The first meeting of Malice and Jack way back in the First World War from Valkyrie III.
What are you gonna do if this hair-brained scheme does work?”
Running like hell certainly comes to mind. His grandson replied.
“That won’t work not with her son.” The elder replied as he sighed. “If you do that you are finished she would run you down before you had gone ten yards.”
Gil looked at his Grandfather it was like looking at himself at times.
“You know something about Malice if you know something useful spill it.”
“Not anything useful but if you want to put her off her game, send me.”
The younger Swanson looked at his elder like the other had lost his mind.
Instead of Jack answering Ashlyn did.
“Because he’s Malice Einherjar, the only one that I know of anyway. He’s bonded to her.”
The newest of the Valkyries had to sit after that. His wives sat beside him as Jack began speaking.
“It all began in the trenches of the western front in a place called Belleau Wood.”
June 4, 1918
Jack Swanson cursed under his breath for at least the fifth time as the Captain asked one of the prisoners for information on the Germans positions. From what he had seen with his own eyes the assault when it came would cost his boys their lives.
They had been questioning these privates for hours whos only mistake had been they had gotten caught.
As they had been focused on the prisoners night had fallen and fog covered the battlefield like a veil, drawing a shroud over no man’s land. One if the prisoners looking out of over the field suddenly paled as he cried one word before falling to the bottom of the trench.
Jack chambered a round in his Springfield as he looked out into No Mans Land. His Captain looked at him worriedly.
“What is it Gunny?”
“Valkyrie..” Jack answered as he sighted down the barrel looking for movement. Sure enough, moving amongst the dead was a tall blonde woman dressed in a dark colored uniform or armor. Occasionally shed bend over touching a body then there was an eerie pulse of blue light before she moved on.
The Prisoner on the ground whispered to the older soldier fiercely.
“Get down you fool, if you meet her gaze you will die.”
“Get off you daft bugger.” Jack cursed as he kicked the man. Distracted for a moment when he looked back up the woman was gone. The old soldier ran his hand through his hair as the officer got more Marines to take the prisoners away as the Captain questioned him.
“What do you know about this Gunny?”
“I tell you what I know Captain, this is not the first time I have seen one. Shes have been walking battlefields for millennia. She and I are old friends.”
“There are actually part of Norse myth but the Huns fear them like no one’s business.”
“Aren’t you a little old for ghost stories Gunny?”
“Not if they keep me alive Sir.”
“Hold the position here then. I’m going to check on the men.”
Jack saluted as the officer moved off he returned to look out over the battlefield again. He was certain he’d seen her. He waited looked out there for hours occasionally sighting down the barrel looking for movement.l
With the glow of the full moon which had risen over the fog gave the battlefield an extra chilling quality. Sneaking through no man’s land on a night like this was a death sentence. Any noise was magnified, a cough a sneeze anything would draw the Germans fire.
As the Marine watched a cloud passed in front of cloud bathing the battlefield in darkness, then another bank of fog reduced visibility to zero.
As if by magic both parted and standing directly in front of the astounded Jack about a hundred and fifty feet away there she was. A tall silver blonde woman who had to be the vision of ethereal beauty walking amongst the corpses in a crouch.
Off to her left and behind her Jack suddenly saw a flash.
“Incoming!” Someone down the trench yelled as the shell screamed in.
Jack instead of taking cover was out of the trench running toward the woman who seemed unconcerned there was artillery raining down around her. The first shell burst behind him blowing him off his feet face down in the dirt. When he looked up he saw silver-blue eyes staring back at him just before he heard another shell coming in. He grabbed her and then rolled them over to cover her with his body as the shell exploded short. He took one look around before getting them back on their feet as Jack lead her in a mad dash back to the Marines trench.
Jack leaped in a newly created shell crater with his prisoner in tow. She didn’t look frightened in the least, she looked amused.
The Marine pulled his sidearm cocking the hammer of the Colt 1911.
“Who the fuck are you, what the fuck are you?”
The blonde young woman smiled reached up slowly pushing the gun out of her face. As soon as her hand touched his a link was established as he heard a soft whisper of feminine laughter before he heard her speak in his mind.
(My, my, aren’t we fierce. I love them firey.)She almost mentally purred. Between those eyes and that voice in his head, it was hard to concentrate. The woman circled him as if inspecting him.
(You know who I am Jack Swanson. Your mother and your foremothers worshipped me. I am one of the choosers, the Dewiswr y Rhyfelwyr. Morrigan is what they named me in the days of your foremothers but you can call me Mal.)
“Oh shit.” Jack breathed he had just tackled a goddess. She was taking it in stride like it happened every day. The woman seemed completely nonplussed that she was covered in dirt.
I guess when you walk battlefields a little dirt isn’t bad. Jack thought which brought a smile from Mal.
“Are you here for me?” Jack asked which brought a curious look fondness. It was like his mother was standing there.
(No Jack Swanson, I do not award valor with death. You acted out of selflessness. I’m here for them.)
When he heard the last part he swallowed hard. A wave of something that could only be called menace washed over him. She was here for the Germans they had done something serious for her to be here.
Her last sentence left him no doubt why she was here.
(They have spilled innocent blood.)
Mal was used to warfare, it was her stock and trade for millennia. She chose those who fought with honor. There was a fine line between combat and slaughter, wanton murder. Then so his mother had told him their other aspect was brought to the fore, that of Avenging Angel.
They were spirits of Karma, fate both good and bad.
Jack swallowed hard he didn’t want to be the Germans for anything in the world at that moment. Then she changed back to her calmer self.
(We have a bond, Jack Swanson. You risked your life to save mine, therefore, I owe you a favor. From the looks of this place Jack I may have already done one for you.)