Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Rise and Fall of the Valkyries… Chapter Two

Welcome back to the blog and welcome back to the Land of Bartow as we continue to tease and preview my upcoming book that is now available for purchase on Amazon. You are under ZERO obligation to buy this, I truly just want to share it with the world in whatever capacity that I can, but just in case the book has peaked your interest… here is another chapter for your reading pleasure while we wait for the game tonight. Enjoy and let me know what you think, brutal honesty is okay!

Chapter 2       Alarms

Dan arrived at work ten-to-fifteen minutes early to work every single day and had ever since he had worked for the Valkyries. That is just how Dan was, he was a stickler for being on time, working hard and doing the right thing. Dan was a family man first, a Valkyrie second and it didn’t leave much room for anything else. Dan had a wife, Crystal, but she died almost two years prior leaving Dan with the two children, the house and the responsibility that comes along with it all. Dan tried to date once since the death of his wife, but it just didn’t work out, they were at two different places in their lives and she simply didn’t make Dan happy. Dan had decided that he would rather be alone than spend another day unhappy, and that is exactly how he was ever since, alone.

Dan walked into work at the Valkyries compound and greeted his fellow Valkyries as he walked through the door. “Hello Jax, did you see that game last night?” Dan continued to stroll into his office before another greeting occurred, “Yo, Eddie. How’s it going brother?” Dan kept a steady pace into nodding, acknowledging and greeting many others on his way to his office until he came to a door that was labeled “Territories.” Dan took out his Valkyries ID card, swiped it and went into his office like he had every single day for a year prior to today.

“What’s the situation, Ellie?” Dan said to an older woman he shared the territories office with for the better part of the year he had been employed by the Valkyries. “Business as usual, Dan. It has refreshingly been pretty slow today, being the day after Christmas and all.” Dan shook his head in agreement and sat down at his computer, checking the daily emails and the local news stories of the day. There had been many attempts at an uprising since the Valkyries took over, none that made it past its infancy to be honest, but Dan and Ellie, among others, still checked in daily just to be thorough. There was one such group that was starting to gain some steam and notoriety though and Dan, being the thorough Valkyrie that he was, had his eye on this group as was his due diligence with the regime.

Dan had been trying to infiltrate and spy on the biggest and most well-known rebel group in the Land of Bartow, Defiance, for the longest time, but with little luck. Dan was resilient though and he knew he would get in eventually, he just had to be patient and keep trying. Little did Dan know though was that today would be the day that his patience and diligence would pay off, which became clear to him as his eyes lit up when his computer alerted him with a notification. “Ellie, we got it!” said Dan excitedly. “What do you mean? What did we get?” said Ellie perplexed. “I am in the Death Room!” Dan screamed with excitement as he began typing rapidly on his laptop computer.

The Death Room was Defiance’s version of the Valkyries Territories room. This was the command center for the war that was ongoing and all the pertinent information about incoming strikes, targets etc. were all in the Death Room. The Death Room was Defiance’s little black book and Dan had done it, he broke into the Death Room after many attempts before. He knew he had to alert the Valkyries leaders and the remainder of the Valkyries council, so Dan grabbed his laptop and ran through the Valkyries main compound, to the elevator, and into the top floor where a man by the name of Poke resided. Dan didn’t knock, he just strolled into Poke’s office and was met with an intense glare when he did. Dan immediately regretted not knocking on Poke’s door when he received that look and lowered his head in shame, his excitement for breaking into the Death Room subsiding. Poke was an intimidating figure and he ruled with an iron fist. Poke, from Asian descent, stood tall with his dark hair, dark eyes, darker tanned skin and big muscles. Dan had seen Poke angry and made it a mental note to never see him angry again if he could help it. Did Dan just mess up barging into his office? Would the news of the infiltration be enough to quell the mighty Poke from reprimanding the relatively new Valkyrie?

“Oh, this better be good” said Poke with a bit of annoyance in his voice. “It... is” said Dan as he stuttered with hesitation. “Well, on with it. I have a lot of roadmaps to look over today and I don’t have time for general chit chat” said Poke, no longer even looking Dan in the eye. Poke had a bad habit of not looking anyone in the eye, some wondered if it was because Poke felt like everyone was inferior to him. Others just thought he was a general asshole. Both could have been true, but no one had ever gotten close enough to Poke to ever truly find out. “I broke into the Death Room, sir. I’m into Defiance’s main intelligence gathering room. The uprising will be over before it begins at this rate. I should know everything we ever wanted to know about Defiance by noon.” Dan said, extremely proud of himself. Poke laughed, still not looking Dan in the eyes. “That’s it? That is what you barged into my office for? This was worth ruining my morning coffee break? Some little peons and their intelligence room?” Dan was crushed. “Yes, sir. I thought you would be pleased and I wanted you to be the first to know.” Poke gave Dan a dismissive wave of the hand and said, “If you get anything good out of that room be sure to send it to my assistant, Jessica.” Poke continued, but this time he looked Dan in the eye. Poke no longer had the dismissive attitude he had throughout most of this conversation, this time you could see the anger in his eyes and Dan could hear the hatred in his voice. “And if you ever just barge into my office again like that it will be over the wall for you to fend for yourself, and your children won’t be far behind you. Now go!”

Dan collected himself and immediately went out of Poke’s office and into the lobby. Dan, standing right outside Poke’s office, shuddered at the thought of going over the wall. While everything was calm, peaceful and somewhat normal inside the Valkyries compound it was a warzone outside the walls. Many resistance groups had formed to take down the oppressive Valkyries regime and no one was safe, especially a Valkyrie. Dan knew this, and he knew that while he was a relatively new and unknown Valkyrie that he wouldn’t want to spend any time outside the walls if he didn’t have to. Dan didn’t want his children to be exposed to being outside the walls either, so he made a mental note to never barge into the office of Poke again, no matter how excited he was.

Dan went into the elevator and back down to his office where Ellie sat excitedly waiting his return. “So, what did he say?” Ellie asked at the edge of her seat. “He brushed me off like it was nothing. He didn’t seem concerned about Defiance or the Death Room at all. He shrugged me off with one of these little gestures.” Dan mocked Poke’s dismissed hand wave while putting his laptop down on his desk. “Poke did tell me if I found anything to bring it to him, but man, that was a shot in the gut. I worked on getting into that room for months and it just felt like it wasn’t a great accomplishment because he didn’t break into the room himself. It almost feels like he is the only one within the Valkyries that isn’t worried about Defiance.” Ellie looked shocked. “Watch yourself, Dan. Talking like that will get you thrown over the wall and killed, and maybe not in that order.” That was the second time Dan has been threatened to be thrown over the wall and he hadn’t been at work for an hour. “Boy was this going to be a day to remember,” Dan thought to himself.

Dan sat down with the intent of beginning the long and tedious process of combing through the Death Room reading every note, post and shred of information that he could. Dan’s motivation was gone, though, after the gut check that Poke handed him and the will to even open his laptop and begin reading immediately felt like a chore. “What is the point? Poke won’t appreciate me anyway” Dan thought to himself, scared to say this out loud at the thought of being exiled or thrown over the wall. Dan knew he had to do something to justify being in the Territories Room though, so he sat there staring blankly into his computer screen pretending to work. Dan would click his mouse ever so often and scroll up and down on the track ball, squinting from now and then and pretending to take notes. Before long Dan went from “reading” the Death Room to simply staring off into space, not even pretending to work anymore. An hour passed of this before Dan felt his eyes get heavy and he felt sleep coming to him while he was sitting at his desk. Dan fought sleep for as long as he could, but eventually he succumbed to his body’s need for a slumber and fell asleep at his desk for the first time in his Valkyrie tenure. The first time Dan had ever fallen asleep at work couldn’t have come at a worse time, though, which was never more evident to Dan than when he was awoken to a set of blaring sirens and alarms. The alarms were sounding within the Valkyries council, flashing and strobing lights were activated all throughout the Valkyries compound and it only meant one thing. The Valkyries were under attack.

If you want to check out a copy of the book for yourself feel free to use the link below. Thanks in advance, even if you don’t buy one. You are still very much appreciated.

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