(Continued from Drive My Car)
"Because you are a woman, da?" the man exclaims. It doesn't sound right, it sounds a bit hollow in his voice. He opens up the back door of the coupe.
Sven is right behind her as she looks into the car.
What Ana sees, from behind, is a form, a woman, with a very large belly. Then she turns her head to look at Ana in turn and her baleful red eyes are glowing. She turns around to face the back seat area of the car.
The man is trying to separate Ana and Sven by pushing her into the open door of the car. The hands of the woman, arms reaching around the seat, are trying to pull Ana into the car at the same time.
Ana does what Sven has been teaching her, letting her weight drop to take the man off balance and then using her shoulder to try to throw him to the side. Her movements are graceful and fluid but she isn't sure at the moment who or what she was fighting; humans don't have red eyes.
Ana manages to keep herself from getting shoved into the car. Offense is a bit harder, she doesn't manage to throw the man, but manages to get him to break the hold for the moment. From behind him, Sven starts scuffling with him, trying to get a hammerlock on the man.
The woman in the car is still grasping for Ana, but Ana's reaction to the man has gotten her just out of reach, although the 'woman' is squeezing herself further toward the back of the car, trying to grab her.
Ana uses her momentum and grabs the door of the car, slamming it into the woman reaching out to try and grab her.
Ana manages to get the door closed, the closing door at the very least stinging the woman's fingers, and in any event, providing an effective barrier between the woman and her. She can hear howls of pain and frustration from the "patient."
In the meantime, Sven has brought the man down to the ground, herding and controlling him for the moment by the hammerlock. It's tough sledding for Sven; the man is far stronger than he appears, but he has the situation in control for the moment. And so, unless the woman tries to exit the car, does Ana.
Ana spins and slams her foot into the knee of the man, then turns and spins again and slams her foot into the car door, intent on bending it so it won't open, not without significant force.
Ana's strength is more than she expects, leaving a dent in the car door, and perhaps a shattered knee for the man. He crumples to the ground, at least. It would be inaccurate to say that he is writhing in pain, because the now firm hold Sven has on him prevents any such movement on his part.
The man, through a stream of invectives, in very bad English starts pleading for Sven to let him go.
"Perhaps we should depart the scene, now that the trap has been sprung, Ana? I understand that summarily killing them would displease the Duke of Iowa," Sven suggests. "Clearly these two meant to lure you into their clutches. Titanspawn, no doubt."
Ana gives a harsh chuckle. "Ya think? I figured the glowing red eyes were a dead giveaway, but yes ... toss him over and he should still be able to get in his car and go. The back door won't work but the front on the other side should let him in."
She walks over to the man who is cursing. "Remember this, I do not know whether you are Titanspawn or just some poor slob who made a deal, but this is the only time you walk away. I may not be a soldier, but I rarely allow anyone to get away with attempts to harm my person. And I won't do it a second time. Tell your masters that they should back off, so says Frigg's daughter." She feels herself standing straighter and has no idea if she seems intimidating or not. Being a rather delicate-looking woman doesn't always make her intimidating.
The man stops ranting as Ana talks. His wheedling expression goes away and is replaced with something belligerent and defiant.
Sven manhandles him a little more. "You say 'yes,'" Sven encourages him with a twist of the arm.
Instead, the man looks at Ana and begins to laugh. After a few seconds, he adds words to his laughter, in that thick Russian accent, eyes locked on Ana.
"Your world is going to end, whelp of Frigg. Soon. Begone. I will not pursue you further, but my brothers and sisters will."
"I think not ... it is your world that will end." Ana's voice holds cool contempt. She walks away and gets back into her car, irritated with herself that she allowed herself to get into the situation to begin with.
She waits for Sven to join her and looks over. "Next time I want to stop and help someone ... hit me on the head and take over," she grinds out. "I should have seen that coming. But now we know and now it's time to find the others and figure out how to handle this situation." She turns the ignition and puts the car in gear, driving on towards the eventual meeting.
"We couldn't have seen that the agents of the Titans would find us so quickly," Sven says consolingly. "Although it is said that the agents of good and evil are drawn to each other, as iron filings are drawn to a lodestone."
In short order, the car is in drive, and the scene of the altercation is left behind. About a half hour later, a state patrol car slides past Ana in the far lane, but makes no attempt to stop her or even give her a second glance.
The next couple of days go by without further trouble as the trip winds its way south and west, toward and eventually across the great mountains of the Rockies. At Flagstaff, the trip turns south, and the high altitude of the way starts dropping through the Black Canyon down toward Phoenix waiting below.
"So what is our plan?" Sven asks, as the late afternoon gives the whole scene ahead a golden color.
She takes a deep breath, in awe of the beauty that is the late afternoon here. The beauty of the world as always leaves her feeling small in comparison. She shakes off that feeling though.
"Well, first we go to the Green Eye'd Girl Tavern and find Brigid's Scion. I hope I can tell who he is. I've never tried to sense another Scion before. I don't really know how to do it, but I know that we need to bond together, this is planned by the Gods and Goddesses of all the Pantheons. They need us to handle this."
"It would be passing funny if you were to think some common boozehound at this tavern is the son of Irish Brigid," Sven says with a chuckle. "Perhaps not nearly as funny as the time a son of Thor was mistaken for a common vagrant. The man who made that mistake, tale be told, never had quite-straight shoulders again after the son let his pleasure be known."
The remainder of the drive down the highway and into Phoenix goes without incident, and with a little luck, the car pulls up in front of the Green Eyed Girl early in the evening. The heat of the day has not yet dissipated when Ana and Sven emerge from the car.
"Looks a little out of place in this desert," Sven says. It does look like something out of a travel channel special on Dublin, to Ana's eyes. Even if it is sitting in a parking lot by itself in the middle of a desert city.
Ana does have the feeling that Brigid's Scion is within, though. She's not quite sure how she knows it.
She leads the way, and knows as they step into the tavern that they make quite the minor spectacle, the huge Sven, looking every bit the modern-day Viking warrior, and the dainty fragile redhead at his side, who somehow shows an inner light that belies the appearance and lets all around know she is a force to be reckoned with.
Sven looks around, slightly puzzled but saying nothing.
She walks in and begins to look around. Somehow she knows that she would know the Scion when she sees him. There will be something about him that calls to her own blood, just as hers will call to his.
"Well, we are here Sven, now to find this Scion," she comments as her gaze moves around the tavern.
Sven nudges Ana to look over in the direction of the bar.
(Continued in Passing the Bar)