Chapter 6 || New StarClanner
Batchaser was bored. His head was rested on his paws, his blue eyes flitting to the movements of prey and animals in the forest. He sighed, flicking his thin tail back and forth.
⠀⠀Nothing had happened the past few days. No news about his fake prophecy or anything about destruction in ThunderClan. He flexed his claws, wishing he could see what was going on down there. Or wishing that he could squeeze the life out of Paleheart. Either one, really.
⠀⠀Lifting himself to his paws, Batchaser decided to take a walk. He outstretched his legs and yawned, eyes cracking shut. He let the sun soak into his black pelt and strode out of his usual clearing.
⠀⠀Maybe he’d come across Jackalstar today, or Galewhisker or Shellstar. Part of him really wanted to see Jackalstar, and another didn’t.
⠀⠀StarClan, what is wrong with you? There’s no way you want to see that idiot. All she does is snap at you.
⠀⠀But again, he sort of... liked that. Fire meeting his fire was something he’d never come across. Hawknose definitely hadn’t been like that. No, she had been... cruel. There was no fire. Just evil.
⠀⠀Pushing his thoughts to the back of his mind, Batchaser pricked his ears to try and pick up any conversation. Nothing. It was like everyone had moved out of the forest. Or Jackalstar learned to keep her confrontations elsewhere.
⠀⠀Thinking, the black tom wondered where he could visit. Hmm. Maybe the Welcoming Grounds?
⠀⠀The Welcoming Grounds were where new StarClan members arrived. They were greeted by their relatives or close friends, who would get called to come down when said cat died and escort them into the territory. Batchaser remembered being there. He also remembered having to guide himself into the meadows, since no one had come to welcome him.
⠀⠀The former ShadowClanner walked a little while longer, hoping to soon arrive at his destination. The forest had begun to clear out, opening to hills and meadows with trees dotting the area. White clouds drifted overhead, blue sky surrounding them as usual.
⠀⠀The weather never changes around here, does it? Pretty boring if you ask me.
⠀⠀Batchaser shrugged to himself and continued on, staring at his paws as he walked. He began to wonder if he should turn back, but a bright light distracted him. The black tom jerked his head up and watched in awe as a dazzling white beam stretched up through the clouds. Batchaser moved his paws forward and headed toward the light, wondering if that meant a cat was here.
⠀⠀He made it toward a rise in the ground and noticed a small kit on the top. Batchaser twitched an ear, looking around. Was no one coming to welcome this kit? And how had they died?
⠀⠀“Hey! K--” The former warrior cut himself short when he noticed the lithe shape of Jackalstar making her way up on the other side.
⠀⠀He watched with sharp blue eyes for a few moments longer before deciding he should return back. He was exhausted, and it felt as if his legs were going to collapse under him. “Well, guess that’s sorted out,” he muttered to himself as Jackalstar bent down to speak to the kitten.
⠀⠀Before he turned around, the former leader spotted him and looked as if she huffed in exasperation. Batchaser inwardly snickered and whipped around, padding away from the rise.
⠀⠀“Hey!” the brown-and-white she-cat called out, running after him. The black tom stopped and looked at her inquisitively. “Look, I need you here. Just help me escort this apprentice to the Gathering Grounds. He doesn’t have anyone else here for him. Luckily I was passing by.”
⠀⠀Batchaser flicked an ear and looked up at the “apprentice”, who met his gaze. I remember that being me. I mean, I wasn’t a kit, but I know what it felt like.
⠀⠀Then he stopped himself. But I can’t get attached. Just say no.
⠀⠀“Sorry,” he responded. “Can’t do it. I’ve gotta return home.”
⠀⠀Jackalstar stared back at him. “Please?”
⠀⠀Batchaser was quiet, huffing silently. “That’s an apprentice?”
⠀⠀The former ThunderClan leader nodded and turned tail, beckoning for him to follow. “Come on. Greet him.”
⠀⠀He ducked his head and walked after the she-cat, making it to the top where the k--apprentice was. Seriously, this cat was too small to be an apprentice. Runt, maybe.
⠀⠀Batchaser held his breath and looked down at him. He was a blue-gray tom with vibrant copper eyes flicked with green. “H-Hello.” The black tom nearly punched himself for stuttering. “I’m Batchaser. This is Jackalstar.” He nodded to the former leader. “Who are you?”
⠀⠀The apprentice bounced on his paws, eyes shining with excitement. “I’m Rushing...paw! I came from RiverClan.”
⠀⠀Figures. Sleek fur, lithe frame.
⠀⠀“Why’d you die so early on?” Batchaser asked. Jackalstar shot him a glare. Whoops.
⠀⠀Rushingpaw looked crestfallen for a few seconds before lifting his head. “I... I don’t know.” A pang hit the black tom’s heart. Such a young age to die. He couldn’t imagine losing a son. Then again, he wouldn’t have a son; he was terrible at being any kind of father. He was hot-tempered and had no filter.
⠀⠀“It’s okay,” Jackalstar purred. “But now you’re here, with us... welcome to StarClan, Rushingpaw.”