A Blast From the Past
Part one, Mission Three, of Snowfall. So excited for this new mission and I guess I’m the only one lololololoolololol. :3 And this is for my future kids who Bramblepaw asked me to name. o_O
We don’t usually get mail. But when we do, it’s usually no big deal. Some report from Little Wings, tax notifications, etc. But today is a big day. It’s a shame I’m not there to witness it.
I’m in the kitchen, whipping up pancakes for the four three who are gone be leaving us today: Sparkles (newly-appointed mission controller), Amsterdam and Tokyo (soon-to-be trainees). I’ve only done cooking once, an I haven’t improved. I’m already spattered with pancake batter, and the kitchen — adjacent to the dining hall where meetings are also held— is a mess.
The doorbell rings as soon as I’m about to toss the most perfect pancake in the air, and I lose my concentration. I yelp as I’m smothered by a half-cooked pancake.
“It’s here!” squeals Snarl in a very un-Snarl like way. “Come on, everyone!”
Despite my face being a mess and looking like the monster every kitten believes is under their bed, I make an appearance in the hall. An opened package lies on the doormat.
Could it be?
Two light-blue collars, two white collars, a black collar, two navy collars, and four grey collars.
Snarl and Sparkles walk up first and take their white collars. “Pretty spiffy, don’t ya think?” purrs Sparkles, fitting on the white leather collar and admiring herself. “It even has my name on it!”
Snarl’s collar stands out against his yellow fur. “It’s better than a red collar like when I was six moons,” he huffed. “But still, I’ve held the rank of a white collar for a whole year, and I finally have one so I can show off.”
Amy picks up her black collar, her eyes shining. “One more mission and maybe I’ll apply to be a mission controller like my sis,” she grins. “Just one more mission. I’m not past my prime yet.” She fastens it. “This does go great with my white fur, I have to say.”
Scabs is next. The white tom with dark red splodges walks up to the box and takes out his navy collar. “My brother’s a white collar and my other brother is just a grey,” he sneers. “We’re all eighteen moons and Snarl’s already been appointed as a leader of a minor Little Wings branch. But oh well, soon I’ll have my navy collar off and I’ll be accepting a black collar.”
Now it’s my turn. The navy collar is pristine, and I take it out tentatively.
“Go on, Snowpaw,” urges Snarl. “You’ve earnt it, sweetheart.”
I smile at him and let Sparkles secure the buckle. The silver nametag dangles down, and I smile even wider. I’m an official agent of FROST, and of course, Little Wings.
Each of the grey collars come up in turn, and I try to memorise their pelt colours: Snarl (white with many scars; probably from a mission), Bottle (stupidest name ever for a cat, black with dark green eyes), Toothbrush (He’s told me he’s Bottle’s brother; that explains the stupid name; he’s white with dyed blue stripes and unnaturally permanent bristly fur), and Penlid (the maniac, blood red fur with black tabby stripes, and the reason he’s still a grey collar and twenty-two moons old is because he’s flipped out on many missions and has ended up killing several innocent twolegs and cats, and no enemies).
Now it’s Amsterdam and Tokyo’s turn. Their light blue collars look amazing on them, and I feel a pang of sadness as I remember that they, along with Sparkles, are leaving today.
“Well, that’s sorted,” meows Amy. “So, Snowpaw, do you have our brekkie?”
“I’m a failure at making pancakes,” I admit miserably. “Can you do it, Amy?”
Amy tuts and heads into the kitchen. “Oh my god…” she says after a pause. “You’re going to clean up while I prepare a fresh batch. I’ve had to play the role of a mother many times, and cooking for a load of cats is definitely a stressful job. Hopefully everything’ll be patched up and ready for serving in ten minutes tops.” She grabs an apron while I start licking up the raw pancake batter off the floor.
“We’ve all gotta do things efficiently sometimes,” I say cheekily when Amy stares down disapprovingly. She sighs before returning to her work.
Once I’ve licked the last scrap of pancake mix off the tiles and Amy has finished her cooking, we gather in the dining room for a late breakfast.
Snarl clears his throat for attention. “New recruits are always welcome to any branch of Little Wings. If they are fit, smart, and able, they are usually accepted and taken to the main Little Wings centre to undergo their 100-day training program. Amsterdam, Tokyo, this is your last day of… I guess we could say ‘normal’…” The cats around him laugh, even the two new recruits. “As well as two new recruits, dear Sparkles has earned the job of Mission Controller and will be at Little Wings for a month before coming back here. Farewell, to all of you.”
“Farewell,” we chorus.
“Now, before we enjoy this wonderful breakfast Amy has fixed for us—”
Snarl is cut off as a knock echoes throughout the house. Snarl groans and slips off his chair. “If it’s the minivan guys, say a quick goodbye.”
“Bye, Sparkles,” I choke out. “You were a wonderful mentor to me.”
“And you were a wonderful apprentice,” Sparkles purrs back. “I’ll only be gone for a month.”
I turn to Amsterdam. “Look after your sister.” I briskly lick him on the cheek.
“Yes, ma’am,” he salutes. “We were made for eachother, Snowpaw. Hopefully I’ll return from this war with a few medal and some stories to tell our kits.”
I look away, my face flushing red. Tokyo comes up to me. In the little time that I’ve known her, I’ve learnt that she can speak Japanese and Russian fluently, has a knowledgeable grasp of the world’s geography, and knows several forms of martial arts that have been adapted for cats and that fit her small physique. “Brothers,” she whispers, shaking her head. “Ignore Amsterdam; he’s been chasing after any she-cat within his age since he could talk, but he seems to have settled down with you.”
I manage a weak smile before Snarl re-enters the room. His face is pale. “Snowpaw,” he squeaks. “A cat wants to see you. She says her name is Hollyberry of Thunderclan.
What the serious fu… I think wildly to myself as Snarl leads me to the doorway. On the doorstep is a matted black she-cat with ginger patches, reminding me of another life. Her frame is scrawny, and she’s staring intently at me with one golden eye, one green eye.
“Hollyberry?” I gasp. “Thunderclan medicine cat?”
She chuckles. “I didn’t think you’d recognise me.”
“What brings you here?” I ask as I usher her into the house. She scowls at the twoleggedness of the place. “Nobody but cats live here,” I reassure her.
Hollyberry collapses onto the carpet of the dining room. The other agents look on eagerly.
“Is this a mission?” Sparkles asks excitedly. “I’m gonna type up a mission briefing right now! This cat is Hollyberry of Thunderclan. Let me have a thoughtscan.”
I watch in amazement as Sparkles rummages in some drawers, and pulls out something like a USB stick. She aims it at Hollyberry’s head and presses a button. she rushes into another room and closes the door behind her.
“So, Hollyberry,” I ask uneasily. “What brings you here? And how is everybody, like Wolfsong and that.”
“Oh, I have so much to tell you,” she purrs, as if she’s about to explode with news. “But let’s cut the crap. I’m going to die soon, and there’s a few things I want to do. But I can’t do it without your help.”
I take a deep breath. “I guess this is another mission after all.”