Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Rise and Fall of the Valkyries: Chapter 3

Chapter 3       No Answer

Dan woke from his slumber to the blaring sounds of alarms buzzing throughout the Valkyries compound. The Valkyries compound was under attack, but by who? There had been many small skirmishes outside the walls but none that ever warranted the alarms going off, Dan immediately knew that this attack was different, and that the severity of the situation was like none that he had ever seen. Dan jumped up from his desk, grabbing his laptop, and proceeded to the Operations Room. Dan made it to Operations in less than a minute and immediately ran inside, something he regretted as soon as he opened the door. Dan looked around for Poke, but the Valkyries leader wasn’t there yet, “Close call” Dan thought in his head after once again barging into a room. Dan quickly took his seat at the table. The best and brightest minds in the Valkyries council sat at the table with Dan. From left to right sat Dan, Ellie, Jax, Andy, and then eventually would sit Jessica and Poke. Dan always wondered why Poke’s assistant, Jessica, was in the room with what he considered to be the upper-echelon members of the government regime, but he would never dare question it.

Poke and Jessica, fashionably late as always, strolled in and immediately commanded the attention of the room as they took their seats. “What do we know?” Poke asked in his authoritative voice, he meant business today. “Thank goodness for Ellie” Dan thought to himself as the attention of the room shifted to the two members of the Territories Room. Dan had been asleep and missed it all, but Ellie gave Dan a reassuring look and took the lead. “Well, we know there was a breach of the wall. We don’t know how many made it over or through the wall, or how they did it, yet but we expect to soon. We don’t know if they have been apprehended yet or killed. We just know something, or someone made it over the wall, every man we have is on it as we speak.” Ellie said with confidence. Dan looked over at Poke and even in times like these his eyes were still averted elsewhere, this time in his phone. “What an asshole” Dan thought once again to himself as Ellie took her seat. Poke, after a long pause, finally spoke. “Okay, so now we wait. We have the best and the brightest out there. The toughest people I’ve seen in all of the Land of Bartow, and we will get whomever made the mistake of coming over the wall and we will make them pay!” One thing Dan couldn’t say about Poke, he couldn’t say that he wasn’t good at this whole leadership thing. Poke always commanded the attention of the room, he always knew the right motivational things to say and when Poke said he would do something, he generally did it. Poke led by example, not the whole “do as I say and not as I do” leadership type that had plagued many before him. Poke followed through, and with authority.

So, the Valkyries council sat and waited. Waited on the word that the intruder had been killed, apprehended or both. Dan looked around the room and took in every little detail of the Operations Room. There were no windows in the Operations Room, which made sense from a security standpoint, and the room housed a huge wooden table in the middle of the room. The walls were white, and the carpets were blue like much of the Valkyries compound, and every wall in the room had a security screen and monitor on it. It was boring, and it was plain, but it was the Valkyries way.

Breakfast was served in the Operations Room, then lunch, and then lots and lots of coffee. Dan was never a huge fan of coffee, but one could only make small talk and sit in a sealed room with five other people for so long before you got extremely bored and tired. Dan was downing coffee like his life depended on it, and his life may actually depend on it if anyone were to find out that he was asleep at the wheel when the breach of the Valkyries compound happened. Breakfast turned to lunch, and lunch turned into coffee, and coffee turned into dinner after spending 12 hours in the Operations Room. Finally, shortly after dinner the Valkyries council finally got an update, if you could call it that.

Jessica received an envelope from someone that Dan did not recognize, she nodded to the unknown assistant and came to the large wooden table with the rest of the Valkyries Council. “It seems as though our cameras confirmed that someone came over the wall, a female, and disappeared into the Armory area.” Dan was shocked, scared and absolutely petrified at the thought of one of the resistance fighters coming over the wall, especially in the Armory area of the compound. Dan lived next to the Armory inside the Land of Bartow and his first thoughts went to his two children and their safety. Stricken with worry and grief he gathered himself together before missing another word of Jessica’s update. “As you all know, and as Earl has pointed out many times to us, that is the only blind spot in the entire compound.” All eyes were on Jessica as she delivered the news and all eyes were stricken with fear, disappointment or maybe a little bit of both as Poke’s assistant continued.

“We are on full alert and we have issued a curfew for 9:00 pm all across the Land of Bartow until we can figure out just who came over the wall, who they are with and what they want with us. Until then, under the advice of our advisors, spies and from Poke himself, we are suggesting to everyone that they return to their jobs, lives and homes and attempt to be as ‘business as usual’ as possible. Our idea and hope behind this is that we will catch the mystery woman getting comfortable around the wrong person and we can bring her to justice. That is all.” Jessica concluded her speech before quickly folding up her notes, grabbing her laptop computer and cell phone before walking towards the exit of the room. Poke, visibly annoyed, stood up to address the Valkyries Council before dismissing them for the night.

“You heard her” Poke said sternly, almost agitated like, “business as usual until we catch whomever the hell it is who thought they could jump my wall and infiltrate my land.” Poke always had a way of calling it HIS land and not OUR land. Everything belonged to Poke, as so is the life of a supreme dictator and ruler I guess. “Now everyone, go home and get some rest, I expect you back on time, ready and alert tomorrow morning.” Poke said this as he gathered his things and walked out the door. “Goodnight, Valkyries!”

The Valkyries Council was still in utter shock after Poke and Jessica had left the room. No one really said much, maybe it was the shock or maybe it was the absolute exhaustion felt by the members of the council, as one-by-one they all collected their things and exited the Operations Room to head home for the day. Dan, unlike the others, went back to his office before heading home, just like the workaholic that he is. His kids must be worried sick he thought, although his kickboxer neighbor, Shane, watched after them whenever he had to work late without question, so he decided to call home from his secure line in the Territories Room to check in.


No answer. “That wasn’t out of the norm” Dan thought to himself as he hung up the receiver, grabbed his things and headed home. Dan walked home this night like he had every single night before since joining the Valkyries and the Valkyriess Council, not because he had to but because he thoroughly just enjoyed it, but as the young Valkyrie got onto his road, checked his mailbox and began walking inside his home he was caught off guard and was caught frozen in the darkness. It was pitch black outside this night and not a light was on inside his home, nor were there any lights on in the armory that was just an ear shot from Dan’s front porch. Dan heard the rustling of leaves in his backyard and wondered if his children, Evan and Hayden, were outside after dark, by themselves I might add, without supervision like Dan had told them not to do time-after-time before. Dan had the idea of sneaking up and scaring his kids in the backyard, maybe that would teach them a lesson he thought, and he began to tip-toe into the backyard as quietly as he could. Dan was about halfway to the white picket fence that surrounded the backyard when he heard a woman’s voice. Dan was caught off guard, it was well after curfew by now and no one should have been out in the streets of Bartow, let alone in his backyard. Dan froze, dropping down behind his children’s playset hoping he was out of sight of the female voice which he heard in the distance. The voice was coming from the armory and while Dan couldn’t clearly make out every word the young Valkyrie heard enough that it sent chills down his spine, and it would send chills down his spine for the rest of his life, however long that may be.

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