It was my fault, if you want to be picky about it. I blame the freaking Nazi’s, but it was my choice in the end. Two limp dick losers were upset they couldn’t get a date because they were just that much of an ass that no woman was deluded, desperate or drunk enough to find them attractive, even in their most post breakup bad decision phase. You have to work hard to be so repulsive to the opposite sex that you can’t get laid in a brothel with a thousand dollar bill wrapped around your Johnson, but these two were just that bad. They called themselves Incels, involuntary celibates, which is the technical term for can’t get laid with a thousand dollar bill wrapped around your dick in the worst red light district known to man. They added to their idiocy by embracing the white power movement and Neo-nazism that convinced them that university liberals were training women to hate men (even if the same universities were filled with women dating men, logic was not their strong suit).
Rather than not treat women like undomesticated farm animals, or do something radical like bathe once in a while, these two limp dick losers decided to take their anger and a half dozen guns each and go shoot up a university girls dorm.
They picked a “smart day”, meaning one where the girls were moving in for the second semester, so some men were moving around the tower, usually carrying something heavy from parking lot to room. They didn’t really have a plan, beyond shooting every woman they saw, and hadn’t really worked out what to do when the girls locked the damned doors when the shooting started. Not just Incels and Nazi’s, but idiots. I was helping my daughter move in, and like any infantry worthy of the name, moved to the sound of the guns. I was retired, having given up playing hero for a living when my knees ran out of cartilage and the list of joints with arthritis included everything from neck to ankle, but my daughter was in this building along with a lot of girls just like her, and no way in hell those guns were getting any nearer without my doing anything about it.
In the end, it was too simple. They were trying to shoot there way into a room, but hadn’t figured out yet that bullets are like pool balls, they bounce beyond your initial aim point, and concrete hallways can return those rounds to sender with a heck of a spin on them. One of them was screaming and cupping a tiny little wound on his outer leg. Honestly, it was barely a scratch, but he was whining like it was the end of the world. I began to sprint down the hall at them, saying nothing.
They both looked up as I pounded towards them, and the big one who was unhurt began to fire in my general direction. I felt something hit my back, probably caught a ricochet, but I haven’t got time to worry about that. I take a second to the head and my vision goes red, my world goes silent and I lose my sense of up and down. It didn’t matter. I hit the one who was crying about his little nick, and I fall with the rifle between us.
We hit the ground, him on the bottom. I smash the rifle against what I think is his head again and again until the wet feeling under my hands and the resistance on the rifle stop. I turn towards the blur in the hallway, and punch out three shots along what I think is the intersection of the blur and the ground. At least one takes him in the ankle because he goes down. I walk the rest of the magazine along the blur above the ground. I can’t see him well enough to figure out when end of the blur is important, so I walk nine rounds up from end to end, and the bolt locks open. I can’t breathe any more, and things are getting so dark and cold. I press the rifle into the hollow between what used to be the head of the idiot I landed on, and his chest. I think I already pulped his skill, but just to be sure, I push my weight onto the rifle and into the soft bits of the throat until I feel the cartilage crush under me. If he was alive, he won’t be for long. I let the darkness take me.
Well, at least I will see my family in Hel. I will see those who passed before me and await the day long hence when my wife and children pass on to join me.
You would think that would be a safe bet. I thought so. I lost.
I had the strangest impression as I faded out. I swore I saw my old basic training Mcpl riding a great warhorse, a dappled grey on grey, like gunsmoke in fog. When she got closer, I noticed she was not actually Master Corporal Koskinnen, but as much as I always thought she looked like a Valkyrie, it turns out I found Valkyries looked a lot like her too.
As I started to fade out, I croaked “Not Valhalla!” I didn’t want to spend an eternity preparing for war, an eternity of blood and slaughter, endless pointless drill and battle, killing each other every day, rising from the dead to drink and revel all the night. Good gods, It would be like being back in the infantry doing a workup that lasted until Ragnarok with no leave, no pay, and no freaking rest.
She leaned down from the horse (how the hell do you get a horse that is about seventeen hands high into the second story hallway of a university dorm tower?) and grabbed me, pulling me up, in what my hallucinating mind saw as out of my body. As she did, she whispered to me.
“Not Valhalla, I promise” She said as my light went out for good.
I awoke with a start, there was a strange feeling in my body, I couldn’t put a name to it, but something in my brain told me it was wrong. Something in my lower regions told me to stop thinking and pay attention, because it was certainly standing at it.
Three things attempted to get my attention more or less at once. First, I was somewhat less dead than I really ought to have been. Second, I was naked, which was obvious as certain parts of me had decided saluting the third thing in the room was what we should be doing, and proceeded to do just that without the use of my hands. The third thing I noticed was Her.
Falcon cloaked, as in her cloak was made of falcon feathers. I don’t mean sewed of Falcon feathers, I mean it rustled like the wings of a Peregrine Falcon, if one topped out about six foot three with long blonde hair, blue eyes that blazed like lightning on bared steel and a frontal armament that let you know that this was the template that all mortal breasts attempted to match but never could. Between them nestled a necklace of amber and gold that shone with light from a sun that was not actually present inside this large wood hall, but I guess when you are Brisengamen, you can shine with sunlight without such trivial needs as an actual sun. There was a slight small smile on her lips, terribly expressive lips. Pale pink and mobile they promised things it wasn’t good to think about, and yet one look at the light burning in her eyes reminded you this was Freya, the woman of every dream, including nightmares of man.
Her voice rang out then. It wasn’t loud. Nothing crude like that, but her voice sang in my blood, in my bones, and my heart hammered and my poor frigging cock and balls did their best imitation of living stone. Her voice filled my mind, vibrated the air in my lungs as my ribs hummed with its echoes and the phrase echoed from a scream to a whisper a thousand times and a thousand ways through a brain suddenly filled with ten thousand images of her and I from her astride me in sexual climax, her tearing the beating heart from my chest and eating it before my eyes. In each, she shone with golden fire a thousand times brighter and hotter than the sun, and in each I felt my body shuddering and shaking in a climax beyond any I had known in life.
“Do you know where you are?”
Honestly, if that is what I get from a short phrase, gods help me if she ever has to explain something to me. I don’t trust myself to speak, but her question had the power of a command, and besides, fear has never ruled me, nor good sense or anything resembling wisdom, so I answered.
“Fólkvangr, your grace. Hall of the Einherjar who serve the Van-Dis, Brisengamen’s Mistress, the Lady; Freya”
I lived an idiot, and died and idiot, so there was no reason to switch from what worked at this point. I rushed on to finish my thought before her beauty drove it out of my head.
“I cannot be here Lady. I am a married man, and my wife will not understand my being here. I mean Valhalla I could write off as away on Ex, she put up with that in the Army when I was alive, but she knows the most beautiful women in the Nine Worlds live in your hall, and that those who you gather are yours until Ragnarok. No way she is going to believe I am not at least thinking about……”
She threw back her head and laughed, arms thrust high above her shoulders and the Valkyries gathered around her laughed as well. I felt their eyes on me, and my eyes on them and with the mortal flesh and its age and damage given limits removed it seemed every cell of whatever I used for a body here was already presenting its own plan for what I would like to do with whom for all the women in the room, and from the predatory smiles on all their faces, both the Valkyries and Freya read each of them like a book, and marked the pages of the ones they would like to reread in more depth later.
Touching my lips gently to stop my babbling, Freya shook her head and glanced over at one of the Valkyries.
“Sina, before our young recruit says anything else more foolish, see that he is armed and armoured appropriately. He might do well to focus on something a little less frightening, like two hundred thousand elite berserkers trying to cut him into cat food for my babies”
Freya swayed out of the room with the sort of prowl you would expect of a cat, if they topped out around six foot three, wore cloaks that thought they were wings, and gave off the same light and heat as the mid day sun on an early summer morning. There were two actual golden cats following her, or cougars, they shifted from one moment to the next as if unconcerned with consistency.
Sina, for that was the Valkryie who brought me, took me to the armoury. I could choose from any weapon ever made, and some that perhaps hadn’t been. In the rack was Hella, my first battle rifle. Long replaced by a soulless 5.56mm for modern service, my first love had been my FNCIA1, a 7.62x51mm semi automatic wood and steel weapon already a generation old when it came to my hands. I lifted it down, and saw the serial number was my own. I felt a sudden weight settle over me, as my old webbing suddenly draped me. I checked my pouches, my magazines were empty so I set about filling them with ammunition from the stripper clips in the box on the table before me. I strapped a longsword through the back of the webbing, as there was an oversized frog on left hip and right shoulder top for a right side top draw, and something told me that battle here would frequently end in quarters too close for my rifle.
I turned to Sina and told her firmly, my mind and body anchored by the weapon of my long service into the hard channels of duty that ruled me my entire life.
“Sina, I am serious, I cannot be in this hall. I am married. My wife won’t understand. I have to go” I spoke with great seriousness, and she regarded me with the calm of an RSM who has heard every version of every complaint, fear, objection and request that any troop could possibly come up with often enough to not be able to fake surprise at any of it. She just nodded.
“You could always just let yourself get killed.” She offered.
Not the stupidest bit of advice when you thought of it. Getting killed got me here. Maybe getting killed gets me out of it?
I nodded, she took down a Heckler & Koch MG5 light machine gun with box drum of ammunition as if the whole assembly weighed less than my rifle, strapped a second and third drum to each hip and grinned something that a shark would be terrified to see in the mirror and threw back the bolts to the great gate.
We made our way into nightmare. If every war ever fought intersected into a mad maze where you could step out of Gordon’s Khartom facing Arab camel cavalry, to find yourself taking fire from a Panzer IV 75mm gun, roll into a trench to find yourself nose to shield with a Roman legionnaire at close quarters. I took fire from a line of Arquibisers I swore were under Gustavus Adolfus himself, fought house to house in a Belgian stone village of uncertain vintage under constant 7mm fire and occasional grenades.
In the end, I caught some nerve gas from some Frog 7 rockets of Soviet manufacture. I saw Sina go down, starting to twitch as the droplets hit her. I grabbed the autoinjector from her helmet and rammed it home, then reached for my own. I had taken a gladius blow to the helmet before I had been able to clear my own sword and drive the pommel through the open faced helm after my tackle took us both to the ground, trapping his sword beneath his tower shield. I guess I didn’t notice he had shattered my auto injector, because my own was broken and empty in my hands as the numbness set in.
I died of nerve gas in a corner of a world war three we never got to fight, choking out my life as I grew too paralyzed to breathe, watching a Spad and Fokker biplane duel in the sky above me. At least I was free of Fólkvangr.
This time I woke up bouncing. Bouncing up and down as I was being carried over the extremely athletic shoulder of Sina.
“I died!” I tried to shout, not actually possible while being carried over someone’s shoulder, it came out as a loud sort of grunt.
Sina patted my ass and chuckled.
“Yes, but very well, and very late. We are all very impressed. Good first day. You even saved my life, so I claimed you for first night.” She offered happily.
“I am married!” I protested again. She tossed me casually to a fur draped couch of really excellent carved wood construction.
Striking a pose with hand raised and the other over her heart she intoned very seriously.
“Forsaking all others, until death do us part. Well, you parted twice, now we party. You should have known dying won’t get you out of Fólkvangr; after all, its dying for love that got you in”
She had a point. Getting killed more than twice gets you quite an appetite. I had begged for anything but Valhalla of the Valkyrie as I lay dying in my daughter’s dorm hallway. Fólkvangr is not Valhalla. The gods have a sense of humour, and a hell of a determined set of recruiters.
If my wife does not understand, she can kill me every day for as long as she likes and it still won’t interfere with my duties. Freya bless me, its all in the benefits package. I kid you not.