*** Extract ***
It was dark outside when I heard the owl hoot. I thought it was merely an echo from my dreams so rolled over but then that was disproved by the distant howl of a wolf. I lay there, straining to hear any other random calls of the wild, trying hard not to rustle my wing feathers the slightest. For a brief time there was no other sound and I was ready to roll back over into sleep when there was a noise of wind beneath wings. I could hear two voices speaking quietly, one was female and so had to be Mist but the other was deeper and older and male. I climbed out of my bed, keeping my wings in their closed position and crawled towards the door of my tent which was tied shut. Prizing the flap open slightly and peeped out into the darkness.
My suspicions were correct for there were two figures including Mist sat around the bright embers of the open hearth. Yet the other figure was not of a man but of a large bird that was so black I only glimpsed it by the beak and eye shining in the dim light. It was from this creature that the deeper voice was coming from even though the beak never moved.
I let the flap close slowly once more and quickly thought of which runes to cast to let me eavesdrop on this secret night time meeting. I cast out Ansur to amplify their conversation in my ears and Peorth at the same time to hide my runic magic as Mist would certainly detect the small power I used. It worked perfectly but was very disorientating at first because the sound that attacked my ears wasn’t their voices but the load roar of the sea as it swept up at the rocks and cliffs outside the cove. I fought not to groan out loud for it was a truly deafening cacophony in my head but as the runic magic began to settle into my immediate area the pair of voices was depicted clear to my ears.
“I’m surprised these new wings ruffle Freya so much.” The deep male voice commented rather critically.
“Anything that even attempts to rival her beauty ruffles her feathers, Father, you should know this by now. Remember how she sought the Brisingamen necklace?”
“Yes, yes, you don’t have to remind me, the dwarves are constantly reminding me about it each time I bargain with them.” The voice muttered abrupt and irritated.
“They are nowhere near her eagle markings though, just a tint of gold and browns along the edges, that is all. The rest is white.”
“It is intriguing though is it not? After all, out of the eight of you with white feathers this one should arise with colour.”
“I agree, the pattern does make me curious, even Jennifer asked about it and Freya simply told her it was due to the mixed blessings of both Sun and Moon. I think it’s the fact that she is a soul. We were all converted instantly upon our deaths. Jennifer has been a spirit for ten years already.”
“Hummmm, that is the more reasonable theory. Did the girl believe what Freya told her?”
“Yes I think so although she hasn’t really questioned or pondered the immense transformation she has gone through or tried to understand the powers that enabled it to happen.”
“That is good, the less questions she asks the better. What are Freya’s plans for her?”
“Teach her to fly and then set her to protecting the twins.”
“Who’s protecting them whilst she is training?”
“Geirölul at present but I think they are taking it in turns.”
“Has the boy spotted them yet?”
“No, but I can’t say anymore for certain as I’m no longer part of that operation. But I think they will remain unobserved a lot better than Jennifer.” It sounded like Mist was smirking and my stomach was already as tense as a tectonic plate with the way they were talking about me.
“Indeed, hopefully the boy will merely dismiss her sighting as another bizarre feature of his blindness.”
“You can’t blame her; she was only doing her duty against a Werewolf that got her introduced to them.”
“Did you know she was the one that was even sent to collect their grandfather from hospital that same night?”
“Would I lie, Mist?”
“No, of course not, Father, but, it’s just so...”
“It’s another worrying coincidence that links the trio together. I don’t like the way your Mother is weaving these events at all.”
“She never weaves any fates deliberately, only what occurs due to a set of decisions, you know this, so don’t start blaming her.”
The male voice grunted loudly. “Have you sensed any future from her as you’ve taught her?”
“I tried but it’s like searching for the bottom of a dirty pool. Her future is as blank as paper because her past is so faded still.”
“Your apprentice is as full of riddles as Mimir was when he got drunk. Freya was wise in entwining her so close to her ranks. A soul so full of unknowns as this one has the capacity to become a liability.”
“It is strange how she struggles to recall her mortal life. Because she remembers little we know even less about her. All we know is that she died in the Poole area, October 2001. We don’t know how or where, she was a wandering soul.”
“Hummmm, wandering suggests traumatic death and it must have been to impact her memories ten years on. That does not bode well at all. I fear she may be more trouble than we think and the way events are forming I’m afraid I might be right.”
“As of yet, Father, I have sensed no threat or darkness within her. As she works closer with us, I and the other Valkyries will be able to watch and guide her. Mother always said hindsight is only given when the knot is tied in the thread, whilst the needle still works nothing is certain.”
“Innocent until proven guilty.”
There was a pause and I could hear the crumbling heat of the embers.
“Have you found Katherine yet?” Mist asked, her voice sounding nervous.
“No, whoever has her is using every trick in the book to mislead our search and keep her hidden.”
“Have you spoken to Hel?”
“Yes, many times and each time she denies any involvement. She says her warriors haven’t claimed any holy beings since the tsunami. Loki is still keeping company with my python so I am still unsure as to whom might have kept her body.”
“That’s presuming she’s dead.”
“It’s the better outcome because if and it is a rare chance, that she is somehow alive but captured, she will be tortured by gods knows what and that will corrupt her spirit so badly it would be a mercy for her to have faded to oblivion.”
*** End of Extract ***