Much to my surprise and relief, Kára was one of the few I was able to choose. Rather, she chose me. Whatever the circumstances that brought us together, I was glad for it. With Kára and Ölrún, we rotated planets and sent our observations back to Brynhildr. They had about as much of an idea of what we were looking for as I did.
And then it happened.
Something felt wrong and out of place. It was as if everything around us shifted and crumpled together without going back. There were tiny things out of place, like the stars shifting one degree to the left. Was this what Brynhildr felt? Was this what she spoke of? We sent our reports in, but after it happened there was nothing. It was as if the very universe itself knew we were watching.
The world below us looked peaceful. White clouds swirled about, half covering the landmasses and bodies of water on the planet. It had a faint green cast, one that reminded you of lush forests and rivers. From high up, it was difficult to tell if the inhabitants – regardless of what stage of technology they were at – were at harmony with their environment or had simply not consumed most of the natural resources yet.
“Maybe it’s the planet itself,” Kára mused aloud.
“We could observe and report,” I offered. “Most mortals can’t see us as Valkyries.”
Ölrún snorted and demanded, “And do what? We weren’t on any planet when-” she gestured vaguely around her “-whatever it was happened. We don’t know what changed.”
“We would for when it happens next time,” Kára pointed out. “Three Valkyries per world. We observe what we see, and those on the planet when this… thing, this Change occurs again, we compare notes. We can see if it’s affecting certain worlds.”
“Or any of the Realms,” Ölrún added, her brow furrowed.
“Could this be why Brynhildr asked us to investigate?” I looked between the two Elder Valkyries. “She seemed to have chosen me because of my familiarity with L’Main.”
“And mine with Laskanda.” Ölrún gazed down at the planet, as if searching for some hint of what the shift we felt had done.
“I am most familiar with Miðgarðr. Brynhildr knows this.”
Ölrún and I looked over at Kára, hearing the tone she used. There was confusion in her voice and written on her face. Shaking her head as if to clear her head, she looked up at us. “We have an idea as to why we’re here and why were chosen. We are aware that some of our battle sisters are on a similar mission. Brynhildr was disturbed by something and I think she means to find out what it is.” Kára looked down at the land beneath us. “We start here. We stay in contact with our battle sisters-”
“-and we find the one who knows of these changes. These changes will lead to the one altering Time.”
Kára and I looked over at her. I found myself holding my breath. I heard rumors that Ölrún bore the Gift of Sight, but never had I witnessed it myself.
“There are those in this universe that exist beyond Time’s grasp that may know something of the mystery presented to us,” she was saying.
“How do we find them?” Kára asked hesitantly, as if afraid that her question would shake the other out of her trance.
“We don’t. They will find us.”
“Are you certain?” I blurted out. I immediately regretted my thoughtless action, for Ölrún turned back to us.
“Am I certain of what?” She looked between Kára and myself, seeking an answer.
“You spoke of things to come,”supplied Kára, glancing over at me with a frown. She put a comforting hand on the other’s shoulder. “We’ll not worry about that right now. We gather as much information as we can and hope that this phenomena happens again.”
“Where on the planet do you suggest we start?”
“Major cities, kingdom capitals…” Kára trailed off. “Places of power. Especially where the mortals gather or consider holy.”
“We wait and watch?” Ölrún sighed in irritation. “I hate waiting.”
Kára laughed. “Don’t we all.”