In the days that followed the Gathering, Rainfur went on like normal. He’d take Stormpaw out once a day to either train him to hunt or to fight, and then he would go on his own patrol. When Rainfur went on a patrol, it was normally over by the Twolegs or RiverClan, and though he sometimes went to the ThunderClan border, it was mainly just at night. The Clan agreed to keep Rainfur safe, having now accepted that he was their way out of the nightmare they were in.
Stormpaw continued to be his annoying bratty self, always making comments about how stupid cats were and about how he wanted to go back home. Rainfur wanted desperately to ask where his home was and why he wanted to die, but he knew also that Stormpaw needed time to settle into the Clan.
It had been nearly a half moon since the gathering, and since then RiverClan had been getting very curious. They would always ask how ThunderClan was doing, and afterward tell them of how WindClan was doing. Rainfur knew that they wanted to be protected, but he wasn’t sure if Nightstar wanted to protect them. That would be something to ask if ThunderClan got a bit stronger.
At the moment, Rainfur was cautiously walking with Snakeheart and a few others toward the ThunderClan border. He had made himself go, and though he scented a ThunderClan patrol coming closer, he didn’t stop. Rainfur wasn’t going to let Sharpstar see the fear that he had clawing at his skin like ants in his nest.
By the time they reached the border it was nearly moonhigh. Rainfur hated the night patrols, but with ThunderClan teasing and taunting them every time they saw each other, it had to be done. It was necessary and safe.
When they were half-way through marking the border, five dark figures showed up in the distance. They were coming toward the ShadowClan patrol, and once everyone noticed, they tensed, ready for a fight.
“Aw, the scaredy little ShadowClan cats afraid that we’re going to crush them?” sneered a cold voice. The dark figure that it belonged to was a dark ginger tom, whom Rainfur knew as Tigerpelt. “I guess not. They’ve got Rainey on their patrol so they don’t need to be worried at all.”
Hey, that’s my nickname for you! Jactur hissed. Name-stealer!
“Step down, Tigerpelt,” the familiar voice of Ivyclaw, ironically Tigerpelt’s mate, murmured. “We cannot risk a fight. Sharpstar doesn’t want one yet.” Tigerpelt rolled his eyes.
“I’d still like to see these flea-bags cross our border,” Tigerpelt teased. “They would then feel the power of Sharpstar’s lead!”
“Shut up!” hissed the familiar voice of Hawkstrike. “I may not be deputy anymore, but I am still older than you!”
“So it’s true then?” asked Rainfur, his eyes narrowed. “WindClan is now ThunderClan?”
“Of course!” Tigerpelt growled. “Why else would we be this strong?” Rainfur’s fur bristled, his claws urging to unsheathe.
“Don’t start a fight, Rainfur,” Snakeheart hissed then, getting his attention. “We have enough to worry about as it is.” Rainfur relaxed after giving the slender Warrior a long glare.
Rainfur let his mind wander. He let himself look at the cats in the large patrol. Ivyclaw, Bluepaw and Lionpaw’s mother. Tigerpelt, once a great Warrior, now an annoying deputy. Hawkstrike, the cat who wanted revenge on him most. Silverpelt, another WindClan cat whom he once killed, but then brought back to life. Then, the last cat Rainfur had wanted to see, Flamepelt, his kithood friend.
When Rainfur saw Flamepelt, his fury doubled. The ginger tom had many wounds and scars throughout his pelt, and his eyes were dull with exhaustion. Sharpstar must have beaten Flamepelt, and this made Rainfur want to kill the current ThunderClan leader even more.
“This is the first time in a long time I’ve caught you on a patrol, Rainey,” Tigerpelt growled. “What’s the matter? Too embarrassed to show your face?” Rainfur growled lowly for warning before calming himself down. There was no need for a fight.
“I’ve been busy with my apprentice,” Rainfur lied. “Stormpaw is growing tremendously strong. I hope you get to see one day. You know, after we change ThunderClan back to the way it was.”
“You want to change it back to that pathetic loner and rogue filled Clan it was?” asked Tigerpelt in a taunting voice. “That would be just like you.” Rainfur narrowed his eyes a bit before looking to Flamepelt. The other cats also seemed to notice, though it was Owlpaw who said something at last.
“You haven’t said anything at all,” Owlpaw squeaked. “You’ve just been staring at Rainfur. Were you two friends?” Flamepelt opened his mouth to answer, but Tigerpelt said something first.
“He’s a newbie,” Tigerpelt hissed, glaring at the young tom. “After Shadowflame announced that she’s expecting his kits, he’s been a bit rebellious. Sharpstar got through to him though. Now he’s just quiet. That answer your question, pipsqueak?” Owlpaw gave a high-pitched growl before standing proudly.
Rainfur sighed. He knew Flamepelt and Shadowflame had loved each other, and he knew that they would eventually be mates, but at this time? It had to be the worst time to expect kits. The worst. Flamepelt was not going to have a happy several moons if he kept rebelling against Sharpstar, but it seemed that he’d gotten past that. Now the young ginger tom looked defeated.
Rainfur suddenly got an idea. However, how would he tell Flamepelt of it? He was probably always surrounded by Sharpstar’s followers from what it sounded like. Rainfur quickly thought of something that he hoped Flamepelt would catch onto.
“Well then, I hope he listens to Sharpstar,” said Rainfur, looking at Tigerpelt though aiming it at Flamepelt. “He can be vicious when he wants to be.”
“And why would you care?” hissed Tigerpelt, his amber eyes narrowed tightly.
“He was once my Clan-mate,” Rainfur growled, keeping himself calm no matter how much he wanted to kill the arrogant deputy. “So were you, but I guess you’ve basically disowned me now.” Tigerpelt’s tail lashed, but the strong tom kept himself from crossing the border.
“So what?” Tigerpelt hissed. “Did you two take sunhigh walks or something? Pathetic! You must have been worthless when you were a Warrior.”
“I quite enjoyed those walks with Flamepelt and his sister,” Rainfur murmured. He had absolutely no idea what he was doing, only that it seemed to be helping. Flamepelt was thinking about something, and he was trying to arrange Rainfur’s words into the secret code.
“Rainfur, what are you talking about?” asked Snakeheart, looking very confused. “Are you trying to start a fight?”
“Of course not,” Rainfur hissed back to his fellow Warrior. “I’m just telling Flamepelt to listen to Sharpstar, and maybe even gain his trust. Maybe if he did that, his sister would be safe.”
“Wait,” said Flamepelt, suddenly talking. “How did you know that Amberstorm was in danger?” Everyone looked to him with confusion, but he did not want to answer that question.
“I have my ways,” Rainfur muttered. “I know many things, in fact. If I were to tell you about them, you would think I were from StarClan.” Tigerpelt’s tail suddenly twitched with irritation.
“You’re just trying to scare us!” Tigerpelt hissed, his head held higher. “Come on, let’s leave before our brains rot by being next to such mouse-brained cats!” The ThunderClan patrol left rather quickly, and Rainfur could tell that Flamepelt had caught what he needed to know. The young ginger tom kept looking back to Rainfur, his eyes wide.
“What did you do?” hissed Snakeheart. “You started a worthless conversation!”
“It wasn’t worthless,” Rainfur growled, turning back toward his Warriors. “I was trying to tell Flamepelt to be a spy without actually telling the cats around him.”
“Oh really?” asked Snakeheart. “And why would we need a spy?”
“We need to know when Sharpstar is planning to drive out ShadowClan,” Rainfur told the elder Warrior. “When we know, we’ll attack before that happens. You know Sharpstar is planning something, he just needs the numbers to do it. I have a feeling he’s trying to make RiverClan join his ‘Clan’ even as we speak.” Snakeheart looked to Rainfur suspiciously.
“Okay, fine, we need a spy,” said Snakeheart. “But why Flamepelt?”
“I know that I can trust him,” said Rainfur simply. “His sister, Amberstorm, is important to him. I could blackmail him if he tries to do anything mouse-brained.” The cats on the patrol tilted their heads with confusion.
“What’s blackmail?” asked Snakeheart. Rainfur rolled his eyes, forgetting once again that cats were a bit dumber than humans.
“It basically means to trick,” Rainfur explained. “If you do this, I’ll do this to such and such, got it?”
“Oh,” said Snakeheart.
“Anyways, I think Flamepelt understood what I was trying to send to him,” Rainfur thought aloud. “When I told Tigerpelt that Flamepelt should listen to Sharpstar, I was telling him to be careful. Sharpstar has nine lives and can do some nasty things.” Snakeheart and the others nodded, very curious now.
“When I told him that he was once my Clan-mate, I was telling him that I still cared for him and I still considered him my friend,” Rainfur continued. “When I told him that I enjoyed our walks at sunhigh, I was not only telling Flamepelt to meet me at the border, I was tricking Tigerpelt into thinking that Flamepelt would want to take walks during sunhigh, not moonhigh, the time I want to meet with Flamepelt.” Owlpaw nodded, a grin on his face.
“When I told him that I just wanted his sister to be safe, I was really letting him know that if he did what I told him, I would ensure his sister’s safety.” Rainfur paused, but unfortunately, did not get to continue.
“And how are you going to do that?” asked Snakeheart. “Amberstorm lives in ThunderClan!”
“Just because I do not share her den does not mean I can’t make sure she’s safe,” Rainfur growled. “I want Flamepelt to get Sharpstar’s trust, and with that trust, Amberstorm will not be hurt because Sharpstar will like Flamepelt too much.” Snakeheart sighed with irritation, but didn’t argue.
“Then, when I told him that I knew many things, I was creating a curiosity and a question that he would want answered,” Rainfur continued. “He is curious, and that means he will want to come back so that I can answer any question he has. We will be talking about much more than what I know, of course.”
“And you planned all that?” asked Owlpaw, amazement filling his eyes.
“As much as I would love to say ‘yes’, Owlpaw, no,” Rainfur replied, an embarrassed look on his face. “I started the conversation, but I had no idea where it would lead. It just happened to go exactly how I wanted it.” Owlpaw and the rest were quiet for a few moments before Rainfur sighed.
“Well, I think we’ve done as much damage as we can here,” he muttered. “Let’s go back to camp. I’ve got a hunting patrol to get to before anything nasty happens.” Rainfur led the rest of the patrol out, smiling widely. Now all that needed to happen was Flamepelt agreeing to his offer, and though it seemed difficult, Rainfur had a good feeling that Flamepelt would accept for the greater good.
The Saviour! He’s come!
The Saviour needs guidance!
The Saviour needs the truth!
“Who is he?” Rainfur wondered aloud as he stood in the complete darkness. He’d been listening to the voices for hours, but it was just the same thing over and over again. Who on earth was it?
Suddenly, the darkness faded. The voices were no longer heard. In front of was Cheetahfur, oddly enough, and she seemed to be watching something.
As Rainfur looked around, he gasped with shock. They were in his Twoleg backyard! He remembered the brown fencing, the tall green grass, the basketball court, and even the black picnic table that was near the court. It was so familiar, yet in some ways, it didn’t feel like home anymore.
Rainfur had to stare and wonder as Matthew walked over, led by Daniel as he played basketball. Matthew sat down, the sad, emotionless expression on his face. Rainfur couldn’t believe it—when was this? It was must have been around two months before his death—but why? Rainfur looked back to Cheetahfur, who had continued to watch his human self with interest.
“Cheetahfur! What’s going on?” Rainfur asked, a worried look in his eye.
Cheetahfur didn’t answer.
“Cheetahfur? Why are you ignoring me?” asked Rainfur, a confused look in his eye as he walked over to the beautiful StarClan cat. “Cheetahfur, can you hear me? Hello? Are you—” Rainfur stopped short as he literally walked through her. Was she a ghost? Well, of course she was, but usually she was like any other cat. She seemed real now, yet he could still walk through her.
I must be back in time, Rainfur thought. So Cheetahfur was the cat who was stalking me all those years. This seems to be on a different occasion, though. . .
A pale tom suddenly started talking to her, and by Cheetahfur’s expression, she knew who he was. His name was Tigerfang, and from what Rainfur saw, he was also a StarClan cat. He figured that he might as well listen to the conversation thus he understand why he was here.
“I’m only interested in the bigger one,” Cheetahfur was saying. “He’s just. . .strange. Unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.” Cheetahfur looked very curious as to what the reason was, and Rainfur found himself putting his head low. Of course she would wonder why, and of course she wouldn’t understand.
“Why do you say that?” asked Tigerfang, looking very suspicious. “They’re all the same, aren’t they?”
“No!” Cheetahfur snapped. “They’re almost never alike. This one, though, is just too different. It’s as strange as snow in Greenleaf…” Tigerfang seemed shocked at this, leaving Rainfur curious as to why he was surprised.
“Are you sure?” asked Tigerfang. Cheetahfur looked confused now, same as Rainfur.
“Yes,” she replied. “Why?”
“Don’t you know that a new prophecy has been made? Talking about, the ‘strange one’?” asked Tigerfang. Cheetahfur’s eyes widened. Rainfur knew she must have remembered it, though until Tigerfang reminded her, she probably hadn’t even thought of it.
The scene changed again. Now Rainfur was in a very healthy forest, and once again Cheetahfur was walking beside him. Just like last time, however, she took no notice of him.
When she walked into a dark looking den, Rainfur followed. Cheetahfur looked nervous, as if she were in trouble, but Rainfur didn’t really care to find out more. He was too interested in the other cats within the den.
There were four others, and instantly Rainfur knew who they were: Thunderstar, Riverstar, Windstar, and Shadowstar. Now Rainfur was really confused. Why would they want to speak to Cheetahfur? Hadn’t they already decided to make him a cat?
“Cheetahfur,” said Thunderstar then. “We are aware that you have been visiting a Twoleg once every moon. Is this rumour true?” Cheetahfur, cringing at the loud booming voice, lowered her head a little. Rainfur could tell she had no idea what she was in the den for, and this made her uncomfortable. Rainfur was curious as well.
“Y-yes, that’s true,” said Cheetahfur. Her voice was wavering, and she seemed a bit scared, but as Thunderstar stood up, he smiled, leaving her to tilt her head in confusion.
“Then we must ask you what you have learned,” said Thunderstar. “I, for one, am curious.” Cheetahfur looked up to the noble ThunderClan leader in astonishment. Her eyes were wide with shock and surprise, unable to believe that they were asking her of what she knew.
“B-but why?” asked Cheetahfur. “I don’t understand.”
“It’s okay,” said Riverstar, smiling warmly. “We aren’t mad, just curious as to why you have been watching this Twoleg. We have been doing the same, but we still don’t understand. What’s so interesting about him that has caught your attention?” Cheetahfur still looked shocked, but after a few moments, she gulped. Rainfur just sat there, frozen. What was happening? What was this dream telling him?
“Well, the first day I saw the Twoleg it seemed upset,” Cheetahfur explained. “I don’t know for sure, but after watching other Twolegs, I noticed that it was depressed. I watched the Twoleg a lot after that, realizing that it seemed to be pushing the depression away. Then it started protecting this little Twoleg, one that is younger than it. The Twoleg seems happy now, but I can see past it. The Twoleg is just—strange.”
The four powerful leaders were thinking about what she said, calculating the information that was given to them. It was a very strange sight to see them all thinking like that, but Rainfur had much more to worry about. After several heart-beats, Thunderstar looked up to her.
“I am assuming you’ve heard of the prophecy,” said Thunderstar. “So, let’s get to the main point. Are you sure that he is strange, even if he were a cat?” Cheetahfur nodded.
“Yes,” she responded. “It’s like the Twoleg is wasting its life away, trying to forget the reason it’s so sad. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“Then our decision is final,” said Thunderstar. “Cheetahfur, we are going to turn this Twoleg into a cat.”
The scene changed once again, but this time Rainfur returned to the darkness. He sighed as he thought of what just happened, the dream he’d just had. What was the point of it? What was StarClan trying to tell him?
From what Rainfur had gathered, Cheetahfur had taken interest in him since he was. . .nine. Then, when he started protecting Daniel, Cheetahfur had gotten even more curious. After that, the four leaders were trying to figure him out, but ended up asking Cheetahfur for an explanation. When she gave it to them, they decided to make him into a cat to reclaim his life.
Most of that information was stuff he already knew.
There was something that kept popping up though. It was the prophecy, talking about the Unexpected killing the Unexpected and the ‘Strange One’ being apart of it all.
All I need to do is figure out that prophecy.
“You are smart, Rainfur, but you are missing the clear picture,” said the familiar voice of Cheetahfur. Rainfur looked up to see her starry figure ahead of him.
“What do you mean?” asked Rainfur curiously.
“I cannot tell you,” Cheetahfur answered. “StarClan forbade me. It would hurt you to know anyway, and I know I must let you find out on your own. I am surprised you have not already found it out actually.”
“I’m just confused,” Rainfur muttered. “There are two prophecies—the one made before I was turned into a cat, and the one that Frostpaw received from you a few moons ago. Which one should I look to?”
“Both prophecies should be put aside right now, but both prophecies should also be looked into,” Cheetahfur replied. “One talks of what will happen in just a few moons, the other talks of what will happen seasons into the future.”
“Gee, that helps,” Rainfur muttered.
“It wasn’t supposed to!” Cheetahfur hissed. “Just think about what you’ve seen tonight. You will find the answer right in front of you.”
Everything faded as soon as she finished, leaving Rainfur to gasp as he woke. Carefully sitting up, he made sure no one was awake. If anyone saw him leave, they’d as him why, and that would be something he could answer, but would rather not.
After making sure all of the Warriors were asleep, Rainfur stood and quietly walked over the sleeping bodies of cats. He hoped he hadn’t slept in, though by how dark it was outside, he doubted it.
When Rainfur made it out of the Warriors’ den, he sighed with relief. It was nearly moonhigh, giving him enough time to go find Flamepelt near the ThunderClan border. Rainfur only glanced up to the moon again before running out of camp and toward the border.
By the time Rainfur reached the border, it was a little past moonhigh. It was cooler than usual, though there was a warm breeze. Rainfur could feel the energy in the air, leaving him to hope that a thunderstorm was not on its way. After what happened last time, the cats around this forest would be scared to death when it happened again.
Flamepelt was not far off from where he had ended up. Rainfur just quickly followed the scent and soon found Flamepelt sitting there with a very confused and worried look on his face.
“What took you so long?” he asked. “You know how long it took me away from the ThunderClan camp?”
“I have an idea,” Rainfur answered. “I’m sorry I’m late—I slept in by accident. Anyway, would you like to know why I asked you to come tonight?” Flamepelt nodded.
“Yes, I would,” Flamepelt hissed irritably. “I’ve gone through too much for you to just leave when you’ve finally come back.” Rainfur narrowed his eyes a bit before answering the young tom.
“Before I tell you what I want you to do, I shall tell you what you will get if you agree to my offer,” Rainfur told Flamepelt. “If you do what I ask, your sister will be safe. If you do as I ask, you will be helping not only the good in your Clan, but the good in the other Clans as well. If you do as I ask, you will be doing a favour to StarClan, to me and the Saviour. Do you understand?” Flamepelt nodded, looking very curious as to what he was supposed to do. Rainfur paused for a few seconds before continuing.
“Flamepelt, will you be a spy for me?”
Flamepelt looked as though he’d been struck by lightning. His eyes were wide, and he was frozen. Rainfur’s head was low, knowing right then that Flamepelt would not accept.
“Y-you want me to be a. . .to be a spy?” asked Flamepelt, still shocked. “Why?”
“I need one badly,” Rainfur replied. “I need to know what Sharpstar’s planning, and when he is going to use it against ShadowClan and RiverClan.”
“Nobody but Tigerpelt, Rosestar, Hawkstrike and the medicine cats know about that!” Flamepelt claimed. “None of the other Warriors know—Sharpstar doesn’t trust them!”
“Well, gain his trust, and learn his secrets,” Rainfur muttered. “Just do anything to get information that will help me plan to invade ThunderClan and take back what was rightfully Ravenstar’s.” Flamepelt looked at him with surprise for a few moments before sighing.
“You know how risky this is, right?” asked Flamepelt, looking at his paws.
“Of course I do, but that’s why I chose you to do it,” Rainfur replied. “Come on, Flamepelt. I need you. If you gain Sharpstar’s trust, your sister will be safe, remember?” Flamepelt looked up to Rainfur, his eyes clouded with emotion.
“If I’m caught, I’ll be executed.” said Flamepelt “No one will be left to care for Amberstorm, and then I’ll kill myself again in StarClan. You know this right? If Sharpstar finds out, he’ll make me die a very painful death, and I don’t want Amberstorm to see me like that. . .I don’t want her to go through the pain—”
“She won’t,” Rainfur growled. “Life isn’t about ‘what if’s’. Life isn’t about ‘what could happen’. Life isn’t about other cats. Life is about living, and doing the best you can until it is your time to leave. Life is about making mistakes, learning from them, and then forgetting them. Life is about learning, trusting, and just doing what you were born to do. So what if you fail? You tried, and that’s all that matters. Even if you do fail, I promise you that Amberstorm will not be hurt. I will kill that idiot before he can do anything to her, I swear to it.” Flamepelt smiled at that before dipping his head respectively.
“If it is that important to you, I will do as you say,” Flamepelt told him. “Just like old times, right? You get in trouble, and I end up having to help you.” Rainfur smiled.
“Just like old times.” he said.