An old woman has visited Avengers Mansion with what she claims to be incontrovertible proof that the team has been fighting evil for far more years than they believe. She has shown them evidence that the Avengers actually formed shortly before the Kennedy assassination in 1963. Photographs of Captain America and Iron Man shaking hands with JFK. A rare television chat show in which Hawkeye and the Black Widow appear on the same stage as The Beatles.
Steve Rogers, respectful of the lady’s advanced age, listens while many of his team-mates dismiss her as senile or insane. But as the old woman continues, her evidence begins to contradict itself. Now she shows Captain America pictures of the original Avengers forming in the Reagan era, and later Hawkeye and the Widow taking to the stage alongside Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, as part of their first official duties as active members. The woman becomes confused, angry, bitter and finally she leaves… unable to convince the Avengers of anything. Uncertain even of her own mind.
The old woman walks away from Avengers Mansion, head down, defeated. Captain America stands at the gates with Thor, watching her go.
Captain: It makes me so think... If I myself hadn’t been trapped in the ice all those years… would I too be so old and confused now?
Thor: Mayhaps, Captain...
The old woman continues to walk along the street. Up ahead, a black cat watches her from an alleyway.
Cap (Thor): Time, as you mortals live it, is a harsh mistress, indeed.
As the old woman reaches the cat, she steadies herself against the wall. Exhausted, emotional. The cat looks up at her… and speaks.
Cat: Cease your snivelling, foolish woman. I’ve told you before…
Before the woman’s shocked eyes, the cat grows and transforms into Loki.
Loki: …it will do you no good.
Close on Loki, grinning mischievously.
Loki: Imagine – if I’d really let time run its natural course? How old and decrepit they would all be by now. No fun at all.
Loki: You must understand, Uror. I have to keep them young and strong. Them and all their kith and kin on this branch of the world tree.
Loki puts his arm around the old lady and leads her away down the street.
Loki: As long as we gods remain immortal, so must our favourite toys. Eternity would be so very, very dull without them.
Loki: Now let us see you home. Your Norn sisters will be looking for you…