National Tragedy, Part 5
We all found ourselves in the living room of Valkyra’s house. It was surprisingly normal, all things considered. We all waited for Catherine to come back, she’d skipped away from us to make some calls.
Valkyra’s daughter sat across from us, looking rather sour. We were all silent.
She cut me off. “I know who you are.”
“Oh. Well, I don’t know your name.”
We didn’t talk any more than that until Catherine came back. She had a teapot and cups on a platter.
“I took the liberty to brew some tea as I made some calls.” She distributed some cups around. “I convinced the headmaster it would be safer for you two to attend Ravenhold, I’ll be there to protect you if anything happen.”
“Ravenhold as in the superhero school?” I asked. I had to bunch my hands into fist to stop myself from flapping them in excitement. Ravenhold was the best superhero school in the world by far.
“Yes, that Ravenhold.”
“Wait, by you two, you mean me too?” Freyja said.
“Wycked is vindictive to say the least, if she known you warned me, she’ll be less than nice toward you.” Catherine said before turning to my parents. “I talked to some old contacts and you will be put into protective custody for the time being, at least until we can make sure nothing bad can befall you. Any questions?”
Mama and papa had a few, mostly about my safety, and she answered them. “Freyja and Michelle, you’ll be leaving at eleven in the morning.”
“Guess I better pack then.” Freyja said before getting up and leaving us.
“I’m sure Michelle has a lot of questions, would you mind if I talk to her for a moment?” Catherine asked.
My parents agreed and she guided me to the garden of the house.
“I’m sure this is a lot to take in.” She said, turning toward me. “How are you handling it?”
“Okay, I think. It doesn’t feel real.”
“I know it’s quite sudden and unexpected for everyone.”
“Mom told me you used to visit when I was little.”
“I did. Emilia wanted to keep an eye on you, but she thought seeing you herself would be too conspicuous, so she asked me to do it.”
“But if she cared about me, why did she give me away?”
“You and Freyja weren’t the first children that she had…”
I frowned, I’d never heard about an older sibling. “But why do I have the powers then?”
“Because when she was three years old, just a little before you and Freyja were born, Angelica was murdered by Grendel, he ripped her to shred in retaliation for what your mother had done… Being a cape kid is dangerous, you’re a prime target for anyone who wants to get back at your parents. So, when you were born, because of your birth assignment, it was believed you wouldn’t be able to inherit the powers so she decided to put you for adoption so you’d be safe and free to live a normal life. The power of the Valkyries is meant to only produce female offsprings, but I guess it acknowledge different types of girls. If she’d known, I’m sure she’d have kept you, she never stopped looking over you even after you transitioned.”
“But she stayed in the sisterhood after Wycked took over…” It was well known the first thing she’d done after becoming leader had been to expulse all the transgender women…
“Because she refused to let her destroy her mother’s legacy. She wanted to save the sisterhood. She hated Wycked and everything she stood for, that I can guarantee you.”
I nodded and she put a hand on my shoulder. “I need to go, arrange everything, but I’ll have some friends watching over you. Tomorrow, they’ll bring you to the local Legion outpost.”
I couldn’t sleep that night. Not only was I excited about Ravenhold and becoming a superhero, I was also kind of nervous about Wycked and whether she’d do something that night… Also, I really can’t sleep in any bed but my own, that definitely didn’t help either.
After a while I got to pee, I wandered around trying to find the bathroom upstairs before opting to just go downstairs to use the one next to the kitchen. This house was huge… I stopped my search when I came into the kitchen.
Although the room was dark, I saw that Freyja was sitting on the window still bathed in moonlight. Her face was partly illuminated by the glow of a lit cigarette. She had a bottle of booze in her hand which she sipped from. She just stared outside absently.
“I don’t think you should be drinking that. It’s not good for the kids.” I said.
“I’m just trying to be nice.”
“My mom got burnt to death a week ago!” She screamed. “I’ve got half the fucking world asking me when I’m going to sprout wings ‘cause they really need the new Valkyra. And then I have to deal with you and that Wycked cunt wanting you dead and in all this goddamn time not a single fucker’s actually bothered to check what I think and how I feel about all this… I just fucking want to drink in peace, it’s not like I’ll even get drunk, some of mom’s resilience passed down to me…”
“Nobody checked up on you?”
She shrugged. “Komet came, but he had stuff to do.”
“He’s our dad, isn’t it?”
She let out a snicker. “Don’t get your hopes up, he’s just the guy mom banged to make us, he’s not the go to ballet recital and crap kind of guy.” She took a heavy swig of her bottle.
“Are you angry I’m the one who inherited the power?”
She laughed. “You’re lucky, you know that? You got to avoid this life, you got to be yourself…” She paused to take another sip. “Everything I ever did was with the goal of one day assuming the role of Valkyra. I’ve been training since I was old enough to walk, and now that it’s all been for nothing, do you know what I feel?”
“Fucking nothing…” She took one last swig of the bottle, emptying the last of it before tossing it out the open window. “I thought maybe I’d be relieved to be free from that burden, but I realized it was all I ever had, I don’t fucking know who or what I am without it.”
I tensed a little.
“Relax, if I really wanted the power, I’d have let that Wycked cunt do you in. Beside mom cared about you and I can’t go against her will.”
“You don’t like Wycked very much.”
“She’s an idiot, she blames her failure and the sisterhood’s collapse on men sabotaging her rather than her dumbass ideology, she tried to use me in her stupid scheme and to validate her beliefs.”
“So you don’t mind I’m—”
“I don’t give a shit what’s between your legs. Neither did mom. Beside the power chose you, so clearly it doesn’t either.”
She took a drag of her cigarette.
“Now that i answered all your questions, can you just leave me alone…” She begged. “Just for tonight, please… I need to be by myself… To think about shit.”
I didn’t protest, I had a feeling nothing I said or did could make things better.
Freyja was different in the morning, acting like the night before hadn’t happened. She wasn’t hungover in the slightest either.
Just before eleven, someone came to pick us up and drove us to the local Legion headquarters, then escorting us to the basement where a shimmering portal was waiting for us.
“We’ve set up a safe house and covert identity for Mr and Ms Weiss to stay at until things are resolved.” The man who’d escorted us said.
“Thank you.” Mama said. “And the girls?”
“The portal is linked to our New York City one, as soon as they step through they’ll be on the other side of the world, they’ll be brought to a bus terminal where they’ll board with the other students to Ravenhold.”
“Guess this is goodbye then.” Papa said, turning to me.
“It is.” I felt a tightness in my chest. I wrapped my arms around him and then my mom joined in the hug.
“Come on, we’ve got a bus to catch.” Freyja said once I let go.