Chapter 14

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Skypaw looked at her mother. Russetsky's fur was bristled, her blue eyes blazing. Her claws were unsheathed and her back was arched. A bushed up tail and a scowl on her face, she challenged the cat that Skypaw had only just met...and just found out was Russetsky's mother.

"She deserves to die!" Dapplestar hissed. "You belonged in ShadowClan and we will not stop until we rid you ThunderClan foxhearts of our traits!"

"She will not die unless you get through me first," Russetsky's tone was challenging. Skypaw looked around. Cats were still battling, blood was still spilling. How long would ShadowClan fight for? The badgers gave up easier than them!

Dapplestar didn't have to be told twice. She leaped at the ThunderClan deputy. Skypaw climbed to her paws and wondered how a mother could attack her own kit, even if Russetsky was raised in ThunderClan.

Shadepaw and Skypaw stared at their mother. Dapplestar and Russetsky looked nothing alike, and believe it or not, Russetsky looked more like a ShadowClan cat than Dapplestar did, or at least Skypaw thought.

Russetsky side stepped away from her mother, but Dapplestar saw it coming. She swerved in the same direction Russetsky dodged, and they collided. Russetsky hissed and chomped down on the ShadowClan leader's ear, earning a hard blow to her eye from Dapplestar.

"We have to go help her!" Skypaw wailed to her sister. Shadepaw didn't say anything, she just leaped on the ShadowClan leader's back. Dapplestar meowed in surprise, and Skypaw took this as her cue. Letting out yet another battle cry, she leaped after Shadepaw and purred briefly when she felt her claws sink into evil ShadowClan flesh. She was fighting to keep her mother alive.

"Ratscar! Littlepaw!" Dapplestar screeched. Skypaw scanned the bloody clearing. Two heads turned in the direction of Dapplestar, signalling who these two mystery cats were.

Skypaw shivered. Ratscar was a white cat, but not nearly as good looking as Blizzardfur or Petalheart. His fur was short and both of his ears were torn. His brown eyes were so dark in color that they almost looked black. Like rat eyes.

His flanks had slashes on them. They seemed healed, but no fur grew there, making them a permanent feature. His tail was only a stump, and you could see his skin through his short, thin white fur.

Littlepaw, however, reminded Skypaw of herself. She was a silver tabby with blue eyes. Her fur was neatly groomed, however, blood stained a few patches. Her eyes reminded Skypaw of the sky, and her and the ShadowClan apprentice met gazes.

Skypaw was surprised when Littlepaw seemed to be thinking what Skypaw was - how they looked like each other. Both apprentices shivered. Maybe Skypaw did look like a ShadowClan cat, after all. Although, lucky for her, there were other silver pelts in ThunderClan to disguise her heritage. Featherfur, for example, had similar looks to Skypaw.

Ratscar's vicious claws left marks in the bloodstained forest floor as he raced over. Skypaw prepared herself and she hissed. She knew how impossible the odds would be for her to leave this clearing alive if she faced this wicked cat alone, but Shadepaw joined her in the readiness for this battle. Ratscar, however, didn't look intimidated - but excited to take on the two ThunderClan apprentices.

Ratscar leaped at Skypaw first. Skypaw's paws skidded as she tried to run away, rain starting to fall from the sky. Thunder boomed, and Skypaw thought about how angry StarClan must be at the two battling Clans.

ThunderClan did nothing wrong, Skypaw thought to herself. We are only defending our territory. We will not be punished for this battle.

Skypaw glanced behind the hideous white tom. She saw Littlepaw behind him, looking nervous to attack. Ratscar seemed somewhat distracted, watching Dapplestar's every move. Skypaw shrugged. Mine as well get Littlepaw out of the way before taking on Ratscar.

She nudged Shadepaw and looked in the direction of the ShadowClan apprentice. Shadepaw nodded, and Skypaw leaped at Littlepaw.

Littlepaw screeched with terror when Skypaw landed on her. Skypaw sunk her claws into the young cat's shoulders, pinning her. Suddenly, she felt triumphant. She had pinned her first cat!

Skypaw landed a blow on Littlepaw's ear. After she had done so, Littlepaw winced with pain. For a moment, the two identical apprentices met gazes once more. Something about the way Littlepaw looked at her made Skypaw release her grip and climb right off of her.

Littlepaw blinked a thank you before running off through the trees. Skypaw watched her go over the ShadowClan border, or what usually was the ShadowClan border. Half of ThunderClan's forest was now marked with the choking scent of the evil cats.

Skypaw turned her head to where Shadepaw was before she leaped on the ShadowClan apprentice. She was surprised when she noticed she wasn't there. Starting to panic, she looked back at Russetsky and her blood went ice cold at what she saw.

Russetsky was taking on three ShadowClan cats, completely alone. Shadepaw was battling another apprentice not so far off. Her eyes scanning her mother's pelt, Skypaw drew in a breath of relief when she noticed she had no real injuries. Then, she noticed the pelts of Dapplestar, Ratscar, and a pelt she didn't recongize.

Rage filling inside of her, she leaped on Ratscar's back. Hissing with annoyance, the ShadowClan cat reared up on his hind paws and fell backwards, Skypaw still holding on to his disgusting pelt. She realized what his goal was after it was too late. Ratscar had her pinned under his back, all of his weight suffocating her. She gasped for air, her wounds suddenly stinging. The adrenaline of battle had left her only with the pain she had yet to suffer from her untreated and new wounds both.

"Ratscar," A soft voice above her meowed. Skypaw squeezed her eyes shut. The voice belonged to a she-cat, one she had met not so long ago. "Get off of her. She's had enough."

"Who made you a warrior?" Ratscar hissed. "Dapplestar wants all ShadowClan kin in ThunderClan dead. You were at the meeting, that's why we're here, mousebrain!"

"Seemed you have forgotten you are talking to a medicine cat," Skypaw knew who this cat was.

Hurry up! Skypaw screamed inside of her head. I'm going to be dead by the time you get him off me!

Ratscar said nothing but sigh. Suddenly, Skypaw's lungs drew in multiple sharp breaths as she felt the weight leave her body. Her eyes still closed, she lay there on her own territory, dazed. Her thoughts clouded, but she was still conscious enough to feel the cool sting of dirty claws swipe her neck before all the battle cries and screeches of cats faded from her reach.

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