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Tigris leaned against the cracked and dirty window pane of the small hut. Her arms were crossed, and she pressed her head against the glass, trying to peer through the muddy streaks. She wasn't trying to see the landscape, she already knew it looked like a barren wasteland. She was just trying to catch a glimpse of anyone who was coming to join the meeting she summoned. She didn't want to be there, crunched up against the window, but she wasn't ready to face the crowd of people behind her yet. Or what she hoped was a crowd. She was in a vulnerable position, facing away from the people already gathered inside the hut. At any moment, someone could jump up an stab her. It's not like it mattered. The meeting didn't matter either. Why she summoned it, she didn't know. If everything went downhill and the meeting was a failure, she planned on just giving up. Others could argue her saying she was "just giving up." She was actually trying to do something about the possessed SAMBers roaming the once beautiful SAMBria. She hadn't heard anyone else summon a meeting. They had good reasons, though, for it. This meeting could be an invite for darkened SAMBers to come and kill the still thinking ones. That's why she reached out to her friends, and they reached out to their friends who reached out to their friends. It wasn't a pubic invite. Wind whooshed past, shaking the fragile hut. "Tigris, no one else is coming. Better hurry up and start this thing," said a voice. She turned around to see who had spoken. It was Kagami. Her dark purple-brown hair was in a pony tail, and her creamy pale skin looked paler then normal. Her cloudy dark purple eyes glared at Tigris. She was skinny with a slim build, looking around 12-13. She was wearing a Korean hanbok with a white top, a red skirt, and red lining and cuffs, topped with gold threads woven in the white and red fabric, making it shimmer. Tigris didn't know Kagami very well, but could tell she was not in the best mood. Tigris walked over, and the first thing she noticed as she scanned the rows of seated people, was that there were only twenty-one. SAMBers. Well, counting someone's gang member. Out of what, hundreds? She dropped her crossed arms, as she realized they were still tightly crossed over her chest. She scanned the faces of the SAMBers again before speaking. "I'm Tigris, for those who don't know me," she said, walking up to the front. "Instead of making some inspirational speech about the problem I'm going to get straight to the point," she said. Wow, great speech so far! Got anymore 'inspirational' words? "I plan to do something about the darkened SAMBers, but before I begin I need to know your names," she said, walking up to the first person seated in the row. It was a girl with slightly tanned skin and blue eyes. She brushed a piece of stray black hair back into her side braid. She was wearing a dark gray t-shirt and jeans. Her expression was unreadable. "State your name," Tigris said flatly, crossing her arms again. "Night Robin," she said. Tigris nodded and moved on to the next person sitting beside her. "Beside her" wasn't quite right. The next SAMBer was sitting as far away from her as possible. In fact, everyone was sitting spaced out. Tigris sighed. "State your name." She recognized Blaise before she said her name. She had light brown hair, with long side swept bangs. Her hair was a bit lower then shoulder length, and she had tan skin with freckles. Her blue eyes blinked at Tigris. She was wearing denim ripped shorts with white underneath the rips, a white sleeveless crop top, a plaid flannel with sleeves rolled up, and light pink Converse high tops. "Annaleisa, Ana, or Blaise," she said. Tigris nodded and moved to the last person in the row, who was sitting on the edge of the bench. It was Kagami. "Kagami," she said bluntly. Tigris moved on to the next row. The person had dyed crimson hair, and pale blue eyes. She was wearing a white tunic, silver boots, a breastplate, and gauntlets. Well, she came prepared. "My name is Freya," she said. Tigris nodded and walked over to the next person. She recognized Kitten by her cat ears, tail, and black angel wings. Beside that, she had bobed purple hair, purple eyes, and tanned skin. She was wearing a shirt with a Hamilton logo, jeans, and purple converse. "Kitten," she yawned. Tigris tried not to yawn, but failed. Why do yawns have to be so catchy? She quickly moved onto the next person. The next person glared at her. "Why do we have to tell you our names?" She questioned. She expected most people to be edgy, but she really don't have time for this. "Do we really need to have this conversation?" Tigris said, throwing up her arms in exaggeration. The girl had pale skin, silver eyes, silver painted nails, and had a silver glow to her skin. She was wearing a baggy white tank with the ship name #Tabcat on the front. She guessed Eventi would be on the back. She also had gray ripped leggings and black converse. Oh. This is Silver. "It's Silver," she said, rolling her eyes as if Tigris should have recognized her sooner. Tigris pursed her lips to keep her from saying something mean and moved on. The next SAMBer was Ashes, who had a frown on her face. She had dirty blond hair that's slightly wavy, about 3 inches longer than shoulder-length. She also had green-brown eyes, was slightly skinny, and wore dark blue jeggings, a blue long-sleeve shirt, and a black jacket halfway unzipped. "Ashes," she said. Tigris moved on. The next person was new to the SAMB, though she was Tigris' best friend. She hadn't seen her in awhile and hoped she wasn't mad. Frostbite gave a little smile that encouraged her. "I'm Frostbite," she said. She had white hair, pale skin, ice blue eyes, and was wearing a blue shirt with jeans. Tigris glanced at the other SAMBers before moving on. The last person in the row had long, wavy sandy blond hair that was up in a ponytail. Her eyes were pine green. She wore a long brown flowing skirt and a green one shoulder top. She had silver bracelet with metal leaves on it. Her necklace was a metal orb. "Cassy," she said before Tigris even reached her. Clearly she wasn't going to wait around to he told things. Tigris turned around and rolled her eyes so no one would see. The next person in the row was a male, with fair skin, freckles, light blue eyes, and blond medium hair with bangs. He wore a white dress shirt, dark denim jeans, and black and white converse. He had a strong build, and had a calm and slightly amused expression on his face. Not something she would expect during this time. "Hello, I'm Twitch," he said. Tigris wanted to snort and stomp away, like she usually reacted to nice people. She didn't know why she did it. Or why she felt the need to. She had two moods: Bad tempered, stubborn, critical, and, even sometimes, arrogant. Luckily right now she was in her calm, understanding, and not reacting to rude comments mood. She moved on to the next person. The next person was a girl with red hair in double ponytails, very pale skin, and icy blue eyes. Half of her hair was mixed with swirls of brown. She wore a simple orange robe with a dark red, furry jacket, and brown simple leggings. She also wore bright yellow sneakers. "I'm Dogfly," she said. She reached out to shake Tigris' hand. She pulled it sharply out of reach. It had become a habit to be flighty and to flinch away at everything. It was all because the darkened SAMBers were making everyone afraid to even sleep. Avoiding Dogfly's eye and pretending not to notice her hurt expression, she walked over to the next SAMBer. She smiled for the first time in awhile as she recognized Swiftstar. Swifstar pushed her white hair with purple tips back, and her cobalt eyes blinked happily. She was tall and fair skinned. She wore black pants and shirt, and black combat boots. She was also wearing a mottled gray and green cloak. "It's Swiftstar," she said. The next row only had two SAMBers, huddled together. She realized why. One was a gang member, and gang members had been the first ones to become darkened. Unlike SAMBers who lost control, gang members faded into shadows, and the theory was they were being used to spy on SAMBers. It was Blitz, and her gang member Danny. She had thick, messy blank hair that barely brushed her shoulders. She had green eyes, and was tall and lanky. She wore blue jeans with frayed ends, green Converse sneakers, and a Coldplay t-shirt. Danny was also tall and lanky, with short messy black hair. He had hazel eyes, and wore black jeans with forest green sneakers. He had an Imagine Dragons t-shirt on. "Blitz," She said, pursing her lips. "I couldn't just leave him!" Blitz blurted out. Tigris sighed. "If he shows any signs of darkness, we dump you both," Tigris said, and walked away. The next row had three people on it. She recognized Storm right away. Usually Storm was cheerful, but right now she looked pretty freaked out. She had brown hair worn in a ponytail, she was fair-skinned, and had brown eyes. She wore a dark gray sweatshirt with light blue jeggings and black converse with white socks. "I'm... Storm," she said awkwardly. Tigris nodded and quickly walked to the next person, who she didn't recognize. She was tall, had pale skin, and brown hair with blue streaks at the sides. She had deep blue eyes, wore white robes decorated with blue and gold, and had a blue scarf. She had a blue Echo Flower, a white one, a gold one, and a normal light blue one in her hair. They repeated the words "integrity", "honesty". "purity" and "memory." Tigris tried not to stare. "I'm Anaia," the girl said. The last person was Puppy, who Tigris had seen but never talked to. In fact, she hadn't really talked to any of the SAMBers. Puppy had pale skin, hazel eyes, side bangs, and shoulder-length straight brown hair with pink highlights at the ends. She wore a pink t-shirt with a winking puppy face on it, soft light purple leggings, and small light blue boots. "Puppy," she said. The last row had four people in it. Grace, who had kind of long strait brown hair, Blue-ish-green eyes with gold, light red cheeks, pale face, and tanner arms. She wore a black long sleeve rock shirt, black leather jacket with empty chains like keychains on the end of her jacket, with a skull on back of her leather jacket, black leggings with a red checker pattern on them, and dark brown boots. Ocean, who had lightly tanned skin, wavy black hair, a striped blue-and-black T-shirt, a jean jacket, black leggings, bright blue flats, and a necklace. Cleo, who had tanned skin with a few "sun spots", green eyes, dark brown hair in a high ponytail, and was tall and slender. She wore a Stüssy shirt, high waist shorts, white Nike airs and various Egyptian jewellery. And Kodah, who had one white eye, one blue eye, Mid-length ash brown hair, Navy hoodie, ripped jeans, and a gold necklace. "Ok we're done," Tigris said abruptly, running up to the front of the room again. Everyone's expressions were mixed with shock, fear, grief, and even anger and annoyance. I better hurry up with this. "I suggest we try to find what's causing the darkness so we can stop it. Let's summon a scroll," she said. She summoned a scroll, and everyone waited. Scrolls were where SAMBer's knowledge and ideas about a topic were gathered so everyone could know what was going on and could know what they needed to know. After two minutes, a scroll appeared in thin air. Usually it didn't take so long. It landed on a small round table. The SAMBers got up and clustered around the table, while Tigris leaned over the scroll. She pulled the ribbon keeping it rolled up, and it unraveled quickly. Everyone jumped back as if expecting darkness to shoot out, but luckily none did. Tigris flattened some crinkles with her palm. "What information are we looking for exactly?" Asked Cassy. Tigris looked up. She didn't know exactly. Kitten started talking before Tigris could answer. "If we want to eliminate the threat, we should find where it first came from," she said. Everyone nodded in agreement. Tigris tapped the scroll, and words shifted and appeared. "It says here that the first person darkened was on Inspiration Island," said Tigris. Inspiration Island was where SAMBers went to put their ideas to use, or help their ideas become more creative. It was also where most of SAMBria's life and magic came from. "Oh, joy! Let's go walk right up to the Island and go, 'hey darkness! Stop possessing our friends!' That will totally work," said Ashes. Tigris glared at her to shut up. "I think it's worth a try," said Storm quietly. "Well, what will we do once we actually get there?" Silver asked. "We'll think of that on the way," Tigris said. "The sooner we act, the better," Frostbite said. Silver still looked doubtful, along with some other SAMBers. "Look, guys, we have to do something. I need to know now if your all committed to this," Tigris said. Slowly, all the heads nodded, except a few. "So we're just going to march after you now and take orders?" Said Cassy. "Yep this plan we don't even really have is totally going to work," said Ashes, rolling her eyes. "Well, if you have any better ideas you can go tip toe back outside to deal with the darkened by yourself. We won't miss you," Tigris snapped. They both glared at her and said nothing. Tigris didn't blame them for acting that way. Everyone was a little more bad tempered and stubborn then usual because of the darkness, but if this was going to work they needed to work together. "Um, Tigris, you know how the scroll came so slow? Do you think it's darkened?" Blaise asked slowly. Tigris thought for a moment. "No," she said at last. "Then what-" Blitz began, but Tigris cut her off. "If the darkness hit our main magic island first, it's going to affect the magic, obviously. I think it's blocking it and slowing it down, which is why summoning things and common powers will be harder to use," she said. "It makes sense," Said Kagami. "This doesn't explain why SAMBers are loosing control of themselves," pointed out Dogfly. "Yes, but that's what we're going to figure out," said Twitch. "Is this really safe? Going to the heart of the darkness?" Asked Anaia. Puppy nodded, looking slightly worried. "Of course not!" Snapped Swiftstar, before anyone else could say anything. "And as long as we don't do anything, we're not going to be safe either. So we need to quit debating and get out scaredy cat butts out of this hut," she declared. That got everyone's attention. "I don't like the term 'scaredy cat' very much," Kitten muttered. Tigris relaxed for a second and let her tiger striped tail and ears show. She ran her hand over her orange striped tail. "Okay, are we ready?" She asked. "Yes," the SAMBers replied in a chorus. They summoned backpacks and slung them over their shoulders, and took their weapons out. "I advise everyone pack lots of food and medical supplies, since summoning things is become harder," Tigris said. Tigris wasn't sure if anyone heard her, since no one answered. "Leading is not easy," she grumbled to herself. Clearly she had no leading talent what so ever. Tigris summoned a camo hiking bag and took out her weapons. A hair tie, colored pencils, an eraser, a rubber bouncy ball, a sharpened Schoolsmart pencil, and two pens. Good, I have them all. She quickly put them away. She usually used her retractable claws, but flesh and blood got caught under them and it wasn't sanitary. Plus her claws ached half the time. "C'mon everyone," she said, scooped up the scroll and headed towards the door. She paused, and listened. Nothing. In fact, everything was quiet. Too quiet. She opened the door, and winced as it creaked loudly. She stuck her head out and looked around. Nothing. One by one, the SAMBers filed out behind her, and they set off in the direction of Inspiration Island.
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They stalk the night on silent paws,
They catch it in their careful claws
They stand with striped heads held high and tall, for
They are tigers, never to fall
Warrior Cat Fan