An uncontrollable twitch possessed Doctor Strange's dead limbs. He struggled to maintain his consciousness, vaguely registering the pressure on the back of his neck. A mangled hand clutched his tunic, pulling him across the rusted floor, upsetting a few protesting wounds across his spine. His body, for the most part, remained unharmed, but the cause of his stillness was from a man-well, more like creature-that was the reason for all of this.

Stephen's surroundings darkened until he lay in the middle of an enclosed room with minimal outside light. A figure's shadow draped over his limp form. The light filtered over his face, revealing the horrifying face of Ebony Maw. A feral smirk washed over the creature's features as his gaze trained on Strange's eyes.

Maw lifted his hand, allowing it to hover over the sorcerer's face before it made contact with his right temple. A passionate, stabbing pain pierced his mental barriers mere moments later, causing his heart rate to rush frantically faster than its normal tempo.

"Tell me, Stephen Strange. The location of the infinity stones."

The words echoed throughout his mind and the enclosed room, and they thrashed into his mind, his willpower, making him struggle for control.

Stephen's lip quivered as he hissed a reply, "I️ don't know."

"We both know you do, my dear doctor," Ebony coaxed. Several of his mental barriers, carefully constructed, were cracking away as the child of Thanos wormed his way into Strange's mind.

"No, I️ don't know where they are," the human retorted with a gritted frown smeared across his lips, sweat beading on his forehead. He exhaled sharply as Ebony Maw dug deeper, the two fingers that connected to his temple sank into his head, causing the skin to glow a pale pink.

Doctor Strange gagged as Maw sliced into his memories. With a wave of pure resilience, the doctor managed to ward the other out before any real damage was accomplished.

Ebony growled in frustration, moving his fingers from the sorcerer's temple to his forehead. Stephen's body drifted into an upright position, and a tremble overtook his frozen limbs.

"Please, Stephen. All you have to do is tell me where infinity stones are," the member of the Black Order persuaded earnestly.

"I️ won't."

Maw sneered cynically, "Oh, so you do know."

In between the violent attacks on his mental shields and the mounting pain, Strange desperately avoided any thought of the gems, especially the one dangling from his neck.

"Well, just tell me where they are, and this can be over," Ebony Maw tempted.

The neurosurgeon struggled to shove past the mental onslaughts and the persuasive promises. "No." Doctor Strange would remain defiant, even if it cost him his life.

"I️ am sorry then, Doctor."

The child of Thanos withdrew his fingers from Stephen's forehead. A shard of glass materialized beside him. Several others morphed into existence as well, encircling the man's body in a cage of fatal knives. Strange observed the situation anxiously, eyes flicking between the numerous shards drawing towards his immobile form.

Ebony Maw maintained his fierce eye contact, luring the doctor's eyes into his own. "Tell me the location of the infinity stones."

The glass shards impaled him after the creature's sentence. Agony flashed through countless nerves across his body. But the impact left no wounds, and the same pale luminescence that Maw's fingers created now surrounded the glass knives sinking into him. The blades didn't only generate physical pain. Fiery trails of attacks sourced from the spears threatened to overwhelm his mental willpower. Ebony Maw was proving to be a dangerous opponent in their battle of wills.

To fight the mental opposition, Doctor Strange clenched his eyes and teeth, shoving out the sickening whispers in his head. Between the pain and the crushing will being forced onto him, his mental barriers were crumbling like dry sand.

Maw's eyes widened as he broke through part of the sorcerer's shields. "You have one," he realized, astonished.

"Where is it?!" The member of the Black Order bellowed.

Stephen's eyes glazed over, and his head lolled to the right slightly. "No, I️..." the doctor trailed off as his mouth went slack from overstimulation and exhaustion. Streaks of rage traversed Ebony's face before he gripped either side of the neurosurgeon's head, hands phasing through the shards, and violently shook the man's head.

Doctor Strange dropped his head after Ebony Maw released it, eyes opening to blink sluggishly and a grimace clear on his lips. "Time," he finally relented, mumbling softly. He jerked his head defiantly and raised it to return Ebony's demanding gaze, before he could reveal anything else. The effort left him panting with exertion.

The child of Thanos grinned hungrily. The glass knives burrowed even deeper into Doctor Strange, and it overwhelmed his senses. His eyes lurched open with a silent plea painted on his features. Stephen screamed against the sheer agony that dominated his mind, body, spirit. The member of the Black Order lifted a finger to his lips as the man lost all effort to oppose him. The sorcerer's head lolled onto his shoulder, lax from unconsciousness.

Loki lifted his gaze off of the metallic floor as he heard a torn scream reverberate through the compound. He knew the owner. He had watched the sorcerer's immobile body be dragged past the cell he was currently chained to. Only a mild sense of surprise registered. Although he knew Thanos was heading for Earth, he didn't expect to see the sorcerer in the compound.

The god of mischief reflected on his present situation. He was stranded in this cold cell, chained to the wall, after his encounter with the Black Order. From what he could deduce, Thor had been thrown into space along with the Hulk. Nothing much had happened since he had given Thanos the Tesseract, and he was astonished that he was left alone, with a few deep wounds, of course.

To pass the time, Loki fiddled with a simple spell between his fingers. It was a useless enchantment, one of the few he could still perform. Thanos's power stone kept him from using magic to escape.

An abrupt clang interrupted his trance. When Loki looked up, the lifeless form of Stephen Strange sagged in the entrance of the cell, and Ebony Maw grinned cruelly behind him.

"Do let him know that we aren't finished," the creature requested. The Trickster did not reply, preferring to keep his silence instead. Maw strode off, hands clasped behind his back, a satisfied aura wafting from his retreating form. Loki was left alone with the council of an unconscious man.

Carelessly, he glanced over to Stephen's hunched form. The sorcerer was slumped on his side with a small cut oozing blood down his temple. He had a grimace on his face, but for the most part, his body was relaxed. Mental torture was often worse than physical torture, the Asgardian knew.

Loki returned to mindlessly playing with the spell, ignoring his surroundings. Although he appeared oblivious, the Lord of Lies was also formulating a plan inside his head. And the unconscious sorcerer might just be the key to his flight. While Thanos had contained his magic with the power stone, the Mad Titan hadn't encountered Doctor Strange as far as he could tell. Even though the sorcerer was currently quite incapacitated, Loki might just be able to use him to his advantage.

With the idea brewing in his mind, the Trickster hummed aimlessly in the cold cell somewhere in the frozen depths of space.

A soft groan emanated from the limp lump located across the floor. Loki rose an eyebrow and ceased his humming. The magic in between his fingers died. A frown painted his face as he waited for the other to come to. A few short, curt breaths wracked the sorcerer's body before he rolled onto his back. His arms moved to cup his face as he rubbed his eyes harshly. Loki kept his silence as Stephen observed his surroundings.

"Loki?" the doctor wondered. He hasn't seen him since he and his brother visited the Earth. "Why are you-?"

"Ebony sends his best wishes," the god muttered sarcastically. Strange adopted a panicked look and instinctively raised his hands to his chest, where the Eye of Agamotto lay dormant. Loki ignored the gesture. Despite any of his own motives, they had to try and keep the infinity stones hidden at all costs. Thanos was too dangerous to ignore, and if he wasn't careful, his body could be stranded in space without a second thought. So he didn't call out the movement. Having a stone so close to the Black Order's vicinity was unnerving.

"He said that you two weren't finished," the Trickster relayed, not bothering to paraphrase.

"Loki, please, I know we may not have had the best relationship in the past, but for the sake of the universe, we have to escape," Stephen begged, a sense of vulnerability seeping into his voice.

"Oh, I won't do it for the universe. What does Maw already know?" Loki inquired wearily.

Stephen grimaced uncomfortably, "That I have the Time Stone somewhere. I have already cast several spells to protect it."

"Good," the Asgardian answered from his position by the wall. "There isn't much I can do to shield you from the mental attacks. You'll have to survive on your own."

"I'll resist, no matter the cost," Doctor Strange affirmed confidently. "Just please tell me you have a plan to get out of here."

"Working on it," Loki grumbled.

"You're wounded," the sorcerer observed, pushing himself off of the metallic floor unsteadily to survey the extent of the injury. Because of the chains securing him against the wall, the Lord of Lies was reluctantly forced to withstand the emotional display. "Here." Strange ripped off a section of his tunic to wrap the deep gash that encircled the Asgardian's thigh.

"Stop," Loki hissed defensively, jerking away from the touch.

Stephen finished dressing the wound before replying. "It will only help us escape. I can't wait for you to limp from the compound." The god of mischief muttered an incoherent reply.

"Sorry to interrupt the reunion," Ebony Maw drawled from the now open doorway. "But I believe I have another session with our favorite sorcerer." Loki looked surprised but mainly offended.

"I'm sorry, what?" Loki growled. Stephen, meanwhile, stood from his position next to the Asgardian, hastily forming two identical shields defensively. The Trickster noted the action for later reference but mainly turned his attention to the encounter.

The child of the Mad Titan chuckled darkly. "I believe that won't be necessary, my dear doctor." With the flick of his wrist, the neurosurgeon's spell swiftly dissipated before his fingertips, and his body hovered a few feet off the ground, tensed but twitching. His sling ring melted into a molten puddle of metal on the cell floor. Loki threw himself at the chains in vain, helpless as another infinity stone was put at risk of discovery.

"Thank you for the information, Laufeyson," the creature's voice echoed. "Your conversation was quite…enlightening."

The god of mischief tracked the other sorcerer down the hallway, a scowl gracing both of their faces. It was funny how Loki could only befriend people when his life was in danger.

Disclaimer: I don't own the MCU!

Thank you guys so much for taking the time to read this story! While I didn't write this the way I think it will play out in the movie, it is based on the two scenes with Doctor Strange's acupuncture and Ebony's following one. I decided to write this because I just couldn't get enough of the trailer, and this was the result. I want to thank my friend for helping me write this because she is a wonderful writer and really helped me organize my crazy ideas! I hope you enjoyed, and please leave a review if you have the time! It makes my day, and I would love to know what I could improve!

28 Days until Infinity War!

~Kenobi1