Among the Ranks
Series: Silent Lies Trilogy
Succeeding: True Lies
|A kittypet named Snow joins MountainClan... Same old overdone story, he joins the clan and tries to face prejudice where he becomes a hero right? Wrong! Read to find out...|
"You will never own the rocks!" A dark grey tom hissed. "Sunstones has always belonged to LakeClan! Tell Owlstar that MountainClan shall never lay a paw on it again, Jumpfallow!"
The ginger and brown tom named Jumpfallow bared his teeth. "I wouldn't count on it, Stormfang." He lunged at the LakeClan cat and slashed at his belly. His blows were distracted by a yowl from a clanmate. "Kinktail!"
The brown she-cat was lying on the ground, bleeding. Jumpfallow rushed out to her. "Are you okay?" Kinktail merely nodded. "We need to get her to the medicine den, now! Retreat!" A dark brown tabby tom stood in front of him.
"We can't give up!" He snarled. "Can we let them think we're easily beaten cowards?" Jumpfallow pushed through him, Kinktail on his back.
"We can and we must, Birchclaw!" The ginger and brown tom rushed out, the battle patrol close behind him.
Later that night...
A long haired tawny tom sat down, disappointed at the loss of his battle. Then a slender silver tortoiseshell stepped towards him. "Silversplash, how are Kinktail's wounds?" He asked, not looking at her directly.
"They are deep, Owlstar. However, she is young and shall heal quickly. We're lucky Jumpfallow pulled her out and saved her." Silversplash meowed, sitting next to the tawny tom and looking up at the starry night sky.
"We've never lost a battle simce I became leader... I take this loss hardly." Owlstar grumbled he turned his tufted head to the stars. "Have you recieved any signs from StarClan?"
"No, I'm sorry..." Silversplash admitted. "They've been oddly silent." Suddenly, a comet came flying, then formed into the shape of a starry white tiger. After it had started to fade, all was dark.
"Had you just recieved a prophecy?" Owlstar asked the medicine cat, who was still shaking vigorously.
Silversplash nodded, her green-blue eyes dazed. "The Clan will be rescued by a tiger in white, then after the owl's last flight, the white tiger shall plunge the Clan into power at a cost of darkness..." She jolted back up again.
"Is that a good or bad omen?" The MountainClan leader said, smoothing his ruffled, feathered coat.
"I... don't know exactly... Good, then bad..." Silversplash heard a yowl from her den. "Oh no! Kinktail's awake!"
Snow sat on the windowsill of his home, his fluffy gray and white fur neatly groomed by his housefolk. He padded to his food bowl and started to eat the hard, crunchy, tasteless pellets. He gulped up his clear, metallic tasting water, and stared at the large white door.
Is this all there is to life? He wondered with a sigh. He wished for adventure, a harder life than his pampered housecat life.
"Come on, Snow. Stop staring off into space when you can play with the new toys our Hallie got us!" Snow turned to see Angel, a fluffy white she-cat with a flat face. Hallie was one of their two housefolk.
"Don't you ever want to go outside and explore?" he asked his friend. "To see a whole new world ahread of us?"
"I could never leave the safety and warmth of here. What if I got lost? I could never survive without Hallie and Robert! And... And... I'd miss you..." She looked into his grey eyes. He gaped, and then managed to say
"I...I'd miss you, too..." He smiled, embarrassed. "But I still wonder what it would be like. You could come with me, we could run away together, we'd be fine. I'd look after you..."
"We'd never make it a moon! And besides, what about those rumours of the cruel Clans, living in the forest?"
"We don't have to go to the forest! We could make it. You and me......" he trailed off. She looked away sadly, and murmered
"I can see this is what you want. I'll miss you, but all the begging in the world couldn't stop you. Be happy, my love." She licked him on the forehead, before padding off into the shadows.
Snow turned back to the window, gazing upon the forest. My new home...
Snow took a deep breath in. The cool air cleared his nose and a sense of freedom pulsed through him. He smelled something musky and delicious. Mouse? He soon saw the grey-brown rodent and prepared to pounce on it. He crouched, and snuck forward when suddenly another cat snatched it from in front of his nose. He jumped back, startled, and the other cat seemed surprised too.
"Hello, who are you? I'm sorry to have startled you. My name is Owlstar, leader of MountainClan. Where do you come from?" He was a long-haired tawny tom with amber eyes.
"I come from the big nests where housefolk and their cats live," Snow said. "I'm a housecat."
"So you're a stray kittypet from the twolegplace, huh?" Owlstar asked, examining Snow. "You're quite agile for a common kittypet. In fact, you probably would've caught the mouse if I hadn't been here."
Snow gave a weak smile and a half-hearted thanks. Then he started to walk off. "Ow!" He hissed in pain. He looked at his grey and white paw, now oozing blood. "Owlstar! Help!"
The large leader walked over and licked Snow's paw. "Pity... Let me get you fixed up. I never did get your name."
"It's Snow," He winced as the young cat limped to the MountainClan camp.
"Well, Snow, how would you like to join MountainClan as an apprentice?" Owlstar's voice was filled with hope and dignity. "We shall teach you the ways of a warrior and how we do things. You shall be loyal to MountainClan and the warrior code. Do you accept?"
Snow nodded. "I wish to be a MountainClan apprentice."
Once Snow and Owlstar got to camp, the young former kittypet saw a whole new world. A bunch of cats were sitting and grooming each other, sharing news. "Around sunhigh," Owlstar explained, "is time for sharing tongues."
A few cats stared at him, making Snow nervous. What did I do? Why are they all staring? he wondered. Owlstar prodded him with a paw.
"Do you want the tour of the clan or not?" he asked, giving a little chuckle. Snow nodded, unable to speak, what with all the new things going on around him. Owlstar smiled. "First, I will put the Clan's mind at rest, and announce your arrival. But I will have to change your name. How about....." The leader bent down and whispered in Snow's ear. The kittypet nodded again.
"Cats of MountainClan, I call a meeting for those older than six moons!" As the Clan gathered, Snow was increasingly aware that he was being stared at, being given dirty looks. "I introduce to you a new apprentice of MountainClan: Whitepaw! His-"
"He's a kittypet! Owlstar, what were you thinking?!" Murmers of disrest spread through the Clan.
"Owlstar's lost all sense!"
"He must be getting old..."
"A kittypet can never be a warrior!" Whitepaw winced at that comment.
"SIlence!" Owlstar's voice rumbled through camp, stopping all conversation dead. "What I say is what happens. I want no cat to be disprespectful of Whitepaw; he is to be treated as any other apprentice would be. His mentor will be myself, as most of you other warriors have apprentices. Ospreyheart, organise patrols since Herontail is out." With that, the Clan dispersed. Owlstar then turned to Whitepaw. He thought that the leader looked tired, old.
"Would you like to come training?" Whitepaw's new mentor asked. The grey and white tom nodded eagerly. Then a golden elder let out a yowl.
"Daisyfur smells trouble!" Ospreyfang gasped as he looked around apprehensively. Then, a small cat came bumbling in. It was a jet black apprentice with white ears. He appeared very nervous.
"I've got bad news..." He whimpered. His dark fur was on edge.
"What is it, Crowpaw?" A brown tabby tom named Vulturefur asked.
"It's about Herontail." Then, before anyone else could ask something, Crowpaw fainted. Then a large, dark brown she-cat with black patches brought in a grey body.
"Oh no!" Blueflake, a grey and white queen exclaimed. "It's Herontail!"
She nuzzled into the deputy's cold fur. "My brother..." Milkflight wrapped her creamy white tail around Blueflake's shoulder. Owlstar's voice echoed around the shocked Clan.
"My Clan, I am greived to announce that our beloved deputy, Herontail, is dead. As always, I must appoint a new deputy, to take the place of our beloved Clanmate. In the name of StarClan, and Herontail's spirit, I appoint Ospreyfang as our new deputy." The leader stalked over to the dead deputy to pay his respects, then hissed to Whitepaw "Come on!"
Whitepaw was surprised at the leader's weakness to control his emotions. If I were leader, I think I'd do a much better job. I think any cat could. A wicked thought passed through his mind. He would become leader next, and make this clan powerful.
"You can explore the borders with Vulturefur." Owlstar feebly mewed, looking down at his paws. "I must sit vigil for Herontail."
"Vigil? Should I sit, too?" Whitepaw asked. "Pay my respects?"
Owlstar should his fluffy head. "Only those who were closest to him shall sit vigil." He sat next to Blueflake and started to mourn for the killed deputy. Jumpfallow and Silvermist soon joined with Fallowpaw.
Ospreyfang walked over to Hawkshadow. "Aren't you going to sit vigil for him?" The new deputy asked. Hawkshadow shook her head.
"Sure, he was my mother's littermate." She stated in a snooty manner. "However, I have more important things to do. I've already taken care of the situation."
Ospreyfang gave her a suspicious glance and began to sit vigil for Herontail. "Good-bye, dear fallen Herontail. You've tought me so much, I pray that one day I shall be as good as you."
Whitepaw ran to Vulturefur. "Owlstar said you'd take me around the territory! Can we go now?"
Vulturefur rolled his dark amber eyes. "Fine, come with me!" He groaned. "Impatient apprentice."
Whitepaw bounded through the territory, Vulturefur unenthusiastically trotting beside him, mentioning the borders, and other notable landmarks. Whitepaw, however, was only half listening. How can I prove myself? What will impress this lazy lump of fur?
"What are you doing? Come back, Whitepaw!" Whitepaw had run a few strides, then dropped into a crouch. He leapt gracefully, and grasped a squirrel between his teeth, hearing a satisfying snap, and feeling the body go cold and lifeless. This is what I could do to any weak cat that crosses my path! But in time...
Whitepaw trotted back to the warrior, the fat squirrel in his jaws. "That was a great catch!" Vulturefur exclaimed. "I've never seen an apprentice catch prey so easily, and on the first go! It matters not that you were not Clan born, you will make a fine warrior, and maybe leader one day!" Whitepaw ducked his head, pretending to be embarrassed, but really, he smiled, wickedly.
Weak. This Clan is weak.
Dark night had fallen as the two cats came back from the territory. The vigil was underway, and silence filled the camp. "Go immediately to your den. I will talk to Owlstar in the morning." Vulturefur said in a whispered hiss. Whitepaw nodded, and retreated.
In the darkness of the den, Whitepaw thought. I vow to be the best leader of this Clan ever! But those cats will be prejudiced. I will take this Clan by force. I will do better. I will lead this Clan, to victory!
Owlstar sat on the Great Rock proudly, his apprentice, Whitepaw, standing even prouder. "Whitepaw, you have followed the warrior code and have mastered our ways. I think you have earned your warrior name." Owlstar's deep voice echoed through the clearing. "Your warrior name shall be Whitetiger, for your heart and soul are as fierce as the great cat."
'Whitetiger! Whitetiger!" The clan cheered. Whitetiger raised his head and welcomed the cheers.
He really has come a long way since I first saw him 6 moons ago, Owlstar felt a surge of affection rush through him. He had come to think of the new warrior as an adopted son. He watched as the gray and white tom got ready for his vigil.
He would make a good leader one day... Strong, young, smart, agile, and extremely dedicated. Owlstar knew he had something good ahead of him. A sweet scent filled his nose. He turned to see the medicine cat, Silversplash, standing behind him.
"I feared you would choose that name." She said. "Have you forgotten the prophecy?"
"What?" The pale ginger leader asked. "Prophecy?"
"The Clan will be rescued by a tiger in white, then after the owl's last flight, the white tiger shall plunge the Clan into power at a cost of darkness..." She repeated the words from right before Whitetiger came into the clan. "That prophecy! His name is Whitetiger, how could you be so oblivious! He's the cat in the prophecy! Destined for both greatness and darkness! Great prosperity is ahead of us..."
"So that's good, is it not?" The old tom asked.
"Yes, for now..." Silversplash explained. "But everything comes with a price."
Whitetiger sniffed the air for prey. The scent of mouse waved through the breeze. And another scent. He sniffed again, and realised what it was. LakeClan! They're invading! He knew he should be worried, and ready to protect his Clan, but he saw an opportunity, one that would probably not come again. An opportunity to rise up the ranks.
He raced back to camp to crash into the deputy. Ospreyfang had an expression of surprise, and then irritation. Whitetiger studied the deputy; he had lean muscles under his brown tabby pelt, and his claws were sharp. Ospreyfang was a big cat, muscular and thickfurred. Without mercy, Whitetiger imagined his claws in the deputy's stomach in the heat of battle. He gave a twisted smile.
"You okay?" Ospreyfang asked, a mixture of worried and slightly fearful concern im his eyes.
"Me? I'm perfect..." He snarled. "LakeClan are invading though, we need back-up." His voice was calm, as if this were a mere conversation about weather.
"LakeClan are invading? Let me get reinforcements!" He ran into the warriors den and came out with some of the strongest warriors. He looked at them, all battle-ready and in a row: Jumpfallow, Spottedshadow, Vulturefur, Mistfeather, and Fallenleaf.
"Alright, let's go!" The deputy yowled. "Where did they come from?