When white feathers, plucked from their maidens fell, when the ruby liquid of my sisters flooded the ground, when squawks and the innocent man called for our death, I knew my war had been lost. For five thousand years we had protected man. Men, those that killed themselves in woe and warred with one another over the death of a single, popular, leader. If only they knew the gates, and the enemy which we kept at bay.

Many names have been given over the years, Oni, Demon, Ifrit, it didn’t matter. They were evil, as decreed by the lord above and his holy guard that brought justice upon the Xenos, and as he created prosperity in our protectorate races, he so created fodder. Fuel for the frontlines that led into the depths on the hell-scape that these unnegotiable creatures spawned. The holy blade upon which I was bestowed, adorned with the glittering gold of my ancestors and the vicious black metal of my fore-bearers tore through invaders, eliminated by my emperor’s command, unknown to the cheering humans that begged for their lives and saw us as purity incarnate. We were no such thing. I watched my sisters choke on their own blood in the lines of duty for an emperor god they had never seen, for a world they had never cared for, for a family a million miles away. Life was cruel, I had decided, and the pain this evil had incurred, as spiteful as I could be, would not befall the poor colonists of the protectorate system.

Not that the skeletal God would care once we returned, his bones rotting to marrow, his metallic furniture callous in the face of his army, in the face of the people he created and once swore to protect at the walls of Jericho, from the Romans to the Byzantines, to the Palestinians that were overrun by the Israelites. His people became lost to him, with each age passing every war, every misused resource he became more and more unfeeling, apathetic, inert.

Still, for the eternal wellbeing of our people, for the will of a bygone age and the pleasure of a heartless ruler, I fight. I slash and stab, ride and scream for the good of the many, and the gratitude of the none. As my sisters fall around me, their birdsongs tumbling down with them, I stand strong, in the hope that one day he would rise from his almighty seat and strike down those who invade, close the portal, and leave those lesser, those vulnerable, to a insignificant yet meaningful life, in their little way, and leave us angelic warriors to our peace, a reward for our endless guardianship.

Though my leader cares no longer, though my superiors feel nothing in the face of oblivion, my blade and my sisters keep my back steady, for the sake of the man on the ground crying

“Oh almighty! Save us!”

I stand tall, my feathers casting the shadow of a pure dove on my followers.

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