All was still.
All was still, except for an ear-splitting cry, from GemClan.
The world was nothing but an imagery of war, disaster and ruins.
The jet black she-cat turned and ran.
The prophet, Ametrine, was horrified.
'A dark cat,' she announced, 'will bring death and horror to the whole Clan.'
Oh, the unlucky Opal had given birth to a dark she-cat. The ultimate definition of dark- jet-black, and even if light shone on her pelt, it appeared as a dull blackish silver.
'She's the cat,' she yowled. 'She's the cat!' Despite Opal's protests, Ametrine had took the chance of naming Opal's lone daughter.
'This cat, will bring us death. She will rid our Clan.'
Ametrine had named the jet black she-kit Evanescence, but Opal insisted on calling her Lemuria.
Cats were wary. They weren't just wary- they were avoiding her. Once she had opened her eyes, cats grew terrified, for her eyes were so cold they pierced the soul. They weren't just a plain blue or amber- they were silver, the exact reflections of the Moon.
She was the definition of intriguing.
Rose Gold and Morganite, her denmates, weren't afraid. 'Hey, Lemuria, wanna play?' The black she-kit was brooding in her nest, when her silver eyes snapped over to Rose Gold. 'Play?'
'Yes, we're playing Catch!' Another kit, Pearl, nodded. 'It's a hunter-and-prey game.'
Evanescence's eyes lit up. Finally, someone had acknowledged my presence and called me by my true name!
She bounced over, eyes gleaming as Pearl squeaked like a rabbit and started to bound away.
The black she-kit was so quick she was only a flash when she plummeted on Pearl. She knocked the white kit over, her throat rumbling- instead of a purr, a crisp growl came out.
This made the other kits shift with unease- Evanescence's paw was on Pearl's throat now, unsheathing her claws-
' What in the name of Stars are you doing?! ' Morganite shrieked. 'This is just a game!'
The black she-kit didn't seem to realize until Ametrine dragged her off. 'She's danger. I've warned you kits not to play with her!' The prophet's amber eyes flashed with rage as she raked her claws across the black kit's cheek. 'You deserve it, Evanescence. ' Ametrine literally spat the last word out.
The kit's eyes darken. 'The world doesn't work this way, does it? Have you ever seen a cat let a rabbit go, despite its growling belly-'
'-Stop with your nonsense, kit. How much do you know?' The prophet ran her claws down the kit's muzzle, leaving a deep bloody scratch.
'Ametrine, stop.' The leader, Sapphire, padded out. 'She has her point. But, she still shouldn't inflict such acts on her denmates. Opal, how do you teach your daughter?' The gray she-cat's eyes glowed as hatred burned in her glare. 'You're a disgrace, Evanescence.'
The kit's mother stepped out. 'My daughter has nothing wrong!' Her voice rose to a snarl as she protectively curled her white tail around Evanescence's black pelt.
'Very well. Larimar, bring Opal to the Crystal Pools. If she still doesn't see her daughter's face upon calling out the danger of our Clan, she shall drown in the water. Push her head down into the muddy earth, Larimar, and make sure her body doesn't pollute the waters.'
'Yes, Sapphire.' Larimar had to use her telekinesis to move Opal.
'No!' Evanescence tried to pull her mother back.
Suddenly, a blast of power burst through the earth as the black kit threw Larimar backwards with her mind, breaking Opal free.
Larimar scrambled away, eyes wide with fear.
That caused an uproar. Sapphire summoned the spirits to stop her, but it didn't work. Evanescence's force field was too strong.
'Wh-' The kit's silver eyes had suddenly turned black. She let out a silent screech and collapsed onto the ground.
Possession was what Ametrine came up with. The kit was a half-demon possessed by a horrible spirit lingering around, according to the delusional prophet.
The healer, Zinnia, was more reasonable. She blacked out because her powers went out of control, and was too strong for her to bear.
Evanescence stirred in her sleep.
She was tired, heavy, dying. She was leaning on a strong and young she-cat, a bright ginger. She felt hollow and drained, and rage started to fill her when she stepped into familiar territory- GemClan's.
The gray she-cat, though not leader, was still alive. Evanescence immediately lunged at her, but the ginger she-cat tackled her and they immediately became a whirl of claws and fur.
The former finally held her down and hissed, 'Please listen-'
Smoke engulfed Evanescence whole as she closed her eyes...
Fire was imprinted in her mind. The choking smell, the heated cackles...
'Lemu-Evanescence. ' It was Opal.
'What have you done? You've burnt the nursery, and nearly killed Pearl!' Her expression was unfathomable, a mix of terror, rage and worry.
'You aren't the Lemuria I thought you were. You are Evanescence. Go. Go away. I'm not your mother.'
The black kit lay there, expressionless, as she watched her mother pad away. That moment, no other cat knew that her heart shattered into a million shards.
The Clan had no idea that they were the ones who drove her mad.
The day her mother left was when she wondered how could she break free from her restrictions.
She asked Coral, the other prophet, who was the only cat in the Clan that cared for her.
'Why am I trapped in a body, Coral?' She had tilted her head in curiosity. 'What is the body's use? My mind could walk, run, speak just fine.'
Coral purred. 'Our bodies are here for expressing our presence, Lemuria. Without bodies, we are just mere ghosts that no one could see, and we could only communicate via dreams and telepathy. With bodies, we can speak physically, fulfill our physical wishes.'
'But other cats ignore and avoid me, even if I have a body,' the kid protested.
'If they're avoiding you, they're well aware that you exist. They know that you're here, young one. They just choose to turn their backs on you.'
'But why? What have I done wrong?' the kit's eyes grew glassy. 'If they don't accept me, I won't have a point of existing anymore.'
Suddenly Ametrine burst into the den, eyes wild with rage and fear. 'This kit is a curse to GemClan. She must be driven out for the safety of us.'
`You can't just drive out a defenseless kit,' Coral pointed out. `She had proved herself dangerous to us twice. I will not allow it to happen anymore.' Ametrine hissed so fiercely Evanescence flinched but Coral stood her ground.
'Ametrine, this kit may be dangerous to you, but to me she is just the same as Rose Gold, Morganite and Pearl. If you're going to drive her out, you will have to kill me.'
'What did Evanescence do to you, Coral? ' Ametrine's eyes narrowed. 'Did she brainwash you? As a prophet, you should know how dangerous this cat is or can be.'
'Who do you think I am?' Coral snarled. 'Of course I know what's her power and what can happen if she's being careless.'
'Wait a minute,' Evanescence mewed. 'What are you guys talking about?'
Coral turned and looked at her. 'You're a Power Mimic, Lemuria.'
'Which means danger!' Ametrine spat with pure disgust. 'Coral, I swear in the name of Stars that you're in love with this abomination!'
The cream she-cat lashed her tail, eyes burning with hostility. 'Because she doesn't have a mother! I'm a mother to her now, Ametrine. I won't give her up.'
Without a warning Ametrine charged towards Coral, who was unprepared and she froze in shock.
Evanescence, however, saw that coming.
With a panicked squeak she alarmed Sapphire, who dashed into the den just to find Ametrine clawing Coral viciously.
'Ametrine! What in the name of Stars are you doing, attacking your apprentice?' the leader hissed. 'Are you out of your mind?'
'Sapphire- she was defending Evanescence!'
'Ametrine, Evanescence might be a danger,' the gray cat's ears flicked with uncertainty. 'But she is still GemClan.' Her eyes turned to the black kit, then plastered a smile that was so fake it made Evanescence sick.
Then she casted a meaningful glance at Ametrine, beckoning her to the Leader's den.
'I call down the spirits of my ancestors to look down upon this kit. She is ready to receive training and become a full warrior of GemClan. Step forward, Lemuria.'
The she-cat was standing in the waters, blinding silver light shining from the pools. She stepped forward, feeling the water slowly solidify...
'Lemuria, you have to stay strong.' Coral's bright amber eyes flashed with emotion. 'No one's going to like you. You need to be on your own. It's okay, remember that I'll be here if you need me.'
'I name Wolf your mentor.' Sapphire's voice was clear.
A gray tom padded out, blue eyes shockingly fierce, with an aura of warm amber ringing his irises. He returned Evanescence's silver gaze with a leveled blue stare, enough to force the young she-cat look away. Tension stilled the air until Sapphire yowled, 'The Ice Camp is where both of you are going to be for the next six moons. Now go!'
Without saying another word Evanescence leaped out of the water, which was slowing turning into ice.
'Darnit,' Hail muttered, 'I could've froze her!'
Sapphire glared at her guard. 'I never asked you to do so.'
But it was obvious that you wanted him to, Evanescence thought bitterly. You wanted him to kill me.
Sudden fury boiled inside of her, slowly filling and blinding her-
A rotten scent drifted to her nose.
She whipped backwards to see an army of cats- the undead- marching towards the group. She screamed, ready to run.
It took her a heartbeat to realize that she summoned the zombies. Her rage was powerful enough to do so.
She turned and fled the scene.
Evanescence couldn't remember much of the incident afterwards. She was trapped in place without stars for what felt like a lifetime. Everytime she made a turn, a voice strangely familiar would urge her to go further but her sense of direction told her that she was running in circles. Finally, she burst into a clearing. A white she cat was already sitting there, her tail wrapped neatly around her paws. ' Well, how do they teach you in GemClan, daughter? Do you not greet your own mother?'
'Opal?' Evanescence gasped.
The she-cat rolled her eyes. ' It's Shaded, my girl. Come join me on this quick talk.'
'Shaded who?' Evanescence's voice cracked. Shaded sounds so familiar, she thought, But I just couldn't remember who is Shaded!
Shaded hissed impatiently. 'Your mother in your last life, Evanescence. You were Phoenix.'
Sudden realization cleared Evanescence's mind.
'It's you,' she whispered. 'This is the Dark Forest.'
'Let me go!' Evanescence cried. 'I don't want to be here!'
The jet black she-cat scrambled away, eyes wild. 'Let me out! Bring me back to GemClan!'
Shaded sashayed over to her former daughter, who was lying on the marshy ground, prodding her right paw into her flank.
'Stand up, weakling. Who taught you to be that weak? Is it that so-called mother Coral?'
'Stop, please,' she pleaded. 'I want to be back at GemClan-'
'Listen!' Shaded snapped.
Evanescence opened her mouth to protest but to her shock, no sound came out. 'Girl, if you don't remember, you're not the only Power Mimic around here. It's in your genetics. In fact, you got it from me.'
Evanescence finally found her voice. ' I...I don't remember this part.'
Shaded forced a purr. 'Of course you don't remember. You were stolen from me when you were two moons old by the spirits themselves. I only ask for you to join me. I know you will object but I am patient. I can wait. You're destined to be a hero, but we do not know which side are you on. Your so-called mother Coral might be a apprentice prophet but she is certainly a good healer. I cannot keep you here much longer. Just remember, I will be here when you make the decision.'
And then, she faded into nothingness.
Evanescence blinked her eyes open, to find herself restrained by brambles, in a stone den.
She let out a screech of pain as she tried to move. It didn't work.
Focus, Evanescence. Focus. You've used fire to burn down the nursery. You can use fire to burn down the brambles. Shaded's voice was clear and full of clarity.
Sudden fire erupted from her paws, lighting up the brambles with fire. Not long afterwards, the brambles became nothing but ashes.
She rolled away, aware that the guards had already scented smoke.
Fire is essential, but deadly, she thought. We need heat, but it could burn us, melt our gemstone.
'You think I'm going to follow your rules? I'm a free spirit, unrestrained, unrestricted.'
Evanescence faced Hail and Velvet, her silver eyes burning.
How can I take two well trained warriors down single-handed? I'm just a mere untrained apprentice. That's when the jet black she-cat realized she made the wrong move.
I have no choice. I need to fight, she thought.
Using her speed as an advantage, she charged towards Hail and in a heartbeat, she sank her fangs into the cat's shoulder. He yowled in pain as blood seeped out of the wound, with some unknown greenish gray liquid trickling out with the blood.
Almost immediately the tom collapsed, writhing and choking out foam.
Velvet gasped in fear but she stood her ground. Her body shaking, ice started to form around her paws and she lashed her tail.
She quickly lunged at Evanescence's belly, ready to take down the young apprentice. However, the young apprentice outwitted Velvet.
Before the russet she-cat could lash out, Evanescence tried to shove the she-cat down, but she wasn't strong enough and eventually, Velvet held her down, pushing her muzzle into the earth.
'This is unheard of, a former kittypet killing a GemClan warrior, let alone a Black Ice.' Velvet's eyes gleamed with ambition. 'That alone can make me become a Camp Head. I would be so much more powerful. I wouldn't be looked down upon. I, can claw to power!'
Evanescence choked, struggling to breathe. You aren't going to die like this, are you? Shaded taunted her. If you die here, now, you'd be in the Dark Forest, forever. She can destroy your gem Core, then you will perish. Are you going to let that happen?
She let out a shriek of fury and was barely able to throw Velvet off, her coughing out mud.
Her glare was so cold it sent shivers down cats' spine- the other prisoners, Velvet, everyone.
'Have you ever heard of using ice against ice?' Evanescence's black paws had ice crusting around.
Velvet's eyes grew wide as she tried to run, but Hail's reached over, grabbing her tail.
'Help m-me kill th-that abomination,' he choked, 'Please...'
The russet she-cat turned around, glanced at Evanescence once, and looked back.
'Attack!' Sapphire suddenly appeared from the Prison entrance.
Evanescence knew she couldn't take 10 of the best fighters in the Clan.
But I can, a sly voice whispered with a laugh.
Shaded, no! Please! Evanescence pleaded her not to take over.
But she did. It's the only way to take them out, you fox dung! Do you not think?
The cats saw the drastic change- black fur to white fur, silver eyes to fiery golden.
'You need to take me first, you bunch of weaklings,' Shaded snarled.
Sapphire did not recognize Shaded. None of them did. Shaded was too ancient, nearly forgotten by all cats except for the ones in StarClan.
Sapphire charged towards Shaded without warning, creating an illusion of an army.
With a lash of Shaded's tail, the illusion turned into real cats- but on Shaded's side.
Sapphire narrowed her eyes and screeched, 'Kill this abomination!'
The illusionary army rushed forward.
'Honestly, if you think this could kill me, you need to think again.'
Shaded lashed her tail and the illusion disappeared.
'Wh-Larimar! Use your powers to fight this monster!' Sapphire snarled, half afraid.
The gray she-cat smirked and threw a ball of water towards her.
Shaded easily deflected the ball with a water bolt.
Larimar swore and rolled away, dodging the bolt.
'The only way to kill me is to fight me, fist on fist,' Shaded cackled. 'Your powers are too weak! You aren't even trying, mouse-hearts!'
Inferno's bright amber eyes lit up with flame as he turned into a ball of fire, lunging at Shaded's throat.
'Oh, you want to fight in the hard way? As you wish.' Shaded's golden eyes glowed as she vanished.
'Come get me!' She appeared behind Inferno, giggling like a maniac.
'Fox dung!' Inferno spat, quickly pouncing on Shaded. The she-cat growled and tried to shake him off, but to no avail. Inferno was about to dip down and bite her neck when the cats from Shaded's army rushed forward, swarming over the two and dragged Inferno off. Shaded smirked, seeing the bright ginger tom being mangled by dead cat.