[MCU Ragnarok, Sakaar - Day One]
“Bring us back!” Loki’s desperate cry had activated the Bifrost, despite Thor’s command to the contrary. Loki realized too late that Hela had been able to join them within the bridge that connected Asgard to the other realms, and she was gaining speed. Ordinarily it was impossibly to simply step into the beam of the Bifrost once it was engaged. Hela’s abilities were already concerning, and Odin said they would only grow if she reached Asgard.
“Loki!” Thor called, indicating behind them where their sister’s malicious grin could be seen getting closer. Loki didn’t hesitate. Sister or not, rightful heir to the throne or not, she couldn’t be allowed to reach Asgard. Loki sent two daggers flying directly at her.
Loki hadn’t expected Hela to immediately fling one of his own daggers back at him. She was fast. It struck him in the side, sending him tumbling from the stream of the Bifrost. It felt like he fell forever, panic setting in as his fall through the vortex created by the destruction of the Bifrost the first time rose in his memories. That had turned out so badly, landing him in the hands of Thanos’ henchmen after he’d been found badly injured by unimaginable monsters that lived in the cold, dark, hungry reaches of space. He was weak, he was fresh blood. They’d feasted.
Where Loki landed this time was a blessed departure from that crushing blackness. Bright sunlight made him squint up at a sky that held dozens of portals. They looked to be natural, a convergence of wormholes, but it was difficult to know for sure. Most were small, but one was enormous and looked like if it was any closer, it could devour the planet. Loki made a mental note to keep clear of that one.
He’d just gotten to his feet and dusted himself off – gods, this place was disgusting, full of trash – when some of the locals appeared from behind various boxy remains of ships or cargo pods. There were at least of a dozen of them and they were armed.
At any given moment, Loki had at least that many daggers hidden in his armor. He wasn’t certain he could summon more from here, wherever here was, but there were plenty of things around that could be used as weapons and defensive items. And he still had his magic.
Ah yes, and the dagger still in his side.
“Are you a fighter or are you food?” One of the mongrel horde dared ask. Loki’s annoyance at the question must have shown on his face because the group hung back instead of charging him. Loki sighed and yanked the dagger from his side, brandishing it.
“Does this look like the last person who asked me that question survived to hear the answer?” He glowered at all of them, light on his toes and ready to fight. There was a tense moment, then the one who had asked the question began to laugh. The others followed.
“A fighter!” he called out. Several from the back began to move forward with what looked like some kind of net. Loki was having none of that.
“You are mistaken, my friend. I am neither. I am an emissary from a faraway realm, a prince. Look at me.” Loki ran his hands down over his form and an illusion bedecked him in the best finery, shining and gold in the sunlight of the realm. There was an audible ooh from the assembled scavengers. That’s what Loki assumed they were within this shit hole of a planet. Blessed be those who were easily impressed by magic. Surely, there had to be somewhere better in this realm than this. Off in the distance, Loki saw towers. That was where he needed to be, not on this trash heap.
“Your master will be displeased if he is not informed immediately of foreign dignitaries on diplomatic missions. I am Prince Loki. Haven’t you any manners here?” Loki feigned boredom. The disgust didn’t require any dissembling on his part.
“The Grandmaster?” the bold one asked, eyes still avaricious.
So that was what their leader was called. Hardly a pompous title at all for someone who appeared to rule over a mountain of garbage. The name seemed to make the others nervous, though. Loki noted it and wondered why. He sniffed inwardly, but let a smile curl over his features. His side was killing him, but he couldn’t let it show. “Yes, of course. Take me to the Grandmaster, and I am certain he will be grateful of your service.”
“A reward?” one of the grungy bunch asked.
“Only if I am not required to share transport with your filth and stench.” Loki grimaced. “You cannot present me to your Grandmaster smelling like…” Loki really didn’t have an adequate word for it that wasn’t completely insulting, so he waved a hand in their general direction, derision curling his lips back from his teeth.
“We’ve got a ship, come on.” The one Loki had come to consider their leader beckoned to him.
“Oh no.” Loki shook his head. “Just you and I go. The rest stay here and wait. I’m not an idiot, and I don’t trust you.” It was a general rule of thumb for Loki not to trust anyone who asked him if he was food.
The scavenger shrugged. “Fair enough. I wouldn’t trust me neither. You lot stay here while I take His Highness Prince Loki to the Grandmaster. Won’t be long.” There was snickering among the crew. Loki took that as a bad sign. He’d been right to insist on a lone escort. If he hadn’t been about to bleed all over the creatures transport, Loki might have used the dagger to repay him for the mockery and find his own way to see this Grandmaster.
“Where is here, by the way?” Loki asked, once the small, rectangular craft that hardly looked like it should even be able to fly lifted off.
“Here?” the pilot laughed. “This is Sakaar. The end point of everything.”
“Hmm.” Well, that wasn’t hardly ominous. Loki would just have to see about that. He didn’t plan on staying.