Andromeda's Gambit

Disclaimer: I do not own Fairy Tail, or anything associated with it.

Full Summary: Long ago, the fair queen of Fiore, Andromeda, was the destined Guardian of the Celestial Gate. Many centuries later, the story of the Guardians is nothing more than a myth, told to children at bedtime. Lucy Heartfilia is no exception; when she unexpectedly stumbles upon a memory core that destines her as the next Guardian, she has no idea what she's getting herself into. But with the help of a Dragon Rider and his courageous friends, will they be enough to stand between the stability of the realm and chaos?

Prologue: Daughter of Cassiopeia

When I was a child, my mother read me stories about the first queen of Fiore, a beautiful and powerful woman known as Andromeda, from a book called Tales of the First Empire. Many of the stories were historical in nature, but I always figured the majority were just myths and legends. Of course, there was one myth and legend that happened to be my favorite.

When she was born, it was said that Andromeda's mother had been so faithful to the Celestial King that he sent his twelve most trusted ambassadors to bless her with gifts. The ambassadors were the Twelve Keepers of the Zodiac and each blessed Andromeda with great qualities and destined her to be the fairest and greatest queen in history. The Celestial King also designated her to be the protector of the Zodiac Gate that separated the individual realms. On her sixteenth birthday, she inherited the throne from her parents, and became a beloved ruler by her people, and a fearsome enemy by neighboring kingdoms who dared threaten her treasured people.

Unfortunately, as blessed as she was by the Keepers of the Zodiac and Celestial King, she was still a mortal and began to age. When she had celebrated her sixtieth birthday, she could feel her body beginning to grow weary with age, and called her lieutenant and second eldest daughter into her chambers.

"Alexandra," she smiled warmly at her treasured daughter.

"Mother," Alexandra smiled back, bowing.

She took her daughter's hands and led her to a chair, sitting her down and pushing an errant lock of hair behind her daughter's ear. "You grow more beautiful with each day."

"Mother," Alexandra groaned.

"I know, I know, forgive me," she chuckled. "Do you know why I named you 'Alexandra?'"

"It rolls off the tongue," her daughter joked. Andromeda inhaled sharply, squeezing her daughter's hands. Where to begin?

"I was told by a trusted ally you would be a great protector," she explained. "And now it is time for you to fulfill that destiny."

"What do you mean?"

"You are to inherit my title, dear," Andromeda spoke.

"Before Calista?" Alexandra's eyes grew wide. "But Calista is the eldest. The inheritance of the throne passes to her next, she's the crown princess!"

Andromeda shook her head. "No, no… Calista will be queen of Fiore, but you – you will be the Guardian of the Celestial Gate."

"Mother," her daughter gasped. "But, I'm not… you were the one chosen by the Celestial King. And shouldn't Calista inherit that title as protector, too?"

"Calista is wise and fair, but you are strong, courageous, and brave. I have made her my heir to the throne, and you my heir to the guardianship for those specific reasons. I have entrusted what is most sacred to the correct people; she understands this, and so must you," Andromeda began.

"And were I an immortal I would not have to pick an heir, but as it is, I cannot live forever. This body grows weary with each day, and it grows harder and harder each day to hold a sword steady," she said, looking at her slightly trembling hands. "And one day you will know what that is like, and you will have to pick your own heir."

"Don't be so morbid," Alexandra scowled. "You're not anywhere near old yet!"

Andromeda laughed, "Perhaps not, but, I will be soon. And you will know what that's like. It's not morbid to speak of death, Alexandra. It is a part of life. Don't forget, we all have our time to go."

Alexandra nodded, "You're right. My apologies."

"There are many things I must teach you and tell you and explain to you, and we will get to that, but you must always trust in yourself," she said. "Trust in yourself and your allies and you will never go wrong."

Almost thirty-five years later, Andromeda finally died, and it was a sad day in the kingdom of Fiore. Calista, the eldest, became queen, and was a fair ruler in her own right, but Alexandra inherited the title of Guardian of the Celestial Gate. Of course, as time grew on, Alexandra became fully aware she was not able to defend the gate from darkness on her own. In this, she needed faithful allies, and she picked three others she trusted with her life and mission.

Eventually, Alexandra picked her own heir as she began to age, much like her mother did, and so on and so forth, until there was a great presence of Guardians in the entirety of Fiore, sworn to their cause. Guardians were forbidden from speaking of their mission or identity. Today, some claim they are the descendants of Guardians, sworn protectors of this Celestial Gate with their predecessors watching them from the stars and heavens. In truth, most of us consider it a mere legend and nothing to give much attention to.

Little did we know.

Posted: 10/23/2015

A/N: Hi there; yes,this is a very short prologue. But the good news is it comes with chapter 1 also. I expect to be updating this weekly, especially because I have the whole story actually plotted out (surprise), but sometimes school gets the better of me (I'm trying to get into medical school/I'm studying for the MCAT whomp). Anyway, I hope you enjoyed that. I'll try to answer any questions along the way.