Valkyrja Character in Anisoptera | World Anvil


Valkyrja is the pet cat of Hannah Wright.


Hanna always had the cat, she might even have had it before she went to live at the Air Corps Orphanage for Lost Boys and Girls. It's not a normal cat, not a silly orange, nor a tabby or a sneaky shadow. It's a mechanical cat. A toy of cogs and gears, with springs and levers to make a mechanical purr.



Hannah was petting Valkyrja. She had taken the cat out of the chest she kept it in. Not that the cat noticed it was being petted. It was a machine, after all. A broken machine, as the gear had long ago got stuck and the cat was fixed in a sleeping pose. Hannah still liked to lie with it on her bed, and pretend it was a real cat.

People from the Air Corps were walking around their sleeping hall. The men normally working on the flying machines were fixing the heating. One older man seemed to be in charge. He had a steam barrel on his back with hoses connected to tools on his arms, which kept hissing and blowing steam around him.

At one point, he looked at Hannah and stopped. "What have you got there girl?" Hannah quickly hid Valkyrja under her bedsheet. Not answering the question. The man folded his hands behind his back. "I'm not taking it away, I just like a look at what appears to be a very interesting cat." Hannah pulled away the sheets. "Their name is Valkyrja." "That is a nice name. Can I see the bottom?"

Hannah nodded, and the old man's gloved hands carefully picked up Valkyrja and turned the cat over. With one hand he clicked lenses in front of his right eye. "HOLY BOILER! 1812! This is old!"

"Girl, let me introduce myself. I am, Oliver Steam, Captain of the 30011th Fighter 101st Tech Squad of the Air Corps Corps." The old man said while he placed Valkyrja back on Hannah's bed. He still had the lenses infront of his one eye, and his big grey moustache appeared to be stuck between two of them. "And I think I can fix that cat, make it move again. If you like that. Come to my workshop on sunnyday."
"Sunday or on a Sunny day?... sir."
Oliver looked at Hannah surprised, then smiled. "Good girl, pay attention to the details when people speak."

Current Status
Possessed by an Angel
Year of Birth
1812 888 Years old
2 Fists
8 Pound
Patent Number
Serial number
Building material
Hardened brass and stainless steel.
Power source
Manually wound clock spring, which can kept automatically charged by movement.


It was Sunny, and a Sunday, when Hannah walked into the workshop at the airbase. She wandered around between the Odonats in different stages of dismantle or repair. Several other people were working, making a lot of noise.
"HEY kid! what are you doing here?"
-"Oliver said he could fix my cat."
"uhhh.. Captain Steam".
"Oh, he's over there"
The man gestured to a door in the far corner.

Hannah found the old man in a small workshop. He wasn't wearing the scary steam vessel and hoses he had last time, just his uniform, and he appeared to be polishing tools. "Ah, you're here." Oliver grabbed some items from the workbench and pulled out a white sheet and draped it over the bench. Hannah's jaw dropped. "It's white!"
"Yes, if you work on delicate machines, you have to do it clean. Put the cat on the bench Hannah." Hannah, not being the tallest child, had to stand on her tows to place Valkyrja on the table, where she lay in her regular sleeping pose. Oliver went "hmpf" and walked away, leaving Hannah confused for a moment. Then he came back into the shop with a big crate that he almost dropped on her toes. "Stand on it, so you can see what I do."

Oliver stood on the other side of the bench and got out a small box with tiny screw drivers. The tools looked mismatched in his large hands. But one by one he unscrewed parts of her cat, and lined them up carefully. The screws and small bolts next to each item he removed.
"Hannah, there is a sink over there, can you get a small bucket of soapy water. Then you can clean some of these parts. But be careful to put them back in the same spot. This cat is a very complicated machine, amazing they made these as a toy back then. And we don't have the manual so I have to remember where to put back all the parts."

Hannah dutifully cleaned all the parts, careful to put them back exactly in the same spot. As Oliver digged deeper into the mechanics. Mumbling about gears, levers, springs, walking beams, cogs, and pendulums, Hannah had no idea what he was going on and on about. "These axles and bearings are in remarkable condition. Hardly any wear on them. It's amazing." Hannah nodded as she watched how Captain Steam looked through a series of magnifying glasses at a piece that resembled a needle which he held between his thumb and index finger.

"Miss Wright! Why are you here and not at dinner?" In the doorway stood Clarissa Taisunn, the principal, arms folded, looking over the top edge of her glasses. Hannah froze. "That would be my fault, Clarissa. I should've kept a better eye on the clock." Said Oliver, while still fiddling with a stuck bolt. "Go on Hannah, go with misses Taisunn. We'll continue later, nobody will touch this." The principal didn't say a word when she and Hannah walked back to the orphanage buildings.



It was three days before Hannah could get back to the workshop. Captain Steam wasn't there. The chest she had been standing on was still there and the workbench was covered in a white sheet. Hannah peaked under it to see all the parts cleaned and polished, all lined up.

Hannah walked through the hanger, looking at the Odonates. They were such weird aircraft, without the balloon, all the other airships had. According to the stories she had heard, they had problems keeping the aircraft in the air, something about weight. Nobody was in the hangar and as Captain Steam wasn't in the workshop Hannah clambers into the seat of the plane, she can't even reach the controls but that doesn't stop her young mind from imagining she's flying through the air like a swallow.

Oliver watched from a distance. "Colonel, do you see that? That would save so much space and weight."
-"We can't have children as pilots."
"No we can't, but we can have woman, they are much smaller and lighter."
-"We can try, but we have to keep it a secret."

Captain Steam suddenly appeared next to Hannah, "You ready to assemble your cat miss?"
Oliver worked very methodically. Following the rows of parts backwards, as to how he disassembled it. Talking to Hannah about what each gear, spring, or part was supposed to do. Applying oil and grease on bearings and making sure all parts that had to move could, and each screw and bolt was tight.
In the end Valkyrja was back in her sleeping pose, and Oliver produced a key, which he had made to fit the hole in the belly of the cat. "Now let us wind up that main spring and see if we can breathe some life in this toy."

What was that? Who woke her from her slumber? It had been ages. She moved her spirit around. Still in the cat toy, it felt different, not as stiff as the last time she had woken, but how long was it since the spring was wound? Time to look who was there.
— Valkyrja

After Captain Steam had removed the key, some gears inside the cat started ticking like a clock. And soon the eyes of Valkyrja popped open, emitting a soft blue simmering light. The cat rose from its laying position to stand on all four legs and then stretched exactly as their fleshy counterpart would do. It turned its head from Oliver to Hannah and then meowed.

Hannah was ecstatic, lifted Valkyrja in her arms and danced around the workshop. She failed to see that Oliver had turned pale, his hand squeezing the edge of the workbench. What just had happened was impossible, according to his engineer brain. After winding the springs, he hadn't toggled any of the small levers to run the programs to make it perform the movements it could. It had just got up and moved by itself. What kind of magic was this? And how did it produce light and sound? He just had had every part in his hands. There were no parts inside the toy that did that.

Oliver was still in shock because what he was seeing, Hannah had put Valkyrja back on the desk where it was now sitting like a cat does. And Hannah had climbed on the desk as well and wrapped her arms around him, kissing his check. "Thank you." And at that moment Oliver knew he could never tell her that what was happening was impossible.

Oliver gave Hannah the key, "If Valkyrja stops moving, you have to wind up the spring, twelve turns, not more, otherwise you break it.

Looking around, she appeared to be in some kind of workshop. She didn't recognise any of the machinery. The humans must have had some new inventions. It appears the clockwork cat she was possessing belongs to the human female child. And the old man, her dad? had repaired it. But what year was it? She tried to remember the last time she was awake, but it had been a long time.
— Valkyrja

Several centuries ago

"I'm going to send you to earth. I can't tell you why. I can't tell you for how long, but when the time comes, you'll know why. Fate will guide you."
The transfer was painful, everything was painful. Her spirit was spinning, her thoughts were a mess. And this physical shape was a disaster. It wasn't even a being! But some kind of toy machine.

"MUHAHAHA" The evil boy laughed and kicked her body. Sent her flying across the room and crashing into the wall. Her mechanics where build well, but this couldn't last. Finally, giving up the pretends that she was just the toy. She mimicked the actual cat she was supposed to resemble and bared her claws and dug them deep in his face.

They had put her in a box. She could barely move in here. The box hadn't moved in a long time, and the spring that granted her her movement was running out. Normally, it would recharge with movement, but now it needed to be wound with a key. Soon she hoped, soon she would be taken out again.

A few years later

Hannah looked at Valkyrja sitting on the edge of her table as she was studying for her final exams. "What are you? I've never ever wound that main spring after Oliver did it the first time. You walk, sit, sleep, like an actual cat. You follow me around everywhere. You're a machine. How do you know who I am and where I'm going?" Hannah asked out loud, while she was alone in the library. Valkyrja started purring as an answer. "Can you read? Do you understand me?" sigh "I love you."Hannah said in a response, wondering if she'd ever understand what had happened to it.

Yes, I can read your books. Yes, I do understand you. I wish I could tell you what I am, but I'm afraid that you will lose me. Just keep studying girl, I want to fly with you.
— Valkyrja

Cover image: Header Anisoptera by Jacob-W, background by Reto Scheiwiller via Pixabay


Please Login in order to comment!
Sep 18, 2023 16:42

Very nice and interesting idea and I would like to have a cat like that too.

Stay imaginative and discover Blue´s Worlds, Elaqitan and Naharin.
Sep 18, 2023 20:41 by Bart Weergang

Thank you Blue! But have a look again, I finished the article now. :)

Sep 19, 2023 15:08

Ok I was a bit hasty, but still a very nice article, there is something mysterious about it and I would like to know more about this cat and the secret that surrounds it.

Stay imaginative and discover Blue´s Worlds, Elaqitan and Naharin.