1 The Fall

Someone once said, "The essence of beauty is unity in diversity." Well, at least I think that's how it went.

My point is, you're about to start a story of an already diverse planet becoming over-diversified. See, growing up, my grandmother used to tell me stories of Samurai, Knights, Witches, and other things people would have thought could never exist. It turns out all the stories I heard were true; one by one, they all started becoming a reality.

Samurais have been around for a while as honorable warriors. By the 12th century, they began to rise to power, ultimately becoming a more pivotal force. The Samurais formed clans and villages, and leaders known as Daimyos got assigned to each one. Over time though, they would take over a great deal of the Asian continent.

Knights, on the other hand, have been around since medieval times. They have evolved their technologies in ways we could never have imagined throughout the decades, and their government rules over parts of Europe.

Lastly, there were witches. Grandma had a lot to say about them. We used to have witches living among us in the past, but after the 1960s witch trials, where any suspected witch was hanged and then burned at the stake, the practice of magic was outlawed. Those that still practiced it decided it'd be best to blend into society. No one has seen them since.

But I'm getting a little too ahead of myself. That will come in time, but first comes the story of how the fate of this planet, and my life, utterly changed.

My name is Lilith Hirsch, and I'm a freshman in college. I live in the western region of a country called The United Nations, in the city of Nebbia. Our planet is known as Terra; the year is 2133. We live in an age where a new race known as 'Skyborn' attempts to find their place in a world that was just about to experience peace.

The date was August 14th, 2115, the day I was born. I remember this story the most because of two events. It was on that day that the superpowers of the world finally signed a peace treaty ending the conflict between the United Dynasty (China), United Federation (Russia), United Empire (Europe), United Republic (India), and the United Nations (USA). Everyone was glued to the TV that day. Then, the second event happened just minutes after the treaty was signed. The skies were eclipsed by an array of many colors as if the northern lights themselves spread throughout the whole planet.

My mother was giving birth as it happened. At first, she didn't realize that the pretty lights were a sign of looming danger but then beaming, fluorescent orbs started falling from the heavens. Any hope of surviving died at that moment, even before I got to experience life. Or so my parents thought.

While falling, the comets had touched nothing. The way Grandma explained it, each comet acted as if they were guided down deliberately, missing everything and everyone on purpose for a safe landing. Even more surprisingly, those who looked closely at them after Impact say the comets didn't touch the ground. They say the comets were floating idly until suddenly evaporating and surrounding the area in the same colorful radiance that once covered the sky.

That's when all the disturbing stuff started happening. My Grandma told me that a couple of days later, strange things began to be reported worldwide. People called hospitals saying their family, friends, and even children were exhibiting weird symptoms; others told the authorities that terrorists were attacking. Words like horns, fangs, fire, and explosions were being used. Healers and Blue Guards, the UN's doctors and law enforcement respectively, didn't know what to make of it.

These strange occurrences would eventually strike close to home, and about six months after I was born, I was affected by whatever was released into the air that day. I fell into a coma, changing my once dark brown eyes to blue as clear as the ocean, and my jet-black hair became as white as snow. Surprisingly, that's as far as my mutation went, but it was enough for me to fear future anomalies.

Around that same time, the government found their first big break. They received a report from healers of a woman who had given birth to a baby boy. Strangely enough, she had not been pregnant before that day. The boy was the first infant to display 100% change in its genetic makeup compared to others who were partly changed.

The mother died in a span of a few days after giving birth to him. Before the Blue Guards could make a move, the government stepped in and took the child and the mother's body into custody.

Eventually, the public received word that the lights in the skies were the origin of the deformity in the human gene, causing abilities and physical mutations to develop. As if things weren't already bad, they discovered unborn children displaying mutations within the womb. Unlike the other boy, they were only partially mutated, while the mothers were pregnant beforehand and survived the pregnancies.

The government tried to keep the global pandemic contained but to no avail. So, to distinguish humans from those who were mutated, they christen those who were different "Skyborn." Soon branding the ones captured and those that came willingly with a pentagram on their wrist. Those with the mark got registered under the Sky Registration Act (SRA).

As a condition of getting authorization for school, work, etc., those listed under the SRA must disclose what they are and undergo basic testing. As a result, they are bound to resign from their powers unless they acquire a permit explaining where and why they will be used.

Time passed; prejudicial attitudes arose. Bigotry, paranoia, and xenophobia began setting in; this hatred was directed towards the new breeds. The Skyborn were not in favor of the bill; most had to live in hiding of what they were, while others had no choice but to abide by the law.

Those who could blend in with the humans without registering under the SRA and kept their powers hidden. At the same time, others with more physical mutations would have to either register or live in the shadows for the rest of their lives. From that day forward, our world would begin a new era. One that I thought would never turn out as it did.

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