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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6. Chapter 4

|Chapter Four|

A few weeks had passed since Rainpaw had made the deal with ThunderClan, and everything seemed to go back to normal—well, as normal as it can get. He tried his hardest to help his Clan, and tried his best to ignore the whispers and glares that were still going around. His mind was improving and now had many things in it. He now trusted Robinpaw and Shadowpaw, just not to the point of protecting them with his life. Even Flamepaw, Amberpaw and Ravenstar were close to him.

The Gathering had passed, and Flamepaw had told Rainpaw that WindClan was not surprised when ThunderClan announced Rainpaw's arrival and acceptance into ThunderClan. However, after telling the other Clans that Rainpaw was actually a good fighter and that he put a few wounds on Sharpfang, they all seemed surprised. This had made Rainpaw even more determined to do even more for the Clan. To show the others that yes, he was going to become a warrior and yes, he was going to stay.

Thorntail, however, didn't seem as happy. Her life didn't seem simple for her, for whatever reason. She looked like she hadn't slept in days, and she wasn't mentoring him as well as she had been. Rainpaw hadn't really noticed since a few days ago, but now that he had, he noticed that she looked almost sickly, which made him wonder.

"Okay, Rainpaw," said Thorntail, her usual smile gone from her face. "That's enough for today. Make sure you hunt on the way back, I'm going to hunt by myself for a little while." Thorntail left, though Rainpaw didn't. He was trying to decide whether or not he should follow her, but then decided not to. It wasn't his life so he didn't need to care.

Rainpaw then turned and started "hunting," though his mind wasn't focussing on prey, or scents. He didn't even know where he was going, though he did know that he was still on ThunderClan territory. A scent suddenly caught his attention. It was Thorntail's, and it wasn't old. Curiously he followed it, seeing no harm in trying to find out what his own mentor was up to.

As Rainpaw followed the scent he became aware that he was getting close to ShadowClan's territory—too close. Then before he knew it, he was right at their border. Rainpaw stopped, eyes narrowed with frustration. The scent had moved now. Thorntail was heading to RiverClan, it seemed like, for her scent was going down toward the lake, but why?

Rainpaw, not thinking, continued following her scent. His ears and eyes were alert, ready to find a ShadowClan patrol asking him who he was and where he was going. Of course he wouldn't know, so that would be bad. He hoped he could avoid that.

Rainpaw then began to worry. ShadowClan's territory was coming to an end as the smell of fish and water filled his nose. Thorntail had gone into RiverClan's territory, but why? Why on earth did she want to go into RiverClan?

Then he saw movement, and from her scent Rainpaw knew she was close. He then rush forward, trying to catch her. They weren't anywhere near RiverClan's camp from what he could tell, but there were still RiverClan cat's near by. He sped up, finally finding Thorntail in a large bush that hid them both.

"Thorntail!" Rainpaw called before he got any closer. "RiverClan cats are near. We need to get out of here!" Thorntail then looked over to him, her eyes widening with shock. Did she even know that the RiverClan cats were coming right toward them?

"Rainpaw?" asked Thorntail, walking up to him. "I told you to stay and hunt! It's too dangerous for you here!"

"Same with you," hissed Rainpaw "RiverClan cats are coming!" Thorntail seemed worried, and she kept looking back to where the RiverClan cats were.

"I'm not in any danger," she said then. "It's only one cat, and he won't hurt me." Rainpaw's eyes widened. Was she crazy? How did she know this certain cat wouldn't try to kill her?

"What?" Rainpaw asked, still thinking Thorntail was crazy. "Thorntail, how do you know he won't kill you?"

"Because he loves me," answered Thorntail. Now she was officially crazy. "Rainpaw, I've been coming here every night, but today he wanted me to come early to discuss something with me. Just stay here unless I call you, okay? He's calling for me." Rainpaw was too shocked to say yes or no, but either way she left. After a few moments of sitting there, he walked closer but did not come out of hiding. Rainpaw then listened to their conversation.

"Hello, Thorntail," said the RiverClan tom. He was a grey tom with darker grey stripes. His dark blue eyes reminded Rainpaw of the sunset, but he wasn't really worried about that. He was too focused on Thorntail and what was going on between them. "You usually beat me here. Having a bit of trouble getting away?"

"Yes," said Thorntail, her eyes gleaming at the sight of the RiverClan cat. "My apprentice is very frustrating sometimes, but I got rid of him soon enough." Rainpaw kept himself from hissing in anger, but then he calmed himself down. She meant it playfully and he knew it—no reason to get angry.

"Ah yes, your new apprentice," said the tom. "A very interesting little fellow, I've been hearing. Has he healed, or is that shoulder wound still bothering him?" Rainpaw narrowed his eyes in confusion. How much had Thorntail told this cat?

"Oh it's fine now, Wolfheart," said Thorntail. "Rainpaw is now back on the path to becoming a very good fighter, though, not so much as good a hunter. He will learn quickly, I am sure." the RiverClan tom, Wolfheart, chuckled a bit.

"That's good to hear," Wolfheart said. "Because over here in RiverClan it's been crazy. Five kits is already a hassle, but three that are my own? That's insane. Leopardclaw is a good mother, but I'm starting to wonder if I'm a good father. I'm Deputy so they must be proud, but still, taking care of kits is hard work."

So, he's the Deputy of RiverClan, he has kits that aren't Thorntail's and he already has a mate? Thorntail, you're going insane!

"How is she, now that you've told her?" asked Thorntail, a bit of sadness in her eyes. "It couldn't have been easy. . ."

"The first few days was hard on her," said Wolfheart. "But then she understood. I'm still her friend, and we both do have kits, so it's not that bad. We just won't be having any more kits, that's all." Thorntail smiled.

"I'm glad," said Thorntail. "You are truly the bravest cat I've ever met."

"I still can't believe you've been seeing a cat that's a Deputy of another Clan, has kits that aren't yours, for a whole two moons," said Rainpaw, breaking the eerie silence that was covering Rainpaw and Thorntail as they travelled back to ThunderClan. "You must be more of a mouse-brain than I thought."

Thorntail didn't seem to hear the last part, or at least she wasn't offended. "I met him at a gathering when I'd first been made a warrior. He told me I was pretty, and then we went on from there. It wasn't until two moons ago that we actually started seeing each other, but still, I love him." Rainpaw sighed.

"I don't care that you do, it's just that I think it's dangerous," said Rainpaw. "I mean, what if you have kits? Who will you say your mate is? Who will be the father?"

"We won't have kits, Rainpaw," said Thorntail. "Just believe me. I don't know how we'll make it work, but we just will. You don't have to be jealous." She finished with a smirk on her face, but Rainpaw didn't understand. What was she talking about? He wasn't jealous at all!

"What do you mean?" asked Rainpaw. "I'm not jealous at all! Why would I be?" Thorntail rolled her eyes and playfully nudged him.

"Oh come on," she said. "I've seen the way Robinpaw looks at you, and the way you look at her. You guys are made for each other!"

"What? No we aren't!" retorted Rainpaw. "We're just friends!"

"Are to," argued Thorntail. "Even Shadowpaw likes you, I think. Just admit it. You love them both."

"I will not, because I don't love them, that way" said Rainpaw firmly. "I just like them as friends, not as mates or anything. That's just stupid." Thorntail laughed, but then didn't say anything more on that subject. She obviously knew that it was a lost cause. Rainpaw walked proudly after that, hoping that he'd never have to talk about it again.

Thorntail and Rainpaw crossed the border into ThunderClan territory when Snowstorm found them, claiming he was hunting alone and asked if they could help him. They agreed, figuring that they might as well bring something back like they were supposed to so there weren't any suspicions.

It didn't take them long to catch a few mice and a squirrel, and soon they were on their way back to dig up their prey and bring it back to camp.

"Yeah, right," said Thorntail who was talking to Snowstorm. "I could take you down any day." Rainpaw rolled his eyes at Thorntail's challenge, feeling quite sure that Snowstorm would beat her. He was bigger and much older, but then again, Rainpaw thought, Snowstorm wasn't that good at fighting from what he'd heard. Snowstorm was a better hunter, and that had definitely showed today.

Then an unfamiliar scent caught his attention, making him stop and sniff again. Something was definitely there, and it didn't belong in this forest. His eyes scanned the forest, hoping that Thorntail and Snowstorm would notice. He was surprised that they didn't, but perhaps they were too caught up in their conversation to really notice?

A shadow then moved in the near distance, sharp amber eyes glowing from the trees. There was more than one cat here, but he didn't know how many, the scents were acrid-like and Rainpaw wasn't going to wait to find out.

"Thorntail! Snowstorm!" Rainpaw called, turning his attention to the other warriors. He was panicking and his heart beating quickly. He then suddenly realized that many pairs of eyes were looking at them, and that there was no way out.

They were surrounded.

Rainpaw didn't even get to warn the others before they attacked. He was suddenly down on the ground, claws entering his skin. He screeched, but did not forget to fight. Thinking quickly but not all that well, Rainpaw kicked the tom that was on him with his back legs, making the tom yowl in agony giving Rainpaw an opening. Rainpaw rolled out of the tom's grip, trying to find Thorntail and Snowstorm. Through the mess of cats, he could hardly see anything.

"Thornta—" Rainpaw called, though he was cut short by three large toms that savagely leapt at him. They grabbed at his scruff, using their claws and teeth to pull him back. They were trying pin him down by using brute strength, something that Rainpaw really didn't have much of. They were larger than him, and they were stronger, but that didn't mean he wouldn't try.

He struggled and struggled but it was no use. The cats pinning him down were stronger than him and they weren't about to let go. Rainpaw looked around franticly for Snowstorm and Thorntail and finally found them. They, too, were being pinned down by many cats, four each to be exact, and they were both looking very worried. Then he felt teeth sink dangerously close to his scar, breaking his focus toward Snowstorm and Thorntail.

"I wouldn't bite that shoulder if I were you," Rainpaw growled, narrowing his eyes. "Unless you and your friend want to die. However, if that's the case then you might actually want to bite the scar." The teeth were removed then and placed somewhere between his shoulder blades. It hurt, but at least the cat wasn't risking death. Right now, Rainpaw did not want to kill. He just wanted the others to be okay.

Then a large, dark tom walked in front of the three pinned down cats, his sharp yellow eyes looking down on the warriors. A sick looking grin was on his face, making Rainpaw growl.

"Did we do a good job, Master?" asked one of the cats holding Thorntail down. The dark tom looked down to Thorntail with evil looking eyes, his grin only widening.

"Yes, yes," said the tom. "You did an excellent job. We have a warrior, a small yet pretty she-cat and a. . ." the tom then looked to Rainpaw, who was narrowing his eyes and hissing furiously. "An apprentice that haspotential." The tom laughed, making the anger that was already boiling up inside of Rainpaw climb even higher.

"Just let me go and I'll show you just how much potential I have!" Rainpaw hissed. The cats holding Rainpaw pulled him back a step, getting a better and more firm grip on him. The tom with yellow eyes shook his head.

"Smart little thing?" asked the tom. "Well, we'll deal you later. Right now, however, we've got a bigger problem." The tom then walked over to Snowstorm, who didn't seem to be struggling at all. Rainpaw didn't think twice about it, though. He was too worried on what the tom was going to do.

"A little birdy told me that you are next in line for deputy," said the tom. "So, unfortunately for you, you're first. Second would be the little pipsqueak with an attitude. Then when it comes to your little she-cat friend. . .well, let's just say she won't be returning to your Clan." With an evil little laugh, the tom gave a signal that Rainpaw knew wasn't good. Snowstorm screeched with pain then, and within seconds, his voice faded.

Snowstorm was dead.

Rainpaw then felt a burning pain in his head, making him hiss in frustration. Right now was not the best time for a warning that his mind had changed. As it kept burning, however, he realized that it wasn't the same. Something else was happening. Something very bad.

His vision was blurred but he could still see what was happening. Rainpaw could see the tom moving closer to Thorntail, whispering something to her. Thorntail's eyes were growing wide with horror, making Rainpaw's anger rise once again. Thorntail then suddenly tried to back up, making the cats pinning her down move with her.

"Help me!" Thorntail was screeching. "Help me! Anyone! Help me!" Rainpaw struggled, but his strength was fading. Something was happening in his mind—it was changing, yes, but memories were also being brought up. Memories that he did not want to see at this time. Memories that should have stayed hidden. Memories that were being brought up by Thorntail's yells. Memories that he wished he could forget.

Rainpaw's nightmare came back, but it was worse. It was the truth. It was the night that his twin brother, Alfie, died right before his eyes. He only got glimpses, but enough to know what it was about. Thorntail's voice turned into Alfie's, making Rainpaw shiver. This vision was full of the past. He caught glimpses of the dark figures that were pinning down Alfie and himself, hearing the evil laughs of the dark figures' leader. He caught the glimpse of a knife, a gun, and other tools used for killing. A gun shot, and Alfie's screams died. Whispers now came from him, but then they died as well. The evil laughs then grew louder as they grabbed something long and red, showing that it had been in a burning fire. It was metal, and at the end it was a star-shaped. The next think he knew, his left shoulder was burning with pain, like a fire was engulfing him alive. He never knew how he'd escaped, but it hadn't been easily.

Rainpaw's eyes flung open and his body suddenly rushed forward. After being limp and screaming for who knew how long, the cats pinning him down were surprised enough not to notice his escape to Thorntail, trying hard to get the cats pinning her down to stop.

He lunged, his claws unsheathed. Rainpaw sunk his teeth into a black tom's shoulder, alerting the cats holding Thorntail. They all attacked him then, leaving Thorntail free. Rainpaw was then pulled off the cats and pinned him down hard. He could barely breathe but it was how he wanted it.

"Get the Clan. . ." Rainpaw rasped, ignoring the growing pain in his shoulder. "Don't—worry about me. . .get the Clan. . .hurry. . ." Thorntail then darted off, a look of worry on her face.

"Catch her! Don't let her get to their camp!" the dark tom the other cats called Master hissed, making the other cats aware that Thorntail had left. Rainpaw had gathered up his strength for this, and now he was ready.

"You won't be going anywhere until you deal with me," said Rainpaw, a grin on his face. "Just try and kill me—see what happens then." A cat's claws then raked down his left side, making him grin even wider.

"Let me show you just how much potential I have now, oh great and mighty Master," said Rainpaw. "Let's see how many cats I can kill before my Clan gets here."

Rainpaw's mind changed, once again.

Tick tock goes the clock.

Rainpaw turned around and sunk his teeth into a tom's neck, just enough to kill him. The tom only screeched once before falling to the ground, completely motionless.

And what now shall we play?

Rainpaw advanced onto another tom, this one completely black except for a small speck on his chest. The tom took a step back, realizing the change and how powerful Rainpaw had suddenly become. Rainpaw then lunged, using his claws this time to slice his throat open and kill the tom easily.

Tick tock goes the clock

Rainpaw then looked to a dark grey tom, one who looked too cowardly for his taste. He lunged and cut open the throat, instantly killing the poor tom.

Now Thorntail's gone away?

Rainpaw, not knowing exactly what he was doing with the blur in his mind, turned toward the Master He rushed forward, feeding off of the fear that the tom gave to him. Just the eyes alone told Rainpaw that this cat was afraid, and that's how he liked it.

Tick tock goes the clock

Many cats then suddenly pinned him down, grabbing onto anything they could. He was pushed into the ground and he found that all of his breath was knocked out of him, making him gasp for air. The cats around him whimpered with fear, but the Master did not. That tom was actually laughing, amused by what he saw even though he had been afraid just a few moments ago.

And what then shall we see?

"You are a tough one, aren't you?" the tom purred. "I'm impressed. Maybe we could keep you. Train you up, of course, and use you at the last moment. Ah, yes, the perfect battle strategy." Rainpaw yowled, as another tom bit his scar again. Then another, and another, and then again. His mind was now to the point of exploding, but he didn't let it. Not when he'd gotten this far.

Tick tock until the day

"Just try to get me under control," Rainpaw hissed. "You'll find it harder than you think." The cats around him then pushed him harder into the ground, probably afraid of being slaughtered like the others. Rainpaw continued to feed on their fear, grinning more when the tom they called Master took a step back.

That death will not please me.

Rainpaw raked his claws across another cat's throat, watching as the tom fell to the ground. He did the same to three others before they pinned him to the ground again. Rainpaw could taste their fear now, watching as their eyes glanced over to their master, probably hoping for the signal to kill him. Rainpaw's nose was filled with his Clan mate's scent, giving him hope that they would come quickly.

Tick tock goes the clock

"Master, they're coming!" a tom near Rainpaw warned. "The Clan cats are coming!" The Master looked at Rainpaw, narrowing his eyes tightly. It was silent for a few seconds, but then the Master shook his head.

They'll have to run much faster

"You are a threat to me now, kit," said the Master. "The next time me or any of the rogues under my control see you, we will kill you. I don't know what you are, but I do know that you are strong and that, if you knew where we lived, we would be finished. Good-bye, kit. I will hopefully never see you again."

Tick tock goes the clock

It was then that the Clan came, and it was then that the rogues fled. Rainpaw was free from their grip now, but not from his mind. He tried to get it under control, but it was no use. Before he could stop himself, he lunged forward and grabbed onto a rogue, biting down on his neck. Rainpaw killed him quickly, and then there were no more rogues. They had fled, and Rainpaw was glad.

Till Rainpaw kills the master.

"Rainpaw!" he heard Thorntail call. "Rainpaw, are you okay?"

Tick tock goes the clock

"Thorntail, stay here!" hissed the familiar voice of Jayflight. "Look at his scar—he's not okay, and probably not in his right mind." A few paw steps later, and Rainpaw knew he was safe.

He tried so hard to warn her

Retreat to my mind... Retreat to my mind...

"But look at this eyes!" Thorntail protested. "One is its normal colour!"

Tick tock goes the clock

Retreat to my mind... Retreat to my mind...

"Yes, but his scar is still glowing," Jayflight pointed out. "However, he seems to be rejecting it..."

He will not harm his mentor.

Retreat... Retreat...

Tick tock goes the clock

"His scar is normal now," said Yelloweye. "And his eyes are lightening up."

The cats all cry meow

"What's he doing?" asked Flamepaw, his voice sounding worried. "What's happening to him?"

Tick tock and not too soon

Darkness took him, but not enough to keep him from hearing. Rainpaw heard cries of grief and sorrow from where he figured Snowstorm's body was, and heard the worried whimpers of Thorntail and Shadowpaw before he was fully unable to see, hear, smell or taste anything. He had gone into his mind and he planned to stay there until he was sorted out.

The enemy is gone now.

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