During the middle of newleaf, a young medicine cat apprentice is being taught the skills of healing and sharing tongues with the ancient warriors of StarClan. She works obediently and benevolent by her mentor's side in hopes of becoming her Clan's next healer. But when a mysterious omen is given to Firepaw, she is without the guidance of her mentor and must conclude the mystery behind her true father and conclude once and for all the truth behind her birth before the trail grows cold.
The tabby stepped into the clearing and emerged into the light, allowing her pelt to soak and glimmer in the light before her. Her tail waved behind her in mild uncertainty. She blinked in awe, bathing in the light, feeling the sense of comfort wash over her. She noted the different emotions trailing through her as she stood in the intense clearing. A wash of admiration felt strangely familiar, and then the sense of intimidation and pride, almost like when she first became leader. Then a sharp sting of fear made the cat flinch.
As she noted the feelings and analysed them thoroughly, she finally realized what all those emotions had in common and why the presence of this light was giving her so many bipolar feelings. She relaxed, with the fur along her back stood on end and her body tense. But she did calm herself and prepared her throat for a wiry bellow: "Frostfang."
It was then the light faded from the clearing, almost as though it was never there, and in it's place was a snow-colored tom with a pelt bright enough to light up the clearing around them. The white light glistened and sparkled against the dew of leaves as they slumped from their branches and frost reflected from the bark and spider webs around the area. It was beautiful sight to note. The she-cat twisted her head around the area, admiring the enriching presence of her old deputy.
The tom bowed his head to her respectfully and murmured a soft greeting. "Hello, Hazelstar. Or would you prefer to be called Hazelpelt?"
The she-cat turned sharp on the snow-colored cat, her nose curling in disgust at his question. "It's not wrong of me to have kits. I stand by my own decision and leave my deputy in charge while I nurture my young."
Frostfang seemed unfazed by her defense, his ear flicked casually while his eyes scanned her dully. "I stand by the warrior code, a leader must put her Clan before herself."
"But it's not for me," She interrupted quickly. I'm standing down to look after my kits. Not myself."
"Besides, it's only temporarily. Once they're three moons old--"
"You'll abandon them?" He guessed, his dark blue eyes unsympathetically glaring at the she-cat as he awaited a response in the silence.
"The Clan has been reducing by numbers in the matter of moons, cats of old and new dying of greencough and WindClan has been trudging too close to ShadowClan's territory, probably finding rabbits scarce due to the cold season. I sense a battle could be easily triggered and without the words of our ancient warriors to help us, we'll be doomed."
The tom remained silence, watching the she-cat with interest as she explained her defense.
"I feel it's my responsibility to bring up as many kits as possible while there is still time to train them. Waiting isn't an ethical choice, and you know that, Frostfang."
He seemed to wince at the conclusion of the she-cat's explanation, rather out of shock or offense was unknown. After a moment, the tom regained his calm expression once again. "But why not rely on the queens to feed and nurture your kits?" He mewed.
"Caring for kits is a once in a lifetime opportunity, I want to experience it now while I still have time. Being a mother was my one desire as a warrior. The thought of a family seemed relieving to me." She put gently.
There was a glimmer of remorse in the white cat's eyes as he sighed at her with a look of consideration. He fell silent while staring staring at the she-cat in front of him, "So there's no way to talk you out of this?" He murmured.
Hazelstar shook her head. "This is my final decision."
"StarClan won't be too pleased about your decision." He reminded softly.
The she-cat grimaced slightly. "StarClan won't be too pleased with many decisions I've made in the past. But I've done the best for my Clan and everyone's aware of my devotion and wisdom."
Frostfang bowed his head. "You're a good leader, Hazelstar. It was nice serving you while I still could. I enjoyed watching your determination strengthen through the moons from when you clambered out of the nursery before your brother to now. You are an excellent leader to ShadowClan. I wish you luck for the future and beckon with your four remaining lives as carefully as possible."