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Confessions of the Shadow

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Confessions of the Shadow is a book/role play created by Spottedhead with help from Wildfire. It's the first in the series Clans in Need.

The Blurb

While change is great, beware! Darkness waits...

Everything is changing. The Clans (GuestClan, RockClan, LivingClan and IslandClan) don't know where to turn next. RockClan is getting more sinister and GuestClan is keeping a secret that could change the way the Clans see the world. Meanwhile, IslandClan is fighting battles...more than necessary and LivingClan is suffering more than ever since the Great Move. Overall, everyone is getting more protective as the days go by. But when a warrior from RockClan and the medicine cat from GuestClan get together, their plan could literally alter the forest.

Characters

GuestClan


RockClan


LivingClan


IslandClan


Story

Chapter One

A cream colored tom crept inro the clearing silently. A rustle came from behind him and he spun around, expecting a rival Clan member. Everyone was too cozy lately and he was always on his paws. The rustle came again and the tom pounced on the bushes. His paws came down on a vole. He had been on a hunting patrol but left the rest of his party by themselves, this tom hunts alone. This time, the branches above him swayed and he looked up expectantly, waiting for something to jump down at him. When he saw nothing, it puzzled him. Was he going crazy?

"I believe this is the right place to settle," came a rumble from behind him.

"Yes Thornstar, but I still can't believe that GuestClan was actually right," declared another voice.

"Why are you surprised Spottedhead?" the cat called Thornstar questioned.

"Well, it wasn't Shadowstar who warned us or Redheart," Spottedhead began. "It was that excuse for a warrior."

"Ah yes, now I remember," Thornstar replied quickly. "What was her name again?"

"Bramblesky," the cream colored tom said, jumping out of the bushes.

"Well well well," growled the leopard she-cat. "If it isn't the mangy RockClan leader."

The tom shuffled his paws, sheathing and unsheathing his claws in and out. Finally, he lifted one paw and sniffed it.

"It isn't my fault if you hate RockClan," the leader scoffed.

"Yellowstar, this isn't the time or place!" Thornstar snarled.

"I don't see you taking control of your doubtful deputy," Yellowstar jeered.

That did it, Spottedhead leapt on top of Yellowstar, claws unsheathed. She growled and sunk her claws in but before she could do much more damage, Thornstar pulled her off.

"Spottedhead," Thornstar glared at the she-cat before turning to Yellowstar. "Escort Yellowstar back to the dumpster."

Spottedhead looked mutinous but obeyed. The three cats turned and walked back to the dumpster where the cats were sheltering for the time being. When they returned, they saw Shadowstar (the GuestClan leader) and Icestar (the LivingClan leader) waiting for them to return.

"Oh good," Shadowstar said. "You found Yellowstar."

"Yeah," shouted an IslandClan warrior. "A joyful day for us all!"

A couple of apprentices snickered but Yellowstar silenced them with a growl. As soon as everyone was gathered, the meeting began. Shadowstar beckoned a young tortoiseshell she-cat up to the front.

"As you all know, Bramblesky here had a vision for leading us here to these new grounds. We have left the pond behind us for good because of those terrible dogs."

"We are glad that we have found a new home and let us give thanks to CloudClan for that communication," added Icestar.

"And let us think of everyone who died back home for us," Thornstar commented.

After a moment of silence, Yellowstar meowed, "Leaders and deputies meet with me."

Thornstar nodded and instantly leapt off the dumpster, leaving Spottedhead with a sour expression. Icestar and Shadowstar exchanged a "well-what-choice-do-we-have" look and followed him. Meanwhile, Yellowstar was glancing around for his most trusted deputy. Finally, Scarclaw was spotted racing towards the dumpster with a determined look on his face. Yellowstar reached him first.

"Scarclaw, what happened?" he demanded.

"I found something perfect for the Clans," Scarclaw panted.

"Don't tell me you're getting soft too!" Yellowstar spat and stalked away towards the others, leaving Scarclaw with a confused expression in his eyes.

Yellowstar despised all the Clans for getting so close during the Great Move. There was four Clans in the pond area and there'll be four Clans here as well. If he saw anything funny business, well they'd have to report to him first!

"Come! I have found something grand!"

"How do we know you're telling the truth?" Spottedhead meowed.

"Because I rank higher than you, so move it Spotty."

Spottedhead glared at him while everyone else followed and she had no choice but to follow.

Chapter Two

When they reached the land, they stopped wide-eyed at the beautiful land around them. Suddenly, they burst into the clearing like a kit on their apprentice ceremony. Once everyone was settled and calmed down, Shadowstar took charge (much to Yellowstar's disliking).

"We need to start claiming territories," she began. "Let's send out our deputies to explore the land around us!"

The younger cats bowed their hands and scampered off in different directions, searching for familiar signs.

                                      ***********************************

Swiftclaw returned first with good news.

"There's an open territory with plenty of space to create dens that are cozy and highly warm," he bragged to Icestar.

"Show me," she commanded and they were gone.

Yellowstar, Thornstar and Shadowstar followed quietly for they had nothing else to do. Soon they saw why the LivingClan deputy returned so quickly. The land was right outside the new Gathering place. What Swiftclaw had found was perfect!

"Lucky find," Yellowstar muttered to himself but Shadowstar overheard and kicked him in the leg.

While Icestar and Swiftclaw went deep into the territory, they heard a yowling from behind them as Spottedhead showed up. Just when she arrived, her explanation was cut off by the rumbling voices of the LivingClan cats returning.

"It's perfect!" Icestar proclaimed. "This shall be LivingClan territory, now get off our land!"

This command was so sudden an erruption of questions emerged.

"But Icestar," meowed Thornstar. "How will we get to the Gatherings?"

"Only then should I see other Clan cats passing though our sacred territory," she snarled. "Crowfood if you don't obey!"

Yellowstar chuckled but hurriedly scampered back to the grounds he had found...well Scarclaw but he would take the credit. Spottedhead got to speak then and she babbled about the island in the middle of the pond. Soon Thornstar and Spottedhead leapt into the pond and were swimming towards the new IslandClan territory. Even from the Gathering place, they could hear Spottedhead talking about how everyone could drink from the Gathering place. Icestar and Swiftclaw exchanged a worried glance and shouted to the swimming cats, "But then everyone would have to cross through LivingClan's territory just to drink!"

"That's true," Thornstar mewed back.

"What's true?"

All the cats whipped around to find Loudtail staring at them curiously.

"I'll explain on our way to GuestClan territory," Shadowstar smirked and they left.

As they slunk into the distance, Yellowstar found himself very uncomfortable with the two whispering LivingClan cats behind him. Suddenly, something landed directly on the RockClan leader's back and he was very distressed. As he threw off the attacker, he saw it was just Scarclaw! He breathed a sigh of relief and it surprised him. Wasn't he always on guard? Yellowstar shrugged the feeling off and turned his attention to his deputy.

"Just beyond the Thunderpath, let's go!" panted Scarclaw, unable to make out complete sentences.

Yellowstar just nodded, his mind still on the "attack."

After the thrill of crossing the largest Thunderpath ever, Yellowstar found himself in peculiar territory and he whipped on Scarclaw.

"Is this some kind of joke? Or what?"

"No Yellowstar," Scarclaw mewed. "Just over there could be the camp...look!"

The RockClan leader rolled his eyes but continued in the direction of Scarclaw's tail pointing. It could be worse, he thought to himself.

He was wrong.

Chapter Three

When the cats returned to the pothole, everyone was waiting for them. The four Clan leaders leaped gracefully onto the dumpster and sat.

"We have decided on boundaries," Icestar began.

"Yes we have," Shadowstar added. "The area where we are standing is no longer our home!"

She paused while the cats cheered.

"GuestClan's territory is from the river to the Twoleg houses in the distance," Shadowstar continued.

"And from the river to the Thunderpath is LivingClan's," Icestar meowed.

"RockClan's is the Thunderpath to the large cave on the left," Yellowstar announced proudly.

"And finally, IslandClan's territory is the island in the lake," Thornstar declared.

"The Gathering place is right off of LivingClan's land," Yellowstar mewed before anyone else got the chance.

"That is the ONLY time you can cross into LivingClan's moorland," Icestar threatened. "Anyone else is crowfood, got it?"

She sounded so menacing that everyone quickly nodded...even Yellowstar.

"But what about the lake?" Spottedhead spoke up. "Cats need to drink!"

"GuestClan and LivingClan can share the river, IslandClan is surrounded and I'm sure RockClan can cope," Icestar replied coldly.

"Well thanks to Scarclaw finding our own uplands, we have our own ways to get to Gatherings and the lake," sneered Yellowstar.

"Good," mewed Shadowstar. "Then it's settled."

As the leaders jumped down from the dumpster, Yellowstar realized it was up to him to get his whole Clan to safety.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

When Yellowstar lead the RockClan cats into their new home silently, he began to feel much more confident with every step he took.

He beckoned Scarclaw over with a flick of his tail.

"Yes Yellowstar?" Scarclaw mewed when Yellowstar acknowledged his presence.

"I have missions for all the warriors and apprentices to make sure they're still fit to be warriors," Yellowstar began. "I want you to supervise them and make sure that they succeed.

"But Yellowstar, don't you think that's a little harsh?"

"Not at all! I think we should be prepared for anything, anywhere we go."

"Yes that's true but-"

"No more comments Scarclaw!"

"Yes Yellowstar," Scarclaw hung his head in defeat, finally catching on.

"You're my only deputy and I trust you," Yellowstar meowed. "But everything makes mistakes sometimes, even me."

The RockClan deputy raced over to his Clanmates, eager to be away from his leader. He sauntered over to Cinderflower to see how her kits were doing. After all, she was due any day now and the Clan was ready whenever they decided to come. As Scarclaw glanced up again, he saw that they had reached the Thunderpath.

"Cats of RockClan, we have arrived in RockClan territory," Yellowstar shouted.

All the cats cheered, thankful to be out of LivingClan's way.

"Now we must cross a little at a time to be sure no one gets hurt," Yellowstar continued. "All warriors and apprentices must go with a queen or elder."

Before the words were out of the leader's mouth, all the warriors were crowding around someone who needed extra attention.

"All right my fellow cats, once you cross, you must wait for the rest of the Clan before proceeding to the camp."

The cats nodded and stepped foward, eager to begin. Wetflower guided the RockClan medicine cats across first and they quickly scampered under a monster. Once they yowled to say they made it, Mousetalon and Cinderpath darted across. Right after them went Ashpaw, Bluepaw and Rockfur.

Okay, thought Yellowstar. Half the Clan is safe; we just got to make sure the others are all right as well.

Swiftspot and Mudpaw stepped out onto the Thunderpath just as a monster was zooming by. Their fur fluffed up and grit spattered into their eyes. The duo leaped back into the bushes, panting. Yellowstar zipped over to his apprentice to make sure everything was fine, and gave them cuffs over the ear Yellowstar's fury either.

"Warriors these days," Scarclaw meowed. "They're as mouse-brained as a newborn badger. I swear they were smarter as apprentices."

Yellowstar chuckled in agreement and the two cats watched as the last of their Clan (Grayeyes and Hollystripe) ran across the black pebbles and disappeared into the trees beyond.

"Well we made it," Scarclaw commented.

Yellowstar nodded and the two set off across the Thunderpath. About halfway across, they froze in their tracks, hearing the familiar rumbling of monsters. Scarclaw darted over to the other side and shouted at Yellowstar to join him. The RockClan leader couldn't move, he was just staring into the eyes of the monster.

"Yellowstar! Move!" Scarclaw huffed.

At the last moment, Yellowstar ducked under the monster and darted out the other side, safely. All the RockClan cats were wide-eyed at the scene that just replayed and replayed inside their minds.

"Well what are you all staring at?" the leader demanded. "Let's move!"

The cats shrugged and continued onward.

When they reached the camp, Yellowstar jumped up on a huge boulder and gave the familiar Clan call.

"Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey join beneath this High Rock for a Clan meeting," he announced.

The cats didn't have to move, they were already settled. Scarclaw leapt up next to Yellowstar to begin the meeting.

"Since Yellowstar and I have already been here, we've already established dens and clearings," the deputy meowed. "That high ledge up there is the medicine cats' den. Brighteyes and Tanglepaw will keep their supplies and nests there while sick cats can stay right outside the den on the overhang."

The two RockClan medicine cats glanced at each other and their eyes lit up, wanting to see the inside of their new den.

"Under it is the apprentice's den with the ferns in front. Your cave is small, but you're younger cats so you need less room," Scarclaw continued, glancing at Ashpaw and Mudpaw.

"Beneath the apprentice's den is two caves side by side," Yellowstar said, picking up where Scarclaw left off. "These two caves are the warriors' dens."

While Moustalon and Swiftspot exchanged bewildhered glances, Tigertalon yowled, "Hey why do they get TWO dens?"

"Because we are at our largest and there's more of us than any other group," Scarclaw snapped. "Isn't it obvious?"

The elder rolled her eyes but didn't question any further.

"That group of dens right there is one connection but unfortunately, there's two different hills so on the other hill-" Yellowstar mewed.

"Does that mean we have to travel to a whole different hill, just to talk to each other?" Cinderpath yowled.

"Yes it does," Yellowstar replied. "But luckily, they're right next to each other so there's no worries of two camps."

The cats began to look relieved again so Scarclaw took the opportunity to continue.

"The top cavern on the second hill is the nursery so the medicine cats can leap from one hill to the next in case of an emergancy," the warrior meowed.

"But what if we can't make the jump?" questioned Tanglepaw. "After all, I'm just an apprentice!"

"No worries," Yellowstar said. "I had my apprentice, Mudpaw leap from the hills and he had no problem."

"Any more questions?" Scarclaw growled.

It was silent, but some of the cats still looked uneasy about jumping from one connection to the other.

"The cave under the nursery is the elder's den," Scarclaw snapped, still mad at his Clan.

"But that's so small!" complained Tigertalon.

"Deal with it," Scarclaw flicked his tail in annoyance, "You'll be fine.

The elder sat herself on the dirt neatly and glared at Scarclaw while Yellowstar continued.

"Our prisoner's den is that tiny cavern on the side of the elder's den with the logs in the front."

"Prisoner's den?" Tigertalon seemed to find the fault in everything. "Why in CloudClan's name would we need a PRISONER'S DEN???"

"As Yellowstar was about to say, we need a prisoner's den to hold all the cats that trespass on RockClan's territory," Scarclaw glowered. "We're not just going to let them go with a warning!"

Some cats nodded agreement but others seemed reluctant to capture their friends from the Journey.

"Finally," Yellowstar yowled. "My den is the largest one at the bottom."

The RockClan cats nodded and scurried off toward their new camp. As Yellowstar and Scarclaw leaped off the rock, an idea popped into Yellowstar's mind. He figured out a way to get GuestClan back once and for all.

Chapter Four

"Scarclaw!" Yellowstar yowled to his deputy.

"Yes?" the deputy turned in shock to see his leader sitting with a smirk on his face.

"I have a plan but first, fetch me Swiftspot first," Yellowstar scoffed. "He's the best warrior for this mission."

Scarclaw dipped his head and jumped into one of the warrior's dens, yowling for the warrior. Meanwhile, Yellowstar crawled into his own den to find Mudpaw crouching there with a confused look on his face. The RockClan leader reared back in shock and shook his head from side to side.

"Mudpaw!" he spat. "What in the name of CloudClan are you doing here?"

"I wanted to know if you needed anything," Mudpaw suggested shyly.

"Well no!" the leader growled. "Now get out of my den at once!"

Mudpaw's tail drooped in disappointment and he slunk out of Yellowstar's den. Yellowstar felt a pang of something inside his chest, now that he recovered from his shock. But what was it? It couldn't be pity...could it?

"Mudpaw," Yellowstar meowed. "Come here."

"Yes?" the apprentice said softly.

"I'm sorry I scolded you, it wasn't the right thing to do," the RockClan leader began. "I was just surprise that you were in here!"

"It was my fault," Mudpaw crouched down and hung his head. "I shouldn't have done that."

Yellowstar shook his head; this apprentice was hopeless! He smiled down at Mudpaw brightly and flicked his ear happily.

"Are you ever going to cheer up?" he meowed.

Mudpaw sat up straight and cocked his head to one side, "You mean you're not mad at me?"

Yellowstar sighed, "Just try not to do it again okay?"

"Sounds like a plan!" Mudpaw mewed. "Are you sure you don't need anything?"

"Actually, now that you mention it, may I have some fresh moss?" the leader questioned.

Mudpaw dipped his head and hurried away to fetch the green, wet grass. Just as the apprentice left, Scarclaw returned with the black and white warrior, Swiftspot.

"Ah, just the warriors I need," the RockClan leader meowed. "I have to get GuestClan back once and for all!"

"Sounds good to me already!" Scarclaw shouted.

"Listen," Yellowstar began. "Here's what you two need to do. I want you, Swiftspot, to travel into GuestClan territory and steal an important cat of power."

Swiftspot nodded and turned to go, but Yellowstar called him back.

"Wait! Not yet! Then Scarclaw, you will go to IslandClan territory and beg for help, saying that GuestClan's attacking us. Then when GuestClan tries to get their precious cat back, they won't be able to because they'll be outnumbered."

"Ooookkkkayy," Scarclaw growled. "Two questions, how will I get onto IslandClan's island?"

"I don't know, figure something out!" the leader snapped.

"And two, what are you going to do?"

"I'm going to gather our warriors together because a battle is brewing and we are going to stick together."

The two warriors nodded their approval and dashed out of the leader's den. Little did they know that Mudpaw was standing outside of Yellowstar's den, hearing everything.


As Swiftspot shivered into GuestClan territory, he heard Loudtail calling for the evening patrol.

"Hawkclaw, Iceshadow and Breezepaw," the deputy meowed. "Go and whitel you're at it, bring back some fresh-kill."

Swiftspot crept slowly farther into the trees, staring at Loudtail with disgust. Suddenly, Loudtail froze in place, sniffing the air indently.

"I smell RockClan on OUR territory!" he hissed.

Swiftspot pelted into the brambles behind him until he was certain Loudtail had left and gone into Shadowstar's den in the rock to report the bad news.

Perfect timing, he thought. Now I can capture a warrior!

Then he remembered Yellowstar clearly saying that he wanted a cat of important power. An idea struck the warrior in the head and he scrambled away towards the edge of the camp and was gone. When Loudtail returned with Shadowstar and Bramblesky, there was no sign of RockClan. Just a faint, stale smell that smelled like ages ago.

"I know they were here," the deputy meowed. "I smelled them as clear as day!"

"I believe you Loudtail," Shadowstar narrowed her eyes and squinted into the distance towards the edge of her territory. "I just want to know what they were doing on our grounds."

"Maybe Redheart got a sign that said why RockClan are angry with us or spying on us," Bramblesky mewed.

"Great idea!" Shadowstar commented.

Loudtail led the way toward the edge of camp and into the medicine cat den, with the others following silently.

"Redheart?" Loudtail yowled.

There was no reply. Inside, they discovered that no one was here after all. Bramblesky's eyes widened and she quickly turned towards her leader but Shadowstar was facing the other way.

"Thrushear?" the GuestClan deputy called.

"I'm down here," came a soft reply from the queen.

Loudtail and his companions leaped down to the nursery from the hole in the floor of the medicine cat den. There, they found Thushear sitting alone.

"How are our kits coming along?" the deputy questioned.

His mate replied, "Just swell."

Shadowstar coughed to remind her deputy that kits weren't the reason that they were visiting the silver tabby queen.

"Oh right!" Loudtail mewed. "Listen Thrushear, have you seen Redheart? We can't find her anywhere!"

"Er...no sorry," the queen said. "She didn't tell me that she was going some place, which is odd because she normally does. This is mysterious."

Bramblesky stared in horror and she sat down with a thump.

"Bramblesky!" Shadowstar exclaimed and dashed over to her side in concern. "What's wrong?"

The warrior didn't reply for a moment; her eyes were closed shut and screwed up in concentration. When she finally did stir, her eyes flew open and Bramblesky leapt to her paws.

"We are in grave danger," she replied.

"From what?" Loudtail demanded.

Everyone knew that Bramblesky has an unique ability to talk with CloudClan, their warrior ancestors in the sky. The Clans believe anything she says. Normally, it's just the Clan leaders and medicine cats who can chat with CloudClan, but Bramblesky's different. When she recieved the prophecy that dogs were going to destroy their old home, Shadowstar believed her instantly.

"We're in grave danger from a black and white spotted cat from an enemy Clan," the she-cat meowed, frowning. "CloudClan has chosen not to reveal the Clan but he has a musty odor and weird markings like a dog."

Loudtail and Shadowstar exchanged a look of fear.

"This tom is working for someone else though. Not even CloudClan can tell how this will turn out," Bramblesky dipped her head to acknowledge that she was finished.

"This new prophecy has frightened me," Shadowstar meowed.

Loudtail nodded in agreement and together, they stalked out of the nursery.

"Bramblesky?" Thrushear called from the corner.

"Yes?"

"Take care and please be safe."

Bramblesky bowed her head and left silently without another word. By the time Bramblesky stepped out of the den, all the GuestClan cats had heard the news that a new dream has arised. Shadowstar leapt onto the High Rock and announced the Clan meeting. All the cats were already assembled so there was no need for the official call.

"As most of you know, Bramblesky has had another dream," the leader meowed. "GuestClan is in grave danger from a black and white spotted tom. We do not know which Clan this cat is from so I sent out Loudtail and Iceshadow to investigate this mystery."

Bramblesky nodded and stepped forward to whipser to her leader, "Shadowstar, what about Redheart?"

"Let's not tell the Clan just yet," the GuestClan leader mewed softly so no one could hear. "They already have enough to worry about."

And with that, she hopped off of the High Rock and ran to her den.

Chapter Five

Once a monster raced by, Swiftspot darted across the Thunderpath to reach RockClan territory.

Yellowstar will be very pleased with me, the warrior thought.

"What do you want from a medicine cat?" a voice sounded from beside Swiftspot.

"Don't ask me, I just do the dirty work," Swiftspot meowed and raced inside the camp.

The burgandy she-cat followed in disgust. Swiftspot beckoned with his tail for the cat to follow and she rolled her eyes, muttering all the way. When the pair reached the heart of the camp, the sunhigh patrol bared their teeth and hissed.

"Relax!" Swiftspot growled. "It's just me."

"I smell GuestClan with you," a gray she-cat hissed.

"Yeah but she smells weird. Not like the nursery but," an apprentice on the patrol sniffed. "But like herbs!"

"Hush Bluepaw," his mentor murmured. "I'm sure if she's with Swiftspot then she's welcome."

"I heard there was greencough in the camp and I came to help!" the GuestClan cat mewed.

The two RockClan she-cats exchanged a confused glance while Bluepaw chased his tail in circles. Swiftspot glared at them until they shrugged it off. As the duo scampered away towards Yellowstar's den, all eyes were on them. Finally, they reached it in a couple swift bounds.

"Yellowstar?" Swiftspot called.

"Enter," he answered formally.

"I've fufilled your orders."

"Ah, I see you've brought old Redheart here! I'm impressed."

Swiftspot dipped his head, "Thank you Yellowstar."

"Er-I just came because Swiftspot told me that there was greencough in the camp and Brighteyes needed help," Redheart, the GuestClan medicine cat, meowed softly.

"Right right," Yellowstar nodded. "Well Swiftspot, show her to the medicine den."

He winked and shooed the two cats out. Swiftspot nodded back knowingly and hurried out of the den behind the pretty she-cat.

"Well, what are you waiting for, you useless bag of fleas?" Redheart snapped. "Take me to Brighteyes!"

"Er-Yeah I'll do that," Swiftspot stammered, caught off guard by her change of mood.

As Swiftspot ran away, Redheart followed with narrowed eyes and suspicious head swings.

"Are you sure the medicine cat's den is this way?" the GuestClan cat asked. "It looks far too dark and dreary in this part of camp to hold herbs."

"Oh well, let me move these protective logs and you can look inside," the warrior meowed coolly.

Redheart shrugged off the weird feeling, stepped inside and called, "Brighteyes? Tanglepaw? Uh Swiftspot...why can't I see-"

As she spun around, Redheart realized she fell into a fox-hearted trap.

"Yeah there's no one here," Swiftspot smirked. "Welcome to the prisoner's den. Feel free to check around, we haven't looked to see if there's any rats or crowfood in there yet."

Redheart gaped sadly at the black and white spotted tom and then shook her head. She glared at the wall, ignorning the RockClan cat.

"Come on now," Swiftspot pleaded. "Don't be like that."

Redheart didn't reply and Swiftspot sulked off alone. When he reached the clearing, it was full of whispering cats. Brighteyes was darting in and out of tabbies and tortoiseshells, looking for someone.

"Can I help you?" Swiftspot demanded.

"Oh good, you're here," the medicine cat began. "What's all this talk about you and Redheart? What's she doing here?"

Before Swiftspot could explain, he was cut off by the familiar Clan meeting call by Yellowstar.

"Maybe he'll explain," Swiftspot shrugged and hurried off.

Brighteyes glared after the spotted tom but was interupted by her apprentice, Tanglepaw.

"As most of you heard, a GuestClan cat is on our territory as I speak," Yellowstar yowled.

The RockClan cats cried in outrage, appalled that such a thing could happen. Disbelieving yowls and looks of hatred dashed across the clearing, finding their victum and pouncing upon that cat.

"The GuestClan medicine cat, Redheart, has traveled too far onto our territory so we took her captive," the leader continued.

"May I speak?" came a soft voice from the back of the crowd.

A black she-cat with white markings stepped forward. It was the same cat from the earlier sunhigh patrol with the apprentice, Bluepaw. She stared into Yellowstar's eyes, as if daring him to say no.

"Very well Wetflower," the RockClan leader scoffed.

"Thank you," Wetflower meowed. "Today I was on the sunhigh patrol with Grayeyes and Bluepaw when Swiftspot took Redheart 'captive'", the she-cat meowed. "Redheart seemed to be coming here for a reason. She demanded to see Brighteyes because she heard there was greencough in the camp."

"That's impossible!" Yellowstar growled. "She WAS hunting, Swiftspot told me himself."

"It's true!" Bluepaw piped up from his spot next to the other apprentices. "I heard them too!"

"Hush," Wetflower scolded her apprentice, but it was too late.

Yellowstar glared at both of the cats.

"How do you two know you weren't mistaken?" Yellowstar grumbled. "You could have heard Redheart wrong."

Bluepaw puffed out his chest to show he wasn't scared, but an ash-colored apprentice swept his tail over Bluepaw's mouth to stop him from speaking. An elder chuckled from the back of the crowd. Wetflower gazed at the other gray she-cat who lead the patrol.

"Grayeyes please," she whispered, but Grayeyes shook her head; she knew better than to question her leader.

Wetflower sighed, "I guess I was mistaken."

"Very well thought out," Yellowstar sneered. "Redheart is in the prisoner's den and no one should bother her for anything."

The RockClan cats nodded in agreement and the crowd scattered. As Swiftspot leapt past Wetflower, he heard her murmur, "I know what I heard!"


"Shadowstar!" a tortoiseshell tom was tearing up the clearing towards his leader. "Shadowstar!"

Shadowstar swung her head around to face the cat. The hunting patrol glared at the tom as he passed by.

"Thanks a lot Iceshadow," an apprentice snarled. "You scared away all the prey from here to IslandClan!"

"I'm sorry," Iceshadow apologized. "I've just found something out when I was questioning LivingClan."

"Well?" Shadowstar demanded. "What is it?"

"RockClan is holding Redheart captive!" the tortoiseshell panted. "Swiftclaw, you know the LivingClan deputy; anyway, he said he saw a black and white warrior running into RockClan territory with Redheart at his side."

"Very well," the leader dipped her head.

Iceshadow dipped his head and disappeared into the brambles. Shadowstar swiveled around to face the tom standing beside her.

"Hawkclaw?" she meowed to the warrior.



















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