The Ant and the Boot
A Distraction and an Eyeball.
It was taking too long. I twitched and paced with nervous energy, my eyes stinging from the hard blow dealt to me by those blasted Chitauri. I held my scepter tightly in my hands.
Blast those creatures. This was [i]my[/i] world, my victory. It wouldn't take long. I held the Tesseract, after all. Who could do anything but kneel before me?
I talked to the scientist, his eyes still glazed over in that stupid way. It was impressive that a creature of his intellect had discovered a way to harness the power of the Tesseract. Maybe I had underestimated them in some way.
But it had been so easy to overwhelm their minds. In that way, maybe I hadn't.
“The Tesseract is showing me so much,” the scientist, apparently named Selvig, murmured, staring at me. No, not at me – through me. He didn't see me at all. “It's more than knowledge, it's truth.”
“I know,” I turned away from him, feeling my stomach roil in disgust toward these stupid creatures. The assassin, though, seemed to be an entirely different specimen all together. More elite. He would have made a useful pet in Asgard.
“What about you, Agent Barton?”
“My next target,” he replied tersely, face like stone as he pulled out a bow and arrow. Good. I smiled, feeling some relief.
“Tell me what you need.”
The agent flipped open his odd, multi-part bow.
“I need a distraction. And an eyeball.”
I wasn't ready to go to another party, even as we pulled up in a motorcade, our car rented for my mother and I by my brother's father. Prosper was already inside, called early to set up with the other musicians. The dress that clung to my body felt strange against my skin, all layers of white chiffon over a single ivory sheath, and the glittering crystal flowers scattered throughout my hair pulled at my scalp. I didn't tell my mother that these crystals were actually plastic, bought from a drug store down the street from our hotel, nor did I tell her that my feet were already hurting from the heels that seemed so delicate they might shatter off my feet at any moment. In truth, all I wanted to do was go home and put on some sweats, maybe curl up and watch a movie with Prosper.
But that wasn't an option. This was a business and government gala, where members of state as well as all the self-made millionaires and billionaires of Europe could come together to discuss the newest island they'd just purchased. My mother and I were only admitted because my brother was playing in the orchestra and my mother was beautiful, making her an ideal companion for Prosper's father, the senior Blackwell, despite the fact that they had been divorced for almost twenty-five years. I was simply pulled along in my mother's desire to introduce me to all those rich and powerful. Wealth and power weren't things I desired. If they were, why would I study to be a journalist or psychologist?
“Come, Dove, we must get inside so we might mingle before the food is brought out,” my mother said briskly, linking her arm with mine. Even after all these years she still had a thick, luscious Russian accent that ran from her lips like silk. I didn't have that kind of power with my voice. That's why more often than not I stayed quiet, allowing my mother to speak for me even when what she said was wrong.
I allowed myself to be led inside, smiling at face after face of person I had never met or did not recognize. My hand was kissed, my mother's cheeks were kissed. She even kissed Prosper's father, despite their years of estrangement. I curtseyed to him, bowing my head.
“Mr. Blackwell,” I greeted politely.
“Dovesary, please, do call me Luthor,” he insisted, taking my hand and kissing it. “You grow lovelier by the day.”
“Thank you, Mr. Blackwell,” I nodded to him again before slipping away into the crowd.
I hovered around the bandstand, trying to make contact with my brother as his group of ten members played for the party. But they were considered the elite for a reason, and even the persistence of nagging little sisters couldn't make Prosper break his concentration.
While I was waiting, nibbling on a piece of shrimp, I noticed a young man stroll across the marble floor and up the winding double staircase. I normally wouldn't take notice of him, since he seemed relatively normal, but he walked with a cane whose blue gem, inset at its hilt, seem to glow with blue fire. I watched the man and his cane, transfixed, noticing his soft black hair, slim build and pleasant smile. I smirked, leaning back and regarding him and the lovely blue gem that bobbed like a warm blue ember.
“Now that's a man I wouldn't mind getting to know, mother,” I murmured, sighing and flicking the remains of my shrimp into a nearby trashcan.
As I watched, the blue light bobbed until its owner reached the top of the steps, overlooking the party. Then the man came back down the stairs, still smiling, until stopped by a security officer. Then that friendly, warm, blue light raised into the air then, with a deft blur of blue fire, bludgeoned the security guard in his right temple. The security guard crumpled to the ground, his head turning red with blood.
That was when the screaming began.
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Have a great day, and see you in the next chapter!