A/N: Truthfully, I got bored and wanted to do something fun for a change. This idea has always been on my mind, but I decided to start it just to get my foot in the door before anyone else used it. As with most other things, I might continue it. Though, I'm also contemplating a story about Nyra (her origins, more specifically). Take that with a grain of salt, I'm more likely to get distracted with the new Ace Combat 7 DLC coming out soon anyhow.
Obviously this story isn't based on canon, as such, events may play out differently for plot purposes. I think it should still prove to be an interesting concept. It isn't too outlandish either, or at least, I don't think so.
Anyways, review if you think this story is worthwhile to expand upon. Otherwise, here's something for you all to read, as I know this archive doesn't get much activity. Take care.
A uniquely Tyto screech filled the dry summer air above Ambala. Upon hearing it, a respectively young female barn owl flew to her designated position without delay. Perching on an exterior branch near the center of the tree, she paid little attention to the raging fire several trees behind her. She did little more than inhale a final breath of fresh air, ever aware that soon she'll be inhaling small quantities of rising smoke until her 'rescue'.
Those Guardian colliers sure do act quickly. She mused. It hasn't even been a full night since the fire was created and they're already here. Predictable, but at least it'll make my job even easier.
Waiting expectantly, she bided her time by idly preening a few token unkempt feathers around her otherwise majestic form. While she knew by the end of this encounter her plumage would be covered in soot, she wanted to look her best before her pivotal encounter.
She had spent many moons preparing for this exact moment. It was her destiny to take part in this grand endeavor, one that has been in the making long before she was even born. The true scale of this operation has always been made evidently clear to her from the start, but now she was truly beginning to realize just how significant her duty was.
Born during the turbulent times just after the Siege of Ga'Hoole. Her parents had been members of the infamous Tytonic Union of the Pure Ones. Prior to the parent's recruitment, they had been a relatively well-informed pair, knowing all of the legends regarding Ga'Hoole. However, the loss of their first clutch of eggs to St. Aegolius and Guardian inaction caused them to find refugee in the open wings of the Pure Ones.
She was created during the ecstasy of the expected Pure One victory over the Guardians of Ga'Hoole. But, as fate would have it, the Pure Ones were undone by it and put on the defensive. Regardless, she was born after that period, and raised to the standards of any other Pure One.
It was during this time that the a plan was hatched by both her parents and Pure One leaders. To have a member of the organization infiltrate the Great Tree and carry out a wide range of assignments. With the most preferred course of action being the assassination of a variety of high-value targets, especially the leader of the renown Chaw of Chaws, Soren.
Several owls were selected for the task, but in the end the honor was given solely to her. She would spend most of her lifetime training for the operation, being taught to memorize the legends her parents knew. In addition, a former Pure One infiltrator, Ginger, provided her with a variety of tips and advice to make her insertion even more likely to succeed. All of this was done while being indoctrinated into believing the superiority of the Tyto genus.
Circumstances, however, proved to complicate things. The Pure Ones were all but destroyed during the final Battle at St. Aegolius. She, along with a few of her comrades, managed to escape unscahted. But her parents never returned to her, having been slain by the evil alliance between Ga'Hoole and St. Aegolius. Ginger also disappeared before her training was completed. The prospects for success quickly diminished.
It was expected the infiltration mission would be called off, as the Pure Ones had little power to act on anything. But despite this, an opportunity arose from the disastrous defeat, one she and her comrades were quick to exploit: complacency.
The Guardians would not be as concerned about infiltrators as before. This is due to the fact they believe the Pure Ones have been all but eradicated. Nothing could be further from the truth, however.
While this opening was to be utilized. The initial ambitious plans were wavered off in favor of more simple and conservative gains. She was simply to be the eyes and ears of the Pure Ones, but should further opportunity arise, it would be left to her to act on it.
The plans were set in motion for a short-while now. She moved to the Forest Kingdom of Ambala as the first stage of the operation. She would learn of the wind patterns there, the lifestyle, and get to know the inhabitants to have a better idea on how to act before encountering the Guardians. Doing this would provide her an alibi should she be interrogated, her origins wouldn't be easy to discern by doing this.
Next, when everything was ready, Pure One operatives used stolen rogue smith embers to start a wildfire near her general vicinity. A wildfire would quickly develop and the Guardians could not possibly resist exploiting it, and they would never realize the Pure Ones were behind it.
The Pure Ones have always been aware of this pattern by the Guardians to send colliers to forest fires. Had the organization survived longer, raids would've been done to ambush these predictable groups. But, the Pure Ones were now no longer capable of fighting head-on with their enemy. Instead, they've returned to their strongest state of hiding and doing subversive actions behind the scenes.
Upon getting the signal from a Pure One observer, warning her of approaching Guardian colliers, she was ready to execute. Now alone, here she was, standing in the path of a deadly forest fire. Waiting for the Guardians to come to her. Everything was going to plan.
Having waited around a minute. She was prepared to start the act and draw the Guardians to her specifically. Manipulating her senses into becoming suddenly fearful, she entered the right state of mind for the task. Clearing her throat, she desperately called for help. The subterfuge was expected to draw them in quickly.
"Help! Somebody! Help me! Please!"
Only the crackling of fir and pine wood being burned filled her ear silts. Moments passed, and nothing seemed to answer her cries for help. She suddenly tense upon an unexpected miscalculation.
Glaux, I forgot they might not have any Tytos with them. What if they can't hear me over this raging inferno? What will I do then?
"Is there anyone out there!? Please! I need help! I don't think I can fly in this!"
In truth, she had practiced flying around fires during her training. She did not have the experience or knowledge to fly inside of a forest fire, however, like the colliers could. The air patterns were too unpredictable, but she had expected the Guardians to rescue her long before that became a problem.
She flicked her head towards several different directions, desperately looking for any owls in sight. The prospect of failure made her artificial concern turn genuine. The fire was now only one tree away. She could feel the heated air around her rising quickly. If there was a moment to escape, now would be the time.
No, I must do this. The future of my kind depends on it. My parent's deaths will not be in vain!
Resorting to her primal instincts. She gave a long, desperate shriek. When nothing happened, she tried again. Realizing the Guardians were likely not coming, she began to consider her other options.
Suddenly, one of her kind suddenly came into view and alighted on the same branch she was perched on. It was a seasoned male barn owl. The nicks and scars all over his body gave her the impression it was a fellow Pure One trying to convince her to cut their losses. She also realized there was an off-chance this was actually a Guardian, or, the Guardians were nearby. Whatever the case may be, she wasn't ready to have her cover blown just yet.
"No! Get away from me! You're a Pure One! I will never join your cause, never!"
She mustered the rage boiling within and became suddenly defensive. Adopting a threat display, she backed away slowly towards the base of the tree, eyes conveying both fear and aggression. The male seemed stunned by this, confused why she would still believe the Pure Ones were around, what's more, believe he was one. He shook off his initial shock and tried to reason with her.
"What? No, I'm not a Pure One! I'm a Guardian, a Guardian of Ga'Hoole! I'm trying to rescue you!"
She knew right away that he meant what he said. The soft-spoken voice of his proved that much, but merely uttering those words would've been treasonous for any true Pure One. But, committed to the act, she decided to continue her disbelieve. She wanted to leave little doubt in the owl's mind that she was against the Pure Ones.
"How can I trust you? You could be a Pure One saying that just to trick me!"
Again, he didn't know what to say. She was right, if the Pure Ones were still around, what better way to trick an unsuspecting owl by saying they were a Guardian? But there was little else he could do to convince her, and time was running out. The sap from a tree nearby exploded, sending small fragments all over the place. She was still undeterred.
He shook his head quickly, before approaching her slowly. "You're right, I could be a Pure One. But you have to trust me. If we don't fly soon, we both won't escape this fire."
Halving the distance between them, she responded aggressively by leaping towards him, claws drawn. He was forced to hop backwards to avoid the attack, her defiance was only intensified.
"So be it! I would rather die than risk becoming a Pure One! I'm not leaving here until I know for sure you are a Guardian."
He found himself staring in awe at her. Not from his own shock, but the courage she had to defy him even in the most perilous of situations. Any normal owl would give up at this point, but she was committed. Fire was now nearly all around them, chances of escape were quickly diminishing, yet she held her ground. In fact, she was ready to try and fight him off if necessary, a futile task if he had the intent on trying to do her harm. She was, unmistakably, a special owl, one he wanted to ensure had the opportunity to prove herself as a Guardian.
She could see the approval in his eyes. Her defiance had convinced him that she was something more than a mere barn owl. She worried she may have overdone it, as very few owls outside of the Pure Ones or Guardians had this kind of conviction to give their life for or against something. But for now, her actions proved convincing, and she was ready to ask for him to help her escape.
But before she could, he sighed, before closing his eyes and recollecting something deep within his mind. She grew curious, wondering what he was up to.
In one uninterrupted speech, he provided an accurate recitation of the Fire Cycle. Had she not been convinced before, there was no denying the truth now. No Pure One besides a few exceptions would know the Fire Cycle word for word. The choice of which legend to speak of also proved ironic, she had a hard time keeping up her act of being panicked and concerned.
In fact, for a brief moment she dropped the act and responded calmly. "Quite an appropriate choice, considering the situation we're in."
The tone of her response seemed to give him an even better impression of her. Again, they were in the middle of a forest fire, and she sounded to be the least bit bothered by it. But before anything else could be said or done, reality snapped back into focus for the two of them, and they realized just how bad the situation was around them.
The fire hadn't quite reached the tree they were at, but it had spread all around them. The air was confusing and the smoke was thick. She realized that her little act of defiance may have costed them both of their lives.
Oh Glaux, what have I done? There's no way we're escaping this! He might have a chance, but there's no way I'm getting out of this alive.
The male barn owl seemed to have similar thoughts, before turning to her quickly.
"Listen! You're going to follow me and do everything that I do! Every wing motion, tail angle, I want you to imitate all of it! Do you think you can do it?"
She gulped, the risk was still great. But thankfully her time in the Pure Ones made her especially good at imitating movements. Her flight training was structured around a similar basis, which should grant her the ability to do so. But she wanted to ensure that this fact didn't spill out by chance.
"I don't think I have any other choice. I'm ready whenever you are."
He extended his wings out, she imitated. "Okay. On the count of three. One . . . two . . . three!"
Quickly, they were airborne. She only focused on the male, ignoring the chaos occurring all around her. His movements were smooth and easy to imitate, he was a natural flyer, and she had no problem copying them. From sharp turns to flapping, she copied all of them with ease and before she knew it, they escaped the fiery pit of what used to be the section of Ambala she had inhabited for several moons.
With the danger abated. She sighed in relief and flew up beside the experienced male. She wondered why such a fine Tyto would join the Guardians over the Pure Ones. But she casted aside such thoughts for the time being, knowing she was still far from in the clear. He also seemed elated that she had managed to escape unharmed. In fact, he seemed quite impressed with her flying capabilities.
"I don't think I've introduced myself yet, but if you're wondering, my name's Soren."
She nodded normally. Struggling to hide the sudden surge of emotions coursing through her. She very well knew who he was.
"It's nice to meet you, Soren. You can call me Pellimore, or Pelli for short."