Clash of the Seasons

Chapter One: Message from the Moon

The Man in the Moon has been silent since the defeat of Pitch Black, three years ago. He hasn't spoken to any of the Guardians, and he hasn't given a single sign of existence in a long while. He simply rose into the dark sky after sunset and sank beneath the horizon whilst the sun woke up again. And, occasionally, he would show his face during the day time. But even so, that was all he did; show his face and keep quiet.

The Guardians took this as a good omen. The moon only made contact when something in the world is terribly wrong or off balance. So as long as the moon doesn't say much, everything is bright and dandy, right? The children are safe, and the earth isn't in any real danger.

Nicholas St. North relished these three years of serenity. He sat in his Workshop and carved ice sculptures to his heart's content while eating cookies baked by irresponsible elves. His yetis made the toys each year for Christmas, and all Santa had to do was work one night a year, delivering those presents to the nice kids.

It was a peaceful day in the month of January that this era of true concord, since the Boogeyman's attempt to take over the world, came to an end.

Father Christmas was thoroughly enjoying the comforts of hot chocolate and a considerably large plate of sugar cookies on that cold, cold day, when a dark haired yeti stormed into his chamber, shouting gibberish which only made sense Santa and the cryptid.

"What?" North sputtered, spitting the gulp of cookies he was chewing all over the Himalayan giants. "You say that Manny has urgent news? Now?"

The yeti nodded its furry head, eagerly motioning toward the door.

The Guardian of Wonder chugged down his remaining cup of hot chocolate and slammed the mug onto a nearby coffee table. He stretched in an exaggerative manner before heaving himself from the comfortable armchair, rising to his full height. "Don't make a fuss; I'm coming."

The yeti led North out of his quiet room and into the mayhem that was the Workshop. Three levels of balconies surrounded a pillar of spiral stairs and on these levels, where yetis constructed and decorated toys for all the children of the world. The elves were bringing chaos as they trolled around the work space of the yetis, playing with electric lights and knocking over buckets of paint. Various objects flew through the air such as mechanical jellyfish, model aircrafts, and live origami birds.

North paid no attention to any of this as he made his way to the globe room where the roof was clear, like an astronomy observatory. He looked through the glass ceiling to see a waxing gibbous moon in the empty cerulean sky.

Its light was streaming into the room, casting a sinister blue ray onto the sign of the Guardians; an elegant G neatly embedded into the floor of the Workshop.

Santa and his yetis gasped in astonishment as the logo sank down and was replaced by a massive chunk of crystal. It was like the day Jack Frost was chosen to fight alongside the legends of childhood. Thinking that Man in Moon must have selected a new Guardian, North rubbed his hands together in excitement, waiting for the moonlight to reflect off of the crystal and create a projection of what the chosen one would look like.

With an agonizingly slow speed, the ray of moonlight finally reached the crystal at the correct angle. North stared at it in wonder as the light particles sluggishly morphed into… a snowflake?

Father Christmas frowned at the blue holograph which was projecting the symbol of winter and its spirit, Jack Frost. "What does this mean?" he asked himself.

Suddenly, the snowflake popped out of its projection and gently sank to the ground as a real piece of snow, gently landing on the floor. And before North could examine it, another image appeared over the crystal. It was a single, orange-red maple leaf, which became real as it escaped the rays of the moon.

North picked up these two items in utter perplexity. The snowflake did not melt in his hand and the maple leaf glowed with a golden light. "A leaf and a snowflake… This is very strange." he thought, scratching the top of his head.

At that moment, a delicate purple flower floated to him, also conjured from the crystal and the moon. Right after the flower was a glowing sphere of sunlight.

How moonlight could have conjured sunlight, North did not have the faintest idea of how that was possible, but he soon recognized a pattern in the four objects that were ejected to him."Summer…" her murmured, watching the ball of golden light hover in the air. "Autumn, spring," – the maple leaf and the purple flower – "And winter…" The snowflake was still frozen in its unique shape.

The objects instantly shot away from North's hands, as if acknowledging that he had figured out what each of them meant. The leader of the Guardians watched in horror as the four beautiful symbols began fighting with one another. They circled each other dangerously; summer's glow flared as autumn tried to attack it and winter sent a stream of frost at spring.

North wanted to break them apart, but the mini battle was high in the air, completely out of his reach.

Then, the whole atrium went dark as a tidal wave of blackness enveloped all of the seasons. The wind picked up speed, and North and his yetis were forced to squint their eyes and shield their faces as they watched the ocean of darkness swallow up the seasons to where only four distinctive glows were visible through the fog.

One of the lights flickered out, and North realized with shock that one of the seasons had just died. But he couldn't tell which one it was. Seconds later, two of the three remaining seasons also went dark, signaling that two more seasons were wiped out by the darkness. The leader of the Guardians waited with wide eyes for the fourth light to dim, but it stayed.

Before North could find out which season had survived, the entire vision vanished as the moon's light moved away from the crystal and the magical moment was over. The Guardian of Wonder stood there, flabbergasted, whilst the crystal sank back into the floor of the globe room.

All was quiet except for a few grunts made by the yetis. North slowly began to understand what the moon had shown him. It was a prophecy, a foretelling of some sort, about the four seasons of the year. Something was going to happen, he realized, a disaster event that would leave only one season alive while the others are wiped from the face of the earth. And Jack Frost… he could either survive the Event, and winter will become the reigning season. Or he could be one of the three that will be eaten up by the black wave.

For a long time, North had known that there were spirits of summer, spring, and autumn, but he never thought about them much. They never made contact with the Guardians and the Guardians left them alone, as well. The jolly man couldn't imagine how summer, spring, and autumn would react if they found out about this prophecy.

The other three seasons have quite different personalities and points of views. They are unpredictable, and there's no way of knowing whether they will become hostile or remain civil about the matter that only one of them will live through the Event. For all North knew, they could have already heard of the divination and are building up an army to fight each other!

If this was the case, North knew that he and the other Guardians had to help Jack. They had to make sure that he doesn't get ambushed by summer or targeted by spring. And most of all, they had to help him survive the Event when it comes.

North hesitated as he reached for the button on his panel of controls that would generate the aurora borealis. He hadn't pushed that button since Pitch Black tried to return. Could this prophecy be as serious as the rise of the Boogeyman? Or is it really just a prank by Man in Moon? Is it worth calling the other Guardians from their duties?

The Russian gazed up at the moon, remembered the urgency of its message, and made up his mind. He slammed the large blue-green button down with his fist.

The globe roared to life as it spewed ribbons of turquoise and magenta light in all directions. The Northern Lights billowed like flags as they escaped from an antenna at the top of the Workshop and spread across the sky for all to see.