Beyond Death's Door

By: Sokai

Disclaimer: I, Sokai, do not claim ownership to the role-playing game, Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth -- I leave that honor up to tri-Ace and Square Enix. However, I can and DO claim to own this story, its inspired ideas FROM said series, as well as my original character, Sitara Vandom.

Note: An update. Now, it's 217 hits, and 14 reviews for this story. An improvement, I guess. Thank you. LoL Anyway, it's all about Sitara in this chapter.

This chapter was created/written in January 2007.

Chapter Four

Stirring lightly, Sitara slowly awoke to find herself having gone blind. At least, that is what she originally and briefly surmised, as everything around her was completely white.

However, the moment a rather large, unexpected gust of frigid air viciously grated itself against her unbearably bare back, Sitara realized that she was not blind, but only curiously lying within a vast snowbank.

"Ahh!" she cried out in pain, her naked body freezing as the wind continued to howl and swirl the surrounding snow around her.

Struggling, Sitara slowly raised herself from off of her stomach and onto all fours, before finally managing to wobbly climb onto her iced over feet.

"Wh-where . . . A-a-am . . . I?" she asked aloud, immediately wrapping her bare arms around herself in futile protection the moment a blast of icy wind barreled into her front.

The last thing she could recall was being previously surrounded by pure darkness, before . . .

"Th-that w-w-woman . . . the V-V-Valkyrie . . . S-she . . . s-she said t-that I . . . h-had s-sinned . . . T-That I w-was . . . unworthy o-o-of . . . Va . . . Va . . ." recalled Sitara through chattering teeth, unable to finish her sentence due to the increasing cold.

"Valhalla, you mean? Now, why would you want to reside there? It is, after all, vastly overrated . . ."

Gasping in alarm, Sitara let out a sharp scream the moment her brown eyes laid upon a horrific sight from behind her. There, hovering a few inches off of the ground was a woman . . . At least, one side of the body appeared that way.

A beautiful woman at that, with long, flowing black tresses, tawny, healthy and glowing skin, rosy pink lips, and one dark blue colored eye.

The other side of her body, however, resembled a rotting corpse . . .

Skin blackened and continuously falling off, it emitted an unbearable smell that the wind horribly amplified. The hair on this side of the woman's body was pure white and gradually falling out, while her other pupil was glazed over and also white. Her rotting bottom teeth could be easily seen despite her mouth being closed, as her lower lip was no longer there.

Sitara felt herself begin to gag profusely due to the combination of the half rotting woman's sight and smell.

"Is that really any way to treat your host? At least I am fully clothed . . . more or less," said the woman, eyeballing Sitara's bare nature, in contrast to her attire of a royal purple and blue gown (her "healthy" side, at least, as the other side was faded, tattered and worn).

Sitara blushed furiously at this, and tried her very best to conceal herself from this prying partial cadaver.

". . . Wh . . . where am I? W-why a-am I here?" she hissed, another current of air causing her brilliant red hair to partially blind her as it caressed her frostbitten face. She felt a scary, agonizing pang of anger beginning to gnaw away at her insides.

"I believe the feeling you are now experiencing has answered your own question, human," replied the black and white haired female, who levitated closer to the teenager and regrettably brought her unholy stench along with her.

"Wh . . . W-what are y-you t . . . t . . . talking about?" questioned Sitara with an immense shiver, immediately trying to hold her breath thereafter and turning her head to the side.

"Your sins, of course, human. The sins you had committed with little to no hesitation, I might add," said the unknown incomplete beauty. "Do you honestly believe that they would go unnoticed and without forgiveness? That is why you are here -- with me, Hel, queen and ruler of Nifelheim, the Land of Mists. I welcome you."

Sitara's mind began to travel back to what the other woman before this one, the Valkyrie, had delivered onto her before sending her here:

"It is my duty to deliver the souls of those fallen in battle to the great halls of my Lord, Odin, within the land of Valhalla. However, those who are found unworthy of such an honor are to be sent to Nifelheim, where its ruler, Queen Hel, will delegate the proper punishment to the defilers."

"Nifelheim . . . This is Nifelheim?" she asked weakly, blinking furiously to keep her eyelids from completely icing over.

Hel shrugged faintly.

"Essentially, yes. It is an ingenious realm, actually, with a multitude of appropriated levels crafted for all who dwell here," she revealed, her dark blue eye peering down at Sitara with superiority, as well as a faint flicker of intrigue in contrast, while her white, decaying eye remained vacant. "One level, you see, is specifically for other Gods, such as myself, where I regularly preside over entertaining festivities should any of them come to visit. Of course, this is an area you will never get to witness, so I will not indulge your pathetic ears any further . . .

One other level is reserved for beings such as the elderly, those who had fallen ill, or simply those unable to have died fantastically within battle and thus enter Valhalla.

And then, dear child, there are souls such as yours -- the wicked -- who are forced to carry out the rest of eternity within the lowest level of Nifelheim . . . Admittedly, it is my most favorite of them all."

Sitara said nothing as she listened to the apparent ruler of this arctic plane of existence. What was there to say? Both she and the Valkyrie had deemed Sitara essentially "evil" and not worth dealing with, and she hadn't even any idea as to why.

Hel's abrupt, cold laugh brought Sitara out of her muddled thoughts and unfortunately back to reality.

"Well! Please, enjoy your stay, young defiler of souls," she said, bowing mockingly at the deceased young woman, suddenly vanishing from sight within a wavy-like shimmer before another word could be said on either end.

Relieved to be free of the horrid stench, but fearful to be left all alone seemingly within the middle of no where, Sitara collapsed onto the icy ground, arms fiercely wrapped around her as she let out a sharp sob.

"Wh . . . what h-have I d-done to . . . t-to deserve this? G-god . . . h-help me . . . Help m-me!!!" she cried out, before burying her crimson head into her knees, the steadily falling snow increasingly blanketing over her defenseless body.

-- End of Chapter Four

(A.N. FINE! SO, I didn't make this as long as I'd promised. I'm just bored, so I didn't. LoL Again, it's all in the head but I'm bored to type it out. I was going to switch the scene back to Valhalla with the Guardians, but I said . . . I can't do it. LoL And yet, I will probably begin typing it right now, before writing out the rest manually later. Whatever. Leave me alone. LoL Isn't Hel so beautiful? Well, one side of her, anyway. Although I probably could've/would've created her to look the way I wrote her, that is how she actually looks in mythology . . . except I don't know her attire or hair/eye color. That I did for . . . never mind. Cough. LoL)