Thoth paced at the camp entrance, hardly keeping his excitement contained. His first assignment! He could hardly sleep all of the previous night, and he was up and out of his nest well before anyone else. He was anxious to be out in the territory looking for supplies and hunting and digging, not sitting in camp and waiting. He heard a noise from one of the dens and turned, sandy colored eyes stretched wide in hopes it was someone on his patrol. The only cats that he knew for sure were on his patrol were the Empire healer, and a visiting apprentice who he had yet to meet. From the Gladiators den emerged a grey lynx, and the sand cat wondered if he was part of his patrol as the cat crossed the clearing to the prey pile to grab something to eat. Another rustle, deeper in a cave than the Gladiators, and he turned as the healer, Sugarra emerged from her den. She paused to stretch before she too headed for the prey pile. Thoth, knowing that she was for sure part of the patrol, walked over to her, somewhat tentatively. "Umm... Hi?" he said a bit nervously.
The she-cat turned at his voice; she looked a bit surprised but offered a small smile. "Hi. Are you part of my patrol?" When Thoth nodded she looked around. "You should eat, or if you're not hungry, you can wait near the entrance, and we will be ready to go soon," she told him before continuing heading towards the prey. Thoth nodded, watching her go before he wandered back to the entrance and sat down, curling his paws under his chest in hopes of looking less nervously excited. More and more cats filed out of the dens, beginning to prepare for their day. Fovos appeared from the Gladiators den with a massive yawn. She started to turn towards the prey pile before she noticed Thoth sitting alone at the entrance. She glanced around and then trotted over.
"Hey Thoth!" she called as she approached, a few pieces of fur still ruffled from sleep. "What are you doing over here, you little weirdo," she teased, nudging him with a shoulder.
Thoth smiled up at her, laughing a little. "I'm waiting for the patrol I'm on," he told her, wrapping his tail around his body.
"Oh, what patrol are you on?" she asked with a head tilt.
"I'm going with our healer to gather supplies and things."
"Hey, me too!" she told him with a smile.
Thoth grinned, cheered further by this. "Cool! We can be patrol buddies!" he said.
Sugarra walked up to them, still licking her lips, with a servel a little older than Thoth himself by the looks of it. "This is the visiting blacksmith apprentice from Air Empire, Vulcan," she introduced shortly.
Thoth smiled and dipped his head, stretching his right paw outward in his customary greeting of new cats. "Hello, my name is Thoth," he told the visiting apprentice, his accent thick in his voice.
Before more could be said, the whole group of cats meant for the patrol came up, and they were whisked off into the territory. They padded along in silence for a moment before Thoth picked up the pace to pad next to Sugarra. "What exactly should we be looking for?" he asked with a little tilt of his head.
"Anything that may be of use," she told him. "Herbs, minerals, any supplies that we may need."
Thoth nodded and padded along quietly for a while as a commotion began behind him. He glanced back to see Fovos hissing at another cat whose name he thought was Xalo. He looked back ahead and continued walking alongside the patrol leader for a time before he fell back, spotting a little lump in the ground. He padded over to it, sniffing, before he began to dig. Dirt flew behind him and he reached down into his newly made hole with a paw, grabbing a stone and pulling it out. He studied it for a moment before dashing forward to catch up to the group. He stopped next to Vulcan and held out his piece of stone. "I think this is something we can use."
Vulcan took it from his and studied it for a moment before he nodded and smiled at Thoth. "Well done. You've found some ," the apprentice told him, and Thoth gave a little bounce.
"Really?! Cool!" Thoth exclaimed before bouncing ahead to Fovos. "I found platinum!"
Fovos offered a kind smile. "Really? That's great, Thoth," she told him.
Thoth smiled brightly, before he turned back to looking around. Fovos padded with him for a while, but he slowed down, falling back some. He found himself walking with the cat who Fovos had seemed so upset with. He offered her a friendly smile. "Hello," he said, giving a slight bow of his head, leaving the outstretched paw out since they were walking and he didn't want to trip.
She smiled back softly. "Hi!" she greeted him. "You're Thoth, right?" she asked.
He nodded. "Yep! And you would be Xalo?"
She nodded and he smiled, pleased he had indeed known her name; it was so hard for him to remember so many cats names, when living in Egypt, he only had to remember his name and his parents names. Now there were Empires upon Empires of names and he felt he had to learn them all. She tilted her head to the side with a curious expression. "Your voice... you aren't from here are you?"
Thoth grinned. "Nope! I was born in Egypt," he told her.
"Wow, Egypt?! Isn't that far away? How did you get here?"
"Well," Thoth said, beginning his story with the barest raising of his head and a little puff to his chest. "it is far, but me and my parents were captured, and we were brought here. My parents returned to Egypt, but I was to young to travel so the left me here."
"Do you miss them?"
Thoth blinked. "Well, yeh. But I know they are going where they need to be. And I need to be here. OH!" Thoth cut himself off, bouncing over to a strange patterned area of dirt. He sniffed around, perking his ears up, and then began digging.
He could tell the patrol had paused behind him, and after a moment the blacksmith apprentice appeared at his side. "What is it?"
"This dirt is strange. I feel like I remember my parents teaching me that something could be found in there... AH!" he said, pulling his paw free with a little grey silver rock cradled in his paw. "What is this?" he asked, holding it out to Vulcan.
The apprentice leaned in close, studying the rock. "I think you found a platinum deposit!" he said, smiling. Thoth gave an excited skip.
"Really?! Oh it would be so cool to find a deposit of something!"
Sugarra padded over and sniffed the rock before looking around. "Dig up a few more pieces of ore and then we should move on, save some of that for another day."
Thoth nodded and got right to digging. Fovos joined him, along with Vulcan and a tiger mix whose name Thoth couldn't remember, although he knew he was an apprentice. They burrowed in silence and came out with three more pieces between them. They were placed into a pouch on Vulcan's side and off they went again, all of them silently looking around for something usable. Fovos spotted some sort of herb that Thoth had never seen before, but Sugarra looked pleased, and she took the stalks from Fovos with a small smile. The continued on, and the little sand cat found himself next to the tiger mix who had helped dig. "Uh, hi," Thoth said, trying not to seem to nervous. I was always a little difficult for him to talk to big cats, especially big, older cats whom he didn't really know at all. He just wasn't used to it, but he had to get used to it sooner or later. So it may as well be later. "I don't think I ever got your name...?" he said after a pause.
The tiger turned to look at him, his grey-scale coat gleaming in the light. "Percy. And your name?"
"I'm Thoth," the sand cat said with a smile. "Nice to meet you," he said, dipping his head again. "Were you born in the Empire?"
Percy shook his head. "No, I was born in Athens."
"Oh, I've never heard of that place," Thoth said, eyes wide.
Before they could continue speaking Sugarra halted the patrol with a flick of her tail, crouching down. The patrol bunched together behind the leader, looking out on Lightning Field. There were five deer out there, grazing. Sugarra signaled with her tail and the patrol backed up a few paces, huddling together. "Should we try and catch some?" asked a lynx, a Gladiator Thoth had never met before.
Sugarra nodded. "Of course. We will need prey as much as armor and herbs." She paused, thoughtful, looking around at her group. "Cynthia, you take Kain, Thoth, Fovos, and Taariq with you, run the herd this way, and we can ambush them."
The named cats nodded and slunk away into the grass. Cynthia, a caracal, stopped the group. "To make sure they go the way we want, we should split into two groups. Thoth and Kain, you're with me, Fovos and Taariq, you circle around." The group split again, and Thoth trailed behind the blue eyed gladiator with snow leopard mix walking at his shoulder.
With a flick of her tail, Cynthia signaled for them to crouch, and the three cats began slinking through the long grass, ear pricked for any sound. Another flick, and the group froze. They had to be close to the deer, Thoth could hear them ripping grass out of the ground and chewing as though it were right in his ear. One last signal, and the three cats burst from the grass, yowling up a storm. From the other side of the deer a huge ruckus announced Fovos and Taariq leaping from the tall swaying stalks. The deer panicked, running off towards the waiting ambush. Thoth slowed down as the deer dove into the waiting ambush. When the chaser cats rounded the bush, one deer had fallen, a female by the looks of it. An apprentice a bit younger than Thoth, but definitely bigger than him, had his jaws around the throat of the deer, delivering the killing bite while the other cats hung from the body in various areas, obviously having had to pull the herbivore to the ground. Thoth smiled, feeling the same little glow he got whenever a hunt was completed. 'Today was a good day,' he thought, glancing up at the bright blue sky, eyes shining.