Twilight of the Last Avenger
It was cold, extremely cold. The kind of cold that he had thought only the dead would be subjected to in the deepest pits of hell.
It was strange though. Just a few hours ago, he had contemplated how hot it seemed here.
But, he was so cold now.
'Heh,' Thor silently mused to himself while holding his bleeding sides, trying to stem the blood loss. 'I shouldn't be surprised. I've always been told dying is unpleasant, and seeing that both friend and foe told me so, it must be true to some extent.'
Thor looked around to reorient himself. A glance to the side revealed Mjolnir, his ever-loyal companion, lying next to him. He was currently kneeling in a crater, miles wide and dozens of yards deep. Freshly made by him. His strength was great, even in old age.
'But then,' he thought with a deep, pained sigh; 'I suppose even gods have limits, limits I have surely reached by now. I do not have very long left, Lady Death is coming for me, I can feel it.'
He was dying, there was no doubt about it.
He should have been disturbed by that, protesting, sad, in denial, anything. But he wasn't. He was almost content.
He had been so tired during the past centuries, ever since his last true friend had died. Even though his powers had increased by many magnitudes, he could not summon the motivation anymore to go out and seek glory on the battlefield or by protecting the weak.
The mighty flames of justice, righteousness and drive to protect the innocent that had once burned perpetually in his chest had burned bright and long, but little more than smouldering embers remained now, and even those were about to be extinguished.
He had done his part. He had left a legacy that would instil pride in the title of 'Thunder god' forever. He had led Asgard in times of peace, war and unrest like his father and his father's father before him. He could go and join the others in the void. He was of no more use here, and even gods needed rest.
Thor smiled at the prospect of seeing the others again, allowing himself to reminiscent on fond memories for a few moments. Of the Man of Iron, of the noble Captain, the strong Hulk, the mighty Sorcerer, the one-eyed spy. All of them his friends, his brethren in all but blood, his comrades, and since ages past, all dead.
But cherished memories they were, for none of them had died a bad death. Quite the opposite in fact, all had died satisfied, with their goals reached. Tony and Pepper had gotten married, Steve had settled down as well with a nice partner, a civilian. Bruce and Natasha, despite many considering it weird, had gotten together and Clint's family had prospered beyond what anyone had thought possible.
In fact, he confirmed for himself, they had all had a very happy end, almost as if they were in one of those films from that one company the Man of Spiders had talked about so much. Come now, what was it again? Dirney? Didnoy? Disney?
Ah yes, Disney, a classic happy ending. Thor remembered nearly crying in joy when his friends, his family, had received their well-deserved, and hard-fought happy ending. Sometimes expected, for he knew everyone had seen it coming that Peter Quill would ask for Gamora's hand, and sometimes not at all. Who could have predicted Strange would marry the Princess of the Dark Dimension? He did not, that was certain.
The Man of Spiders himself had gotten a Disney-end as well, happily getting together with those girls, Felicia and Michelle, both of them at once. Thor distinctly remembered buying young Parker a drink for that. There had been shocked reactions by some, but Thor himself cared not for any such stigmas. Having Loki as a brother meant that one had to be accustomed to... things.
Of course, there had been some downs in their lives as well. The Civil War could have ruined many a good thing, Thanos had succeeded, although temporarily, at wiping out half of the universe, Galactus had been a foe beyond them all, and the threats that had followed after the Planeteater had somehow only grown direr.
They'd had to fight hard for their victories, but in the end, it had all been worth it. Every foe had been laid low and every obstacle overcome.
Even his brother, Loki, had come back from death, just like Heimdall and Gamora, resurrected by the Gauntlet they had pried from Thanos' dead fingers.
Boisterous and victorious laughter overtook him at that memory, and painful as that was for his failing body, he enjoyed laughing again. He had done it so little in recent times that it sounded almost foreign to his ears. It made him wonder why he still cared about the universe at all...
Thor promptly slapped himself across the face, though it felt more like one of Loki's punches due to his fading strength. It did succeed in drawing him out of his bad mood however.
He frowned, it wasn't like him to lose himself to the past so much, he was stronger than that.
Surely, it was the fault of the giant hole in his torso, Thor reasoned, nodding along with his own train of thought. Mortal wounds dulled the senses and the mental fortitude after all, it was not his fault that he was getting lost in nostalgia.
Thor then focused on said giant hole again and contemplated a possible solution. But it was not to be, his opponent had struck a mortal blow and even the Odinson would not walk away, not this time.
His opponent had been Lazath, a mighty Celestial that had destroyed hundreds of worlds and had threatened countless more.
'Still, it bothers me,' Thor mused. 'I have fought and defeated many Celestials in my life, often without trouble at all. Why then was this one able to kill me? Its power was not greater than the In-Betweener, not greater than Galactus, it should not have been able to land a single blow on my godly form, let alone one of this magnitude.'
He could only see one explanation; The Powers That Be had decreed it. They had wanted to get rid of him.
Thor had felt his power waning mid-battle, and had seen the Celestial's power increase suddenly, far beyond what it should have been. Something far mightier than him or the Celestial had interfered here, with the explicit purpose of killing them both.
His role in the Universe was over. He had recognised the power signature of the being that had interfered, and if It had decided it was his time to die, then he would die.
A grim smile now took the place of the previous happy one. He supposed it made sense that he was not needed anymore, all the major threats of this Universe had been dispelled and vanquished after all.
Galactus had found an inexhaustible energy-source in the Infinity Stones at first, and he had become Life-Bringer Galactus not long after, Mephisto and Dormammu had been permanently locked away and were close to death, or whatever equivalent awaited them. The Celestials were gone, the one he just killed being the last of its wretched kind, at least as far as he knew. The Empires of Man and Alien knew peace, true peace. Asgard thrived and Loki's son would take Thor's place as king upon his death.
Even the little pests, such as the Chitauri, the Collector and his ilk, and the beasts of the Negative Zone had met their end at the hands of the Universe's protectors.
Knowing that he was destined to die, while leaving a peaceful galaxy behind, eased him even more. Death did not scare him, it never had, but now he even welcomed it.
It had been too much, seeing all of his friends die. Time had killed them, the passing of the centuries too much for them to bear. One by one he had buried them, until only he was left, all alone, lonely, old and weary…
"Snap... out... of it!" He wheezed out loud, forcing the air into his ruined lungs, now really done with his newfound melancholy.
Coughing once, Thor decided to focus his thoughts elsewhere. Anywhere would do, he just wanted a death worthy of his epithet, not an undignified one where he would be crying like a child.
A faint buzzing noise drew his gaze sideways again, to his loyal and powerful hammer; Mjolnir.
Truly a weapon meant for the highest of beings, having almost no limit to the amount of power that could be channelled through it, manifesting that power in many different forms, of which Celestial Lightning was only the most basic.
Giving its chosen wielder the power to control the elements to a godly level, create portals to almost every place in the known universe, master every type of magic, and so much more, Mjolnir was rightly considered to be one of the greatest weapons in the Omniverse.
Capable of destroying planets, stars, even entire dimensions, Mjolnir was not a weapon for just any man to wield. Its very nature prohibited any unworthy being from lifting or even budging it.
Thor was a worthy being of course, one of the very few to ever be in existence, though admittedly not the first. He was the son of Odin and Gaia (a whole shock it was for him when he learned that Freya was not truly his mother), he was bathed in the essence of the Multiverse by Eternity himself. He had proven himself worthy time and again, often against all odds, even if it had taken a banishment by the Allfather to set him truly straight.
Despite Mjolnir's preferences for noble and generally kind-hearted beings however, it remained a fearsome weapon. Forged by the Elder Dwarves, beings that embodied Creation itself, using the mass of a dying star, Mjolnir was a weapon unimaginable. Even Thor himself felt humbled by its decision to choose him as a wielder, and also proud to call the weapon his friend and partner.
Wielding the hammer came with great responsibility however, and no small amount of attention from the cosmic beings of the Omniverse. Lady Death, Eternity, Entropy, Oblivion, the Beyonder, all of them had been hovering over him, watching his every move, some of them just watching for their own amusement, others carefully managing him, making sure he didn't abuse his power.
Their version of abuse was different from mortals of course, they cared not for what he did on the Mortal Planes. He could kill billions, be a tyrant, burn countless planets to ash and worse and they would not care. They cared only about keeping the Balance of the All, the great force that kept the Omniverse together, the essence of the One-Above-All, of God himself.
The One-Above-All was the great creator of the entire Omniverse, all that was a part of it was created by it. All places, concepts, and beings of all Universes were only extensions of its being, for the Omniverse existed in its thoughts, in its unfathomable mind.
The One-Above-All had many names; God, Allah, Azatoth, Truth, Eru Illuvatar, He-Who-Is-Above-All-Others, and many more, too many to count, for every species and every world had their own name for it. Some worlds had more than one even.
Thor had met this illustrious being, back when he had only just gotten Mjolnir back again after his banishment. When he had only just gotten back to Asgard after his punishment by the Allfather. He remembered it, as if it had happened just yesterday.
Thor walked across the Bifrost, Mjolnir in hand. He had returned to Asgard as a true prince, a soon to be king, rather than as the young brat he had been. His banishment to Earth was only just over. It was only eight days ago that he had saved Jotunheim, destroying the Bifrost and losing his brother in the process. His treacherous brother, Loki.
Thor knew his little brother hadn't been evil, but merely in a state of confusion and pain. He dearly hoped Loki would come back soon. He would be forgiven in an instant, by everyone, except maybe Lady Sif. His younger brother could just take a portal to Asgard or come right through the front gates in a spaceship, and then they'd be reunited, they'd be a family again and…
'No,' Thor shook his head. 'That bridge has long been burned, I fear getting Loki back will not be easy, nor will it be without casualties.'
"Sadly, you are correct in that assumption, my dear child." A voice suddenly said from behind him.
Thor instantly turned around, Mjolnir lifted in front of him, ready to fight for his survival and the protection of his home. Any being able to enter Asgard and sneak up upon him without being seen, with the Bifrost still destroyed too, was guaranteed to be very powerful. He might even need his father's assistance for this.
After he had turned around though, he stopped moving right away, his shout for aid dying in his throat.
Thor blinked a couple of times, shook his head, muttered an illusion-dispelling chant and then checked again. No, he was still seeing the same thing.
Now before him stood an old man, wearing only faded jeans, a scruffy, black hoodie and worn-down shoes. On his hands were fingerless gloves, also black. The man had black hair, sunken eyes and terrible scarring all over the lower part of his face. His face was set in a scowl and his hands were raised in a soothing gesture.
"Easy there my boy," The man huffed. "I am not your enemy, nor will I ever be. So why don't you lower the hammer and join me on this walk?"
The man gestured to the fields at the end of the Bifrost, indicating the destination of the walk.
Thor was momentarily stupefied at the being's proposal, not knowing how to react. Seeing no other option available, he decided to take a page out of his younger self's book. In other words, bluster and roar, going for intimidation and provocation.
"I KNOW NOT WHO YOU ARE, NOR DO I KNOW YOUR INTENTIONS, BUT I WILL NOT BE TALKED DOWN TO." Thor bellowed in fake, but very convincing anger, voice thundering, like the... well, the thunder. "GIVE ME YOUR IDENTITY, PURPOSE AND THE MEANS BY WHICH YOU CAME TO BE HERE, STRANGER, OR FACE MY HAMMER!"
And for proper intimidation, Thor made sure to gesture threateningly towards the unknown being with said hammer.
The Scarred Man sighed deeply before smiling at Thor like he was a dim-witted child. "Ah, Odinson," he said, "You need not ask. Of course you know who I am. After all, we've met before. But in case you truly forgot, let me give you a reminder."
The Scarred Man suddenly started to emit light from his eyes, though that was by far not the most significant thing to happen.
Thor staggered back. He felt an enormous amount of power coming down on him, the vast, infinite mind pressuring his own.
Confronted with the insurmountable power of the being, Thor realised who stood before him.
"One-Above-All!" Thor whispered in awe. "Creator of the Omniverse."
"Yes." The Being, The-One-Above-All, confirmed. The light died down and Thor suddenly found he could breathe easily again.
Taking a weary step back, Thor deduced that his chances were not very high if the being decided to fight. But perhaps he could outwit it somehow…
"Didn't I already tell you I am not your enemy, Odinson?" The Being's voice sounded exasperated now, as if it were used to this kind of situations and didn't like it one bit.
'True, he did say that," Thor thought. 'But why is he here then, if not to fight…'
"Heavens above and below boy, not everyone wants to fight you all the time. I am simply here to talk with you." The Being reaffirmed, crossing its arms in front of it. "I am aware of what happened in recent time here on Asgard and I have come to discuss it with you, among other things."
Thor lowered his hammer and gave a puzzled stare at the Being. "What concern is it of you what happened here? Why would you feel the need to come and talk? And what do you mean with 'among other things'?"
"I wanted to talk because of many reasons, my boy. One of them is because you look like you need a listening ear, another is to give you a warning, and the last reason is to give you an order."
Thor looked suspiciously at the Being, but he eventually lowered his hammer. The 'man' could probably destroy him in an instant, but it hadn't, so he could hear it out for now.
"Finally." The God sighed, and Thor's eyebrows went up in surprise.
"You are reading my thoughts?"
"I am aware of all things, including all thoughts of every being ever." The One-Above-All replied curtly. "Let us move on with the talking. Now, tell me what bothers you."
Thor hesitated for only a moment, before telling the Being of his troubles and wiles. It proved a good listener and soon Thor had talked about all the things that were bothering him; His brother, who betrayed him; His father, who did not seem to care; His mother, who had sunken into grief over her youngest son. He told It about his insecurities, his doubts about kingship, everything.
His piece said, Thor fell silent and waited for the Being to speak.
"It is a very difficult situation you find yourself in, my boy." It spoke slowly. "But I can tell you that you are already doing well. Your support to your family, friends and people is what will ease their heart in these times. You have all the makings of a great king and you will be able to put your burdens behind you eventually. You were destined for greatness. Take my word for it, as omniscient being."
Thor gave a small, appreciative smile at the words.
The smile fell away however, when he recalled the first words the Being had spoken. "When you appeared," He mumbled slowly, hesitatingly, "You said I was right in assuming Loki would cause more trouble for the Realms?"
The One-Above-All looked into Thor's eyes for a moment, seemingly pondering what to say. "That is true, I'm afraid, he will cause many problems in the future. He will push you further than any other could possibly do, but he will also solve many great imbalances. Do not lose your trust in him."
Seeing Thor was about to question him further, the Creator cut him off; "But that is enough for now, I have given you advice, now for the warnings."
The Primordial Chaos fixed him with a stare. "You will become powerful, more powerful than you could possibly dream of, but without assistance, without people to share your burdens, without equals, you are doomed to fail. That is warning number one. The second one, more important at the moment, concerns your mortality; You will die. That is a fact. For all the power that you have, you are not eternal. Nothing is eternal, except maybe me."
"Be mindful of that, young one, don't forget your impending death, as it is ever waiting for you. I have seen your end, it is clear to me even now, millennia before it will come to pass."
"Herein lies my order to you. You have enormous potential and nigh-unlimited power and I have deemed it a great waste for your power to die with you. I will strengthen the Worthiness-enchantment on your hammer, so that none but those truly worthy can wield it, and I want you, Thor Odinson, God of Thunder and Strength, to pass on Mjolnir, along with your power and abilities, after your demise, to the next worthy wielder, so that they may take your place as defender of the universe."
Thor could do nothing but stare, momentarily dumbfounded by the Being's request. It was not that he was unwilling to do what it had suggested, he simply did not know such a thing was possible.
"I assure you, it will be quite possible for you, when you've gotten a bit older." The being assured him.
"I do assume you will be keeping an eye on Mjolnir after my death? To ensure none will abuse its power?" Thor inquired with some worry.
His conversation partner grinned, eyes shining. "Of course I will, boy, no one but the worthiest of beings will ever possess your power or that hammer. I already have several candidates in mind. Though only for after your death of course."
Thor gave a deadpan stare at the Creator. "That is... very reassuring." He grumbled, in good humour of course.
Seeing the Being hold out a hand, Thor, after a short moment of contemplation, handed over Mjolnir.
The One-Above-All fixed a solemn stare at the hammer and Mjolnir glowed gold, reality shifting to meet the wishes of its Creator. Thor knew not what was happening, but he didn't need to know the details to be in awe of what he was seeing.
When the Being was done, it offered the hammer back. Thor immediately took the weapon out of its hand, momentarily feeling relieved he could still lift it. Mjolnir thrummed a bit, as if to reassure him that he was still worthy.
Thor made to thank the creator, only to find it had already disappeared.
A pity, Thor would have liked to talk to it some more, perhaps have a drinking bout and share stories about amazing battles in far-off countries.
Who knew what tales a being like that would have to tell?
Deciding to put it behind him for now, Thor made for the main city again.
On his way to the gates, Thor decided not to mention the incident to anyone. It had been somewhat of a private conversation, and the piece about Loki truly was no one's business. He feared though that many would be curious as to what had taken him so long to travel from the remnants of the Bifrost to the city. He would not lie if they asked, but he would prefer not to tell.
As such, he was both relieved and slightly surprised to discover that no one had noticed his absence. It didn't seem like anyone had noticed that he was gone, never mind that he had had a conversation with the creator of the Omniverse.
Very fortunate for him. Very fortunate.
And so, the years had passed. He had found Loki again, amidst a war his younger brother himself had instigated, on Earth itself even. Loki had been even angrier than before, driven to near madness by the poisonous words of the Mad Titan. It had pained Thor immensely to see his brother like that, to fight him once again and to see those hate filled eyes be fixed upon him.
Loki had found his way again though, during the Ragnarok debacle. A nasty business that had been. Odin gone, Loki on the throne for a few years as his father while also being honoured as a Martyr, it had all been a bit weird. Asgard had even nearly come under attack from his newfound sister Hela, but with the help of both Doctor Strange and the princess of the Dark Dimension, she had been repelled and imprisoned again before she could do much damage.
He had also met his best friends during Loki's tantrum: The Avengers, who would stick with him for the rest of their lives. Thor had made many friends in his long life, but they had been the very best of them all.
He had expanded Asgard's reach far beyond the Nine Realms, bringing peace and prosperity to countless other planets.
Life seemed good.
He never did get himself a ladyfriend though. Jane Foster had not been a good woman for him and he not a good man for her, they had both seen that eventually. He was also just too different from lady Sif for any relationship to work out between them, that had been clear from the beginning.
And besides those two, and possibly, maybe Amara, no other woman or man had ever drawn his eye in a significant way. He died an unmarried man, with only his brother's line to continue ruling Asgard.
Thor looked at his hammer. "A shortage your next wielder will have to make up for aplenty, old friend."
The hammer gave a hum, as if to agree.
Calling upon the last vestiges of his rapidly fading consciousness, Thor gathered his remaining power and all the determination that was left in his failing body. He took all his strength; his magic; his bond to his mother Gaia; even his heritage as a royal Asgardian and Skyfather, and pushed it into Mjolnir, so it could be transferred to its next wielder.
It was a difficult, complicated process, but Thor possessed both the knowledge and the skill to pull it off. It would definitely cost him his life, but that was no longer an issue. He was measuring his remaining time in minutes now anyway.
By the time he had completed the transfer, he felt like he could die at that exact moment. He held on though, wishing to send Mjolnir off with grace and possibly catch a glimpse of his successor.
His power and Mjolnir's enchantment would ensure his hammer found the right person. Anywhere in the Omniverse would be fine. Mjolnir would guide its next wielder to the Greater Planes of existence.
Of course, the Hammer would not give its next wielder all the power at once, as that would destroy all but the most powerful of beings. The power would come gradually to them, step by step.
The Great Skyfather took a deep breath, and spoke once more the enchantment that was carved into Mjolnir's side:
"Whosoever lifts this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the Power of Thor."
With those words, words that shook Reality, Thor drew back his arm, took one last wheezing breath, and then threw his weapon away into the void, for the very last time, making it shoot off at several times the speed of light. It was a perfect throw, for Thor would accept nothing less in his goodbye to his companion.
It was with sad eyes that Thor saw it fly off, to new adventures without him. But beneath that sadness, there was satisfaction as well, with a life well lived. He had given his very best, always. He would soon see his family again and Mjolnir would soon be upon its new wielder.
As Mjolnir progressed through Universes, Dimensions and Realms, Thor watched in anticipation for his heir.
He watched as Mjolnir set course for one planet in particular. It was hardly surprising for Thor that it was a version of Earth. Everything seemed to be centered on that planet. Maybe that was the reason it had been named Midgard by the Earliest Asgardians, for it surely found itself in the midst of things more often than not.
Mjolnir descended further and further, to the point where Thor could see the country it was fixed upon.
A lifted eyebrow indicated his surprise, as he had never been to that country before, and neither had Mjolnir, to the best of his knowledge.
What, or better said, who, was Mjolnir looking for there?
As Mjolnir came within miles of its intended destination though, Thor's eyes suddenly widened in both shock and understanding. And as the hammer came down in front of the worthy person, Thor smiled for the very last time.
"Now I understand. Mjolnir, my old friend, that is truly an excellent choice."
With those words said, Thor Odinson, last of The Avengers, died.
Thor's death did not go unnoticed. Everywhere in the Omniverse, his passing was felt by those powerful enough, the sudden distinct lack of the Odinson glaringly visible on the picture of reality.
Among them was one of the most powerful beings in existence. He was second only to the One-Above-All and shared that second position with just one other being. At the moment, he was in the form of a young human male, with slightly tanned skin, a completely white outfit, short black curly hair and a seemingly perpetual grin on his face.
Said grin disappeared though, when he felt Thor's passing. He had expected it, known of it, but it still hurt to have it happen so suddenly. Thor had been a good friend for the few thousand years he had lived, but it seemed it was over now.
The being had lost more friends over in its life than anyone could possibly imagine, yet every death still hurt, especially when it was from particularly interesting people. Thor had been among the most fascinating beings it had ever met, and it couldn't help but mourn his passing.
Now the being was one friend short.
Maybe Thor's heir could be a friend as well? To fill up the gap that had been left?
He knew that Thor had passed his power on to an heir, chosen by Mjolnir.
He had completely agreed with the idea of Thor passing on his power, not only because his Boss had ordered it, but also because he himself truly agreed with the sentiment. As such, the least he could do was make an effort to, ever so slightly, help Thor's successor on his way.
His gaze followed Mjolnir's journey though the Verses, right until it arrived at its final destination, and, just like Thor, he watched in understanding as the hammer descended.
"Interesting choice, Mjolnir." He murmured, "Yes, that one has potential, I look forward to seeing what will come of this."
The being quickly made his way over to that Earth, located in the so-called 'NasuVerse.' Named after the Watcher in charge of observing and cataloguing all information about said Verse; The young Nasu.
The being knew what laid in the near future. He did not doubt many powerful existences would soon come knocking, hoping to claim the Power of Thor for themselves.
To prevent this, he immediately put both a shield and a warning over Mjolnir's new wielder. The shield was there to hide Thor's heir, while the warning made it clear that said heir was under his protection now.
"If anyone wants to claim Mjolnir and the power of Thor, they can come now and fight me!" He declared to the Omniverse at large, in a voice that was not sound, but pure intent projected everywhere. Right after, he felt all threats retreat as fast as they could, as was wise of them to do. He was not one to be trifled with after all.
In fact, only the boss could possibly seriously threaten him, though perhaps his brother had a chance as well. He could only hope said brother hadn't noticed his little stunt...
The being flinched at the sudden call. It seemed his brother had in fact noticed his actions. No doubt that grouch wanted an explanation now.
Seeing there was no reason to put it off, he decided to go indulge his brother.
"This is going to be fun to explain." He sighed sarcastically, before disappearing, not a trace left behind.
Well, my first chapter of my first fanfic. That was really fun to write, and I hope it is fun to read as well. I am aware that it was a bit rushed and fast-paced, but I wanted to wrap up Thor's death and everything around it within one reasonably short chapter, so there.
Mjolnir has been sent off, containing both its own power and Thor's. Its new owner will as such not only have access to Mjolnir's power, but also to the powers and abilities of Comic-Thor. This will be one powerful individual. (As if you all don't know who it is because of the summary).
As you might have noticed, both Thor and Mjolnir received quite the buff and power boost in my story. This was on purpose, and every bit of power mentioned and more is going to the main character of this fic. Not right away of course, that would make for a boring story. It will slowly develop over the course of the plotline.
I warn you here and now that I am no fan of drama or tragedy, if that's what you are looking for, either turn back or abandon all hope when ye enter here.
Alright, that was it. Thanks for reading and until next time.
Edited later for better flow and better choice of words.