|Preceded by: |
|Gems||Succeded by: |
Firebloom was always a lively cat. Her sister, Violetrose was the quiet kind. They usually got along, but they did argue a lot.
Firebloom felt the breeze blowing softly. This was a wonderful moment. A time of happiness. Violetrose was curled up in her nest, snoring. She had gone to the Gathering yesterday and was worn out by the sudden fighting. StarClan must have been mad.
The Gathering had started out great, but then a group of rogues burst in and killed many apprentices. Firebloom was lucky that she didn't go. It was a relieve not to be part of that horror and fighting. Firebloom wasn't the kind who loved to fight. It was horrid. Spilling blood for no reason? Ugh, no.
Violetrose was explaining the story earlier. This was how it went.
"The Gathering was peaceful, and Fallstar made her report first.
"BirdClan is fine, and prey is running well. We have been watching our borders carefully, in case of rogues and other intruders." The Clans were not known of stealing from other Clans. We were a peaceful group that helped one another.
"BirdClan has a new warrior. Fernfall." Everyone shouted, "Fernfall, Fernfall!"
Hollystar went next, "DarkClan is doing well, and we have two new apprentices. Joltpaw and Thunderpaw!"
More cheering, "Joltpaw! Thunderpaw!" The two apprentices looked like they wanted to burst with pride. Hollystar talked about our prey and how life was. firebloom felt proud when Hollystar said, "We are strong and are ready to fight intruders!"
The third and last Clan, ShockClan, reported last. Their leader, Riverstar raised his voice, "Our prey is running well, but we have been scenting strange scents near our border. We hope you be wary and check your borders."
Hollystar and Fallstar nodded, "We shall check our borders and drive out intruders." The Gathering was about to disperse when rogues poured into the clearing and slaughtered the apprentices nearest to them. The Gathering became a chaotic place where everyone tried to fight back and get out. In the end, the three Clans managed to drive out the rogues, but at the cost of many lives."
Firebloom was stunned at the end of the story. How could the rogues do such a thing? They had to know that the Gathering was a peaceful time, or else they would have attacked us sooner. Or maybe they just wanted to kill as many cats as they could. But Firebloom was suspicious, those rogues attacked for a reason, but she didn't know why.
Violetrose woke up and whispered, "Firebloom, follow me." Before she could object, she whisked away. Firebloom followed, confused and found two gems lying on the ground. Violetrose picked up the dark gem, and Firebloom picked up the fire gem.
The gems were shining with energy, making Firebloom excited. She wanted to do something with the gem so badly, it hurt. The fire gem was bright orange, a fiery clolr, just like her own fur. The dark gem was pure black, forming a dark mode.
Violetrose gasped as they picked up the gems, enjoying the sensation of energy flowing into her body.
The two gems stuck to their fur, and stayed there. Their adventures with their mystical powers have begun.
Firebloom was amazed. She had heard of gem users, like Brushfall, who was in DarkClan. They had extreme powers, but tire easily if they used a lot of the mystical power.
Firebloom had always imagined having such power. Now her dream had come true. Together, Firebloom and Violetrose charged back to camp. Their excitement was uncontanable. They crashed into Hollystar's den and mewed, "We found two gems! Now we are gem holders!"
Hollystar nodded. Hollystar herself was a gem holder. She murmured, "Brushfall can teach you both. You have to work extra hard now, remembering your fighting skills, and learning how to use the gems."
"Of course, Hollystar." They went outside to tell Brushfall his new schedule. He groaned, "You two have the gem powers? Now I have to teach you?"
They both nodded, desperate to learn. Brushfall growled softly, "Fine, but you better work hard and do what I say."
Firebloom shrugged and mewed, "What do we do first?" Brushfall mewed, "Channeling the power into something useful."
Violetrose murmured, "This sounds boring, I think we should just practice on our own." Firebloom wanted to agree, but she saw something interesting. Shockpaw was standing in the middle of the clearing, casting magic. He was a handsome young tom who had the power of the electric gem. These lessons wouldn't be so boring with Shockpaw here.
Violetrose rolled her eyes when she saw Firebloom's expression, "You are so kidding me. Shockpaw? Him?"
Firebloom butted Violetrose gently, and decided to cast. She channeled the fire at Violetrose and released. Violetrose laughed and cast something back. They collided and exploded, tossing everyone out of the clearing.
Brushfall was not very happy about that. He stalked over and growled, "What did you do this time?" Firebloom hung her head and mewed, "We were casting."
Violetrose stared defiantly at Brushfall, "If we don't experiment, then how do we learn?" Brushfall retorted, "By listening. That's how."
He taught the two sisters how to channel defensive energy. First to defend themselves, then to defend others. When he left, Violetrose immediately began to cast more energy. She flung a ball of dark energy toward Firebloom and set up her own shield. Firebloom flung her own shield and braced herself. The dark energy exploded against her shield, throwing Firebloom back.
Shockpaw noticed the change of the atmosphere and walked over, "Hey, do you want to learn something cool?"
Violetrose nodded energetically and Firebloom mewed, "Yes! Let's do it!"
"Okay, let's play a game. It is a game of surviving. First one down on the ground loses. Alright?"
Together, they set up the battlefield. Shockpaw said he would go easy, because he was more skilled, even if he was just an apprentice.
When the battlefield was ready, Hollystar came in. She mewed, "Ah, I see you are playing a game, mind if I join?"
Firebloom nodded, feeling relieved that Hollystar was here. They started in different corners of the battlefield, and Shockpaw shouted, "Ready, begin!"
Firebloom immediately flung up a shield to protect herself. Just in time too. Violetrose had shot a ball of dark energy at her.
Shockpaw dashed forward and shot a ball of energy. Firebloom noticed that Shockpaw always had a shield on. He never took it down. Then it hit her. Of course, it was said that some mystical cats couldn't see the magic. But to Firebloom, it seemed like all the toms couldn't see it, but she-cats could.
Hollystar was concentrating with her eyes closed. Firebloom smiled to herself and started to cast. This would be hard. She had never really cast before.
Violetrose's eyes were deep with concentration. She was casting a huge ball of dark energy, making Shockpaw fling up an extra hard shield. Firebloom gritted her teeth as the atmosphere changed. It became colder and more sinister.
Shockpaw seemed to be gasping. Of course, he couldn't see any of the magic, so it was harder for him to defend himself. Well, that was fair. Firebloom and Violetrose were both beginners, and Shockpaw was more skilled. Fair, right?
Firebloom continued to cast at her friends, as they happily chased each other around. Finally, as the four of them were merrily yowling, a voice boomed, "What exactly are you doing?"
Brushfall was glaring at them on the top of the hill. He growled softly at us, not realizing that Hollystar was standing down here with them.
FIrebloom mewed guiltily, "We were practicing our skills."
Brushfall snarled, "By playing? You should be praticing on prey, that way the Clan gets more fresh-kill too."
Shockpaw mewed, "Wait, it wasn't their fault. I suggested playing this game. Don't punish them." He hung his head down.
Brushfall looked between Shockpaw and Firebloom. "Shockpaw, you have better things to do than playing with warriors. You should have been hunting too."
Hollystar cleared her throat, "Brushfall, I came down here to practice with them, so they weren't doing anything wrong."
Brushfall huffed, looking like he wanted to argue some more. But he nodded briskly and sauntered down the hill. Hollystar murmured something inaudible, then flicked her tail to Firebloom, "We need to talk."
Firebloom shot a glance at Violetrose, but she was already heading into the forest, ready to hunt with Shockpaw. Firebloom shrugged and followed Hollystar to a sheltered area.
Hollystar glanced at Firebloom, "I have decided that Brushfall isn't a good mentor for you. I will teach you what you need to know."
"What about Violetrose?" Firebloom asked, not wanting to abandon her sister.
Hollystar narrowed her eyes. "There is something strange about your sister. Her gem is more sinister, not kind and friendly at all. I'll leave her at Brushfall's paws, and I hope that will change the evil inside of her."
Firebloom shook her head, "But Brushfall will just make it worse! She will just become more angry and sad. Then she'll feel left out!"
"Life isn't fair, Firebloom. You must deal with the consequences." Hollystar got up and was ready to leave.
"But you could make it fair! If you took me and Violetrose, life would be more fair!" It was too late. Hollystar had padded out of the sheltered area.
Firebloom lay down, feeling numb. She didn't want to have a different mentor than Violetrose. She wanted to be with her sister. Maybe if Firebloom had a talk with Hollystar...
No, Hollystar was a determined cat. She never changes her mind after she made it up. Firebloom sighed. She might as well hunt and be useful. Maybe she could even practice her skills.
The hunt went well, but Firebloom was still clumsy with her skills. She only managed to catch one mouse with magic before she set off an explosion and scared the rest of the prey away. Moving to a new spot, she had decided to hunt the normal way instead.
On the way back to camp, Firebloom spotted a mouse skittering across the forest floor. Firebloom crouched down and slid forward, then thought better. She cleared her mind and started to cast. A small ball of fire formed in front of her. Making sure it only struck the target and didn't burn it, Firebloom flung the fireball at the mouse.
They collided and the mouse flew straight into the paws of a familiar cat. A tom. A bracken colored tom. Brushfall. He raised an eyebrow and sneered, "Was that the best you could do?"
Firebloom retorted, "At least I didn't burn it! If I burned it I wouldn't have anything to drag home."
"You would have those." He pointed her pile of prey. She growled, Brushfall thought he knew everything because he was older. But he was just an arrogant tom.
Firebloom opened her mouth to mew something back, but Brushfall cut her off. "You may have not burned the mouse, but you took too long to cast. If this was a thrush, it would have flew off already."
"How would you know?" Firebloom retorted, "Were you a thrush when somebody cast at you?"
Brushfall flattened his ears and sniffed, "No, of course not! Don't you know anything? I know because-"
Firebloom pushed past him, growling, "I don't care how you know. I don't want to listen to your voice anymore."
She continued walking until Brushfall's annoying voice faded away. She sat back down thinking, Maybe I do want Hollystar as my mentor. Even though Violetrose will be with Brushfall still.
Violetrose was fuming. "How could you have not asked Hollystar to accept me too? Why are you the special one? Just because so many toms fall for you, doesn't mean you should be more special!"
She stormd off, angry that Hollystar, no the whole Clan, favored Firebloom. What was so special about Firebloom? She was just a little pretty she-cat.
Violetrose thought, I know, all I have to do is, train harder. If I train hard enough, then...
Firebloom watched sadly as Violetrose stormed off. I did try. Hollystar just didn't want her. I wonder why... She shook her head. It was Violetrose's problem. If she wanted Hollystar as a mentor, then she should go ask her.
Violetrose had always been moody. Every time a tom swooned over Firebloom, and not Violetrose, then she would storm off, muttering about how Firebloom was so special.
But Firebloom didn't get it. She wasn't special. She just didn't know why all the toms were after her. She wasn't even as pretty as Violetrose, yet no one noticed her.
Sighing, and having made up her mind, Firebloom headed for Hollystar's den. She called out to the leader, and waited for an reply. Hollystar called out, "Enter."
Firebloom went inside and bowed. "Hollystar." The DarkClan leader nodded to her, "Yes?" Firebloom waited, pondering if she should ask. But she was already here, she might as well ask Hollystar.
"Um... Hollystar, I was wondering if you could make Violetrose your apprentice too?"
Hollystar frowned, "Didn't we already have this conversation?" When Firebloom opened her mouth to reply, Hollystar continued, "And who is Violetrose?"
Firebloom nearly gaped in horror. Hollystar didn't know who Violetrose was. "My sister."
Hollystar's frown deepened, "Your sister? You don't have a sister, Firebloom. You are an only child." Hollystar sounded so sure, Firebloom wanted to back out of the den. Did nobody know who Violetrose was? Firebloom murmured a goodbye, and headed out. Right before she left, Hollystar mewed, "And I won't train your imaginary friend! You're a warrior now, no need for silly ideas."
Firebloom bristled, Violetrose wasn't a silly idea! But she didn't respond to her leader, and she left the den. As she exited, she saw a dark red tail of Violetrose flag from the gorse tunnel. Firebloom hurried after her, only to stop. There was a strong scent of Violetrose near the leader's den.
Of course. Violetrose had been eavesdropping, and she had heard what Hollystar had said. Now Violetrose was out there somewhere, probably sulking. Firebloom growled in frustration, Violetrose was too moody. Just because the Clan thought she wasn't special, didn't mean she couldn't live as a normal warrior. Why did she have to be special?
Firebloom continued after Violetrose, wanting to speak to her. Explain to her. About everything. She couldn't just leave. No, Firebloom had to get her back.
She raced through the tunnel, and winded her way through the forest, searching for Violetrose. "Violetrose! Violet-"
"Sh! Don't be so loud. I don't want to meet cats who don't think I am real." Violetrose slipped out of the shadows, and glared at Firebloom.
Firebloom glared back, "At least I tried to get you to be Hollystar's apprentice! It isn't my fault they didn't know who you were at that time. They probably lost their memory for awhile."
Violetrose growled, "It is your fault! You didn't try hard enough. I heard it all. When Hollystar told you there was no Violetrose in the Clan, you didn't even try to convince her I exist. I don't want to live in DarkClan anymore. No, forget it."
She turned with a sweep of her tail, and dashed away. "No! Violetrose!" Firebloom screamed, "Come back!"
But she was gone. Firebloom's sister, the one who cared for her. The one that Firebloom cared for, was gone. Gone like the wind.
Firebloom sat in front of her den, feeling lonely. She had spent hours out in the forest, practicing her magic. hoping Violetrose would come to join her. But she didn't. She was already gone. Sniffing the air, Firebloom tried to find her sister. She's got to be somewhere!
Searching desperately, even trying to send messages with her magic. No luck. Thinking it was because of her lack of skill, Firebloom hurried back to camp, crying out like a lost kitten. "Violetrose is gone! She left!"
Hurrying to Hollystar who was emerging out of her den, Firebloom gasped. "Hollystar, Violetrose left and-"
"Who is Violetrose?" Hollystar glared sternly at Firebloom. "I told you before-"
"She's my sister! How do you guys forget who my sister is?" She fell to the ground sobbing, curling into one ball. She whispered. "At least help me find a cat called Violetrose. It doesn't matter if you don't know who she is. Please." Tears were flowing down Firebloom's face.
Hollystar's face was grave, and she nodded, "Alright."
Together, they padded into the now dimming forest, and Hollystar started the spell. Muttering softly, she closed her eyes as she set small, glowing ball out. So that's how you do it. Magic was so complicated that Firebloom just hated it when she couldn't do something and-
"I've found my infornation." Firebloom immediately glanced up, waiting. "This Violetrose you talk about, well, she's covered in a veil of Darkness. And so when she was in the Clan, only you could see her."
Hollystar shrugged, "This, I do not know. Her veil only protected her aginst us I guess. Anyone without a gem cannot see her entirely. Either she's a Dark caster, or she's a fake in life."
"But that's impossible! Violetrose has been here for my whole life! When she was a kit, we played together everyday. When we were apprentices, she had the mentor of Fallentail." Firebloom whirled around, panting. "Don't you guys remember?"
Hollystar sighed, and sat down. "Firebloom, for some reason, you were able to see this cat. but the rest of us, well, she never existed to us. In our lives, there was never a 'Violetrose' in our Clan."
Firebloom let out a small wail, and sat down. "But... then what is she?"
"Violetrose is mostly a Dark caster."
Firebloom tilted her head. "A Dark caster? What's that?"
"Someone who works for the Dark side."
Blinking, Firebloom whispered. "Then if Violetrose is part of them, what is she to them?"
Firebloom was sitting in her nest, feeling quite depressed. She had just learned that her sister was a Dark caster, and- wait no, she wasn't her sister. She never was. See why Firebloom was depressed?
Hollystar, her mentor in magic and leader was annoucing about the dangers. "We have just found out that the Dark casters are back with stronger, and worse cats. Just today, we discovered that their leader had been in the camp. Only Firebloom had saw her, but none of us had even realized she was there."
Everyone gasped. Standing at the very top was... Violetrose.
"Violetrose!" Firebloom stood up, garing ar her "sister". "Hello, sister."
Gritting her teeth, Firebloom growled, "What do you want now Violetrose?"
The she-cat smiled and mewed. "Well, I brought my leader over to tell you something." A black tom crept up. "I am Blackwidow, and to tell the truth, Violetrose was part of your Clan. Just a simple trick and a little magic made you all forget who she was. And then of course, she got mad, and found us. But you know who did the magic? Firebloom." He sneered down at her.
Violetrose hissed. "I knew it. I knew you always hated me sister."
Then they were gone.
Firebloom sat there stunned. She didn't do it. She really didn't. What was Violetrose's reason of believing that Blackwidow? Wasn't it obvious?
Then she though about all those times they fought. They may have been friendly sisters, but there was sometimes where they had different thoughts about things.
"Oh, I remember that time. When you approached Sunpaw and then he just turned away? That was hilarious!"
"No it wasn't Firepaw, go away." Violetpaw huffed and turned away.
Firepaw laughed. "But don't you remember his expression? He looked like he wanted to swallow a snake! It's obvious he doesn't like you."
"Oh. Did I hear my name?" They both turned around. "Sunpaw!" Violetpaw gasped. She shrank back, afriad of her 'love'. "Um..." Firepaw stammered.
Sunpaw smiled coldly. "Oh, did Violetpaw want to confess her love again?"
Violetpaw hissed. "Of course not! You aren't anything to me anymore. Go away, Sunpaw." Her eyes were cold and frosty as she turned away.
"Fine." Sunpaw snarled as he turned away. "I was going to offer my sincere apology, but if you want to deal with it that way."
Violetpaw growled back. "I don't care. I doubt some selfish jerk like you could be sincere."
Sunpaw's eyes widened. "You didnt-"
He turned, and stormed out of camp without a second look back. Firepaw sighed and nugded Violetpaw. "Hey, why so fierce against Sunpaw?"
Violetpaw glared at her sister. "Because. He's a jerk."
"That isn't what your eyes tell me, Violetpaw. You love him don't you?" Violetpaw stared at the ground, and mewed. "Maybe, though he was being a jerk." She looked up, eyes still as fierce as they were.
Suddenly, a scream split the air. Both sisters perked up as they hurried toward the entrance. Joltfire came in looking grim, in his jaws were...
"Sunpaw!" Violetpaw was up and running.
She reached the striken looking warrior, and started to sob, "I never told him I was sorry and that I loved him." She murmured.
From that day, Violetpaw had been a bit distant, and Firebloom knew that Sunpaw's death might have been her fault too. Violetrose had never loved another cat, but at sometimes, Violetrose would turn on Firebloom, accusing her of killing Sunpaw.
It had been a badger, but Sunpaw would not have ran out if Firebloom hadn't teased her sister. But... Sunpaw was gone now.
Laying on the soft grass, Firebloom thought about her sister. Violetrose was obviously tricked into being a Dark caster, but the more Firebloom thought about it, the more she realized even Violetrose knew the truth, it might be too late to get her back. Sighing sadly, Firebloom closed her eyes. Casting her mind out, Firebloom found traces of Violetrose everywhere.
Getting back up, Firebloom decided she wanted to be a regular warrior for once. Going up to the deputy, she asked. "May I be on a hunting patrol?"
"Um, actually, I already sent out the last hunting patrol, so can you go on the evening patrol?"
"Sure," Firebloom mewed. "Of course."
Heading towards the camp entrance, Firebloom saw Seedpelt, Frostleaf, and Poolstripe waiting. Frostleaf nodded, and led the way out. Firebloom followed the she-cat, as the headed towards ShockClan border. Checking for scents, Firebloom found the weird scent of rogues again. And they were close.
Turning toward Frostleaf to warn her, a rogue leapt out and jumped on Firebloom. She started to cast, but remembered a major rule about casters. No casting at a non-caster because they are not part of the casting world.
Firebloom kicked out, and yowled a warning. But these rogues smelled like ShockClan, yet none of them were familiar. Frostleaf was fighting two cats at once, trying to fend them off. Poolstripe fell as a rogue landed a killing blow on her neck. Seedpelt was snarling, but was already encircled. They were doomed.
It was a quick battle, and the chains were brought forward. Magic. These chains were made of magic, and that would certainly hurt Frostleaf and Seedpelt a lot. Magic is almost fatal to them.
But these were different, it may have been formed by magic, but it only binds and ensures no magical casters can cast. The three cats were bound together, and Poolstripe was tossed away. These rogues were reckless. Poolstripe was gone now, just like Sunpaw.
Dragged along by their chains, the cats struggled to walk. In the end, the leader was annoyed by our slow walk, and literally pulled us along. Firebloom hissed, as she struggled not to let the jagged rocks scrape her.
Reaching ShockClan camp, Firebloom gasped. All the ShockClan cats were either dead, or hanging from a chain. Thr rogues dragged the three cats to an empty post, and tied them there. Stuck as prisoners now.
"Let all of ShockClan gather!"
But this wasn't ShockClan. They weren't ShockClan. Regardless, the rogues poured out of the dens, gathering in front of their leader. Firebloom tugged at her chain, but nothing happened. The chains were much too strong. Glancing around, she saw Frostleaf still struggling, and Seedpelt, beedling heavily, but alive.
We may be Clan cats, strong warriors and all, but these cats had different ways of keeping order. And Firebloom knew how dangerous they could be. She desperately wanted to cast, feeling that they were violating the Clan laws. Attacking other Clans and taking over your own Clan? This wasn't right.
But she knew they were normal cats, and the rules of a caster was that they could not attack a non-caster with magic. Plus, even if she could cast, the magic of the chains shackled her and limited her powers.
One rogue leaped onto the cliff and yowled. "Today, we have caught three cats roaming around near ShockClan's borders. We have brought them here to show them who is the strongest! Straw, show them what we can do."
Lightning coursed through Firebloom and she let out a small yelp. Frostleaf shrieked in horror as the magic surged through her. It'll kill her! Seedpelt let out a groan and his head rolled forward. Firebloom held her breath. Is he alive?
"Ha! Weaklings." The rogue on the rock hissed. "That was too easy. You warriors think you're so strong, but you can't fight against the Dark Casters!"
Dark Casters! Firebloom scanned the area for Violetrose. She didn't see her sister anywhere. Most of the ShockClan cats were huddled off to the side, encased in magic themselves. The cruelty of this place was horrifying.
Firebloom struggled to get away as Straw and a fire-red tom brought her forward. "You didn't suffer from the magic, so you must be a caster. Who are you?"
"Who are you?" She growled through gritted teeth. "Coming in and taking our warriors, killing them off with magic when they can't cast themselves!"
The rogue snarled. "You will address me the right way. Kneel down before King Ripple! Blackwidow, bring the bride!"
The bride? Firebloom quivered in fear as she saw the black tom who came forth. "Violetrose!"
"Ah... so you know her. She didn't seem happy when she returned from her trip to your camp. She was quite upset... my poor bride..." Ripple purred slightly.
Violetrose glared at me, and looked up at Ripple. "Yes, King Ripple? What do you need of me?"
"Oh, my dear, just look at what I caught!" Ripple laughed with fake joy. "Isn't it wonderful? I've gotten the she-cat who stole your old life."
Firebloom's sister's eyes twinkled with happiness. "Does this mean I can return to DarkClan?"
Ripple shook his head. "I'm so, so sorry. I don't think the magic will fade. You must stay here, dear, and we can be a happy family here."
With the Dark Casters... Firebloom knew what they were doing. "Violet-"
"Silence her!" Ripple snarled.
Blackwidow waved his tail, and my mouth snapped shut. My chains weighed heavily, and I struggled to open my mouth. Ripple approached Violetrose, and she didn't flinch.
"Oh, King Ripple, I am ever so grateful that you saved me and brought me to a real home, but I want to return to DarkClan!" Violetrose wailed.
Ripple sighed, though his eyes were storming with unhappiness. "Oh but Violet... here in ShockClan is where you truly should be. We, the Dark Casters, will take great care of you."
Firebloom saw her sister's eyes droop. "I will miss DarkClan, but I will live here with happiness too." Ripple's eyes brightened, and he embraced Violetrose. "Oh Violet, I'm glad you knew what was right, and what was wrong."
He turned to Blackwidow. "Release her, and make sure she knows not to meddle with the Dark Casters!"
Violetrose snarled. "We can't release her! She has ruined my life! We should keep her and torture her." Firebloom lookd at her sister in horror. Violetrose yowled. "We should destroy her from within!"
Ripple laid his tail on Violetrose. "Oh Violet, I know we should, but she hasn't done much yet. I'll give her another chance, and if she comes by again, then we will deal with her."
Violetrose watched sullenly as Blackwidow guided me out. Firebloom looked at the ShockClan warriors, and their eyes were pleading as they watched her go.
Firebloom shuddered as she thought about what happened a moon ago. She had told Hollystar what had happened too Frostleaf, Seedpelt, and Poolstripe. Her eyes welled with tears, knowing that three good warriors were lost that day.
DarkClan hasn't heard from ShockClan, but Hollystar knew that they were planning something. "I must enhance your magic skills, so we can fight back against them. They aren't afraid to cast against non-casters, so we must be careful." She had told Firebloom.
Shockpaw sat down next to Firebloom. "Thinking about that day?"
She nodded. "How could I not? I saw Violetrose that day, and we lost three warriors to them."
"I hate it."
Firebloom glanced at Shockpaw. "Hate what?"
He sighed. "Hate this casting world. It's been ruining my life ever since I found my gem. My mother died in an explosion that I set off when I was training, and Rosepetal was never seen again after a Dark Caster attacked the camp one time. If these gems never existed, then my family would still be happy and none of this would have happened."
The red-furred she-cat nodded. "Tomorrow's the Gathering, sleep well, Shockpaw."
"Let all cats gather to hear my words." Firebloom froze when she heard the voice speaking. It was Blackwidow, the warrior who was the 'leader' of the Dark Casters and was just a side warrior to Ripple. What was he doing on the Great Rock?
Violetrose stood nearby, and so did the gang of rogues. BirdClan looked edgy, and DarkClan was grim. Hollystar had her eyes narrowed and she looked angry with Blackwidow. "Those Dark Casters think they're so great..." She muttered.
Firebloom gulped as Blackwidow continued. "I represent my leader, so they call me leader themselves when my leader is not here. I am Blackwidow, and we are the new ShockClan. Riverstar died of a fatal disease, and asked for us to take over. We promise that we will do our best to help ShockClan prosper, and that BirdClan and DarkClan benefit from it."
Shockpaw leaned over. "He has got to be kidding! There's no way we would form an alliance with him."
Firebloom shrugged. "BirdClan might."
"No way, the casters all know what a Dark Caster's aura feels like. They should all know that Blackwidow is a Dark Caster." Shockpaw explained.
The red she-cat sighed. "But you know how good they are. Remember how Violetrose seemed fake?" She tensed as Shockpaw stiffened.
"Yeah... but I can't seem to remember who 'Violetrose' is."
Firebloom pressed against him. "Someone's hiding her, and she believes its me. I know it's not me because I love her as my sister and I wouldn't do such a thing. Shockpaw, I know you don't remember her, but that's how strong Blackwidow's magic is. He could be easily manipulating the other's thoughts."
Shockpaw frowned. "That makes sense. I guess we only know he's a Dark Caster because of your experience in their camp..."
Hollystar stepped forward. "ShockClan should rest and recover. Perhaps you should allow DarkClan and BirdClan to take care of you first."
Blackwidow met her gaze evenly. Something passed between them, and Hollystar's hackles rose. "ShockClan is well enough, but some of them are still recovering back at camp from the disease. We are here to represent them today."
BirdClan's famous caster, Jaywing narrowed his eyes. "You sound tall and almighty. Maybe you should allow your leader to come and negotiate with us."
Blackwidow snorted. "Watch what you're saying. ShockClan isn't weak you know, we will fight back as hard as any other Clan."
Jaywing growled softly, and Firebloom knew what he was thinking. They're going to fight with magic and slaughter all the non casters. Shockpaw sighed. "Blackwidow knows what he's doing, let us hope that Jaywing is enough to convince his leader."
"We have come to offer you a chance to prosper. We can form an alliance and no one will be hurt. My leader will take care of us all, and there will be no hunger, no fighting among us. Who is with us?" Blackwidow shouted. Many of the cats looked like they wanted to oblige, but they glanced uncertainly at their leaders. Hollystar snapped.
Fallstar glanced at Jaywing, who shook his head. She then responded. "No."
Blackwidow sneered. "Are you relying on casters do make your judgement? Not all casters are trustworthy." He glared at me pointedly, and so did Violetrose. I shrank back, but tried to stare back defiantly. Jaywing only snorted.
Fallstar hissed. "He is my loyal deputy."
The 'ShockClan' cats gathered to leave. "We have told you what we planned on telling you, but since you have refused, you will face the consequences." Blackwidow whipped around, and suddenly the air was full of energy.
"Quick!" Shockpaw exclaimed. "We must defend everyone."
All the casters worked together, casting their shields to cover every cat. Firebloom set up her own shield, but was unable to cast another shield for someone else. The energy exploded, and all the cats were thrown backwards. He's strong... One cat let out a wail of horror.
Lying on the floor in a bloody mess was a kit. He looked about seven moons old, barely an apprentice. Someone was weeping over him, and Firebloom cursed softly. Blackwidow was waging a war.
"DarkClan gatsher beneath me to hear my words!" The Clan cats filed out and bustled about to listen to Hollystar. Firebloom shuffled impatiently, knowing that danger was near. Shockpaw pressed against her flank, reassuring her.
"Last night, Blackwidow came by with the 'ShockClan' cats. It was exactly as Firebloom described it. They were rogues, and all of them were casters. Firebloom pointed out Violetrose to me, and I realized that there was a faint memory of her. Blackwidow must have wiped our minds clean and blamed it on Firebloom.
"At the Gathering, he gave us an 'opportunity' to join him. I refused, for it was a trick. Ripple would take over, and we would be dead or prisoners. BirdClan also refused, so Fallstar and I have decided to team up and send our casters to fight against the Dark Casters.
"I want all the non casters to head out and join BirdClan. They will lead you to somewhere safe. When the battle is over, we will call you back. But for now, you will find a new territory to live in." Hollystar stared solemnly back at her Clanmates.
Firebloom raised her voice. "Blackwidow is using Violetrose, or 'Violet', to battle against us. She's obviously mad that she was thrown out of DarkClan, and believes that I am her enemy. We need to be prepared, without any distractions."
Shockpaw nodded. "Having non casters here would slow us down. We would be carrying a burden, and it would make it easier to defeat the Dark Casters. This is for your own good."
The tension loosened a bit, and Hollystar ushered them out. Suddenly the clearing felt empty, but Goosefur, Pearlflutter, Rippleheart, Bramblestrike, and Blizzardwind were staying as casters. Hollystar immediately called for Brushfall, and they split the group into two. They had to train hard.
Firebloom joined Shockpaw, Blizzardwing and Bramblestrike in Hollstar's group. The other three joined Brushfall and they practiced their aim and blows until sundown. Then, BirdClan's casters joined them, and they set up camp in DarkClan camp.
Every day, they would be training, and every night they would have a guard set up. Only the experienced warriors took the position because they were responsible for having a shield set up for everybody. When moving around, the casters were expected to have their shield up.
This was their moment, and they had to fight to win ShockClan back. To Firebloom, it may be a chance to get her sister back, once and for all...
The End. Want more? Read Control!