The Hour of the Wolf

Her armor shed like a second skin, her undershirt draped atop the pearlescent plates and her underclothes set aside to be washed, Sylvia Brodersgard, alias Svipul, tosses and turns her naked, curvaceous body against the thin silk sheets and heavy quilted comforter. The insulating blanket, in this particular instance, is not exactly what it says on the tin, keeping her warm in the cold desert night but bringing her no comfort as her mind’s eye turns inward, searching for the troubling thoughts that disrupt her sojourn into sleep.

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A Spark in the Night

As the Scions board the elevator, heading for the ground floor of the Wynn to seek out the errant Nataraja, Sylvia Brodersgard (or as her associates at this time know her, Svipul, a fact that is bred through the necessity of her situation) lays claim to one of the compartment’s corners, leaning hard against the solid steel wall frame and folding her arms over her chest. As the other Scions speak, she starts to tune them all out, receding into the corners of her mind. In the distance, she can hear other voices, screams of agony and of sorrow, weeping of regret, of loss, the distraught cry of the scorned lover, of the raped woman. Death pervades the city of Las Vegas, and in her experience, death pervades most major cities, especially ones that have hosted the larger groups of organized crime. This jewel in the desert is no different from the others. She brushes aside the echoes of death, reaching back into her memories.

The torchlit wooden hall clangs and rings with the sounds of steel striking steel as Sylvia clumsily guards against Hrist’s barrage of swings, the elder valkyrja’s spear set aside for a moment in favor of a long, wickedly-edged sword with a sharply curved head. Sylvia staggers back from a heavy blow and nearly falls on her backside before Hrist takes a step back of her own. “Useless,” she snarls, sheathing her weapon. “Since you cannot seem to deal with an attacking opponent, let us try something different. I want you to cut the timbers of the ceiling.” Continue reading

Afternoon Wanes

Amid a mound of sheets, a blanket, and a quilt, a single, slim arm reaches for a ringing phone, thin, petite fingers grasping the receiver and lifting it off of its hook. A head pokes out of the snarl of cloth, a long mane of golden blond hair falling down broad shoulders and bare, perfectly-formed breasts as the owner of all of these disparate body parts desperately tries to focus through the pounding at the base and back of her skull. “Uh…hello?” Her crisp, cold blue eyes widen and blink as the voice on the other end of the connection gives her the same monotone message that it gives every day. She drops the receiver, the molded plastic dropping to the mattress with a soft thump, as she looks down beneath the heap of bed linens covering her supine form, taking in her utter nakedness. Confused, jumbled thoughts mix with the dry, cottony taste in her mouth as her cloudy mind starts to clear, forming a single word: Flunitrazepam. This word cedes to a single sentence: I was given Rohypnol. This sentence cedes to a flurry of expletives.

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Betty Getskilled notes

Attending physician: Sylvia Brodersgard, M.D.

Ms. Getskilled is suffering from three cracked ribs, accompanied by severe bruising, contusions, and minor lacerations, consistent with a struggle with a pair of attackers significantly larger than her. The victim is asymptomatic of a concussion, and she is now resting in bed. I have bandaged her ribs and written a prescription for a 24-tablet bottle of vicodin, 500mg. My recommendation is that she

Sylvia stops writing, glancing to the woman sleeping on the cot provided by Wynn security. She needed to go to the hospital, but how would she explain what happened to her? If she said that someone attacked her, people would start asking questions, looking for police reports that don’t exist. Pointing the inquiries to Lieutenant Gravier would just cause more problems, and even worse, more problems for the people that she is working with at Lord Odin’s behest. Sylvia always hesitates to use the word “friend”, especially for people that she barely knows, but causing problems for a member of her unit would be detrimental to the task provided to her by Lord Odin. It would also probably make Sylvia look bad in his eyes. She looks back down to the notebook and continues.

My recommendation is that Ms. Getskilled get a few days’ rest to allow her ribs to set before she engage in any physical activity more strenuous than lifting a spoon to her mouth or using the restroom. If possible, she should also be attended to by a Wynn Security EMT.

Sylvia signs her name, tearing out the sheet of paper and placing it on the small stand next to the cot, alongside the prescription note. She pockets the notebook and pen, the plastic of the writing utensil making a soft “clink” against the metal objects in her pocket. Dr. Brodersgard lifts a hand to Betty’s head, brushing a stray hair from her eyes as she sleeps. “Rest well. You are safe now.” She turns and exits the room, her strawberry blond braid swaying from side to side gently as she walks out of the room, drab gray duster fluttering behind her.

Bonds of Sisterhood

Upon returning to her spartan single-story house, Sylvia Brodersgard disembarks from her BMW, moving to the trunk and opening it. She gives the equipment inside a long glance, her eyes floating up to the moon hanging low in the sky. Dawn soon, she muses to herself, and I haven’t slept since yesterday. She gathers the light plate armor in her arms, the winged helmet stacked atop the mound and the huge bastard sword slung along her arm by its scabbard’s chain. She manages to manipulate the mass onto one arm to reach into her pocket for her keys, unlocking the matte black door and stepping into the modest foyer, little more than a textured mat to soak up moisture on visitors’ footwear and a pair of low benches to either side for removing said footwear. Sylvia dispenses with taking off her shoes tonight, kicking the door closed and pocketing her keys before she turns, locking the entrance back up. Her footsteps guide her into the small sitting room beyond the foyer, the path familiar and easy to remember. She deposits the armor on her couch, laying Einherjar’s Call on the glass-topped coffee table before she moves to switch on the lights in the room.

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Night Falls

In the crisp November air of St. Catherine, Minnesota, a limousine pulls up to the Cook County Morgue. Two individuals climb out of the back, with no assistance or sign of the driver. As the man and woman walk toward the building, streetlights dim, darkening the path ahead. The building, its less-than-impressive plain brick structure reminding the pair of a shabby house, is remarkably silent, the interior lights still bright and shining through the plate glass doors. The woman opens the door, the lock clicking open as she lays a hand on the portal’s handle, and the man steps through without a single moment of recognition to his companion’s kindness.

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