Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of Sega. The custom-created characters NOT in the actual series and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with Sega, or any of their affiliates. No copyright infringement is intended.


Chapter 1: Lion Cub

It was a wonderful sunny day, with the sun's rays beating down on the Sandsea. With the sand reflecting the light towards anybody who would cross it, they'll be cooked quickly. Fortunately, the Golden Lions were on one of their ships, the Sea Gale, to cross the endless sea-like desert quickly and efficiently.

A girl of eleven years, the youngest member of the Golden Lions, was looking over the wooden barriers on the side of the ship, with the wind blowing in her long auburn hair. She loved the view she had on the large boat, as she kept on staring at the horizon, seeing land in the distance.

Suddenly, a huge gust of wind blew on the ship, where she was forced to hang on to the barriers to not be blown back thanks to her small red cape, which was part of her uniform. She wore orange clothing underneath golden breastplate, consisting of a long sleeved orange shirt and an orange dress. Her weapon, a large, crescent shaped sword was tightly packed in a small strap on her left leg, for easy pulling out and a quick first attack.

She was Morte Asherah, a spunky swordswoman with an incredibly strong prejudice against feralkind. But unlike other members of the organisation, she wouldn't talk about the reasons why to anyone.

"Hey Mort!" A comrade shouted her nickname.

The girl turned her head and saw a man in similar uniform. He wore a long orange cape, red clothing and heavy maroon armour. But for kicks he wore a baggy, green hat. His complexion was white, with tiny freckles on his face and brown eyes.

"Hey Agan," Morte stated.

"Looking forward to the next mission?" Agan enquired.

"Yeah," Morte responded, "I hope we get to kill more ferals."

"Morte, you know we have to stick to our objective. We can't crave a path of destruction wherever we go," Agan retorted.

"These monsters kill innocent people and treat us like slaves! How could we stay in shadows while others suffer?" Morte barked.

"I'm sorry Morte, but no matter how we try, we can't save everyone, especially with violence," Agan explained.

Morte averted her eyes from Agan and scowled. Dark memories of witnessing events that involved ferals killing and suppressing human beings in their own homes. Even they go to the extent of burning houses and destroying entire villages and their inhabitants.

The smoke and the fires still burned in Morte's mind, eight years from when her village was wiped off the map from an attack from ferals and their leaders. Morte not only lost her family in the massacre, she had lost her entire community. She was the only survivor, at three years of age.

That ordeal had lightened up the fires inside Morte's heart, of her hatred of ferals, and has made her a strong fighter for humanity in the Golden Lions. However, her beliefs made her stubborn and determined to kill them all, blinding her of peaceful options and the stealth the group needed to remain undetected by Beastlords.

Agan was the only person in the Golden Lions who really knew about what happened to her. After all, he became her adopted brother after the incident. He remembered the day like yesterday, where his parents introduced him to his new sibling.

She seemed incredibly quiet, and only really talked at the table during dinner in the presence of both his parents. He couldn't understand why she was this way until his father told him of the destruction brought upon her village. He remembered the horrific story because it was the first time he'd ever seen his father shed tears.

It was hard for him to comprehend losing a family, but he barely could sympathize with Morte of losing an entire community.

"Look, I know it feels horrible losing your family, but in order to keep our group safe from ambushes and large armies of ferals we must find the path that exposes us to the least violence possible," Agan continued.

Morte angrily sighed, but understood Agan's reasoning. She didn't to admit it, but she hated to put her own desires aside to help the group achieve their invisible, yet all important second objective.

Suddenly, she noticed somebody a few metres behind Agan. She moved her head slightly to the right to get a clear view of the person.

The person was taller than Agan, and had a muscular build, making him look daunting to young Morte. He had blonde hair, green eyes and wore the Golden Lions' male uniform, except he did not wear a cape.

Morte knew him as the second in command, Karna. He signalled to Morte to come with him, with a serious expression to let her know the importance of the meeting.

"Excuse me, Karna's calling me," Morte whispered, moving past Agan.

Agan spun around and watched Morte walk away with Karna escorting her to his room, he assumed. He was worried whether she had gotten into trouble relating to her activities during her time on deck or on a mission.

Knowing her extremely well, she wouldn't mean to cause trouble, but she puts the group in dangerous situations sometimes.

He crossed his fingers and thought; I hope it's just a warning.

Morte entered the room after Karna, looking around at the light wood which created the box they were in. Karna spun around as Morte shut the door behind her, staring at her intently as he frowned.

From that expression, Morte was certain she had done something wrong. She didn't know what, but she was bracing for a spray.

"Am I in trouble?" Morte asked.

"Not exactly. I'm just here to issue you a warning," Karna answered.

"What is it?" Morte questioned.

"Simple. Restrain your emotions. We want to avoid a conflict with ferals, as we will be negotiating a peaceful alliance with these ferals to take down the corrupted Beastlords and their towns. We got a letter from Felis Rex from his hometown of Zenir two weeks ago, expressing his desire to join forces with us," Karna explained.

"Then why did we have to come?" Morte demanded.

"To stop a strike if any were to happen. This is the perfect opportunity for you to contain yourself."

"Ok. What if I'm not capable of doing that?"

"I've stationed you with your brother, so you can speak to him about your anger if necessary."

The word brother always triggered off a memory where Morte was spending time with her real elder brother. She hated how people in the Golden Lions used that word so lightly, not understanding that Agan could never replace her older brother, Reve.

"Agan's not my brother! My brother died eight years ago!" Morte snapped.

"He's the closest thing you have for a brother, Morte," Karna retorted.

Morte responded in silence, reflecting on how true that suggestion was. Nothing could truly replace her older brother, but growing up with Agan, who was two years older than her, he was kind of like a brother to her. He always looked out for her and tried to keep her out of trouble.

"Do you understand now?" Karna asked.

"Yes. Am I allowed to leave?" Morte enquired.

"Yes. And don't do anything reckless," Karna warned.

Morte spun around and exited the room, glad her confrontation with Karna did not end badly. Although, she was deeply disappointed that she couldn't kill ferals, knowing it would be difficult to contain her anger when she was finally in the feral town.

Author's Notes: Well, I hope that's a good start for my first Sands of Destruction fanfic. Most things from this fanfic will come from the video game, but there are a few items from the anime, to make sense of Morte's feelings of vengeance towards the ferals.

Oh, for those that haven't played the video game, Beastmen are known as ferals/feralkind.

There was only about three times in the game where Morte reveals that she used to be a member of the Golden Lions. The mentions weren't that obvious either, except the last one in the hospital scene where Karna clearly indicated he knew Morte.

Upon Karna seeming to know Morte and Agan quite well, I assumed five years before the game, Karna would not have been in charge of the Golden Lions to know them as intimately as he has.

I did include Morte's brother from the anime, however, to make sense with the game, he had to be older, instead of younger like the anime. There are at least three reasons for this decision, but I would rather explain this at the end of the story instead of a chapter into it.

And if you're wondering, I will write more fanfictions regarding Morte's past with what was mentioned about it this chapter.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the story so far and look forward to the next chapter!