"You're gonna lose!" Doom boasts as he stands triumphantly and gestures around the battlefield. All around him Doombots are attacking the Avengers, Coulson’s team and GSG 9. There is chaos and debris, bits of metal, oil, blood and dirt everywhere to be seen. Civilians scream and run for whatever cover they can find.
"Am I?" Loki questions as he stares at Doom, magic now visibly jumping along the god’s long fingers and iridescent at his fingertips.
"It's in your nature!" Doom goads. The metal mask catches the sunlight and lights up the madness now clear to be seen in his eyes.
"You know nothing of my nature." Loki declares.
Mimicking Doom’s earlier gesture Loki waves his hand over the surrounding area. "Your doombots are scattered. Your mechanical army falls from the sky. Where is my disadvantage?" All the while Loki continues to move closer to Doom, his sceptre held ready in his hand as he strides forward.
Doom, not wavering from his stance, arrogance evident in his demeanour, looks directly at the approaching god. It is clear he is relishing the challenge and maybe that should have been a warning to Loki but rage and vengeance for the slight at the Captain are overshadowing Loki’s actions.
"You lack conviction!" Doom pronounces.
"Really, that is what you see before you; one who lacks conviction? I am a God, your mewling quim! I ....."
Before Loki can finish what he is saying he’s hit by a beam of energy from a weapon Doom had been hiding behind him. The energy surrounds Loki and seems to enter through his each pore into every fibre of his being.
A blood curdling scream rips from Loki’s throat as the energy sears through his body and enters his very soul trying desperately to consume his essence. He is thrown backwards and lands heavily some twenty feet from where he'd stood. All the while the energy from the weapon continues to engulf him.
Seeing what is happening to his brother Thor draws lightning down upon Doom but still Doom’s maniacal laugh can be heard over the battle and the chaos.
Loki can feel his essence being ripped out from within, as if something was trying to take his magic; as if it is being torn from him, from his very core, his very being. He hasn't felt this much pain or helplessness since he suffered at the hands of Thanos and then The Other.
His mind transports him back to that barren rock, the place of his nightmares.
The Mad Titan reached into Loki’s being and tried to rip his magic from him as if it was a possession he could hand over rather than it being part of him, an integral part of him. Failure was not something that Thanos accepted in himself or those he commanded and he had tried time and time again until Loki had lost count of the Titan’s efforts and was barely breathing.
Eventually even Thanos had to accept that Loki could not be parted from his magic and be expected to live. He turned to controlling the Trickster’s magic instead; neutralising and limiting it and only allowing Loki wield it on his command.
Without his magic being allowed to protect and heal him the physical torture had been almost unbearable to Loki. Thanos had pushed the fallen Prince beyond what he previously had known as the limits of his pain threshold and physical endurance. Never before had Loki felt so torn apart, so weak, so vulnerable, and so low.
All that Loki hated about himself was laid bare for all to see on that barren rock and there was no escape, no hope of being rescued, no chance to resist and recover, no future but pain and suffering.
At his hands, Thanos had broken the Prince physically many times over and very nearly succeeded in breaking him mentally as well but Loki had hidden a small part of himself away with the limited magic that had been left free to him.
That small part of his being, the love he held for his mother, (no not his mother, he'd tried in vain to convince himself but the woman who raised him and nurtured him and taught him to love his magic), Frigga. And yes in his darkest hours he did admit the love he held for Thor; who had been his brother and companion since childhood, and even Odin (despite his lies and his treachery and his actions, he knew he still held a love of sorts for him deep down). A love not like that which he held for Frigga or even Thor but that of a son still longing for his father's approval, love and respect and still willing to do whatever it took to gain that approval.
In his blackest hours that small spark of what he had been remained lit; a flicker which sustained him until he was able to negotiate his freedom. A freedom only he knew he was aiming for, one which took him out of the clutches of The Mad Titan and his murderous psychotic followers and children.
And now Loki is back there again in his mind amongst the pain and the suffering but he knows he cannot be parted from his magic.
Taking a deep breath and praying to the Norms for strength Loki reaches deep within himself and sends a burst of magic forward along the beam of energy which Doom has still trained on him. His eyes barely open from the pain, Loki can feel rather than see his magic move along the beam. He senses the moment it connects with Doom's weapon and then blending with the weapon's own energy it shrouds Doom in a blinding light.
Now Doom is being penetrated through his pores with an energy he cannot hope to control as it moves along his limbs and torso. Beside his magic Loki sent some of his pain.
Doom screams as he contorts in agony and pain, his body being raised into the air in a green and golden light as it twists and writhes at unnatural angles.
The silver mask appears to melt from Doom's face and if any can bear to see through the blinding light it looks as if every fibre of skin and muscle is being seared from Doom's bones.
Red wisps suddenly join with the green and gold as Doom’s screams grow louder and more intense.
Neither Doom's body nor mind is a match for the surge of energy and magic which encompasses him, each wave overpowering his mind and overwhelming his senses. He is unable to make sense of the myriad of images and feelings that race through his mind. He is certain that this is what losing his mind feels like as nothing seems real anymore. Images he cannot fully comprehend appear before his eyes and he senses rather than feels enormous pain as if it is being inflicted on his own body but not quite his body, the sensation of his skin being cut by the blades of a thousand knives, or his skin being flailed from his back and laying him open to the elements. He no longer knows if his mind and body are still connected or where he starts and the energy ends.
The Latverian Leader cannot tolerate this for much longer so he throws the weapon from his hands. Slowly the pain and the feeling of being torn apart from the inside begin to ease as the magical connection with the weapon is no longer discharging into his body.
The searing heat which had swept through him begins to wane and his breathing eases. He vaguely thinks he saw the weapon explode into dust as he fell to his knees, his head still feeling like it was exploding with swift moving images or flashes of light but he isn't certain which. Each thought is an ordeal and the pain which comes with movement is as if he has just been hit by a lorry which then used his body as a battering ram against a wall. He is mumbling nonsense and shaking all over.
He wishes he had passed out long before this but something is preventing that from happening. The only explanation is magic, but not his magic.
Whatever just happened, Doom does not know but it definitely was not what was supposed to happen. His weapon was designed to harness the power of his opponent; take it from them and transfer it to Doom in a manner that allowed his body to consume it and make it one with his own. It had worked previously on other powerful beings. His intent was to use it against Captain America, to steal the serum out of his body as he'd stood there broken and helpless before Doom but Loki had interfered with his plans. It was only fitting that he turns the weapon on Loki and steals the God of Mischief's strength and power instead.
Doom is now a shaking babbling wreck as Loki's power and magic is too strong, not meant for a mortal even one such as Doom. The magic itself had overpowered the unworthy vessel which attempted to house it and had sought its own price for such an action.
Loki had previously told Steve and warned Wanda that there is always a price to be paid for wielding magic. Now Doom had learned that lesson too.