Character(s): Loïc, Loki; discussion of Vaeramae, mentions of others
Notes: Some ideas floating about my head. It’s not from Vaera’s perspective, but I wanted to write more about Loki. Remembering that Loïc is a descendant of his, I would imagine that Loki influenced things through him as much as possible. This takes place a bit before Loki and Vaera have their talk.
Loïc refused to look at Him, staring down at the ground in an attempt to redirect his anger. When he first saw his grandsire in the crowd of the army, he had been curious. Why would He be there? He never appeared unless He wanted something. Loïc was cautious about following Him into the edges of the forest, careful to keep an eye out for anyone that may call out to him.
But now… Now he wanted to leave His presence and pretend this meeting never happened. “What You ask of me-”
“Is needed,” Loki cut in. There was a hardness in His voice that allowed for no argument. He looked down at His child imperiously, eyes narrowed. “It’s necessary.”
“You’re asking me to rebel,” Loïc bit out. “We’re fighting demons, Father.” He shook his head in frustration. “They consume without thought. They destroy everything in their path and drag away any warriors they can-”
“That’s why We need to stay focused. If We can keep the demons at bay We have a better chance of succeeding. We must succeed.”
“By defecting from the Gods’ Army and destroying whole worlds on our own?” Loïc asked increduously. Loki had definitely lost His mind. Why would they leave the fight, giving the edge to their bitter enemies?
“Destroying worlds will allow for more souls to be collected,” the god said carefully. “More souls mean more warriors to fight against the Devourer.” He didn’t particularly like the idea, as that meant some of those that died would become einherji. Swelling the ranks of the Allfather’s army wasn’t something He actively tried to do.
“You mean more hearts for Her to eat.”
The vehemance with which Loïc spoke caused Loki to jerk His head over at the alfar, halting whatever planning He was doing. Something unpleasant settled over Him, a feeling He wasn’t used to experiencing. “What do you mean?”
“More than my eye was taken from me, Father.” Loïc unfastened his tunic at the shoulder, pulling it open to reveal an ugly chest wound, right over his left breast. “I was taken by them and brought before Her. My heart was ripped from my chest and I watched Her eat it.”
The God of Mischief and Lies was stunned. One of His progeny, one of His own children, was missing their heart. “You can’t feel.” He spoke quietly, as if saying the words softly enough would mean it wasn’t true.
“I have become a svartalfar unwillingly,” His son told him, refastening his tunic. “I remember emotions and can mimic them, but I don’t feel them. All I can recall is how I should act in a situation.” He took a step forward, hand out in some vain attempt to convince his father that things were more dire than any of them realized. “Please listen to me: the Devourer doesn’t want anything except to consume the hearts of every living thing. She searches for a way so that not only will She be able to eat the hearts of mortals, but also of the gods. She seeks to change the universe and then destroy it.”
Loki took a step back, horrified. While many attest to the fact that Loki will be the one to bring about Ragnarök to destroy the universe, that wasn’t His true intention. He wanted nothing of the sort. They were nothing more than ugly rumours because everyone needed someone to blame. If He did destroy the universe, it would be to start it again with the hope that things could be changed for the better. Sometimes that meant doing evil. What Loic spoke of was destruction for destruction’s sake, and that was something Loki didn’t agree with. And Loic wasn’t one to lie. He was smart, resourceful, and coud be sly on ocassion, but never outright lie. “How is it that you know this?”
“Isn’t it obvious? She wants everyone to know, because there’s nothing we can do stop Her.” The alfar let out a shakey breath, passing a hand over his face. “She told me what She planned to do while She ate my heart,” he paused, gulping audibly as he repressed the memory, “but not how.” He fought against the remembered pain and Her cruel laugh. Pinching the bridge of his nose, he focused his thoughts. “She knows something that we don’t, Father. We need to find out what.”
But Loki knew. Loki knew all too well. There was only one thing that could change the universe in its current state, and as far as He knew it had been hidden long ago. “The Tablet,” He whispered, His mind already putting pieces together. He turned to Loic, mind racing. “When was Marduk last seen?”
“Marduk?” the man echoed in surprise. “He hasn’t been seen in an Age, at least. What does He-”
Loki waved him off impatiently, frowning. Not knowing where Marduk was currently was a potential problem. “He’s not part of the army, then. That leaves Tiamat and Anzû.”
Loïc gave his father a look, wondering if the god was going senile. “Tiamat was used to create one of the worlds,” he reminded him, “and Anzû is dead. Or have you forgotten?”
A knowing smile spread across Loki’s face. “I haven’t forgotten,” He said, shaking His head when He saw that Loïc was about to ask another question. “The less you know the better. I’d rather you not lose any more than you already have. I may not be able to replace your eye, but I can see about returning your heart. In the meantime, keep our Valkyrja safe. Protect her at all costs.”
“And what of the worlds?” Loïc asked. Loki was changing plans so fast he could hardly keep up. He shifted his weight as he watched his distant ancestor think of His next move. He wanted to know why the Valkyrie in his unit was so important to his father, but didn’t dare ask. It was likely he wouldn’t get an answer or be told that it didn’t concern him.
“Don’t destroy them. I need you and a select group of people — people you trust — to search for something. Try to convince the Valkyrie to join you. Tell her something that would appeal to her, but don’t lie. Tell her that what you seek is important.”
“And that would be?”
“A clay tablet.”