A reanimated corpse seemed to be the only option and time was running out, so Loki used every fiber of his being to course enough energy through a dead man and throw an illusion on him. He now had a perfect copy of himself created right as Hulk began losing to Thanos. Quickly the God of Mischief hid in a dark corner and made himself invisible, but there was a connection between himself and his false representation that he had not expected. It felt like he was standing there, at the mercy of the enormous titan. As the gigantic hand grab the neck of the faux Loki, the real one felt himself choking and grabbed at his neck, making the struggle feel real as the slaying was taking place. He could feel the crushing of the wind pipe and manage to get out the words, "You will never be a God", before the neck snapped and the connection was broken. Loki was freed from the torture and as he tried to catch his breath, he crawled off and found his footing, running for dear life while the echoing of his brother's sorrow came flooding to his ears. It almost caused him to turn around, but his fear got the better of him. He slipped into an escape pod and whisked away before the great explosion that sent the Asgardians scattering across space. The sight was shocking and the God of Mischief took a moment to let it burn into his memory. Then he turned his vessel and was gone.
He arrived on Midgard and crash landed on the cliff side of Norway where Odin vanished, falling out and dry heaving from the torment he had just endured. He laid there, tears of mourning and anger burning his eyes. He didn't want to care. He wanted to be like his old self, cast out and dwelling on it. He wanted to thrive from the destruction of Asgard, but he couldn't. He was overwhelmed with grief and rage and it weighed him down. He stayed flat against the grass for an hour, his eyes looking out at the ocean where the deceased king's spirit had blown away. He could feel the longing for advice and the guilt entering his heart and soul for abandoning Thor to Thanos. He knew, however, if he had turned back, he would have died and he didn't feel ready to face death and her cold embrace. He had always escaped it. Then a familiar voice came to him. "Are you going to lie there the rest of your days", it asked. Loki pushed himself up and turned to see Odin standing before him. He was having a vision.
"I can't go back"
"You know, when I found you", Odin said with a calmness to his tone. "you were left for dead and yet you refused to die. I always imagined that strength would have more meaning than you have given it." Loki stood up slowly. He was shaken.
"They're all dead. Who am I to save if all is lost?"
"Not all", his adopted father responded. "You give Thor such little credit. He too is a survivor." The God of Mischief lowered his gaze. His trick would live on and he would be a disappointment again. This time, he truly felt sorry for it. It made him frustrated and disgusted with himself. "Is it so hard?", Odin asked. "Is it so hard to admit that you would miss your brother and regret your choices? All of us make mistakes and poor decisions. Why are you not even strong enough to admit your faults? Not even now?" Loki looked up and then shifted around, taking in the scenery.
"This was going to be Asgard, reborn."
"It was", the king responded as he looked around as well. "Still could be, if the two of you could make it so. There's still some Asgardians left. They could be rehomed here, if you are willing to fight for them." Loki stood, bewildered and without words. "Your brother was correct", Odin continued. "You will always be the God of Mischief, but you could be so much more. That little babe that managed to survive the ice and cold is still fighting within you. Where will you focus that strength? In trickery and surviving by deceiving or by facing the enemy and not letting them take what is most important? Life. The lives of our people and those of other worlds. You were meant for more. You have always known it. You just went about it in the wrong way." The frost giant hung his head and as he raised his gaze again to speak, Odin was gone. He was alone again and the breeze picked up. It was as if his adopted father had been blown away again and Loki sighed. He could feel a fire burning inside of him. He had to finally face death and what comes of it is his true destiny.
Loki landed the pod in Wakanda and found the shields down and the place in a state of crisis. Monsters were overflowing and great machines of death were pushing through the opposing army, turning them to mush as they rolled along. The imagery was terrifying, but the God had found something deep within himself to remain. These were not his people, but he still owed them something. It was then that Thor appeared with a great axe of lightning in his hand. He smashed into the ground and sent villains flying. It was like a memory recreated right before Loki's eyes. His brother's presence sending the battle in a different direction. A brief smile crossed his face. He had missed moments like this, knowing they were the best at war. He took to running, drawing blades and slashing down creatures left and right, moving swiftly and effortlessly through the fighting masses. The mischief maker wanted to get close to his brother and once again, fight side by side with him, but the amount of people in the battle kept a distance between them. Then Loki saw a gigantic beast behind Thor with a mighty sword. The God of Thunder was not sensing him.
Loki jumped up on the backs of men and monster and ran across them as if he weighed nothing and leapt in the direction of Thor, passing over him and colliding into the enemy. Both fell to the ground and the frost giant shifted to his icy form, summoning an ice blade into his hand and ran it through the beast's throat. He could feel the resistance of muscle and tissue, but as blood poured fourth, he knew he had defeated the creature that had almost bashed his brother down. Still blue with violently red eyes, Loki stood and faced Thor while breathing deeply. The run had exhausted him.
The yelling and screaming around them seemed to mean nothing in that moment.
"I can explain. I'm not afraid anymore. I'm not afraid to face the end and I'm not afraid to truly be me."
He dropped his blood soaked weapon.
"And I admit it without fear. I have missed you, brother."
It was then that the winds changed and the fighting seemed to stop. Thanos was arriving.
"We should face him together. Let him see he failed with me and he will fail today. Let us do this together, like when we were young."