Lion is just a normal, average, everyday Loner. Hunting, lazing around, and not having any rules to abide to. Then one day, he kills a squirrel on Fireclan territory, and his life turns upside down. Will he be able to find sanctuary and peace? Or will he die trying?
Prologue: Into the Unknown
Lion sprinted through the forest as fast as his paws could carry him. He could hear the pounding of the forest cat's paws right behind him, and he sped up, not wanting to be caught. All he had done was catch a squirrel to eat, he didn't understand why he was being chased out. With his prey clamped firmly between his jaws, he sped through the woods until he reached an acrid smelling path. a Thunderpath, he thought, speeding across it. The clan cats were still chasing him. Just then, another cat burst out from one of the bushes and shoved one of his pursuers into the Thunderpath. The cat immediately was hit by a monster. The rest of his pursuers gaped at the cat's lifeless body, before running onto the path and picking up his body. Then they disappeared into the forest once more. Lion stared at his saviour in shock. The lithe reddish brown tom stared at him before asking him a question.
"Who are you?"
Lion realised he was gawping, and quickly closed his mouth, before responding, "M-my name is Lion." The cat nodded before saying, "I'm Flame. Nice to meet you. Are you part of a group?" Lion shook his head, confused. A group? Like the cats from the forest? Flame looked him up and down, sizing him up, before saying, "You're quite fast, and with the proper training, you could easily become a good fighter as well. Do you want to join my group?" Lion stared at him. "Join... your group?" Flame smiled. "Its clear you don't know anything about rogue life. Come with me." he mewed, before stalking off into the underbrush. Lion hesitated for a moment, before following him into the unknown.
Chapter 1: Welcome to Camp
As Flame padded through the thick underbrush, Lion had a hard time keeping up. Flame knew the area like the back of his paw, whereas Lion didn't even know where he was. He kept tripping and getting caught in brambles, while Flame chuckled. Soon, however, the underbrush began to thin out, and a clearing opened up in the middle of it. Lion looked around the clearing, before focusing his gaze on the abandoned twoleg storage nest. Multiple cats were lounging about there, some fighting, some eating, and some just talking to one another. He noticed that each of them had a strange marking on their fur - and "O" on their chest with a flame 🔥 marking inside it. He realised that Flame was leaving him behind, and quickly ran to keep up with him. He realised that Flame was walking towards the abandoned nest. Lion gulped nervously. Who was Flame taking him to? As they stepped inside the storage nest, a few guards looked at him suspiciously, but seeing as Flame was with him, they didn't bother him. Flame quickly saluted the guards, before padding up a flight of stairs to the top level. There, they came across a small crack in one of the walls. The crack was covered in lichen. Flame walked up to the crack, before banging on the wall three times with his paw. A cruel, cold voice came from within the crack. "Who is it?" Flame quickly replied, "Fang, it's me. Flame. I need to see Jagger."
The cat inside fell silent for a moment, before saying, "Of course. Come right in." Flame squeezed through the crack in the wall, gesturing with his tail for Lion to follow him. Lion hesitated, before squeezing through after him. After making it through the crack, he found himself in a stone room facing two cats. One of them was brown with a white muzzle and white paws, and the other was black with a single white paw and white tail tip. By the way the black and white cat held himself, he could tell that he was clearly the leader here. The black tom smiled. "So, Flame. You have finally brought me something that is worth my time, huh?" The black cat's voice was smooth and slick, yet icy cold at the same time. Lion guessed that the voice that came from the crack had to be the brown cat's then. His name must be Fang. Flame dipped his head in respect, though his tail twitched in annoyance. The leading cat didn't seem to notice. "Yes Jagger. This is Lion, sir. I rescued him from a few forest cats. He has potential, sir." Flame mewed. Jagger tipped his head. "Potential, you say? Very well. Take him to one of the empty nests and give him some food and water. We can test him tommorow." Lion gulped, and nodded. Flame dipped his head to Jagger before leading LIon out of the Storage Nest.
Chapter 2: The Den
Lion stared at the den that Flame had led him into. That is, if it could even be called a den. It was a mess of cardboard and trash bins stacked on top of each other. In the middle of the jumble of items was a hole that was sheltered by a wood plank. The hole led down into a roughly dug den-like cave with a tattered and torn cushion in the middle of it. Lion blinked. This was nothing like his comfy nest in Ravencreek Barn. Flame looked at him sheepishly. "Sorry, but this is all I can offer you. Right now, you're only a visitor, so your rank and privialge is kinda low." Flame explained. Lion blinked again. "Rank? Privilage?" Flame looked at him, before saying, "Oh right. I forgot how little you know. Your rank decides how important you are in this group. I'm a Member. That means I'm expected to do my duty for the group. Patrolling and fetching food for the higher-ups and such. Privilege's are decided by rank. The higher the rank, the better your privileges. You know, stuff like better dens, more food, stuff like that." Lion nodded. "My rank and privilege should be higher, but lets just say I don't have the best relationship with Jagger." Flame said, a trace of bitterness in his voice. Lion decided it would be best to delve further. "I'm going to sleep now." Lion mewed, seeing as it was getting dark outside. Flame nodded, leaving him alone in his den as he slowly slipped into unconciousness.
Flame woke up the next morning, only to find himself sloshing about in water that was knee deep. Confused, he sloshed about in the water until he reached the tunnel leading upwards out of his temporary den. He quickly clambered up the slope into the bright sunlight. Flame was there waiting for him. Lion noticed that Flame's paws were wet. "It rained last night," Flame mewed. "Like, really bad rain. All the dens that belonged to member rank or lower were flooded." Lion nodded. "I guess your den isn't as bad as mine, huh?" he asked. Flame nodded. "The water in my den was paw deep." he said. "I see." Lion mewed. Just then, a lithe black shape appeared out of nowhere. It was Jagger. "Its time for your little test." he purred, before stalking off. Lion hesitated for a moment, before following.
Chapter 3: Testing
Jagger led Lion into a small clearing with a few sharp rocks in it. "Hold still," he ordered, before picking up a sharp rock and throwing it at him. Lion was shocked, but he remembered Jagger's orders and held completely still. Sure enough, the rock only grazed the side of his ear. Jagger smiled. "Seems yer obedient enough to be part of this group," Jagger said, smiling cruelly. Lion nodded silently. Jagger nodded. "Now, follow me." he purred, stalking off again. Lion quickly ran after him. They came accross a Thunderpath, which Jagger bounded across almost immediately. Lion, not wanting to show fear in front of the slightly psychopathic leader, quickly bounded across after him. Jagger led him into a twoleg village. Kittypets milled around, but as soon as they saw Jagger they quickly backed into their twoleg nest fences. Jagger strode up nonchalantly to a bright white kittypet, who was trembling in fear. "Marco!" Jagger yowled, a grin on his face. "How are you?" "F-f-fine, sir!" Marco yelped. Jagger laughed. "Well thats good! I absolutely LOVED that little rebellion you attemped to start among the Kittypets!" Jagger said, grinning psychopathically. Marco gulped. "I-I was only joking..." he stuttered. Jagger's eyes narrowed. "Lion. Why don't you prove your loyalty to me. Tear him apart." Jagger ordered. Lion blinked. "K-k-kill him?" he asked. Jagger rolled his eyes. "Yes kill him!" he yowled, annoyed. Lion stuttered. "B-b-but..." Jagger hissed. "Fine! I'll do it MYSELF." he growled, leaping at the kittypet. Lion watched in horror as Marco collapsed on the ground, a bloodied hole in his jugular. Jagger turned to Lion, growling angrily. "You're worthless as a rogue," he spat. "Go back to where you came from. Come back when you've found a way to prove yourself!" Lion nodded and quickly ran off, not knowing where he could go.
Chapter 4: Hunted
Lion ran and ran until he found a route that he was familiar with. It was a route that led back to the barn. His pace slowed to a trot as he made his way through a bramble thicket and back to Ravencreek Barn. But something wasn't right. Cats he had never seen before were milling around on the Loner's territory, and a few terrified faces were peeking out from behind the barn entrance. One scent lingered around the area. The scent of clan cats. Lion whimpered softly. They were looking for him. This was not good.