Episode Twenty-Eight: Graduation: Scene 28

Loki waited until the next day to show up. “Well played.”

“I…” I tailed off. “I couldn’t let them die. I couldn’t go with him either.”

“So you stalled until help showed up.”

“Odin sent her.”

Loki nodded. “Well, sent is probably the wrong word. She likes you. He probably just sent a raven to tell her you were in trouble.”

“She was grumbling about nagging ravens.” Beat. “They do talk rather a lot, don’t they.”

“Not that much more than ordinary ravens. If you listen properly.”

I made a note to do so next time I heard a raven. Or even a crow. They were smart birds, after all, not that much less smart than humans. “Point.”

“I’m glad you managed…”

“I’m glad nobody died. They’re calling it terrorism, too, but they can’t find the suspects and nobody’s quite sure why they suddenly gave up and disappeared.”

“Surtur is in real trouble,” Loki mused. “But if he can dodge the assassins for a month or two, they’ll decide he’s strong enough to continue to put up with.”

“I’m not a horrible person for hoping he doesn’t?”

“Not at all.”

I decided not to mention Kanesha’s desire to deal with him herself. “Then again, that would be a trickster thing, wouldn’t it? Put your enemy into a position where his other enemies do the job for you.”
That got me a sardonic, one-sided grin. “Of course. Especially if you can’t fight him yourself. But he’s canny and he’s been in charge a long time.”

“In a culture where assassination is a reasonable way to get a promotion,” I mused. “Yet another reason not to want the job.”

“Well, you could also make people like you enough that they don’t want to assassinate you. That’s never occurred to him.”

I laughed. “Or maybe he’s just not that likable.” A pause. “He must have some redeeming qualities, though.”

“Everyone does.”

I thought about it. “Yeah. Even the evil entities I’ve met have been nice in some way or other.”

“We’re all a bit good, a bit evil. It’s a question of which we let dominate us.”

“At any given time.” I glanced at him.

“I have reasons for everything I do,” he said, quietly. “Trust me on that.”

I realized that I did.

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