Valkyrie uprising, p.1

Valkyrie Uprising, page 1

 part  #3 of  Valkyrie Allegiance Series

 

Valkyrie Uprising
 


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Valkyrie Uprising


  Valkyrie Uprising

  Valkyrie Allegiance Book 3

  A.J. Flowers

  Valkyrie Uprising Copyright © 2018 by A.J. Flowers

  * * *

  Cover Art by Rebecca Frank

  * * *

  All Persons Fictitious Disclaimer:

  This book is a work of fiction. Any similarity between the characters and situations within its pages and places or persons, living or dead, is unintentional and co-incidental.

  * * *

  ASIN: B07J42N23C

  All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system.

  Published in the United States.

  Contents

  Glossary of Norse Mythological Terms

  Third Law of the Valkyrie

  1. Ragnarök

  2. Tyler's Secrets

  3. Einherjar's Core

  4. Grounded

  5. Light and Dark

  6. Trust

  7. Yggdrasil

  8. Degradation

  9. Under Siege

  10. Follow Me

  11. Jotunheim

  12. Gods

  13. Will's Choice

  14. The Gulltop

  15. Just a Bite

  16. Full Circle

  17. Coming Out of the Closet

  18. Kindred Souls

  19. Allies

  20. It's Just a Necklace

  21. The Unknown

  22. Ragnarök

  23. Epilogue

  Thank You for Reading!

  A Note from the Author

  Also by A.J. Flowers

  Glossary of Norse Mythological Terms

  This is a work of fiction and any relation to Norse Mythology is the author’s creative interpretation.

  * * *

  This glossary contains major spoilers meant to be revealed in the story, but like all Immortals, you have the option of peering into the future… at your own risk.

  Events

  Ragnarök: A final battle between gods that will result in death and rebirth.

  Planets

  Asgard: The original home world of the Immortals created by Odin, now under control by Baldr.

  Muspelheim: A volcanic planet that lies outside of time and space. Originally a planet belonging to the Surtr, Freya has taken residence after her alliance with the Jotun to rebuild her armies and take back Asgard from Baldr.

  Earth: The birthplace of the gods.

  Immortals:

  Freya: Goddess of War who has allied with her other half, Odin, as well as the Jotun. Before her exile from Asgard, she was better known as the goddess of love, beauty, and passion.

  Odin: A cyborg who became the first Immortal and is now a ruthless warlord and God of War alongside his wife. Exiled from Asgard, he fights to defend his honor and return to Asgard, the planet he created for Immortals.

  Baldr: Freya’s only son and once loved by the gods, Baldr has exiled his parents from Asgard and is determined to bring about Ragnarök.

  Tyr (Mortal Name: Tyler): One of the Valiant and top lieutenants in Odin’s army. Has a mysterious connection with Valarie Frigg and often calls her Aerie, likely referring to a past she can’t remember.

  William Johnson: Recently ascended mortal and one of Odin’s newest soldiers of the Valiant.

  Heimdall: Now known as Dalia, Heimdall is a defected exile of Asgard and now prominent stock broker and Immortal arm’s dealer in New York. Her powers center in farsight: seeing events up to a hundred miles from her current location, allowing her to establish a stronghold in New York where nothing happens without her knowledge.

  Spaceships

  Einherjar: One of the major spaceships that is capable of bending time and space. The Einherjar belongs to the immortal Freya and is powered by human souls and is the birthplace of her daughters.

  Mojinir: Odin’s spaceship that can destroy entire planets when fully charged.

  Sleipnir: A satellite that serves to transport Immortals between planets, built by Odin.

  Gulltop: Heimdall’s ship that relocates the Bifrost, the only entrance to Asgard controlled by Heimdall. Gulltop is located on the dark side of the moon.

  Jotunheim: A ship buried in the caverns of Muspelheim and long argued to be the birthplace of the Jotun. A scientist by the name of Ymir wanted to explore the idea of reverse terraforming. Instead of adapting a planet to the race… adapt the race to the planet.

  Races

  Valkyrie: Immortal daughters of Freya. Divisions of Freya’s army include Frigg, Lofin, Fulla, and Gina, each with their subtle strengths and talents. Frigg are benders of time. Lofin are healers. The Fulla guide the creation of the Valkyrie. The Gina are best around water and cannot survive long on Muspelheim.

  The Valiant: Human souls who have earned their immortality by pledging eternal service to Odin after their first kill. Only humans who have been dedicated to the Norn and achieved reincarnation will have the opportunity to kill an Immortal as the necessary sacrifice to ascend themselves.

  Skuld: Servants to the Norn. Shadowed remnants of souls neither living nor dead. They only know how to feed on the life-force of Immortals. In exchange for their service, the Norns provide sustenance and rejuvenation to keep their withered bodies in one piece.

  Norn: Ancient Valkyries who’ve lost their way and now work to control the fates of men and gods. When a mortal soul is offered, they feed off of sacrifice, locking that soul into a cycle of reincarnation until it can ascend. Valkyries will often target souls dedicated to the Norn to take the soul after its final sacrifice to the Einherjar where it will serve as a power source. Souls that succeed in defeating the Valkyrie come to claim them ascend as one of the Valiant.

  The Jotun

  Jotun: A collective of elementals who ally themselves with Freya. The Jotun consist of the Surtr, Skaoi, Huldra, and other undiscovered races who are adept at adapting to their surroundings, eventually evolving into the element most akin to the planet they call home.

  Surtr: Fiery Embers, natives of Muspelheim and spirits who’ve allied themselves with Freya.

  Skaoi: Ice elementals.

  Huldra: Forest Spirits who dwell on Earth and have a shaky alliance with Freya.

  Artificial Intelligence Programs

  Thor: An AI program that resets human memories in realtime.

  Jormungand: Thor believes it will one day malfunction and become Jormungand, represented as the serpent eternally devouring its own tail. The malfunction is predicted to result in a poisoned sky that will rain terror on the world during Ragnarök.

  Grimhildr: Housed in Freya’s spear, the Grimhildr program suppresses memories and unleashes rings of flame in battle, confusing enemies. It keeps a record of the memories it has seen and grows unstable when Freya tries to use it on Val a second time.

  Yggdrasil: The origin of immortality. The energy of souls are converted to a physical substance called “Yggdrasil’s Sap”, or YS, that creates life. Yggdrasil’s core is held on Asgard but is linked to all major spaceships, allowing the creation of new life and the sharing of the Sap of Yggdrasil.

  Third Law of the Valkyrie…

  * * *

  Don’t Trigger Ragnarök

  Ragnarök

  Embers floated across a barren landscape and even though I had power over time and space, that moment stilled on its own. The heat wavered dusty air and my gaze settled onto a staggering Valkyrie with withered wings. She limped and growled, half her flesh replaced with the glittering scourge of Ragnarök’s dark power. She drew it in with great, gulping breaths as she continued to stumble across ash and lingering flames. Sam’s glassy
eyes reflected my horrified face as she came close enough that the putrid stench of decay and ash tinged my nose. She bared her teeth and growled.

  This wasn’t Sam. She’d lost all the snark and grace I loved about her. This was a shell of what was left. Darkness filtered through her skin and seeped from her eyes, leaking across her defined cheekbones like a war tattoo. I reached out to touch her, but stopped short when the icy chill of Ragnarök’s harsh kiss grazed my mortal fingertips like razor blades.

  It was Will who finally brought me back. His fingers dug into my shoulder and forced me to fall back against his hard chest. My gaze lingered on my lost sister and I scrunched my eyebrows at the soft yearning that wrapped around my soul.

  Ragnarök wanted to draw me in with the rest of my sisters it had already claimed. In an instant, I knew what it wanted and a deep, primal part of me yearned for it to succeed. In order for there to be life, there must be death. Like my sisters, new life could rise from the ashes. Worlds would be reborn and given a fresh slate. Ragnarök had achieved that thrice before, the lore retold through generations by the Valkyries who had survived the end of the world. Freya was one of the only ones and she’d tell me those nightmarish bedtime stories as a warning. Even if Ragnarök ended our world, the suffering wouldn’t dissipate. And so it devoured the darkness until it had become a sentient being. It stared back at me through my fallen sister’s eyes and for a brief moment, its heart touched mine.

  Then Will whispered my name and pulled me back from the brink. “Val,” he said, his voice a pin drop in the silent room of my heart.

  I turned away from the draw of glittering darkness. This was my reality. Tyler half-dead at my feet. William’s eyes alight with panic. And darkness seeping up from the grainy sands of Muspelheim that were about to take us under.

  I closed my eyes and concentrated. I was a Frigg and a daughter of two gods. I knew the extent of my powers now and the source of my strength.

  Love.

  It’s what my mother had feared. It’s what had given Ragnarök a window to enter into our world, and it’s what would save Tyler and Will so that we could fight it together.

  When I opened my eyes again, I blinked as a cool blast of recycled air swept my hair over my shoulders. A ship’s ancient groans sounded along the abused hull. I scented the rot of Ragnarök in the air. I’d slipped through time and space, bringing Tyler and Will with me to the Einherjar.

  I knelt and swept my hands over their mouths to make sure they were still breathing. They didn’t move, but soft puffs against my fingertips told me that they’d survived. Will glowed with the protective hue of Odin’s power, while Tyler glimmered with dark runes visible to the naked eye, betraying his Heimdall connection to the mysterious matter that made up I scented the rot of Ragnarök’s power.

  Pain and suffering was the weight that drove Ragnarök. It’s what gave Tyler his strength, and even though I had the same gifts, I was a Frigg. Love was my strength. Time and space warped when I commanded it to, but to bring others with me broke more than just the laws of physics. There were the three laws of the Valkyrie… and then there were the unspoken rules of the universe.

  I shivered and stood as I hugged myself. Who cares what new law I’d broken. I should be used to it by now.

  My memories were on my side for once, letting me know that this ship lazily orbited Muspelheim and kept its eternal watch over my Immortal sisters. I’d landed on the viewing deck where’d I’d spent hours just staring at Muspelheim before I was old enough to live there.

  I turned to find a broad wall of glass separating me from the void of space. A horizon view showed me the Einherjar reluctantly drifting away from my home. I could see why. Glittering black jaws closed in around the ruby world and threatened to swallow it whole.

  “No,” I whispered as tears sprang to my eyes. Muspelheim thrummed with its heat and red gleam like a beacon in the universe. I couldn’t imagine it being snuffed out, along with all the Valkyries who lived there and trained for the final battle. Most of my life, I’d just wanted to be a part of them and make them proud. Now, that final battle was here, and they hadn’t been ready… because of me.

  “You shouldn’t be here,” a warning voice said from the end of the room.

  I whirled and tears flung from my face. “Mother?” I asked.

  She seemed smaller in person as if the trials of the end of the world had diminished her greatness, but she straightened and kept a tight grip on her spear. Ash drifted down her dress, betraying that she’d recently summoned her wings. She loved her daughters, even if she wouldn’t admit it. I couldn’t imagine what this was doing to her and I wanted to run and hug her and tell her that it’d all somehow be all right. Love was what gave her the purest white wings I’d ever seen and I wanted to have that part of her back. Yet, it was the look on her face that rooted me to the spot.

  “You’re beyond redemption,” she snarled and her eyes flashed with a ruby gleam, burying any hope that I’d reclaimed the goddess of love I knew her to be. Freya stood before me now, the scorned goddess of war. She stabbed the butt of her spear to the ground and the sharp echo against the ship’s hull made me wince. “You’ve broken all three laws of the Valkyrie. Was that not enough? Now you shred through time and space, bringing your toys with you?” Her gaze fell to the two Valiant warriors at my feet.

  A flash of gold brilliance came to life at her side and made her startle. The motion put me on edge and all the hairs along my arms stood on end. The goddess of war was not easily frightened.

  The father of the Valiant appeared as a hologram, magic mixed with technology, and glimmered with eerie translucence as he took in the scene. His mechanical left arm whirred as he clenched a fist. “Why are two of my soldiers asleep on your deck?” he growled.

  I realized that he’d addressed Freya and not me. “Father?” I asked, wishing I could wipe out the pathetic waver of my voice. If he was going to yell at anyone, it should be me. Freya had an entire planet to worry about.

  He continued to ignore me and turned the full wrath of his gaze on Freya. “How could you have allowed this to happen? I thought you said that you had things under control?”

  Freya’s lower lip trembled and she clamped down on it hard before lashing out her reply. “She’s just as much your daughter as mine. Perhaps that’s why she’s so attached to those fools she’s brought with her.” Embers streaked through her immortal body, evidence of the power of flame that coursed through her veins. Sweat broke out on my forehead and I wiped it away. I’d almost forgotten that I still had my mortal body.

  As if sensing my distress, Freya turned to me. “Why did you bring them?” Her words cut off short as if my answer terrified her.

  I swallowed. “Because… I love them.”

  Both Odin and Freya, deities of war and wrath, stared at me as if I’d just broken their hearts.

  Tyler's Secrets

  Freya left me alone with the two sleeping Valiant and a view of the destruction my love had wrought. I sat cross-legged as I watched the glittering grains of Ragnarök seep through a rip in space and time, its fingers slowly wrapping around the ruby planet like a snake constricting its prey.

  I don’t know how long I sat there, but it was long enough for Freya’s embers to have retreated and the mournful darkness to wrap the chamber in a cold chill. I didn’t notice that I shivered until Will wrapped an arm around me from behind and hugged me to his chest. I leaned into him and didn’t try and stop the fresh tears that bubbled up. I’d thought that I was all cried out, but he seemed to awaken something in me that was buried so deep, it broke through fresh love and pain.

  Tyler had awakened as well, but he didn’t complain at the protective hold Will had on me. He straddled me with his legs and pulled me to him and hugged me tight. His cheek pressed against mine and he just held me, and I knew he’d be there for me as long as I needed.

  Tyler sat across from me and took my hand in his. I couldn’t believe that he’d be so kind to me whe
n Will was right here, but his features didn’t hold any jealousy or anger. His crystal eyes went soft as he stroked his thumb over my knuckles. “I’m sorry,” he said, his voice a low, husky whisper.

  Will hugged me tighter. His breath puffed on my neck as he spoke. “Val?”

  I shifted and snuggled into the crook of his arm, keeping Tyler’s hand in mine. “Yes?”

  He glanced at Tyler, as if for the first time acknowledging his rival was there. Yet, he didn’t look annoyed or angry. Instead, a whisper of a smile tugged at his lips. “I’m glad you saved us.”

  Tyler shook his head. “It’s not worth the price.” He glanced at the span of destruction through the viewing shield. “Ragnarök has staked its claim and nothing can stop it now.”

  I didn’t want to face that horrible truth. This couldn’t be the end of the universe.

  I chose to study the harsh, beautiful lines of Tyler’s face. The attack on Muspelheim had torn at his armor, leaving it to stick itself back together as if an invisible seamstress worked her needles before my eyes. The gashes left open revealed hard abs and the bulge of his bicep tearing through the fabric. His skin still boasted the dark runes, but they flickered against the golden sheen of power that draped over him like a soft aura. I looked down to my own stretched mark that had hardened on my hand. “Is this why you became a Valiant?” I asked. I hesitated, then ran my fingers over the gold film that drifted over his skin. “Odin keeps it at bay, doesn’t he?”

 
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