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Post by achromatic on Jun 29, 2022 13:38:20 GMT -5
hold me under and I'll never come up again
The tom ran. He ran, and he ran, and he ran. There was nothing left for him to do back home. The chameleon had lost his changing skin and found himself out of luck, out of choices, perhaps even out of his mind. Scratches and marks along his pelt still stung from the fight moments before, but nothing mattered. The pain was still masked by the adrenaline racing through his veins, as he pushed further and further, forcing his muscles to work as he fled through the forest, crossing past border after border until he reached the plains, a land he was almost too familiar with.
Moonblight was aware how he seemed. It wasn't long enough to forget, that he was once a colonizer of this land under Aspenstar's reign. He was the spitting image of NightClan brutality–a loyal guard, one who had torn through their camp with murder in his gaze, who had almost killed their medicine cat–and his scent would surely bring the guard dogs towards him as quickly as possible.
The last he had heard of the clan, Sunstar was still leading, a cat he knew truly hated his kind. A shudder ran down his spine at the thought of his own fate; surely he wouldn't survive long if she caught him, but if he could make it to the camp, perhaps Sunveins would be around. Surely she wouldn't send him to his death, right? He was bleeding heavily now, the wounds actively felt wet to his touch. Was he lucky, or were the gods saving him for a more torturous death?
He wasn't so sure, but as he stumbled towards SummerClan's camp, he wondered whether the bullet was in the gun in this game of roulette; would he be killed on sight or would he actually be able to find his sister? Only the gods knew.
(open to all of summerclan! beginning of maybe a subplot ♥) sunlight @ian
Cypresspaw understood what it was like to run from home, from death, to leave nothing behind and go forward into uncertainty. Of course, when he saw a tom he didn't recognize, angry claw marks sticking out on his pale, mixed fur, he didn't know of their similarities, however vague, because he didn't know who he was running from, or why, or where he was supposed to be going. But he looked tired, frazzled, angry and grieving and hurt, and Cypresspaw hated to refuse someone help, stranger or not.
Cautiously, he approached from where he was half crouched just ahead of the entrance to camp, the menial task he was supposed to do long forgotten by now. He didn't have the same view of Moonblight, of Nightclan as a whole, that the others did — they were strangers to him, their seize of Summerclan over before he had even stepped foot on their land, and so he only saw someone in need of assistance, someone lost, possibly, or seeking safety.
"Hello — sir," the words were tight, slightly uncomfortable, but soft as he approached. Moonblight was taller than him, sharper, too, and there was a certain gleam in his eye that made Cypresspaw shrink away, but only slightly. He may not know who the tom was, but Cypresspaw was still an avid believer in stranger-danger. Still, he continued. "Um. . . I'm Cypresspaw, of — of Summerclan. I haven't seen you around before, but you look hurt, and we've got medicine back at camp," he pointed with his tail towards camp, just out of view, "it's right there. I'm our healer's apprentice. I would help now but I don't have anything on me." He shrugged, almost helplessly, but turned to stand beside Moonblight, offering support.
"We've got a leader, his name is Foxstar. He won't mind if we get you fixed up, I promise. I mean, it's alright if you don't — if you're heading somewhere else, I just thought I'd offer."
Doefreckle raised his muzzle and sniffed the warm, peaceful air. “Oh, good,” he commented to Shadedsun beside him, so cheerily dry. “NightClan’s here again. Y’know, I think we should just get rid of borders. No one’s respecting them anyway. Suuure, just wander on in — please, make yourself at home. We should just make them a standing reservation here for any time of the day or night — you’re passing through? Come drop by! I am so sick” he suddenly slammed his good forepaw down, claws outstretched upon the sun-warmed earth of the camp clearing, and laughed slightly hysterically in that psychopathically cheerful way Doe had, like he were holding a carving knife over a Christmas turkey in his pink, frilly apron and his in-laws were irritating him just that bit too much, “of being a halfway house.” As if SummerClan’s hospitality hadn’t been the very thing that had opened their doors to him. But he was always a hypocrite; he was allowed to benefit from their clemency, these other people weren’t. Plus, if Hywel was going to take the route of being endlessly generous and forgiving of his family, Doe had to take the opposite — tough love, sniping about his fiancé’s family, and generally thinking Hywel was being exploited by terrible people Doe hated. Hywel’s nephew was an awful little tyrant and it was his job to take the negative path if Kier’s uncle was too nice to. He didn’t carry pain and resentment about his birth Clan like he had for years before the invasion; now he carried the much pettier, healthier resentment — the much happier resentment, because he was always happiest when he was being negative about other people — of disliking his in-laws. It really was the domestic dream come true.
“And of course Foxstar’s gonna be sooo nice to them just like he was last time — that was weird; that was weird, wasn’t it?” He turned his head to Shaded for back up like the other tom could see him. Since coming home, he’d fit very nicely into the role of community gossip. He was the world’s prettiest grandpa; he was owed that title. NightClan could have come to tell them they’d been attacked by wolves and Doe would have thrown his paws in the air and stormed off like they’d personally affronted him by coming to ask Foxstar for help. He wasn’t really that grumpy; he was just having a great amount of fun pretending to be. He’d make a fuss and then immediately turn around and burst into a beaming smile. It was part of working out who this new, healed Doe was.
“I think they stink,” Peonykit piped up cattily with a wrinkled nose, eager to please and impress.
“They do stink,” Doe agreed brightly, brushing his good paw over the kit’s ear and giving her a smile. She was becoming the perfect little gossiper, if he did say so himself. “And what do we say to NightClan?”
“NightClan? No way Clan!” Doe joined in enthusiastically on the last bit and then turned back to Shaded with a laugh, rolling half onto his back with his white belly to the sky and his side resting against the warmth of the black tom. “It’s the least witty thing in the whole world but it does at a pinch. Good job, Peony.” Stadium chants were never witty, they just had to be catchy and demeaning.
“Cypresspaw.” Brin’s voice wasn’t a bark — in fact it was on the verge of gentle, if iron could ever be gentle — but it was a wary warning all the same. She’d been fiddling with an old, rusted kerosene lamp she’d found on the top floor of the lighthouse and dragged back, hunched over it in the cold, black shadows of the outer camp wall, and her paws were still crusted with chipped rust and dark with drying salt water. She’d stood the moment she’d smelled something unfamiliar — she didn’t know all the SummerClan cats’ names, but she knew their smells, and she knew which ones were meant to be here; this one wasn’t — and now she lurked a little way behind Cypresspaw, still half in shadow, very deliberately adding gravity to the soft little medicine cat’s presence. It was faintly protective. Finally, after a moment of staring in silence at the outsider, she padded up, shoving Cypresspaw unceremoniously aside like he were an errant kit. It put her between them. “Foxstar might mind,” she added in a low voice, staring into Moonblight’s eyes like she was judging the soul of him; it was half a threat and all warning. Her eyes were cold and searching, half dead. “Cypresspaw,” she addressed him again, still playing her little staring contest with the NightClan cat, “go ask if he’d like a visitor. From what I’ve heard, NightClan has overstayed their welcome.”
As if summoned, Foxstar appeared, his silver gaze locked onto Moonblight. He didn't pay any attention to the others that had gathered; much to the displeasure of some of his clanmates, he never did. He never cared what they had to say, not in the moment of crisis, at least.
"What the hell happened to you?" The tom couldn't help but let the words fly from his mouth. Foxstar wasn't particularly known for his filter. His habit of saying whatever was on his mind, when it was on his mind got him into trouble more often than it didn't. His tone was unreadable, his mind running a million miles an hour. What was he doing here? The tom still reeked of NightClan, but his scent was less familiar than it used to be- had he been away from the clan, or was Foxstar just becoming less sensitive to the smell of his former home? He didn't know.
For just a brief moment, his gaze moved to Cypresspaw. "I need you to find Sunveins. I need you to tell her that Moonblight is here, and that he's in bad shape. Please tell her that if she's willing to see him to please meet us. If she's not, I need you to come back here and tell me as soon as possible. Do not pressure her either way; this is her choice alone." His words were an order. He then turned to Brin. "Stay here with me, please."
His gaze then snapped back to Moonblight. A million emotions flashed through it: anger for the intrusion, concern for the state of the tom whose life had been so closely connected to his own at one time, weariness of what it all meant, each emotion fought for dominance. If Foxstar was thinking for himself, he would have wisked the tom to the medicine den immediately. There, he would have given the tom a chance to catch his breath and explain. He would do that for any cat that stumbled on SummerClan's land who looked like he'd just fought the devil. However, Moonblight's presence impacted more than just him. It impacted Sunveins. Moonblight was Sunveins' brother. Moonblight had almost killed Sunveins. Both things were true, and if the tom's presence would hurt her more than she could handle, he would have to go. If that meant that Foxstar signed his death warrant, Moonblight would just have to be another ghost that haunted him while he slept at night. He wouldn't be the first cat to die because of the orange tom, and he probably wouldn't be the last. Because of this, Moonblight didn't have the same luxury of time that a normal intruder in his state had. "Explain yourself. Now."
Post by achromatic on Jul 17, 2022 18:18:40 GMT -5
He had practically collapsed the moment he had arrived. He had barely heard the jeers and the hisses of distrust that were aimed towards him, nor did he react to Cypresspaw's concern. He knew that he deserved it too, all the distrust and anger from the cats around here. He wasn't a stranger; many must've known his face from the occupation, even when it was often Sagebristle who found herself on these patrols to the colony, he had been recognizable as a Loyal Guard.
Not so loyal anymore, huh?
What the hell happened to you? The familiar voice made him look up, his eyes meeting a pair of familiar ones from his kithood. He didn't know a lot of cats growing up, but he knew his denmates and the other apprentices, many of whom were long gone and moved on within the last few moons. Foxstar was a familiar one; not only had they been denmates, he was also connected to Sagebristle by the fact that they were practically family. Had things been different, they'd probably be sharing meals and visiting one another, announcing his kits to the tom who would've been a foster brother-in-law.
Things never worked out his way. At the mention of his sister, he sucked in a breath. He never wanted to have her see him like this, never wanted to have to beg at her paws for help, for forgiveness. They had spoken once after the attack, but even now he felt uneasy asking for her help after all that he had done.
"Kier," he rasped, "he's got Sagebristle." He didn't know how to explain it, but all he knew was that he needed help somehow. "Please, there must be something you can do. You hate NightClan, right? We invaded here and I don't know if you're still recovering or not, but I'm sure some of you are angry." His voice was raised now. "Some of you want to avenge your clanmates, your home, your pride...they're not loyal to him, they're loyal to whoever shows they won't be challenged. If you go in there with your full force, you can topple his reign and no one will ever dare invade you again."
His golden gaze was fixated on Foxstar's eyes, with a seriousness that was never there when they were young. "An eye for an eye, right?" he whispered, "I can give you every advantage."
literally ignore that i FORGOT to respond to this initially
Cypresspaw. Brin's voice was commanding but not cruel, yet Cypresspaw still found himself jumping and swiveling to meet her, spine straightening as if he were a soldier at attention. She was an intimidating force, a stormcloud of a cat, but he found himself curious about her anyway — they had something in common, he noted with anyone who wasn't Summerclan born, and, even without it, he admired her toughness. He always shrunk when she approached, twitching nervously in her presence, but stared starry-eyed, admirably, after her when she left. Foxstar might mind. He made an anxious sound, close to a laugh but not quite one. He shifted so that instead of standing in front of Moonblight, he was to the side, eyes drifting between the tom and Brin as they stared each other down.
"Right — of course," he nodded once, twice to be sure she knew he understood, and dashed off towards the camp, but before he could make it out of eyeshot Foxstar emerged before him, sending Cypresspaw skittering back to the scene just behind him, awkwardly buzzing around like a particularly apprehensive bumblebee. He knew his words weren't necessary at the moment, so he stayed silent instead — this wasn't a matter that should concern him, he had just so happened to stumble across it. And then Foxstar's gaze found him, and Cypresspaw turned his attention to the leader. At his instructions, he nodded, and turned away again — with one a single glance over his shoulder — heading off and stepping more carefully just in case someone else emerged from the bushes, but the coast was clear the entire way back to camp.
He ducked through the gorse entrance, slowing only as his tail caught the thorns on the way in. On the other side, he caught his breath — he really didn't have to run, but it had felt too urgent not too. After a moment, he set a rushed pace towards the medicine-cat's den, peering inside and blinking away the gloom of it, "Sunveins?" He called, "There's. . . uh, an emergency. But — well, there's a cat on our territory, he isn't from here, and Foxstar told me to get you. He says it's Moonblight, and that he's hurt but you should only come if you want to." Padding the rest of the way in, Cypresspaw approached their herb stores, sniffing at them for a moment. "Oh, but if you can't handle it, I can — really," he added after a moment.
The time spent under Nightclan had been rather short — not short enough, in Shadedsun's opinion — but it had been impactful, and their scent was as easily recognizable as lavender or mice. He smelt it almost the same moment that Doefreckle did, head turning to face him even though he couldn't see. "Hm, yeah, may as well just have some nests set up for them at all times," he added, snorting distastefully. At Doe's fiery irritation, though, Shadedsun shifted closer, tail brushing comfortingly against his side. In this case, he could agree — he wasn't the biggest fan of cruel groups of cats making their home where they shouldn't, changing the way of things and messing up everything that had been built up by generations, but he could not disagree with hospitality. As leader, he tried to make sure Springclan had been as open to newcomers as possible, though still suspiscious, even as rampant mistrust of outsiders grew within clan borders after Cicero and his rouges were chased out. Summerclan had given him a home, too, when he was too afraid to face his birth clan. But Nightclan weren't just simple outsiders; they were tyrants. He'd heard from Doefreckle of the moonlight attack on Primal Instinct, one bloodthirsty force against another in the dead of the night. He didn't have the personal connection to Nightclan that Doefreckle did. Shadedsun gave him a softer, sadder look.
"Uhm. . ." He began, thinking it over. It was a little weird, but Foxstar was also Nightclan born as well — he was now quite well-versed with Summerclan gossip, spending so much time with bored, restless queens and hanging around camp more than usual — as Shadedsun had heard, and perhaps him and Doefreckle simply hadn't had the same experiences. "A little. . ." He settled on instead, shrugging, "I just don't think he wants to provoke them further."
I think they stink. He laughed, turning his attention to Peonykit. Marigoldkit, Alliumkit, and Petuniakit tumbled nearby, their other granddaughter with the metaphorical whistle in hand and ready to call attention to any and all signs of danger or misbehaviour — not that her brothers did either of those things much anyway, they were both far too skittish. Usually, she hardly joined in on their games. Petuniakit paused beside Doefreckle, pressing her forehead into his good leg in something akin to exasperation, "can't they leave us alone? Nightclan sounds scary. Why do they not like us so much — I think Summerclan is too good to hate." She lifted her head, looking ahead worriedly, as if Nightclan would jump out and attack them if she blinked.
Post by achromatic on Jul 18, 2022 14:41:58 GMT -5
Sunveins hadn't heard the commotion outside; she was helping Southernskies with a thorn in his paw, but the moment her apprentice ducked into their den, looking out of breath, she immediately turned in alarm, her tail raised high. "Cypresspaw?" she asked, looking confused, "is everything all right?"
Her apprentice often came and went but rarely did she see him so hurried and rushed. The moment he spoke of an emergency, she had immediately fetched a bundle of herbs–she had prepared it in case, ever since the NightClan invasion actually–to head out, not even listening to the younger cat until he mentioned a name.
Moonblight? Sunveins froze, blinking twice before turning to Cypresspaw, as if not quite believing what she heard. "What do you mean it's Moonblight?" she asked, the slight panic creeping up her voice. The thought of her brother being here sent shivers down her spine; even after Sunstar had left, certainly he must've known it was dangerous to be here, in a clan that would surely remember his face. Was he hurt? Was something wrong? They had spoken once afterward thanks to Sagebristle but even then, she wasn't exactly best friends with him; they were civil, that was all.
She shook her head, giving Cypresspaw a weak smile. "It's fine, I'm fine," she replied hurriedly, "can you grab some cobwebs for me? I...is he okay? What happened?"
He withered a bit under her concerned gaze, but he tried to steady his voice. Really, he was concerned, and when he was concerned he got anxious, a familiar shakiness entering his bones as if one wrong move would ruin everything forever — sometimes, that was the cast, sometimes everything depended on precision, but Cypresspaw's issue was remaining calm when that wasn't necessary, where mistakes could be made and dealt with. Now, all he had to do was explain, yet he somehow felt like if he messed that up, everything would go downhill. When he mentioned the name, he watched her freeze, like a cord had been struck. Curiously, he tilted his head, but concern was evident in his eyes.
"Moonblight, yes," he affirmed, "I. . . don't know who he is, but I suppose you do." He shuffled his paws. He nodded at her request, looking through the stores until his eyes found the cobwebs, propped and wound around a stick so they didn't tangle and dry up on the ground. "I'm not sure what happened, but he's alright, walking and talking and all that stuff. He's injured, still. Looks like he's been attacked, or maybe it's a fight. He looks tired, too." He hummed sympathetically, leaning to pick up the whole wad of cobwebs. When he finished, he hovered anxiously beside her, waiting for her to leave so he could follow.
His eyes widened at the news. What did the tom mean, Kier had Sagebristle? A deep discomfort wrestled deep in his core, and his ears flicked back slightly. When Kier had made the comments about his foster sister, and he had made several, he had made it sound like Sagebristle wanted to be around him. Was that not true? “Is she okay? Has he hurt her?” he asked quickly, his silver gaze wide.
When Moonblight continued with his rallying cry, Foxstar tensed. He knew enough about his clanmates to know that at least a few of them would be more than happy to join in taking down their former oppressor. Enough blood had consecrated the SummerClan camp that there would always be a cat or two who was revving for revenge. Revenge was a fool’s errand, though. Revenge had been the one thing that had started it all, the event that started the chain reaction that brought the two together again that day. SummerClan was strong, one of the strongest in the forest, but they were good cats. If they were so easily swept into another fight, just because it would be a chance for them to get back what was owed, they would lose that goodness, wouldn’t they?
“I don’t deal in the game of eye for an eye,” he meowed in response, his words firm. “It’s senseless and will lead to cats dying senselessly. If your goal is to sweep my clan into a revenge fantasy, I am sorry, but I will have to turn you away now.” For a moment, Foxstar looked almost apologetic. “However, if you are able to take a breath, I will hear you out if you start from the beginning. I will listen to the advantages you have, and I will consider your plea for help. If Sunveins doesn’t wish to see you, we will go to my den. At the conclusion of our discussion, I will have you escorted to the neighboring rogue lands while my clan and I deliberate on if we have the ability to help you. If Sunveins is willing to see you, we will move our discussion into her den, and we will go from there. Either way, I need to know exactly what is going on, and I need you not to excite my clan mates any more than your presence naturally does. Am I understood?”
Foxstar’s words felt disingenuous. He wanted to help; the minute he heard that Sagebristle was in trouble, he wanted to leap at the chance to save his foster sister. He wanted to help Moonblight, at least to ensure that he would survive the night. He wanted to be a hero. However, this was a delicate game. He didn’t even know exactly what had happened yet. If the boy wanted to fight, the man he was growing into knew that he couldn’t, at least not yet. If nothing else, he needed to know more.
Sunveins quickly appeared from the bushes that led to the medicine den, her hazel eyes wide, her fur bristled in worry. She spotted the mottled cat, crouched by Foxstar, except she knew something was wrong. There was blood mottling in his fur, and the closer she looked, the more it seemed like he was collapsed on the ground rather than crouching.
"Foxstar, Moonblight?" she greeted almost breathlessly, the sudden turn of events was making her heart race in anxiety; what was going on? She looked to her brother, worry written all over her face. Despite their rocky relationship, she cared about him, and she wasn't going to let him die. "Cypresspaw," she turned to her apprentice, "can you quickly take a look at his wounds? I'll get the poultice working, can you make sure they're clean?"
Her eyes turned to Foxstar again. "What happened to him?" she asked, wide-eyed, before turning to her brother again.
A scowl left Southernskies' mouth as he limped after the medicine cat, only to smell the sharp tang of blood and the scent of NightClan again. "An attack!" he called out fearfully, before his gaze turned to the sole NightClan cat in the camp, distrust immediately flooding his gaze, "what are we waiting for? There's an intruder in our camp!"
Foxstar was about to answer his best friend when his grandfather's voice broke his concentration. The tom's distrust had always been hard on Foxstar, but the word attack, no matter who said it, would have drawn his attention. The last thing that he needed, really, was SummerClan thinking they were being attacked again. They didn't deserve that. Plus, if what Moonblight said was true, that he was in opposition to Kier, Foxstar had every reason to think that the tom was acting on his own.
"There is no attack," he announced loudly, his gaze narrowed. "The intruder will be dealt with privately. I assure you, I look to send him on his way as soon as I can." It was a brief speech, but he didn't have time for more words. Instead, he simply turned to Sunveins.
"From what I can gather, he was attacked in NightClan. Something there is ... wrong. I can't quite understand what it is yet," he meowed, his tone softer. "Let's get him into your den and we can talk more there, where there are less ears," he then meowed very quietly, his gaze once again shifting to their clan mates. Until he knew what was going on, he needed to keep the others in the dark.
"As for you," he meowed to Moonblight, his gaze moving to him. "It seems like it's your lucky day," he meowed to the other tom. He leaned in close, the next words for his ears and his ears alone. "Make one wrong move, threaten even one of my cats, and you will be removed from my territory." Despite how his tone seemed ingenous before, this time, he was being completely honest. Foxstar would listen to him, because as of now, he didn't think Moonblight was a threat. If that changed, so would Foxstar's attitude.
"Come on, now, no time to waste," he then meowed, louder this time, so that every cat who was directly involved could hear, motioning the tom to the den. "You already know where it is."
dm me if you want to listen to me ramble about the interstellar soundtrack
Post by achromatic on Jul 31, 2022 12:33:40 GMT -5
Moonblight's amber eyes met Foxstar's evenly, an exhaustion written into them far beyond his years. "I won't try anything," he replied, a hiss between his teeth, "I wouldn't be able to hurt anyone in my condition anyway."
Sunveins was still confused about all of this, but she could understand the look in Foxstar's gaze, the one that hinted at something to be said in private. She simply nodded, before giving her apprentice a gesture, asking him to join as she nudged her brother. "Can you walk?" she asked gently, looking at him worriedly.
Moonblight struggled to get up, but he found his way onto his feet, as he leaned onto her for support. The medicine den wasn't far, and she'd be able to treat him better afterward. Still, she gave Foxstar a pensive look. "Were there any others?" she asked, looking as if she was trying to keep a lid on top of her emotions. She had assumed that her brother and Sagebristle were practically joined at the hip, not to mention she was related to Foxstar; she almost expected to see the she-cat alongside him.
As they entered the medicine den, she quickly moved him to one of the nests, before immediately gathering more cobwebs to stem the bleeding. He didn't look great. "Did you come alone?" she asked, "where's Sagebristle?"
Moonblight only stiffened. "She's...she's still there," his voice was thick with emotion, "she's still in NightClan...Kier...he's–he–"
He was trying his best to hold his patience, but he was losing it quickly for a mix of reasons. First, there was a part of him that was rightfully anxious for Sagebristle. If Moonblight was in this shape, what had happened to his foster sister? Second, the mention of Kier's name brought him dread. He seemed to haunt the SummerClan leader. Both emotions, dread and anxiety, were making him snappy.
"He what, Moonblight?" Foxstar prodded, his voice slightly impatient. "What happened? We can't help you unless we know what is going on."
dm me if you want to listen to me ramble about the interstellar soundtrack
Post by achromatic on Aug 29, 2022 13:46:00 GMT -5
Moonblight's eyes were nearly at tears. "He has her somehow; she doesn't remember anything and...and..." he swallowed thickly, "something happened to her, and she's with him now." His gaze darkened into a fury, "I don't know what happened to my kits...I don't know what he's done with them, with her...but he's destroying NightClan. They're all sycophants now, and he's got all the she-cats imprisoned in the camp...I don't know what to do."
It wasn't the NightClan he knew. He couldn't stand it anymore. He couldn't stand living like this anymore. He needed to do something, and if SummerClan couldn't help, he needed someone else. "I need to get rid of him," his voice was low, dark, "either Kier goes or I'll die trying."
For a moment, things froze, and a swell of emotion burbled in his chest. Of course, perhaps it was ironic that Moonblight called them sycophants now. It wasn't as if Aspenstar's NightClan wasn't deeply similar. But something about the way that Moonblight spoke about their former home invoked a sadness in him. She-cats imprisoned? Sagebristle was with Kier? "Is she hurt?" he found himself asking, his voice barely more than a murmur. The look in the other cat's eye suggested that their former home was unrecognizable. Why was there a part of Foxstar that mourned it? Shouldn't he be happy that NightClan was in ruins? They were his tyrants, imprisoners, did they not deserve to rot? Was whatever happened to them not precisely what they deserved? But still, he couldn't help but think of the NightClan before. Before it all went to hell, when they were all just silly little kids. If NightClan was unrecognizable, that meant that that part of his childhood was dead. Perhaps it made sense that he was saddened, after all. Things had been good once, there, long ago. Gods, things had changed. Perhaps, too, his pain was familial. Sagebristle had accused him of leaving her behind, of forgetting about her. He had promised her that he hadn't, that he didn't know that he was going to go, that he thought about her every day. He had always tried to deny that he abandoned her, but he did. And, from the sounds of it, he abandoned her and she went through hell alone. How did any of this happen? How had Moonblight lost touch with Sagebristle in the first place? What was going on? And why did he feel so suddenly crushed by the weight of the world?
He blinked a few times, trying to focus away from the growing sadness in his stomach. Pain swelled in his head, the onset of a stress migraine. Get rid of him? Once again, Foxstar was conflicted. For whatever reason, he had a soft spot for Kier, and there was a part of him that was half-convinced he should only half-believe Moonblight. He had half a mind to go to NightClan himself, to see Sagebristle. If he was right, well, then, they could talk. A bigger part of Foxstar knew, though, that it wasn't worth the time to check; of course he was right; of course the empire turned out the way it did; what other ending to the story could there possibly be? He was quiet for a moment, the information slowly processing in his mind.
After a moment, he spoke again. "And you're asking SummerClan to join you? Am I understanding this right?" There was a hint of disbelief in his voice, although he tried to mask it. How did Moonblight expect this to go over? "If you can explain to me how I can convince my clan to rescue the clan that systematically brutalized them, I'm all ears." Although perhaps slightly sarcastic, his words were mostly genuine, almost imploring. How was he supposed to convince them to become war lords to save the very cats that murdered their clanmates?