|New Generation Series|
|Preceded by: |
|Change of Heart||Succeded by: |
The greatest promise is made to a friend but it can be broken by the thorns of betrayal...
StarClan was meeting. They discussed and discussed.
"But is he worthy?" asked a black and white tom. A blue gray she-cat looked at him, "I thought we were talking about her." she said.
A flame colored tom stepped forword, his voice mild as he spoke, "I think it's worth saying that she would go to him if he stayed in the Dark forest."
There were murmers and someone called, "He speaks the truth!"
The black and white tom flicked his ear, "But we are talking about murderers!" he cried. The she-cat looked at him and nodded, "I understand your fears. WE can always banish them if they cause trouble. But both were forced and guided into becoming murderers. Their hearts and minds are clearing, becoming pure again."
StarClan nodded as one and the blue gray she-cat stood up from where she was crouched on a flat rock near a pond.
"It is decided! They will join us and become StarClan! Blackstar and Spoottedleaf will fetch them when their time comes!"
The cats nodded and walked away until there was nothing left but a still forest and a pond that reflected the souls of many cats.
Bramblestar awoke to find 3 pairs of eyes staring at her from the gloom. "Mother of a badger!!" she cursed, then realizing it was her kits, sighed and settled back down. Sparkkit leapt onto her, "Can we go outside momma?" Bramblestar sighed, "Fine!" Palekit and Starkit ran after him, their little tails bouncing up and down. Bramblestar laughed and laughed until her rib hurt and she couldn't breathe.
She calmed down, reminding herself that the leader of ThunderClan should not giggle like a hyena. She began to straighten up her den. she nursed her kits in her own den because though she was a queen, she was the leader of ThunderClan. Cinderheart had been great though, she called the Clan together and organized patrols when Bramblestar attended to her kits.
Brightshadow, Bramblestar's mate and her kits father, came into the den. "I saw the kits." he told her.
Bramblestar gave a slight giggle, "Cute, weren't they?" Brightshadow's whiskers twitched, "Actually, they were plotting to show the other kits your den."
"Great StarClan." Bramblestar said rolling her eyes.
Brightshadow's expression turned serious, "And we've got a bit of an emergency we need your help with."
As they raced out of the den, Brightshadow explained the situation to her.
After collecting Leopardheart, Bramblestar's sister, the trio raced out of camp.
"Dusksky's gone missing." Brightshadow told his mate.
Dusksky was Bramblestar's mother. She had only just become an elder and had 5 kits. Her mate had been the legendary Bramblestar, the new Bramblestar's father. However he had died protecting his Clan from rogues leaving Dusksky sadder and weaker then ever.
"Maybe she just felt like a walk." said Leopardheart. Bramblestar knew she would be worried too. Dusksky's first litter had been Bramblestar and Leopardheart followed by Mapleleaf, Spottedhorse, and Cindermask.
The cats slowed a bit as they found Dusksky' scent trail. They heard a squeal as a hunting patrol brought down some animal.
Bramnblestar shivered and Leopardheart said tensly, "Let's find her. Now."
The cats quickened their pace and Bramblestar knew why. 2 elders had died in the last moon. One of them had wandered out of camp and one was killed by green cough. The cat who wandered away was named Squirrelflight.
She was murdered.
Stormkit and Talonkit were play fighting with Hawkfrost. Raincloud nudged him, "Hey Hawkfrost!"
Her mate poked his head out of the fur of their kits, "What?"
She laughed, "You look ridiculous." she told him. He sighed and rolled the kittens off of him.
"What do you want to do?" he asked her.
"Why don't we go for a walk?" she asked.
He nodded at the kits, "What about them?"
Raincloud nudged them, "They can stay here, they are good kittens."
The pair walked out into the ThunderClan part of the forest, completely unaware of what was going to happen next.
Raincloud looked back to see the kits waving good bye. Then Stormkit jumped onto her brother and the pair tumbled out of veiw.
Raincloud turned away, They'll be fine she told herself.
Raincloud and Hawkfrost began play fighting in a small clearing. There was a drop of rocks leading down into another clearing but the cats stayed on the first one. They pounced and leapt around, trying to claw one or the other.
Hawkfrost leapt in and gave a quick nip to Raincloud's hind leg. She pretended to howl in pain and fell to the ground, playing dead. He poked her and she giggeled and they rolled over and over.
Hawkfrost jumped to the end of the cliff leading to the next clearing. Raincloud jumped at him but Hawkfrost jumped over the side. She jumped after him and felt her claws sink into his throat. She was thankful he was already dead, the blow would have killed a living cat.
But when she looked in his eyes to gloat she saw shocked green eyes, not ice blue. She let the body fall away and saw it was a dusky brown tabby with black paws. She looked like an elder.
And she was dead.
Hawkfrost was staring at the body too.
Rauncloud looked at the cat, feeling guilty and she looked up.
Straight into Bramblestar's shocked eyes.
Bramblestar looked at Raincloud and Hawkfrost standing over her mother's dead body. She had arrived just in time to see her mother fall to the ground with Raincloud on her back. Raincloud looked up and something inside Bramblestar cracked.
"What is wrong with you? Why must you murder defensless cats???"
"I didn't-" began Raincloud but Bramblestar wasn't done.
"I'm nice enough to give you a choice to get out or be good and this is how you-" Bramblestar seethed.
Raincloud seemed to crack as well, "I would never join a Clan! We're staying here! And you can't stop us!!!"
Bramblestar growled at her and Raincloud seemed to realize that the ThunderClan leader was over the edge. She grabbed Hawkfrost and the pair ran away.
Bramblestar fought the urge to chase after them, instead gently picking up her mother's cold body and carried it back to camp.
The queens began to prepare Dusksky for her vigil and Bramblestar watched them but her mind was miles away.
Wherever you are Raincloud, stay there. Because this isn't over. Not by a long shot.
A few sunrises had passed since Dusksky's death. Raincloud knew that Bramblestar would be looking for her so she kept herself, Hawkfrost, and the kits inside.
One day, Hawkfrost came up to her, "The kits want to go outside." her ears pricked, "You told them no, right?!"
Hawkfrost sighed, "I did but..couldn't you just apologize to Bramblestar? It was an accident."
Raincloud hissed, "But she wouldn't listen! I don't want you or the kits to get hurt!"
Hawkfrost looked at her sadly, "I'm already hurt. Dead here, remember? But the kits need to play and be healthy. They can't do that if we're locked up in here. You should join a Clan. I will always be with you, don't worry."
Raincloud nodded, her heart faltering a bit. She made up her mind, "Fine." she told her mate, "I will apologize."
The cats all left the den, heading for ThunderClan territory.
Raincloud hoped she would get the chance to apologize. But if she didn't...her claws were ready.
Bramblestar was on her way back from paroling with Brightshadow and Leopardheart.
Lately, they seemed like the only cats she patrolled with.
But she was still angry, still in shock. Leopardheart shared her feelings but was in a healthier place. She did not want revenge and she was happy that their mother was joining her mate and her warrior ancestors, "We'll still see her in dreams." she had told Bramblestar, trying to calm her angry and distressed sister.
But it didn't help.
Bramblestar was walking a little way away from her two friends. She kew they were talking about her, She could sense their worried glances and nervous tones.
Bramblestar glanced up and saw Raincloud walking ahead. All she saw was red and she knew what was going to happen. This cat had broken so many cats and was a murderer.
Bramblestar began to run at the unsuspecting Raincloud. Her fellow patrollers called for her but she couldn't, wouldn't stop.
Raincloud had killed her mother and insulted her so badly.
She wouldn't get away.
When she got a bit closer to Raincloud, Bramblestar began running. Things were going through her mind.
Bramblestar, Dusksky, Leopardheart, Scarshade, Mossnight, Raincloud, Raincloud, sorry, sorry, sorry...
She leapt in the air when she got close enough, her claws out streached. If she had been thinking, she would have recognized the shadowy clearing from her dream, remembered that she was prophecized to kill her old friend...but she wasn't thinking.
At the last second, Raincloud turned around, her blue eyes wide. And Bramblestar saw there was friendliness in them. No sense of Tigerstar or of any bad deeds. Just Raincloud.
But it was too late.
Bramblestar's claws pierced Raincloud's throat and blood began welling as the she-cats fell to the ground. Bramblestar got up and stared at her friend, feeling anger bubble up, "Why are you here?" she snarled.
Raincloud's voice was weak and the light in her eyes was fading, "Changed....my...mind. Sorry....not..me...so.......sorry. Failed....you...failed me....forgive...me."
Bramblestar hadn't noticed but she had begun to cry. Her friend had become good and she was dying now. Bramblestar had become the thing she was fighting against.
"I....I'm so sorry. I didn't mean for this to...so sorry." Bramblestar was sobbing now. Raincloud smiled slightly, but the effort was hurting her, "My...fault. I will be judged. But...tell...the Clans...tell Mossnight..tell them all....I'm sorry."
And for the last time, Raincloud, a traitor, murderer and one of Bramblestar's best friends, took her last breath and closed her eyes.
It happened like it had in Bramblestar's dream. But it wasn't as cruel. Leopardheart caught up to her sister and yowled in pain as she ran to Raincloud's body. Brightshadow merely gave a muffled call and curled his tail around Bramblestar's shaking body.
But the worse part of it was when Hawkfrost and the kittens came back, "Raincloud.. What happened-?" Hawkfrost began to ask. Then his eyes caught her body, "No!"
He threw himself at her sobbing. The kittens walked up to him. One, a gray kit licked her father, "It's ok Daddy. Momma's just playing a game. She's gonna wake up." the kit began licking her mother, "Momma? momma, wake up!"
Bramblestar turned away as the kits voices grew more scared until they began wailing. She could not have caused this. This...no.
The kits walked over to Leopardheart eventually and she curled her tail around them and let them sleep.
Bramblestar approached Hawkfrost, "Is there anything I can do?" she asked, feeling helpless.
Hawkfrost looked at her, his blue eyes wide in distress, "Could you keep our kits?"
Bramblestar nodded and genetly picked up Raincloud's body and returned to camp.
That night was a Gathering. Bramblestar had Brightshadow and Leopardheart pick up Raincloud and bring her to the gathering. She should....needed to be mourned. The forest owed its survival to her. Tigerstar could have killed them with her but she had resisted and fought back even though she had died.
Sitting on her branch in the tree, Bramblestar listened as the other leaders gave their reports. But she knew all the cats were talking about the gray dappeled body in the center of the clearing. Mistystar had finished her report and now Russetstar stepped forword, "We have a new kit born to Dawnpelt. It is a tom and he shall be called Cloudkit." she waited for the cheers to die down before nodding at the WindClan leader in the shadows to go next.
Bramblestar expected to hear Crowstar's deep voice, filled with sorrow and determination. But instead she heard a sad, higher voice. She looked up to see Heathertail on WindClan's branch, "Crowstar was killed by a mountain lion that strayed down from the mountains. He was able to kill it before he died though. We led it into a cave and he jumped on a stagilite. I am WindClan's leader now."
She stepped back and Bramblestar quickly gave a report on the kits and elders, deaths and cerimonies, they all blurred in her greif stricken world.
Then, she nodded at Raincloud and the cats all perked up, "I have something you need to hear..."
She explained what had happened and when she finished, there was silence. Bramblestar could hear the crickets chirping and she longed to pretend like it was an ordinary day, she was just an ordianry warrior, sitting on the ground looking at Raincloud.
Finally, there was a wail, "Raincloud! No!" Bramblestar leapt from the tree to confort Mossnight. The silver she-cat was sitting next to Sandstripe. Her face was a maze of confusion, anger, greif, hurt. Leopardheart was sitting on her other side and together, the 2 she-cats crept nearer to Raincloud, as if trying to surprise a mouse. Scarshade walked over near them with her usual fearless walk but Bramblestar could see the glassy look in her eyes. Scarshade was trying to hold back tears.
Brightshadow came up next to his mate and together they walked to Raincloud, their heads bowed. Bramblestar could hear the other cats murmering and from the depths of the cats, a chant started, "Raincloud, Raincloud, Raincloud! The cats sounded like they were welcoming a new warrior, not mourning the dead. But Bramblestar couldn't hear them. Her world had become this huddle with her friends, this sad, grieving, huddle.
She looked at her friends. Leopardheart was trying to look calm and comfort Mossnight but there were drops of water as tears streaked down her face. Brightshadow was murmering and Bramblestar strained to hear, "...sorry. You were a good friend. I'll never forget.." Mossnight was weeping, softly now, but still, tears cascaded down her face as she stared at her best friend's body. Scarshade was trying to stay firm and strong but a tear escaped her eye.
And Bramblestar....she didn't know what to feel.
Hawkfrost was back in the Dark Forest. He was already crying but his tears vanished as his father approached.
"Awwww....the poor little kit! Look at him Brokentail!!! He's actually crying because that ugly little brat died!"
Hawkfrost snarled and leaped at his father but Tigerstar simply stepped out of the way and Hawkfrost fell to the floor. Brokentail pinned him down but before Tigerstar could do anything, there was a flash of light and Hawkfrost's tormentors fell down. There was a steely voice as if it was the strongest, or angriest, cat alive talking, "Leave hom ALONE!"
Brokentail scampered away but Tigerstar lay on the ground in defiance, "How'd you get here?"
"Well, I know when someone is attacking my mate. Or calling me names." the cat's voice grew softer and sadder, "But I've probably been condemed here now."
Tigerstar started to say something but there was a loud banging noise. Tigerstar cursed, "Son of a badger!"
The cat laughed and there was the sound of Tigerstar running away. Finally, Hawkfrost looked up. He saw the most beautiful cat he had seen in his life.
Raincloud turned and grinned, "Why must I always rescue you?"
Hawkfrost smiled and they walked away.
- Sorry, but being a Crow|x|Feather supporter I really have to add this in. I want this to happen sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo badly!!!!!!
Feathertail bounded down to the battlefield. A single dark gray body was left next to a large cat. She shook him awake, "Feathertail-?" she licked him, "C'mon. It's time."
Crowstar padded away. He felt strange but he was happy at the same time. They began to reach the stars and Feathertail turned, "I told you I would never leave you." her voice was teasing but there was sorrow in her eyes. Crowstar looked at her, "And I promised I would wait forever."
Feathertail nodded and there was a rustle from the bushes. Silverstream and Ashstar popped up, "Go ahead! We just want to watch!"
Feathertail sighed and the pair raced away from their mothers. Finally, they were alone.
"So...what happened?" asked Crowstar, his fur ruffled from their run.
Feathertail looked at him, "It was quite ironic really. A mountain lion wandered down and was picking on some rogues. WindClan helped. You killed it with a staligmite. Heatherstar is leader now." her eyes softened, "Think your a leader with 9 lives?" she asked.
He smiled, "Well...I was. But at the time I only had 1."
Feathertail rolled her eyes, "Great StarClan!" Crowstar nuzzeled her. They sat down, both of them smiling. After what had felt like forever, an eternity of being alone, of watching the stars, of waiting for a cat that would never come....it wasn't just a dream visit anymore.
It was real.
It was forever.
It was time to bury Raincloud.
It was the day after the gathering and Bramblestar was tired but she had to send her friend to StarClan safely. Leopardheart and Brightshadow helped her carry the body to the burial site. Stormkit and Talonkit came too. Bramblestar's and Scarshade's kits had begged to come but Bramblestar had told them no.
Mossnight and Scarshade appeared over the ridge. The group trooped silently to the Moonpool. They walked around it until they reached the other side. There was a small clump of bracken there, about the size of a cat. Brightshadow and Leopardheart dug a hole and gently lowered their old friend's body into it.
It was time for real good byes. Scarshade went first, "I'm gonna miss you. You were so.....different from us. You were one of the best freinds I ever had."
Brightshadow next, "Take care, 'kay? We'll miss you down here. Say 'hi' to Hawkfrost."
Bramblestar, "I'm...so sorry. I didn't mean...didn't want...this is all my fault. I'm really gonna miss you! I wish you were still here so I could tell you..." she stepped back, hoping Raincloud would understand the unspoken words.
Leopardheart, "I will always remember you. Peace be with you sister."
Mossnight, "I'm always going to visit you and I miss you! You were my best friend and I was so stupid...such a fool! Remember me Raincloud. Please."
Then Stormkit and Talonkit came up. Stormkit was more chatty like her mother while Talonkit sat silently. Both kits were crying, "Momma, we will miss you. But we can still visit you in dreams! And Bramblestar will take care of us! We'll be good, promise!"
The cats stood in silence, and then left.
- This is split into 6 parts for each cat. Thanks, so sad, this is the last!!!-AH
Part 1- Scarshade Scarshade returned home. Reedwhisker tried to comfort her but she shrugged him off. She wanted to be strong for her friends but she couldn't hold back the tears. She stalked into the nursery and threw herself onto her nest. She wept in peace until a wet little nose poked her. She looked up and saw her kits looking at her worriedly.
"Momma, are you ok?" asked Cloudykit. The others nodded their heads and Scarshade felt a rush of pride. She nodded. Her kits swarmed over her and Reedwhisker came in. She looked around and realized how selfish she was being. She had her kits, a mate, wonderful friends, and a great Clan. Raincloud had nothing.
Scarshade purred as her kits scampered at each other, play fighting as Reedwhisker looked on.
I will never lose them. she thought. I promise you Raincloud. I promise.
Part 2- Mossnight Mossnight fell into her nest. She did not care she had a million deputy duties to do, she didn't care she had won the position she had wanted, she didn't care. Raincloud was gone. Her best friend was gone and the last time they had met, Raincloud and Mossnight had been upset.
So much I worried about my pain when this happened. she thought. But now I feel......numb.
She heard the rustle of bracken and saw Heatherstar and Sandstripe enter.
Sandstripe smiled, "Your Clan awaits." he said softly. Mossnight got up and shook herself off, releaving herself of the cobwebs of the past.
She walked out, ready to face what would happen now.
Part 3- Raincloud Raincloud and Hawkfrost were sitting at the end of the Dark Forest when they heard a rustle. "Not Tigerstar again." muttered Raincloud. They turned to see Spottedleaf and Blackstar. Spottedleaf smiled, "It's time to come to StarClan." Raincloud blinked.
Blackstar meowed gruffly, "You earned it." he looked at Hawkfrost, "You too."
As if in a dream, the cats walked through the invisable wall leaving Tigerstar behind forever.
Raincloud entered StarClan and she looked at Hawkfrost. This was her future. This was where she belonged.
She was free.
Part 4- Leopardheart Leopardheart felt hollow after Raincloud's death but she had a more important duty to take care of. She had agreed to adopt Stormkit and Talonkit. She looked at the drooping, sad kits and felt a flutter of hope inside. They were sad now, but they would be great warriors. She knew it.
And she knew that she would help them. She had fufilled her phropecy, she had helped the forest. But now she had to lead these new kits into the next round of battle.
Beacuse that's what warriors do.
Part 5- Brightshadow Brightshadow felt more at ease then the others. He hadn't known Raincloud as well as they had. He just remembered the time she had almost killed him. But he felt bad, still. He should've stopped Bramblestar before she could have done this. It wasn't her fault, it was his.
But he knew she would have to let go and blaming himself wouldn't help. So he wouldn't say anything. He came back into the clearing and bounded up the rockfall to Bramblestar's den. Immediatly, he was covered in kits.
He looked up to see Bramblestar in the doorway, purring.
This is what happiness is...
Part 6- Bramblestar Bramblestar watched her kits play with her mate. She was thinking. Hard. About life, death. Warriors falling and rising. How one choice, one little decision, could affect generations to come.
Raincloud's part in the forest may have been over, but Bramblestar felt a glow of pride as she watched her kits. Who knew what StarClan had planned for them? Were they to be heroes? Or villians?
She knew that she owed it to the forest, to Mossnight, Leopardheart, Scarshade, Brightshadow, Raincloud, ThunderClan, the forest to make them the best warriors they could be. She smiled as she remembered a term StarClan had once used to describe her, long ago. Her kits would be the same. She would help them.
A new generation.
Keep watch for the next series: Rising Heroes! And the Raincloud special: Rain Storm!