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Feb 28, 2020 7:57 PM
A new Loki is born
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A god burns. (They always do.)

With her burns the world. (It was too small, too tight, and what better than the great cosmic reset button to address that?)

(With her burns her chains.)

A child opens her eyes.

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She wakes in ashes.

She doesn't know her name, at first.

She doesn't know how she got here, or where she came from.

The sky over her is burning.

There's a few distant figures coming. Capes flutter behind them as they fly through the smoke. (She didn't get them all, she thinks, then wonders why she thought that).

The girl stares, confused, until one lands near her.

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Her answer is a glowing weapon pointed her way, a strangled shout of "Loki!" and a hum of something charging.

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That's not a good sound. She doesn't know much, but she knows that.

Clumsy, she climbs to her feet and tries to run.

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The whine grows higher -

And then is cut off, as someone wearing a bright cape, wielding a rather large hammer, lands between her and her would-be attacker.

He glares back over his shoulder, then faces her. "Wait!" he calls. "Are you Loki?"

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"I don't know that name! I don't even know my name! So leave me alone!"

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"My name is Thor Odinson," he says. "I'm looking for a Loki Odinsdottir. My sister. You look like her."

Loki had never actually been able to not get mad at being called 'Odinsdottir', not since their falling out - of course, even in the rare times she tried, she'd never been a good liar, not to Thor.

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She slows and stops, staring at him warily. "Then why'd that girl try to attack me?"

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"Everyone's been kind of stressed and jumping at shadows. Look, even if you're not my sister, I want to help you - and this place isn't really safe."

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"...Yeah, I guess." This place is giving her the shivers, actually, but she doesn't know if everywhere would. "But you gotta explain everything that's been going on to me. Including why people're jumping at someone who looks like your sister."

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"I will. I promise."

"I can fly. Is it okay if I pick you up? That's going to be the fastest way out of here..."

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"...Maybe. Sure. But I reserve the right to kick you somewhere painful if I want you to stop."

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He chuckles. "Eminently reasonable, my lady."

And he scoops the girl - possibly his amnesiac, de-aged sister - swings his hammer, and takes flight.

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She quickly starts laughing. Flying!!! (It feels like she should be able to do this, if she could just reach - just be the sort of her that flies - but it's like there's a black box in her head where all the hers she could be are all shoved away.)

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He brings them pretty far off, away from the fire and the ash, to a golden platform that remains mostly undamaged. He's grim during the fight, and there's the ghosts of buildings still burning below.

"Hold on," he says, before throwing a lever.

In a rush of rainbow light, they're elsewhere, on a landing pad in a field outside a stately mansion.

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"Where is this?" she asks, looking around. It's so green, so unlike the place they left. She can hear birdsong. (She's not sure how she knows what birds are, but she does, and she knows she likes them. They're free, usually.)

(A flash of memory races through her mind. Running through a market, the locks on cages holding back birds springing open in her wake - )

(Then the memory's gone.)

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He sets her down. "One of the spare bases for the team I'm sometimes part of, the Avengers. They shouldn't mind us staying while we figure out where you should go."

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"What are you guys avenging?" she asks, stretching and then spinning in a circle, marveling at the trees and small animals she can see.

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"They never managed to explain that to me!" he says, lightly. "Come on, there's hot tea inside, and a library with some pretty neat books." Books and mayhem have always been the two best bribes to get his sister to do things.

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"Books!" she calls, darting for the front door. "An explanation first, though!"

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"Yeah, definitely."

He follows, beating her to the door so he can disarm the security systems. He identifies himself as Thor and a guest, and asks the resident artificial intelligence not to relay anything to the team just yet.

And then he leads the girl who's probably his sister to the kitchen, heats up some tea and scones (the best he can approximate her old favorites), and sits across from her.

"So, what happened's kind of a long story."

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She digs into the snack like she's never eaten. Which, well, she doesn't remember ever eating.

"I don't think I have anywhere to be."

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"So. My sister... To start explaining her - she was never our mother's favorite child. She was - wild in ways mother didn't prefer. She'd do things specifically because she'd been told not to. She'd free caged animals. She'd play pranks on dignitaries. We were close, but - I'd always be forgiven for helping her. Our mother claimed it was her fault, because she led me astray, and would punish her worse."

"So she, reasonably, left."

"Something festered in her heart, I think, or in her fate - our people are bound very tightly to the prophecies surrounding us. She hated not just our mother but our entire people. She resented me, and sought to foil me whenever I left our home world. She killed people, because she'd been told not to, and because she enjoyed it."

"And then she figured out how to burn our home. Asgard."

"She'd have to burn herself, too, but - "

"Asgard's end was prophesied. Woven into the great tapestry of fate. Even she couldn't escape that, in the end, and her death during it was there."

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"...The tapestry burned," she says, voice distant, like it's coming from outside her head. "It was at the tree's root."

(She's not sure how she knows that, and it wasn't a tapestry, not really, like how Yggdrasil wasn't really a tree. But 'tapestry' and 'tree' are close enough, and fire is made to be the enemy of wood and thread.)

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"...Good," he says, firmly.

"Anyways... Asgard got cut off, when the fire started. We were doing search and rescue, a few of us, once we could find our way back, but - you're the only one we've found alive. So far at least, but... People'd been talking about calling off the search."

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"You cared about them."

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