Monsters hide underneath your bed at night. Monsters crawl into your closet. Monsters feed on your pain and fear. We all know the stories. We all fear them. We're all afraid. But when morning light comes, we know then. We know panicking was pointless. There was no monster after all. The nightmare has ended and all is well. The day moves on.
But what would happen if your nightmare didn't end? What would happen if the dream continued on? Through the pain and the hurt and the anger...the nightmare never stopped. Only builded.
What if you were stuck in a forever dream? What if the light never woke you in the morning?
What would happen if you never woke up at all?
Loki did not struggle against the bonds he was held in. Some form of metal, not of the realm of Asgard, wrapped itself around his arms and legs, detaining him to a hard chair of the same metal. Loki still wore his Asgard Fighting Gear, minus the helm. The room was magic proof, and Loki was hopeless. His staff had been taken from him. He was dripping with sweat. His clothes were torn and messy. He appeared ragged, dirty, and broken.
Many would say Loki Laufeyson had fallen hard.
But the devilish gleam in his eyes said otherwise.
SHIELD agents paced around the glass dome they had placed him in. Loki didn't budge. He merely calculated, listened, and planned.
One agent got cocky, and stepped up to the glass. He met Loki's gaze for a fraction of a second. And he asked, "Why are you doing this?"
Bright white teeth gleamed back at the young agent. And the man grabbed his head as thoughts that were not his own crossed his mind.
[i]I have never known a life without my brother. Thor has always been there. I do not recall a time when he wasn't around. My first memory as a child is when I was only a babe. And of course, Thor was there. Hardly toddling, he was quite clumsy and unstable. His golden hair was curly and wild, and he beat his baby fists against any surface he could get his hands on. My first memory is that golden haired child leaning over my cradle.
"Is that him?" he asks loudly.
Suddenly Frigga is there, pulling her eldest son away from the crib. "Yes. That's your little brother, Thor. That's Loki. You'll get to play with him very soon."
And thus, I grew up. I grew older, and Thor became my best friend. We played together, and we fought together. We would scream and argue and hug and hold on to each other just like any other set of brothers would do. Thor was rowdy and I was quiet. He would yell, and I would hiss something back in retaliation. Then Thor would climb into my bed when he had a nightmare, and I likewise. But too soon, we grew out of the age of children. Wooden swords were replaced with steel. Thor became a young warrior. But I chose a different path. Thor chose weapons of a physical nature. And I chose weapons of a mental way. I became a sorcerer, excellent in my craft. Our lessons were separated, and I spent my time alone with only other magicians for company. Days would pass when I would not see Thor. Childhood appreciation and friendship faded, when being friends was the only option you had.
We reached manhood soon after. There was a ceremony, where Thor and I wore our best colors. That night, we truly could see how the other had grown. Thor's muscles still did not fully fit him, and he made sure to exclaim how gangly I was. We were still boys. But we would soon grow older. At the ceremony, I was named a marvelous sorcerer, and welcome in Odin's Court. I was happy and excited. Thor embraced me and congratulated me, while I was still too numb to speak. And then it was my brother's turn. I stepped to the side, proud to see my brother gain his own prize.
Thor was deemed a great warrior, who could best any enemy and any foe. He was called First-Born, and was given a blessing of hope and honor. He was then given Mjolnir, the Hammer of the Gods, forged in a dying star. And the whole hall rose and cheered for their future King.[/i]
Loki rose from the chains easily and effortlessly. The room of agents scrambled in confusion. The Headquarters were being attacked. Men dressed in SHIELD uniforms turned on their brothers. One had released Loki. The last was working on the code to open the door to his glass cage.
Loki stared on, emotionless. His face was calm and cold. He watched as agents scrambled and died, all at his hand. His fingers twitched.
The glass cage door slid open, and Loki stepped out, straightening his cape. He ignored the look of fevered panic that crossed the agents' faces. He merely strode forward down the hall. An agent stepped in front of him. He was trembling from head to toe, and the gun in his hand was pointed straight between Loki's eyes. The god's lips tightened into a smile.
[color=green]"Pity."[/color] Loki said simply, his voice cool and collected. And with that, he pulled a dagger from inside his jacket and threw it forward. The weapon zipped through the air, and landed directly in the young agents heart. The man didn't even have time to react. He fell to his knees, and fell forward on his face. Loki stepped over him as a puddle of blood began to pool around the body.
[i]We grew up. Thor was a warrior, a mighty Prince, and I trailed after him almost constantly. He was my only friend. Any Asgardians I had once considered to be my ally left me when I accidentally set a young girl's hair on fire. The news spread, and anyone who I once spent my time with fell from my grasp. I was alone, or, so it seemed. I soon met a young girl in the gardens names Sigyn. She was a nymph goddess. She was beautiful and bright and just the friend I needed. She became one of many that I could speak with and talk freely with.
The warriors three were assembled. Oh and how they were amazed that the young devilish magician was Thor's brother. But they tolerated him, and that was all that mattered. And then came along Lady Sif, who of course didn't approve of me. Her hair, midnight in color, black as pitch, had been my doing. And she would never forgive me for that.
We went on adventure after adventure. Sometimes we came back victorious. Sometimes we came back grungy and dirty. Most of the time I spent days in the infirmary when we returned, but that was just bad luck on my part. I had once believed firmly that my constant failure next to Thor's greatness was just luck. Just a coincidence. Just a flaw in the plan.
I was such a fool.
We returned from one of our adventurous victorious. It was a wonderful battle, even for I, who often saw raging war as pointless. I rushed to tell Sigyn about the event, excited and full of adrenaline. And when I found her, she was bouncing with news as well. I told her to go first, as I was sure whatever she told me could not triumph over my tale.
But alas, I was wrong.
Sigyn was to be married. A young warrior of Odin's names Theoric had asked for her hand. And she had accepted
I had never stormed off anywhere before, but it felt good. Fire raged through my chest, and I knew not why. It shouldn't have bothered me. It shouldn't have. I should've been brave, I should've congratulated my friend. I should've done many things. And yet, I did not. I became angry and enraged, a growing flame that could not be quenched by time. All I knew was that this madness had to be stopped. Sigyn couldn't marry Theoric. I wouldn't let her. He was foolish, arrogant, and his head could not fit through the halls of Odin. I couldn't let Sigyn keep him. What had I done to deserve this? What had I done to let the most beautiful of woman in Asgard slip through my grasp?
I arranged a meeting with Theoric, and he politely agreed to exchange words with me. Who would deny a Prince? We met in the gardens, blooming with Frigga's favorite flowers.
I remember seeing his hair blow in the wind as he turned to me. I remember quite clearly the look of happiness on his face. I had arrived right on time and if course, he needed to get back to his fiancée.
I don't exactly know how it happened. But I slowly pulled back my coat. Theoric didn't see as I pulled a jeweled dagger from my belt. But he did, however, feel it as I plunged the knife into his neck.
He fell quickly and easily, his blood pooling around him. I easily transfigured the body into a flower bush, and the blood into water. Now, to discover what to do. How was I to tell Sigyn that I murdered her love? And then of course, I was struck by a thought.
With Theoric gone, I could surely take his place. I could marry Sigyn.
I took on his form. I ran to Sigyn, and told her I wanted to marry tomorrow. The hall was filled with life and color. The lines were said, and as our lips met for the first time, I was revealed.
Loki Odinson was wed to the goddess Sigyn.
The uproar was fantastic. Brilliant actually. The trickster had slipped past all, even Odin All-Father. I had played my part well, but perhaps too well. Odin was angry, and threatened to have me banished. But Sigyn, my new wife, said she would keep me. We were married. It was her duty.
However, that did lessen her anger any the less. China that had been in my family for millenniums shattered that night. We fought and argued, but ended up sleeping nexg to one another in my chambers.
Years passed, and marriage became quite a bore. We would speak cordially, and brush our hands against one another in passing, but no more. Our marriage was a tense one. We did not have a joyous relationship. Many nights were filled with anger and frustration. We were two people, forcing a relationship to work. But one day, something slid into place. And everything...became more natural. It was a slow process, and none noticed. Atleast, no one notice, until Sigyn my darling became found with child. That was when everyone noticed that something must have changed. And not only did she bring me one heir, she brought me two. Narvi and Vali, children of the Great Liar Loki and his wife Sigyn.[/i]
Loki strode toward the doors of the headquarters, ready to step out into the world.
"Stop right there! I'm warning you!"
Loki stopped. He blinked twice. A man stood behind him, with a gun mere centimeters from the back of Loki's head. And while he was immortal, he had no doubt that a bullet in the skull would hurt quite a bit. Loki's eyes flickered downward. The staff clutched in his palm disappeared. And slowly, he raised both hands up.
"That's what I thought. Get back in your cage, you rat."
Loki blinked, his eyes coldest green. [color=green]"Why?"[/color] he asked simply.
"Because you're a monster, simple enough, got it? All our men within a mile of this place are now either scattered or dead. Now go, before I pull this trigger."
Loki's fingers twitched.
[color=green]"I am no monster."[/color]
The agent snorted. "Now, if that isn't the biggest load of bs this world has ever seen, I don't know what is. Look, Trickster, we all know your story. You tricked your brother, and tried to destroy an entire race. You committed suicide, only for mankind to see you rise from the ashes. And when you tried to destroy our world, you were chained, a muzzle placed over your lips-"
The man was sent flying backward. Loki had twisted around, rage etched on every feature of his face. His emerald eyes were blazing, his black mane of hair splayed out behind him like a fan. He strode forward to the crumbled form of the agent, and precisely placed a boot down on his chest. The agent moaned, and Loki leaned forward to spit in his face.
[color=green]"Mankind is pathetic, agent. It suffers and falls without my help. You claim to know what a monster is, but you know [i]nothing."[/i][/color] Loki hissed. [color=green]"You claim to know the story, but you know nothing. Here, dear agent. I will grace you with the truth, then maybe, you'll see the truth."
[i]With Thor banished and the All-Father in Odinsleep, I was given the throne. Rage ran through my veins. Anger. Hatred. And pain, so much, I would double over and wretch without stop. Careful not to real my already chipping facade, I told Sigyn and our children to go to our summer home on the fringes of Asgard. I told them I would join them later. I through their things into totes and sent them off. And with my family safe, I began my plan of Thor's demise, along with the frost giants. But you do know the story from there, don't you Agent? Rage and fear and jealousy ruled my actions. It was why I moved my family. I knew that a storm was coming, and that I would bring it. My plans failed, for I am not one so pompous to say they didn't. And as I hung from the edge of the Bifrost bridge, I knew Asgard would no long be my home. So I fell...
Down, into the deepest pits of all the realms where there is no light and only a spark of hope. Just enough to keep you believing. Just enough to keep you wondering. But I saw past the hope and saw only fear and pain and suffering. I was tortured beyond that of a human threshold. You wouldn't have lasted a day. But I screamed and I cried and I finally was able to reveal to the Chitari that if they let me go, I could give them the ultimate power. They believed me. But once again, I lost. I lay beaten and bruised, my body broken, my army gone, and my power source, taken. I was put into chains, a mask placed upon my face so that I would not speak, and I was taken back to Asgard and my sentence...my sentence...[/i]
Loki's eyes fluttered open. He stared down at the writhing body of the man below him, his eyes having rolled back in his head. But the trickster continued to speak. [color=green]"I was to follow Thor. I was to learn my lesson. I was to [i]change.[/i] My wife found me, bound here by invisible chains. We fought against the metal men of the world and their accomplices that killed in the streets. We aided this wretched planet together. We murdered those of the likes of you with large weaponry, tearing the small men and women to pieces. We found allies from other realms, and many mutants joined in the battlw with us. My wife soon was discovered to be with child. My wife, my one love, pregnant, [i]here[/i], in the middle of a war? I can't say I held my sanity all together perfectly."[/color] Loki smirked humorlessly. [color=green]"I fought and hurt and felt pain and died, to still land here, in a metal scrap wasteland. I've been left here to suffer and scream and to feel anger and [i]die[/i] among this disease ridden population. Do you hear me, agent? [i]Look at me when I'm talking to you!"[/color]
The man's eyes rolled back from behind his lids. And then, a gunshot echoed in the hall.
Loki twitched, and his hand slithered to his right side.
"You hesitated." the agent whispered as he writhed.
Loki stood up and stumbled backward. He pulled his hand away, and it was soaked in blood. His armor was stained deep red. The bullet was lodged deep into his side. Loki stared at the wound in amazement. He watched, as blood flowed freely down his clothes and dropped on to the floor. He observed his bloody hand, the red liquid glistening in the light of the headquarters.
"Y-you're a...m-monster, alright." the agent managed. His limbs were shaking and his back was arching. Loki's eyebrows came together, and he cocked his head.
[color=green]"Here is a riddle for you, young agent."[/color] Loki said quietly as he turned and walked toward the door, one hand still lingering on his wound. [color=green]"You are the one who shot me. Now, pray tell me. In all this mess, who is the monster, and who is the man?"[/color]