|"Are you listening, kittypet? I will kill you, and all your warriors, one by one."|
|— Tigerclaw to Fireheart in Rising Storm, page 185|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter sixteen of Rising Storm. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 16 (of 30)
- Page Numbers: 184-189
- Fireheart's claws feel rooted to the Thunderpath as he stares at Tigerclaw, who troubled his life for so long, and is now an outcast. The evening sun begins to set, its orange rays glowing on the tabby's dark pelt. Across the deserted Thunderpath, Tigerclaw sneers at Fireheart, asking if chasing puny cats to their deaths is the best he can do to defend his territory. Fireheart's mind clears in a heartbeat, leaving his body pulsing with strength and cold fury. He stares straight into Tigerclaw's eyes as another monster passes by, another at its heels but Fireheart feels no fear, springing at Tigerclaw in the moment between the two monsters.
- The rogue's eyes widen with surprise as Fireheart crashes into him, claws unsheathed and hissing with rage. They roll across the grass together and into the cover of the trees, and the pair struggle wildly, flattening the brittle undergrowth of the forest and gouging deep scars in the ground with their claws. Fireheart has a good grip on Tigerclaw, and, at feeling each of the tabby's ribs, notes that he has lost weight. However, Tigerclaw's muscles feel hard beneath his thick pelt, and Fireheart realizes that exile has not diminished the former deputy's strength. The banished tom crouches and leaps upward, twisting in midair, and Fireheart is flung from Tigerclaw's back, feeling the impact of the parched ground as he lands on his side. The ginger tom gasps for air and struggles to his paws, but his enemy has already pounced on him, pinning him to the ground with piercing claws. Fireheart yowls, but the massive tom holds his down, smelling of crowfood as he hisses into Fireheart's ear that he will kill him, and each of his warriors, individually. Even in battle, the words send a chill through the young cat, who knows that Tigerclaw means what he said. Suddenly, Fireheart notices a rustle of unfamiliar paws and strange cats surrounding him, and he is confused by various scents. The ThunderClan deputy bleakly wonders if they could be Brokentail's remaining rogues, and ponders if Whitethroat had chosen to join the rogues instead of return to his sickened Clan.
- Fireheart desperately pushes up with his hind legs, claws raking for a hold on Tigerclaw's belly, and the tabby has clearly underestimated Fireheart's strength, as his grip loosens and he slithers onto the ground. Fireheart scrabbles away and sees Mousefur and Whitestorm hurl themselves from the undergrowth onto two of the cats who had surrounded them. The ginger tom glances back at Tigerclaw, who has sprung to his paws and rears onto his hind legs, towering over Fireheart with bared teeth and gleaming eyes. He ducks ans Tigerclaw lunges, and darts forward to swipe the dark warrior's nose. Beside him, Whitestorm and Mousefur yowl and hiss as the battle fiercely, but they are still badly outnumbered. Fireheart dodges Tigerclaw once more, desperately searching for a way to escape, but one of Tigerclaw's rogues rake his hind legs, then grasps him, snarling. He is skinny and ungroomed like the others, and his eyes glitter with spite.
- Tigerclaw rears up again with a furious hiss, and Fireheart braces himself when he sees a blaze of gray. Fireheart recognizes Graystripe, who lunges at the brown tabby's exposed belly, knocking him backward. The ThunderClan deputy whips around and bites the shoulder of the cat that clings to his hind leg until he feels his teeth scrape bone. The ginger tom released the rogue when he squeals, spitting the blood out of his mouth.
- Fireheart looks at the battle around him, astonished, and guesses that Graystripe brought a whole RiverClan patrol. Now the rogues are outnumbered as they fight the warriors, and Fireheart sees Graystripe twist free of Tigerclaw's grasp. The ginger tabby springs to help his friend, and together they rear at the traitorous cat, swiping at him to drive him backward, matching step for step. Without even exchanging a glance, the warriors lunge as one and force the massive tabby to the ground. Tigerclaw lets out a muffled hiss as Fireheart presses his foe's muzzle into the dirt while Graystripe grasps the tabby's shoulders and pounds his flank with his hind legs. Screeches are heard fading into the woods, and Fireheart realizes that the rogues are fleeing. Tigerclaw takes advantage of Fireheart's distracted attention and wriggles free. He runs toward the brambles, spitting with fury, and disappears among the barbed stems.
- As the rogues' wails fade away, the warriors lick their wounds, and Fireheart realizes for the first time that Stonefur, Bluestar's son, is present. The ThunderClan deputy asks if anyone is hurt, but all cats shake their head. Stonefur meows that they should return to their territory, and Fireheart thanks him, dipping his head. Stonefur replies that rogues threaten all Clans, and the patrol couldn't leave them to fight alone. Whitestorm shakes his muzzle, scattering drops of blood, then tells Graystripe that it was good to fight with him. The white tom questions Graystripe's reason for coming, and Stonefur answers that the gray tom had heard Fireheart's yowl from Fourtrees, where they were patrolling. The RiverClan warrior adds that Graystripe persuaded the patrol to come, and Fireheart warmly thanks them. Stonefur nods and turns away into the trees, his patrol following. Fireheart touches Graystripe with his muzzle as the RiverClan cat passes, sorry to see his friend leave. The deputy says good-bye to Graystripe, who purrs and returns the farewell.
- Fireheart shivers as the sun finally disappears from the forest, and can see Mousefur's eyes shining in the dark, tense with pain. The ginger cat suddenly remembers with sorrow that Runningwind's body would be growing cold by then, and Fireheart knows that it was not the only untimely death Tigerclaw brought to the forest that day. Fireheart asks Whitestorm to get Runningwind back to camp with Mousefur. Whitestorm nods, eyes curious, and Fireheart explains that he will follow them back soon, but must do something first.
Notes and references
|Rising Storm chapters|
|Prologue • Chapter 1 • Chapter 2 • Chapter 3 • Chapter 4 • Chapter 5 • Chapter 6 • Chapter 7 • Chapter 8 • Chapter 9 • Chapter 10 • Chapter 11 • Chapter 12 • Chapter 13 • Chapter 14 • Chapter 15 • Chapter 16 • Chapter 17 • Chapter 18 • Chapter 19 • Chapter 20 • Chapter 21 • Chapter 22 • Chapter 23 • Chapter 24 • Chapter 25 • Chapter 26 • Chapter 27 • Chapter 28 • Chapter 29 • Chapter 30|
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