Petalpaw looked at her mentor, Firestorm.
"Really?" she asked.
"Of course!" Firestorm purred. "Your training is complete. I think you deserve an assessment."
Petalpaw began bouncing up and down. A warrior! I'll be a warrior!
"Will my warrior name be Petalstorm?" Like Firestorm!
Firestorm looked at his apprentice with amusement. "I can't tell you your warrior name," he mewed. "Oakstar will decide it."
Oh. "Well, I hope he chooses Petalstorm for me!" Petalpaw mewed, still excited about the news.
"Me too," Firestorm purred. "Petalstorm is a fine name. Now go to sleep. You don't want to be groggy on your assessment day, do you?"
"Of course not!" Petalpaw mewed.
That night Petalpaw could hardly sleep. She forced a minnow down her belly and went to the apprentices' den. She tossed and turned all night. Will it be hard? Will I fail?
"Hey!" Icypaw grumbled. "You're getting moss all over me!"
"Sorry," Petalpaw mewed, but she could hardly understand what she was saying. "I'm just so excited! My assessment is tomorrow!"
"Petalpaw, it's your assessment! Come on, eat and we'll go!"
Assessment! I'm going to be a warrior! A warrior of RiverClan! And then I'll fight stinky ThunderClan for Sunningrocks! As Petalpaw reluctantly ate a fish, she daydreamed about her being a warrior. Attacking ThunderClan, yowling, "Sunningrocks are ours!", sleeping in the warriors' den...
"Petalpaw!" Firestorm's mew jolted her out of her senses. He led her up to the river.
"That's where I have to leave," Firestorm mewed. "But remember, I'll be watching you, even if you can't see me."
"Okay," Petalpaw mewed back. For StarClan's sake, let's just begin my assessment!
Petalpaw buried her fish. It had been her fourth one that day. I think that's enough. She was so tired! Petalpaw unburied her fish and was about to carry it back to camp when she felt sharp claws along her spine.
"Let go of me!" she yowled. "Seriously, Icypaw, it's not funny!"
"Oh, but it's not Icypaw," a sweet voice purred.
Petalpaw felt teeth sink into her scruff, then felt lifted off the ground. She whirled around, using every battle move she'd ever learned, which wan't many, but for every trick she had, this cat had its own. Finally, after a short struggle, Petalpaw gave up. She was tired, especially after catching those fish, and she felt herself go limp under this cat's teeth. She heard Firestorm's voice yowling, "Petalpaw!" He yowled and yowled, but eventually, his yowls faded, and stopped. Petalpaw was trapped, in a place she didn't know, with cats she'd never met and no one to rescue her.
"What have you brought us here, Adder?"
Petalpaw opened her eyes, not even realizing that she had closed them. She looked around. They were in Twolegplace, and there were some rogues, including a black tom with ice-blue eyes. The cat holding Petalpaw put her down and answered, "Just what you wanted, Scourge."
"A prisoner?" the tom with ice-blue eyes who must be Scourge answered quizzically. Adder nodded. Petalpaw immediately began thinking about an escape, but there was not hope. The rogues surrounded her.
Scourge picked Petalpaw up by the scruff, walked over to a large hole, and put her in it.
"From now on, you will be called Rubbish," he mewed. "You are nothing more than our prisoner, worthless to us, but of use to others. Just like rubbish."
Rubbish stifled a sob as she looked at Scourge.
Much later, in RiverClan...
Foxtail looked at the rogues. They were surrounding them! There was no hope. Oakstar had had his eight lives ripped away from him, and his deputy, Lightningheart, had taken over. He had admitted defeat. The time of blood had begun.
"I miss Petalpaw," Foxtail admitted to Firestorm, who had become a close friend of his.
"Me too," Firestorm told him. "In fact, I think everyone misses her. After all, if we don't listen to Scourge, she will be killed."
"There's still hope," Foxtail mewed. "There's always hope."
Rubbish wandered through Twolegplace. A kittypet named Jumpy had given her his collar, so she was pretending to be a kittypet. It felt itchy on her neck. For StarClan's sake, where's the forest?
There! Rubbish saw a clump of trees and ran up to it. Frog dung, that's a dead end. Where am I? Will I ever get out?
"What are you doing here?"
Rubbish whirled around. "Who said that?" she asked.
The speaker was a skinny light brown tom with yellow, blazing, eyes. "I'm Mouse," he explained. "Who are you?"
"I'm Rubbish," Rubbish mewed.
Mouse looked at her. "That's a silly name," he mewed.
Rubbish nodded. "Well, actually, it was changed by a group of rogues."
"Oh. You must be talking about BloodClan. What's your real name?" Mouse mewed sympathetically.
"I'm going to call you that," Mouse mewed firmly. "No protests. Anyway, what are you looking for?"
"I'm looking for the forest," Petalpaw replied sadly. "I live there, and BloodClan have probably taken over by now."
Mouse's eyes blazed with anger. "I have some friends that would be more than willing to help you out. You'll need some cats on your side if you're going to defeat BloodClan."
Petalpaw nodded. They would defeat BloodClan, and she would be back home.
"Are we there yet?"
"No. If you keep asking that, Petalpaw, we'll never get there!" Mouse snapped.
Petalpaw guessed Mouse was losing patience with her. "Sorry," she mewed. "I just want to get home. I'm worried."
Mouse licked her shoulder gently. "I understand," he mewed. "Hey, we're here!"
Mouse ran up to an abandoned Twoleg nest and let out a yowl. Instantly a group of loners exited. A light ginger she-cat bristled at the sight of Petalpaw. "Mouse, who is this?" she asked.
"It's okay, Squirrel," Mouse mewed. "This is Petalpaw. We're all going to help her." Mouse immediately began giving orders, like Lightningheart back at home. "Squirrel, you don't have to go. After all, you have kits. Smoky, since you're expecting kits, you don't have to go either. The rest of you, eat some food and we'll go." Immediately, the cats began preparing by eating fresh-kill.
"Are you their leader or something?" Petalpaw asked.
"I guess you could say that," Mouse mewed. "They all listen to me."
Mousestar. Petalpaw thought as they left.
"Goodbye! Good luck!" Squirrel and Smoky called after them.
As they walked, Petalpaw noticed that the cats didn't say a word about the long distance. They continued chattering and having fun.
"We'll drive out BloodClan just like they drove out me and my family," a black tom growled.
"Yes, Dark, we will," Mouse mewed firmly and sympathetically.
Petalpaw looked at the loners and rogues around her. With them, there was hope.
Foxtail glared at Scourge. "What have you done with my sister?" he growled.
Scourge simply nudged him into a foxhole. "Your punishment is being in here for a day," he growled.
Foxtail simply glared back, calmly jumped out of the fox hole, and pounced on Scourge with a yowl of anger.
"Wha-OW!" Scourge yowled.
Foxtail's boldness surprised the other cats, BloodClan and clan alike. At Scourge's cry of "Help!" all the BloodClan cats came running. For a moment, the Clan cats stood frozen like rocks, not able to move in their shock.
But then Firestorm pounced.
The other cats followed, hissing, screaming, and yowling in rage. They pounced on the BloodClanners, yowling about lost kin and friends.
Until Scourge sliced Foxtail's throat.
Foxtail lay there, not moving at all. Then he opened his mouth and let out a short wail, which was cut off. Suddenly, Foxtail let out a weak yowl. "We will beat them!" After that, he fell limp, and didn't move at all.
"Yes, we will," a voice behind them mewed.
All eyes turned there. Standing there was a group of rogues, let by a light brown tom. In the midst of them was a very familiar light gray she-cat with amber eyes.
"Petalpaw!" Firestorm yowled.
As soon as all of the cats, RiverClan and BloodClan, understood what was happening, they began pestering Petalpaw with questions.
"Wha-HOW?! I locked you up!"
"How did you get here?"
"Who are those cats anyway?"
"Well," Petalpaw mewed. "All I'm going to say, for the sake of time, is by escaping from Twolegplace and those are my new loner friends."
"But there's no time for that," Mouse added. "Now we have to fight!" With that, Mouse heaved himself onto a BloodClan cat.
StarClan help my clan! Petalpaw thought.
Just then, a BloodClan warrior pounced on her. In her panic, she cried out, quickly using all her battle moves, but it was no use.
"I'll help you!" Firestorm yowled, jumping on the BloodClanner, pushing him aside. The two had a struggle, rolling around the area, clawing and yowling with rage.
Then Firestorm fell.
Petalpaw ran up to Firestorm and began to lick his wounds. "I'll go fetch our medicine cat," she mewed. "Just hold on! Firestorm, please!"
"It's no use," Firestorm mewed.
"No!" Petalpaw wailed. "Don't say that! I'll fetch help, just hold on!"
Firestorm shook his head. "Leave me," he whispered. "I hunt with StarClan now...Help all of the younger lives....They are more valuable than mine...." Then he fell limp, and never moved again.
"No!" Petalpaw wailed, burying her nose in Firestorm's fur.
Spottedpaw looked through a crack in the apprentices' den. He then spotted a particular bright ginger tom with dark yellow eyes and hissed with rage.
"What is it, Spottedpaw?" Tigerpaw, his brother asked.
"Yeah," Goldenpaw mewed. "What did you find?"
"Oh," Goldenpaw mewed, suddenly stopping to hiss loudly. "Wait a minute, the one that killed Minnowcloud?"
Minnowcloud was the three apprentices' father.
"Let's kill him! Tigerpaw yowled.
"Wait! Let's not just rush into this!" Goldenpaw held out her tail in front of her brother, blocking his path. "I have a plan."
"Okay," Tigerpaw whispered. "What's the plan again?"
Goldenpaw took a couple of slow, deep breaths and sighed. "Tigerpaw," she mewed slowly. "For the fifth time, Spottedpaw, who is the smallest and quickest, will walk over to Blood and let out a wail. Then you will pounce on his back while Spottedpaw escapes to my side. Then we will all take turns clawing him until he dies."
Spottedpaw nodded. "When?"
Goldenpaw led her brothers to a bush and motioned for Tigerpaw to climb up a tree while she hid behind the bush. "Now."
Spottedpaw ran in front of Blood. "Help me!" he yowled. "Help me!"
Blood walked over to him. "Well, how about I just kill you to end the pain?" he purred.
Just then, Tigerpaw fell from the tree, flattening himself on Blood's back. Spottedpaw ran up to Goldenpaw and the two pounced on him, clawing him. Then, soon after, he died, killed by apprentices that avenged Minnowcloud's death.
"Blood!" Scourge yowled. "What's the plan again? Blood?"
After that, BloodClan sort of scattered, with no cat to come up with the plan. "But don't think this is over," Scourge told the RiverClanners. "Because it's not."
Change of narration...
Lightningstar and his deputy Nightstripe ran up to the Highrock. Lightningstar hopped up onto it and called a Clan meeting.
"Firestorm, has, unfortunately passed away," Lightningstar mewed. Sad murmurs echoed through the clearing. "But I believe that any cat would agree that Petalpaw deserves to be a warrior!" This time, approving yowls were heard. "Petalpaw, do you swear to protect the plan, even at the cost of your life?"
"Then by the power of StarClan, I give you your warrior name. Petalpaw, from this moment on, you will be known as Petalheart." "Petalheart! Petalheart!" The whole of RiverClan and Mouse's rogues cried. Lightningstar dipped his head to her. "This meeting has ended.
"Wait!" shouted Mouse. The whole Clan turned to see. "I...I would like to join RiverClan," he meowed. "Of course. You have shown great bravery," Lightningstar responded. "And...and can my name be Mouseflame? My first love Flame died at the paws of a Twoleg monster. I would like to remember her for the rest of my life." "Ok."
"Mouse, do you swear to protect the Clan, even at the cost of your life?" "I do." "They by the power of StarClan, I give you your warrior name. Mouse, from this moment on you will be known as Mouseflame. May StarClan light your path." "Mouseflame! Mouseflame!" the Clan cheered. But anyone could see that the rogues were wistful.
"Would you like to join the Clan?" Mouseflame asked his group of loners.
They all shook their heads. "But we wish you good luck," Dark mewed.
"By the way, speaking of that," Mouseflame mewed. "Dark, you're the new leader. Tell Squirrel and Smoky back at home."
Dark nodded. "Goodbye!" all of the loners mewed happily.
Petalheart smiled as she and Mouseflame went to the warriors' den.
Petalheart looked at her newborn kits. One was a whitish-gray she-cat, and the other was a ginger tom. For some reason, Petalheart felt that she had seen the ginger one somewhere before. Her mate, Mouseflame, walked in. "They're beautiful," he purred. "What should we name them?"
"Well," Petalheart replied as she looked at the white one. "She looks just like a rabbit, with her long ears and short tail. How about we call her Rabbitkit?"
"Perfect," Mouseflame mewed. "What about this one?"
Petalheart looked at the ginger one. Suddenly she remembered where she had seen him before. Memories flooded back to her, memories of the fight with BloodClan, memories of Firestorm saying, "I hunt with StarClan now", memories of her yowling, "No!"
"Petalheart?" Mouseflame asked. "Are you okay?"
His mew jolted her out of her senses. "What? Oh, yes, yes, I'm fine. I was just thinking."
"About what?" Mouseflame asked.
"I was just thinking about how much this kit lookes just like Firestorm. Should we name it Firekit?"
"Excellent idea," Mouseflame purred.
Petalheart looked up at the stars in the night sky. She knew that somewhere up there, Firestorm was looking down at her with pride. She looked at her kits, so tiny and helpless, suckling at her belly. Finally, everything was perfect again.