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MonsterClan Under New Influence






Prologue

BlazeClan's territory loomed up ahead, dark and menacing. But Ghoulstar wasn't afraid. Emberstar had betrayed him. Stopped him from killing a goody-good cat in a battle. She should have known that her mate wouldn't've just let that go with a shrug of his shoulders.

Muscles rippling beneath the variety of pelt colors, the MonsterClan ambush moved swiftly beneath the pine trees that were scattered about. They had gotten to know this territory when MonsterClan and BlazeClan had been close- so close, they had even shared a camp. A large one, with plenty of space. But once those three kits were born, Emberstar had changed.

And where were those three kits? Well, Ghoulstar knew that Lonekit had been taken to the Dark Forest; he was a sassy, evil kit, just like his father. Shame he died from a falling tree. Bearkit and Greedkit had disappeared. Where those two had last been, the MonsterClan leader had smelled twolegs and fear scent-- all of the same freshness.

Those twolegs would pay for taking his kits.

  But at the moment, the warriors and apprentices of this attack patrol would have to focus on just that-- attacking. And we'll win this battle, Ghoulstar thought as a maliscious grin tugged on the ends of his maw. Flattening his ears against his skull, the dark leader slunk among the now denser undergrowth towards the heart of BlazeClan's territory-- and the camp.

It came into sight. A large dip in the ground, bushes encircling it, with a large rock in the middle, a lichen-covered opening visible against the gray of the boulder. BlazeClan have less than us, I have to remeber that. Letting out a battle cry, Ghoulstar plunged down the incline and into the camp.

The clearing exploded into action. BlazeClan warriors came out to meet the MonsterClan amubush. Emberstar emerged from the lichen entrance of her den, eyes widening as she saw the chaos enfolding her Clan. "Ghoulstar! I should've known it would be you!" she hissed, unsheathing her claws and leaping for her past mate.

The black-and-white leader pushed off his hind legs into the air to meet the she-cat. The two locked in combat, falling to the hard earth with an oof! As Emberstar struggled to regain her breath, Ghoulstar took the advantage. Slicing up her belly with razor-sharp claws, he let out a growl of satisfaction.

The different shaded cream she-cat began breathing raggedly. Opening her jaws wide enough, she choked out, "This isn't my last life, or the last time we'll meet."

"I know," Ghoulstar answered, turning away and kicking up dirt onto the dying cat's figure. MonsterClan had won; Emberstar had lost another life. Her words echoed in the MonsterClan leader's mind, This isn't my last life, or the last time we'll meet.  Ghoulstar curled his claws. I know it won't, but we'll be ready, and winning.


Chapter One

   

"Ouch!" Greed yowled, scrabbling to get away. "Why me?! Can't you go easier, or take on the dog or something?" The ebony tom was barely twelve moons, and was laced with scars. The Twolegs that had brought him here were nice at first, then they had tied him up with a rope to the wall and had insistantly beat him.

Greed was confused. If they didn't like him, then why did they take him away from the forest in the first place? He was a forest cat at heart-- and they stole what had meant something to him away. And right after his mother and father had got into a fight!

What had the Twolegs done with his sister, anyway? He knew that Twolegs had snatched her up too, but he never saw her after that. His whole life had changed, and now he was a lean, big, well-muscled cat with a fierce attitude. And he wasn't kidding. Tonight was the night Greed palnned to run away. He would try, even if he didn't succeed. These stupid Twolegs always seemed to know what was going on.

A sharp slap to the back brought him back to reality. A whip-like rope was being constantly slammed into his back, right between the shouder blades. He could feel the blood that oozed from the wound, he could smell it-- fresh, tangy, salty. It was torture.

The Twoleg became bored with this, probably from getting no reaction to the pain anymore, and shuffled off to the Dark Forest knows where. All Greed knew was: He didn't want to find out.

He heard a shrill, high-pitched squeal in the other room; probably Sparkle, the other cat that was tortured on this dreaded farm. The pain was clear in her voice and Greed didn't even want to know what the Twoleg was doing. He moved a paw, and flinched when he felt a dead weight on it. He glanced down to see the reason, though he knew it already. The Twoleg, thinking it was funny to put him in a pain that would stay with him, had melted some metal, and poured the molten liquid onto Greed's claws. It had burned. So bad. But the stuff had gone on to dry, and cease the painful burning, but it wouldn't come off.

The young tom sighed, clawing at the collar the Twolegs had tightened around his neck. So tight, it had caused him to bleed and would probably keep a horrible scar. With the metal helping, the leather collar snapped, sliding off his scabbed up neck. He rose to shaky paws, pausing to listen around. Silence.

That might not be a good sign.

Swiftly, carefully, Greed made his way out of his room, being sure to keep the metal coated claws from clanking on the ground. He slipped around a corner and into the next room. A medium sized, orange furred cat lay in the corner, the fur on its back stained red with blood. When the ebony feline saw this, he ground his claws at the floor. It cracked.

The orange cat looked up, golden eyes dull.

Greed forced himself to look at least closer to nice. "Sparkle." He dipped his head. "I came to talk to you about leaving. I was thinking about running away tonight. Would you wish to join me?"

Sparkle seemed surprised that the other cat had managed to get out of his collar and had come to her room to ask her to join him in leaving. Then she opened her maw and replied in a raspy voice, "I will come with you. I would like to leave this dreaful place of torture." This cat was still young, too, and she had already gone through more torture than Greed.

Greed nodded, his green eyes shinning. "Then, when the moon is at its highest, we shall meet in my room next door. I have found a vent that should take us to the outside world. And then I shall go back to the forest, where I belong."

"Forest? You are a forest cat, or what they call a Clan cat?"

"Yes. My father's name was Ghoulstar, and he was leader of MonsterClan. My mother was Emberstar, leader of BlazeClan."

"You seem to come from royal origins, my friend. But we can discuss this more later. The sun is setting now. We must eat and rest to prepare for this journey." Sparkle turned away, digging a claw into her collar. After a few heartbeats, it snapped, falling to the ground as if it was dead prey. The orange she-cat waved her tail to Greed, and then padded off into the shadows.

Greed turned and trotted from the room, returning to his own. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught sight of movement. He pounced on whatever it was and dug his claws in. His mouth watered when he felt fur and soft flesh under his claws. The mouse's squeal was cut off when Greed bit into its neck. He dragged the limp prey to the corner of the room and began wolfing it down. He barely ever ate here, so he barely noticed the hunger anymore. But not now. He could feel how empty his stomache was, wishing that the prey was bigger. But it was good enough.

Through the vent's opening wisped cool night air. Glancing upward at the faraway window near the ceiling, the ebony tom could see the moon rising in the sky. He nodded to himself, slipping into the shadows to catch more prey. Soon he had another mouse, and a rat. He satisfied his hunger on those pieces of prey and reasted his head on his paws.

The young cat heard claws tapping against the floor heartbeats before Sparkle appeared in the doorway. She padded up to Greed and nodded. He rose to his paws and inspected her pelt. The scabs and scratches would heal fine, and were no danger as of now. Sparkle did the same for the ebony feline. They were both fine.

The two headed towards the vent, which had no cover, and glanced at each other. Sparkle blinked, understanding that the tom was letting her go first. Soon, you couldn't make out her orange coat.

Greed took a deep breath, then squared his shoulders and entered the darkness of the vent.

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