Book 1: Warriors: The Shadow Outcast

I am human, or I was. I was fine, and now I'm cursed with insanity. They say I can do great things, but all I've done so far is kill. Sacrifice can only get me so far, and the feeling of exile and outcast isn't new to me. Is this what you wanted StarClan?

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41. Chapter 39

Chapter Thirty-Nine

Rainfur gasped as all of the memories Sharpstar had in his twisted mind flooded into his head, forcing him to watch what the tabby leader had been through when he was little. Rainfur’s headache returned quickly as his mind became too crowded with these memories, but he kept himself from screaming as he tried to pick up a weakness from Sharpstar’s private moments.

“Mama! Sharpkit nearly killed me!” whined a silver tabby she-kit the size of Duskkit when he was her age. They were in ThunderClan’s nursery where two queens sat. The first one had two small kits near her belly, but they couldn’t see yet. The other queen was a silver tabby with bright blue eyes and odd leopard spots. It was Cheetahfur.

“Did not!” said a tabby kit padding proudly into the nursery with his head held high as he avoided the small kits suckling by the first queen. “You just didn’t get out of the way fast enough! It’s not like your fatally wounded or anything, so just get over it, will you?” Cheetahfur growled lowly at her kit, getting his attention as the silver tabby she-kit smirked.

“Sharpkit, I’ve told you this before,” Cheetahfur growled as she prepared to scold her son. “You are not supposed to be using your claws until you get your mentor, okay? You are too young to be playing that roughly. Now apologize to your sister, or you won’t get an ounce of fresh-kill tonight, understood?” Sharpkit stood with a shocked expression, as if surprised that his mother wasn’t proud of him for what he did.

“But mother, I did everything correctly!” Sharpkit insisted. “I’m stronger than Tigerpaw now! Besides, if I can’t use my claws or teeth until I get a mentor, I’ll have to wait another moon!” Cheetahfur’s eyes narrowed with anger, her fur bristling slightly.

“Not another word!” Cheetahfur hissed. “You will apologize to Ashkit, and help the elders dispose of their fleas right this moment or I will not allow you to play until you become an apprentice! Do I make myself clear?” Sharpkit’s head lowered as he mumbled a quiet ‘sorry’ before running off.

“Watch out for Thornkit and Jaykit!” Cheetahfur called to her son. “Berryleaf has had enough stress today with the death of Tigerfang, so don’t make me punish you more than you already have been!” Sharpkit didn’t look back at his mother. He just jumped over Berryleaf and ran out of the nursery crying.

Rainfur was very shocked at this memory. Was Sharpstar mean even when he was a kit? It sure seemed like it, though there seemed to be something more. Something was missing, and it was the piece that was most needed to understand the memory he’d just seen.

Sharpkit walked out of the elders den with a sigh. He’d just finished picking off all the fleas from the elders’ pelts and was now thoroughly exhausted. As the tabby kit looked up, he found that there were many eyes on him, and though they acted as if they didn’t care that he was standing there, he could see it in their eyes that they loathed him.

Sharpkit’s eyes narrowed as he saw Ashkit, his sister, telling almost everyone she saw about what happened and how he was punished. The brat gave a smirk in his direction as the other cats around him whispered about how cruel he was to his sister. Sharpkit growled lowly, angry that Ashkit betrayed him like that.

He walked over to the fresh-kill pile after that, his anger showing as he chose a small enough mouse for him to eat from the small pile of food. Leaf-bare had just arrived a few days ago and they were already low on food. This made Sharpkit even more determined to become an apprentice, but first he needed to prove himself.

“Hey, Sharpkit!” called one of the younger apprentice’s that went by the name of Tigerpaw. “Come eat with me before I leave for the dusk patrol!” Sharpkit nodded before padding over to the darker tabby tom. He lied down, but just picked at his food as he thought of how evil his sister was.

“Is there something wrong?” asked Tigerpaw. Sharpkit didn’t answer. He didn’t want to. “Come on, Sharpkit. You know you can tell me anything.” Sharpkit looked up to Tigerpaw who smiled at him kindly, encouraging him to explain. After a few moments of silence, Sharpkit just sighed.

“Ashkit told everyone about how I ‘nearly killed her’,” Sharpkit murmured. “It’s just not fair! Why do they have the right to talk behind my back about how cruel and stupid I am just because I’m the wild son of Ravenblaze while I don’t even have the right to use my claws?” Tigerpaw shrugged, honestly curious of the same thing.

“Well, maybe it’s because they’re older, and they’re Warriors,” Tigerpaw suggested. “Don’t worry about them, Sharpkit. One day you’ll show them just how powerful you are, and then they’ll have to accept you.” Sharpkit smiled up to his friend, praying to StarClan that he was right. One day, when he would be an apprentice, he’d show them that he could fight twice as much as his loner of a father.

Now Rainfur felt a bit sorry for Sharpstar. Those Warriors had no right to whisper so loudly about him, just because he was the son of a loner. This made Rainfur think of his kits and what they’d be treated like when he won the war.

“Mother, where is Ashkit?” asked Sharpkit as he walked into the nursery. Cheetahfur was crying slightly as Ravenblaze comforted her gently in a soothing voice. Sharpkit was confused, as he had just been playing with her a few moments ago.

“Sweetie. . .Ashkit has green-cough,” Berryleaf whispered, saying the words that Cheetahfur and Ravenblaze could not. Sharpkit’s eyes widened, knowing how little of a chance his sister had of living if they didn’t have cat mint. He’d seen Berryleaf’s third kit die from something similar just two moons ago.

Sharpkit ran out of the nursery, his heart beating quickly as he refused to believe his sister was going to die. There had to be something that he could do. Something that could make his sister better. Sharpkit thought of many things as he entered the medicine den, sniffing around for Ashkit.

The small silver tabby was sitting near the back of the den coughing and sneezing violently. Sharpkit gasped before walking toward his sick sister, only to be stopped by Bluepool and her apprentice Snowpaw. The two medicine cats shook their heads, telling Sharpkit that he couldn’t go to see her.

“But she’s my sister!” Sharpkit insisted. “I need to see her! I need to comfort her!” The two medicine cats did not move, though the sadness in their eyes showed him that they were scared of losing her. That meant that there was no cat mint. That meant that Ashkit would die.

“You need to stay put, Sharpkit,” Bluepool whispered. “She’s too sick for you to be near her. Leave her to rest.” Sharpkit’s eyes watered with sadness as Ashkit continued coughing, barely being able to breathe in between each sneeze.

“I want to see her!” Sharpkit screamed. “I don’t care if I get sick! I need to see her!” The medicine cats just continued to stare at him with sorrow in their eyes. Sharpkit sat down after a few moments, crying more than he ever had in his life. “I need to tell her I’m sorry. . .” Sharpkit cried for a few moments before Snowpaw stirred. The white apprentice was much sadder than his mentor, for he knew what it was like to lose a sister.

“Bluepool, couldn’t he—?” Snowpaw began after a few moments of silence, but his mentor cut him off with a low growl.

“We don’t have the cat mint to heal him if he gets sick,” Bluepool hissed, her eyes narrowed tightly. Snowpaw nodded, confusing his mentor and Sharpkit who was now listening to the interesting conversation in hopes that he could see his sister.

“You didn’t let me finish,” Snowpaw murmured, surprisingly calm. “What I was going to say was, couldn’t he at least talk to her from right here? I’ll let her know that Sharpkit is here and from the distance they are now they can share their final good-byes.” Bluepool looked at her apprentice for a few moments before nodding.

“Alright, but you will take no more paw steps,” said Bluepool, her eyes still narrowed. “I will leave you to it then. I need to go check on the cat mint anyway. Probably dead by now, though.” With that, the grey cat left silently as Snowpaw walked over to Ashkit and whispered gently to her.

At first Sharpkit didn’t know if Ashkit wanted to talk to him, but after a few minutes of silence that was only filled with coughing, Ashkit carefully sat up and turned to face him with her blue eyes that were filled with sorrow. Her wavy silver fur was matted, and she looked too weak to move. This made Sharpkit even more rueful, but he tried not to cry while his sister looked to him.

“Sharpkit?” asked Ashkit, her voice raspy with exhaustion. “You c-came to see m-me? A-aren’t you w-worried about g-getting sick?” Sharpkit smiled as he heard his sister’s voice. Even though it was full of weakness as she tried to keep the coughs and sneezes down, he just wished it would last forever.

“I don’t care about getting sick,” Sharpkit murmured. “I just wanted to say. . .that I’m sorry for calling you a brat the other day. You didn’t deserve it. You were just being you.” Ashkit sniffled back a tear in the darkness of the cave. Sharpkit could barely keep back his own tears, but he tried. He didn’t want Ashkit to cry too.

“I-I did deser-serve it, m-mouse-brain,” Ashkit said teasingly. “Now-ow everyone t-thinks you’re a cr-cruel brother w-who’s gonna enj-joy watching h-his sis-ster die. I s-should h-have kept my mo-outh shut.” Sharpkit accidentally let one tear go as his sister said those words. She was the type of cat who never apologized to anyone unless she was forced to, but he guessed that his sister knew she was going to die.

“Don’t worry about me,” said Sharpkit. “One day I’ll show them that I am the best kit to ever be born in their nursery. I just wish you could watch me do it.” Ashkit shook her head, as if laughing at the fact that he thought she wouldn’t be there.

“Sh-Sharpkit-it, I w-will be wi-with you no-o matter-ter what, y-you just wo-won’t see m-me,” Ashkit told him. “Go-o sh-show the-ese mouse-bra-brains who’s bo-oss, and I p-promise you tha-that I w-will be ri-right th-there in t-the cro-crowd to w-watch the show-w. I’ll b-be the lou-loudest cheer-ering you o-on. Ju-just list-isten for-or my v-voice. I p-promise.”

When the memory stopped Rainfur could only think of when he lost Alfie. Sharpstar must have been feeling the same emotions he was right then, except he was warned his sister was going to die. But Rainfur knew it wasn’t that different.

Sharpkit sat in the back of the nursery, staring at the fresh-kill in front of him. Snowpaw had brought it for him, bearing the news that he’d been waiting for. A quarter moon had passed, and now his sister was dead. Gone forever. Never to be reached again.

Sharpkit forced his tears back, but inside of him it was raining. There was nothing but memories of his sister, and though he looked angry, he was just filled with sorrow that no one could take away. That day in the medicine den was the most recurring memory he had, and her words stuck to him like honey.

“Go show these mouse-brains who’s boss, and I promise I’ll be right there with you.”

Sharpkit suddenly heard paw steps so he calmed himself down and forced down a few bites of fresh-kill, though he felt as if he were going to vomit afterwards. When the footsteps stopped, Sharpkit sniffed the air, finding that it was only Tigerpaw behind him.

“Um, Sharpkit. . .” Tigerpaw murmured, realizing how different his friend was. “Cheetahfur wanted you to. . .uh. . .see her so that you could get ready for your apprentice ceremony.” Sharpkit sighed. He wanted to become an apprentice, but he wished Ashkit was beside him.

“Tell her that I don’t want to get clean,” Sharpkit growled. “I can groom myself, and it’s an insult for her to think otherwise.” Tigerpaw didn’t move. Instead he stood in silence, probably trying to figure out what to say.

“Look, your mother has been through a lot today,” said Tigerpaw. “Couldn’t you just cut her some slack?” Sharpkit stood up quickly and turned around as his amber eyes narrowed with anger, making his frightened friend stare in shock.

“Oh, so you think that Ashkit’s death didn’t affect me at all, do you?” asked Sharpkit, his tail lashing with fury. “Well here’s some news for you: I don’t want to become an apprentice today. Not today, not tomorrow. I don’t want to become an apprentice at all until I’ve sorted out these millions of thoughts in my head!” Tigerpaw stared in shock for a few moments before relaxing slightly. Obviously Tigerpaw had never seen him this angry.

“Sharpkit, you’ve been talking about becoming an apprentice for ages,” Tigerpaw reminded him. “Why don’t you want to become one now? You said so yourself a few days ago that Ashkit will always be with you, so why not believe that now?” Sharpkit just looked to his paws.

“That was before she died,” he growled. “Now I don’t know what to do anymore.” Tigerpaw sighed before walking out of the nursery, muttering something about being treated like a kit. Sharpkit waited for him to leave before he stood up and found his way over to a little hole in which he’d found lead into the forest.

“I’ll show them who’s stronger,” said Sharpkit. “And then we’ll both be apprentices together. Sound good, Ashkit?” He didn’t receive an answer, but he didn’t care. When he caught a large mouse for his family, Cloudstar would have no choice but to make him an apprentice, and those mouse-brains who whispered about him won’t even mention a word about how stupid he was ever again. And then he’d be with Ashkit again.

After climbing through the hole, Sharpkit ran through the forest, taking in the unfamiliar scents of the unfamiliar bushes, weeds and trees. He smiled before running as far as he could go, hoping never to go back again. Eventually he remembered of exactly what he needed to do so he stopped and started scenting for mouse. He’d never actually sniffed live one, but he knew what a dead one smelled like, so he figured it would be good enough.

A long time passed before Sharpkit sighed and sat down, disappointed that he didn’t find anything. At this rate, he would be out all night, and he knew that Cloudstar had probably already sent out a search party. Sharpkit was really tired as well, but none of this would make him go back. He was determined.

Just then, Sharpkit picked up an unfamiliar scent that he thought was close to a rabbit. Smiling with joy, he darted toward it, hoping that it would be a large piece of prey that he could bring back to camp. When he got closer, however, he found that the scent was nothing like a rabbit. It wasn’t like anything he’d ever smelled before, making him scared.

Suddenly a large animal walked out from the den he was standing next to. It was orange with black legs and a black tail, making Sharpkit gasp as he figured out what it was. He’d only heard about them in stories, and just by how the elders described them did he know what the animal before him was called.

A fox.

Sharpkit ran for his life as soon as the fox caught his scent. He ran faster than he ever had, his eyes wide with fear and shock as he heard the large animal running toward him. Sharpkit knew he was too slow, and as the fox snapped at his tail, he feared for the worse.

A blur of golden fur rushed past him with a furious yowl, and before Sharpkit knew it, his mother’s bloody body was slammed into the ground, the fox’s fur drenched in her blood. Sharpkit stared at his mother who was just barely breathing for many moments as the fox got over his own wound. He couldn’t accept that his mother was dead. It was just too sudden.

“Run. . .” his mother whispered to him. “Run! Get out of here while you still can!” Sharpkit did as he was told, running until he couldn’t run anymore.

Rainfur didn’t know what to feel with this memory. Sadness, sure, but there was also the knowledge of how Cheetahfur died and pity for Sharpstar for he had to witness death at such a young age. . .

“Seriously?” asked a pretty black she-cat, her green eyes wide. “Wow. I wonder what Snowstorm is going to do now if he can’t go one second without tripping over his own feet! Did he really tumble over himself after receiving his Warrior name?” Sharpkit, probably Sharppaw now, nodded with excitement.

“My father told me so,” Sharppaw answered. “And besides, have you ever really thought any better of that loner, Thornpaw?” the black she-cat just sighed, shaking her head as she smiled to her older friend.

“It must be so wonderful for your own father to be the deputy,” said Thornpaw. “You get all of the good gossip, and you always know what’s going on with the other Clans. It must be so cool.” Sharppaw frowned, his head lowering as he remembered exactly how ‘cool’ it was to have a father like Ravenblaze.

“It’s not that great,” Sharppaw muttered as Thornpaw ate her fresh-kill. “Ever since Cheetahfur died, he’s been distant, and he doesn’t even like me. Gossip and knowledge of the other Clans never get to my ears anyway. Dad just hides it all from me.” Thornpaw stopped eating, the look of pity in her eyes.

“Sharppaw!” hissed a large dark grey tom. “Get over here now!” Sharppaw sighed, rolling his eyes as he stood up. Thornpaw looked worried, but he gave her a reassuring smile, telling her that everything was okay. After that he turned and walked over to his furious father.

“What?” asked Sharppaw, his eyes showing his boredom.

“You know exactly what!” Ravenblaze hissed, his eyes narrowed. “You are feeding Gorsekit and Grasskit stories that are not appropriate for them! They were talking about how you met a fox when you were only four moons old and how much they would love to do the same!” Sharppaw just shrugged.

“Yeah, so?” asked Sharppaw. “Elders tell kits stories like that all of the time, what’s wrong with mine?” Ravenblaze narrowed his eyes even tighter, making Sharppaw angry.

“Did you tell them of how the story ended? With you running away like a scared kit, helplessly whispering something about your mother being dead?” Ravenblaze asked. Sharppaw hissed with fury as his father mentioned Cheetahfur’s death. How dare he bring that up again.

“Of course I didn’t tell them! I’m smarter than that!” Sharppaw hissed. “And I was not helpless! I was just as strong as any apprentice there had ever been! But apparently you’re too obsessed with the past to realize that your own son is stronger than you yourself will ever be!” Ravenblaze growled lowly, his lips drawing back into a snarl.

“Coming from the cat who caused her death in the first place,” said Ravenblaze bitterly.

“It wasn’t my fault!” Sharppaw yelled. “Ashkit died, and I-I just didn’t know what to do! You would have done the same if you were me. I know it! Except you’d probably be dead with Cheetahfur because you would have been too honourable to leave her. At least I was smart!” Ravenblaze hissed with fury before raising his paw and unsheathing his claws. Sharppaw ducked, but Ravenblaze still managed to slash open a large gash on his face.

“Don’t ever speak like that to me,” Ravenblaze growled as he sheathed his claws. Though his eyes were filled with sorrow, not once did Sharppaw see regret. “I shall speak to Cloudstar of this. Don’t expect to be going to any gatherings for a while.” With that, the dark furred Warrior walked away, his tail drooping with sadness.

Rainfur couldn’t believe that Ravenstar of all cats did that to Sharpstar. Even though the apprentice had deserved it, hurting him was not necessary. But then, grief does funny things to everyone’s minds, so Rainfur hoped it was just the sorrow that made Ravenstar hurt his own son.

“Do you really think that you’re gonna become a Warrior?” asked a large brown tom who smirked at Sharppaw’s furious glare. “Your father was lucky he even got to stay here, meaning that you should be thankful you’re even alive. Is that how you feel, Sharppaw? Weak, pathetic, and barely alive? That’s how I see it.”

“No!” Sharppaw hissed, his tail lashing with anger. “I will become a Warrior! Cloudstar may be dead, but no matter what, I will show any leader that stands on that Highrock that I’m strong enough to be anything!” The brown tom raised his eye brows.

“Oh really?” asked the brown tom. “Then why are you thirteen moons old and still not a Warrior yet I, barely even ten moons old, have just been given my Warrior name? Your father clearly hates you. That or he doesn’t trust you. After all you did kill his only reason for being here.” Sharppaw growled loudly before lunging at the arrogant Warrior, his claws unsheathed as everyone looked at him in shock.

Sharppaw pinned down the brown Warrior with all of his strength before raking his back claws through the tom’s tough skin. Out of pure instinct, the brown tom kicked Sharppaw off of him. The tabby apprentice stepped off gladly as his heart began to beat quickly. He hadn’t expected things to go that far, but he was just so annoyed of cats calling him so many different things.

As other members of the Clan started to whisper like they always did, Sharppaw ran, hoping to forget that any of that just happened. He sprinted out of camp, only stopping when he tripped over a large tree root. He sat by the large oak tree crying as his thoughts swirled in and out of his head.

“Why?” Sharppaw asked himself. “I’m good enough to be a Warrior! Why does he keep pushing it off? Why can’t I show them that I am more powerful than they are? Am I that weak?”

“Only if you think of yourself that way,” said a familiar voice that made Sharppaw jump. He stood up and got into a fighting position, ready to defend the Clan that hated him. Then suddenly a large amount of cats surrounded him, making Sharppaw think of the worst. “Oh no, don’t be afraid. We won’t hurt you yet. But back to your questions. You say that you want to show them that you are powerful, no? Well, if you help us, we’ll help you.” Sharppaw relaxed a bit, but not all of the way. He had been raised not to trust strangers, so it was instinct to be afraid.

“Wh-who are you?” asked Sharppaw.

“We are outcasts of the Cats of the Storms,” said the black tom, who was obviously the leaders. “So we are rogues, as you Clan cats call it. We are in need of a place to stay, though, because we have travelled so far. So are you interested in the deal? If you help us find a place to stay, we’ll help you achieve your power.” Sharppaw thought of his options but still didn’t trust them yet.

“Will you hurt any of my Clan mates or any of the other Clans if I show you a place nearby?” asked Sharppaw. The black tom shook his head before Sharppaw finally relaxed. They waited in a few moments of silence as the small apprentice studied the rogues.

“Follow me, then,” said Sharppaw. “Just be careful. There’s probably a search party for me, or a hunting patrol.” The cats nodded before letting the tabby apprentice lead the way. Sharppaw wasn’t really sure of where he was going, only that he knew of a place that they could stay.

It didn’t take long to find one of the stone entrances. When Sharppaw stopped, the rogues behind him murmured in confusion. Even more so as he turned to face them, glaring at them slightly. Though he’d gotten used to the whispers at camp, he wasn’t used to them being in the forest.

“Is this a trick?” asked the black tom, who looked really angry. “Because we don’t like tricks, and those who’ve tried have all died moments later.” Furious growls, suspicious hisses, and murmurs of agreement fill the air, but Sharppaw took no notice of them.

“It’s not a trick, I promise,” Sharppaw told him with a smile. “Watch.” With that, the small apprentice pushed the large rock out of the way, revealing a large gopher hole that could let any sized cat go down it. At first the rogues were leery, but after a few moments all of them stared curiously into the hole.

Sharppaw sighed before walking right in it, leading the cats into the dark tunnels. At first he was afraid that no one would follow him, but then he heard paw steps behind him. Satisfied with how much they trusted him, Sharppaw continued leading the rogues until they were in a large cave area in which had many sheltered exits in case a flood happened.

“This is quite the place you have here,” said the black tom. “Does anyone else know about it?” Sharppaw shook his head, gazing off into a day dream as he looked at that small whole in the cave wall in which he remembered hiding when he was a kit.

“I came by this place when I was much younger,” Sharppaw explained. “I’d just witnessed my mother’s death and was hiding from a fox. No one was able to follow my scent down here apparently, because I had to climb back up in order for them to find me.” The black tom nodded before turning toward his fellow rogues.

“We shall stay here until further notice,” the black tom told them. “This young tom shall be welcomed, understood?” There was a mixture of ‘yes sir’s, ‘we understand’s, and ‘okay’s, but the black tom didn’t seem to care.

“So what do you want us to do to help you reach your goal?” asked the black tom. “Oh, and you can call me Shadow if you want.” Sharppaw nodded before he thought. How exactly did he need help? He’d never really thought of it before.

“Um. . .I’m not sure,” said Sharppaw. “Can I wait until I’ve figured it out?” Shadow nodded with a smile on his face, one that Sharppaw found curious.

“Of course you can,” said Shadow. “You helped us find this wonderful home, so I will help you achieve your goal.”

Rainfur thought a bit as he figured out just how Sharpstar had met the rogues. But he felt as if there was more to the story. At that moment, Rainfur didn’t feel that Sharppaw was aware of their power, only that it would help him achieve greatness. And even then, Rainfur could see it in Sharppaw’s eyes that he didn’t want to kill anybody to get there yet.

“Have you seen Shadow?” asked Sharppaw curiously to a rogue stranger. They were in the cave, and boy had it changed from when they’d first arrived. Nests were made, a fresh-kill pile was created, and everyone seemed to have a job. It was just like a miniature Clan living underground.

“He’s in his den on the far side of the cave,” the tom answered. “Feel free to enter.” Sharppaw nodded before padding over to the large den where Shadow sat silently, obviously thinking of many things at once. At first the tabby tom just waited to see if Shadow would notice him, but eventually he spoke up.

“Um, Shadow?” asked Sharppaw, hoping not to disturb the rogue leader. The black tom blinked a few times before looking up to Sharppaw, smiling as he realised who it was.

“Ah, Sharppaw,” said Shadow with a warm smile. “How nice it is to see you again. A moon, now, right? Since you led us here? We are settling in quite well. Have you figured out exactly what you need from us?” Sharppaw nodded, smiling widely though there was a hint of nervousness about him.

“My name is Sharpfang now,” the tabby tom began. “And yes, I’ve figured out what I’ve wanted.” Shadow nodded, curious as to what the new Warrior wanted to do with his power.

“And what might that be?” asked Shadow. Sharpfang hesitated slightly before reassuring himself.

“I want to become the ThunderClan deputy,” said Sharpfang, making Shadow narrow his eyes in confusion. The two toms were obviously thinking of two totally different things, for Shadow gave a grim look while Sharpfang had an eager expression on his face.

“You’re asking a lot, Sharpfang,” said Shadow. “Becoming a deputy will require a lot of killing and—”

“No, no, no,” said Sharpfang, interrupting the rogue leader. “Not that way. I want to become my Clan’s deputy the right way. I want to be strong enough to be chosen when the time comes. Cherrytail is weak with green-cough at the moment, and though I haven’t trained an apprentice yet, I think if I’m strong enough, Ravenstar will choose me.” Shadow blinked at him, as if unaware that that was even an option. After a few moments, Shadow stood up and shrugged.

“So you want me to train you?” asked Shadow. Sharpfang nodded eagerly, making the rogue leader smile warmly again, as if Sharpfang was his own son. “Well then, we should get started, no?”

Rainfur was now really confused. Sharpstar had seemed so innocent right then. He wanted to become deputy the right way, not the evil way. Did that mean Sharpstar’s ambitions weren’t a red flag back then? Rainfur wouldn’t believe it. How could a cat as innocent as that ever change into the monster he was used to seeing?

Sharpfang paced into the cave, his amber eyes narrowed with so much anger that most of the rogues had decided to move their work elsewhere as he vented to himself. His tail lashed powerfully behind him as he walked back and forth, trying to figure out exactly how his father could be so cruel.

Ravenstar had chosen Jayflight over his own son. That pathetic weakling over Sharpfang, who showed everyone his strength just a moon ago by ‘training’ with Thorntail. Then that idiot of a leader went and chose Jayflight as his deputy after Cherrytail died. His own father had just betrayed him. Again.

Sharpfang knew that it was because his father didn’t trust him. Sharpfang knew it was because Ravenstar had a hunch of who was living right underneath their paws. But that didn’t change anything. Ravenstar couldn’t prove anything, and so he was worthless. All he could do was keep his powerful son away from the deputy’s position.

Sharpfang wondered what it would be like if he ruled ThunderClan. Things would surely be a lot different. There would be no loners or kittypets or rogues in his Clan. There would be no whispering behind his back. There would only be his power, and everyone would respect him. Sharpfang smirked at the idea, wondering why he’d never thought of it before.

So he padded on over to Shadow’s den, finding the black tom thinking once again. He did this often, but Sharpfang never noticed, nor did he care. At the moment he just wanted Shadow to know of his evil yet wonderful plans that he knew he would not regret.

“I’ve changed my mind on how I want you to repay me,” Sharpfang growled. He waited for Shadow to accept his words, and after a few moments of silence, the rogue leader signalled for him to continue. “I don’t want to become the Clan deputy anymore. I want to become the Clan leader.” Shadow raised his eyebrows as Sharpfang said this, but smiled evilly nonetheless. The black tom stood, his eyes showing his wicked pleasure of killing.

“In order to do that you must become the deputy first,” said Shadow, seeming to test the young Warrior. Sharpfang just spat at the ground, obviously angry.

“Kill anyone who becomes one before me!” Sharpfang hissed. “I don’t care if it’s the whole Clan! I want to become a leader!” Shadow nodded, agreeing with Sharpfang it seemed.

“And then your father has more than six of his lives left,” said Shadow, his tail flicking with the amusement of Sharpfang’s ever changing expressions. “What would you like us to do with him? Killing him is the harder option. . .Ah! Capturing him would do the trick. You could make it look like he was either kidnapped or taken by Twolegs, and then you’d become a leader.”

Sharpfang paused. He didn’t think of how he’d get rid of Ravenstar. The kidnapping didn’t sound too bad, because the idiot of a leader was his father, but an evil voice in his head told him no. And he agreed. Why wouldn’t he? Ravenstar was a horrible father that just kept pushing him away after so many moons of his mother’s death. This would be his chance to get back at him.

“I want him dead,” Sharpfang answered.

After this, more memories came, but most of them were things he already knew. Like when he came into the picture a few moons later, and how much Sharpstar must have loathed him. All of the memories of Sharpstar’s life up to the point of their fight continued to play in his mind until there was nothing left.

Rainfur gasped with shock as the memories finally stopped, though they were permanently etched into his brain now. He sat there in shock, aware of the fact that his vision had returned as he listened to Jactur’s loud lectures within his head. Rainfur wasn’t listening though. With all of the new information he’d been given, he couldn’t do anything.

There was movement ahead of him to which he assumed was Sharpstar. Rainfur tensed, but still couldn’t move at all. His body and mind had been too damaged by the shock he’d experienced. Sharpstar just walked up to him, and from what little Rainfur could see, the tabby leader held the expression of disgust.

“You know now, don’t you?” asked Sharpstar. “You wanted to find out all those things about me, and now you know. But those memories are precious to me, so I would like them back.” Rainfur’s eyes widened as Sharpstar smirked and there was only one sentence out of Jactur’s mouth.

I told you not to give him a single second to think! Hissed Jactur.

Sharpstar locked eyes with him, a smile on his face as his amber eyes lightened up. Rainfur knew what the tabby tom was going to, so he strengthened the wall within him as fast as he could. Jactur defended it too, but none of this worked. The memories within him were being called, and Sharpstar had nearly washed away the smokey wall when he’d given Rainfur his memories. This was all part of the plan.

Jactur had to jump away from the flood of memories that could literally last a life time. As more and more piled out of him, Rainfur noticed how much they were embedded in his own memories now, meaning that with every memory of Sharpstar’s to leave him went a few memories of his own.

It seemed to take hours for each memory to return to Sharpstar, but the greedy tom didn’t stop there. Instead he took even more memories than of Rainfur’s cat life. His human memories were leaving him now, each one of them shocking Sharpstar even more that the last.

Jactur was screaming as Rainfur remained still, the shock in his eyes also growing with every moment he forgot. He couldn’t believe anything of what was happening, nor did he even understand it. Rainfur could tell he was losing information that he needed, and memories that were dear to him.

When it all stopped, there was nothing. His mind was empty without any recollection of what had just happened to him or even why he was there. He didn’t even remember his name, let alone the cat right in front of him who just smirked slightly at the sight of his enemy’s failure.

Who am I? Rainfur thought to himself, looking around the odd camp-like place. Where am I? What was my name? Who is the cat in front of me? Why does he look like he wants to kill me? Why does my head hurt so much? Who are all of these cats and why do they look so worried? How did I get these wounds? What about the scar? Why am I here? I need to remember!

What on earth are you doing? asked a familiar yet unrecognizable voice. Kill Sharpstar before you die! Don’t you remember what we’re doing here?

Who are you? Rainfur asked. Can you explain to me what’s happening? Is that cat called Sharpstar? And why is he trying to kill me? Did I do something wrong? There was nothing but silence after Rainfur stopped questioning the strange voice in his head.

I told you not to let him think, said the strange voice, but he didn’t do anything after that. Rainfur looked back into reality as the cat—Sharpstar, as he was told—looked to him with shocked eyes. There was confusion in the tabby tom’s eyes, but realization as well. Did Sharpstar know what was happening to him?

After a few moments Sharpstar stood, returning to his calm demeanour as Rainfur shook with fear. The tabby tom walked toward him, a small smirk on his face as he made his way toward the grey-and-white tom in front of him. Sharpstar seemed to study Rainfur for a few moments before smirking completely.

“Good-bye,” was the only word out of Sharpstar’s mouth before he unsheathed his claws and gave a near-fatal scratch to his neck. And as Rainfur felt the blood seep through the wound and onto the cold dirt floor, he tried to figure out just what was happening.

But what was the point? He was dead.

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