“GRRRAAAAAAAAHHH!!” The Son of Sakaar smashed his fist into the hard-packed ground over and over again, cratering the surface until he sank several feet down. Baleful, green eyes flashed with fury at this outburst, but they eventually dimmed as exasperation slunk in. “Curse this planet…” Skaar muttered to himself, settling back on his haunches and staring out at the horizon.
A hot wind swept his hair back and he surveyed his surroundings. Desert as far as the eye could see in any direction. Death Valley to be precise: a perfect place to call upon the Old Power that once coursed so freely through his veins. Power that he could have wielded to tear an entire planet apart while on Sakaar. But here? A million light years from home? Skaar couldn’t so much as move a pebble.
Earth’s energy was too young, too hot to tap into… what felt like an ages-worn, slowly spinning globe of mutable energy in his meditations on Sakaar was instead a spiky, twisted, and gnashing mass here on Earth. It recoiled at his rage, refusing to be tamed or subjugated; a prance white-hot to Sakaar’s dusky red sway.
Across the gulf of space and time, whispered on a foreign planet’s wind, Skaar heard his mother’s favorite command: “Again.”
And he obeyed.
With a deep breath and eyes shut tightly against the setting sun, Skaar opened himself up once more. In his tired mind, he envisioned himself burrowing deep into the earth beneath him, swimming past layer after rocky layer, rocketing faster and faster on his way to the planet’s core. The Worldbreaker saw himself erupt from the earth into the heart of the world, and immediately felt his rage begin to stoke the core’s fires.
“No…” Skaar grumbled. The sweat of exertion pebbled his brow. “Not again!” The Earth’s energy was lashing out, flaying him with searing tendrils. “Cant… make… it… OBEY!!”
“Who are you, Sakaarson, to make this planet obey you?” A soothing, familiar voice echoed from the recesses of Skaar’s mind. “You, who are not of this planet, would dare impose your will on it?” A pause. “I taught you better than that.”
Skaar’s face slackened in recognition. “Mm-m…mother?” In response, Caiera the Oldstrong materialized in his mind’s eye.
“No matter how many times I tell you, you never listen… Rage is not the answer to everything. Your father is proof of that.” Skaar’s gargantuan hands automatically curled into fists at the mention of his father. “Stop that,” Caiera softly admonished. “You gave him no choice, Sakaarson.” Noticing the floating orb of Earth’s energy, Caiera made her way to it, arms outstretched as if to embrace it.
“You’re right, you know. It is young, no more than a babe compared to Sakaar. And certainly not used to being called upon.” She held the Earth’s heart in her arms, lovingly caressing it. “What would you have it do for you, Sakaarson? Surely your strength will take you far here, no?”
Skaar simply shook his head. “The Old Power is a part of me. It’s the only part of me that reminds me of you.”
Caiera nodded slowly. “It will not submit to you, no matter how angry you get. In time, perhaps it will trust you enough, but until then… submit yourself to it instead.”
Skaar tried desperately and failed to resist curling his lip at the thought of submitting to anything, least of all a petulant child like Earth.
His mother released the pulsating ball of light and turned to go. “If you wish to wield this planet’s power, my son, it will not be as a weapon with which to smite your enemies, but as a shield to protect you from them...”
And just as quickly as she came, Caiera Oldstrong returned to the abyss.
“C’mon, hotshot! I think we’re done out here for today,” Hawkeye flicked his cigarette and stepped back into the jet, thrusters firing up almost immediately.
When his eyes opened once more, Skaar found himself staring up at the stars. With a heavy sigh, he climbed into the empty cargo hold and headed for home.