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ALLEIGANCES

SUMMERCLAN

Leader: Mudstar- Elderly light brown tabby she-cat

Deputy: Rainflight- Small dark grey she-cat with blue eyes.
Medicine Cat: Mossfeather- silvery grey tom with emerald green eyes.

Warriors:

Sunflame- Muscular ginger tom.
Robinpelt-- Black and grey she-cat with blue eyes,
Barkclaw- Light brown tom with emerald eyes and a battle-scarred muzzle.
Halstream- Long-haired silvery-grey tom.
Blackstripe- Long haired light brown tom with a black stripe down the middle of the pelt.
Mousetail= Small brown she-cat.
Nightpelt- Small black she-cat with ice blue eyes.
Leaftail- Brown and white tom with amber eyes.
Brightstorm- Light ginger she-cat.

Angelstrike- Sandy ginger she-cat with Black and white patches:

Apprentices:
Lionpaw- Golden tabby tom (Apprentice to Blackstripe)
Bushpaw- Grey she-cat with emerald eyes. (Apprentice to Leaftail)
Stormpaw- Very dark grey tom with white patches and a whie tail. (Apprentice to Rainflight)
Sandpaw- Light ginger tom with blue eyes (Medicine Cat Apprentice)
Queens:
Dolphinsplash- Ginger and grey she-cat with emerald eyes. (Mother to Lemonkit, (pale ginger she-kit) Snowkit, (white she-kit) and Amberkit (ginger tom).
Silverheat- Small silver she-cat. (Expectng Leaftail's kits)
Nutfur- Light brown tabby with black paws. (Mother to Oakkit (brown tom) and Leapordkit (black tom with brown paws).
Elders:
Lotuspelt: Black and white she-cat
Badgerfur: Black and white tom.

WINTERCLAN

Leader: Tanglestar- Light brown tom with matted fur
Deputy: Frostpool- Beautiful white she-cat with ice blue eyes.
Medicine Cat: Poppycreek- Ginger and white she-cat with tortoiseshell patches.
Warriors:
Rabbitflash- Grey tom.
Tinyclaw- Very very small black tom with amber eyes and a white underbelly.
Crowblossom- Brown she cat with a dark brown face.
Fernwhisker- Very light brown she-cat with amber eyes.
Crabclaw- Ginger tom with black patches and blue eyes.
Cranestripe- Dark brown tabby tom with amber eyes.
Voleheart- Dusty grey she-cat.
Mudpelt- Huge light brown tom
Owlflight- Grey and borwn tom with yellow eyes and a dark brown tail.
Lizardheart- Olive coloured tom.
Apprentices:
Fuzzypaw Ash grey tom. (Apprentice to Owlflight)
Robinpaw- Black and white she-cat. (Apprentice to Rabbitflash)
Snakepaw- Black she-cat. (Apprentice to Crabclaw)
Queens:
Willowcloud- Black and white tortoiseshell with a long white tail.
Dawnstream- Red-brown she-cat with striking amber eyes.
Pebblewish- Ash-grey she-cat with light blue eyes. (mother to Harekit (a grey tom) and Molekit (a ginger tom with grey tips on the ears and a grey stripe down the pelt)
Elders:
Troutclaw- Grey tom.
Birdwhisker- Ginger and white she-cat.
Dustflame- Dusty brown she-cat.

SPRINGCLAN

Leader: Monkeystar- Small brown and white tom with black markings on the ears and tail.
Deputy: Larkwing- White tom.
Medicine Cat: Dovebreeze- Gold and silverr tabby she-cat with green eyes.
Warriors:
Ravensky- Dark black tom
Bluepelt- Blue-grey she-cat
Sharktail- Blue-grey tom.
Wasplight- Black and gold tom with blue eyes and a brown mark on the forehead.
Brambleheart- Golden brown tabby tom
Mapleleaf- Brown she-cat with amber eyes.
Brackentail- Golden tabby she-cat.
Jaystrike- White tom with yellow eyes and a grey tail.
Lionroar- Golden tom
Featherdrop- Silvery grey tom with red-brown strikes.
Apprentices:
Barkpaw- Light brown and white tom (Apprentice to Ravensky)
Rockpaw- Black and grey tom (Apprentice to Sharktail)
Flowerpaw- Beautiful ginger she-cat with jade-green eyes. (Apprentice to Jaystrike)
Fishpaw- Blue and white tom with blue eyes (Apprentice to Mapleleaf)
Queens:
Otterwing- Orange and white she-cat. (Mother to Cranekit, (ginger tom), Petalkit (black and white she-kit) and Beekit (black she-kit)
Indigo- Grey she-cat, former rogue. (mother to Hawkkit (brown tabby tom), Ratkit (grey tom) and Tigerkit (brown tabby tom)
Whitestrike- White she-cat. (Mother to Sorrelkit (white she cat)
Elders:
Longclaw- Tortoiseshell tom with long claws. The oldest cat in the clan
Minnowwish- Grey tom

AUTUMNCLAN

Leader: Nightstar- Night black tom with piercing amber eyes.
Deputy: Ferretfur- Light brown tom with black tips on the ears.
Medicine Cat: Dappleleaf- Creamy brown she-cat with two white paws and two black paws.
Warriors:
Eelfur- Black and ginger tom with green eyes.
Icepelt- Brilliant white tom
Addertail- Black and ginger tom
Swallowheart- Very light grey she-cat with a white mark on her forehead.
Shadepelt- Dusty black she-cat (Nightstar's mate)
Frogsplash- Ginger she-cat with one grey paw and amber eyes.
Firebolt- Strking ginger tom.
Pricklepelt- White and brown tom with green eyes.
Troutshine- Dark grey she-cat
Reedclaw- Black tom with amber eyes.
Apprentices:
Briarsight- Light brown (almost ginger) tom with amber eyes. (Medicine Cat Apprentice)
Featherpaw- Reddish-brown she-cat. (Apprentice to Troutshine)
Snailpaw- Dark brown she-cat with short light brown paws. (Apprentice to Icepelt)
Darkpaw- Very dark tom. (Apprentice to Eelfur)
Queens:
Honeydew- Tortoiseshell she-cat with ginger and white patches. (Mother to Drizzlekit, (tortoiseshell she-kit) and Riverkit (brown and white she-kit)
Greydawn- Beautiful grey she-cat with one ginger forepaw. (Mother to Lightkit (ginger tom) and Fawnkit (Grey and white she-kit).
Elders:
Nettleclaw- Fierce black tom.
Poppywhisker- Blind tabby she-cat.
Thornspring- Brown and red tabby tom.
Crowfur- Black tom.

CATS OUTSIDE OF CLANS

Dixie- Tortoiseshell she-cat with white paws and a white underbelly. (Kittypet)
Misty- Fuzzy grey she-kit. (Kittypet)
Coco- Light brown she-kit with dark brown ears, tail and face. (Kittypet)
Jane- Elderly black and white she-cat (Kittypet)
Meggs- Large ginger she-cat, (Kittypet)
Eagle- Red-brown tom with ginger patches and very long claws. (Rogue)
Fox- Pale ginger tom. (Rogue)
Bounce- Small ginger tom with jade green eyes and half and multiple body scars. (Kittypet)


Prologue

Two cats were sitting down at the edge of the forest. One drew a front paw over his ear, trying to get rid of some fleas. Suddenly, one of them jumped down from the pile of rocks. "Are you ready to do this?" he snarled.

"I don't know" the other cat replied. "I mean, what did they ever do to us?"

The first cat pinned him down with both paws. "What did they do to us? That doesn't matter! It's what she did to me that counts!"

The second cat gasped for breath. "But why punish all of them for something one cat did?"

"Because she needs to pay! She can watch every cat in the forest die around her, and it will be all her fault. She will be forced to leave the forest because her pathetic Starclan and tose pathetic excuses for cats will think so low of her". Or at least what's left of them"

"But why do you want me to kill them? Why can't you do it?"

The first cat sat up. "Because she'll pick upthe scent and lead it straight to me. She doesn't know your scent. Now, will you do it or not?"

"No." The second cat stood his ground.

"No!?" The first cat sprung on him again. "What do you mean no? Don't make me bite your throat out!"

"Okay, okay!" the second cat panted. "I'l do it!"

"Good."

"What am I to do?"

"You are to go in to the forest, and you are to kill every single one of those cats. Not all at once, just slowly, untill she is the only one left."

"Which one do I leave?" the second cat meowed.

"She's a light brown tabby of SummerClan. StarClan help you if she's dead, Eagle. I will not hesitate to make you join her."

"Okay."

Heart full of guilt and fear, Eagle paded in to the forest.



Chapter 1

Mudstar padded through the camp. She looked around her clan. Summerclan. She had worked her entire life to preserve them, and tey placed their trust in her, as she did them. From the most senior warriors to the newest born kits. They were all her responsibility. She looked over to see the Clan Medicine Cat, Mossfeather, padding over to her with his apprentice Sandpaw. Her mind flashed back to when Sandpaw had been made the medicne cat apprentice. Originally, he had been a warrior, but his heart was never in it. He was always over at the medicine den helping Mossfeather, or always catching the smallest bits of prey. When the old medicine cat, Starbreeze had died, Sandpaw had begged her and Mossfeather to switch. Now, he was flourishing.

"Hi Mossfeather, Hello Sandpaw" she greeted them.

Sandpaw dipped his head in respect. "Mudstar"

She noticed Mossfeather had a wild look in his eyes, looking from left to right as if a badger had just entered the camp and was eating the fresh-kill pile.

"What is it, Mossfeather?" Mudstar mewed.

"I had a prophecy from StarClan last night. Do you mind if we go in to your den to discuss it? I don't want any cat overhearing us."

Mudstar was puzzled. "Okay" she meowed, "Follow me." When Sandpaw started to head back to the medicine den, she added, "You too Sandpaw," and Sandpaw followed her in.

When they had entered her den, Mudstar made herself comfortable and sat down. "Well? What's worrying you so much that can't be discused in front of out Clanmates?" her tone was brisk, but Mudstar's eyes were sympathetic.

"I... I saw a tortoishell. She was walking through the forest, with a fox and an eagle." He mewed. "Then, the sky covered with clouds. The fox and the eagle suddenly vanished, but then the tortoiseshell grew to the size of a badger. Then a voice said: "the clouds will come... and destroy the threat that endangers us all."

Mudstar turned to Sandpaw. "Do you have any idea what it meant?"

Sandpaw shook his head. "No, Mudstar. I'm as confused as you are."

"Well, we can all be sure of one thing," Mudstar growled. "What ever this threat might be, we need to find this tortoiseshell before any of us are killed."

Chapter 2

Dixie stirred from her place on the edge of the twoleg nest.. Stretching her jaws in a huge yawn, she arched her back and jumped down. Carefully slipping out so she didn't wake her houefolk, Dixie started to walk around, I guess while I'm up I might as well feed my kits, she thought. Two moons ago, Dixie had kitted. Her housefolk had already named them Misty and Coco, so Dixie had decided not to confuse them by giving them another name. She padded down the stretch of hard wooden surface and found her kits play-fighting on something the housefolk called a couch, "Careful!" she hissed. "One of you might fall off!"

Coco jumped. "Oh, Dixie it's you! You frightened me out of my fur!"

"You are such a scaredy-kit, Coco!" Misty teased, gently batting her ear with a forepaw. Coco jumped on Misty and they started fighting again. "I'll show you who's a scaredy-kit!" she yowled.

"That's enough!" Dixie snapped.

Coco and Misty sat up, with innocent eyes. "We were only playing!" Misty squeaked.

"Anyway, come down, it's time for your feed"

"Oh good, I'm starving!" Coco squeaked. "Misty, stop pushing!"

"Now now, there's enough for all of you, kits" Dixie meowed.

She lay down on her side while the kits suckled at her belly. "That's it little ones. Grw big and strong"

After they had drank enough, Dixie sat up. "Are you two alright here? I'm going to go outside" she mewed.

Misty sat up instantly. "Can we come?"

Coco bounced beside her, "Yes, we'll be good!"

"Another time little ones" Dixie purred. She pushed her way through the little plastic door and went outside.


Dixie was wandering around her territory, when suddenly, her ears pricked. Mouse! Mice hardly ever wandered in to her territory, so Dixie wasn't going to pass up an opportunity like this. She followed her nose a bit more untill she found it rustling through the leaves. Dixie dropped in to the hunters crouch and began stalking her prey. Alerted by her bell, the mouse sped off. Mouse dung Dixie thought. She'd forgotten about her bell! Stupid housefolk, trying to tame me with this collar! Dixie wasn't going to let this mouse go, though. She sprinted after it, jumping over some rocks. The mouse realised it was in danger once more and hid under some branches, twigs and sticks. Dixie jumped on the pile, forcing the mouse out again. Realising her chance, Dixie jumped on the mouse and delivered the killing bite, Feeling pleased with herself, she grasped the mouse in her jaws. She looked up. This isn't my territory!' She looked around trying to figure out how far she had strayed from her housefolk's garden. Suddenly, she gasped. She was right outside the forest! and some cat was watching her with a pleased look in its eyes. She looked right in to Dixie's eyes, and Dixie couldn't help to stare back. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't look away from this light brown tabby's gaze. They locked eyes for a moment longer before the light brown tabby turned and walked back in to the forest.


Chapter 3

As she walked back from where she had been watching the kittypet, Mudstar felt enormously pleased with herself! I think I might have found her! She turned to Sunflame, who had been with her while she was watching. "She has potential, don't you think?" she meowed.

"You... You aren't going to bring a kittypet in to our clan are you?" Sunflame asked, his eyes wide with disbelief.

"Why not?"

"How are the other cats going to feel about this?"

"I'm not going to tell them. At least, not untill I've assessed her more."

"What?" Sunflame snorted. "Mudstar, do you have bees in your brain? You can't bring a kittypet in to the forest. She knows nothing about the warrior code! Or how to defend herself in battle, and what if she has kits? Have you thought aout that?"

"She doesn't have kits, or otherwise she would've been inside caring for them!" Mudstar snapped."Don't question me anymore Sunflame. I need to talk to Mossfeather and Sandpaw," and with that, she bounded in to camp.


"Well?" Mossfeather demanded, "did you find this cat?"

"Yes I did. I think she might be able to join the clan."

"Wait, wait, wait." Mossfeather mewed. "It's a she?"

"Yes it's a she" Mudstar retorted. "I saw her hunting, She has some great skills you know.

"Does Rainflight know about your intentions?"

"No. Only Sunflame. I'm not telling any cat anything untill I've followed her more."

Sandpaw, who was just padding in to the den overheard the last bits of the coversation. "Followed who more?" He asked, with cobwebs trailing from his paws.

"Mudstar found who she believes is the cat in our dream. She wants to bring her in to the clan." Mossfeather explained, "But the only problem is, she's a kittypet."

Sandpaw turned to face Mudstar. "Mudstar," he meowed, "I respect you a lot, but don't you see how badly this decision could backfire? What if she's not the cat in the prophecy? Then SummerClan would have an extra mouth to feed, and what if she decides she doesn't want to be in the Clan? What if she has kits?"

"She doesn't have kits!" Mudstar snapped."Do you think a queen would leave her kits alone untill they were ready to go outside the nursery?"

"No, but..."

"But what? Sandpaw, I think you're the one with bees in your brain. No more discussions!" She growled. Angrily she padded out of the den.

Sunflame padded up to meet her. "How dud they take it?" he meowed.

"Not well. Sandpaw espeially, dumb apprentice!" She hissed.

"Wel, you said you wanted to follow her more. What are you going to do now?"

"I've seen her hunting skills. Now I need to see her fighting skills."


Chapter 4

"Are you for real Mudstar?" Sunflame meowed. "How in the name of StarClan do you plan to see her fighting skills? You aren't going to stroll in to her territory and say; 'hey kittypet! Mind if I fight you to see how you'd cope in my clan?' are you?"

"No, mouse-brain. I won't fight her!" Mudstar growled. "I wouldn't properly be able to asses her skills. I'll get a kittypet to fight her."

"At least let me come with you"

"No. I'm going alone. Tell Rainflight where I've gone, and if I'm not back by sunset, send a patrol for me"

"Okay, Mudstar, but personally I think we need to get that mouse-brained idea out of your head."

Not wanting to start another argument, Mudstar walked out of the camp.


Mudstar walked through the unfarmilliar territory of Twolegplace. She needed to find another cat to fight the tortoiseshell! Not long after she entered, she came across a garden with a black and white kittypet sunning herself out the front. "Hello!" she called.

The kittypet sat up. "Hello" she mewed. "I haven't seen you around here. Are you lost?"

"No, I'm just looking for some cat to help me with something"

"Well, come and tel me about it" the kittypet purred. "Come on" she meowed, gesturing with her tail for Mudstar to sit down. "It's been a long time since I've had company."

Mudstar sat down with the kittypet. "My name's Jane" the kittypet mewed. I've lived with my twolegs for a while now, they let me do my own thing and I let them do theirs. What's your name?"

"Mudstar" Mudstar meowed.

"Mudstar?" Jane echoed. "Hmm, that's an unusual name. Are you one of those forest cats that the other cats talk about?"

"Yes I am. What other cats are you talking about?"

"We have a few in our neighbourhood" the kittypet meowed. Over in that den there's a ginger cat called Bounce, and over in that den is a cat called Dixie, and over in that den is a cat named Meggs.. Now, what did you want to ask me about?"

"Well, there's a cat I'm looking for to join my Clan. Could you maybe fight her for me so I can see her skills?" Mudstar mewed.

The kittypet's eyes glowed and she started purring with amusement. She let out a mrrow of laughter. "Fight?" she snorted, "Me? Oh heavens no. I'm seasons too old to fight dear, if you're looking for a cat to fight, why don't you ask Meggs? She lives in that den over there. A fierce one too, if you ask me. She'd be suited to live in your... Clans, is that what you call them? She doesn't belong in a den, she belongs in the forest."

"Well, okay" Mudstar meowed, "It was nice to meet you Jane!"

"You too" Jane mewed, "Bye!"

Mudstar padded towards the den which Jane had indicated and before long she was stepping in to Meggs' garden. Mudstar observed the grass was dry and there was dirt everywhere. Before long, the ginger kittypet had seen her and was charging in her direction.

"What are you doing here?" the kittypet growled. Mudstar noticed multiple scars on the kittypet's body,

"Are you Meggs?" Mudstar asked.

"No!" the kittypet snorted. "I'm Bounce! Meggs lives next door!"

"What in the name of Starclan? But Jane said..."

"Jane? You listened to that old badger? Her brain's the size of a newborn mouse! What do you want with Meggs anyway?"

"I need her to fight some cat"

"Well, why not ask me?"

"Because Jane said Meggs was the best fighter in the neighbourhood"

"Again with listening to Jane! I'll fight this cat if you want"

"Good." Mudstar didn't entirely trust this cat, but she needed someone to fight the tortoiseshell.

Mudstar padded in to the tortoiseshell's den. She was sunning herself in the garden.

"I need you to fight her" Mudstar said.

Even before she'd finished speaking, Bounce was backing away, his eyes wide and fear scent pouring off him like a flooding river. "No!" he gasped. "I won't fight her! Never! It was a trap! You want me dead so you brought me here!"

"Why would I want you dead?" Mudstar mewed, puzzled. "I don't even know you!"

Bounce seemed to have momentarily recovered from his panic attack. "You see these scars?" he whimpered, showing Mudstar his body. "I accidently wandered in here chasing a mouse and she fought me. She clawed me so hard, I thought I was going to die!" he wailed.

"That's... That's awful." Mudstar meowed. "Go back to your nest. Now tell me, where can I find this Meggs?"

"N-next door" Bounce stammered, turning back and fleeing.


Mudstar padded off to the next den, hoping for StarClan's sake she had the right one this time. Her eyes glowed when she spotted the ginger kittypet prowling along the garden. "Over here!" she hissed.

The kittypet looked up and headed towards her. "What is it?"

"Are you Meggs?"

"Yes. How do yu know my name?" she growled.

"Never mind" Mudstar meowed, not wanting to go in to detail. "I need you to fight some cat. Cats around here have been telling me you're the best fighter.

Meggs slid out her claws. "Sure am. Now, where's this cat?"

"Come." Mudstar ordered, "I'll take you to her."

A few moments later, Mudstar and Meggs had crossed in to the tortoiseshell's den, where she was still sunning herself. "Okay, start a fight" she ordered.

"Hey, flea-brain!" Meggs yowled, stepping out in to the open.

Dixie stood up and fluffed out her fur. "What are you doing here?" she spat. "This is my territory!"

"Not for long" Meggs growled.

"I think you're the flea brain for coming here!" Dixie snarled. "Im going to scratch you so bad, they'll hear you yowling in the forest!"

She knows about the forest! Mudstar thought excitedly, watching as the fight began.

Dixie sprang at Meggs, claws outstretched. Meggs ducked and raked Dixie's belly. Dixie let out a howl of pain and kicked Megg's hindquaters out from under her and she fell to the ground. Taking advantage, Dixie leaped on to Megg's back and started raking her claws down Megg's flank. Mudstar couldn't watch. Dixie gave vicious blow after vicious blow, and had opened up many wounds.

By Starclan, she's killing her! Get up, Meggs! Get up!

In spite of her wounds, Meggs managed to land a swipe to Dixie's face and she fell to the ground with a startled yelp. Siezing her chance, Meggs turned tail and ran. "I'm sorry!" Mudstar wailed as she pelted past her.

Unsliding her claws and taking a deep breath, Mudstar walked out of the bushes. "Great fight!" she meowed.

Dixie snarled. "Why are you here? Didn't you see what I just did to Meggs?"

"No, No, I don't want to fight you. I just want you to join my Clan. You'd make a fine Warrior."

"Clan?" Dixie echoed.

"Yes, I'm happy to have you join. We're in trouble at the moment and we've decided to take on an outsider. Seeing your fighting skills, I'd like you to be that cat."

"I don't know..." she paused. "Wait! I know you!"

"I was the cat watching you hunt last sunhigh"

"What's your name?" she asked.

"Mudstar, and yours?"

"Dixie" the tortoiseshell replied.

"Well Dixie, are you going to join my Clan or not?"

"I'll think about it. I'll meet you outside the forest next sunhigh." With that, she turned and walked back inside the den.

Suddenly, Mudstar heard two tiny mews from inside. Kits? Her kits? Mudstar shook the thought away. She would never have fought this vicously if she had kits, and besides, female kittypets never raised their kits. She started to walk back to the forest, tail high. I've found her! Let the prophecy unfold...


Chapter 5

"Where have you been?" Rainflight demanded as Mudstar came back in to camp. "I was about to send Blackstripe, Stormpaw and Lionpaw out to look for you! Sunflame said you'd be back by Sunset!"

"Well, I'm back now!" Mudstar growled.

"Mudstar! Mudstar!" Some cat was yowling her name. She turned to see Stormpaw running towards her, "Rainflight was really worried about you! She thought the kittypet had hurt you!"

"Well, I'm alright little one. There's no need to worry." Mudstar purred. She turned for the medicine den, where Sunflame, Sandpaw and Mossfeather were waiting for her.

"Well?" Sandpaw meowed anxiously. "Did you find the tortoiseshell?"

"Yes, I did. She says she'll think about it, and meet me back outside the forest at sunhigh. Sunflame, I want you to come with me this time."

Sunflame looked puzzled. "Okay, Mudstar if you say so."

"I'll be off then" Mudstar meowed and headed outside the den. The kits were scuffling outside the nursey, She let out a hiss of annoyance as Snowkit bumped in to her.

"Snowkit! Come back here at once!" the kits' mother, Dolphinsplash growled. She looked at Mudstar. "Sorry they're causing trouble Mudstar. I sent them outside, they've been squawking like eagles all morning! Snowkit, apologize to Mudstar."

"Sorry, Mudstar" Snowkit squeaked, "but it was Lemonkit's fault, she should've told me you were behind me"

"My fault?" Lemonkit sounded offended, "it was Amberkit's fault! She started it!" all 3 kits started fighting again. "Enough!" Dolphinsplash hissed. "Go back to the nursery, all three of you. Now!"

All three kits expressed mews of disappointment, before padding back to the nursery.

"The sooner those three are apprenticed, the better. They're always hurting Nutfur's kits and they keep trying to bat at Silverheart's belly. Honestly, I don't know how their mentors will keep them diciplined."

"Perhaps I'll mentor one of them" Mudstar meowed.

Dolphinsplash's kits, overhearng from the nursery, let out squeals of excitement.

"I'm going to be Mudstar's apprentice!" Lemonkit squeaked.

"No you're not. I am!" growled Amberkit.

"Neither of yo will, Mudstar will pick me, because I'm the best!" Snowkit gloated, as they started fighting again.

""Stop that!" Nutfur growled, appearing from the nursery entrance. "My kits are trying to sleep! If you keep that up, Mudstar won't mentor any of you!"

"Sorry, Nutfur." Amberkit meowed, hanging his head,

Leaving the kits, Mudstar sat down at the fresh-kill pile. She took a squirrel and moved beside Angelstrike, who was sitting with her mother, Lotuspelt and Lotuspelt's brother Badgerfur. "Mind if I join you?" she asked them.

Badgerfur dipped his head. "Sit down Mudstar" he mewed

. Mudstar crouched down and started to eat, although she wasn't very hungry. Her thoughts were full of the kittypet. I hope the others accept her, it's for their own good.

"What's wrong?" Angelstrike meowed, cutting in to Mudstar's thoughts. "You've hardly eaten"

"There's.... A lot on my mind I guess." Mudstar meowed.

"What is it? Come on, you can talk to us"

"Well... I've made a decision regarding the Clan. I'm not sure how well they'll take it."

As she finished telling her story, Lotuspelt stared, mouth open. "You're bringing in a kittypet?"

"Shhhhh, keep your voices down!" Mudstar hisseed. "I haven't told the others yet. I'm going to wait untill I bring her to SummerClan."

"Well, I don't think most of them will like it." Badgerfur cautioned. "This is a risky move, Mudstar. But I'm behind you, and so will every cat in this Clan eventually. StarClan will give them some sense."

"I hope so." Mudstar meowed. She passed her mouse to Angelstrke. "Here you can have this. I'm going to sleep."


Mudstar awoke, a scarlet sky greeting her. Have I slept in this long? but when she looked around, she realised she wasn't in her den. Wails filled the air, sending a chill down Mudstar's spine. They didn't sound like cats she knew, but she could pick up faint SummerClan scent, tinged with the cold scent of death. Mudstar shuddered. The wails sounded again. Mudstar bounded towards the sound, and her eyes went wide with horror at the sight she saw. Dixie was standing in a pool of blood. with a glow of satisfaction in her eyes. Beneath her was a dead cat, with a seeping wound coming from the throat. This cat didn't look like any cat she knew. She turned around, all 5 of her senior warriors standing in a line, with a look of worry as they stared at a light brown tabby, That's me! But then, who's the other cat? Oh, Starclan, have I made the wrong choice?


Chapter 6

Dixie padded towards the forest. It was sunhigh and she was oing to meet with Mudstar. She'd made her decision. She sure was going to miss her housefolk. She looked back at her den one last time, and a pang of sadness hit her. They've been so kind to me, and I'm turning my back on them. What must they think of me now? Dixie walked at a slow pace so her kits could keep up with her. They were bouncing at her side, firing at her with questions.

"Where are we going?" Misty squeaked.

"We're going to the Clan, my dear" Dixie purred.

"How long are we going for?" Coco meowed.

"Forever"

"Won't our housefolk miss us?"

"I'm sure they will dear," Dixie mewed as she lapped them both between the ears. "But you know what housefolk are like, they'll get new cats"

They'd reached the edge of the forest. For some reason, Mudstar wasn't there. In her place stood a nuscular ginger tom. "Welcome Dixie" he meowed.

"Who are you and where's Mudstar?"

"She asked me yo greet you and meet her in the ca-" He broke off and snarled at the kits as he saw them. "What are they doing here?"

Dixie snarled back and wrapped her tail around her kits to protect them. "I will not leave my kits."

"So they were your kits! Oh, StarClan, what will Mudstar say?"

"What's wrong?"

Mudstar was certain you didn't have kits. I'll take you to her anyway"

Sunflame led the way, but Dixie was doubtful they'd accept her now. They went in to a camp past some bramble bushes and a big oak tree. In the center of the camp stood a big rock, from which Mudstar leaped down.

"Did you get her?" Mudstar meowed.

"Yes," Suflame replied, "but she has kits"

"What?" she looked and saw the two kits. "Hello, dears" she purred

Misty was looking up at Mudstar with wide, curious eyes. "Who are you?" she squeaked.

"My name's Mudstar little one, and welcome to my Clan."

"What a weird name!"

"Hush!" Dixie snapped.

Mudsta turned to the other kit. She was frantically scrabbling trying to get out of the camp. "I don't want to go!" She wailed. "I don't want to stay here with these strange cats! I want to go back to my housefolk!"

"You'll be safe here, little one." Mudstar's eyes glowed with warmth. "What's your name?"

"C-Coco" Coco stammered.

Dixie couldn't stand the suspense any longer. "Do you still want me?" she blurted out.

"Yes of course, if you still want to be here."

"Yes!" In her excitement, Dixie's voice was that of an excited kit.

Mudstar purred with amusement. "Great! Let me introduce you to the rest of the Clan."

Mudstar bounded up the rock in two swift jumps and yowled; "Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey gather for a SummerClan meeting!"

One by one, the Clan began gathering. As they began pouring out of dens, one apprentice, a tom, flattend his ears. "I smell and intruder!" he growled.

"Be quiet, Lionpaw!" another tom, whom Dixie guessed was his father, growled. "We'll deal with that later!"

Once the Clan had finished gathering, Mudstar raised her head and meowed; "Cats of SummerClan, it is leaf-bare and we are running short on warriors to protect the Clan. I have found an outsider and her kits who is willing to join our Clan. She is a former kittypet who is willing to break free from the hold of her twolegs and stay with us."

"What?" the outraged screech of Leaftail echoed throughout he clearing, "you're taking in a kittypet and her kits? It's leaf-bare! We can't afford wasting our prey!"

"We will not be wasting!" Mudstar yowled. "She isn't just a soft pampered kittypet, she nearly killed another kittypet that wandered in to her teritory. She is a natural born fighter!"

Shocked yowls brokeout from the Clan. Dixe began to fell uncomfortable. Why aren't they accepting me? Maybe I made the wrong choice...

"Silence!" Mudstar screeched. "No more arguments! Dixie and her kits will be joining our Clan! It's for your own good!" Mudstar slapped her tail over her mouth as she realised she'd given away the dream.

"What do you mean?" Blackstripe meowed.

"What's happening to us?" Angelstrike yowled

"Are we all going to die?" Badgerfur gasped, his neck furbristling.

"No! We are not going to die! Nothing is happening!" Once the noise had died down, Mudstar beckoned Dixie with her tail. "Step forward" she mewed. Dixie stepped forward untill she was face to face with Mudstar. "Dixie, in order to join our Clan, you and your kits need a warrior name. Dixie, from this moment forward you will be known as Cloudfeather. StarClan honours you battle skills, your courage and yor kidness and we welcome you as a full member of this Clan."

"Cloudfeather! Cloudfeather! Cloudfeather!" Cloudfeather noticed only half the Clan were cheering, the rest of te Clan stayed silent, watching her with a look of disgust on their faces.

Mudstar turned to Misty. "Step forward little one" she purred. Misty ran up to Mudstar. "What will my warrior name be?" she meowed excitedly.

Mudstar broke in to a purr of amusement. "Misty, untill you are six moons old, you will be know as Ashkit in honour of your dusty grey pelt. StarClan honours your curiosity and your inquisitiveness. We welcome you as a full member of the Clan."

"Ashkit! Ashkit!" Cloudeather watched as the Clan cheered her daughter's new name. Ashkit's eyes were glowing, and she was purring so hard Dixie thought her throat would snap.

Last of all, Mudstar turned to Coco. "It's your turn now" she meowed. Nervously, Coco stepped forward. "Coco, from this moment you will be known as Brownkit. StarClan honors your courage for coming in to a new world. I proudly welcome you as a full member of this Clan."

"Brownkit! Brownkit!" Cloudfeather cheered loudest of all, and saw Brownkit's nervousness die away. She glowed with excitement. They were finally part of the Clan, no cat could change that now.


Chapter 7

Cloudfeather began to feel uncomfortable as her Clanmates aimed jeers at her:

"You don't belong here kittypet!"

"Go back to your twolegs kittypet!"

"I'm going to bring a fox to take your kits and then you'll have to leave!"

Just when Cloudfeather was about to break, a slivery-grey tom walked towards her, closely followed by a light ginger tom.

"Setling in well, Cloudfeather?" he mewed.

"No! Every cat hates me!" Cloudfeather wailed. "How do you know my name?"

"I was at your naming ceremony, and don't wory, they'll get used to you."

"What's your name?"

"I'm Mossfeather" the silvery grey tom meowed. "and this is my apprentice, Sandpaw"

Sandpaw dipped his head in greeting. "Hello, Cloudfeather"

"What's an apprentice?" Ashkit squeaked, trotting up to Cloudfeather.

Sandpaw turned to face her. "When a kit reaches 6 moons, they become an apprentice, and are given the name -paw. Most kits decide they want to be a warrior, I wanted to be a medicine cat."

"But that sounds boring!"

Sandpaw broke in to a purr. "It isn't actually. You get to learn about herbs and how to use them, because one day a cat's life might be in your paws."

"Wow!" Ashkit breathed. She turned to Cloudfeather. "Do you know where Brownkit is?"

"I saw her going over near the elders' den" Mossfeather answered for her

"Thankyou!" Ashkit meowed, then charged off to find Brownkit.

"I'm going to go and meet more cats" Cloudfeather mewed. "I'll see you later"

She spotted a brown and white tom. "Hi!" she mewed.

The tom snarled at her, "Don't come near me, kittypet. You don't belong in this Clan! Go back to your twolegs!"

Feeling dismayed, Cloudfeather walked over to the edge of the clearing, where a long haired light brown tom was washing his paws.

"Hello!" Cloudfeather meowed.

"Hello!" the tom mewed back.

"Your voice... it's..."

The tom sighed. "Yes, I know. It's really high. When I was an apprentice, they joked I should change my name to Highmew." he purred. "But I showed them, I became te best hunter in the Clan."

"What is your nane?"

"Blackstripe"

"Nice to meet you Blackstripe, I'm Cloudfeather"

"You settling in well?" Blackstripe mewed.

"Sort of. Some cats hate me, but others are nice." She leaned over and whispered in Blackstripe's ear. "but sometimes I think Sandpaw is too polite!"

Blackstripe purred in amusement. "I know!" He looked as Cloudfeather's kits charged beside her. "Why don't you get settled in the nursery? The queens will make you comfortable"

"Where's the nursery?" Cloudfeather asked.

"Over there." Blackstripe angled his ears in the direction of the nursery.

"Thanks. Come on kits!" Cloudfeather went towards the nursery, where a bunch of she-cats were sunning themselves while their kits played.

"Hello" Cloudfeather mewed.

"Hi." A ginger and grey she-cat looked up as Cloudfeather entered. "You're Cloudfeather aren't you? I'm Dolphinsplash, and those three," she pointed with a paw at three kits play-fighting on the ground, "are my kits; Amberkit, Lemonkit and Snowkit"

"You smell weird." Amberkit mewed, slapping his tail over his nose.

"Amberkit!' Dolphinsplash hissed.

"I'll get you for that!" Ashkit growled, springing at Amberkit, who fell to the ground with a startled squeak,

"Ashkit! Get back here NOW!" Cloudfeather growled. Turning to Dolphinsplash, she mewed "Sorry. Who are the other queens?"

"The small one is Silverheart and the light-brown one with the black paws is Nutfur."

Silverheart stood up. "I feel so heavy" she gtoaned. "These kits will come any day now." She glanced down at Brownkit. "Hello, little one" she purred.

"Are you going to hurt me?" Brownkit wailed, getting ready to turn back and run.

"No" Silverheart mewed. I'm your Clanmate, we look after each other" She looked at Nutfur, who was dozing. "Don't wake her up or she might though" She's so tired! Her kits are a pawful. Why don't you go and meet them?"

Although she was still nervous, Brownkit agreed and moved to the corner of the nursery.

"Your poor Brownkit, she is so nervous!" Silverheart mewed.

"She's been nevous since I got-"

There was a screech from the corner of the nursery and Brownkit came racing back. "She's going to kill me! She's going to kill me!" Brownkit wailed.

Nutfur appeared from behind her. "I'm sorry I startled you, little one" she purred soothingly, "my name's Nutfur"

Brownkit stayed silent.

"Brownkit, say hello!" Cloudfeather hissed.

"H-Hello" Brownkit mewed nervously.

"We made you a nest" Dolphinsplash meowed, pointing to a bed of moss, with 2 small spaces for her kits. "It's after sunset, do you want to go to sleep?"

"Yes, thanks everyone" Cloudfeather.

Cloudfeather circled her new nest, breathing in its sweet foresty scent, and sniggled down. Even if some other cats didn't like her, she had friends. Ah yes Cloudfeather thought, closing her eyes, I belong here.


Chapter 8

Cloudfeather ran as fast as she could, trying to get back to the nursery. She couldn't let those foxes get her kits. The foxes were hard on her tail, she could feel their warm breath on her neck. "Ashkit! Brownkit! I'm coming!" She called out to them

They couldn't hear her, she was fox-lengths away. The foxes were coming closer, and closer, and closer. With a last ditch effort, she sprang over the river, landing cleanly. The foxes turned back, snarling. Cloudfeather smiled. the snarling filled her thoughts so much that it sounded like it was next to her. Hang on.... She could hear snarling!

She flicked open her eyes. Brownkit was biting at her fur and snarling angrily. "Brownkit, what are you doing?" she hissed. "You'll wake up the Clan!"

"There's ticks in my fur!" Brownkit wailed.

What do I do? Cloudfeather thought. She poked Dolphinsplash with a paw. "Dolphinsplash!" she hissed.

Dolphinsplash lifted her head sleepily. "Mm?"

"How do I get rid of ticks?"

"Go to.. Mossfeather" Dolphinsplash mumbled. She turned over and fell asleep again.

Cloudfeather squeezed out of the nursery. Hardly big enough a hole for an expectant cat she thought to herself. She padded through the camp untill she got to the Medicine den. "Mossfeather?" she called.

"What are you doing in here?" Came a voice behind her.

She jumped and spun around. "Sandpaw! You scared me! Where's Mossfeather?"

"Sleeping. As you should be" Sandpaw meowed. "What can I do for you?"

"Brownkit has ticks"

"Then here's some mouse bile, rub it on her, but don't let her lick it, get her to wash it off with some water-soaked moss."

"Thanks" Cloudfeather mewed, leaving the medicine den.


Cloudfeather woke the next morning after an easy sleep. Glancing up at the sky, she figured it was nearly sunhigh. I'm going mad in here, she thought to herself, I need to get out of camp. Rising to her paws, she passed Nutfur. "You're up early" Nutfur mewed. "Where are you headed?"

"I want to catch something for my kits" Cloudfeather meowed.

"Just get them something off the fresh-kill pile"

"No, I feel like getting out of camp for a bit anyway. Tell Mudstar where I went" She squeezed through the hole in the nursery and left the camp.


She returned from her hunting trip, a squirrel in her jaws. I hunted well Cloudfeather thought. Pricking her ears, she heard a wail in the distance. Does Brownkit have ticks again? she thought crossly. But as she reached the camp, she saw Bushpaw, not Brownkit. Her eyes were wide in sadness and worry. "What's going on?" she asked. But Bushpaw didn't need to answer. As she looked down she yowled in shock as she saw a body in front of her. Blackstripe's eyes widened in terror, Mudstar gasped, and Dolphinsplash collapsed to the ground.

Angelstrike was lying dead in the middle of the camp.

Chapter 9

Yowls and wails echoed throughout the camp. A screech came from the elders den; Cloudfeather looked around and saw Lotuspelt dashing towards Angelstrike's body. "My only kit!" she wailed.

"What's up with her?" Cloudfeather asked Silverheart.

"When she was younger, Lotuspelt was told she couldn't have kits. She tried for ages, and only got one. That's how Angelstrike got her name, because Lotuspelt believed she was a gifr from StarClan; her angel."

Lotuspelt buried herself into Angelstrike's fur, tears welling up in her eyes. Badgerpelt, her brother, laid his tail on her shoulder. "Come on, it's ok." he mewed.

"It's not okay! It will never be okay!" she yowled, running back to her den.

Mudstar circled Angelstrike's body, tail lashing. "Who could have done this?" she hissed.

The Clan was silent for a moment, then Dolphinsplash turned on Cloudfeather, her eyes blazing with anger. "It was you!" she snarled, "You were the only one out of camp!"

"How could it be me?" Cloudfeather shot back. "I didn't even know Angelstrike!"

Mudstar faced her. "Cloudfeather, were you out of camp?"

"I might have forgotten to tell Mudstar you left camp" Nutfur mewed, staring at her paws.

"Thanks Nutfur!" Cloudfeather hissed. She turned back to Mudstar; "Yes I was, but I was only hunting!"

"Hunting your Clanmates!" Dolphinsplash growled.

"No! I wasn't!"

"I knew we should never have trusted the kittypet" Leaftail growled.

The Clan left Cloudfeather standing in the middle of the camp. She felt a tail on the end of her shoulder and looked around. Blackstripe was standing behind her. "Tell me you didn't do it" he meowed, his eyes pleading.

Cloudfeather was silenced by shock. How could Blackstripe accuse her?

Blackstripe walked away. "I trusted you Cloudfeather, but not anymore"

Mustar beckoned her with her tail, "come in to my den. You too Rainflight"

A dark grey she-cat Cloudfeather had never seen before followed her and Mudstar in to the den.

"Sit down" Mudstar ordered.

Cloudfeather and Rainflight sat down.

"What were you doing out of camp?" Mudstar asked Cloudfeather.

"I told you, hunting!" Cloudfeather replied, her neck fur bristling. "I caught a squirrel, look on the fresh-kill pile!"

"Rainflight, check the fresh-kill pile." Mudstar ordered.

Rainflight nodded and disappeared out of the den, returning a moment later. "There's no squirrel" Rainflight mewed.

"You lied to me, Cloudfeather" Mudstar growled.

"I didn't! Some cat must have eaten it!"

"No cat has touched the pile since you came back."

Mudstar leaped out of her den and on to the Highrock. "Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey gather here for a meeting!"

One by one, the cats began to enter the clearing again.

"Cloudfeather, are your kits here?" Mudstar mewed.

"They are"

"Cloudfeather, you say you were out hunting, but no new prey was on the fresh-kill pile. Angelstrike is dead, but there are no other scents around her body. I have to say, all evidence points to you."

Yowls errupted from below Mudstar.

"You killed my kit!" Lotuspelt wailed.

"Kill her! She deserves to die!" Some cat wailed.

"Enough!" Mudstar screeched. She turned to face Cloudfeather, sadness in her eyes. "Cloudfeather, I don't want to do this, but I have no choice. You and your kits are exiled from SummerClan."

"Don't send us away!" Ashkit squealed.

"We've done nothing wrong!" Brownkit wailed.

"Leave now." Mudstar ordered. "If any cat sees you on SummerClan territory after sunset, we'll kill you"

"No!" Cloudfeather cried "you can't!"

"I'm sorry Cloudfeather, go."

Hanging her head, Cloudfeather beckoned her kits and headed for the camp exit. Cats started gathering around her.

"Go home kittypet!"

" I never trusted her anyway"

"I knew bringing kittypets in to the Clan was a bad idea"

Cloudfeather took one last glance and exited the camp.


As Mudstar watched the three of them go, a cold feeling of dread entered her belly. What have I done? she asked herself. Did I just send away my Clan's only hope for survival?

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