Safe, at last
, or at least, safer than he previously was. One of these days, if the day ever came again, Loki was going to wring Heimdall’s neck, and chances were the golden giant wasn’t going to see it coming if his track record was anything to go by! As All-Seers went, the man had to have been blind to miss that ship, and as ships went, it was… well, big! There was no excuse for it. He’d been incapable of seeing the Frost Giants infiltrate the realm eternal, as well as the Dark Elves in the past, and the Svartalfar had given him not one, but two opportunities to spy them. One of them had been in disguise when they slipped right under his nose the first time, and a gathering of them had borne down in, yes, another big
ship the second time. As much as it stroked his ego that he had managed to go unnoticed by the All-Seer in the past, it was bordering on ridiculous. Hodor would have done a better job, and that oaf was
Loki knew the day would soon come when he would have to pay the price for his failure, he was just hoping the Mad Titan would sit on his backside for a little longer and continue to rely on his ‘children’ to his bidding, enough time for him to ascertain the whereabouts of more of his precious stones, at the very least. Them, he could have handled, except Maw, that one outmatched even his ability to talk at length. There was also Midnight, who was a little severe for his liking, like Thanos’ other daughters, as it happened. Gamora and Nebula also lacked the ability to smile, much less laugh, and then there was that big hulking… thing. Still, the trickster was determined he might have been able to match them, one on one, anyway. But all of them at the beck and call of their master? No!
The trickster had spent the better part of a year trying to escape that lunatic, and had to do it under the illusion of ‘I scratch your back, you scratch mine’. If Thanos granted him an army with which to conquer the middle world, he would retrieve the Tesseract for him, and much to his relief, he managed to lose with some flare. Sure, he could have done without being buried in the floor of Stark Tower, but he had been safely delivered back to Asgard, and had safely reigned in Odin’s stead for the last three years. Unfortunately, the Mad Titan picked those three years to determine he no longer felt like sitting things out, and his ship only had to cast a shadow for Loki to begin to think, and think fast. First, an evacuation through the passage ways known only to him, which he was only too keen to be a part of. However, it was then something occurred to him, and he was kicking himself as everyone else fled and he shed the form of the All-Father.
Loki ran, and ran as fast as he could, to the weapon’s vault, and snatched it. There was no time to double back, so he had little choice but to use it there and then, and before he knew it, he’d materialised in the path of an oncoming mechanical beast. Truck! He managed to remember what the object in question was called before it slammed into him, and while he experienced the ripples across every nerve ending his body possessed, it clearly came out worser for wear than he, and that was saying something. He was back on Midgard, that much was certain, as he stumbled out from behind twisted metal with a limp, a limp! All as the rider alternated between concern for him, and concern for his steed, until the trickster noted that dawning realisation in his eyes, and realised himself in turn. “Oh, right, that…” he grumbled.
“You, you, you’re…” the mortal stammered, “Yes, yes, Loki, Asgard, glorious purpose, I know who I am, but tell me, have you seen anything… odd in the last few moments or so?” Loki asked as the Midgardian stumbled, and while lying on the ground, turned his index finger on the trickster himself, “Except me!” he exclaimed, but that as good as answered his question, which meant Thanos had not yet made his presence known, and maybe he wouldn’t for now either? It was partly wishful thinking on his part, but also partly experience. There was a reason he had been sent to Earth to fetch the very object now in his possession, and that was because the Mad Titan himself didn’t deign to set foot there. Perhaps he wouldn’t for the foreseeable either? There were other stones elsewhere. One in Xandar. One in Knowhere. Two on Earth he shook that thought off as yet another thing occurred to him.
The Gauntlet. Thanos still required the Gauntlet to use the combined force of the stones effectively, and would hopefully be betrayed by the one in the Vault long enough. He required two stones to realise the item was a fake. Two stones within close proximity was a hazard that only the Gauntlet was capable of overcoming. It was the reason why the Tesseract remained on Asgard, while the trickster left the Aether in the possession of Tivan. Perhaps he would target the Aether first, and then the Orb on Xandar? It was a possibility, one he clung to, until he noticed the hail of bullets he was being hit with, courtesy of the mortal at his feet. “Oh, for the love of…” he forcefully swiped the weapon from the Midgardian’s grasp, and forcefully sent it flying back into his face as well, successfully incapacitating him, but this encounter served as a reminder. The people of Earth would be none too pleased to see him, which meant another change was in order.
He’d assumed this feminine guise numerous times in the past, and comfortably slipped back into it, though it did nothing for the limp, he tried to hide it as he struggled through the streets of the city of New York. Where to, he had no idea… Loki wasn’t one to seek out help, ever. It would have been so easy for him to have done so last time, to tell his brother what had happened to him during his exile, the thunderer had so desperately appealed to him not once, but twice. But as always, the trickster did things his way, and as always, he did them alone. Even when someone made a mess, other than him, he cleaned it up, alone. In truth, I am neither Asgardian nor son of Jotunheim. I am Loki only, and I am alone. He’d gotten used to that, hammered it, no pun intended, into his psyche during his time in Sanctuary.
He’d wanted help then. He’d cried out for it then. Cried out for Thor, and now, just like then, his brother was the first person that crept into his mind. How to explain the whole dead-but-not-really thing, however, would require time that he did not believe he had. Loki had one stone in his possession, now all he needed was another, the one that was contained in the sceptre he had previously invaded the middle world with would do nicely. After all, the two had a rather destructive relationship, as evidenced by the manner in which one had been used to give pause to the other, to close the portal generated by the other and bring an end to the invading forces. But where to find it? If the trickster remembered correctly, S.H.I.E.L.D were the most likely to currently have it in their possession, since last he’d glimpsed it, Agent Romanoff held it in her grasp. But where to start with them?
Loki had spent the better part of a year within S.H.I.E.L.D, and if there was one thing he learned about the covert organisation, it was that their bases might as well have been a series of corridors, lined with doors. He wasn’t sure he had anymore time to look behind each one of those either, but then, he heard something, someone whispering. He spun around in the middle of the pavement, surrounded by Midgardians, only to discover it was none of them. It sounded different, but felt familiar. The trickster cast his mind back to his time in Sanctuary, where he had experienced the same sensation before appearing on Earth. Then, the voice that whispered, not in his ear, but in his mind, had been his mother’s. Frigga. This wasn’t her. She was dead. Gone from this world, and the other eight. Who then? It wasn’t Thanos’ minion. The Other had met with a swift death at the hands of Ronan.
The trickster listened more closely amidst the commotion about him, closed his eyes, and focussed, drowning out everything else in the vicinity. ‘Come to me... you know you want to... I shall make it worthwhile for you...’, this time, he heard it with crystal clear clarity. Not only did he hear it, he managed to determine its source as well, and curiosity got the better of him. It always got the better of him. Loki quickly shifted into a flurry of raven feathers, and took flight for the city skies, but when he collected himself, he remained in her form. He’d once made quite the fool of Fandral in that form, and slowly, but surely, he limped from the balcony into what appeared to be an office. For a moment, he forgot the voice in his mind, the signature he had been chasing, as a shelf of books entered his vivid green line of vision. The spines, and the words etched into them, were nothing of the sort that could be found in Asgard’s libraries.
Resurrecting Sex. Rekindling Desire. How to Overcome Premature Ejaculation. That last volume elicited a quiet snicker from him, as he reached forward, and plucked it from the shelf so it fell open in his hands. It seemed Midgardian men weren’t so far removed from ones of the Asgardian sort, and by Asgardian, he meant Asgardian. After all, Loki could not be counted among them, and in more ways than one, it seemed.