What's In A Name

June 08, 2018:

Dani goes looking for Val to check up on her.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It's been some time since Dani and Brightwind paid a visit to the woman known only as Valkyrie. And while life has conspired to keep Dani busy of late, super busy, that doesn't stop her from looking in on the Asgardian.

Or attempting to look in on her, at least.

As such, Dani picked up a few bottles of something potent, stuffed them in a small messenger-style bag and hopped astride Brightwind.

"Let's find your friend." Murmurs Dani to the winged stallion, Brightwind offers a soft snort and a stamp of one hoof, before he launches himself swiftly up into the air.

Then like a good Valkyrie Steed, he cuts quickly across the skyline as he searches for the wayward soul of Valkyrie.


It feels as if the job of rounding up her wayward alien charges has been a futile endeavor. Scoop one up, and another one appears. Or the one she got her hands on breaks out. Or gets scooped up by Earthbound authorities. She's taken responsibility for her charges, but the truth is, Midgard has enough wayward heroes to take care of itself.

She's on a roof of a five floor walk-up in Hell's Kitchen. She's sitting on the edge of a supply box, examining a…snack cake? She sniffs it and holds it up to the light, then pokes at its spongy texture.


It does take long for Brightwind to find his charge and as soon as he does, the horse tucks his wings close to his body and drops downward in a sharp dive.

His arrival, however, isn't sneaky. Not when he flares his wings out and gives them a beat or two to slow down. Those wingbeats push air forward, across that rooftop, and soon the sound of metal-shod feet land heavily upon the rooftop is heard.

Automatically Dani looks around, always cognizant of hidden danger, and when all she sees is Val sitting there, with a tastycake in hand, the adopted-Valkyrie says, "Evening."

Then with that greeting said Dani dismounts and lands upon the rooftop with a light thud. "Those aren't bad, as long as you like straight sugar and a shelf-life that'll likely outlive even us." Which is saying a lot what with Val's longevity.

Brightwind keeps his distance for a few heartbeats, but then he trots towards the two women, blue-eyes upon Valkyrie.


The sound of a winged Asgardian steed landing is as familiar to Valkyrie as breathing. The stroke of wings is like the thrum of a deep heartbeat. It's so familiar and nonthreatening that her normally lightning-quick reflexes lag. They're landed, and by the time she'd be ready to draw her weapon, she's discovered there's no need. She lowers the cake, scrapes out a foot, then swivels, head cocking lightly. "I suppose I should really try to dress like a native if I don't want to be found." She squeezes the cake again. "It is rather like a sea sponge made of sugar."


Sea sponge. That brings an expression of vague horror to Dani's features. "You know … I've never thought of it in that way, but there's some truth with that description. The texture of the cake is definitely unique."

Now the question remains will Dani ever eat tastycakes again.

The messenger bag that sits diagonally across Dani's torso is dropped delicately near the other woman. Even with such gentle movements the vague clink of glass against glass can be heard. It's a familiar sound of heavy glass bottles full of liquid jostling into one another.

As for dressing like a native that earns a quick grin from Dani, "Likely, though with Brightwind here I sort of have a one-up on most people. How've you been?"

And with his name said the winged horse finally buts his own self into the conversation. He fastens a look upon Valkyrie and then dips his whiskery muzzle to the other woman in greeting.


"Midgardian desserts have all the sweetness of honey with none of the depth. It's flat on the tongue and has the flavour of…rubber and depression." Valkyrie smacks it down on top of the wrapper that sits beside her. She squints out across the skyline and goes quiet for a moment.

She's doing the thing where she's not looking at the person she has a crush on. She's very aware of Brightwind, but she doesn't look at him for a few long moments. Then she looks over and meets the steed's gaze, then slowly looks over to Dani. "How long have you been a pair?" Deflection.


"Well, if that's the kind you're typically buying then yes, I have to agree." Dani says with amusement, "But if you go to an actual bakery, or a nice eatery you'll find some nice desserts around Midgard."

And while Dani sees both Brightwind and Valkyrie pretending not to stare at one another, she strives to give them a moment of privacy as she crouches down to free the bottles within her messenger-bag. The two bottles that she pulls free hold a burnished nut-brown liquid and delicately the whiskey is set upon the rooftop. A few other things are likewise pulled free, a pay-as-you-go-cellphone and a small to-go or travel bag that holds an assortment of things one might need when they travel to unexpected places.

All of those things are set upon the rooftop and once her bag is empty Dani rises back to her feet. "Nearly seven years now." She replies promptly, her gaze flicking over to first Brightwind and then Val. "I saved him and he's done much the same for me."

When Val meets Brightwind's eyes the winged horse can't quite stop himself from stretching his neck out further, to try and whuffle the woman.


"No time at all," says Valkyrie. Her words carry the weight of honesty rather than some kind of dig. Wordlessly, she takes the bottle. The other offerings are eyed, but not commented on. She uncaps the top, gives it a sniff, then takes a rather large swig. She looks away from Brightwind and down at the rooftop proper. "Well it doesn't seem you're here to arrest me. I had an encounter with one of your enforcers." A soft snort, "Police do always carry themselves the same, even if they go by different names."


Brightwind emits a very human-sounding sigh. Then with a flick of an ear the winged stallion retreats a step or two from Valkyrie.

Dani gives both Asgardians a bit of side-eye, before she returns her attention back to Val. "No, I suppose it's not a long time compared to what you're used to, or Brightwind even." She says, the last of that dropping to a murmur. Then, when Val opens the whiskey Dani speaks up again, "It's whiskey you might not -" Want to chug it, but already she's too late. Thankfully though Val doesn't dissolve into coughing fits like most Midagardians do when it comes to drinking straight from the bottle.

She shakes her head a moment, then, "No, I'm not here to arrest you." She confirms, "I wanted to check up on you." As did Brightwind, though that's left unsaid, "To make sure you were okay. To see if you needed anything." Her gaze drops to the to-go bag and the cellphone, "There's some things in the bag for you that I thought you might need - and the cellphone is a prepaid phone, you're able to call out on it and receive calls too. I programmed my number in there in case you need it for emergencies."


Valkyrie nods once in approval at the strength of the drink. She takes another swig. It's already got a good fifth of it gone. Clearly a sipping whiskey. "Why?" she asks, rather bluntly. She takes a moment now to actually look at the pile of offerings. "You do realize nearly every communications device on this planet is laughably insecure? I am terrible at computers and I could probably hack half the network drunk and half asleep." Probably an overexaggeration, especially since she'd need her own advanced computer systems on her ship to be working. But still, the point stands.


"Why not?" She responds back, nearly as blunt, though not quite on the same level. "People help people and isn't that even more true between fellow soldiers?" Comes the question, as Dani's sharp gaze takes in the other woman and the rapidly diminishing whiskey.

As to the mention of how laughable Earth's technology is, Dani just shrugs, a rueful expression upon her features. "True, but as you said trying to blend in with the population, remember? If you do get in trouble with the law most wouldn't take too kindly to you pulling out some fancy high-tech doodad - they'd likely think it was a weapon and try to shoot you."


"Try being the operative word," says Valkyrie with the air of someone who is trying extra hard not to care about anything at all. She sucks air between her teeth. "You want to know who I am, don't you?" She looks over at Brightwind. "He knows. You've figured it out. Or at least the broad shapes of it."


That air about Valkyrie is definitely sensed and seen by Dani, Brightwind too, and it causes horse and rider to exchange a look between the two.

It's only as Val states those last words of hers that Dani's attention (and Brightwind's) returns to the woman.

Dani dips her head in a nod, "As you said, the broad strokes of it, but does that mean I'm going to hound you to get your story? No. If you wish to tell it I will gladly listen, but if you wish to keep it to yourself than that's your right too. No one has any right to your story but you."

"And whether you tell me or not you still deserve the same things we all have here - food, clothing, shelter, people to talk to …"


Valkyrie rolls her head to the side. Her neck pops softly. She takes a pull from the bottle. "Where I've been for the last…" a beat, "…long while is a place where no one does anything for anyone without getting something in return. So forgive my bitterness and skepticism."


"Nothing to forgive." Empathizes Dani, "You'll find there are quite a few people that live by that credo here on Midgard too. You scratch my back I'll scratch yours." She states, her expression darkening for a moment, "But not everyone is like that here."

Brightwind offers the softest neighs to Dani's words, a quiet agreement, which brings Dani's gaze over to the winged horse.

"And while you might not know me I would hope the big lump over there would show I'm not necessarily that type of person myself."

And while Dani doesn't quite ask for the woman to tell her story, she does sit down upon the rooftop. The second bottle of whiskey is grabbed and opened, though all Dani does is set it back down once the cap is off. "If nothing else is there anything I can help you with? I have some resources to my name."


Nothing to forgive. In Valkyrie's mind, there's everything that needs forgiving. That's why she's lifting the bottle up to her mouth for another deep 'sip.' "My idealism died on the battlefield long ago. If you live long enough, it will happen to you as well." She says that not snappishly, but with notes of sadness.
As to her offer? She just lifts a brow and snort-laughs softly. "Call me if you see anything extraterrestrial?"


The mention of death brings Dani's gaze up again and the Cheyenne says nothing for a moment, then, "I'd like to hope it wouldn't." She states, "But that's just ego and youth talking, I'm sure, but until then I'll continue to do what I can on and off the battlefield."

And while Dani doesn't quite echo that same sadness Val does, there's a note of something within her voice. Awareness perhaps that her outlook is still tinged with her own youth? Something like that.

The mention of extraterrestrials earns a grin from the woman, "My job brings me in contact with a many odd creatures, some even aliens. You'll need to tell me specifically what sorts you're looking for?"


"I have an incomplete database," says Valkyrie. "I'm shit at paperwork so I didn't document them all properly." Valkyrie swipes a hand across her mouth. And then, after a moment of watching her, she asks, "What's your name?"


"Well good to know everywhere, even outside of Midgard, paperwork is still Hell." Muses Moonstar with wry humor and an echo of that can be heard from Brightwind.

"Danielle Moonstar." She states, when Val asks her name. "Dani for short, or just Moonstar. I'll answer to both." And here the Cheyenne woman pauses briefly, clearly weighing her next question carefully. It's enough to swing Brightwind's bright blue eyes over to Val.

"And yours?"


Valkyrie looks directly at Dani, chin uplifted. She looks almost surprised to be asked her name in such a direct way, with no way to just pretend like she didn't hear it. That's how she's mostly dealt with it so far. After a moment's consideration, she says, "I had a name. But that was as who I was," she swigs from the bottle, "…not who I am."


Dani opens her mouth to say something to what Valkyrie just said, but it's Brightwind's response that makes itself known first.

There's a snort and then a sharp clang from a metal-shod hoof being brought down extremely hard. It's enough to cause small sparks to leap from that front hoof. Clearly a certain Asgardian Steed feels a certain way with what Valkyrie just said.

That brings Dani's gaze over to Brightwind and for a heartbeat she simply looks at the horse. Then she shifts her eyes back to Val.

"Well, I'm sure I don't need to translate that, but what do you want me to call you? 'Hey you' seems rude."


Valkyrie doesn't startle so much as have her attention drawn. She has enough control to not snap her head up, but she does look. It's only a skimming moment of eye contact with Brightwind before she looks back to Dani. "I suppose Val will do." Scrapper 142 requires far too much explanation. And she's not ready to reclaim her true name. Not yet, anyway.


A snort is heard when Valkyrie states her 'name', a very horsey snort at that.

Once more Dani side-eyes Brightwind, having never seen him give such - attitude? Not necessarily the correct word there. Still, when the name is offered Dani nods, "Val it is."

She leans forward to tap the cellphone, "I really did put my number in here. It's listed under the contact named 'Dani'. I do have some resources that can help."

"You do have a place to stay right? If not I can get you in somewhere for a few nights until more solid housing can be found."


Valkyrie thumbs towards Brightwind. "He's got a bit of attitude, doesn't he?" But she says that with a little smile. She says that as a fellow being-with-attitude. She actually seems to like the pegasus more for that.

She looks down at the phone and nods once. "Yes, I have a place. Don't worry about me. I'm not sleeping in dumpsters. Not without being on a proper bender, and with how weak the drink is on this planet, there's little danger of that."


"He sure does sometimes." Agrees Dani, at the mention of an attitude, and at the mention of having a place to stay Dani nods. "Good."

The mention of weak drink prompts a grin from Dani, and neatly she sets the second bottle of whiskey closer to Val.

"And I have a sense to be thankful there isn't strong enough alcohol on this planet to put you into a proper bender. Pretty sure that'd be bad for us." Meaning Midgard, of course. Her head cants to the side now, "I should probably head back soon, but before I go is there anything else I can get for you?"


Valkyrie is quiet for a moment. She considers. "Not at the moment. Although I may need a pardon if that woman decides I'm not to be trusted." She slides one foot down. "Unless you can get me some kind of paperwork that gives me the right to be here. I'd imagine Asgard has some kind of treaty or agreement in place, given Midgard is under Odin's protection. But that may not apply to me."


"What woman?" Dani asks immediately, eyebrows drawing toward the midline of her face in confusion.

"And while my work most likely wouldn't appreciate me getting you some credentials, I'll see what I can do about that." Promises the Cheyenne and when Odin's name is brought up, Dani frowns.

"I can't say whether it applies to you specifically or not, but you're here on Earth, in my book that's enough. And unless you go shouting from the rooftops that you're from Asgard, I think most people will leave you alone."


Valkyrie makes a vague hand motion to approximate a person-shape. "Blonde. Had a helmet. Had tech. Understood galactic affairs. Looked like she's be right at home in Nova Corps. Can fly. Really doesn't like off-worlders." She's…bad with names. Both giving her own and remembering other people's, apparently.

As for the shouting? "I don't tend to, but people tend to figure it out. Like I said, I haven't exactly been trying to go native."


"Hm." Is what Dani says to the description of this apparent blonde woman who dislikes off-worlders. "I don't know who that is, but I can look into it and if I find her then we can cross that bridge when we get to it."

As to that last, Dani flashes a slight grin, "Well, let's try harder. In fact, next time I'm around I'll grab a couple changes of clothes for you. Something to help you blend in."

"This woman, did she say who she worked for? With?" Comes Dani's final question to the troubling visit from the mysterious woman.


"Something that's an acronym forced into a word so it sounds impressive," says Valkyrie with a quirk of her lips. She salutes with her bottle. "Oh, I've got some clothes. I just prefer to be dressed in something protective. It's actually a rather violent planet you've got here." She swigs.


An acronym forced into a word? That just earns a stare from Moonstar, clearly not helping her here.

"Oh it is violent here." She says instead, agreeing with the other woman, "But, there are times you don't want to wear armor. Too many questions raised and all of that." And with those words Dani rises back to her feet.

"My shift starts in thirty - call me if you need anything, alright? Brightwind and I will come around a little later to check back up on you."

And with that said, Moonstar trots over to Brightwind and vaults back up into the saddle.

The winged horse turns a look over to Val, a stare really, before he offers one final clop of a hoof. Then with an unfurling of wings the pegasus launches himself and his rider up into the sky.

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