Chapter 0:

With New Beginnings....

Ragnarok: The Day After

Surtur couldn't breathe. The waves and currents of the cosmic waters, dragged him around mercilessly. This ocean of chaos, lifted him up and pushed him down again. If he broke the surface to breathe, it would only be for a second. A great wave would come and knock him down, pushing him back into the abyss. The Champion of Muspell struggled with all his might, it did not matter. His arms thrashed in vain, yet the fire giant could not change a thing. Whether he lived or died, breathed or drowned, was at the will of fate. For what seemed like countless days and nights, he struggled. And finally, his struggle was rewarded. He had again repeated the cycle of rising for air, so that he may live another moment, when a wave to rival the size of Jörmungandr, great serpent and child of now dead Loki, came upon him. He thought upon seeing that wave, that fate had decided that he should join Freyr. He cursed his now dead enemy with what he thought was his last breath. And the waved crashed down. 

Surtur was wrong. He did not die. The titanic wave had pushed him down, yet thrown him far in the cosmic waters, for he could now feel the grains of sand beneath his feet. It seems Jörmungandr's spirit fights with him even now. He took the chance fate gave him, and clawed like a beast at the sand, pushing and fighting not be taken back with the tide. The struggle was only an instant, as the tide ceased to pull him in and receded. He forced himself up and breathed in a great breathe, his greatest since his flame had spread and burnt all it touched. Surtur's flame, his fire, now had air. 

Surtur moved like a dog, crawling on his hands and feet. At his waist, was his once flaming sword. It swayed with his movements, and marked Surtur as Defender and Champion of Muspell, the realm of fire and once home to his kin. Finally, after much writhing, the waters of chaos sank lower into the sand, and all he could feel was the cool, dry shore. He turned over, onto his back. He heaved, and heaved again. Air filled his lungs then left, returning his strength to him. For now, on this sandy shore, he would rest. For Surtur, life had begun anew. 

He stared at nothing, thinking nothing for a long time. Finally, his hand moved to his waist. He drew his sword from it's sheath, one of the few things that had not been pulled away by chaos. But it was different. It's flame was gone. It's great fire and warmth were extinguished. All the remained was a blackened sword, the color of soot and smoke. His hand which held his sword, fell to the ground, barely keeping grasp upon it. He had lost many things in his life. Surtur would not lose anymore. Surtur's great beard, the same color as his soot skin, intertwined and knotted with his long hair. He raised his left hand, and started to untangle it. He was alive, Freyr was dead, and he would not be reduced to a beast. For what seemed like eternity, he unknotted his hair. Finally, his eyes met his left hand, and he realized how he had changed. His skin, once an ashen hue, now stood fair. What once was a mark of who he was, had left him. 

Surtur thought of the events that had unfolded. The death of Odin, at the fangs of the great wolf Fenrir. Vidarr's vengeance against Fenrir, who speared the heart of the beast that ate his father whole. Thor's fight against the World Serpent Jörmungandr, and his last nine steps after it's slaying. And finally, his fight with Freyr, his mortal foe. He thought of how they danced, and how Freyr died. His life flowed out of him, and the fire in his eyes dimmed. Upon that sight, Surtur knew Freyr was no more, and unleashed his flame upon everything. 

Now, all that Surtur could do was laugh. 

Joe Gold