Friday, June 15, 2018

The Rise and Fall of the Valkyries… Chapter 4

Chapter 4       See the Light

FEMALE VOICE: “Hey Nacho, this is Light checking in.”

MALE VOICE: “What’s the situation like over there?”

 FEMALE VOICE: “We’re good. No one saw, and to the best of my knowledge no one suspects a thing.”

MALE VOICE: “Wow, after all this time we are finally going to infiltrate the Valks.”

FEMALE VOICE: “We will, you’re welcome by the way.”

MALE VOICE: “Thank you, Light. This won’t be forgotten.”

Dan’s eyes lit up. “Light?” Dan meant to think this to himself, but he said it out loud instead, a little louder than he expected to or wanted to. Thankfully he was not heard, although the glow from his wide eyes were big enough to give away his position at this point. Dan got himself together as Light and Nacho wrapped up their conversation and he prepared for what was next. Would Light come his way? Would Dan be in for a fight? Or would the young woman who garnered all the attention of every Valkyrie in the Land of Bartow simply fade away into the darkness? Dan wouldn’t have to wait long for his answer as Light hung up the phone and scurried away in the opposite direction towards the Valkyries Compound.

Dan, after standing their frozen for what felt like forever, gathered himself and hurried inside. Dan knew he had to call Poke and tell him exactly what he had overheard so he barged into his home, turned on the lamp next to his big leather recliner and took his cellphone out of his pocket.


Dan called Poke but, as per usual, all he got was a voicemail. Poke never answered his phone, it was like he was stuck in the era where screening your phone calls was still necessary even though caller ID had been around for decades now. Poke usually called Dan back immediately though, so Dan left a brief and “business as usual” type voicemail for Poke. “Hey Poke, it’s Dan. Give me a call when you get a minute, I forgot to tell you something at work today and it is kind of important. It is about…” Dan hesitated as he thought of a lie that wouldn’t raise suspicion if anyone else was on the non-secured line listening. Dan thought quickly and continued, “my vacation next week with the kiddos. I may need some more time off than I initially planned. Call me back, thanks.” Dan hung up the phone and wondered if he was being too obvious with his reasoning on the phone. Dan hadn’t taken a vacation since joining the Valkyries Council. Actually, Dan could never think of a true vacation that he ever took in his life thanks to the resistance fighters, money, and the fact that he was truly just a workaholic. See, Dan was born into the resistance, many had tried, and many had failed to take down the Valkyries regime in the Land of Bartow after they took down Scopely, the previous regime to run Bartow, so while he had never seen any fighting firsthand he and his parents always thought it best to stay away from the hot zones. That meant staying inside those walls that had been breached just a few hours earlier. Anyone who knew Dan knew that he wasn’t taking a vacation, especially when someone just came over the wall and especially with the Valkyries on high alert, but Dan quickly put that thought out of his head. He immediately dismissed the notion and knew that no one who knew Dan would be listening in on his conversation, so he picked up the phone and called Jessica, Poke’s assistant, to try and tell her what he had just heard outside his home.


No answer. Now, unlike Poke it was weird for Jessica to not answer her phone, so Dan hung up without leaving a message. He didn’t want to take a chance on leaving a message on her phone for anyone else to intercept, plus he didn’t really want to bother her. She was just an assistant after all, what could she even do with the information that he had anyway? Dan thought about calling Poke back, but he knew had to call Shane to ask about his kids first. They all had to be worried, about the alarms and about Dan getting home so late from work because of them. Dan pulled his phone and began looking up Shane’s number but before he could get the number dialed Evan and Hayden came barging in the door, surprising Dan.

“Hey Dad!” said Hayden as he entered the door while Evan, the “teenager before his time” just smiled and immediately went into his bedroom. Evan was the older brother, much taller than Hayden, who had dark brown hair that lay flat on his forehead with deep, brown eyes and a dark complexion. Evan was stout in nature and he never knew his own strength while Hayden was more like a string bean, tall, skinny and lanky. Hayden also had deep brown eyes, but he had more of a reddish tint to his hair, not quite a ginger but not a blonde or brunette either. “Hey boys, how was your day?” Dan said, not that he really had to ask. Everyone heard the alarms, and everyone was personally told about the curfew, so the kids knew something was up, but in true teenager fashion Evan responded with the generic “it was fine, Dad” response before entering his room and slamming the door behind him. Hayden, on the other hand, was more curious and asked his father what had happened today in Bartow to cause such a stir. Dan simply responded as “business as usual” as he could by saying “Oh it’s nothing, son. There was a bird that tripped one of the sensors they think as it came flying over the wall, so they were just being cautious. You know how they are around here.” Dan tried to sound as reassuring and dismissive of Hayden’s worries as he could, and it seemingly worked as Hayden simply responded “Okay, Dad” and went on about his business playing with his toys in the living room.

Dan was ready to relax so he sat down in his big leather recliner and tried to watch some television. Nothing was on, nothing was ever on according to Dan, so instead Dan opened up his laptop and did what he intended to do at work today before all hell broke loose on the Land of Bartow, spy and gather intelligence on Defiance. Dan had no idea where to begin, there were literally thousands of messages to sift through, so he began with the only bit of information that he had. The only two names that ever came out of Defiance that he had ever heard, Nacho and Light.

Dan did a general search for the name “Light” and was bombarded with instances of the word “light” as well as her name “Light” used in the chats. “This is going to take me all night” thought Dan as he looked through the first few to see if he could quickly differentiate the use of the word “light” from the name “Light.” He had little success. Dan, possibly coming down from the adrenaline rush and the subsequent caffeine binge that followed that day, started to feel his eyes get heavy as he stared into his computer screen. Dan tried to fight his bodies cries for sleep and continued looking at the various ways this pocket of resistance used such a simple word before losing his battle within himself, finding sleep. Dan found sleep right there in his recliner in his living room, his laptop in his lap and all the answers he seeks possibly staring him right in the face. The answers he seeks, but the answers that he may never find.

After what feels like a blink of an eye Dan wakes up to what he believes to be a rustling at his window. Dan jumps up but quickly remembers the laptop he fell asleep with in his lap. As he reaches down to grab the laptop before it hits the ground and before running to investigate he realizes that the laptop is gone! “Where is my laptop?” Dan thinks to himself out loud, now perplexed at the situation and wondering if this is a dream. Evan comes out of his room, presumably to use the bathroom or eat because that is the only reason any teenager comes out of their room and stops at the sight of his father just standing there in the middle of their living room. “Dad are you ok?” Evan asks his father. “I… I don’t know” answers Dan, still confused and admittedly half asleep. “Did you borrow my laptop again?” asked Dan to which Evan replied with a simple shake of the head, no. “What the hell is going on here?” Dan thought to himself, once again, out loud and to no one in particular. “I’m not dreaming, someone stole my damn laptop!” Dan screamed as he finally came to the realization that this was really happening. Dan knew he had to call Poke and report the abduction of his laptop, so they could wipe it clean, but before reaching into his pocket for his cell phone he remembered the noise at his window. Dan quickly ran outside to see if the assailant was still around and to see if he or she could be followed but he was not in luck. The thief was gone and so was the laptop. So was the entrance into the Death Room and so was the information that he had worked months to acquire. Gone, poof…. Just like that, in the blink of an eye. In the course of a fifteen-minute nap. Gone.

Dan slowly reached down into his pocket hoping that his cellphone had not been stolen as well. Thankfully it hadn’t, and he began to dial Poke’s number again, but quickly before Poke could answer Dan hung up. Dan was one to always doubt himself and he was doing so again when he hung up the phone. Had he been too obvious in his voicemail to Poke? Had the wrong person been listening and it tipped them off that Dan was onto something? Why hadn’t Poke called him back? Or Jessica even? She ALWAYS answered her phone and when she didn’t she ALWAYS called you back. Something was up, something was fishy, and Dan knew it had to do with Light and her rappelling over the wall and into the Valkyries compound. Dan no longer knew who to trust, where he was safe and what he could do so he came back inside his house and began to devise a plan that only he could. Dan was going to disappear, and he knew just where he was going to disappear to. Dan, running quickly into his room, yelled at his boys to head over to Shane’s house and that they would be spending the night over there. “Boys I need you to go back over to Shane’s tonight. Work stuff. Tell him I am sorry and that I will make it up to him.” Dan thought he heard affirmation from his boys and continued to pack his things so that he could disappear. Dan was heading to the Valkyries underground compound that was located in the basement of the main compound building, a place he knew he could be safe and a place where he knew he could speak securely until everyone figured out just what the hell was going on. Dan packed the last of his things and went out into his living room to find that his boys had not gone to Shane’s house like he requested. No, they were sitting in his living room tied up by three unknown and unwelcomed militants who had knives to their throats.

“Sit down Dan” one of the militants said in a snide voice “We have a lot to talk about.”

I just have one more teaser chapter for you all, I don’t want to bore you guys and girls too much, so if the book has your attention head to the link below and pick up a copy. Thank you to you all for reading, whether you purchase or not.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)