Okay, so this story wasn't written in chapters, so I'm posting in parts. Review please!
Three Moons Later:
Brightstar gave a sigh of relief, it had been three moons, and the idea of leaving had not been brought up once. Cinderfoot was with him, the light gray tom had just told him there had been no sign of Clan Solashon in the part of shared territory closest to Lunaris territory.
"Cinderfoot," Brightstar mewed, "good patrol. Would you please find Snowstep, Elmtail, Saltfur, Sheepwool, and…" he paused, thinking, "Lightningheart and have them come to my den, yourself included."
The gray warrior mewed, "I think Saltfur and Elmtail are on hunting patrol," he broke off as the two cats entered camp, "oh, they're here now."
Lightningheart arrived first, "Star Bright, you wanted me?"
"Yes," Brightstar mewed, "you have told me earlier that Nightkit wanted to be a medicine cat. Does she still want to, and will you take her as your apprentice?"
"Yes, to both questions." Lightningheart mewed.
The other five cats arrived. "Snowstep, Cinderfoot, are you too satisfied with your apprentices? Do you think they are ready to become warriors?" Brightstar meowed.
The two warriors mewed, "Yes."
Brightstar turned to the other three warriors, "Saltfur, Sheepwool, and Elmtail, are you three willing to take on an apprentice?"After they nodded Brightstar continued, "Then Elmtail, you will mentor Streamkit, Sheepwool, you will mentor Shorekit, and Saltfur will mentor Barkkit. Lightningtail has already agreed to take on Nightkit. Any questions?"
Saltfur looked up, "One, what about Badgerkit?"
"His mentor has previously agreed. And Snowstep and Cinderfoot, give Runningpaw and Silverpaw a fighting assessment before they become warriors, I want to see their skills. The ceremonies will be at dusk."
Brightstar waited at the camp entrance while Snowstep and Cinderfoot went to find their apprentices. Brighstar saw Ripmoon exit the warriors den, "Ripmoon," he called, when his son joined him he continued, "Cinderfoot, Snowstep, and I are going to give Runningpaw and Silverpaw a fighting assessment, I want you to join us." The other four cats joined them, "Runningpaw, Silverpaw, it's time you were made warriors, you'll have a fighting assessment and the ceremony at dusk. Come on."
Ripmoon raced alongside Runningpaw, his best friend. Runningpaw mewed, "Race you to the Training Clearing."
"All cats of Clan Lunaris that are able to hunt, gather at the Moontree," Brightstar yowled. Once the Clan was all there he continued, "Snowstep, Cinderfoot, are you satisfied with your apprentices, Runningpaw and Silverpaw?" When the two nodded, he jumped down from the Moontree. "Then Silverpaw and Runningpaw, come forward." The two young cats obeyed, "I Star Bright, leader of Clan Lunaris, Clan of the Moon, call the Clan of Stars to look at these two apprentices. They have learned your code for the Clans and I command them to you as warriors. Runningpaw, Silverpaw, do you swear to obey the Code of Warriors and to serve this Clan even if it costs you your life?"
"I Swear," mewed Runningpaw
Silverpaw echoed, "I Swear,"
"Then from now on," Brightstar looked at Runningpaw, "you will be known as Runningriver," he turned to Silverpaw, "and you will be known as Silversky."
"Runningriver! Silversky!" the Clan mewed.
"Nightkit, Barkkit, Streamkit, Badgerkit, and Shorekit, come forward." Brightstar mewed. "Until they are warriors, these apprentices will be called Nightpaw, Barkpaw, Shorepaw, Streampaw, and Badgerpaw. Nightpaw, your mentor will be Lightningheart; Barkpaw, your mentor will be Saltfur; Sheepwool, you will mentor Shorekit; Elmtail, Streampaw will be your apprentice; and Badgerkit, your mentor will be Ripmoon."
The new apprentices touched noses with their mentors as the Clan called their names.
Badgerpaw mewed, "Can we see the beach forest now?"
Ripmoon shock his head, "Not tonight, Badgerpaw, it's too late. We'll go tomorrow after the dawn patrol leaves. For now, get settled in the apprentices den."
Sunlight steamed into the warriors den. Ripmoon raised his head sleepily, then he remembered, his first day as a mentor! He jumped up, disturbing Sandyshore, his and Runningriver's best friend.
"Hey, Ripmoon," Sandyshore mewed, "is it dawn?"
"Just about," Ripmoon replied.
The two warriors padded into the clearing, Streakingcomet behind them.
"Ripmoon, Sandyshore," the deputy greeted them, "Sandyshore, I want you for dawn patrol, get Cinderfoot and Strangeheart too." Streakingcomet then padded over to where Runningriver and Silversky were sitting on guard duty, new warriors always did guard duty on their first night as warriors. The orange tom said something to them, and then the new warriors walked into the warriors cave. Sandyshore went in as well to wake Cinderfoot and Strangeheart.
Ripmoon headed over to the apprentice's cave. "Badgerpaw!" he called.
The apprentice charged out of the cave. Badgerpaw was orange, like Streakingcomet, but he had a white/gray stripe down his spine, from his head to the tip of his tail.
"I'm going to show you the beach forest today, but let's eat first."
There was not much prey in the niche, only a couple of mice, a shrew, and two squirrels. Saltfur joined them with Barkpaw. "Ripmoon, how about we show Badgerpaw and Barkpaw the forest together?"
"Sure, Saltfur, but what about Sheepwool and Elmtail?" Ripmoon mewed.
Saltfur meowed, "My sister took Shorepaw with her on hunting patrol, Elmtail and Streampaw are with them."
The four cats headed out of camp. They headed to the beach first, then went to the Training Clearing. After that, Saltfur lead the way to the neutral territory that's between Lunaris and Solashon territory
Saltfur halted at a rock, "This is the edge of our territory. Past this rock is neutral territory, which means that it does not solely belong to either Clan."
Ripmoon added, "The neutral area ends on the other side of the stream at the dead tree, which is the same distance from the steam as this rock. We are allowed as far as the dead tree, which marks the Clan Solashon border. But for now, you two should stay on our side of the stream, or if you are on the other side, near the stream."
As the four cats turned to leave Barkpaw mewed, "Can we see Place with Stones Numbered Two?"
Saltfur turned to the orangeish brown apprentice, "That's where we are going next." The white tom bounded downstream in the direction of the beach. Ripmoon and the two apprentices followed.
Suddenly Ripmoon stopped, "Mice," he hissed. "Badgerpaw, Barkpaw, watch carefully. This is how to catch a mouse." The gray warrior went into the hunters crouch, and crept forward. When he neared the mouse, he sprang, landed on the terrified creature, and killed in one bite. Ripmoon looked up, "There is another mouse over there," he pointed with is tail at the brambles a couple of badger lengths away. "Badgerpaw, care for a go?"
His apprentice nodded enthusiastically, "Yeah."
Ripmoon modeled the crouch for the young cat, "That's it; keep your weight on your hunches. And step lightly."
The orange apprentice stalked up to the brambles. He paused, then flashed out a paw as the mouse tried to run. The paw struck the mouse on the head, giving Badgerpaw time to kill it. He looked up proudly, the mouse in his jaws. A second mouse appeared in front of a nearby bush. Barkpaw saw it first, and moving as quickly as he could in the hunters crouch, he neared the bush. He lunged, the mouse noticed him moments too late, Barkpaw caught the mouse.
At this time, Saltfur was the only one who had not caught some prey. The white warrior moved on a couple steps. He scented the air, pretty soon he caught the scent of a squirrel. He looked up a nearby tree, the squirrel was on the tree's trunk, he could easily get it. Saltfur launched himself up the tree. He landed a little under the squirrel, who was so busy eating it didn't notice him. Saltfur pulled himself up a bit, then sank his teeth into the creature's tail, dragged it down. By the time Saltfur was on the forest floor again, the squirrel was limp.
Saltfur dropped his prey, "Bury your prey, then we can go to Twostones."
The cats buried their prey, then ran to the edge of a hollow.
Ripmoon lead the way down the slope. He stopped at the nearest boulder. "This is our stone; the one on the other side of the clearing is Clan Solashon's stone. You can always know which one is which by looking at the marks. Our stone has a moon scratched on it, Solashon's has a sun. The leader will cheek on the condition of the mark every other moon. If the scratch is fading, the leader will remark it."
Saltfur mewed, "We should head back to camp. We'll pause to pick up or prey on the way."
The four toms entered camp, each carrying his catch. Streakingcomet padded up to them. "Good, you brought some prey." He turned to Ripmoon, "Did Badgerpaw and Barkpaw catch those mice themselves?"
Saltfur nodded, "Ripmoon showed them the hunting crouch, but otherwise, yes."
Streakingcomet replied, "Good," his eyes were filled with pride, he turned to his sons, "Shorepaw and Streampaw already brought prey to the elders, so bring some prey to the nursery." Seeing their disappointment he added, "You can still eat your mice; how about bring Saltfur's squirrel and that vole over there?"
"Ok," Badgerpaw mewed; he grabbed the vole, and bounded to the nursery. Barkpaw followed with the squirrel.
The next morning Ripmoon padded out of the warriors den. He stretched, and headed to the apprentices den. "Badgerpaw!" he called, "wake up!."
Badgerpaw emerged from the den, "Good morning Ripmoon, what are we doing today?"
"Battle training in the Training Clearing. Then we may go hunting." His mentor replied.
Ripmoon led the way to Training Clearing, which was a mossy space enclosed by bushes and trees. It was large enough for two or three groups to be using it at a time. When they got to the clearing, Elmtail was already there, crouching in the middle of the clearing with Streampaw.
As Ripmoon was crouching next to him, Saltfur and Sheepwool arrived.
Elmtail stood up. "Today we're going to teach you some basic attack and defensive moves. To start with, try to get from one side of the clearing to the other. Your mentor will try to stop you." Elmtail moved to take a position facing Streampaw; Ripmoon did the same with Badgerpaw; as well as the other mentors.
Badgerpaw crouched, stalking forward. Ripmoon mirrored his crouch, hissing at his apprentice. Badgerpaw shifted his weight to his right feet, then lashed out a paw as Ripmoon copied. As Ripmoon recoiled from the paw, Badgerpaw raced past him on the other side. However, Ripmoon was faster, and leaped on him before the orange apprentice could go much farther.
"Very good, Badgerpaw," Ripmoon praised his apprentice, "Now let's go back over to the others."
The five apprentices and mentors met in the middle of the clearing. Saltfur stretched, and Sheepwool licked her paw while Elmtail stood up. The golden brown warrior motioned to Ripmoon, "Ripmoon and I will demonstrate a fighting technique. The goal is to unbalance your opponent. This way, you have a better chance of not getting injured while attacking." Elmtail nodded to Ripmoon. They both crouched, hissing softly and circling each other. Then Ripmoon slid by Elmtail, knocking the golden warrior's legs out from underneath him. Before Elmtail could get his balance back, Ripmoon struck his back, making Elmtail gasp as air was knock out of him. Ripmoon backed off and turned to the others, "When your opponent is unbalanced, take the opportunity to attack. It could decide the battle."
Sheepwool mewed, "There is another way. Saltfur?" The siblings stood up and couched where Elmtail and Ripmoon had demonstrated. After a moment of scratching with sheathed claws, Sheepwool slid under her brother's belly, and hit his back legs to the side. Before he could retaliate, she had cleared his belly and was standing over him, paw on his neck. Saltfur grinned up at his sister, "Guess I lost." He mewed softly He added louder. "If you want to go under the belly, you need to be fast. Otherwise, you can get trapped and injured. Now, pair up and practice this move."
Sheepwool took over, "Badgerpaw with Shorepaw; Streampaw with Barkpaw. Try to unbalance the other in any way you can. Begin!"
Badgerpaw hissed, and crept toward Shorepaw, who hissed back. Badgerpaw hit Shorepaw on the head, the gray and brown tom backed up a step. A heartbeat later, Shorepaw lifted his paw to strike. As his paw fell, Badgerpaw dived beneath his brother nipping Shorepaw's belly and exploded upwards, tossing Shorepaw a few fox-lengths away.
Sheepwool saw Badgerpaw's move, and called Ripmoon's attention to it. She mewed, "Badgerpaw, your jump was excellent. And Shorepaw, good clawing action."
Ripmoon added, "Also, the jump was timed very well, however, that move may not work on a warrior much heavier than you. Shorepaw, now you try to unbalance Badgerpaw."
While the two apprentices fought again, Ripmoon watched Barkpaw and Streampaw's mock fight. Barkpaw had hit Streampaw hard on a back leg, but the she-cat stayed solid. Again Barkpaw hit, but Streampaw dodged. Then, she leaped over the surprised apprentice, and attacked him from the back. Soon, Streampaw's paw was on Barkpaw's neck. Streampaw glanced up at Elmtail, hopping she had gotten it right. When her mentor nodded, she relaxed, letting Barkpaw up. Ripmoon padded back over to Badgerpaw and Shorepaw. Shorepaw clawed Badgerpaw's muzzle, and the orange apprentice recoiled. Then Badgerpaw reared up on his hind legs, clawing at Shorepaw. Shorepaw ducked, leaving Badgerpaw's paws flailing in midair. The gray and brown apprentice lunged, claws out, for Badgerpaw's hind legs. Badgerpaw fell, Shorepaw had barely enough time to get out before his brother landed on top of him.
Barkpaw was now trying to unbalance Streampaw. She wasn't making it easy for him at all, Streampaw would dodge every attack and come up behind him, so Barkpaw kept having to turn around. Finally, Streampaw dodged too late, Barkpaw jumped on top of her, then pummeled her with his claws. She rolled, hoping to crush Barkpaw with her wait. However, he jumped off, leaving her on her back with her belly exposed. Barkpaw sat between her legs to hold her down and pawed at her belly. Elmtail praised them, "Good job, you two. Streampaw, your strategy was great, just be a bit quicker. And Barkpaw, good ideas."
Saltfur padded over, "It's time we went back to camp. We can hunt on the way." The white warrior led the way out of the clearing. Soon, Streampaw stopped, " Vole," she hissed, pointing with her tail to a pile of bracken. Elmtail nodded to her, indicating for her to try and catch it. The apprentice slid into the hunting crouch, stealthy placing one paw forward, her wait on her haunches. When she was a few tail-lengths away, Streampaw leaped, trapping the vole between her claws she dealt the death bite. Streampaw picked up her prey proudly at padded back to the others. The group continued toward camp, but stopped in often to hunt. Ripmoon had caught a pidgin and a mouse; Badgerpaw had a squirrel almost as big as he was; Shorepaw had found a shrew; Saltfur as well, plus a blackbird. Sheepwool and Barkpaw had each found a mouse, Sheepwool also catching a vole; and Elmtail caught a rabbit. They carried their prey to camp, adding it to the well stocked pile of prey.
Elmtail mewed, "Take fresh-kill to the elders and nursery. I heard that Shiningwater is in there now expecting Strangeheart's kits." As the apprentices raced away, Elmtail added, "we need to stock the tunnel, who wants to come?"
"I will," Ripmoon mewed, "we should also take some to Lightningheart too."
The two toms grabbed a large mouthful of prey, first talking a piece to the medicine cat's den. They entered the tunnel from that entrance, placing some prey on the nearest pile, then walking around to the other small piles in the tunnel. The two also took out any prey that was a bit old, it would rot soon. They placed the old prey on a pile next to the main one. If cats did not eat it within two or three days, they would have to bury it. Ripmoon and Elmtail each took a small piece from both piles. That way, the old food would be used but they would still get the flavor of fresh prey. Saltfur and Sheepwool followed suit, as did many other warriors.
Brightstar the nursery, "Your apprentices hunted well. How did they do during battle training?" he asked.
"Well," Ripmoon replied, "They were all able to unbalance their opponent, and were able to put up a good fight."
Saltfur added, "They also had good strategies, especially Streampaw."
Streakingcomet heard Saltfur's comment, he padded over and mewed, "That is very good." The deputy's eyes glowed with pride. "I'm glad they are doing so well."
Brightstar mewed, "Speaking of apprentices, Cometkit and Shadowkit are almost ready, and Lightningheart thinks Shiningwater has at least two or three kits. They will also need mentors. I was wondering if you, Streakingcomet, would be willing to take on an apprentice sometime soon."
"Of course, Brightstar," Streakingcomet nodded, "I can take on an apprentice."
"Good. Do you think Sandyshore will be ready for an apprentice soon?" Brightstar meowed.
Streakingcomet replied, "Yes, he would be a good mentor." Pride was in his voice as he spoke of his former apprentice."
Brightstar nodded, and picked a mouse from both piles. He settled down to eat under the Moontree. After he finished, he went back to the nursery.
Ripmoon padded over to the apprentices den, "You need to clear out the old bedding and fetch fresh moss."
The apprentices nodded. Streampaw and Barkpaw went to get clean out the old moss, while Badgerpaw and Shorepaw raced off to gather fresh moss. Soon they returned, carrying a large load of moss to the elders den in the tree trunk. They joined Streampaw and Barkpaw and spread the
The next morning, Cinderfoot woke Ripmoon, "Wake up! Dawn patrol." When Ripmoon stood up and stretched Cinderfoot mewed, "get Badgerpaw." and moved on to wake Blueheart.
Ripmoon padded out of the warriors den and over to the apprentices den. He poked his head in. "Badgerpaw!" he mewed, "dawn patrol, get up."
Badgerpaw sleepily opened his eyes. He got up and stumbled out of the den. "Eh? Wha?" he mumbled.
"Dawn patrol. Get something to eat." Ripmoon repeated.
At that, Badgerpaw become alert. "Okay!" he mewed cheerfully.
After they ate, the dawn patrol consisting of Cinderfoot, Ripmoon, Badgerpaw, Blueheart, and Runningriver left camp. The patrol went first to the border with Clan Solashon.
"Badgerpaw," Runningriver mewed, "watch how to renew the scent marks."
Runningriver and Blueheart renewed the marks on every tree along the border. When they had finished, the five cats raced off to the other borders. They were at the border near some hills when Badgerpaw halted, "Ripmoon, what is that scent?" the orange apprentice asked.
Ripmoon sniffed the air; he exchanged a worried glance with Cinderfoot, then mewed, "its fox."
Badgerpaw inhaled in disbelief, "A fox?"
Cinderfoot nodded, "Yes, they are dangerous to kits, queens, and even warriors." Cinderfoot looked around at the rest of the patrol. "We'll follow the scent and see where it lives. Brightstar will want to deal with this fox." Cinderfoot locked gazes with Ripmoon, "We will not attack the fox now if we can help it. Understand?"
The cats nodded, Ripmoon mewed, "Badgerpaw, let's see if you can track the scent."
Badgerpaw jumped with excitement, he was going to lead the patrol! He walked up to Ripmoon and but his nose near the ground, "It went this way!" Badgerpaw pointed with his tail, his voice going high in his excitement. He padded forward, until he was at the foot of a hill. Badgerpaw raised his head, "I think I lost the scent." Badgerpaw crouched, crestfallen."
Blueheart put her noise in the air, "Umm, I can still smell the fox stink. But where is it?"
All of a sudden a low growl sounded from behind them. A dog fox exited the woods, snarling furiously. A female followed him out into the open, also growling at the cats. Behind the female were two cubs, the female cub looked old enough to do some damage , the male cub was still very young, but seemed to be able to fight a bit. The dog fox glanced around at the cats. He yowled, as if summoning more. His eyes locked on Badgerpaw, leaping forward to the apprentice, obviously sighting the easiest meal.
Ripmoon darted in and pushed his apprentice out of the way. "Badgerpaw! Get back to camp. Tell Brighstar to come. Now!" Ripmoon yowled.
"Now! Badgerpaw!" Ripmoon snarled, "Go. We need help, and you're the only one who can get it." Ripmoon leaped at the dog fox, there was no way to avoid a fight now.
Badgerpaw was frozen, horrorstruck, as his mentor attacked the fox.
"Badgerpaw! GO!" Ripmoon yowled again.
Badgerpaw took off toward camp, hoping he would be fast enough to get help before anycat died. He had heard what happen to Nightrain, his father's brother had been killed by a fox. So he knew the danger foxes posed to warriors. He also knew that Ripmoon had been the one to kill that fox a moon later. Badgerpaw forced himself to go faster.
Ripmoon clawed at the dog fox's muzzle, distracting it while Runningriver crept up behind it. Runningriver was about to leap onto the fox's back when he stiffened.
"There are more coming!" the brown and white warrior yowled.