The New Cat

Prologue: The Prophecy

The first meeting of the medicine cats after Hollyleaf's big announcement and Leafpool's flee from the Clans…

"Greetings, Jayfeather. How is everything in ThunderClan?"

"All is fine Barkface," Jayfeather replied coldly. He knew what was coming next."

"How are you holding up? Being the only medicine cat of a Clan is hard work?

"I am doing perfectly well, thank you." A silence fell upon the two cats. The only sounds were of the stream trickling along and Kestrelpaw, Barkface's apprentice, leaping at the butterflies flitting around.

"Hello Jayfeather, Barkface." The two cats turned around to see the ShadowClan medicine cat, Littlecloud, and his apprentice Flamepaw approaching them.

"Hi Jayfeather," said Flamepaw excitedly. The apprentice was trembling with excitement at the prospect of his first medicine cat meeting. He would be visiting with StarClan for the first time and become a true medicine cat's apprentice.

"Hi," Jayfeather replied flatly. He was particularly unhappy that night and did not have the patience for apprentices. He especially did not want to be asked how he was holding up again. Luckily, Littlecloud had the sense not to ask.

"Congratulations, Flamepaw," Barkface said to the apprentice, "May StarClan help you serve your Clan well for many seasons."

"Thank you Barkface."

"Why must RiverClan cats always late," Jayfeather complained."

The wind picked up just then, carrying along with it the scent of RiverClan. The group turned to see Mothwing and Willowshine, the RiverClan medicine cats, running towards them over the hills of WindClan. The group waited for the approaching RiverClan cats.

"Sorry we're late," Mothwing apologized as she and Willowshine reached the waiting medicine cats. "There was a case of a bellyache we had to take care of. So, Jayfeather, how are you getting along by yourself?"

Jayfeather turned his back towards them and growled as he started up the path to the Moonpool.

"What's wrong with him," Willowshine asked. "He seems as if he's got ants in his fur."

The cats walked along in silence until they arrived at the Moonpool, where Flamepaw received his first view of the mystical place. He saw the spiral path that led down to the secluded pool, the beautiful rock of which the surrounding walls were made of, the colors of the setting sun across the breathtaking landscape, and the crystal clear water of the Moonpool itself.

"It's beautiful," the apprentice remarked. He raced down the spiral path to the edge of the pool of water. He bent his head to take a drink when he was scolded by his mentor.

"Not yet! It is not time," Littlecloud told him. "You have been patient for long enough. A little longer yet should not be that hard."

"Sorry Littlecloud."

"Apprentices will be apprentices, I suppose," commented Barkface. The medicine cats waited in silence for the sun to set…

"It is time," announced Littlecloud, his apprentice trembling from anticipation.

As Littlecloud began to carry out the proper ritual, Jayfeather thought about what he would experience that night. Wound he enter the dreams of other cats as usual, or would StarClan finally send him a dream of his own now that he was the only medicine cat the ThunderClan had? An important dream at that, not one in which he was scolded by Yellowfang.

Only Flamepaw's "I do," brought him from his thoughts. The medicine cats then proceeded to drink the liquid star shine that was the Moonpool.

The cats opened their eyes to find that they were in a clearing. All of them, which was different compared to every cat having their own dream, which is what usually happened. What made it even more unusual is that the four cats that StarClan send to represent the four Clans all appeared from the bushes around the clearing. From the left, Tallstar of WindClan. From the right came Crookedstar of RiverClan. Nightstar of ShadowClan appeared from behind the medicine cats and Bluestar of ThunderClan appeared in front of them. The medicine cats were shocked. None of them realized that Mothwing was not there with them.

"What's going on," Jayfeather asked. "Why have you brought all of us here?"

"Calm down Jayfeather," Crookedstar told him.

"We bring news from StarClan," said Nightstar.

"A new prophecy, in fact," Tallstar clarified.

"We have all shown up because of the importance of this prophecy. If something were to go wrong, this could mean the end of the Clans as we know them," Bluestar said. The next time she opened herm mouth, the telltale sound of a prophecy was emitted within the words she spoke. "A new cat will come. It will save the Clans from the danger they are in. Be warned, though. Do not shun this cat because you don't know its deepest secret of life. If you do, saving you will not become its strife," Bluestar finished. The StarClan cats vanished.

The dreaming cats woke up, troubled by the new prophecy. There had never been one like this before. They padded back to their Clans in silence. On his walk through ThunderClan territory, Jayfeather's mind was racing. What did the prophecy mean? What danger were the Clans in? And most of all, who was this new cat?