This feeling, this smell, this aura! I sense something familiar… something like family! Could it be? Is it possible for someone else to have traveled back in time like me? My Brother, my sister, my mother?! I feel near the woods… No! It’s coming towards me! In the coast, Yes there he is! Oh wait… It’s a woman, but she is not my mother, nor has a half dead face like my sister… Who is she? She carries an ax, I should be on my guard. Grrrr, I won’t make the first move until I am certain… I am definitely sure she smells like… a Giant.
We have a staredown for a couple of seconds. What will it be… Will she attack?
Oh, she did not. The woman dropped her ax and her guard. She shows me she means no harm. Can I trust her?
I crouched my face towards her to get a better look. She just stares at me… Is it excitement in her expression? I really can’t tell.
“Who are you?” She said,
She can speak my tongue! I understood her. The first person I can speak to after Mimir! Who is she? How does she know my language? I was so surprised and excited!
“You understand me?” I spoke back, I wanted to be sure I heard her correctly before. Maybe I was hallucinating…
“Of course! Who are you, what are you, how did you come here?” She asked me so many questions. I get her, everyone in her position would.
“I am a Giant” I told her, and didn’t want to give too many details, unless I can be sure she is an ally of the giants!
“That’s impossible! The Giant’s are all in Jotunheim!”
What does she mean are all in Jotunheim?
“The Aesir, Odin and Thor as always…” She had a pause in her speech. Like she wasn’t sure she wanted to speak of this. but she continued
“Midgard, you see, was a dream. A dream where all the races could live together in peace. Elves, Dwarves, Giants, Humans and Gods. But Odin and the Aesir thought of everything untamed as dangerous and threatening… And so, we were mocked and tricked and used and then slaughtered. The wrath of Thor and his terrible hammer had thinned our numbers… We had to withdraw…”
“We?” I asked her.
“Yes… I am a Giant too. The last living Giant on Midgard. Though it seems not any more…” She looks at me with hope in her eyes. That… That was emotional for me. Everyone else looks at me with fear, hate, sometimes disgust. She just met me and she feels hope. Why? Who is she?
“Who are you?”
“I am the last Guardian of the Giants in Midgard. I am on a secret mission. To make sure no one can have access to Jotunheim, until our champion arrives!”
“There is a prophecy, only the giants in Jotunheim know of… A prophecy of a champion of the Jotun, who will bring justice to the world, and his arrival will lead to a world where the gods grow good!”
I almost laughed… Gods? grow good? What kind of prophecy is this?
But she looked at me with hope, with excitement, like I… Like I was… her champion?
“May I ask who you are?” she asked
“I am Jormungandr… People used to call me the World-Serpent…”
“I am not of this world. Nor time. I lived in a different world. A different time… I saw Ragnarok take place. I saw…” I found myself not able to speak of it.
“Jormungandr…” She repeated to her self
“I have heard your name before… But when and where?” She looked troubled and really curious.
“I have to return to Jotunheim! My mission does not predict your appearance! This is important.. Yes, I have to go back! I have to report!” She was in a rush, but right about when she was to go off she turned back at me.
“Will I see you again?” she asked
“I will stay here… There is nowhere to go anyways…”
“How can I summon you, so you know it is me”
“Any loud sound will do the trick.”
“Ok, I will use the horn on Tyr’s ship…”
“In case something goes wrong, Just throw your ax inside the lake. I sense its power. It reminds me of Mjolnir somehow. That will do it to wake me.”
“Thank you, we will definitely meet again. Oh, and apologies for not revealing you, my name. I am Laufey!”
She then returned to her forest.
I still am not sure if I could trust her. But she feels so familiar. Laufey can talk to me, she is a giant. I hope this champion of her’s really does exist. But what am I saying…Gods grow good? What a fairytale…
It has been some months or some weeks, I don’t know, maybe even days. The way I sense time is way different. Maybe this world is different. Or me…
Laufey did return. She blew the horn that was placed on a ship in the center of the lake. Its loud sound got my attention and I arose.
She was talking about a prophecy, a champion, a plan, war, gods, giants… I am so tired of hearing new plans and schemes. But I had all the will to listen to her voice.
Laufey reminded me of family. She spoke my language and had spirit just like my mother, but she also resembled my father as well. I do not know how that was possible.
One thing I understood about her is that she is alone too. She is here, on Midgard for a mission. While all the Giants left Midgard long ago. She comes to me seeking company. I understand her loneliness very much. I am glad I found someone to spend my time with, here in this world.
Occasionally we made it a habit, she came to report to me about her mission and her everyday life, and I narrated her stories of my experiences in the previous timelines. She was fascinated by them and the similarities of every timeline. We spoke of the cruelty of the Aesir, the Giant’s, the order of the Yggdrasil and of course… We spoke about Ragnarok.
It scared her for some reason. She is convinced that she will not be alive when it happens. I do not know why. That is why I do not speak of it. Better to be honest. Ragnarok brings back the most bitter memories…
“There are so many things happening, Jormungandr…”
“What do you mean?”
“I am in search of something, someone… There has to be a way for a brighter future for our race, for Giants. But, I cannot seem to see it. I am losing hope…”
“Hope is dangerous, Laufey…”
“What?! Hope is what drives us to keep moving forward. To believe that things will get better.”
“Hope can drive you mad… At some point you will give in to despair… I lived so long, I don’t even remember my mothers face! lived a whole life being an outcast, driven away from my home, from my family. I cannot talk to anyone. I was a monster for everyone to fear, a symbol of death, a trophy for a fat drunken prideful god… When the time had come to take my revenge I got a second chance in life, but I wasted it. By the rules of the Yggdrasil’s order, I had to just stand there, relive the same things, with just some small twists, only to end in a Ragnarok once again. This time I witnessed all of my kin’s extinction. I was alone, literally. I won the war, I could rebuild and shape Midgard however I wanted. But there was no will. I was empty. No thoughts, no rage… no hope…”
“What happened to you was tragic. Nothing compares to what you have been through. But, I have to believe. We have to believe and hope that there was a reason for all of that. Maybe your arrival here could change the course of history!”
“Laufey, you are too pure and kind. My presence here will change nothing. Only actions can impact destiny, change our fates!”
“Yeah, but actions are motivated by our will and our hope for change!”
I was in no mood to argue with her. I do not want to embrace negativity, as hard as that can be for me. She is the guardian of her people, our people, the giants. Maybe she is right. I can change the course of history. I only have to figure out how…
There were times when I could sense the presence of the squirrel Ratatoskr. His scent had been accustomed to me, but I could not seem to find him. It appears he visited Midgard often lately. Why was he visiting Midgard of all places though? Maybe he was coming to see me. I remember him telling me that the Nords, the Fates have no control over me. I guess that could happen for two reasons. Either because I am from another timeline. So, the Fates of this world are not supposed to be my fates. Or because it has something to do with the creatures of Yggdrasil. Nithhogg and Hraesvelgr. They are in control of how things are played out in every timeline, or even with everyone… What power do they possess I wonder…
“It is not exactly like that.” The squirrel appeared out of nowhere.
“Ratatoskr! You are here… Why”
“Well, I missed you my dear friend, there were so many things unsend between us the last time I visited you.”
“You can read minds?”
“I am, a ‘magical’ being after all… magical? Is that the correct word, maybe ‘celestial’? Yeah I think celestial is more appropriate.”
“Although, celestial is a term used for outer space no? Darn it, I think I would say an Yggdrasial being! Yeah a word totally made up by me, for me!”
“Something changed about you. What happened?”
“What do you even mean?”
“Are you ok?”
“What kind of question is this? I am perfectly fine, and normal. The usual kind hearted squirrel of Yggdrasil!”
“That’s the issue my friend, you are not always known for your ‘kindness’, and especially with that tone of your voice” That was when it hit me, I remembered when Ratatoskr was talking to me about something about turning his feelings into aspects.
“Ratatoskr, what did you do?”
“Oh, I did many things my friend, do you mind being more specific?”
“Did you remove the feelings out of you?”
“Oh,that…”he took a pause like he was relieved I asked him about that and not for something else. Or maybe he was just like me. He had no one to talk to, about his issues and thoughts.
“That, I did. It was a success, Now I can be in more places at once! I am not in a rush any more and can do more things!”
“Doesn’t that affect your personality?”
“Of course it does! But this is for the better.Why would I need the feeling ‘bitter’ anyways?”
“And I don’t need you! You useless rat!” A voice echoed out of nowhere
“If I am a rat, you are a rat as well. Didn’t you think of that before insulting me and indirectly insulting yourself as well?” Ratatoskr did respond to the voice with no answer back
“See, my dear World Serpent, I am everywhere at the same time. Just as I said! So, How are you doing?”
“I do not know…”
“What do you mean?”
“Why is this happening in the first place Ratatoskr… Back when I had the second chance, I had the will to fight for my family and be reunited with them. Fenrir, Hel, father, mother. But now, here. I am just a rumor in a prophecy, none of my close ones exist…”
“Yeah, but I see you made a friend.”
“The giantess who keeps visiting you.”
“Laufey, yes her. We share some things in common. Also she can understand me.”
“Do not forget, she is not afraid of you!”
“Yeah, that too…”
“So, what will you do?”
“Will you help her?”
“Oh come on, Jormungandr! She is here on a mission to bring salvation to the Giants, wouldn’t you want to be part of this mission?”
“How many things did you hear in our conversations?”
“All of it!”
“I am visiting Midgard more than often lately… Nithhogg and Hraesvelgr have a new plan on the world’s fate.”
“Are you allowed to tell me that?”
“Come on Jormie! We are friends, we have known each other for 3 timelines now. Besides, you are not gonna tell anyone right?”
“Neither that friend of yours, Laufey”
“I will not…”
“Great, great, that is for the better, I would have to erase your existence if you did! ahahah”
“I am kidding… Or was I?”
“Ever since you divided yourself into aspects you act really differently!”
“Well, you are more talkative… I think I can be used to it”
“This makes me happy!”
Ratatoskr changed; a lot. He is up to something, but I cannot figure what. He talks to me like he feels… guilt? I have to confront him, find out what he is up to!
“I sensed that a lot has changed in this world. Not the regular ‘two jormungandr’ phenomenon. Gods and Giants are in a whole different quarrel…”
Ratatoskr sighed, and looked at me
“I am sorry Jormungandr. You see I am just the messenger. I am not in charge of what is going on with my tree…”
“Yes, Yggdrasil is my tree and my home! Who do you think makes sure it stays healthy and stable,while the arrogant sissies are arguing over and over again! They are opposite, the Eagle and the Dragon. They will never agree on an ending… I came to that conclusion a long time ago… But I continued to do my job, like it will not affect me. ‘This is the order of things’ I kept telling myself… But I saw things, Jormungandr, worse even from Ragnarok…”
I was very intrigued by Ratatoskr’s sayings. What was he talking about? He had done something? What has he seen?
“What happened, Ratatoskr?”
“We are not alone in Ginnungagap… There are other worlds too. I went there. I saw it. A world just like Yggdrasil, only it wasn’t a tree. It was like a mountain… it was destroyed… With no re-do, no second chance. A land dead, lifeless, sad, full of chaos…”
He was shaking, whole! His voice was trembling. I could sense the fear in his tone, the despair… For some reason I believed him. No wonder what he witnessed.
“I cannot, I will not! Let this happen to my tree, my home! We have to stop them, Jormie! We have to bring balance!”
“What are you planning?”
“What I did already set things in motion!”
“Ratatoskr, what did you do?!”
“I did what she told me to do!”
I could not understand him, but he sounded very serious!
“What I did, trapped Hraesvelgr in Hel!”
“Hraesvelgr, the Eagle on top of Yggdrasil, is now in Helheim, ruling as its ruler!”
“So you’re telling me no one is in charge of the world tree?”
“Why do you think I needed to separate myself? Just for the fun of it? I need my attention so I can take charge!”
This was serious. For some reason I feared the words coming out of Ratatoskr’s mouth. I don’t know, it sounded like he was organizing a rebellion.
“What I did changed the course of history… It changed everything! Hel will never be born, Jormungandr! just like Fenrir and yourself! Loki will never meet Angrboda…”
“This means that because the future ruler of the dead will never exist, someone else has to rule Helheim… I convinced Hraesvelgr, it had to be her! She will devour the dead keeping their numbers in check… She will be known as Hel, and corpse-eater.”
“Wasn’t this the title of Nithhogg?”
“It gladdens me to hear that you paid attention in my speech all this time Jormie… Yes, normally mother Nithhogg should have to be the corpse-eater, but she is a mother now. Her children, the Lindwyrms, cannot be left alone. She has to stay with them outside the realms.
Since Hraesvelgr took her role to eat the corpses of the dead and keep their numbers balanced. Nithhogg protects Yggdrasil’s roots and keeps the health of the tree in check.”
“What does this mean?”
“This means that I have to do something to make sure this Ragnarok ends in favor of all. I cannot risk another remake… I do not want my home to exhaust its resources and vanish from existence…”
Not knowing what Ratatoskr did exactly, I cannot judge him for being reckless, he is much, much older than me, what he has seen cannot even compare to my experiences. For that fact I respected him. He is an immortal being. Who knows how many Ragnaroks he has seen?… But why is he talking to me about all this mess?
“What can I do to help you?”
“Jormie, at this point, I don’t even know what I am supposed to do… I am afraid…”
“Continue, your duties my friend. I might have something in my mind…”
“Yes… Do not worry… This time I will not leave it to ‘destiny’… I will act!”
“Something changed about you as well, Jormungandr…”
“it’s called hope… I forgot how it felt for so much time…”
Ratatoskr then disappeared, just as suddenly as he appeared… He is always on a rush. This is his nature. Now this is my turn! I had to be careful with my decisions and the way I act. I would not want to raise suspicion of this worlds ‘Fates’. They have to have the illusion that they are in control and things will happen as they predict… Or rather I should make changes that they will have to adapt to! Yes! This is it!