Monday, September 3, 2012
By: Luca Baldassarra
S.H.E.I.L.D. Gym Facility
Young Loki sits in the S.H.I.E.L.D gym facility with Captain America. Captain America stares at him intently, listening closely to what he has to say about Mephisto’s plan and the strange occurrences going on in New Asgardia.
[Young Loki slowly recounts everything that has happened to Cap. Cap listens closely, warily.]
Young Loki: The history of the nine realms is being unwritten Steven Rogers. We face powerful magic, so powerful in fact that the songs of the Thunderer, my brother Thor, have been forgotten. Whatever foul forces are at work mean to move in quickly and silently. I cannot stand by and let this happen. I need your help!
[Cap rises from the bench, his face serious]
Captain America: It sounds as if this Mephisto character is behind all of this, but his allies are not exactly pushovers. Doom and a Ghost Rider? Besides that, how do you know about all this? I guess what I’m trying to say Loki….is why should I trust you?
[Young Loki’s face is flushed with anger]
Young Loki: You think my intentions are false Steven Rogers? You think me in league with Mephisto?
[Cap stands over Young Loki, tense]
Captain America: You don’t exactly have a perfect track record there son. Or at least, your older self didn’t. I’m not new to magical threats, but there isn’t much I can do to help you. I’m just a soldier. You’d be better off finding Dr. Strange or maybe even Iron Fist.
[Young Loki stares back at Cap, calming himself]
Young Loki: Look beyond yourself Steven Rogers. Whatever powerful magic that has taken hold of Asgardia and Midgard has left you unaffected as myself. I suspect your brief time wielding Mjolnir may be the source of this resistance.
[Cap is intrigued]
Captain America: Explain.
[Young Loki leans back and sighs, visibly frustrated. A hint of sadness appears on his face]
Young Loki: Would that I could Steven Rogers. All I know is that you and I may be the only beings within all the nine realms that….that still remember. That still remember the heroic sacrifice my brother made for us all. That still remember the hero he was.
[Cap stands for a moment, then reaches into his duffle bag]
Captain America: Loki, I want to show you something. Something Thor left behind.
[Cap places a small metal shard in Young Loki’s palm. Loki stares at it, confused.]
Young Loki: What is it?
[A smile appears on Cap’s face. He stands with his hands on his waist, pleased]
Captain America: It’s a fragment of Mjolnir. I was the only one of the Avengers who was able to carry it. If what you’re saying is true, then this proves it. If Mjolnir thinks you’re worthy, then so do I.
[Staring at his palm in utter astonishment]
Young Loki: I’m…I’m worthy of Mjolnir?
[Cap picks up his shield]
Captain America: Don’t just sit there son, what’s our next move?
Diner on the outskirts of Las Vegas, Night
Meanwhile in a remote diner on the outskirts of Las Vegas, Alejandra the Ghost Rider sits alone eating a meal. It is evening and there is no guests in the diner except the staff and Alejandra. A cloaked figure enters. Sitting at the front counter on the opposite side of the diner.
[Alejandra is deep in thought, barely touching her food.]
Alejandra (thought): I don’t understand. I felt him. I felt his energy. Then suddenly he just vanished. Where did he go? Where is Johnny Blaze?
[The lights flicker for a moment, and Alejandra’s thoughts are interrupted briefly. She pauses then dismisses the occurrence. She reaches for her cup and realizes it is empty.]
Alejandra: Excuse me. Waitress. May I have another coffee please.
[Silence. Slightly annoyed Alejandra straightens in her seat.]
Alejandra: Excuse me waitress? Could I please get some coffee?
[Looking up, Alejandra spots the clock hanging on the wall has stopped.]
Cloaked Figure: She can’t hear you. No one here can. We need to speak in private Alejandra.
[Rising in Ghost Rider Form, Alejandra draws her flaming sword and points at the mysterious figure.]
Alejandra(Ghost Rider Form): Whoever you are, you just made a serious mistake by trying to talk to me. Whatever you did to these people, undo it, NOW!
[The figure pulls back their cloak revealing themselves to Alejandra.]
Dr.Strange: “Worlds undone. Threads tangled and broken. Chaos comes in fire. Look to the stories. Find the Hand. Act. “ This is the warning I was given by the spirits of the Astral Plane. This is why I have come to seek you, Alejandra the Ghost Rider. I need your help.
[Alejandra keeps her sword raised. Her eyes fixed are on Dr. Strange.]
Alejandra: What do you want from me sorcerer?
[Dr.Strange summons a small orb, in it’s smooth reflective surface floats an image of Damian Hellstorm fighting Ghost Rider Johnny Blaze.]
Dr.Strange: Only you can stop him Alejandra. Only you can fight Johnny Blaze. Damian…has fallen.
Mephisto. Mephisto is the source. You must understand, we’re running out of time.
[Alejandra returns to her human form, her face expressing a mix of annoyance and concern for the image she just witnessed.]
Alejandra: How do you suggest I do that sorceror? You wish to storm hell, fight the demon and his armies head on?
[Dr.Strange dismisses her arrogant comment and lifts his hand, which is glowing with a soft golden hue. From Alejandra’s jacket pocket, a small length of chain rises, the link on one end broken.]
Dr.Strange: Not quite. I had something more subtle in mind. This chain, this is the key to stopping Mephisto. This chain will help us save Johnny Blaze.
How will the chain stop Johnny Blaze? Young Loki the new God of Thunder?! What is going on with Mephisto, Dr.Doom, Damian, and Johnny Blaze? More answers next issue as Hands of Fate draws towards it’s epic conclusion!
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