The tall pine forest blanketed the side of the mountain, a deep evergreen sea in the glowing greenleaf sun. From afar the forest seemed abandoned and silent, but it reality it was teaming with life. Among the branches grey squirrels chattered and barked, on the search for more food. Birds cooed over their young, tiny and defenseless. And low down by the ground, a cat stalked through the grass.
Amberheart was crawling slowly, each of her lean muscles moving in harmony to move her silently along. She placed each paw carefully, avoiding twigs that would snap and blow her cover. Up in the brush ahead of her a vole was nibbling on some seeds. The tiny creature was unaware of how soon it’s life was about to end for it was quite absorbed in what it was eating. Amberheart slowed her pace even more, to the point were it barely seemed she was moving at all. She was less then a fox-length away from the tiny creature, now was her chance. Bunching up her strong haunch muscles she launched herself into the air. She was suspended there only for a moment before her paws came down upon the vole and it was dead. She felt pleased with her kill, and was going to put it right into the fresh-kill pile when she got to camp. Caring her catch she trotted over to a patch of up-turned earth, where she collected her previous kills. All in all she caught two thrush, three voles, and a squirrel.
Amberheart entered the camp, her prey dangling from her jaws. She could feel her stomach turning in hunger. It was so very tempting to eat what was in her mouth. “Prey like this should be saved for the queens, elders, and senior warriors,” she thought, “I’ll just take a mouse.” She picked up one thrush from the pile and sat down. It was only a moment before the thrush was gone, and her stomach seemed more empty then ever. She frowned slightly. “I can’t have people seeing me take two things from the fresh-kill pile, they’ll think im greedy.”
Amberheart’s mind didn’t dwell on her hunger pains for to long, soon she was day-dreaming in the sun. It wasn’t easy to find direct sunlight in the dense pine forest but Amberheart knew a spot that would get quite warm and comfy. She was sitting there now actually, waiting for her clanmates to emerge.
Scatterstar stretched in the sunlight, letting the welcome warm rays hit his fur. Any amount of heat was good. Even in the lower parts of the mountains it was still far colder than it was elsewhere. He wondered if the apprentice he sent out on a mission a while ago was successful in counting the amount of warriors that there were in EastClan. It was imperative that he know so that he could accordingly mount an attack on the neighboring Clan.
He saw Amberheart, one of the warriors. She walked into the camp with plenty of prey, and Scatterstar felt warm with approval. He was always proud of his warriors when they worked hard to provide for the Clan. He wandered over to Amberheart, watching as she ravenously scarfed down one of the pieces of prey from the prey pile. Even then, he swore he could still hear her stomach growling.
He pulled out a vole from the fresh kill pile and brought it over towards her, pretending he hadn't seen her eat anything before. As a proud warrior, she probably wouldn't want to take anything else from the prey pile after just eating. "Hello, Amberheart," he purred in greeting. "Would you like to eat this with me?" He looked at her straight in the eyes to give off his regular impression of warmth and charisma.
Amberheart was drawn out of her day-dreams by a low grumble in her stomach. She sighed looking down at her belly. “Come on. You just ate!”
[/color] she thought irritably. She was just about to tell herself she would eat later when Scatterstar, the Northclan leader, came padding over.
He was carrying a vole, one of Amberheart’s favorites. “Hello Scatterstar.” she mewed happily. Scatterstar always seemed so nice with his clanmates. When he offered to share the vole with her the pit of her stomach lurched with glee. “Certainly.” she mewed, hoping he hadn’t seen her just eat. Then again he wouldn’t have offered to share if he had.
While she waited for Scatterstar to take the first bite (for that was the polite thing to do) she thought she would make some conversation. “Have you seen the others today?” she asked. She hadn’t had a good spar in a while and she was craving some action. She wondered if any of her friends around somewhere.
The scent of vole crept into her nose and she found herself weakening to it’s temptation. She smiled trying to cover up her hunger. [/blockquote] [atrb=border,0, true][atrb=width,330,true][atrb=cellSpacing,0,true][atrb=cellPadding,0,true][bg=796750][/td][/tr][/table][/center]
Amberheart seemed hesitant to take the first bite, so Scatterstar took the initiative and took a bite himself. He chewed thoughtfully and looked at her through his icy blue eyes. He answered her question first, "They've been around. They're mostly out on patrol." He wondered what she was thinking about. He always liked to know what was going on in the minds of his warriors. "Has anything in particular been happening?" he asked. He said it with a ring of genuine interest.
Maybe he was a little nosy, but he did always want to know if any cat happened to know anything in particular that he could put to good use. Maybe if Amberheart saw anything on patrol; or happened to know of any cats who might not be faithful to the Clan, she could go ahead and report them to him. He was looking for a good excuse to start a war with EastClan, maybe there would be something he could use.
He could see the fake smile on her face, trying to hide the fact that she was hungry, but he could hear her stomach rumbling. He nudged the vole towards her, a silent gesture that urged her to eat. He needed to keep his warriors fit, well-fed, trusting, and ready for battle at any moment.
Amberheart gave a little sigh of relief as Scatterstar pushed to vole towards her. She bent down and took slow bites, relishing the flavor of her favorite prey. Her ears perked up at her leaders question. She swallowed her bite before she answered him. “There isn’t anything going on really. I was just wondering.” she smiled, then leaned down to take another bite of her vole. ”The camp has been so peaceful recently. Im actually looking forward to the bustle of winter preparations this year.” she thought. After Amberheart had taken her share of the vole she sat back, her stomach content. “Thank you for sharing this prey with me Scatterstar.” she mewed.
Amberheart pushed the vole back towards Scatterstar. “Are there any plans for the new season?” she asked thoughtfully. She wondered if there were any kits to be made apprentices soon, or apprentices to become warriors. Amberheart always enjoyed those types of ceremonies. They meant that the clan was growing. Plus it was always cute to see the expressions of the kits faces as they found out their mentors.
He watched as she ate, listening to her talk of low activity in the camp. It was all routine as of recent, but soon they would be at war with EastClan, if everything went as he had planned. "You're welcome," he purred, after she thanked him. He took another bite of the vole for himself, licking the blood off his teeth afterwards.
"Ah, plans," he meowed. "Yes... Poisonpaw's going to become a warrior soon. Still a few moons until Sparkstorm's kits are made apprentices; or Silencefall's... which reminds me, I haven't seen her around recently. I hope she's well." He paused for a few moments to consider the whereabouts of the NorthClan queen. She'd been behaving strangely recently. He couldn't quite put a paw on what was wrong.
He then looked Amberheart in the eyes, with what he considered the most exciting news of all. "Also, we're going to war," he meowed with delight. This was not welcome news to an average warrior; but battles filled Scatterstar's head with grandiose thoughts of victory. He was somewhat unaware that some of the NorthClan cats would not take this news the same way. He was actively planning a battle against EastClan... he'd even sent out an apprentice on recon. He unsheathed his claws with the anticipation of battles soon to come.
The word war sparked varying emotions in Amberheart. On one side she was excited and ready to show all the other clans that Northclan was the strongest of all the clans. On the other side she was worried. War meant there would be deaths, and some of those deaths might be her clanmates. Amberheart felt a sharp pang in her chest. “Who are we going to war with?” is all she could think to say.
Amberheart trusted Scatterstar completely, but sometimes he seemed bent on violence. Amberheart wasn’t opposed to violence, on the contrary she loved fighting. She was just worried for her clanmates, who meant more to her then the entire world.
He licked his paw casually. "We're going to war against EastClan. They're the closest, and as far as I can figure, they'll be fairly easy to beat," meowed the NorthClan leader. With his battle strategies and his strong warriors, he was almost certain that he couldn't go wrong. EastClan did have more warriors, however, which did give them an advantage.
"What do you think?" he asked. He didn't genuinely want Amberheart's opinion, but he felt he should ask to make it seem as though he did. Either way, war was going to happen, no matter what anyone said to him. Still, as a leader, he felt he had to make the warriors seem like they had a say in things. Not at all his equal, no, but giving them a sense that he would listen to them.