Thanks to: My mother.
Without her, I wouldn't be where I am now.
The humans are being eradicated. It's been five years since the Dragoons saved us all from total annihilation from Melbu Frahma. Now that man was both a genius and a psychopath. He planned from the beginning, 11,000 years ago, to fuse himself with the flesh of the Virage Embryo and purged the world of all life. He was a god and if not for the Dragoons, our very existence would be in jeopardy and at his mercy.
Five years have passed. Now, the humans are struggling to stay alive. They are not being destroyed by a large god but from the smallest and simplest creature. An epidemic had struck and is wiping out the human race by the hundreds. The first outbreak began six months back in the city of Fletz and Twin Castle. A handful of civilians came down with what appeared to be the common cold. After a few days the cold intensified with cold sweats, vomiting, and a high temperature. If the victim didn't die from overheating, they broke out into hives. A week later, the victims began to sweat out blood, the hives burst and more blood came out and finally they died.
Every human I've examined, either died in a week from overheating or in two weeks from loss of blood. We winglies have, so far, been unaffected by the disease. Either the fact that we winglies are quarantined ourselves in our forest and desert homelands or the disease cannot live within us. My guess is the former. Only I, Guaraha and my fiancée Meru are about the humans, trying to find a cure.
Meru and I began our journey to have an audience with King Albert and Queen Emille in their home at Indels Castle. I left my home three months ago and the city of Bale before the great Indels Castle was the most impressive sight I've seen, with the people taking care of one another like one large family. Maybe we winglies and the humans are more alike than I thought.
"Meru, come. Our meeting with the king is the utmost importance," I said looking at my love, who was dancing around the river within the city.
"Come on Guaraha, live a little. This is your first time in a human city," she replied, grabbing my hand and lending me into a dance. I smiled. My love knew how to get one's attention away from important matters.
"We must stop. What I heard, Shana and Dart have been showing signs of the Genocide virus," I calmly said. I tried to break away but Meru dunked me so quickly I almost lost my balance. She smiled with that childish smile that I couldn't resist. Before I could kiss her, she kindly dropped me.
"Dart and Shana are just sick a little. All they got is a cold, not the Genocide," Meru winked at me.
My smile grew wider. My love knew if there was a silver lining, she would find it or she just wouldn't be Meru. Together, we went to the castle and met with the king. Of course when I knelt down before King Albert, Meru flew up and slapped him on the back.
My jaw almost hit the ground with what little respect my fiancée was showing the king. I sighed with relief when the king looked up, smiled, and nodded at his old friend.
"Come on and get off the ground. It's just Al," Meru said waving at me.
"Yes, please rise. Guaraha, you are the embassy from the Wingly Forest and a brilliant scientist," the king commanded.
"Thank you, your majesty," I answered as I rose.
"So, what leads do you have for this disease?" asked Albert.
"First, your majesty must understand that Meru and I will be the only winglies that will help you. Both winglies settlements have sealed the borders to their homes," I explained. The king nodded for me to continue, "We mean no disrespect but so far only humans are affected by the virus, not us winglies but that doesn't mean the virus could mutate and infect us later."
"So why are you two here?" the king asked, turning his head to Meru.
"'Cause we will take our chances," Meru replied, giving the king a wink and giving him two fingers up. What I've learned from Meru that the sign was a 'Peace Sign' but I've come to understand that it really means 'No Problem'.
"Indeed. We will be on our way to Seles where Dart and Shana are. If they have the Genocide virus, must likely their Dragoon powers will help them resist the virus," I explained.
"Very well, please take my assistant, Priest Danzi. He has theories, opposite of yours. Please, find a cure," the king responded with a cough.
I nodded, agreeing with the king. The more ideas, the more progress can get done. The nod was also a reaction telling me that the rumors were true. The king and queen of Serido have caught the virus. Meru and I left with one Priest Danzi at first light.
Priest Danzi was a unique man and even more unique priest. He was tall for human standards and his red hat just made him all the taller. His light blue eyes seem to sparkle with youth, which betrayed his ancient form. Danzi clammed to be fifty but I knew that he was nearing seventy. Though he was old, in human standards, he was able to keep pace with my fiancée and me.
I am a scientist and I welcome any theories. The only subject that I always refused to hear was religious mambo jumbo. Yes, the Divine Tree existed but that could be explained through deep studying of the genetic code behind the tree and the 'fruit' it produced. But as a god, like Soa or angel like our own belief of the Archangel is, as I alwasys seen it, as far-fetched. Still, Meru and I sat down the first night, listening to his theory without prejudice.
"So here is my idea. The creator, Soa, had a plan with all the lives that were given from the Divine Tree. Soa wanted the humans to grow and prosper after winning the war against the winglies. This 'virus' is all part of the creator's plan. The 'virus' is actually a microscopic race that was born before the humans to control the population. We were growing at a dangerous rate. It's no wonder it never harmed you winglies, since your kind is not a threat do to overpopulation to the world."
"If that is true, why are you helping us? If this is part of Soa's plan, why go against him? Isn't that blasphemous?" Meru asked.
"Well, if it is just a super virus, I would like to help stop it and save as many lives as I can. If it is a plan from the creator, then we can't stop it anyways, can we?" Danzi answered. Meru rolled her eyes and I could only guess why. Supposedly, it was Soa's plan to destroy the world with the Virage Embryo. That plan failed, thanks to the Dragoons.
Even though Danzi's theories had many flaws, some of the points he made had their merits. The following afternoon, after leaving the prairie, we arrived in Seles. The town has come a long way since the fire that occurred five years ago. The houses were standing strong and it seemed that before the epidemic hit, the town was growing due to it being a stopping point between Bale and Kazas.
In a large mansion, just a mile south of Seles, we came to understand that the two heroes were indeed ill by the Genocide virus. Dart and Shana were lying in their bed, holding each other's hand in support for the other. Meru was dancing around and telling her friends that everything was going to be okay. Danzi began asking if they wanted their last rights. I smiled when Meru elbowed him for that remark.
I left the four in the bedroom so I could have some peace and quiet to examine the samples I've taken from the two. What has been said that Dart and Shana came down with the cold two weeks back and they seem to just be in the first step of the Genocide symptoms. This was the breakthrough I was searching for. If their Dragoon powers, particularly Shana's silver healing Dragoon spirit, were fighting the virus, I would finally be able to start on a vaccine.
As I gazed into the microscope, I felt a combination of confusion, disappointment and anger. The Genocide viruses were assaulting them as quickly as anyone I've seen. The Dragoon spirits were defending against the virus but they were losing.
When I returned to the room, I saw Danzi praying before the two heroes while Meru kept going on and on wanting them to get over this cold so that they could come to our wedding. My love always wanted Shana to be the maid of honor. How it was going to kill me to tell them my findings. The group turned to me as I entered the room.
"So doc, how does it look," Dart asked with a large smile.
"Not good. You both are fighting well against the Genocide but I fear you have a couple more weeks to live if we cannot find a cure," I responded and turned away.
I heard a whimper coming from the bed, followed up by a man whispering kind words. Danzi and I left the room for the friend to say their good-byes, just in case. Meru came out of the room shortly. She wasn't looking like her usual optimistic self. I fear I'm to blame.
"It is the way of Soa. The race of Genocide… was born to… kill us," Danzi began and started coughing. He fell to his knees, holding his chest.
"Damn, he's having a heart attack. Meru get my equipment!"
Meru ran down the stairs. Danzi began to spasm and it took me all my strength to lay him flat on his back. His jerking, breathing, and pulse stopped. I began ripping off his shirt and started pressing against his heart. After fifteen pumps, I listened for any breathing. There was none.
"Here Guaraha," Meru beckoned pushing my medical bag in my hands.
"Grab him and get him on a flat surface. I fear I have to operate. Damn it!"
The operation failed and a proud and kind Priest Danzi Moleradis passed away. In his notes, he begged for humanity to repent for all their sins and give into the plan of Soa. The priest wanted to spread the word of Soa, even in death. An unusual thing, faith. How can one give his body and soul, if we have one, to a creator one cannot touch, where one gives everything and more to please this being to live in an afterlife that we know not even exist?
Science has taught us that everything can be explained but to a logical level. I've seen a human woman, who I honestly believe would die from an infection but she 'miraculously' recovered. She believed that, through God, she was given the strength to live on to take care of her four children. I will admit, I fear death.
How I see things in a different light. No, not a different light but through Danzi's eyes. I still do not believe in Soa, or even the Archangel but I feel there must be something more than this life we live. In just taking a new outlook towards life has reduced my fear of death but that same outlook gave me all the more reason to save the precious thing called life.
Meru and I couldn't stay for Danzi's funeral and all knew why. I heard from a traveler that a doctor, who I've heard was the best, in Lohan, has come up with a breakthrough. The next couple of days it rained and I started to feel nauseated. I vomited and passed out.
"Gauraha, wake up… please?" begged a kind and welcoming voice.
I did as was asked and opened my eyes. The first thing I saw was my beautiful soon-to-be wife. How I love the idea that I could wake up everyday next to this young and beautiful woman. I took in the sight of the room I was in. It was warm and clean. All around was white and even the table I rested on was white.
"What happened?" I asked.
Meru leapt at me and wrapped her arms tightly around me. The embrace lasted a long time, until a man walked into the room. He was average height and was a bit on the chunky side. He wore white scrubs, obviously a doctor.
"Ah, Gauraha, you're awake," the doctor said.
"Yes I am. What happened to me?" I asked.
Instead of answering me directly, he escorted me to a chemical lab which has seen much use. The doctor waved his hand to a microscope, where I took it as a cue to look into it. I did as much and noticed a sample of white blood cells were being attack by the Genocide virus.
I raised an eyebrow and gazed into the doctor's eyes. "So, what does this mean?"
"You know the answer to that before you said that question," he replied calmly.
I stared back at the sample. Something was different. The strain of the Genocide was smaller and obviously weaker. Though it was attacking my white blood cells, it wasn't doing exactly what its dangerous counterpart has been doing.
"Are you the doctor that came up with a breakthrough?" I asked.
"Yes and no. I have come to understand that this isn't like any other virus I've seen. This, Genocide, seems to be… intelligent," he whispered.
Intelligent! I thought. No virus was intelligent. That's what makes it a virus. It was a parasite that sole purpose was to infect others, live and die with their hosts. But intelligent, that was impossible. Then, something occurred to me.
I looked back into the microscope and saw that the virus was truly 'battling' my cells. If it failed one way, the Genocide tried a different way. My cells were designed, like all others, to fight a virus one way; to break it down with T-cells and destroy the virus.
I started to run out of the hospital but a wave of dizziness overcame me. It took all I had to remain conscious.
"You're too sick to go anywhere but to bed," the doctor instructed.
He reached out but I immediately slapped his hand away.
"Meru, take me to the nearest church," I begged.
"Church?" she asked, wrapping my arm around her shoulder, "Why? Are you finally becoming religious?"
"Hee hee, no. But I'm going to follow a lead that our friend Danzi gave us," I answered.
It is a blessing that Meru came with me on this journey. How I needed her, not just for the physical support, that I had no idea that I would be needing but for the emotional support through these taxing times. How I love her smile and her confidence. Also, above all others, I needed her knowledge of these huge, foreign cities I've never been to.
Lohan was a large city. It was an amazing maze. Up a hill, down a left street, up a flight of stairs, down an alley, down another hill, into one building and out another. I was lost, but Meru, resourceful Meru, got me through it. We reached a church, though it was small, I hoped they would have the answers that I badly needed.
"Welcome," a priest responded and tilted his head, "winglies?"
"Yes and we need your help. Tell me the order of life," I demanded.
"Um, of course. You see in the beginning Soa planted a seed and that seed grew into a great tree, The Divine Tree," the priest began.
"Cut the story short. I just want the levels of life! I know that we winglies are 107th race, the humans are the 106th race, dragons are 105th and the virage was 104th. This is important; it could stop this damn epidemic!" I yelled. The screaming was too much, I blacked out again.
I came to, later that same day. The priest came to me when I awoke. He apologized, telling us that he didn't know that time was of the utmost importance. The priest began with the first race and started up the ladder of evolution. During the talk, he told me about the gigantos were the 97th fruit, and then came the bolio, followed by the minitos.
"Wait. What is a bolio?" I asked.
"No one knows. The race was said to be so small, they were gone from history. Why?"
I smiled and looked over to my love. She returned the smile, though I was quite sure that she had no idea why I was smiling. I turned back to the priest.
"Send word to his majesty from Twin Castle. Tell him to get Kongol on the Queen Fury immediately. It's a hunch, but I may have found a…" I couldn't finish. I fainted and didn't come to until several days later.
My temperature started rising but I didn't let that bother me. I was close to a cure and with Kongol, the beginning of the end was in sight. We all arrived, Dart, Shana, Meru, Kongol and I, at Indels Castle. As Meru and Kongol guided Dart and Shana to some soft beds, I went straight to work in the chemical lab.
With the sample of Kongol's blood, I started infecting it with my own blood. What I saw was nothing short of spectacular. Kongol's cells immediately attacked the Genocide, which I could only assume was the race bolio. I was about to run to my fiancée when something occurred. The giganto white blood cells were attacking my own.
I started running more tests, this time on Dart's blood. I figure, maybe winglie's blood couldn't correspond with gigantos. The same thing occurred. I tried a sample from another patient, this one in the first stages of the Genocide. The giganto cells began to destroy the Genocide and then began to respond to the human cells in harmony.
I looked up and stared at the wall ahead of me. It made perfect sense. The bolio were born to kill the higher races above their race but the race below them was born to kill them. It was quite similar with the wingly/human war. Humans were the weaker and lesser race, yet they won. The giganto cells were made to kill the bolio but what if the cells of the hosts are so infected that the giganto cells couldn't tell what were the enemies?
"Archangel, help me," I sighed. For the first time in many, many decades, I prayed.
"Is the vaccine working?" I asked, struggling to bring out each word.
Meru smiled and nodded with tears in her eyes. That hurt me more then I could have ever imagined. She has already lost two good friends of hers, Dart and Shana. Luckily, King Albert survived the vaccination though his wife did not. When the vaccine was announced, many humans started begging Kongol for their forgiveness for nearly destroying his race, for without him they all would be doomed.
"I plan on taking the first amount to the Wingly Forest and then I'm off to Ulara," Meru declared, without losing her smile.
I returned the smile tenfold. I reached up and wiped away a tear from her cheek. She grabbed my hand and held it against her cheek for a very long time.
"Don't worry about me. I've made peace with the creator, whoever he is. I don't fear this anymore and I know I don't have to fear leaving you behind," I said, everything began to go black.
"I love you," were the last thing I said, before the great beyond.
Author's note: I've noticed in the game that they do capitalize winglies and the other races, but I don't see why. So I kept the name of the races (humans, winglies, gigantos, etc.) in lowercase.