When do we start?
My heart beats loudly in my chest as I take the cold grey steps one by one. 78, 79, with each step that I take I feel my anxiety growing, knowing that I am that one step closer to my brother.
My brother who tried to demolish a whole race, who had killed hundreds and tried to kill even me; my brother who is truly a frost giant, a member of the enemy race, a race who are thought to be nothing more than soulless monsters; my brother, whom I still love.
I should hate him, despise him, but my heart betrays me as it reminds me time and time again of that little black haired boy with those bright green eyes that are alive with intelligence and mischief.
The boy who would come running into my room at night and cling to me after nightmares while I stroked his silky hair until he would slip into the land of dreams once more, the one who I would joust and laugh with, he who knew me better then I knew myself.
My other half. Two sides to the same coin. Brothers.
148, 149, this is it, just one step left, 150.
Nodding to the man unfortunate enough to be stationed on the boring task of guard duty I let an emotionless mask slip over my face, hiding all I felt before I could travel those last few feet around the bend and see him.
Truly nothing could have prepared me for what I came to face. There in the sterile brightly lit room, no not room, cell, he lay. His black hair fell loosely around his thin face in a stark contrast to the ghostly white box surrounding him, confining him to these ghastly dungeons.
My knees buckled and it took all I had not to run to him, throw my arms around him and beg for forgiveness, to try and find a spark of that little black haired green eyed boy still alive in there. But, no, that it not why I came. Composing myself I spoke. It was meant to sound confident, strong, but what came out sounded little more than a feeble croak.
Slowly he turned so that he would be face to face with me.
What little composter I had managed to maintain left me that moment.
The skeleton before me was a mere shell of the brother I had brought back to Asguard. His skin was as white as the surrounding cell and stretched taught across his bones. His eyes held the only color on his body; surrounded by large purple bruises, his once bright green eyes held a faded, vacant look. Never had I seen one so thin; his cheekbones jutted out of his face and I could see each knot of his spin as he leant forward and count each rib with each shallow breath he took in. The clothes that once fit his lean body perfectly hung from his body.
He looked dead.
"Well, well, look who we have here, the all mighty Thor. Tell me golden one have you come to gloat, to stare at what I have become". The words fell from his lips laced with hate.
"I am not your brother"! He cut me off with his eyes flashing dangerously.
"Please, brother, tell me are they even feeding you here". A god could live many years without food but that did not mean we could not feel the sharp pains of hunger and the depletion of energy and muscle that it causes you.
"As if you would care". Venom laced each word filling them with its poison. "If you have come to see remorse from me you will be greatly disappointed".
"No brother that is not it".
"Well" he raised his eyebrows at me expectantly.
Oh gods help us all, "I have come to ask for your help in the battle against the dark elves".
Throwing his head back he opened his mouth and let out an insane laugh. "You must be truly desperate to come to me for help. Tell me why would I ever help you or Asguard for that matter, why would I help those who have put me in this personal hell and those who would see me dead without a second thought".
In my head I sighed at his reaction but really I would have had to been a fool not to expect this response. "If you choose to help us I will personally see that the conditions of your living situation are revisited and improved, perhaps a bed could be added, maybe a chance to go outside, to see the sun".
My heart burst with hope as I saw him tilt his head in consideration. Not only did I desperately need his expertise and magic in this battle, I wanted nothing more than to have a reason to improve his current state of punishment.
Please brother say yes I chanted in my head. I hated to add this but if I knew my brother this would probably make him want to join this quest "You should now that should you betray me I will kill you".
With his eyes gleaming he looked back at me with a grin.
"When do we start"?