Prologue

She fell. Like a falling star, she plummeted from the sky. From beyond the sky. A new sensation gripped her: pain. But she didn’t cry out. Nor did she did struggle against the agony. Even as her bones solidified and snapped into place, and every fiber of sinew gripped the bone, she accepted the pain. An unfamiliar thumping beat the inside of her chest. Hot blood flowed like lava through her newly formed veins. For a brief moment she could feel her wings. They were powerful and fully realized, with brilliant white feathers and a span too wide to measure.

Then they burst into flame.

It started small, at the pollex, but spread until it engulfed the entire wing. She watched tearfully as each feather wilted and the whole of her wings curled up, turned to ash, and then disintegrated.

“No,” she said; more a whimper, uttered by vocal cords that she hadn’t previously possessed.

What was she without wings?

Her wings had carried her through the Celestial realm. With them, she had traversed the limits of the Celestial Plane. They had been a symbol of her status and power. They were more than just a part of her, they were who she was. And now they were gone. Forever. The pain of loss pierced her very essence.

She jolted from the impact of penetrating Earth’s atmosphere. The speed of her descent increased as her body rived the clouds. The air tore at her skin. Her bosom heaved up and down, begging to breathe in some of the air that ripped at her. The fire dissipated and now she felt nothing but the cold. So cold. So lonely. She looked over her shoulder and saw the ground getting closer, and closer. Earth, with its lush, green pastures; bright, shining sun; crisp, blue oceans; and majestic mountains, was nothing but an arid wasteland compared to the home that she knew. She closed her eyes and resigned herself to her fate.

She deserved this.

She had failed her mission.

She had failed everyone.

She hoped the impact would destroy her; end her pain; erase her shame.

But she knew that there was no hope for her.

No solace, no clemency.

She hurdled towards the earth, feeling it growing closer.

And closer.

And closer.

Then she felt nothing.

 

That was nine hundred ninety-eight years ago.

 

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