General Shadow's Fortress
Aria hit the ground hard, landing on her side in the dirt. The silvery haired girl flipped herself up to face her opponent as quickly as she could only to feel a red hot burning sensation near her left ear. The sub-dermal transceiver and tracking device that the Guardians were all equipped with made a popping sound and began to smoke. Aria reached up and ripped it free, tossing the super-heated device a few feet away from her. As she turned she noticed the throne of what could only be General Shadow nearby. Whomever her abductor was they hadn't taken her very far at all from the others. The fact that they knew about the transceiver gave her pause and made her worry as it wasn't at all common knowledge. As she quickly got her wits about her, picking herself up off the ground, her assailant swept back in and made contact with her faster than it took to take a single breath. The woman had flown in at a speed that momentarily made her think she had teleported into the chamber. A hand closed around her throat and she suddenly found herself dangling in the grip of her attacker, finally meeting her face to face.
The person that had snatched her away while the others battled the General and carried her her, the one who had tossed her so causally in the dirt, was none other than the woman they had come here to rescue: The Soviet Superwoman. Yet something was wrong almost immediately, beyond the fact that she was now being held by the throat more than a foot off the ground by someone she considered a friend. Olga's costume was different. A combination of white, black and gold unlike her usual drab Soviet-era colors. A scarlet cape that billowed behind her and the hammer & sickle still adorned her, but on her face she wore a red visor very similar to the one that Walkiria, her wife and lover wore. Olga looked larger, more muscular and...older. Her hair was beginning to show white, looking salt and pepper colored rather than jet black. There were new lines and creases that adorned her usually youthful face. Could she be a clone? A replica created by General Shadow somehow? Aria grabbed at the hand that tightened around her throat, cutting off her oxygen. Compromised like this she would be unable to cast even the simplest of cantrips to save herself. Olga's expression was one of sorrow...guilt. Why was she doing this? What was she planning on doing, killing her???
As if somehow able to read her thoughts or expressions, Olga leaned forward and whispered to her in a low voice.
"I am truly sorry for this my friend. I hope that you forgive me in the afterlife."
Aria's eyes widened. The Soviet Superwoman could crush her throat as easily as a light bulb, or bore two holes into her skull with her laser vision. Desperately she tore at the gloved hand that held her aloft, knowing there was nothing she could do to free herself from that iron grip. She shook her head from side to side. Olga continued to watch her with the same remorse-filled eyes. No lasers...no crushed windpipe or broken neck. In fact, the grip on her throat loosened somewhat as Olga was putting herself through some kind of terrible emotional battle. Aria took this small window of opportunity to press whatever doubts and second thoughts her old friend was wrestling with.
"Why?" she managed to squeak out in a tiny voice. "At least give me an explanation...please..."
The Soviet Valkyrie stared at her for a moment more before looking away. Her arm quivered but still held. Tears began to cloud her eyes. As she replied back, she keep her eyes on the high-arched ceiling, unable to meet Aria's questioning, pleading gaze.
"I must do this...to make everything right. To save my Beloved...to save them all..."
Aria licked her dry lips, trying her best to mask her terror at the situation. "What are you talking about Olga...let me help you!"
The Soviet woman shook her head and continued to look away as she spoke. "In the future, several years from now, the city is destroyed. Thousands are killed. The Guardians are defeated and broken. Walki..."Olga stopped herself before continuing on. "Walkiria is killed as well in the resulting carnage. So much death and destruction. The only way I can make this right is with your death Aria. I have no other choice. In order to save the lives of everyone in my time, including the woman I love more than anything in the world, I have to kill you. I am so sorry my old friend."
Aria didn't understand what she was talking about completely, but it was obvious that this Olga was from a dark future or possible future. How she managed to come back to this time or why killing Aria was so important were all questions she so wanted to ask. Presently however she was far more interested in surviving this encounter and already she was formulating a plan. She had to keep the former super-soldier talking to buy her a few more precious seconds.
"Olga," she said slowly, "I don't understand why you feel you have to do this, but please let me help you. I came here with the other Guardians to save you! There has to be another way...there's always another way."
The Soviet Valkyrie shook her head and her eyes finally lined back up with Aria's. The look behind them was now devoid of as much emotion as the Russian woman could muster with what tears had flown a moment ago had stopped. A steely resolve had come over her and the Soviet juggernaut swallowed hard. Olga had made her decision and Aria had only bought herself a few seconds. She had to make them count!
"Nyet...I'm afraid this is the only way. I wish..."
Aria cut her off, yelling out a few quick words of power. A bolt of white-hot eldritch power lanced down from up above and crashed into the Soviet Valkyrie, causing her cry out in anguish and release her grip on the young mage. Olga was susceptible to magic and Aria hoped to exploit that at least until the other Guardians arrived, hopefully drawn by the sounds of the conflict. Olga came up with a snarl through a haze of burnt ozone when another energy blast slammed into her, thrusting her body backwards into a tumble. Aria traced her nimble fingers through the air to form a sigil of power that encased her in a glowing, green protective dome of arcane power. The young mage continued to hurl bolts of mystical energy at her would-be murderer.
"How DARE you!" Aria bellowed at her as Olga managed to deflect an incoming bolt with her arm. "You were supposed to be one of the heroes! You were one of the best of us! You showed us that Meta-humans and beings who wielded tremendous power were not executioners, not above the law! You gave us all hope!"
The Soviet Valkyrie blocked another blast as it slammed into both her upraised arms, shielding her face from the impact. The mystical energies burned her arms fiercely. The towering Russian woman grimaced in pain, clenching her teeth as she lashed out with a volley of laser blasts. The red beams made contact with a barrier of light bending wind, causing it to ripple like stones thrown into a lake, but it held firm. In retaliation, Aria began another incantation. A few wide gesticulations of her arms and loudly-spoken words of power and suddenly a tornado arose from the ground, surrounding Soviet Valkyrie. The winds were so strong Olga couldn't escape, and suddenly shining blue orbs appeared in the swirling winds... and then they detonated, each exploding and damaging the Soviet somewhat. Aria held her wind barrier up as she did so, with her free hand wiping sweat from her brow.
"Did you really think you had no other options?" Aria continued, "You could have asked the Guardians for help, come to us as a friend! We could have formulated a plan to help you, to prevent this future from happening! Instead you chose to take the craven, cowardly way out and solve the problem by killing a friend. I don't know how I am connected to your future or if I am somehow responsible! You took all those answers and options away when you tried to murder me!"
Soviet Valkyrie recovered from the attack almost immediately after Aria finished the sentence, and just as quickly Aria was on top of her again. Aria slammed into Soviet Valkyrie, sending her upwards, Aria along with her. At the height of the jump, Aria positioned herself above Olga, and recited yet another incantation... and suddenly slammed into Soviet Valkyrie yet again, electricity surrounding her body. Soviet Valkyrie struggled against this attack, punching Aria in the face at least once or twice, but Aria would not let go.
"Olga..." she said as tears began to form in her eyes, "You were my friend! Please stop this! Let me help you. There has to be another way! Do you really think Walkiria would want this? Do you think she would still love you the same if she learned that to save her, to save anyone, you killed another innocent person in cold-blood?"
"What would you know of how I feel?" Soviet Valkyrie retorted, looking into Aria's tear filled opal eyes.
Aria answered flatly. "You're not the only one whose had to endure not being with a loved one."
Saying this, Aria and Soviet Valkyrie hit the pavement so hard it left a crater of six feet deep. Aria stood up, looking down at the prone from of Soviet Valkyrie, tears welling up in her eyes once again. Olga looked unconscious...was it possible she was dead? Maybe she had lashed out at her with too much magical force. It was a battle that was forced upon her, one that she had to win at the cost of her life. Olga had been sent here to kill her and it was kill or be killed. Aria had wished there had been another way. She took a few steps towards the beaten dark-haired woman, careful to keep her shield up. The battle had taken a great deal of effort and willpower on her part and it took all of her remaining power to keep the barrier at decent strength.
All at once the Soviet was up on her feet and standing directly in front of her. Aria gasped and raised the shield just in time as her opponent's gloved fist came in contact with it. The thunderous blow disrupted her shield in a explosion of wind and sent her spinning backwards away from her adversary with a sharp cry of pain. Aria came down, spun around to face Olga and quickly brought up her arm. The Soviet had been pretending to have fared worse than she actually had and moved with blinding speeds to renew the battle. This had to end now! Aria began reciting another incantation, this time on her sword, sure that this attack would penetrate her hard skin and end the fight. It was now or never. Olga had given her no choice.
The twin beams of laser energy slammed home directly into her forehead. Aria twitched once and fell over onto her back. Her death was instantaneous.
Olga Yezhov walked over to the body and looked down at her. There was a smell like burning flesh and it reminded her of Sajmište. A wave of nausea hit her like a truck and she turned to the side, retching violently. She had murdered her friend. A young, innocent girl who was guilty of no crimes she could imagine and only used her powers to help those in need. David had gotten what he had asked and she had become reduced to nothing more than his skulking assassin. Her hands began to tremble uncontrollably and she tightened them into fists to try to stop them. The Valkyrie tried to look away and tell herself that by killing this one girl, the lives of thousands, including Maia had suddenly become saved...that her future had now ceased to be the nightmare that it was. The other Guardians would be here soon and she wasn't certain how long Concussion would keep her unlocked from the timestream. With Aria and Ilsa both dead, her future would soon be undone and with it so would she.
Part of her relished the idea of greeting oblivion with open arms.
Miles away, Concussion felt Aria's death like a shudder resonating through-out his entire body. He didn’t know how it had happened but a giant smile appeared on his face. The bitch was dead!!! Ever since she and his better half had gotten together Serenity had been gaining power at his expense, little by little pushing Concussion’s presence away and there was nothing he could do about it. But now she was dead!!!
An unexpected sensation suddenly gripped him. At first it began as the hairs on his arms suddenly stood up and a noise occurred that he could not decipher. It sounded very faint at first, almost like a whisper uttered in a far away breeze, but continued to grow in both pitch and build until it was intolerable. He gripped the sides of his head and dropped down to his knees. It was a loud, high-pitched wail of such pain and loss that at first David did not even recognize it as his own.
It was Serenity.
A flood of blind rage and wrath opened like a wellspring within him, clouding all his thoughts with nothing but those of destruction and hate. Losing Aria was driving Serenity mad and in his madness he was growing in power. Concussion began to panic as he found himself slipping farther and farther away, becoming less and less significant with each passing second, such was the overpowering fury of his other half.
In a blink the two personalities merged and became one.
Gone was the duality.
Gone was the split.
In its place was only an insane, blind rage.
To be continued...
None of this would be possible without the generosity of my dear friend
so please take a moment to thank him for enjoying Angel Falls so very much and being such a friend to the community. He is also the owner and creator of Concussion as well.
Soviet Valkyrie was the brainchild of myself,
, who also provided the amazing image you see before you!
General Shadow is mentioned and belongs to my friend
Aria is the property and creation of
Soviet Superwoman and Ilsa Hauppman are my property and creations.
This takes place in