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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1. The Last

    Kylora looked down at the army assembled before her, and felt tears prickling in her eyes. What a waste, she thought. So many of us here, only to die.

    “Sister!” Kylora turned to see Hylla scrambling up the rocks to where she was perched. The climb was too steep for Hylla, and she transformed into a wolf, leaping the last few rocks, and then returning to her human form beside Kylora. “They’re coming.”

    Hylla was small and slim, with blond hair that ran down her back in curling tangles. She resembled Kylora strongly, though her second form wasn’t as powerful. She was young, but even she knew what was happening here. Kylora felt a surge of misery. How could she protect them all? There were too many. Why had her sister refused to flee, like so many had?

    “I know,” Kylora nodded. “The outer scouts reported them an hour ago.”

    Hylla’s shoulders slumped. Then she perked up again, green eyes wide with insistence. “But sister, they’ve got a dragon with them.”

    Kylora turned to Hylla in surprise. This was new information to her. “One of us?”

    Hylla’s mouth curled into a sneer. “They wouldn’t dare.”

    Kylora closed her eyes, misery threatening to overwhelm her. Of course Hylla didn’t know. Her sister had been born free. She didn’t know that the humans did their kind when they were captured.

    They called their kind guardians, though the name meant nothing now. Now they were slaves, enemies, monsters. They were feared, and hated. Any guardian that was captured would face a lifetime of torture and slavery. Kylora silently prayed that her sister would never have to learn what happened to captured guardians.

    “It’s okay,” Hylla insisted. “You can take a fire dragon, right?”

    Kylora nodded numbly. She couldn’t tell her sister what fire did to her. She couldn’t tell her how much it reminded her of the pain she’d suffered. She had to act strong.

    Hylla looked down over the assembled guardians. They waited, looking out into the distance with grim resolve. They all knew what was at stake. Each one of them was willing to fight to the death if they had to. Together, they formed a ragtag army. They were small, but even a single guardian was dangerous. Together, maybe they would stand a chance.

    They had always called themselves the last of the race. Kylora had always protested against this title. Surely there were other free guardians that lived. But now, she wasn’t so sure. The humans, the elves, the dwarves… all of them hated guardians. Even the angels. Or at least, most of them.

    She locked her eyes closed. Focus. Bemoaning your life won’t do you any good. You have to focus, for everyone. There are too many lives at stake here.

    She opened her eyes, turning back to her little sister, who was watching her with a dedicated expression. At least Hylla believed in her.

    “Hylla, will you ask Miel to do an overhead scout?”

    Hylla frowned. “Ky, any of us could do it twice as fast as her!”

    “It’s better not to let them know how many of us there are,” Kylora pointed out. “Besides, if they see Miel, they might not realize she’s connected to us, and shoot her out of the sky.” Hylla shrugged, then nodded. When it came to tactics, she was content to leave that to her older sister. Kylora wasn’t the oldest guardian here, but she was a veteran. She knew what they were facing, which meant the other guardians looked to her to solve their problems. It was a miserable, lonely position, but if Kylora showed weakness, then everyone’s resolve would weaken. Already, some of the guardians who’d been lucky enough to remain untouched were talking of surrendering and begging for mercy. But Kylora knew there would be no mercy for any of them. They were animals to the humans. Nothing else.

    Hylla bounded off down the hill in wolf form. Kylora returned her attention to the army below her.

    So many of us. Just to die here together.

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