The sun was setting behind them. They deployed the tent near a boulder, and prepared for the night. The sky was turning a deep shade of indigo, except for the western side which was still lit up by a rim-light of a sun. The air was clear, and already a few stars were twinkling in the darkness.
They were headed east of Japini, to the greenhouses. The eastern litoral of Majala was protected from the desert by a mountain range that ran parallel to the coast. On this side, much greener biomes than the desert could develop, and more to the north, a deep forest had even developed.
Were they in the desert, they would have continued a bit after dusk to avoid the strong sunlight. But in this fresher climate they judged it more reasonable to settle down for the night. As they prepared their rations, they watched the shade of the night cover the steppe. In the beginning of spring, wildflowers started to appear here and there. At night, with the grace that only wildflowers have, they would slowly fold back into a bud to protect them for the night. Soon after, the only light left was that of the moon. It was nearly full, but not quite yet, and the silver light of the disc projected an eerie but calming atmosphere onto the plain.
Since it was unoperational, few workers were left at the greenhouses and at the solar farm. The few left were only here to keep intruders and a few cleaning duties. This explained the surprise the main gate watcher felt when he saw the figures of Jhin and Melissa on the horizon. As they went around the greenhouses with the worker, he explained a few things about the farm. Since Japini was mostly a fishing village, the greenhouse was here to grow crops, which was hard to do in the desert around the town. The greenhouse relied mainly on solar power from the neighboring solar farm to function. Since a few days, though, production at the farm had stopped.
The two thanked the worker, and then headed further west to the solar farm itself. When they arrived, immediately they could tell something was wrong. There were no workers at the farm, but they needed no one to tell them the problem.
In this part of Majala, still at the south, the mountain range didn't quite prevent desertification. As such, even if there were more plants here than the desert, patches of desert appeared here and there as time went on. Due to the construction of the farm, the surrounding area had completely dried up and a small desert surrounded the farm. So, there should not have been plants at the farm. But, as they could see even from the distance, that was not the case.
As they got closer, they got a better idea of the situation. Long climbing plants were clinging to the solar panels. In the ground, shallow brooks and pools had been dug and formed a watery net among the panels. On the shores of these small rivers, countless weeds were growing, forming a dense green carpet. All over, flowers were in full bloom, in a range of colors from white to pink, deep purples and bright yellows. And as they got closer, they saw the one responsible for this garden.
A few days ago, just before the farm had gone out of order, a small piece of the sun had detached itself and fell to the earth. It was not the first, but it was the one that had the biggest impact. These sun pieces, enamored by the beauty of the lands, of the plants, the skies, the water, at the immaculate beauty of everything, would do all they could to preserve and exacerbate this beauty.
This piece of the sun had fallen to the earth and landed near the solar farm. It saw the degradation the solar farm had caused on the surrounding area and decided to stop it. In the middle of the garden, the sun piece was pruning plants and gardening to make its wild garden even wilder. But as Jhin and Melissa stopped, the sun piece stopped, and looked their way. Just like every other piece of the sun fallen to earth, it would defend its garden at all costs. For that reason, they were called sun guardians.
The guardian opened the hostilities. With a light like that of the brightest star, it sent a beam directly to Jhin. He tried to jump to the side, but could not match speed with light, and the beam hit them in full brunt. They were sent back, and crashed on a solar panel. Melissa quickly ran to the side and took cover behind a panel herself. She tried to focus and determine what construct would be best. Maybe greed ? She quickly made a greed construct and tried to send it at a curve to hit the guardian while remaining hidden. But, shortly after it left her cover, the construct was shot down.
She had to devise something with Jhin. She made two constructs, and sent them in the opposite direction at a delay, then ran as fast as she could toward Jhin. She picked his body up and ran for cover. Behind her, she heard the two constructs being shot down one after the other. To give her a bit more time, she made three constructs in quick succession and dragged Jhin for cover, though she wasn't quick enough and the guardian shot a beam at her leg and hit her.
Behind the panel, she slapped Jhin and poured water on their face. With difficulty, Jhin woke up. Melissa discussed her strategy, and he agreed. She prepared four constructs and sent them out at different speeds. At the same time Jhin ran from behind cover toward another panel that was closer. As predicted, the guardian only shot the constructs one after the others. Once she got confirmation Jhin was safe, she drank some water, wiped the sweat on her forehead, and concentrated to make five constructs. One after the other, she sent them out. And as she did, Jhin got to the opposite side of the guardian by hiding from panel to panel. For the final time, Melissa made 4 constructs, and sent one out. Jhin used that opportunity to rush close to the sun guardian. Of course, they wouldn't be able to physically hit it, but for the time it took the guardian to turn around and charge a beam, Melissa quickly shot out the three other constructs, which hit the guardian directly head on.
Without any sound, the guardian dispersed. The two collapsed, panting.