Vara glanced over at Thor with her army of ten behind her. This man had caused so much pain and trouble for her people. He inadvertently also cost her father the throne, forcing her into the position of queen before she was ready. She didnt feel it back in the street, but she was fuming at him for what he had done to her people, to her father and to Loki. Most of all to Loki, strangely enough.
She walked up to him, making it painfully clear to him with her drawn sword that she did not trust him far as she could throw him. Loki had warned her not to trust him, and that was exactly what she was going to do.
You are but one last rock standing in the way of a great deluge. She said to him, trying to convince him that all their efforts would be futile.
If you surrender now, I will spare you and your friends back there. She said, gesturing with her sword tip back at the city.
She turned her head and looked at the city, its lights twinkling off in the distance. She hadnt used the swords powers to take the lights out, she wanted it to appear as normal as possible, and take the king by surprise.
I might even make this city my capital. Its quite beautiful. She smiled at the city.
They didnt have things like this back in Muspel, it was intriguing to her.
Youre misguided if you believe you can take Loki into your trust. He began to try and convince her that Loki was up to no good again, and using her as his pawn.
Loki is the only person I can trust! she hissed at him, her red cuts appearing briefly before fading back to creaminess.
Why did you place sanctions on Muspelheim? she asked him, turning her sword tip on him threateningly.
I was merely trying to prevent a war with Asgard. He said, turning side on to offer her a threat of his own.
I knew that you and your father were smart enough not to start a war if you werent at full power. So by enforcing the sanctions, I was saving many lives, on both sides. He explained to her.
She gasped softly, almost under her breath. He was right. That is exactly why they didnt make a move against Asgard sooner. It seemed that she was far more predictable than she would have wished to be.
But these people, these Midgardians, he said, using the realm term for the inhabitants of Earth.
They are different, they will not spare your people, and fight on even ground. They will do everything and anything in their power to save this world. He tried to talk her down for a ledge that would cost her everything if she jumped.
You should reconsider now and just abandon this revenge fuelled war, before things get grim. He tried once more to talk sense into her head.
She thought about it for a second, looking down at the ground. He might have been right, but why did none of the other kingdoms put up a fight, why was this the place where they made their last stand, where, if they lost, when they lost, it would be final and she would rule this realm. She shook her head slowly, before looking back up at him.
Its too late now. she said, before leaning forward slightly, placing her hand on her chest.
I need to feed my people, by enforcing the sanctions even now when you and your beloved realm have so much to lose; youve doomed this realm to subjugation. She tried to explain to him. He got it surely, he ruled a kingdom as well, he had to understand that if they surrendered now, now that that they were so close to the finish line, that her people would starve and hate her on top of that.
Now you sound just like Loki, he said to her, stepping up to her.
She saw him stepping up to her and she backed away, afraid of his wrath, but not showing it.
So hungry for power and so drunk on little victories that you cant see the threat staring you in the face. He said, stopping in front of her and looking down at her.
He was slightly taller than Loki and quite intimidating.
Meanwhile Loki had managed to trace the feint gamma radiation of the Tesseract. He was standing on a mountain top, surrounded by snow. It was freezing, but he didnt feel it of course. It was underground, just as before. No doubt that the facility this time would be much similar to the first one. He needed to get in and get out fast, before their newly upgraded defences kicked in and gave him a surprise. He had no idea what they had done to make it safer, but no doubt they had.
It was something he had worked into his calculations. He knelt down on one knee and looked closer. There were two guards at the door, but he guessed having seen the Avengers in New York, they would never make it to the Swiss Alps in time to stop him. His plan was working out perfectly. Soon the Chitauri would have their precious Tesseract, and he would be free from their harassment and threats. He was free to make a new life for himself.
He warped down to the entrance and used his magic to conceal himself in plain sight from the two guards. He also transformed his skin into that of his Frost Giant heritage to avoid heat sensors if they had any waiting for him. He strolled past the guards as they stood guard, not even hearing his muffled footsteps as he entered the base. He walked past men and woman doing their jobs, taking careful note of what they looked like. None looked like warriors. Warriors that could take him anyway. He saw one man with a security pass key pinned to his chest. He had level seven clearances. The highest he had seen. He would have to follow that man to find the Tesseract. Or better yet, he always needed more spies.
He followed the man into the bathroom. Loki looked around, seeing that they were alone. He would have to work quickly. As the man stepped up to the latrine basin and unzipped his pants, Loki lifted his staff and touched his back. The blue energy flowed from the stone in his staff and into the man, taking control of him. He zipped his pants back up and turned to look at Loki.
How may I help you sir? he asked Loki.
Loki smiled and reached out for his security tag.
Take me to the Tesseract. He commanded the man and he nodded, before heading towards the door.
Loki concealed himself again and followed the man. They passed through many security checks, scans, identity verification and heavily fortified metal doors before they got to the lab where the Tesseract was being worked on. Loki stopped at the upper level viewing window for spectators. He was looking down into a great metal hall with the Tesseract in the centre, just as before. Clearly he was right about them building weapons to fight a more advanced war.
Get me into that room. Loki said, not taking his eyes off the Tesseract, firing energy bolts in her little metal briefcase.
The man nodded and walked off. Loki took a few moments before following him into a stairwell that led down into the lab. They stopped at a door and the man lifted his security tag to the scanner. This was it, the last door. Six months of working on Vara and planning, had all come down to this moment. He watched eagerly as he ran the card through the scanner, only to have a red light flash in the darkness.
What? he asked the man.
Im sorry sir, but I dont have that kind of clearance. He said to Loki, not knowing he was angering the young god.
Loki grabbed him by the shoulder and threw him back up the stair well. He took a few steps back up the stairs and held his staff up to the door.
Ill be damned if Im walking away now. he said, blasting at the door.
The blue energy hit the door and blasted it open, beginning to melt it near the impact point. This wasnt one of the heavy duty doors. Having passed them, there was no need for it here. The metal peeled away from the energy, melting in the heat and leaving a huge gaping hole. He walked down the steps to it and stepped through the hole as the sirens began to fire and scream at his arrival.
He smiled. This was the chaos he knew. He loved. He strode up to the Tesseract unabated and stopped in front of it. It was nestled into a silver briefcase and hooked up to a circuit, to distribute the energy it was giving off. He lifted his hand to lid of the briefcase and flipped it down. He grabbed the handle and lifted it off the table it was placed on. He turned to see the guards beginning to file into the room, he smiled and lifted his staff, only to have them fire at him first. He was caught in a hail of bullets.
Luckily he was Asgardian and these weapons did nothing to him. But a stray bullet hit the briefcase and the lid, that hadnt been latched up, and it popped open and the Tesseract fell out of the circuit. Loki looked down and saw it beginning to burn a hole into the floor. He knelt quickly and grabbed it, forgetting that it would burn him if he touched it for too long. He lifted it out of the hole and it began to burn him, he dropped it back into the briefcase and closed it properly this time, latching the lid closed.
He looked at his hand and saw that it was burned. He stood back up, his staff in his right hand and the briefcase in his left. He smiled at the guards and concealed himself with his magic. To the guards, it seemed that he just vanished. He needed to them to think that he was going to stay on the planet with it, or they would send Thor to find him. He stayed and watched as they moved closer, looking for him.
After a few minuets, when everyone had seen what was going on, the room emptied and he warped back to where Vara and Thor were talking. He concealed the briefcase just as he did the ice casket back on Asgard when he went to relieve Heimdallr of his duties. He took a breath and stepped out from behind the statue, as if nothing had happened.
Vara heard a warp gate close up and looked back, seeing Loki walk out from behind the statue. She turned and looked back at Thor.
I do see the threat. I just know how I can overcome it. she said, before turning and walking back to where Loki and her soldiers were.
She turned and looked back at Thor once she had reached Lokis side.
Tell the others that the fight is on, and to bring their best efforts, because we will. She said, reaching down and taking hold of Lokis hand. She noticed that he had slight burn marks on his hands. She looked down at it and frowned slightly.
Im fine. he said, sensing her concern.
She looked to the others and they reached out, touching each others shoulders. She looked to Thor. She smiled, imagining her defeating him in battle. This was going to be a glorious night. As Thor watched, they warped away in a blue cloud of space dust like glimmer.
Thor sighed. He knew the humans had harnessed the power of the Tesseract and duplicated its energy signature. He also knew they had active weapons using this technology in the system. No doubt they would use it against Loki, Vara and her army.
He began to swing his hammer and took off back into the sky, heading back towards the others. They were talking amongst themselves. Making contingency plans probably. Thor landed close to them and walked up to the group.
I didnt succeed in talking her down. He said to them, looking at the group.
Loki has got his nails so deep into her that she even reasons like him. he sighed, thinking of how he had lost his beloved brother to thinking like that.
Did you hear that Fury? Tony said into his PA system.
Yeah. He said to the group.
Now that we have done all we can do to preserve diplomacy and failed, we can only prepare to defend the planet. Fury said, his voice becoming serious.
Sir, will we be equipped with the phase three weapons? Black Widow asked him.
Yes. Stark we need you to come in and get a temporary upgrade with the Odium weapons. Fury said to him.
On my way. Stark said, flipping down his face plate and blasting off.
Odium, I dont understand this phrase. Thor said, looking to the others.
Its the name of the metal we have managed to synthesise, using the Tesseracts energy as a base. Bruce explained to him.
Its highly radioactive, like the Tesseract itself, but weve managed to produce weapons that run off it. he explained further.
Like the Hydra weapons? Not this again guys, I warned you against them last time. Steve said, stepping into the fray.
Trust me Steve, when those Fire Giants come over the ridge; youll be happy you have those weapons. Thor said to him.
They cant be that bad. Steve said.
Picture a place that is as inhospitable as the very heart of a volcano. Then imagine what it would take for something to survive, nay, thrive, there. That is what a Fire Giant is. And now picture an army of millions of those creatures. That is what awaits us in the morning. Thor explained to him.
So, in other words, we have a tough fight ahead of us. Hawkeye said to him.
If not for the, Odium, yes. We would probably be defeated without it. Thor turned and looked at him. Silence fell upon the group. But they had defeated the last invaders of the extra terrestrial kind, and they would defeat these ones too.
That sword that the woman Vara was carrying, that is the legendary sword Laevateinn. It has properties that are, as yet, unknown to even I. Thor said.
You all need to prepare and get some practice in with those weapons. Thor said to them.
The hoverjet is this way. Black Widow said, walking off back into the alley they had come from.
The group followed her towards the jet. They took off and headed towards Shield HQ.