A PRODUCTIVE PARTNERSHIP
Samson Quin was meant to be tutoring the daughter of a lovely history teacher who he happened to have a crush on. Instead, he found someone with the same passion for history as he. Samson not only had someone to talk to about his ideas for writing historical fiction. He'd made a new friend, as well!
"Hey, I could be your fact checker!" Gina offered.
"Actually, I'm more in the market for an artist!" Sam countered.
"I LOVE to draw!" Gina yipped. "What do you need?"
"All I can draw well are profiles. I need frontal portraits, too."
"Well, when I'm sure all your facts are straight, we'll talk!"
"What's wrong with my facts?" Sam asked with concern.
"Oh, nothing, really!" Gina laughed. "Just want to make sure that artistic license doesn't lead to unfortunate heresy! I need to preserve historical integrity at all costs. That's vital to my work ethic!"
"Hmm, this could make for a particularly productive partnership, Gina," Sam said, pausing only when he realized his own use of alliteration. "Oh, no, not ALLITERATION!"
"So, Felona expert. Tell me more about Luna and how she became Queen."
"What about the Elemental Masters?"
"Well, the two stories do intersect, you know. So I'll pick up when you get there!"
"OK, well then...” Samson cleared his throat. “That's a long way off. But there's plenty of good stuff that they don't put into history books.”
“Oh, is that so?” Gina asked with a smirk, crossing her arms.
Samson sighed before continuing the story of Luna Dawnstar.
As you might expect, giving three teenage kittens - Luna, Aletto, and Kissa – the Soul Swords was not particularly a wise decision. The type of power that the Swords offered their new owners was far beyond anything that they could yet fully understand.
These three Soul Swords were ancient artifacts that the Fates confiscated from their previous owners. They were taken away for good reason, for the abuse of their power. So it seemed extremely unwise to entrust these powerful weapons to young Felona.
But the Fates felt that these three were capable of taking responsibility for their power. They were all dedicated to uniting Felonia in a way that no other Felona at that time wanted.
Sometimes wanting something enough is enough to make it true, Luna felt. But you also have to work for it. These three were more than happy to fight for everything they wanted.
But first, they had to get to know one another a bit better.
“So, what is it you do again?” Aletto asked Kissa.
“I'm an artist,” Kissa said proudly. “I hope to join the Royal Artisans with my art someday!”
“Uh-huh,” Aletto nodded. “So basically you sit around and just draw all day?”
“Um, I guess so,” Kissa shrugged.
“Not all of us can come from proud warrior families,” Luna said with a smile. “We all do what we can.”
“Well, um,” Aletto looked down, “About that...”
“Come on, Aletto. You've got a lot of fire in you, I can tell!”
“Thanks, Luna,” Aletto said with a shy smile. “It's really cool to meet you.”
“Same,” Kissa said. “Are you really the Princess Dawnstar?”
Luna nodded sadly, “Yeah, my mom died when I was really young. She would've been the best Queen of Felonia ever. But just when everything was coming together, she fell ill and was gone the next day.”
Aletto groaned, “How could someone so powerful just go like that?”
“It's never that simple,” Kissa said, a bit perturbed at Aletto's lack of tact. “I'm really sorry you had to go through that.”
“I mean, I have a great caretaker,” Luna said, trying to force a smile for her new friends. “Muffi is awesome. And Aunt Cleo tries to run everything as well as my mum did. But as you can see, it's pretty quiet here at the palace. It gets really lonely, everybody out fighting trying to keep the order.”
“Yeah, so much for that,” Aletto scoffed.
Luna glared at Aletto, “You have no idea. I've made so many friends. Every time I make a new warrior friend, they go and die on me. Muffi and Cleo are really all I had. Till now, that is.”
“Hold on,” Gina interrupted. “How do you know they had that conversation?”
“It's historical fiction, Gina,” Samson explained. “You base the story on the facts. Then, you tell the things you want people to know through dialogue that makes sense given the situation.”
“Hmm,” Gina stared blankly at Samson for a moment, before appearing satisfied with his answer. “OK, continue!” she said with renewed enthusiasm.
Holding powers in their paws that they did not yet truly understand, Luna, Kissa, and Aletto made their way to the modest palace in Pawshire. They were met with confused looks as they approached Luna's aunt, the Regent Cleo Starbright.
Cleo was a dark, nearly black Felona, who wore her thick dark brown mane in a long braid that hung over her shoulder. Her sister, Phoebe, had been her twin in looks despite Cleo being five years older.
Cleo was wise, but quietly. By most accounts, a strong-minded, but a passive leader. She basically let her commandant, Theo Macka, run the constant war efforts against the other 12 squabbling Tribes.
“Ahem,” Gina again interrupted. “What happened to the dialogue?”
Samson sighed. “Sometimes, exposition is necessary.”
Gina scoffed, “OK, continue.”
“We're getting to the good part,” Samson said.
“Auntie Cleo, I made some new friends!” Luna announced.
“I see,” Cleo said, sitting in the Regent's chair, apparently unenthused. “Muffi?”
Out of seemingly nowhere, a portly, fluffy Felona charged in towards Kissa and gave her a big hug. Kissa's eyes almost popped out of their sockets.
“You brought home a friend! A beautiful blue friend!” the friendly Felona shouted.
“Um, yeah, I did,” Luna said with a blank expression on her face. “You can let her breathe now, Muffi.”
“Sorry! Sorry!” Muffi apologized. “Luna just doesn't have a great track record with, uh...” She then saw Aletto. “Hi,” she said, with a look of familiarity.
“Hi, yourself,” Aletto said with a frown.
“Sorry, sorry, again, Princess Stiletta. You look so much like your mother.”
“I really don't,” Aletto said. “How do you know me again?”
“It's just,” Muffi sighed. “Your mum is just, well, she's such a hero. I'm just really happy to see that Luna is your friend.”
“Yeah, she's cool,” Aletto said, looking at Luna.
“This is awesome! The daughter of a hero! And an Azure! We don't see you guys much around here.”
“Eh, we're around,” Kissa said shyly. “We, well, aren't really as many as we used to be.”
“Yeah, sorry about that,” Luna apologized.
“Regent Cleo,” Aletto said, “I want to ask you something.”
Cleo nodded in acknowledgment.
“Did you really know Mona Stilletta?”
Cleo paused for a moment, before nodding yes again.
“Did she die a hero?”
“Yes,” Cleo said without hesitation, “She was. I hope you set a good example for my niece. She could use a hero.”
“She has you!” Kissa blurted out.
Cleo chuckled for a moment. Then, her expression turned to a blank one. “I suppose.”
“My dad says there's no such thing as heroes,” Aletto said defiantly. “Just those who go out and do the right thing.”
“When it suits you,” Cleo said.
Aletto looked stunned at Cleo's remark, “That's what my dad told me when I was little.”
“Cardigan Stilletta...” Cleo began to say. She then quickly changed the subject. “Luna, how did you come to meet these two?”
When Luna explained the story, Cleo shook her head in disbelief.
“So these – faeries – gave you spirit blades?” Cleo asked. “They look like kitten's toys to me. Don't you all have better things to be doing?”
“Kissa likes to draw,” Aletto remarked.
“Mm-hmm,” Cleo nodded. “I appreciate that you have these new friends, Luna. Just keep your mind on your studies. One day, when you come of age, this throne will be yours. Don't go and do anything foolish now.”
“But that's the best part of life!” Aletto insisted.
Cleo looked sternly at Aletto, but Muffi stepped in front of the regent and smiled widely. “Group hug!”
Kissa and Luna were happy to join in, with Aletto only joining in reluctantly.
Little did Cleo yet realize that those “toys” were, in fact, the very Soul Swords that they were promised.
“I really like Muffi,” Gina said.
Samson nodded. “Muffi was beside Luna behind the scenes for a long time.” He checked his wristwatch. “But it's getting late. You should be getting supper and getting to bed.”
“OK!” Gina said. “Can't wait for more stories tomorrow! Maybe you can actually tutor me for once, then!”
“Can't make any promises,” Samson said with a wink. He waved goodbye as Gina went to go wash up for supper. Britney met him at the open door.
“You two really hit it off,” Britney said.
“Yeah, she's cool. We're teaching each other. It's cool. Goodnight, Miz Harrison.”
“Goodnight,” Britney said as Samson made his exit.
“So?” Britney asked Gina.
“I like Sam,” Gina said. “He's great at knowing stuff. With my help, he'll tell some great stories!”
“I think so,” Britney said, watching Samson walk down the street.