Valkyrie: In the Wild

Well now, I realize things might be a bit disjoined due to the frequent postings, but I'm having to scramble to make up for lost ground. Hopefully this is gonna make sense. Then again this Is November, so a good seventy to ninety percent is gonna be chaff once i get down to editing anyway. So I'm just gonna run with it see what pops out m'kay?




As it turned out Serenity 'Bay' was nothing of the sort. Oh sure it was based around a huge body of water, but it was an artificial lake made into a park to try re-purposing an old quarry. Still, the name stuck and Sam, though bored, found the place relaxing.
Day one had her going through Social Network Withdrawal and saw her sketching out a new command unit she wanted to build from parts she still had at home. She was no artist and it was more a list than drawing, but it got the point across well enough that both David and Jon seemed impressed. Of course they were likely just trying to make her feel better but that's hardly a strike against them now is it?
Day two saw Sam decide that since she couldn't network she needed to walk, lots. There were plenty of trails here there and everywhere meant for biking, walking, horseback riding, so she had plenty of options and she was more often than not escorted by her two companions.
During these walks, as well as others through her time there, she was continually struck with new ideas, design concepts as well as little bits and tics in her life she had up till then taken for granted. It wasn’t revolutionary per-se, more a shift in perspective. All those long nights working on her army, more nights focused on gaming and she started wondering what the use of it all was. People were here all around her. Why had she fled to the Web?

To get a better understanding why let us have a peek at one of her more frequent nightmares:

Sam was stuffed in a swimsuit contest full of the sort of women one would expect at an event catering to looks rather than personality or intelligence. At every turn by the other contestants, the judges, even random spectators she was mocked. 'Child!' 'Board breasted!' Others were worse and unrepeatable, but all had the flavor of calling out her.... planeness. In some she was literally a child forced to compete with adults. Others her boyish figure was made more literal.
Every slight she had suffered through the years magnified. Boys showing interest only so she'd do their school-work for them and tossed aside once a passing grade was gotten. Passed over for promotions because of shyness and not being able to get involved in the games of politics at work. Even family, loving and caring as they were, would snub her in these dreams. Sam alone, adrift, invisible and forgotten by all.

"Sam?" David's voice. Her eyes cracked open, blurry vision. "Hey. you alright?"
She shook her head. Fresh tears on her cheeks, felt herself curled in a ball clutching her shins.
"It's ok." She shook her head more, making small noises. David sighed and patted her shoulder. "I'll get breakfast going." Door closed. Sam alone again.
She grumbled her frustrations to the world at large as she cleaned up and dressed. Does no good to beat him up. He's just trying to help. She took several deep breaths and repeted that until she believed it. Just trying to help. No biting face off.
She couldn't manage a cheery look when she came to the kitchen to see how close to the trueth the inviting food smells were. However she could manage indifference. Jon nodded to her and offered a mug of coffee.
"Don't drink, but thanks." She took it anyway and tried it. After deciding she wans't going to choke or sputter she had another.
"You look like crap." Jon's voice was carefully neutral.
"Mmrf." Sam settled into a chair at the table. "Rough night." She glanced him over and grumbled to herself, not quite understanding why he'd never been overly friendly to her.
Awkward silence save for cooking noises followed until David announced all was ready. This was followed by eating sounds, which were in turn followed by the noises associated with cleanup.
Now that she was more or less awake Sam noticed a pair of backpacks by the front door. "Long hike?"
"You alright with that?" Concern flitted across David's face.
Two and two were put together to make four. Sam snorted. "I've got a whole cabin full of stuff. I'll be fine till you get back."
His smile was somewhat forced but his voice had the right tone. "Phone works if you need anything. Should be back tomorrow morning, nightfall at latest."
It wasn't until both men were gone that Sam let herself cry.
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