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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3. Chapter 3

Hello Readers!  Hope you are enjoying my new works.  Here are the following music suggestions:

 

Part 1: Main Title-David SnellI (from Cider House Rules Original Soundtrack)

Part 2: The Presidium-Jack Wall (from Mass Effect OST)

Part 3: The Shadow of the Past-Howard Shore (from Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring OST)

Part 4: Artibeus-Hans Zimmer (Batman Begins Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Part 5: Marcus Memorial-Russell Shaw (from Fable 2: Original Soundtrack)

 

Enjoy!

 

Chapter 3

Part 1

It had been several months since Mary had started her new job, working for the government as a quantum physicist for SHIELD.  Her life was finally making sense to her; she enjoyed her work, David had agreed to stay with her and eventually planned to move with her, also she and Jill talked almost everyday.  It was hard not telling them the truth about her line of work, but as she kept repeating the lies, they became second nature to her.  Her parents had been less than pleased with her abrupt departure, but they had come to understand her reasons.  She was making an excellent pay, and that is all they could ask for; not like they had much of a say, anyways.

 

Mary walked through the marble halls of the facility as she made her way to her department; confidence exuding from every step.  She had come to be deeply respected here, and she truly loved her line of work in weapons research.  Her boss and what-had-come-to-be mentor Grant Sanders, had admired her enthusiasm, and had showed her the ropes of all there was to know about SHIELD; even the questions you shouldn’t ask.

 

Mary knew their project was to develop weapons to defend the United States, but for what purpose? None of the staff nor Sanders knew; all they were privy to know was that the government had harnessed an unknown form of energy that could power mass quantities of machinery, more so than any other form of energy Mary had ever studied.  The only problem was that no one in the facility had ever seen the source of the energy; all they were able to see were the numbers.  Data was sent to them hourly, detailing the exact information they required to construct weapons around it.  All that existed in her facility, were empty shells of death, waiting for their fuel source to be placed inside.  The itch of mystery nagged Mary daily, and her wish to know more of what she was working towards seemed like an insatiable hunger; but Mr. Sanders had taught her one thing, to never ask questions.

 

 

The double doors to her laboratory opened and Mary smiled; she was home.  The white walls and floors, the white coats, the smell of soldering metal, the bustling of the workers, and the whirring of instruments.  She walked up to the coat racks and grabbed the sterile, white coat that hung on her hook.  She gracefully slipped into it, and proceeded to stroll to her bosses’ office.

 

“What do we have today, Sanders?” she said, carelessly leaning on the doorframe of her bosses office.

 

An elder man with salt and pepper hair and glasses sat at his desk, nonchalantly reading the scattering of papers on his desk.  He peered over his glasses, and smiled at Mary; this was their daily routine.

 

“Still working on perfecting the metal with the new heat signatures we received” Sanders replied, in a bored tone.

 

Mary sighed in frustration, they had been working on this project for weeks.  When they had finally figured out what the perfect prototype for the weapon would be, the SHIELD office had sent more information to them, disproving all the work they had just developed.  This happened with prototype after prototype after prototype. Steadily, the warehouses began to look like tombs of never ending failure.

 

“Have the all knowing powers at be decided to make up their minds yet?” she asked, a smirk playing upon her lips.

 

Mr. Sanders smiled up at her, saying no words; he didn't need to, his smile told her everything.  Until the energy source was fully understood, there would be no telling when their hell would end.

 

“Very well”, she answered, “we will work with diligence”.

 

 

Mr. Sanders smiled in gratitude; he knew that when Mary said it would be done, she would make it so.  She moved quickly to her work station, and began to look at the numbers.  So many numbers, too many numbers to even comprehend.  To the average person, they would be nonsensical gibberish.  But not to Mary, they were a language in itself.  They spoke to her, telling her anything she could possibly wish to know about this foreign substance.  As she read, she wasn’t aware of the person that approached her desk....

 

“Still pretending to be smart, are we?” a man with a thick English accent asked.  Mary jolted from her deep thoughts, to cast her gaze upon a tall man with swept blonde hair and blue eyes.  To most people, the man before Mary would be considered attractive; but to Mary, he was far from it.  This man was the thorn in Mary’s backside that burrowed himself there everyday she had been in this lab.

 

“What do you want, Warwick?” she asked him, a melody of irritation was heard in her voice.

 

“Oh don’t get all sassy, Mary” Warwick chided arrogantly, turning Mary’s stomach in displeasure.

 

“Seriously, what do you want?” Mary asked, glaring at him now, ‘“I have plenty of work to do and I don't need you stalling me”.

 

“Well that's just the thing, Mary” Warwick said, smirking down at her, and leaning casually against the edge of her work station, “I need that data because I can work so much faster than you can.  After all, we all know I can do a better job analyzing that data than you can”.

 

“Oh and why is that?” Mary asked, smiling, “because you’re British? Save it, go get some braces and I will give you the data when you get back”.

 

It was true, Warwick had awful teeth, characteristic of that of a British gentleman.  Warwick’s smile was wiped away from his face with her words, and he strode off, back to the hole he crawled from.  Mary smiled to herself, victorious at her word play; he was always so easy to offend, it made work entertaining.

 

After he departed, two more of Mary’s colleagues took his place, but Mary actually enjoyed their company.  Linda and Gary were a brother/sister duo that had been recruited just as she had; fresh out of college, after testing highly on their placement tests.  They looked very similar; dark curly hair and horn-rimmed glasses, with less than flattering clothing.  The two were never the most fashionable type of people, but Mary didn’t mind; their work spoke for them and they had been her solid support since her arrival.  They both had focused in the study of Thermodynamics, and were a huge asset to the team.    Mary looked up at her two comrades, with a look of bewilderment.

 

“Is he annoying you again?” Linda asked, glaring at Warwick’s back as he trotted away from them.

 

“What’s new?” Mary retorted, “it seems to be the nature of the beast”.

 

It was true; ever since Warwick had asked her on a date the first week she had come here, and she had declined, his attitude had been nothing but sour towards her.  She didn’t mind; she had David, and dating Warwick would have caused more havoc than it was worth.  She quickly came to realize after working there for some time, that Warwick was the least respected of her team due to his pompous attitude.

 

“What a jerk”, Gary muttered, and the two girls laughed.

 

“Whatever” Mary sighed, “what have you two got for me today?”

 

‘Well” Linda began, “we found out that the heat signatures we just received yesterday have made it so the shell we had created for the missile will not hold it; however the propulsion factor of the missile will still work.  We just need to figure out how to make it so it can hold that heat and be light enough; one more milligram of weight, and we’d have a dud”.

 

“Good” Mary answered, “it looks like the recent numbers we received this morning haven’t changed much, so we just need to keep our eye on the prize; fix the metal, yet again”.

 

“Sweetness”, Gary replied, “can you send us the data after you’re done looking at it?”

 

“I’ve been done for awhile”, Mary said, as she pointed a thumb behind her where Warwick had disappeared, ‘I just told ‘him’ I wasn’t to be annoying”.

 

The group quietly laughed in amusement; they loved throwing a wrench in Warwick’s wheels, it was all too easy to do.

 

“Well hurry up”, Gary said, as he and Linda began to walk back to their stations, “some of us aren’t Sanders' golden child, so we don’t get first dibs on the file.  Besides, you don’t want Warwick laying an egg; we’ll make you clean it up”.

 

“Ah shut up”, Mary laughed, and she quickly glided her hands across her keyboard, navigating the software and sending the data to her teammates.

 

She sat back in her seat, and stretch her hands in front of her; cracking all the knuckles in her hands.  Time to put the nose to the grindstone, she thought.  She sat up straight, and got directly to work.

 

Part 2

The hours of the day flew by; Mary didn’t even know it was time to leave until Gary and Linda called her name and waved goodbye from the double doors.  Warwick soon followed, shooting her a disgusted look as she worked.  They were always the last to leave; and then, there was silence in the lab.  It was time for her to start her second job; sleuthing.

 

She took a tentative glance around the lab, before she began to navigate the computer in ways strictly forbidden.  No one was in sight; even Sanders' office was dark and his office door was closed.  If anyone knew what she was doing, she would surely be punished; but she didn’t care, she was going to find out exactly what they were researching in her facility, if it was the last thing she did.  She had been caught before, by Sanders, but she only got a slap on the wrist.  She learned quickly that if she was going to get away with anything, she would have to be very careful and secretive.  She typed various codes into the computer, and hacked her way into the SHIELD internal database.  Computer hacking had been a skill she had kept in her back pocket, and unknown to SHIELD; she knew that one day it would serve her well, and in this case, it had.

 

She picked up where she had left off prior; the weaponry defense studies of Dr. Arnim Zola.  She had stumbled upon this file by chance, but the complexity of it all intrigued her.  Dr. Zol worked for  the German Nazi regime known as HYDRA, and had been under the direction of an SS officer Johann Schmidt, and they had harnessed a similar energy to that of what  her team was working with.  The energy was not named, nor was it discussed.  As she kept digging deeper, her mouse guided her onto the files of Dr. Abraham Erskine and his works with a serum that would enhance a man’s genetic makeup to be superhuman.  It was called the Super Soldier Serum, and there were two human subjects that it had been tested on.  One, being Johann Schmidt, had failed and created a monster.  But the other, was tested on a man named Steven Rogers, and it had been successful.  What Mary read now, baffled her even more.  This “Steven Rogers” became a superhero, known as Captain America, and lead American troops called the Howling Commandos to victory on several missions; many of those included the taking out HYDRA's facilities.  The project itself had been fronted by Stark Industries, and it seems that he was the poster child for them, as well.

 

This was not the only use of the Super Soldier Serum; Mary navigated her way through link after link, picking through information.  The Super Soldier Serum was recreated by Dr. Buce Banner, a physicist from Culver University.  The name rang a bell, but Mary couldn't place where she had heard.  The file was very encrypted, but Mary thrived in the challenge.  Dr. Banner had been exposed to massive amounts of gamma radiation during his experimentations, and his body reeked havoc on his DNA.  He became another genetic abnormality, but this was not in a good way like Steven Rodgers.  His transformations were unregulated, and resulted in copious amounts of death and damage; it gained him the nickname of "Hulk".  The name finally gained its place in her memory; his work had been in her textbooks when she was in her physics classes. She specifically remember his work with gamma radiation when she worked on her master's thesis.

 

Mary moved on, looking at something more familiar to her-Stark Industries; if you weren't, you would have been living under a rock.  Stark Industries littered the news; being the pioneers of enginuity and finding ways to expand militant defense weaponry.  Their spokesman, Tony Stark, was never a shy eye for the camera.  His ego was evident, and his grand parties and luxurious lifestyle was displayed on every channel; Mary grimaced at remembering all the news she had ever seen of him.  She had to hand it to him though, he was a genius.  She typed in his name, and sure enough, he had a file full of dirty secrets.  His file contained details of the infamous "Iron Man" suite thatt was created by Tony Stark, but more information she found intrigued her.  The suite, was no mere toy to Mr. Stark, but actual life support.  Stark had been accosted and taken as a war criminal, to be commision to make a super weapon.  After being severly injured, he created the suit, and eventually, his own life support, that would keep him alive.  Mary would have delved deeper, but something else caught her eye.

 

But what did all these men have in common?  She looked at the scattered puzzle pieces across her computer screen, she started at the hopeless mess before her.  There was nothing, small insignificant facts kept them together, but there was something more here.  She continued to read, searching for the answer.  She clicked rapidly and typed more codes, steering her way around firewalls and computer blockades.  Then she saw it, two little words that seemed to be in every one of these files; two small, insignificant words....."Avengers Initiative".  Curiosity peaked, she clicked on it.....and a list appeared.  All the men were there, plus more. Tony Stark (Iron Man), Dr. Banner (Hulk), Steve Rogers (Captain America), Thor.....

 

Her computer automatically seized, and the words WARNING flashed up on her screen; a loud, piercing beep was heard from her computer audio system.  She hurriedly began to type, manually inputting code after code into the system, praying it would shut off the alarm.  She cursed as she desperately grabbed at straws, until she found the right code that shut off the alarm.

 

She breathed in a sigh of relief, and took a moment to collect herself.  She looked up at the screen to see what her efforts had won her, and the last name she read before screen went black stuck in her mind... “Thor”....

 

“Damnit!” she said aloud to herself, or what she thought was herself....

 

“Alright Nancy Drew”, a stern voice from behind her said, “back away from the computer”.

 

She slowly turned her head, to see Sanders standing close behind her.

 

“Well” she said, sheepishly smiling at him, “looks like I got caught red handed”.

 

Sanders did not return her smile; he sternly raised his phone for her to see, and it was flashing red.  ‘Security breach’ it read.

 

Before she could explain herself, his phone began to ring.  By the look he gave Mary, she knew exactly who it was; SHIELD headquarters.  Sanders drew in a deep breath before he answered the call.

 

“Yes sir?” Sanders answered, “no sir, it was an accidental false alarm, nothing more.  Sorry for the confusion sir, I have taken care of the issue myself”.

 

At this, he hung up his phone, and focused his attention to Mary once again.

 

“You’re lucky I like you so much” Sanders replied.

 

“I’m sorry, sir”, she said, shamefully hanging her head at his disappointed tone, "I guess I got carried away”.

 

“Indeed” Sanders responded skeptically, “lets call it a night, shall we?’

 

He firmly gestured to the double doors, and she awkwardly hung her lab coat on its hook, and walked out with him.

 

Her mind began to race;  what did this mean?  Was she going to be let go?  Was he going to turn her in?  What if this would have been the last day in this lab?  She scolded herself for her need to stick her nose where it didn’t belong; it always got her into trouble.

 

“So”, Sanders began, interrupting her panicked train of thought, “what did you find?”

 

Mary looked at him, bewildered.  “Sir?” she asked him, trying to sound calm; her wavering tone gave her away.

 

“You heard me” Sanders said, an amused smile played on his lips.

 

Mary, dumbfounded, relayed everything to him.  The serum, Steven Roger's amazing development into Captain America, Dr. Banner's accident, and the mysterious ‘Avengers Initiative’ file.

 

“And then it all went blank” she finished, “there was a list, it had them all on it.  Banner, Stark, Rogers.  But then there more; I couldn't read them all.  I do remember one though...."

 

“And what was that name?” he asked her, his brow furrowed in contemplation.

 

“Thor”, she said, searching his face for a flicker of recollection.  Nothing; the man’s face remained as interpretable as a statue.

 

“Well” he said, “that doesn’t give us much to go off of.  Good work, though”.

 

“Wait” Mary halted in her steps, they had just exited from the facility out the large glass doors.  Sanders turned to look where she stood, patiently waiting for her next words.

 

“I’m not fired?” she asked him, a glimmer of hope shining in her eyes.

 

“No, Miss Evans” he laughed, “you are not.  You succeeded in finding intel that I only wish that I could; it would be foolish of me to get rid of you now”.

 

Mary breathed a sigh of relief; she had never been more thankful to hear those words.  She had dodged the bullet, by a narrow miss.

 

“But be more careful next time”, he warned her, “I can’t cover for you every time”.

 

“I will become a better hacker then, sir” Mary reassured him, and he laughed.

 

He walked her to her standard issue SHIELD car; a nice, black Acura TL and opened the driver side door for her.

 

“Get home safe” he lectured, as he held the car door, “no more funny business tonight”.

 

“Will do, boss man” Mary said jokingly, and raised a hand in salute as she bent down to sit in the driver’s seat.

 

She started the car, and began to drive from the parking lot; away from work, and to her beautiful, one bedroom home several miles away.  She drove into the night, only her headlights lighting the desolate street ahead of her.

 

They were the last to leave that parking lot, or so they thought....

 

Part 3

It had been months of patiently waiting, months of searching, and he had finally found his target.  Loki felt his adrenaline rush and his heart race as he realized his moment had finally come; his moment to strike.  He had been searching to find this place; one of the many SHIELD facilities that would lead him to the Tesseract.  He only required one, for after he had infiltrated one, he could conquer them all.

 

He reflected on the months it took him to get here, and the tedious time it took to get to this place.  He looked at his pale hands that were firmly grasping the steering wheel; how many lives they had ended, and how many last breathes they felt.  He had tortured many innocent mortals to find out more about where SHIELD had their testing facilities hidden; first a janitor, then a security guard, even the trash man, and that was to name a few.  All people who could easily disappear, but none of them able to give him what he truly wanted; control, control of the facility and of the project that was being underwent behind those secure, glass doors.  That would give him what he desired the most; more information on the Tesseract, and freedom to do as he wishes.  The torturing had finally led him to it.... his in.

 

He watched his prey fraternize in the parking lot of the facility; one older male mortal, and a younger female mortal  He would only need one of them for his plan to work, but which one.  He could use the female; kill her off and take her place.; or he could choose the elder male, and take his place.

 

“I’m not fired?” he heard the female say, as she left the building.  He held his breath, hoping his plan wouldn’t be ruined.

 

“No, Miss Evans” the man replied, to Loki’s relief, “you are not.  You succeeded in finding intel that I only wish that I could; it would be foolish of me to get rid of you now”.

 

Loki smiled mischieviously; now he knew who his target was.  The female would be crucial to his success; she knew more than anyone in her team about SHIELD, clearly enough to put her in danger of being let go.  His target, would be the ruler of this operation, the elderly mortal.  Loki’s eyes glinted in satisfaction; this role would be fitting for him.  He would be able to rule, as he always felt he was meant to, even it was only in a SHIELD facility, for the moment.  I will blend in nicely, he thought.

 

“Get home safe” the mortal said, as he shut the door of the female's car, “no more funny business tonight”.

 

“Will do, boss man” the female laughed, and she mocked the salute of a soldier.  What a sly one, he thought to himself, smiling at the recognition of one of his own characteristics.

 

With that, the girl drove away, and vanished into the night.  And Loki waited, until his prey was on the move.  Just before the festivities began, Loki had an idea.  He closed his eyes for a short second, to then find himself back in his Asgardian armor.  One must be dressed appropriately for such an occasion, he thought wittily to himself.  He waited, long enough to keep a safe distance, and urged the truck to life.  Loudly, it clanged to a start, but the male was too far away to hear.  Loki moved the truck into gear, and stalked his prey.

 

Part 4

As Gary Sanders pulled up the driveway of his glorious home, he felt as if something was wrong.  The house was quiet....too quiet.  He had no children or family, so his house never seemed cheery or full of life when he came home.  He had always been a simple man who lived alone, and his house was a custom built modern marvel that was secluded on acres of land; the nearest house wasn’t for miles.   But he felt it, a gut feeling, that something was not right.

 

He quietly closed the door of his car, and slowly approached the dwelling.  The sounds of night were strangely absent, everything was absolutely still.  His worst fears were confirmed; his door was slightly ajar, but the latch was untouched.  The house was all dark, not a light shining.  Very uncharacteristic, seeing as Gary had timers in his house to turn the lights on before he made it home.

 

Robbers, he thought, and moved his hand to the holster on his belt.  The cold, hard metal of his gun greeted his fingers, and he drew it out with slow precision as he entered.  He held it in front of him, at the ready to fire.  He set down his keys, phone, badge, and wallet; maybe he could use them to trick the burglar into taking them, so he could get a clear shot.  He turned, making his way to the kitchen from the grand foyer, and as he turned, the image of a tall, slender man with devilish eyes gleaming in the darkness; it was as if they were ablaze, for they were the only thing Gary could see in the gloom.

 

“I would not fire that if I were you”, the shadow said, in an accent Gary didn't recognize.

 

“Who are you?” Gary demanded, in a voice far from confident, “what are you doing in my house?”

 

“I am Loki” the shadow said, “and I have come on a mission”.

 

“And what ‘mission’ is that?” Gary asked, his finger itching on the trigger.

 

The man stepped forward into the light, so that Gary could fully see him.  He struck a menacing stance, with an aura of confidence that consumed the very room they occupied.  The shining armor he wore only added to the overwhelming fear Gary felt in the man's presence.  On his face, he wore a smug, satisfied grin.

 

“To kill you” Loki said, grinning with what Gary was afraid was excitement, barring his teeth in an odd imitation of a predator.  With these words, Gary felt a cold rush around his neck of hands, strangling the air from his lungs.  These hands, colder than human hands, made him feel as if his body were turning to ice merely by their touch.  He saw the figure of Loki fade before him and disappear, as if had never been there at all, like a ghost.

 

And then....everything went dark.

 

Part 5

Loki let the old mortal's frozen carcass go as he felt the last breath of air leave his lungs.  The body clattered to the ground, now a full chunk of ice.

 

He found this tactic easier to clean, and less of a trace that would lead to him.  His extensive list of kills had given him plenty of time to develop his technique.  He vigorously struck his hand towards the ground, and with a mighty bang that shook the earth, the frozen remains shattered into millions of pieces, and scattered in every direction.  Evidence gone, no trail left behind.

 

Loki moved to the side table, where the man had placed his belongings.  He fingered through every piece he could find, and with a magic swipe of his hand, changed it all to match his appearance and identity.  The name would remain the same, for now, until he could think of another alias.  But for the time being, he could blend in this way.

 

He surveyed his new prize, the house he would now be living in.  He relished in the magnificence of it; it was a mortal’s, but it was still grand to say the least.  He majestically strode up the round staircase that lead to the bedroom, and began to undress.

 

A shower, he thought, was very much needed.

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