“Now you show up?” I asked as I walked away from the scene.
“Now there’s no risk of me and him getting into an…argument.” Loki sidelong glanced at me. “Did you save any chocolate?”
I tossed him one of the two muffins I’d bought for later. “Isn’t chocolate a new world plant?”
“New world, old world. Human distinctions. I’m sorry you had to handle that on your own.”
“But any other presence might have made him burn the place down. Got it. How do I know he isn’t right? Heck, why aren’t you…”
“…on his side?” He looked younger than normal, right now, less grey in his hair. “Because he can’t win. The best he could do is to force a draw.”
“And everyone dies. Why not just call the entire thing off?”
His face darkened. “I…”
“Can’t let go. I get that, but why let everyone die?” I shook my head a bit.
“One day the world will have to end and be reborn. Why not now? Look around you. The climate’s going to hell, a good day of honest work simply isn’t valued any more…” He tailed off. “What’s to keep this going for?”
“Maybe all the children born every day? I don’t know.”
“You just spent six months living with these people and being put on the trash heap for being an orphan. Why defend them?”
“Because most of them are decent. The problem is the decent people don’t have the power, don’t get the say. And I guess we can’t change that. But we can give them a chance to live out their lives.”
“Under corporate tyranny or Communist tyranny or the rule of kings and princes?”
“People manage to be happy in all of those situations. Besides, you’re a prince,” I pointed out.
“I’m a god. Big difference there.”
“Really? The way you guys squabble, I’m not sure there is such a big one. Did Thor ever toss you in the reflecting pool?”
“Nah. But I let him think he had. Then sneaked Sif back her bracelet.”
I laughed a bit at that. “See. Childish pranks. Politics. Feuds. You’re no different from them, just more powerful and longer-lived and…”
“…with power over their souls.”
“Did you ask for that?” An odd question that came to mind, then.
He turned to face me, walking backwards, “No being in all the realms can choose what they are. Who, to an extent, but not what. And we all have our basic nature that we can’t change. Even if we don’t remember it.”
I didn’t want to let him have the last word, but I did anyway.