Continuum - Chapter 9 Preview
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“So,” Steve said once he and Tony had taken their seats. “Natasha tells me that you’ve got some more information on these infinity gems?”
Thor gave a nod. “Yes, that is true. Your encounter here has only solidified my theory that the gem inside Loki’s sceptre is in fact one of the six infinity stones. More specifically, the Mind Stone.” He paused, tapping his palm on the table. “It is also my belief that it was this stone that was driving Loki’s madness when he attacked this planet. I know that Loki has caused all of us great pain, but I also know that he was not himself during that time, and I believe this is why.”
“So you’re saying those Chitauri bastards were using this Mind Stone to control him?” asked Clint. Clint’s jaw was tight and his fists clenched, no doubt remembering the horror he went through while under Loki’s influence.
“Yes, that is exactly what I am saying,” said Thor. “Agent Barton, I believe you experienced some of these effects as well?”
“We all did,” Natasha said quickly, giving Clint’s wrist a squeeze. “But not as much as Clint and Dr Selvig. Their effects were… more direct.”
“Yeah, like a straight shot to the heart,” muttered Clint. “Dude pointed the thing at my chest and it was like I’d suddenly forgotten who I was and who I was working for.”
“He pointed it at your chest?” Tony asked, pointing to where his arc reactor used to be. “Like, right here?”
“Ah, yep,” said Clint. “Got me and another agent in about ten seconds flat, then got Selvig before we split.”
“Hmm…” Tony murmured as he leaned back in his chair, his expression morphing into his I’m thinking face.
“Tony?” Steve asked. “What’re you thinking?”
Tony started, like he had forgotten Steve was there. “Um… well, I’m thinking that somehow my arc reactor was able to ward off the effects of this Mind Stone,” he said. “‘Cause Loki tried the same thing with me when we got to the Tower after the portal opened up, only it didn’t work.”
“He did, what?” Steve exclaimed, gaping at his husband. Tony had never mentioned anything about this to Steve before. “You never—wait, Loki did what to you?”
“Well, from the sounds of it, he tried to do the same thing he did to Barton here,” said Tony, way too nonchalantly for Steve’s taste. “Only it didn’t work, so then he got all pissed off and threw me out the window.”
“Yeah, okay, but we don’t need to talk about that right now either,” Steve said. He drew in a deep breath, trying to maintain some semblance of composure. He, Natasha, and Clint had arrived at the Tower in the Quinjet just in time to witness Tony being tossed out of the penthouse window, and Steve had nearly had a heart attack at the sight.
And that had been before his flight through the portal.
“Steve, we were all affected by that sceptre,” Bruce piped up from his chair next to James. “So even though Loki didn’t use it on us directly, we were all still vulnerable to its effects.”
“Yeah, and given that all you super-types were just as affected as the rest of them, I’d say that means this thing must be pretty powerful,” said Sam.
“It is indeed, Son of Wil,” said Thor. “And now that it is back in the hands of the Chitauri, it is my thought that we must take measures to remove the other Earth-bound gems from this planet. It is not safe to have this many of these stones in such close proximity.”
“Okay, just… can you remind me exactly what these gems are again?” asked James. “Not all of us were as involved in the incident in New York as others.”
“Oh, of course, Colonel,” said Thor, clearing his throat. “Mind you, I will be relaying the story as it was told to me hundreds of years ago. By my mother.”
“Now wait just a minute,” said Clint. “So you’re telling me this just is another one of your Asgardian bedtime stories?”
“Well, yes,” Thor answered. “I believe you Midgardians also share bedtime stories with your offspring, do you not?”
“Well, yeah, we do,” said Clint. “But… Jesus. I’d hate to see what you guys think is really scary.”
Thor narrowed his eyes. “Yes, Agent Barton,” he said grimly. “You mostly likely would.”
“Please, Thor, continue,” said Steve, barely clinging to his patience. “We’re kind of on a clock here.”