“That is impossible!” Thor exclaimed. “Surely the two of you are lying – you barely even look like us!”
Not-Thor grabbed his hammer from his belt and waved it menacingly at the brothers. Static electricity crackled between his fingers and in his beard. “If you would like a demonstration of my power, I would be happy to turn the two of you into charred piles of flesh!”
Loki stepped between the two of them. “No one will be turning anyone into piles of charred flesh. There must be some reasonable explanation as to why we crossed paths.” He turned to his brother. “Thor, you know of the power of the infinity stones. If someone were to get ahold of the reality stone, there’s no telling what they would have the power to do.”
While the Thors continued to glower at each other, Not-Loki cleared his throat. “Well, if you need guidance . . .Odin, All-Father and ruler of Asgard, might have the answers you seek. As my companion mentioned earlier, we are quite close to an entrance to the Bifrost. We could escort you two to Asgard so that you can have an audience with Odin.”
At the mention of Odin, the brothers exchanged somber looks. The loss of their father, their own Odin, still weighed heavy on their hearts; but perhaps meeting this other Odin would not be so painful if he was as different from their father as the other Thor and Loki were from them.
“We would greatly appreciate that,”Loki responded. “But first . . . we really need nicknames so that we can avoid confusion when we are speaking with each other.”
– – –
An hour later, the Thors and Lokis had their nicknames and were on their way to the Midgard entrance to the Bifrost. It had been decided that Not-Loki would be Silvertongue Loki, while the other Loki grudgingly agreed to be called Frosty Loki. The red-bearded Thor was Thor the Red and the other was No-Mjolnir Thor; Thor the Red laughed uproariously when he found out that the other Thor had lost his hammer, then muttered something about a wedding dress. After getting over their initial distrust, the Thors found they had much in common and traded many battle stories as they walked. When Thor the Red asked how No-Mjolnir Thor had lost his eye, No-Mjolnir Thor responded, “It was in this epic battle with Hela -”
“Do you mean Hel? Loki’s daughter, ruler of the dead?”
“Err, no. I mean Hela, my sister, firstborn of Odin . . . did you say daughter of Loki?”
Meanwhile, Silvertongue Loki was horrifying Frosty Loki with various stories from his past. “You gave birth to WHAT?” Frosty Loki yelped, eyes wide.
“A horse – an eight-legged horse,” Silvertongue Loki said smugly. “Sleipnir is a beautiful steed and a good son, though unfortunately he does not have as important a part to play in the end of the world as my other children do.”
“The end of the world?” Frosty Loki asked, troubled. “Do you mean Ragnarok?”
“Oh, yes!” Silvertongue Loki replied excitedly. “I am going to die, Thor is going to die, almost everyone is going to die. It’s going to be such a delightful time, with chaos everywhere.”
Frosty Loki stayed quiet. He was not sure how the other Thor and Loki would react if they knew that in his and No-Mjolnir Thor’s universe, Ragnarok had already played out and Asgard had been destroyed.
The four gods continued their journey for another few hours before they ran into an obstacle: an encampment of frost giants. Luckily, the Thors were in a fighting mood and they quickly got rid of all the frost giants, both by scaring them off and by smashing them into snowdrifts. Afterwards, the traveling companions scavenged for food from the frost giants’ stores and discussed the logistics of the rest of their trip to Asgard.
“We should be close to the entrance to the Bifrost,” Thor the Red said after taking a large swig of mead. “However, we must be careful – Heimdall will be wary because of how close these frost giants were to the gates of Asgard.”
No-Mjolnir Thor grinned broadly. “Ah, Heimdall! I am excited to meet this world’s Heimdall, because my own Heimdall is such a dear friend.”