A Chapter by Seth Armstrong

This is a *long* blurb of what this fanfic is about. It's lifted directly from chapter two of the fic, but it serves well enough as an overall blurb.


     At first, New Lorien’s mission to selflessly bring help to the world had gone perfectly.

     The website Lexa made had quickly become one of the most popular in the world with people from all corners of the globe populating it with desperate, hopeful requests. The Garde did their best to keep up with all of them, but they were incredibly overworked--especially the healers. Still, they made great strides at repairing the hurts of the world and bringing hope to people who had lost it.

     But the positive light it put on the Garde and the goodwill it engendered toward them didn’t last.

     The full testimony of Einar Magnusson caused some of doubt the authenticity of the Garde’s motivations. He famously admitted that, for a while, he had been after a world where the Garde lived like royalty--where they ruled the world, made the decisions, and those without Legacies were ultimately working for them. Einar said that he later realized the problematic basis of that worldview and abandoned it, but, to many people, that part wasn’t important--what was important was the fact that it seemed that there were Garde out there who thought themselves better than those without Legacies--who, if pressed, may come to a conclusion that the world would be better under their control. And, if there were more like that--or, at least, if more eventually became radicalized--where better would they be able to lay the foundations for their plans to subjugate the world than their Himalayan retreat where they were untouchable, and their powers unchecked?

     This idea began to circulate despite the claims of the well-liked Loric and their humanitarian efforts, and people began to grow fearful of what the Garde may be plotting in their mountain community where no outsiders could go.

     Countless talking heads in media in places as high as major news networks recording studios and as low as people ranting on YouTube in their cars perpetuated the idea that the Garde were trying to make themselves unaccountable--holding themselves far above and out of the reach of the law--so that they could do whatever they wanted, whenever they wished. Their contributions to stopping the Mogadorian invasion were now largely ignored or downplayed, with some people going so far as to say that the Loric had masterminded or at least exacerbated the threat of the invasion so that they could stop it and be hailed as heroes, making it easier for them to achieve the ultimate power they vied for.

     Then there were several missions with far-reaching consequences.

     In a mission to help protect protestors in Colombia, the Garde sent in had managed to knock the police back into submission, emboldening the protestors, who became so effective to the point that they were able to easily force the government to roll back all the measures that were being protested.

     In a mission to help beat back fishing companies encroaching on the areas of protected sea animals, the Garde were successful, and several billion-dollar fishing companies lost a lot of money they predicted they would have.

     In a mission to heal people with terminal cancer in America, executives of cancer hospitals claimed that the stunt had threatened to put them out of business, and, instead of selling their third vacation home, they opted to fire many of their employees, claiming that it was the only way the financial loss could be recuperated.  

     In a mission to increase the working conditions of a factory in China, the Garde assigned successfully forced the higher-ups of the company to treat their workers more fairly.

     In a mission to protect a group of Koori people from a hate group, the Garde assigned wound up accidentally revealing that the hate group had been funded by several of the country’s high-profile national politicians.

     In a long mission to help stop poaching in parts of Kenya by building up better opportunities for the people to make money so that they wouldn’t have to turn to poaching, the Garde assigned succeeded, cutting off a massive source of income for the people who made millions off the illegal trade.

     And so on.

     The Garde had begun to fix the world. In doing so, they began to hurt the rich and powerful who were responsible for its ills.

     Ever reluctant to allow the world change, these people capitalized on the burgeoning fear of the Garde’s intentions, weaponizing it to bludgeon their public image, blurring the lines of what they stood for and would do.

     And soon the missions became dangerous. Garde would be lured into situations by false reports of problems where people would try to capture them, to lock them away and potentially bring them to “justice.”

     Still the Garde persisted for a while in their attempts to respond to true requests--they just tried to be more careful. 

     But an unprepared Garde team on a mission in Spain were taken by surprise, and the human Garde Maiken Megalos was kidnapped by an organized Garde hate group that seemed to have been inspired by the Harvesters in America. The Spanish government claimed it was trying to address the issue, but its languid response was exacerbated by those in the Spanish government who held anti-Garde sentiments. It wasn’t until John, Six, Marina, and Nine showed up on the hate group’s doorstep threatening to scorch the very ground their base stood on that Maiken was reluctantly released to them, beaten and traumatized but still alive.

     Since then, the Garde had drawn back into New Lorien, only going out to solve problems that they could verify beyond every sense of doubt were absolutely real and even then only sending the most experienced and best-trained Garde to deal with them. Usually, the only reports they ever took risks on were those about a new Garde in trouble--and only the Loric Garde, Sam Goode, the remnant of the Fugitive Six, and Bernie Kosar were ever cleared to deal with those.

     The reports quickly piled up, a mountain of unanswered requests, ones that were real but not provided with enough evidence to know that for sure left unaddressed.

     This soon gave people the idea that the Garde were abdicating their responsibility to help the world--shirking on the main positive effect that their existence had.

     Those in power, of course, capitalized on this.

     Still out of reach but now embattled by turning public opinion and relentless propaganda, the Garde stayed in New Lorien, perpetually looking for the key to justify their very existence to a world turned against them. 

© 2021 Seth Armstrong

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Added on July 28, 2021
Last Updated on July 28, 2021
Tags: lorien, legaices, war, of, the, yura, kallik, capac, john, smith, sam, goode, number, six, nine, marina, seven, five, eight, malcolm, daniela, nigel, fugitive, isabela, taylor, ran, caleb, kopano