Loki sank to the floor, exhausted from the magical tantrum he had thrown on learning of the death of his mother. All he could think about was the last time he had seen her, when he had first returned to Asgard and she had embraced him and whispered, “Be strong,” in his ear.
Odin was slipping. Had he actually thought Loki was dumb enough to believe that the projections that occasionally appeared in his cell were sent by Frigga? As if his mother could ever say such cruel, not to mention idiotic, things. Brushing off his pointing out that Odin had committed far more conquests and killed far more enemies than Loki ever had with platitudes about “accepting responsibility”! Even had she thought he was wrong, she would have come up with a better rejoinder than that. The old man was losing his touch.
Hearing a footstep, Loki looked up to see his brother standing outside his cell. Loki listened dully to Thor's vicious words and to the bargain Thor offered him. He was on the verge of refusing - if Thor needed his help, he could damned well offer an actual reward instead of vengeance and then an eternity of solitary confinement - when he noticed an odd green glint in Thor’s eye. Fleeting, but there.
Loki looked away and gave a hollow laugh to disguise his reaction. This was not Thor. It had to be a Skrull, a member of an aggressive shape-shifting species that used their abilities to infiltrate worlds they wished to conquer. Now a Skrull had taken on the form of the crown prince of Asgard! Loki should have known his loyal, honorable brother would never say such vile things.That should have tipped him off even before he saw the glint of green.
Where was the real Thor? Was he still alive?
Loki would have to accept the terms he was offered. At all costs, he must get out of this cell and stay by the Skrull’s side. When opportunity allowed, he would kill the impostor. Asgard would not be grateful, but he would have saved it from the Skrulls. And then if Thor were alive, Loki might be able to save him, too.
He turned his head to study the Skrull who wore his brother’s form.
"When do we start?" he asked.