Valkyrie piloted her ship until it was over the arena where she parked it and tilted it vertically to the sky as she opened the roof. Tarthon gasped as he held onto her chair.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
She climbed out of her seat and sat on the edge of the roof, patting the space beside her.
“Come look at this,” she told him.
He carefully walked across the ship’s wall before sitting beside her. The view blew his mind.
Beneath them, the arena looked like a giant bowl filled with people and lights. Multicolored fireworks rocketed into the air and the noise erupted from the arena became even more raucous.
“What’s going on?” he asked.
Still staring down at the arena Valkyrie grinned. “Just watch.”
Tarthon did as she said, turning his focus to the arena where the Grandmaster appeared in a massive hologram grinning and looking down at his unruly followers like an immortal god.
“He really does love this, doesn’t he?” Tarthon noticed.
Valkyrie chuckled. “Yes, he does.” She looked at him. “He’s been doing this for years. Taking people who he thinks would make great fighters and forcing them to participate in this deadly game of his. Winners are praised like their immortal beings who can do whatever they want. Losers are killed in the bouts.”
Tarthon’s gaze whipped to her in shock.
“I’m known as Scrapper 142,” she continued. “I help find unwilling participants for this tournament of his. Sometimes I wonder…am I doing the right thing?”
“So you’re essentially sending people to their deaths?” Tarthon asked quietly.
She nodded. “Essentially.”
This made them both quiet as they returned their focus to the match at hand. The Grandmaster disappeared and a door in the arena opened revealing a spindly woman in blue armor. She wielded a massive sword on her back that seemed designed to cut through flesh and bone.
Tarthon looked forward. “She looks scared.”
Valkyrie smiled. “She should be.”
Small explosions of green powder appeared above the crowd, sending the crowd into a frenzy.
“You know who it is,” the Grandmaster said over the comms. “It’s why you come every night. This man is not only a friend but I feel I have a special connection with him. He is the one and only…”
Valkyrie nudged Tarthon. “Wait for it.”
The opening door on the other side of the arena was smashed open as a giant green man clothed in armor and wielding two massive axes in his humongous hands roared into the arena. His opponent, the woman in blue, screamed as she went running back to the door that she had just come through.
“Let me in! Let me in!” she said.
The Hulk wasn’t having it. He charged the girl, his feet leaving impressions in the arena floor.
“Oh no, he’s going to kill her,” Tarthon said.
Valkyrie chuckled. “Yes, he is.”
The woman, seeing him coming, moved out of the way just in time as he threw one of his axes at her. Unholstering the sword off of her back she readied herself for his attack.
“Bad idea!” Valkyrie said.
She raised her sword in an attempt to watch block his attack but his strength was too great. His ax cleaved through her sword like it was made of paper and his fist sent her flying into the wall. The force was so strong she became indented into the wall, unmoving.
The crowd screamed in deafening approval as The Hulk roared with triumph.
Tarthon was blown away.
“That is the strongest man I have ever seen. If I can even call it a man,” Tarthon said.
“Oh, the show’s not over. It’s actually just started.”
He soon learned that she was not lying as a challenger after challenger walked into the arena only to beaten to a pulp by The Incredible Hulk. After a while, Tarthon was cheering as well as the adrenaline of bloodlust filled his veins.
Valkyrie looked at him with a smirk. “So I’m guessing you like it.”
He looked at her. “It’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen.” His gaze softened. “You do know you’re the coolest woman I’ve ever met right?”
Valkyrie grinned. “I can assure you, I wasn’t wondering.”
He fingered her hair and much to her surprise she didn’t punch him in the face.
“Beautiful,” he whispered.
“I can’t tell if you’re talking about the view or something else,” she responded quietly.
His eyes–those aqua-green beauties–locked with hers. “I think we both know what I’m talking about.”
Maybe it was that Black Powder still messing with her but Valkyrie leaned toward him, putting a hand on his chest. “I’m not a fan of playing around.”
“Very straightforward,” he said, leaning toward her in turn.
“Very blunt,” she responded.
Their lips were mere inches from touching. “Very, very beautiful.”
She kissed him hard. She didn’t let the kiss slowly build or let him dictate the kiss. She just went to it, knocking the breath out of him as she pushed him back with her Asgardian strength.
When she stopped the embrace momentarily Tarthon gazed at her in shock, his chest heaving. “Wow,” he whispered. “I’ve definitely never met a woman like you before.”
She grinned. “I’m not like any other woman.”
With that, she kissed him again.