Grassstar led Brightflower and newly named warriors Angelwing and Blossomfall on a border patrol. She had left Darkstripe in charge of camp. Brightflower paused to scent the air.
"Badger." she reported. "But its not fresh." she added.
"Thank you Brightflower." Grassstar replied without looking back.
Blossomfall suddenly stopped. "G-g-guys?" she said, her voice quivering. "I think Brightflower's misjudged how fresh the badger was!" Blossomfall jerked her head to a badger just coming out of its set.
"What's it doing out at this time of day?" queried Angelwing. She had always been a smart and quick thinking member of GrassClan.
"Probably hunger is getting the better of him. Its been a hard leaf-bare." replied Brightflower quietly. Angelwing nodded, understanding the need for silence. But the badger had already spotted them.
It lashed out with its powerful jaws. All the cats leapt back, but it managed to bite Grassstar on the leg and she collapsed.
Angelwing and Blossomfall tried to leap forward to help her, but Brightflower kept them back with her tail. They were, after all, her kits.
Brightflower was preparing to leap herself when she realized the bloody Grassstar had stopped breathing.
The camp was full of activity when Brightflower, Angelwing and Blossomfall came bounding in out of breath. Everyone turned to look at them.
"Its Grassstar..." Brightflower began, but she was too out of breath to bring herself to say it.
"GRASSSTAR IS DEAD!" yelled Blossomfall. Both Brightflower and Angelwing couldn't say it. They stared at Blossomfall. How could she say it with so little respect?
Darkstripe stood forward, his eyes full of grief and excitement. "Then I must be on my way to Highstones. Come, Waterlily." he said heading towards the camp entrance. He was stopped only by Angelwing stepping in front of him.
"No." spoke Angelwing. "Before she died, Grassstar left a message with me. She said herself that you were not the future of the clan."
"But...then who is?" asked Darkstripe, not sure if he should believe the young warrior.
Angelwing nodded into the crowd of cats that had gathered in the time they had been speaking. "Crowfeather."
"Crowfeather?" sneered Darkstripe. "She's barely more than an apprentice!"
Waterlily spoke up. "It is true, Darkstripe. StarClan have spoken to me. I imagine they would have spoken to Grassstar too."
"Crowfeather, we leave at sunhigh." spoke Waterlily, heading into her den.
The clan was left speechless as Darkstripe padded back into the warriors den, glaring at Crowfeather as he passed.