AN: Wow, I didn't write anything for like a whole day. I know, I'm surprised to. But I couldn't stay away for long, so I started working on the 15th. And here it is our marvelous prologue.
For new readers, this is a sequel to another story of mine, Shattered. In order to understand this story at all, you'll need to go read it. Yes, it's long and intimidating, but don't worry, we'll wait for you.
Back already? Great! Now, there will be some differences between this and Shattered. This story takes place approximately five moons after Shattered ended. Obviously some positions and stuff have changed, but that's not what's really important. What is important is that this story will only have two POVs. Only two? Not sixteen, like Shattered (which, incidentally, is my favorite square root, but that's purely coincidence). Yes, only two, because I need a transition from the POV-filled Shattered to a more normal style of writing. Also, we've got two fronts to watch, so two POVs will be perfect.
Originally, I was going to try to write in 1st person as well as present tense, but after I finished the Prologue and part of Chapter 1 (FFN was down so I couldn't upload the Proglogue, so I just started working on the next chapter) I realized that 1st person felt totally ick, and I didn't want to confuse anyone. So I went back and edited everything to be the same way that Shattered was told; I actually have an idea for a story suited to 1st person, so we'll get to that eventually.
Anyway, sorry for the long note. To the Prologue~
P r o l o g u e
Silverstar smiled, her blue eyes warm as she looked over her Clan. Her Clan looked back up at her, their eyes bright, glowing in the dying light of the sun. Her silver fur seemed to gleam in the dim sunlight; it was thick, well-groomed. The entire Clan showed signs of having prospered during newleaf.
Away from the crowd, off to one side, a small kit crouched by the nursery. Her yellow eyes were wide and bright as she blinked up at her leader, framed in a soft gray face. Her gaze darted from cat to cat, but not a single one looked back at her, almost as if they could not see her. Her tail flicked from side to side, but still no one seemed to notice. It was as if she was invisible, or simply nonexistant.
"AshClan," Silverstar said softly; her voice was gentle and warm, almost caressing, as she looked down at her Clan. Her love for them was obvious; this was AshClan, her AshClan, the Clan that she helped to create out of nothing, with the help of her friends. The gray kit that was sitting alone glanced over the Clan again, before looking up at Silverstar; her eyes were faintly clouded as she stared up at the bright leader. Foreboding glimmered in her yellow gaze.
"Chillpaw, come up here please," Silverstar meowed. The Clan glanced at one another, murmuring quietly, before parting to allow a tom to pad through them. His white fur gleamed coolly in the dying light.
White tonight, the kit thought. Funny...ever since I started having this dream, it seems like he's white more than any other color...of course, the pelt color does change...I don't know what he really looked like when this all happened. I can't remember, it was too long ago, I was too young. But those eyes of his, so cold, frosty blue...those never change.
The tom stood underneath the BranchPile, his face turned up slightly to stare up at his leader. He stood close, almost too close; his paws touched the bottom of the pile itself, but he was so small that it was hard for the others to notice. He was thin, lanky; his ribs almost seemed to show despite the richness of newleaf, but wiry muscles rippled underneath his fur.
"I, Silverstar, leader of AshClan, call upon my warrior ancestors to look down upon this apprentice. He has shown remarkable bravery, in addition to training hard to learn your noble code, and I commend him to you as a warrior in his turn." She paused for a moment, warm pride glowing in her eyes as she blinked down upon the tom; he was her apprentice, although his father had been a dark cat. She had accepted him into the Clan because he was also her kin, as well as young Shimmerpaw's kin. Silverstar was a kind cat; she was not able to turn others away as easily as another leader might. She believed in second chances. Her entire philosophy was based on both that and her belief in StarClan.
The little gray kit, unnoticed and unseen, knew that both of her beliefs would be shattered tonight, perhaps beyond repair.
"Chillpaw, do you promise to uphold the warrior code, and to protect and defend your Clan, even at the cost of your life?"
The gray kit mouthed the words along with the silver leader; she knew them by heart. She had visited this place, this scene, too many times in her dreams for it to be otherwise. She had been dreaming of this since she was two and a half moons old, after this scene had taken place, even though most of what she knew of it had been told to her by her parents. She did not dream of it every night, or even every other night, but often enough that she knew exactly what each cat said, and exactly what each cat would do next.
The Clan was silent, waiting for Chillpaw's answer. His cold eyes bored into his paws as he stared at them; he almost seemed indecisive, torn between two choces. The gray kit swallowed, her yellow gaze locked on to him.
Please, she prayed. Please, just say 'I do'. Change this dream. Allow it to end differently.
"No," Chillpaw whispered, almost as if he had heard her thoughts. Surprise rippled through the Clan, and Silverstar blinked, but she is too slow to react to this surprising turn of events. Before anyone can move, Chillpaw sprang into the air towards Silverstar. He knocked her off of the BranchPile, and for a moment she disappeared from sight. The gray kit strained, but as always, she is unable to see Chillpaw sink his fangs into Silverstar's throat. A screech of pain over the clearing, as the Clan sprang forward almost as one.
Eaglestrike reached the BranchPile first, dragging Chillpaw away from his leader. The white tom's fangs were stained with blood, but he was forgotten by the deputy as he rushes to his leader's side. Another cat, Stormshadow, pinned Chillpaw down instead before he can make his escape.
The gray kit could not see Silverstar, but from the distress rippling through the Clan, it is obvious that their leader was fatally struck. The gray kit rasped her tongue over her muzzle anxiously. Even witnissing this dream before, perhaps a hundred times, there was nothing that she could have done to help. This time, as with every time, Silverstar lost a life.
Chillpaw spits into Stormshadow's face defiantly; his blue eyes gleamed in the dying light of the sun, glowing with triumph. He succeeded in his mission. The gray kit's ears flattened as the white apprentice began to laugh; a long, slow, loud laughter that seemed to tear at her young ears. Stormshadow let out an enraged snarl, and with brutality born of life as a rogue, he sank his fangs into Chillpaw's throat. Chillpaw let out a gurgling rasp, and the gray kit flattened her ears again to blot out the noise, but she could not keep it out entirely. She trembled, feeling like a leaf buffeted by the wind as the Clan's cries of outrage and horror battered her ears. She saw Shimmerpaw tear out of the medicine den, her blue eyes glowing with panic as she glanced from her fallen brother to her leader; the pain in them haunted the gray kit even when she was awake. She closed her eyes, trying to squeeze the images seared into her brain out of her head, still trembling weakly.
The dream slowly began to fade around her, the story complete. She didn't open her eyes, not until the sounds faded entirely.
Every time, it is always the same thing, she thought. Every time, there's nothing that I can do...what am I supposed to do? What does this all mean? Normal kits don't get these dreams...I'm not even six moons old yet, this sort of thing isn't supposed to happen to me...This is stuff meant for warriors, not hopeless, stupid kits...
She swallowed, feeling her body continuing to shake. But she did not wake, as she normally would. She was not greeted by the sounds and scents of home. She was still asleep, floating, dreaming.
Slowly, she opened her eyes, blinking, feeling confused. She had never dreamed past the scent of Silverstar's lost life before.
She was in a strange place, a place covered by mist; it was as if nothing truly existed. There were no scents for her nose to find, no sounds for her ears to pick up; she felt nothing against her fur, despite the appearance of the mist. Feeling confused, she flattened her ears against her heart, her golden eyes wide as she glanced around her, wondering what was going on.
Then, she turned, as she heard a strange voice on the breeze. She could not make out the words.
"Hello?" she whimpered, her voice choked by fear. "Hello? Who's out there? Who are you?"
Slowly, blue eyes appeared in front of her, too far away to see the face they belonged to, but close enough to see their cold, icy glow. The cat spoke again, his voice sounding like the crackle of frost, his blue eyes seeming to glitter in what she thought might be white fur.
AN: Oh dear, I bet that threw you for a loop to know that Chilly's already dead! And poor Soot is plagued by crazy dreams. What a horrible thing to dream about, don't you think?
Next chapter will be our other POV, so get ready for him. He's a real sweetie, honest.