New Asgard was filled with the buzz of the evening’s events. Everywhere Valkyrie walked people were looking at her with encouraging smiles and thumbs-ups or rude gestures and wicked grins.
To get some solitude she took the trail out of the town and followed it back to the cliffs where she had said goodbye to Thor. The beautiful sky was darkening thanks to a storm, matching the roiling emotions that were brewing in her stomach.
She sat down, her dark hair flowing about her face as she contemplated what she would have to face in the coming hours.
Three foes hungry for blood, an entire town watching, and all of this to simply be King of Asgard. It was almost a sickening prospect knowing what she would have to go through to ensure Thor’s wish. But she had faced adversity before and prevailed. She would just have to do it again.
“What would Priscilla think of me now?” she said.
A sad smile touched her lips as she began to remember her dear friend, Priscilla and their last conversation.
Samantha was nervous. Clad in the classic armor of the Valkyrie with the famed sword of her fellow female warriors on her hip, she stood in a glass hall of Odin’s grand castle, gazing at the whole of Asgard that she would soon have to protect from Odin’s sister, enraged and imprisoned Hela.
The Valkyrie was waiting for her down in the courtyard but Samantha understood the gravity of this moment. Hela was, indeed, the Goddess of Death. That’s why she was Odin’s greatest warrior in his conquest across the galaxy. She was a killing machine, downing armies with impunity and loving every moment of it. What would she do to Samantha and her fellow Valkyrie? They were powerful warriors in their own right but against the likes of Hela, it was a daunting prospect.
She was so lost in her own thoughts that she didn’t hear her Commander, Priscilla Moll, approaching until she felt her hand on her shoulder. Valkyrie whirled, startled, but relaxed when she saw Priscilla smiling back at her.
Priscilla was a stunning Asgardian with golden-blond hair and deep blue eyes that felt like you were looking into the very ocean. Despite her deceiving looks, she was as tough a warrior as any Samantha had seen. She had even seen her take on a massive Norkran giant with nothing but a sword and her will. Priscilla was just her type of gal.
“The Valkyrie has been waiting for you,” Priscilla said. “Are you okay?”
Samantha smiled. “Never better.”
Priscilla tilted her head, gazing at Samantha with narrowed eyes. “You’re lying,” she finally said.
Samantha chuckled. “How can you tell?”
“When you smile like that, you know, when your lips are real tight, you’re lying.”
Samantha turned away from her friend, gazing out at the city that she called home, and wondered if she’d ever see it again.
“To tell you the truth, Priscilla. I’m scared.”
Priscilla’s hand touched her shoulder.
“You know me, Pris. I’m never nervous about a mission. I’m the first one eager to go into battle. To fight in Odin’s name and to protect Asgard. And yet, I’m scared that for the first time in my life we’re going to fail. That I’m going to fail,” Samantha continued. “That I’m unknowingly leading you to your deaths…” Samantha’s tone quieted, “and that I’m not going to be able to do anything about it.”
“Look at me,” Priscilla said sternly. When Samantha didn’t turn she said a little more sternly, “Look at me.”
Samantha did. Priscilla grabbed both of her shoulders, looking directly into her eyes.
“We Valkyrie have sworn to each other to obey the King’s every command. We know the risks and we are well aware that we could die but we’re going to see every mission through, no matter the risks. No matter the enemy. And we will follow you, Samantha, into any battle we face because you’re the bravest person we’ve ever known. We believe in you and we will stand alongside you until the end. Because we love you.” She hugged Samantha tightly, waiting a few seconds before finishing with three curt but impactful words. “I love you.”
Samantha hugged her back, grateful to have a friend as kind, strong-willed and understanding as Priscilla.
“Thank you,” Samantha said. And as she closed her eyes she felt a swirl of emotions that nearly brought her to tears. She maintained her composure though. She was the leader of the Valkyrie after all.
“I love you too. More than anything.”
As Valkyrie sat on the cliffs, overlooking New Asgard with tears in her eyes she wasn’t able to stop the flow of memories regarding that fateful day when she lost everything.