Test Pt 2
I know, it's been ages since I last updated this story, but i had a major writers block and stress at school. I'm not sure if either is over yet, I just was in a very good mood today, since the hardest test in school till spring just passed.
I kinda had a reason to celebrate and that got me into the right mood to finally write on.
I'll try to update more frequently, not just this story, but all my stories, but i really can't make any promises.
Still, thank you for all the faithful readers of all my Warriors-Fiction. Without you guys I wouldn't have the nerv to actually continue this stories.
Warriors doesn't belong to me.
Firepaw frowned when a strange feeling ran through him. Looking around, he scanned his surroundings, trying to find out what was wrong. He turned in a circle once, but all he could see was bushes and trees. Then shook his head. Some ThunderClan warriors watched him and he made a fool of himself here, trying to find most likely them.
He turned to his intended path again, yet the strange feeling stayed. Firepaw moved on silently, yet tried to decode the strange feeling he had. It wasn't a warning for danger, at least he didn't think so. It felt…like something particularly unexpected would happen soon. But what? What could give him such a feeling?
It couldn't be Tigerstar, since that would have him react far stronger. No, it was no warrior of the Dark-Forest. He even doubted it was a cat from another clan. Suddenly a few leaves rustled behind him and Firepaw spun around, unsheathing his claws. "Who's there?", hissed the ginger tom. Whoever it was, was off-wind, so Firepaw couldn't scent him or her. "Show yourself!" He heard an enraged hiss from above and recognized the voice as Nightstar. Oh please Nightstar, whatever it is, let me handle it, prayed Firepaw while he waited.
He was sure he could handle it.
Then he caught himself.
Of course he could handle it, but a normal apprentice wouldn't be able to. That was when something red burst out of the bushes, leaping at Firepaw. With a cry he leaped to the side and watched shocked how a fox skidded to a halt, exactly where he'd stood a heartbeat ago. The creature faced him, snarling. Firepaw gulped now.
Even a fully grown warrior had trouble facing a fox alone. But Firepaw couldn't outrun it either. In his mind, he would have no trouble in beating it, but his momentary size and body was a major drawback. With a deep breath, he got ready to fight though, since he wouldn't be able to run. Nightstar wouldn't know Firepaw knew he was there, so couldn't expect him to cry for help or run looking for it. He risked getting leaped at by the fox then. He wasn't fully sure why Nightstar wasn't down here yet though. Yet figured his father would probably come down when it was truly necessary.
That was when the fox lunged forward. With a mighty leap, the apprentice managed to land on the fox's back and dug his claws into the creatures back. It growled and tried to shake him off. That was when an enraged hiss sounded through the air and a black streak shot at the fox.
Nightstar had decided to interfere. Firepaw leaped back, just the second his father rammed the fox head-first. The orange animal staggered back and gave Leopardclaw and Spiritheart a chance to injure the fox. Firepaw stumbled back a bit, acting like it had scared the life out of him, before he shook his head and took off. He had no idea what Nightstar would assume he did, but figured it was best just to continue with the quest.
Of course he didn't like leaving those three alone with the fox, but the three cats were fully grown warriors and could handle it.
Firepaw raced on for a while, before he slowed down again and scanned his surroundings. Nearby he scented the scent-trail Rivertail had laid and chuckled. Suddenly the bushes on the other side of the trail rustled and Firepaw slid back between some ferns, crouching down. Whitepaw slid out of the bushes on the other side and raised his head, his jaw opening. Firepaw was glad for the strong scent the ferns he crouched in had. All Whitepaw should assume was, that he'd been here a while ago. Carefully the white tom padded closer to the trail, then walked over it. Firepaw waited a little longer, hoping that Whitepaw would get into a position, that would make his attack easier.
Whitepaw took two more steps, then Firepaw sprang forward.
With a battle-cry, he tackled his first deputy, who yowled in surprise, before both tumbled through the leaves and grass. Firepaw got thrown off, but spun to his legs and faced the other apprentice, lips drawn back in a snarl. Whitepaw snarled back and leaped at him. Firepaw dodged and spun to meet the other again, who suddenly leaped onto his back. With a huff Firepaw fell on his stomach. Whitepaw was bigger and heavier than him already.
"Get of you heavy furball!", snarled the ginger tom.
The other chuckled and answered: "No."
Growling loudly, Firepaw managed to roll over. Suddenly he heard another cry and gasped. Whitepaw had never been alone. He arched his back and with a great effort, he got free and rolled away, to have something silver sailing over his head. He leaped up and staggered back a bit, to find Whitepaw and Silverpaw advancing at him. With a growl Firepaw crouched down. He could only hope the others of his group had heard him and Whitepaw fighting. Alone he wouldn't be able to beat them. That was when both leaped at him.
Firepaw rolled out of the way, then shot forward and rammed Silverpaw. He rolled over the ground with her, to throw her off and catch Whitepaw. For now he managed to hold his ground, but he wouldn't much longer. He gasped hard a felt a bit of blood seeping into his fur where both attackers had managed to scratch him. His attackers weren't completely unfazed though.
Silverpaw limped a bit and Whitepaw had a nasty scratch on his cheek. Suddenly Firepaw heard rustling behind him and cried: "You have got to be kidding me!" Whitepaw and Silverpaw just grinned though. Bursting into a sprint, Firepaw managed to evade his newest attacker. It was Spottedpaw. The she-cat skidded to a halt and turned to face him, growling.
"Three against one", purred Silverpaw. "Give up Firepaw."
"Forget it", spat Firepaw back. He slid into a slight crouch, ready to evade any attack that was directed at him. Where are the others, wondered Firepaw. Suddenly a new cat joined his opponents.
Now only Bluepaw was missing. "Care to explain?", asked Firepaw. It was impossible that they hadn't planned this out.
"Bluepaw is leading the rest of your patrol around", answered Whitepaw. "She isn't going to the Mossy Hollow, since they spread out to keep her from there, but she keeps them away from you."
"Clever", stated Firepaw.
"It is, isn't it", asked Spottedpaw amused.
They were silent for a while, then Firepaw asked: "Are you going to attack sometime?"
Hollypaw chuckled at this and crept a bit closer. "No, we wait for you to let your guard down."
Firepaw snarled and answered: "You can wait long for that." Yet, while he kept a good eye on his opponents, Firepaw tried to find a way to escaped. He would need to into the direction of the mossy hollow and they would follow him there, but then the others should hear them and help him. The question was, how to get there. The trees, thought Firepaw. Mentally nodding, Firepaw shifted his gaze from his opponents to the bushes behind them.
They wanted him to let his guard down, and he would make them believe that. He heard a hiss, then Spottedpaw and Silverpaw leaped at him. Firepaw sprung forward the same moment. He dived under them, then slithered to a stop and changed direction.
Rushing past Hollypaw and Whitepaw, the latter managing to run his claws down his flank, he leaped into the air and started to scale a sturdy tree. He got onto a thick branch, then leaped to the next one. Behind him he heard the other four following him. Two on the trees and two on the ground. Firepaw concentrated on his way and made his way to the journey.
After a while, he finally heard what he hoped to hear.
Greypaw shouting orders at the other three. Firepaw stopped on a low branch and dug his claws into it. He took a deep breath, then let out a loud yowl. A second after it, a cat collided with him, both tumbling to the ground. Firepaw managed to thrown the attacker off, only to get leaped at by Whitepaw. The two tom's rolled over the ground, screeching and hissing, in a tight bundle, trying to overpower each other. Whitepaw's claws scratched over his shoulders, while Firepaw dug his fangs in Whitepaw's right shoulder.
Then he heard a familiar battle-cry.
He heard a few more cries, even Bluepaw, so he figured they'd gotten into an all-out brawl again. Letting go of Whitepaw, he pushed his paws in Whitepaw's stomach and the two finally broke apart. Gasping heavily, green and yellow eyes met and both growled. Firepaw was about to attack again, when someone barrelled into him from the side. He caught a glance at grey fur and hissed when he recognized Bluepaw's scent.
With a swipe of his claw, Bluepaw backed off him, but hissed and rushed forward again. He met her halfway and the two went at each other like they'd done it in Firepaw's last training when Bluestar had still been his mentor. Suddenly there was a yowl. A yowl that didn't belong to any of the ten of them. The apprentices froze and Firepaw glanced around.
Sandpaw had Spottedpaw pinned down, while Whitepaw crouched on Greypaw, his fangs dug in the grey tom's neck. Dustpaw still had his paw raised for a swipe at Hollypaw and Ravenpaw and Silverpaw lay on the ground in a tangled mess. Firepaw also had his fangs in Bluepaw's scruff, while the she-cat had hers in his right thigh. Nightstar appeared from the bushes, followed by the mentor of each of them. The young cats let go of each other and sat down.
Nightstar looked at all of them, his green eyes gleaming with satisfaction.
Firepaw caught the scent of fox and ShadowClan in his father's fur, as well as a scratch on his flank, but other than that he seemed to be fine.
"It's enough", explained the leader. He nodded to the sky and Firepaw gasped. The sun was already setting. He hadn't thought they'd been at this so long already. "You all were very good", continued the black tom. "You've shown courage, skill, stealth and creativity. There is no winner, but it's not bad. Firepaw, your group managed to keep Bluepaw's away from the Mossy Hollow, but not from your territory, which is a win on their side as well." Both former leaders shared smirks. They hadn't expected this to turn out any different. They knew each other to well for that. "Now, let's return to camp. You all deserve a good rest."
Everywhere around Firepaw, the apprentices rose up and rushed up to their mentors. Firepaw got up slowly and stretched once, before strolling up to Rockheart. The grey she-cat smiled at him, then both followed Nightstar and Rivertail, who led everyone back to camp. On their way, Bluepaw paced herself to his walk and stated: "Whitepaw told me you managed to handle him and Silverpaw at once and got away from all four of them." Firepaw shrugged. He honestly hadn't the energy to hold a conversation anymore, or at least he didn't believe he has. Bluepaw laughed weakly and stated: "I'm worn out too."
"Worn out is an understatement", chuckled Firepaw back. Bluepaw laughed again, then told him how she'd evaded and tricked his group. Firepaw on the other hand explained to her how he'd managed to handle being attacked by more than one cat at once. The two still chatted and laughed when they reached the camp, but one after the other slid in and the apprentices all padded to the fresh-kill pile to take their share. Then they all retreated to the apprentice den and started eating. The last conversations died out then, when exhaustion caught up with even the last of them.
Firepaw licked the last remains of his blackbird from his whiskers, when a yawn escaped him. He got rid of the bones, then stretched and stated: "I'm going to sleep too." Bluepaw, Dustpaw, Ravenpaw and Hollypaw, the only ones still outside and eating, nodded and Firepaw retreated into the apprentice den. He slid up to Sandpaw soundlessly, then lay down next to her, relishing in her warmth. She purred silently when she scented him, then mumbled: "Good Night Firepaw." Firepaw licked her ears, before he whispered: "Good Night to you too Sandpaw. I love you." He felt her purring once more, then he was already asleep.
His dreams were filled with screeches and cries of cats, not very pleasant. He tried to drown them out by flattening his ears and running away, but it wouldn't get less. Finally Firepaw realised that, like most of his stranger dreams, this one must have a meaning. With an internal groan, he turned to face the happenings and straightened up. What he saw almost had him running again. It was the battle against BloodClan. He watched how cats of all four clans ran against Scourge's cats. How they fought and some died.
Suddenly the scene disappeared and a voice asked: "Can you imagine why I showed you this Firestar?"
The ginger tom's head snapped to the side, to find Thunder walking up to him this nothingness. Then he realised the small amount of size-difference between them and realised that he was back in his old form.
"I'm afraid no Thunder", answered Firestar.
Thunder nodded and flicked his tail. "Then follow me." He ran off and fast Firestar raced after the first leader of ThunderClan. After a while, Thunder stopped and Firestar did the same. The black nothingness around then hadn't changed, but then Thunder raised his head and before them a pool appeared. "Look into it", said the leaf-coloured tom. Firestar followed the request and gasped.
He saw Scourge when he was still a little kitty-pet. To Firestar's shock, the black tom strolled around ThunderClan's old territory, looking at everything curiously. Suddenly he froze and a new gasp escaped Firestar. Three ThunderClan cats towered before him. One of them was Bluestar, but since he also saw Thistleclaw and Tigerstar, who had the size of an apprentice, he guessed she was still Bluefur then. He watched how Bluefur stepped in front of Scourge, who crouched on the ground in fear by now. Yet Thistleclaw snarled at her, then at Tigerpaw, who grinned evilly. Then the tabby shot forward and started to brutally slash at the kit.
"How dare he", yowled Firestar and looked at Thunder.
Thunder simply shook his head sadly and gestured him to continue watching.
After a far too long while, Bluefur finally managed to stop Tigerpaw and Scourge ran off, leaving a trail of blood behind. The scene faded to black and the pool disappeared. Firestar looked back up at Thunder.
Thunder looked back at him and explained: "As you surely already know, Scourge was brought back to life as well."
Firestar nodded, then asked: "But how, and why?"
At this Thunder laughed, before stating: "Firestar, we don't even know how it happened to you, or why for that matter." Firestar flattened his ear in embarrassment when he remembered that, but Thunder already continued. "What I need from you, is to try to get him onto our side."
"WHAT?", exclaimed the ginger tom.
Thunder ignored his outburst and explained: "Firestar, Scourge's hatred to the clans is understandable, but you need to remind him, that only Tigerstar and Thistleclaw treated him how he remembered. Bluestar never wished any harm for him. Remember him of that. Explain to him that the Dark-Forest inhabits cats like Tigerstar who would all treat him like Tigerstar and Thistleclaw did. Cats like Bluestar however, live within the clans and join StarClan. He already started seeing sense in the warrior code Firestar. You just need to push him in the right direction."
Firestar nodded in understanding, then said: "I'll give my best Thunder."
Thunder nodded, then turned around and started to walk off. "It's time for you to wake up and continue your life. We might meet again soon though."
He was almost gone, when Firestar shouted: "Wait!" Thunder looked back at him and Firestar asked: "How is Sapphirefur?"
At this the first ThunderClan leader smiled warmly and answered: "She is well. You might get a visit from her soon too."
And then Thunder was gone.
The ginger tom felt himself drifting back to a deep sleep, before he blinked his eyes open.
His nose was buried in Sandpaw's fur and he smiled at his love, before he carefully stood up and slid out of the den. The sun had just risen and Firepaw stretched, enjoying the warmth of the sun on his back. "Ah, you're awake already, perfect."
Firepaw looked up, to find Rockheart walking up to him. He looked up at her and asked: "Is something wrong?"
"No", answered Rockheart with a shake of her head. "But Reedheart is leading the Dawn-Patrol and you and Sandpaw will come with us. Can you get her?" The ginger tom nodded at his mentor and slid back into the den. He padded up to Sandpaw and gently nudged her. She stirred, then blinked and yawned. "What is it?", mumbled the she-cat sleepily, before curling up again. Firepaw chuckled and whispered back: "Get up you lazy furball. Reedheart and Rockheart are waiting to go on Dawn Patrol with us."
Sandpaw sat up at that and yawned once more, before stretching and following Firepaw out of the den. There she suddenly grinned at him, then pushed herself forward, racing up to their mentors. With a grin on his own face, Firepaw raced after her. Of course he couldn't beat her, but he skidded to a stop just a heartbeat after her.
"Ready?", asked Reedheart.
Both apprentices nodded and Reedheart proceeded to lead them out of the camp. He lead them all the way to WindClan border. They started near the path that led to the Moonpool and Firepaw felt a strange sensation running through him. It wasn't like StarClan calling him, but felt like a warning. Suddenly he scented blood and felt as if icy claws slashed his heart. Understanding what that meant, Firepaw thought; Calm down, please. I haven't forgotten that I need to talk to Scourge. The sensation disappeared at that and he could concentrate again.
Reedheart led them along the border, refreshing the scent marks, when a strange scent hit Firepaw.
It was WindClan, but also carried blood.
Confused Firepaw raced forward, ignoring the calls he got. He burst through a few bushes, to gasp. A small cream-coloured she-cat lay there. She couldn't be older than two months. The scent of blood hit him stronger now and nervously he padded over to her. He gently nudged her with his paw and she whimpered. "Hey, you okay?", asked Firepaw softly.
The she-kit just whimpered again, then the rest of the patrol came. Firepaw still gazed at the she-cat, and finally he saw the reason for the blood-scent. Her whole stomach was covered in bleeding scratches.
"StarClan, is she alright?", gasped Sandpaw and ran up to him. Firepaw shook his head and, ignoring her pained whimpers, rolled the she-kit on her back.
"We'll need to stop that bleeding. Sandpaw can you get Spottedpaw and Splashwhisker?" She nodded and ran off. Then he turned to his mate's mentor and called: "I'll need cobwebs Reedheart." Reedheart nodded, then he turned to Rockheart and said: "I'll need Horsetail too." Rockheart hesitated for a second, then nodded and ran off too. Firepaw started cleaning the she-kit's fur and muttered apologizes every time she whimpered.
Finally he'd gotten the blood out and Reedwhisker appeared with the cobwebs. He gently pressed them against the wounds, to stop the bleeding. Rockheart came back as well and placed down the Horsetail next to him. Firepaw asked her to start chewing it, while he continued stopping the bleeding. She did, but grimaced at the taste. Finally Firepaw was done and told her to spit it onto the wound. She did so and the she-kit hissed while Firepaw chewed some Horsetail as well. He spit onto her wounds as well, then wrapped them up in cobwebs.
Rockheart curled around the she-kit while Firepaw pushed the remaining cobwebs and herbs a bit farther away. The she-kit snuggled closer to her, searching comfort. They all waited for a while, then Sandpaw came back, followed the medicine cat and Spottedpaw. Both gasped at what they saw and Splashwhisker immediately checked the kit through.
"You did good work on this Firepaw", chuckled the tom. "Are you sure you don't want to be a medicine cat?"
Firepaw snarled good-naturedly and answered: "Only because I know how to treat wounds, it doesn't have to mean I do it rather than battling and hunting for the clan. I'll stay with becoming a warrior."
Splashwhisker smirked at him, then told Reedheart: "Are you alright with continuing your patrol without Rockheart. She'll need to carry the kit back." Reedheart only nodded and Splashwhisker asked Spottedpaw to pick up the remaining cobwebs and Horsetail on the clearing. After a short while, the two she-cat and the tom left and Reedheart asked: "What could get a WindClan kit in such a condition?"
"Who knows", answered Firepaw, happy to finally drop the apprentice act. "I didn't smell anything but the scent of her clan on her. Which is what makes it so strange. Not even a specific cat-scent stands out, let alone fox, dog or badger."
"Maybe…", began Sandpaw, then shook her head.
"What?", asked both toms.
Sandpaw frowned, then whispered: "Tigerstar, Hawkfrost, Brokentail, Thistleclaw, Darkstripe, Mapleshade and Clawface are not the only Dark-Forest cats that exist."
Firepaw felt how his eyes widened.
"I think you need to explain that to me", stated Reedheart.
"You remember how we explained about the training in the Dark-Forest?", asked Firepaw. Reedheart nodded. "Well, as we said, when you got injured in that training, it caused an injury in real life as well. What Sandpaw means, it could be this kit was attacked in her dreams."
Reedheart's eyes widened now as well and the tom hissed: "Who would dare that?"
"The Dark Forest", answered Firepaw and Sandpaw unison.
Reedheart hissed once more, then closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "Let's continue the patrol", stated the warrior, a dangerous edge in his voice. "Then you can discuss with the others about what happened here." Firepaw nodded and bit back a sigh. This kit wasn't the only thing he needed to discuss about with the others.
The whole patrol Firepaw was lost in his thoughts, wondering if he could really get Scourge to understand that the only enemies were Tigerstar and his cats. Scourge was a strong fighter and very smart cat, but easily blinded by rage and hatred. That was how he'd grown up in the Twolegplace after Tigerstar had attacked him. How will he react when I tell him that I know about the attack anyways?, wondered Firepaw. Of course I can say the truth and tell him that StarClan showed me, but will he believe it? If he doesn't, should I mention that the she-cat that saved his life back there and wanted him to not be harmed at all in the first place is here too? But that could also result in him developing a hatred for Bluepaw. GAH! What am I supposed to do?
Firepaw growled and shook his head in annoyance.
"You alright?", asked Sandpaw silently.
He looked up and was surprised to see that they were already on their way back to camp. "I'm fine. I just have a lot to think about right now. This kit isn't the only thing I need to talk to you all about", answered Firestar.
Sandpaw glanced at him confused, before she nodded and brushed her tail against the scars on his flank.
The ginger tom smiled back at her thankfully, then focused his thoughts on the she-kit.
They needed to find out what had happened to her.
Scourge was important, but right now the kit mattered more.