Valkeryn 2: The Dark Lands, page 1
Table of Contents
About the Author
Also by Greig Beck
The Story So Far
God Help Them All
There are… things in there
Come the Valkeryies
Time For a Little Payback
She’d be famous
Always worked for Alligator Jack
Nothing Here but a Thousand Old Ghosts
Your Job is Not Yet Done
I’m Not Alone
Creepy as Ever
Vile Cross Breeder
I Think We Got a Breach
What’s an Elephant?
Human, but Then Again Not
Welcome From Hell, Pussy
Strong but Easily Manipulated
We’re All Going on a Little Trip Soon.
The Time of Change was Coming
I Come to You in Peace
A Man-Kind for a Brother?
Let’s Go Skin Some Cats
Perhaps They Come to Make War on All Creatures
Great Odin, Give Me Patience
Beautiful Valkeryn, What Have TheyDone to You?
Time to Put the Cat Out
It is Our Time… to be Free
What the Sons of Man-kind are Truly Capable of
Never Give Up
We Wolfen are Not Dead Yet
Wyrmragon; the One True God
There Will Be No Return of the Ancients
They’re Hiding in the Dark
Miles of Empty Beach
Know Who You Face This Day
The Fastest Horse in the Kingdom… Now!
Maybe Once it was a Man.
To Live Among Wolves,You Must First Become the Wolf
Twelve Months Later
© 2013 Greig Beck
The right of Greig Beck to be identified as the
Author of the Work has been asserted by him
in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)
First published in 2013
First Electronic Edition
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All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduce, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser
All characters in this publication are fictitious, and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental
Layout by Cohesion Editing
Cover Art by Mel Gannon
About the Author
Greig Beck grew up across the road from Bondi beach in Sydney, Australia. His early days were spent surfing, sunbaking, and reading science fiction on the sand. He then went on to study computer science, immerse himself in the financial software industry, and later received an MBA. Greig is still involved in the software industry but finds time to write and surf. He lives in Sydney with his wife, son, and an enormous black German Shepherd.
If you would like to contact Greig, his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and you can find him on the web at:
Also by Greig Beck
Beneath the Dark Ice
This Green Hell
The First Bird
Return of the Ancients: The Valkeryn Chronicles 1
VALKERYN CHRONICLES 2
The Dark Lands
“Wolves are not our brothers; they are not our subordinates, either. They are another nation, caught up just like us in the complex web of time and life.”
“To live among wolves, you must first become the wolf.”
For Kathleen Joy – eternal beauty.
Funnest and smartest woman I have ever known.
Thank you to the Native Americans, the Vikings, the Greeks and all the other cultures who wove the most magnificent mythologies to explain the world – they will forever be a gift to writers.
Cast of Characters
The Valkeryn Wolfen (remaining)
Sorenson – son of Stromgard, brother of Strom (deceased)
Vidarr – Valkeryn Archivist and oldest living Wolfen
Balthazaar – Royal Counsellor
Bergborr – the dark Wolfen, betrayer of the kingdom, enthralled with Eilif who does not know he was the betrayer of the Valkeryn kingdom
Princess Eilif – daughter of King Grimvaldr and Queen Freya (both deceased)
Prince Grimson – son of King Grimvaldr and Queen Freya (both deceased)
Arn and friends
Arnold ‘Arn’ Singer – The youth thrown into the future. Called the ‘Arnoddr-Sigarr’ by the inhabitants. His name means: ‘bringer of victory’ in the Wolfen language
Edward Lin – best friend to Arn
Rebecca ‘Becky’ Matthews – once the object of Arn’s affection
General Ted Langstrom – military liaison for the US President
Colonel Marion Briggs – in charge of Fermilab and personally leads the Delta Force soldiers into the future
Captain(s): Samson, brutal Delta Force killing machine.
Jim Teacher, Delta Force brains and brawn. Henson, defender of the gateway
Lieutenant(s): Weng, Doonie, Sharp, Brown, Simms, the Deltas who accompany Captain Jim Teacher into the Dark Lands
Lieutenant(s): Bannock, Farfelle, Miller, Wilson, Jackson, Diekes, Rodriguez, and thirty-five Other Delta Force elite soldiers
Professor Albert Harper – brilliant senior scientist at Fermilab.
Guard(s): Chuck Benson, Leo Anderson, Dan Loeman, Jim Morgan, Zac Markson, Bill Porter.
Panterran & Lygon
Queen Mogahrr – queen of the Panterran
Orcalion – Panterran Counsellor
Goranx – Lygon general, slayer of Strom and Valkeryn King Grimvaldr
Lygon warrior(s) – Drun, Brunig, Durok, Balrog, Unsaur, Murdak.
Dark Lands Inhabitants
Kodian – tribe of Ursa
King Troglan – tribe of Panina
Princess Simiana – tribe of Panina
The Original Guardians
Big Fen – the first of the genetically-engineered guard dogs.
US President Jim Harker
Harry Vanner – Head of Science & Technology
Bill Weaver – Director of Public Policy
Secretary of Defence Frank Everson
Other Cast Members
Pratihba Singh – Nuclear Physicist, Pan Nucleonics.
Atom – Pratihba’s ash-grey tomcat
The Story So Far
Return of the Ancients:
Valkeryn Chronicles 1
Arnold Singer, a normal teenager, is on a class outing to Illinois’ Fermilab laboratories. Arn and his friends
Professor Albert Harper has developed an acceleration initiator, a pure red diamond, that will shoot a laser at the particles already travelling at near the speed of light, with the objective of pushing them to an even greater speed – a world first.
Arn finds himself trapped in the acceleration chamber when the laser fires. The resulting collisions are so powerful they tear open a hole in our universe. Arn is sucked through, with the red diamond, into a world far in the future. Humans have long left, and a new race now rules – the Valkeryn Wolfen.
Through what appears to be a stroke of luck, Arn saves the life of the Wolfen princess, Eilif, who has had dream-visions of him all her life. Though she and the ‘Man-Kind’ creature are vastly different, she finds herself strangely attracted to him.
Arn has arrived at a perilous time. The Wolfen have been in an eternal war with the Panterran horde – creatures that are without honour and known for their treachery and assassination skills. The Panterran now have a secret plan to end the war once and for all; they team up with the giant Lygon, monstrous beasts from the forbidden zone. Together, with the help of a Wolfen traitor, they make a final assault on the Valkeryn kingdom.
Back home, the hole torn in the universe remains open, continuing to grow and threatening all life on their planet. To close it, they need to retrieve the unique acceleration diamond they believe is in Arn’s possession. Colonel Marion Briggs sends through a team of Green Berets to bring Arn back, but they encounter adversaries more powerful and ferocious than they ever expected. They are decimated, leaving one survivor.
The final war sees the kingdom of Valkeryn fall, the King and Queen killed, and Princess Eilif spirited away by Bergborr, the Wolfen traitor. But before the battle, the king had sent Arn on a quest to take his son, Grimson, from the kingdom and keep him safe. Together they set out, Arn looking for evidence of what happened to the fabled Ancients – mankind – and Grimson, seeking the legendary far Wolfen.
Their quest will be arduous, frightening, and the revelations will be world shattering.
Five-year-old Arn sat on the step of his grandfather’s house. The old man sat next to him, sipping a beer and from time to time humming a tune that was both haunting and melodious.
Arn looked up at him. The man’s face was the oldest thing he had ever seen – all lines and fissures and crevices. Long grey hair hung to his shoulders, and he smelled of old tobacco, fresh cut wood and warmth. He was full blood Shawnee and had a story about everything that ever was and ever would be. He caught Arn looking at him, and he smiled.
Arn studied his face some more and then frowned. ‘Were you ever as young as me, Grandfather Singer?’
The old man laughed, and then placed his hand on Arn’s shoulder. ‘Yes, but it was so long ago that only the rivers and the mountains remember.’
Arn nodded solemnly: that made sense. He looked up again. ‘And were you always good?’
His grandfather raised his eyebrows, and took a few seconds to answer. He tilted his head as he responded. ‘Well, some days good, some days not so good.’ He smiled some more. ‘You see grandson, there is a battle between two wolves inside all of us. One is evil, and it is forged of anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, lies, and ego. The other is good, and it is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, and truth.’
Arn’s eyes were wide, and he placed his hands on his chest, feeling for some sort of activity.
‘Which wolf wins?’
His grandfather grunted softly, and looked down again with just one eye. ‘Why, the one you feed of course.’
God Help Them All
Dr Albert Harper was head physicist at Fermilab’s scientific facility, and overseer of the Tevatron Project. It had been America’s first test of laser-enhanced particle acceleration. He had hoped to find something unique, something fantastically new that could provide clues to the very genesis of our universe. He and his team had test-fired particles, hoping to achieve the speed of light. But the experiments had exceeded all expectations, and the particle velocity had moved well beyond those seemingly-impossible speeds.
Harper stood at his desk and lent forward, peering at the image on the screen. The acceleration chamber… or what was left of it. The tiny smudge of nothingness that had remained after the boy had disappeared was now the size of a dinner plate. It still looked like a flaw in the image feed, an indistinct and shadowy area, hanging in space like an oily substance smeared on the camera’s lens.
But they all knew better now. It was a hole. A breach in their universe, and a gateway to a time and place that was both fantastic and horrifying. One moment, the Singer boy had been standing there, calling for help, and then he had been dragged away, to… where, when?
Harper had guessed that the ‘where’ was right here in Illinois, and, judging by the astral mapping they had been able to undertake, the ‘when’ might be some time in the distant future.
The strange creatures they had seen when they had sent a camera probe after him told of some sort of local terrestrial heritage. Harper had hypothesized to the military, now assuming control of the project, that for all he knew the boy was still within a few dozen miles – just not in our time. Harper believed Singer was in a different time-slice in the same dimension. It made sense, when everything else seemed not to.
The information had been enough for Colonel Briggs and her military masters. They had sent soldiers, but soon found the indigenous a little more… territorial, than anyone expected, especially Briggs’ Green Berets. They died, fast and horribly. The only one to return was a shivering basket case.
As far as they could tell, and at least for now, the boy still lived. What next?
Harper switched camera feeds to a shot outside the acceleration chamber where a hole had been cut through the reinforced concrete wall, giving them access to the sealed acceleration ring room. Even though the outside areas had been cleared, there were now multiple objects stuck to the walls nearest the ring. It had started a week ago. First, small metal things; a bobby pin, or a paperclip from a report, sliding slowly across the floor. Then larger objects were affected; things like wristwatches, pens and rings.
People entering the outer chamber had needed all the old metal fillings in their teeth replaced by ceramics, otherwise the pull of the chamber would cause severe toothaches.
Harper smiled with little mirth – that didn’t turn out to be the only pain from all this. Now, and more ominously, what they had originally thought was some sort of side-effect of the accelerator’s magnetics running in overload had revealed its true identity – unnatural gravity forces. Things other than metal were now being attracted. Close to the chamber, anything not tied down was moving to the wall. Magnetic forces they could resist, but not the universe’s very glue. Harper had unwittingly freed the gravity beast, and now that it was unbound, it was hungry and growing daily.
There was no precedent for this. There was no guidebook, no voice of authority or experience. Everything they were doing now would be judged in future days. Harper shuddered. If they were wrong, there might be no more future.
In searching for an answer, any answer, he had originally hypothesized that the original matter transferred, the boy, had created a dimensional imbalance. Since Singer, every time they sent something through, they tried to rebalance the mass equation: whatever went in, man or object, something of comparable mass had to be brought back.
Later, computer simulations had shown they’d never be able to coordinate the matter balance: whether they were out by a ton, or by a few atoms, the balance could never be restored. The stark reality was that the rebalancing was a waste of time. T
Harper half turned to look over his shoulder. Soldiers stood guard on each side of the door. He knew there were two more on the other side as well. He also knew the project was not really his anymore. In the blink of an eye, or the firing of a laser, it had fallen under military jurisdiction.
His role had become little more than making educated scientific suggestions. The military listened, then did what they wanted. He sighed and turned back to the screen, flicking back to the view of the acceleration chamber and the dark wavering hole. He looked hard at the image, wondering if something on the other side of the breach was staring back at him.
Harper kept his eyes on the screen, and reached down for his cup. His fingers closed on empty space. Looking down, he saw that his cup had moved, slid a few inches towards the side of the table. He felt a ripple of fear in his gut. They were several floors above the acceleration chamber – the gravitational effect was growing.