Infinity War Prequel: THANOS (One Shot)
There were many beings who were feared throughout the universe. Some possessed vast armies, other wielded powerful magicks. Still others had incredible abilities. But all of them knew a name it was unwise to cross. No one wanted to mess with this big kid on the block. Luckily for them, he kept to himself. It never appeared as though he was moving against any of them. Maybe this lulled them into a sense of security. That would have been a mistake. It was not that he was uninterested in attacking any of them. Rather, it was that he was the kind of person who knew patience and knew how to wait for the right moment instead of rushing forward without a plan.
Plans were important. Plans were the difference between success and failure. Failure, at least for this man, was not an option.
So when he found another man similar to himself brought before him, one who sought an audience with him, there was always a conversation to be had. Because plans could be changed and amended. Everything was in flux, and knowing what the pieces were on the board, that was important. If there was a way to improve the plan, to add to it, then it only mad sense that Thanos of Titan would listen to this person.
He sat in the throne room of his massive vessel, waiting. Thanos was flanked by many of his lieutenants, many of his Children. At one point in time Derek Sheppard would have stood there, but alas, they did not know where Derek Sheppard was. Only that he had failed in the task given to him by Thanos. Maybe there would be retribution on the human, the former Captain America. Time would tell.
The other man was silent, standing before him. He wore an interesting kind of armor. The armor clearly had a helmet, but the helmet was in the man’s hands. The man was dark haired and had dark eyes as well. He seemed like a man with purpose and like one who had the means to accomplish this purpose. He had been escorted into the throne room without fanfare, without announcement. Silence ruled the room, neither he nor Thanos opting to speak first. Almost as if it was a sign of deference if they were the first to give voice to thoughts.
Such was the dance.
“Shall we begin?” The other man finally asked, breaking the silence.
Thanos waved his hand. “When you are ready.” Thanos said. He was idly flipping a small purple gem in his fingers. It shone with a dull glow as he did it.
“Your faith in Derek Sheppard was misplaced.” The man said, his eyes following the movements of the gem for a few moments. If it threw him off for any reason, he didn’t let on. He was opting to go straight to the point it would seem, any attempt to beat around the bush seemingly uninteresting. A dangerous tact when conversing with one such as he did. “A good attempt, but how could that miraculous moment be anticipated?” He asked, rhetorically. “Now, you’ve got the Avengers scouring the cosmos, looking for the remaining gems.” He said. “I doubt that was in your plans, Thanos.”
Thanos looked down at his hand, tracking the gem’s movements with his eyes. “Are you suggesting that I should place my trust in you?” He asked. Disinterest ruled his voice, though his tone and cadence was measured and even. He was content with giving the man the rope he needed. But would he hang himself?
The man smiled and opened his arms. “I’m merely suggesting a potential alternative.”
Thanos shook his head. Maybe that was what it appeared to be, but that was not, in actuality what it was. It hadn’t taken this man long, and Thanos did not suffer fools. “No.” He said and then held the gem up. “You know what this, I know you do.” He regarded the gem for a moment, before his eyes shifted back to the armored man. “Now, you know that this gem allows me to peer into the minds of others.” He pointed it towards the man who took a step backwards in response. “However, I don’t need it to read you. I know who you are. Not who you pretend to be, but who you really are.”
The smile died. That was unexpected. If it were true.
“You want me to give you my gem, the only gem I have. You think you can put it to better use than I can, even though you know what is going to happen.” He looked away, at one of his lieutenants. The lieutenant merely smiled at his master. As if someone could comprehend the man that was Thanos of Titan. “The truth can hurt, can’t it?” He asked, before lazily looking back. “My answer is no.” He stated, unequivocally, rising from the seat. “As it stands, you made a good attempt, and I can admire that. After all, as you said, I made a good attempt with Derek Sheppard. I can respect you for it. Ambition is important in this galaxy.”
The man started to back up. “Lord Thanos, I meant no disrespect.”
Thanos smiled. He turned to another one of his lieutenants, a human from Earth and waved, indicating that this lieutenant was to escort the man off the premises. The audience was over. “None taken. Begone, before I change my mind on things.” He said, tossing the gem in the air and catching it.
The man was able to marshal his reaction and keep it measured. He’d failed in this task and he knew it. There was nothing more to be gained this day, but he stood to lose a great deal if he angered Thanos. Even if he felt the Titan was going to lose, he didn’t want to provoke the man. He turned and started walking out of the throne room, the lieutenant not far behind.
There was always another way.
The man walked to the ship in the docking bay. He turned to the lieutenant, the one who had escorted him out of Thanos’ throne room. He looked around the docking bay, at the various movements of the men and women in the docking bay. There was a military precision about the place, one that he could respect. “He’s going to lose.” He said.
“You don’t know that.” The human responded.
“Yes, I do.” The man said. “I know his future, the same way I know yours.” His gaze went around the docking bay and he turned towards his ship. It was time for him to leave, he knew that. But there was still work to be done here. He may have failed in one task but one task wasn’t all that he had come to accomplish. No, his needs were much greater than one simple Infinity Gem. “You need to be ready to leave his service.”
The man shook his head, offering up a rueful smile. The thought of it, freedom from having been enlisted in Thanos’ service, it was not something one thought of often. At the same time, it was something that one always thought of. A paradox of sorts it seemed for something to be on one’s mind all the time yet none of the time. Maybe that was because there was far too much danger associated with thinking about it. You never knew when the Titan was watching.
“One does not just leave Thanos’ service. That is not how it works and you know that. You claim to know so much, but apparently you don’t know that.” He said. “Thanos took me-“
“He plucked you from Earth many years ago, yes I know. He should have killed you then, and spared you the misery of his service. Now, you have a choice. Continue in that misery or be free.” He said. He shrugged his shoulders, making a somewhat pleading gesture. “You’re a speedy person when you need to be. I’m only asking you to remember that and use that to your advantage.” He stated with a smile.
“I appreciate that. The same way I appreciate the fact that I am linked to Thanos and his life.”
“And if he dies, Jacob, what then? You would be linked to no one.”
“Do you really think he’s going to lose?” Jacob Daniels asked. “How do you know this?” He asked.
“Balance of probability, Jacob. He has one stone. There are six total. The Avengers have obtained one. The one known as Dr. Doom has another.” He said. “You have seen him send no one to obtain the others. If they accumulate the rest, even if they don’t get Dr. Doom’s Gem, what strength is his Mind Gem going to be against the might of four Gems?”
“You do not know his plans.”
“Neither do you. You’re forced to trust him, implicitly.” The man said, turning and starting to walk up the boarding ramp. “Remember my words, Daniels of Earth. Seek me out when this is over.”
“He wasn’t wrong, my lord.”
Thanos nodded. They were alone now in the throne room, just he and one of his lieutenants. “I never said he wasn’t.” He replied, as Jacob walked into the throne room. “Has he left?” He asked, and the man nodded. “Good. Our preparations are almost complete. The Balancing is coming.”
“With one Gem?”
Thanos smiled at Jacob. “Do you doubt me, Jacob?” He asked and shrugged slightly. “It is alright to admit it. I only have one Gem out of six. The rest are lost to us. For now. The time is coming when all will make sense to you.” He saw the look of misgiving on Jacob’s face. “Now, now, Child, you know what is in the belly of this ship. I know it seems far off, but the goal will be accomplished. Purpose demands faith. Faith rewards work. Work takes time. With all of these things, anything can be accomplished.”
“I know what is in the belly of this ship, but I do not understand it.”
“Understanding is not required.” Thanos said, his voice starting to get an edge. He did not like being questioned. Particularly not by underlings. “Only obedience.”
There was a sudden deafening roar, and all three men turned. A bluish, purplish, and blackish portal was being opened in the throne room.
“My lord,” the lieutenant said.
“Leave me.” Thanos said. “Now.” He added, and the two men left the room.
He watched as two blond women appeared. One was dressed in some kind of military uniform that he did not recognize. The other was dressed in a military uniform he did recognize. That of the Kree Empire.
Well, now wasn’t this was interesting?
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