Rainpaw lay comfortably in the middle of the apprentices’ den with Lionpaw, Bluepaw, and Frostpaw sleeping around him. He was the oldest apprentice now, with both Robinwing and Shadowflame Warriors, and this made him proud. Sweetpaw always seemed to look up to him, and both Lionpaw and Bluepaw always asked him to help them with battle training, mostly because they remember the night he made the rogues scatter.
The rogues scent had disappeared, which was odd to Rainpaw. He knew that Shadow was still out there, but they seemed to be hiding. Why? Rainpaw had no idea.
Rainpaw then realised one of his wounds was stinging, and though he would have loved to ignore it, he just couldn’t. So, he stood up and carefully slipped through the apprentices’ den. He then padded quietly through camp before walking into the medicine den, sighing as he realised how many times he’d been in the den.
As Rainpaw walked in, he realised that both Frostpaw and Snowdrift were already awake. It seemed odd to be at this time of night, but then Rainpaw realised that they had come back from the Moonpool only a short time ago, so they had a reason to be awake.
The two medicine cats looked up at Rainpaw as he entered, both looking quite stressed as they did. Curiously, Rainpaw looked harder for the reason why, hoping to get something through their eyes. However, that’s not what he got.
Rainpaw was given a memory instead. He was then in Frostpaw’s body as he stood in a grass field that seemed to stretch for miles. In front of him was Cheetahfur, Thunderstar, Riverstar Windstar, and Shadowstar. All of them looked odd, and they were all saying the same thing. Rainpaw then tried harder to listen.
“Blood will be shed as the ashes fall, with memories lost and some forgotten, evil shall over-power even the strongest of the Clans. We wait for the Saviour, and pray that we will be saved.” Cheetahfur recited, her voice strong and mighty. ”These are words you must remember, young Frostpaw, for they will help you when you become a full medicine cat.”
“But I don’t understand!” Frostpaw protested. ”The Clans will. . .die?”
“No,” said Cheetahfur firmly. ”They will always be here in this forest. However, some leaders aren’t as good as others.” Frostpaw was frantic, he had no idea what was going on.
“There is another thing you should remember, Frostpaw,” the she-cat warned. ”Something that even I don’t the outcome of. The monster that is living within the Clans shall be tamed, but only enough to listen. With a name and a purpose, what this monster will be able to do is unknowable. You must be careful.”
“Monster?” asked Frostpaw. ”You mean those nasty smelling things that go across the Thunderpath?” Cheetahfur shook her head before fading away, the others following her lead.
“Remember the prophecy, Frostpaw,” Cheetahfur reminded him. ”Let it guide you through many more seasons of life.” Then the world around Rainpaw changed, and soon he was in his real body. He’d been holding his breath, and when he let it go, Snowdrift seemed a little curious. Frostpaw was shocked, but Rainpaw was not. He was too busy adding the piece to the puzzle.
Rainpaw then ran off, his mind too occupied to explain himself to the medicine cats at the moment. He slipped back into the apprentices’ den, panting heavily as he lied down.
What has StarClan come to? Rainpaw thought. How could they let danger just take over like that? And whose memory will be lost? Who will be forgotten? This makes no sense! Rainpaw thought about it more carefully, but not once did he know just who was going to take over. Whoever it was, they were probably plotting to kill Sharpfang at any moment, and then Ravenstar. The ‘some leaders aren’t as good as others’ part was obvious. Someone was going to try and take over ThunderClan by becoming its leader.
Well, the other warning actually makes a bit more sense, Rainpaw thought then. ”The monster” is my demon, probably, but I have no idea how it’s going to be tamed. He never listens to me, so who would he listen to? And who’s gonna give him a name and a purpose? I know I won’t—that dumb demon would kill me of he knew how, which he’ll probably find out if he had a purpose to take over. Rainpaw sighed then, closing his eyes before trying to get some sleep.
Why does this life have to be so complicating?
Rainpaw lay near Robinwing while eating his fresh-kill with happiness. Sharpfang was actually seeming to like him a bit more, and therefore was telling him that he was probably going to become a Warrior soon. This had made Rainpaw’s day, and after worrying about the prophecy for nearly a week, he finally pushed it into the back of his mind.
Shadowflame sat by Flamepelt, both of them laughing at each other’s stories. It was really cute, actually, and Rainpaw was sure that they would become mates soon. Amberstorm also sat by him, listening Robinwing tell the story of how she startled Grassfur for the thousandth time. It was a good afternoon, and with the new-leaf sun warming them up, Rainpaw felt at ease.
Grassfur then rushed through the medicine den entrance after being in it for nearly an hour. Talontooth walked proudly beside her, his head held high as he looked at the other Warriors.
“I’m having kits!” Grassfur announced. Rainpaw nodded, noticing how Grassfur looked a bit bigger. The excited she-cat giggled as Talontooth licked her before running off to her closest friend. Robinwing then looked to Rainpaw.
“That will be us someday, won’t it?” she asked, licking him on the cheek. Rainpaw chuckled before nodding.
“Yes,” Rainpaw replied. “But can I become a Warrior first?” Robinpaw laughed before continuing her story, and then everything went back to normal.
Someone suddenly barged through the thorn barrier, and when Rainpaw realised who it was he stood up and waited for an explanation.
“WindClan!” Sweetpaw gasped, her eyes wide as Yelloweye ran up beside her.
“The rogues are with them!” Yelloweye announced. “We’re greatly outnumbered!” Ravenstar then leaped down the Highrock and started barking out commands.
“Sweetpaw! Get Lionpaw and Bluepaw and protect the apprentices’ den!”
“But—” Sweetpaw started.
“You’re too young to fight!” Sharpfang scolded. “Now do as you’re told!”
“Grassfur, since you are bearing kits, please get to the elders den and let Talontooth protect you and the elders!” Ravenstar ordered, making Grassfur nod and then run into the elders den, Talontooth right behind her.
“Snowdrift! Frostpaw!” Ravenstar called. “Get the necessary herbs ready!” The two medicine cats nodded before disappearing into their den.
“Everyone else, get ready for a big fight!” Ravenstar yelled then, and everyone replied with a nod. The ThunderClan cats were scattered throughout the camp, ready to take on any battle that they needed to.
It was then that WindClan attacked, the stench of rogues behind them. Rainpaw got ready, but he wasn’t sure what to do. His body was still recovering from the poison, so he didn’t know how long he’d last.
Rainpaw then jumped onto a black tom, frowning as he realised he was still too small to fight an adult cat. Rainpaw did anyway, figuring that he might as well try.
The tom dodged his attack, kicking Rainpaw in the stomach. Rainpaw coughed as he landed on the ground, but didn’t waste any time. The tom attacked, his teeth bared, but Rainpaw slid underneath him and pushed himself from the ground and into the tom’s belly. The tom gasped for air as he hit the ground.
“You’re a smart little bug, aren’t you?” asked the WindClan tom. “The rogues seemed to think so anyway.” Rainpaw hissed before lunging toward the tom. The tom quickly evaded the attack, and then they began circling each other.
“Tell me, oh wise WindClan cat,” Rainpaw mocked. “Why are you fighting with the rogues?” Rainpaw then evaded the toms attack before turning around and slashing his claws across the Warrior’s flank. The tom screeched before they resumed their circling.
“To outnumber you ThunderClan weaklings,” the tom replied with disgust. “But there was a deal.” The tom then lunged forward, his claws unsheathed and heading for Rainpaw’s scar. Rainpaw dodged the attack with difficulty, and then he waited for the tom’s second attack. It never came. Instead, the tom just continued.
“If we helped attack ThunderClan, they’d get the chance to kill Ravenstar. Rosestar wants to finish him off after that, but the rogues do want to kill half of him. It wasn’t that hard of a decision, since we were actually planning an invasion anyway.” the tom explained.
“Well that’s too bad,” Rainpaw taunted, a smirk on his face. “Ravenstar has many loyal Warriors, including me, that would die before Rosestar could get to him.”
“Then they will die,” the tom responded. “Have you forgotten that you’re out numbered?” Rainpaw tilted his head before he realised just what the tom meant. He turned around to defend himself, but Rainpaw was too late. He was pinned down easily by two other toms. The other tom, the one he’d been fighting, smirked.
“If you ever want to know, Rainpaw, my name is Hawkstrike, and I am the one and only son of Rosestar.” said Hawkstrike, continuing smirking as he turned around to face Rosestar, who had stopped fighting Ravenstar.
“Mother!” Hawkstrike called. “Tell the rogues we’ve got a surprise for them!” Rosestar grinned, and then announced it to the rogues. Shadow wasn’t anywhere near the fight it seemed, but that just meant that he was hiding. Rainpaw was too busy struggling to notice what was going on.
Hello, Rainpaw! Said the demon-like voice. Wow. How come I always find you like this?
Why are you here? Asked Rainpaw in thought. My scar hasn’t been scratched at all!
I know! Hissed the demon. But these rogues are really startin’ to tick me off. Is it okay for me to show them whose boss?
NO! Rainpaw yelled at the demon. WindClan can’t know what I’m capable of!
Too bad, said the demon. You’ll just have to live with it.
Wait! Don’t do that! If WindClan finds out what I can do they’ll—
I don’t care~! The demon sang.
Rainpaw growled with frustration before looking for someone to help him. His eyes scanned the area, and then he quickly found Robinwing.
“Warn the others!” Rainpaw yelled. “I-I don’t know what’s happening, but it isn’t good at all!” Robinwing’s eyes were wide with shock and filled with worry, but she did as he told her and ran off toward the other cats. It was then that the demon took control, and it was then that Rainpaw was pushed away.
The demon then slashed his claws through both of the toms’ throats, killing the both of them easily. He stood and shook out his fur, and then laughed as he saw the face of Hawkstrike. The large tom had his eyes wide, which only fed the demon’s thirst for blood.
“Oh, so you’re afraid, aren’t you?” asked the demon. “Well that just makes it all the more fun to kill you!” The demon then lunged forward and bit Hawkstrike’s neck, killing him in a few seconds. Hawkstrike fell dead to the ground, making the demon smirk.
“Hawkstrike!” Rosestar screamed, alerting all of the other cats. The battle stopped as everyone looked to the demon and Hawkstrike. The demon just smirked again as fear crept over the rogues eyes.
“Followers of Shadow! Retreat!” a rogue called from the thorn barrier. “We are no match for that monster!” The rogues then all left through the thorn barrier. Rosestar looked confused, unable to understand why the rogues left so quickly.
“Aw,” the demon whined. “They all left. Oh well, guess I’ll have to settle for you WindClan weaklings.” the demon then lunged forward, his claws slitting a she-cat’s throat easily.
“Silverpelt!” a golden brown tom screeched as the young Warrior fell to the ground. The tom then lunged toward the demon, who only evaded the attack and then slit his throat as well.
“Go join your sister, weakling,” the demon hissed with pleasure.
Wait, how did you know they were siblings? asked Rainpaw.
I just knew, the demon replied with a smirk on his face, though Rainpaw knew that the demon had some ability that he probably didn’t want to know about just yet.
A dark ginger cat then lunged at the demon, fury in her eyes. The demon just evaded the attack, and then another, and another. Finally, after she gave him an opening, the demon slit her throat with his claws.
Another tom came then, and this one was pale grey with a short tail. The tom lunged at him, but the demon killed him with ease.
“Are there any fun fights anymore?” asked the demon, looking very disappointed. “You Clan cats are so easy to kill.” Rosestar then ran toward him with fury, tears running down her cheeks.
“You killed my mate and my son, you ugly piece of crow-food!” Rosestar yelled as she reached him.
“And?” asked the demon.
“You shall pay!” Rosestar said after screaming. She then lunged forward, her eyes clouded with emotion. The demon gasped with shock as the strong she-cat managed to scratch him.
“Oh, so you’re a good fighter, eh?” asked the demon. “Well then, this may be a little more fun.” The demon then lunged forward, his claws unsheathed as he slashed them toward Rosestar’s throat. He missed, but still managed to make a gash on her chest.
Rosestar screeched with agony before taking a few steps back and then lunging toward him. Rosestar’s jaw snapped toward the demon’s throat, trying to kill him.
“You want to kill me?” asked the demon curiously. “If that’s the case, then I’ll actually have to strategize this kill.” The demon then lunged toward her, pinning her down with difficulty. After that, he dug his claws into her shoulders, making her screech with pain. Rosestar kicked his stomach, making him get off.
“Not so good now, are you?” asked Rosestar, a smirk on her face. The demon just shrugged before sprinting up behind her and raking his claws down her hips. She then fell to the ground, but quickly stood up again.
“Cats fighting with fury in their hearts aren’t the smartest type, now are they?” asked the demon, a smirk on his face. Rosestar narrowed her eyes with confusion.
“What in StarClan’s name do you mean?” asked Rosestar.
The demon just kept the smug smile on his face as he attacked her once more. She dodged with difficulty, her wounds effecting her movements. The demon attacked again, and she evaded it. The demon repeated the processes, and so did Rosestar. The cocky leader was getting slower, however, and that just made the demon happy. Finally, the demon paused, watching Rosestar breath heavily. The demon smirked as he watched her.
“A bit tired, now aren’t we?” asked the demon. “You won’t be able to last much longer. Looks like my plan has worked.” Rosestar’s eyes narrowed with determination.
“What do you mean?” she rasped. “I’m just warming up!”
“Oh trust me,” the demon hissed. “You aren’t going to be able to move here in a little while. You see, I scratched both shoulders and both hips, making your legs bleed with pain. Then, when I kept attacking you, I was only trying to get you to move. Or, in other words, tire yourself out. Now I can take all of your lives at once without having you struggle.” Rosestar’s eyes widened, and she backed away, but she realised what was happening all too late.
The demon lunged toward her, his jaw clamping onto her neck as he pinned her down. For a minute they stayed there like that, and everything was quiet as Rosestar’s lives drifted away. She was in too much shock to move, and the demon was having too much fun to stop.
One. . .Two. . .Three. . .Four. . . Rainpaw counted in his head as the lives poured out of the leader. Rosestar was then down to her last life, but something stopped the demon.
The demon was pushed to the ground and held there by an unknown force. Rainpaw couldn’t see the face, mostly because the demon kept thrashing around. Rosestar then stood up shakily after laying there. Her eyes were wide her body was drained of energy. She couldn’t do anything.
“W-WindClan. . .” she rasped. “R-retreat. . . .” The WindClan cats then fled, helping Rosestar run away. The cat keeping the demon down did not get off until all of the WindClan cats were gone. The cat then got off of him, making the demon angry as he stood up.
“I was just about there!” the demon screeched. “Why did you stop me? I thought she was the enemy!” The cat that had held him down was Sharpfang, to Rainpaw’s surprise, but the demon was not as impressed.
“Rosestar is a Clan leader.” Sharpfang argued, his eyes narrowed. “You know that, Rainpaw. Are you okay?”
“Rainpaw?” asked the demon. “What gave you the idea that Rainpaw was back?” Sharpfang’s eyes grew wide, then, as the demon said that.
“Y-you’re still the monster?” asked Sharpfang.
“Yeah,” the demon hissed. “Who else would I be?”
“Why aren’t you trying to kill me?” asked Sharpfang. “Aren’t you a monster?”
“Well yeah,” said the demon. “But since the scar wasn’t scratched, Rainpaw has the ability to come back whenever he wants. So, like right now, when he’s struggling to gain control, I can’t do anything but talk to you, which is actually kinda boring now that I think about it. . .”
“The scar wasn’t scratched?” asked Sharpfang, his eyes wide with shock. “How were you able to gain control?”
“Eh, ask Rainpaw,” the demon growled. “I don’t really feeling like explaining it to you. Bye-bye~!” Rainpaw then gained control, sighing with relief as he did.
“Thanks, Sharpfang,” Rainpaw muttered as he stood up. “WindClan would not have been happy if Rosestar died. . .”
“How was he able to gain control, Rainpaw?” Sharpfang asked, his eyes narrowed.
“To be honest? I don’t know,” Rainpaw growled. “He basically just popped in and took over. I only had enough time to warn Robinwing before the demon took over.” Sharpfang acted like he was going to say something, but then he just walked away. Rainpaw shrugged before looking for Robinwing.
“Rainpaw!” Robinwing called, running over to her. Rainpaw turned around before smiling at his mate. “Rainpaw, are you okay? I was so worried!”
“I’m fine,” Rainpaw insisted, licking her on the cheek. “Just a little winded, that’s all.”
“Amberstorm!” screamed Birdflight. Rainpaw then looked toward the elderly Warrior, only to find a crowd of cats blocking his view. They were all surrounding someone, and Rainpaw had a bad feeling it wasn’t just because the cat was wounded.
Rainpaw then ran through the crowd, tears slowly making their way down his cheeks as he tried to keep his emotions down. When he made it to the centre, he gasped with shock.
Amberstorm lay there, motionless aside from some very shallow breathing. There were many wounds upon her, the biggest near her lungs. The she-cat was quickly dying in front of him.
“No. . .” Rainpaw murmured. “N-No!” He was crying, he knew, but he couldn’t help it. Rainpaw knew that if he’d been paying attention, he could have protected her, and then she wouldn’t be in that situation. His heart ached at the sight of her.
Many cats watched the she-cat in silence, even as she slowly drifted away. Amberstorm no longer breathed, and her heart no longer kept beating. She was gone.
“StarClan,” Rainpaw whispered, just low enough for Snowdrift to hear. “Please, for me, give her life.” Rainpaw knew it wouldn’t work, but he just felt like saying it. Robinwing sat next to him, comforting him as he wished for it to happen.
Suddenly, Amberstorm coughed, making Rainpaw look back to her. His eyes were wide as Amberstorm sat up without a wound on her, looking perfectly happy. Amberstorm looked confused, happy, and amazed all at once.
“I-I’m. . .alive?” she asked, looking herself over. “And I’m healed! What did you do, Snowdrift?” Snowdrift, who had been sitting near her, shook his head.
“I didn’t do a thing, young one,” Snowdrift murmured. “Though I believe Rainpaw could tell you a thing or two.” Rainpaw then looked up to the medicine cat in alarm. He had no idea how it happened.
“I, er, just wished to StarClan to give her life,” Rainpaw replied, a little embarrassed that so many cats were looking him. “That’s nothing special, is it?”
“Strange things happen to strange cats,” said Snowdrift wisely.
“Yeah,” Robinwing agreed. “Maybe since you took so many lives, they let you save one.”
“But that doesn’t make any sense,” Rainpaw reminded her. “I said the same thing to Snowstorm, and did he live?” Robinpaw’s head went low, but she didn’t look sad or anything. Rainpaw went through in his head about what went different this time, and then he found his answer.
“Rosestar’s lives,” he murmured. “The monster must have kept them for himself.”
Er, I never meant to keep any lives, said the demon in Rainpaw’s mind. I didn’t notice that I was even gaining them. I mean, I could feel them gathering within me, but that was it.
Rainpaw sighed, but no one seemed to notice his annoyance. Are you going to take over again, or no? You don’t really seem to want to take control.
Nope, I’m just here for the show, the demon replied. When you saved the she-cat’s life, I was a little surprised. And interested, of course, but mostly surprised.
Whatever, Rainpaw thought. Just as long as you aren’t going to kill any of my friends.
“Well, I don’t think it was intentional,” said Rainpaw aloud. “But either way, if that was only one of her lives, I still have seven left.”
“You took eight of her lives?” asked Robinwing in shock. Rainpaw shrugged.
“As far as I know,” Rainpaw replied. “It was hard to count with the stupid demon in the way. It was all but her last one, that’s for sure.”
“Amazing!” Bluepaw chirped.
“It’s not amazing!” Ivyclaw scolded her kit. “It’s scary! Now go help the other Warriors fix up your den, or do you want to sleep in the rain tonight?” Bluepaw lowered his head before following his brother toward the apprentices’ den.
“If you have seven of Rosestar’s lives, then that would mean you have eight lives left,” said Flamepelt, putting the pieces together. “So you’re basically a leader.”
“Am not!” Rainpaw hissed angrily. “I’m like every other apprentice, and it shall stay that way. I just need to find a way to get rid of these lives. . .”
“Get rid of them?” asked Grassfur. “but they could save someone in the future!” Rainpaw sighed, knowing she was right. However, he didn’t want to keep these lives for himself. It felt wrong, and with all those cats he killed.
Rainpaw then had an idea. He stood up and walked toward the pile of dead WindClan cats that he’d killed. His heart did a somersault in his stomach as he saw them and realised that it was his fault that they were all dead. That didn’t matter though, ‘cause he was going to fix that.
“Rainpaw, what are you doing?” asked Robinwing as she walked to him, some other Warriors following her.
“Robinwing, these cats are dead because of me, and they didn’t do anything wrong,” Rainpaw explained. “I need to save then, and now that I can, I will.”
“Rainpaw, they invaded our territory!” Flamepelt reminded him. “How’s that for not doing anything wrong?”
“That was on Rosestar’s orders,” Rainpaw growled, narrowing his eyes. “It wasn’t their fault. There are exactly seven cats here: Hawkstrike, the two that were holding me down, Morningbreeze, Swiftstrike, Silverpelt, and Haretail. If I save all of them, I’ll be able to forgive myself completely.”
“I don’t understand,” said Amberstorm, walking up to him. “You’ve killed before, and yet you’ve never felt guilty. Why are you doing so now?”
“Because these cats are Clan cats,” Rainpaw replied. “They’re just like you and me, and all they were doing was respecting Rosestar’s ridiculous orders. These cats have families and friends and just a few moments ago I took that all away.” It was quiet then, and even Ravenstar was watching from the Highrock. It only lasted a few minutes though.
“I just have one more question,” said Sharpfang. “Why don’t you just keep the lives for yourself?” Rainpaw narrowed his eyes, obviously offended by the answer. His tail was lashing and his ears were back.
“If I kept them for myself, I would not consider myself a Clan cat,” Rainpaw growled. “I don’t want that. ThunderClan is my home, and though I’ve had my bad moments, I will protect it the best I can. I am a Warrior, and Warriors don’t kill. So, I’m going to be doing the right thing, and I am going to save these cats.” Rainpaw then turned toward the WindClan cats and closed his eyes, concentrating as he asked StarClan to give them life.
StarClan, please give them life, and let them return to their families. Rainpaw thought.
You mouse-brain! The demon within him hissed. It took me a long time to kill them, and now you’re just going to give them your lives? You’ve got to be joking! Rainpaw ignored the demon and focused.
Now Rainpaw could feel the lives coming out of him. It was like a river flowing from his heart to his left shoulder and then to the cats. His scar was probably glowing as he did this, but he didn’t care. This was he wanted to do, and he was going to do it correctly.
After a few minutes, it all stopped. Rainpaw opened his eyes to find all seven cats standing up, all of them surprised that they were alive. They then looked around each other, their eyes shocked as they found Rainpaw. The seven of them then fled through the thorn barrier before disappearing.
Sheesh, said the demon then. You’d think they’d thank you for saving their lives. What an ungrateful bunch. Rainpaw laughed a bit before standing up happily. He didn’t feel quite so sad for killing them, because he saved them.
Ravenstar walked over then, a proud smile on his face. Rainpaw looked curiously over to the leader, ready to hear what he had to say.
“It looks like I have another Warrior ceremony to preform,” said Ravenstar, smiling. “Rainpaw certainly showed us all that he is ready to become a full Warrior of ThunderClan.”