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The Soldier and the Valkyrie

valkyrie_winter_by_hikarikun
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Brant Warson
Brant gazed around at the open field that he’d decided would be perfect for the spar with Katla, with the forest nearby on the north side to break up the monotony of the grassy ground. The twelve foot super soldier, currently dressed in just his leathers and furs, rolled his shoulders to work the stiffness out of them, readying himself for the fight. If the night they’d spent together was any indication, the Valkyrie was not a woman to be underestimated. Reaching down to the holstered plasma weapon on his left thigh and the bone machete sheathed at his right, Brant silently unbuckled the weapons and let them drop to the ground, then began working on the straps that kept his armor suit strapped to his back in its currently retracted and folded state. It dropped soon after, resting next to the weapons.

 

Katla
There was no chance of Katla forgetting her own armor, being at a sheer disadvantage due to being half his size. With a bolt of lightning hitting the ground, there she was. Silver and gold plate armor, Mjolnir carved into the chestplate, and massive silver wings behind her back, her hair streamed out from beneath the silver winged helm she wore on her head. The cuff she had originally worn before had transformed into her gauntlet, her right hand gripping Mjolnir, the belt shining around her waist. She flexed the wings, feathers ringing together as if they were made of steel. Not many got to see her in this form, her red hair now turned silver with lightning sparking through it. Her once blue eyes had turned the color of storm clouds, and they focused on Brant before her. She might have enjoyed the night with him she had spent, but this was a time for business. With a massive stroke of the wings, she lifted herself off of the ground, that playfully flirtatious demeanor completely gone. “I hope you don’t plan on holding back,” she warned. “Because I certainly don’t.”

 

Brant Warson
The woman he’d lay with the night before had been transformed into an even more beautiful warrior here before him, and Brant took a few moments to enjoy the sight. “Aye.” He said casually, twisting his head slightly until a crack could be heard from his neck. “I wouldn’t do that to you. Never faced real magic before, and I’m not about to take an unknown threat lightly.” He took a step forward and lowered his stance, bringing his bare fists in front of him. As he clenched those steel rending hands, blackness flowed beneath his skin from his chest and down his arms, turning the fists an ominous obsidian and visibly hardening the limbs. The color shifted and rippled, then flowed back into his chest like water, returning the skin to its normal color. “Come and show me how well you can use that hammer, Valkyrie.”

 

Katla
Katla had been up against some of the strongest magics she knew, facing down gods and coming out on top. But never had she faced sheer power alone before. She bolted up into the air, circling him at first just to get a view on how to best approach this. Once she decided, the Valkyrie dove straight down, hammer pulled back for a strike to his shoulder first. If she managed to hit, it would only be enough power to sting, maybe to send a sharp jolt through muscle. Not enough to seriously injure or paralyze him. If she missed, her wings would snap open, pulling her back up into the sky and away, hopefully at a speed that would avoid her getting hit. She might have been smaller than him, but she held out the hope that she was faster.

 

Brant Warson
Between his enhanced senses and vastly upgraded reflexes, Brant saw the vector of Katla’s attack easily enough to prepare for it in advance. Moving faster than anything the size of the giant had any right to, he shifted his torso to the right to slip away from the blow, then surged forward into a straight jab before the winged warrior woman could fly away. As his fist thrust toward her abdomen, so quickly that it would be a blur to human eyes, the blackness flowed beneath his skin once more as the organo-metallic nanites that ran through the soldier’s body hardened beneath his skin to increase the striking power of the blow. He’d promised not to hold back, and so if the punch hit it would feel like being hit by a freight train.

 

Katla
Katla felt the fist connect with her wing just as they snapped open, but she didn’t cry out in pain. The best part about the feathers? If one didn’t pull their hand away fast enough, the edges were razor sharp and meant for rending flesh, and would cut deep into skin or steel. As she was thrown by the punch, she brought the hammer up towards the extended arm, another jolt of lightning behind the blow. She did say she wasn’t holding back either, and this blow was meant to dislocate a joint so long as he didn’t pull back in time.

 

Brant Warson
The feathers cut deep into his flesh and parted the metal sheathe beneath, but stopped before they could do damage to the muscle. Brant couldn’t bring his arm back fast enough to dodge the swing of Katla’s hammer though, and the strike sent painful jolts of lightning surging through the giant’s body at the same time that the force of the blow twisted his arm at the elbow with a sickening crunch. The soldier didn’t even flinch at the feeling of the wounds and leaped into the air after the valkyrie with his other arm reared back. Flying up into the air from the strength of his jump, Brant came streaking down on her like a meteor with a devastating punch, the arm already blackened with his nanites reinforcing the limb once more. If he missed, the punch would impact the ground hard enough to crater it and shake the area.

 

Katla
She was glad for the hammer, then, the lightning enhancing her own speed just enough. She used that lightning to pull her back just enough to get a hold on whether the wing was broken or not, stretching it a few times in the air. It was sore, but not broken. Good. As she watched him coming back down her wings snapped open, pulling her back and up into the air, away from the shockwave that impact would undoubtedly create. She spun the hammer a few times, gathering more of the lightning to it while in the air, shooting a bolt right at his chest. She wasn’t holding back, but she did hold back enough so she wouldn’t kill him. If the bolt hit, it would burn just a little before dissipating, only marring flesh. If not, well, a tree would probably catch fire.

 

Brant Warson
Brant’s right arm, twisted as it was from the previous blow, untwisted and snapped back into place as he brought it up to intercept the bolt of lightning Katla shot at his chest. Even as the electricity surged through his system, the burns were localized to just that arm and were visibly healing alongside the cuts he’d suffered from her feathers. In just a few seconds, the arm would be as good as new, with fresh clean skin pushing the burnt dead skin out of the way. It was for this reason that Brant had no scars despite his warrior nature. He slammed his hands into the ground where the shockwave had revealed a layer of rock and pulled, tearing a boulder free of the earth that was three times as large as the giant. Then it was flying through the air at Katla, hurled toward her with incredible speed by the genetically enhanced and cybernetically boosted muscles.

 

Katla
A smirk touched her face as she watched the boulder fly at her. Well, she’d seen her father completely tear through anything and everything with the hammer. Perhaps it was time for her to try the same. Lightning sparked across her form, and she shot herself right at the boulder, hammer extended in front of her. She kept her wings tucked in tight, feeling the impact as lightning exploded across the surface of the stone. It shattered, and she continued her path right at Brant, aiming straight at his abdomen with the hammer still extended. If he was truly faster than a being who was moving like lightning, then he’d be able to grab her and risk cutting his hands once more. But, if she hit, her intention was to definitely break ribs this time.

 

Brant Warson
Brant moved with purpose as he positioned himself just behind the boulder. As soon as Katla broke through the massive rock as he’d expected a warrior of her power and with her weapon to try, the giant brought his blackened right hand across to palm strike the valkyrie’s hand holding the hammer, hoping to knock the weapon off course. At the same time, his other arm came forward toward her chin, using his own strength and her momentum to make the potential strike all the more powerful. His training had not been with more conventional melee weapons, after all. It had been close quarters combat techniques that had been hammered into the super soldier almost since the time he could walk.

 

Katla
Part of her was expecting him to either grab or stop her in some way. Katla grunted, the strike to her jaw causing bone to crunch and snap, the Valkyrie sliding across the ground. She refused to let herself stay down, though, pulling herself to her feet. With her free hand, she popped her jaw back into place, chuckling. She nodded as if to say that it was a good strike, though speaking was hard. Back into the air she went, this time staying just out of his reach as she fired bolt after bolt of lightning at him. The plan was for a majority to miss, so long as at least one hit him in the ribs as she had intended. She wanted to knock the wind out of him, and *then* follow with a hammer blow to bones. But she’d wait for one to hit him first.

 

Brant Warson
Brant juked to the side to avoid the first bolt of lightning almost by instinct, but he could not avoid them all. The second hit him square in the chest as intended, sending those painful jolts through his body and burning the upper layer of his skin away, but the super soldier just grit his teeth and charged toward her as the black nanites spread out over his torso to reinforce the damaged area. Over and over the bolts would strike, but beyond the pain and the burnt skin, none of them would do anything further to the flesh underneath that black layer of metal. Finally he leaped at her again, not willing to let the Valkyrie hang in the air and blast at him all day long, the giant’s massive arms outstretched with the intention of catching her and forcing her to the ground.

 

Katla
Katla grinned. And he was making her plan so much easier. She flew at him with that hammer reared back, aiming it for his ribs, a grimace on her face. Her jaw would take a few hours to heal, that much she knew, but still she clenched it as best she could and prepared herself for impact. Forcing herself past the pain of her jaw, which was undoubtedly broken, she let out a cry, every last inch of that steel armor crackling with electricity as she launched herself. Oh, he would grab her, but she would wrap her wings around him to rend into flesh once more, even if they broke when she was tackled.

 

Brant Warson
As his giant arms wrapped around her, Brant felt the impact of the hammer against his reinforced ribs, the weapon impacting with a thunderous clang that drove all other sounds from his ears for a few moments while the eardrums struggled to regenerate. The shock of the blow had rippled through him, and already Brant could feel the entirety of his right side beginning to purple with bruising all the way across his torso. The reinforcement held with only the slightest of give though, and the impact sent them both spinning through the air from the momentum, even as Katla’s wings started to shred the flesh of his arms and back. The nanites flowed up his arms and he pulled her tight against his body as they fell to the ground, squeezing the valkyrie beneath the immense strength he could now bring to bear. Even her armor might not be able to withstand the pressure, potentially crumpling beneath his arms.

 

Katla
Katla let out another grunt as she felt herself being forced down to the ground. Armor dissolved from around her, revealing just a simple, tight, leather top and her leggings. She wasn’t done, though, still channeling as much electricity through her body as she possibly could. She wriggled, those wings still flapping as she cried out in pain, feeling her ribs cracking and her arms breaking. Those wings were the only thing she had now, her left arm almost useless, her right starting to go numb.

 

Brant Warson
Brant let out a roar of pain as he was lit up by the outpouring of lightning from Katla’s struggling form and her wings slicing his back and shoulders to ribbons. Despite all of this though, the giant wasn’t letting go, his wounds sealing shut as fast as she could make them. Holding true to his promise not to hold back on her, the giant focused his nanites to flow to his head, blackening his skin and hardening his skull immensely right before he brought it down on the struggling valkyrie’s crown, intending to smash her unconscious if he had to.

 

Katla
Katla moved her head to the side, doing her best to avoid getting herself smashed in the head. Unfortunately, with as much pain as she was feeling, she wasn’t fast enough. But the last thing she did was wiggle her legs free enough to knee him in the gut before she blacked out. At least she got one last hit in. And yet, she couldn’t speak to tell him that he fought well. Even if she wanted to get back to the Mead Hall on her own, she wouldn’t be able to. She’d have to be carried this time, which was embarrassing enough in itself.

 

Brant Warson
Wincing at the last hit to the gut that pushed the wind out of his lungs, Brant relaxed as Katla finally went limp, releasing her from his bear hug. He rolled away from her and lay on the blackened ground, panting and letting his regeneration fix the massive amount of surface damage and muscle tearing the winged woman had put him through, especially the light burns around his internal organs. The super soldier had no special resistance to lightning, and so had had to rely almost solely on his healing to keep going through the fight. “Alright, Valkyrie. Let’s get you back to the hall and get some drinks. We’re both going to need them.” Carefully he lifted her and stood, making sure not to make any of her injuries worse, then started back toward the Mead Hall.

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