Loki wakes with a gasp alone and with a hole in his chest. The stab wound is painful but nothing he won’t recover from, given enough time to heal. The fact that he woke alone is the most disappointing part.
Had Thor truly left him for dead?
Perhaps Thor really thought he was dead.
Loki himself certainly thought he was.
Dead though he may not yet be, he will be soon if he continues to lay here exposed and vulnerable. Most of his magic is going towards healing the wound, but he can divert just enough to take himself somewhere else.
Safe, he thinks.
Protected , he thinks.
Isolated, he tacks on because he just wants to be left alone to lick his wounds in peace.
The swirl of magic is slower than usual, but Loki holds those concepts in his mind. Safe, protected, isolated. Holds them for so long he begins to feel like a fledgling mage and closes his eyes to better convince the universe that I am there. I am where I will be safe, protected, and isolated.
He has given up, sure too much of his magic is being poured into keeping him alive to expend on transport, but when he opens his eyes he finds he is not where he was before.
The room is dark, lit only by the dimmest of lighting around the ceiling, and filled with several shelves of odds and ends of what look like the sort of useless treasures a child might collect. A single screw has as much a place of prominence as what appears to be a lump of gold.
The floor is hard but at least it is smooth and keeping his head up is becoming too tiring, so he stops inspecting his surroundings. Deeming them safe enough, he allows himself to relax.
Unfortunately, even this slight shift causes a twinge in his chest which upsets the fragile balance he has struck with his lungs. Loki begins to cough, blood dusting his lips and hand. By the time he is finished, he is exhausted.
He closes his eyes and lets himself sleep.
Loki wakes to a faint whirring and a sense of Hello Curious-Who flooding him through the Allspeak. This is a realm of sentient but non-verbal beings, then. He opens his eyes to see an odd mechanical creature hovering over him. Its body seems to primarily consist of a single arm with a claw on the end.
Talking was a bad idea. Loki's lungs rebel almost immediately as they did before. The blood he spits out is darker now, no longer fresh. He is healing then, even if it doesn't feel like it.
"-am Loki," he gasps finally. "I am Loki."
Loki nods, unwilling to make a second attempt at speaking again yet, but it seems this is answer enough because the one-armed being beeps and whirs.
Loki was correct in his evaluation that this room belongs to a child, then. This being is clearly young, to be proud of itself over a simple introduction.
DUM-E pauses its celebration suddenly.
Overseer-Sibling-FRIDAY requesting presence. Parent-Creator Damage In Progress !
The being turns and leaves Loki without another comment, although the sense of Parent-Creator had been accompanied by an underlying sense of loyalty and love so strong Loki questions whether he has ever felt anything like it.
Loki has long come to realize his mother, though he loves her deeply, has her flaws.
Perhaps only children can love their parents so blindly.
The sibling FRIDAY is clearly the older sibling then, as overseer. However, these are mechanical beings, perhaps age has nothing to do with it and this 'Friday' is simply designed for the more advanced task of overseer.
Or -- the thought strikes him -- do they evolve to the tasks they are assigned?
Are there any biological beings here or are they all mechanical? If they are all mechanical, food and water might present a problem relatively soon. He will need some sustenance to replenish his magic reserves before it starts to eat away at his own life force.
There is little to be done at this point, however. Just that small interaction has exhausted him beyond measure. He closes his eyes once more and lets the hum of safe, protected, isolated lull him to sleep.
Loki is awoken by a hard poke to his shoulder. The flinch it forces out of him pulls out a gasp followed by some coughing. The blood is all dark this time. Nearly black. He is likely just coughing up the remnants of what is left in his lungs.
Self-Guilt-Concern. Loki undamaged and/or under repair?
"Under repair," Loki replies, because that seems to be the closest concept these beings will have to healing . "I was...badly damaged before arriving here, but repairs are already being made."
"That is accurate enough."
Self-understand. Initiate: Fallen-Can't-Stand protocol
"What does that-" Loki starts, but the creature has already left, determination coloring his last statement. "-mean."
Well, he is awake now, and he finds himself in a slightly better condition than the last time he'd awakened. He makes an attempt to push himself into a sitting position. He does manage but he knows he won't be able to hold himself up for long so he uses his feet to inch himself backwards until his back hits a wall. Thankfully it's not far but sweat has already begun to dot his brow.
He practically melts against the wall in relief.
Loki doesn't fall asleep again but he does allow himself to drift a bit. Whirring and a nudge against his foot bring him back to the present.
He opens his eyes to be presented with a cup of green sludge.
"I am not mechanical," Loki tries to tell it. "What helps you likely will not help me."
Parent-Creator: Fallen-Can't-Stand protocol
Loki: Fallen-Can't-Stand protocol
"Thank you," Loki says finally and takes the cup with no intention of drinking it. Close inspection makes him wonder though. This is not a container conducive to the care or maintenance of a mechanical being, but would easily lend itself to the needs of a biological one. The cup and drinking straw, metal though they may be, are likely to be of no use to one such as DUM-E.
Loki changes his mind and gives the substance an experimental taste.
It is vile .
"What is in this?" Loki sticks his tongue out as though exposure to the air might somehow remove the offending substance from his taste buds. He resists the urge to scrape it off.
Primary Ingredients: Kale, Spinach, Blueberries, Engine Oil
Parent-Creator favorite: DUM-E-made automatic-repair-fluid
Parent-Creator is not a biological being like Loki then.
"I'm afraid I'm not the same sort of being as your Parent-Creator," Loki informs him, holding out the full cup to return it. "I cannot consume engine oil."
Loki-Specific automatic-repair-fluid. Primary Ingredients: Kale, Spinach, Blueberries... Liquid required.
"Water. Clean water."
Primary Ingredients: Kale, Spinach, Blueberries, Clean Water.
The next cup of sludge he is presented with is actually palatable.
Loki's physical wound heals quickly but his magic had brought him back from the brink of death on pure instinct alone. And it remains... strained.
He still finds himself exhausted and falling asleep frequently.
DUM-E brings him a tattered old blanket eventually. Worn soft and a bit thin by age, but on this realm of robots and androids he doubts there is any need for plush bedding and thick blankets. The room is kept at a comfortable temperature, so a blanket isn't technically a necessity. That DUM-E thought to bring him one at all (since it's not something he, himself, would need or likely have around) is somewhat touching.
So Loki curls up and watches the young robot check over each of the items on the shelves, one by one.
DUM-E likes to check on its treasures. After checking on Loki, it goes around the room inspecting each one and making sure they remain dust free. Occasionally it will add one, giving each its own place of prominence on the shelves.
Several times, very excitedly, it takes components away claiming that he has finally found somewhere for them to Do Good .
Sometimes when it says that, its single camera will land on Loki. Like DUM-E is just looking for the opportunity for Loki to Do Good too.
Once, Loki would never have cared about Good . Only Being Right . (Only the survival of he and his.)
Recently, Loki had begun to doubt a thing such as Good ever truly existed in the universe. (His own mother, beloved as she was, had lied to him his whole life - how could she - Stop .)
Now, he finds himself watching this clumsy one-armed robot. So careful in its care of him and its treasures. So excited when one has the opportunity to Do Good . So hopeful that one day it will find an opportunity for Loki.
Loki has come to hate it when others foist expectations to him unasked.
This is one he doubts he will be able to ignore when the time comes.