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- "Is not this simpler? Is this not your natural state? It's the unspoken truth of humanity, that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life's joy in a mad scramble for power. For identity. You were made to be ruled. In the end, you will always kneel."
The Skirmish in Germany was an attempt made by the demigod Loki, with Hawkeye under his thrall, to steal Iridium in Germany in order to stabilize the Tesseract. His plan quickly developed into a brief battle after the Avengers intervened.
When Loki, after being exiled from the Nine Realms, encountered The Other, he was assigned to retrieve the Tesseract for a cybernetic race known as the Chitauri. At the Joint Dark Energy Mission Facility on Earth, the Tesseract acted up, forcing the facility to be evacuated. Loki appeared on Earth due to the acts of the Tesseract and possessed the minds of scientist Erik Selvig and S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Clint Barton, alias Hawkeye. Loki and his now-possessed agents escaped the facility.
Nick Fury and Phil Coulson, who were present at the evacuation, recruited Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff for the Avengers Initiative. Fury considered Thor Odinson, but found out that he was far from Earth.
- "Look to your elder, people. Let him be an example."
When Hawkeye and Loki arrived in Stuttgart, Hawkeye quickly eliminated the men guarding the Iridium facility, where a gala was concurrently taking place nearby. Loki, disguised as an attendee, knocked down Heinrich Schafer. After scanning his eye, Barton successfully escaped with the Iridium.
Even with the Iridium raided, Loki terrorized the attendees and forced them to kneel. However, a German Old Man stood up against Loki, claiming that he was just one of many evil men. Loki attempted to kill him with his Scepter, but the man was saved by Captain America. Black Widow ordered the demigod to surrender, but Loki dueled against Captain America instead. Iron Man interfered and Loki submitted himself to the Avengers.
Clash against Thor
While the Avengers, flying above the mountains, escorted Loki to the Helicarrier, bolts of lightning struck nearby. The storm was caused by Thor, Loki's adopted brother, who took Loki out of the Quinjet and confronted him to end his quest for the throne on a cliff. All of a sudden, Iron Man blasted a monologuing Thor to the forest below and the two dueled. Captain America arrived to make amends with Thor, but only made him angrier as he attempted to kill him. Captain America was able to protect himself from Mjolnir with his shield, compelling Thor to assist the Avengers.
Loki was taken and escorted to a cell within the Helicarrier by S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury was concerned of any upcoming danger, under the belief that Loki wanted to be held captive. Black Widow discovered the truth of Fury's concern after Loki threatened her and revealed that he had plans to unleash Hulk in escaping. The Avengers conversed about the Scepter, Black Widow's encounter with Loki and the discovery of Phase 2, where S.H.I.E.L.D. wanted to use the Tessaract for weapons of mass destruction, until Hawkeye blew up a Helicarrier engine, triggering chaos and the death of Phil Coulson, before being resurrected eight days later.