3 November 2019 at 15:38:17 MST
The dragoness Kailian has been reinventing herself, but an unexpected stranger sends her on a chase that has her thinking of her past
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Soldier’s Joy – Valkyrie Sighting
Written by Saignus
Artwork by Nakase
Proofread by Draythix, LydcanDID and Nakase
The character Kailian belongs to Nakase and is used by permission.
Kailian crossed her arms, looking over the broad side of a building. What a bland facade. It was a shame she wouldn't get to storm it. It would have been so easy. What was she doing instead?
"Right," said one of a couple of suited figures standing nearby in a slow, nasal voice. "So, I'm gonna take these recommendations you've made and run them by our operations manager. You should see payment within 30 days of sending an invoice."
Kai nodded, her hands on her hips.
As the suited figure droned on, she felt that feeling coming up again. It was an antsiness, combined with a weary, 'what's the point' feeling. This last two months had been much slower than gun-for-hire work or chasing bounties, but dealing with dull suited domestic types all the time left her teeth and claws itching with disuse. Where was the thrill of the hunt?
"Mrs. Kailian? Hey, where are you going?"
"We're done, right?" Kai said, giving the pencil-necked clipboard holder a glare.
"Yes ma'am," he said finally, "we're done."
"Good," Kai said darkly. If you had any idea how dangerous my boredom is, you would learn to keep your mouth shut, she thought.
Kai felt the need to find a drink, and fast. There was a bar across the block from this office complex. It looked proper and stuffy from the lack of color and modernity in the sign, but it would have to do. The need for beer was winning for now.
Kailian glanced around the crowd as she crossed the street with them. She was almost twice as tall as anyone here, and the little signs of jumpiness from some, the uncomfortable nervous glances of others, made smiling back deviously so much fun. That's when he caught her eye, and she stopped, wide-eyed in her tracks.
He was down the sidewalk a ways. He was tall in the crowd, too. Well antlered, striped. Among all the business casualties of fashion, he was wearing something like a kilt or a loin cloth of all things. That's when she realized, he was a Valkyrie dragon. She hadn't seen another in years, decades maybe. That's when he looked up and saw her. Just as their eyes met, he turned and ran.
"Oh no, you don't," Kai said, bolting down the sidewalk after him. She barely felt it as she knocked several pedestrians over, sprinting hard. She rounded a corner and roared down an alley, catching another glimpse of the Valkyrie stranger leaping to the left at the other end.
Kai rounded the corner and leapt over a car that was screeching to avoid her, leaving a handprint shaped indentation on the hood. She saw the Valkyrie crossing the street and going into a wrought iron gate. She knocked several more pedestrians over and leapt through traffic to follow. She stopped inside the gate, taking in her surroundings, crouched, ready to leap.
There was a lawn, and trees here and there. She was on a path towards a fountain surrounded by rose beds that gave of a soft aroma. It was a small park, and there were no other gates. Where could he have gone? Her world was notoriously hard to leave. Words couldn't express how much she wanted to chase this guy down right now.
Kai swept the park with her eyes as she crept forward. Those walls were too tall for her to jump, much less that scrappy male.
"Where'd you go," she growled as she walked up to the fountain.
There was no sign of him anywhere. Kailian roared softly, scanned the park one last time, and turned to go.