A/N: Well this is my first Warriors story even though I'm a huge fan of the warriors series. Weird huh? Well anyways I hope you guys enjoy and please Review, I'm sure you can all guess what the creature is at the end of this chapter is and for a short time later in the book, I will be accepting and needing new cats! And I want them to be from you! So review and tell me a few things about them then I'll PM you and tell you when you'll be seen depending on what you want to be.

I need, six Warriors, One elder, Three queens, four loners, one kitty pet, a mediecen cat, two apprentices and this is going to sound weird but you'll understand later, a dog breed of almost any kind. I need your help! Thank you guys and please Review!

~Cari


Every Great Leader has to Stop Leading at One Point

Chapter One

Fernpelt's POV.

"Foxpaw, for starclan's sake, get down from there!" I shouted desperately.

"Aw come on Fernpelt, it's just a tree! Why, are you afraid to climb?" Foxpaw shouted down to me. His fiery red pelt gleamed in the morning sunlight and his bright green eyes stared down at me with much exuberance.

"I've climbed more trees in these past six moons because of you then you ever will in your entire life!" I growled at him and sprung at the giant Fir tree's trunk. My sharp claws pierced the tough bark as I shoved myself up onto the first branch.

"Haha can't catch me!" Foxpaw teased and jumped onto the next branch. I sighed and shook out my pelt. If he wanted a challenge then I'd give him a challenge.

With a great burst of strength I flung my body upwards two branches, then three, then four until I was nearly on Foxpaw. "Wow for an old cat you're pretty fast." The voice startled me and made me lose my footing. I looked down to see who my distractor was only to see my father Shellstar.

"Dad, I'm younger than you!" I purred and looked down at him. He was the leader of Echoclan and a great one at that.

"Hey Shellstar!" Foxpaw called from one of the highest branches. I looked up to see him with a triumphant look on his pure orange face. He was a handsome tom for his young age. He was a very bright orange with jet black paws and tail tip. He was a strong young cat and I had high hopes for him in the future.

"Hello Foxpaw!" Shellstar called back and turned his attention back to me, "And I know you are, but I'm ancient so you get to be old."

"Even though I'm only five seasons old?" I purred and jumped out of the tree to land next to him. I touched noses with him and purred.

"Yes even then."

"HA, I beat you Fernpelt!" Foxpaw shouted and jumped from a lower branch only to land square on my shoulders. I yowled in surprise as my feet caved out from under me and I collapsed onto the ground in a heap.

Shellstar let out a purr of amusement as he watched me try and scramble out from the young tom. "I'd have to agree. You're doing a great job of mentoring him Fernpelt, and I think he's now the best climber in the clan…he beat you."

"Thanks Shellstar, I taught him well. I have high hopes for him." Foxpaw stood tall with pride from being complimented by his mentor and leader in such a way.

"I do too; you'll make a great warrior Foxpaw."

"That's only because I have a great mentor," Foxpaw said and smiled at me. I cupped his ear with my paw and purred, "And you better believe it!"

"I'm glad you think that, Fernpelt has been a great teacher and learner since she was born and I taught her how to catch a mouse before she was even five moons old." Shellstar bragged and looked at me with pride. "I'm proud of you."

"Thanks dad and you nearly let that mouse crush me when I rolled down a hill trying to kill that thing!" I purred and gave my chest a couple of licks.

"Ah but you caught it didn't you and it fed Hookfoot and Stormfeather." He retorted and purred in amusement. "I have to go back to camp and that's why I'm here. I need you two at the next clan meeting."

"Oh ok, why has something happened?" I asked in a worried fit.

"No but you're old man's not as young as he used to be. I want your sister and you to escort me to the elders den." He said slowly. For the first time in moons I realized just how old my dad was getting. His light grey pelt had some white hair showing and his black tiger stripes were fading away with age. His bright green eyes were now a dull and tired green and flecks of white colored his muzzle.

"You're going to the elders den?" Foxpaw screeched.

"Hush Foxpaw and yes I am. I've led this clan for more than sixteen seasons. It's time that I retired the power over to Robinwing." I nearly hissed at her name. She's always been rude to me and always tells lies about me that I end up getting in trouble for anyways. However she was the one my dad trusted to be a deputy and I respected his choice even though I was sure that he'd pick his brother Oakfang or his mate Violettail.

"Are you going today?" I asked shakily. I never knew it'd be such a huge effect on me to see my father retire from his position as a leader.

"Yes, that's why I want you both back at camp." He answered and nodded at me with a wise look in his old eyes.

"I wonder who the new deputy is going to be!" Foxpaw exclaimed and ran around me in a few circles, "Maybe it'll be you Fernpelt, and it should be you'd make a great deputy!"

I purred in amusement and smiled at him before putting a paw on his forehead to slow him down, "Thank you Foxpaw but I'm not interested in such a position. Also I think Robinwing would choose someone else."

"Only Star clan knows, now let's go so we can get back before sunhigh." Shellstar said urgently. I could tell he was tired and just wanted to lie down.

"Alright come on Foxpaw, don't keep your leader waiting." Foxpaw nodded and followed close by to me while Shellstar took the lead of the small patrol. We were heading over the creek bases to get to the camp. This sadly meant we'd have to swim…

"Do we have to cross here?" I asked as I nervously padded around the shore. Swimming was not my best subject but I was good at it. That didn't mean I had to like it though.

"Why? Afraid to get your paws wet?" A familiar voice teased. I looked but to see Emberwing purring in amusement at me. He was a fiery orange with faint black stripes running down his flank and legs. His amber eyes shined at me as a toothy grin appeared on his muzzle.

"What was your first clue?" I teased back, "I'll show you!"

"Come on Fernpelt, Foxpaw has already crossed and we're all waiting on you now." Shellstar growled impatiently.

"Alright Shellstar, I'm coming." I said with a devious look in my eyes. I took a few steps back, wiggled my haunches and then to a sprinting start towards the river. I became air born seconds later and landed in the water making a big splash that fell on a surprised looking Emberwing.

"Ah! You got me wet!" He complained as I crawled out of the freezing water.

"Who's afraid to get their paws wet now?" I exclaimed and tackled him to the ground.

"Fernpelt be back at the camp by sunhigh, that's when I'm making my announcement." Shellstar sighed seeing as I wasn't going to be done with Emberwing for a little bit. "I'm taking Foxpaw with me."

"Ok Shellstar, thank you!" I shouted as Emberwing cupped my ears and tackled me back. We wrestled around for a little before rolling into the river and jumping out with soaked pelts.

Emberwing shook out his wet pelt right next to me causing him to fluff up crazily and me to get wet again, "Haha, hey!" I complained. "You look like a giant burr." I laughed and fell onto my back in laughter.

"Haha maybe I am! But you deserved it!" He teased back and started grooming his self on the river bank.

"I have the power to get you wet again." I threatened and stuck my paw in the river.

"I give up! I give up, just spare my pelt!" He shouted and raced off into the trees.

"Hey get back here!" I called after him and went pelting to try and catch up with him, "You're pretty fast." I mentioned when I finally caught him, "But not fast enough."

I hared off into the distance and emerged on another river bank panting. Sunhigh would be soon so I'd have to head back to camp soon. Emberwing trotted through the tree line after me and sat down next to me. I couldn't help but notice how close he was to me when our pelts brushed together. "You're pretty fast, but it's only because I have more hair then you and you have longer legs. I was at a disadvantage." He declared as he tried to catch his breath.

"I thought you were keeping up with me quite well actually." I said and smiled at him.

"Thanks." He answered and copied my smile. He really was quite the handsome tom. "Why do you have to be back at camp by sunhigh?"

"Shellstar's going to call a clan meeting." I answered and leaned up against him with a heavy sigh.

"What's it about, you don't seem too keen about it?" Emberwing questioned and copied my move of leaning up against him.

"Let's just say Robinstar's going to have to pick a deputy by tonight." I sighed back and watched as the water swiftly roared by.

"Robinstar?" Emberwing gawked in confusion. "Are you saying Shellstar's leaving?"

"Well sort of, I'm just escorting him to the elder's den." I corrected. I hoped that he didn't think Shellstar wasn't giving his life up for his clan. He'd been giving all of his lives up except for this last one, all for his clan.

"He deserves some rest; he's been a great leader and a great father." Emberwing said nicely. I smiled at him with bright eyes and nuzzled his shoulder.

"Thanks now come on, sunhigh is soon and Shellstar will have my pelt if I'm not back."

"Alright, alright. Don't let me slow you down," He teased and pelted into the river, "Come on, the water's not getting any slower!"

"I know, but I do…" I whimpered and pounded after him into the freezing torrent of water.

We got back to camp just in time for Shellstar to announce the clan meeting, "Let all cats old enough to peruse their own destinies gather below the high tree." I know, it's a weird saying but it's effective. Cats poured out from every den in sight and dens around the bend of the canyon wall.

We lived in a dried up, hollowed out canyon. Caves littered the walls for us to sleep in and small brooks and rivers bubbled by. Above the canyon walls, layers and layers of tall oaks and pine trees hid our large camp from any intruders. And we were days away from any source of house or kitty pet place. The only two leg house in sight before that is an old abandoned one that had burned many seasons ago before I was born. A small trail cut through our territory and sometimes beasts carrying two legs on them would trot past while neighing and stamping all over the ground.

When someone nudged me I was brought back to reality, "So I have decided it is my time to retire to the elders den and let Robinwing take over the roll as leader of Echoclan." Shellstar called making every cat gasp in shock.

"Elders den,"

"He deserves rest; it's been a long time,"

"What if Robinwing isn't ready?" I heard all sorts of murmurs and shocked whispers coming from the cats around me. Even when Shellstar announced it I cringed, and I had been informed of it earlier. It's just very hard to watch your father retire to the elders den when I was still a younger warrior.

"The last request I have for my clan is for my two daughters, Fernpelt and Hawkstorm. I'd like them to escort me to the elders den." He called and I knew that was my cue to step forward. I did so and Hawkstorm padded along side of me. She was a pretty light brown color with a white belly and forelegs. She also had a white muzzle with blue eyes and black spots on her flanks. She was already a proud mother of three kits, now apprentices along with her mate Eagleheart.

Shellstar jumped down from the high tree to join Hawkstorm and me. I felt my throat tighten when he touched his nose to our muzzles and motioned for us to walk him to his new den. Inside, my stomach was churning and everything was doing a backflip.

We walked for maybe five paw steps before one by one, starting with Emberwing, joined us in walking Shellstar to the elders den. Soon enough, the whole clan was at our flanks padding in unison. "You've been a great leader." Stormfeather said slowly when he came to a stop at the elders den entrance.

"Thank you Stormfeather." He murmured back and touched his nose to her shoulder. He then proceeded to turn around and nod to his new clan before starting off the chant, "Robinstar, Robinstar, Robinstar!"

I joined in feeling angry and crushed, but also at peace. My dad wasn't in any danger anymore and a new deputy was to be chosen by moon high. This was an exciting event for the whole clan even though it started off sad.

"Who are you going to claim as the new deputy Robinstar?" I heard one of our newest apprentices, Wolfpaw ask. He was also my sister's oldest son.

"Well you'll have to wait and see won't you?" Robinstar said back making Wolfpaw cringe. She was going to say something else mean when I decided enough was enough.

"I'm sure she'll choose well Wolfpaw, now go see your brother and sister, I'm sure they want to go exploring somewhere." I stepped in front of the young tom and gave Robinstar a very hard look.

Wolfpaw nodded and shot off feeling the obvious tension in the air between Robinstar and myself. "For once Fernpelt, you're right. I will choose right." She growled and looked at Emberwing in a way that made me feel angry and defensive.

I scoffed at her before padding away into the woods above the canyon. It was getting to be sundown by now but I wasn't in the mood to go home and celebrate our new leader's long life. I just wanted to be alone.

Different colors varying from red, yellow and orange scattered the ground as I padded along through the woods to the first river bed. I loved this time of year but I knew it wouldn't last. Soon snow would be falling and everything would become damp and cold and food would become scarce.

Speaking of food; I caught a whiff of a small field mouse not too far from here. I suppose while I'm out I should at least hunt for my clan, if anything.

I started trotting back into the dense brush of the forest and caught the mouse's sent again; it smelled worse though like a piece of crow food. The thought of forgetting about it crossed my mind when curiosity washed over me. I now had to know why this mouse smelled so foul.

I followed its trail for a long time and ended in a place that I'd never seen before. It was an open meadow filled with many flowers and surrounded by trees. Something black moved in the distance on the border line of the trees. It looked to be like a small kitty pet so my natural instinct told me to make it go away.

I got into a hunters crouch and slunk through the tall grass towards the cat, the closer I got the more foul it smelled and I started to wonder if it was sick. It was eating something that was all over the ground but I couldn't tell what it was.

Finally I was a couple of tail lengths away when I decided to pounce. With a wiggle of my haunches I launched myself at the cat only to ram head first into a very big, very hairy leg. I shook out my head to regain my thoughts and heard an angry snarling sound.

"Shit…" I mumbled and backed up in fear. The thing was huge, it was all black with giant jaws filled with gnarly looking teeth and it had huge claws that looked like they could cut through a tree easily. I gulped and looked into the beasts big brown eyes.

It roared at me again and stood up making it look absolutely huge. I looked over at what it was eating only to scream my head off. It was a cat. A baby cat that looked like a kitty pet but it was a cat and I had a feeling I was next.

The beast lunged at me and I jumped out of the way to start running. I got maybe two tail lengths away from it when strong jaws encased around my body. I yowled again in fear and started struggling only to be shaken around like some squeaky toy. "Help, help me!" I shouted and clawed at the beast. Its jaws got tighter around me and started piercing my skin. Star clan help me!


A/N: SUSPENSE! Please review and everyone hope that I choose to let Fernpelt live! Or maybe you all want her to die...harsh thoughts right there lol. I hope you all enjoyed and beware of bears taking your cats or hurting you! Stay alert my fellow readers! I know I have to where I live =D

~Cari