Chapter One: Oh Friend Mine

"No, no please!"

A gunshot rang through the clearing, quickly followed by the sound of a body impacting the grassy ground below. The long shadow of the body from a setting sun stretching across the relatively flat ground, as if reaching out in one last attempt at seeking help from those that could never provide it.

"Let this be a lesson to those that break… my laws."

The crowd of people all stare back up to the warlord in stunned silence. They all knew what had happened, why the man was dead.

It was one of the scouts this time. He was sprinting back into the town only moments prior, yelling about something before he tried to steal an entire pack of food from the stores and make a break for it. A fool, as only the warlord and his light-bearing 'enforcers' were allowed to distribute any food how they saw fit.

The warlord walked among the crowd, idly touching some of the people there who flinched back in discomfort but dared not move away for fear of retaliation.

"If I find out any of you were co-conspirators in this treason… I will be avenged." He announced, his dark eyes running over the crowd at the following silence. "Get back to work."

With that, the warlord stepped into the only building in the village that was made out of more than sticks and tarps.

"Come now Brynden, let's go home."

Turning to his mother, the young boy nodded. Giving one last glance to the dead man in the clearing, he turned away. After all, this was just a fact of life around here. You either followed the warlord's commands…

Shaking his head to rid himself of those thoughts, he began to run to catch up with his mother.

Curling up in a damp dark cave deep in the forest, the young Ahamkara shivered as the chill of night caught up with her.

She was alone, she knew that. Her siblings' eggs were shattered, her mother slaughtered by the six-legged-spider-people. Her body desiccated, torn to shreds and her bones scattered to become trophies in front of her as she cowered in the corner of her old home.

What it was that could bring down such a mighty being such as her mother, the young Ahamkara knew not. All she knew now was that she needed to find a way to shield herself from the danger… grow stronger to defend herself… survive.

Slithering along the damp muddy ground, she did her best to find shelter. After all, she couldn't grow stronger if she froze to death.

Finding a cave in her search, she listened closely for danger. Finding nothing, she began to examine her new temporary den.

She was weak, small, and powerless at the moment, but she would find one that would make use of her… talents. If she could find someone willing in mind to use… one who would be seduced by her wish-magic, she could survive, she could grow strong…

Finding a small rodent, she used her claws to catch the creature for a quick bite to eat. Crunching the bones of the small creature, she curled up in the corner of the cave. With her belly full and her need for shelter satisfied, she closed her eyes.

I will survive, no matter what.

Stirring the small bowl of soup in front of him halfheartedly, the boy thought of what he saw today.

There has to be more than just this…

Their life here had been much the same his whole life. The warlord didn't seem to age like the rest of them, remaining as strong as a god, wielding magics that seemed impossible.

Seeing his mother sitting down in the chair in front of him, the boy shifted before looking back to his food. It honestly didn't look appetizing at all, but he knew this was all he was getting for the day.

"Is something wrong Bryn?"

Looking back up to his mother, he shook his head even as he took a bite of the cold noodles. There was a silence between the two, allowing him to collect his thoughts before changing his mind about voicing his thoughts.

"Why do we stay here?"

His mother seemed to fully understand what he meant, her features becoming soft for only a moment.

"We stay because we must. There is nothing out there for us Bryn." Standing, she made her way around the table before placing a hand on his shoulder. "The world is a cold, unforgiving place. The warlord protects us from what's out there."

Finding a bit of bravery, he decided to voice something he overheard from someone at the food lines not too long ago.

"I heard there is a safe city somewhere out there… one where the warlords can't touch us… Why can't we go there?"

Shaking her head, his mother nudged his bowl with her hand before walking away, ducking under one of the cloth tarps that separated the three 'rooms' of their home.

"A child's dream Bryn, nothing more. Eat your food and get some rest."

Sighing, the boy glanced back down to the soup. Raising another spoonful to his mouth, unsatisfied. He knew, just knew, that there was another way. A better way…

Thoughts like that will get me killed… Just like father.

Gunshots. Shouts. Explosions. Screams.

What? What's going on?

Scrambling out of his sleeping bag, the boy frantically put on his furs and boots. The smell of gunpowder, ash, and ozone attacked his nose, causing him to stumble in his hasty attempts to ready himself for whatever it was.

Finally clear, he brushed the cloth that separated his sleeping area from the main tent, he saw his mother peeking out of the entrance.

"Mom, what is going on?"

His mother looked back, fear clear in her eyes.

"It's the fallen, they have finally come for us!"

Eyes wide, he made his way to the entrance to the tent, only to see what could only be described as utter chaos.

A battle of proportions that the young boy could not fully comprehend was happening in front of him. Four armed creatures, fallen his mind provided, were ripping and tearing their way through the tent city. The creatures told by his mother to scare him into remaining obedient were now here.

And they were winning.

Watching as one of the light bearer's small floating machines was ripped into with tooth and claw, torn to shreds, and the warlord's enforcer quickly following, the boy quickly realized that he was going to die.

If the warlord's men can't do anything, what can I do?!

Petrified, the boy could only feel as his breath sped up in his chest. Two firm hands grasped his shoulders and shook him back into reality.

"-ynden, do you understand?!"

Blinking as his mother's angry face became more focused, the boy shook his head. Clearly angry, but not at him, his mom placed something into his chest.

"You take that, and follow me closely. We are running into the woods. Do not turn around for anything, do you understand me?"

Looking down, the boy grasped the weapon his mother had somehow acquired. It was a strange thing, one he didn't know how to properly use, but he had seen enough executions to understand the basic idea behind it.

Turning back outside, his mother grasped his shoulders as she led him toward the forest edge. Somehow, even through the chaos of the battle around them, they made it. The looming trees and the foreboding darkness of the forest made him hesitate for a moment, a fatal moment. Hearing a roar behind him, he did the one thing his mother told him not to.

He turned around.

Watching in stunned horror as one of the towering creatures sprinted at them, spear in hand, the boy could do nothing. Moment by moment, the monster's glowing four blue eyes inched closer, time seemingly slowing down as he stood there paralyzed in fear.

"No!"

Throwing herself at the creature, the boy was forced to watch as his mother was impaled on the electric blade of the creature, stopping the blade just short of his chest.

"The gun!" His mother yelled somehow through the pain of being impaled.

With adrenaline rushing through his body, a shaky hand raised the revolver to the creature's face and pulled the trigger.

The two collapsed in front of him, one clearly dead, with the other dying. Lying in the dirt, his mother could only raise a hand and point into the forest. Before her eyes glazed over and she was no more.

Hearing an explosion in the tent city rock the ground, he knew he didn't have time to mourn at the moment. His quick glance saw that there were ships, carrying hundreds of the creatures into the village. He needed to run, he needed to get away. Right now!

Through blurry eyes from tears he couldn't hold back, he ran. He ran from the only safety he knew, the only life he knew. He ran until the night became dark and snow began to fall. He ran until his ragged gasping breaths were the only thing in his mind. He ran until his legs couldn't carry him anymore, and then he found a cave and collapsed.

With the fear of the aliens behind him for the moment, the dam broke, and he began uncontrollably crying into his furs. He was well and truly alone now, no family, no friends, no protection, and no food.

He didn't have the power, or the protection, of the warlords. He didn't have the numbers or ferocity of the monstrous aliens. He had nothing.

Even as his sobs turned into hyperventilating and then to groans of despair, he only had one thought.

I'm dead, my stomach just hasn't gotten the memo yet...

The young Ahamkara was surprised when she was disturbed from her slumber by a most unexpected sound.

Crying?

Peeking her head up over a small rock, the cat-sized dragon tilted her head in confusion as to what she saw. Before her was a human clad in brown furs, curled up on the ground in the cave she found herself in.

What's this?

Unwilling to risk revealing herself, she just sat still and watched. This human youngling was armed, and that fact alone made it dangerous to the young Ahamkara. However the emotional distress this youngling was displaying presented a… unique opportunity.

Shifting herself to be camouflaged with the ground, she finally spoke up.

"Why do you cry, little human?"

Startled, the little man spun around, shaking gun in hand aiming at the rocky wall above her.

"Stay back! I have a gun!" The human yelled, causing the little dragon to give him a deadpan stare from her camouflaged spot on the ground.

"… Clearly."

Silence came and went between them, the young man finally realizing that there was nothing he could see behind him. Panic growing in his eyes, he began to glance towards his exit.

Unwilling to let this opportunity leave, the young wish-dragon spoke up again.

"You need not be afraid of me."

The human grunted, unconvinced.

"Someone who hides, saying I don't need to be scared?" He said, gripping his weapon tightly but dripping it down to his side. "You want some trust, show yourself!"

After a short internal debate in her mind, she went over the pros and cons of doing just that. Eventually coming to the realization that this human was her best bet at survival, she closed her eyes and focused.

Picking a form that would most likely cause the least alarm, the small Ahamkara chose a deep red scale cover, with ocean blue eyes. Folded wings upon her back, she stood up, staring defiantly up into the human's own shocked eyes.

And it was up, as the human was much bigger than her right now. Sadly, that made it to where her motion, in the darkness of the cave, was completely unnoticed

"Down here."

Finally seeing her, the human seemed to be confused for a moment. His only response was a stunned, "Y-you?"

Sitting back into the dirt, the cat-sized ahamkara nodded.

The human seemed to relax a bit at her response, slumping back into the dirt.

"I almost thought you were one of the monsters…"

Cautiously making her way over to the human, she sat down next to his arm, choosing the one with the gun incase she needed to bite his fingers off to protect herself.

"The monsters?"

The human leaned back, staring out into the snowy expanse outside the cave.

"Yeah… the fallen. They just raided my village…" The boy grew silent, before he continued, softer this time. "They killed my mom… They killed everyone."

Feeling some small bit of empathy with this human, she decided to share her own experience.

"My old den was attacked tonight too… Four-armed people ripped my mother to shreds for her scales and bones…"

The human looked down wide eyed toward her, an emotion she didn't quite recognize crossing the boy's strange face. It wasn't long before he did something, something she didn't expect.

Reaching over, he placed a hand on her head.

What the?!

Flailing in the dirt to get away from the attack, she planted her front paws closer to the ground and backed up hastily. Snapping her jaws threateningly, she growled at the human.

"Woah! Hold on, I was just trying to… comfort you?" The human said, hands outstretched disarmingly and his weapon long forgotten in the dirt.

Blinking, she studied him closely but found no deceit. Calming down, she opted to stay where she was.

Sighing, the two fell into a silence before the boy broke it.

"I'm sorry… It looks like both of us lost everything tonight."

Knowing she was alone as she was, she couldn't help but agree with the boy. With no other option, she decided to finally cut the small talk and get to business. Opting to appeal to the boy's sense of innocence, she walked in a way that could be considered slithering back toward the human's side.

"Perhaps, perhaps not."

Seeing the human look down to her, his brows furrowed in confusion, she decided to make her deal.

"I am a wish-dragon. I can grant you any of your desires…" She said, doing her best impression of her mother when she granted a vagabond's request not three weeks prior. "You need only ask, and I shall grant you what you seek."

The boy seemed confused, almost disbelieving, only responding with a glance and a quick, "Yeah right."

She kept his gaze, allowing a bit of her inherit will over the world to seep into his mind. She knew he felt it, and slowly his disbelief turned to stunned silence…

And then contemplation.

She saw, and felt, the boy's desires. He wished for so, so much, but she waited. While she could grant those desires now, before he spoke, she wanted to be polite.

After all, if I grant one, why wouldn't he come back for more?

A long period of silence between the two before he sighed but turned to the snowy landscape around them.

"I… I could wish for my mother back… but I feel it's wrong to disturb the dead… What if she comes back, and she's like the warlord? I can't do that to her..."

Watching him closely, she felt her muscles want to wriggle with delight. She was about to grant her first wish, and she would be damned if she would hesitate at the chance! This silly human didn't know the cost, and she would use him for her own gain in only an instant, leaving him none the wiser!

"I could wish for food, but that would only get me so much…"

Licking her lips, she was ready but impatient. She wanted this done now.

"I suppose I could wish I had power... Be as strong as the warlords…"

She felt his desire, and knew she could do something like what he was imagining, but his mind shook it off when he finally came to a decision.

His resolve came quickly, almost instantly when he took a quick glance down at her. Smiling without hesitation, he spoke up without a second thought.

"I wish you were my friend."

She didn't think of the implications, didn't hesitate like she should have. She didn't have the experience manipulating her magic, nor did she have the foresight to understand what it was she was doing. Her mind on a hair trigger, her instincts flaring to life, and her desire overwhelming common sense, she granted his desire.

And in that moment, she made both the biggest mistake of her life, and the best decision she could have ever made.

"After all, I wouldn't want to die out here alone. Think you could do that?"

Brynden felt something, like a whisper lost in the wind of the forest snow. It was strange, he felt like something happened, but he didn't really know what.

"Your wish is granted, oh friend mine."

Looking back down to the soft blue eyes of the little winged lizard, he saw as she was giving him a strange fang-filled smile. It looked silly, and despite the trauma that the day came with, he couldn't help but laugh. The sound was reciprocated by his new strange companion in the form of rasping growls, causing the two to erupt in even more laughter.

Wiping a tear from his eye, one not brought on by sadness, but by joy, he leaned back only to find his lizard companion curled up against his leg. The two sat there for a long moment before his little lizard friend curled up on his leg, clearly wanting to keep warm from the cold.

"You know…" His forest lizard companion spoke up, drawing his attention.

Glancing down to his new friend, he placed a hand on the lizard again, expecting a similar reaction, but this time she only opened a sleepy eye in his direction.

"You aren't limited to just one wish."

Blinking, the boy laughed again, truly believing that this whole 'wish-dragon' thing was just a means of hopeful thinking.

"Well, I suppose I'll have to sleep on it then."

Hearing a grunt, the little lizard closed her eyes and took in a deep breath, clearly relaxing for sleep.

Leaning back, he bunched up the hood of his furs to form a makeshift pillow. Closing his own eyes, he began to relax with the weight of his companion close at his side. Before he could drift off, he had only one more question for her.

"My name's Brynden… What's yours?"

Shifting a bit again, she mumbled out a quick, "Illuyana."

And with that, the two drifted off into slumber, finding a bit of peace nestled in the safety of that small cave within the forest.

-Author's Note-

Hello everyone, guess who wanted to write a new fic?

Me.

I've found a dead spot in my creativity when it came to my other stories, with my profile giving most of the details on them at the time of writing. However, someone convinced me to continue writing. Going over everything in my mind, I tried to think of my favorite things.

Dragons, magic, fantasy, sci-fi, and video games.

Hey look, have a magic space dragon in a sci-fi environment of a game I play and enjoy. *brain explosion*

If you are a reader of my other stories, and don't know the lore for Destiny, don't worry. This is set during the warlord era, and will stretch into the games giving full context. You really shouldn't need much context to fully understand it.

After all, it is a story worth telling, oh reader mine.

If anyone wants to try and draw a cover art for this, or any of my other stories, hit me up on a PM. I'm far too cheap to pay for a commission, and would much rather rely on fanart, if any shows up in the future. :D

As for the story itself, thank you to everyone who bothered to click on it. I hope I can give you a good story worth reading. Please review, and if you enjoy it, consider giving the story a follow and a favorite!