A frosty moonlight overlayed the scape as the shadowed cresent shined through the darkness. Under it's foggy gleam, blank shadow lay undisturbed. The only other thing visible seemed to be a discus floating in the air. The discus faintly flashed as the light swept over it occasionally and then blended back into the darkness. Faintly, the contours of four lithe bodies caught the moon's stunning beam. On top of the discus, four cats sat evenly apart from each other. Only a faint flash of their pelts shown before fading back into the black. One a gleaming silver, one a flaming ginger, one a sleek black and one glimmering gold. Their eyes flashed as they stared from one to the other.
The flaming ginger tom dipped his head and faintly meowed, "Where is Artemis?"
Thundering paw steps sounded as a gastly corridor suddenly appeared. A she-cat emerged from the gloom of the hall, her glistening white pelt sweeping as she ran. Her voice was like the chime of a crystal bell, "I'm here! Please, Aris, I am here!"
With an embarrassed huff, Artemis sat down and grinned sheepishly at her peers. Shuffling her paws, Artemis mewed, "I am sorry, Phoebus and I were just out in the Celestial Garden."
The silver she-cat breathed, "I don't think Lady Celeste would have liked you two dawdling in her memorial sanctuary now would she?"
"No, indeed she wouldn't, Glacia, I apologize for my immature behavior," Artemis mewed solemly while avoiding Glacia's cold gaze.
Glacia opened her mouth to speak again, but Leonidus cut her off, "Glacia, Celeste would be more focused on the task at hand," his golden fur rippled as he mocked her further, "Now, isn't that right?"
Glacia snorted and turned her back pointedly to her cohort who grinned malignantly back at her while lashing his tail back and forth playfully.
The starwalt black tabby she-cat furrowed her eyebrows at the sight of the adolescent behavior being displayed and turned to Artemis. She twitched her ear and mewed, "Atremis, we have vital news and your assistance is needed."
Artemis' eyes shfted suspiciously from each of the spectral cats, an uncomfortable feeling dropping down her throat like a rock and uneasily settling in her stomach. Dipping her head without taking her eyes off of the others, Atremis questioned, "What is this big news, Lunessa?"
Lunessa slowly closed her eyes and soundless words escaped her lips. Instantly, images began to seep into Artemis' mind, images of five different cats. As pictures surged through her head, Lunessa's soft voice sounded over the blood pounding in her ears. Her voice was no more than a whisper, as if she feared that speaking louder would initiate a sinister force.
"These are five cats, each holding the powers of Lady Celeste," All the images faded, replaced by one sole image: A golden tabby she-cat, "This is Fawnpaw, a WindClan apprentice and the reincarnation of Lady Celeste's cousin, Lady Serenity. She is one of the destined Sailors, harnessing the power of the stars."
Artemis remembered beautiful Lady Serenity, guardian of the sky, but she sacrificed herself long ago. She had sacrificed herself to the Malevaverse, unleashing a fatal power that had destroyed her from from the inside out.
"You are her destined guardian, Artemis. You must confront her and tell her of the great power she possesses. The dark portal is opening, the Malevaverse is growing stronger. If you fail this mission, the world shall perish. Do you understand?"
The pictures cleared like a fading mist from Artemis' head, replaced with the sight of the four divine cats. Her mind was still buzzing with the news.
She dipped her head respectively and mewed, "Yes, Lunessa. I will find her and guard her with my life."
Lunessa looked pleased, her topaz eyes sparkling, "Good, you shall leave tomorrow. You are to find shelter in the woods of ThunderClan, so you can always keep a close eye on her."
Artemis nodded and closed her eyes. In a dazzling display of light, Artemis suddenly turned into a weasel. She sniffed and cocked her head to the side. "Is this an appropriate disguise?"
Aris mewed, "Yes, now go off, find Sailor Serenity!"
Artemis nodded and ran off in search of the new sailor.
The moorland was barren, the only movement visible being the dancing grass buffeted by the breeze. That is, except for the twitching tail tip barely visible above the tall grasses. Like a metronome, the golden tail tip wavered back and forth like the fluid slither of an adder. Hiding behind a small sloping incline, a lithe she-cat, no more than eight moons, crept forward silently, her eyes wide and focused. Her ear twitched as she heard a slight rustle. Slowly craning her head up, she spotted a tom trotting casually through the greenery, his tail swaying along the faint, dusty path that had formed over time. The she-cat's lips curled into an ambitious snarl at the sight of the muscular tabby. Like a panther, the cat stalked silently towards him. The brown tom remained oblivious to her, rather grooming himself as the she-cat drew closer. With a sharp hiss, the she-cat leaped, her hooked claws managing to grapple onto the tom's broad back.
The tom grunted in surprise as the she-cat dug further into his back, but he forced the panic away and began to struggle against the she-cat's grip. The she-cat spat at the tom's shakes and stoubbornly held on despite the progressively harder bucks.
Thinking fast, the tabby tom spun around before staggering onto his hind legs and then falling onto his back, crushing the she-cat under him with a squeak.
The she-cat swerved like a snake from under him before turning on a dime and thrusting her head into the tom's stomach. The blow sent the tom sprawling into the plains.
The tom quickly gained his posture and found his footing. He swung to face his opponent, his lips curved into a slight sneer."You're getting better, Fawnpaw," he mewed, "But you'll have to do a lot better if you think you'll beat me!"
Fawnpaw sniffed, "Talonwing, I know you're my mentor and all, but don't think you're going to beat me easily!" With that, she snarled and charged at her mentor.
Talonwing twitched his whiskers in amusement before charging as well. The two met with forepaws flailing and eyes blazing in determination. The two cat matched each other blow for blow, Talonwing's attacks forceful and reserved while Fawnpaw's were swift and graceful. As they sparred, Fawnpaw's eyes wandered away from Talonwing's gaze. Her gaze darted around, frantically looking for a weak spot. It was mere moments before her eyes drifted upon the sight that may win her the fight. Talonwing's weight was balanced on one lone hindpaw, his frame teetering uneasiliy occasionally. Quickly, Fawnpaw shot forward and nosed her muzzle swiftly under his calf. Carefully planning where her opponent would fall after her attack, Fawnpaw lightly thrusted her nose up and sent Talonwing in a spin before colliding with the ground.
Fawnpaw took the opportune moment and spun him onto his belly and grappled his shoulders while pressing her weight on his back legs. Though lithe, Talonwing was unable to wriggle free as his forelegs weren't as built, ensuing his defeat.
"Fawnpaw, you're training is coming along tremendously!" Talonwing exclaimed, "You must be blessed by StarClan, you are able to fight and defend better that most full grown warriors!"
Fawnpaw grew hot under her mentor's praising words. Yes, she was better at fighting than most apprentices. She didn't know why, strategies just came to her naturally. It was hard to explain really, like a primal instinct that consumed her mind and spirit whenever she fought.
"...and I think it high time that your final assessment takes place soon!" Talonwing's excited yowl broke through her train of thought. Fawnpaw stared up at him with large, shocked eyes. Her final assessment so soon? Even Briarpaw, Sootpaw and Russetpaw haven't had their assessments yet and they're two moons older than her!
Talonwing's voice sang with pride as he continued, "I can't wait to tell your father and Owlstar! They will be so impressed!" Fawnpaw rolled her eyes at the comment. Talonwing was a glory hound, probably using her victories as objects of envy for other cats. How important he must feel, training one of the strongest apprentices in the clan. Go Talonwing...
"We better head back over to camp, I know your father will be eager to hear this!" Talonwing boasted and lifted his head to taste the air. It didn't take him long to scent the distant camp. Talonwing, excited and boistrous, sprinted forward while flicking his tail, signaling that Fawnpaw should follow.
As Fawnpaw readied to pursue, a strange feeling swept over the scape like the wind. Tensing, Fawnpaw slowly turned her head in search of the source. Looking north, Fawnpaw noticed something.
Two eyes, shining through the shadows of the grass, and above the eyes, a glowing sphere like object. Fawnpaw began to creep slowly closer, her eyes intent on the cat watching her. The eyes stared back, the stare almost melting her alive, They were glazed, as if in a trance.
"Fawnpaw!" Fawnpaw startled at her mentor's yowl and looked behind her to see Talonwing parting the grass while grunting, "Let's go!"
Fawnpaw looked over her shoulder again and shockingly, the eyes were no longer peering through the shadows at her. In fact, the cold sensation running through her had disappeared as well.
"Talonwing, did you see that?"
Talonwing snorted, "See what? See that you're dawdling here while we're supposed to be at the clan! Let's go, and that's an order!" With an irritated huff, Talonwing's muscular form disappeared into the swell of golden grass.
Fawnpaw sighed, her senses on edge. She was positive she had seen something, she was sure of it! Talonwing was wrong, she would prove him wrong! With on last glance cast over her shoulder, Fawnpaw followed in suit of her mentor.
Fawnpaw slapped a tail over her friend's mouth. "Shh, Rainpaw, do you want to wake up the whole clan?"
Rainpaw withdrew her head and glared at Fawnpaw with narrowed green eyes. After grudgingly spitting fur from her mouth, Rainpaw's expression contorted to that of curiosity. "Why do you want to go exploring at this late hour? We'll get in trouble! I can't afford to get in trouble with my warrior ceremony approaching!" Rainpaw hissed softly.
"I, I can't say..." Fawnpaw turned away from her pale gray friend. The truth was, she had to find that cat she had seen. The images of the two shining eyes had penetrated her mind to the point that she was convinced that she would surely go insane if she didn't find out.
"If you don't want to come, I won't force you," And with that, Fawnpaw began to pad to the thorn tunnel. Her ears pricked in surprise as she heard the patter of pawsteps behind her. She turned and saw Rainpaw running after her, her mouth parted in a silent yowl. Fawnpaw let Rainpaw catch up and her friend drew close to her.
"Why are you following me?" Fawnpaw meowed, surprised at her friend's action.
Rainpaw looked down at the small golden she-cat, her green eyes shining throuth the din. "We're best friends. Best friends don't let their friends do stupid things... alone."
Fawnpaw looked at her friend, a soft smile spreading across her face. "Thank you, Rainpaw," she whispered.
Rainpaw winked mischieviously in response. "Could you at least tell me where we're going?"
Fawnpaw held her tail erect, waving in the direction of the moon, "Over near the ThunderClan border, the long grasses. You ready?"
Rainpaw snorted, mocking indignity. "Are you kidding, I was built for this kind of stuff!" She whipped Fawnpaw's nose lightly and she brushed passed, her head held high. "Just don't fall behind, will ya?"
Fawnpaw smirked and sped ahead, shouting behind her, "Let's see you catch up then!" Rainpaw took the challange and ran after the petite she-cat, though careful to remain quiet. The pair ran slow, the dim light being their only guide. The minutes seemed endless to Fawnpaw, and her spacing out became evident when she accidentally crashed into Rainpaw, who had stopped abruptly for some reason.
"Ow!" the she-cat yelped as she felt Fawnpaw collide with her. The pair fumbled gracelessly in panic. When they had stopped tumbling, Fawnpaw lifted her head and smiled sheepishly. Flicking her ear in embarrasement, Fawnpaw helped Rainpaw up. "Thanks," Rainpaw growled, "What was that about?" Fawnpaw sniffed, "Why did you stop?" Rainpaw snorted. "So it's my fault? You should have been paying better attention! And besides, it wasn't my fault I stopped, I couldn't help it!" Fawnpaw growled at her stubborn friend, "Well, who's fault is it then?"
"Pardon, that would be my fault."
The two she-cats froze as they heard the voice erupt from the bushes. A sleek white cat slid elegantly from the brush, her piercing red eyes glinting in amusement. "Hello ladies."
Rainpaw was silent, her only move being the slight twitch of her tail. Fawnpaw, however, was more curious than frightened. She took a cautious step forward, her eyes narrowing in suspicion. "Who are you?" Fawnpaw growled and bent in for a sniff. "You don't smell like any clan cat I've seen. Are you some kind of rogue?" Fawnpaw let her thorn-sharp clawn slide from their sheathing, "We don't take kindly to rogues in Windclan!"