AN: So this is an alternate ending to the Last Hope. Everything shall be explained at the end of this prologue. Hope I get some reviews, it would be nice...
It was chaos. All of the shadows and pelts that moved together seemed to blend as the battle took place.
As she watched she felt her fur prickling with horror. There was no way her Clanmates would survive this battle. The tragedies were too many and even if they did win the war the aftermath would be worse. She forced herself to look away from the screeching cats as they fought against the dark shadows. Blood overwhelmed her as the stench of it filled her lungs. This wasn't just a war. This was slaughter, and the Dark Forest was winning.
When she looked back she saw that by now most of the bodies were left to rot in the moonlight. Blood now stained the ground where the bodies had been placed. Her eyes widened in terror when she saw that there was no living cat around.
The she-cat pressed forward and listened for the noises in the forest. She was wary of any signs of the Dark Forest warriors that might still be lingering. Relief was quickly washed away by sorrow when she realized that she was all alone. The thought continued coursing through her until she cast her enhanced senses further across the lake.
A sudden noise sounded from within RiverClan territory. Branches and twigs snapped as a few surviving cats dragged themselves to safety. She gasped when she realized that she wasn't alone. The pain that had filled her before left when she raced towards the source of the noise. Blood roared in her ears when she reached the source of the noise. A pair of amber eyes locked gazes with her, and the cat stood rigid with shock.
"D-Dovewing?" His voice was stiff with disbelief as he eyed her cautiously, like she as a spirit from StarClan.
"Tigerheart... I thought that... I thought you fought alongside Tigerstar..." Her tail drooped when she saw that he was holding up Olivenose, a ShadowClan she-cat. One of her eyes was closed shut and covered in blood, while several scars and wounds had opened up around the rest of her face. Tigerheart on the other paw seemed to have escaped unscathed.
"I changed my mind at the last minute," he admitted. "When I saw what Tigerstar's spirit was doing to the kits...I killed him." His voice lowered to a whisper as he looked around warily. "The Dark Forest warriors fled after that happened."
"Are there any other survivors?" she asked after a moment of silence passed between them.
"I know that Mothwing survived, but she's still in a state of shock after what has happened. Minnowtail and Duskfur of RiverClan also survived...I don't think any cat survived in WindClan." He sounded disappointed when he spoke of WindClan's demise.
I can't believe there are no survivors left, she thought bitterly. Suddenly her ears pricked forward as she picked up traces of another sound. Her eyes widened when she realized that one WindClan cat had survived, though she doubted that cat would ever consider herself a WindClan warrior. Hollyleaf was still alive, and had fought the odds.
"Hollyleaf, are you near?" she cried out.
"I'm right here." A pair of green eyes flashed in the darkness as Hollyleaf crept forward. Though she was heavily wounded she appeared safe from the battle's aftermath. "Dovewing, there aren't enough cats to stay in each Clan... I'm afraid the time of the Clans is coming to an end." Hollyleaf sounded defeated as her shoulders sagged to the ground. Dovewing held her up, feeling a sense of hopelessness as she looked up at the moonlit sky.
"No," she suddenly growled. Both Olivenose and Tigerheart looked at her skeptically when she glared at the sky. "StarClan would not have let us live unless it was for a reason. I... I think they want us to work as one Clan."
"How can we do that when we are all so different?" Tigerheart demanded.
"Are we really different?" Dovewing retorted. "Think about it... all of us have different Clan blood running through us. Who knows how many times a forbidden love has happened?"
Hollyleaf looked like she was going to argue, but she was too exhausted to do so.
"We need to get to the other RiverClan warriors," Dovewing concluded after the discussion came to a close. "If Mothwing would agree to continue as medicine cat than all we would need is a leader."
A heavy silence suddenly fell upon the four cats as they staggered towards deeper RiverClan territory. The ground wasn't caked with blood like it had been in ThunderClan territory, but it was close enough. Dovewing hoped that the rain would eventually wash it away. The last thing the Clan needed was the memory of this terrible war haunting them.
Dawn was approaching by the time the exhausted warriors reached RiverClan camp. When Dovewing was the first to enter she felt as though she was ready to fall over. The wounds that had been inflicted on her were beginning to grow more intense pain-wise. She knew that the others would feel this way as they pressed forward.
"Who goes there?" Dovewing halted when she heard Mothwing's challenging mew. She peered through the bed of reeds to see the dappled she-cat dropping into an attacking crouch. Mothwing's blue eyes were bright with outrage when she caught their scent in the wind. "You better leave or I'll flay you!"
"Mothwing, peace, it is us." Dovewing used her softest voice she could find. Mothwing was in her defensive mode, and if she viewed them as a threat there was no hope for them. "We mean you no harm... we have come to talk."
The medicine cat's eyes flashed warily until she recognized Dovewing's scent among the mingled scents of others. Eventually she nodded and let them pass, but not without giving Tigerheart and Olivenose a warning snarl. Tigerheart ignored her snarl while Olivenose simply closed her eyes.
We can't fight, not when we have such little hope to begin with, Dovewing thought as she closed her eyes.
When they reached the center of RiverClan's camp Dovewing saw how devastated it was. Dens where cats once slept had been torn apart. The fresh-kill pile was trampled over or destroyed. Anything that looked like a camp would have been ruined by the Dark Forest warriors.
Laying in the center of the camp was a brown tabby queen with three tiny kits nestled at her belly. A dark gray she-cat stood protectively at her side, bristling at the sight of Dovewing. Dovewing forced back a gasp when she saw how badly scarred the dark gray she-cat looked. Both of her ears were torn and her claws as she unsheathed them looked like they had been torn out during the battle. Dovewing swallowed when she realized just how terrible the damage was on these cats.
"You said you came to talk... now do so, before you are chased off of our territory." Mothwing's warning growl sent shivers down Dovewing's spine. It reminded her of the way Tigerstar had spoken, and once again she was reminded that Mothwing was Tigerstar's kin. Beside her Tigerheart stood and Hollyleaf stood on her other side. Olivenose had been placed on the ground so that she could rest, but it looked as though she might not survive the night.
"Mothwing, we have come because we believe it is best the Clans merged into one," Dovewing explained. She swallowed hard when Mothwing turned to glare at her. "If we don't unite than the rogues and loners will pick us off one by one. If they don't than the foxes or badgers will."
"What right do you have in saying we will join this Clan?" The dark gray she-cat snapped. Her eyes blazed with anger as she looked at the four cats. "We are RiverClan through and through!"
"Minnowtail, that is enough." Mothwing's tail flicked for silence as she looked at Dovewing skeptically. "Why should we join this cause?" she added with a tilt of her head to one side. "What good will it do us? The Dark Forest will only fight us once more when we grow stronger."
"If we grow stronger the Dark Forest will not stand a chance," Dovewing growled. Her claws scraped against the soil as she became determined to convince them. "Please, it is the will of StarClan."
Mothwing seemed to think over her pleading tone. She looked at Minnowtail and the brown tabby. Both cats seemed exhausted with all of the fighting they had done earlier. By now the sun was slowly climbing from behind the mountains, and it wouldn't be long before sleep overcame Dovewing.
"Give us time to think over your plans," Mothwing meowed eventually. "For now I will look over your wounds... I need time to get over the fact that all of this is real."
There seemed to be a deeper meaning in her words as Mothwing checked on Olivenose and Hollyleaf, who had received the most wounds. Both cats were on the brink of death, and Dovewing was afraid that they wouldn't make it within the following day.
AN: Okay, so this is the start of my story. It's called LakeClan at the moment but I'm sure the title will change.