The Artful Wolf >> Stories and Poems >> Warrior Cats - Never The Same - CloudClan
Warrior Cats - Never The Same - CloudClan
Post by Talaz on Dec 7th, 2013, 10:13am
Wow, okay. I'm also posting it on here for it to get ignored.
Re: Warrior Cats - Never The Same - CloudClan
Post by Talaz on Dec 7th, 2013, 10:18am
You could hardly see anything apart from sleek black shadows as the group of cats slipped through the darkness. Their tails streamed out behind them, and if you looked close enough, you could see that they were arranged in a very organised fashion.
There was one at the front, and three in a line behind it. Then after that, there were seven in a line behind the three, and decreasing in two as the triangle ended in a point of one cat. So twenty in total.
If you looked even closer, you could see occasional flashes of reflected light coming from anywhere in the group of cats, maybe emitted from the stars or the moon, or the dirty grey houses that surrounded the creatures, the rare ones that had their lights turned on at this time of night.
Where the cats were going was unknown to all but one. The leader of the group had arranged a sudden evacuation of their camp, refusing to tell anyone where they were going.
It seemed an age before the collection finally rested. The majority of them fell asleep almost instantly after eating from the fresh-kill pile that they had collected along the way. But as the leader was about to settle down, he was disturbed by a nudge from one of the others.
"Excuse me. I'm terribly sorry, but there is something you have to see." The cat that spoke was a brown she-cat with a bent ear, but brightly shining chocolate eyes. Her eyes were the only thing you could really see of her due to her dark fur.
The leader looked up. "Okay, Raafis. But it better be good."
Without hesitating, Raafis moved away and led the snow-white leader out of the abandoned junkyard the group were resting in.
Once they got out of the junkyard, Raafis abruptly stopped.
The leader narrowed his cynical icy eyes, and did as he was told, for the only cat apart from himself who could boss him around was the healer.
"What do you see, Somakar?" The healer, Raafis, implied.
Somakar sighed. "Stars?"
"Look a little bit closer. What is it about the stars?"
Somakar could fully well see what was different. But he was very headstrong, a good leader nonetheless, but quite proud. He didn't like other cats telling him what to do, and the advantage of having a Clan so obscure, so unknown, was that there were no other cats apart from his own.
"The stars. They're in a sun shape. That's all."
"Ah, but what could it mean?" Raafis tilted her head, her chocolate orbs burning into her leader, knowing he could find where the sign came from, if only he could rid of his arrogance.
"StarClan is so vague, it's hard to tell."
"Close." A smile broke over Raafis' maw. "Now, go rest. You need a lot of energy for the rest of tomorrow's journey."
Somakar took one last look at the strange pattern in Silverpelt, then turned round and trotted back into the junkyard without a word.
Raafis watched the fluffy white tom until he disappeared out of her sight, her admiration for him showing in her rich eyes. She was just about to get some sleep herself, when the changing of the pattern in the sky caught her eye. She looked up to see the middle circle of the sun pattern was still there, the wavering rays gone, but in its centre, it held a simple lightning bolt with a cloud above it. A dark, seemingly endless black cloud.
Re: Warrior Cats - Never The Same - CloudClan
Post by Talaz on Dec 14th, 2013, 9:51pm
Ash's head snapped round as he heard thundering paws against the soft, wet ground of early newleaf. He couldn't count how many, but he figured there were quite a few. He started to race away from them, picking up speed as he got more comfortable running, but only to trip over his big, oversized paws. The young tom's expression of fear changed to one of indignity and annoyance as he tumbled head over heels and lay on his back, panting and glaring up at the foliage of the trees, blaming them for his mistake.
Shaking his head, Ash pulled himself back up and continued his flight before the Clan cats could catch him on their territory.
As soon as he crossed the far border, he slumped down outside of it, panting, his heart racing fast.
His massive paws looked out of place to the rest of the kitten's body, for they were almost the size of an adult cat's, and they definitely did him no favours. His whole pelt was jet-black, the only exception to the colour was the insides of his ears, which were still a dark grey, just not as dark as the rest of him. His eyes were a light, bright emerald green, and were the only thing he liked about himself. He hated his big, fluffy body, and massive black paws, he hated his long, pointed ears, and his too-short tail. Generally, the loner kit was optimistic about himself and his life, but so far all it had been was bad, so why should it get any better?
Ash was so lost in his thoughts that he hadn't noticed the strong-smelling group of Clan cats that had appeared in front of him, just inside the border.
"I've seen you before." The slightly high-pitched voice startled the jet-black tom and he leapt up, his body alert. There were four of them. Two adults, two kits. The kit that had spoken was a light-coloured female with deep amber eyes. She had her head poking out from behind one of the adults, and was looking at Ash with plain curiosity. He remembered her. She had caught him hunting on her Clan's territory, but had promised to keep it a secret.
"The last time I saw you was when you were hunting near the border, at least you're outside of it this time."
"Mousebrain," Ash muttered under his breath. He turned his gaze to the adults, who were looking at him with accusing narrowed eyes.
"Ah, but he is inside our territory, isn't he, Sunpaw?"
At this Ash started a low growl. "No, I'm not. I am outside the border, like... Sunpaw said," he almost snarled. How dare they? He hated Clan cats anyway, now they were wrongly accusing him?
"Of course, young one, you do not know. The Clans are extending our territories so we inevitably have more prey to go around. So if I were you I would move out of our way."
"But didn't you hear what Sunpaw said?" The other adult questioned, a ginger she-cat. "She mentioned that this loner had previously hunted on our territory. So shouldn't he be punished?"
The cat that had accused Ash before, a golden-brown tom, glanced at the she-cat who spoke, then turned to Sunpaw. "Are you absolutely sure that this exact loner was hunting on ThunderClan's territory?"
Sunpaw lifted her chin up high. "Yes, I am definitely sure, Lionblaze."
"Hm," Lionblaze grunted, and turned back to Ash, who had been watching all this silently, his emerald eyes still narrowed, but his posture less threatening.
"You are guilty?" Lionblaze raised one brow.
Ash took a deep breath and looked into his eyes. There was no point in lying now. "Yes." He paused. "I am sorry, but you also have to understand that we loners struggle to find food too, and it's just as hard for us. It's not like we're about to just relocate ourselves because some stuck up Clan cats think they're more important than us and need extra special care, or..." The jet-black kit trailed off as he realised that he had probably gone into too much detail, and now, maybe when they were just about to let him off, he had gone and ruined it.
The ginger she-cat crouched down, her face twisted into a snarl. "For one, we are /not/ stuck up. Two... Are you calling us kittypets? Because I believe you're more of a kittypet than we'll ever be, so-" She was cut off by Lionblaze. Unlike her, his eyes were calm and he stood straight, hiding his emotions.
"Cherrystep. He's just a kit, maybe of apprentice age; he doesn't know what he's talking about." Ash almost started growling again when Lionblaze implied he was too young or dumb to fully understand the Clan cats, but then he realised he was just trying to make peace, so the young tom stayed put.
"Also. You are not making excuses up, I know that, it is just as hard for loners and rogues too. But you don't even live inside the Clans' territory anyway, so why should you break the rules and venture into our lands, when you've got a whole world outside for hunting. What is it? The thrill, better prey?"
Ash was half-listening. For most of it, he had been thinking again how if it wasn't for his oversized paws he wouldn't even be here in the first place, because he wouldn't have tripped up, and he wouldn't have delayed. However, most of Lionblaze's words were actually sinking in, but it was only at the end that Ash dared to defy him.
"Rules... What rules? You think you can just make up some rules that say certain cats can't go in certain places if they aren't of a certain group, or a certain rank, or... You think you control this place, don't you? You think you can just walk in someday because apparently your old home has been destroyed by Twolegs, but... But we loners were here first. You're like the Twolegs, aren't you? Technically. You pretty much destroyed our lives and shoved us out, and you think /we/ should be punished for that? It's... I don't... Get it." The tom sighed and looked down at the ground. His words conveyed him older than he was. There was still the kitten innocence and loss of words, the stuttering, but the true meaning behind it was clear and strong. Considering he was the first loner to actually stand up for himself, he figured he did a pretty good job of it.
"What's your name, kid?" Ash slowly looked up, to find on Lionblaze a sort of half-smile.
"Ash," he said quietly.
"Well, Ash, you okay to come with me?" The young black tom didn't know why, but he could definitely hear a new warmth in Lionblaze's voice, and even though he didn't trust him completely, he figured it wasn't going to be any sort of punishment like before.
Lionblaze's voice changed back to its normal brisk tone. "Sunpaw, Cherrystep, Mosspaw. Go back to camp. I'm going to test out Ash here."
Ash had hardly noticed the other kitten, whose name he now found out was Mosspaw, and he almost grinned when he saw the tiny fluffball. However, he held it back, because he didn't want to be rude, or wouldn't want any other creature to laugh at his big paws.
He turned back to the big golden tom as the others raced off.
"We'll wait for a bit, then I'll let you lead the way."
Ash tipped his head in confusion. "But I don't know where the camp is. How am I supposed to find it?"
Lionblaze gave a light-hearted wink. "You'll find it, don't worry."
Ash was wondering why the broad-shouldered tom had changed his demeanour so quickly, when he suddenly bounded off.
The young kit was startled for a moment, then leapt up and caught up with Lionblaze.
He continued to keep up with the tom as he went faster and faster, until they suddenly stopped in a small clearing. "Now, lead me to the camp."
Ash sat down and scratched his long ear. "But there's so many scents. Which one's your Clan?"
"All of them."
Ash paused. "What? Even the ones who smell of fish?"
Lionblaze suddenly bristled. "No. That's RiverClan. They must be in our territory," he snarled, his eyes flaming.
"Another Clan? In your territory?" Ash stopped scratching his ear and sniffed harder. As he was about to give Lionblaze more information, the senior spoke first.
"Yes, but I'll just report it to Bramblestar. Just follow the ones that are most recent, or smell closest to my scent."
Ash parted his jaws and took a deep breath of Lionblaze's scent. He hesitated, all the strong smells confusing him for a moment, then set off in what he hoped was the camp's direction.
As the scents got stronger and they got closer, Lionblaze took the lead.
"There's a steep cliff that you could fall down if you don't know where you're going. I don't want another death."
Ash stayed silent, wondering whether he could finish the ending to that sentence. He didn't know how long he'd be in the Clan's camp for, but he hoped it wasn't too long. After this, even though he was practically posing a change in the Clans' ways, he wanted to move on from this territory, and just let the loners live their new lives if it worked out nicely, and start travelling again. He was still young, and he could feel there was a lot ahead of him, but maybe it just wasn't here.
Soon enough they skidded to a halt, and Ash kept close to Lionblaze's tail as he led the way through the gorse bushes. The scents were way too strong here, and Ash just wanted to turn tail and run, or cut off his nose, either one, but he forced himself to keep going, and soon they emerged into the sunlight of ThunderClan's camp.
Re: Warrior Cats - Never The Same - CloudClan
Post by Talaz on Dec 22nd, 2013, 11:22am
Ash's view was blinded with whiteness for a moment, but it soon faded and he was left standing at the entrance to the camp. A few cats had turned round to look who this newcomer was, and some were bristling in disgust at why Lionblaze had brought a loner into the camp, or some were just plain curious.
"Hey, what's your name?"
"Who are you?"
"What's Lionblaze up to this time..."
Ash plodded on, following Lionblaze still, and tried to block out all the voices and smells.
Some cats were being irritating and getting in his way, but he sort of preferred them to the ones who were yelling insults at him from afar.
In one moment of annoyance, he growled back at no one in particular, "You wouldn't be brave enough to take me on!"
At once, he knew this was a mistake. There were senior fighters and hunters, and what was it Lionblaze had said? 'Maybe of apprentice age'. There were apprentices here too, and although Ash may be the same age as them, he knew he didn't have the skills to fight them.
"Ooh, big talk from the little loner."
"...With the massive paws."
Ash started his growling again, but Lionblaze blocked his view with his tail.
"They're just trying to get a reaction. Ignore them, face forward, and walk straight."
Ash nodded and turned around, padding forward again, following Lionblaze.
Soon they got a big, lopsided rock with a ledge sticking out at the front. Lionblaze led Ash around to the side and into a small opening in the rock. Inside, there was a dark brown tabby tom with a dark ginger she-cat sitting next to him. The tabby looked up, and his amber eyes burned into Ash.
"Who is this?"
Lionblaze glanced at Ash, then spoke to the tabby. "Bramblestar, this is Ash. He is a loner. We found him hunting on our territory, but he poses a strong argument."
Bramblestar raised one brow. Ash figured he was the leader, and he also guessed he could smell his fear-scent. "Well. Let's hear it then."
Ash took a deep breath, but for a split second his thoughts switched once more back to his luck. How he wouldn't even be here if he hadn't delayed so long, or if he hadn't hunted on their territory anyway.
"Yes. I was hunting on your territory. But really, it was /my/ territory before that. Before you came and barged in with your Clans and your rules and your customs because apparently your home has been destroyed. But you've destroyed our home too. You are like the Twolegs..." Bramblestar and the she-cat next to him bristled, but Lionblaze shook his head at them. "...Here we are, sharing the land equally, we were fine, but then you came. You kicked us out of our own homes, and you must know how that feels. And now you're forcing us to leave and hunt somewhere else, just because of some dirt marks that you call a border? And now you're extending the territories, pushing us out even further?"
There was a long silence. Ash wondered what was going through Bramblestar's mind, the leader showing no emotion or judgement in his orange eyes.
"Despite the obvious disrespect of our ways, I can see it from your side now." Bramblestar finally spoke. "We are not like the Twolegs, however much we seem like it to you. I ask you, does every loner feel this way?"
Ash paused. "Well... I'm not sure, but I can guess they do."
"Hmm... Well. In that case, I will propose something for you and your fellow loners." The ThunderClan leader took a deep breath. "Since we are extending the territories quite a few fox-lengths, we won't bar you from hunting on the extended part. However, that is only for our Clan. I cannot make decisions for other Clans, you see. Luckily, there is a Gathering tomorrow night, but I'm afraid you might have to stay with us until then. Also, I might discuss this with the other leaders as well; that you cannot hunt on our territories, but you are free to roam around them, as long as you only hunt on the extended parts, or fish by the shore of the lake. Does that seem fair to you?"
Ash thingyed his head. He couldn't really say no, and he could see that Bramblestar was actually making a big sacrifice. "I guess, yes, thank you."
"You are dismissed, and you can stay in the Clan as long as you respect our ways, however different they are from your own. You will be treated like an apprentice. You will get a temporary mentor, and go on patrols. It isn't for long."
"Okay, Bramblestar." It didn't sound too bad. It might even be fun. A change from being so alone, anyway.
Ash followed Lionblaze out of the leader's den, his head held high, but it soon dropped as more insults flew his way.
"Fox-hearted coward! Come and take me on!"
Ash was startled when Lionblaze leaned down and said, "It's okay. You can fight him if you want. That's Berrynose. He tends to pick on seemingly weaker cats, but he doesn't really mean it. He's just trying to show off." When Ash hesitated, Lionblaze assured him, "You don't have to. Only if you want to."
"Oh, I want to." Ash half-grinned and broke away from Lionblaze's side, heading towards Berrynose.
"Ooh, you actually picking up the nerve? Well, I'm sorry, but that only makes you even more of a mousebrain," Berrynose laughed, his eyes slitted, and his cream-coloured neck fur bristling. "Bring it on, kittypet."
"I am no kittypet!" Ash snarled, lunging for Berrynose's neck. The tom dodged easily, and the smirk grew wider.
"Nice try." The cream-coloured tom picked up Ash's limp body on the ground and tossed it into a nearby bush. Not gently, but not so much that it would hurt him badly either.
Ash curled up on the ground under the bush. Why did he want to fight this cat? This adult. He was just a kit. How could he take him on at all? Yet something willed the jet-black kit to keep on trying, and soon he was up and staggering out of the bush.
Ash paused. "Mhm," he said quietly.
"What's that? I didn't hear you."
"I said..." The kit growled, this time much louder. "I won't rest until you're on the ground, and that smirk has been wiped off your face, and all those other faces around me."
"Hah. You can try."
"And try I will," he snarled, his green eyes boring into Berrynose, for this suddenly had become all so real. He could feel his blood dripping down from his cheek, where the bush had scratched him, and that angered the young tom. This cat will not get the better of him, however old and experienced he was.
Ash watched, crouched down, unwavering, while Berrynose circled around him. The adult stopped to face the kit.
"Enough play, enough talk," Berrynose said, his orbs gleaming. "It's time you were taught a lesson of how a real warrior fights."
The warrior cat leapt at Ash, his claws unsheathed, and twisted in the air onto his back. His paws came crashing down onto Ash's side, and the kit fell over and went limp.
"Oh? You know that trick do you? Too bad I do too."
"You so sure?"
Ash turned his head and bit onto Berrynose's left front leg, the one closest to Ash's head, and the warrior instantly lifted it up, bringing Ash with him. As soon as the loner was free from Berrynose's grasp, he shot away from close combat, so the warrior didn't have time to hit him again.
Berrynose gently placed his bitten paw onto the ground. This time the blood Ash could taste wasn't his own.
Ash sat down and closed his eyes. He didn't know what he was doing. He could hardly control himself as he felt some sort of feeling bubbling up inside of him. He opened his eyes and they flashed purple. It all became slow-motion as he leapt towards Berrynose and slashed at his side, then twisted around in the air and bit his short tail, ripping a tuft of fur off from the end, and unbalancing the warrior. Ash then landed and instantly turned round and jumped again, this time landing on Berrynose's head, biting his right ear and ripping the tip off. He started slashing at Berrynose's neck fur as his vision went hazy red, but the muted sound of a voice calling him off brought Ash back to his normal self, and, slightly horrified at what he'd done, he jumped off Berrynose's back and instinctively went to Lionblaze to hide his face from the injuries he'd given the warrior.
Ash's ears were slicked back against his skull, his head buried into Lionblaze's leg, the taste of blood on his tongue. He was tired. Incredibly tired. He wanted to stay there and fall asleep in the warrior's fur. But he knew he couldn't.
Taking a deep breath, Ash lifted his head from Lionblaze's leg, to see the Clan's eyes all on him. Apart from Berrynose's. And a grey-and-white she-cat's. They were pressed together, and had their backs to him. He switched his view up to the slanted rock with the ledge, to see Bramblestar and a blind grey tom discussing something.
It was almost silent, the only exceptions being the rustling of the trees, and the blind cat and Bramblestar's quiet meows.
It stayed like that for a while. Ash didn't know what to do. He just wanted the attention off of him. What could he do anyway? He just badly messed up a trained adult cat, and he was supposed to fit in and feel comfortable for the time he was in this Clan? No. He knew that wasn't going to happen.
Finally Bramblestar broke the silence. "May all cats old enough to catch their own prey gather here beneath HighLedge for a Clan meeting." But every cat was there already. All they had to do was silently look up at the leader.
"Ash. This is Jayfeather, our medicine cat," Bramblestar informed the young tom, gesturing to the blind cat beside him. "He and I have had a talk, and we have agreed something. We will not be offended if you refuse, because it will be a big responsibility and change, but I am asking you to join ThunderClan."
There were a few gasps from the crowd, one from Lionblaze, but Ash was just stunned into silence. He didn't know what to say. He couldn't keep them waiting forever though.
Re: Warrior Cats - Never The Same - CloudClan
Post by Talaz on Dec 22nd, 2013, 11:22am
"I..." His voice came out as a croak. Clearing his throat, Ash started again. "I would... Like to join your Clan, Bramblestar."
Bramblestar nodded. "Then we shall train you as an apprentice. You will learn to accept our ways, and our Warrior Code. The changes to loner's rights will still happen if you wish, but you cannot live with a paw in each world. You may not leave the Clan once you are a fully fledged warrior. You must have a commitment to this Clan and its cats. Or we will drive you out. Do you still want to take this on?"
Ash didn't hesitate this time. "Yes, I still would like to be a part of ThunderClan."
"Ash, you have entered our Clan at the age of six moons, and it is time for you to be apprenticed. From this day on, until you receive your warrior name, you will be known as Ashpaw. Your mentor will be Lionblaze. I am certain he will pass on all he knows to you." Bramblestar paused. He then beckoned Ashpaw and Brackenfur forward. "Brackenfur, you are ready to take on your first apprentice. You had received excellent training from Ashfur, and you have brilliant experience. You will be Ashpaw's mentor, and I expect you to pass on all you know to him."
Lionblaze nudged Ashpaw, and the black tom looked up at his new mentor. Lionblaze leaned forward and Ashpaw dutifully touched noses with him. It took a while before the Clan were chanting his new name, but soon most of them were joining in. Apart from Berrynose. The warrior was giving him a glare so deep Ashpaw guessed it went past the fact he had beaten him.