Sam lay on her bed looking up at the ceiling of her room in Valhalla hotel. Watching the patterns change showing the different skies across the nine worlds: starry night sky of Midgard, Niflheim dark fog swirling around in circles, Muspelheim fire in short bursts across the dark red expanse with blue stars glimmering slightly, Jotunheim, the sky looking just like Midgard except during the day, Vanaheim always sunny, and finally Asgard, home of the gods, the heavens rainbow and intertwined. Suddenly, a voice came over the rooms installed intercom.
“Corporal, Captain Blaine has asked to see you in the training hall.”
“Tell her I’m on my way” Sam said grabbing the badge and her gauntlets that signified her rank as corporal. Sam opened her door and with the privilege of flight flew down the corridor and entered the training room.
“Okay-” Sam stopped dead in her tracks as she saw who was waiting for her in the training hall.
“Chloe,” she growled, reaching behind her to rub the scar on her back where Chloe’s battle axe had made an impression before. Chloe laughed.
“Surprised?” Chloe asked, pulling a deadly assassin’s sickle from her belt.
“Not really,” Sam said, touching her scar and producing the axe, “I was kind of wondering when you’d show your cowardly face again.” Chloe scowled
“Let’s see if you’re still so smug when you’re dead.” With that the two female warriors charged. Chloe let her blade fly first, spinning it towards Sam’s head. Sam ducked in the nick of time and threw her axe at the more skilled warrior’s chest. Chloe jumped back barely evading the axe. Catching it, she threw it back at Sam who caught it.
“Where is Captain Blaine?” Sam asked, as the axe dissolved in her hand.
“I’ll tell you if you beat me dear,” Chloe said in a perfect imitation of Blaine’s voice. Sam reached to her leg where Chloe’s arrow had shot her once. Sam rubbed the scar and suddenly a bow and a quiver full of arrows were in her hands. Sam slung the quiver over her shoulder and started firing arrows at Chloe, who spun her blade on chain in a deadly circle in front of her body. Every one of Sam’s arrow were either deflected to the side of Chloe or sliced in half by her blade. Sam, meanwhile, reached for the scar beneath her arm, but she was too late: Chloe swung her blade and struck Sam in the stomach. It would only take Sam ten minutes to heal but it would be enough for Chloe to kill her; even as Sam thought this, she saw the sickle shaped blade rise above her to deliver the finishing strike. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. The blade descended towards Sam’s heart and… a double bladed axe like the one that Sam carried spun into the room. It deflected Chloe’s blade. Two hands grabbed Sam’s shoulders and pulled her out of the way. Sam could only watch as her saviour picked up her axe and stood defending Sam with her body. Sam recognized the long flowing blonde hair. This girl was called Julianna and she was a rookie.
“Julianna…get…out…” Sam managed weakly. Sam felt the warm blood flowing down her sides and knew that their had been something on that blade. Her wound wasn’t closing anytime soon, not without a daughter of Frey. Julianna took her blazing spear off her back and pointed it towards Chloe.
“I’ve heard of your skill, but I don’t think even you can block the glare from a Valkyries spear,” she said to Chloe.
“Foolish girl!” Chloe said, “You fire that spear and it will decimate you, me and everything else until it reaches the wall in back of me.”
“Yeah,” said Julianna, “But if you want to stop that from happening, then you’re gonna have to tell me where the captain is and get out of Valhalla until you’re judged worthy.”
“Until next time, Sam.” Chloe hissed and was gone in a puff of smoke, leaving the Captain, in her place tied up but unharmed. Julianna powered off her spear and taking out her dagger quickly cut the ropes.
“Captain the corporal’s in trouble. What do we do?”
Captain Blaine turned, slapping the poor girl across the face.
“I can see she’s in trouble you fool, as for what we’re going to do, get Margaret the daughter of Frey and tell her her healing skills are urgently needed. Go!” Blaine yelled and lifted her hand to slap the girl’s face again.
Julianna flew out the room and down the corridor in a flash. Blaine ran to Sam’s side.
“Are you okay dear?” she asked.
Sam could only groan weakly.
“Hang in there hon,” she said, clasping her hands. “Margaret will be here soon to heal you.”
Just then Julianna flew in with Margaret behind her. Julianna’s cheek was all swollen and red, but Blaine didn’t seem to care much, nor did Margaret. Margaret knelt down next to Sam and passed her hand over her torso. A new, warm, pleasant light lit up the room and Sam felt a different kind of warmth creep across her skin. Her skin began to tingle as it mended itself. “There,” said Margaret, “Should be good as new in a few days, you know, except for a thin new scar.”
“Thank you hon,” said Blaine. “Now, Sam go back to your room and get some rest. Margaret return to whatever you were doing before, and, as for you Julianna, you can spend the rest of the night here training.” With that, Blaine flew down the hall dragging Sam behind her, while Julianna remained behind to practice her sword skills for the remaining six hours of the night.
When the morning light began to shine, Blaine went to check on Sam, but Sam was gone. Sam was walking towards Chloe’s lair. Sam carried no weapons except for her scars, but the fire of revenge was lit in her soul and no force in the world could extinguish it, not until she had defeated Chloe.
Daniel Le Goff Pollack (’19)