But he'd also learned that the self-styled mad geniuses of Midgard loved their little internet, and would rather e-mail than meet in person any day. Something to do with their petty squabbles constantly leading them to try to murder each other with bombs or acid or flowers that emitted modified versions of the Ebola virus. And Loki was nothing if not adaptable, so he'd acquired a multitude of e-mail accounts and seen to their coordination and security with a bit of simple magic.
E-mail also helped, he noticed, when he was in the mood to play a more subtle persona.
He sorted through his morning e-mail as he waited for breakfast to finish making itself. There was the weekly newsletter from Dr. Doom, and several overly-friendly and terribly spelled messages offering to help him increase the size of his manhood5 - and much more interestingly, a message passed through an account that he'd long since considered defunct, belonging to his Lawrence Laufson identity.
The waffle iron emitted a nervous little beep6; Loki idly crooked one finger, and the iron flipped itself as he opened the e-mail and read:
Dear Mr. Laufson,
Hello, how are you? I'm fine. The weather here is very nice. It's sunny some days and not sunny on others.
While I realize that our last association went a little badly for at least one of us, I'm out of prison now and have some new design ideas I would like to discuss with you. I hope that you are still interested in defense and robots, because I am.
Thank you very much. Please have a nice day.
PS: I would appreciate it if you did not forward this e-mail to my parole officer, as I am not supposed to be within twenty feet of a robot or any computer loaded with AutoCAD.
Effortlessly, Loki drew the details of his previous association with Daniel up from memory; it came with the territory of being a genius. "Well," he murmured, "I think they must have given him some classes in prison. He sounds like a bad copy of normal. How nice of them."
It was possible that Daniel was out for revenge; people often were, once they found out that they had gone to prison and Loki had not. Which he really could understand, since he imagined it wasn't pleasant to be behind bars while the person who helped you get there was drinking martinis and listening to Bach on a sound system that could rip all the leaves off a nearby tree if given full power. And having at least three sad little mortals trying to kill him out of revenge was what Loki normally called a Good Day, since it was a pleasant little diversion he could slot in between breakfast and the water colors class he'd decided to try out.
But no, instinct told him that Daniel really wasn't the type to do that sort of thing. The man didn't have the imagination, or the wellspring of deep emotion necessary to work up a really good rage7. He was most likely serious, which could prove much more interesting. Loki hadn't really dabbled in the giant killer robot field since he'd gotten Daniel in such trouble, so it was high time for that sort of fun again.
Another nervous beep from the waffle iron, and then the waffle was ejected onto a nearby plate, which slid across the counter to where Loki stood with his iPad. Just for form's sake, he pulled up his calendar and inspected it. "Plenty of time tomorrow. I can pop by, see what he's up to, and start planning the other side of the game." Since of course, it wasn't fun if he wasn't tugging the strings of the Avengers at the same time.
The waffle iron, unsure if Loki had been talking to it but eager to not anger him, beeped again as agreeably as possible.
4 – But only to people who were too dense for anything as subtle as Loki's rainbow spectrum of social techniques, which ran the gamut from sweet talk to manipulation to blackmail to bald-faced threats.
5 – The existence of spam is a universal law, like gravity, that no amount of magic can break or even bend.
6 – The waffle iron was now the oldest of Loki's kitchen appliances, and the only one remaining that had seen the terrible fate of the espresso machine on what could only be described as The Day Of Judgement When The Hot Water Alarm Went Off A Bit Too Loud.
7 – Loki was able to make these assessments of nearly anyone at first meeting, thanks to the universal law of It Takes One To Know One.