|New Generation Series|
|Preceded by: |
|Returning Traitor||Succeded by: |
The greatest promise is made to friend but can be broken by the thorns of betrayal...
A brown tabby cat was walking though a starry forest. He frowned at the sights that usually made him smile and his heart was filled with sadness. He approached a group of starry cats.
"Why? I have been a good cat! I have kits! Why must you take me now?" A blue she-cat searched the cat's face.
"We are sorry. You are right, but your time has come."
The cats all murmured and a couple had begun to weep. The cat stood defiantly.
"Please. Let me stay! I have to! I need to!" The cats whispered more and the blue she-cat faced the cat.
"No." she said. The cat frowned.
"No? Is that it? You have served us faithfully but no?! Oh please!" His voice dropped to a whisper. "Please. I love my mate. I have kittens and grown children! Why?"
The starry she-cat sighed.
"We are sorry, it wouldn't be fair."
The other cat's tail fell. He looked shaken and sorrow gripped him.
"Then can I say good bye?" he asked in a small voice. The she-cat smiled.
"That you may do. I will give you 5 minutes to say good bye." Her voice grew heavier. "But you will have no more than that. After 5 mintues, you will join us."
The cat nodded. The starry cats left and he was alone. Staring into a deep pool. He turned and ran, back to the forest to say his painful good-byes.
Bramblepath had just learned that her father may be dying. She leaped into the Great Oak and softly carried him down. She watched him and for a moment she thought he was definitely dead, but then he blinked open his eyes. Bramblepath cried,
"You had another life left!" Bramblestar shook his head.
"No I didn't. StarClan let me come back to say good bye to you and Dusksky and your sisters." He smiled and said, "I guess I'm too old to play the warrior, huh?" Usually, Bramblepath would have laughed at his joke but now she just stared.
"Don't laugh! You're dying! We have to save you!"
Bramblestar looked at her, his eyes serious, his playful tone gone.
"I"m going to die, Bramblepath. I know it and you know it. Don't deny it." She hung her head.
"For StarClan's sake, I'm dying! Let me go! Get your mother and sisters so I can say good-bye," he meowed, his voice faltering a bit.
Bramblepath ran and got all of her family. After a sad good bye to all of his daughters, Bramblestar raised his head to look at his mate.
"I know. I love you so much. I wish you could stay, but I'll watch over the kits. And the Clan," Dusksky said sadly.
Bramblestar nodded. His eyes stared in the distence at a scene only he could see. "Well, then this truly is good-bye," he murmured.
Bramblepath wanted to say something. A question, an apology maybe? But her father looked at her.
"Don't ever forget who you are, Bramblepath. Nothing is more important to me than you, your mom, and your sisters."
Then the light faded from his eyes and for the last time, Bramblestar, hero of the forest, leader of ThunderClan, legend, was gone.
Bramblepath was staring at the Great Oak, just as she had been for the past 5 hours. Dusksky and the apprentices had taken Bramblestar's body back to camp and the only cats left at the island were Bramblepath and her friends. Mossnight pushed away from the tree she had been leading on, a trace of her old spirit showing she said, "You know, we all lose loved ones. And we have to move on." Bramblepath looked at her, forgetting her friends state of mind, "I will never let go of Bramblestar!" Mossnight flinched and in a quiet voice said, "Ok..."
Leopardheart looked at her sister, "I'm as upset as you are but don't take it out on Mossnight."
Bramblepath looked at her for a minute in defiance but then, tail drooping, turned to Mossnight, "She's right, I'm sorry Mossnight."
Mossnight nodded, her eyes staring at nothing.
Bramblepath sighed, ever since Raincloud had betrayed them Mossnight had been quiet and moody, waiting for her lost friend to return.
Which would never happen. And Mossnight would still welcome her back with open arms if she did.
As if StarClan, or something darker, had been listening to her thoughts, there was a rustle in the bushes.
A gray dappled cat stepped out, "Miss me losers?"
Mossnight felt as if her life was going a few minutes slower. She saw Leopardheart widen her eyes, saw Bramblepath snarl, she saw Scarshade flaten her ears and hiss, and she saw Brightshadow jump.
And, still in slow mo, Raincloud hit Brightshadow as he flew through the air, she pinned him down with a paw on his throat and turned to face the cats.
And Mossnight was happy. Her friend had returned!!!
Bramblepath's eyes were on Brightshadow, "Let him go!" she commanded. Raincloud smiled at her, "Why?"
"He's done nothing to you!"
"He lunged at my throat!" Raincloud's eyes widened innocently. Bramblepath snarled. Her head dropped and her voice fell in a whisper, "Let him go."
Mossnight wondered why Bramblepath was so torn up. She had been so out of things so much she had no idea of the chasm of feelings between her 2 friends.
Raincloud sighed. She let go of Brightshadow who did not move. Bramblepath ran to him and gently picked him up and carried him over to the other cats.
Raincloud smiled, "I have a message for you. But then I must go. Things to do. Forests to destroy."
She sat down, her tail curled neatly over her paws. Mossnight stared at her, just realizing.
Was it possible that her friends were right? That Raincloud was gone and never coming back?
She blinked back tears and sat down, opposite of her friend, feeling a deep chasm sprouting between them and all the times they had shared gone into the darkness that had taken over Rainclouds mind.
Leopardheart struggled to keep herself calm. But she was failing. She was supposed to be the calm one, the cat with StarClan on her side. But she was still a cat and anger runs deep in a cats blood.
Raincloud was looking at them as if this was the most normal thing, returning from the dead, where no cat could return from.
She was a returning traitor.
Leopardheart let a hiss escape through her clenched jaws. Raincloud looked at her and though her position was polite, Leopardheart coud see deep hatred in her former friend's eyes.
Raincloud looked away and went on, "Well, I'd love to stay and kill you all but I have to run. Anyways Tigerstar told me to tell you that I'll be spreading fear and hatred through the Clans, yadayadayda. Any questions?"
And before any of them could respond, she leaped away, "Ta-ta! Oh, and watch your Clans. Carefully." she said as she bounded away.
Leopardheart looked at her friends Brightshadow was still out and Bramblepath crouched by him. Scarshade was clawing the moist soil in fury.
But it was Mossnight that Leopardheart was worried about. The silver she cat was staring to the horizen, hatred and a deep sadness in her eyes. Her fragile brain seemed to be breaking, but Leopardheart could see the old Mossnight coming back. The way she had been before they were betrayed.
Leopardheart breathed a sigh of relief. They were all fine. But Raincloud was still out there.
And they had to find her.
Hawkfrost cursed. Even though he was only a ghost, brambles still clung to his pelt.
"Let go of me you stupid thing! I'm transparent!" he growled.
He had escaped the Dark forest after an argument with Tigerstar. He had thought it was impossible but he followed the StarClan cats trail and came out through the Looking Pond. He did not know where he was going, only that he had to find the cat that used to be Raincloud.
The real Raincloud was gone but Hawkfrost hoped to unearth it again. He was in love with her. Even though the new Raincloud was a vicious, rude cat, he was still tail over head in love.
He was now in ThunderClan territory. He was walking along the lake, and he heard a commotion from the island. He picked his way through the brambles and poked his head out of the undergrowth. A gray cat was stalking down the tree bridge and he could hear more cats on the island.
He wondered what had happened. It wasn't a full moon. It wasn't even night yet!
He looked at the cat on the tree bridge more carefully.
He saw a flash of dappled fur and he imagined blazing blue eyes, as cold as his own....
He had found Raincloud.
Or what was left of her.
Raincloud stalked away from her old friends, her heart pounding. I almost killed Brightshadow flashed into her head more then once. She shook it off. Then she turned her thoughts to more fun matters.
Like....which Clan to decimate first! Her heart skipped a beat and she pranced for a minute. Not ShadowClan, she couldn't do that. Not ThunderClan, they had 3 cats involved in a phropecy so they might be able to stop her. Not RiverClan...too fat. Well, it looked like scrawny, weak, little WindClan was her target.
She began to walk to their territory and she thought of all the great stuff.
I bet ThunderClan will come to rescue them and I can kill some of them too! And I'll teach Mossnight that nothing will ever change me!! she laughed.
As she was crossing the WindClan territory in search of their camp. she saw 2 cats moving across the moor. One was a deep snowy white and one was a gray cat who was tripping slightly. They smelled of ThunderClan. Raincloud left them, someone had to be around to tell the rest of ThunderClan what had happened.
As she came to the camp, hardly sheltered at all, she thought back to the meeting.
The hatred in her friends eyes, heartbreak in Mossnight's, and then she had to pretend she hadn't seen the tabby in the shadows, his ice blue eyes begging for her to come home.
Chapter 7- A Rude Interruption By Artimas
I would just like to talk for a minute about Raincloud. I know all the people who read this story probably hate her guts and I agree. The cats are all based off of my friends and Raincloud happens to be a girl who talked about me behind my back, who was mean to my little sister, and was overall a complete jerk.
But that's not Raincloud's fault.
If you had her ambition, the desire to be leader, wouldn't you do anything to get it? Wouldn't you, be honest. Raincloud and Bramblepath are more alike then they think. Each wants power, each has killed before, each has a relationship. And yet they hate each other.
Bramblepath wants to be leader but she wants to be noble and kind as well. Raincloud has let Tigerstar delude her into thinking she can go back and have power and have her old life back. She is wrong. She has let go of her friends. It was hard on all of them. Who want to accept that one of their dearest friends is a cold bloded killer? Mossnight came every close to joining the Dark Forest in her grief. Raincloud scared her both mentally and physically. And now she is getting better but will a returning traitor make Mossnight worse?
Hawkfrost fell in love with Rainpaw because she was pretty, smart, and she could take care of herself. She made him a better cat. But when Tigerstar found out he used their love as a weapon. In the same move, he humiliated his son, he took over Raincloud's mind, and he broke off their relationship. Hawkfrost wants to find her and convince her to be good again, not an easy task. But a noble one.
Raincloud's choice affected many cats but she was forced, she was taken by promises and dreams.
And so Raincloud had to walk away and watch her old life fade away in order to meet her destiny.
Mossnight heard the padded footsteps. The rest of the Clan was still sleeping but Mossnight had been thinking. She knew it was time.
Raincloud had come.
She ran out of camp. Meeting Raincloud outside the walls of the camp. For a moment they just stood there. Friend and Foe. Villain and Hero. Good and Bad. Warrior to Warrior.
Mossnight spoke first, "Get off my territory you filthy rogue!" she hissed. She had recovered, seeing Raincloud at the Island had caused her to lose faith in her friend. Raincloud flinched. She had expected Mossnight to burst into tears, to be weak. But she wasn't backing down.
"Fine." Raincloud turned away. Then she spun around, hitting Mossnight in the same move she had once used to claw her friends face. Mossnight fell but she tangled her legs in Raincloud's. Mossnight fought bravely but Raincloud ended the fight with a few blows to the head and a throat bite.
Leaving Mossnight lying in the grass bleeding, she bounded into the camp.
She walked into the leaders den first, Ashstar would be first to feel her claws. She scraped her claws on the stones walls. Ashstar jolted awake. "Who are you?" she asked shocked.
Raincloud stalked foreword, claws unsheathed, "I am your end."
Icestar walked on the uneven grounds of the moor. The pain of her new lives had been canceled out of the awe. And she had seen Bramblestar. She still couldn't believe he was....gone. She and Jayfeather were walking along the moor, back to camp. They were at the heart of WindClan when they heard yowls.
"StarClan save us!!!"
Icestar looked at Jayfeather but the tom was already racing towards the voices. Icestar followed him and they arived at WindClan camp. Blood was soaked into the dirt and cats were yowling everywhere. The only cat that seemed to be chasing them was that ShadowClan warrior...Raincloud!
Icestar yowled a challenge and Raincloud gave one final swipe at the tabby in her grasp and then turned to face the ThunderClan leader. She hissed and said, "Take a look. Your next."
And Raincloud bounded away into the darkness.
Icestar looked at a all of the bodies, the blood, the ruined camp. It had all been done by Raincloud. And from what she said, ThunderClan was next. She felt Jayfeather stiffen beside her and she gasped.
"StarClan help us." she breathed.
Hawkfrost saw Raincloud walking towards ThunderClan and he knew he had to stop her. Not to save ThunderClan, but so he could talk to her.
He softly ran behind her and knocked her down. They tussled and eventually, Hawkfrost won. Raincloud snarled at him, "What do you want crow-food?" Hawkfrost flinched. Her words hurt but not as much as the thought of losing her forever. He let her go. "I want to talk." he meowed, trying to stay calm.
Raincloud seemed to calm but then she slammed Hawkfrost against a tree and he slid to the ground. She pinned him down and hissed, "I have choosen my path, I don't need you to try and stop me!" Hawkfrost said, "I know you want to be leader but how is killing the Clans going to help with that!?"
Raincloud's eyes shifted for a minute and then she said, "I will kill off the protesters, the rest are mine to lead!!" Hawkfrost shuddered, "You're crazy. Come back." He knew that didn't make sense but he wanted her to come back to the way she had been. He echoed softer, "Come back."
Raincloud snarled but Hawkfrost could tell. She was wavering. Her eyes were pained and she was trembling. But then, as if Tigerstar had told her something, she hardened and slashed at Hawkfrost. Hawkfrost fell and she turned her back on him.
"I am going to go take care of ThunderClan. And you won't stop me." she proclaimed as she stalked through the forest, leaving Hawkfrost to watch her fade away from him entirely.
Mossnight woke up, her head throbbing. She wondered what she was doing out on the moor. What had- No.
She got up and raced back to camp. As she entered a kit cried out but its mother calmed it down. Mossnight looked around. Bodies were lying, tossed around like rag dolls. Crowfeather was standing up and Mossnight remebered her oath to Feathertail long ago, I will keep him safe. I promise. She had failed. She closed her eyes for a minute and then opened them again. A cat was calling, "Where is Ashstar?" Crowfeather bowed his head.
Mossnight ran to her leaders den. Ashstar was in her nest, her eyes wide with horror, her gray tail lying out. Mossnight gently picked her up and carried her into the clearing for vigil. She tried to lay her down but something was in her way. She turned around and set her leader down so she could move what was blocking her and froze in horror as she recognized her mother.
She threw herself down beside her mother. She could feel a pulse but it was faint. She called Kestrelwing over and he examined her. "She'll be fine after a while" he assured Mossnight.
Mossnight had never felt worse.
My mother could die and my leader is gone. I broke my oath. It's all my fault.
Then, shaking her sadness and horror off, she went to go see who else she could lose and who would live through the night.
Scarshade padded out of the river. The creamy moon was high in the sky, in thew shape of a crescent. She shook her pelt off spraying water all over the shore and suddenly she heard something, "Hey! Watch where you're shaking that!"
She thought of Raincloud but it was Reedwhisker who stepped out of the bushes, "What are you doing!?" she giggled. He shook his head in mock anger, "I was following a disobidiant warrior who left her nest!"
Scarshade growled and attacked him. They rolled over and over, play fighting and finally lay still panting. Reedwhisker finally asked, "Would you like to sleep out here with me?"
Scarshade felt her heart flutter and she managed to keep her voice steady, "I would love that."
Reedwhisker nodded, pleased and they began scraping nest material together. In the end they had a fern covered, feather coated, comfortable nest. They curled up, their tails twined and their noses touching. They talked a little and fell asleep.
Scarshade woke up the next morning with Reedwhisker licking her. "I'd love to sleep but I think I hear the dawn patrol." Scarshade sighed and got up. She streached and slowly followed Reedwhisker back to camp. His tone grew formal as they passed a group of apprentices, "Will you join me on the evening patrol today Scarshade? Just us?"
Scarshade nodded and as she turned to river to go fishing her heart fluttered and her paws felt like butterflys.
Bramblepath was eating with Leopardheart when Brightshadow came skidding up to them. "Hey deputy!" he meowed urgently. "Don't call me that! I haven't even been deputy for a day!" scolded Bramblepath embaressedly. Icestar had named her deputy just that evening. She was proud but didn't want to show off. Brightshadow went on, "We got a storm coming our way." he meowed trying to look calm. But Bramblepath recognized their secret alarm.
She raced out of camp with her friends on her heels. They ran into the forest and near the lake they saw her. She was standing, facing them, her fur ruffled in the breeze. She smiled, "Hi! If you could just let me skadaddle to your camp so I can destroy it and kill some cats I would be ever so thankful." Leopardheart snorted and Raincloud sneered. "Didn't think so."
She tried to run at them but as she tried to claw Brightshadow, Bramblepath pushed her on her side and Leopardheart started to claw her. Brightshadow called, "Look out!" he ran up and jumped on her. Bramblepath knew that had to hurt. ThunderClan was well fed and the only cat who could match Brightshadow in eating was Graystripe and he was dead. Raincloud grunted and quickly stood up.
She hissed, "I'll be back. I'll always be here. I have returned!"
Then she turned tail and ran to ShadowClan territory.
StarClan had gathered. It had only 2 new additions. Ashstar and Weaselfur. They had both died in the raid on WindClan and StarClan had to discuss it.
Firestar stood up, "This is the danger our heroes have to face. We may help them but they walk their own paths."
There were murmers of agreement but then Blackstar stood up, "Firestar, it is fair to say that one of our heroes is causing all this!"
There was a call from the back that sounded like Longtail, "Your hero I believe Blackstar!"
Blackstar's ears were flat and he hissed, "It is her destiny!!"
StarClan yowled and pushed and finally Bluestar spoke up. "I see, in the moons to come our heroes will be tested. Some in more ways then others. And Raincloud will match them step for step. It is her destiny and we must let her live her life."
Firestar nodded and most of StarClan agreed. Blackstar even shrugged, "I spoke my mind but I agree. Raincloud is a suberb warrior." he added, a hint of smugness in his voice.
Frestar yowled, "We are agreed!"
The Clan turned and went to whatever they had planned for the day, pleased the problem seemed to be solved.
Raincloud took her time crossing ThunderClan territory. Just because she had been beaten she would not give in. She had to find a place to stay so she could renew her energy and rest before another attack.
She found an old twoleg place in ThunderClan territory. Peeking inside, she saw it was empty and she began pulling moss and feathers into it. She went of to hunt, thinking. She brought down a thrush, 3 mice, and a rabbit. She knew she couldn't eat it all so she took the thrush and 3 mice and clawed on them, making them look eaten. She covered them in ShadowClan scent and left them at the border. she wanted to destroy the Clans and a civil war would be helpful.
She dragged the rest through ThunderClan terrritory. Stopping to drink at a small river, she thought carefully. She had thought she was doing the right thing but she had hurt her friends both physically and mentally. And she had hurt herself too. And most of all Hawkfrost. She imagined his pained eyes as he kept seaching for her through the endless forest.
She thought she had done the right thing but what if Tigerstar was just using her? She had had doubts and now they looked like they were being confirmed. She shook those thoughts off and continued on her way.
She dragged her prey into her new home. Her brilliant blue eyes glowed for a minute and then she disaperred into the darkness.
Watch and wait. Because I will be back.
Like this? Me too! :) Read the next book: Echoing Truths!