Frigg places her hands on my head and my eyes are open but I'm not seeing what's in front of me anymore. I feel the familiar lick of flames on my skin. They do not burn but they instantly remind me of all the shit I went through in Afghanistan, proving to me that the traumas I'd thought were healed were instead only thinly scabbed over. I look around and see fields of burning rock covered in the bodies of mortals, the sky covered in clouds as black as pitch.
In the distance I hear the sound of a pick on stone and as I move towards it I realize the scenery has changed, morphing into the emerald fields of Mag Mell. Just ahead I see Hachiman, The Morrigan and Hades digging a hole with a mountain of dirt at their back. They pause to look into the hole and reel back in surprise. I sprint forward, running to see what would startle the gods but wheel around in midstep as I hear the cry of someone dying.
My field of vision fills with the throat of a man being sliced open, I shake it away and realize it was a hallucination. I turn back to the hole and see the body of a dead lion laying in a pool of blood at the bottom.
An arctic wind blowing from behind chills me to the bone. I turn once again but this time the blazing fields from which I'd come are become a tundra. On the horizon before me stand giant gates. They are made of ice, hundreds of feet tall. They stand open and an army of blue skinned creatures are pouring forth. A shrill wolf cry echoes against the gates. Above me I see the silhouette of a wolf against a full moon.
I glance back down and find myself standing outside my home - mine and Gunnar's home - in Berkeley. Between me and the house stand the frames of four cribs. I realize there is something in my hands as I gaze at the cribs. I look down and find a golden scale there. One side holds the Earth. The other holds nothing. The scale is perfectly balanced.
I look closer at the globe and realize an inky blackness is wrapping across it from several points across the surface. The darkness expands from the globe until I too am swallowed by the darkness.
A sudden explosion of light makes me shield my eyes. Once more I find myself on the flaming plain. Singing above draws my eye to the sky where I see a group of angelic figures. They are pulling away, upward, as something begins falling from them. They are bombs... very large bombs. Dread sinks into my bones no matter how I try to shake it.
The bombs hit and again everything is light. The light ebbs to blueness and suddenly I see Nate standing beyond, a sword of blue light in his hand. He is engaged in battle. It takes me a moment but I realize eventually that his foe is the corpse of Manannan Mac Lir, given life again. The corpse pulls out a sword of light himself and the two clash. The fighting is intense but ends as the zombie-god removes Nate's sword arm. I run toward Nate, my hands extending to try help in any way I can.
My hand then fills my vision as it reaches into webs, spider webs? More hands reach out... 6 more, all grasp a globe stuck in the web and pull it free. It is then that I realize that the globe served as a keystone for the web and it begins to collapse bringing several other spheres crashing down from being stuck there. The spheres fall and fall into fire and begin to burn away.
The fire shimmers and sways and I see Brendan laying beyond, a sword crafted of pure fire pushed through his chest and nailing him to the ground. Blood pools out of Brendan's mouth, already stained black with ichor. Brendan stares blankly into the air muttering something, he pulls a ragged and crippled arm up to point at the sky. My gaze follows the direction of his finger.
Towering above me is the body of an enormous snake. Within its maw Gunnar stands, attempting to prevent the jaws from closing. They snap shut anyway and I see, and hear, Gunnar's bones snap in half. His footing gives way as his legs break. He begins falling down the gullet of the snake. The snake turns to me and as we lock eyes I begin to feel frozen in its gaze.
I cried out and the snake's face faded. Frigg stood before me instead, brushing away the tears I hadn't realized were flowing freely down my cheeks.I like Gunnar's prediction better. He said, "We'll have a wonderful, godly life together, and the titans will look upon our pairing with longing for the days of couples like Hera and Zeus who are too busy cheating on each other and turning mistresses into cattle to work together. It'll be like Mr. And Mrs. Smith, except more badass, and a lot less awkward."
"Now I feel the worst is near
I hold them close and count their years
And pray a ray of light appears
To shine down on us here
Breakdown in the shape of things to come
But I'm moving on like a soldier
And I say now when all is said and done
It's not ours to break, the shape of things to come
There's a crack in the clouds
But only for a moment now
Like an owl looking out
The blue sky spies the roads we will go down
I wonder what they hold for us
I hold my family to my breast
I feel the worst and hope the best
Will come to see us blessed
Breakdown in the shape of things to come
But I'm moving on like a soldier..."
Audioslave, Shape of Things to Come