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What now?
June 30th, Tag Steve Rogers
Emberverse-Main

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#1
Luthien was sitting by the fire in the common room of the inn, nursing a mug of the very tasty beer, and working on sharpening her knives. Arjay had promised to help her find possible Companions for the Quest, and one of them was supposed to be arriving to meet with her today. All she knew was that his name was Steve, and that he was a boon companion of Arjay's, which was more than enough to recommend him in Luthien's view.

Besides, she thought with a little sigh of frustration, it wasn't as though she was any closer to knowing what, precisely, her Quest was. Well, that wasn't precisely true, she knew that she was supposed to take the Sword of the Lady to its resting place, so as to diminish the power of the Sword, making it something that a mere mortal could carry more easily and where it would be safe until The Sword was needed again. She just didn't know where that was, and at the moment, it appeared that the Sword wasn't telling her.

Hopefully this was because her Fellowship was as yet incomplete, and once the Companions were assembled she would find out the full nature of the Quest. In the meantime.....

Well, she couldn't deny that the Inn of the Wandering Moon was pleasant and comfortable, and a good place to rest and make sure that her gear was in good repair before she set out on what would doubtless be a difficult and perilous journey.
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#2
What Now?

Steve owed Arjay. The elf had helped steve in more than one way, even if the other didn't realize it. From the first time they'd met, even. So when the elf had asked that he meet with one of his acquaintances, Steve had readily agreed.

Besides, he liked the elf's tavern.

The walk from the Tower to the middle area of Hub was never quite the same, so Steve left early, with plenty of time to get to the inn before he was supposed to meet with Arjay's friend. He really didn't want to be late today... The last thing Steve needed just now was to do something and have someone think he was being disrespectful to them and complain to Arjay.

Entering the tavern, steve looked around to see if he could spot the woman he was to meet with tonight or, barring that, his elven friend.

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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#3
Luthien had been keeping an eye on the door, and when the stranger walked in, she knew from Arjay's description that he had to be his friend, Steve. There was something oddly familiar about him, not his looks, but his manner, yes, it was like some of the Boiseans she'd fought alongside during the War of the Jaguar. The ones from the really traditional families, who kept many of the ways of the lost world of the Ancients alive.

"Greetings." she said, setting down her knife and whetstone on the table, and rising "I am Luthien Vogeler, would you be Steve Rogers?" when he nodded, she held out her hand, wondering if he'd bow, or kiss it, or shake it in the old fashioned way. "Please, sit down, and let me tell you of my Quest. I have need of Companions, and Arjay said that you might be one who would join me." as she spoke, she studied the man. He was handsome, and well built, and moved like a warrior. And there was something in his eyes, that told her that this was a man who had traveled far, and seen much, and that much of it had not been pleasant. But that he'd had the strength to move on, and that made her think that Arjay was right, and this man would be a good one to have on her side.
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#4
What Now?

The only Boiseans that Steve would know of were from Idaho, and if someone told Steve he was reminiscent of them, he would have laughed. And he wouldn’t be sure whether to take it as a compliment or not. No, Steve was pretty sure that he moved and acted like an Irish Brooklynite from the 40’s still, even if most people didn’t notice it. That was, honestly, a relief. There were so many days that Steve didn’t want to be in the spotlight, especially since Sokovia, Ultron, and after, the Accords.

Lately, he had wanted to disappear entirely.

When the woman greeted him, Steve moved to her, relieved to have found the person he was supposed to meet so easily and quickly. When she offered her hand, Steve took it and shook it, careful not to hurt her, but still keeping his grip firm. ”Ms. Vogeler, it’s my pleasure to meet you.” Steve sat down next to her, listening as she spoke of a quest and needing companions to help her.

Another team. Something in Steve craved having a team again, being able to work with others as a unit. And something else in him balked at the idea of putting himself into that sort of vulnerable position again. He had lost one team, a good, close friend, and he didn’t want to go through that again. ”It’s possible. It’s been awhile since I’ve been a part of something larger than myself. What does your quest entail?”

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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#5
Luthien shook his hand, mildly surprised when he used the title "Ms" to address her. That was old-fashioned. Even by Boisean standards, although it went along with the firm handshake. Arjay hadn't mentioned where his friend was from, although she should have guessed that someone named "Steve" might be from there, many of the families there still used such old-fashioned, outlandish names. It would be something to ask him about later.

And when he asked her about the nature of her Quest, she shook her head, a bit ruefully "Truthfully, I wish that I knew the full nature of my Quest. All that I know is that I am supposed to carry the Sword of the Lady, or rather, a part of the Sword, to its resting place." noticing his lack of comprehension, she picked up the Sword from where it was resting beside her and set it across her lap, unsheathing it enough that he could see the more-than-metal of the blade, the odd play of light in the jewel set into the pommel. "The Vision I had, that the High King and I both had, lead me to Lost Lake, and then when I drew the Sword of the Lady from the stone where Artos and Mathilda, the first High King and High Queen of Montival had placed it, I was sent, well, here. My hope is that when our Company is assembled, that the Sword, or the Powers who gave the Sword to Mortal Men will guide me again, and tell me where my Quest will take me."

"Although now that I am in this place, which is so strange, and which Arjay tells me has gathered folk from many worlds, I feel more ignorant than ever about where I might go, or what perils I must face. All that I do know is that I will need a brave and true Companions to join me on my Quest. Like Frodo did, when he carried the Ring to Mount Doom at the end of the Third Age, or when Artos and his Companions traveled across a continent to bring back the Sword of the Lady, a generation after the Change." Again, modestly not mentioning that her own distant ancestor, Ingolf the Wanderer had been one of the Companions on that Quest.
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#6
What Now?

Steve had almost used ‘Miss’ to address Luthien before he realized he didn’t actually know if she were married or not, and he didn’t want to offend her if she was. It would be his luck that she was, and that she’d take a misnomer like that to mean something it didn’t. Because that was how things seemed to go for him these days.

These days? Who was he even kidding??

She was looking for people to join her on a quest, but she didn’t know what the quest actually was… Well, how often were you asked to go on a quest? Still, as much as he’d like something to occupy his time other than his guilt and frustration… He couldn’t just up and leave Tony without a very good reason. Steve listened as Luthien explained as best as she could. It was like… Like something out of Lord of the Rings, that’s what this sounded like. He had to wonder what sort of world this woman came from… Obviously one with magic, lots and lots of magic, as she was talking about vision quests and… A sword drawn from a stone… That was a very familiar story. His ma had found an old copy of the stories from Camelot when he’d been a kid, and he’d devoured the book, tattered as it was, when he’d been sick in bed. Which had been often.

Like Frodo did when he carried the ring…

”You know the Lord of the Rings?!” There was a hint of excitement in his tone that she knew the books. Did they exist the same as they did in his world? Steve liked Lord of the Rings. The writing was phenomenal; Tolkien describe the lands that the Fellowship traveled through so very well, in so much detail that Steve had been able see it in his mind’s eye. The Hobbit had been fairly new when Steve had been young, and he had read it many times, borrowing it from the library, often just reading it there. Finding out that the man had written more while he’d been in the ice had been perhaps the best news, and he had immediately sought out the books. He didn’t know the other story she was referring to, but maybe he’d find out the name and read it later. If it were like Tolkien’s stories, Steve figured he’d enjoy it...

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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#7
As it happened, Luthien was married, or rather she had been, but it wasn't the presumption about her marital status that would have struck her as odd about being called 'Miss'. True, there were a few isolated pockets, in addition to the United States of Boise that still used the old American forms of address, but in the Five hundred and twenty-fifth year after the Change, there were very few, even in the most isolated hamlets, who hadn't heard of the Dunedain Rangers, and address her simply as Ranger, and many would at least attempt to use the same title in the Noble Tongue.
But it was becoming clear that this man was from a world far different from her own, no matter how familiar some of his mannerisms might be. And then, just as she was coming to that conclusion, he startled her even more, by speaking of the Histories.

"You know The Histories!?!" she exclaimed, sounding quite surprised "Yes, of course I know the Lord of the Rings, how could I not, being born to the Dunedain Rangers. But how is it that you know of them, and did not recognize me as a Ranger? What land do you hail from? I do not think you are from Boise, and your speech is not like that of a man from Des Moines." the great city of Des Moines being the only other place she'd heard of where some of the noble families followed the traditions of the Ancients, although she'd never traveled there herself.
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#8
What Now?

Oh, steve had heard of the Dunedin Rangers. They were featured in one of his favorite fantasy series. But he definitely couldn't recognize one on sight. Besides, it had been ingrained into him how to address a lady.

Her mention of Frodo and the his Fellowship was a surprise, but a pleasant one.

She, however, called them "Histories: was she from the world of Middle Earth?! Had Tolkien somehow managed to... Cross to her world? The idea that Hub, or rather the portal to it, could have existed back then, during the first world war, was something that Steve hadn't considered before, but he was now. Tolkien could have visited and met someone from there, heard their stories, and written his books based on that information..

"I know them, yes, but probably not like you do. I…” Steve gave her a smile, "You're the first I've ever met. I'm not sure we’re -“ When she started to speak of places she had thought he might be from, Boise and Des Moines, well, Steve stopped to look at her for a long moment, dumbfounded. "No. I'm from out east, actually. Brooklyn.. I... Why would you think I was from out by Boise or Des Moines?"

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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#9
"Few do." Luthien started to say, not meaning it as an insult, but merely a statement of fact. She'd first heard the Histories in her cradle, and could recite large portions from memory, in both the Noble and Common Tongues. Then he mentioned that he was from Brooklyn. It took her a moment to recognize the name-it had been some time since she'd learned the geography of the Lost United States. But she had learned it, and her cousin Aragorn had gone as a guard on a trading expedition to the dead cities of the East, where the Norhiemers were still mining useful raw materials, and even finished goods. Sometimes a rare cache of books, or treasure from a safe or bank vault.
It was those treasures that Aragorn's employer's had been there to trade for. In Montival, the dead cities were still useful sources of metals, but all of the rare and wonderful things had been pulled out long ago. Largely because they'd made it more of a priority to secure the dead cities, whereas the Norhiemers had been more interested in expanding into the fertile farmland to the west and south of Norhiem. That had changed in the last century, as the last of the cannibal tribes had finally been rooted out, or shown themselves willing to learn civilized ways and rejoin the world of true men, instead of living like orcs.
"You are no Norheimer!" she exclaimed. Those were the only people who lived in what had been New York permanently. Aragorn had told her of the two settlements he'd visited, Freydisthorpe a goodly town of some ten-thousand souls and Sibbaburg, which was newer, and mainly served the fishermen who put in from time to time. Aragorn had taught her a song he'd learned there, of unparalleled humor and flithiness.....
But Brooklyn? Brooklyn had been as dead as the rest of the old city. Oh, possibly there might have been some cannibal bands roaming the ruins within living memory, but he was too young to have been born when the last of them were pacified. And if his parents or grandparents had been such....well, Luthien would admit that it was possible, even likely that a few of her ancestors had been Eaters, the Dunedain had been willing to extend a hand of friendship and redemption to the wild tribes along the coast, and most of them were the descendants of people who'd had to do the Forbidden Thing to survive after the change. But it wasn't something anyone would admit to so casually.
And more to the point, although some of the wild tribes, especially the ones who had been founded by people who did what they needed to do, and returned to clean ways as soon as they could had kept human skills of story and song and useful arts, none of them, at least none she'd ever heard of, had kept the ways of the Ancients. This was...perhaps the Islanders from Prince Edward Island had "Are your people from the Islands then? Have they lived in Brooklyn long? When my cousin Aragorn visted Freydisthorpe, he mentioned nothing of another settlement nearby. The closest is Siddaburg, on the far tip of the long island." as she spoke, her mind was reeling. Nothing about this man made sense, and yet, if he wasn't from her world, how could he know of the Histories? Unless, somehow, improbably, he was one of the Ancients. One of the lost, legendary Americans. More hesitantly she asked "Sir, what year were you born?"
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#10
What Now?

What was 'fact' and history to Luthien was fiction and entertainment to Steve. To him, Brooklyn was an urban, busting city, not a forgotten place more akin to a graveyard. Still, he noted her confusion and considered a moment before he added, "It's part of New York." Everyone knew what New York was, and often even where.

The exclamation that he couldn’t be a... Norheimer? Earned Luthien a look of complete confusion, "No ma 'am... I'm a New Yorker, through and through." And if his accent came through just a touch stronger than usual when he spoke those words, well… He could be forgiven for that. For Steve, being from New York, was nothing to be surprised about. Over eight million people lived there!

"The Islands?" steve blinked, "Uh... No. Brooklyn. Wait." He pulled out his phone, pulling up his map app I thank you Tony) to show her where Brooklyn was.

What year was he born? Well, wasn't that just one of those questions! Steve watched Luthier for a moment, "Please, just Steve. And... See, the answer to your question is a bit complicated... But, well, I was born in 1918, ma 'am." Now he straightened in his seat, preparing for what he expected to be an onslaught of questions.

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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#11
Luthien had been raised in world, and by a people who were far different than anything Steve might have encountered. That she had been raised to believe that the Lord of the Rings were a true tale of the far distant past was only the start of the strangeness of her world. Indeed, part of the reason why the people who'd joined the Rangers, especially in the first generation or two after the Change had found it so easy to accept the notion that those books were history was that the world the books described was more like the world around them than the tales of the technological wonders that had vanished in a flash and that they knew only from their parents and grandparent's tales.

"A New Yorker." she said quietly, with a small shake of her head "I have never heard of anyone who would call themselves so. Truly, this is a place of wonder and surprise." she wasn't sure what it meant, but it must mean something.

When he pulled out the small rectangular object, she had no notion what it might be. It looked a little like a wax tablet, but the front was clearly some sort of glass. But when he caused a light to shine from the front of the object, she recognized what he was showing her for a map. Map making and surveying were two of the skills that the Dunedain Rangers were expected to master, and she even knew how to read the old maps the Ancients had made. Those maps, or copies of them anyway, were still useful, since the old American roads or railroads were still in use in most places, and if you were looking for treasure or salvage in one of the old cities, those maps could offer important clues.

This was clearly one of those ancient maps, but she was well used to mentally overlaying modern maps onto the old ones. "Yes, I recognize it." she said "Brooklyn is here, yes? I didn't know anyone lived there, though. As far as I know, the only people who live there year round are here in Freydisthorpe" she touched a place that on the map was labeled 'Fort Wadsworth', on what she knew as Oyster Island, and what the map reminded her had been called Staten Island. "And here, at Siggaburg." she touched the place that his map called 'Montauk'. On the long island. I can draw you a modern map, if you like. Because this is nothing that could have been drawn for centuries." and yet, this man had shown it to her, using some strange device, as though doing so was the most natural thing in the world.

And then he gave her his date of birth, and confirmed her growing suspicions. "Manwe and Varda" she breathed, the names of her Lord and Lady the only words that seemed appropriate at the moment. "You're one of Them. Born..." she paused for a moment, she knew the Christian calendar, but it wasn't one that was much used in Montival, outside of the PPA, and then only for the most formal documents. And by the Church, of course. "Born almost a century before the Change. But...how is that possible?"
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#12
What Now?

They were from two very, very different worlds. Steve lived in a world where New York was thriving, where people lived practically on top of each other. Still, Steve wasn't sure that Luthier wasn't from his world, or a similar one.

For all he knew, things fell apart after the battle that had ended Tony up in Hub. He was, however, a New Yorker, through and through. "Yes, ma ‘am. From Brooklyn, born and raised.”

She'd never met a New Yorker before? "That's… There's 8 million -more, actually. I’m pretty sure - people in New York. Hard to think of a world where that isn't so. At least, in a world where New York exists.”

The phone was, of course, a StarkPhone. After living with Tony long enough, a person began to respect the fact that his tech was indeed superior to the competition. The map was as up-to-date as possible It showed roads, major points of interest, railroads, everything. “Yeah," he motioned to show here where the neighborhood was located on the map, ”I spend a lot of time in Manhattan, too. Or I did. I don’t live there right now, haven’t in a year or so, but that’s… Pretty sure that’ll always be home to me.”

As Luthien pointed out the places she knew on the map, Steve frowned, trying to figure out all of the differences. "This is the most up-to-date map in the world. Luthien. I... I think maybe, we aren't looking at the… That maybe we'll not from the same... Place.”[/b] World, but place was an easier word for both of them.

She asked what year he was born, and he told her the truth. It wasn’t all that likely it would mean much to her, anyway. But he warned her that it was complicated nonetheless, just in case she realized that someone born in 1918 wouldn’t be his age, and if they were, they certainly wouldn’t possess a StarkPhone. Or a smart phone of any kind. ”Well, I was born in 1918, and during the war I was part of an experiment that increased my health, as well as my strength, agility, and endurance, and allows me to heal much more quickly than most people. Not long after, I crashed my plane into the arctic. I didn’t think I’d live, but… I did. I woke up in 2012, and… Well, that’s most of my story. It’s 2017, and I found myself here.” He shrugged, ”Like I said, it’s a bit complicated.”

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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#13
As Steve spoke, Luthien watched him carefully, looking for signs that he was lying, or mad. A man who had been born in 1918 would have been elderly when The Change happened, but this was a man in his prime. Yet the device he carried, she'd never heard of its like, and she'd read quite a bit about the world as it was immediately before the Change. It was important information, if you were dealing with the salvage trade.

When he suggested that they might be from different worlds she said, slowly and hesitantly "Yes, I think that you may be correct. Aragorn told me many tales of his time in the lands you speak of and...there are not so many people living there now. Eight million" the number boggled the mind. How could that many people live so close? How could you feed so many people? You couldn't. Not without the lost wonders of the Ancients. That had been the hard lesson of the Change. "that is only a little less than the entire population of Montival, and we have the largest population outside of the Republic of Iowa. If we are not from different worlds, then one of us must be mad."

He continued speaking, and when he mentioned 'the War', it took her a moment to realize what war he was speaking of. There had been several of them, since the one he must be speaking of. "The Second World War?" she asked, wanting to make sure that she guessed correctly. He nodded, and continued his tale "Like King Arthur." she said, voice full of wonder "Or Barbarossa. I had never heard of such things happening in the world, not in the years before the Change. And the years you speak of..." she did some quick mental calculations "In my world, 2017 was a year or so before the Quest for the Sword of the Lady even started. Ingolf Vogeler arrived in Nantucket in, 2019, if my math is correct." she shook her head "I'm sorry, I don't know the Christian calendar well enough to know the dates by rote. But we cannot possibly be from the same world. I do not know how that could be, but it must be. It must be, if there were so many people in Brooklyn when you left." she didn't bring up how she knew that was so. Speaking directly about what had happened in those first horrible few years after The Change was not something that you did if you could avoid it. Especially not if it involved speaking of what had happened in one of the death zones.
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#14
Steve was definitely not insane, and he tried not to lie. He had warned her that his past was complicated. Steve was definitely in his prime. “we must be from different worlds; neither of us seem crazy, though our stories are… Strange. "Eight million souls, just in New York city.”

For steve, talking about what had become known as "World War two” as “the War" was natural. The first world war was just "the great war” and the second... "Yes, ma 'am, sorry. It's been years, and I'm still not used to the new name for it. Other things are easier, even if that's hard to believe.”

King Arthur or Barbarossa? "I know who king Arthur was, but I can't say I'm familiar with Barbarossa. And I... I guess you could say that I'm a bit unique. The serum that made me how I am was lost." He listened, “Oh, no, by your dates I should know what you're talking about. And while 2017 hasn't been a good year - and neither was 2016 - I can't say any of what you’re describing sounds familiar." He sighed, "It's this place. Hard to be sure if you're from a different or the same world." And, oh, did he sound sorrowful about that.
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#15
"Not mad then, but from different worlds." Luthien said musingly, although truthfully, the first option seemed more probable. But what was it that Juniper MacKenzie had said just after the Change 'When the going gets weird, the weird get going'. It seemed that wisdom was still true today. "Eight million people" she repeated, wonderingly "I...the biggest city I've ever seen is Portland, and that is a city of half a million." and it had seemed so big. She hadn't been able to stop gaping, wondering at the sights and sounds and smells.

"No need to apologize, good sir." Luthien replied "I just wanted to be certain of what we were talking about. When I was growing up, and my grandparents spoke of 'The War' they meant the Iowa War. What in Iowa the call the Second Souix War." she added, before she remembered neither name would mean anything to him. "And I'm sure that for my generation, the War will always be the War of the Jaguar."

"Frederick Barbarossa." Luthien said "He was the First Holy Roman Emperor, and fought in the Third Crusade." Luthien replied. She'd been well educated, and had been keenl interested in the deeds and battles of the past. Especially the Middle Ages, since the history of those times had made sense. She could visualize what it would be like, trying to march an army from the north of Europe to the Levant. Loading men on an airplane and dropping them from a great height by the thousands? That was something she could scarcely credit. "Did he not exist in your world?" If he was from a distant place, there must be some differences "Perhaps we can speak of our worlds a little, and see how they are different." she suggested "We know that there must be some things in common, since we both know the Histories. And King Arthur." she continued "In my homeland, those were good years. War was looming with the Cutters, for those who had the wit to see the signs, but it was still a time of peace and stability. In New York...even Ingolf the Wanderer and Vogeler's Villains would not have tried to go there overland. Men from Norheim went there, in those days, but they called it going viking for a reason."
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#16
What Now?

Steve nodded slowly. He was pretty sure he wasn’t mad. Pretty sure, but then again, with everything that had happened? It was actually somewhat possible that this, all of it, was in his head. That something had happened, and he was lying comatose or asleep or frozen again (that almost made him shudder) in Coney Island, and dreaming a strange, impossible dream. ”Portland in Oregon, or in Maine?” Steve smiled a little, shaking his head, “I can’t imagine New York City with so few people in it. It would seem so… Empty. Where I’m from, the New York I know, there’s always people everywhere. It’s never actually quiet, not even at the top of Stark Tower, so high above everyone, even sitting up there, you can hear the horns of cars and the muffled roar of people and machines and… Life. Not to say I don’t enjoy the woods and the quiet, but New York should just always be loud.”

The idea that every generation had a great war of its own was a sobering thought. The look Steve gave Luthien as she spoke of her wars and the one that would likely be known as ‘the war’ for her generation was one of sadness. ”I know it’s naive and foolish to wish for, but I’ve always held out hope that one day, humanity could put aside war. That some generation out there wouldn’t have a war they call ‘The War’ like that, and instead things like that could be… Maybe not forgotten, but a footnote in history rather than a reality of the present.”

Roman history. Not so much his thing. Steve preferred mythology to ancient history, really, and thus he hadn’t recognized the name. ”Oh. Well, I’m not sure. We had the Romans, and the Crusades? But, uh, I can’t say I was that interested in either piece of history. I left those subjects for others to learn.” Steve couldn’t help it, just as he had been with Arjay, when Luthien spoke of her world, her history, Steve sat and listened, nearly spellbound. ”You call them histories… In my world, the Lord of the Rings, it was a story, not history.. A very good story, one I love. The same with King Arthur; he wasn’t a real historical figure. I travelled Europe during the War, Germany and France mostly. And after I woke up from the ice after the crash, the world was… More full than ever. So much technology,” he tapped his phone, ”And the people who make it are… Incredible.” He couldn’t help but to smile maybe a little bit guiltily as he thought of the genius he was referring to.

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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Emberverse-Main

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#17
"Portland in Montival." Luthien replied "But Oregon was the name of the land before the change, yes. Maine was the old name of Norhiem. Portland" she thought for a moment, she'd never gone so far east, "Yes, that is Ragnarthorpe. It was resettled in the first generation or so after the change, there is a fine harbor there." when he talked about New York, she couldn't help but wonder at what he said "Those noises, the noises of a great city. Those haven't been heard since the Change. Although the tales say that when the Norheimers arrived, it could be very noisy." the screams and drums had been quite noisy. "Now, well, the docks and taverns are loud, of course."

"I share that wish." Luthien replied "So does everyone who has seen war, I think. But I fear that Men will always find causes for arguments with their neighbors, and what are the conflicts of nations but disputes between neighbors on a grand scale? I hope though, now, in my world at least, that the wars will be only things of human kind, and not part of a dispute between the very Powers themselves."

"It is interesting that our worlds are so alike and yet so unlike." Luthien said "In my world there are those who say that The Histories are merely stories, although I don't know anyone who doubts that Arthur was a King, in the ancient days. Although I'm sure that many legends attached to him, but there must be a core of a real man. Like some of the stories that are told of Mike Havel, the First Bear Lord. I've heard tales by campfires that were never written in the Red Book of Larsdalen, and Hril Astrid, who wrote it down, and later refounded the Dunedain, once she'd grown to womanhood, was by his side from the start." she whistled, impressed "You have traveled far from your home. I've met people who have traveled from those lands on embassies, and in the old days, MacKenzie bows were sometimes traded there, but in Montival we are too distant to have much trade with the Empire of the West. Our trade is mainly across the Pacific." she looked at the phone "We honor makers and craftsworkers as well, but I know of no one who could make such a thing."
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Marvel-MCU

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#18
Montival sounded more Canadian than American. But Oregon was in the north; it was possible that people had congregated in the city from both countries. He chuckled. "So New York all but died, but both Portland made it through your 'change'." Steve couldn't help but to be amused. That the noise from the cities (or was it just New York that had those so-familiar sounds?) was gone wiped away the amusement, though.

"I see. That's... Honestly, that's what I miss the most, is the noise. I like the quiet, too, but..." he gave her a small, almost shy smile,"But I miss the noise."

Not everyone wished for an end to war. There were those who only saw the profit, and still others who enjoyed the chaos and slaughter. "True. And also true. We do enough harm to ourselves without the interference of any one or anything else."

Steve considered Luthier's words, about Tolkien's stories, about King Arthur, and about people he had never heard of. It was amazing, to hear her speak. Her world was so like his, but as she said, so unalike his own, too. "Your world sounds incredible, ma'am, but almost unbelievable. I wonder how much history we actually share..." He smiled when she said he had traveled far, and nodded, "I have, but we have craft, called airplanes, that can fly us across great distances very quickly. Trade in my world is world-wide. And this," he looked at the phone with a sort of fondness, "Is fairly common technology. I know the man who designed this one."
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Emberverse-Main

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"New York was too big." she said, her voice gentle, mournful. Even now, the Change Years cast a pall over her world. Even now, you spoke about the dead with reverence. And tried not to think too hard about what had happened in major cities. "Only a handful of cities survived, Portland was the only one west of Salt Lake that survived. That was because" she paused. In Montival, speaking of Norman Arminger was a delicate matter, because he'd begun so much so well, even if the man himself "the first Lord Protector, and his wife were very wicked, and hard hearted. Harder even than the times called for." because everyone acknowledged that their own ancestors had chased off foraging parties, or sent road people on their way, even though doing so was consigning someone to slavery at best, or a cooking pot at worst. "They kept half of the population of the Portland Protective Association lands alive, more or less, but they did it by killing the other half. And were cruel for the sake of cruelty to many that they kept alive. That cruelty was what caused the War of the Eye. Cruelty and Norman's lust for conquest."

How much history did they share. That was an interesting question "I do know know how much history we share, save that everything after the Change was different. But before the Change things must have been different was well, I have heard no tales of a hero trapped in the ice during the Second World War." she smiled slightly "I have heard of those machines. But only from tales. The engines that powered them don't work any longer, but we do have gliders. Fragile, lightweight, dangerous things, but they are useful. We have world wide trade as well, but it happens by ship, and at those distances only luxury goods are worth shipping." she looked at the glass faced tablet "That though, I have never heard tales of the like. I'd like to meet the man who could create such a wonder."
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Marvel-MCU

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#20
“Language!”

Too big. It wasn't the largest city out there, but it was awfully big. The idea of everyone there being... Gone... Just like that, was disturbing. It made him think of all the other super large cities. Los Angeles, Miami, London, Hong Kong… They must all have fallen. Too many mouths to feed, too many to look after in a world where technology had obviously failed. Considering it, Luthien wasn’t wrong; it would be the small towns, where everyone knew everyone else, that would have done better, where people would have been able to take care of one another.

Wincing at the story she told, of a leader killing half the populace that followed him in order to keep the rest alive, Steve couldn’t help but be disturbed. That was… And they’d been cruel. With a sigh, Steve shook his head, ”There are some things that are constant, and one of those things is the fact that people can be cruel.”

Steve chuckled, ”Well… It wasn’t common knowledge, really. Most people just thought I had died during the war. There were a few people, close friends and some officials, that were aware of the truth, but most didn’t know. I know one of my friends from then continued to look for me and the plane I crashed in for years, until he died, but other than that… Honestly I don’t know if anyone else even looked.” Peggy had said that she’d never given up hope, that she had helped Howard look, but they were the only ones that Steve knew of who had really made the effort. It almost made him sad. Almost. People grieved, and they moved on, and Bucky had been ‘dead’ too… Who else had been so close to him to look for him for so long? No one.

She’d heard of airplanes, but hadn’t seen any. ”They’re pretty amazing. And they’ve come a long way since I went under, too. They’re even faster now, and they can go further on a tank of fuel.” He looked down at his phone, then gave Luthien a small smile, ”Maybe I’ll see if I can introduce you, if you’d like.”

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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