Chapter 9 || Confession Time
Batchaser couldn’t believe he was hearing this. Jackalstar, trying to order him to be reincarnated into the four original Clans? It was madness! He would never do it!
⠀⠀A part of the black tom’s heart began to crumble. He’d finally, finally made himself trust someone; he truly thought he’d be able to be friends with Jackalstar. But now, from what she was saying? She had completely betrayed him.
⠀⠀“Why can’t you go?” the she-cat growled, lips curling into a snarl. “You’ll save the Clans! You’ll be back in the real world! Isn’t that what you want?”
⠀⠀Yes. Yes, I want to go back so badly! But... I can’t. I can’t face Paleheart. What if I’m reincarnated back into ThunderClan? Surely he’ll know it’s me!
⠀⠀He was quiet.
⠀⠀“Look, Jackalstar, I’ll go,” Shellstar sighed.
⠀⠀“And I will too!” Rushingpaw piped up.
⠀⠀“You know I will, Jackalstar,” Galewhisker murmured, dipping his head to the former leader.
⠀⠀All eyes turned to Batchaser. The tom’s claws scored into the ground, his tail lashing back and forth. How could they do this to him?
⠀⠀“I-I can’t,” the former ShadowClanner whispered, voice cracking.
⠀⠀“Why?” Jackalstar asked.
⠀⠀You have to tell them. You must... it’s the only way they’ll understand.
⠀⠀“Look...” The black tom screwed his eyes shut. “I don’t know how to tell you this, okay? I did something bad! Really bad!”
⠀⠀Jackalstar’s hackles rose. Shellstar eyed the tom suspiciously. “What did you do, Batchaser?”
⠀⠀For once, he didn’t know if he could say it. He didn’t want to tell the truth. All Batchaser wanted was for all of this to go away.
⠀⠀Finally, however, the black tom opened his eyes. He scanned over the four other cats, feeling like his legs might crumple underneath him. “I-I did it,” he whispered.
⠀⠀Galewhisker twitched an ear. “Did what?”
⠀⠀“I..” Batchaser gulped. “I-I sent a fake prophecy..”
⠀⠀The others were silent. His heart thrummed in his chest, blood roaring in his ears. It was like the world stopped–all except for him.
⠀⠀“You... you what?” Jackalstar spat, her eyes blazing. Her claws unsheathed, her tail lashing back and forth like an angry snake ready to strike its prey.
⠀⠀Rushingpaw looked between the former leader and warrior with confusion. “A fake prophecy?” he echoed, tipping his head to the side. “I don’t remember any fake prophecy...”
⠀⠀Galewhisker didn’t look at the black tom. Shellstar, however, looked... well, pissed. That was still an understatement, though.
⠀⠀“Why don’t you explain a little more?” Jackalstar growled, taking a few steps toward Batchaser. “We’re all so eager to hear how you’ve destroyed the world you left behind.”
⠀⠀Batchaser gulped. His ears flicked back, flat on his head. He was ashamed; so, so very ashamed of what he’d done. But... how was it his fault, really? A sudden anger flared through his body and he met Jackalstar’s defiant gaze.
⠀⠀“I remembered who killed me,” he snarled.
⠀⠀Shellstar narrowed his eyes. “That’s impossible. No one remembers how they died. I’m sure you weren’t even killed--”
⠀⠀“I was,” Batchaser cut in. “I remember it so vividly. There was a battle between ShadowClan and ThunderClan. Paleheart killed me.”
⠀⠀Jackalstar was quiet.
⠀⠀“Paleheart was...” Galewhisker trailed off, eyes slightly widening. “So... you’re the one who... who...”
⠀⠀“I’d know if you told me!” he growled.
⠀⠀Jackalstar lifted her head higher. “Paleheart killed his own Clan’s deputy, and took several lives out of his leader. He delivered the prophecy you gave him before Applestar killed him.” There was a pause, as if the she-cat couldn’t bear to tell the rest of the story.
⠀⠀“Then ThunderClan decided to share the prophecy at the next gathering,” Galewhisker began, eyeing Jackalstar. “They thought that if they told the others what was going on, they wouldn’t be as... despised. However, it didn’t work. The bordering Clans began to attack ThunderClan and declared war on them. Eventually, RiverClan joined in.”
⠀⠀Rushingpaw gasped. “RiverClan?”
⠀⠀Galewhisker flicked an ear. “Yes. So, WindClan, ShadowClan, and RiverClan all drove ThunderClan out of their territory. They’ve been fighting for land and prey since. It’s chaos down there.”
⠀⠀Shellstar suddenly shouldered his way forward, betraying no emotion. However, his voice showed it all. ”You’re the reason the Clans are in a war. You’re the reason that the Clans will be destroyed! You’ve murdered kits! Apprentices! Warriors that only wanted to fight for a cause!” He stuck his muzzle in Batchaser’s face. ”You ruined everything!”
⠀⠀Suddenly, the larger white tom sunk his teeth into the former ShadowClanners scruff and began to drag him toward the huge group of cats. Batchaser scrabbled at the ground and tried to fight his way off, but Shellstar was much stronger. Rushingpaw and Galewhisker watched with wide eyes. Jackalstar slowly followed, her head dangling.
⠀⠀Shellstar pushed his way through the crowd of StarClanners, earning many angry hisses until they realized what was going on. They watched in curiosity and interest; Batchaser couldn’t blame them. However, he didn’t want to be the center of attention.
⠀⠀He didn’t know what Shellstar was going to do. Humiliate him? Maybe. Fight him? Most likely. Kill him?
⠀⠀Batchaser didn’t want to answer that. He didn’t know what would happen if he died in StarClan; would he be forgotten, a mist in a dark world full of menacing creatures? Or would he just... be gone? Maybe be reincarnated? He honestly didn’t know. He didn’t want to know.
⠀⠀The felines around made a circle, allowing Galewhisker and Jackalstar in. Rushingpaw was shoved to the back, the small tom trying to see what was going on.
⠀⠀“Get back, runt,” a menacing-looking tom hissed at Rushingpaw. “You shouldn’t even be here.” The tiny gray tom narrowed his eyes, attempting to look back through the mass of gathered cats.
⠀⠀In the middle, Shellstar slammed Batchaser to the ground, holding a firm paw on his shoulder. The black tom sent a glare at the former leader, tail flicking back and forth angrily.
⠀⠀Suddenly, Shellstar let him go. Batchaser scrambled to his paws and took a few steps back, watching the white tom’s every move. Jackalstar and Galewhisker did the same. Rushingpaw still couldn’t see.
⠀⠀“Hello everyone!” Shellstar boomed, whirling around to face every cat. “Today, I’ve invited a special guest into the circle!” Murmurs rippled around the group.
⠀⠀“And, well, I think most of you know what that means.” Cats exchanged glances. Shellstar cocked a brow. “No? Well, let me explain! It simply means that a cat is going to be transported to The Forgotten Eternity!”
⠀⠀Everyone was quiet.
⠀⠀The Forgotten Eternity? He must be making this up. I’ve never heard such a thing.
⠀⠀“And we all know how cats get to the Forgotten Eternity.” Shellstar turned to stare at Batchaser. “Why, let me answer that one. It’s easy.”
⠀⠀The black tom’s fur began to spike up at the words next said.
⠀⠀“All I have to do is kill them.”