AMOK watched another bubble rise to the top of the ambassador’s aquarium, then break at the surface. It was delicate work, organizing a battle with the Giants; having their diplomatic proceedings off camera had been a prerequisite of the talks, leaving AMOK to fend for himself in a lobby ten times bigger than any lobby he’d ever seen before.
The magazines alone could swat him flat.
“...and I stand by it, you communists!
His memory aggregator roared to life as two tiny figures emerged from the cracks at the base of the ambassador’s large office door.
“How did the summit go?” AMOK pressed, trying to glean some insider tips from his companions. The AMOK had billions of Quatloos invested in Giant futures; if the talks had led to an arranged battle, the AMOK would profit handsomely.
“Before or after he called de ambassador’s country ‘Jomentum?’” Gambit opined, pointing his pithy finger cast at my head while he bloviated his utterances. “And den when de ambassador tried to-”
“This country is
Jomentum, not Jo- Joho- Joton-”
“That’s not how it should be pronounced!” I screamed. “I’m a linguist! These uncivilized mountain folk should worship
the ground I tell them how to pronounce.”
worship spirits of the earth, as is evidenced by their numerous burial customs.”
egg-man,” I spat, referencing AMOK’s trademark plastic eggs in a negative manner. If his ego was as fragile as I suspected, the conversation was already over. “I’m perfect, so it must be your
Gambit looked confused. “Are you talkin’ to me, or AMOK?”
A chewy, crunchy sound broke my irrational rage. Atomized Poundcake!
Private Hudson- strolling down the hallway with a five-foot donut strapped to his back!
“Hudson! What brings you to the Land of the Giants?!”
His eyes glazed over (much like the donut he carried so handily) but answered gruffly. “I’m a big man, and I need a big meal. Also, here,” he handed me a packet of $20 bills. “That’s for Loki’s Poker game. The professor said I should bring it to you, seein’ as how I was on my way here anyway.”
“For the equinox?”
Hudson struggled to shift the donut’s center of gravity, then went back the way he came, crumbs breaking off every few steps. I looked down at the money, hoping that Loki was more patriotic than the Giants had been.
“So, get out much?”
Loki didn’t even crack a smile, despite the jester-like lip curls painted on his ghost-white face. He just kept shuffling the cards unemotionally, pausing only to take a sip of his Long Island Iced Tea. The tiny room smelled of dust and spices, and large antiques from across the expanse of time lined the walls. Globes with geopolitical designations that became obsolete millennia ago, and weapons of unknown origin that hung from invisible threads were just some of the kitschy things I would’ve enjoyed feeding into a woodchipper.
“Can I up the ante?”
“You’ve already folded,” Gambit sighed, kicking me under the table. I accepted his challenge and kicked him right back, sating my id as well as my honor.
“Mr. Laufeyjarson? Can I have more cards?”
“You already folded!” Axelrock roared, shaking the room. He was one of the four Storm Giants I had been itching to fight, and the other three were likewise impatient. We had, after all, intruded on their
“I have a protein folding program on my computer, at home,” I informed him. “It calculates all kinds of protein structures over a distributed computing network, and scientists will use it’s findings to cure all sorts of diseases one day.”
He squinted his bulbous yellow eyes. “What’s that got to do with Texas Hold ’Em?”
“It’s the first thing I think of when I hear the word ‘fold.’ Of course, the next thing I think of is yo mama!
The other three giants laughed their bellies raw, and Axelrock returned to his hand, purple with rage. He put a hairy fist over his holstered bear mace, a strident reminder to keep my insults within the scope of the game.
“I didn’t mean to insult your mother,” I flouted at the Strom Giant, “but Gambit
over here was just telling me about how fat she is.”
His eyes started to bug out, and he turned to Gambit, who started panting and trying to stand up; the casts on his legs held firm. That’s when I pulled out the box of diapers.
said your mother sent you these to-”
Axelrock’s battle cry reverberated in the tiny room, causing Loki to spray cards every which way. Furniture shunted sideways from the sheer force
of the boom, and the enraged giant lunged across the table, targeting Gambit’s neck with his two-ton knuckles.
“Incoming!” I shouted, dodging a rafter that fell from the astonishingly high ceiling. Axlerock wasn’t so lucky, and a vintage pre-Ragnarök warhammer impacted his skull at a 45 degree angle.
Grabbing Gambit to use as air cover, I ran toward the exit as swords and ray-guns, emancipated from their display cases by the sonic shockwave, happily accepted the verdict of gravity and accelerated to the ground at exactly 9.81 meters per second squared. Sweet Sword of Damocles!
Loki managed to duck under the table, but the three remaining Storm Giants bobbed helplessly as Asgardian weaponry laid them all lame.
After the final cracked portrait touched down, I took a gander at Loki, scrambling to pocket the pot of chips. Game over.
“Your plan worked perfectly, AMOK!” I smiled as the cameraman moved to get a better picture of the felled giants for his CBS overlords. Hoisting Gambit onto AMOK’s back, I punched in the coordinates for the Rainbow Bridge.
As we ran out into the misty Asgardian night, I found myself wondering about Axelrock’s real
mother, and whether or not she was in fact morbidly obese.
She probably was.