The Twists of Fate

Loki is sent down by the Chitauri to prove his loyalty, and to learn more about the Tesseract He quickly finds much more than he bargained for, when he meets a bright, young scientist hand-picked by SHIELD to research the Tesseract for their own gains…

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2. Chapter 2

Hello Everyone!  I hope you are enjoying the story.  Music suggestions:

Part 1: Nycteris-Hans Zimmer (from Batman Begins: Original Soundtrack)

Part 2: Dracarys-Ramin Djawadi (Game of Thrones Season 3 OST)

Just to clarify, all characters and cross storylines belong to Marvel.

 

Chapter 2

 

Part 1

"How do you know my name?" Mary asked, her heartbeat quickening in panic; how long had this man been following her?

 

"We know many things about you, Miss Evans" the man who had introduced himself as Agent Coulson said, in a cool and steady voice.

 

"Care to share?" Mary questioned in a dangerous tone, her finger slowly inched towards the trigger button on her taser, ready to strike and run.

 

"Miss Evans" Agent Coulson, now raising his hands to remove his sunglasses, showing his piercing blue eyes, "how about we calmly sit and discuss this?"

 

"Not until you tell me how you know my name and what you want!" Mary exclaimed, she squared herself, and she felt her adrenaline rise.

 

"Fine" Agent Coulson stated testily, "does the College Achievement Test you took three years ago mean anything to you? And how about your workings with NASA using the Loop Quantum Gravity theory?

 

The College Achievement Test....the test she took to decide what her field of study would be? He couldn't possibly mean that test, she thought, that was just the test the school made her take.  It was a basic reasoning test, and nothing more.  And her NASA work was only a field study, nothing earth shattering.  How could this "Agent Coulson" know anything about it?  Her eyebrows grew more furrowed by the second, knitted in concentration.

 

"How about we discuss this in a more private setting?" Agent Coulson offered, and gestured down the small, concrete pathway between the old buildings they had wandered through.

 

Mary scrutinized him carefully.  "And I am just supposed to just...trust you?" she inquired, narrowing her eye.

 

"That seems to be the most reasonable choice" he stated plainly, his blue eyes glinting in amusement at her.  

 

He seemed to enjoy her defensive nature; but amidst that, she felt that he was trustworthy.  After she stared him down for several more seconds, she decided she could trust him.

 

Mary carefully proceeded down the walkway in the direction of the agent's extended arm, and traveled until they came to an opening, where a black town car await them.  Agent Coulson hastened his steps to open the door for Mary.  She cast him one last pensive look, which he nodded curtly in return, as if to urge her on.  She reluctantly bent down, and slouched into the car.

 

No one was in the car, all that awaited Mary was the luxurious leather bench seat.  Agent Coulson made his way around the car to sit on the other side of Mary.  After he had settled, he signalled for the driver to proceed.  The town car began to roll into motion, and Mary felt her heart jump to her throat in anticipation.  I hope this isn't a mistake I will end up regretting, she thought to herself.

 

"So what am I here for?" she said bluntly, after she took several moments to collect her nerves.

 

"I told you", Agent Coulson replied smoothly, "we have a proposition for you".

 

"I get all of that", Mary tersely said, "but what do my scores have anything to do with this? And what do you want from me?" Mary was never one for stalling.  It could be due to her line of study, but she had always been one for straight facts, and strongly disliked beating around the bush.  She shifted impatiently and starred the agent down, shooting daggers at him through her eyes.  If her testiness wasn't clear to him, it certainly would be now.

 

"I work for a specialized part of the government, Miss Evans" the agent explained, ignoring her open hostility towards him, "and we have been monitoring you for quite sometime now.  Your scores on your college placement test were....well lets just say they weren't anything we had seen before.  A high level of knowledge in math and science, but also an equally balanced mind in english and the arts; a rare combination to find.  Not to mention, your extracurricular work is truly breath taking.  Your work with NASA studying the effects of gravity using quantum mechanics is unparalleled".

 

"I appreciate the sentiment, Agent" Mary sighed, impatiently, "but I already know my body of work.  What I still don’t know is why you have sought me out."

 

" We are getting there, Miss Evans" Agent Coulson responded, his blue eyes flashing dangerously at her, "We would like to offer you a position in one of our research facilities".

 

"Doing?" Mary asked, now more intrigued.

 

"Miss Evans, have you ever heard of SHIELD?" Agent Coulson asked, avoiding her question all together.

 

"No" Mary bluntly replied.

 

"It stands for Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division" Agent Coulson explained, his posture getting more tense by the second.  He seemed almost uncomfortable telling her, as if this were classified information that was to be shared with no one.  

 

"We specialize in the defense and protection of the planet earth, in times of need" the agent disclosed, "and we research ways to defend our planet from the unknown".

 

"So, does that mean...Aliens?" Mary asked, dumbfounded.  Mary had never considered the existence of other life forms besides Earth; not to say that she was opposed to it, she just hadn't thought much about it.

 

"In a sense" Agent Coulson said, a smile creeped onto his face at her confused expression.  

 

"So what would I be essentially doing, Agent Coulson?" Mary asked, a more serious note in her tone now.  

 

"Research", Agent Coulson said, "on a top secret project.  We’re bringing in the best, and you're it".

 

"Am I to know what I’m specifically working on?" Mary quizzed, mischieviously raising an inquisitive eyebrow.  She could see he was guarded on the subject, and she couldn't help but toy with him.

 

"That's classified" Agent Coulson said quickly, and it took Mary everything in her power to stifle a laugh; it was the answer she expected, and she could see the irritation in his eyes as he glared at her.

 

After he noticed the amused expression, Agent Coulson said in defeat. "It’s a different source of power" he said carefully, halting at every word, as if cautiously treading along a tightrope of secrecy, "that we wish to study to see what we can do with it".

 

"And its from another planet!?" Mary laughed in disbelief, but after the solemn, serious expression that Agent Coulson leveled at her, she realized the silent answer he gave her.  Yes, this was serious.

 

"Where would I live?" she hurriedly asked, trying to change the subject.

 

"We will supply you with sufficient housing" Agent Coulson replied robotically.

 

"And where would I be?" Mary pressed, making sure to survey every detail of this offer.

 

"The outskirts of New York City", the agent answered, "the specific location is classified.  Your next question I have to assume is about compensation, which I can guarantee will be a healthy sum".

 

"I want numbers, Agent" Mary demanded, "I’m a numbers kinda gal".

 

The agent briskly removed a crisp, white piece of paper from his breast pocket and handed it to Mary.  She accepted the letter, and on the top of the paper, the letterhead of SHIELD was professionally printed.  The typed letter informed Mary of the numbers she wished to know, and her eyebrows raised at every sentence she read; she could hear the agent chuckling beside her.  

 

She wordlessly judged her options in her head, as if to examine her life with the scrutiny of an archeologist in a dig site.  She looked at Option A: this shiny new future lay before her.  Good salary, nice apartment, applying her masters, doing something she had a passion for; what more could she want?  And then there was Option B: the safe route.  A loyal husband, a job at her father's firm doing the family business, a reasonable income after she married.  The decision seemed simple, but there must be something more to this pretty picture than met the eye...

 

"What's the catch?" she said suddenly, breaking the silence.

 

Agent Coulson breathed in a sigh, of what Mary almost thought sounded like relief.  

 

"For a minute", he said smiling, "I was beginning to worry that we made the wrong decision about you, but you seemed to have the deduction skills we have been looking for".

 

"What's the catch?" Mary repeated, still searching for an answer; her insides twisted in nerves as she waited.

 

"You must not tell anyone what you do" Agent Coulson said, "no one.  Not your family, your friends..no one.  They must not know where you are going.  You will tell those you have to that you are working at this bank in New Jersey".  At this, he handed her a slip of paper, with the name of random credit union, and its address.

 

"We have a developed cover story there for you" Agent Coulson said, "just in case any of your friends get curious.  You can have communication with them, but you cannot tell them anything about what you do or who you are working for".

 

Mary took time to take it all in; she would leave everything behind.  Jill, David, her mom, her dad; for a chance at something she always wanted, a chance to be involved in something bigger than herself.  She had an opportunity at a clean slate and a new life, but was it all really worth it?  What if this wasn't what she wanted, and all of this was a huge mistake? She would risk losing everything dear to her!  But, she thought, when will I ever have an opportunity like this again? They had sought her out, they had hand picked her!  This was no reception job, this was working for the government!  If she turned this opportunity down, she would be losing the one chance she had to do something amazing with her life, and she knew deep down she would come to regret it.

 

Mary took one last, deep breath, and gave her final answer.

 

"I'll take it" she said, assuredly nodding her head.

 

"Good!" Agent Coulson said enthusiastically, and whipped out his phone.  After clicking the buttons vigorously, he looked up to the front of the car. He tapped the glass partition.  

 

"Airport please", he requested

 

Mary's eyes looked at the agent in surprise, she didn't expect to go at this every second!

 

"Wait!", she yelled, "now!? I have to pack! I have classes to finish!  I have friends I have to say goodbye to!  I have to tell my parents!

 

"All done" the agent replied nonchalantly, "your apartment is being packed as we speak, you passed all of your classes and your masters is complete; well done, by the way.  We have emailed both your boyfriend and close friend Jill as you, telling them you are leaving, and we have emailed your parents as well".

 

Mary's mouth hung open, stunned into temporary silence.  She finally came to her senses, enough to speak to him.

 

"You really have thought of everything.." she said, "haven't you?"

 

"That is my job, Miss Evans", Agent Coulson replied, smiling at her.

 

She weakly sat in the black town car, and immersed herself in silence all the way to the airport, thinking of the journey to come.

 

Part 2

Loki saw the earth rush towards him, and he closed his eyes as he cringed; waiting for the collision.  His body landed with a cataclysmic bang that shook the earth.  Loki felt every muscle in his body scream in pain as he landed; the force of his fall breaking the earth caused a large crater to form in the soil around him.  Loki lay there, in mind-blowing pain, on the verge of consciousness.  He waited, as the dust settled, before he laboriously rose to observe his surroundings.  He could see that this was not New Mexico; there were trees and wildlife surrounding him.  He had landed in a decently-sized clearing; or what was made into a clearing by his arrival.  Downed trees bordered the fringe of the crater, and the moon hung high in the heavens graced with the glittering stars; in the distance, the haunting sound of an animal howling could be heard.  The earth, Loki thought, was peaceful like this.

 

Loki groaned in pain as he rose to his feet, and began the daunting climb from his sunken hollow to discover his whereabouts.  Several feet from him, lay his horned helmet, gleaming in the moonlight.  He strenuously grasped his helmet to raise it to his head.  On second thought, he said to himself, I should wait to wear it until the battle has begun.  With a thoughtful brush of his hand, the helmet glowed a greenish light, and faded from view.

 

He breathed heavily as he made the final climb out of the chasm where he once lay, before him was a sight he did not wish to see.  Nearby was a mortal, a man dressed in overalls and a hat, with a shotgun pointed in his direction; the spotlights of the man’s truck shined directly into Loki’s eyes, making it hard for him to see much else.  Loki raised his hands slowly in a sign of surrender, but he winced in pain as he felt the magnitude of his fall.  

 

“Please” Loki said, his silver tongue moving with elegance as he spoke, “I mean no harm, I have been wounded”.

 

As soon as he said this, the man lowered his gun and dimmed his lights, rushing to Loki’s aid.  

 

“I’m sorry sir”, the man said, and Loki could see it was a younger man, “are you alright?”  As the man said this, he wrapped his arm around Loki to balance him, which the Demi-god accepted.  The thought of accepting help from a mortal made Loki’s stomach turn, but this show was all a part of his scheme.  

 

“Yes, I am able to walk” Loki tried to show a reassuring smile,  as he shifted to stand on his own, “tell me, where are we?”

 

“New Hampshire, sir” the man answered, an accent lacing his words, “where did you come from?  Did you get hit by that asteroid?”

 

“I do not think so” Loki answered the man’s question absent-mindedly, “what day is it today?”

 

“November the 5th, sir” the man answered, hesitantly.

 

Loki did everything in his power to hide the shock written on his face; it hadn’t been several hours he had been falling, it had been several months!

 

After the man saw Loki’s expression, he looked concerned and asked “do you have amnesia? We should get you to a hospital!”

 

“No!” Loki said sharply, perhaps too sharply, for the man stared at him, confusion written on his face.  Loki had to make his move, quickly.

 

“Have you sent anyone after you?’ Loki asked.  He could see the man’s grip tighten on his shotgun, and Loki waited; poised, his eyes boring a hole into the very soul of the man.

 

“No” the man said, striking a defensive pose, gun raised in his hand.  

 

Loki then smiled, menacingly; he would strike.  Faster than a viper, he moved in the night.  The kind man had no time to react, no time to defend himself.  Loki enclosed his hands around the jaw of the man, and snapped his neck; like a branch on a tree.  

 

The man fell, dead, at Loki’s feet.

 

Loki smiled with satisfaction as he looked at his prize.  The man was dead, and his truck unattended.  Loki staggered to the truck, and began to rummage in the man’s belongings.  The keys were in the ignition, waiting for him to start it.  Some human currency lay on the passenger seat, along with a map, and Loki smiled with contentment as his plan had yielded him more gifts than he could have imagined.  He would be able to blend in, until he came to where he needed to be, where the Tesseract was.

The Tesseract must be close, which is why he would have landed here.  It had called to him, had brought him as close as it could to finding it.  It had a will of its own, and he needed to show the Chitauri he was worthy of their armies. 

 

He knew this much, that if anything foreign to this realm had landed here, there was one government agency that would have it.  He laughed as he thought of SHIELD, remembered their antics over Mjölnir, Thor’s hammer, when it had fallen to the ground in New Mexico.  How silly the mortals were, fussing over matters that their decrepit, little minds could hardly understand .  He would have to infiltrate deep into SHIELD, the government agency responsible for hiding the Tesseract, and find out exactly where it was, and how much they knew.  

 

After extensively searching the truck, his search for clothes and a disguise were to no avail.  He could not wear his Asgardian robes here, he thought with a furrowed brow of disappointment.  He cast his gaze upon the corpse of the dead mortal, and closed his eyes.  He went over every last thread in his mind’s eye, and thought about how the garment fit the dead man. 

 

As Loki opened his eyes, he looked down upon himself, and grinned with glee. He was now dressed exactly like him, even the baseball cap was perched upon his head.  He grabbed the weapon from the clutches of the dead man’s fingers, and slung it over his shoulders.  It was an archaic weapon, but he supposed it would do.  He trudged over to the truck, feeling his muscles strengthen by the second.  Ah, the powers of being a Demigod, he said to himself.  

 

He climbed into the driver’s seat, and sat down, looking at the controls.  He froze, contemplating his next move.  It only took him several  seconds, and then his agile mind  served its purpose.  The automobile came to life, as if he had known how to drive since he came to this earth.  He laughed wickedly as he felt the engine purr with life.

 

“Where to next?”  he asked the air, not expecting an answer.  He felt as if the Tesseract would pull him, and call him to it.  He moved the steering wheel, and felt his heart tell him where to go.  He placed the truck into gear, and moved down the dirt road, a greedy smirk playing on his lips.

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