|"So you're the only warrior left! This will be easier than I thought!"|
|— Brokenstar to Fireheart when he invades ThunderClan's camp in Fire and Ice, page 263|
|Fire and Ice|
|Chapter Number:||25 (of 30)|
|Point of View:||Fireheart|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter twenty five of Fire and Ice. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 25 (of 30)
- Page Numbers: 256-263
- Cloudkit plays with a moss ball in the clearing, and Brindleface calls for the white kit to come in. Tigerclaw turns and pads away, as Cloudkit bats the moss ball one last time before saying goodbye to Fireheart, and slipping into the nursery. Fireheart realizes it is almost sunhigh when he looks up at the sky, and pads to join his patrol.
- He is hungry, but no fresh-kill had been gathered yet that day. Fireheart wonders if he would find anything while on patrol. He hurries across the clearing and slips through the gorse tunnel, frozen leaves crunching under his paws. Sandpaw and Mousefur wait for him at the foot of the slope, and Fireheart raises his tail in greeting. He's happy to see Sandpaw, and the apprentice mews a greeting. Mousefur nods at him, then Whitestorm emerges from the gorse tunnel, and questions if the dawn patrol is back yet. Mousefur replies that there is no sign of them, but as she speaks, Fireheart hears the rustling of undergrowth.
- Willowpelt, Runningwind, Darkstripe, and Dustpaw come out of the bushes. Willowpelt reports that her patrol had checked the entire RiverClan border and that there was no sign of hunting parties so far, but Bluestar's patrol would check the area again. Whitestorm replies that his patrol would check the ShadowClan border. Darkstripe hopefully says ShadowClan have better sense than RiverClan to stay away and that after last night, they must know ThunderClan is looking for them. Whitestorm then growls that he hopes so, and turns to his patrol and asks if they're ready, to which Fireheart nods. The white warrior flicks the tip of his tail and leaps into the bracken, and his patrol follows. They keep a fast pace as they climb out of the ravine. Sandpaw is right behind Fireheart, and he can feel her warm breath as they scramble up the boulders. They haven't yet reached Snakerocks when Fireheart picks up the sinister, familiar scent of ShadowClan. The entire patrol stops to smell the rank stench, and Sandpaw murmurs that she can't believe they came back already. Fireheart notes the fur quivering along her spine, and Whitestorm comments that scent is fresh, his eyes glittering with fury. He mews that he had hoped Nightstar would bring some honor to his Clan, but supposes that the cold wind beyond the Thunderpath blows into the hearts of every ShadowClan cat. Fireheart turns away and pushes into some bracken, rubbing his teeth along the fronds to pick up the scent that hung there.
- He thinks that it was definitely ShadowClan, then realizes that the scent was very familiar. Fireheart pauses and notes the scent belongs to a ShadowClan warrior he had encountered before, but he isn't sure which one. He pushes onward, hoping more scent-markings might jog his memory. Fireheart looks down and on the ground among the bracken stems, and he spots a pile of rabbit bones. He realizes that Clan cats normally bury the bones of their prey as a sign of respect for the life they had taken. Suddenly aware of what this might mean, Fireheart picks up a mouthful of the bones and weaves back through the bracken. He drops them at Whitestorm's paws, and the white warrior stares at the bones in fury and says that the cats who left these here wanted them to know they had hunted here.
- The white warrior adds that Bluestar must know about this immediately, and Fireheart queries if she would send a battle party against ShadowClan. He realizes he had never seen Whitestorm so angry, and the older cat hisses that Bluestar should raid the enemy Clan. He adds that he will lead it himself if he can, because Nightstar had betrayed their trust and StarClan knows they must be punished. The patrol hurriedly travels back through the forest, bracken brushing their pelts. When they arrive in camp, Whitestorm calls to Bluestar and flings the rabbit bones to the middle of the camp clearing. Tigerclaw steps out of the shadows and tells Whitestorm that Bluestar had already left on patrol.
- Just then, Halftail and Frostfur hurry from their dens to find out what was going on. Whitestorm still stares at Tigerclaw, furious as he spits at the deputy to look at the evidence. Tigerclaw doesn't need to be told what they mean, because the scent carries the whole story. Fireheart notes that Tigerclaw's eyes were burning with anger, and he puts one paw forward. He hangs back at the edge of the clearing and watches the two great warriors. The evidence was certainly ominous, but the discovery of the bones fills Fireheart's mind with questions, not anger. It had been only three moons since ShadowClan had driven out their cruel leader with the help of ThunderClan. Fireheart wonders how that same Clan could possibly be ready to risk war with ThunderClan. Tigerclaw clearly has no doubts, and is already calling Darkstripe and Runningwind to join him. Tigerclaw announces that Willowpelt and Mousefur will join him, along with Darkstripe and Runningwind.
- He adds that they would find a ShadowClan patrol and give them some wounds that would remind them to keep off ThunderClan's territory in the future. Whitestorm nods, and Sandpaw asks tentatively if she can join. She paces excitedly behind Whitestorm, but now pauses and looks at her mentor with glittering eyes. Whitestorm tells her that she can't join this time, and Fireheart sees frustration flicker across her face. Sandpaw replies that Fireheart found the bones, and Tigerclaw narrows his eyes with his hackles raised. He hisses contemptuously that Fireheart can stay in camp and tell Bluestar once she arrives.
- Fireheart asks if they were going to leave before Bluestar came back, in which Tigerclaw spits of course. The deputy comments that this needs to be settled now, turning to Whitestorm with a flicking tail. Fireheart watches as the two warriors charge out of camp through the gorse tunnel, with Darkstripe, Willowpelt, Runningwind, and Mousefur close behind. He can hear their paws pounding the frozen earth as they head for the side of the ravine. Fireheart is suddenly aware how empty the camp was, and as Frostfur and Halftail came forward, sniffing the rabbit bones, Fireheart questions who went with Bluestar. This makes Frostfur look up and she replies that Graystripe, Longtail, and Swiftpaw went with the leader. A cold wind then ruffles Fireheart's fur, and the ginger warrior hopes that wasn't what made him shiver because he was the only warrior left in camp.
- Fireheart asks Sandpaw if she could check the apprentices' den to see if Dustpaw was there. Sandpaw nods, bounds across the clearing, and pokes her head into the apprentices' den. She calls back that Dustpaw was there, and then ducks back out into the clearing. Sandpaw adds that he was asleep with Brackenpaw, just as Yellowfang pads out of her den with a lifted head. Fireheart relaxes a little at the sight of the familiar medicine cat, and narrows his eyes in greeting. Yellowfang tastes the air, and her eyes cloud with fear. With slow, stiff steps, she approaches the rabbit bones and carefully sniffs each one. Fireheart watches her, wondering why she was so interested in the old prey bones, then at last she looks up and stares into Fireheart's eyes. In a voice choked with horror, she rasps the name Brokenstar.
- Fireheart echoes what Yellowfang had said, confused, then he realizes what it means. He thinks that was why the scent in the bracken had been so familiar -- because it was Brokenstar's scent. He asks the elderly medicine cat if she was sure, and quickly adds that Tigerclaw has already left for ShadowClan territory. Yellowfang cries that ShadowClan isn't to blame for this, because it is actually Brokenstar and his old warrior friends. She hisses that she was their medicine cat, and knows their scents as well as her own because she was at their kitting. Yellowfang tells Fireheart that he must stop Tigerclaw before he attacks, because he will make a terrible mistake. The ginger warrior meows that he can't leave, so both the medicine cat and Sandpaw offer to go. Fireheart looks at both of them, and thinks he can't afford to send either of them because their strength and training are needed to protect the Clan. He thinks that innocent blood can't be shed either, because Brokenstar is the invader and ThunderClan has no quarrel with ShadowClan. Fireheart knows he has to send some other cat, and he closes his eyes and thinks hard. The answer comes to him swiftly, and he calls Brackenpaw to him.
- The young cat pushes his way out the apprentices' den, and asks Fireheart what he wants while blinking sleep from his eyes. Fireheart tells him he has an urgent mission, to find Tigerclaw who has taken a raiding party into ShadowClan territory. He tells him that it is actually Brokenstar who was invading their territory, and Brackenpaw's eyes widen in alarm. Fireheart meows to Brackenpaw that he might have to cross the Thunderpath, with images of Cinderpaw's accident in his mind. He looks deep into the young cat's eyes, and repeats that he must find Tigerclaw or there will be a war between the Clans for no reason. Brackenpaw nods, and promises that he'll find the deputy in time. Fireheart murmurs that he hopes StarClan goes with him, and brushes his nose on the apprentice's flank.
- Brackenpaw turns and sprints out the gorse tunnel, and Fireheart shakes his head to clear the images of Cinderpaw on the Thunderpath in his head. He thinks that there is no time to worry now, if Brokenstar is in their territory getting ready to attack. Dustpaw emerges out of the apprentices' den and asks what's happening. Fireheart glances at him, then runs to the head of the clearing to stand on Highrock, thinking the clearing looks so far away from up above. He calls the Clan to come to him, skipping the customary call Bluestar used because it takes too much time. Fireheart yowls that the camp is in danger, and the elders and queens rush from their dens. Cinderpaw emerges from the medicine den, and when the ginger warrior sees her the clearing stops swaying beneath him.
- One-eye demands to know what he's doing up there, and Fireheart replies that Brokenstar is back, and could be in ThunderClan territory right now. He states that all of the other warriors are out of camp, so they must be prepared if he attacks by keeping all kits and elders in the nursery. Fireheart meows that the rest of them must be prepared to fight, but is cut off by Brokenstar's menacing yowl. He gasps, and instinctively unsheathes his claws as he sees four mangy warriors pacing around Brokenstar. The former leader hisses that since he's the only warrior left, this will be easier than he thought.
References and Citations
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 256
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 257
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 258
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 260
- ↑ Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 261
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 263
- ↑ Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 262