Continuing Tales

Fallen Star

A Marvel Movieverse Story
by Alydia Rackham

Part 19 of 27

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"If only something precious as time had a price
Instead of endlessly taking its toll on my soul
Oh, so many if onlys running through my mind
What ifs and storybook endings time after time
If only, if only you could have been mine
I'd take you."

-Into the Blue

Two concussive bangs.

They vibrated his armor.

The air shivered.

Loki's heart stopped.

He turned, disoriented, his gaze flying through the cavern as his head rang.

"See if she is alive," Doom commanded.

Loki blinked.



His heart began pounding so fast there was hardly a space between the beats. His unfocused gaze swept wildly through the room.

There—he caught sight of the bearded man who had grabbed her in the hall, standing a level down, his gun in one hand, his attention downward. But Loki could not see Jane.

"What have you done?" Loki gasped. He felt as if two iron shafts had shot through his gut—an absent tear spilled down his cheek. "Where is she?"

A keening, choking sound came from the bearded man's feet—and Loki saw the edge of Jane's coat.

The next instant, Loki was beside her—magic surged around him and sent him sweeping across the empty space—and he threw himself onto his knees on the metal.

"Get back!" the bearded guard ordered, pointing his gun at him.

Loki lashed out with his right hand—a white blast, like a cannonball, shot straight through the guard's middle. The man crashed into a pile of machinery and collapsed, shattered. Loki did not even look at him.

Jane lay on her back, her face contorted, her dark eyes searching the ceiling, tears streaming down her temples. Her feet kicked weakly and her upper body shook—her hands pressed hard down on her middle—blood soaked her fingers and her shirt. Loki's hands fluttered over her, then found hers—they were slick and hot.

"Jane!" Loki cried, though he could barely make his throat work. "Jane? Jane—can you hear me? Jane…?"

She answered with a tight, visceral yelp and a choked sob.

"Oh, Jane…" Loki's eyes filled with tears. "Jane you must listen to me—I need you to breathe, all right? Stay with me? Jane?"

Her neck strained and she wrenched in a rattling breath.

"Oh, alskling, please," Loki begged, forcing his hands underneath hers and pushing his fingertips into the heated wounds, yanking tendrils of magic out of the air and trying to bind them like tourniquets, but they wouldn't hold. He let out an animal wail through his teeth, his white, blood-covered hands slipping. Jane struggled to breathe.

"All right, all right, we can…We can just…Jane, I need you to trust me," he rasped, panic rising in his throat. "I…I can repair this, but you need to…Jane?"

Her throat convulsed, and her eyes lost their focus—fluttered shut. He stopped.

He reached down and took hold of the side of her head, smearing blood across her pale cheek.

"Jane?" His desperate eyes searched her face.

The earth halted.


Thunder slammed into him. It flung him backward and upward, sending him crashing over a railing. His back hammered into the wall. Rocks tumbled—the walls shook.

Loki, fighting dizziness, clawed his way back to his feet, sucking in air. Pain flashed through his old chest injury.

Doom hovered over Jane as if weightless. A blue, glowing, humming bubble surrounded Jane. And Doom let out a ringing laugh.

"I knew it!" he crowed, pointing at him. "I knew she meant more to you than you let on! But I must admit, you gave a winning performance."

"What are you doing?" Loki demanded, his words shuddering. "What have you done to her?"

"I'm shielding her," Doom answered smoothly. "It's a neat little trick, really, but it's limited. She's stable, her hemorrhaging is stopped. For now."

Loki's blood-slick hands closed into fists.


"I can save her," Doom said. "If you give me what I want."

Loki's heartbeat stalled. Doom floated closer to him, holding his hands out placatingly. "I know a spell—a binding, unbreakable spell—that will secure both our promises. You give me Asgard, and all the other realms…" He paused, and lowered his voice. "And I will restore her as if nothing had ever happened."

Loki stood, off balance, staring at Doom. All around the cavern, a hundred men lifted their weapons and aimed at him.

"Decide quickly, my prince," Doom advised. "She doesn't have much time."


Odin stood on the balcony in his darkened chambers, his hands resting on the cold stone railing. He had awoken to the roll of thunder, and turned over in bed to see that his wife was not beside him. He had sighed and rubbed his face, knowing that she was sleeping in Loki's room again. Then, he had pushed the covers off himself, gotten up, and wandered toward the cool breeze that ruffled the curtains.

He now gazed out over the darkness of the city and gardens, and glanced up toward the stars—but he could not see them. They were shrouded by deep, churning clouds occasionally pierced by shafts of blinding white. Odin sighed again. These storms of Thor's had become as common as Frigg's practice of visiting her lost son's room.

But then, a tapping sound came from behind him—a sound that was unusual. He turned—

To see the shining Heimdall shove through the broad doors of Odin's chambers and stride right in.

"What has happened?" Odin demanded, stepping toward him.

"All-Father," Heimdall said, bowing at the waist. "There is something you must see."

"Can you not tell me?" Odin asked, watching the dark, expressionless face and gleaming gold eyes. Heimdall shook his head.

"I believe it is best for you to witness it yourself."

Odin paused, realizing what Heimdall implied.

"But is it not terribly taxing for you?" Odin asked.

"It is," Heimdall acknowledged. "But for this, I am more than willing." He stretched out his hand to Odin. Odin hesitated, his mind flying through all of the possibilities…

He reached out and grasped the strong fingers in his own. Heimdall's eyes drifted shut…

Odin straightened—it was as if he had been struck by lightning—

Then, his sight opened up to the vastness of the galaxies…

And focused down on a single, small space on Midgard, in a blue-lit cavern beneath a mountain.

Odin gazed for a long time, slowly realizing what, and who, it was that he could hear and see. And when he spoke, his voice trembled.

"Is there nothing we can do?"

"We can only watch," Heimdall replied tightly, not moving, not opening his eyes. "And hope."

Odin's heart wrenched and he swallowed, but he was helpless—helpless to protect, helpless to save…

He squeezed Heimdall's hand, his gaze fixing on the sight of a single person, held his breath—and watched.


Loki's whole body shivered, his breath cold. He glanced down at Jane's still form beneath Doom's shield. He sucked in a breath and found Doom again.

"What will you do with Asgard?" Loki asked hoarsely. "With its rulers, its people?"

"What all conquerors do," Doom answered frankly. "Kill those who resist, capture those I defeat, and rule over those who surrender."

"Odin and Thor will never surrender," Loki rasped. Doom shook his head.

"I wouldn't expect them to," he glanced over at the tesseract. "But with the Cube in my possession, I doubt I will have much trouble with them."

Loki swallowed hard, feeling as if he had broken glass in his throat.

"You're going to kill them," Loki said, violent, nightmarish images flashing through his mind. "Princes and kings and courtiers who have lived and reigned for thousands of years."

"Maybe," Doom shrugged. "Or, once I get there, I may eliminate their existence entirely—make it as if they never lived at all."

Loki's bones shivered.

The Mjollnir necklace hummed against his breastbone.

Doom barked out a laugh.

"But it's a win-win situation, isn't it?" he threw out his hands in disbelief. "Isn't that what you wanted?"

Loki gazed at him for a long moment—and then his eyes were pulled to the brilliant glow of the tesseract. He could feel each one of his heartbeats, feel his blood pulsing through his body. Then, at last, his gaze came back to rest on the woman beneath the shield.

A displaced memory rose up before him—her brilliant brown eyes, shining back at his as if she could see right through him, her voice soft.

"I could almost see it, you know? Asgard. The way you described it. The shining towers, the rainbow bridge, and the light on the water…"

Loki's heart broke. He literally felt it—it pulsed once, so hard that pain shot through every single vein, and two final tears fell. He closed his eyes as the water scalded his face.

"Do we have a deal?" Doom pressed. Loki drew in a deep, shuddering breath.

"No," he said. He opened his eyes, and met Doom's.

"What?" Doom cried. "I…Wait, I can't believe that. Tell me I'm hearing you wrong."

Loki's jaw tensed, but he shook his head.

"You are not," he hissed. "We are finished here."

He clapped his hands together, then swiftly parted them. A bolt of white energy leaped to life between his palms. Loki grabbed it in his left hand and hurled it at Doom.

Doom jerked backward, summoning a curved energy shield. The shaft slammed into it.

It ricocheted upward and exploded, flooding the cavern with blinding light.

A thundering scream echoed against the rocks.

Loki and Doom roared and leaped at each other, snatching handfuls of deadly magic as they flew.

In mid air, they slammed into each other—and the mountain shook.


Thor limped through the darkened marble halls of the palace as fast as he could, his left hand pressed to the right side of his chest. He winced with every step, his teeth grinding. Overhead, his black storm clouds rolled and churned, and thunder rumbled like the growl of lions.

"Father," he called, cold sweat breaking out on his brow. "Father, something is wrong!" He pushed through his father's heavy bedroom door—and slowed.

His father was already awake, standing near the window, his hand grasped by Heimdall. Heimdall's eyes were closed, but his father's was open.

"What are you doing?" Thor asked.

"Watching," Odin said softly, though he did not move. "What is it, my son?"

Thor took a tight breath.

"Something has happened to Loki," he said. "He is in danger. I can feel it. And I…" He stopped as another terrible pain traveled up his side. "I don't know how, but I know he is hurt. Here." He put his hand to his ribs.

"That is exactly what has us occupied," Odin replied, still not looking at him, his gaze unfocused.

"What—you can see him?" Thor asked, stepping closer.

"Yes, we can," Heimdall answered. "Right now, he is not hiding. He cannot."

"What is happening?" Thor pressed, searching both their taut faces. "Is he all right?"

"He does not seem to be deeply wounded," Odin said, though his mouth barely moved. "Though he is in the midst of battle."

Thor's heart skipped a beat.

"What can we do?"

"You can go and comfort your mother," Odin advised. "She is in his room."


"I will tell you the outcome," Odin murmured. "But for now, it is too difficult to speak."

Thor stood for a long time, his jaw muscles clenching, the pain throbbing through his ribs. But finally, he nodded, turned, and swept out, heading down the hall to Loki's childhood chambers.


Loki and Doom ripped apart. Both slammed onto their backs on different platforms. Loki clawed to his feet, grabbed a handrail—

And threw up a hasty shield as lightning exploded from Doom's hands.

Electricity hammered into Loki, and he leaned his shield into it, gritting his teeth.

Again and again, Doom sent the fiery bolts slicing through the air. They hissed and snapped and flashed, cracking Loki's shield, writhing like blazing snakes.

Doom paused and regathered. Loki split his shield into two and shrank them. Doom hurled another barrage—

Loki batted it back.

Sparks showered. Lightning tore back at Doom. Doom threw himself to the side. Loki dissipated his shields, drew a deep breath and shoved both hands forward.

A concussive blast pounded from his palms. It crushed Doom's platform, sending pieces flying. Metal shrieked. Doom leaped off, flying upward.

Loki aimed and fired again. It missed—rocks shattered and rained down. Loki's gaze suddenly flew to Jane—

Doom had abandoned his shield. She lay bleeding, vulnerable.

Loki waved his left hand. A green shield leaped up around her. The next instant, falling stones pelted it and disintegrated.


Loki's vision went black. For half a moment, he was suspended. Then his back punched into the stone wall. He collapsed onto a walkway. He opened his mouth and pulled in a tearing gasp, his fingers closing around the metal chinks in the floor. He scrambled to his knees, pressing his hands to his breastplate. He squeezed his eyes shut and opened them, making them focus.

Doom, across the cavern, wound up, and fired another blast at him.

Loki leaped to his feet and threw himself toward it, roaring.

He thrust his hands out and crushed the blast with his own, splintering it. The bits peppered the walls like machine gun fire, ripping through the ranks of Doom's guards.

Loki whirled, conjured a throwing blade and let it fly.

It sang as it sliced the air. Doom threw himself against the wall.

The blade clipped his shoulder. It hacked through his cape.

Loki stopped for an instant, braced himself and ignored the hammering pain in his side. He reached out, took fistfuls of black magic, whirled them around himself and then flung them toward the ceiling.

Whirling black clouds rushed upward, pulsing and seething—

And took form, shaping into the rippling, gleaming body of a deep-green, three-headed dragon.

The dragon's glowing red eyes opened, and its wide jaws yawned to reveal rows of dripping, venomous fangs. Its tongues rippled and it hissed deep in its throats. It set its massive clawed forefeet on either side of Loki, reared its heads and unleashed a torrent of white flame at Doom.

Doom's cloak caught fire. He whirled away from the blast, ripped the cloth off and flung it down.

"Dragen, ødelegge!" Loki barked. The dragon screeched and lunged at Doom, jaws snapping.

Doom jumped, summoning magic underneath him. He soared upward, power blazing in his hands. Loki swept his cloak, the dragon swerved to avoid Doom—

Doom's shaft formed a sword. It hacked through the center dragon's head.

The illusion broke and scattered into mist.

Doom crashed down in front of Loki and swung his fiery blade.

Loki spun back, his cloak flying, and summoned his own white sword.

The blades clashed. The air shivered. Loki twirled his lithe blade and slashed at Doom's head. Doom met the swing in the middle.

Back and forth they danced, whirling and battering, striking with all their force. The blades hissed against each other, snapping and grinding. Blinding light flashed with every blow. Loki's blade glanced Doom's helmet. Doom's tip skidded across Loki's breastplate.

Doom dodged Loki's stab and grabbed his wrist. He hit Loki in the face with his armored elbow.

Loki tasted blood. His ears rang. He wrenched out of Doom's grip, turned and cracked the back of his helmet with the butt of his sword. Doom stumbled sideways and let go of his weapon. Loki spat blood onto the floor and bared his teeth. He advanced and raised his blade.

Doom leaped backward, off balance, and flung his hands out.

An explosion rattled Loki's bones. He recoiled, letting go of his sword.

Thick green fog enveloped him. He could see nothing—

And it began to sting his eyes, choke and stifle his lungs, and claw at his armor with a sound like grinding teeth.

A flash came from his right.

And all at once, Loki could not move—his muscles froze.

The whole cavern filled with impenetrable mist. He squeezed his eyes shut as they watered, fighting to unclench his jaw.

"F…Frihet," he muttered.

His body snapped free of the binding spell. Then, he crossed his arms over his chest, spun one last time—

And vanished himself.

He soared, weightless and invisible, up to the peak of the cavern, blowing out an icy breath that cleared the mist away from him. But he could see nothing beneath him but rolling green fog.

Then, the lights went out.

The cavern plunged into blackness—

Except for the piercing shine of the tesseract.

Loki gathered magic, grasped and twisted it.

He flashed back into being and set both feet down on the tesseract's platform.

The next instant, Doom lunged out of the mist, swinging a flaming knife.

Loki clapped his hands.

Doom jumped back from the flash.

Loki clamped his fingers around the Frost Giants' glowing blue ice casket—

And blasted Doom with an onslaught of swallowing, rushing, iron-hard ice.

It billowed over him like a wave and held him like a vise. His motion locked, and his knife extinguished.

The ice flow stopped. Loki lowered the casket.

For an instant, he stared back into those enraged, shadowed eyes behind the metal mask, now coated with frost. Then, he hid the casket again and stepped up to the tesseract.

The glow of it dominated his vision, even though the guardian lasers interrupted its shine. And once again, as it had the first time Loki had seen it, wisps of magic danced around it like fireworks, setting his pulse pounding, shooting thrills and sparks down to his fingertips. And the tendrils pulled his heart toward that sapphire light like an iron chain.

But he knew now—knew it as surely as he breathed—that if he put out his hand and touched its surface, something in the fabric of the universe would rip in half.

And there was a great, wild chance that he would as well.

There was only one thing to be done.

He stretched out his hand and put it through the lasers.

Red lights flashed on.

Sirens tore the air.

Explosions blasted overhead.

Loki stood firm.

He motioned with his fingers. The tesseract leaped up off the pedestal.

Loki's whole being shuddered. He placed shaking hands to either side of it, not touching it.

And then he vanished it, setting it alongside the casket.

The ice of Doom's trap began to crack and splinter. Loki could hear his muffled bellow.

Loki whirled, searching. Flashes up above blinded him.

Rocks began tumbling down from the ceiling. A boulder fell and decimated the long, wide bridge near the door. The metal beneath his feet rattled.

Loki closed his eyes and quieted his mind.

There. There it was.

The small, resilient, glimmering light of the Lokistone.

He flashed toward it, popping out and into existence in a heartbeat.

He flung himself down beside Jane's motionless form. The Lokistone shone like a star against her bloody chest.

The whole mountain groaned. The ceiling split in two.

Loki slid his arms beneath Jane and lifted her up. She weighed almost nothing.

With one arm, he pulled her to his chest. With the other, he wrapped his cloak around them both. He pressed his lips to her forehead and closed his eyes.

A massive stone broke away and hurtled down upon them.

It hit the tips of the horns of his helmet.

They disappeared.

And with one last heave, the mountain swallowed the cavern.

Fallen Star

A Marvel Movieverse Story
by Alydia Rackham

Part 19 of 27

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