|Preceded by: |
|Split Loyalties||Succeded by: |
"No matter what happens... if we are split in loyalties... in a battle... all of us will be united..."
Credit goes to Patch for the picture.
Prologue: A New Birth
Moonlight shimmered through the cracks in the rocks, and the light leaked into them. The moonlit hollow was mostly empty. Fireflies lit up the stony hollow even more than the moonlight had. A vigil had just happened. The former leader had died and everyone sat in solemn silence. The cloudy medicine cat and the rock-hard deputy went to Mooncove. The deputy, Stonestrike was to receive his nine lives.
The hollow had six dens covered with tangled vines. A pinkish-ginger she-cat pranced around a group of three other cats and a quiet commotion went on. A slender looking older ginger she-cat slid out of the shadows into the moonlight. She shook herself and her amber eyes shone like gold. She jumped from cliff to cliff and landing finally on a ledge.
The night was silent, very silent. But the she-cat still kept her ears pricked and soon enough, there was a loud yowl. A cream colored tabby busted out of a den. "Foxtail!" she yowled with all her might. Foxtail immediately leapt down from the ledge she had sat upon and dashed over to the other she-cat in distress. "Are you okay?" Foxtail asked the tabby she-cat, her tail flicking and eyes glittering with worry.
Dawnsky body shook and her voice cracked as she spoke. "I- I'm fine." she shakily told Foxtail. Foxtail looked at the she-cat head to paws. Foxtail placed her tail on Dawnsky's shoulder. "You don't look okay..." she meowed to Dawnsky concerned. Dawnsky shook her head and pointed to the Nursery. "I'm fine. Silversong is not!" Foxtail looked horrified. She quickly raced into the Nursery and saw the silver tabby wincing in pain.
Foxtail stared down at her in horror. "Help... Me...." Silversong rasped. Foxtail was speechless. She glanced quickly back and forth and ran out of the Nursery panicked. "Dawnsky! Silversong is kitting!" Foxtail yowled into the night. Dawnsky raced over to the concerned and worried ginger she-cat. "What do we do?" Dawnsky asked the panicked ginger cat. Foxtail shook her head and shrugged. "I have no idea!" Foxtail meowed very sadly.
Suddenly a smaller dark gray tabby tom appeared next to them. Foxtail noticed the tom and turned to him. "Stormpaw!" she scolded, "Why aren't you asleep?" Stormpaw shuffled his paws nervously. "Well um... I- I overheard your conversation." Foxtail showed no emotion to the tom. "So you eavesdropped?" she asked. Stormpaw nodded. "I'm sorry..."
The hollow was almost pitch dark now. The fireflies had vanished and the claw-moon disappeared behind clouds. Foxtail stood there in silence until finally she got an idea. She turned to Stormpaw. "Stormpaw," she started, "have you seen Featherpaw? I know she didn't go with Cloudfur and Stonestrike." Stormpaw nodded and replied. "Yes, she said she was collecting some juniper berries." Foxtail nodded her gratitude. "Can you go find her? Silversong is kitting." Foxtail asked the apprentice. He nodded and raced off, with the wind in his fur.
Time passed and passed some more until Stormpaw dashed back in with Featherpaw hot on his heals. Featherpaw didn't even talk to the three cats. She raced into the medicine cat den and grabbed a stick and some borage. She ran back out and into the Nursery, where she saw Silversong writhing in pain. First Featherpaw shushed the tabby. Then she felt her stomach. "Three kits it seems... Here take this stick and bite on it, but first eat this." She placed some leaves at her paws. "It's borage, it'll help the milk come." Silversong weakly nodded and lapped up the borage and bit the stick.
"First kit is coming!" Featherpaw told the queen. Silversong pushed with all her might and Featherpaw held her steady. With that the first kit popped out. "It's a she-cat! Hold tight, next one is coming."
Silversong once again gave a hefty push and the second kit slid out. "Another she-cat! Hang in there, there's only one kit left." Silversong nodded but as soon as she tried a strong bone-breaking spasm hit her. "It's okay... It's okay. Try again." Featherpaw mewed sympathetic. Silversong nodded and pushed once more and a final kit appeared by her side.
"Three she-cats! Would you like me to go get Icefang?" Silversong purred. "Yes, can you?" Featherpaw nodded to the queen. "Of course. I'll be right back." Featherpaw padded out of the Nursery to find Icefang. Silversong looked down on her kits. She had three she kits. "Lovely." a sudden voice meowed. "Icefang!" Silversong called her mate. "I'll leave you to be." Featherpaw mewed.
"What should we name them?" Icefang asked. Silversong shrugged. "Well, this one is a sleek mostly black and orange she-cat with brown eyes, very dark brown eyes with a white chest and underbelly, by the way her coat is spotted with orange, I was thinking about naming her Spottedkit." Silversong explained. Icefang purred and licked the kit. "Perfect! Her name is Spottedkit." he meowed.
He then turned to mostly white calico she-cat. "This one is mostly white with dapples of ginger and black with hazel eyes. So what should her name be? I was thinking about naming her Dapplekit, after the dapples of orange and black." Icefang told his mate. "It's lovely." Silversong mewed and she licked her head. They turned to the final kit, a solid brown she-cat. "Hmmm... Let's keep it simple. How about Brownkit?" asked Icefang. "I love it. Spottedkit, Dapplekit, and Brownkit." Silversong purred.
Icefang let out a long yawn. "I guess it's time to go to sleep?" he asked. Silversong nodded. "Pretty much. Here, sleep with me and the kits." She moved over to make room for her mate. "Thanks, for everything." Silversong purred. "I love you..." Icefang smiled. "I love you too..."
Cloudfur watched intently as Stonestrike got his final two lives. A golden tabby tom approached Stonestrike and placed his nose on his head. Cloudfur couldn't hear what the tom had said, but he knew the life was painful. He watched as the final cat, and auburn colored she-cat, did the same as the last cat and all StarClan cats called Stonestrike's new name— Stonestar.
Cloudfur sat and watched and the same golden tabby tom approached him. "Hello, Cloudfur." Cloudfur leapt from where he was sitting and looked at the cat who had spooked him. "L- Lionpelt?" The tom nodded. "Yes, my apprentice and I'm bring urgent news." Cloudfur looked worried. "A prophecy?" the white cat asked. Lionpelt nodded. "Listen closely: Many furs make a pelt but the pelt will feel a prick of betrayal...
"Wait! What does it mean?" Cloudfur managed to spit out. Lionpelt shook his head. That's for you, to find out." And with that he faded into the mist. Cloudfur snapped himself into the waking world to find Stonestar waiting for him. "Something wrong?" Stonestar asked. Cloudfur shook his head, lying. "No, nothing is wrong. Come on let's head back to camp, now." he meowed, thinking.
Many furs make a pelt but the pelt will feel a prick of betrayal...
Chapter One: A She-Cat Journey
Spottedkit tumbled around her mother and siblings. Her father was on dawn patrol, her mother was talking to another queen and her sisters haven't opened their eyes. She was extremely bored. What to do... What to do... Spottedkit was walking in circles and she finally decided to find her mother. "Mama! Mama! Where are you?" Spottedkit called. She was getting scared because her mother wasn't answering.
"Mama? Mama!" Spottedkit tried calling again. Silversong heard her daughter's cries but let out a sigh. "What is it Spottedkit?" she asked exasperated but tried to keep it as nice as possible. Spottedkit frowned and shuffled her paws. "Mama.... Why are you mad at me?" Silversong was speechless but she managed to pull herself together. "What makes you think I'm mad?" she snapped. Spottedkit cowered away and dashed out of the Nursery. Mama... Why? She stopped at the Tallstone.
"Hi, Spottedkit!" came a friendly mew. Spottedkit whipped around. It was Nightkit, she was quarter moon older than Spottedkit. Spottedkit's tears and sorrow was flushed away then. "Hi, Nightkit!" Nightkit was hopping in circles around Spottedkit. "Im bored..." she meowed. Spottedkit agreed. "Wanna play moss-ball?" Spottedkit suggested. Nightkit shook her head. "Nah... How about play fighting?" Nightkit asked Spottedkit. She shook her head.
"That's more of a tom game..." Nightkit nodded. "Yeah... Guess you're right." Spottedkit suddenly got a vibe of what Nightkit wanted. "Wanna explore outside of camp?" Nightkit piped up and hopped even higher. "Yeah! Should we see if the other kits wanna come?" she asked. Spottedkit nodded her tail flicking happily. Nightkit dashed into the Nursery with Spottedkit following hot on her heels.
"Dapplekit! Brownkit!" Spottedkit yowled. "What... is... it?" Dapplekit asked. Spottedkit rolled her eyes. "Open your eyes!" Dapplekit could sense her sister's eagerness but she couldn't. "I... can't." she rasped. Spottedkit tipped her head. "Why not?" Dapplekit didn't answer and Spottedkit hopped to her mother again. "Mama, Dapplekit says she can't open her eyes!" Spottedkit squeaked. Silversong smiled and padded over to her other two kits and placed her tail on them. "Brownkit... Dapplekit... It's time to open your eyes..." Brownkit responded to her mother's touch and voice.
"But mommy! It's so hard!" Brownkit wailed. Silversong purred and nudged Dapplekit. "Don't you guys want to be warriors? The sooner your eyes open the sooner you can experience missions and warrior tasks." she taunted her kits playfully. Dapplekit opened her eyes immediately to that question. She hopped up and bounced around. "I can see! I can see! It's so fun! Can I be a warrior now?" asked Dapplekit eagerly. Silversong shook her head laughing. "Not yet my kit. Now Brownkit, you try." Ashe encouraged. Brownkit squeaked and flailed around, kicking her paws. "But it is too hard!" she squealed.
Silversong shook her head. "It not if you do it very fast." Brownkit wasn't sure about it, but she did as so. She cracked her eyes open really fast and closed them again. Then she slowly opened them. "Wow!" she breathed. Silversong nudged Dapplekit and Brownkit out of the nursery. "Go on and play!" she called to her kits but they were already running away. Nightkit was following hanging her head. "Spottedkit... Foxkit said no..." Spottedkit frowned. "No to what?" asked Dapplekit.
"Yeah! Yeah! To what?" Brownkit squeaked. Nightkit was suddenly over thrown by a tuft of ginger fur. "No to leaving camp." a broad voice spoke. Nightkit kicked the ginger kit off. "They asked me! Not you, Foxkit!" she growled. Foxtail rolled his amber eyes. "I was just saying... Anyways Spottedkit, don't do this. You could get hurt or killed or stolen or—" Spottedkit cut him off. "We get the point, but we're going anyways!" Dapplekit and Brown had listened to their argument. "We agree with Nightkit and Spottedkit!" they chirped together.
Foxkit growled, "You'll be apprenticed late and you'll get in trouble and—" Nightkit rolled her eyes. "Just shut up Foxkit, we said no so there's the answer. No." Foxkit let out a hiss and skittered away. "Just ignore him." Spottedkit commented. "Let's just go already!" Dapplekit yowled impatiently. "Okay! Okay!" Nightkit twitched her ears running out of the camp, followed by Spottedkit, Dapplekit, and Brownkit. Spottedkit glanced over her shoulder one more time watching Foxkit strip the stalk off a leaf.
He ruins the fun! We she-cats are going on a journey and the toms can't do anything!