'Tis I, Maple here. this is the first 'before the Series' Book, featuring Lighstar's life. Hopefully you'll enjoy this as much as Robinsong's Quest. This is part of The Return of SkyClan (Series). --Maplefern 01:37, February 26, 2010 (UTC)
Leader: Heartstar - pinkish grey she-cat
Deputy: Slatefur - sleek mottled grey tom
Medicine cat: Fawnspots - brown she-cat with white spots down her back
Warriors: Irisflower - brown she-cat with deep violet eyes
Darkwing - muscular brown she-cat, almost black in colour
Stoneshadow - grey tom
Stonepelt - mottled grey tom
Treebranch - brown tabby tom
Marshfur - grey tom
Snowpelt - pure white she-cat
Queens: Cloudfur - white she-cat. Kits: Lightkit (light she-kit with slightly darker face and paws) and Cinderkit (fluffy grey she-kit)
Apprentices: Whitepaw - white she-cat
Pinepaw - black she-cat
Elders: One-ear - white she-cat with an ear missing
Leader: Silverstar - silver tabby she-cat
Deputy: Hawkshadow - tabby tom
Medicine cat: Mousetail - pale brown she-cat
Warriors: Whitefur - White she-cat with green eyes
Leader: Minnowstar - dark grey and white she-cat
Deputy: Watersplash - clumsy light grey she-cat
Medicine cat: Fishleap - mottled brown tom
Warriors: Mistfur - dark grey she-cat with blue eyes
Leader: Grassstar - brown tom
Deputy: Smallnose - grey tom with tiny nose
Medicine cat: Briarfern - dark brown she-cat
Warriors: Cloudears - tortoiseshell she-cat with white ears
"Hey Lightkit! Wake up!" Lightkit felt something prodding her side.
"Yes?" Lightkit asked expectantly, blinking open her eyes.
Cinderkit was standing there. "What are you waiting for? We're almost apprentices?"
Lightkit had almost forgotten that today was their apprentice ceremony. "I know, but there ceremony won't be held until Sunhigh."
"I know, mousebrain! Let's pick out our nests in the apprentices' den." Cinderkit turned away. "Or I'll do it without you."
"You will not!" Lightkit got up and scampered a head of Cinderkit.
"Hey!" said Cinderkit when she caught up. "No fair!"
"Sure it's fair. It's called stratedgy," said Lightkit. "I heard Heartstar say it once."
"You listen to her to much," teased Cinderkit.
"I do not, mousebrain!"
"You do, too!"
"Stop it, the both of you." a pure white she-cat padded over.
"Sorry, Cloudfur," said Lightkit.
"You are not!" cried Cinderkit, leaping on her.
Lightkit, despite her small size, cleverly dodged the attack, and leaped on her sister.
"Stop it! And I mean it this time," growled a large grey tom.
The sisters fell apart at the sound of that voice. "Y-Y-Yes, Stonepelt," mewed the sisters in perfect unison.
"Good. Don't catch me doing that again." He flicked his eyes from Lightkit to Cinderkit, then walked off.
"Why is he our father?" sighed Lightkit.
"He could at least be proud of us. We're almost apprentices!" Cinderkit agreed.
Why is he like that? wondered Lightkit, but she knew no answer would come.
"Lightkit, from now on, until you recieve your warrior name, you will be known as Lightpaw. Your mentor will be Irisflower."
"Cinderpaw! Lightpaw!" called the Clan.
Lightpaw noticed Cinderpaw was sitting beside her mentor, Darkwing. The dark she-cat was murmering something to her apprentice, and Cinderpaw looked a bit disappointed.
"Now, we are going to go explore the territory," said Irisflower to her apprentice. Lightpaw nodded. What kind of warrior would I make if I didn't know the territory? Lightpaw asked herself.
Irisflower, who was leading the way out of camp, when she remembered her apprentice wanted to see her sister.
Lightpaw raced over to Cinderpaw. "Why are you disappointed?" she asked her sister.
"I need to clean the elders' den," she muttered.
"Oh. Okay." Lightpaw refused to brag about how she was going to explore the boarder.
"What are you doing?" Cinderpaw asked.
Lightpaw's heart sank. "Going to explore the boarder," she mumered.
"You're so lucky!" exclaimed Cinderpaw. With that, she stalked off.
Lightpaw stared after her, eyes wide.
"Hurry up, Lightpaw!" called Irisflower.
"Coming!" Lightpaw sprinted towards her mentor.
"Save some energy for the territory. It will be tiring," said Irisflower.
"Why?" asked Lightpaw.
"Because it's so big. Now, see this path?" Iriflower asked.
"Good. This leads to and from the camp. If you see it, it means you are nearby the camp," Irisflower explained.
"That is good. At least I can find my way back to camp," said Lightpaw.
"Well, that's one way of putting it. Anyway, we'll continue until we reach the ThunderClan boarder," said Irisflower.
Lightpaw nodded, showing she was ready, and they dashed off together.
"This is the ThunderClan boarder," said Irisflower. "Do not cross it, or you will get the clan in trouble."
Is this the part of the warrior code that says you can't cross into another clans' territory? wondered Lightpaw.
As if reading her mind, Irisflower added, "You can't cross it, it's against the warrior code."
Okay, thought Lightpaw.
"Next we shall see the Lake," said Iriflower.
The lake, according to Lightpaw, was the most beautiful place she'd ever seen. The sun's hard rays reflected off the soft blue waves of the water. "Was there ever a cat called Lakekit?"
"I'm not sure," answered her mentor.
"Why didn't my parents name me, 'Lakekit'?" asked Lightpaw.
"I don't know. Cats need to fit their name. 'Lightkit' seemed to fit you, so they named you that."
"Well, if I ever had kits, I'd name one Lakekit," Lightpaw announced.
Irisflower purred. "Anyway, I'll show you the RiverClan boarder next."
At the RiverClan boarder, there was this giant Twolegplace. "Twolegs only come here during greenleaf," said Irisflower. "So right now, you wouldn't see one."
Duh, it's Leafbare, thought Lightpaw.
"Same thing applies here as the ThunderClan boarder. Do not cross it," said Irisflower.
Lightpaw was getting pretty tired. "Is that it?" she asked.
"Well, no, but I'll show you the best places to hunt later." With that, Irisflower sprinted off, leaving Lightpaw to take after her.
"So how were the elders?" Lightpaw asked her sister when she and Irisflower got back.
"They were great!" came the reply. Cinderpaw had her mouth full of moss.
"Did One-ear tell you a story?" Lightpaw asked.
"Yup! She told me the tale of Firestar!" Cinderpaw purred happily.
"That's your favourite! Anyway, I'm sure you'll get to explore the territory soon."
"Yeah. Darkwing said we'll do that later."
"How are the Clan's newest apprentices?" came a voice.
"Whitepaw?" both sisters asked, turning to face her. Whitepaw was from a previous litter of Cloudfur, making her their older sister.
"Yes, it's me, your favourite medicine cat apprentice," Whitepaw said.
"You're the only medicine cat apprentice!" snickered Cinderpaw.
"Well, I suppose I am. Anyway, I just wanted to check on you. Have you eaten yet?" asked Whitepaw.
"We were waiting until One-ear ate," meowed Lightpaw.
"Good to see you're taking the warrior code so seriously," purred Whitepaw. "But she has eaten already, so you may."
"Thank you!" said Cinderpaw, as she and Lightpaw scampered off to the fresh kill pile.
"What do you want to eat?" asked Lightpaw when they got there.
"Hmmm....I'm in the mood for a frog," said Cinderpaw.
"Okay, we'll share one." Lightpaw padded over and tookthe only one there was.
"This is it. You know frogs don't like leaf-bare," said Lightpaw, her voice muffled because of the prey.
"Well, put it down, already, so we can eat!" Cinderpaw took a huge bite as soon as Lightpaw put it down.
(A/N: This is a few moons later)
After finishing a Frog, Lightpaw was very full, and her stomach heavy. "Owwww..." she mewed in pain.
"Next time, don't eat that frog, mousebrain!" said a voice Lightpaw recognized.
"Stonepelt, are always watching us?" asked Cinderpaw.
"You are my daughters. I need to do that," he said. Turning to Slatefur, he added "I'll take a patrol."
"Okay, you and me and Darkwing," said Slatefur, nodding. Lightpaw wondered what her father was up to.
Cinderpaw was just explaining that her mentor showed her the other side of the of the territory, the opposite of what Lightpaw had seen, when Darkwing and Stonepelt came into camp. Darkwing was carrying Slatefur's body.
"What happened?" cried Heartstar, running out of her den.
"It looked like he was attacked," said Darkwing, looking at his bloody, battle-scarred and mangled body.
"And you did it!" Heartstar hissed at Darkwing.
"I don't know how he died!" cried Darkwing, looking horrified.
"And hedgehogs fly!" said Heartstar.
"Don't hurt her!" cried Cinderpaw, leaping up.
"She will pay!" yowled Heartstar, leaping on Darkwing.
Lightpaw could only look on in horror as Heartstar stuck her claws in her neck. Darkwing slumped to the ground.
"You killed her!" hissed Cinderpaw. "I won't ever forgive you, ever!"
"Well, that is your problem. Cinderpaw, your new mentor will be Stoneshadow. Have fun with him," she stalked back into her den.
"What about a deputy?" called Lightpaw.
No reply came, only silence and hushed whispers.
"StarClan, hear me as I say my choice. Stonepelt will be the new deputy of ShadowClan," announced Heartstar.
"Stonepelt! Stonepelt!" yowled the Clan, unenthusiastically.
Stonepelt marched to the front of the Clan. Whitepaw had told Lightpaw that Heartstar had only one life left. He'll become leader! thought Lightpaw, horrified.
"Now, 3 hunting patrols: Irisflower, Stoneshadow, and your apprentices, and I'll organize the rest later. Heartstar, may I have a word with you in your den?" Stonepelt asked.
Lightpaw looked up. Almost dawn. Irisflower must have realized it too, because she called to Stonepelt "Now?"
"Of course, Mousebrain! What did you think?" Stonepelt yowled at her.
"I was hoping I could get some sleep," said Stoneshadow.
Cinderpaw didn't say anything. Lightpaw guessed it was because she was grieving for her mentor.
Heartstar padded out, closely followed by Irisflower and Stoneshadow. Lightpaw and Cinderpaw were sharing tongues, when Lightpaw spotted Thornpaw. "Hi Thornpaw!" she called to him.
Thornpaw padded over. "Do you know what your mentor is doing on BigTree?"
"No," Lightpaw mewed quickly. She didn't know what her mentor was doing, but she did know that she was growing hot and blushing. Thornpaw was about to say something when Lightpaw heard, "Let all cats gather below BigTree for a Clan meeting!"
Lightpaw turned around and padded over. "I have two new warriors to make," she said. "Lightpaw and Cinderpaw."
Lightpaw and Cinderpaw both padded forward. "I, Heartstar, leader of ShadowClan, call down upon my warrior ancestors to look down on these two apprentices. They have trained hard to learn the ways of your noble code, and, in turn, you turn them into warriors." Turning to Cinderpaw and Lightpaw, Heartstar asked, "Cinderpaw, Lightpaw, do you promise to uphold the warrior code and defend your clan, even at the cost of your life?"
"I do," said Lightpaw breathlessly.
"I do," said Cinderpaw.
"Then by the powers if StarClan, I give you your warrior names: Lightpaw, from this moment on you will be known as Lightfoot. StarClan honors your kindness and thoughtfulness. You are now a warrior of ShadowClan." Heartstar rested her muzzle lightly on Lightfoot head, and Lightfoot licked her shoulder.
"Cinderpaw, from now on you will be known as Cindertail. StarClan honors your friendliness and willingness. You are now a warrior of ShadowClan."
"Cindertail! Lightfoot!" the clan cheered.
"Lightfoot!" cried Thornpaw, running over.
Lightfoot thought this was possibly the best day of her life.
"Now, I need to see Stonepelt in my den."
These words worried Lightfoot. Why would she need to see him? It's almost moonrise.
A bad feeling came over Lightfoot.
"Okay, Lightfoot, your vigil is over!" called Irisflower.
Lightfoot yawned. Stonepelt hadn't exited the leader's den yet, and she was beginning to suspect something. Just then, Stonepelt leaped out from the leader's den. "Heartstar is dead!"
"And why?" Lightfoot had the courage to question him.
His eyes narrowed. "Age," he said confidently.
"And how do you know?" challenged Lightfoot. She was willing to embarass him, in front of the clan.
"Lightfoot..." Cindertail murmered in her ear.
"Anyway, I shall gain my nine lives tonight, at the Moonpool. As for the deputy, I'll do it later. First, we have some new apprentices to make," Stonepelt announced.
Brookkit and Tigerkit stumbled out of the nursery. "Can One-ear tell us one more story about Pinestar?"
"No, first you must become apprentices," said Snowpelt.
"Brookkit and Tigerkit, step forward." Stonepelt's command must be terrifying to them, though Lightfoot.
"Brookkit, from this moment on, you will be known as Brookpaw. Your mentor will be-" He paused to scan the crowd. "Lightfoot."
Lightfoot wove through the cats and touched noses with Brookpaw.
"Tigerkit, from this moment on, you will be known as Tigerpaw. Your mentor will be Stoneshadow," said Stonepelt.
"Brookpaw! Tigerpaw!" the clan cheered.
"So what are we doing today?" asked Brookpaw.
Seeing Tigerpaw's disappointed look, she said "We'll explore the territory."
"Yippee! Can I see the lake?" Brookpaw asked. She's so much like me... thought Lightfoot.
Lightfoot thought about Stonepelt, going over her suspicions in her mind. Why should she think about that when she had an apprentice to train?
Lightfoot suddenly figured Stonepelt out. He was trying to distract her.
"The new Deputy of ShadowClan will be Irisflower."
"Irisflower! Irisflower!" the clan cheered.
Lightfoot ran over and congratulated her former mentor.
Stonestar was looking out from the tree, his eyes staring at Cindertail. Irisflower saw him and asked, "What are you staring at?"
"Nothing. I'm just proud of you," Stonestar purred.
Lightfoot wondered what was going on between the two. Thinking the matter over, and seeing Irisflower lick Stonestar's ear, she realized that the two liked each other. Great. Just what I need. My former mentor liking my father, though Lightfoot.
Lightfoot saw her, and flicked her ears towards her. Cindertail must have just realized it, because she looked shocked. Lightfoot wasn't surprised at her sister's reaction.
"Anyway. I've got patrols to organize," Irisflower said. Raising her voice, she added, "Lightfoot, Brookpaw, Stoneshadow, Thornpaw, and I will take the dawn patrol tomorrow morning."
Great, thought Lightfoot. No sleep for me.
"Cindertail will lead a hunting patrol with..." Lightfoot wasn't listening.
"Wake up, mousebrain." Somebody was prodding Lightfoot's side.
Blinking open her big blue eyes, Lightfoot realized it was Thornpaw. "Yes?" she asked.
"Dawn patrol. You haven't forgotten, have you?" asked Thornpaw.
"Of course not."
"I hope you've saved me a nest in the warriors' den."
"You are becoming a warrior?"
"Yup. Should I wake up Irisflower?"
"No. She'll realize it soon-"
Irisflower was stirring on the other side of the den. "Get out! Now!" Lightfoot commanded, and Thornpaw obeyed.
(A few moons later..)
Lightfoot opened her mouth, scenting. ThunderClan. What are they trying to do? Lightfoot asked herself.
Stalking closer, she heard a voice. "You know, we need more territory."
Lightfoot turned around. "Thornpaw, please be quiet."
"Have you ever heard that we're supposed to have the stream?" Lightfoot recognized his voice.
"Yes, but..." that was Whitefur.
They can't take the stream! thought Lightfoot. It's our closet source of water! You can't make elders go down to lake to get a drink of water!
Stepping out, Lightfoot asked, "What are you doing on our side of the boarder?"
"Greetings, I am Hawkstar." Hawkstar padded right up to her. Oh, great. Now he's leader? Lightfoot thought angrily. But what happened to Silverstar?
"From this moment on, this is our territory."
"The boarder was supposed to be here, when the Clans first moved to the lake," explained Hawkstar.
"And where did you hear this?" Lightfoot bristled.
Hawkstar ignored the question. He simply leaped across the stream, right in front of Brookpaw. He smacked her down, then sunk her claws into her neck. "Now what are you going to do, kittypet?"
Lightfoot coulldn't take it anymore. She yowled a battle cry, then knocked Hawkstar into the river.
"What's going on?" asked Irisflower, coming out of the bushes.
"Your warrior attacked me," said Hawkstar, getting up and shaking the water off his pelt.
"Is that true?" asked Irisflower eyes flicked from Hawkstar to Lightstar, then back to Hawkstar.
Whitefur spoke up. "No, it isn't. Hawkstar was going to take all the territory from the river, including the river. I spoke against it, but Lightfoot challenged him and pounced on him."
Hawkstar shot a glare at his deputy. Whitefur had made a poitentionally fatal mistake.
"Well?" Hawkstar asked. "Are you going to fetch me an apprentice?"
"Me?" asked Whitefur. "Fetch you a cat who should still be in the nursery?"
Lightfoot gasped. ThunderClan? Wasn't that the clan full of goody two-shoes? Famous for its caring, kind attitude? Its leader has a trait of Brokenstar?
"Well, if you have a problem with that, I'll join ShadowClan."
"No, you won't. We don't want a traitorous cat in ShadowClan," said Lightfoot.
"Well, isn't ShadowClan full of traitors?" asked Hawkstar.
"That was the old ShadowClan."
"And hedgehogs fly."
Lightfoot hissed in frustration. ThunderClan and ShadowClan seemed to have what was much more complicated than a boarder skirmish. And Hawkstar had been seeming to pick on her.
Lightfoot gasped. Not again. Not only her apprentice, but not her mentor was gone, too.
Irisflower was dead
"StarClan, hear me as a say my choice. Lightfoot will be the new deputy of ShadowClan."
Lightfoot almost shook as she went up to accept her position. Her new apprentice was clearly eager to start training under the new deputy.
Cindertail and Whitecloud were the last to congratulate Lightfoot. Cindertail also told her that she was expecting kits.
"Congratutalions!" purred Lightfoot.
"Thank you. They're Treebranch's."
"Glad it wasn't Thorntooth's."
"You always deny it when I ask you."
"Because I want to tell you."
Cindertail cuffed Lightfoot's ear.
"Organize patrols," muttered Stonestar, then walked off.
"What's wrong with him?" asked Cindertail.
Lightfoot didn't know.
Lightfoot was shaking. Tonight was to be her first gathering as a deputy. If Stonestar refused to go again, she would be representing ShadowClan. Thankfully, Stonestar agreed.
"I'll show you how it's done," he had said. "Then it's up to you."
Now, at the roots of the great tree, Lightfoot was sitting there, waiting for RiverClan.
The entire RiverClan patrol rumbled in at the same time.
"Greetings," meowed Hawkstar.
Lightfoot narrowed her eyes. She didn't trust the tom at all.