I am Incarnation, born in a valley of the mountains. Humans were but a fairy tale, and the only source of travel was flying. We were a pride of twenty or so, enemies of our only neighbors. Our ways of living were different; none of them wrong, just different. The leaders of our pride and theirs thought differently, they declared war on each other and any gryphon from the opposite was to be executed immediately.

I should have been questionable about a new female gryphon. She declared herself against our enemy, but who knew what motives this stranger had in her heart. The female herself was exceptional. Her body a creamy white; her eyes a baby blue; her talons crystal clear in color. To me she was an angel. That was what I called her, Angel. Her real name was Kra-kai, unusual, but still familiar in an odd sense. I would never know how odd until much later. She and I shared the sky, a heart, and a home. The others criticized me for falling in love with a foreigner, but I knew they were only jealous.

We never did have an offspring, but it was just as well. Being a well-respected gryphon, I was off in battle during the day. That was our rule, only fight during the day. As you may know, most gryphons have trouble flying at night. Our pride and enemy's were no exception, even our enemies agreed on that rule, the only thing we ever did agree with.

I had no idea what my mate did when I was off. I heard rumors of her disappearing during the day, but ignored them, as any one in my position would have. As far as I cared, she could have been gossiping with the other females about what we had done the night before.

Yes, I was a warrior. My loyalty to my pride overcame any doubts I had with fighting. I believed the leader had the wisdom of a god, always obeyed. Anyone who did was terminated; I pitied the gryphon that was in charge of the duty. I myself did everything I could to stay out of the leader's executioner, and managed to for many years.

Killing was my profession as a warrior. Anyone who seemed suspicious was questioned, and if they refused, killed. I don't know how many were of our foe, but I am certain our ways were inhumane.

Appointed to the leader's executioner, I did my duty with honor. It was the highest honor one could have, yet I couldn't help but wince every time. Spies had the worst fate, but that I will not describe. Being a spy was worst than being a prisoner of war. Our leader punished them for deceiving the leader, the god of our pride. It was a cruel fate, and I was in charge of enforcing that punishment.

Several of the females of our pride had been caught with the enemies. A surprise to my leader who though women were useless and could do no harm. I personally disagreed, but hid my objections from him. One by one, the females receive their punishment, their mates watched with sadness, as they were banished from the pride because of their mates. The last of them surprised me, the leader watched with some sort of twisted joy to my reaction. It was Angel, my mate, and my love.

She pleaded with me as I stared at our leader. He gained amusement from our predicament. I stood dumb in my place. All I could hear in my head were her pleas. "Don't do it, please! You know me! I would never! Please, don't!" Her tears fell on my talons, yet I could do nothing in reply. My expression was blank, my emotions confused. Could it be true? If so, how could I choose between my honor, my leader, my homeland, and my love, my mate?

His smile and her pleas killed me. My fate was doomed either way. If I were to let her live, I was to be killed myself, and she as well. If I killed her, my heart would break, and banishment would come as well. My life was over. The choices were insane. I searched for a third option, but came up empty-handed. What could I do? The leader was beginning to get impatient, yet still amused. My leader would not accept any pleas from me, but maybe I could reason with him?

With my voice cracked, barely audible, I spoke. "My leader, what crimes has she committed? Is there any proof for these crimes?"

He answered with a smile. "I knew you would ask. I thought it would be sooner though." He gestured to two guards I had known since childhood. The stared at me with such indifference I was shocked. A large gray gryphon was behind them, obvious a captive. "Father!"

Father? How could my mate, my love be the daughter of our enemy? My leader must have noticed my reaction, and nod. "You know what you must do." I nod. My mind was set, she would not see another sunrise, the one our pride used to worship many years ago. "Incarnation, please." She continued. "Let me explain, please. Incarnation, I love you."

Those three words pierced my stone cold black heart. I glanced in my leader's direction. He hesitated before agreeing, obviously disturbed by the delay. "That is my father. I was once of your foe's pride." Noting my increased anger, she placed her off-white wing between us as if it would protect her. "That first day I met you, I was a spy. I was only here to find battle plans, but once I saw you, I could not. I fell in love with you." I was about to interrupt, but she stopped me. "I never even attempted to spy after that date. I did however, continue seeing my father and mother. I could not help myself. I flew off on a hidden path while you were out fighting. My parents begged me to stop, but I would not. I love you. I loved them. I could not choose between the two of you. My mother was killed trying to get over to me, trying to tell me that I had a baby brother."

Could it be? Could I be the one who killed her family? I did remember a gryphon that did have familiar features as her, the same glistening white feathers and clear talons that were always cleaned. A sigh from me caused her father to struggle against his captors. "I knew it! It was you!"

"Incarnation…it was you? But how could you?" I had no answers to her questions. It was my duty to kill…kill without hesitation. Still I was holding off on Angel. Drawing out her fate, and for what reason? Because she was my mate? I was a killer, a ruthless killer. "How could you?" She repeated. "I love you. Because I love you, I will forgive you. I know you could not know it was h-her." My expression remained stiff, though I could feel my heart break My soul was rip away from me and into her. "But my father was careless in an meeting we arranged. Several of the gryphons saw and followed him." Her tears rolled down her cheek since she was no longer holding them back. "How could I tell you this? You would not understand. You would forbid me from ever seeing him ever again! Please, forgive me! I was selfish in thinking I could have both."

My leader held his talon up to his throat and sliced it across. I nod. "No! Incarnation! How could you?" Her pleas were now encrypted into my brain. I can still here them at night if I listen hard enough. My decision was made. To my leader, her pleas bounced off of my black soul, and he approved.

I will not describe what happened next, but I suppose you can guess. I was banished, though my leader was proud of what I had done. He, himself, had others discard of his many wives. I was sent in his grace, but the law was final. He was not bias, as I had known in my soul, or what was left of it.

I have tried when applicable to right my wrongs, but I believe I have yet to dent the evil in my heart. Since my banishment, I have saved a few hatchlings, mingled with mysticals, and even saved a dansel in distress. My life is devoted to making up my wrongs, but my pride I hold to leaders has interfered. I was raised to respect and serve my elders, no matter what intentions they held for me.

Now forever, I must deal with the decisions I made. Angel was pure in heart, I was not. I was born in sin, and will die in sin. I deserve hell for what I have done. My soul will be eternally punished. I have tried my best to do what I believe is right, but grave mistakes have come in result. My love for my homeland vs. the love of my mate. Who won? Neither.