Episode Six, Season Two, of Spy Torture.
This episode is dedicated to Stareh, who has been an amazing friend, and just an overall awesome person that I've known in my life.
Like the Sky
Tornclaw was right, without Rush of the Howling Wind and Ananta, they were much weaker. Every few days, they would be assaulted by Spy Army cats. They had a makeshift home, and they didn’t dare move because then it would make them even more vulnerable.
Stargaze was stretched in one of the dens, her black tail strewn across the floor next to her body.
Cleverpelt was sharing tongues with her, and the two were murmuring quietly. Shard remembered that they had both come from StoneClan, the formidable Clan that Shard remembered fighting a long time ago.
Their other Clanmate, Tornadostrike had stridden over to them, and the three of them whispered to each other.
Shard of Ice’s paws desperately itched to go over and ask what they were talking about, but she didn’t dare intrude on Clan discussions.
Screams erupted from the front of the tunnels, and Shard hurried out, nearly crashing into Rain, who had his fur spiked.
“Come on,” the white she-cat urged the gray rogue, “We have to protect the tunnels and the others!”
He seem to understand the danger and he rushed forward, knocking aside cats. Brightsong and Stonehaven were knocked backwards, but Shard couldn’t see who hit them.
Scatterleaf hurtled past Shard, hissing as she saw Sun that Shines on Water batting aside Tornclaw.
“Traitor!” Scatterleaf shrieked, “You betrayed me!”
Sun stared calmly back at her sister, “I could say the same, Scatterleaf, siding with the Rebellion instead of siding with Snarl.”
She swiped at Scatterleaf, who easily defended herself.
Shard narrowed her eyes at Sun’s expression. She barreled into the golden she-cat, taking her aside, “What’s with you?” she hissed, “You fight for Snarl, yet you don’t want to hurt your sister.”
Scatterleaf was sparring with Silver Mine that’s Underground, and Sun’s amber eyes hardened, “We want to spy for you.”
“What?” Shard stared at the golden she-cat.
Sun rolled her eyes, “Silver and I want to spy for you. We’re going to tell you whatever Snarl tells us. But be warned, there is a traitor among you, and I do not know who. We’ll make sure to deliver messages to you in private.”
Shard nodded, “Alright, but be careful.” She cautioned.
Scatterleaf suddenly appeared, baring her teeth, “Why are you just talking with her?” she spat, “Drive her off!”
Shard stopped her and whispered something in the tortoise-shell and white she-cat’s ear. Scatterleaf narrowed her eyes, glared at Sun, and then stalked off to help her Rebellion-mates.
Sun shot Shard an apologetic glance, then charged Stargaze, causing the black she-cat to lose her balance.
The white she-cat took in a deep breath, then lunged forward, crashing into Leaf that Changes Color.
The daughter of Snarl looked distracted, but a good blow to the ear made her hiss and turn around.
“Shard of Ice.” Leaf mewed curtly.
“Leaf that Changes Color.” Shard responded.
The silver tabby easily flipped Shard over, but Shard was ready. Instead of landing on her back, she twisted and ducked, letting Leaf slip over her. The startled she-cat let out a yowl as Shard pounced on her.
“Let go of her!”
Something hard crashed into Shard, causing her to tumble back. Raina, Leaf’s mother and the vicious mate of Snarl stood glaring at her.
Leaf gingerly picks herself up, then froze.
A brown streak clawed Raina, and it took Shard a few moments to realize that Pebbles on Bottom of Stream had appeared.
The silver tabby looked absolutely stunned, and Shard took this moment to bowl her over. Leaf shrieked in pain as Shard’s claws hit her flank, and heaved upwards, throwing the Rebellion leader off.
Pebbles was on her in an instant, and Leaf immediately stopped grappling the tom. Her mother had already fled, and Pebbles was snarling and clawing at her.
Shard narrowed her eyes at the scene, but couldn’t be bothered to figure out why Leaf was so hesitant.
Leaving Pebbles to deal with the daughter of Snarl, Shard plunged back into the battle.
Leaf that Changes Color didn’t like her luck. Not only was she chosen to go against the Rebellion, the whole Rebellion, but she was facing off against the tom that she couldn’t stop thinking about.
He had his ears flattened against his head, and his teeth were sunk into her shoulder. A shriek erupted from her mouth, but she couldn’t fight back.
Some kind of urge told her to let him go, but he was grasping her.
Another shriek tore through her mouth as Pebbles gouged her claws into her flank. Instinctively, Leaf threw him off, and stumbled towards his direction.
He was splayed across the floor, his eyes fluttering open and closed. Leaf gasped and went over to him, but Raina pulled him back, “Stop looking so stunned, Leaf!” she hissed, “Pull yourself together and let’s go.”
Leaf couldn’t peel her eyes off the brown tom as she was led away by her mother towards the entrance.
One day I’ll meet him somewhere but the battlefield.
Shard spotted Mystery of the Falling Feather and Nightfire fighting side by side, and heaved a sigh of relief. The black tom had nearly died earlier, held down by Snarl. Luckily, Mystery had made it there first, and they were both fine.
Her neck wound from a moon ago was throbbing terrible, but she didn’t want to rest while the rest of the Rebellion were in trouble.
Obviously, they couldn’t do without Rush and Ananta.
Shard grabbed Rainflight, and hissed, “Get Rush and Ananta. They can live their peaceful life in here. We need both of them, or at least Ananta to help us fight!”
The pale gray tom nodded and slipped through one of the side tunnels. Shard was relieved that the two assassins would be here soon (hopefully), and she started to stumble towards the fighting cats.
Pathway to Frozen Star blocked my path, “Shard, you must rest.” She mewed gently, “You’re exhausted from your wound from last time, and you can’t keep going.”
Shard’s eyes were glazed, but she pushed on determinedly, “I have to help the others.” She groaned through gritted teeth.
Her mentor stopped her, “Shard, you’ll do no good for the Rebellion by dying. Go rest now.”
Shard obeyed, sinking into one of the moss nests lined up, and let Star take over. Everything closed around her, and she drifted off into the darkness.
Rainflight hurried out of the tunnels, slipping past some of the fighting cats. He reached the entrance, and burst out. There were no signs of the Spy Army, but he crept forward and stayed low just in case.
He could hear the cats shrieking, and he suppressed a shudder and kept going. He had to find Rush and Ananta.
Ahead, Rainflight saw a bundle of trees. It would be good cover for the gray tom as he searched for the two assassins.
He noticed that most of the Spy Army cats were already bunched into the tunnels, and he let out a soft sigh of relief.
Rainflight slipped past a wooden post, hoping that none of the Spy Army cats outside would spot a lone cat creeping away from the secret tunnel entrance.
The gray tom gritted his teeth as he had to stumble back as one of the cats guarding the entrance snapped his head towards Rainflight’s hiding spot. He emitted a small groan of pain as his paw stumbled on a sharp rock, and struggled to stay down as the cat’s gaze swept by.
As he finally reached the safe cover of the trees, he was reminded of when he was a young with his sister, Bramblepaw. The fallen leaves reminded him of the time that Bramblepaw had leaped into a leaf pile, and was lost inside.
He let out a purr of amusement, then felt a pang of sadness as he thought about his sister. He berated himself, thinking that he had let her die, and he should have protected her more.
Finally, letting the kithood memories go, Rainflight sighed and continued onwards.
It took him a long time to locate the position of the rogues, and he wasn’t certain whether or not he was following the right track.
“Rainflight, why are you here?”
The gray tom let out a startled yelp and jumped backwards as a crimson tom stared at him. He was reminded yet again by how fierce looking Ananta was, and how Rush of the Howling Wind looked calmer next to him.
The she-cat padded out, and mewed, “Is there something wrong with the Rebellion?”
Rainflight quickly explained the situation with the two cats, and Rush sighed, “I would have hoped to stay away from the fighting all together, but I think we should stay with the Rebellion and help fend off the attacks.”
Ananta shot her a glare, his eyes worried as they rested on Rush’s round belly, “What about our kits, Rush?” He pointed out.
The ginger she-cat rolled her eyes, “I’ll be safe in the Rebellion’s makeshift home, it’s fine.”
Ananta grumbled about her safety, but Rush turned to Rainflight, “Where are the Rebellion situated?” she mewed briskly, “We need to help them as soon as we can.” Rainflight nodded breathlessly, then turned to show them the way.
“Wait,” Ananta growled, “Is Rush going to be safe before the battle is over?”
Rainflight nodded once more, more impatiently now, “I know a secret way into the tunnels, she’ll be fine.”
Rush snorted at her mate’s fussing, then stalked out, “Lead the way, Rainflight.” The gray tom spun around and hurried out of the clearing.
They reached the tunnels in no time, and Rush narrowed her eyes as she surveyed the scene. “We should attack from the back, surprising them, and-”
She stopped short as Ananta jostled past her, “I’m not letting you fight,” he growled, “You’ll stay safe in the tunnels, and you’ll let me handle the situation.”
Rainflight withheld a snort as Rush gave her mate an exasperated swipe, and then turned to the gray tom, “Can you show me the secret entrance, Ananta wants to fight his way through from the front.”
He nodded, then led the ginger she-cat to the bramble thicket. They were keeping low, in case Ananta couldn’t distract the Spy Army cats from seeing them. Rush slid forward, and Rainflight followed, his belly fur brushing against the long grass. Finally, they pulled past into the tiny entrance, and Rush huffed a sigh of relief as they stumbled through the cold earth.
New yowls of pain made Rainflight flinch, and Rush bared her teeth at the unseen enemies.
Shrieks erupted from the main entrance, and Rainflight felt a twinge of triumph as the Spy Army cats began to flee.
“We did it,” he whispered, “We did it!”
Shard of Ice woke to the sound of cheering. The throbbing in her throat didn’t go away, but Rainflight was looking refreshed, and Rush, Rush of the Howling Wind, was seated nearby, grooming carefully.
Ananta was glowering beside her, and many of the Rebellion took care to steer clear of his path.
Rainflight had found them.
Stargaze sighed as she lay down next to Shard, “You had a nice nap didn’t you,” she mewed dryly. More seriously, she growled, “We need to do something about the Spy Army.”
“What do you mean?”
The black she-cat gazed at the earth above her head. “Well, Snarl is gaining new allies everyday. There were new cats fighting alongside his cats when they raided today. We’re getting weaker because we only have so many of us.”
The news sunk in. Shard sighed, “What do you suggest then, Stargaze?”
Stargaze’s brilliant blue eyes sparked, “We have to go recruit the Clans.”