Fall Of The Empire

Rating: T (for now.)

Disclaimer: I don't own this. If I did, the second season would have been out already, and I would be all over that like white on rice.

Author's Notes: Welcome, welcome, one and all!

Hello, and I bid you a cheery welcome to the relaunch of FOTE!

To new readers: Hi! This is going to be a pretty awesome ride, so I hope you don't miss out on it!

To returning readers: Welcome to the relaunch! New chapters are currently under revision. Some people pointed out to me that I was kind of failing where I wanted to succeed. And I agreed. So I'm revising the story - even I was struggling with where it was going. Don't you guys worry.

Echo's back and she'll be better than ever!

This is my own attempt at a retelling of the ThunderCats 2011 show, and it's also my personal playtime in the ThunderCats universe!

This fiction is also part of the Sue Project. For more details, PM me, or check out my profile for a short description.

Additionally, the old version of FOTE can be found on Archive of Our Own, under my old moniker, Resonant Echoes.

Warnings are as listed:

• Slight AU so I can twist the show into a second season.

• The Sue Project

• POV is from my OC, Echo.

So, Slight AU, OC-Centric, and it's part of the Sue Project. I think that about covers it.

Warnings: Absolutely none for the time being. Besides the fact that I'm going into this without a beta reader. Feel free to point out if there's anything I missed.

She had something to do.

Don't leave me.

She remembered that now. . .

Don't make me go through this.

But what?

I'm so scared. My hands are shaking, my mouth is dry, and I'm crying. I haven't cried since I was four.

It was important.

Vitally important — she knew that much. But what was it?

I just want to say. . .

I'm so, so sorry.

Idly, she felt a wetness on her cheeks, and a moment later, she realized she was crying. She brought a hand up to her face and swiped. Her skin was soaked. My hand feels so rough. She peered down and saw bandages, filthy and ragged, covering the entirety of her arm. A quick glance proved that her other arm was in the same condition.

Blood stains, brown and old, stood out to her.

As if they had been noticed, her wounds flared to life, and pain jolted through her. Hissing in agony, she came to a standstill — and discovered she'd been walking.

I. . . I don't even remember.

She tried to recall how she'd come to walk, where she had even been walking from. She stood there, pain coursing through her body, and reached into her mind. Memories flitted to and fro, tantalizing and promising answers. She tried to grasp them, but they danced out of her hold, swinging out on the edges of her consciousness, teasing her. They bounded over the ledge, threatening to be forgotten forever.

The prospect terrified her. If she didn't remember anything, she'd be an empty husk.

She started walking again, shambling forward as she chased after the memoirs of her past. She needed answers. Her feet were calloused, bare, and sore, disgusting bandages barely covering her feet and serving only as impromptu sandals.

Her extremities were cracked, swollen, and bloody. Just remembering their discomfort caused her entire body to flare up in a harsh jolt of agony.

She glanced up to find a memory darting at her, and before it could dance away, she snatched at it, grabbing the tail end-

The world around her spun in a dizzying array of colors and shapes. Nausea swirled in her stomach, and she stumbled forward, wishing desperately for it to stop

There. A flash of red.

She staggered after it, breath rasping in her throat as she gave chase. That fiery blotch of red would lead her to the answers. She was absolutely certain of it. She got close and stretched a hand out, wanting to catch that ember of color in her hand—

And that swatch of red exploded. Flames licked the air around her, and she staggered backward, eyes flickering in rapidly. Screams bombarded her, making her ears ring. Tears streamed down her face as fear and desperation clogged her throat. She stepped backward, wanting to run. . . but there was nowhere to go.

"T-This isn't happening." A sound escaped from her, a combination between a sob and a hysterical laugh.

". . . isn't happening. . ."

"S-Stop it. Stop!"

". . . stop. . ."

Gold sparked to life in front of her, and two eyes locked onto her and narrowed, blazing with determination. That ugly sound escaped her again, mutating into a bitter, disbelieving hiccup. Her heart felt like it was going to explode in her chest-

And her back hit a wall.

Dead end.

Her eyes widened in horror as reality set in."Why are you doing this? Please. . . please stop." The words were a choked whisper as she stared at her end.

". . . please. . ."

A flash of silver streaked down to greet her, and she screamed, finally unleashing the full brunt of her fear and terror—

Something stepped into her path, and she collided with it.

She stumbled, arms wheeling for balance, but her attempts were futile. The ground eagerly rushed up to meet her a second later, unyielding to her battered body. She blinked stupidly, looking for the flames, the blood, the golden eyes - but they were all gone. She almost made a sharp sound of exasperation as the memory darted out of her grasp, joining the others in a cloud of swirling emotions and the abyss.

She stared down bleakly and found she was resting on a dirty rock surface. A road. I'm sitting on a road. . . But I don't remember being on a road.

Images flashed through her mind. She recalled greenery rushing by her as she ran, air burning in her throat, stomach churning, and the hot sting of blood running down her skin. She hadn't stopped running for days, it had seemed. A driving need had propelled her, forcing her to run faster, refusing to let her rest. She'd had to. . . what? What was I supposed to do?

The images left her as soon as they'd come, and she stared at her bandaged hands, trying to discern what it all meant. More frustration swamped through her as she reached for the cloud again, trying to get a firmer grasp on them. Slowly, she got to her feet, making her way forward again. She had to understand what she'd been running from, what she had needed to find. It had been a matter of life and death—

"Move it!" A harsh voice barked. A foot planted itself into her back, throwing her body forward.

Her hands and knees jarred into the road, and the pain that flared through her firmly rooted her back into the present moment. She sucked noisy breaths through clenched teeth as she tried to get her agony under control. Vaguely, she heard someone make a curious noise, and a moment later, they uttered a small gasp of surprise.

She craned her neck back. Standing in front of her was a dog. He'd been the one to kick her.

The dog took a step back in shock.

"The rot! It's got the rot!"

The noise of the busy street silenced instantly, and she turned her head. All around her, animals spread, staring at her with their slitted eyes in a mixture of weariness and anger. They regarded her as though she were a freak - a threat. They all believed she had the rot, she mused, a disease that made an animal lose the fur from their body. Almost as bad as leprosy back in the day. . .

How did I know that?

The animals began to whisper and stare, and unease wove through her. She had to get back up to her feet and star moving again. It wasn't safe to stay there any longer. She pushed herself, forcing her body to stand on weak legs that wobbled and threatened to give out. She stretched a hand out, attempting to steady herself on a steady surface, but another hand slapped hers away.

She caught the briefest glimpse of something silver and sharp, and fear flooded through her. They'd come back. They were here to finish what they started.

The dog growled at her.

"Get out of here!"

The crowd around her spun in another nauseous swirl of color, but she could see silver glinting everywhere she looked. They had weapons. The animals were going to kill her. She had to run, escape to somewhere safe. she took a staggering step backward, and then another, before she flung herself around and started to scamper away.

She could barely manage a jog. Two steps in, and her head began to throb, and her vision grew blurry around the edges.

She thought she heard the dog giving chase. She swore she could hear his footsteps following her, his voice yelling at her. Reality flickered at the edges, and she was running through places she didn't know. Blood and screams and flames ghosted to life around her, making her head ache as she tried to figure out what was real and what wasn't.

The streets quickly grew cramped and crowded once more, and she plunged into the crowd, desperate to lose her follower. She shoved her way through the throng of people, gasping for breath as she tried to shoulder her way through the animals.

It proved too noisy, and too much for her.

Animals began to jostle her in turn, not seeming to care for the small person ducking about in their midst. She was glad for every elbow and foot that jarred into her — it helped to push away the blood and the fire. The sights and sounds began to overwhelm her, so she wearily looked for an escape.

She found one quickly, just to her left, where a small, dirty alley opened up. She forced herself over to it, finally managing to squeeze herself out of the crowd. It was shaded and quiet, a safe haven from the broken reality in the city behind her.

She dragged in deep lungfuls of air as she stumbled through the alley, hands trailing along the wall beside her. Her left leg went numb, nerves suddenly ceasing functioning. She fell into the wall, using it to support herself, and. . . oh. . . oh it was cold.

She pressed her cheek against it, grateful for the chill.

A horrendous fever began to burn inside of her, making that cold wall all the more appealing. She slid down, spreading her arms so she could hug the wall and press every available inch of her skin to it. Strength fled her as she lost the will to stand. In the back of her mind, she heard the screams growing dimmer, and the flames just grew hotter.

That need inside of her roared to life, kicking and screaming, pounding and beating in her head. . . but the urge to sleep was too strong to ignore.

She heard a rustle, and looked for the source of the noise, groaning at the loss of the cold. At the opening of the alley, she could see a figure walking towards her, light silhouetting them. Their footsteps were nearly silent as they drew closer.

The dog. It has to be.

Please, please. . .please leave me alone. I haven't done anything.

Tears pricked her eyes as she tilted her neck back and made contact with a pair of golden, slitted eyes. Silence rang between them, but with every passing second, her strength fled her a little more. The fire licked against her, burning her skin. She did the only thing she could do.

She gave up.

She slumped down, darkness beginning to cobweb her vision.

Those golden eyes loomed over her, and she felt tears crawling down her face as silver and red and gold blended together.

She openly willed for the blackness to overtake her. She was tired of reality.

Unconsciousness wrapped itself around her a moment later, promising her peace.