'('E/N - Guys, can you all look at my comment on the talk page please? Every user can only have one main character, the rest are for everyone to maim, attack, kill, whatever. *Mwa ha ha ha.* Ok? Goodie! Thanks, - Zaffie.)
Shadowfoot - Muscular gray tabby tom with black paws and muzzle, formerly of SunClan.
Swiftheart - Lithe grey tabby tom with clear amber eyes, former member of SunClan. (Ravenflight)
Icebreeze - Grey tabby she-cat with ice-blue eyes, formerly of RainClan. (Leopardkit)
Gorsefoot - Big dark brown tom with blue eyes, formerly of RainClan.
Shadepool - Calico she-cat with green eyes and many scars across shoulders and muzzle, formerly of RainClan. (Shigura)
Dawnlight - Cream she-cat with blue eyes, formerly of MoonClan. (Maplefern)
Echoflight - Spotted pale grey she-cat with blue eyes, formerly of MoonClan.
Maliceheart - Large dark tabby with burgandy eyes, formerly of MoonClan. (Star)
Talonpaw - Brown-ginger tom with light amber eyes, formerly of Rainclan.
Hailpaw - Pure snow-white she-cat, graceful slender shape, bright blue eyes, and a flowing tail, formerly of RainClan. (Hiddensun)
Emberpaw - Mottled grey tom with green eyes, formerly of MoonClan.
Sunkit - Small, orange-yellow she-cat with dark amber eyes, formerly of SunClan. (Zaffie)
Frostkit - Spotted she-cat with icy blue eyes, formerly of MoonClan. (Petalbreeze)
Ridge - A large, battle-scarred brown tabby tom-cat with large green eyes.
Bird - Light brown tabby she-cat with green eyes.
Creek - Black tom with river blue eyes.
Margot - Very pale ginger she-cat with white paws and green eyes.
Creed - Large, fearsome, battle scarred black mutt with one eye.
Bear - Huge shaggy brown dog.
Fang - Thick-furred black-and-white dog with one brown eye and one blue.
Adelar- Brown and white splotched dog with dark blue eyes. (E/N - Whoever did Adelar, I love the name, but dogs only occasionally have very pale blue eyes, and only border collies. Fang works, but can you change Adelar? Thanks - Zaffie.)
(E/N - I'm calling my notes Editor's Notes now so that you know it's me. Ha ha. I think the chapters might be getting a bit too short, we seem only to have a very short chapter per character. I like that way of doing it, but could we just extend the chapters a bit more? Thanks guys. - Zaffie.) The moonlight shone radiantly upon the scorched forest. No leaves remained on the trees which once belonged to the Clans. No undergrowth remained on the ground. The River was nearly dry. The fire had consumed everything. The survivors of the fire, a few, scrawny cats which were on the brink of death, slowly padded alongside the remains of the forest, looking at the destruction caused by the fingers of the raging fire. From the distance, two cats looked at the few remaining cats, their eyes glowing happily at their misery.
"The fire we lit worked, Bird." a battle-scarred brown tabby tom meowed to his companion, a light brown tabby she-cat. "The Clans are scattered and dead."
"Most of them." Bird noted. "Some have survived."
Ridge's gaze fixed on a small kit racing along beside the burning trees, mewling for its mother.
"Not for long." he hissed, his voice full of menace. "Margot!"
A ginger she-cat stepped from the shadows and took her place next to the two. She bowed her head and mewed, "What is it you need, Ridge?"
Ridge's mew was distant as he stared at the lone kit, "I need you to..."
"Ridge?" Margot called him.
The distant gaze instanly left his face and was replaced with a ferocious snarl.
"Make sure that the clans stay scattered! I don't want anyone interfering with my plans, got it?" he snarled and spat in a rage. "As long as they don't join together, the dogs will soon kill them all."
Sunkit stumbled away from the burning trees. She had thought she had seen some cats on a ridge above the burning forest, but when she had approached them, they had gone away. Sunkit didn't know where anyone was. The fire had flared up inside the SunClan camp, and, in the rush to escape, Sunkit had been separated from her mother. Now, she was hurrying away from where the SunClan camp had been, looking desperately for any cat who could help her.
She heard a few cats yowling in pain, but it slowly died away as the fire continued. She wondered if one of them was her mother. She couldn't bear that thought.
"No! Not Dovefeather!" A horrified wail came from the fire. Before Sunkit could react, a large gray tom came running out of the fire, the corpse of a white she-cat at his black paws. The tom, whom Sunkit recognized as Shadowfoot, let out a wail of misery.
"Mummy?" Sunkit murmured softly.
"You, you killed her!" Shadowfoot snarled, "She would have escaped if she hadn't been looking for you!"
Sunkit gulped, wondering why Shadowfoot was so furious. She hadn't killed her mummy, had she?
Shadowfoot flicked his gray tabby tail in annoyance, before turning away. Settling down beside her mother, Sunkit watched as the flames came steadily closer to her, consuming SunClan territory forever.
Shadowfoot pawed at the ground furiously, and growled. Sunkit backed away; she wasn't used to Shadowfoot being so angry. Feeling ashamed, Sunkit turned away from the fire and began to wander away from the scene. Before should could get far, Shadowfoot was back in her path, his fur on end.
"You don't understand, do you?" Shadowfoot snarled through clenched teeth, "Icestar is dead! Dovefeather is dead! Most of your Clanmates are dead! SunClan is dead! If you hadn't gone wandering off, then some of them might still be alive!"
Sunkit gasped. She was only young, it wasn't fair that Shadowfoot should lay these accusations on her. He should help her, but maybe it was her fault after all.
"I... I'm sorry." Sunkit whispered, peeking up at Shadowfoot, hoping that he would forgive her now. Now, the harsh look on his face was replaced with a soft, forgiving one. Shadowfoot let out a sigh.
"Come on." he muttered grumpily. Sunkit followed him away from the destruction.
Icebreeze was galloping across the stark ground, smoke blocking her sight. Her apprentice, Talonpaw, was on his final assessment. She lost his scent when they were running. "Talonpaw!" Icebreeeze cried. "Talonpaw!" She echoed into the smoke. He was her dead brother's only kit to survive into apprenticeship was missing in the smoke. "Gorsefoot!" she yelled hopelessly, hoping for her clanmate to appear. "Shadepool!" "Brightpelt!" Icebreeze screeched, but she knew her elderly foster mother wasn't coming back... forever. "Brightpelt! BRIGHTPELT!" Icebreeze would never give up hope for the loving cat that raised her. She was running away from the flames that engulfed the forest.
"Help! He-Help me!" came a terrified wail. Icebreeze went to the sound to find a weak voice of her nephew, her apprentice. "Talonpaw! I'm here." Icepool took the young cat by the scruff and was trying to take him out of the forest, but she could hardly breathe. She stumbled over burning twigs and branches until she came to the Riverbank. She dropped to the ground, panting hard, every breath clawing her throat like gorse. Talonpaw's breath was just as rasping, and was growing slower and more labored with every heartbeat. Her heart lurched.
"No, Talonpaw, we still have such a long way to go. Stay with me, please!" But the apprentice knew what would happen. "Go, Icebreeze, G-Go" Talonpaw coughed. He did not want to be saved if it would give up Icebreeze's last chance of surviving. Suddenly, a burning tree crashed right next to Icebreeze; the smoke was so thick that she could only run blindly, straight into the paws of a Twoleg...
The white she-cat moved swifty around the furious flames. The smoke was irritating her eyes and she could feel the pain in her lungs.
She had been outside camp with her sister trying to proven themselves to be as good as any of the other apprentices, but it had all gone wrong.
Her sister had smelled smoke and had rushed towards camp. Hailpaw had tried following her, but yet couldn't find her.
"Fogpaw!!!" she cried, her voice cracking from the pain in her lungs.
She had heard some calling voices before that she thought belonged to Icebreeze, but she kept seeking for her sister.
"Fog-" she coughed "paw!"
She had to save her sister, even if it was the last thing she did.
She was the only family she had left - her mother died when a monster hit her in the thunderpath soon after Hailpaw and her sister had been born and her father had died of greencough.
Hailpaw tried sniffing the air trying to find some scent that would lead her to her sister, but all she smelled was smoke and burning trees.
"Hailpaw!!!" she heard a faint cry coming from where the old nursery used to be.
She headed there, hoping and praying to starclan that Fogpaw would be fine. As she neared the nursery she saw fames covering it. Burning all of it and setting ashes flying on the air.
She rushed inside as fast as she could, feelign her weak breath and getting suffocated by the heat of the den.
That's when she saw her. Her sister's pale silver pelt curled in a corner where flames had yet not reached.
"Fogpaw!" she cried running towards her sister.
Her sister turned her face weakely to face her and half opened her teary eyes.
"Hailpaw...yo..you have ...to..ge..get out.." she meowed, her sweet voice now turned into a weak dying voice.
"No!! I have to get you out! You'll be fine-don't worry." Hailpaw meowed, trying to sound soothing, and trying to comvince herself what she had just said.
"N...no...I..You..have to..save yourself...I have no hope...it's my end..not yours."
"No! You'll be fine." Hailpaw meowed as she started pulling Fogpaw out.
With one paw, Fogpaw pushed Hailpaw, surprising her.
"No..get out...do it for me...for mom and dad...please...just go..let me go to them...it's my time to join the..them."
"No!" Hailpaw said, tears now runnign down her cheaks. "No, no..no"
But she knew it was true. She could do nothing more.
"Go..." meowed her sister.
"You'll be fine. Mom and dad will be happy to see you. I'll never forget you." Hailpaw meowed.
Fogpaw nodded with her eyes closed and with that Hailpaw ran out as fast as she could out of the nursery.
The falling and breaking down nursery.
Out of camp.
The smoke stung Echoflight's eyes as she searched desperately for her apprentice, Emberpaw. She scented the acrid smell of burning fur as her whiskers grazed a burning log. They had been standing at the entrance to the MoonClan camp, preparing to go on a hunting patrol, when Emberpaw scented smoke. Soon, they were blindly struggling to outrace roaring flames.
"Emberpaw!" called Echoflight, voice hoarse from smoke. "Follow me!" She tried to run back to the camp, but a fallen tree blocked the entrance, the only way in or out. If Emberpaw was still there, his chances of survival were slim. Echoflight had to focus on saving herself. She ran along the River, up into the hills. MoonClan is dead. She repeated the grim fact to herself over and over, but it still didn't sound real. MoonClan is dead. You have to look out for yourself now, because no one else will.
Maliceheart choked as he crouch low to the ground, trying to avoid the smoke. He slowly crawled his large tabby body from the burning camp and out to the forest which burned aorund him. He ran for his life, feeling the flames licking dangerously at his fur. In a last ditch attempt, he leaped into the river, the current immediately sweeping him away and dragging him under. Now he wasn't running from flames but trying not to drown.
The river rushed him along, taking him under every so often and to have him come up gasping for breath. Finally he managed to grab onto a piece of charred wood as the current slowed. Maliceheart looked around weakly at the shore and made small attempts to escape the current to no avail and his strength began to fail him. suddenly he saw a cat on the shore.
"Echoflight! help! " he called weakly, his lungs full of smoke and water still. slowly he felt his claws slipping from the burnt wood " Help!" Echoflight's eyes snapped to the slow moving river and her clan-mate hanging weakly onto the driftwood. former clan-mate She reminded herself
"Ok stay there Maliceheart," she ordered as he coughed up black stuff into the water. quickly she followed him along the edge of the river before shivering and leaping into the water herself. She felt icy water seep into her pelt as she paddled fiercely towards Maliceheart. At last she reached the tom and grabbed him by his scruff as he slipped off the wood.
"Thanks," he coughed at her as she struggled to keep both of them a float and she paddled towards the shore. When they were finally upon dry land again, Maliceheart plopped out on the shore, breathing heavily, choking up black soot and water. Echoflight sighed.
"You okay?" she asked him, and he nodded his head
"MoonClan's gone isn't it?" Maliceheart asked in a hoarse tone
A cream she-cat sprinted through the enflamed forest in terror. She frantically swung her head around, desperate to find her lost clanmates. "Help!" she screamed as the fire licked at her heels. The burning sensation that ran through her body scorched her skin and the fumes from the smoke made her feel light headed. She yowled again, her cry straining to get over the uproar, "Please, help! Anyone!"
Dawnlight felt her head spin so fast that she had to fight the urge to vomit. With one last cry, Dawnlight fell onto the forest floor.
"H-help..."Dawnlight's eyes scanned the clearing in a last attempt to survive. She examined the clearing,
And her eyes fell upon an ash stained body.
Suddenly, Dawnlight felt a renewed energy run through her at the sight of the tiny cat. She walked over to it and gasped in shock. Splayed out on the ground was the torso of the youngest member of MoonClan, Frostkit. Her white leopard print body had been stained ashen gray by the smoke in the air and her eyes were tight shut. Dawnlight put an ear to the kit's stomach. For a moment, Dawnlight could hear the faintest beat of her heart. Thank goodness, the kit was alive. She must have been knocked out by the fumes.
"Frost, hey Frost," Dawnlight whispered urgently. The kit didn't budge.
Seeing as the cascade of flame was approaching rapidly, Dawnlight clenched Frostkit's scruff in her jaws and raced to escape the inferno.
"Don't worry Frostkit," Dawnlight thought, "I'll save you."
The kit said nothing, she just dangled aimlessly as Dawnlight ran.
Dawnlight kept rushing though she her lungs bellowed for air and her world spun.
She swayed her head back and forth looking for an exit, but the forest path was lined with scorching flames.
I'm sorry Frostkit, I've failed you.
Dawnlight began to slow, excepting the fact that this was the end.
Suddenly, a figure burst through the barrier of fire and began pushing Dawnlight along with her. Dawnlight looked up to catch a glimpse of her savior, a horribly scarred calico she-cat.
"W-who are you?" Dawnlight coughed through the smoky fumes.
The cat said nothing, she rather picked up Frostkit in her jaws and kicked heated ash into Dawnlight's face.
Dawnlight thrashed in pain, "What was that for?"
The calico snarled, "I saw you start the fire, Margot! I won't let you take the life of this kit as well!"
The calico scornfuly laughed, "Don't play dumb, I saw you and Bird start the fire! Don't you dare deny it!"
"I have no idea what you're talking about!" Dawnlight screeched, on her last nerve. She felt the tension in the Calico she-cat dissappear, then was helped to her paws. After wiping the dirt from her eyes, Dawnlight looked up at the she-cat, recognizing her as Shadepool, a RainClan cat.
"Sorry... I guess I was being hasty. You... you're Dawnlight, aren't you? Weren't you at that gathering...? The one before..." Shadepool meowed, her eyes full of sorrow of as gently dropped Frostkit, "Everything is gone. I... RainClan... everything... is gone."
Dawnlight wrapped her cream tail gently around Shadepool's scarred shoulders, before letting out a sigh. "Don't tell me Adderscale died in the fire...?"
Shadepool nodded. "My mate, my kits... everything..."
Dawnlight nudged Frostkit's still body with her nose. To her relief, the tiny kit startled, and then curled up in a ball at Shadepool's amber-and-black paws.
"Who was that Margot you were talking about...?" Dawnlight whispered, now curious.
Shadepool sighed. "Margot is a foul, mangy piece of Crow-food. She's part of some group that we've seen around RainClan territory. I was out on a patrol with Adderscale and my apprentice, Leafpaw, when we saw Margot and one of her friends, Bird, start the fire. Leafpaw risked his life getting me away from the fire..."
Dawnlight felt a strike of pity for Shadepool. After all, Leafpaw had been her apprentice...
"I'm...I'm so sorry," Dawnlight cooed.
Dawnlight caught a faint glimpse of warmth in the calico's eyes, but it soon was covered by a hard, determined expression.
"The past is the past," Shadepool meowed solemnly, "The most important thing now is that you two are okay."
Dawnlight looked back at Frostkit. The tiny she-kit was still unconcious, but her breathing had gone back to normal. "Do you think Frostkit be okay?"
Shadepool looked grave, "I'm not sure, you're a medicine cat, aren't you?"
"I'm only an apprentice! I'm barely even fifteen moons!"
Shadepool sighed, "Yes, that is true," she looked back at Frostkit, "But I'm worried. That kit is terribly injured, we have to take care of her soon or no doubt she'll die."
"Please, do you know a place we could stay, at least until Frostkit gets better?"
Shadepool picked up Frostkit and flicked her tail, signaling Dawnlight to follow her.
"Come with me."
Sunkit hung limp from Shadowfoot's jaws. She was starting to get very uncomfortable, and longed to wriggle into a better position, but she knew from experience that if she wriggled, whoever was carrying her would get very very cross. Shadowfoot had said that he was taking her to a Twoleg place, one that all three Clans in this area knew about. The Twolegs looked after their nests, it couldn't have been burnt down like everywhere else, could it?
"We're almost there." Shadowfoot mumbled around Sunkit. Sunkit could still hear the sorrow raw in his voice. Shadowfoot missed SunClan. Sunkit missed it too.
I wasn't even an apprentice yet. She thought grumpily. Suddenly, looming ahead, huge, and dark, and scary, Sunkit saw the Twoleg nest.
Icebreeze scratched and spat at the Twoleg, desperate to get away. She didn't even know where. The Twoleg let go of her with a hiss of pain, and Icebreeze ran, letting her legs take her where they would, not caring where she was going. Her eyes were shut, and streaming from all the smoke in the air. Her no=strils ached with the pressure of breathing the smoke, and her whole body had an acrid tang all over it. Ahead of her, Icebreeze could just distinguish the scent of the river from the scent of the smoke. She dashed towards it, then ran headlong into two cats, one of them supporting the other, who was dripping wet.
Hailpaw coughed and choked her way away from her sister. In the core of her mind was the fear that Fogpaw was still alive, and that Hailpaw had left her to die. Hailpaw crushed her fear down, and kept on running. She had seen the Twoleg nest nearby a few times when she was patrolling, and she knew that it was surrounded by a shallow yet wide river. Hailpaw was heading for the nest now, hoping that the fire wouldn't have reached it. Hailpaw could feel the fire scorching her tail and fur even now. It was catching up. Then, Hailpaw saw the nest. She ran towards it, ignoring the feeling that there were cats watching her.
Maliceheart leant on Echoflight as they made their way away from the river. Suddenly, a flying bundle of smoke stained grey fur crashed into them. Maliceheart staggered. He peered at the grey she-cat. He didn't recognise her, and the smoke hid Clan scent, but he was certain that she wasn't from MoonClan.
"Icebreeze!" Echoflight cried out. She recognised the cat from Gatherings. Maliceheart hadn't been to as many as Echoflight had, but then Echoflight was the medecine cat of MoonClan, Dawnlight's mentor.
Although, Maliceheart thought. There isn't a MoonClan any more, is there.
It was hard to keep reminding himself.
"We were heading for the Twoleg nest. Do you want to join us?" Echoflight asked. Icebreeze nodded.
"I'll help you, um..." she trailed off.
"Maliceheart." Maliceheart mumbled. "Thank you."
Icebreeze stood on Maliceheart's other side, and the three cats hastened towards the nest. They didn't see the slight figure watching them, nor hear Margot's furious hiss.
Shadepool led Dawnlight and Frostkit towards the Twoleg nest that had been near the edge of RainClan's territory. Dawnlight was carrying Frostkit. The little kit had only woken once, when Shadepool was carrying her, and only for a heartbeat, then she had fainted again. Shadepool felt grief weighing her down, but she pushed the sorrow away, and concentrated on the frail life behind her that hung in the balance. If Frostkit died, it would be like losing her two kits over again.
Shadepool stepped into the nest, and saw two cats confronting each other within, while a kit lay exhausted nearby. One of the arguing cats was quite big, and muscular, with grey tabby fur. The other was smaller, maybe an apprentice, and seemed to have white fur under the smoke.
"You can't come here, we were here first." snarled the tom.
"I need somewhere to go, and the nest is big enough for all of us." the other retorted. Shadepool recognised that voice.
"Hailpaw!" she called. The cat who had once been Shadepool's mate's apprentice bounded over.
"Shadepool! Have you seen Adderscale?" she asked eagerly.
Shadepool nodded slowly. "I'm sorry, Hailpaw, he's dead."
Hailpaw's depe blue eyes suddenly looked dark with pain as she turned around looking down at her paws with sadness.
Sunkit watched the other cats. Shadowfoot had retreated to a corner, sulking. The apprentice and the calico she-cat were pressed close together. They looked sad. And the last cat, a cream she-cat, was padding over to Sunkit, carrying a limp spotted bundle in her jaws. Sunkit wriggled away, hoping the strange cats wouldn't come too close to her, then was distracted by movement at the entrance. Three cats staggered in. The cream she-cat put down the cat and yowled.
"Maliceheart! Echoflight! Over here!"
Maliceheart and Echoflight bounded over, leaving the third cat on her own. Sunkit wriggled further away, then heard another cry.
"Icebreeze, we're here! It's me, Shadepool, and Hailpaw!"
The third cat padded over to the apprentice and the other cat. Sunkit watched with a detached interest. Then, a cat came in who seemed familiar. He caught sight of her and came over.
"Hello Sunkit." he murmured softly. Sunkit recognised Swiftheart, who had been Dovefeather's brother, and Sunkit's friend when he came and played in the nursery.
"Frostkit... do you think she'll be alright, Dawnlight?" Shadepool meowed quietly. Dawnlight sat beside Frostkit, licking the kit desperately. Suddenly, Shadepool let out a wail of pain.
"What's wrong, Shadepool?" Dawnlight whispered, worriedly, "Do you have a burn?"
Shadepool shook her head, and looked at her stomach. It was strangely round, and then it stuck her; Shadepool was expecting kits. Adderscale's, to be exact.
"Kits." Shadepool declared simply, "Webface told me I might be expecting some. I didn't think I would, though... it's not right for a deputy to have kits..."
Shadepool shook her head. She wasn't a deputy anymore. She was a rogue. Looking up at Dawnlight delicately, Shadepool knew immediately what Dawnlight was thinking. She had to nurse Frostkit, or the kit would die.
"You aren't the deputy anymore, Shadepool," said Dawnlight. "We're rogues."
Shadepool realized the truth in those worlds. Dawnlight was right, in and out. The Clans would never return. Her only option was to survive as a rogue... or die.
Somewhere out in the forest...
As the fire began to at last extinguish, the faint pawsteps of many cats could be heard. At the front, was the brown tabby tom. Beside him was Margot, and to his other side was Bird.
"I see no survivors here." Ridge spat, stepping on the corpse of a dead she-cat. He gave his shoulder a quick lick before turning to face the trail of followers that were behind him.
Margot opened her mouth to speak, but shyed away in fear of Ridge's wrath. Bird shot an annoyed look at her partner and decided to tell Ridge herself.
"Ridge," the light tabby she-cat began, "The problem is, Margot and I spotted a few survivors. They are finding each other, banding together."
Bird gazed at Ridge's rigid torso, "...R-Ridge?"
Ridge remained silent, his distant gaze fixated on the charred trees ahead. Bird nervously took a step forward and meowed, "Ridge?"
In one fluid motion, Ridge swerved around, his hooked claws slashing across Bird's coarse cheek. Bird staggered back, yowling in pain. Blood seeped from the wound as she forced herself to look up, her green eyes meeting Ridge's cold glare.
"What do you mean, Bird? You and Margot were supposed to take care of the clans!" Ridge stepped forward which caused the two she-cats to flinch back. "Now, tell me, how could there be survivors?"
Icebreeze shuddered, her tail dragging on the ground, her pelt matted and singed. Her heart was worse; her eyes clouded with sorrow. Windpelt, I-I failed you. Talonpaw is dead. I promised you, I swore to protect him as your dying wish... I failed. I failed you... Her mind kept repeating. The bitter winds of dusk was setting in, and Icebreeze had no nest to sleep. Her belly growled with hunger pains, but all the prey had perished or scattered. Where were the survivors? Were there any left in her clan? Did they all perish in the deadly flames? Did they all join the ancestors they worshipped together. Why? Why had Starclan punished them? No deadly battles for moons, no treachery, it was a time of peace for Rainclan- except for the rogue attacks. But they couldn't have been punished. Rainclan had done nothing to deserve this... Nothing.
With a heavy heart, Icebreeze collasped on the crisp, burning-hot forest floor. Why had she been cursed to live. Why hadn't an innocent cat, a cat who deserve a chance at life. Icebreeze was a senior warrior; she had a full life. Now, her lost clanmates had none.
A sharp scent caught her attenion. But it wasn't clan.
It was rogue.
A dark tom leaped up and tackled the weary cat. He bit down, while Icebreeze weakly fought to get him off. "You!" he spat at her. "You lived. You were supposed to die!"
Icebreeze gasped; These cats set the fire. They destroyed her clan. She raked her opponents belly, leaping up and clawing his already-clawed face.