Can you fall to your death if you're already dead? - Chapter One
Yeah, that's me: a Greek demigod hanging from the hand of a Nordic Valkyrie. You're probably wondering how I got in this situation. Honestly, I probably should have seen this coming. My entire life has been one pretty confusing mess. You know, now that I think about it, my dad is the God of Prophecy; he probably should have seen this coming… thanks for the heads-up, Dad!
So--no shit there I was, flailing in mid-air, while this chick roughly my age gripped my wrist. My bow arm, no less. If she cause permanent damage so help me Artemis I’d--
The good news was, I was no stranger to flying. I was usually just a little more in control. I was actually fairly impressed that this chick could fly so well with the full weight of a person off-balancing her. But I guess she had a lot of practice with that. That was cool. I wondered if it’d be too distracting if I asked her what the actual Hades was going on right now. Then I figured if I was too distracting and she dropped me, I could just sprout my own wings and fly myself to safety. So here goes nothing.
“Hey um, lady. Any chance you could like, oh I dunno, tell me what’s up? Other than us, of course. Get it. Because we’re in the air. No, alright. Why are you flying me away from my friends and siblings as they battle to the death to save the world as we know it?”
If she heard me, she didn’t let on. Of course, it was a bit loud, what with the wind whizzing by and who-knows-how-many miles per hour. I was kind of starting to wonder what she’d do if I bit her hand. It hadn’t really occurred to me until now that she might be an enemy monster dragging me away from the battle on purpose. But I wasn’t convinced. I’d had a lot of dealings with monsters and beasts over my confusing and seriously mixed-up life and she really didn’t strike me as anything evil. But I really needed to be helping the rest of the half-bloods back on the ground and the longer I waited, the farther away we got. I figured I had no other choice.
I pulled myself up without much warning and bit down hard on the girl’s finger. She yelled and let go, like any normal person would do. Yay, my master plan worked! I was now falling to my death. Boy, I sure am glad I thought this one through.
But wait, there's more! I closed my eyes, willing the air to stay in my lungs. I was used to flying, NOT to falling--and concentrated on my arms. I willed them to adjust and change and bend to my will and soon enough (you could tell it was soon enough by the fact that I hadn’t gone splat yet) my arms were covered in feathers and bent at an angle that would have made a doctor pass out.
I can just imagine all y’all being like ‘what no way, how’d you do that?’ Well before you go all crazy and start accusing me of being crazy, it's an ability called Biokinesis. It’s actually something a lot of demigods possess but not as many use it the way I do. It allows us to do a lot of things, but one of my favorites is shaping my anatomy and adjusting my molecular structure. Basically, I adapt my physiology at will. You know, so I don’t die. See, totally not crazy at all.
I spread my new wing-arms out to catch the air and it seriously helped slow (but not stop) my descent. I could glide to safety now. However, what I really needed was to stay in mid-air. I concentrated again and now that my life wasn’t in immediate danger, the change came quicker and easier. It wasn’t a visible change, but I could feel more than a hundred pounds suddenly vanish.
I will admit my shallow self occasionally activated this power when I weigh myself in the morning. And then I would stuff my face with chocolate. What were we talking about? Right, my super-awesome powers.
My new hollow bird bones coupled with my awesome arm-wings was my usual flight combo. It wasn’t as flashy or classy as just sprouting new wings on my back, but I hated being confused with an angel so this is what I typically preferred. Once I was stable, I looked around to find my captor. She was nearly two thousand feet above me and starting to recover from her shock. Her wings folded in and she shot toward me like a bullet. I realized dragging me behind her had actually been slowing her down and making her unstable. She was an unbelievably skilled flyer.
I did the only thing any sensible half-blood who’d trained half their life fighting monsters and bad guys would have done. I ran. Or flew, rather. I picked the direction I thought we’d come from and flapped like a maniac, flying as quickly as I could back toward my Camp family.
The chick who’d grabbed me also had wings, and apparently, she was ridiculously faster than I was because she caught up to me in like two seconds. What was that about thinking through my plan? She flew in front of me, trying to block my path, and hovered to a stop. The nice thing about flying is that it is very three-dimensional. I simply flew under her and kept going.
Unfortunately, she was also pretty smart because she figured out my smartass out-maneuvering abilities and this time when she flew in front of me, she predicted my genius escape and moved again to block me. We ended up doing this totally awkward aerial dance of attempted escapes and successful blocks for almost a minute before I gave up. You’d think someone who could sense the future would be a little bit better at 3D rock-paper-scissors.
Finally, I gave up and crossed my arms in my typical sassy pose. “Fine, I give up. What do you wa--” It was right about then that I remembered I needed my arms outstretched to stop myself from falling. Again, I plummeted.
As if nothing at all had happened that could possibly be considered embarrassing, I flapped my arms until I regained the altitude I’d been at before. “As I was saying. What do you want with me?”
“You fought bravely, warrior, and died a noble death with weapon in hand. I was impressed with your skills and your ingenuity on the battlefield, and I have decided you are worthy enough to serve Odin in the afterlife. I am taking you to Valhalla where you will train and learn until Ragnarok arrives.”
“I’m sorry, did you say died? You know what, I don’t even think that's the issue here. Odin, who even is that? Valhalla? Ragnarok? I really think you’ve got the wrong demigod here.”
Her expression was blank and cold. Despite the praise she spoke, she didn’t exactly exude any kind of affection or warmth. “No, I am sure I saw you battling out there. Many fought and died bravely, but you caught my eye in particular because of the crafty way in which you fought. We could use more archers among us.”
“I mean, I’ll admit I’ve got some mad bow skills, but I really think I should be back with my friends, helping them fight. If you didn’t notice, we aren’t exactly winning right now.” I glanced over her head, wondering if I could make a quick getaway above her.
“I am faster than you; you won’t make it.” I hate mind readers… “You cannot go back. You are dead. You cannot help them anymore. You have been chosen to train at Valhalla and there is no other path for you now. You must come with me.”
I had to admit, my arms were getting pretty freaking tired. Even if I did get past her, I doubted I had the stamina to make it all the way back to the battle and still have any ability to help out once I got there. So with great reluctance, I rolled my eyes and sighed. “Fine. Take me to to your leader...”