Adrium keeps a tight grip on her mother’s scales as the dragon rockets over the continent below. From the perspective of any creatures on ground level, the passing of the dragon is nothing more than a crystal blur which blends into the blue sky above. Her path is a beeline westward, straight towards a conglomerate of mountains in the horizon. Not that Adrium can waste any energy to look forward and know this as her full strength goes into merely not falling. Once the two land and Adrium’s eyes are allowed to focus, she finds herself standing atop a nest of peaks. Hidden within is a pale-blue glow, from which Adrium senses a feeling of pureness and need to maintain order.
“It is time that you learn the purpose of your existence,” the dragon proclaims as she leads the way down into the light. “When I referred to humans as a lesser race, that came not from a place of hubris. In truth, our progenitor was born specifically to eradicate their kind.”
Adrium follows suit, making nimble leaps down the mountainous slope. “They demonstrably did quite a poor job of it,” she comments.
“Their aim was not complete genocide, they were only driven to make the number of humans fewer. In that task they were quite efficient, Fabula was infested with humans before the progenitor came to be.”
“That seems odd, to be naturally driven to thin a population in such a way.”
“The progenitor felt the same way. Indeed, she wondered many things, for she was one of the first living creatures in the world to become attuned to magic. It gave her intelligence beyond her peers and with it an instinct to hunt the humans. It was as if she suddenly realized the harm that humans were causing to the world. Surely you have felt it yourself, the greed they possess, how they strive for more status and power and things to call theirs?”
Adrium could not reject the fact that she had. It was impossible not to notice it in the upper-class but it was ever present even when she was just in the R.U.N.N. base. The feeling of envy behind every justification, the raw want for what the upper-class had.
“In the progenitor’s age, humans had cannibalised much of the world and nature itself was being destroyed by their acts. Their pollution made lands infertile and water poisonous, many species went extinct thanks to the harm done to the environments around them as well as the unnecessary hunts they performed. Even now, much of the world is a wasteland in which no life can thrive.”
This revelation comes as a surprise to Adrium. “I was under the impression that there were more humans outside of Fabula?”
“There are, though perhaps far fewer than what the humans here believe. Do you think that they settled in a land like this for fanciful reasons such as exploration? No, the human settlements on this continent came to be out of desperation. Despite how the nature here continues to reject them, they came to escape the world that they’ve brought to the brink of destruction.”
“So, this ‘progenitor’ is the world’s savior?”
“In a sense, though I must stress that they hunted humans out of instinct rather than a sense of justice. It was simply natural to them. We, her descendants, believe that our role is similar to hers. To closely monitor the world and make certain that no race repeats the mistakes of the humans. Given the state the world is in, it would not survive another age of humanity.”
The two are now deep into the caves, though the light has not grown any more intense. It remains consistent in its calming hue, making the stone walls of the caves and making them shimmer like crystal. Then, Adrium and her birth mother enter an opening which reveals the source of the light. The skeletal corpse of a dragon, far larger than Adrium’s mother. The feeling of order is heavy here.
“The progenitor, I presume?”
“You are correct. I would have you stand within her skeletal remains and focus your reflection on her. Doing so will allow you to take a more proper form for fulfilling your duty.”
“… I must question again why this is necessary. What it is about the form of a dragon that makes it ‘proper’ for acts of culling?”
“It is a form which displays our power, our status as invigilators of life. We are images of grandeur while other species are lesser, weaker.”
“You are missing the point. We reflect what is around us and yet generation after generation we retain our unique features as dragons. It is a neutral form, proof that we are still fit to carry out our role. A form such as yours carries the implication of humans being the dominant species, which we cannot allow to happen again.”
Adrium smirks and takes a step forward. “Then let us make this a test to determine whether your form or mine is ‘worthy’,” she challenges. She steps inside the corpse’s ribcage prison and begins to focus. She hones in on that feeling of order, the lingering instinct of the draconic progenitor. The light-blue energy swirls around her, seeping into and reflecting off of her skin. As it does, Adrium’s scales become more defined. Her nails grow and sharpen and her form becomes larger. The mass of magic entering her all at once becomes painful as wings and a tail rapidly grow out of her. Her body is contorting, crystal skin ripping apart and bones cracking as they struggle to remain connected throughout the process.
Then, at the core of this rapid change, the blue light gets darker. Adrium is fighting against the will that is being projected onto her. She quickly grasps on to one of the pieces of the broken tusk as she enforces her own name, her own dream upon the progenitor’s corpse. Everything that made her over the past eight years. Soon enough, it is the corpse which is reflecting Adrium as the glow becomes entirely black. Darkness fills the caves while Adrium’s screams and the sounds of her warping body echo throughout. This goes on for several more minutes before silence finally falls.
Once all is done, Adrium’s mother releases a glow of her own to unveil the result. Before her stands an onyx dragon, far grander than herself. Under this entity’s feet are the broken remains of the progenitor.
“What did you do?” Adrium’s mother asks with fear squeaking through anger.