Prelude to Relics: A Fresh Assignment – Journal for Annika Kjelleberg

         Archive Number-AK-04052018-001

Memory-Log Recorded 4 June, 2018

Subject: Annika Kjelleberg, Valkyrie

Personal Protection Specialist, Monoc Securities

Begin Log:

I landed near to the large white building–it would have been disrespectful to Mr Vadderung to alight directly on the edifice itself–the huge glass walls of Monoc Securities Oslo headquarters rose into the sky, like the branches of a huge glass and steel tree. The irony was not lost on me. The lights of multiple elevators moved up and down like luminious creatures scaling the transparent branches of the world.

My vacation in Detroit had been a relief, although frankly I had been surprised when my superior Ms Voll had allowed it. Obviously being injured whilst fighting off an incursion from Niflheim gave one a certain status, but that’s a story for another time. I looked down at a small instant-photograph, taken on a cheap polaroid, it showed the healer Doctor Pritchard, myself and Shadowfist, a black clad vigilante who took himself far too seriously.

If one of the shield-maidens tells you that you’re too serious then you have problems, but he was young, less than a hundred years old, he still had time to grow.

The only person missing from the picture was Michael, he’d been the one taking the photo. Strange that he wasn’t in it, having insisted on taking a picture as a momento before I’d left to return to Oslo. Yes a vacation had been exactly what I needed, a chance to let my hair down (figuratively speaking) and get my hands dirty without having to swim the murky waters of politics that seemed ever to encroach on daily life.

Sometimes I missed the old days, I envy humans their ability to forget things, I’ve I paused and closed my eyes I could feel weapons in my hand as though I still held them, hear the cries of my sisters on the wind and taste the blood of my enemies on my lips.

The thought bought a shadow smile to my face.

But all things have their time I reflected, as I folded my black feathered wings and a glamour closed over them, hiding them from sight. I tied my hair back, pulling it into a severe ponytail, folding the photograph and placing it in the inside pocket of my suit jacket, close to my heart.

I walked through the reception area of Monoc HQ, nodding to the security personal and flashing them my ID card, even in this modern age symbols still have the power to grant or bar access. I considered taking the elevator, but decided to stretch my legs, walking through floors containing weapons taken from many different ages of the world; any museum would have committed heinous crimes to possess even a fraction of the wealth contained within the halls of Monoc Securities.

Passing through the gym I nodded at several of my sisters and favored souls in training for future battles and sorties before reaching floor six, home of Monoc’s extensive legal department.

“Come in Ms Kjellberg,” said the business-like voice of Froya Voll, a few moments before I knocked on the large wooden door to her office.

Opening the door, I walked inside and sat down on a comfortable leather armchair whilst Ms Voll finished perusing a volumous file on the desk infront of her. Froya Voll was a tall woman who looked as those she had been sculpted by master craftsman in ancient times, she wore a low cut shirt and an intricately crafted gold chain hung suggestively around her neck. We had known each other for a long time, and through several names, but Froya and Annika were how we knew each other now.

“Your time away was restful, I trust?” said Froya, casting an appraising eye over a couple of scars that had not yet faded from my holiday in Detroit, a faint hint of a smile tugged at one corner of her mouth.

“Yes, it was good for my soul, but now I am ready to return to work,” I replied, seamlessly switching into an ancient nordic tongue.

Froya stood up and clasped both of my arms, smiling widely and responding in the same tongue, “Good, I’m pleased to hear it. Your timing is apt, as there is a certain matter of great import that needs tending. A situation requiring a strong arm and a loyal heart. Someone just like you. “

I nodded and she continued, “There is something Mr. Vadderung wants in Moscow. He has…directed me to send our ’best’ in the finding and getting of things. Skilled as they are, the agents in question need watching after. I can think of no better escort than you, my dear.”

“Who are these agents?” I asked

Ms Voll spun the file she had been reading to face me before answering, “The first is a shaman, in the nganga tradition of Central and Eastern Africa, called Kaden Nuru. He is strong, for one so young, and he possesses a rare connection to the spirit realm. The other I think you’ll have heard of: Alexandre Blackheart.”

“Mr Vadderung’s Antiquarian?” I asked

“The very same,” replied Ms Voll “

“Everything you need to know is in the file. Take as much time as you need to…”

“Already done,” I replied, having flicked through the file my memory would allow me to recall the details as and when needed.

Froya smiled and nodded, and we embraced before I turned and headed for the door, her voice called out from behind me as she waved, “Good hunting my dear!”

This journal entry was written by John Alan Large, all credit to him. If you’d like the entry in audio form, John was kind enough to record it over at his YouTube channel.



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