Please take the time to read through our Newleaf Announcement for how our five Clans will be merging into three, led by our current active leaders (Silverstar, Owlstar, and Clovermask/star).
We also have a territory contest where we're challenging members to come up with what the Clans' territories will look like after disaster strikes! Prey and badges are among the rewards for participating!
Happy New Year! After the tumultuous year 2020 brought us, staff have decided to extend the December hiatus into January!
High ranks are not required to meet their usual post quota, and you are still free to roleplay, but things may be a little slower around the site!
Staff are recovering from the year as well, so please be patient with us, as it may take some time for us to accept applications and update things. Let's make 2021 a great year for Fate!
** Special Note: Another predator will be spotted in the valley in the coming days. Keep an eye out for the next batch of the Tooth & Claw event!
How strange it was, to walk this border for the last time. Gray paws trailed along the outer edge of Lightningclan territory, the one portion of their land that did not have another clan attached to it. The sun high in the sky, only now beginning to fall towards the mountains that loomed overhead.
Paws came to a halt right at the very edge of the scent line. Green eyes looked out of the meadow, trees in the distance leaving the base of the mountains hidden. Slowly, a gray furred head and body turned, those eyes looking back in the direction that she had come from.
It was hard to believe that she was really doing this. Lightningclan had been her home her whole life. She was born in that camp at her mother’s side. She had watched her uncle lead the clan, and had seen her mother join him at the clan’s helm. She had, as judgmental towards them she had been her whole life, watched her two sisters grow into Warriors alongside her. She had been trained by one of the clan’s most renowned and most secretive Warriors, of whom she had done many acts hidden in shadow with, disposing of cats outside of the clan only being one. She had become a Warrior of a clan that she dedicated herself to, despite her outward antagonistic attitude towards its members. She had grown here. This place, this meadow, was her home.
Yet here she was, standing at the border for what would likely be the last time. She had spent the morning preparing herself, catching some prey with her mentor, sharing a small feast with her mother and uncle. She had even spent a very short amount of time with both of her sisters, which had caught them off-guard. She spent the morning with the cats she had known her whole life. She spent the morning memorizing the camp and the territory she had lived in for so long. She spent the morning saying goodbye.
Goosechase’s green eyes softened, her pupils round and her gaze slightly remorseful. She didn’t know what this journey would hold for her. She didn’t know if she would ever come back to these moors, or see that camp again. She didn’t know when she would see her family again, or if she ever would. She just didn’t know.
But she had to do this. She had lived in Lightningclan, she had defended them multiple times in different ways, she had grown up there. But, if she was truthful, she hadn’t ever really found happiness there. The only things that had ever really held her there were her mother, her uncle, partially her father, and her mentor. She and her sisters had always been far too different to really get along, especially as they got older and their views became polar opposites. She never had a close connection with any of her clanmates, either because of how they treated her or how they viewed the clan. And it was a well-known fact that she hated the other clans from the very beginning. She had even, in her Apprentice days, caused a little skirmish with a Nightclan tom during a gathering just for the hell of it.
She loved Lightningclan itself. She loved living there. But she didn’t belong there anymore. As a kit and an Apprentice, maybe. But not now. That was why she had to leave. She needed to find out where she did belong, what she was supposed to be doing with her life. She didn’t know where this very vague goal would lead her, but she could only hope that she achieved it. And she planned to.
Eyes returning to their normal state and filling with a sense of renewed determination, the lanky gray she-cat of Lightningclan turned, her paws walking across the border. As she crossed that line, she almost felt like something was being lifted from her whole body, like a drape of moss being peeled away from her.
Her title. As her paws passed through the border that had held her in for so long, she felt who she was be stripped from her. As she began her journey, she was no longer Goosechase, the Lightningclan Warrior. She was merely herself. She was Goosechase, and that was all.
Her paws stopped, looking out towards the distant forests and mountainsides. She could go wherever she wanted. She could do whatever she wanted without worrying if it was against any sort of code. She was free.
With a smile forming on her face, the brand new rogue of the valley shot forward, her long legs carrying her wherever the wind and her desires would take her.
There it was, straight ahead. Green eyes cast in shadow narrowed in on the rabbit. They watched each movement, each rotation of an ear, each tiny movement of chewing, every tail twitch. Black claws slowly unsheathed, digging into the somewhat soft ground beneath. A long gray tail hovered high over the ground.
The little brown creature leaned down, plucking another clover from the ground and pulling at the leaves with its small teeth. A large ear would turn occasionally, listening for any possible signs of danger. Its tiny stomach was probably expanding with each clover it pulled from the undergrowth. It thought it was safe, its body partially blending in with the shadows of the overhead trees and surrounding bushes. How sad it was that this little creature didn’t know that it was already being hunted. How tasty it would be.
Very slowly, a singular gray paw lifted in the shadows, moving so slowly forward that it was hardly noticeable. Just as the paw pads beneath touched the ground, a very loud crack sounded in the distance, causing both the hunter and the hunted to perk their ears, the rabbit dropping its clover and quickly looking around itself.
Goosechase felt her heart pounding in her chest, eyes never leaving the rabbit despite the noise. That snap had not been caused by her. She knew for a fact that it wasn’t her. But she would lose her prey if she tried to uncover the source. She waited, watching. The rabbit was very clearly on alert now, though it continued eating.
Once more, the gray she-cat began to stalk forward slowly, keeping as close to the trees and in the shadows as she could as she crept closer. Just as she got passed one of the thinner trees, a few leaps away from the rabbit, the forest suddenly burst with sound. Branches breaking, bushes trampled, and the sounds were rapidly coming closer. The rabbit immediately darted away as fast as it could, assuming that it was being chased. How wrong it was. How utterly wrong.
Goose remained still, looking around quickly for what it was. She spotted movement off to her right side, whatever it was coming in her direction with great speed. Just as she went to back up behind the tree she had passed, a figure burst from the bushes, slamming into the lithe she-cat’s side and sending her sprawling. She was momentarily airborne before she hit the ground, luckily landing on a soft patch of grass. As she gained her balance, furious green eyes flashed towards her attacker, a loud hiss erupting from her jaws. She was surprised to find that what stood before her was another cat.
A cat about her size, a tom from what she could tell. His eyes were quite narrow in overall shape, yellowish green pools glaring towards her. His pelt was tabby, though was a mixture of grays, browns, and white. Both of his ears had tears and nicks all over them.
Just as a smirk crossed his smug face, more figures began to emerge from the bushes. A larger and fluffier orange tabby with yellow eyes and a flat face that seemed naturally shaped into an angry expression. Another was a white and silver tabby with many black stripes, pale yellow eyes, and a distinct black nose. Finally, there was a darker gray tabby with dull stripes, dark amber eyes, and a lower body covered in white.
She was outnumbered, and she knew it. But she was not one to back down. These cats had prevented her from catching her prey. They didn’t deserve her sympathy or mercy. She stood, claws still unsheathed and eyes narrowed in anger.
“How dare you interrupt my hunting!” Her snarl came out like fire, her teeth baring as she spoke and her tail lashing in fury behind her. Despite her anger, the gray and brown tom’s smirk only grew, amusement crossing his features.
“You are hunting in our territory, pest.” Even his voice was laced with amusement, which only furthered her anger.
“Your territory?” Her snarl came once more, eyes only narrowing further and her pupils growing even thinner than before. “I smell nothing saying that this land belongs to you. So go back to wherever you came from, scum.”
The fur along her spine rose, as did her back, eyes glaring daggers into the faces of these fools. Who did they think they were? Who did he think he was?
She was fully prepared to race forward and dig her claws into this cocky tom's face. She would not be shooed out of lands that weren't really claimed by someone who called her a pest. She had lost her meal because of these cats. He had slammed into her. He would deserve everything that she wished to do to him.
Yet with the expressions that crossed the faces of the other cats at his sides, she had a feeling it wouldn't be that easy. She watched as the cocky tom slowly turned his head to either side, exchanging a singular glance with the cats around him. When those narrowed and amused eyes turned back to her, all he did was nod, and it began.
She could only momentarily watch as the large orange tom and the somewhat smaller tabby she-cat came charging towards her. She managed to jump out of the way at the last minute, but felt claws latch onto one of her legs, causing an angry yowl to escape her jaws. She whipped around as she landed, seeing the white tabby holding onto her leg and not letting go. She spun as quick as she could, claws digging into the other cat’s side. For a short period of time, it seemed as though this was just a fight between the two of them. The white she-cat still hadn’t let go of Goose’s leg, and almost appeared that she was climbing, slowly getting her claws around the gray she-cat’s sides. With even more anger building in her chest, Goose suddenly shifted her weight to her front paws and kicked as hard as she could, hitting right into her opponent’s stomach. She felt claws be torn from her skin, but the sound of the other cat smacking against a nearby tree was very satisfying.
Before she could even turn to continue her own attack, she once again felt a large weight slam into her side, sending her flying sideways. Just as she hit the ground, that same weight collided on top of her, pinning her to the ground. She felt claws did into her other leg, keeping her in place despite her struggling. She turned her head upwards, watching and waiting for the orange tom to try and deliver a final blow. But, to her surprise, rather than claw at her instantly or lean down to bite her, the fluffy tabby lifted the front half of his body, raising his claws to the sky as if he was planning some sort of overly dramatic smackdown on her.
Right when he began to fall forward, she rolled most of her body to the side, leg still trapped under his back legs, but the top half of her body dodging his idiotic attack. Before she even heard his paws hit the ground, the lurched forward and latched onto his side, both claws and teeth digging through a large layer of fur and hitting skin. She heard and felt an enraged snarl and yowl escape from the tom as he began to thrash, trying to get her off of him. Unfortunately, because of the amount of fur she found her face buried in, Goose could hardly even see what was happening. But she wasn’t born with large ears for nothing.
Through the thrashing and snarling from her current target, she heard a loud hiss from behind her accompanied with pawsteps growing closer. Eyes narrowing through orange fur, she waited until she no longer heard the pawsteps. As soon as the sound disappeared, she abruptly let go of the tom, falling to the ground at his side. She watched as a white figure went just barely over her head, crashing into the orange tom hard. His claws disconnected from Goose’s leg as he stumbled sideways, the white tabby she-cat falling dazed at his side next to Goose.
The gray rogue jumped to her feet as quick as she could, leaping away from the two of them and turning back to face them. As they both recovered, both cats now facing Goose, they seemed to be at a standstill. All three cats bared their fangs, occasional hisses coming from their jaws. Slowly, her two opponents came closer, flashing their claws and teeth at her in a form of intimidation. But she wasn’t about to give in. These two didn’t seem overly smart, or at least the bulking tom didn’t. If anything, she could just keep making them attack one another. Her eyes narrowed further and her head raised, daring them to come for her.
“Enough!” Green eyes glanced to the side as the same voice that had called her a pest spoke once more. The gray brown tom and the other gray tabby slowly approached, both staring her down.
“I’m surprised a cat your size could outwit two cats at once.” What was that supposed to mean. Did he assume that because she was slender and lithe that these cats were going to beat her into the ground? What an idiot.
“I’m no weakling, fool, ” she growled, fangs bared at the tom. A smirk crossed his face.
“I see that. I have an offer for you.” She didn’t like the smile that crossed his face. “Join my gang.”
A wave of confusion washed over her. His offer was for her to join his little group? What was wrong with him?
“You sick your dogs on me and then expect me to join you?” She growled at the tom as he very slowly got closer to her. She heard the growls from her two attackers at her insult towards them, but ignored them. If they came for her, she would hear it. They weren’t clever enough to try running silently.
“It’s how I choose who gets to join us. If you are strong enough to hold your own against two of my fighters, you are strong enough to be one of us.” His tail flicked behind him, the confidence in his face displaying that he thought his words would sway her decision in his favor. What reason did she have to join some random group of rogues? She had just left her clan about a moon ago because of how she felt being in a group with cats she didn’t like. So far, these cats weren’t leaving a very good impression, considering one of them had ordered two of the others to attack her.
“She isn’t worth it! All she did was use tricks!” The large orange tom, clearly aggravated that she had been given this offer, stood up, growling at what seemed to be the group’s leader. The gray brown tom just flicked his tail dismissively.
“Our group can always use some more strong cats. The bigger we are, the more we can do. And you seem like you could make our group better.” Even though his words sounded deceptively genuine, Goosechase still despised the cocky smile that he had plastered on his face.
Had she run into these cats while she was still a clan cat, her choice would have been very obvious: no. She didn’t like this tom or his little followers already, and she had no reason to believe that this wasn’t a trap. Even now, she had this odd suspicion that this was just a ruse and that they were going to lead her somewhere to get attacked again.
But she wasn’t a part of Lightningclan anymore. She could do what she wanted. If she wanted to refuse, walk away, and continue to be by herself, she could. If she wanted to just attack these cats again and hope that she could handle what would likely be her death, she could. And if she wanted to test this out and see what would happen, she could. She had options, and it was all up to her. This was one of the first actual hard decisions that she had made since going on her own. She had been by herself for the whole moon, just hunting, exploring, occasionally taking claim of a tiny den or a low hole in a tree for a few nights. This was her first chance to make a choice, to make her own choice. A choice that could determine her future. She could walk away from this opportunity and just be by herself, waiting for the next decision to present itself. Or she could see where this would take her.
Green pools narrowed at the tom, a smile being offered in return.
“What exactly is this gang, ” she growled after a long moment of silence, tail lashing behind her.
“We are merely a group of cats that have come together to survive. We have our little home not too far from here. We do have our own territory, even if you claim that this isn’t our’s. We hunt for ourselves and for each other. We bring in those that need help. We are just our own little gang.”
The way he described this group seemed contrary to what he had said earlier. He had said that he chooses who joins them by having his cats attack them, yet now he claimed that they just took in cats who needed help. She wasn’t sure what he was playing at. Likely, he was just trying to make the group look better.
As suspicious as she was of these cats and this group she was being informed of, she couldn’t deny that she was curious. She hadn’t really heard of there being groups of cats other than the clans and those tribe cats that she hardly ever saw. She momentarily wondered if this group actually was a clan and he just wasn’t saying anything. But she highly doubted it. They didn’t really claim their so called territory, they automatically attacked cats before deciding whether to welcome them, and it seemed like if any cat held their own in combat, they were just brought in without any second thought. No clan, not even the other four that shared the valley with Lightningclan, would be that stupid.
“Well?” The tom lightly tilted his head, the smile still across his maw and one hypothetical eyebrow raised. She released a low growl, head slightly lowering and giving herself more of a threatening posture.
“We will see. I’ll see what this group of your’s is like, but as soon as I find out about any tricks or find something I don’t like, I am leaving.” She snarled at the tom, lifting one paw and smacking it against the ground in affirmation. She wasn’t going to be fooled by these cats. She would see how truthful his statements were, and if he had been lying, she would leave an impression in their minds before she left.
The gray brown tom nodded. “That is fine.” He looked to the two cats that he had ordered to attack Goose previously. “Those two are Hailan and Ash.” The fluffy orange tom growled at the mention of his name first, while the white she-cat only narrowed her eyes and flicked her tail. He then turned to the other tabby, who had been silent and in the background throughout the whole encounter. “This is Dustjaw.” The gray tom gave a very curt nod before turning away, beginning to walk back in the direction they had originally come from. The gray brown tom turned back to her, bowing his head only for a moment. “And I am Salem.”
The slender gray she-cat flicked one large ear at the names, glancing between the other three cats as they slowly began to depart. “And what are we to call you?”
She turned her head at the question, eyes locked on the tom once more. The temptation to hold back her name was strong, yet there was no point. As far as she could tell, names didn’t matter within this group. Three of these cats had names that were reminiscent of loners, while one of them seemed to have the name of a Warrior. Perhaps that was another story to be told, but she couldn’t care less.
There was an eerie silence that fell over the forest as the felines stalked further into the trees, as if the inhabitants of the woods knew better than to reveal their presence. Or perhaps the creatures which had lived in this particular patch of forest had since left, the apparent gang that claimed this area likely the cause. What was it about this area that gave one an uneasy feeling, as though there was something wrong?
Narrowed green eyes scanned to either side, passing briefly over the surrounding trees and still bushes. Large gray ears rotated, listening for any signs of life, but finding no sound. No birds chirping in the trees above, no distant rustles of hares scurrying out of their burrows, not even the light scratching sound of wind blowing the foliage together. The only sound that did reverberate through those wide ears was the sound of paws hitting the ground below, her own steps quieter against the ground while those that she followed were more loud and much less considered.
Clearly these cats felt no sense of awareness or danger in their surroundings, as though this were normal to them and that they had nothing to worry about. Surely they didn't believe that them "claiming" this area as their own meant that predator's would keep away. Obviously they had no care for the possibility of fresh prey being nearby either. How could multiple cats as a whole be so frustratingly stupid and careless? Had they grown arrogant to the point to believe themselves invincible?
Thin black pupils stared at each of those which the lanky gray she-cat followed, judging each of them silently. The names that had been spoken echoed in her mind, taking note of which cats had been associated with each name. Ash, the white tabby she-cat, had been the first to rush forward for the attack when the wordless order was given, yet she had said nothing when Goosechase was offered a "place" among them. Hailan, the bruteish orange tom with the flat face, had already revealed himself to be arrogant, mindless, and quite stupid if she was truthful. Then there was Dustjaw, the gray and white tabby. He brought a sense of curiosity to her, revolving around his name primarily, causing her to wonder if he had been a previous member of a clan or if that just so happened to be how he was named.
And then there was Salem. Vibrant green pools only narrowed further looking at him, his head held high, muscles lightly flexing beneath his gray brown pelt, and his tail flicking and swirling confidently behind him as he walked. The fact that he had a slight strut to his walk only brought further irritation to the following rogue, his displays of pride only putting a larger stain in her thoughts of him. In a way, he almost reminded her of someone. Someone very familiar.
Nightstep. That outwardly friendly and charismatic persona which hid dark intentions and a twisted mindset, one of which he hid quite well. Granted, Salem didn't exactly hide his in an effective way, given the fact that he had ordered other cats to attack someone who had done nothing to deserve such treatment. But he covered that act with his cocky smile and a charming voice, of which he used to try and lure the gray she-cat into whatever it was that she was walking into by following them.
Though he may believe that it was his own doing that had brought the rogue to follow him, she would never give him that satisfaction. She had not followed these cats because of what they said, nor because of their leader's facade of charm. She had followed them for two reasons, and two reasons only: boredom, and her own curiosity. Within her time in the endless wilds beyond Lightningclan territory, the previous Warrior had not found anything to provoke interest. Her days were primarily spent hunting, relaxing alone in the shade of the trees, or sheltering within abandoned dens and holes of trees from the weather. Nothing had really answered her question, or sparked any sort of reaction within her. She had left her clan believing that there was something out here for her, something other than the life of a clan Warrior. She wished to find if this was true, but she would be unable to accomplish that goal if her days continued in the way that they had. So she saw this as a chance, a possible opportunity, to find what she was looking for. While she doubted that these cats were the answer, them suddenly appearing had already changed the predictability of the days ahead of her.
A quick tingling feeling traveled down her spine as scents began to fill her nose, the scents of other cats. Ears perked and tail twitched, slender body prepared for any sudden movements or the need to leap. She had not yet determined if this was a trick or if this had been genuine, and it would be impossible to even remotely let down her guard in a place that was unfamiliar such as this.
Though, seeing something out of the ordinary ahead began to suggest that this had not been some kind of ruse. What she could only describe as a poorly constructed camp entrance came into view. With a wall of dark thorns to either side, a mostly open area radiating with sunlight slowly came closer, the scent of other cats only growing stronger and stronger with each step. In comparison to the darkness and shadows which the overhead trees provided to the ground below, the light that emanated from this entrance seemed so enticing and bright. While Goosechase did not intend to give in to the enchanting feeling that this may have given someone, she couldn’t deny that it was an interesting sight.
As the five cats walked through the large opening, the gray rogue was surprised at the sight. Similar to a small clan camp, there was a decently sized clearing in the midst of the trees, the very back of this clearing stopping abruptly at a tall cliff far too steep and angled for any creature to climb. Along the outside of the clearing, dark-colored thorn branches stretched all along the surrounding trees, likely climbing up to the higher branches where one could not see. It could also be noted that the vines which these thorns grew from appeared to climb the back cliff as well, disappearing over the top edge and probably growing further above. Within the clearing itself, the grass was vibrant and green like Goosechase’s own eyes, though flattened in some areas due to excess use or pressure placed upon the blades. As far as she could tell, there only seemed to be one or two dens within this little camp, which was strange to see when remembering the many dens of the Lightningclan camp. One of these dens was at the left side of the clearing and seemed to merely be a hole dug into the roots of one of the surrounding trees, the smaller roots hanging and poking through the entrance. The only other den was straight ahead against the cliff wall. Based on the appearance alone, this den was comprised of multiple larger stones that had likely crumbled off of the top edge of the cliff, forming a pile of stones topped with a smoother and flatter piece than the rest. Possibly caused by the impact back when the stones fell, the larger and smoother stone that completed the pile seemed to have a small cave entrance at the back of it. It appeared large enough to fit a cat or two, though there was a high doubt that it went back into the cliff very far.
While the clearing lacked what the gray rogue considered proper shelter for any sort of group, there certainly wasn’t a lack of cats. Off to the left near the root-dug den, another white and black striped tabby, a brown and white tabby, and a larger calico laid together in conversation, though they didn’t speak loud enough to be heard from the entrance. The gray tabby, Dustjaw, parted from the group and veered off to the right, settling in a shaded portion of the clearing and watching what was to occur. Straight ahead, right next to the rock-pile den, a large black cat and a somewhat smaller mostly white tabby stood, also speaking in a hushed tone. Though, none of the ongoing conversations lasted long, for all eyes turned to the returning group of cats as they arrived.
Feeling that many gazes were locked on her, Goosechase stayed where she was, narrowed eyes glancing to either side at those who stared. At the sound of a loud meow, green orbs lifted to find that Salem had jumped atop the rock-pile den, walking to the edge of the stone and taking a seat. His meow called to the gathered cats, summoning them to him much like the Leader of a clan did. The cats who sat to the side, as well as those that had led the rogue to the camp, all made their way below the den, eyes unsure of whether to look to their leader or look to the unfamiliar face that stood at the entrance of the clearing.
Almost on cue, pawsteps were heard behind the gray she-cat, her head quickly turning to see three cats arriving at the camp, two with prey in their mouth and the final’s jaws empty. Two of the cats, a brown tabby and a younger and fluffier gray, seemed to be speaking to one another through full jaws, a rabbit hanging from the older cat’s mouth and a rat hanging from the other. The final cat, a white and orange patched tabby, walked quietly beside them, but they quickly nudged and hushed the other two at the sight of the stranger. With even more eyes locked on her, Goosechase felt her irritation begin to grow. At least when she had become an Apprentice and a Warrior she knew whose eyes were watching her. She didn’t know these cats, and they didn’t know her. At the sound of Salem clearing his voice, she reluctantly turned her eyes back.
“We found a trespasser at the edge of the territory today. Against Hailan and Ash, this she-cat fought quite well, which is why I have brought her back here.” The tom’s yellowish-green pools locked on her, narrowing with the small smile that creeped onto his face. “Go on, step forward.”
She suppressed a growl. Was he trying to piss her off? If only he knew how much of a mistake that would be if he continued. She did not move, nor did she really react further to his order. She merely glared, green eyes locked on the tom. She waited for a few moments, clearly ignoring what the tom expected of her. The smile slowly faded from his jaws at her obvious disobedience, as if he expected her to do as he said already. Once that smile was gone, the gray she-cat stalked forward, eyes stuck in a narrowed state and locked on the tom. She couldn’t deny that as she stepped forward, she flashed the leader of this little gang a rebellious smile of her own, displaying that she was not going to take orders from him so lightly.
Covering up the obvious displeasure on his face, Salem put on a clearly fake smile and lightened his tone. “This is Goose, and she-”
While the look of offense that crossed the tom’s face was satisfying, it also brought a slight confusion to the she-cat that she did not display. In the background, large ears picked up on quiet chuckling that Salem apparently didn’t catch, for his eyes remained on her.
“I offered her a place in our gang, so try welcoming her in.” As his small and informal announcement came to an end, he offered a narrowed glare to the rogue in return before turning back towards the small cave within the cliff. Right before he disappeared into the den, she heard him call out a name, though she did not catch what it had been. In response, the mostly white she-cat who stood to the right of the stone pile briefly looked to Goosechase, a slight hint of worry on her face, before she climbed atop the stones, disappearing into the cave as well.
With the clearing going quiet and the leader out of sight, the lanky she-cat turned to find that while some eyes had parted from her, others remained. There was only one cat who found themselves strolling up to her carelessly, a smile on his face. It was the brown tabby who had arrived late to the little meeting, the rabbit he had been carrying gone.
“You’re just like me! I do that to him all the time, and he hates it. He insists on calling me Branch, but my name is Branchfur.” He laughed, the way he did so bringing her back to the chuckle she had heard. As another cat approached, his eyes, nearly the same shade of green as her own, turned to them.
“I don’t know why you don’t just give up on that. You know he isn’t going to stop.” The cat to approach was the white tabby she-cat that wasn’t Ash. This she-cat was quite short, with light amber eyes and small ears bent forward on her head. Her voice was light and gentle, a hint of worry openly flowing through as she spoke to the tom.
He merely stuck his tongue out at her, the smile still plastered on his face.
“I saw what you did. How you didn’t walk forward until he didn’t look happy anymore. I would never be able to do that, but it was cool to see someone else do it, ” came another different voice. This time it was the white and orange patched tabby who had also arrived late, his orange eyes wide and slightly amused as he looked at her. The two locked eyes for a short period of time, her narrowed green looking into his own orange, causing his face to shift into one of concern and awkwardness, clearly uncomfortable with the look she gave. “I..am Duck. Duckwing, actually. But I don’t have a death wish like Branch does.”
“I don’t have a death wish! I just don’t like being called by a name that isn’t mine!”
“It’s close enough. Plus, all he leaves out is the ‘fur’. It isn’t even a big part of your name.”
“That don’t change nothin’. I prefer my full name.”
“Were you a clan cat?!”
The sudden change in voice once more caused her to turn her head, looking down slightly to find the fluffy gray, likely Apprentice-age, tom looking up at her, brown eyes wide as he looked at her. “Well, were you?! Are you a rogue? Did you leave your clan? Are you still a clan cat and are going against those rule things that you guys have, challenging your leader’s word and leaving home to go on an amazing adventure, only to one day come back as a completely different cat and use your new skills to become the best Warrior the clan has ever seen?!”
W...What? The glare had since disappeared from the she-cat’s face as she looked at this young cat, his words bombarding her ears and her mind having trouble comprehending all the questions. What sort of fantasies did this little cat have going on inside that head of his? It wasn’t often that the gray she-cat found herself dumbfounded and unable to speak, but this was one of those rare occasions. What did she even say?
“Um...no, I am not currently a clan cat. But I was.”
“That is so cool! I knew it had to be true as soon as I heard your name! Or at least I hoped that it was. I thought the same thing when I met Branchfur and Duckwing, but I don’t remember if they came from a clan or not. Did you guys come from clans? Do you guys know her?” The tom’s mouth opened suddenly and his eyes grew wider, somehow, as though he had come to a realization. “Did you guys come from the same clan?!”
“Cool it Soto. You think waaaay too much.” Branchfur lifted a paw and roughly rubbed it on the young tom’s head, smile still on his face. The brown tabby then turned back to Goosechase, motioning for her to follow him with his head. “Come on, I’ll introduce ya to everybody.”
As he turned and began to walk back towards the tree-root den, where it seemed many of the other cats had departed to after the meeting, Goose looked around her briefly. Salem and the mostly white she-cat were still nowhere to be seen. The white tabby she-cat, Duckwing, and the tom she believed Branchfur addressed as Soto all followed him towards where the rest of the unknown cats were. Finally, she glanced behind her, taking note of the four cats who laid by themselves at the other side of the clearing in the shadows. Hailan, Ash, and Dustjaw all laid in a small half-circle, quietly talking amongst themselves. Just as she turned to follow Branchfur, she caught something out of the corner of her eye. Nearby but not next to the group of shadowed felines, she just barely caught sight of the black tom she had seen when she first arrived, blending in with the shadows he laid in. The only thing that she really caught sight of on first glance was his yellow-brown narrowed gaze, staring at her as she followed the others.