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The future is here, and I’m one of the thousands responsible for protecting it. I’m a guardian. I die. I’m reborn. I die again. I’m reborn again. I am like a phoenix, rising from the ashes of my previous life with only one objective: to protect humanity. I must protect humanity from the countless factions of the darkness that wish for nothing more but to see us burn in the fire they leave behind, to feel our skulls crushed between their oversized boots.
Do you know how it feels to die? Do you know how terrifying it is to be destroyed? My day to day life involves me getting shot, blown up, cut in half and facing a million other deaths. It leaves scars even the Ghosts can’t heal. Scars in my mind, numbing me, telling me to run, to live a life on a farm, to raise a family, but I can’t. I was gifted my powers because I care about people too much, because I don’t give up. I don’t even know if I can have children anymore, to pass on my genes with someone I love. Centuries of facing my demise seems like the thing that will have that effect. I don’t age, I don’t get sick, I just fight. This blessing I thought I would never have the privilege to feel has become a curse I must exist with, for the rest of all my lives.
I’ve seen countless friends perish to never return like I have, to the point where I’ll only communicate with my fellow guardians who are struck with the same disability as I have been. Heroes can’t be friends with mortals, not when their lives are torn from us after a short three hundred years. They grow old and tired, I stay young but wise. I understand that I will outlive them by centuries. I struggle to form bonds with someone that can’t create a staff of lightning from their fingertips, forge a hammer of fire in the palm of their hands, to cast a ball of pure dark matter at those who impose a threat upon them.
Then there’s the enemies we face. The ones that aren’t our inner demons or overbearing guilts. Aliens from beyond the stars. A cult-like faction of four-armed creatures, a religion of puss-filled creatures in an armour of what seems like rock, a system of hive-minded robots, a cabal of brutish war-mongering rhinos and a collection of all these combined and consumed by pure darkness. No. That’s not right. Calling the Taken “pure darkness” is not accurate — the purest of darkness is one enemy that is much crueler, much more relentless. It is thirsty for our light. Thirsty for the one thing that keeps us safe.
I am merely one guardian. One of a hundred thousand. I cannot thwart every threat merely by myself. I have infinite lives, but for every time I am resurrected, I grow weaker. I’m getting tired of the fight. I wish to pass on my mantle and hang my sword up, but I don’t know how. I have had a responsibility I did not wish for forced upon me, a burden that I did not choose, nor am I emotionally capable of giving up. I am a guardian. A warrior of the Traveller. I wield the light as a weapon, but I cannot escape the darkness that eats away at me from the inside.