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Guardian

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You guard your home. You were born there. You arrived in it. You guard it and ensure that no one can desecrate it.
This is not difficult. There is no one else to guard it from.

Time passes. You watch the seasons change. The warm season brings an explosion of green things. In the cold season, they die back a little, but less each time. The basin around your home fills with green. It is an attractive colour.

You are very hungry, but you have not seen food in many seasons. You do not count their cycles. You couldn’t count very high anyway.

With a great many seasons more, the mountains change. They shrink and wear. Water floods in, and, with time, drowns your green basin. It is a shame, in some ways, as your green things were pretty. But, powerful though you are, you cannot fight the ocean.

You have some good fortune. There are moving things in the water. At last you are able to sate your hunger. They do not taste very good. But they are food.

Your basin fills further, and becomes something like a lake. With time, your mountains are islands. And they turn green. The green things grow very tall and sturdy. The moving things come out of the water and live on the land. They start to taste better too. You want to eat them all, but in the back of your mind you know you should let some live. Your patience is rewarded. The ones you leave become bigger, stronger. Some of them learn to fly. Soon, the flying ones are all that survive - there is not enough space on your islands for large creatures to survive.

You discover that you are not limited to your island. You can go anywhere you choose. You see unfamiliar places, strange creatures. You do not need to worry about food. There is still not yet anything that tastes very good, but it is an improvement on when they lived in the water. Though you travel the world, you come back every day to guard your home. It is the purpose you have given yourself.

Something happens, rapidly changing the air. It is thick with dust and poisons. The large creatures start to die, much to your chagrin. Even the tall green things of your island die out. You try to find a way to save them, but you cannot clear the air. You can only let the dust settle.

It does, eventually. Not all of the moving things have died. The smallest will thrive through anything. Larger than them, are the furry creatures. They seem to have thrived. As the seasons pass on, they thrive more and more. A great deal of time later, the furry things dominate the landscape. And they taste good.

You are drawn instinctively to a particular kind of the furry creatures, in one of the hot lands. They are less furry than the others, and they have a spark in them. You don’t know what that means, but you know it when you see it.
You decide that it is best to stay at your home from now on.

Time passes, as time is known to do. From your island, you begin to see strange sights. A creature, or possibly a floating island, is off in the distance. You investigate. It seems to be made of the tall sturdy green things. It is also inhabited by the furless creatures. They have changed greatly in a short time. They dress themselves not in the hides of their prey but in more complicated materials made, you think, from green things. They are colourful. They also wield sticks made of metal. They try to attack you, but you have been attacked by far fiercer creatures. You know how to deal with predators.

Time passes yet again. The occasional floating island seems to be bigger each time, and the creatures on it dressed differently, with different tools. You discover they have created a kind of stick that throws stones. It is faster than anything you have seen before. You train yourself by fighting the creatures and their stone-throwing sticks. You are, of course, forced to kill them in doing so, but you never felt sympathy for your prey.

One of them comes to your island. This is a smaller craft than others you have seen, piloted by just one creature. He seems very interested in your home. You approach to ward him off. He points his stick at you, but something seems to stay his hand. Water leaks from his eyes. He drops his weapon, a sign you understand to be one of peace for their kind. You decide you will not fight him. You have become very curious about these creatures over the years, and you try to find other ways to interact.

You offer him food. It is the only thing you can think to do. He laughs, and shows you some of his own kills. You cannot help but be impressed that this creature, with no natural weapons and only a stick, has taken down such fierce wildlife.
You soon learn that something has been missing from your life until now. You decide you enjoy company.
You try to communicate to him your name, but he only gives you a strange look. He decides instead to call you Bec, or so you learn after paying careful attention to the sounds he makes. You can accept this.
All too soon the man has to leave again. You only understand a few words of his speech, but you are certain he has more important places to be. You are disappointed. But you know you will meet again.

True to your intuition, he returns, several seasons later. Already he shows the signs of age. His hair is pale, his body weakened. You had forgotten how short-lived these creatures were. He brings with his craft a younger specimen of his kind. Your intuition tells you she is important, and she soon catches your interest. As the old man introduces the two of you, she reaches out and pats you on the head. You find yourself wagging your tail. You are very glad he brought her.
Just this once, you allow the old man to enter your temple. The girl must remain outside, though. You are insistent on that and you do not entirely understand why. But you don’t care either. The man goes in alone, and comes out hours later with a full satchel.

He builds - which is to say he grows - the house from a seed within the temple. Though you have never seen such a spire before, you know it is familiar. The three of you soon make a home there, and he establishes a laboratory in which to study what he has salvaged from the temple. You are a little annoyed at the desecration, but you will allow it for your friend.
While he is working, you spend time playing with the girl, whose name you learn is Jade. You find this fact remarkably easy to learn. She is very affectionate - more so than the man - and you enjoy spending time with her. You run when you feel like it, teleport when you don’t - a feat she finds completely enchanting. She tries to talk to you in her language, which you still only partially understand, but it is clear she is weaving fantastic stories that make her happy. And you are pleased with this.

The time comes when the man goes on his last adventure. You know it to be his last. He will travel to the realm you know far more about than you should, and upon his return, he will die. Though you know this, it does not become any less sad when it happens. You try to comfort Jade when she cries. She grips your body tightly and buries her face in your fur. There is little else you can do. Soon, when she is able to keep her eyes dry, she takes the body of the man and preserves it, as he did to the furred creature in the laboratory. Once the man is set up on his plinth in the entrance hall, you sit at his feet, and howl. You decide then that this spot shall be yours to guard.

For several seasons more, you do your best to keep Jade happy and healthy, and she looks after you in turn, feeding you the most delicious food you have eaten. She finds new friends, friends you know to be important but cannot communicate to her. It doesn’t matter. Even without your guidance, they come to mean the world to her.

It does not feel like it has been long when the Reckoning comes. You have known your whole life this day was approaching. When you look up into the stars and see the colossal meteor bearing down on your home, you mentally kick yourself for spending most of this important day asleep. There is not enough time now for Jade to save herself. You cannot allow her to die. You do the first thing your instincts and intuition tells you to.

Being a sprite feels different. Strange, in ways you think you understand better now but still cannot communicate, which frustrates you. You try to talk to Jade, and though you can now understand her perfectly, she cannot understand you. You try to tell her what you are feeling - a feeling that you have never felt before in your hundreds of millions of years of life.

A feeling of overwhelming pride.