Emberstar could hear cats from all four clans gasping in shock and fear. They padded away from Talonclaw and watched as all four medicine cats rushed to his aid. All the clans were silent. Even Snakestar, the Riverclan leader who usually had a remark for everything remained silent.

After what seemed like a lifetime, Somberbreeze, the Shadowclan medicine announced, "Talonclaw has greencough!" That caused an immediate wave of panic. A great murmuring swept through the crowd of cats. Every cat meowed at once. No cat, not even the leaders said a word. Everyone was too much in shock. Emberstar guessed that all four clans were as desperate as Thunderclan for catmint. Starclan help us!

Emberstar lay in her den. His claws tore at the ground and his tail flicked nervously. "Emberstar?" Sootbird's voice echoed through Emberstar den.

"Come in." he told her. A moment later, Sootbird leaped into the den carrying a scrawny mouse in his jaws. From the look in her eyes, Emberstar could tell that he was a troubled as he was.

"I'm worried about what happened tonight." she stared.

"As am I." Emberstar nodded his head sadly. "Thunderclan has not seen such a difficult leaf bare in many moons. So many warriors sick. Starclan know have many would have died by new leaf." Emberstar turned away.

"Perhaps you should seek answers." Sootbird suggested, "Go to the Moonpool next dawn."

"No." Emberstar answered shortly. Sootbird looked surprised. "I can not possible leave when my clan is in such great need. It would be too much of a risk. What if I return to find nothing? What if more cats die when I leave? No, I shall stay here. Send out patrols to look for catmint."

"Emberstar-" Sootbird started to protest, but obviously thought better then to argue with her leader.

As Sootbird started to leave, Emberstar heard a loud yowl coming from the hollow. "Stonepaw has greencough!" a cat shouted. Emberstar recognized Acornwhisker's mew. Sootbird turned back and held Emberstar's gaze for a long moment.

"I will go at sun rise." Emberstar whispered.