|"This is about life and death. If necessary, our life and your death."|
|— Stripes threatening Brambleclaw in Outcast, page 283|
In the Power of Three arc
- Stripes and his group of rogues invade the Tribe of Rushing Water's territory and start to steal their prey.
- Although unnamed, Stripes gives Crag an insolent stare, and inquires why their territory has no border markings, and claims that the prey belongs to every cat. A black she-cat retorts that it is not true, and they know it, then commands him and his group of rogues to leave. More cats appear, filling the narrow space behind Stripes, and Crag informs Sheer to get to the cave. Crag then states that this is the furthest the rogues can go, and suggests for them to turn back and find someplace elsewhere to hunt, but Stripes questions who will make them.
- After Stoneteller informs the rogues that they are not welcome, Stripes retorts that territory only belongs to those who can defend it. Stoneteller reminds Stripes that they will drive them out, as they did before the time of frozen water, and Stripes narrows his eyes, questioning in disbelief, then commenting that it is not how he remembers it. A brown-and-white she-cat notes that they chose to leave, and Stripes lashes his tail, adding that they chose to return. He claims that what he thinks to be a few scrawny, flea-ridden excuses for cats will not stop him, and he flexes his claws, scraping the stones.
- As they retreat, Stripes bounds to a boulder, and jeers at the Tribe cats, telling them that they can run and not come back. When Hollypaw accidentally gives away the location of the group, Brambleclaw urgently meows that they need to flee, but Night yowls that there is no time and yells at the other warriors to protect the apprentices by surrounding them in a circle. Jaypaw hears the aggressive hisses of the group of intruders as the scents of four cats surround them. Stripes, at their head, carefully examines the twelve cats in the group.
- Stripes, noted to be a large tom with stripes rippling on his fur, lazily examines each cat. Stripes's three companions — Flick, Flora, and Twist — press up close behind him. He recognizes Talon and asks him tauntingly why he is so far from the waterfall, assuming his Tribe no longer hunts in these parts due to Stripes' hunting party. Flick, a member of his party, nudges Stripes, and suggests that the Tribe and Clan cats are very scared. Stripes supports that theory by licking his lips mockingly as he remembers out loud about the rabbit he had that morning that was almost too much for him to eat. Crowfeather snaps at him for his lack of respect for his prey.
- Flick then asks Stripes what he plans to do with them, but before he can answer, Night informs them that they have nothing to do with them. When tempers start rising again, Brambleclaw steps in to remind everyone that their group is not looking for a fight. Stripes and Flick glance at each other, and Stripes steps back a pace, gesturing up the valley with his tail, stating that they are not trying to stop them, and lets them go by unharmed. As he notices some Tribe cats, Lionpaw's fur feels hot with anger as he remembers the mocking looks of Stripes and Flick and their insolent way of speaking. He then thinks that they think they can do what they desire, and no cat can stop them.
- As they near a cleft, Lionpaw spots a pale pelt inside it, and Stripes, who is noted to have met with the Clan cats when they first reached the mountains, steps out of it and faces Brambleclaw. More trespassers creep out behind him, and Lionpaw notices that they look thin, and can tell that they aren't finding mountain life easy. However, he does not ignore the glow of determination in their eyes, and Stripes inquires what they want. Brambleclaw flicks his ears at Crag, and the latter explains that they want to end their conflict. He then pauses, as if he expects Stripes to comment, but he jerks his head and insists for him to go on.
- Before Crag can finish, the trespassers' fur bristle, and their eyes blaze with anger. Stripes takes a pace forward until he is barely a tail-length away from Crag, and he informs them that they have no right to any part of the mountains, and they have no right to set borders, and any cat can take prey from where it desires. Tawnypelt protests that it isn't fair, but Stripes interrupts her, claws sliding out, and states that it is about life or death, and if necessary, their life and the Tribe cats' death.
- Splash asks Lionpaw if they are to fight now, and he replies that Hollypaw will give her a signal, but the latter does not have much hope avoiding a battle, as Stripes made it clear that the trespassers have no intentions of respecting the borders the Tribe worked hard to put in place. At Stripes's challenge, Crag steps forward until the two toms stand nose to nose, and as he is about to warn him, Brambleclaw stops him, stating that it isn't the right time, as the trespassers outnumber them. Brambleclaw then faces Stripes and informs him that they will defend their borders, but it is his choice to cross them. Stripes agrees to bear it in mind, flicking his tail, but they will not forget that some of them don't belong. Hollypaw believes that he doesn't need to go on as he refers to the Clan cats, and it is obvious that he is planning to attack the Tribe as soon as the Clan cats leave, making them useless.
- During the battle, Brambleclaw and Stripes fight together, rolling over and over in a screeching tangle of fur and claws. After the fight stops, Stripes, along with a few other trespassers, creep timidly out from among the rocks, with him in the lead, although he has lost most of his fur from a shoulder and his muzzle bleeds. Stripes then limps up to Crag and Brambleclaw and dips his head. He rasps that they have won, and promises to respect their borders if they leave their queens and kits alone. Crag and Brambleclaw glance at each other, as if they are considering what Stripes had said, but Lionpaw wants them to drive the trespassers out. Crag agrees to leave them in peace as long as they stand on their side of the border, and Stripes dips his head again, then waves his tail to lead his battered companions back through the cleft into their camp.
- He has mistakenly been called black.
Please do not edit this gallery
- "You have no right to any part of the mountains. You have no right to set borders. Any cat can take prey from where it likes."
- —Stripes telling Crag what he can and cannot do Outcast, page 283
- "Fine. We'll bear that in mind. Not forgetting that some of you don't belong here."
- —Stripes to a patrol made up of Tribe and Clan cats Outcast, page 285
- "You have won. We will respect your borders from now on, if only you leave our queens and kits alone."
- —Stripes to the Clan and Tribe cats Outcast, page 309
Notes and references
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