“Look, you stupid mortal, it is very EASY. You have a round thing, and you have a hole in the cloth that can accommodate the round thing. When the round thing is attached to another piece of cloth, and slotted through the hole, you have a means of joining two pieces of cloth TOGETHER. Do you see now?”
It was nice to see her husband taking such an active interest in the Midgardian peoples who had so readily offered them meat and libation after Odin had driven the frost giants off.
“No, no! You don’t take the button OFF the cloth before you put it through the hole, you hopeless…”
For her part, Frigga was content to let two blonde lovelies braid her hair, as she polished her sword and watched the young Volstagg entertained a gaggle of younger mortals with tales of Asgard’s fantastic beasts. The ground was littered with the melting remains of Laufey’s men, and the atmosphere among mortals and immortals was convivial.
“They are hopeless,” Odin reported, striding back and scattering the blondes with a wave of his hand. “We should turn our attention to the dolphins once more.”
“Now, dear,” Frigga murmured. “I’m sure they’ll get it right eventually. And even if they don’t, maybe they won’t need to. They will make do.”
“Buttons, dear! How can any species ‘make do’ without buttons?”
“Aren’t we a little bit too old to cling to our youthful notions of unilineal evolution, dear?” Frigga said mildly. They had had this conversation before.
“Yes, yes,” Odin muttered.
“Particularly given that such was the core idea put forward in Laufey’s manifesto when he tried to persuade Asgard and Vanaheim to march on Midgard alongside him, for the ‘betterment’ of the mortals…” She waved a hand in the direction of the fifty or so pyres burning along the horizon, and the frozen corpses still littering the ground.
“You have made your point. But don’t blame me when the first mortals to present themselves to the High Council of the Nine Realms walk up to the celestial podium with their pants around their ankles.”
Thor insisted on inviting all of his mortal friends to his wedding. A mistake, in Sif’s opinion.
“How the hell do you people not have cars?” Tony Stark bellowed, as the young squire presented him with his pony. “This city is the size of France, we’ve got to ride eighteen miles from the Bifrost to the palace, ten miles from the palace to the temple, and then we have to ride behind the wedding procession for ten MORE miles before we ride TWENTY miles back for the feast at the palace. Jesus Christ, how did you come up with space bridges before cars?”
“We made do,” Sif shrugged, and smacked his horse on the rear, sending it galloping down the road as Tony Stark clung to its neck and shrieked.
“They don’t know how to shape ice,” Byleistr said in disbelief, having come away from a conversation with their tricky little conspirator.
“We were talking about ways in which we could enter the treasury,” Byleistr explained, “and I asked how skilled the guards would be at ice-dancing and how quickly they could form their weapons. And he said they can’t make ice! At all! Not even for tables and chairs, never mind weapons!”
“But shaping ice is the simplest magic there is,” Helblindi said, disbelieving. “Our children learn it before they can walk. And every Asgardian is capable of magic. Odin is a magician of stunning power. One of his children can shapeshift, the other can summon storms. You mean to say they have no idea how to…?”
“Truly, they are a primitive people,” said Byleistr, and gestured to the slender, horned Asgardian who stood at the cave’s entrance. “Besides not being able to shape ice, that one didn’t even know what the frost heffalump was.”