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The Six Powers Book One- part I
Here are the pronunciations of the names that are not pronounced as they are spelled:
Krin: Kr -ihn
Cats of Oshibos
Echo: Smoky gray she-cat with ice-blue eyes
Tempest: Dark gray tom with deep green eyes and
Ga’ia: Dusky brown she-cat with green eyes
Ghost: Light gray, almost white tom with a hoarse voice
Hawk: Dark brown tom with black ears
Nightleaf: Jet-black she-cat with amber eyes and orange ears, tail-tip, and paws
Solei: Feisty, bright orange tom with green eyes
Rahm: Black-and-white patched tom with yellow eyes
Sonye: Small, golden-furred kitten with large yellow eyes
Sygrid: Wiry brown, clever she-cat, Tempest’s mate in book 3 after he leaves the other Powers
Shanoren: Pitch black tom with bright blue eyes and one orange paw, Echo and Solei’s kit
Kitiara: Pure white she-cat with green eyes and reddish-brown tips, Shanoren’s sister
Noyyea: Tawny she-cat with black paws, Sygrid and Tempest’s daughter
Mryn: Dark black hawk from the Unknown
Siki: Somber, bright white wolf from Wolf Valley
D’lyk: Siki’s father
Krin: Siki’s mother
Risa: White female Deathbringer
Lyr: Deathbringer kitten, daughter of Risa, found in the Crystal Plains
Panic: Evil spirit possessing the body of a cat
Deathbringers: Now-dead cats that have pledged to serve Panic
Grishmak Flyrstrike: king of the wolves of Wolf Valley
Gar-locke(Gar-lawk): The evil land in the night sky where evil cats go after death
Gar-fiend: Wolf name for a Deathbringer
Gard- mier(Guard-meer): A name for the making of a Deathbringer
Kro-smist: The land underground where good cats and wolves go
Krorgree: The wind spirits who watched over the wolves before Panic came
Garcricks: The sacred symbol used by Panic to bring a dead cat back as a Deathbringer
Krolys: The ancient wolf ritual for raising the Krorgree
Vorrinlich: Creatures that live in the sea Kora
Cats rule the planet of Oshibos.
Over the years they have toiled away to tend to the weak, and have taught what they know to others in need. This is how the remaining scraps of good on this distant world have clung to life. They will always be the ones who will know what to do. They are the only hopes of the small planet.
They are the descendants of the Six Powers.
Before time began, the Six Powers reigned over the land. They used their powers to aid the earth. They were:
Kyeina with the Light. Paku with the Shadow. Mercury with the Ice. Rajii with the Fire. Lagra with the Earth. And Orane with the Sky.
The Six used these powers together to keep evil from entering Oshibos.
But the cats of Oshibos wanted bloodshed. They did not wish to move from place to place, always traveling and stopping, traveling and stopping. They wanted war with the Six.
They created the Panic.
They used spells to create the most powerful demon the world had ever seen. They warred with the Six. The Powers could not match Panic and retreated. Now Oshibos was a land of terror and cruelty, all ruled by the demon cats of Panic. Panic had inhabited these cats until they died, and even then the evil spirits of these cats haunted Oshibos until they faded. And even now, some of these bloodthirsty spirits stay in Oshibos, ever serving Panic, who has haunted them with hypnotic thoughts. When a Deathbringer comes upon an enemy of Panic, they have a... way of killing them.
But one small group of six rebel cats has survived so far. They hid in a cave in the rocks. Panic speaks to the Deathbringers now in his palace, to torture one of these cats by the name of Echo.
“Did you use it?”
“Well, use it!”
“But milord, she’s but a kitten...”
“I said USE IT!”
“V-v-v-very w-well s-s-sir...”
“Are you quite sure?”
“Yes. We must get her to speak before the Six Powers can find her. She is the one. I know it. Now go, and do what you can. If she does not talk, then you will have to use it. She must not be found by the Six until she is with us. The Power will come to her. And when she gets the Power, we will be the ones with the advantage.”
“No! I’ll never tell.”
“You will before this is over.” said the Deathbringer beside me.
“Do your worst, you vile worm! You’re not worthy to be called a cat!”
“Is the captive still not speaking?” asked another raspy voice. I heard a door open.
“No. I shall try it a bit more. If not then, then yes, we must use it.”
The Deathbringers had been talking about “it” for awhile now.
The whip cut sharply into my smoky gray fur.
“Keep trying, Deathbringer. You won’t get a word out of me!”
“Very well, captive.”
Completely unexpected, a searing pain exploded in my face. I felt my right eye burning. I suppressed a scream of pain.
I felt my heart slow down. I couldn’t see.
“Talk, or die!” said the Deathbringers.
Then something happened. It felt like my mind was being... pierced, opened, forced into...
“The Six- Six... Powers... have...seen...” I found myself gasping.
Then I slipped into the darkness, my face burning, on fire, knowing that I was dead, and fell endlessly into the blue-gray shadows.
I opened my eyes. I could see my friends Ga’ia, Hawk, Ghost, Nightleaf, and Tempest through my left eye. Pain seared through my right, and I couldn’t open it.
“I- I’m... alive?”
It was Tempest who spoke. He always talked like that, frank and serious. He never tried to reassure anybody, and always spoke his mind. He fitted his personality, with deep gray fur and black stripes like small tornados winding down his back.
“You had better get up and look in the river.” he said.
I staggered to my feet, braced myself, and looked at my reflection. I almost fainted again from what I saw.
Scars ran up parts of my ear. A swollen, blackened lump sat where my eye had been. There were burn marks coating my muzzle, and the whole side of my face stung.
“Wha- wha- what happened?”
“They hit you with a firebolt.” said Ga’ia.
“It looks bad,” said Tempest; “You’d better put it in the water to stop the swelling.”
“But...how did I get here? Did you sneak in and rescue me, or...”
“They left you for dead on the path that leads from the palace to Xoraan.” Ghost said in his hoarse whisper. “They thought you would die on the path. But Nightleaf saw you and Ga’ia healed it up a bit with some herbs.”
Ga’ia had always had a knack with plants. She always knew how to shelter from rain, what plants to use when a cat was hurt, and so on. Tempest loved the night, and loved the beauty of the stars and the moon. Ghost seemed to be very comfortable with the cold snow that came in winter, and he enjoyed the cool ice that coated the ground. I loved the snow, and rain, and hail, but also sun, and the beautiful sunsets. When I was small; my mother told me that she had named me for my joyful yowls as I ran over the sleet-covered ground. Nightleaf- you could never tell. Same thing with Hawk.
I staggered to my paws, grimacing at the pain in my eye.
“Here;” said Ga’ia; “Put this on your face.”
I patted my right eye with the leaf wrap full of herbs and winced at the stinging.
“Let’s go before we get lost. I think I can see the cave from here.” Hawk said.
We set off towards the cave where we lived, hiding from the Deathbringers and Panic. It was hard in winter, when all the prey was gone, and the six of us had nearly starved to death last year.
Tempest and Ga’ia supported me as we staggered off towards the cave. My legs hurt badly from the flogging, so once we got back to the cave.
But once we reached our home, we stopped in our tracks.
Standing in the cave mouth, smiling evilly, was a Deathbringer.
We gaped at the translucent, greenish ghost in front of us.
“Don’t bother trying to kill me. Soon Panic will know of this place,” he said in a low, raspy voice.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw another cat scurry around a tree, no doubt a messenger of Panic.
“When I give the sign, everybody run.” I breathed to my friends.
I flicked my tail hard.
The six of us ran for our lives, scattering and dodging through the trees. Apparently, the Deathbringer had hidden some others in the woods, because I saw one pursuing Nightleaf.
I let out a yowl of pain as a Deathbringer’s claws raked my fur. I spun around, slashing furiously. I sent her reeling away, black blood streaming from her shoulder.
“Scatter!” I shouted to my friends.
They wove into the trees, disappearing and confusing the Deathbringers. They regrouped and ran away, hissing in frustration.
Meanwhile, my friends and I met each other at the tip of Xoraan Forest.
“We have to find a new place to live. Panic’s cats are swarming the place.” said Nightleaf quietly.
Hawk and I looked back at the place we had lived for
so long. Hundreds of ghostly, mist-streaming silhouettes grouped in front of the cave.
We staggered through the pouring rain, tired and bedraggled. Ga’ia was limping from a claw wound in her front leg, and Tempest had a bad shoulder.
“Let’s stop there for the night.” suggested Hawk, gesturing with his tail towards a large pine.
The six of us scrambled up through the branches until we found a place sheltered from the rain.
“Where are we going to go?” inquired Ga’ia
“I don’t know, Ga’ia. I don’t know.”
I settled down to sleep.
I didn’t realize we were being watched until it was too late.
A yowl of fright from Nightleaf roused me. I leaped out of the tree with alarm.
Below me I saw a Deathbringer, holding his claws to Ga’ia’s throat and smiling.
“You lay a claw on her and you’re dead!” snarled Hawk.
“Very well. You lay a claw on me and she dies.” he snickered cruelly, teasingly tracing a pattern on her neck with his claw. “Tell me, where are you going this fair day?” he asked brightly, keeping Ga’ia pinned against the ground.
I bowed my head. We had been heading for the Crystal Plains, and we had no choice...
“We-we were going to—"
I was interrupted by a high-pitched screech of anger that shook the ground around me. Jagged spikes of rock and dirt sprang up around Ga’ia, spearing the Deathbringer on a barbed hook of stone.
Brilliant green mist poured out of Ga’ia’s chest, streaming through the air and clouding around the dying Deathbringer. The body was lifted into the air, still enveloped in the green fog, and... disappeared.
My friends stood, amazed, beside me. The green mist still drifted out of an awestruck Ga’ia’s heart.
But then the mist stopped flowing, and Ga’ia collapsed to the ground.
We ran over to our friend. Already her breathing was slowing, and her pulse becoming fainter, fainter...
As the sound completely faded, I ran and pressed my ear against her mouth.
I heard faint puffs of breath.
She was alive.
Her eyes opened, and then narrowed into small slits.
“What- what just happened?” she stuttered.
Then the sensation of my mind being... entered... returned.
“She has Earth;” a soft voice whispered. “Earth.”
Who are you? I thought to the voice.
“I am she who is the spirit of Lagra, the Power with the Earth. Ga’ia has the Power, so now I will fade, for I am no longer needed in this world”.
The whispering stopped, leaving me confused. Who was Lagra? What was a “Power”?
“I can hear your thoughts.” A different voice now, this time a male.
“Do not speak. I will answer your questions later. Farewell now. I watch over you from the sky.”
Once again, the voices faded.
A silver tomcat slipped out of the starry forest I saw before me, followed by four others: a gray tabby tom, a golden she-cat, a tom, reddish-brown, and another she-cat- pure white.
“Do not fear. You are dreaming.” the silver tom spoke gently. “We have come to answer your questions.”
“We will each give one of your friends a Power. They are in this dream too.” said the golden she-cat.
I looked beside me. There sat my friends, staring vacantly at the strange cats.
But not Ga’ia.
“Where is Ga’ia?” I demanded angrily. “What have you done to her?”
“Be calm, young kitten. Your friend is safe. She has simply already received her Power.” the gray tabby mewed.
“But why us? Why are you giving these powers to us?”
“You do not understand, kitten.” the white tom whispered softly to me.
All the cats spoke at once.
“You are our descendants, and we are the Six Powers.”
“But-but- there are only five of you.” I stuttered.
“Yes.” said the silver tom with sorrow. “Lagra has faded away, after giving your friend her Power.”
“Who are you, exactly?”
One by one, the cats stepped forwards, and gave their names. The silver tom came first.
“I am Orane of the Sky.”
“I am Rajii, with the Fire.” The reddish-brown tom.
“I am Karana of the Light.” The golden she-cat.
“I am Mercury, of Ice.” The gray tabby.
“And I am Paku with the Shadow.” finished the white female.
“Your friends are not ready for their Powers yet. You see them in this dream, but they are not dreaming it.” Paku said.
“And now, it is time for you to receive your Power. Use it well.” said Orane, stepping forward and licking the top of my head.
Immediately a cooling sensation flowed through my body. It was like rain, and snow, and wind, all together in one feeling. Then it began to grow warmer, and warmer, until it was the warm washing of sunlight flowing through me. I was surrounded by a mist of gray and gold, like a sun setting into twilight.
Then it was gone.
“Congratulations, Echo. You have received your Power.”
“But what is my Power? How do I use it?”
“Your Power is Sky. How you use it... You shall decide that. Farewell now. We will watch over you...”
Abruptly the voices broke off. I felt myself falling, falling... plummeting into a tornado of wind and thunder and the pained cries of tortured cats.
“Beware, Echo. Beware the storm-"
I settled down for a meal of roots and leaves from a tree that Ga’ia had identified. The bitter tubers left a horrid aftertaste, and though the leaves were tasty, the meager breakfast would not sustain us for our journey.
We had located a new home to stay in, near the Crystal Plains. It was a large underground tunnel beneath a place called Moonshine Cave. Only trouble was, it was at least a month’s worth of walking to get there, and we never knew what would happen along the way.
We slowly got to our feet and began our trek to the cavern.
What IS it? I thought to the voice.
“Echo, you must find the Powers in your friends. They will not survive without them.”
What must I do?
“You must go to these places: Moonshine Cave. The Crystal Plains. Wolf Valley. Death Cavern. The Unknown. And the Dark Cliffs.
I shuddered as I heard those last words.
Death Cavern. The Unknown.
The Dark Cliffs.
My mother had told me about the Unknown once. It was a horrible place full of evil and death, and at the end of it, there was said to be a vast sea that looked calm and inviting, but nobody who touched that water ever returned.
My father had gone on an expedition, determined to find out what was killing all the cats by that sea. My mother and I had just enough time to receive a letter from him, describing the horrors of the place, when we were informed of his death in the terrible waters of Kora.
And the Dark Cliffs.
I shook away the fearful memory, trudging towards my group. I looked at Tempest, leading the way, his handsome face scowling. I searched his face, looking for a sign of fear in his glare, but could not find it.
“Ga’ia;” asked Tempest; “Do you have some pine sap for my shoulder?”
“Sorry, no. And we don’t have time to gather any.”
Tempest grunted and limped on, his leg marred by the deep gash.
I huddled in the stone hollow, cramped and hot. I had told my friends about my dream, but they had shaken me off, saying that it was just a dream, nothing to worry about.
I sighed and vainly attempted to sleep.
The next morning, I woke up to find that Nightleaf had vanished.
“Nightleaf?” I called. “Nightleaf!”
“Yes, what is it?” a familiar voice spoke.
“Is that all you can say?” she asked, stepping into the hollow with two voles in her mouth.
“There you are, Nightleaf!”
“Yes, here I am.”
“Thanks for bringing the voles. We could use something besides-" I lowered my voice to a whisper.
“Besides Ga’ia’s roots and leaves.” I whispered, careful not to let Ga’ia hear.
We walked into the hole in the rock, set down the voles, and cheerfully smacked our friends awake.
“WAKE UP TEMPEST!”
He staggered, yawned, stretched... and promptly fell over again.
“Tempest...” I spoke through gritted teeth.
“Alright, alright, I’m up, I’m up...”
He slowly got to his feet.
“Nice voles, Nightleaf.” congratulated Ghost. “Where did you find them?”
“In a patch of brambles. I’m still all thorny.” she replied, yanking a burr out of her sleek black pelt. “Ow!”
“Wha’?” asked Hawk sleepily, stumbling around the cave.
“I had a thorn in my fur.”
“Uh? Oh. Voles. Gimme.”
He took a big bite out of the vole and half choked on it.
“Careful.” said Ga’ia, stifling a purr of amusement.
“Quiet...” he grunted. “Just... bit of fur...”
He hacked out a pile of vole pelt.
“Ew.” said me and Ga’ia in unison.
“*Yawn* What’s for breakfast?” asked Tempest sleepily. “Oh. Voles. Too bad one is half eaten.” he said, glancing at Hawk.
“Hey, I was hungry.”
“Oh, do shut up, Hawk.” Nightleaf said crossly.
“Like I said, I was hungry.”
“Oh, Tempest, you think you’re the big boss...”
“ALL OF YOU, SHUT UP!” I cried. “You’re being featherheads!”
“No, you shut up!”
“No, you shut up!”
“Guys! Quiet! I hear something!” hissed Tempest.
Sure enough, I could hear a faint rustling in the ferns.
I leaped at the bush and came out with a large rabbit.
“Nice catch. More breakfast!” congratulated Tempest with a purr. I bent down and took a bite out of the juicy rabbit. I felt as if it was the best thing I’d ever eaten.
After our meal, everyone was happy and full, except for Ga’ia.
“What’s wrong, Ga’ia?” I asked softly.
“You-you know about the time the Deathbringer was pinning me down and-" she broke off. The rest of us were silent, remembering the strange burst of rocks around her, the strange green mist flowing from her chest. We had always avoided talking about it.
“Come on.” I encouraged gently.
“Well, last night, I had this strange dream. There were these weird cats, four of them, and they spoke to me, telling me about... something about our ancestors and ancient cats and something called a Power...” she trailed off. “And that’s all I remember.”
We all looked at eachother, amazed. I had told them about a dream I had, about the same thing, only there were five cats, not four.
“Oh!” she exclaimed. “I remember something else. They called themselves the Six Powers.”
I recoiled in shock. The Six Powers. The spirit cats. The ones who gave me my Power.
“Wait, wait one minute.” I began. “The cats in my dream gave me some sort of Power. Do you think if I tried it out...”
“Sure.” replied Nightleaf. “Try it.”
I closed my eye tight and concentrated. I focused on the foggy day, the incoming rain clouds...
Nothing. Nothing at all.
“It-it-we must have had the same dream.” I concluded. “Nothing happened.”
“Oh well.” said Ghost. “It’s alright.”
“Come on, guys. We need to get moving.” said Tempest gruffly. “The Deathbringers are on our tail.”
“Aw, come on, Tempest, have some fun for once!” teased Ga’ia. “It’s not raining, at least... and look, the clouds are breaking up.”
She was right. As I looked towards the sky, the clouds died away, and the sun poked through. Beside us, the pine trees and sparse shrubbery were growing well, their tops stretching up towards the sky. Frost grew on the rocks beneath our feet, and the glare was like fire. Only the shade seemed disrupted, long shadows chilling the air.
“Yeah, Tempest. Come on! You’re always so grouchy and boring.” chuckled Ghost.
“No. We have to go.” hissed Tempest. “You know we have to.”
“I agree with Ghost and Ga’ia.” I said. “You are grouchy and boring-and not to mention bossy.”
The others purred in amusement and flicked Tempest with their tails.
“Oh, actually, we had better get going-it’s already noon.” said Nightleaf. “Look at the sun.”
She was right. The bright sun was directly overhead.
“Oh, finally, somebody agrees with me.” snorted Tempest angrily. “Let’s go.”
Tempest paced in the clearing, under the moon. He had to let it out. But he couldn’t tell the others about his dream.
He concentrated. He could feel the shadows of the trees drawing towards him, their energy charging him and making his claws itch.
“Tempest... why are you up?”
Tempest whirled around. Echo stood nearby with a look of concern on her marred face.
“Too bad! You know, you really should try to sleep. We’ve got a big day tomorrow.”
“No thanks. Go on back.”
“Well, if you insist...”
Echo retreated into the ferns, back to the others. Thank goodness she didn’t question Tempest further. She couldn’t know about his dream.
She would only become more troubled...