That Night: Part 3

Valkyrie and the man who had challenged her to a drinking duel filled the air with boisterous drunken laughter as they traipsed a bit unsteadily down the dark and mostly abandoned streets of Sakaar. The aftereffects of the dangerous Black Powder which had been incorporated into their normal mugs of Stout was beginning to settle in, leaving them much tipsier than normal, hence the ruckus.

“You fell to the floor,” Valkyrie spluttered mid-chortle.

The man guffawed. “I know! I,” he tried to catch his breath, “I thought I had finally done it. The Mystics were calling my name. They were ready to take me to that other place.”

She shook her head, punching him in the arm. “Mystics? No, those weren’t mystics. Those were the Black Powder wisps coming to claim you. They were going to take you to Hel where only the likes of insane bastards like yourself go.”

This made the two of them begin to laugh even harder until they were both forced to clumsily drop to their knees and hold their stomachs.

The man, wheezing, said, “The Black Powder isn’t going to kill me but all of this laughing will.”

Valkyrie nodded. “I know,” she said before bursting into another uproarious fit.

They were incapacitated for a short amount of time and then, finally, their laughter began to subside and they were able to lie on the ground and catch their breath.

Valkyrie was the first to manage to get to her knees, albeit shakily. She reached for the man’s hand and he took it gratefully. With ease, she was able to yank him to his feet.

After taking a few deep breaths he asked, “What are you?”

She chuckled. “What do you mean?”

“I mean what are you,” he repeated, gesturing at her form. “You’re much stronger than any woman I’ve ever met. I’m a Gardulan. Gardulans, we’re very strong people. Some of the strongest in the galaxy. And yet you seem to be even stronger than me. What are you?”

She didn’t like this question. She had come here to Sakaar to forget who she was and eventually die on this planet. She liked to stay ignorant of her past and she definitely didn’t want anyone knowing. And yet…

“I don’t like talking about who I am,” she said. She looked at him, at his wide eyes waiting for a response, and she sighed. “But I guess it’s okay to tell you.”

He flashed her that white grin that was unbelievably charming and for a split second, she became distracted as she began to wonder what he looked like beneath that thick brown beard.

Snapping back to reality she said, “I’m an Asgardian.”

His jaw dropped. “As-As-Asgardian. You’re an Asgardian?”

She nodded.

“Wow. I am incredibly humbled to be in the presence of one such as yourself.”

She shrugged, beginning to walk down the street again. “It’s not a big deal.”

He walked alongside her. “Yes, it is a big deal. Your race is so rare to come across. Your people are practically legends.” He laughed, gazing up at the starry sky. “I’ve met a legend!”

And as she looked at him, at the sheer happiness on his face, a small smile came to her face.

“I’m no legend,” she told him.

“You can say that but your drinking chops say otherwise.”

She chuckled. “You got a point…but I still don’t want to be thought of in that way.”

“Why not? As incredible as you are I would let everyone know who I was.”

She turned toward him, shoving him away from her. “Maybe I don’t want to okay!”

He held up his hands. “Okay, okay, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you.”

She turned away from him, walking on down the dark empty pathway. “There’s a reason why I’m so good at drinking,” she said quietly.

The man didn’t respond, instead electing to walk along beside her quietly into the night.


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