Bramblestar looked down at the other clan cats as they flooded into the clearing. The full moon shone brightly over the cats, making their pelts shimmer like a river.
"I hope Onestar gets here soon," Blackstar growled, flicking his tail back and forth impatiently.
"I wonder what's keeping him," Mistystar mused.
"Sorry!" Onestar gasped, leaping up into his tree as his cats entered the clearing.
"Now we can start," Blackstar growled. "I'll start. Shadowclan has remained strong this green-"
Blackstar was interrupted by a pained shriek of agony. Bramblestar gasped as he saw a starry silver cat perched on a branch above Blackstar. She let out another pained yowl.
"A cat from each of the clans with the power of the stars will come together as four, and destroy the clans! You must kill them to stop death to you all!"
The clans were suddenly plunged into darkness, yowls of fear breaking out from the cats below.
"Thunderclan come to me!" Bramblestar caterwauled, leaping down from the tree. "Quick! The truce is broken, let's get back to the forest."
Squirreltail sidled up to him. "Bramblestar, what does it mean?" fear sparked in Squirreltail's eyes.
"I don't know," he murmured. "But this isn't a prophecy. It can't be…" he turned to Squirreltail. "Can it?"
"Mousedung!" Dawnclaw spat as the mouse she was stalking escaped into its burrow. That was the only fresh-kill she had seen in days, and it escaped. Opening her mouth to drink in the scents of the forest, all Dawnclaw could smell was snow… and cat.
"Intruder!" Dawnclaw yowled, running back to the rest of her patrol. Squirreltail looked at her.
"Where?" she asked, claws already unsheathed and digging into the snow. Dawnclaw could tell she was itching for a fight.
"This way," Dawnclaw turned tail on them and padded the way she came. "I could smell cat here," Dawnclaw said, sniffing around. The scent was still there, even stronger than before.
"Found it!" Birchfur yowled. The patrol swarmed around Birchfur, who was standing in front of a holly bush with next to no leaves. "It's a she-cat," he meowed to Squirreltail, who had shouldered to the front.
Dawnclaw peered over Squirreltail's shoulder to see a weak, skinny tortoiseshell she-cat lying under the bush with a tiny black she-kit pressed against her belly. She could hardly open her eyes to look up at them.
"Are you the warriors?" she whispered, hope sparking in her blue eyes. Squirreltail nodded, brushing her tail lightly against the cat's shoulder. "I've come from far to join these strong cats," she sighed, laying back down against the cold earth. "I wish I could live to stay with you," she rasped. "But please take Shadow, she deserves to live."
Squirreltail nodded silently, scooping the kit close to her chest. It wailed, batting at Squirreltail's paws.
"Thank you," she rasped, before laying down her head and closing her eyes peacefully. Birchfur place his paw gently on her side.
"She's dead," he whispered.
"We should return to camp," Squirreltail said briskly, picking up the black kit.
"But Squirreltail, only Ivypool has caught any prey," Dawnclaw bounded to Squirreltail's side.
"I don't care," Squirreltail mewed curtly. "I need to talk to Bramblestar about this kit." She bounded ahead, through the thorn barrier into the camp.