They had to hurry.
They didn’t know how to explain it, but something just didn’t feel right.
Hicca was gripping Toothless’s saddle tightly, and the others didn’t talk much, if at all, they were all too focussed on getting back to Berk as quickly as possible. The dragons were making good progress, but they still had a long way to go.
“Fishlegs, how much farther is it?” Hicca yelled back to berk.
Despite the fast winds in his face, Fishlegs was able to pull out the map and pressed it to Meatlugs back to get a clear look at it, “We still have a long way to go, about 5 hours of flying”
Hicca looked to the sky, “It’s already midday, Loki is most likely at Berk already,” Hicca hated to think such a thing. Soon everyone realised it, even at their dragon’s top speed, they wouldn’t make it in time.
No one said anything, it was obvious that they would get to their island in time to help. In 5 hours, Loki could do so much damage. He would destroy so much, and hurt so many people, everyone and everything they knew was at risk.
Without even realising it, Ruffnut had started clutching at the gem around her neck. She was starting to panic, a thousand thoughts running through her head, she gripped the gem tighter, completely unaware that she was asking her goddess for help.
She was snapped out of her thoughts when the gem started to grow warm in her hand, she opened her hand and looked down at the small crystal, it was starting to glow a pale green colour.
The glow caught Tuffnut’s attention, he turned to see Ruffnut holding the light in her hand. “Hey, sis, what are you doing?”
As he asked, a small smile grew on Ruffnut’s face, “Asking for help.”
All at once the pale green light grew even more intense, it encapsulated Ruffnut entirely, and spread outwards to the others.
The Hooligan ships were surrounding Loki and the Berserkers, they were slowly gathering just in front of the Hooligan docks. The dragons were still fighting despite their losses, while the Hooligans fired their catapults from the shoreline and from their ships, bombarding the Berserkers from all sides.
It was like a reverse déjà vu for most of them, but the Hooligans were still at a disadvantage. The Berserkers were fighting back with crossbows and their own catapults, and many of the dragons had been taken down by the rock giants, but something was missing.
Loki wasn’t fighting.
He just stood there and watched as the fighting went on around him, if anything came near him, he simply waved his hand and brushed it aside, not even caring if it hit one of the other Berserkers. He was waiting for that girl, the one that everyone cared about, the former vessel of Skadi. The village was fighting so valiantly to protect their ray of sunshine, he would find it, and snuff it out.
But she wasn’t here. He had been searching the sky for a glimpse of her or her dragon since the battle began, but he hadn’t seen her, or any of the senior riders for that matter. Maybe she was scared and hiding from him. Loki eyes scanned over the ships, and he spotted the chief, standing on one of the larger ships shouting orders to his men. A smirk spread over Loki’s face, the over protective father was no doubt shielding and hiding his little girl, so he knew where she was.
Loki took off towards Stoick, leaving behind the Berserker ship and rocketing towards the Hooligan chief.
He landed with a loud thump on the deck, right in front of Stoick, his movements too quick to follow. He swung his staff towards the larger man, the golden hooks at the top of his staff catching Stoick’s face, leaving angry red marks across Stoick’s cheek and forehead, and knocking his helmet off his head. The other Vikings on the ship, including Gobber, all turned and saw their chief stumble back, they gripped their weapons and rushed forward.
But once again, Loki waved his hand and froze them all in an eerie green glow, luckily this gave Stoick enough time to grab his axe and get back onto his feet.
“I won’t let you go any further Dagur, you’ve done enough damage already,” he stated with a fearsome look, as the battle continued to rage around them.
Loki rolled his eyes in annoyance, “Do you people not see the differences between myself and that human boy? You’re speaking to a god you meagre mortal.”
“That makes no difference to me. Both you and Dagur have hurt my daughter, I will destroy that crystal inside of you, and I will keep her safe,” He took a fighting stance and readied himself.
Loki smirked again, he raised his staff and allowed the power to flow through it once more, the hooks receded and the staff itself shortened until Loki was only holding a short section in his fist. Just above his hand, the end of the segment widened into a sword guard, and a long metal blade ruptured forth. Loki now held a large sword, it was almost as long as Dagur was tall, and as wide as Stoick’s forearm. Under normal circumstances, a blade like that couldn’t possibly be used for anything practical, but Loki was the kind of god who just loved to show off.
He faced Stoick and raised the blade as if it weighed nothing, while Stoick took a step forward and kept his stance strong.
Then they launched at each other.
Metal striking metal again and again, with Stoick throwing all of his weight behind his strikes, he was giving it his all, even though a small part of him knew he might not win against the god.
But Loki didn’t care about this old Viking, simply defeating humans was boring to him, he wanted to make them suffer. He gave a sigh as the boredom of the fight finally got to him, he shoved the flat of the blade forward and knocked Stoick to the deck again, this time Loki stepped forward and shoved his foot into Stoick’s chest. But he wasn’t going to kill him, he wanted to watch him squirm.
“Do you know what I’m going to do to her?” He said smirking down at the chief. Stoick tried to move the foot from his chest, but the magic running through the sole of Loki’s foot stopped Stoick from moving, he could only just lift his head to glare up at the god. “I’m going to continue torturing her,” he started, and watched as Stoick’s face morphed into anger. “I’ll take over where the Berserker chief left off, and utterly destroy her, and I’ll make everyone suffer at her death, starting... with you and Skadi. All I need, is for you to tell me where she is.”
“You... are truly a stupid god if you honestly think I’ll tell you where my daughter is!” Stoick almost roared. He wasn’t going to let Loki get what he wanted, he was just hoping the Hicca was still far away from here.
Loki gave a laugh, “Do you still not get it!? I don’t need you to tell me, I’ll just pull her whereabouts right out of your head.”
Stoick still couldn’t move, his men on the ship were still frozen, and the rest of his people were still fighting elsewhere. He could only watch as Loki bent down and brought his hand closer to his face, he tried thinking of anything else, anything except Hicca’s location, it felt like the only thing he could do.
Neither of them noticed the large ball of pale green light shooting towards the battle field, but they did hear the yell from above.
“Get away from him!!”
For the first time in centuries, Loki was taken completely off guard. He stood straight and looked up towards the sky.
Only to have a boot make solid contact with his face.
None of the riders were ready for the sudden acceleration.
But as the pale light spread over them, the wind started rushing by them, and the ocean bellow and sky above became nothing but blue blurs, they were all flying so much fast than they’d even flown before, shooting through the sky and only just holding on to their dragons.
When they finally slowed, the pale light shrank back into Ruffnut’s gem, and they found themselves at Berk. Right in the middle of a fierce battle.
“We made it!” Snotlout shouted, relieved to see that the damage wasn’t as great as the nightmare they’d imagined. There was still a chance.
They saw the dragons fighting against giants, their people fighting against Berserker Vikings, and they saw the damage that had already been done. But then Hicca saw something that made her blood run cold. Loki or Dagur, whoever it was, they were standing over her father, a large sword in their hand. Hicca decided this was a perfect opportunity to exhale some of her built up anger.
“Help out anyway you can! Protect our people and the dragons!” She called back to the others.
“What are you going to do?” Tuffnut yell.
Hicca tightened her grip on Toothless’s saddle, “I’m going to protect my family.”
With that, she snapped Toothless’s tail control into place and sent him into a nose dive, aiming straight for her father’s ship.
“I really hate it when she does that,” Snotlout said to himself.
The rest of them separated, each heading for a different section of the battlefield.
Once Hicca and Toothless were close enough to the ship, Hicca detached her harness from his saddle and started to separate from him. “Toothless, look after my father, okay boy?”
Toothless gave a bark in return, and he and Hicca separated completely, Toothless aimed to land just behind Stoick, while Hicca was aiming straight for Loki.
She turned herself into an upright position and called out to her father’s assailant, “Get away from him!!”
Loki looked up in surprise, just in time for Hicca’s boot to connect solidly with his face. The impact hurt her ankle, but she powered through it and kicked off from Loki’s face, pushing him away from her father.
Hicca landed, she and Toothless now defending Stoick on both sides. Loki’s sudden shock and pain broke his freezing magic on the others, they were obviously confused at first, but then they were utterly relieved to see Hicca and Toothless protecting the chief.
Stoick was finally able to stand, and Toothless allowed himself to be used as a crutch, “Hicca, what happened? Where you able to-”
“Dad, don’t worry, everything will be alright,” Hicca said in a calm tone.
She didn’t quite sound like herself, but as Stock and the others heard her, they started to believe her. Her voice was calm and controlled, her stance was strong, and her eyes held such fire. She looked and sounded like a chief.
Hicca continued facing forward, she was worried for her father, but Toothless would take care of him and the others on the ship, while she kept her eyes on Loki.
He had stopped stumbling and was now hunched over, clutching his inured nose. “You... You insolent maggot, how dare you injure me,” He snarled at her.
Hicca glared back at him, “After everything you’ve done, what I do is more than justified.”
He growled at her, but it soon descended into a dark and twisted chuckle, it was almost like part of Dagur was leaking through. “You’re so confident, you think you can win against me? You’re just a human.”
“That’s true, but not for long, and I’m not alone,” As she spoke, Hicca pulled out her light blue gem and held it in her palm. “You’ll have to deal with all of us now.”
Loki frowned at the crystal, “What’s that? Who else are you referring to?”
Hicca’s calm expression turned into a frown, the longer she looked at the god in front of her, the angrier she grew. “This is our tribe, our home... and we won’t let you take it from us, and do as you wish any longer. Humans and gods, you’ll have to face all of us now.”
Realisation of what the gem was finally hit Loki, and his eyes widened in shock. Stoick, Toothless and the other Vikings all watched as Hicca glared at the god, then her fist clenched around the gem and her words became clear.
But this time, she wasn’t just asking for help.
“Skadi... fight with me!”
A bust of ice blue light engulfed her hand, then it grew and surrounded her entire body in a ball of light. From the outside, the others could only watch as Hicca’s silhouette changed within the light.
Even from the air, the other dragon rides all saw Hicca’s light. They all followed her lead, and uttered the same words to their gods.
Astrid clutched her dark blue gem tightly, before she let go of Stormfly’s saddle and started to fall towards the ocean, “Blygia, fight with me.”
Snotlout smirked at the Berserker ships bellow him, “Thor, fight with me,” his red gem starting to glow.
“F-Forseti, fight with me,” Fishlegs called as he flew towards where the stone statues had once stood, grasping the deep green gem in his slightly shaky hand.
“Hey bro, you got this?” Ruffnut called to her brother.
“Sure, ready when you are,” Tuffnut said in reply.
The two unhooked one half of their reins, then connected them together to for one long strap connected to both head, Tuffnut then jumped to sit on the Zippleback’s shoulders.
Ruffnut then slipped off her saddle, gripping her pale green crystal as she fell, “Freya, fight with me.”
“Here we go! Freyr, fight with me,” When Tuffnut’s yellow gem started glowing, all of the lights seemed to connect.
All at once, 6 gods fused with the 6 teens.
Just as Loki had merged with Dagur, they were now all fighting as half-humans, half-gods.
One by one, the large balls of light stopped glowing, and everyone else on the battlefield saw that the young teens, had turned into young adults in their early twenties.
The first one they saw, was Hicca.
She still looked like herself, except... older. She was taller now, and her face and eyes were narrower, but her build and features showed that it was still the Hicca they knew. Her hair was longer than before, reaching all the way down to her hips, the top section was tied in a long braid while the lower section remained loose. She still wore a green tunic and her leggings were brown, but the tunic sleeves were gone and the thick belt around her waist now carried a long sword, and instead of a fur boot, she had dark leather one that reached her mid thighs.
There were also parts of Skadi in her appearance, from her wrist up to her shoulders, and on her back and chest, she wore black armour. On the large shoulder pads were two distinctive marks, on her left shoulder was the deep red Hooligan crest, and on her right was a sky blue snowflake. There was also a long streak of white in her hair, running from the top of her head to over her right shoulder. The most shocking feature was her left leg, it was bare aside from a smaller blade strapped to her thigh, and the metal prosthetic was replaced with ice, it twisted up her shin and ending in a frozen peg-leg.
Then her eyes opened, one was her usual emerald green colour, and the other was a shining crystal blue. Hicca truly looked like a cross between herself and Skadi now, and the others around her could only stare at her god like appearance.
Loki’s expression twisted into anger, and he raised his sword at her, “So what? You were able to copy my ability, that doesn’t mean you’ll win.”
Hicca drew her own sword and copied Loki’s stance, the hilt and guard look like they were made of ice, and the long metal blade had twisting patterns running along it. “This change alone may not insure our victory, but this fight on equal ground shall only have one outcome,” the strong voice sounded mostly like Hicca, but with underlining whispers from Skadi.
The two glared at each other for a moment more, then they launched forward with such speed, that the meeting of their blades sent a shockwave through the ship.
A large crack in the deck formed between them, and the air rippled with waves of heat and chill, Stoick was surprised the ship didn’t tear apart. The two pushed their swords against each other, and in a surprising turn, Hicca took another step forward and shoved Loki back. He sailed in the air for a short while before coming to a halt and hovering just above the water’s surface.
Hicca took the chance to turn back to her father and the others on the ship, “Stay here, and stay safe, okay?” Her voice was soft and a small smile graced her lips. Stoick and the others could only nod, before Hicca’s expression changed into a determined look, she crouched low and suddenly leapt forward, right off the side off the ship.
As she came close to touching the water, Skadi sent a small shock of power to the bottom of their foot and peg-leg, instead of water, their foot made contact with a small ice platform. She took off into a run as frozen planes formed under her footsteps, she finally reached Loki and swung her sword, the sound of metal on metal ringing through the air again and again.
By now, most of the Hooligan ships had stopped to watch the exchange, but then their attention was drawn to several other areas of the battle field.
All at once, a torrent of water shot into the air, a lightning bolt flashed in the clouds, a huge ship appeared out of nowhere, a section of the cliff face exploded, and a loud bird cry sounded across the sky above some of the Berserker ships.This fight was only just getting started.