Series: Stolen Series
Allegiances: Coming soon
Succeeding: Stolen Liberty
|Maplekit was a normal kit living in a peaceful SilverClan with hopes of becoming a medicine cat. But when the Sorrow Rogues group take over SilverClan, kill all officials, and take over the Clan without other Clans knowing, SilverClan is all but peaceful. Once friends, cats are choosing sides: rebel and die, or join the rouges and live a hard life. But when the Sorrows discover the leader's mate, kits, and best friend's kit are still living, they take them away. To a place many, many miles away. Maplekit hides, but in the end, she must decide:
Will she go after her best friend, sister, and mother, and face death?
Or will the Sorrows discover she lives and steal her life?
Chapter IEditMaplekit opened her eyes. She was in a cozy den, next to a warm figure, and a smaller one laying at her side.
It was a while before she woke up again. She yawned sleepily and studied her surrounds. She was sitting in a warm moss bed. The den was a hollow hole in a large water oak, and she couldn't see the ceiling of the den- it was that tall. The walls were lined with feathers and shiny shells.
She was startled when she turned back around and saw her mother, a delicate white she-cat sleeping soundly, with a small blue-grey tabby she-cat snuggled into her belly. The white she-cat paws twitched, and a moment later she opened her eyes.
They were stunningly green, like emeralds. The white she-cat purred and curled her tail around Maplekit's shoulders, pulling Maplekit towards her. She nudged Maplekit toward her belly. "I had another kit," she whispered. Maplekit squeaked. "What's her name?" she asked quietly. "Riverkit," Her mother purred even more loudly, licking Riverkit gently with her tongue.
She stopped when she heard pawsteps outside the den. "Your father's coming!" she cried. "Dear Maplekit, do smooth down your head fur. You must look as beautiful as you can," she scolded gently, without any anger. She pushed Riverkit behind her back, out of sight. A moment later, a large tom popped his head into the den.
He was large and muscular, with a shining golden tabby pelt that rippled with darker stripes and intelligent glowing amber eyes. He was young.
He entered formally, without feeling, but as soon as his tail-tip completely entered the den, his whiskers twitched excitedly and he hurried forwards.
He purred louder than Maplekit's mother and rasped her head lovingly. "You made a beautiful kit, Windsong," he meowed. Windsong pushed her muzzle into his flank.
"I love you, Lionstar," she meowed softy. He turned his attention to Maplekit. She stood up proudly, puffing up her fur regally.
Her father surveyed Maplekit interestingly before dropping to his belly and nudging his kit softly. "And you are the most beautiful kit I have ever seen. You look like me," His voice rumbled with affection as he gently lifted Maplekit by the scruff and twirled around the room happily.
"Look! You're flying, Maplekit!" he squealed in a shrill voice as Maplekit giggled. She was flying around the den.
Windsong ducked her head, whiskers twitching as Maplekit soared across the room in her father. Her mate didn't know she had given birth to two kits. She intended to surprise him. The medicine cat, Echosoul, hadn't told him that he had twin daughters.
Lionstar lowered his head and dropped Maplekit onto the moss. "One beautiful, dainty little kit, Windsong. We shall be the envy of the Clans!" he mewed.
"One?" asked Windsong slyly. "Who said you only have one daughter?" she purred. She stood up on slender legs and shook herself, exposing Riverkit.
Who was sleeping soundly throughout the reunion, mind you.
Lionstar stared at Riverkit for a moment. He froze, mouth open, before rushing to Riverkit.
"And, who do we have here?" he breathed. He poked his muzzle into the tiny she-cat's belly fur. She squirmed, and a moment later opened sky-blue eyes.
"Riverkit!" cried Maplekit happily.
Lionstar grinned foolishly in response.
Lionstar was thrilled. He had two beautiful daughters, a lovely mate, and the best Clan in the history of the Clans.
Maplekit was perfect. She had already developed soft dark, rippling tabby stripes, and a fluffy golden pelt that shown in the low light. Her eyes were sky-blue, just like her sister's.
Riverkit was the opposite. She looked more like Windsong's deceased mother, with a blue-grey pelt, tabby stripes, and sky-blue eyes that both sisters had inherited from their grandmother.
Lionstar rubbed his warm cheek against Windsong's as Maplekit played with Riverkit, tussling in a wad of moss.
The hanging vines that covered the opening of the nursery tree shook. Lionstar growled, crouching, ready to fight any enemy who dare threaten his family.
His growl faded as Echosoul, the medicine cat, pushed her way through the entrance. She gazed around the large nursery and padded toward Windsong and the kits, nodding to Lionstar respectfully. She knew how much he cared for Windsong.
"Hi, Echosoul. Can you check Windsong and the kits? Make sure they're okay?" asked Lionstar. Echosoul paused. "Of course, Lionstar. I was about to check up on them."
The black-and-white she-cat slipped a small smile, and her whiskers twitched humorously. Windsong snorted and cuffed her mate gently around the ears.
"Mouse-brain," she growled gently. "We're fine," Echosoul looked at Windsong. "First time fathers," she laughed.
Maplekit, playing in the corner, padded up to Echosoul and pounced on her tail.
"Whee!" she shrieked. Maplekit lashed her tail and leaped on top of Riverkit. Echosoul purred.
"It seems like the kits are fine," Echosoul meowed. Lionstar lifted his head and sniffed the air.
"Braveheart is here!" he announced. The vines shook yet again as the deputy pushed his way to the entrance. "Hey, Lionstar," he mewed evenly. He tipped his head and gazed at Riverkit and Maplekit. "Lovely!" he meowed.
Windsong spoke up. "I'm sure they'll be very good friends with your kits, Braveheart." she said.
Echosoul dipped her head respectfully. “I should go now,” she mewed, and walked put of the den. The ginger tom nodded.
“Lightningkit will love them - ” The words barley escaped from his mouth before a kit flew into the den.
A large, speckled brown she-cat followed the tom-kit, touching noses with Braveheart before following the kit. He was a small black tom, with a white muzzle and paws, and dark golden eyes. He stopped right before Maplekit. “I’m Lightningkit. What’s your name? You’re very pretty,” he blabbered.
Maplekit felt herself flush. She watched the tom with bright eyes, Riverkit sitting beside her. The white speckled she-cat’s whiskers twitched.
“Lightningkit. Say hello to your Clan leader!” Lightningkit turned to see Lionstar, sitting next to Windsong and the brown she-cat, licking his giant paws. He paused and looked up. “Good afternoon, Lionstar,” he squeaked. “You too, Lightningkit. Where’s Rowenkit, Fernheart?” he asked the mother.
The dappled she-cat nodded, and called out, “Rowenkit! Come here!” The entrance of the den’s vines trembled at the bottom. A heartbeat later, a ginger-and-brown kit tottered in on unsteady legs. Braveheart, sitting near the wide entrance, picked him up swiftly while he struggled weakly.
Lightningkit looked up, worry crossing his handsome face.
“He’s a little sick,” he explained, seeing the horrified look on the twin’s faces. Riverkit bravely walked up to the tom, who was swinging in Braveheart’s mouth, bawling softly.
Fernheart sighed and stood up. “Braveheart, how many times must I tell you he hates it when you pick him up. Lionstar ducked his head, stifling a amused purr.
Braveheart snorted and dropped his kit in the sand.
“Gee, mother. There.” Braveheart scoffed. Maplekit burst into a fit of giggles. Riverkit nudged the tom-kit.
“Wake up!” she cried. He growled crossly and curled into a tight ball, leaving Riverkit wailing. “He doesn’t like me!” she bawled.
Windsong shushed her and stood up, padding over to Riverkit. “Shh. Rowenkit is sick, so he doesn’t want to talk. Play with Lightningkit for now.” Fernheart smoothed Riverkit’s flank soothingly, before snatching Rowenkit and mewing, “I’m bringing him to Echosoul. Gingerspot should come in too, soon.”
She padded out of the den, and the last Maplekit saw of her was her white tail-tip disappearing. Maplekit let her paw rest on her sister’s head.
“Let’s play with Lightningkit.” The little tom’s paws were working furiously as he dug hard into the moss and shoots of dried, soft grass. “Haha!” he growled happily as he surfaced with a large clump of the grass-moss mix.
Aiming carefully, he shot it at Riverkit. She squealed as it hit her full-blow in the face, and she tipped over. Maplekit screeched with amusement, Lightningkit joining her as Riverkit squeaked indignantly.
Maplekit pressed her slender body to the ground and snuck around the silver bushes, making sure no one saw her. Glancing around, she leapt from her hiding spot and dashed into the medicine cat den. Lightningkit followed her, ever loyal to his best friend. She was five moons old now.
"I want to be a medicine cat when I grow up," declared Maplekit. She liked the idea of helping other cats. Her mother had told her about Echosoul's job. Lightningkit eyed her. "Um, that's a really really really bad idea." he mewed sadly.
Maplekit cocked her head. "Why?" she asked, clearly confused.
"Because..." Lightningkit began, watching her reaction out of the corner of his golden eyes, "I heard medicine cats can't have mates." he said.
"And?" Maplekit prompted. Lightningkit's white paws danced. "And, I want you to be my mate."
Maplekit's eyes widened. "Excuse me?" she cried. "You may be my best friend, but don't go there yet!" Lightningkit laughed. "We'll talk about this later; for now, let's go and explore the medicine cat den."
Maplekit nodded and looked around the den, sniffing deeply. Bitter and sweet scents filled her nostrils. The strange pockets of stone in the wall were piled neatly with herbs. Leaning on the wall, Maplekit pawed at a bunch of beautiful light gold berries hidden in a corner.
I wonder why these are hidden? she wondered.
Making sure Lightningkit wasn't watching, she gobbled up three of the gold berries and put her paws on her ground again, shoving the berries back in the corner.
Lifting up her voice a little, Maplekit mewed, "I know which one are the poppyseeds."
Lightningkit rolled his eyes. "Maplekit, of course you do. Echosoul has to give you five a day to keep you from burning down the nursery."
Maplekit giggled and batted him over the head with a tiny paw. "Shut up, you," she purred. Lightningkit narrowed his eyes at her. "I hope those don't make you sick," he said quietly. Maplekit laughed. "I'll be fine," she scoffed.
She wouldn't be.
Maplekit cracked her eyes open, yawning. A tiny pink tongue escaped her jaws. She was in Lionstar's den instead of the nursery. The den was dark and the moss under her body warm. Windsong was sitting upright, next to her kits, and her green eyes flashed in the darkness as she stared at an invisible enemy outside the den.
Maplekit scurried upright, careful not to disturb her sister. "Mother, what's wrong?" she asked. Windsong looked down, a brief smile crossing her face before it was swallowed by concern.
"I don't know," she responded quietly. "I just feel something bad is going to happen soon . . ." She sighed and flicked herself with her tail. "I'm getting old," she laughed quietly. "I have to move to the elder's den, now that I've officially gone bonkers." Maplekit squeaked. "You're not old; you're young."
Windsong's lip curled in a feminine grin, and she stood up, shaking moss out of her fur. Riverkit protested weakly in her slumber and Windsong narrowed her eyes at her kits. "Don't move, alright?"
Maplekit nodded as her mother padded outside the den, revealing sun that covered the moss for a second before it was shaded by darkness again. Riverkit snored. Maplekit poked her side with a paw. "Poke, poke, poke. Great StarClan, are you dead?" she hissed. Riverkit never moved when she slept. It was like she was in her own world.
Riverkit didn't stir and Maplekit sighed, falling back down to sit. She perked her ears, suddenly aware of leaves crackling under paws, the shift of the wind, now screaming, and the whispers of cats she didn't know.
Hypersensitive much? Maplekit thought. But she couldn't shake of the ominous feeling, and she trembled violently in the dark of the den, huddled into herself, her head hanging low.
What's going on? Maplekit glanced at Riverkit, oblivious as ever, and then got up and snuck towards the entrance of the den. She poked her head outside. Strong sun caused her to blink rapidly, her eyes adjusting to the violent light.
The camp was peaceful, silent, serene. It was early morning and SilverClan was lazy - Lionstar didn't send out patrols till sunhigh on beautiful days like this, and her father must be outside camp relaxing or something. The warriors were in their camp, the apprentices fooling around, the elders sleeping peacefully . . . right? Maplekit squinted, and saw something at the narrow entrance of camp that nearly made her heart stop . . .
A jet black tom - Crowcall - lay in a pool of blood, motionless. His fur was ruffled and blood-spiked, and his life had seeped from him from a wound in between his shoulder blades. The chunk of skin was cleanly ripped off, instantly paralyzing him, and dying of the wound and blood loss.
Maplekit opened her mouth to screech in terror, but suddenly a paw slammed down upon her tiny muzzle, silencing her easily. She squirmed in the clutches of her attacker, but she was overpowered with a low growl. A muzzle touched her ear and she heard a tinkling voice whisper, "Maplekit! Listen to me! Get your sister and leave camp." Windsong looked at Maplekit, panic showing the whites of her eyes. Maplekit looked at her mother in terror. "What's happening?" she squeaked. Windsong ignored her. "If you come across another Clan cat, ask them to help us. But just get out of here and find someplace safe to go." Her mother shoved her towards the den and yowled, bounding towards the warriors den just as cats melted from the shadows alongside the trees and overtook camp quickly. Maplekit heard several enraged yowls from her Clanmates, and the warriors burst out of the camp, snarling.
"Welcome to your end!"
Maplekit froze and huddled into the thick plants, watching the commotion outside. The rogues had stopped attacking and were now in a standing behind the speaker. SilverClan cats stopped in their wake and narrowed their eyes, watching the rogues pad into the camp calmly. In front of the organized rogues was a she-cat, who was grinning wickedly.
"Hello, cats of SilverClan! My name is Onyx Sapphire! But feel free to call me Lady Onyx once I take over this Clan." And indeed onyx she was. Her pelt was a smooth, slick black, and her eyes, the most beautiful dark shade of blue possible. She held the attention of every tom in SilverClan, and her rogues as well. Onyx Sapphire smiled sweetly, as dangerous and beautiful as deathberries. "I rule the Sorrow Rogues," she called, and swept her tail around the group around her.
Maplekit saw her father brush past the cats and stalk stiffly up to Onyx Sapphire. "Get the Dark Forest out of my Clan." he spat, lashing his golden tail in fury. His muscles were taught and rippled under his fur. Maplekit was awed to see how intimidating Lionstar looked. But Onyx Sapphire simply looked up at him with shining eyes, and sighed, "What a pity. You were cute." She bounced back from his lashing paws and yowled, "Sorrows, take over! You know what to do."
On cue, the rogues leaped forward and latched onto SilverClan cats, unsheating their claws and ripping into flesh. The battle had begun.
Maplekit scrabbled to her paws and took the back entrance to the leader's den, where Riverkit was sleeping.
Suppose to be sleeping.
Riverkit was gone, her nest empty, her scent stale. The den was dark and cold, and Maplekit strained to smell another scent over Riverkit's - she hoped it would be her father's or mother's - but her nose was clogged up with the scent of blood and death. Maplekit, terrorized, stumbled out of the den and back into camp. She heard the screams of her clanmates, the screech before death . . . a familiar, heart-stopping yowl.
Lionstar was a motionless, large bundle of golden fur on the dusty ground. Blood soaked his fur and seeped into the dirt beneath him. Wind ruffled his pelt. His face was turned towards Maplekit, his amber eyes wide as he spotted Maplekit hidden among the ferns. Scars marred his pelt, and Maplekit saw him struggle for breath. Onyx Sapphire was above him, licking his blood with a nearly regretful expression on her delicate face. She dunked her muzzle close to Lionstar's ear and her words drifting across to Maplekit.
"Sorry, honey. Made it a lot easier for us to take over." Onyx Sapphire straightened and licked her lips and teeth, swallowing Lionstar's blood and leaving them gleaming. Maplekit swallowed a wail and the bile creeping up her throat once again. Lionstar stared at Maplekit and took a shuddering breath, and his unspoken words flowed smoothly through Maplekit.
And then his eyes closed forever and the breath left him, leaving his body utterly still. Maplekit felt hollow, empty. The tears wouldn't come. Honoring her father's dying wish, Maplekit closed her eyes and whispered, "I will always come back for you."
And then she fled.
Maplekit escaped from a small gap in the bushes. She ran long and hard, never pausing until her paws gave way beneath her on the edge of the waterlands. She gasped for breath, sucking in the cold air, her sides heaving. She had traveled around the lake, clear to the other side, and was now in the middle of the marshes - though it wasn't close to DarkClan lands. Maplekit let herself rest on the cold, soggy ground, relishing in its cold as it sucked into her fur.
Maplekit didn't know how long she lay there, the pain of her father's death and leaving her family and friends behind. The look Lionstar had given her before his death replayed through her mind, again and again.
Soon night came, and Maplekit slept fitfully, in darkness. No dreams from StarClan, no flashbacks. Nothing disturbed her in the marshes.
When the sun rose, Maplekit forced herself up and shook her fur, though the mud was already hard and crusted - leaving her pelt splashed with brown. The marshes were completely silent, and the only thing she could hear was a waterbird cooing. The sun was just rising, casting a pale glow across the waterland. Maplekit peered hard to her left, spotting a small Twoleg hut - it wouldn't take very long to get there.
The weather reflected her mood. Hours after that beautiful day, sorrowful day, fog and frost had replaced warm weather, and the sun was blocked by dark clouds. It was humid and cold at the same time.
Where will I go? she wondered. Maybe I'll live in that Twoleg place. And then I'll return to SilverClan . . . if Onyx Sapphire hasn't taken over. Her heart thumped weakly. Maplekit gave her golden fur a quick, messy wash and then set out to the Twoleg shack.The squishy, watery mud and reeds soaked into her paws, and Maplekit soon found herself leaping across the water gaps and trying to find a particulary hard patch of dirt to land on. The shack got closer and closer, until it was only a some cougar-lengths away. The air was cold, and Maplekit began to shiver violently with hunger and chills when she reached compact land.
The shack was small and seemed abandoned. Any Twolegs that might have been there once were long gone. The roof caved in, and tendrils of ivy, fern, and vines seemed to be choking the cabin. The thick forest trees surrounded it, and from here, across the marshes, Maplekit could see the slim waterline where SilverClan camp was. No screams of cats echoed through the empty land.
Maplekit sighed in relief before collapsing.
A gentle claw poked Maplekit's side. She stirred and mumbled, "Windsong, leave me alone." The claw stroked her face, close to her nose, and her head snapped back as she opened her wide sky-blue eyes.
No Windsong. No leader's den. No SilverClan.
Only a handsome dark ginger tabby tom peering down at her with dark blue eyes filled with concern. His body above her prevented the hard raindrops from shattering over Maplekit's delicate face.
"Are you okay?" he asked, worry veiled in his slightly husky, otherwise smooth voice. Maplekit coughed. "Yeah, I'm fine." She hesitated. "I hope."
The tom frowned. "Let's get you out of the rain," he mewed, and then Maplekit could tell he was actually yowling against the fierce rain. Maplekit stuggled to get up, but she was so exhausted her body rebelled.
The tom grabbed her scruff and trailed over the wet dirt, leaping over a broken log and into the abandoned shack. He choose a corner that was dry and deposited Maplekit there. She curled into a tiny ball and shook.
"Who are you?" asked the tom crisply. Short, sweet, and simple. Maplekit could play that game, too.
"I came from the Clans," she answered.
"I said, who are you." No getting away this time. Fox-dung. She sighed.
"My name is . . ." Maplekit froze. She didn't deserve the title of a Clan kit. She had abandoned her sister and Clan, yes, it was the last wish of her father, but she was a coward and a traitor nonetheless.
"Maple. I was the daughter of Lionstar, leader of SilverClan, and Windsong. Sister of Riverkit." The tom nodded. Of course he didn't know about the kits ending their name with kit. He wouldn't suspect anything.
"What happened?" Maplekit growled softly at his question. "Answer my questions, and then you'll get some answers," the tom responded.
"Fine. My name is Leon. I am what you Clan cats call a loner. I live here alone. The end." His whiskers twitched, and Maplekit saw this tom was only a few moons older then her. Maybe the age of an old apprentice, but mature.
"Why are you here?" Leon asked, leaning towards her.
Maplekit took a deep breath and began her story.
The black she-cat trailed around her new camp, tail waving in utter delight. The dead SilverClan warriors had been thorougly buried outside camp, deep under the ground so no other cat could ever smell them. The remaining living warriors had been enslaved in the warrior den, watched by six of her rogue subjects. They were too weak and tired to even rebel against one, but Onyx Sapphire had added six just to be safe.
The dead body of the handsome leader, Lionstar, was still laying in the middle of the clearing. Onyx Sapphire frowned and beckoned her nearest rogue. "Bury this tom outside, please." she purred pleasantly, but underneath her heart sunk a fraction of an inch. What a shame. He was such a good-looking tom, she would have taken him as a mate, though not - never - an equal.
She had already discovered that his mate was still alive, along with that blue-furred kit of his and the dead deputy's son. She had sent them far, far away along with some rogues who would certainly come back. For fun. They would drop them off in the moutains and leave them to die. Maybe torture them, Onyx Sapphire thought with a tiny frown, but it didn't matter. None could be left alive.
The tom she had asked, Patch, grinned foolishly and dipped his head. "Of course, my Lady Onyx."
Onyx Sapphire's lips curled into a small smile. She liked the human word Lady. She could speak their lanuage, thought she told no one. She was a talented young she-cat, ambitious and smart, like her ancestors Hawkfrost and Tigerclaw. But they had made dumb mistakes, and Onyx Sapphire had no intention of repeating them.
They thought she-cats couldn't fight or conquer. How wrong of them. No other clan would suspect. Onyx Sapphire would clean up the camp and its native cats, and appoint a faux leader and deputy for the next Gathering, that silly little "reunion" of theirs. If any cat rebelled or told, they would be dead by the time it took a DarkClan cat to catch a frog: split seconds.
Onyx Sapphire had more cats under her command then any other could ever dream of. She would hide them from the Clans . . . but when no one was around, they came out.
And she had more groups outside the Clans. Once she took total control of SilverClan, she would pinpoint the weakness of the other Clans, and attack them from the inside, until each and every clan was so unsure of themselves, they would all surrender . . . leaving Onyx Sapphire queen.
There was once a human conquerer named Alexander the Great who left a legacy among humans.
Onyx Sapphire, like Alexander, was to leave a great mark on the cat species.