Valkyrie III: Song of Darkness, The Novel Edition

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Chapter Six

Morgan sat and watched the women chatting about the day to day activities of the academy. It was hard to keep her eyes open but she knew she had to learn as much as she could if she was going to carry on the tales of their victories. It was her duty to record everything, and stifling a yawn, she continued to listen only to feel her head slide off her arm seconds later.
She coughed discreetly, pushing her long, dark locks out of the way to find that all three had turned to face her. “Astraea, I think I might take my leave.”
“Oh?” The female replied.
“It’s nothing that a good sleep and some decent food would not fix, as for my services…”
Vanessa covered her mouth and let out a giggle, her muffled voice exclaiming, “That’s only because it’s not a man!” She giggled some more and hid behind her own flame colored tendrils.
Astraea coughed, choking on her drink as she scolded her friend. “Vanessa, enough!” Then she took hold of her composure and smiled at Morgan. “Of course, Morgan. Thank you for watching over our young friend here.” She finished and bowed her head.
Red faced, Morgan’s large brown eyes glared at her impish, red-headed best friend; mortified at the things that fell from her big mouth, and standing quickly, “Err... I think I might go home for the evening; Mother is probably waiting to hear that I’m in one piece.” She let out before turning for the door.
“Morgan? Morgan?” She heard Vanessa calling as she strode angrily through the door.
Of all the silly things she could have said, Morgan thought to herself, paying no attention to the people in the streets of the sounds of footsteps drawing closer. It wasn’t until a hand on her arm spun her round that she truly let go, face to face a breathless Vanessa and the urge to swing.
“Morgan, didn’t you hear me? I’ve been calling for you to stop!” Vanessa was still huffing and puffing as she held on to Morgan’s arm.
“What, so you could say something stupid again? Like, what the hell, Van? Some things, you just don’t say out loud.” Morgan snapped at her and Vanessa’s smirk dropped as Morgan sighed, she knew what was going to happen next,
“ I know, I know. It was an accident!” The apologies began.
Reaching up to pull the pencil out of her rich, chocolate-brown hair and letting it fall around her shoulders, she sighed once more. “Look, I’m tired, we’re all tired, it’s been a long day. I just want to go see mother and then get some sleep.”
Vanessa’s eyes flashed with a little anger, and she sneered at Morgan, “Oh, I get it. I’m just that predictable. Well, I thought you were my friend, you know how I get. The words start rolling and I can’t stop them, I always end up opening my mouth and stupid stuff falls out. I’m just….”
Morgan raised her hand to block Vanessa’s waving arm, trying hard not to roll her eyes. “Van, just stop.” She groaned in defeat. “It’s ok! I know you didn’t mean anything by it, but you just, you just have to remember that some things, are better left unsaid.” And reaching to link her arm through Vanessa’s, she turned, dragging her alongside “Come on. Mother will be sending out a search party soon.” Morgan chuckled, giving in to the still pouting red-head.

***

Malice couldn’t help but sway back into the fog as the horde fell into place below. They would camp for the night, here in this valley and come morning…
‘I have been prowling for years…’ She heard the feline’s voice again and listened as the strange entity told her how this wasn’t like her, that she was better than the monsters she worked beside.
She was just about to ask it something when the strange creature wandered off. ‘Wait? What do you mean? How many years?’ Mal said hurriedly as the apparition disappeared like fog in the morning sun.
“Milady, are you unwell? Should I summon a healer?” Peiper’s voice was louder than the Cat’s and had Malice on edge as he approached her.
The Dark Valkyrie shook her fair head. Sure, the feline was intriguing, but her uncanny ability to slip into Malice’s thoughts on a whim, drove Malice to question just about everything she said. How could she trust one so secretive? How did this feline know so much about her? And what was with that chant?
To top it all off, she could just imagine what the troops thought of her little daydream episodes. “No, Colonel, I’m fine.” She sighed, eyeing the male up and down. “I do have one request though, and I swear if you so much as giggle, I’ll have your balls!”
“Yes, Ma’am!” Peiper shot back with a solute, firm faced and unwavering before her.
“May I, ride in the turret with you?”
“Uh, what? Ma’am? I mean, Sir?” Clearly, he had not been expecting that to fall from her lips.
Malice was not one to ask for permission. “It’s a rather dusty ride, following you lot.” She turned to the Tiger Tank, “And it’s been so long since I felt the rumble of such power at my feet!”
Peiper smiled, more than an evil leer than anything else, but his expression gave cause for Malice’s heart to flutter. She’d been given permission to play with toys. Big, monstrous toys. Oh, it was hard to contain herself when he finally replied.
“I would be honored, dread mistress.” Peiper said as he gave her a hand up on the tank.
Ha, he was honored? The fool had no idea what it was like to sit in that turret and watch your enemies scream and cower as you took aim; well at least, not yet anyhow. The men down below looked up at her as she climbed into the seat, grinning as the darkness lit up inside her; but none looked prouder than Peiper himself.
With the tank in motion and careening across the ground at an even pace, Malice sat back for a more comfortable ride. I was exciting to say the least, yet the sounds and smells that the machine let off were assaulting her senses. The pain was worth the pleasure, with tingles shooting out across her body; the only thing missing was the sound of song. As if he’d plucked her thoughts from her mind, one of the fallen soldiers nearby began to sing. It was hard for her not to join in, the first words reaching her ears and enticing her own voice to follow suit until the whole horde was an uproar of song and laughter, echoing into the skies as the torches burned bright. When the last chorus ended, Mal shifted her attire. Gone was the dark black armor she’d donned before and the chains that fell about her hips, replaced by a uniform similar to the one Peiper was wearing; complete with grin from ear to ear.
“With you to lead us to victory, our revenge will be assured.” He let out with a hiss and bowed his head.
Mal looked at the male and laughed. “Your Fuhrer thought the same thing. He forgot to allow for your enemies change in tactics. Such a pathetic pimple of a Corporal.”
Peiper’s eyes flashed at her words for a moment and then he nodded. “He was not my Fuhrer, but I agree, if he had listened to you, we would have been masters of the Earth.”
“Patience, Peiper. First things first!” She grinned at him. “We must take care of my sister and her meddlesome friends, then we can take their precious Earth” Her eyes were glowing and the tingles ripped through her body like lightning. “We have time, my friend. This war has waged for thousands of years, life won’t end if we wait one more day.”
Malice was well aware of Peiper’s lack of patience, which is why she continued to pester him about it. The male wanted the glory, to bask in the action. Waiting was hardly ever an option for him and if Malice didn’t at least try to keep him sane, he’d have given himself a coronary by now. Sure, Mal had her own lust for revenge, but she was savoring the moments. To her, the anticipation was just as good, if not better than the actual event. Why people rushed into things was beyond her. Love. Lust. War. Stupid shit happened when you rushed into things.
“You sure you’re fine? Not having one of those mental moments, are you?” He chuckled and nudged her shoulder with his own.
“I need a drink, that’s all!” She sighed and shook her head. “For tomorrow, we make for Nasir. There is something I need to do!”

***

A few grasshoppers later and the Cat with the multi-colored coat, growled as she listened to the last of the song.
‘Meow, they are not your enemy.’ She let out with a hiss. ‘They fight for the innocent while we’re forced to destroy the young and old alike. We know it’s wrong deep in our stomachs, we know you can feel it.’ She added, frustrated beyond belief. ‘Don’t make me fight for us alone. If you resist, it will hurt.’
The Cat sat on the edge of a clearing, cleaning her claws while growling low. She studied her target, examining the very place where the darkness had attached itself. The tiniest of blemishes, one she would eliminate if she had to. The dark strands that bound the host to the hosted were small and fragile, one quick swipe with her claws and the host would perish. That of course would do great harm to Malice, but the Verse would rather the Valkyrie rise from her darkened bonds than continue to use them against the innocent.
The Cat would avoid it at all costs, but she was more than willing to make the ultimate sacrifice and end the enemy’s hold on the Valkyrie. This was far too important to let fall between the cracks. Lives were at stake.

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