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Part of Brighty's Secret Game.

By Silver.

Progress -

Part 1, complete.

Part 2, WIP.

You Cannot Fly Forever


PART ONE

Whispers from the Darkness

"Wake up, you lazy lump!" Stonefur teased his apprentice, Ravenpaw. "We're going on the sunhigh patrol, and no one likes a groggy apprentice that can't think straight."

Ravenpaw stifled a yawn, and blinked the sleep out of his eyes. He stepped out from under the bush where the apprentices slept, and gazed around the camp.

Silvershine was doing the normal, flirting with toms in a voice that dripped with honey. "Birchfoot," she mewed, her long, feathery tail whisking by his nose. "Why must you look so worried? The sun shines through the greenleaf canopy, and the birds are chirping, perhaps merrier than ever."

Birchfoot tended to shrug off Silvershine's attempts at drawing his attention, and today he completely ignored her. He had a troubled look in his eyes.

"Stonefur," he started, padding toward the deputy. "I - I..." He paused, trailing off his thought. "I just want to say thank you for holding the Clan together." he added quickly.

Ducking his head in embarassment, the brown tom retreated quickly to his den.

Ravenpaw cast a sideways glance at his mentor. What was that about? he wondered.

Stonefur glanced back. I don't know, his eyes seemed to say.

"Sundapple, can you join the sunhigh patrol with us along with your apprentice?" Stonefur asked, turning to the pale golden she-cat.

"Alright," she agreed. "Cloudpaw!" Sundapple called to her apprentice. "We're heading on the sunhigh patrol!"

Not Cloudpaw! Ravenpaw grimaced. Lovely; my luck seems to be going downhill today. I get to go patrol with the kiss-up Cloudpaw, who will do anything to impress his mentor.

"We will go hunting on the way back, too," Stonefur added as he lead the patrol out of the camp. "Let's check the ShadowClan border, and hope that those fox-hearts haven't crossed it again."

A scent of marsh and peat hit Ravenpaw's nose as they neared the border. He silently gagged. How do they live with this stench?

Sundapple checked the scent around the border. "There's a dead cat around here," she mewed suddenly. "Someone has been killed, and their body has been left to rot!"

An expression of disgust and horror spread across her face. "Who would do such a thing?"

"It's terrible!" Cloudpaw gasped dramatically. "Ravenpaw, should we go send for help or something?"

Ravenpaw ignored the white tom, and pushed his way through some brambles. He was sitting on the border now, and if a ShadowClan patrol decided to walk by, he was dead meat.

Pushing through a patch of brambles, Ravenpaw found himself in a small clearing. Precious herbs that surrounded the clearing had been carelessly trampled, and withered flowers were scattered across the ground.

Lying in the center of the clearing, in a pool of deep russet blood was the body of the ShadowClan medicine cat.

"Nightfeather!"

A whisper.

Sundapple burst through the foliage, her jaw gaping in dismay. Cloudpaw and Stonefur appeared soon after.

"Who would kill a medicine cat?" Cloudpaw shrieked.

"An evil cat," Stonefur replied, solemnly.

Sundapple nodded. "Why was Nightfeather even here on our side of the border? Is something wrong in ShadowClan?"

"Maybe he came to ask for help," Ravenpaw suggested.

"Or he was trespassing!" Cloudpaw put in.

"In any case, we should go send a patrol to ShadowClan," Stonefur murmured. "Let's head back to camp and see what Leafstar has to say about this."

The patrol took one last glance at the bloody frame, and travelled back along the dusty, leaf packed path to the camp. Stonefur quickly disappeared into the ThunderClan leader's den.

Soon after, both cats emerged. Leafstar leaped up onto the Highrock, calling for a Clan meeting. The cats below assembled.

"Stonefur's patrol found the dead body of the Nightfeather - "

Immediately, the Clan began arguing amongst themselves.

"Nightfeather, dead? Who killed him?"

"I bet someone from ShadowClan is the murderer!"

"Why not RiverClan? They're fish-faces anyway!"

"Or maybe, one of the rabbit-hearts from WindClan killed Nightfeather!"

Leafstar held up her tail for silence. Gradually, the cats that sat around the Highrock quieted. "We will send a patrol to the ShadowClan border. Stonefur will arrange a battle patrol if the first patrol is attacked.

She took a step back, Stonefur taking her place.

"I will lead the first patrol with Ravenpaw, Mintwhisker, and Bramblefrost. The second patrol will be lead by Thistlefoot. Take Birchfoot, Ivystrike, and her apprentice, Briarpaw."

The deputy paused. "Where is Birchfoot?" he asked calmly.

Fernwhisker, his sister, yowled in dismay. "I just saw him not too long ago... He must of wandered out of camp!"

Panic filled her gaze. "Maplefur!" she cried to the medicine cat. "Is Birchfoot collecting herbs?"

Maplefur blinked in suprise. "No," she replied in confusion.

"Everyone calm down!" Stonefur called. "We will find him. Sundapple, Cloudpaw, and Fernwhisker, go search our territory. Meanwhile, Tigerstrike, I'd like you to replace Birchfoot."

A perplexed expression crossed his face. "We're heading to the ShadowClan border. We'll keep a lookout for Birchfoot."

Where is the sound coming from?

The three patrols exited, one by one out of the gorse tunnel.

Ravenpaw shifted his weight on his paws. Nightfeather dead, and now Birchfoot lost? Great StarClan, what is going on?

The apprentice followed his mentor back to the border.

"I smell a patrol," Mintwhisker murmured.

Ravenpaw glanced up to see four muscled, ShadowClan warriors on the other side of the border.

"Where is Nightfeather?" a brown tom snarled, whom Ravenpaw recognized as the ShadowClan deputy, Oakfur.

"We were coming here to report the death of your medicine cat." Stonefur replied calmly.

"He was found on our side of the border."

"More like you fox-hearts murdered him," a she-cat muttered. Oakfur flashed a glare over his shoulder at the speaker. "Where is his body?" he demanded.

"It's where it was found," Stonefur responded cooly.

"It is our right to cross the border and take the body for burial."

"Indeed it is."

The ShadowClan patrol shoved their way across the scent line, and searched.

"I found him!" the same she-cat who accused ThunderClan of murder called.

The two Clans sat on opposite sides of the clearing.

"The scent of blood is stale." Oakfur muttered.

He nodded curtly to the patrol, and with one last look across the border, headed back to his Clan, the medicine cat draped across his shoulders.

We're hidden in the darkness...


PART TWO

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PART THREE

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PART FOUR

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PART FIVE

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PART SIX

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PART SEVEN

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PART EIGHT

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PART NINE

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PART TEN

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