Lokane, ‘ Are you an angel? Has the time come? I’ve been waiting so long. ‘
A/N: I give you a Post-Apocalyptic AU. I hope you like it! :)
RESURRECTION WITH A PRICE
The last thing Jane remembers is the searing flash of light before fire erupted in her stomach, shooting out to her limbs in a burst of agony. She welcomed the murky oblivion that followed, grateful to find rest after so many years of conflict. No more losing friends on the frontlines in this endless battle between worlds. No more lurking in the shadows until the rare opportunity to strike at their would-be oppressors—as hollow as those efforts have been.
It was over. Finally.
But as she opens bleary eyes, blinking at the acute brightness that permeates her field of vision, she’s not so sure. Where is she? It’s a room colored a brilliant, impossible white. The ceiling is painted with a gold filigree pattern that bleeds down, fading into the shining, bleached stonework of the walls that she can see better now. She’s in a bed with linens unlike any she’s experienced in her short life. Adjectives like soft and silky come close to describing them, but not quite.
Is this the afterlife? Is there an afterlife? As a scientist and a soldier, she’s never believed in the supernal. After all, would a benevolent deity allow the devastation that she’s known for the past five years? She can’t bring herself to believe in an absentee creator, or worse, a malevolent one. There’s been comfort in putting her faith in an accidental existence born from a cosmic bang. Humans were on their own; they’d always been.
And yet, she can’t explain this. Her hand tentatively goes to where she’d been struck down by the alien weapon—to where there should be a charred, yawning wound in her belly as she’d witnessed too many times in fallen comrades. She finds nothing, though. Her abdomen is smooth, untouched, and covered by some gown she’s wearing made of fabric similar to the bed linens. She can’t make these variables fit logically with what she knows, what she understands.
She pushes up on her elbows, wincing instinctively against the pain she expects that never comes. Her breath catches when she finds another standing at the foot of her bed. He’s tall, long raven hair falling past his shoulders that contrasts his pale eyes and even paler skin. His angular features are inscrutable as he studies her. His garb is foreign, ethereal with a filmy deep green tunic, leather trousers and a dark, sleeveless robe. He’s inhuman. Beautiful.
“Are you an angel?” The question leaves her before she can think better of it, and her face burns at the smile that tugs at the corner of his mouth, at the laugh he breathes through his nose.
“I am called many things,” he answers cryptically. The baritone of his voice is dry, rasping—nothing like the lilting tenor she imagined as a child of the mythical, holy beings. “Never an angel,” he continues, tilting his head as his gaze travels to take all of her in. “But always a god.”
“Am I dead?” she asks as she turns his words over in her mind. A god, implying that there is more than a single deity, unlike the “One True Creator” traditions that fell out of favor in her world when the invasion began. Were any of them true—the religions of her people? Not that she’d given credence to any of them, but she tries to recall the belief systems that had multiple divinities.
“Yes,” he says, “and no.” He saves her from asking for clarification by adding, “You have been made anew.”
Her brows pull together in confusion. “Why?”
The smile that hinted on his features before blossoms fully now, drawing lines in his cheeks, revealing a set of straight, white teeth. The look is less pleased and more predatory, and her heart stutters briefly in response. “Because, Jane Foster,” he replies, inching closer to her, “clever leader of the futile resistance on Midgard, you are meant to be a part of a greater battle.”
The notion churns her stomach, fills her with dread. Midgard? She’s heard that unusual name for her world before, but she can’t place it. “I’m done fighting.”
“Oh no, you’re not.” His knees brush against the edge of her mattress. “This conflict is unavoidable, dear Jane. Both sides are recruiting across the nine realms and soon combat will begin.”
Again, she tastes the familiarity at the edge of his strange statement, but whatever she knows is locked away in the recesses of memory. “And you’re recruiting me?” At his tacit nod, she asks, “What if I don’t want to be recruited for your little war.” She’s done enough, fought enough. She’d rather be lost to eternal night than play warrior again.
“My war?” He laughs at the idea. “You misunderstand. This is the war. The great and final clash to end all things. I speak of Ragnarök.”
Ragnarök. She knows this word; it’s from ancient Scandinavia. She combs through her knowledge of their mythos, what little she has. The battle he’s referencing is between the giants and the Æsir, isn’t it? Which side has he recruited her to? Which god is he supposed to be? She poses the questions aloud.
“I am Loki,” he says. “Better known to your kind as the God of Mischief.”
The trickster. The silver-tongued deceiver according to the bit of lore she knows. “No.” She shakes her head. “I won’t fight for you.”
“But you will,” he says smiling as though amused by her defiance. “The safety of your realm depends on it.”
She narrows her eyes. “What do you mean? You’ll wipe us all out if I don’t?”
His tongue presses briefly against his bottom lip, turning his grin feral. “On the contrary,” he replies, “I’ll save your paltry realm from the Chitauri if you join my ranks. A very generous gift on my part. Now, can you say no to that?”
She closes her eyes. She shouldn’t trust him. She can’t. And yet no one else has come to her people’s aid. “How do I know you’ll keep your end of the deal?”
He laughs, low and soft. “Fight at my side, and find out. What’s it to be, Jane?”
She searches his face for deception, but he’s unreadable. If she agrees to this, subjects herself to more carnage, more death and destruction, he may still leave Earth to die at the hands of those terrible aliens. But then, if she rejects his offer, it’s certain that humans will become extinct. She lets out a heavy sigh.