Noelle was nowhere to be found.
The six of us looked all over the grounds. Every guard was questioned, every noble asked. No one had seen her since yesterday evening. Heimdall even admitted he couldn’t see her.
As we all brooded over this, worry and doubt began to surface, the feelings bubbling up. “Something must have happened. She can’t have simply vanished. Something happened to her.” All heads turned to me as I babbled. The reality of what was happening was becoming clearer and clearer. “I should have walked her back to her rooms. I should have made sure she got back safe. I should have-” My voice gave out. My throat was closing, and tears threatened to spill from my eyes.
I didn’t care if I looked pathetic or weak. I just wanted to find her.
“We don’t know that.” Fandral said calmly. “There may be a logical explanation.” He didn’t sound convinced of that himself, but at least he was trying to be positive.
Tyr was silent the whole time. He had his hand over his mouth, thumb stroking his stubble and a puzzled look on his face. He had no answers.
“What do we do now?” Thor asked.
No one answered.
I regained consciousness, but just barely. My mouth felt like there was cotton stuffed in it, my limbs were limp and sore. I could hear slightly, but there was still a persistent ringing in them. I turned my head slightly to see that I was sitting on the floor. It was hard and cold. Stone.
My arms were chained to the wall behind me. My hair was limp and plastered to my forehead. I must have had a fever while I was out. There was a black ooze slowly dripping out of my arm. Jagged teeth marks ran along it, looking deep red and raw in the light.
This wasn’t good.
Suddenly, the world went black. I wasn’t unconscious though. It was as if someone had turned out all the lights. I yelled in surprise, confused. I couldn’t see a thing!
I had gone blind.
I screamed, hoping someone would hear me. Hoping this was a nightmare I would wake up from. I screamed and screamed, until my throat felt raw and tight.
“Go on.” A deep voice said form the darkness. “Go on and keep screaming. No one can hear you.”
“You obviously can.” I tried my best to make sure my voice didn’t shake.
“Ah, so sarcastic. Just like your father.” What was this person talking about? What did he mean?
I suddenly had my vision back. It was abrupt, like someone turning on bright lights during the middle of the night. I winced, only to see a large, purple creature standing in front of me. I couldn’t see his face, but I had to crane my neck to see most of him.
Suddenly, it dawned on me. I knew who this was. I had never seen, heard or met him before, but I knew. There was only one person who would kidnap my father, who would kidnap me.
“Thanos.” I said, feeling scared.
“In the flesh.” He smiled wickedly while I tried not to squirm. He was larger than life and had an ominous presence. “I assume you know why you are here.” I didn’t respond. It was probably safer for me to stay quiet than to pretend to know nothing. I had a feeling Thanos would know I was lying. “There is no point in being stubborn. I know your father knows where it is.”
After I didn’t answer again, he sighed. “Fine. We will do this the hard way.”
Just as Loki was about to call out a search through all of Asgard, Tyr signalled for them to come back to the meeting place. He had now come to the conclusion that the inevitable had happened.
“My daughter has no doubt been kidnapped.” He said as calm as he could manage.
“How do we know she isn’t simply romping around Asgard?” Sif asked yet again. She had insisted they check the treasure room to make sure no mystical weapons were missing. This had infuriated everyone, as Noelle didn’t even have access to that room. There was no way she could have stolen weapons and betrayed them.
“Because Noelle doesn’t go anywhere without telling someone.” Loki growled at her. He then put his head in his hands. “What will we do?”
“The only thing we can do.” Thor stepped in, putting a comforting hand on his brother’s shoulder. The two had bonded during this whole ordeal, and the disappearance of their friend only strengthened this. “We contact Thanos and ask for an exchange. The Amaranthe for Noelle. She has now taken Tyr’s place in this, so we continue with our plan.”
Tyr nodded at this. “There is nothing else we can do now. We should contact Thanos now. She’s strong but Noelle won’t be able to withstand Thanos’ power for too long.”
They all nodded gravely, while Loki sunk deeper into his chair. She’s being tortured. She’s being tortured and I can’t even help her.
Tyr pulled a small round object from his coat. It was a glass globe with red smoke in it. He quickly whispered an incantation into it and the red smoke cleared. “What is that?” Fandral asked.
“This is what I use to communicate with Thanos. I stole it from him and use it to lead him to me.” He placed the globe on a nearby desk. “I was able to keep his scent off Noelle and Asgard by using this to lead him around the galaxy.”
“Will he respond? Or just come to us?” Volstag asked anxiously.
“He’ll respond. We have something he wants.” They waited with baited breath until the smoke became black and a deep voice rand through to them.
“Yes?” The voice sent chills down their spines. It sounded so casual, so normal. Like you couldn’t tell there was an intergalactic menace behind it.
“Where is she Thanos?” Tyr asked in a level voice.
“Who?” He replied, bored.
“Ah. I see, you have noticed she’s missing. Your daughter and I have…business to conclude.” He chuckled, sending fire into Loki’s heart.
“Where is she?!” He stood up, trying to contain his rage. Just as he was about to ask again, a scream of pain was heard through the globe. “What are you doing to her?!” He was seething.
“Your daughter is very stubborn. Something she inherited from you I presume. She refuses to give me pertinent information.” Thanos ignored Loki, his voice still casual and relaxed. As if he wasn’t torturing a girl in the same room.
“What do you want Thanos?”
“The Amaranthe. The precious gem you’ve been hiding all these years. Bring it to me and I will not destroy Asgard and kill all its inhabitants.”
“What about the girl?” Thor’s voice boomed anger.
“You can have her too…if she survives. She seems to have passed out, I don’t know if she’ll last much longer.” They all went white as a sheet. “The globe with tell you where to go. Follow it.” The black mist turned red again, signaling the end of the conversation.
The group looked at each other before jumping into motion.