interaction between Rei and Steve is, as I said, that we don't get to see his reaction to being shown 'something greater than himself', or to her statement on the nature of religion. So, it seems as if he has accepted it, or at least that he was unwilling or unable to object.
Stand between the Silver Crystal and the Golden Sea.
"Youngsters these days just have no appreciation for the magnificence of the legendary cucumber."  --Krityan Elder, Tales of Vesperia.
Okay, I've been thinking about this on and off through the holiday, when time allows. Frankly, I like the scene with Hawkeye and Luna, and am disinclined to change it, and I'm not sure what people find wrong with the Rinrin-Hulk moment, as neither upstages the other. And I would presume no one has a problem with the cop and the traffic copter scenes?

But I agree that other scenes need revision. Captain America's I knew was the weakest. And Natasha/Sana/Bibi could be made more even. I didn't like doubling Iron Man up, but I have to admit I enjoy playing Tony Stark off strong women who don't fall for his charm. Would people say those four scenes were the worst offenders?

(As a side note, I find it frighteningly easy to write dialogue for Nick Fury. I hear Samuel L. Jackson so clearly in my head when I write the lines, and he edits them into shape for me...)
-- Bob
Then the horns kicked in...
...and my shoes began to squeak.
I've been trying (without much success) to come up with something constructive, as opposed to just carping about how much the "you are one of mine" statements, especially directed toward Captain America, rouse intensely negative reactions in me.  Even if she didn't mean it as claiming to own his soul, that's how it came across sounding (to me), and it raised my hackles something fierce.  And she then Mind Rapes him into accepting her as benevolent.  Perhaps if she'd said something more like, "And you are an exemplar of those closest to my soul," it might not have bothered me so much.  

I also responded pretty badly to her giving out his name like that, arrogantly demonstrating "I know all this about you."  Isn't he maintaining a secret identity?  It reminded me, too, of the twin sorcerers Belkira and Beltira from The Belgariad, and how at their first introduction to Garion's companions, they announced, in chorus, the name by which the Prophecy designated each of those characters.  I HATE Belkira and Beltira.  I don't recall them doing anything else that rubbed me the wrong way so thoroughly, but they never did anything that I thought made amends for that, either.

I wonder just how accepting Doug's become of Celestials during his wanderings -- and what sort of reaction an eventual meeting with Ayanami Rei as she now is will produce.  Just about everything I'd previously seen/heard about her had inclined me toward sympathy if not actual liking, but this, to my mind, is an Eldritch Abomination, albeit more visually appealing than Cthulhu.  I would want absolutely as little to do with her as possible.  Fortunately, I suppose, I don't have the kind of courage that would ever lead her to try claiming me as one of hers.

Edit:  Cooled down a bit and removed one of the more inflammatory remarks.
Big Brother is watching you.  And damn, you are so bloody BORING.
The cop scene, I had actually been counting as a scene that was stolen from Steve. IIRC, in the movie there was a near identical scene, with Steve having to work a bit harder for their agreement. Even if it wasn't the exact same scene (with a different cop, and such), it felt like Herald and Sailor Loon had an easier time winning over the NYC cop than Captain America. Might not be true, but it felt like that to me.
Stand between the Silver Crystal and the Golden Sea.
"Youngsters these days just have no appreciation for the magnificence of the legendary cucumber."  --Krityan Elder, Tales of Vesperia.
I really enjoyed this.  Is it possible for you to compile any other Girls, girls, girls scenes you've done, or is this the only one?

The Hawkeye/Luna scene is  a treat.  But then who doesn't love Luna Lovegood.  I especially am looking forward to any scenes you have with her and Doug in your HP step.

(also: pedantic guy does pedantic internet thing: the aliens were named Chitauri.  Apparently that's one of the names of the reptilian aliens who are also the British royal family, as per David Icke.  The name was used for the Skrulls in Mark Millar's The Ultimates, which served as the visual basis for much of the Marvel movie universe).

RE: The Girls Make A Stop
... And after seeing Avengers: Endgame yesterday, I find myself wanting to write another one of these, if only so I can have Captain Marvel and Moldiver teaming up...
-- Bob

I have been Roland, Beowulf, Achilles, Gilgamesh, Clark Kent, Mary Sue, DJ Croft, Skysaber.  I have been 
called a hundred names and will be called a thousand more before the sun grows dim and cold....
RE: The Girls Make A Stop
I would read that.

(Also, such a good movie.)

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