Who: Valkyrie, Dr. Strange, Loki What: return of the Valkyrie! When: present Rating/Warning: Green?
Too long. It'd been too long since she'd taken whatever survivors she could gather and ran. Too much time had passed without a word. Were they all dead? To lose both Thor and Hulk in one blow... she'd even mourn Loki if it came down to it. Why did she let them persuade her into running? The guilt of abandoning her friends, her king, weighed heavily on Val's shoulders as she paced. "Korg!" She shouted, sitting down on the nearest chair before burying her face in her hands.
But Korg never came. Instead when she opened her eyes, she was in an entirely different place, an entirely different planet. "Oh come on!" She shouted, standing up and reaching for the hilt of her sword. She wouldn't draw but it was better to be safe than sorry. The sensations were overwhelming, the sounds and smells, it made her feel queasy from the over stimulation. The whole teleportation thing definitely didn't help either. Either way, Midgard never was her favorite place to visit.
The one nice thing was that she knew they had friends here. Well Thor did. If anything she'd have to find them so she could figure out what exactly was going on. Maybe then she could find out if her friends were dead or alive. A too familiar feeling. "I'm too sober for this." She grumbled before picking a direction to finally walk in.
That direction was interrupted by a ring of fire in mid-air, and a distinguished (but unenthused looking) gentleman stepping through it. He stood in silence for a moment, staring as though he was thoroughly done with today, as of seven months ago. Which is probably about right, all things considering.
"Hello, Valkyrie," the man said with a curt nod of greeting. "I'm Doctor Stephen Strange, master of the mystic arts. I'm here to welcome you to Earth."
Val felt a shiver go up her spine as she took in the sight in front of her. Her sword stayed still, but the grip she had on it tightened momentarily before he spoke. Well he knew her name so… she relaxed. Fitting her brows together, she squinted at him and folded her arms. “Please tell me you have alcohol.”
"We have alcohol," he reassured her, "and other beverages. But you might want the alcohol. First, I need to know what you remember, if anything at all. Thor, Loki, Bruce Banner ring a bell at all? Do you know anything about Earth, or...alternate realities?"
This was actually the second arrival of the day, around the same time. However the other individual didn't show as much potential for damage as a Valkyrie would if they were upset, so he had to make an executive decision on who to retrieve first. The other woman, Peggy Carter, seemed like she was self sufficient as she was from Earth, so she could wait for a few more minutes. If he could get Valkyrie to where her fellow Asgardians were, then they could further explain things.
“Yes, yes yes!” Suddenly the warrior faded and she was Val, worried desperately about her friends. “Are they alive? Did they, are they okay?” She stepped closer, pressing down the emotions begging to be let out. “I, I mean I know of Midgard, I’ve been here before but it’s been… over 600 years at least. The smell is the same though.” She pressed her lips together into a tight line. “Please just tell me Thor is okay? Hulk, Loki, they made it?”
"Uhhhhhh. Yeah, about that?" and here Stephen paused as he looked around, getting the gist that Valkyrie didn't remember her last and most recent tour around Earth. Which, for all extensive purposes, meant she was a brand new Valkyrie all together.
"Thor and Loki are alive. I can take you to them. But the Hulk's not here at the moment. He left. If you'd follow me, we can get you to where the Asgardians are living. And explain to you that you are now in an unstable alternate dimension, an almost perfect copy of what you knew."
She squinted again, taking a deep breath. “I’m definitely gonna need that alcohol.” Her hand returned to her sword, as she took a look around her before stepping towards the sorcerer. This could be a trick, a ploy, to capture the rest of her people. To capture her. Okay so maybe she was a little paranoid, it came with the warrior territory. “If you try and trick me, Sorcerer… I will cut your head off without hesitation.” She was very good at making friends, clearly.
Stephen was very good at making friends too, as he dryly replied, "Not the first time I've been threatened with bodily harm. Part of being the welcome wagon."
He used the sling ring to open a portal, showing the inside of an expansive space that looked very Asgardian in design.
"Follow me," he said, walking through it and waiting on the other side. "Welcome to New Asgard. What little of it there is. I'll see who I can track down."
New Asgard? Her brows stayed knitted together as she watched him. Well what else did she have to lose. Val followed him, stepping through the portal with a dizzy sensation. She let out an audible ‘oof’ at the sensation before putting a hand to her stomach and looking up at Dr. Strange. “That must suck to go through those all day, no wonder you look miserable.” She genuinely didn’t mean it as an insult, not a thing she could claim most days. But she got the feeling, especially from what he said, that he did this quite regularly and that had to be a terrible task. “So Thor and Loki are here?” She asked, looking around for a moment before looking back at him. “But… Bruce… Hulk left? What do you mean he left?” She had a soft spot for him and knowing he was somewhere out there without them made her itch. It made her want to find him.
"Sometimes, people disappear as suddenly as they arrived," he explained, after he stopped squinting about being told he looked miserable. Of course, he knew he didn't come across as the most friendly sort of guy, so he couldn't really argue about it. "Apparently, I was told by a friend of Doctor Banner's that he does that often."
Just then, Loki was exiting the kitchen with a poptart in hand, wearing a black t-shirt and skinny pants that made him look even skinnier. Luckily for him, skinny was in on Midgard, so it was one of the few places he was actually thought of as acceptable. Unlucky for him, he had a bite of pop tart in his mouth when he saw Valkyrie nearby and he coughed as he almost choked on it.
“So you’re saying I could just as easily go poof here any second now? Well that’s reassuring.” A noise behind her startled her, causing her to turn on her heel, hand on her sword in a second. “Loki!!” She shouted, unable to contain her joy at finally seeing one of the friends she had so reluctantly abandoned. In an instant she was against him, pulling into a hug. “I was so worried.” Her voice was soft, an uncharacteristic like moment for the warrior before she realized just exactly what she was doing.
Releasing Loki from her vice grip, she turned back to Dr. Strange, her face less grumpy and more thankful than before. “I’m so glad I didn’t try to kill you.”
"Gee, thanks," Strange said, while squinting a little bit.
The abrupt hug meant that the glob of poptart was knocked loose so he could swallow it down properly and regain his princely composure. Which was hard to do, when he was overjoyed to see her as well. Of all the people who had come and gone, he felt Valkyrie's departure the most keenly.
"I was worried about you, as well," he said, mindful of the fact that she might not remember him, just as Darcy did not. He happened to look over at Strange for a confirmation, and when he got a minute nod in the affirmative, tried not to look crestfallen. It was still Valkyrie, and having her there gave him not just camaraderie, but meant what little was left of Asgard, was kept safer.
"I have another new arrival to meet. Since you're safe here, I think I'll let Loki handle this," Stephen said. "I'll leave your things in the kitchen in an hour."
Stepping back through the portal, it closed behind him like it was never there.
Everything was very quiet again.
"Right then. Welcome to Midgard," Loki jauntily announced, with a sweeping gesture of the hand holding a blueberry poptart. "Before I begin to relay this nightmare fodder you're now immersed in, may I interest you in a portable toasted tart?"
She blinked, exactly twice, before swiping the poptart from his hand and taking a large bite. “I hate portals, make me feel queasy. Also I’m used to nightmares, it’s why I don’t sleep often.” Except for that time on the ship, but that was a once off… she suspected. She nodded as if he was supposed to know that. “Also if you’re not really Loki, and this is some trick, I just want you to know I will cut your head… just right off.” It probably was Loki but better safe than sorry. Also to be fair, Loki probably needed the warning as well. Damn Trickster.
"Of course. If you didn't issue the threat, I wouldn't be certain it was you. Also? I didn't mean you should take mine," Loki protested. It was too late to do anything else, other than go back to the kitchen to make some more.
As he walked back through the archway into the kitchen area, he was talking and kept casting glances back at her, like he hoped she was still going to be there every time he looked. He only stopped walking to open a cabinet and take out a bottle of what looked like water, but definitely was not. It was pure alcohol, the sorts of which would cause a Midgardian's liver to shut down sooner rather than later. Much sooner than later.
"What did that sorry excuse for a sorcerer tell you about our current situation?" he asked, while holding out the bottle to her.
Valkyrie wasn’t sorry for taking his poptart but she appreciated the fact that he didn’t try and take it back. She followed him, munching away as she took in the Asgardian style home, in a very Midgardian world. Odd, but she liked it.
Her eyes went wide at the bottle, eyeing him before taking it and taking a long swig. Oh she could hug him again. She wouldn’t, of course. But she could have. “This,” she said gesturing to the bottle. “This will do for now.” The fire didn’t burn nearly as well as any Asgardian alcohol. She wouldn’t get drunk, but any little helped at this point.
“Said it’s an alternate universe. And that apparently people just pop in and out all the time? Which sounds like a terrible place to be, I’ll be honest.” When was she not honest, really.
It was a pleasant buzz at the most, and perhaps a fair amount of aging would improve the quality of it. Loki wasn't about to complain, as that was the best they'd get on this world, short of a jaunt to Vanaheim. Which he couldn't risk taking on his own.
Another risk was speaking of their last moments upon The Statesman, before the purge. Loki didn't want to dwell on a matter that was over and done with, as much as Valkyrie wanted to talk about difficult things while sober.
"Oh, it has its moments. Ranging from truly terrible, to absolutely wretched. A few bright spots in between," he said, while preparing toaster pastries. "Apparently there is some sort of overlap from the other universe we hail from, that rears its ugly head from time to time. And there are but a few of us who know of it. The rest of the inhabitants of this reality are blissfully oblivious. I suppose that you'll want your old room back, and to speak to my brother."
He arranged the pop tarts artfully upon a little saucer and held it out to Valkyrie.