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.


4. Nightmares

    Miel leaned against the wall, staring at the ceiling. She could hear Kylora breathing heavily in the small cave next to her. Her friend was probably having nightmares. Miel considered waking her, but Kylora needed her rest. She’d nearly been captured today.

    Miel had spent the entire rest of the day cursing herself for not getting there sooner. She knew that Kylora’s imprisonment had left her with some serious trauma. That much was obvious from how she had reacted. At least she was safe now…

    Kylora was Miel’s best friend. If anything happened to her, Miel would never forgive herself. The two were close- closer than an angel and a guardian had ever been. The rest of her kind would hate her if they found out, but Miel didn’t care. Guardians were loyal friends, she’d found. They definitely weren’t the monsters that everybody else made them out to be. And Kylora was one of the best.

    Miel glanced over at the patch of darkness where she knew her friend was sleeping, and sighed. Best to let her sleep… it’ll only be worse if I wake her now.


    Kylora’s world was in darkness. Her eyes fluttered open. She couldn’t see anything. Just dark. She shook her head violently. There was stone above her.

    Her heartbeat sped up. The battle. The net! She’d been captured, hadn’t she? But she’d seen Miel and Hylla coming to her rescue! That must have been a pain-induced hallucination, because there was no sky above her, just the cold stone ceiling. She let out a shaky breath. Where was she? Where were the chains? She had to escape. She had to get out- to see the stars. But she couldn’t find the way out. Maybe there wasn’t one! Maybe she was trapped here, in darkness and stone.

    She began to breathe hard. She clawed at the walls, trying to find a way out, but there was nothing but stone.

    She let out a little sob of despair. Maybe everything she’d seen had been a hallucination. Maybe she had never escaped her prison in the first place. Maybe this had all been a figment of her imagination. Maybe the whole thing- Miel, the army, her sister… maybe none of it had been real. Maybe this miserable, pain-filled darkness was her only reality. Everything else was fake. All a pain induced hallucination. Any minute now, they would see that she was awake, and start torturing her again. She would suffer again and again, until they broke her.

    She let out another whimper. Why was she making sounds?! They would know she was awake! She could hear footsteps coming, and tensed, preparing to attack. A figure appeared into the darkness, and she launched herself at them with grim determination. She collided into someone. Instead of falling, they grappled with her, grabbing her arms tightly. Her attacker wasn’t alone either- they had help. There were two of them fighting with her.

    She started screaming in desperation, kicking and fighting, but the two of them were stronger. They were saying something- probably telling her to stop fighting. Why would she stop fighting? They’d just torture her more. She fought back, but they were dragging her somewhere. She struggled, but panic was making her limbs weak. She prepared herself to transform. That’s all she had to do- transform to escape.

    Just as she had prepared herself, she saw stars. She froze, and stopped fighting, completely mesmerized. The stars were here. There had been a way out, she just… hadn’t seen it? Where was she?

    Gradually, sound began to filter through her ears.

    “-lora! Kylora! Can you hear me?”

    She turned. The moon lit up the two figures. They weren’t humans come to hurt her. They were Miel and Hylla. Their faces were red, and Hylla’s eyes were wide with worry.

    “I’m so sorry,” Kylora whispered. “I thought… I woke up in the cave… I thought the humans had…” she glanced at Hylla.

    Miel got the message. “Hylla, honey, she’s okay now. Go back to sleep, okay?”


    “It’s okay, Hylla. I’m okay,” Kylora promised. She gave her sister a kiss on the cheek. She had obvious scared the younger girl, and she felt a surge of guilt. Hylla threw her arms around Kylora, and then ran off down the hill.

    “I’m sorry I didn’t wake you earlier,” Miel sighed. “But I thought you’d need your rest.”

    “No, that was a good choice…” Kylora took a deep breath, staring up at the stars. Funny how something so small could mean so much. Being able to see the stars meant that she was free. She wasn’t imprisoned. She was back under the stars where she belonged.

    “I’m sorry we scared you,” Miel sighed. “But we heard you whimpering and breathing too hard, so we came and got you. It was Hylla’s idea. She thought seeing the stars would help you.”

    How does Hylla, someone who is so much younger than me- someone who has never suffered what I suffered- know the best way to help me? Maybe that was part of being a sister. Not that Kylora knew much about that either. She’d been absent for half of Hylla’s life, after all. Even now, she was leading her poor sister into a fight that could very well end in both of their deaths. As sisters went, she was a pretty pathetic excuse. Hylla deserved better than this life. And a better sister than Kylora could ever be.

    “She loves you,” Miel reminded Kylora. It was almost like the angel could read her mind. “She might not know exactly what happened to you, but she knows that it caused some serious trauma. You have to put a little more faith in her. She’s just like you. Loyal. Brave. Wanting to do everything you can for everybody.” She looked up at the sky, shaking her head. “If only the rest of my kind could see… they would understand you’re not all monsters.”

    Kylora sighed. “It sounds wonderful, I know. But people’s opinions on guardians will never change. If they cannot love us, they should at least fear us. Then maybe they’ll leave us alone.” She looked over at Miel. In the moonlight, her friend looked like a golden statue. Untouched. Perfect. After her nightmares and panic, it made Kylora feel sick.

    “You can’t force the world to trust you,” Miel murmured. “I know it seems like the only way. But maybe there’s-”

    “Maybe there’s what?” Kylora snapped. “Another way? A way to convince everyone that guardians aren’t freaks or monsters? And then they’ll accept us? Let us live in their cities, share their food, live normal lives in safety? That will never happen. Every race stands against us. The other races have their alliances, but the guardians have no one. I know you have faith in change, Miel, but I don’t. Someone has to open their eyes to reality. I’m sorry, but there’s no changing how people think.”

    As usual, her temper began to run away with her as she spoke to Miel. maybe it was the strain of the night. Maybe it was because Miel was the only one she could openly talk to. Maybe it was fueled by some of her jealousy for her perfect, optimistic, happy, untouched friend. Either way, she found herself clenching her fists. She took a shuddering breath, and forced herself to relax. She turned to Miel, and sighed. “Miel… I’m so…”


    Kylora blinked. “How did you…”

    “Every time you start to speak your mind around me, you end up apologizing,” Miel murmured. “You don’t need to be sorry. I know you have to deal with a lot of pressure leading the other guardians. You have to tell them what they need to hear, even if you don’t believe it yourself. You should be able to say what you really think around me, at least. It’s okay. I know I’m always encouraging you to be more positive, but I don’t want you to lie to me! If you think something, then say it to me! We’re friends- you shouldn’t have to moderate yourself around me. Let it out.”

    Kylora looked over at Miel. Her eyes were so wide and trusting. Miel wanted the impossible- she wanted Kylora to be happy. She tried so hard, but she could never make everything better. If Kylora had spoken her mind to Miel, all of what she thought, then would they still be friends? If Kylora told her all her nightmares, her selfish thoughts and wishes, even her own jealousy for Miel… would the angel stay, or would she fly away?

    Kylora looked away. “I’m sorry about hitting you,” she muttered. “It was my own fault. I shouldn’t have fallen asleep in the cave. I thought I had the nightmares under control.”

    Miel shrugged. “It’s okay, Ky. I’ve dealt with worse. I can’t blame you. I understand.”

    Kylora glanced at her. “Do you though?” She whispered.

    Miel’s expression became serious. “Kylora, I might not know the specifics of what happened to you, but that doesn’t matter. I saw what happened. I saw the results. I know you think I can’t understand you, but I was the one who nursed you back to health. When I found you, you were half dead. I was with you that entire time. So maybe I understand you a little better than you think I do.” Miel paused, then sighed. “You should get some sleep. I’ll keep watch, and let you know if anything else happens.”

    Kylora sighed. She wanted to reach out to Miel and apologize, but Miel had already told her to speak her mind. Well she was speaking her mind.

    She lay on her back, staring up at the stars. Her thoughts were racing, but she managed to close her eyes. It didn’t take long for her to slip back into a nightmare-filled sleep.


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