This is the second book of my FireClan series. If you want to understand this book, be sure to read book one first. You can find it here. Any characters whose names and or traits are similar to another writer's cat is pure coincedence. For those of you who want to know when this happens, it's shortly after Sunset. The story goes on!

Badgerpaw



-FireClan



Allegiances

FireClan

Leader

Thunderstar- Huge Golden Tom

Deputy

Rockfoot- Big Dark Brown Tom

Medicine Cat

Foxtail- Dark Ginger She-Cat

Warriors

Sunpelt- Golden Tom

Hornetstrike- Light Brown and White Tom

Shadepelt- Dark Gray She-Cat

Icestorm- White She-Cat

Shorttail- Black and White Tom with Shortened Tail

Shellclaw- Light Gray Tom

Turtlefur- Tortoishell She-Cat

Ratfur- Dark Brown Tom

Emberfoot- Black Tom with Ginger Feet

Dapplesky- Gray She-Cat wth White Patches

Runningfire- Ginger Tom

Cindertail- White She-Cat with Gray tipped Tail

Treeleaf- Brown She-Cat with White Patches

Apprentices

Badgerpaw- White Tom with Black Stripes

Dragonpaw- Tortoiseshell Tom

Firepaw- Ginger Tom

Timberpaw- Dark Brown Tom

Talonpaw- Black and Brown Tom

Leafpaw- Cream Colored Tom

Barkpaw- Cream Colored Tom with Brown Stripes

Queens

Troutfur- Tortoiseshell She-Cat (Mother of Thunderstar's kits, Swampkit and Flarekit)

Mistheart- Gray She-Cat (Mother of Shellclaw's kits, Riverkit and Seakit)

Elders

Patchfur- Almost Hairless Gray Tom


Cats Outside of Clans

Dead- Huge Gray Tom with Black Flecks

Hog- Dark Brown Tom



Prolouge

It was Greenleaf by the lake, yes the lake. A while after his clan settled, twolegs began to destroy the territories. His clan wasn't very effected, they had built their camp closer to highstones. But, not wanting to leave the other clans, Thunderstar agreed to go with the others. He had settled farther away from the other clans than he wanted to, but he knew the clans needed space. It had been several moons since settling, and his clan of one rouges, loners, and kittypets were shaping up. The FireClan deputy, Rockfoot, had taken over the leader duties for the day. His mate, Troutfur, was kitting, and he dared not leave her side. His kittypet-turned-medicine cat, Foxtail, helped her. Soon, his four children were born. Their names were Badgerkit, for his black stripes, Dragonkit, for his strong body, Goldenkit, for his pelt color, golden-brown, like his father's, and Firekit, in honor of Firestar.

"They're beautiful Thunderstar. There names are perfect."

"Thank you Foxtail," Meowed Thunderstar. "These may be just tiny kits, but I think, no, I know these kits will be destined for greatness. I just know it."



Chapter One

Badgerkit stumbled out of the nursery with Timberkit, Rockfoot's son. He didn't feel very close to his brothers, so the two hung out more instead.

"Hey Timberkit, I bet when were warriors, we'll catch the most prey!"

"Yeah, I bet we will!"

"You to are the noisiest hairballs ever!" It was Patchfur, a FireClan elder. Badgerkit had never seen him before, but now he knew why they called him Patchfur, the cat was almost entirely hairless, despite several dark gray clumps of fur. "Know I see why you're always outside the nursery, you never shut up! Besides, your only nearly apprentices, you've still got a long ways to go to be a warrior."

"Yeah whatever Mangepelt, were gonna be the best in the clan. Then, we'll bring all the fresh-kill in the forest, even in Leaf-Bare."

"Badgerkit!" His father was padding up to him, "That is no way to speak to your elders! Apologize the two of you, now."

The two kits said sorry and were put back into the nursery, none of the queens were around, only the kits. There were only a few kits, Leafkit and Barkkit, the sons of Shorttail, Timberkit and Talonkit, the sons of Rockfoot, and Him and his brothers. Each of them was sharing one big rabbit.

"Come join us you two, we got news for you." Leafkit had a smug look on his face, he must have heard him getting in trouble.

"Well, tell em' Talonkit." Leafkit pointed to the scrawny brown kit across from him.

"Well, I overheard that there's a fox loose on the territory, Thunderstar sent a few patrols, but Sunpelt and Hornetstrike got hurt pretty bad. He doesn't know what to do."

This was it! Everyone thought he wouldn't become a great warrior, but he would prove himself, by killing that fox.



Chapter Two

"Badgerkit you can't be for real! We're only kits!" It was Barkkit who yelled in disbelief.

"Quiet, trust me, this is a great plan. Who wants to join me?"

"Are you mouse-brained? Nobody's gonna go with you, that's insane!"

"I'll go." Goldenkit stepped foward with a confident look on his face. "I'll go with Badgerkit."

After another few minutes of arguing about who was more mouse-brained, th two kits left the camp, being sure not to be seen by any patrols or entrance guards. Thankfully, Goldenkit was a fantastic tracker. Eventually, the two found where the fox scent was strongest. The fox made it's den at the foot of an old tree. Badgerkit padded up to it very softly, not waking it. He was about to perform the killing move, slashing out it's throat, this would have gone perfectly, if Goldenkit hadn't sneezed.

The fox awakened with a jolt. Once it saw the two young cats, it bared all yellow teeth in a snarl. The two didn't know how to fight very well, but they weren't bind. They knew some basic moves. Badgerkit tried his best to protect his brother, but they soon retorted to running like mad. The fox kept pace with the two for awhile. Badgerkit ran as fast as he could until he got to camp. Something was off though, he couldn't put his tongue on it right away. Then he realized it, Goldenkit was gone.



Chapter Three

"Great StarClan." Badgerkit left his brother behind with a hungry fox! Barkkit was right he was mouse-brained! He needed to tell someone! "Thunderstar! Thunderstar!"

"Badgerkit! What happened? Why are you out of the nursery?"

"We heard about the fox in the territory, me and Goldenkit went to go find it and kill it, we did it for you!"

Thunderstar didn't listen though, he was too busy ordering patrols to find his son. He ordered Badgerkit to stay behind and calm his mother. Badgerkit padded over to the nursery, his mother Troutfur had a terrified look in her eyes. Badgerkit wanted to turn Talonkit into crow-food for ever telling him about that fox.

"Wh-Where's Goldenkit. " Barkkit broke the silence. "D'you think he's-"

"No! He's not dead! He can't be dead! He's a bold kit for volunteering, he'll make it through!"  Dragonkit looked angry at Barkkit. For once, he and his brother agreed on something.

Firekit stepped foward. "Yeah, he's gonna be alright!"

Troutfur stepped out of the nursery and into the clearing. All this talk of her possibly dead son must have made her mood worse.

"It's alright. Goldenkit will be fi-" Dragonkit was interupped by a scream from the outside. The seven kits ran into the clearing, and a sight met Badgerkit. One that he didn't want to see. He saw Thunderstar and his patrol returning, his father was carrying a tiny lump of blood and fur. It was Goldenkit.

Chapter Four

"My kit! Oh my kit!" Troutfur was the first cat to react to Goldenkit's dead body. Thunderstar ordered Shorttail, one of the cats on his patrol, to put Goldenkit's body in the clearing. He and his patrol was going back out to kill the fox, and avenge his son. Once Badgerkit heard news of this, he raced back into the nursery.

"Dragonkit! Firekit! Everyone!" Badgerkit's yowl frightened his denmates. "Thunderstar is going out to kill the fox! And... I want to go."

"What?" Everyone yelled in disbelief. "Badgerkit, if you go back out there, you're gonna end up just like your brother, do you want that?"

Badgerkit didn't hear though, before anyone could object, he snuck off with Thunderstar's patrol. Thunderstar, Emberfoot, and Mistheart followed the same fox scent he and Goldenkit had, and Badgerkit had seen what the fox did to his brother. Blood and fur was everywhere. Eventually, the patrol came upon the fox, now sleeping. Emberfoot stepped on a twig and woke the fox up, luckily, the patrol was ready to fight. After quarreling with the fox for a bit, Thunderstar aimed the the killing blow at the fox, but was unable to do it because Badgerkit did it for him.

"Badgerkit, what are you doing? Are you trying to get yourself killed?"

"But I did it father! I avenged Goldenkit by killing the fox!"

"Well... I suppose you're right. Come on, let's go and sit vigil for your brother.



Chapter Five

A moon had passed since the death of Goldenkit, the memory still lingered aroung Badgerkit like a fly. But it was not time to think about that, he and his denmates were becoming apprentices today. Their pelts were groomed by their mothers to the point that they looked like RiverClan cats. The seven cats padded over to Thunderstar's den. The cats of the clan gathered, and the ceremony was to begin.

"I Thunderstar, leader of FireClan, call upon my warrior ancestors to look down on these kits. Boys, you have reached the age of six moons, and shall be apprenticed. From this day until you recieve your warrior names, you shall be known as Badgerpaw, Dragonpaw, Firepaw, Timberpaw, Talonpaw, Leafpaw, Barkpaw, and Golde-" Thunderstar paused for a moment. "Congratulations. Badgerpaw shall be mentored by me, Dragonpaw will be mentored by Rockfoot, Firepaw shall be mentored by Sunpelt."

Timberpaw got Hornetstrike, Talonpaw got Shellclaw, Leafpaw got Emberfoot, and Barkpaw became Foxtail's apprentice. The ceremony was cut short by a ThunderClan patrol consisting of Firestar, Ashfur, and Thornclaw racing into camp. Nobody attacked the cats though, for everyone knew Firestar and ThunderClan was an ally of Thunderstar and FireClan.

"Firestar? What's wrong?"

"It's Brambleclaw! He was taken by twolegs! His patrol was passing a Thunderpath and some twolegs took him away in a monster!"

Brambleclaw? ThunderClan's deputy? Badgerpaw knew of his father's time in ThunderClan, and apparently Brambleclaw was one of his best friends.

"I think I may know where they took him. When we settled by the lake, I traveled the local Twolegplace in search of some new recruits. I passed by a den that held tons of assorted cats. I think thats where the twolegs take all the cats they find. He should be there, since me and Rockfoot lived in a Twolegplace, we'll go with you. We can take our apprentices Badgerpaw and Dragonpaw with us."

Badgerpaw was so happy, he had been an apprentice for minutes and he was already going on a mission. He must have really proven himself by killing that fox a moon ago. And with that, He, Dragonpaw, Thunderstar, Firestar, and Rockfoot were off.

Chapter Six

For a while, Badgerpaw forgot his father grew up as a rouge. It didn't bother him though. None of the cats could make fun of him because they himselves were the kin of outsiders. Thunderstar navigated the group of cats through the Twolegplace quite well for a cat who hadn't lived in one for several seasons. While navigating, the group came upon two rouges.

"That's Dead and Hog. I went to recruit them here, but they insulted the clan life and refused. They're strong cats. Be careful around them."

As the group passed, Dead picked up his head and looked at them. "Hey look Hog, it's Thunderdumb and his clan of weirdos. Hey you, what's up with your pelt? You look like a furry orange!"

"Don't talk to us like that! We're warriors, we could rip your fur off for a single mousetail!" Firestar bristled with anger.

"It's better that we ignore them. They won't leave us alone until we leave. Let's get a move on, we need to find Brambleclaw."

"Yeah, later losers!" Hog almost made Firestar turn and go fight, but it would have been pointless. Eventually, the rescue patrol came upon a nest, a large one. Many cats could be heard and scented inside.

"We're here, if Brambleclaw's anywhere, it'll be here."

"That's all mice and moonlight Thunderstar, but how do we get in without the twolegs noticing us?"

Badgerpaw could see his father thinking as he looked around for a way in. Then an idea his his head.

"What about there Thunderstar?" Badgerpaw padded over to a bush, if you climbed that bush, you could get into a square shaped opening in which the scent of cat was strongest. Thunderstar congratulated his apprentice for his good eye. He decided that Dragonpaw and Rockfoot should keep watch, while he, Firestar, and Badgerpaw went inside to find Brambleclaw. The scent of tons of cats flooded Badgerpaw's nostrils, making him dizzy. Inside were cats, many cats, about a clan-ful of them. In time, they found Brambleclaw. Firestar unsheathed his claws and helped Thunderstar pry open the metal nest to get him out. The four cats went back out the opening they came in. Badgerpaw felt bad for the other cats, sure they were loners, kittypets, and rouges, but he felt sorry for them. What would be their fate?

"Thunderstar, it's good to see you again. Thank you so much for helping Firestar rescue me." Brambleclaw was very gererous to Thunderstar, Badgerpaw was glad to see that just because cats were in two different clans, didn't mean they couldn't be friends. The six cats walked away from the cat-filled nest, and were returning to their clans.

Chapter Seven

It was good to be back in FireClan camp. He and his brother were returning to training and apprentice dutes. It was time for him, Emberfoot, Shellclaw, and Rockfoot to go on border patrol. They would pass ThunderClan and ShadowClan borders, ShadowClan never liked him and his clanmates. At FireClan's first gathering at the lake, Blackstar said they didn't belong as there were only four branches for leaders to sit on, after Thunderstar refused to leave, Blackstar pounced on him. Thunderstar threw him at a branch on the Great Oak, causing leaves to part and reveal a fifth branch. On the patrol, Badgerpaw tested out his hunting skills and caught a squirrel, on the edge of the ShadowClan border, Badgerpaw decided to eat it while the rest of the patrol went hunting nearby. He was interuppted from eating when he saw a patrol of cats running towards him. It ws ShadowClan.

"Prey-Stealer! You're coming with us to see Blackstar, he'll know what to do with you!" It was Russetfur, the ShadowClan deputy, along with Rowanclaw and Cedarheart.

"Easy Russetfur," Rockfoot and the rest of the patrol padded up. " He's still on our side of the border, and thats a FireClan squirrel."

"Yeah right! He's close enough to the border. Also, he was alone, who's to say he didn't cross the border and steal the prey? Huh?"

"What's going on? Why are you holding my son on my territory?" Badgerpaw saw his father approach.

"We caught him stealing prey, we want him to see Blackstar. You can come too."

"Hold on Rowanclaw, you have no proof he was stealing. We're being honest Thunderstar, that's our squirrel."

"Look, I didn't see what happened, but my warriors don't lie. You've tried to pick fights with FireClan several times now, and it's getting idiotic. In fact, you're on our side of the border. Please get off, and we'll be on our way."

After arguing with the ShadowClan patrol for a short while, Thunderstar and the patrol left. Emberfoot padded up to his leader.

"Thunderstar, we need to talk with ShadowClan at the gathering tomorrow. This is the third dispute this moon, their reasons for getting angry are getting more and more mouse-brained."

"You're right Emberfoot, it needs to stop. I'll talk to Blackstar."

Badgerpaw had his fair share of the border disputes, and it was getting annoying. What would Blackstar say to Thunderstar's demands? The ShadowClan Leader was a bit too bold and arrogant to always listen, this little fight could cause a war between clans.




Chapter Eight

It was the night of the full moon, and Badgerpaw was off to his first gathering. He was already excited, his mother, Troutfur, was pregnant with Thunderstar's kits again. He and his brothers had only been out of the nursery, but he was glad to have more siblings soon. The gathering patrol then left, crossing ThunderClan territory, and going around the lake to the island. At the tree-bridge to the island, the four other clans could be scented inside. They were late. On the island, Badgerpaw saw Onestar, the WindClan leader. Just recently, a cat named Mudclaw turnd his back on the new leader, and rebelled. The leader looked far more confident now than he did then. Due to FireClan being late, the gathering started right away. Firestar was first to speak.

"All is well in ThunderClan, except for the fact that there is a strange shortage of prey. Also, our deputy Brambleclaw was recently rescued fron twoleg capture with the help of FireClan, my thanks to you Thunderstar."

"Thank you Firestar, i'll go next. All is fine in my territory, but we are having trouble with ShadowClan patrols along our border. Yesterday one of our apprentices was accused of stealing when he was still on our territory. Do you have any comments Blackstar?"

"Yes, I do. My warriors did none of the things you're describing."

Shellclaw padded over by Thunderstar. "Thunderstar, if I may. With all due respect Blackstar, but we have proof that those things did indeed happen. We don't know what your warriors are reporting to you, but it's not the truth."

Rage blazed in Blackstar's eyes. "How dare you accuse my warriors of liars. How can we trust that you're telling the truth, you can't trust a band rouges."

Leopardstar spoke up, "Blackstar, these cats were chosen by StarClan, they've become a clan and we've learned to respect them. From what we've heard, FireClan has had no quarrels with you, so you shouldn't with them."

Onestar and then Leopardstar made their clan reports, and the gathering was over. On the way back to camp, Blackstar stopped them by the tree-bridge.

"Thunderstar, I don't want us to have this conversation ever again. My warriors did nothing wrong."

Russetfur padded up by Blackstar. "Yeah, why make a complaint? We didn't do anything."

How could Russetfur just lie like that? I mean she could, Blackstar never came on border patrols so he was none the wiser. ShadowClan were just looking for trouble now.

"If you don't want us to discuss it, stop it from happening, easy as that."

Blackstar walked away with a scorn on his face. Then he saw Thunderstar fumble a bit, then he was hit by a leg and fumbled himself. A ShadowClan warrior purposely tried to push him and a clan leader into the lake! If they had fallen, Blackstar would have pushed it off as him tripping. The other cats noticed this right away and Cindertail was the one to ask the question.

"Thunderstar! Badgerpaw! Are you okay?" Cindertail looked worried, she was one of the most compasionate warriors. She was very young, becoming an apprentice shortly before he was kitted, but she was already so wise.

Cindertail's brother, Runningfire, padded over to Thunderstar, an angry look was in his eyes. "Don't worry Thunderstar, if ShadowClan are looking for a fight, we'll gve it to them."

"Runningfire, I don't want to fight with the other clans, but if we must, we will."




Chapter Nine

Badgerpaw and Timberpaw were bursting with excitement. Today, Thunderstar and Hornetstrike were giving them advanced training. If ShadowClan wanted a fight, everyone, including apprentices. Thunderstar led the two apprentices to the Rockfield, a large field of flat rock used for training. Their mentors first showed them basic moves, and then advanced moves, after that, it was Badgerpaw's turn to spar. At first, he and Timberpaw rolled around like they would as kits. But then, a certain energy flowed through Badgerpaw, he suddenly felt so much stronger, like he could take on a lion. Badgerpaw's fighting became fiercer, he was now slashing and biting at Timberpaw as if he was a warrior of another clan. After the fight was over, the energy stopped right away, and saw what he had done to his best friend. He left the brown apprentice cowering on the ground, covered in a bit of blood and many scratches. He, Thunderstar, and Hornetstrike all looked horrified at Badgerpaw, like he was really a badger.

"Badgerpaw, that was amazing. But, where in StarClan did you learn to fight like that? You could've really hurt Timberpaw."

Badgerpaw couldn't answer his father's question himself. The burst of energy came so sudden and left just as fast. Where did it come from? Why did it happen? And why did it show itself while he was practice sparring with a fellow apprentice?

Timberpaw limped over to him. "Wow Badgerpaw, that was awesome-" Timberpaw was cut off as he winced from a cut in his hind leg.

"Come now Timberpaw, let's take you to Foxtail, she'll help you."

"Thanks Hornetstrike. Good job Badgerpaw."

He and his friend went back to camp. By the time they got back, it was dark, so Badgerpaw decided to turn in early. After he fell asleep, he awoke in a fine forest, there seemed to be no prey nor cats around, but then he heard a deep voice speak behind him.

"Hello there Badgerpaw."

Badgerpaw turned around to see a huge brown tabby with amber eyes. He looked almost exactly like Brambleclaw. They must be related, Badgerpaw thought to himself.

"Who are you, and how do you know my name?"

"My name is Tigerstar, I saw your little skirmish earlier today. You're a lot like your father, you have much unused potential. I'm here to give you training so that when you become a warrior, you'll be the best in the forest.

This was an offer Badgerpaw couldn't refuse, he always wanted the be the favorite of his parents.

"Alright, i'll train with you."

"Okay, we'll start tomorrow when you fall asleep."

"Tomorrow? Why?" Badgerpaw questioned.

"Don't worry Badgerpaw, you'll see me sooner than you think. " And with that, Tigerstar faded into nothing.

Badgerpaw awoke with a start at the sound of his brother, Firepaw, yelling. "Badgerpaw! Badgerpaw! Wake up!"

"Firepaw, it's barely sunrise. What do you want?"

"It's Troutfur! She's kitting!"





Chapter Ten

Troutfur? She wasn't supposed to kit for another moon, why was it so early? He didn't have time to question as he wanted to help his mother, his father, or Foxtail. He chose his father. He hurried over to his father, a terrified look was in his eyes.

"What's wrong Thunderstar? Troutfur is kitting, you're happy aren't you?"

"It's not that son. Your mother is kitting early, she or the kits could die. Also, last night, my father Husktail came to me in a dream and said that 'evil with soon be birthed', your mother is the only queen close to kitting, Mistheart has a lot more time before it happens to her. I'm just afraid that one of my children will be the 'evil'."

Badgerpaw could see how his father was scared. He had already heard two loud screeches from the nursery, the births must have been pretty painful. He heard one final screech, and the birth was done. Foxtail called he and his father in the nursery. He and Thunderstar padded into the nursery, next to Troutfur were three tiny kits, one was dark gray, one had a black pelt with ginger patches, and the other was brown with black stripes. The brown one looked oddly familiar, and then a deep voice in his ears.

"Hello again, brother." As he heard this, he could see his new brown brother grimly smile at him.

Troutfur weakly sat up. "Well Thunderstar, we have three more beautiful kits, what should we name them? I want to name the brown one Tigerkit."

"Tigerkit?" Thunderstar and Badgerpaw said the name in unison. Badgerpaw then saw it, Tigerkit looked almost identical to his new mentor, Tigerstar. He now understood what Tigerstar meant when he said, ' You'll see me sooner than you think', he rebirthed a part of his soul into his new brother.

"Err- Okay Troutfur, it's a great name." Badgerpaw could tell his father knew something about the name Tigerkit, did Thunderstar know about Tigerstar in some way? His father could name the other two kits. "I'll name the gray one Swampkit, due to his swamp water colored pelt, and the black one Flarekit due to his patches that look like small flames."

After this, it was nighttime. Thunderstar left Troutfur to rest, the kits to feed, and Badgerpaw padded into his nest and slept. Tonight, Tigerstar didn't visit him in his dreams. When he awoke, he went to check on the kits, but when he got to the nursery, Tigerkit was gone. He followed his newborn brother's scent over to Thunderstar's den. Inside, he heard a gasp of suprise followed by a deep voice.

"Hello again, father. It's good to finally see you again."

Badgerpaw ran into his father's den, he saw what he thought he would see. His father was lying petrified in the corner staring at not a tiny brown kit, but a large dark brown tom. It was Tigerstar





Chapter Eleven

"You betayed me Thunderstar." Tigerstar stared angrly at the cowering leader. "You betrayed me, and i'll have my revenge. I'll get you. You don't know when, where, or how, but i'll get you. You and that cursed Firestar."

With those words, both Tigerstar and Tigerkit were gone, without a single trace. Thunderstar looked horrified at his son, he signaled him to leave. When Badgerpaw fled, he felt as if he fled from his sanity. Where was his brother? What was his brother? From the apprentices den, he could see his brother, Dragonpaw. He woke him up, he needed to tell someone.

"Dragonpaw! You'll never guess who Tigerkit was!"

"Tigerkit? Who's that?"

"You know, our brother. He was kitted last night."

"I know, but only two kits were birthed last night, Swampkit and Flarekit."

What? Did his brother not know about Tigerkit? He never had the best memory and he didn't see Tigerkit that often, he would go tell Foxtail. He padded over to the medicine den, Barkpaw was already asleep, but Foxtail was awake and busy.

"Oh hey Badgerpaw, what's up."

"Do you know a cat named Tigerkit?"

"No, I can't say that I do, why?"

Before he could reply, Badgerpaw raced to the nursery. His mother would give him the answers. When he got there, she was awake and nursing Swampkit and Flarekit, acting as if nothing was wrong, as if her kit wasn't missing.

"Troutfur, do you remember Tigerkit?"

"Tigerkit? No, I like that name though, if only I birthed three kits, that's what I would've named it."

Badgerpaw couldn't believe it, did Tigerkit even exist? Yes, he and his father saw and remember the kit, but only them. Somehow, Tigerstar linked himself to only he and Thunderstar's memory. Badgerpaw ran back to the leader's den and told him all this.

"That's good, I know now that Tigerkit was the birthed evil. If nobody remembers him, nobody will question why he is missing. The identity of Tigerstar and Tigerkit will stay between me and you, deal?"

"Deal."




Chapter Twelve

It had been several days since Tigerkit had dissapeared, nobody seemed to notice though, that was a good thing. He, Thunderstar, Dapplesky, and Treeleaf were going on a hunting patrol. It was Greenleaf, prey was running very well, and everything was perfect. That is, until the patrol decided to follow a strange scent trail. The trail led to a giant tree in which the bottom had been carved out. Inside was the thing all cats learned to hate and fear, a badger. Badgerpaw liked his name, he was named after one of the most feared things to walk the forest. If only he had the courage of a badger, he and the rest of the patrol ran back to the camp as fast as lightning.

"Rockfoot, Sunpelt, Ratfur, and Runningfire. You will be my patrol to help drive off the badger. Firepaw and Dragonpaw, stay in camp. Troutfur, keep the kits in the nursery." What about him? Why didn't his father tell him to stay safe? He listed off all of his siblings besides him. In fact, Thunderstar seemed to be a bit distant to him, not giving him as much training, not putting him on as many patrols, and spending more time with his other kits. Was Thunderstar neglecting him? He didn't care, he followed the patrol that went to drive off the badger, he wanted to show his leader he could help. He followed the four cats until they got back to the giant tree, inside was still the badger. The patrol cats unsheathed their laws, they were the strongest fighters in the clan, but that still might not be enough to drive off an adult badger. Badgerpaw his behind the tree and unshathed his claws as well, he hoped that he could go in and fight the badger then get out before anyone noticed. Thunderstar took the first strike, slashing at both of the giant shoulders so the badger would have a harder time getting away. Badgerpaw realized that Thunderstar wasn't trying to drive out the badger, he was trying to kill it. Runningfire and Sunpelt each slashed at two of the badgers legs, while Ratfur continuously clawed at the badger's back. Though the cats were weakening the badger, it was strong, so the the fighting wasn't getting the cats anywhere. Someone had to give the killing blow, that someone would be him. He ran up, quick as lightning, and slashed out the badger's throat with the same energy he felt while he fought with Timberpaw. He tried to get out before anyone saw him, but he failed, Thunderstar was the first to see him.

"Badgerpaw, did you just kill a badger? That was amazing, even I couldn't have done that."

"Wow, thanks Thunderstar." Badgerpaw knew now that his father wasn't neglecting him. "I did it just for you."

"I remember you doing just the same all those moons ago to the fox that killed your brother. I could never be more proud of you. In fact, I think you're ready."

"Ready for what?"

"Ready to be a warrior."




Chapter Thirteen

It was a day after Badgerpaw killed the badger. Thunderstar met with all the mentors and agreed that the apprentices shall become warriors. Troutfur groomed Firepaw, Dragonpaw, and Badgerpaw's fur, Shadepelt groomed Talonpaw and Timberpaw, and Treeleaf kept grooming Leafpaw complaining about knots in his fur. Before the ceremony, Swampkit and Flarekit padded over to Badgerpaw and Dragonpaw. Swampkit looked up at Badgerpaw with wide blue eyes.

"Hey, when we're apprentices, could you be our mentors?"

Dragonpaw spoke up. "That's up to Thunderstar, but maybe."

The two kits ran off excitedly before the ceremony began. Thunderstar called all cats into the clearing, the six cats stared at him happily. He began, "I Thunderstar, leader of FireClan, call upon my warrior ancestors to look upon these six apprentices. They have excellent skills and have learned the ways of the warrior. Do you all promise to uphold the warrior code and protect your clammates, even at the cost of your own life?"

All of the apprentices said in unision, "Yes."

"The by the powers of StarClan, I give you your warrior names. Badgerpaw, you will be known as Badgerstripe. Dragonpaw, you will be known as Dragonheart. Firepaw, you will be known as Firestorm. Leafpaw will be Leafstrike, Timberpaw will be Timberfall, and Talonpaw will be Talonflame. StarClan honors your skill, and we welcome you all as warriors of FireClan."

Badgerstripe looked down at the cats of FireClan, everyone was chanting their names, including Cindertail. She cheered loudest of all. Goldenkit should be here, Badgerstripe thought grimly. But his comrades looked happy, and he was too.

Cindertail padded over to him. "Congratulations Badgerstripe, you must have been a great apprentice. I've never seen a cat become a warrior so quickly. Come with me, i'll show you your new nest."

Once asleep, Badgerstripe dreamed of a meadow, the stars shown much brighter. A single star flew down from the sky and landed in front of him, a thin brown tom emerged. It was Husktail, his grandfather.

"Hello Badgerstripe."

"Greetings Husktail. What have you brought me here for?"

"I have a message for you. You must be aware of all your power, you will one day have the power to rock through the forest like an earthquake, the power to pass over the lake as if you were a tidal wave, and the ability to leave the fiercest wounds as if your claws were bolts of lightning."

"Wait, what does this mean?" But Badgerstripe was too late, the cat was already fading into nothing, and he was waking up. As he awoke, he saw Cindertail laying right next to him, it was still dark out. You must be aware or all of your power? What did that mean? How much power would he have? Would he use all of his power for good or bad?



End of Book Two

(But stay tuned for Book Three, The Cat of Power)

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