The Angel : part two
Pretty as a picture and soaring high, The Angel brings her
mighty bow to battle, and great big smile to our boys Over There!
I always hated that name. I felt like it turned me into a statue or
some Rennaissance painting. Even that was a compromise; they wanted
to call me Cupid, but I wasn't having it. In myth, Cupid was male,
for crying out loud! It was hard enough getting taken seriously as a
woman warrior without a name that evokes a child in a diaper.
And the outfits! You've probably seen the first costume they gave me
- the white gown and the high heels, and the feathered wings. Sure,
back then I needed the wings to have something to put a force field
around to fly, but five inch heels? I kicked those off the minute I
took flight. The later costumes were at least a bit easier to move
in, but every damned one of them had a skirt. Think about it - who
puts a flying woman in a skirt? Dirty bastards! The boys wore
modified fatigues, but Sylvie and I got dressed up like dolls.
Command just had to take us down a peg. They couldn't stand having
women as powerful as men. They tried to get me to stick to non-combat
roles. One of my light lances can cut a tank in half, and they wanted
me to "inspire the troops"! Did you know that in the group pictures,
they had the men on boxes so I wouldn't be taller than Julian and
Shadow? Even Bull got a lift to make sure it looked like he had a
bigger height advantage.
In the start, I was excited just to be able to finally do something -
the Nazis were doing terrible things, but as a woman, I was supposed
to stay home and knit socks or something. I put up with a lot so
they'd let me fight. By the end of the war, I realised that it didn't
matter what they'd "let" me do. Really, no one could stop one of us
except one of us.
We'd all figured that out by that stage, of course. Gungnir and
Mjolnir rather made the point. They both killed a lot of our troops
before command sent us in. The script was for John to take out
Mjolnir all on his own, but when the lightning started flying, it was
clear that John might have more than he could handle. It was the
first time any of us had been seriously hurt. When I took that last
shot, it was the first time we knew for sure that a super man could
die. We're all of us tougher than a normal person, even when our
specific powers aren't in play. I couldn't walk for a week.
John was changed, after that. Harder, meaner. He stopped joking, and
drank more. Julian was the only one who really got along with him
when he was like that.
I always wondered about how the Nazis named thier supers, you know?
Gungnir - Odin's spear, and Mjolnir, Thor's hammer. Why did they name
them after weapons, and not the gods themselves? I think the Nazis
were afraid, despite all their talk, of being ruled by a true super
man. Mjolnir was a true believer, loyal to his twisted masters.
Gungnir, though, wasn't even German. He was Polish! The SS
had his family locked up as hostage against his good behaviour. We
didn't find that out until after Sylie had burned him. I always
thought we should have known.
When the war was over, I didn't want to go back to Canada. It had
been my home for years, and my parents were still there. But I'd been
born in Germany, and after two wars, it was a broken nation.
Literally divided. The rest of us [ed: the Super Allies] never really
got past the anger of battle, blaming Germany for what the Nazis did.
I wanted to make sure it never came to that again. That's why I moved
to Berlin, and why I took the name Valkyrie.
I suppose it's ironic - in the end I devoted myself to being an
inspirational figure after all. A symbol, well-wielded, can do more
to fight evil than a thousand arrows of light. On the other hand,
Valkyrie always wore pants when she flew. I refused to wear heels
again until the 70s. It just seemed appropriate for John's - James now,
I suppose - for his celebration, after he got elected to Parliament.
That was when that idiot took a shot at me. I suppose the Stasi
thought they'd catch me with my guard down - and they did.
Fortunately, even without my force field up, it takes more than a
single rifle round to stop one of us.
I really do think that was the beginning of the end for the East
Germans. The people never seemed to forgive them for going after me,
for all that I was an agent of a corrupt capitalist regime, I was
still thiers. That was when the graffiti started showing up calling
me a "Goddess for All Germans" and the like. The Soviets lost
control, and thier supers still refused to enter Germany. We had our
own Cold War, and it held up.
When I flew down and took the first piece out of the Wall yesterday,
it was one of the best moments of my life. I wish Julian could have
been here to see me singing "looking For Freedom" with David - he
always was a sucker for the sentimental stuff. As for the rumours
about Mr. Hasselhoff and I, I'm afraid I cannot comment beyond stating
that yes, I will be featured in a track on his soon to be released