|He smelled the scent of badger's breath as Midnight moved behind him. "Destiny is the choice of every cat," she rasped. "But some cats have destiny chosen for them."|
|— Midnight speaking to Lionblaze in The Last Hope, page 282|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter twenty four of The Last Hope. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 24 (of 27)
- Page Numbers: 271-283
- Lionblaze, Graystripe, Snowbird, Oakfur, and Smokefoot are heading towards the ShadowClan border when Graystripe trips on a bramble. For a moment Lionblaze can see how old and frail the gray tom is getting, before they continue onwards. When they cross the border, they hear screeching and see cats tussling in the clearing. Snowbird sees Crowfrost and jumps over a juniper to help him, while Oakfur follows, launching himself at the nearest Dark Forest tom. Snowbird is seen helping Crowfrost, and Lionblaze continues before he sees Snaketail fighting and being worried because Snaketail is an elder. He shakes himself out of his thoughts, telling himself not to get distracted and to find Blackstar. Urging Graystripe to hurry up, he also tells Smokefoot to help Snaketail when the former yowls that the latter needs help.
- They reach the ShadowClan camp and Lionblaze sees the chaos there. Injured cats are everywhere; Pinenose is mourning the loss of a kit, and Dark Forest warriors are facing off against a ragtag band of warriors from different Clans. Graystripe catches up with the ginger tom and questions why ShadowClan isn't fighting back. To answer him, Littlecloud dashes past them and explains that Blackstar has already lost a life, and that he's running low on supplies. He can't stop Scorchfur's blood pooling from his belly, and he is panicking. Graystripe, seeing this, orders Kinkfur to fetch moss for Littlecloud. She obeys and the dark gray tom orders Cedarheart and Whitewater to get cobwebs. A Dark Forest tom growls and hurls himself at Graystripe, who swipes back and snarls that they should think twice before taking them on. His opponent slinks back to his ranks, and Lionblaze points out to Littlecloud that they're waiting for the next wave. He has to keep patching up the cats; they need to keep fighting.
- Scorchfur raises his head and announces that he'll fight to the death should he need to, while Lionblaze scans the camp for signs of the ThunderClan patrol. He can't find them, and Littlecloud suggests that they're probably fighting Dark Forest warriors in the forest. Before he can reply, Cedarheart bursts into camp with cobwebs, and says the hollow's full of them. Kinkfur also rushes in, bringing moss to Littlecloud. He thanks her, and places the cobwebs on Scorchfur before telling them to get more. They leave, and he pushes the moss towards Scorchfur, who laps up the water thirstily. Lionblaze scans the camp once more, and finds that the panic freezing most of the Clan has gone, and cats are now running in and out doing things instead of standing around.
- He pads over to where Ratscar is after telling Graystripe to guard Littlecloud. Moving closer to the dark brown tom, he tells him to move closer, slowly. Ratscar obeys, flicking his tail for them to follow his lead. They shuffle closer and closer to the Dark Forest cats, who shift uneasily. Lionblaze says to keep them distracted while he checks up on Blackstar, then darts away. Inside is the leader and his deputy, Rowanclaw. He asks how Blackstar is, and Rowanclaw replies that he's recovering, doing well. Even though he's not on his last life, he will still be weak. Rowamclaw adds that ShadowClan isn't defeated yet, and they'll be back on their paws soon.
- Lionblaze crouches besides the leader and tells him they've come to help. His eyes are glazed, but his breathing is steady. The deputy reports that he'll be up and fighting soon. Ratscar appears and asks where these rogues came from, as he's seen cats he thought were dead. Before Lionblaze can reply fully, a shriek cuts him off, and Rowanclaw noses Blackstar to his paws as they run out to fight. He tells Ratscar to group the warriors together and make sure the enemy doesn't form a line, before turning to Littlecloud and telling him to shelter the injured cats. He turns around and has Kinkfur and Whitewater help him get the injured cats to the place underneath the brambles. Tallpoppy picks up the dead kit and nudges Pinenose towards the shelter, before placing the kit at the queen's paws.
- The warriors keep fighting, and Lionblaze yowls for them to hold their positions as they defend themselves. Emberfoot's group is overcome and the golden tabby leaps in, meeting claws and fangs on all sides. He wonders if this is the end of ShadowClan. Graystripe yells that they're being overrun as he fights Dark Forest warriors on his end. Suddenly the younger warrior hears paw steps, and wonders if another wave of attackers is coming. However, once they arrive, he recognizes them as the Ancients from the cave. As they stream out, they attack the Dark Forest cats, hitting them as hard as any real cat can. Rowanclaw pops up and asks who in the name of StarClan the newcomers are, before Owl Feather retorts that they were here before StarClan. She dips her head towards Lionblaze before heading off to help Half Moon.
- Midnight arrives just as Owl Feather darts away, and both sides flee from the lumbering badger. Graystripe greets her before he tells the ShadowClan cats that Midnight is an ally. She picks up a Dark Forest warrior and flings him away, while Lionblaze pins another tom and attacks him before sending him away. Half Moon compliments his moves as she fights another enemy warrior. Quickly, the ginger tom darts underneath his opponent and thrusts upwards, sending the tom flying. Lionblaze rushes away just as Half Moon snatches the Dark Forest tom out of the air.
- He heads out of camp and to where Shredtail has Ratscar pinned against a tree. The latter is begging for mercy as Shredtail closes his claws around his throat. The ginger tom snarls for the Dark Forest warrior to let Ratscar go, and he replies that Ratscar betrayed the Dark Forest. Ratscar croaks that he never knew the Dark Forest was training him to destroy his own Clan. Shredtail tighetns his grip on Ratscar, but Snowbird rushes to save him. Although Snowbird insists Ratscar would never betray his Clan, Shredtail only sneers why Ratscar used to train in the Dark Forest. Shredtail mentions he's not the only one, and gazes at Redwillow. At the mention of his name, Redwillow drops Dawnpelt at spins around to face the bunch. Shredtail calls Redwillow over, to where he asks him how the battle is going. Redwillow answers in enthusiasm, saying on how he can fight properly and how the Clans are weak and lazy.
- Snowbird lunges at him, screeching that she would kill him because he is a traitor. Blackstar stops her however, while Redwillow snarls that he's loyal to the Dark Forest. He believes that his old leader is nothing but an elder growing old over and over again, and that he should just die. But the tom replies that he is still leader, and before the tortoiseshell can react, he slashes into Redwillow's chest. The tom looks down in surprise before collapsing and dying. Shredtail is furious, screeching that his loyal warrior has been killed, but Blackstar's reply is that he killed one traitor and is ready to kill another. The Dark Forest tom challenges the ShadowClan leader but Lionblaze steps in and accepts the challenge before Blackstar can.
- Shredtail leaps at the golden tom, and Lionblaze digs his hind paws in, ready to swipe at the other tom's muzzle. However, the tabby tom crouches down, as if anticipating his opponent's every move. The ThunderClan tom realizes that Shredtail believes he can win, but pushes down his doubt and continues to fight, hooking his paw around his enemy's foreleg. But the Dark Forest warrior just backs away and aims for his throat, while Lionblaze barely dodges in time. He tries to slam down the other warrior but is thrown backwards. Shredtail asks when will he start fighting like a real warrior, and Lionblaze replies now before leaping. He is held back by more claws, and struggles for breath and a grip on the pine needles.
- The tabby is about to finish Lionblaze off, before noticing Midnight. The badger whispers in the golden tom's ear that destiny is the choice of every cat, but some have their destiny chosen for them. He thinks to himself that he will kill this cat, and before Shredtail can bite his throat, he pushes upwards and sinks his teeth into his opponent's throat instead. He keeps digging in even though the taste of flesh and blood make him gag, and eventually kills him. As he stands back, he watches the Dark Forest warrior's body fade, and the other Dark Forest warriors run away after a slight hesitation.
- Blackstar steps up and says he's proud to fight beside him, and they are ready to fight before Graystripe tells Lionblaze they should head home. The ShadowClan leader confirms, and they go back from whence they came.
- Three unnamed Dark Forest warriors
- Pinenose's kit
- Four unnamed Dark Forest warriors
- Unnamed Dark Forest tom
- Unnamed Dark Forest tom
- Owl Feather
- Half Moon
- Unnamed Dark Forest tom
- Unnamed Dark Forest tom
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Revealed in The Last Hope, page 271
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Revealed in The Last Hope, page 272
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Revealed in The Last Hope, page 273
- ↑ Revealed in The Last Hope, page 275
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Revealed in The Last Hope, page 276
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Revealed in The Last Hope, page 277
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Revealed in The Last Hope, page 278
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Revealed in The Last Hope, page 274
|The Last Hope 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|
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