The sixth and final book of the first HawkClan series. Newtstar tries to piece all of the evidence he has to find his biggest challenge yet. Hickoryheart hasn't had trouble with his feelings for Blackbreeze for moons, but when disaster strikes, what will happen to them? Russetfire faces a challenge in her own clan and has her former mate to deal with.Stormblaze is betrayed by one of his closest friends and Stormtooth still continues to wonder what the whispering dawn is, but is also conflicted with his last survivng kit. Meanwhile, Duststar begins to plan his revenge, but the most unlikely cat stands in his way...
A brown she cat padded out of camp. She looked around and slipped away from her clan. Father will be back soon she thought, walking briskly. She quickly dived into some bushes as she heard pawsteps. That must be Father and the other three! she thought, quickly having a peak. She sighed, then relaxed. Alright Finchpaw, you need to do something she thought. But what can I do? HawkClan are doing nothing wrong, so why does Father want to harm them?
"Finchpaw?" Spiderclaw asked, narrowing his eyes at the bush. Finchpaw reluctantly propped up from behind the bush, seeing the deputy, Clawdusk and Larkfang. "Finchpaw, what are you doing up?" Larkfang asked. "We're starting battle training tomorrow."
"I... I was just going for a stroll" Finchpaw lied.
"Alright then" Larkfang said. "You might want to come with us before your father finds you."
"Larkfang's right" Clawdusk said. "Duststar isn't very happy at the moment." Finchpaw nodded, then went in line behind Clawdusk. She gave a quiet sigh. What can I do?
Newtstar slept in his den, the black markings on his ruffled grey pelt standing out. His eyes slowly opened to the early rays of dawn. Copperstrike must be sorting out the dawn patrol he thought, slowly rising to his paws. He had bearly started smoothing down his pelt when he heard yowls of protest. Huh? Newtstar thought, padding out. He saw a group of cats around Copperstrike. "I was on the evening patrol last night!" Timberfall said. "I can't even train Morningpaw at the moment!" Copperstrike sighed. Poor Copperstrike Newtstar thought. I didn't even have that much trouble as deputy. He watched sympathetically as Copperstrike struggled. "Well, Stormblaze, why don't you take Wrenfeather and Russetfire?"
"Umm, if you don't remember, you're mate's in the nursery with your kits!" Stormblaze snapped rudely. Newtstar growled. "Stormblaze! What's wrong with you today!" he repriminded his son.
"Sorry Father" Stormblaze sighed. "I'm just tired from the evening patrol."
"Oh" Newtstar said, padding down the ledge.
"No offence Father, but your pelt looks like it's been struck by lightning" Stormblaze said. Newtstar laughed.
"I know" he said, purring. He licked his paw and drew it over his head. "You know what? I'll take the dawn patrol. Wolfpelt, wake up Frostpaw and Mallowflower. I'll take you three." Wolfpelt nodded, then looked to her son. "You'll get there son" she said, making Copperstrike smile. She rushed into the warriors den and Newtstar smiled. He saw his mate and smiled again as she neared him. "You're mother's still pretty fast and she's one of the oldest in the clan!" he joked, making Feathersplash pin him.
"You may be leader, but you know you can't escape me" she said, smiling down to he rmate, then getting off him. "What's up with your fur?" Newtstar smiled.
"I don't know" he said, although he knew all too well. Pearstar had attacked him when Newtstar was spying on the dark forests further motives. While he didn't injure him, his pelt wasn't so fortunate. He purred as Feathersplash licked his pelt down. This reminds me so much of Leopardclaw he thought, thinking about his mother for the first time in moons. It had been since Newtstar's late apprenticeship that his mother had died and while he hardly thought about her as much as he used too, it still stung when her name echoed in his ears or when someone like Wolfpelt, Copperstrike or his own mate would mention her. Feathersplash soon finished smoothing down her mate's pelt. "Thank you my dear" he said, nuzzling his mate's cheek.
"No problem" she said, slowly backing away from her mate. "Looks like it's time for your patrol." Newtstar smiled and began to lead the three other cats out.
Hickoryheart tiredly looked to his brother and Stormblaze. All three of them went on the evening patrol last night and Copperstrike had ruined their sleep. "I'm going back to my nest" Hickoryheart said.
"So am I" Stormblaze said. Hickoryheart looked to his brother, who was heading to the nursery.
"I'm going to check on Daisypool" Timberfall said. "She's still a little rattled from what happened."
"Wait, how..." Hickoryheart started, but Timberfall had disappeared. "H... how...."
"I didn't tell him" Stormblaze murmered softly.
"I don't think anyone did" Hickoryheart replied to his former apprentice. "You know what? I think he's lying." Stormblaze shrugged. "So, are we heading back to the warriors den or what?" he asked, quickly changing the subject. "Yeah" Hickoryheart said. "I think Mallowflower's taking care of Stonepaw for the moment." Stormblaze nodded, then began to head to the warriors den. However, Hickoryheart had to do something. As Stormblaze padded into the warriors den, Hickoryheart decided to head into the nursery. Kestrelkit and Rabbitkit were already up. The most rambunctious kits in Newtstar's and Feathersplash's latest litter, the two brothers were extremly close. However, despite their rambunctiousness, they were mindful of their two smaller brothers, who preferred to sleep. The three eldest kits, Acornkit, Redkit and Hazelkit were being groomed by their mother. Timberfall wasn't beside her. Since Breezestorm left, Daisypool had become a bit more bitter, even ignoring her kits at times and it was obvious that the kits were a bit uncomfortable around her now, which hurt Hickoryheart. She must be trying to get her bond with her kits back he thought, then looked to his mate. Timberfall was with her, huddling around Hickoryheart's kits. W...What! Hickoryheart thought, giving Timberfall a cold hard stare.
Russetfire slowly left the nursery, not willing to hear the arguement she sensed. For the first time since having kits, the russet coloured she cat began to head out of camp. She felt a warm breeze ruffle her pelt, then smiled. She padded over the moor, which was rather cool due to the sun not being fully risen. This is the best time to be on the moor she thought, remembering how when the sun hit the mostly treeless part of the territory, which made the forest a lot more desirable for both hunting and for hanging out in at times. She continued to head to the forest, although felt a little light headed. She ignored the feeling, then pricked her ears as she heard excited whispers. "Kestrelkit! Rabbitkit! What are you two doing here?!" Russetfire grolwed, looking to her half nephews. The brown and grey toms popped their heads out, followed by Russetfire's kits. "You as well?!" she said, staring at her kits in disbelief
"We're sorry Mummy!" Poppykit said. "We just wanted to see the forest." Russetfire softened her gaze.
"Oh alright" she murmered softly, not wanting to upset her kits.
"Yay!" all four kits cheered, following the current queen. Russetfire jumped onto a log, then quickly snapped to attention when she heard a noise. Then two noises. "Mummy, what are those?" Smokekit asked, nervously flicking his tail to two fierce looking birds, one bigger then the other, signalling that the bird was a male. Falcons? Falcons have never been here! she thought. Is this a sign? Before she could answer her kit, the male falcon flew down. "To the creek!" Russetfire yelled, directing the kits with her tail, then crouched down. The falcon scraped at her shoulders and shreiked in pain. "Mummy!" Smokekit yelled, running after the falcon. "Smokekit, no!" Russetfire yelled, but it was too late. The falcon had grabbed the little kit. "Smokekit!" the she cat screamed, trying to jump on the bird, but the powerful male charged towards her, Smokekit still in his talons. Russetfire lay on the ground, trying to grab the unconcious tom, but with no luck. The falcon flew towards his mate, but was immediately stopped. The falcon's tail was stuck in Newtstar's jaws. Screeching in pain, the falcon let go of his lifeless victim and was tugged down by HawkClan's leader. The grey tom pounced on him and bit his throat, killing the mighty bird. The femal falcon sqwaked, then flew off, away from the group of cats. "S...Smokekit" Russetfire chocked, then looked up at the leader. Newtstar's gaze was cold, as well as Wolfpelt's and Frostpaw's. Mallowflower's gaze however, drew to her sadly, then turned away. Since Smokestorm's death, we've gotten closer Russetfire thought. Her own son is not happy with me! Him and Smokekit were rather close. The silence was broken by Newtstar's growl. "This wouldn't of happened if you kept the kits in the nursery!" he snarled. "You took two of my sons and your kits and now Smokekit is dead. What is wrong with you?! How did you keep Wrenfeather alive?" Russetfire was shocked by her half brother's harsh words. "How dare you talk about my maternal skills!" she growled. "Do you think I have none?" Newtstar didn't take the arguement further, then kinked his tail over his back. He grabbed the dead kit and led the way, Russetfire following behind. Poppykit refused to walk by her mother and ran towards Newtstar's kits. "I want Smokekit!" she screamed, then was immediately comforted by Wolfpelt. "I want Wrenfeather too" she sobbed.
"We'll get to her soon" Wolfpelt soothed, calming down the distraught kit. Russetfire sighed, then gazed to her kit, who refused to look at her. Great ideas you have Russetfire. Bringing kits into the forest and one of your own kits die! Is my life going to get tougher?
A scent of the truthEdit
Stormblaze was woken up by the quarreling outside. He slowly padded out, then spotted the body of Smokekit in his father's jaws. H... How did he die? he thought, then watched as the others glared at Russetfire. She killed her own kit? he thought in disgust. Stormblaze's littermate stood next to him. "Nightblaze, what happened to Smokekit?" he asked. "Russetfire didn't kill him, did she?" Nightblaze shook his head. "A falcon killed him" he said. "Russetfire let him escape from camp. without sending him back. Well, that's what Father told me."
"What?" Stormblaze said.
"She let Kestrelkit and Rabbitkit escape camp too" Nightblaze added. "They told Mother that they were going to play just outside the nursery."
"What a fool" Stormblaze growled, watching in satisfaction as Copperstrike appraoached her.
"You killed my kit?" he asked.
"I didn't kill him!" Russetfire snarled, upset by her mate's sudden change towards her. "A falcon did!"
"You let them get away with it! I can't believe I had a crush on you. I should of just let that infected cut be untreated so I could die knowing that they'll have a fate like mine would be" he repriminded, then looked to Poppykit. "I didn't mean to go out Daddy, Smokekit encouraged me. I'm sorry" she she murmered softly. Copperstrike's eyes softened. "It's okay Poppykit" he said, gently placing his tail on her. "Just don't do it again."
"I won't" the kit said, then shuffled towards Wrenfeather. Stormblaze looked to the kit sympathetically, then looked to his brother, mischeif in his eyes. Nightblaze twitched his whiskers in amusement, ready to get away from the tension. "Let's have a race once we're outside camp, huh?" the grey tom with a silver mask asked. "Let's go!" the black tom replied, the brothers slipped past their tense parents and deputy and the distressed Russetfire.
Elder or Father?Edit
Stormtooth watched Russetfire with his eyes narrowed. What a fool to let four kits out. Even worse, her own kit is killed! he thought, then thought about something else. Being both one of the clan's founders and their first ever deputy, he had never seen falcons during his time in the clan, or when he was taken by twolegs, but had seen them while he was in his original clan. Wolfpelt soon joined her father, lying next to him on the ledge. "It's a shame that your second grandkit is dead" he said, knowing that Smokekit was of his blood too.
"I know" Wolfpelt said, her eyes full of pain. "At least he'll see his grandfather." Stormtooth moved closer to his daughter, snuggling into her fur. He hadn't been in the clan when Rabbitclaw was killed by Flamestar, Flameshade then, or so Newtstar had told him. Rabbitclaw was perfect for his daughter and they had two litters but he didn't live to see the more successful litter. "Maybe he'll see his great grandmother too" he said, suddenly remembering Dawnlight. Both the fatal badger attack when he was the deputy and the other one that happened when his only survivng grand-daughter cheated death for a second time same to him. His eyes misted up with sadness, yet tried to be strong. "I guess we have shared losses" he said, but his daughter had left him. He sighed, then thought about his descendants. Nearly a third of the somewhat small clan were of his blood, either direct or distant. He then sighed, thinking about the rather enstranged relationship he had with his daughter, You're one good dad Stormtooth. Not even knowing her because of stupid twolegs who stole you! he scowled, then decided to get off the ledge. His conflicting thoughts had been doing him in and he needed to get them out. Being an elder, being a father, the whispering dawn still illudes me...
Newtstar sighed as the mother of his mate stormed out of camp. Wow, kin are going against kin he thought, feeling like he could do something. The new leader had been against exile and he couldn't exile his own half sister. However, his better judgement had taken over. If they stop respecting me, fine. But I've forgiven my kits and Poppykit. She needs to go he thought. He leapt onto the ledge, then bounded towards highrock. "All cats old enough to catch their own prey gather under highrock for a clan meeting!" he called. He watched as his mate, his eldest sons and other cats gathered under the rock, while Copperstrike took his place beside the leader. Newtstar looked towards his deputy, who had a hard look in his eyes. He wants his own mate gone too. Maybe this is the right choice he thought, then looked towards his clanmates. "Fellow clan mates, you know that Russetfire has caused problems within the clan. It's time for her to go!" he yowled. He waited for disapproval, but to his suprise, the clan yowled in approval. Russetfire's eyes were blank in shock, then yowled as her own daughter Wrenfeather lunged at her, followed by Mistfang, Timberfall and Feathersplash. Soon many others were joining in the attack until Newtstar himself jumped off the ledge, giving chase. The russet coloured she cat ran for her life, all eyes on her. The HawkClan leader soon stopped chasing her, watching his half sister disappear into the forest.