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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3. Battle

    She heard the army coming long before she saw them. Humans rarely traveled with stealth, and she felt a surge of fear. If something went wrong, today could be her last day. She knew that there was always something that could go wrong. Another army- or weather, or a lucky blow from the dragon that flew overhead. If that happened, it could cost her entire army their lives.

    She closed her eyes. She couldn’t afford to let herself be distracted now. Yes, this was dangerous, and could go wrong at any time. But she had to fight. She had promised herself that she wouldn’t just lie down and give up. First she would fight.

    The humans filed into the valley. Even from here, Kylora could see the uncertainty in their eyes. They had been expecting to find an army of guardians, but the area seemed to be abandoned. The dragon spiraled overhead, and Kylora watched it warily. The dragon was hers to handle. She had wanted to be down in the fray, keeping an eye on Hylla, but she knew how to fight dragons. And besides, she didn’t want to put anybody else at risk. If anybody was going to do something risky and dangerous, it should be her. She had no fear of dying. Just of being captured. And how could she be captured if she was fighting a dragon in the air?

    “Kylora!”

    She looked to her right. Hylla was crouched in wolf form behind a rock.

    “What?”

    “They’re in the right position,” Hylla whispered.

    Kylora turned back to the human army. She had been so distracted by the dragon that she hadn’t realized the humans were entirely in the valley now.

    This is it. She took a deep breath, then leapt up onto the rock, transforming into her dragon form.

    There was yelling, and she saw all the humans looking at her. She roared, and then launched herself into the sky. Other roars echoed around her as the guardians burst out of their hiding places, charging the humans, who rapidly found themselves surrounded, trapped in the small valley. Then Kylora’s attention was solely on the dragon, which charged at her.

    They met in midair, slamming into each other. She tore at it, trying to end this fight quickly so she could help the guardians below her.

    The dragon blew fire at her, and she dropped just in time. The fire shot over her head, and she could feel the heat through her scales. A sharp pain started behind her eyes.

    No, no, don’t black out, don’t black out! She lunged at the dragon again, and tore her claws into its neck. It fell out of the sky, lifeless. Kylora growled, and then dove towards the army of humans with grim determination.

    She landed in the middle of them, lashing out with her tail to knock them off balance, then tearing at them with her claws. She roared, then breathed fire, charring the humans nearest to her. As she fought, she let all of her hatred loose, channeling it into a furious attack. These humans had come to enslave and torture Kylora and the rest of the guardians, but they’d never expected a determined resistance. Well next time the humans would think twice before they came here!
    Kylora alone was a one person army. She growled at the humans around her, and they backed up. Of course they did! What human would dare risk the wrath of a guardian? She didn’t give them a chance to retreat. She lunged, and tore at them with her claws. They fell before her like leaves swept aside in a heavy wind. How had humans ever beaten the guardians? They were nothing against her claws. She swept them aside without a second thought. They were totally helpless against her! How had she ever feared them? How had they ever captured her in the first place? She killed them so easily that she understood why their race was feared. Each one of them was an individual army. That brought a smile to her face, and she smiled with fangs. The humans screamed in alarm. On the outer edges, they still fought other guardians, but Kylora was in the middle of them. It should have been dangerous, but she killed them so easily that she knew she was in no danger. They couldn’t harm her. They couldn’t harm her.

    That was when a heavy metal net was thrown over her.

    For one vital moment, she was shocked. Where had the humans gotten a net?! How had they caught her? They had been retreating! They had broken before her, and now she was trapped!

    She began to panic, thrashing and shaking, trying to get herself free of the net. A moment ago she had felt powerful and strong- like nothing could stop her. But now she was terrified and helpless, imprisoned again. She screamed, but there was nobody that could care enough to hear her screams. She thrashed, but the net dragged down at her wings, holding her to the ground. Now she saw the humans above her, riding dragons. They must have dropped the net on her from the sky. The humans hadn’t been retreating out of fear. They were retreating to make room for the net to trap her!

    No no no no no!!! She panicked. They can’t… we were winning… the humans drew closer. They would stab at her until she was forced to shrink, which would seal her fate. As soon as she was vulnerable, they would knock her out, and she would be tortured until she broke. She roared again, but the humans didn’t seem to be afraid anymore. She shot fire at them, forcing them to back up. She spread fire around, desperate. She had to escape. She shot more fire in panic, but there were too many of them, but the blasts of fire were getting weaker as panic eroded away at her mind. She growled, tensing and preparing for one final, desperate attack. But then a blade stabbed through one of the gaps, piercing her shoulder.

    She let out a combination of a roar and a scream, thrashing in a wild panic. Now more blades were stabbing at her, trying to reduce her back to her smaller form. She wouldn’t transform though. She couldn’t! She couldn’t go back! She would die first!

    The humans were yelling for support now. More of them were flooding towards her. Why had she landed right in the middle? The other guardians were coming, but not fast enough!

    The blades stabbed and drew blood. They would gladly kill her if she didn’t succumb. She roared in a blind rage, in pain. Then, finally, she couldn’t take it. She shrunk back to her small form, dropping to her knees.

    I’ve lost, she thought numbly. This was stupid. I should have… should have run.

    She waited for the inevitable. But then the humans around her started screaming.

    She blinked, and her eyes widened. Darting between the humans, slashing and biting, was a silver wolf with gleaming green eyes. Hylla.

    Kylora wanted to yell, No! Run! But her sister was moving quickly between the humans. Above them, Miel flew, wielding a spear. She stabbed down at the humans. Kylora looked up. Two other guardians had engaged the dragons. The humans were fighting a losing battle. They had been focused on capturing Kylora, and had gotten weaker around the edges.

    Kylora blinked. They were… still winning? She tried to stand, but the pain from all her wounds made her light-headed. She dropped back to her knees, held down by the weighted net. She could only watch helplessly as her sister and Miel dispersed the humans. Then a wedge of guardians broke through the humans, and she knew she would live. She closed her eyes, and let her head drop against her chest. We won. We’re alive. We’ll live another day.

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