Echostar, dark brown tabby she-cat with icy blue eyes
Mousetalon, pale ginger tortoiseshell and white she-cat with blue-gray eyes
Foxtrot, bright ginger tabby she-cat with bold blue eyes
Medicine Cat Apprentice:
Purplepaw, mottled brown she-cat with violet eyes
Ashthorn, brown tabby tom with green eyes
Winterfall, white she-cat with icy blue eyes
Bloodclaw, black tom with dark amber eyes
Kinklegs, gray and white tom with one crooked leg
Mothfur, brown tabby tom with bright green eyes
Redfangs, sleek black she-cat with red eyes
Littlestorm, gray tom with blue eyes, smallest tom'
Oatclaw, light brown tom with tiger stripes and amber eyes
Pureheart, white she-cat with thick spotted fur and blue eyes
Pantherpelt, black she-cat with green eyes and a white flash on her chest
Magiceyes, blue-gray she-cat with a white chest and one white paw and blue eyes
Rivermist, gray tabby she-cat with blue eyes
Vineflower, golden tabby she-cat with dark amber eyes
Fogwhisker, gray tabby she-cat with white chest and tail
Pinepelt, ginger tom with green eyes
Oakfur, sandy brown tom with ginger splotches
Quailfang, dark brown tom with ginger flecks
Poppyshine, calico she-cat with a white tail and bright blue eyes
Dirtclaw, brown tabby tom with hazel eyes
Silentstep, tortoiseshell and white she-cat with green eyes
Cometshine, ginger tabby she-cat with green eyes
Jinglestep, white and brown tortoiseshell she-cat with blue eyes
Lionpaw, golden tom with a brown face and amber eyes
Blazepaw, ginger tabby tom with green eyes
Songpaw, gray and white she-cat with green eyes
Mintpaw, slender dark tortoiseshell she-cat with green eyes
Fourpaw, black tom with amber eyes
Ripplepaw, ginger and black tom with yellow eyes
Hollypaw, ginger and gray she-cat with green eyes
Fernkit, mottled gray and white she-cat with blue eyes
Daisyclaw, white she-cat with ginger legs
Slickfur, black tom
Flintfur, black and gray tom with amber eyes
Badgertooth, black tom with white chest and amber eyes
Sweetshine, gray she-cat with white spots and bright green eyes
Lovelyface, pale ginger she-cat with amber eyes and a pink nose
Leafshade, white she-cat with ginger splotches and amber eyes
Froststar, beautiful gray she-cat with a white chest
Moonfall, light gray she-cat
Pricklemist, white she-cat with messy fur
Medicine Cat Apprentice:
Firepelt, ginger tom with blue eyes
Cinderwind, gray tom
Runningfoot, black and white tom with amber eyes
Raindrop, blue-gray she-cat with green eyes
Smalltail, small gray tom with ginger patches and a small tail
Cloudgaze, ginger she-cat with green eyes and a pink nose
Dovewing, white she-cat with dark green eyes
Leopardheart, ginger tom with black spots
Woody, dark brown tabby tom, formerly loner
Ashfrost, tortoiseshell she-cat
Dewfur, Spotted gray she-cat
Tallface, black and white tom with a narrow face
Rosesplash, cream she-cat
Braveclaw, ginger tom with amber eyes
Burningfire, ginger tom with blue eyes
Furzepelt, pale ginger tabby she-cat
Clawtalon, black and white tom
Whitemist, white she-cat with a black tail
Goldenpaw, golden she-cat with amber eyes
Snowypaw, white she-cat with blue eyes
Nightpaw, black she-cat with a white chest
Shrewpaw, dark gray tom with amber eyes
Fuzzykit, Spotted gray she-cat
Spottedkit, Spotted gray she-cat
Thrushkit, Spotted gray she-cat
Hattie, Brown tabby she-cat with green eyes, formerly loner
Voleclaw, black tom
Frostynose, white she-cat
Fangstar, black tom with amber eyes and gray paws
Jadepoppy, pal;e ginger she-cat with a dark ginger chest and green eyes
Barkcloud, dark brown tom
Medicine Cat Apprentice:
Embertalon, long-haired tortoiseshell with green eyes
Cinderwind, gray tom
Branchtail, white she-cat with a dark ginger tail
Featherfrost, light gray she-cat
Daisyfern, black she-cat with white splotches
Gingermist, golden tabby she-cat with amber eyes
Snowstripe, slender white she-cat with dazzling blue eyes
Shimmergaze, black she-cat
Robinwing, dark gray she-cat with ginger chest
Spottedfur, Spotted ginger she-cat
Sunnyfur, ginger and white she-cat
Wheatwhisker, brown tabby tom with green eyes and one white paw
Raggedfire, dark brown tom
Skygaze, gray tom
Flowerfrost, gray and white she-cat
Dawnpoppy, gray she-cat with green eyes
Dappleface, gray she-cat with white spots
Ferngaze, ginger she-cat with amber eyes
Wolfpelt, silver tabby she-cat with green eyes
Splashclaw, dark ginger tabby tom
Toadpaw, gray tom with amber eyes
Snakepaw, ginger tabby she-cat with blue eyes
Duskpaw, smoky gray she-cat with amber eyes
Badgerfoot, black tom
Whitefoot, gray she-cat with white paws
Wildstar, slender brown she-cat with green eyes and three ginger paws
Lionclaw, golden tabby tom with blue eyes
Softfeather, siamese patterned she-cat
Medicine Cat Apprentice:
Briarshine, brown tabby she-cat
Firetail, bright ginger she-cat
Brackenthorn, light brown tom
Daisyfern, black she-cat with white splotches
Waterbreeze, dark brown she-cat with white spots
Aquaeyes, calico she-cat with blue-green eyes
Eagleblaze, brown and white tom
Mudtalon, dark brown tom
Sungaze, golden tabby she-cat with amber eyes
Amberstreak, dark ginger she-cat with amber eyes
Fallowdrift, black tom with blue eyes
Torchflight, brown tom
Talonflight, dark brown tom
Acorntail, gray tom
Coralfeather, cream and black tabby she-cat with amber eyes
Mistytrust, gray she-cat with blue eyes
Bumblebee, golden tom with black stripes
Dancingeyes, black she-cat with green eyes
Hawkpaw, mottled ginger tom
Mottlepaw, mottled gray she-cat
Grasspaw, dark brown she-cat
Brightpaw, ginger and white tabby she-cat
Flamepaw, bright ginger tom
Autumnpaw, dark brown she-cat
Wavefrost,gray and white she-cat
Birdsong, ginger she-cat
Fernpoppy, white she-cat
Frosty, white tom kittypet
"Mousetalon, come to my den," Echostar murmured into her ear. Mousetalon nodded at the beautiful brown tabby. She followed her into her den and sat down, eager to hear what her leader had to say.
"Well, what is it?" she asked quietly.
"It's leaf-bare, and prey is scarcer than ever. We barely have enough to feed Daisyclaw's kit! I have decided to sacrifice one of my lives and not eat so that the Clan may strengthen itself."
"No!" Mousetalon yowled, springing up, "You can't do that!"
"Shush, Mousetalon, and listen to me. The Clan is starving. Oatclaw cannot stay alive unless he can eat, what with his burns and all, and our elders are hungrier than ever! We've already lost Coalfoot and Dapplenose!" Echostar insisted.
"Is there anything I can do to change your mind? You are on your seventh life after that fox trap took away three of your lives. If you die, you will only have-" Mousetalon argued.
"Nothing can change my mind, and yes, I am aware of the lives I will have left," Echostar meowed calmly. "Now leave, and do not tell a soul."
Mousetalon could do nothing but nod and walk out.
"Mousetalon, have you noticed how little Echostar is eating?" Lionpaw asked, "I should bring her this thrush."
"No, Lionpaw, it's okay, I will eat with her," Mousetalon meowed quickly. Lionpaw's eyes were wary, but he nodded and went to eat with Mintpaw and Hollypaw.
"Foxtrot! What happened? Is she . . .?" Mousetalon began urgently. The orange tabby shook her head sadly.
"She has lost a life," she announced to the Clan sadly. The cats hung their heads.
"Why?" Daisyclaw called out. The Clan echoed her question.
"She starved herself," Mousetalon meowed quietly, "So that the Clan wouldn't starve." Yowls of outrage roared.
"And you knew?" Quailfang screeched, "Why didn't you stop her! I am not so mouse-hearted."
"She wouldn't listen!" Mousetalon yowled back,"Every day I brought her something to eat, every day! I tried to make her eat, but she wouldn't!"
"We need a new deputy! It's obvious that Mousetalon is trying to become leader!" Quailfang yowled. A few cats echoed his request, such as Bloodclaw and some of the elders, but most of the Clan watched Quailfang in silence.
"I would never!" Mousetalon spat back, "You're just trying to upsure the Clan and take my position." Now, many cats repeated her charge, most ardently Quailfang's denmates, Oakfur, Pinepelt, and Poppyshine. Quailfang bristled. Now even Bloodclaw seemed to agree.
"I would be a much better deputy than you!" he yowled.
"Silence!" came a yowl from Foxtrot's den. Echostar padded out with Purplepaw supporting her, and her eyes were bright with fury. "Who dares question my deputy?" The cats all glared at Quailfang. Echostar hissed.
"What she says is true. I was stubborn. I would not listen. Quailfang, Mousetalon come to my den, now." Quailfang stood up, probably expecting to replace her, and padded into her den. Echostar rolled her eyes at Mousetalon, who smiled.
When Mousetalon sat down near Echostar's nest, she saw Quailfang smiling triumphantly.
"You are very ambitious, Quailfang, even so to question my deputy's loyalty," Echostar commented. Quailfang nodded.
"Yes. But only because FogClan would be safer under my leadership," he meowed. Mousetalon dug her claws into the ground in fury.
"And why is that?" Echostar asked, though her eyes sparkled with anger.
"She is too soft. She would give away all of our territory to avoid battle, and besides, she half-clan! I would make sure the Clans knew our strength, and mark our borders with our enemy's blood!" Quailfang said confidently, his eyes wild.
"Basically, you would lead our Clan into endless fighting, twist the Code, kill innocent cats, and earn the hatred of every one of your Clanmates," Echostar commented, narrowing her eyes, "Get out of my sight. If you ever challenge me again, you will be out of our Clan for good."
"Songfall! Lionfire! Blazepelt! Fourstep! Mintfrost!"
Mousetalon gazed up proudly at her kits, newly made warriors. Fogwhisker beamed with pride. Mothfur was practically leaping for joy. She nuzzled her mate gently, and his eyes gleamed back at her. She thought of the progress each of the apprentices, now warriors, had made. Songfall had grown from being a shy and nervous apprentice to a confident warrior. Most of her confidence had come from former kittypet Mintfrost. Mintfrost had grown from being a snappy and snobby kittypet to a confident and loyal warrior. She had grown a lot. Lionfire had grown much as well. He had learned to be clever, and not just think with his claws. Blazepelt, though still fierce, had learned loyalty not just to himself, but to his Clanmates. Mousetalon sighed. Things were very peaceful now. Quailfang had pushed his luck yet again by calling a Clan meeting and attempting to convince his Clanmates to drive Mousetalon and Echostar out, but had ended up being driven out himself. He was now a rogue, and whenever a patrol spotted him, they would chase him out. Echostar had lost another life in battle, and was now on her last one. FogClan seemed to be at peace for now, but a thought tugged at Mousetalon endlessly. What will I do when Echostar dies?
"Mousetalon, come to my den!" Echostar called. Mousetalon heaved onto her feet and followed Echostar to the large stone den.
"What is it, Echostar?" Mousetalon asked, sitting down again.
"We need to discuss who will be going to the Gathering tomorrow," Echostar meowed, "With Quailfang out there, I still want some strong warriors here at home." Mousetalon nodded.
"Let's take Poppyshine with us. She won't want to stay at camp with her brother on the prowl. And Jinglestep and Silentstep," she meowed.
"Okay, but Jinglestep should stay here, she's still weary. How about Lionfire instead?" Echostar suggested, her eyes warming at the mention of Mousetalon's son's name. Mousetalon nodded.
"And Winterfall. Okay, we've got Winterfall, Silentstep, Poppyshine, and Lionfire. We need one more warrior," Mousetalon mused.
"Pantherpelt. We'll bring Hollypaw and Ripplepaw as well. Mintfrost, Songfall, and Oakfur can patrol the territory, and Littlestorm, Pinepelt, and Fourstep keep watch outside the camp. We'll have Blazepelt, Fogwhisker, Vineflower, and Redfangs searching for Quailfang, and Bloodclaw, Mothfur, and Pureheart guarding inside the camp," Echostar decided, "Now round up the Gathering patrol and inform the warriors of their duties. I'll be in here, resting. Purplepaw said I needed rest."
Mousetalon nodded and dashed out of Echostar's den.
"We have new warriors- Blazepelt, Songfall, Lionfire, Mintfrost, and Fourstep. Only Lionfire is here today, the others are home," Echostar concluded, as the gathered cats called out Lionfire's name. She stepped back, and being the last one, dipped her head. Froststar yowled that the Gathering was over, and the four leaders jumped down from Highrock. As the patrol headed home, Mousetalon heard Poppyshine murmuring worriedly to Silentstep.Hollypaw and Ripplepaw were talking excitedly to each other as they bounded through the trees, and Winterfall shot an exasperated glance at Mousetalon, who shook her head. Lionfire padded to walk next to Mousetalon, and she nuzzled her son affectionately. They soon scented the patrol searching for Quailfang, and soon enough, the four cats emerged from the trees and tagged along the patrol. Mousetalon fell back to talk with Vineflower and Redfangs as Blazepelt darted to Lionfire's side. Fogwhisker padded silently next to Ripplepaw and Hollypaw. Echostar suddenly halted, waving her tail for silence. Mousetalon sniffed the air, and froze. Quailfang!
The bushes rustled, and the dark brown tom emerged from the brambles. His face went from smugness to panic in a second, and he bristled. Mousetalon purred- he was alone.
"I told you to stay off of our territory!" Echostar hissed.
"You're not my leader anymore!" Quailfang retorted, though he flinched slightly. Echostar nodded to Mousetalon, who quietly slipped away with Blazepelt, Lionfire, Fogwhisker, and Vineflower.
"I warned you," Echostar murmured, "If we found you on our territory, we would attack." Quailfang bristled with terror, and darted back, but Mousetalon's group was behind him. There was no way out.
"Attack!" Mousetalon yowled.
"Hey Mintfrost, wanna go hunting?" Lionfire called. Mousetalon purred with amusement. Her young son had taken quite a liking to the tortoiseshell warrior in the recent moons. Mintfrost, who had been talking to Songfall, looked up, looking shocked. Mousetalon exchanged an amused glance with Silentstep, who was sharing tongues with Dirtclaw a few tail-lengths away. Lionfire beckoned Mintsrost again with his tail, and still looking shocked, she rose and followed him out of camp. A cold breeze blew through the camp, and Mousetalon shivered. Greencough was currently ravaging the camp, and Purplepool, having gained her medicine cat name, was out collecting catmint. Echostar, Bloodclaw, Fogwhisker, and Rivermist were very ill, with Echostar on the verge of death. Leafshade and Slickfur had died, and so did her beloved brother Oatclaw, and Gladeheart was dangerously close. Suddenly, a call from Foxtrot's den came.
"Mousetalon, Kinklegs, come here!" It was Foxtrot. Echostar laid in her nest, coughing. Her recently crippled leg was twitching.
"I received a vision from StarClan. I," she coughed, and then continued,"am stepping down from my post as leader. I will join the elders. My leg will never work again, and I am too old to go on as leader. They told me that you, Mousetalon, would lead us. Lead well, This is my last life, and I entrust it to y-you." Her eyes closed, and she drifted to sleep. Foxtrot watched with knowing eyes. Kinklegs stared, his eyes bulging. Mousetalon stood, watching. Her heart was pounding, and she knew that Echostar was now Echonose again. She would have to lead her Clan through this frozen future.
"Come," Foxtrot murmured. Mousetalon followed her friend silently, her paws unsteady. The Mothermouth was directly ahead, and as she entered the unwavering darkness, fear gripped her heart. When she entered, she pressed her nose against the rock, and was swept into darkness yet again. She thrashed around in panic, but suddenly she was in a beautiful meadow, surrounded by familiar faces. Violetstar, Leafshade, Oatclaw, Jewelfangs, Flintfur. . . all the faces she had grown up with.
"Are you ready to receive your nine lives?" a voice asked. Mousetalon shook, but nodded. Jewelfangs stepped up.
"With this life I give you patience. Use it to know that everything will work out, and you will just have to learn to accept it," she touched her nose to her head, and great oeace flooded through Mousetalon. She stepped back, and a golden she-cat stepped up. Goldenrain!
"With this life I give you wisdom," she murmured," Use it to lead your Clan through the toughest times." A pang of pain flooded through her, and she almost fell to the ground. She was still shaking as Violetstar stepped up.
"With this life," she called, "I give you endurance. Use it to never give up, not even on yourself." A blaze of energy shot through her, and she felt as if she could fly. Oatclaw stepped out, his confident eyes brimming with pride.
"With this life I give you courage," he announced, "You should know how to use it." Soon after, Ferntail stepped up.
"With this life I give you pride. Remember your own worth," she muttered and Mousetalon felt a surge of energy. "Thank you," she went on, "For serving my sister so well."
"With this life," Flintfur announced, "I give you passion. Use it to remember how loyal you and everyone is." Mousetalon almost fell witht the agony.
A new cat, one Mousetalon didn't know, stepped forward. She was a dark tortoiseshell, and very much like Mintfrost.
"Before I give you my life, let me thank you. When my mate took our kits with him when he left to become a kittypet, I was devastated. Thank you for bringing my youngest kit back to her true home." she purred, " And with this life I give you trust. Use it to trust not only your Clanmates, but yourself." Mousetalon felt a surge of confidence that she thought wasn't even possible. Next, Leafshade stepped up. Mousetalon almost sprang to meet her, but stayed still.
"With this life I give you love," she murmured, "Us eit to care for all."
Finally, a brown tom stepped forward. Leafshade's eyes glowed when she saw him and he dipped his head. Torchflight! Mousetalon realized, Torchflight is my father!
"With this life I give you compassion," he yowled, "You will know how to use it." Mousetalon was so wrapped up in satisfaction at knowing her father that the agony was dulled. Violetstar stepped back up.
"We hail you by your new name, Mousestar, StarClan will guide your paws. If you need us, we will be there!"