Chapter 1: The Message
Nothing felt better than that of a crisp breeze blowing on a beautiful spring morning. And it’s on these types of mornings where you could find Jack Frost floating through the skies, ready to bring that wonderful snow day kids loved so much.
It had been a few months since he had been back to see Jamie, and Jack felt like now was the best time to see the kid again. Jack had made a promise to always check in on the kid since it was Jamie’s belief that had saved them against Pitch Black last spring.
The sun was just peeking over the horizon, shining light on the frost-covered roofs of the houses below. The street lights, one by one, started to turn off and the people below began another day. Landing on the roof of one house, Jack waited for the snow to start falling before sliding down the roof. He stopped before going over the edge and looked in through the window.
Jamie lay sleeping soundly in his bed, a wonderful dream hung over his head. Obviously the Sandman had been here last night and a good thing too. For Sandy was charged with protecting the dreams of every child in this world. Just as it was Jack’s to protect the fun of being a child.
While peering in through the window, Jack couldn’t help but smile to himself, excited to see the little boy for today was a very special day. Today Jamie would celebrate his birthday and Jack had remember to pick up a little something for Jamie during his travels.
Jack turned his head at the high pitched squeak and smiled as a little hummingbird-of-a-creature flew towards him. She was flying so fast that she couldn’t see in front of her and flew right into Jack’s shoulder. Dazed, the little bird shook her head and rested upon Jack’s shoulder.
“Decided to join the party, Baby Tooth.” Jack chuckled, winking at the baby tooth fairy.
Baby Tooth snorted before ruffing her feathers at him causing Jack to laugh again. Since the Guardians had parted ways almost a year ago, Baby Tooth had decided to retire from the Tooth Fairy’s service and travel with Jack. Though he wasn’t sorry for the company and companionship, Jack wasn’t always overjoyed about having the little fairy with him. She couldn’t fly as fast as him, her little attitude though cute was sometimes frustrating, not to mention she wasn’t the greatest at keeping the conversation. But Jack continued to allow her to stay with him because he knew how lonely he would be without her. Not to mention he cared about the little fairy and would miss her terribly.
Baby Tooth peeped again, pulling on Jack’s hair strands.
“What Baby Tooth?” Jack snapped, annoyed that she was bothering him. She continued to peep until Jack turned his head and turned his gaze to where Baby Tooth was pointing. Up in the sky, the northern lights blazed across the sky, stretching from horizon to horizon in blues, reds and greens.
Most people saw the lights as a beautiful wonder of this world but Jack knew better. It was a calling. The Guardians were being summoned to the North Pole where Santa Claus lived. Everyone would be there and it was his duty to go.
Hanging his head, Jack felt torn. Since he was now a guardian, he knew he had to go but he hated the idea of being summoned. Jack turned his head back to look in on the still sleeping Jamie. He had promised the kid a snow day and to help celebrate his birthday.
Baby Tooth peeped again, reminding him of his duties to all the children of the world. Not just Jamie.
Sighing heavily, Jack tapped the window with his stick, watching the frost cover the glass. He draw a picture of a birthday cake before pushing away from the window and flying off towards the North Pole.
It didn’t take Jack long before he was hovering over the North Pole. Looking down, he could see the ice formations molded around the giant mansion of a place. Chris Kringle always did like things around him to be on a grander scale. From his house to the sleigh he drove, Kringle always had to make a lasting impression.
Movement cause Jack’s eye. He saw the Easter Bunny pop out of one of his rabbit holes and yelp at the subzero temperature. Jack chuckled as the rabbit hopped rapidly toward the house, determined to get himself out of the cold.
Baby Tooth squeaked and pointed. The Tooth Fairy had now shown up and Jack could tell that Baby Tooth was excited to see the Tooth Fairy again. Her excitement caused her to shake dramatically to where she could hardly contain herself. With a loud squeak, Baby Tooth zipped off to greet the Tooth Fairy.
Jack watched as the two were reunited, a gentle smile crossed his face but he couldn’t help feel a sense of loneliness. Sadness drifted into his eyes as he continued to watch. He had no one like that. No one to be excited upon his return or to greet him with a warm hug. True, there were others like him who respected and enjoyed his company. But no one could really understand him and his abilities cause no one else had them.
Movement caught his eye and he pulled himself out of his thoughts in time to see the Tooth Fairy wave at him. Smiling, he waved back and flew down to her.
“Hey Jack.” Toothy greeted, an expression of endearment crossed her face as she smiled at him. Toothy had always had this understanding and respect for Jack. Their relationship was strictly that of two siblings who loved and cared for each other. And it was because they knew each other so well that Toothy’s smile fade from her face.
“Jack? What’s wrong?” she asked, placing her hand lightly upon his arm. He couldn’t stand to look at her face when her expression was filled with concern. Baby Tooth hovered just off of Jack’s shoulder and gave him an encouraging smile, understanding what he was going through.
“Nah..” He replied with a shrug. “It’s nothing, Tooth. Let’s get you inside before all of your feathers freeze off.” Before she could reply, Jack flew away towards the entrance to Kringle’s workshop.
Laughing, Jack soared through the ice pillars, weaving between them with style and grace. He always enjoyed flying and always gained a sense of peace. Turning around one of the bigger pillars, Jack flew towards the grand doors which opened wide when he got closer.
Lightly, Jack landed down in the grand hall, turning his head back and forth as the Yetis moved back and forth in preparation of Christmas Eve. Tooth landed beside him and Baby Tooth on his shoulder. They all shared a smile before stepping forward and the giant doors closed behind them.
“’Bout time y’all showed up.” Called a voice in the corner.
Jack laughed as the Easter Bunny hopped out of the shadows, rubbing his snow-covered feet. “What too you guys so long?”
“Oh please, Cottontail, I was here long before you. Was just waiting for Toothy, here.” Jack replied with a chuckle.
A pounding knock intrupted their conversation and cause them to turn their heads up to over of the many overpasses in the workshop.
“Please. I was here long before all of you.” Boomed Chris Kringle with a chuckle. “Now hurry up here, important news.”
Jack and the others all shared a look before running up to the main control room of the workshop. Here was where the large globe with the shining lights upon it rested. Each light upon the globe represented a child that believed in them and Jack had to admit that he was impressed. There were definitely more glowing lights now than there were a year ago when Jack was approached about being a Guardian.
“Well? What do you think?” Kringle asked, waving his hands towards the globe. “So many children around the world are now believing in us!” He proclaimed proudly, smiling at those around him.
“Ah! Sandy!” He greeted suddenly. “Glad you could make it!”
Jack turned around and saw the Sandman enter into the room, a waving hand over top of his head. He floated over and dropped down to the ground right beside Jack.
“Hey Sandy, how’s it going?” Jack greeted, patting him on the shoulder.
“So Christmas, what’s the big idea bringing us all here?” Asked the Easter Bunny. “I think it’s great that the globe is lighting up like a Christmas tree but we have things to do here.”
Chris Kringle held up his head, nodding his head. “I didn’t just bring you here to show off the globe. I received a message.”
“From whom?” Toothy asked, flying up beside Kringle. “Did the Man on the Moon send us another message?”
“No, I’m afraid not.” Kringle replied. “The message came over the radar and the question isn’t who sent it but when.”
“When?!” They all asked, looking at each other before turning back to Kringle.
“Yes, when. I’m guessing that this message came to us well before our time.” And with that Kringle pressed a button on the terminal.
At first there was nothing but silence. Soon the sounds of heavy breathing came over the speaker. To Jack, it sounded like a female breathing as if she had been running or out of breath.
“Hello? Hello, can you hear me?” The female called out, her voice breaking up over the static every couple of seconds.
“I’m sure you can hear me. Look, I’m sending you this to warn you. Guardians, you’re in danger. I cannot give you much information but know this, the lives you now have are going to change… forever. I’m sorry but that’s all I have time for. Please.. you must co-“
The message cut out before the woman could finish and it left the Guardians standing there in silence. Some had their mouths hanging open in disbelief.
“When did that message come?” Asked Toothy, breaking the silence.
“The message dated back several centuries ago.” Kringle replied, stroking his beard. “Back before we existed.”
Jack looked around the room. Seemed like everyone was on the same page but him. “What do you mean Kringle? Back before you existed?” “It means, Jack.” Toothy replied. “That were were just contacted by one of the old Guardians.”