Prologue - Firestar
A ginger tom sat beside a moonlit pool with his mate, silence filling the air except for the faint whisper of the breeze and the chirp of crickets.
The silence was broken by the she-cat, a sandy brown cat with sparkling green eyes, "Remember when you joined the Clan, Firestar?"
The ginger tom, Firestar, smiled as the memory flooded over him, "Yes, I remember. Graypaw, Spottedleaf, Bluestar... you, Sandpaw."
"I was so mean!" Sandstorm laughed, "I could never imagined that someday we would be like this: two mates, lying beside a pool in StarClan, our hearts aglow with love and joy, forever watching out kin, whether dead or alive."
Firestar smiled, "My roots must have been calling some of my kin. Two of them went to be a loner moons ago. Tulip is expecting Flameface's kits now."
Sandstorm purred, "Cats outside the Clans can do big things. No matter what, Clan or outside of the Clans, they will always have Firestar's blood in them. Look how you turned out, Rusty."
Firestar smiled at Sandstorm as he heard his kittypet name that had not been spoken since Bluestar gave him his apprentice name.
"I wish that I could live it all again," Firestar meowed.
Sandstorm's words echoed in his head, Cats outside the Clans can do big things.
No sooner than it had echoed in his head a few times, in the pool, he saw the moon as a blazing sun, and his own reflection as a she-cat. She was small and pale brown and white tabby with blue-green eyes. As he reached out to touch the water, the she-cat reached out and held her paw over ThunderClan territory, slipping it in place with the other territories, that were also covered by paws.
Firestar's breath stuck in his throat as the four paws held the Clan territories together and a murmur sounded in his ear, Storms are rising in the Clans, Firestar. Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Spring must become one to hold the four Clans in place.
Firestar sat in the small clearing, letting sunlight set his fur ablaze. He looked around at the cats joining him: Mistystar, Blackstar, and now Onestar.
"What have you called us here for, Firestar?" Blackstar growled, looking hostile, but nervous. Firestar suspected Blackstar had recieved the prophecy, along with Mistystar and Onestar.
"I have come to share a prophecy I recieved last night," Firestar began, watching as Onestar's fur bristled anxiously, "I was laying beside a small pool with Sandstorm, talking about nothing in particular, when I saw the moon blaze as a sun. I was reflected as a she-cat who held ThunderClan territory to the other territories with three other paws. I was greeted by a prophecy: 'Storms are rising in the Clans, Firestar. Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Spring must become one to hold the four Clans in place'."
Firestar let that sink in, seeing Blackstar look around nervously.
Mistystar broke the silence, "I saw it and heard it, too! I was swimming in the stream when I saw myself trapped in ice, my reflection a silver tom."
Onestar nodded, "Me, too. I was getting a drink when I saw myself as a gray she-cat lazing in the grass and flowers."
Blackstar growled, "I saw this, too, but I was a dark ginger tom and my claws were clogged with fallen leaf-fall leaves."
Firestar purred with satisfaction at being correct, then meowed, "This means something. The Clans will fight like never before soon. And those cats that we saw, apparently kin of our loner kin have to save the Clans."
Onestar, Blackstar, and Mistystar looked at each other.
"We need to help in any way we can," Onestar declared.
"How should we do that and make sure that the Clans will be safe?" Mistystar asked.
"What must we protect the Clans from. They have been fighting for uncountable moons now," Blackstar meowed, "What should a little fighting do to hurt them?"
"I..." Firestar mumbled, "I don't know... But back in the Clans, something terrible will happen... and we just have to figure out how to help save the Clans we once knew."
Chapter 1 - Summerpaw
"Hey, Summerkit, do you think that Snakepoppy will love our squirrel?" Hawkkit asked though a mouthful of fur as he and Stonekit dragged a small, but very plump squirrel. "Me and Stonekit were the one who caught it,"
Summerkit's ocean-colored eyes widen. "She's going to love the squirrel. I'm sure Redwave will too,"
Hawkkit's eyes shone brightly as Stonekit nodded, calmly meeting Summerkit's gaze.
"Well, are we going to just stand here like a squirrel- er, I mean a dead squirrel-" Summerkit meowed, making Hawkkit giggle and Stonekit smile. "-or are we going to take this to them?"
"Let's take it to them while it's still fresh," Stonekit meowed, clearing his throat. "I would like to hear one of their stories before we become apprentices,"
Summerkit nodded in agreement. So far, Ashenpaw, the medicine cat apprentice along with Echopaw and Wolfpaw are working their paws off to help the clan. Pretty soon, she, Hawkkit, and Stonekit will be apprentices. Summerkit was anxious to see who her mentor for the next six moons is, but she pushes it away.
"Come on, then. Let's get this to Snakepoppy," She padded over to help Stonekit carry the squirrel and made their way to the elders' den.
"Hello, you three," Snakepoppy purred as Summerkit and Stonekit dragged the squirrel to her, Hawkkit tagging along behind. I still don't get why she is called Snakepoppy, Summerkit thought, giving the elder a respectful nod. Redwave says that Snakepoppy was a very vicious fighter when she was still a warrior, but she seems so kind.
"Good afternoon, Snakepoppy," Stonekit meowed, dipping his head as Hawkkit give her a wave of hello.
"Hello, Summerkit and- who is who again?" Snakepoppy asked Stonekit and Hawkkit.
Summerkit stiffed a purr as the two toms exchanged a glance. She had forgotten that almost no one in the clan could tell these two apart like she can. They both have the same dark tabby-and-white fur and the same ice-blue eyes. But Stonekit was blind and their personalities were very different.
"I'm Hawkkit and he's Stonekit... the blind one," Hawkkit meowed as Stonekit bristled. Summerkit knows that Stonekit hate that cats sometimes used his blindness as an excuse, but she knows that could help him.
"Anyway, we brought a squirrel for you and Redwave," Hawkkit continued as Summerkit and Stonekit padded over to her and placed the squirrel at her paws.
"Can you tell us a story?" Summerkit meowed brightly as the calico elder took a bite of the squirrel.
"Of course, little one," Snakepoppy meowed. "Just give me a moment to finish my half,"
Summerkit nodded and padded over to sit next to Stonekit, who was looked very annoyed. Summerkit watched as Snakepoppy elegantly ate the squirrel, saving part of it for Redwave, who was fast asleep.
"Okay," Snakepoppy meowed. "Do you want to hear the story of the Battle of the Stars?"
"Sure!" Summerkit and Hawkkit meowed while Stonekit nodded solemnly.
"Okay, did I tell when..." Snakepoppy began. Summerkit remained silent up until Snakepoppy mentioned the legendary ThunderClan leader, Firestar. She instantly began to think of what her mother told her four months before...
Summer mewled frantically as her mother, Tulip carried her. Tulip's eyes had dark circles from the lack of sleep while her fur was unkempt and ragged, but she kept on going, keeping her back to the forest.
"Mamma," Summer asked, looking up at her mother with frightened eyes. "Where are we going?"
"Your father used to be a clan cat. So you are going to ThunderClan..." Tulip mumbled.
"What about you and father?" Summer asked as her mother deposits her on the ground.
Tulip shakes her head. "I'm not staying here, little one. My heart belongs not to the clan cats," She bent down and gives her a lick on the ears. "I'll miss you, Summer..."
That was the last time I saw her. Summerkit thought sadly. A loud yowl interrupted her thoughts.
"Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey join here beneath the Highledge for a Clan meeting!"
It's time for our apprentice ceremonies already? Summerkit looked up at her friends who looked just as confused.
"Well, are you three going to go or what?" Snakepoppy meowed, flicking her tail. "I'll stay here with Redwave,"
"Of course," Summerkit meowed, excited. She turned to Stonekit and Hawkkit who were also nodding in agreement. "Let's go then," She raced out of the den, Hawkkit and Stonekit by her heels.
"Summerkit, sit still. I don't want you to look like a mess," Shiningsky, Stonekit and Hawkkit's mother meowed as she quickly groomed Summerkit.
"But I'm old enough to groom myself," Summerkit complained. As soon as Shiningsky finished, Summerkit shook out her fur and padded over to Hawkkit and Stonekit, who were sitting underneath the Highledge.
"Stonekit, Hawkkit, and Summerkit," Hurricanestar began after the cats gathered. "You three have reached the age of six moons, and it is time for you to be apprenticed. Hawkkit, come forward,"
Summerkit could hardly contain her excitement as Hawkkit is called up. He stepped forward, his eyes shining.
"From this day on, until you receive your warrior name, you will be known as Hawkpaw. Your mentor will be Tigerpelt," A black-striped ginger tom steps forward. "I hope you pass everything you know on to Hawkpaw,"
"Hawkpaw, Hawkpaw!" Summerkit chants as Hawkpaw touches noses with his mentor.
"Stonekit, come forward," Hurricanestar meowed after the chanting died down.
"Good luck, Stonekit," Summerkit whispered to him as he passed her.
"Stonekit, from this day on, until you receive your warrior name, you will be known as Stonepaw. Your mentor will be-" Hurricanestar looked around before saying, "-Braveflame," Lucky! Summerkit watched jealously as Braveflame stepped forward, her blue eyes calm. "I hope you pass everything you know on to Stonepaw,"
"Stonepaw, Stonepaw!" As she chanted his name, Summerkit noticed a faint smile on Stonepaw's face when he faces her, his ice blue eyes reflecting the sunlight. She smiled back, even though she know he can't see it.
"Summerkit, come forward," Summerkit heard Hurricanestar meow. Ignoring the butterflies in her stomach, she took a deep breath and padded forward, looking up at the sleek white shape of her leader.
"From this day on, until you receive your warrior name, you will be known as Summerpaw. Your mentor will be Forestshade," Summerpaw's heart fluttered as Forestshade padded forward. He was one of ThunderClan's youngest warriors, but he had the skills and knowledge to be a mentor. "I hope you pass everything you know on to Summerpaw,"
"Summerpaw, Summerpaw!" Summerpaw heard her clanmates meow as she touched noses with her mentor, meeting his gold flecked green eyes with her own ocean-colored ones.
"I'll try to be the best mentor I can be," Forestshade whispered to her, smoothing his tabby and white pelt.
"Meeting over! Everyone back to your duties!" Hurricanestar yowled before leaping off the Highledge and going to talk to some of the Clan's senior warriors.
As everyone else left, Summerpaw turned back to her best friends, trying hard to keep herself from bursting in excitement as their mentors are watching and the other apprentices are watching.
"I can't believe we are apprentices!" Summerpaw said with an excited squeal. Stonepaw nodded in agreement.
"So where are we going to sleep?" Hawkpaw meowed. "Where are we going to go?"
"That's purely up to your mentors to decide," Wolfpaw meowed. "I'll tell you guys where to sleep later,"
Summerpaw nodded as Stonepaw turned to Braveflame. "Where are we going to go?"
Braveflame straightened herself, her fiery-ginger fur glowing in the sunlight. "Me and Tigerpelt are going to explore the territory. Forestshade, can you and Summerpaw pass by the ShadowClan border? Crowflight and Shadelight found some fresh ShadowClan scent there today and Hurricanestar wants someone to patrol there,"
"Summerpaw and I were going to do some basic training, but I guess we'll pass by there first," Forestshade meowed, dipping his head at the deputy. "Come along, Summerpaw,"
Summerpaw nodded and turned back to her friends. "See you guys later." She meowed before running after him.
Summerpaw stared wide-eyed around her as she followed Forestshade through the forest, struggling to keep up with him on her short legs.
"Forestshade, where's the stream?" Summerpaw asked as she bounced alongside of him.
"It's just up ahead," Forestshade replied before turning to her. "What do you think of the territory so far?"
"Well-I- uh...-" Summerpaw ducked her head in embarrassment. "I don't know. It's pretty amazing to me,"
Forestshade purred as they arrived to the stream. He lifted his head to sniff the air.
"Odd. Braveflame said that the scent was fresh, but now it's pretty stale," Forestshade muttered.
Summerpaw nodded as her nose caught a whiff of ShadowClan scent which smelled like rotting crow-food. She winced as her mentor looked around for something. She watched Forestshade sigh in annoyance.
"Mousebrains," She heard him mutter. "They probably wanted to start a fight with them," He shook out his tabby and white fur. "Come on, Summerpaw. Let's start training,"
Summerpaw brightened when he said that. Finally! Let's start!
"Okay. So what are we going to start with?" Summerpaw meowed, bouncing on her paws.
Forestshade twitched his whiskers. "Come down, will you? You're acting like an energenic squirrel- Well, like you aren't one everyday with your happy-go-lucky attitude. Let's start with something simple,"
"Like a hunter's crouch?" Summerpaw had seen Wolfpaw and Echopaw practice that with their mentors back at camp and tried it out on Shiningsky, successfully pouncing nearly perfectly onto her tail.
"Yes. But I have seen you do it before and very well, too. Crouches like those are not only good for hunting, you know?" Forestshade meowed, pointing with the tip of his tail at a bush.
"But they're also good for ambushes, huh, Forestshade?" Summerpaw turned to see who said that as a shadow emerge from a tree and fly at Forestshade, knocking him off his paws and pinning to the ground.