~H E L A, H E L H E I M, 2 0 1 7~
She felt his presence the minute he crossed into the realm.
Everything else was dead and lifeless. The whisper of breath carried across bones and ash and forgotten things.
It disturbed the neverending silence that stretched out across the realm like a numbing drug.
Hela, the Goddess of Death, peered at him. She knew no one would come to visit her--not after Surtur destroyed Asgard. Not like anyone did before, except for Frigga in dreams.
Hela's cloak dragged behind her as she walked. Already it was decaying, the shining emerald satin succumbing to a moldy black.
It teared easily, and already housed many gaping holes, like open mouths moaning.
Helheim was dark and full of shadows. There was no sun in the sky, no source of light. Just a permanent dimness. Hela squinted at the one shadow that moved.
"Did the pathetic princes of Asgard put you up to this?" She sneered at the recent memories of them. Thor was just as he was when he was born: too enthusiastic, and too whiny.
He ended up like Odin in the end: banishing her, just because his lover told him death was too harsh. The men in Hela's family were cowards.
"Are you here to gloat? To mock? Or, perhaps, maybe you've come to finish the job--"
As Hela stalked forward towards the tall stranger, she stiffened. She was the Goddess of Death, and with that title came the ability to sense things.
She could feel how many times someone had been close to death...or how much life they had taken in return. The second was undeniably strong.
The figure started to turn.
"My job," His voice was deep and grim with determination. "has nothing to do with you."
She knew his name before she saw his face. Because she had met all the countless spirits and corpses and broken left in his wake.
"Hmm," A hand rose beneath Hela's chin as she studied the titan. "If you're not here because of me, then why are you trespassing in my realm?"
"You mean your prison?" Thanos said.
If looks could kill, Hela's glare could. And, on the weak, it usually did.
Thanos did not flinch or show the slightest hint of discomfort.
"I've heard of you. The Goddess of Death," The titan glanced down at the boots of his armor. The glimmering gold contrasted with the darkness of the realm. It reminded Hela of Asgard.
It reminded her of home, of hope, of victory.
"I heard about your centuries of conquest, before the Allfather cast you out," Thanos admitted. "I have to admit, I was...impressed by your work."
Hela smirked. Bones and plate armor crunched underneath her as she neared the only other living person for miles.
"Your determination is astounding. My favorite daughter, Gamora...when I first met her, her green complexion reminded me of you."
"If you think flattery will stop me from killing you, it won't." Hela remarked.
"You haven't killed me yet," He pointed out.
"I'm bored," She sniffed, folding her arms. "I asked you a question, and you ignored it. Why are you here?"
Thanos glanced around the wasteland.
It wasn't like there was a coffee shop nearby to sit and chat; the rocks all seemed to form into long, jagged spikes, and the ground was littered with dried blood and the fallen.
He found the flattest rock nearby and sat at the base. His right hand rested atop his left as he sat.
Hela's eyebrow rose at his makeshift seat. With a slender, bone-white hand, she gestured lazily at the ground. The bones shifted and made a haunting knocking noise as they came together.
Hela smiled as she sat upon her new throne, just sitting slightly higher than Thanos' perch.
Thanos said, "I am here because I am looking for the infinity stones."
He uncovered his left hand, where one violet stone glittered on a golden gauntlet.
Hela hid her surprise at the most powerful relic in the universe. She leaned back in her makeshift chair, "There aren't any here. And if there were, you wouldn't get them."
Thanos cocked his head, as if questioning the statement.
Hela huffed, "If I had an infinity stone, do you think I would be sitting here...? In this prison?"
Thanos bowed his head. "Fair enough."
"So why search for the most powerful weapons in the universe?" Hela could not tear her eyes away from the violet stone.
It was the only source of light in this underworld, and it belonged to the intruder. The enemy.
"Because everything else in this universe is finite. People take more than they give...I saw my world crumble to dust and ruin because people took too much. I have a solution."
Hela's head slowly tilted to the side, "And your solution is...you want to take people."
Thanos nodded once.
"You speak of genocide." It was a topic full of tension, yet Hela had no issue saying the word out loud.
"At random. Fair, yet merciless." Thanos explained.
"Hmm," Hela steepled her fingers and studied the titan as she thought.
He wanted to play god. Just like Ego--Hela remembered that annoying life form, and was pleased when she learned of his death. Both were mad, but they had the power to fulfill their intentions.
Asgard was gone. Her power was gone.
Hela shifted in her seat. She could tolerate the being sitting in front of her. If she waited long enough, stayed close to his side...those stones could be hers.
The titan stank of death--perhaps joining him on his little quest could be entertaining. But those details were meaningless. Hela could have what was finally hers. And...
she could satisfy the vengeance she now craved on the so-called "king" of Asgard.
"You hold a valid point," Hela remarked, sitting up in her chair. "You speak the truth. I'd like to lend my assistance to your cause."
The titan actually looked excited. "You would?"
"Of course," She smirked when the next words rolled off her tongue, "perhaps we can come to an arrangement."
Thanos left his rocky perch behind, and kneeled before the Goddess of Death. "Hela, Goddess of Death, rightful queen of fallen Asgard and...
the most beautiful woman I have ever laid my eyes upon, I would be honored if you were by my side as we purified the universe together."
Her eyes widened, but she forced herself to nod and look formal. Thanos' admiration of her went a lot deeper than she realized. It worked in her favor.
She stood and dusted off the chalky residue of bone from her decomposing armor. "It would be my pleasure. I simply cannot wait."
Thanos rose, almost cheeky in his reaction. "Of course. My ships are yours, my lady."
He gestured towards the sky. The dull, gray sky suddenly lit up with thousands upon thousands of tiny diamonds, like stars in the night sky. Thanos' army.
It was the most beautiful thing Hela had ever seen.
The largest structure hovered over them, darkening the shadows further. A long pole of blue light reached down from the ship. Hela's eyes seared from the new light source.
Gravity was forgotten. Hela was flying. She was soaring over her prison, she was free. The nine realms were at her fingertips, and possibly more. Oh, if only Odin could see her now...
The blinding light faded away. The dark confines of the ship surrounded them now; Hela didn't mind the darkness too much. The smell was certainly better.
A thin, balding creature stood before them and bowed low. "Dark lord. Lady Hela, Goddess of Death. I am Ebony Maw."
Thanos leaned towards her, murmuring out of the corner of his mouth, "He's my executioner."
Hela's eyes lit up. "You have an executioner?"
"Of course: executioners--"
"Execute your vision," The two finished. Hela found herself smiling.
"I actually have four executioners: I call them the Black Order," Thanos told her with pride.
"Four? That's a little much."
Thanos did a double-take. "...You know what, you're right. I could kill off a few--"
Maw's beady eyes widened. His pale complexion discolored to a milky white.
"No, I don't think those extremes will be necessary." Hela replied. "You do have quite an army, after all."
"We have an army."
Ebony Maw looked back and forth between the two mass murderers of the galaxy with an expression of distaste.
The contort of Maw's face faded when Thanos' attention returned to him, "Have you located the nearest infinity stone?"
"Yes, sire. We have discovered the space stone on a large ship. It originates from Sakaar...but we have leads informing us that Asgardian refugees are also on board."
Hela stilled. She remembered that flying piece of trash, hovering in the sky. That had to be it.
Thanos glanced down at her. "We will pursue the ship, and you can extract revenge on those cumbersome fools for casting you out--"
Maw flinched at the sudden outburst. Thanos simply blinked with shock.
Hela regained her composure quickly. "My brother is on that ship...I want to destroy him."
Her smirk returned. "I want to destroy him...when I have destroyed everything else. When all of the infinity stones are found, when the nine realms are mine.
I will make that hammer-obsessed idiot wait, and then..."
Her hands crumpled into fists. "I will destroy Thor Odinson, and everyone else who would stand in my way."
Thanos reached for one of her tight fists, and planted a soft kiss on her knuckles. "Revenge is almost as sweet as you, my lady."
~Author's Note~ Peter Quill: EW. EW EW EW THIS IS DISGUSTING MAKE IT STOP
Thor: Gamora, does this make us...family? Peter Quill: Okay, it's not that bad.
Gamora: This makes me terrified. Those people should NOT be in the same room together. It's like when Rocket puts his body parts in the food fridge. Peter Quill: I can't believe I wasted money on a fridge for storing body parts.
Bucky Barnes: Bucky Barnes: Keep that away from me, please.
Author: Thank you so much for hanging with us, Awesome Adventurers! This is another sneak peak at my series, "The Collector's Cosmic Romance Saga"! In this series, we see these two baddies get together, and a juicy Thor/Peter Quill love triangle. You can find more here, or on Wattpad, Tumblr, or Archive of Our Own! Love, fortune and glory to you!!