“Revenge is my lifeblood. To see it in action is what sustains me."
Gazing around, the tomcat took in the sight of the dark, menacing trees that enclosed around him, undisturbed by the dark aura that they emitted. In fact, he seemed to welcome it. Stepping forward, stiff black grass crunched and cracked underneath his pads as he made his way to the middle of the black clearing. Rearing up on his hind legs, the tomcat leapt on top of the smooth, round boulder, stabilizing his footing.
A sharp, strong breeze from the western side of the thick clearing whipped at the dark trees, ruffling and buffeting the leaves viciously in all directions, making the trees whisper violently. The large tomcat sat back on his haunches, seizing the opportunity to rest his sore legs after the long toil up the savage incline. The breeze ruffled his thick pelt softly as he took a deep breath, feeling a relaxing sensation well up in his chest, spreading down his back as he let out a deep sigh. Stretching his toned shoulders, he lowered himself to the flat area of the smooth boulder, tucking his paws comfortably underneath his bushy mane.
Funny how a cat can grow tired of this place. The tabby tom chuckled at the thought. Waking up in the same place every passing day, right here. He gazed at the trees that loomed eerily around him. A pang of sadness pricked his paws. Can never be more painful.
But this is the place where all the greatest of cats go! A small voice rebuked him. Power, Fame, Ambition. These are the things you owned in your temporary life! What more can you ask for? The last words sounded like a challenge. And yet, he felt there was something missing. Something important.
But what is it? He clawed the boulder in frustration. What is it that I was missing?
The small voice spoke fiercely again. You are not missing anything! Look around you, this is the place where the greatest cats go! The Dark Forest. Anything else are too weak to have ambitions. Even that stinking little kittypet doesn't deserve leadership over ThunderClan. It added coldly. You are going to be having your revenge soon. Just be patient.
Another voice managed to seep it's way inside his head. But how long can you keep living a life full of revenge and contempt for others? Ask yourself, isn't there a better way to live it? The second voice added strictly. The previous life gave you the chance to see it, but what did you end up doing? That's right, you ended up lying in the pool of your own blood. You wasted your life for selfish gain. The last words sliced through like an icy claw. He flinched at the thought.
It isn't selfish if you bask in power's favour. The first voice defended itself. There are two ranks that divide the rest of the cats: the strong and the weak. The ambitious and the inferior. You choose to become one or the other. But in this case, you chose to be amongst the strong. The ones with burning ambition. There is nothing to regret when you choose that path.
But why are you feeling an emptiness just moments ago? The second voice challenged. An emptiness that felt like a great void in your mind? Surely you are longing for something that you never felt in your previous life.
But what is it? The large tabby gritted his teeth in anger. Tell me! I'm tired of the riddles that are weaving like vines in my mind!
That was up to you to find out. The second voice chipped in. If only you still lived amongst the Clans.
The tomcat curled his lips back in a snarl. Why do you have to make me regret it? Why make things more difficult than they are now for me?
The second voice ignored his attacks. You were given great gifts. Rare talents by the cats of StarClan themselves. The gift to lead the Clans into a new era, a new age! Not for the worst but for the better. But what did you do? You used it for your own selfish gain.
Stop! Just stop! The tabby screwed his eyes shut, his claws digging deeper into the boulder. Pain flooded his chest as he shook his head violently.
The voice continued mercilessly. None of those things should've happened to you. None of it! You're destiny was never meant to be in this stinking forest! No, yours held more promise than that!
You will have your revenge soon. You promised it to yourself, remember? The first voice broke through. All those who broke your grasp on your ambitions will suffer your wrath. You have an army of followers at your disposal, and they have sworn their loyalty to you! You will feel your claws touch his fur once again and this time nothing will stand in your way. Time will come when you can shred him apart to your heart's desire! The voice inspired burning anger. That fox-hearted kittypet doesn't deserve to live. It's his turn to lie in the pool of his own blood!
He should be. The tabby tomcat thought darkly, feeling an intense heat stir and move around his whole body.
Or it could be you. Again. a different voice spoke.
Instinctively, the large cat immediately jerked into a sitting position, straining his ears to make out the origin of the sound. The fur along his spine bristled upright while he unsheathed his long, black claws, gazing around with eyes narrowed to see if the intruder revealed himself. He gaped his jaw and drew in large amounts of air, hoping to detect it's scent but to his surprise, he found none. But his instincts told him that he wasn't alone. Not anymore.
The tabby tomcat squared his solid shoulders, dropping into an attack crouch. "Who are you?" Narrowing his eyes, he scanned the clearing. Fresh blood and oxygen pumped through his muscles, readying them in case the time of attack came.
Keep your fur on. The mysterious voice echoed around the circle of swishing black trees. Just calm down.
The tomcat dug his razor-sharp claws deeper into the black soil. "Show yourself or you risk getting your poor hide shredded." He hissed menacingly.
But may I ask you, the voice continued. do you know where I really am?
"I'm bound to know soon." He answered back without fear. "One reason I can't scent you is because the wind is blowing in your direction. I can shred you without fear of being killed but I'm giving you a chance to show yourself."
Big words they are. the mysterious voice remarked playfully. Well, if you've got the guts to, then go ahead and find me. Let's see if you can.
"For the last time, show yourself and we might just avoid a useless fight."
Well, if you insist then. the voice ended, still a little playful.
"But just remember," the tomcat pulled his lips back in a snarl. "if you even think of attacking me, you've got the wrong cat to deal with."
I'll keep that in mind.
Sensing a major change in the atmosphere around him, the tomcat felt the force of a gaze scorching his back. Pivoting around, he caught the sight of a glowing cat, a cat whose pelt gleamed and sparkled beautifully like the stars of the night sky, standing a few fox-lengths away from the large boulder he rested on. Patterns of gray stripes, blotches, specks and swirls ran down the back of the slim figure, with distinctive neon fur tracing down the middle of the head to the tail, following the position of the spine. He found himself drawn to the ocean-blue, unblinking eyes of the entity that stood before him. He attempted to move forward. but a ghostly paw rooted him firmly to the spot. The entity stepped forward, it's shoulders rippled with immense authority and power as it closed the distance between the boulder and itself. The black ground underneath it's paws glowed at each stride, it's moon-lit pelt rippling calmly like the lake water --albeit the strong gust of wind that stormed through the clearing of trees. It halted in it's tracks and sat back, unmoved by the hostility in the tomcat's eyes.
The star-lit cat stared at the tabby above. Well, here I am. It spoke directly into his mind.
"What do you intend to do here?" The broad-shouldered tabby still maintained his position, eyeing the entity warily.
The starlight cat reared it's round head back. Gazing at the tabby, he spoke again. What else? Paying an old friend a visit. The way it added those words struck fear into the tabby cat.
The tabby tom leapt down into the black ground, landing a distance away from the strange cat. Turning around, he unsheathed his black claws. "Do I know you?" He mewed through gritted teeth, lashing his bushy tail threateningly.
As calm as ever, the glowing cat stared unblinking into the eyes of the tomcat. The tabby didn't like the feeling he is getting that he was vulnerable. The glowing cat cocked it's head sideways, a playful glint reflected in his neon eyes. To rephrase that, an old friend sent me to you.
"To what?" He asked warily, narrowing his amber eyes.
The star-lit cat lashed it's thick tail. To turn things around. A grin spread on it's face.
The tomcat shook his head. "Stop speaking to me in riddles!"
Oh? But the fun part was just starting. It answered back playfully.
"Get to the point already, glowing cat!" He added a venomous emphasis to the last two words.
Learn to have some fun. The glowing cat was completely unmoved by the tabby's hostile approaches. It stood again and circled the large tom. But as you insist, so it be done.
"What are you going to do?" Alarm pulsed beneath his fur. What is this strange cat going to pull off? The fur along his spine twitched and bristled with anxiety as he took large, threatening steps toward the star-lit cat. "One wrong move and it's your head that will be resting on my claws tonight."
The star-lit cat elevated it's gaze to his. A fierce fire burned behind those neon eyes as it squared it's powerful shoulders, it's light-blue paws unsheathing their dangerous claws. "Oh, but let's see if you can before I do." It's eyes narrowed into eerie slits while it opened it's jaws, revealing two upper, canine teeth longer than the rest of the set. Saber teeth? Impossible!
The tabby tom felt his heart hammering inside his ribcage. Saber cat descendants? Impossible! Unsheathing his long claws, he forced fresh oxygen and blood to his muscles. He raked the starlight cat with his gaze. "Back off, fox-heart!" He hissed loudly as he tensed his powerful legs, readying them for the jump.
The entity grinned maliciously at him. "I'm afraid it's too late for that." It broke out into a harsh, rattling laughter as it sprang on the tabby.
Move! Move! Those thoughts screamed him to make a jump, but the tabby tom found himself transfixed by the neon eyes of the gargantuan entity looming on him. Move! Do you want to die? His whole body was rooted helplessly on the spot, frozen like the river in leaf-bare.
That's it, just think of nothing but the green.
Jump out of the way! His thoughts screamed wildly.
Embrace darkness, Tigerstar. The voice echoed cruelly.
The tomcat felt his whole body being sliced in half, followed by something really warm steadily flowing out of it but before he could feel pain, shadows slowly crowded his vision before it finally rendered him sightless. He felt his spirit sink away into the depths of a black ocean, mindless of what just occurred. He found darkness' loving embrace once more.