Before the Fall

Fanfiction of When the World Falls to Darkness by DragonSoulJess.

The fall has begun. alliances are being formed, and guardians are being rounded up. In a small outpost called Ryoko, a small number of guardians still fight for their freedom.

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21. Rebellion

    “You’re spending too much time with father’s guardian.”
    Aaron paced behind Kylora, smacking one hand against the other. They were weak little slaps, but the sounds made her flinch. She didn’t want to know what would happen to her if he got angry at her. She already feared pain and punishment. And yet a small, rebellious part of her whispered, I could take him in a fight. I’m stronger than he is.

    Insanity. Endless days of hunger and beatings had weakened her. She wasn’t strong enough to stand against even this pathetic human.

    “I mean, I know you’re both guardians, but you’re my guardian!” Aaron insisted. “You should be around me more. I set out  a separate part of my chambers for you. I brought you food, and I’ve tried to be nice. What makes the guardian better company than me?”

    He’s a guardian, not a human. Not one of the kind that made me suffer.

    Kylora said nothing. Aaron sighed.

    “Why won’t you even look at me?”

    “Do you order me to?” Kylora said softly. She refused to grow fond of this human. If she tied herself here, she would never escape. She would never see Hylla again.

    “I don’t want to have to order you!” Aaron protested. “I wanted you to be my friend.”

    “You are a human. I am a guardian. You are the master, and I am the slave,” Kylora replied. “Where do you find equality there?”

    “I thought you’d feel more like an equal if we treated you like an equal,” he muttered. “But you seem stubborn to stay an inferior species. I know everybody has taught you to think like a slave, but can’t you un-teach yourself? You can’t have spent your whole life thinking of yourself as a slave or a lesser species. You said you were free before. You were leading an army of guardians. Surely you were free before. Can’t you be free again?”

    Kylora turned to look at Aaron, tapping the metal ring around her throat. “See this collar? This represents my slavery. Find a way to get rid of my collar, and I’ll feel more like an equal.”

    “My father holds the keys to the collars…” Aaron looked away. “If I tried to get them from him, he’d punish me.”

    Kylora frowned. A human punishing another human? Did his father beat him like he beat the servants and slaves? No, that couldn’t be possible. That was a ridiculous thought. Humans did not treat each other like they treated guardians. Guardians were animals. No- they were less than animals. They were the dirt beneath the human’s feet. Just dust to be kicked away.

    “Look, we’ll compromise,” Aaron sighed. “I can ask him about the keys, but you have to promise me something. You have to say you’ll be good. You’re my guardian, not my father’s, and you need to start acting like it. No more sleeping in that shack with that other guardian. You’ll stay here. And you don’t need to spend so much time with him. I should be enough of a friend for you. Maybe if you behave and keep your head down, father will decide you’re not a threat, and will give me the keys to your collar. Then you can take on your second form again.”

    “And then what?” Kylora asked.

    Aaron frowned at her. “What…?”

    “You remove my collar and grant me a little bit of power. And then what? Will I be free? Will I fly away into the hills, to go back to the mountains?”

    “Well… father would be furious if I let you escape.”

    “So no.” Kylora turned away. “I remain a slave. I prefer an honest life over a life of false freedom. I appreciate your sentiments, but I cannot.”

    “You weren’t this aggressive before,” Aaron remarked. “You’ve been spending way too much time around that other guardian. What has he told you? I know that after father got rid of his girlfriend he got messed up, but what has he been telling you? Has he been making you more aggressive, and making you hate us? You have to be careful what you believe.  My father broke him, and he’ll say anything to get you to hate us. You have to understand that I am not my father.”

    “And what did you do?” Kylora said softly. “Did you defend the girl that he chose to kill? Did you stand against him?”

    Aaron looked away. “No one defies my father.”

    Anger surged in Kylora’s heart. “You were in the position where you could have done something. You could have helped her. You might have saved her life. But you did nothing. You just stood aside and watched. You say that you’re good and want to make us feel like equals, but you still do nothing as our lives are torn apart and ripped into little pieces by men like your father. As long as we stay slaves, we will never be equals.”

    Aaron stared at her in silence. “You really have gotten aggressive.”

    “Yes I have,” Kylora snapped. “Because of your ignorance. Because you listen to that corrupted fool that is your father!”

    Aaron looked away. “I hate to do this,” he whispered. “I tried to be kind to you. I thought maybe you could be a friend. I guess I was wrong.”

    “I could never befriend a human,” Kylora whispered. She knew she had just sealed her fate. The one human that could help her had just been alienated from her. And yet, she didn’t care. She stood firm, staring down the human with determined eyes. She just didn’t care. She had to speak for what she believed in.

    Aaron sighed, and reached out to the wall where a cord was hanging. A bell run, and a moment later the door slammed open. Two guards stood there.

    “My guardian has been… corrupted by my father’s guardian,” he said softly, still refusing to look at her.

    A surge of fury ran its way through her. Don’t you dare blame this on Ash! But she didn’t speak. That would just made it worse. So Kylora lifted her chin as the guards held her arms. As if she was going to try and run. As if running would gain her anything but more pain.  

    “I’m sorry,” Aaron muttered to her. Then he nodded to the guards, and watched as they dragged Kylora from the room.

 
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