The universe itself was a vast thing.
Vast and cold and dark.
Over time a skeleton of energy, a skeleton of a force began to stretch through the dark, at some points more concentrated than at others. Once these points were overflown by the energy, they dispersed into different smaller points, the first elements.
These elements bonded together, created worlds that were hard and cold. And when these elements evolved into the first life, the skeleton of force that coated the universe split a part of itself into four beings: Entropy, Death, Eternity and Infinity.
As the universe progressed, Infinity grew close to the first living being and decided that it would need a space for itself. To fabricate space, Infinity split apart a sliver of its shoulder that turned into a small stone of concentrated energy. With the creation of space the concentrated points of the all present essence started to move.
Infinity then decided to give the being a mind to think of its own and to respond to Infinity.
Eternity, who loved its sibling very much, gifted the being with a soul, a beautiful orange soul, so that it could feel and love and see Infinity as Infinity did the being.
Entropy envied the living being as Infinity loved it more than Entropy. So Entropy created reality to hinder the living being at meeting with Infinity through the now constant change of the universe.
And Death, Death was jealous of the being that earned Infinity’s affection. So Death created time, the room in between the beginning and the end and shortened this room for the living being as far as Death could.
As the first living being died and left its children with his beloved Infinity, its body split into three stones of the all present force; mind, soul and power.
Both of the beings children took a stone, one the one of mind and one the one of soul. But they warred about who should be in possession of the stone of power. And while they fought each other, Death took the stone of power and his it in the universe.
As time progressed both children forgot about the stones and lost them. Entire galaxies and civilizations formed and the universe evolved.
One day, a boy not yet out of his mother’s care, a small child, found a glowing orange stone in a river. He picked it up. Because he was hungry, he then went over to a tree that had fruits dangling from its branches. Some of them lay in the grass, so the boy sat down and ate one fruit after another. When he reached for another fruit he grabbed the stone he found and ate the stone instead of a fruit and swallowed it down.
Suddenly the boy saw. He saw the souls of the universe, the worlds in it, lives that would end and begin. To be able to hold up the power the boy now possessed, the boy aged into a man, leaving him with information and a skill no one could ever imagine to understand.
Millennias later the man’s home waged war on a realm not their own. Words of the man’s ability to see had gotten around and the palace’s queen drafted him to protect the entrance of their own realm. He was equipped with an armor and a sword and placed in the observatory, the center point of the only way in and out of the realm.
There he guarded his home for centuries. He saw his queen giving birth to a son with bright golden hair. He saw his king triumphing over the enemy, returning with a foreign child, the heir of their enemy’s throne. He saw the realm they had fought on grow into a realm of diversity. He saw a young mischievous child leaving their realm to hide a glowing cube in another realm in a place called Tønsberg.
In all these centuries the mischievous child visited him every now and then.
“Vorðr, why are there stars in the universe?”
“Do you know why there is that big golden glove in the armory, vorðr?”
“I think there is something wrong with the ceiling in the throne room, vorðr. It’s as if it has layers.”
“Vorðr… Do you think there is something wrong with using magic?”
“He will come back, won’t he? I don’t want to take over his responsibilities or the throne…”
The child turned into a young man and his visits to the watcher became less frequent. The last time he visited, the young man just sat next to him, saying nothing. Sometime in the hours he sat there the young man took hold of the watcher’s hand and did not let go until he left the observatory, basking in something akin to comfort as long as he could.
“It won’t be long until it is finally over…”
The child tried to prove himself to his father in a last desperate attempt but let go in the end. He wasn’t sure what it was that he felt but he knew that he would miss the young man.
After the young man had let go, he disappeared from the watcher’s sight for two years. The whole realm seemed to have lost something with him. Then he came back, chained and muzzled. The watcher could see that his mind was jumbled up, thoughts had been displaced and replaced, his life shortened.
The young man was sentenced to a life in the dungeons and did not fight as he was escorted to his cell. There he stayed, even if he knew the way out.
He could see the young man’s mind splintering a bit more every day.
It had been long since he had found out that he could share his sight with others. So he shared his sight of the stars with the young man in the dungeons.
“It should have been over, Vorðr…”
“It won’t be over for some time.”
They kept silent for a while, time seemingly slowing down, the universe open before them.
“What do you see in the stars, Vorðr?”
“Infinity has started to gather her gift and Death’s follower will not let them be taken from him without resistance.”
“He is coming, then.”
“And before him the convergence. The realms are going to be aligned in six Midgardian months.”
The convergence came and went. The young man accompanied his older brother and their realm was thrown into a state they had not reached again since their war against Jotunheim on Midgard. Order resumed not much later, when the younger brother took up the throne under the guise of the king.
The older brother returned with the crown of the fire giant and promptly exposed his younger brother as imposter of his father. The watcher himself had been relieved of his role as the gate keeper not long before and declared a traitor, a plan of the young man. Both of them had known that something big was coming their way.
The brothers left the realm for Midgard to look for their father.
He saw the lost one leaving the realm of her banishment when their king died, the last slivers of the king’s power fading into nothingness. She arrived in their own realm, tearing through nearly every warrior they had. The palace was empty, the royal family gone, a resistance absent. And still he managed to get back the key for the gate, his sword.
He decided to gather everyone he could and led them to a safe place. But it did not take long for the cave to be found by the lost one. So they fled to the gate.
On the bridge they were encircled by her dead soldiers, fighting for their lives until the brothers arrived with a ship big enough to carry the fleeing population off.
And Asgard burned.
“They suddenly seem to be even more tired than a minute ago.”
Heimdall looked up to the Midgardian who was standing in front of where he sat.
“The power of our people comes from the concentration point right below Asgard. Surtur stabbed it and now the energy is dispersing into the universe once more.”
“Do sit down, brave one,” he gestured at the place next to him. “The fight is over.”
The Midgardian sat down. There was no sound except for the murmuring of the people and the low rumbling of the space shuttle’s engines. He closed his eyes and his head slumped against the wall. With Asgard’s downfall the pain in his mind seemingly exploded. The universe was taking back its energy and he was feeling it all.
Maybe he just needed sleep.
He awoke and uncertain time later in a small room he was unfamiliar with. The air smelled like the healing balms from Asgard and the wounds on his arms and back had been wrapped up. Next to him sat the young man he had conversed with so often in the observatory and played the green wisps of his magic.
“Sakaar treated you well, it seems.”
“It was... different. Positively different, I’d say.”
“It is good to see you faring well, Loki.”
He chuckled. The young man did look far better than he had ever before.
Loki continued weaving his magic as he spoke. “Thor is setting course for Midgard.”
“It does seem to be our people’s best chance.”
“That it does.” The green wisps vanished from Loki’s fingertips and he sighed.
Heimdall finally sat up on the cot, leaving his bandaged torso open to the cold air.
“You are worried.”
“Of course I am worried! Do you think Midgard will just allow me back after the Chitauri? With Thanos on the hunt after the Infinity stones? At least one of them is on Midgard! And-“
He was stopped by calloused fingers taking his hand.
“You took the Tesseract, did you not?”
A wry smile appeared on the young man’s face.
“The casket, too.”
Heimdall chuckled again. He rested his forehead against Loki’s.
“It will be worse before it becomes better. But it will.”
“I... I don’t think I will survive this. I never even intended to survive the Void...”
“The universe is against your death.”
“- has foundations and Asgard’s ‘gods’ are a part of them. You, Thor, Hela, me, the gods in Valhalla.”
“I thought you never had a naming ceremony,” Loki questioned.
“I was stupid enough to eat an Infinity stone in my youth. It gave me a name and a purpose and you must not forget yours.”
“I am the god of mischief, lies and chaos,” he recited.
“The god of fire and magic, the favored of the space and soul stones. Never forget who you are.”
He looked deep into the younger man’s eyes.
“I still don’t think I will survive.”
Heimdall took his other hand and cradled both of Loki’s hands against his chest.
“Just have faith.”