1964-06-21 - Act IX Part 2: Loki Bound
Summary: In which Loki goes on a cosmic bender and ends up working out a deal with a man who likes pink dancers.
Related: Loki Bound
Theme Song: None
malekith rogue loki 


Space age, without doubt this casino is nowhere near any outpost of Midgard or Asgard. In fact, it probably doesn't exist inside the Milky Way galaxy. Not that it entirely matters. Creatures humanoid in nature and many definitely not gather on the lower levels, shuttled about by telekinetic lifts and the odd puff of teleportation. Colour and sound clash in their glory on the second floor. Here wagers are spun on tables, using games as varied as they come. Some spin tales and others throw dice, and some bid on the acts of mortal creatures worlds away witnessed through scrying portals and diviners balls. In the middle of it all is the Well. Really, it's part bar (well), and part reflection pool (well) and part hot people dancing and undulating on a narrow beam suspended over the dancing waters that form amorphous surges. A rather unimpressive white-haired man sits on a thickly padded chair fancing the dancers. They're ridiculously hot. They are all pink-skinned, flaming pink at that, and a nice distraction. No one else goes near the fellow, not really.


Loki has never met him. Not officially. But, he knows who he is. Yes. There was that one time…with the wraith-fish that Odin deemed too dangerous to keep around. Fandral went. The memory is old, vague, but yes, he thinks so. Hard to miss a man like that with his hot, pink, hangers-on. He cannot miss the opportunity. Perhaps capable of missing it, but no, mentally he cannot. Even his thoughts of his own mission slip away at the titilating thought of a tour from the banker…of all his vaults. He's heard rumors. He clenches his fist, briefly, then draws himself up regally, as if he were NOT an exile, or were NOT wearing borrowed armor. Long legs take him towards the white-haired man, with purpose, allowing any touches from his attendants unless they get distracting. "Evening…" He gives dark hair a brush behind one shoulder, an arrogant motion.


The banker could well be utterly bored with everything happening here, given no one breaches the personal space. He's got men to keep the rabble at bay. And the girls, well, they just make an exquisite show even for those disposed towards far more discerning assistants of another kind. Their bright eyes follow everyone while they twist and gyrate, held up by the indigo liquid. Sometimes the beam doesn't even support their toes, but they turn and undulate to the music in the place, in their souls. It's a strange thing to watch, the timed coordination.

The white-haired man makes a gesture and immediately wine is brought, a glass of something almost like nectar. The servant hurries in, delivers the drink, and all but vanishes back into the wings in the time it takes Loki to come into his presence. A man. A visitor. Mere child. Those assessments take place almost disinterestedly, in a space that occupies seconds rather than minutes. "Yes?" The man is expectant, even as he is cultivated.


Loki presses his lips into a thin smile, disappointed there is no one around to make the introductions. "We have business, you…and I, Loki, of Asgard." A hand drifts down to Loki's side and he twitches the fingers in a quick drum against leather. He seems a predatory sort of insect, coiled, waiting to be insulted so that he can throw a few bodies around and ruin the party, ruin everything, as he does so well. But all of that is encased in a polite elegance, that says that he could share a drink and crumpets just as easily.


The rim touches his lips and the banker takes a sip of the wine. Best to think of it as wine, though the aromatic concoction could well be the blood from the last skydragon in existence. His silvered brows don't lift much, those clear eyes watching. "Do we." It's not a question, fully. Every movement of his is relaxed, telegraphing complete confidence and a supreme arrogance that makes Odin look like a weeping whelp hiding behind Bors' skirts. All that by sitting, looking upon a man with a calculated slowness. One predatory insect to another, might as well get the lay of the land. The dancers don't stop what they do, the two men among them turning around and surveying the world with smiles on their faces. "Talk, then."


"You have my bow, I believe. Gudmoelder. I want it back." Loki comes closer to the banker and then turns to one of the girls, "Get me a chair." Then he turns his sharp green eyes back to the banker. "Malekith the Accursed wants something back from his vault as well, but…I can solve that problem…if you give me back my bow."


The faint crease of a smile forms. The vertical bar painted down the Collector's chin stretches slightly. One of the girls dancing on the water gives the man a perturbed, querulous look and doesn't stop moving, not for a second. Water twines around her body, rising up and up, almost hitting the ceiling before launching back into the pool.

"That won't be necessarily, Melissida." His voice, crisp and bored, acts as chain and ball for her.

A chair is pushed up by another of the staff, a floating egg-shaped thing that contours to the body when Loki sits.

"The God's way." The translation, or /one/, rolls around his tongue. "Two somethings. What are you offering for the bow and the thing from the vault?"


Loki grins crookedly. "It is an unusual bow, and…it was only in custody…so that I could not get my hands upon it. But…that was /so long ago/, I am certain he has forgotten all about it." Loki settles into the chair and spreads his legs wide. "I am not in the habit of trading for things I /already/ own. That is why I am not entirely certain that I want you to give me what is in Malekith's vault. However…I am willing to give you the enchanted spear of Amora, the Enchantress…in trade for the bow." His eyes twinkle. Bargaining with shit that isn't his is the BEST.


"You mean someone else gave me your bow," the Collector says, slowly, pacing out every word. Why not? It tastes delicious to speak. The wine is pointed as an extension of his arm to the Asgardian. "You propose then to give me Amora Incantara's spear for it?" These questions are delivered, sharp and precise origami words, and set in front of the Asgardian proverbially. He raises the glass to his chin, not quite drinking on it. "You don't own what is in the dark elf's vault. I still do not see what the problem of the vault is."


"I can explain the vault as it was explained to me. Malekith has a new lower and he wants whatever is in there…to surprise them. He cannot get it himself or he'll ruin the surprise. Also, I believe, he finds it amusing to have something that I want, thus he can attempt to get me to do things for him." Loki shakes his head slowly.


"Fascinating." The Collector would probably say the same if he dissected Thanos and extracted his spleen, just to have the youngest and most messed up titan's inner organs. "The Enchantress' spear would be less interesting than her wedding dress or tiara." He leans back. "Or a piece of the Bifrost's glow. Do you have any of those?" His glass vanishes from sight, wafted away somewhere unimportant. His hands casually rest on his knees as he leans forward, and the seat almost creaks. "What or why Malekith the Accursed wants what he left with me… that's less important than the going exchange." His smile isn't any warmer than a basilisk. "You can give me something for your bow. The first transaction. It's separate from the second one with the dark elf. So it is clear." He assesses Loki over once or twice.

A faint tremor ripples through the structure of the casino. Some people in sight might stop talking or drinking, then proceed with their favourite vices again.


"I know where the Shield of 3 Ships is. But, I will need the bow to get it. As amusing as it would be to torment Amora with having traded away her spear, I will bring you the shield…you have my word." Loki wets his lips as he makes his offer.


|ROLL| Hela +rolls 1d20 for: 12


|ROLL| Loki +rolls 1d20 for: 4


"Delivered within a fortnight as Asgard reckons, and no more. Or else you are forfeit to me." The Collector holds out his hand to Loki for a firm handshake. The deal apparently rests on that contingency. "The woman's spear has little value for me. Now, deliver it to Venus and convince her to part with one of her golden arrows… then I may have a quarter share of decit credits for you."


Loki takes his hand and shakes it, agreeing to the deal. "And now? Malekith's vault. It is for the Accursed himself that I come about it, so…there really should be no trouble, there, unless you are a banker that does not pay back out."


One of the blue dancing blobs in midair behaves unlike water. It shakes and the liquid sluices away to reveal a bow, slightly silvered. But definitely a recurve bow, not easy for someone without a particular physique to pull. A tag even sticks to the bottom.

The Collector shrugs. Loki's insult goes nowhere for him, and he says, "It is arranged." The next of the arcing jets of water springing along forms a rainbow to just about hit the Asgardian in the face unless he gets his hands out in time. Assuming he does, an elongated box of bone and titanium falls into his grip. If not, that will leave a decorative bruise!


Loki moves swiftly to take the bow once it is offered to him, grasping the yew, carved with more than just skill, but certainly enchantments as well, with decorations akin to the mistletoe. Very festive. Until he kills you with it. Pale fingers close around the grip and that silvery light on it at first, dances up his arm. There's a faint pop in the air as a weapon with /belonging/, not unlike Mjolnir, comes home. He is caught there, standing, feeling the power ripple up through his hand until he becomes suddenly aware of other things afoot. He is only JUST in time to catch the box, unprettily, and he looks down at it, /soaking/, and asks the collector, "What is in it? Why do I feel like I do not wish to know. Is it disease?"


Oh, there's only Balder who ever has to worry about murder by mistletoe. The rest of the world can laugh or cry. The Collector has little reason to be so concerned.

The box contains some kind of locking mechanism, surely, and it radiates a fair bit of magic. The water, too, has its own obvious enchantments imparting different qualities. Absolutely the mobility lies in part, and it's probably warded up the wazoo. But for the box, it's similar in at least textural magic quality. "Do you think I would permit you open something dangerous in here?" The pink dancers are watching with furtive stares. Nervousness punctuates their movements and their expressions, even if those damn smiles have to be surgically crafted on.


Loki tilts his head and arches his brows. "If you did not know what was in it and wished to find out…perhaps." He makes a motion with his hands and the bow disappears, so that he can focus his attention on the box. He runs his fingers along it and then attempts to work the lock to see if its obvious. However, he also keeps reminding himself that he cannot just live here for a month with the Collector, for funsies. Even if its tempting. he has an elf to rescue.


Another shudder runs through the structure of the casino, making glass wobble and the dancers stumble, the water splashing only a little. It's far too cohesive to be so easily disturbed, for all it shows tiny sine waves cutting through the body. The Collector makes no comment on this, measuring the reactions.

The box comes open with more than a little difficulty. One, it's wet. Two, it's bitterly cold. This becomes reasonably explained when it opens to reveal a compartment full of ice. The space is probably three inches square, and contains a rounded sphere melted around a gem attached to fine filigree segments. The stylized pieces in the front clearly fit together to form a curve, which makes the jewelry totally unsuitable for a necklace. More than likely it's to be worn on the forehead. The artistry is considerable; it's very easy to forget the second greatest of craftsmen in the Nine Realms aren't the light elves. It's the dark elves. If anyone can get the bloody arses to stop fighting long enough, they make rather beautiful pieces. The central one for this is a wrought gem. When and if Loki removes the ball of ice, the lid seals back into place and the box hums with a mystic warning.


Loki takes out the object to have a look, to make sure he's not about to doom Asgard, or some other terrible, moral dilemma and when the box shuts itself determinedly, he frowns. Loki's hand can endure the cold, though he also tries to conceal that by turning the object where his hand cannot be seen by the collector, at least. He so wants to put it on, but…he also does not want to marry Malekith!


Another shudder runs through the structure, stronger than the last. From the first tier, the distant sounds of screaming overcome whatever performance and splash of water entertains the refined aliens enjoying their vices in a luxurious cosmic port. The peacock blue water rumbles again and the pink dancers look with frightened, wide eyes. One starts to open his mouth, and thinks the better, but they are wobbling and trying so hard not to fall in. It's a lost cause. The next shudder accompanied by great orange explosions and those singed decidedly shadowy purple are moving far faster and harder than fire ever would.

"Our business is done." The Collector reaches out to snatch the box back. "Make haste slowly," he advises, and then in a pop of some power, disappears.

The dancers all fall into the goo, which itself disappears.

Give about two minutes of the structure shuddering and groaning, pods shooting out into the starry realm of space, and Malekith comes strolling back with a cane over his shoulder, and a rather superb cloak. "Time's up, old bean! We best be on our way. Mustn't keep the lady waiting." Or Loki discovering whether he can breathe in the void of space, just saying…

A bruised plum circle of power opens around the elf, and reaches out wispy shadows for the Asgardian…


Loki reaches out to grasp for Malekith's arm, not willing to take a chance of not getting out of here, though he's curious what destroyed the space station and he asks as much, screaming into the voice, "What was thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAt?" The last 'T' uttered when they arrive wherever they were going.


On a balcony

The sweep of shadows flowing over Loki is chilling. His icy heritage doesn't help there; this is the numbness of the void, a place with no oxygen. Maybe he should've been warned to hold his breath. It lasts a moment longer than truly tolerable and maybe his lungs want to burst. But they explode out…

… into sunshine. It's the longest day of the year and the midsummer revels are in full swing. Given the heady scent of the trees and the copper-skinned figures all about, the glimpse of pretty woodlands in the distance very much assures they're somewhere in Vanaheim. The home of his mother, no less. Loki is covered in rapidly melting frost, standing on a balcony of a handsome, two-story building made of wood and exquisitely carved. All the other houses he can see on the street are similarly lavishly painted, decorated, and fine. It's the sort of location that bustles with trade and importance, except every last Vanir is probably off getting drunk on mead and jumping around fires.

Malekith lounges against the wall, not exactly thrilled and not exactly manic, either. "One last errand, o princeling." He points the cane he obtained at a shop. Or rather, outside it, a series of statues hold up their hands. On them are a series of simple objects, round wooden bracelets and wooden rings. "Would you fetch one of the rings for me?" He isn't grinning slyly now, more thoughtful than anything. "Something for a lady's hand."


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