These are dark days I will tell you of, dark days and hidden things, concerningthe ends of the earth and the death of the gods.Odin will ride the horse Sleipnir to Mimir's well to ask the head of Mimir forcounsel, for himself and for the gods.Odin's son Vidar, the silent god, the reliable god, will watch his father die.On the battlefield called Vigrid, the gods will fall in battle with the frost giants, and the frost giants will fall in battle with the gods.Heimdall, the watcher on the bridge, the gatekeeper of the gods, will also nothave fallen."Nothing to say, Heimdall of the nine mothers? When I was bound beneath theground, with the serpent's poison dripping into my face, with poor Sigynstanding beside me trying to catch what venom she could in her bowl, bound inthe darkness in the intestines of my son, all that kept me from madness wasthinking of this moment, rehearsing it in my mind, imagining the days when mybeautiful children and I would end the time of the gods and end the world." Heimdall will still say nothing, but he will strike, and strike hard, his swordcrashing against Loki's armor, and Loki will counter, and Loki will attack withfierceness and intelligence and glee."Surtr's fire cannot touch the world-tree, and two people have hiddenthemselves safely in the trunk of Yggdrasil. The woman is called Life, the man iscalled Life's Yearning. Their descendants will populate the earth. It is not theend. There is no end. It is simply the end of the old times, Loki, and thebeginning of the new times. Rebirth always follows death. You have failed." Lokiwould say something, something cutting and clever and hurtful, but his life willhave gone, and all his brilliance, and all his cruelty, and he will say nothing, notever again.