Acacia and the Dragons

Acacia and the Dragons

image In almost every reality, amongst every species, from the beginning to the end of time, few tales have caused the imagination to run wild like those of the dragons. Even the children of Xilon throughout the ages clamor to hear stories of the great, majestic beasts. One of the most famous of these legends is the story of Acacia Rhaeticon Isis Geminius and the dragons that she saved from extinction.

Born in the Garden of Isis, a beautiful Acadian village, during the Fusion Aeon, Acacia was discovered as a child to have a rare genetic defect. She had trouble focusing for any length of time and was unable to process information fast enough to keep up with others. She would grow bored very quickly and anxious as a result. If her studies did not involve constant change or motion, her brain would start to shut down, which made it virtually impossible for her to learn in a typical classroom setting, and she was deemed unteachable. Eventually, her mother procured the services of a brilliant up and coming teacher named Janle, who agreed to privately tutor the girl for a time.

The sharp young professor took Acacia under her wing and showed her the facets of all creation, throwing out the usual approach to teaching in favor of ongoing activity, focusing on the development of her imagination. She soon discovered that no matter how distracted Acacia seemed at times, she became attentive whenever the subject of wildlife came up, particularly accounts involving dragons. Janle nursed this passion by using stories of the creatures to teach her student whatever she could, encouraging field trips and short bouts of research to keep the girl both interested and learning. One of the few youths from the central planets to ever have been schooled outside of an official learning center, Acacia grew up with an unmatched affinity for dragons and sought them out both at home and in the farthest reaches of space.

image Acacia was nearly six caearna of age when she returned home from her travels, which she advertised to her parents as "research trips." Along the way, she had adopted some interesting fashions from other species, which her family was not thrilled by; but she had also learned a lot, and although her parents would have preferred for her to have studied a wider range of subjects during her six million year field day, they were happy to see that her passion for something - anything - was burning as bright as ever.

Soon after her return, Acacia took up a position at her family's night garden, working alongside her father to grow the ingredients for some of the most delicious foods that the Xilon worlds had to offer. Although she would have liked to remain amongst the creatures she knew so well, following her father into their family craft was a job that she immensely enjoyed and had a natural talent for. Over the course of several millenia, she was responsible for developing hundreds of new floral species, which came to be in very high demand amongst her kind. As she grew older, she found that her ability to concentrate was growing stronger as well, and eventually managed to settle into a comfortable routine with her family on Acadia Minor.

image One evening, Acacia decided to visit Arkanus Library do some research. She generally avoided reading as a rule, since it took far more concentration than she could handle and often made her sick, but she had recently been missing her days of travel and was aching to learn something new about the beings that she loved so much. She hoped that she might come across some tidbit of information that would inspire her to take new journeys. However, what Acacia learned at the library was much more shocking and disturbing than anything she'd had in mind. Her research revealed that many of the dragon subspecies encountered during her travels had originated on a distant planet in the Silver River galaxy, where the dominant species had once been reptiles but would later become a weak, vile race with little respect for their surroundings. Furthermore, the haughty, self-assuming monkeys had been systematically killing off the dragons from their home world. Genocide was the only word for it.

There were two types of dragons in the universe - civilized and wild. The civilized species were amongst the highest forms of life, not far below the Xilon themselves. The wild species were unevolved beasts that could range from violent and ferocious to harmless, loveable companions. Acacia loved them all and was utterly horrified by the discovery.

Hauling the book straight to the Council, Acacia demanded that the elders take action. She requested their approval to alter the timeline of the planet, but the elders forbade it, claiming that the great lizards had perished in a natural disaster that was meant to happen. It was the order of things and could not be changed. Remnants of their kind, like dragons, would live on for a while until it was their time to go as well. Upon hearing that, Acacia felt an emotion that she had never before experienced...rage. If the dinosaurs had to die, she wanted nothing more than to stop the destructive race that was destined to follow, so that other species might survive in their place. She said as much to the elders, but again, the Council insisted that Earth's timeline was moving forward as it should.

image Not impressed, Acacia was determined to find a way to save the ancestors of her favorite species. She stayed quiet for the moment, however, not wanting to disrupt her family's life with a heated ethics war against the Watchmen. Besides, she wasn't even sure where to begin without altering the general timeline. Further research on her part had confirmed what the coucil had said - Earth would one day fall into the hands of the humans, at some point during the Expansion Era, far before her own lifetime, and shortly afterwards the dragons there would simply cease to be found. So even setting up a sanctuary for them on their homeworld would alter the planet's future. Something had to be done, though, that much she knew. But what option could she possibly find that the elders would agree to? As far as she could tell, they seemed to want Earth left completely alone. They would probably discourage her from going there at all lest she do something to change its predestined path in the heat of the moment.

The situation seemed hopeless, but Acacia's anger kept her returning to the library with uncharacteristic resolve in the hopes of finding a solution. Her efforts finally uncovered an interesting fact; there was no record at all of the last dragon's death. In fact, the remaining Earth dragons seemed to have disappeared overnight. It was the general assumption that they had finally been killed off, and it's true that their numbers had been greatly limited in the years leading up to that point, but by all accounts, one day dragons had existed - albeit barely - and the next they all seemed to be gone. Acacia believed that there was a great possibility that they had been moved rather than extinguished, and that she may have been the one responsible for it. But the Watchmen were infuriatingly rigid with their rules. Setting events into motion was a natural part of Xilon existence, but intentionally setting out to change reality was left to those with the proper training. She had no doubt that the Council would be quite disinterested in her request to take things into her own hands. Then again, if she did not ask for permission, the elders could not say no.

Satisfied enough with that justification, Acacia stepped through space and time, arriving on Earth in the early Middle Ages. After much searching through the caves and mountains of ancient Europe, she met an enormous black dragon and was surprised to discover that his kind were actually quite shy despite their size. She had no doubt that they could be incredibly ferocious, but by all appearances they were essentially quiet, timid creatures who kept to themselves. They had their own unique language, which Acacia quickly picked up on and found to be truly beautiful.

image The Earth dragon opened his huge mouth, revealing rows of razor sharp teeth, and roared a thunderous greeting. "Young traveler, I am Falkor. You are unlike any human I know but welcome, and my deepest respects." Acacia did her best to explain who she was. She tripped over her words, the language being so new to her, but managed to successfully convey her hope to save the species. After thinking the situation over, she realized that while the number of Earth dragons left was comparatively low, there were still far too many to move to the Xilon worlds, if they could even survive in an alien atmosphere. She knew of no other planet offhand where this particular species would be certain to thrive without disrupting the established timelines and adding unacceptable numbers to those clans that had already made their way across the stars.

image As Falkor gathered his brethren and told them of his encounter with the Xilon, Acacia sped home to make the necessary arrangements. She had to find a place for them to live, and fast...somewhere to accomodate their numbers, massive sizes, cultural and biological needs. It wouldn't be easy, she knew, but she had a plan and would see it through, whatever it took. Flying through the Aeradisphere, she visited the homes of each and every respected Xilon engineer, informing them that their help was needed at once on a project of great importance. Persistent, she did not stop pushing until she had managed to enlist a sizeable team of the system's best. She requested their presence on Phinitre, a dead planet on the edge of Chrysalian, to construct a massive biosphere the likes of which had never been seen. Her recruits were skeptical, especially when she declined to tell them exactly who they were building the new world for. But helping was part of Xilon culture, and the team moved forward in spite of their doubts. The biosphere, which took years to complete, was crafted around the entire planet by an army of the most creative scientists and builders of the era. Upon completion, it was pumped full of a powerful terraforming agent and left to grow and develop a life of its own.

As it did, Acacia revealed her true intentions for the biosphere, and she and a few of the best scientists devised a plan to bring the endangered species to their own place and time. After much deliberation, a massive device was built that could function as a form of chronospacial transport. Due to the amount of energy required to power it, use of the machine was a one-time deal. They would get a single opportunity to move the dragons, so it had to be done just right. While the engineers perfected their creation, Acacia returned to Earth to inform Falkor that his race's departure was at hand, and to take one of his claws home, to use for the machine. The DNA from the claw would ensure that the device reached out through space and time to the right place and era, to transport the right beings without disrupting anything else.

As the date drew near, Acacia finally informed the elders of her actions. The Council was, as expected, not at all pleased, but there was little that they could do. The operation, performed one week later, was entirely successful. The Earth dragons were pulled safely from the Silver Ring and across the stars to their beautiful new world. In spite of initial conflict, the Watchmen eventually, if not grudgingly, acknowledged that the timelines were progressing as they should, and that an entire species had been saved in the process, and praised Acacia for her actions. The dragons were eternally grateful to their new friend and to her people, and she in turn was thrilled to have them there, making it her life's work to spread knowledge of their wonderful race throughout the universe.

image From that day forward, Acacia spent much of her free time with Falkor, who remained the eldest and most respected of his kind, learning more about the species than she had ever imagined. Over the millennia, the dragons multiplied, populating the planet that had been built specially for them, where they remained safe and sound throughout the ages. The traits that they had learned on Earth stayed with them, however. They were still very shy and unless one actively went to Phinitre and sought them out, they generally remained unseen, cultivating a mysterious and somewhat mythic air even amongst the Xilon themselves. To most but a select few, the creatures were no more than children's fairytales. But to Acacia, they were dear friends and allies. She greatly respected their wisdom and they taught her much in return, of their own species and of the blue planet that they had left behind. And thus, the Earth dragons were saved from extinction, living peacefully with the Xilon until the End of Days.

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