Sorry, for the long wait! University and life caught up with me. But I hope that I can write more during the holidays now.
This chapter is not yet betaed.
Have fun and remember that I would love to get constructive feedback.
It was calm as the Asgardian sun slowly descended into the Horizon bathing the golden high buildings in reddish, golden colour, yet the normally all seeing guardian in his golden armour standing on the edge of the abyss, where the best of the engineers usually worked to rebuilt the bifrost from morning till the evening, was not admiring its beauty. Prince Loki, had finally surfaced and as he heard the sound of fast approaching hooves on the Rainbow Bridge he knew that would have to tell the queen that her "son" had finally been found. Yet not under the circumstances that he wished for her.
"Heimdall." Prince Thor greeted while he got off his white stallion, mirroring his father in his golden armour.
"You have urgent news?" King Odin asked omitting any formalities Asgardians normally loved to dwell on.
"I do, my liege." Heimdall answered "Midgard is under siege."
"By whom?" Odin enquired while Thor gripped his hammer tighter in growing anger and probably fear for his mortal.
"Your son Loki is leading the attack." Heimdall answered scanning the soldiers who protected their queen who gasped horrified.
"Prince Loki has surfaced on Midgard. I do not yet know how he came to be there, but he just appeared and started to create havoc, has slain several Midgardians standing in his way, mentally enslaved others and abducted the girl hunted by the white creatures."
Queen Freya held her hand in front of her mouth as if she were sick. To her this did not sound like Loki at all as he usually used magic and strategy to beat his opponents. His death toll was usually lower than that of Thor's and she had felt his pain as she had woven a magical connection with him when she had taken him in as her son. "He is not himself. We have to bring him back to Asgard." Queen murmured to herself.
"I agree, he seems different, your majesty." Heimdall nodded "but the Bifrost is still not working and every minute we wait, more innocents are suffering and dying.
"We must find a way to get me to Midgard, Father. He can't be allowed to roam it." Thor growled turning angrily towards his father in unconscious imitation of his behaviour which had led to his adventurous exile with his hammer statically humming.
"Agreed. This cannot continue. I have to prepare to gather enough dark matter to send you through to Midgard." Odin answered calmly turned towards his son who breathed in relieved. Coordinate with Heimdall and your mother to prepare whatever you need on Midgard, while I will gather the Dark Matter." Odin commanded, went back to his horse and rode back towards the palace.
Bella, fighting her sluggish tiredness, which slowly set in after her almost deadly encounter with the leeches, let out a heartfelt sigh. Her legs felt as if she had pins and needles in them from sitting far too long cross-legged opposite the dark haired Asgardian who was mirroring her sitting position and who almost looked as if meditating if it weren't for the strange sounding words uttered by his lips. The words sounded Norse. It made sense he was supposed to be the Norse God of Mischief after all. The sceptre was lying on his legs, but he only held it with his left hand while the other one was doing the strangest things. He pointed at her with different movements and gestures of his arms, wrist, hand and even fingers. Sometimes she felt as if an invisible force was touching her, but was somehow repelled by her body, but she could not be sure. Shouldn't she be panicking right now? She had no idea what he was doing to her, but somehow she felt calm. Well, she had an inkling that he was trying to use magic on her, but somehow it did not work. Was this why she felt so calm or because he was so distracted by whatever he was doing that he was unaware of her microscopically trembling of her arms, still bound together behind her back by her heavy metal handcuffs. It had taken some time to remove the plastic coverings of the pen, straightening the pin to an almost 90 degrees angle, while hoping that it was not one of the cheap ones which would break in half and finding the keyhole on her left handcuff. She had been able to get a hold of a small hairpin while crushing one of her guards into the workstation before. Dr. Cooper from the Navada S.H.I.E.L.D. Research facility would probably have had a nervous breakdown at the disorganized workstations to be found here. She chuckled at that which drew the attention of the pale faced Asgardian.
"Something amuses you." he stated smoothly but the question was implied in his voice as he put his head to the side and studied her further. His intense green-eyed gaze unnerved her for some reason. Bad enough to be his prisoner, but apparently he had nothing better to do than observe her. Wait. His eyes were green again! Was he himself again? But a second later, they glazed over with the blue colour again.
"Where did you get your sceptre of doom from?" she asked him in hope to stop his staring and distracting him before he would realize what she was doing. She now placed the straight piece of wire inside of the keyhole.
"That is not its name." he stated with his gaze drawn back to the newly pulsating sceptre.
With the wire placed inside the keyhole, she bent it what she hoped and estimated would be approximately seventy degrees.
"Then enlighten me, brother of Thor, what is its name?" Bella taunted in remembrance of what Selvick had told her once and could see that Loki was containing barely concealed rage at the mentioning of Thor. But what was even more curious was that his anger seemed to respell the blue haze coloring his eyes.
"He is NOT my brother!" Loki growled with blazing green eyes, his hands clenching.
Bella carefully pulled the pin out of the hole, put it back in and bent the end again. She pulled it out again and checked the shape of her makeshift key carefully with her fingertips. It had an angle shaped like a squiggle.
"It's called Kunskap är makt." he answered getting a hold of himself, but stroking it lovingly.
Bella rolled her eyes. Man and their sticks.
Bella now put her key in the keyhole, while desperately not trying to lose the pin as her hands had become quite slippery. She wiggled the bent part into the hole so that it pointed toward the locking arm and hoped that it would be at a 90-degree angle to the keyhole. At least it felt like that.
Oh, Oh. Loki is narrowing his eyes. Did he realize what she was attempting to do?
"That does not sound like a name to me, more like a phrase." she answered with probably some delay in her response time. That was most likely what had made him suspicious. She needed to work fast now.
Just like she would with a normal key she twisted the piece of wire until she could feel it get stuck and she knew that she had to cover the clicking of the cuffs somehow. She cleared her throat more loudly than necessary as she could hear the faint click of her cuffs as she lifted the locking device. One cuff open, another one to go.
She slowly repeated the procedure with sweaty hands, making the pin slippery, while she watched Loki observe the busily working scientists. Then he suddenly stood up and casually walked towards Eric's large workstation surrounded by large plastic panels, where he was assembling metal to build something huge. She could spot Eric, looking pale and completely disheveled as if he had not taken time for personal hygiene, talking happily with Barton, who tipped something into his tablet while mumbling something and showed it to the doctor apparently asking him something about their work.
Bella heard the finally heard the silent click of the second cuffs and felt it slipping off her hands. Luckily nobody had realized that she had freed herself. Not even the large Asgardian. But how should she proceed. She was surrounded by countless people, who knew now that she was a prisoner and would probably stop her as soon as she would make one step towards the exit.
Eric seemed to explain something to Barton until he spotted Loki and Bella's hair straightened and she shuddered, as she observed the astrophysicist greet him like a dependent member of a cult, meeting his cult leader. Especially, as she could hear him say the phrase:"It's more than knowledge. It's truth." Eric had always been critical about people like that, who did not use their own head, but now he was a minion like those kinds of people.
Bella strained her hearing to understand what they were saying so far away and the background noise seemed to become less of a nuisance as she focused on what the little group of men was saying. Loki asked Barton, what the Tessaract had shown him and he coldly answered that it had shown him his next target. Loki enquired what he needed and Barton only told him professionally, nodding towards Bella, that he needed a distraction and an eyeball. They will certainly not get my eyeball! she scrowled misinterpreting their conversation.
"Why do you want the girl as a distraction?" he asked Barton curiously, but with a dangerous smile on his lips.
"Because she is most likely related to Agent Coulson and he won't be able to give clear orders when she is in the middle of it all. You could use her as a human shield." he suggested.
"Human shield, indeed." Loki smirked looking back at Bella and she just wanted to scramble on her feet and run towards the exit again, but she knew that she would not come very far. She was no Natasha. Whatever they were planning, was not good and she had no desire to serve as a human shield only to get shot down by her own agency. Hold on? When had S.H.I.E.L.D become her agency?
Countless computers were running through an immense amount of data, clattering and tipping could be heard in the main control room, as agents were going through every camera available to find their targets: Loki, Barton, Bella and Eric Selvick.
"I mean, if it's not too much trouble." Agent Coulson said observing the workstations intently while talking with his lifelong idol Captain America. So far he was everything his mother had told him about him, but he hoped that he could keep Bella away from him. On the other hand Rogers was not yet over his mother, so there was a tiny chance that he would not go after Bella. But she just was too similar to her grandmother.
"No, it's fine." the blonde man answered him looking worriedly.
"It's a vintage set." Coulson proudly told him trying to get his mind of Bella otherwise he would not be a help recovering her. "Took me years to collect them all."
Bella chased down three of the rarest trading cards during her time in Phoenix and sent them to me for Christmas.
He wanted to tell him more about the state of his cards but was interrupted by agent Sitwell:
"Got a hit. 67% match. Wait, cross match. 79%." Coulson's breath hitched and took large fast strides towards the agent asking.
"Location?" Please let Bella be alright! "Stuttgart, Germany. 24 Königsstraße" he answered. "He is not exactly hiding and…" he stopped carefully looking towards his superior. "Agents Swan is with him."
"What!?" Coulson asked sharply, but managed to get his emotions back in check. Bella was trained for dangerous situations, by the best agents and assassins their agency had to offer and she could take care of herself. But she could be in danger or get caught in the crossfire. Get a grip of yourself Phil.
He faintly heard Fury ordering the captain to get ready. So much from keeping the captain from meeting Bella. Turning towards the video feed he could now spot Bella, wearing a beautiful green dress, which accented her figure perfectly. He spotted her looking directly into the surveillance cameras.
"Zoom in on Agent Swan eyes." he ordered Sitwell, who happily complied. Her eyes did not have the familiar blue glaze, which meant that she was not controlled by the staff Loki had brought with him, but she was very much his prisoner. And looking at her facial expression it seemed that she was angry at the situation.
"What's wrong with her eyes?" Sitwell asked. "She is blinking quite a bit."
Oh! You clever girl! Coulson thought.
"Get back to the point where she started blinking with her eyelids." he ordered Sitwell hovering over him. "She is using morse code with her eye lids."
Sitwell went back and played it half-speed while Coulson took notes.
.. - - .. - . .. -. . - .- .-. -. .- - .. .-. …. . .. -. .-. .. -.-. …. … -.-. …. .- . ..-. . .-.
„IM FINE TARGET DR HEINRICH SCHAEFER"Coulson translated while Sitwell tried to find out any information about this scientist, but he came up empty.
"Sir, there are a quite a few people in Germany with that name, but none is a person of interest for Loki." he said.
Coulson looked at the information again and his gaze stopped at the letters AE in Schaeffer. "Transform the letters AE in the name Shaeffer to the letter A with two dots above. It's an open-mid front unrounded vowel which was originally written as AE but due to language change and standardization it was changed to Ä."
Frowning, the bald agent tried it again with that unusual letter and was promptly awarded with Dr. Heinrich Schäfer, who worked with one of the rarest, barely known medal called Iridium, but which showed great promise. Sitwell dutifully relayed the information to the team on the way to Stuttgart.
Bella had soon found out what their plan was and had surprised Loki when he had found out that she had freed herself from her cuffs as she had attacked Barton believing that they would take her eyeball. She had managed to down the elder agent, but unfortunately Loki had intervened again and pulled her away. Barton had only crumbled that he should have thought about this possibility. "Romanov has taught her more tricks than I knew."
"You will not take my eyeball!" she had spitted trying to wiggle out of Loki's hard grip, and kicking towards his sensitive area, but it was fruitless." Her heart had beaten mercilessly until Loki had chuckled.
"Don't worry, little one. It's not one of your pretty eyeballs we are in need of." he said tauntingly soft.
"That almost sounded like a back-handed compliment if it weren't so creepy." Bella scoffed kicking at him again but he blocked it again.
"You'll be the distraction." Loki had smirked. "The hell I will." she had spat and continued her kicking with blazing eyes.
Where her tiredness had gone, she had not known. The adrenaline pumping through her blood stream had probably been one of the reasons.
During their short flight towards their destination Loki had magically transformed her training gear into an emerald green ball-room dress. She had hated this and commented it with:
"Not a Slytherin, more a Ravenclaw." but Loki had not understood the pop-cultural reference and looked confused at her but she ranted on:
"Great. Escaped one controlling freak, only to be caught by another! Why do men keep insisting on dressing me like a puppet?"
She tried to wiggle around in that expensive looking dress. But it reminded her too much of how she had been treated and controlled by the Cullen family and she felt that she worked herself into a miner panic attack.
"Don't compare me to that excuse of a man" Loki sneered.
"Then don't act like him!" Bella shot back angrily.
Barton had interrupted their heated discussion with going through the plan again and Bella shuddered at the idea that they would need the eyeball of a Dr. Heinrich Schäfer to get into his lab. Apparently he was the only scientist who was working with it in larger quantities.
Loki should draw the attention of S.H.I.E.L.D away from his lab, so that they could get closer to the scientist, who was a keynote speaker at the gala in Stuttgart.
As soon as they had landed she had tried to get away from Loki, but something wound around her right wrist and disappeared, but she could somehow still feel it. She could not take five steps away from him and scowled at him again. As they were casually crossing Königsplatz towards the large museum, Bella was amazed at how clean the streets were. No garbage anywhere in sight. But she also looked up towards possible CCTV and started her counter plan. If she could not get out, maybe S.H.I.E.L.D was plugged into the countless CCTVs around the world and she could send them a message.
When they passed the entry doors, with the small, barely visible number 24 above, she could hear the familiar music of Schubert's String Quartet No. 13 in A minor, which was also called the Rosamunde Quartet. The small orchestra was playing without any scratching and she would have enjoyed it, if it weren't for the fact that Loki planned to hurt one of the scientists.
She really hoped that S.H.I.E.L.D would arrive before that happening. Everything looked so noble and she felt like she was completely out of place. Loki, being raised a prince of Asgard clearly enjoyed himself while waiting for Barton's signal to proceed. He even acted somewhat courteous towards her, but Bella just wanted to punch him hard in the face and kick his balls, which she mentally imagined. Everyone would be able to see that she was not part of this crowd.
The neoclassical architecture fit perfectly with the displayed artifacts of antiquity. At the altar of the twin bulls, which clearly came from the Mycenae culture of Crete, she would have liked to take a closer look, but unfortunately she had to follow Loki with that cursed invisible leash. He ambled through the room observing the different groups of people until they stood on a balcony watching how the people slowly gathered around the podium where their target prepared himself to greet the guests and hold his speech.
"Stay here." Loki grinned while he turned on his heel and swept down the stairs. His eyes were glowing blue. The invisible leash disappeared from her hand. He looked different in his long suit. He almost looked like everyone else, while still looking distinctively like himself. Apparently he could also not live without a bit of green.
Bella looked around with racing heart. She needed to get Dr. Schäfer out of here, but Loki seemed to have brought her up to the gallery to prevent her from doing exactly that. She turned her head towards Loki who happily swept down the stairs with his scepter and she looked towards their target which had begun with his speech. He was seconds away from losing his eyeball. She caught herself and screamed: "Bomb! Bomb! Get out quick!" As she frantically moved her hands it had the desired effect and people screamingly and hastily ran towards the exits. Even her target. She shortly glanced towards Loki, who had stopped above the last set of steps and had a furious look on her face. His eyes were blazing.
Looking for their target Bella groaned. Dr. Schäfer was one of the honorable ones it seemed, who made sure that everyone else was out before him as he had organized this gala.
"Doktor Schäfer! Verlassen sie das Gebäude! Sie sind in Gefahr!" (=Doctor Schäfer! Leave the building! You are in danger!) she screamed at him while pointing towards Loki, who with lightening speed ran towards the poor man who tried to desperately scamble away. Bella looked down if she could risk the jump down the gallery, to help him, but as she was wearing heals she would have broken several bones, if not her neck.
Loki slammed the poor man on the Mycenae altar, got hold of a strange glowing device and held it above the poor man's right eye, who was screaming in anguish. She kicked off her heels, grabbed and ripped the dress, so that she could better run in it and raced down the marble stairs towards the victim. She had failed him! Loki turned away, his eyes pulsating blue like his staff.
When Bella reached him she pushed him away and checked the pulse of the now unconscious man, who missed an eyeball. It was erratic and he was bleeding heavily from his newly acquired wound. She ripped her dress apart and put the cloth in the form of a ball and put it in his eyehole to stop or halt the bleeding.
She had no means of contacting an ambulance. 112 was the emergency telephone number for Europe. Loki ignored her and followed the other people outside while changing his appearance. Bella checked the pockets of the unconscious man for a phone and luckily was able to get hold of it. But unfortunately it was code locked. Damn! She tried the most obvious combination and to her immense relief it worked. She dialed 112 and waited for someone to pick it up. 112 was redirected to the police, who would then redirect it to the ambulance service on duty.
"Euronotruf 112. Was kann ich für Sie tun?" (= Euro emergency telephone number 112. What can I do for you?).
"Ich brauche eine Ambulanz zur Königsstraße 24. Mann wurde angegriffen, ihm fehlt ein Auge und er blutet heftig. Puls ist zu schnell und er ist bewusstlos." (I need an Ambulance to Königsstraße 24. A Man was attacked and is now missing an eye. He is bleeding heavily from the wound. His pulse is erratic and he has lost consciousness." She put it on speaker.
"Die Ambulanz ist auf dem Weg. Haben sie etwas zum kontrollieren der Blutung? Atmet er noch?" (=The ambulance is on its way. Do you have something to hold the bleeding back? Is he still breathing?" another voice came from on the other end. It seemed that she had been redirected to the emergency services. She put one hand on his front and one under his chin and pulled the chin up and listened.
"Ja. Ich habe einen Stoffball geformt um die Blutung zurückzuhalten. Er atmet noch." (=Yes, I have put a clothball towards the bleeding and he is still breathing.) Bella fought heavily not to faint as the smell of salt and copper finally caught up with her. She needed to help him!.
The ball of cotton which she had ripped from her dress seemed to function properly as the blood dried and she ripped a second bit from her dress and fixated the ball hindering the bleeding with the second longer part, by wrapping it around his head.
"Befindet er sich in der stabilen Seitenlage? Wissen Sie wie das geht?" (=Is he lying in recovery position? Do you know how that is done?) the person asked.
„Ja. ich weiß wie es geht. Ich bin gerade dabei dies zu tun." (=I know how to do it and I'm doing it know.") Bella grunted while pushing the man away from her, so that she would be able to turn him without tossing him off the alter.
She pulled his right arm to a ninety degree angle from his body and straightened his right leg, took his left foot and locked it with his left hand by his left knee and slowly turned him towards her and but them on the alter. After that she angled his head so that his mouth turned downward.
"Done. "she said and corrected herself. "Er befindet sich in der stabilen Seitenlage." (=He is lying in recovery position).
"Sehr gut. Die Ambulanz ist auf dem Weg." (=Very good. The ambulance is on its way.)
She strained to hear the sirens, but was only aware of the screaming, screeching and apparent fighting outside. The scent of salt and copper was nearly unbearable right now.
"Die Ambulanz hat ein paar Schwierigkeiten durchzukommen." (=The ambulance has difficulties coming through to your location) the person on the phone informed her.
"So lange sie es irgendwie schaffen zu kommen. Ich falle normalerweise bei Anblick von Blut in Ohnmacht und weiß nicht wie lange ich noch durchhalten kann." (=As long as they are coming. I normally black out seeing blood. I don't know how long I can manage.") Bella truthfully told the person on the phone.
Wait, is that "Shoot to Thrill" blaring from all the speakers outside? she wondered?
"Ok. Sie machen das toll. Wie ist ihr Name?" (=Ok. You are doing great. What's your name?) the person on the other side calmly said and Bella's mind finally recognized it as a female voice.
Well, she could not give them their real name. Not after everything that had happened. "Margret Black" she finally answered.
"Do you prefer speaking English?" the woman asked. "The ambulance is there in about two minutes, the street was cleared. Can you hold on until then?"
"Yes, thank you." Bella answered, busying herself checking his pulse again and breathing again, and then putting pressure on the ball of cotton from her dress, to quench the bleeding, while trying to mentally block out the scent of blood.
"Don't worry. I'll stay on the phone until the ambulance arrives." the woman stated slightly accented.
Hearing running feet towards her she turned around and saw the paramedics running towards her. With wobbly feet she stepped away and let them do their work as they checked the scientist, heaved him onto the stretcher and towards the exit.
She followed swiftly, while wondering why there was still no police in sight. The response time in the cities of Germany was normally quite fast.
As she walked through the exits the place was relatively deserted, a few cars were lying on their roofs, two of them were police cars. Shouldn't there be a hive of police cars swarming the scene, by now?
She saw Loki, in shackles loaded into a jet carrier. A jet carrier with an eagle logo. A very familiar logo.