Oxidation Is The Compromise You Own (Open)


A coward patting himself on the back
Jul 24, 2022

A semi-permanent scowl of annoyance had been plastered across Flanders’ face ever since he’d been “accepted” into Windclan (which was a strong word). When no one was looking, a paw would occasionally rub across the still-stinging wound Soot had inflicted on him. The kittypet had heard these cats were wild, but he didn’t know that meant insane!

Still, the stubborn tom wouldn’t give up. Mostly because Flanders still felt his mission was just, but partly because the boy didn’t want to give Soot the satisfaction of seeing him quit. “Gone in three sunrises? I’ll outlast that lunatic. Once I teach these savages the proper way to live, they’ll see sense and get rid of her.” A grumbling stomach stopped pacifistic plans, and sky-blue eyes scanned the camp for any signs of food. With a growing sense of dread, Flanders realized there was nothing to eat (not that he was used to, at least).

There was a pile of corpses acting as a macabre centerpiece, but surely that wasn’t meant to be a meal? Where were the bowls? Where were the pellets? A sheltered existence forced away from others hadn’t lent well to Flanders’ knowledge of the outside, and it seemed those colors were finally showing.

Clearing his throat, the preacher posed a question to anyone who would hear.
“Um…I know where the food is, obviously, but I think it would be good for any less knowledgeable cats if someone would say where the pellets are.”

What a strange solicitation- pellets! A guffaw burst from his chest at the request- a sailing, mewling nyahahaha that rode the wind in its less-than-melodic manner, stomach singing with aches as he doubled over. To no one else such a request would be quite this funny, but Mallow could not stop himself as he stumbled over, inky paws refusing to carry him in a straight line. Wobbling on each step from the ferocity of his laughter, one would think his eye-contact would be compromised; but no, never. Unblinking and saucer-wide, his slate gaze stayed trained upon the comedian and did not move for even a moment; for eye contact was important, and why would he not want to befriend someone this funny?

Squawking from his hysteria, the domino tom could barely take a breath- and to the ground he crumpled, barely feeling the sensation of his body hitting the ground. Legs convulsed in his glee, tears stinging the corners of his eyes, wheezes flitting in every exhalation. "Puh-Pellets!" was all he managed to screech out. Surely he meant owl pellets- that mess of bones and fur that owls spat upon the ground for you to slip upon, and not that slop that housecats ate- right?
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Hunts Pheasants mouths the word to herself, face wrinkled in confusion. When understanding hits, her ears perk and her eyes light. She has never seen much of a point in collecting pellets, but she has known a few who found satisfaction in the bones they held in their center.

"You need to find an owl tree first. If you check around it every few days, you should find a pellet eventually," Hunts Pheasants says with the sort of helpful tone one uses with a kit.

windclan warrior | brown tabby tortoiseshell with low white spotting | one blue eye & one white-eye | tags
Pellets. Jenko recognizes the word instantly, his lip curling in distaste. His misaligned gaze snaps onto Flanders, the kittypet who'd ran his mouth too much. He brandishes the mark of Sootstar's wrath on his cheek, and the mark of stupidity in his foolish question. Pellets. Why would Flanders ever want to eat such tasteless slop again? Jenko had been hooked on hare from the moment he'd bitten into it. To think that another former kittypet would seek out pellets when there's more grand meals right behind him.

"We don't eat that here," Jenko answers flatly. Then, his gaze shifts onto Hunts Pheasants. She doesn't understand what he means... A cat lucky enough to have never been forced to eat bland kibble, he guesses. "No, kittypet food." As for Mallow? Jenko ogles at him as the snowy tom cackles. He doesn't understand what's so funny about pellets. He could be laughing at Flanders for asking such a dumb question, but Jenko couldn't see how anyone could be anything but annoyed by it.

Jenko clears his throat, fixating on Flanders once more. "If you know where the food is, then why aren't you eating?" Stupid.
Weasel smirks at the tawny cat who slinks around their camp, his face bearing a dour, saintly expression and a healing wound from Sootstar's claws. He hadn't been present during that particular acceptance into WindClan, but part of him wishes he had been. The strange tom must have really said something stupid to earn him that badge of distrust.

The cat asks for pellets. Weasel only stares at him, amused expression muddling. Mallow, helpfully, bursts into hysterical laughter, and the tabby steps away from him neatly. That whole family Sootstar had begrudgingly accepted was weird, but the white tom... he really made the rest of them look normal.

Hunts Pheasants offers a helpful answer, but the kittypet is the one who knows what Flanders is talking about. Kittypet food. Weasel turns his sneer onto him. "What, you think we go out and catch pellets along with our rabbits? We don't eat Twoleg slop out here. We have to earn our right to eat, and so do you now, pet." He snorts derisively. At least Jenko had the decency to try to be a warrior. This other... he should have fled when Sootstar's claws had met his cheek.


Ah, so it wasn’t just Soot. They were all crazy.

At least, that was the impression he got once his simple question was met with shrieks of laughter by…who was this? The cackling cat didn’t offer any introductions, unless keeling over at the kittypet’s expense was their way to say hello.Flanders liked to think of himself as fair-tempered, but the boy’s patience quickly wore thin whenever someone wouldn’t take him seriously. After all, he was smart! His ideas were good! He deserved respect! “Now you listen here-“ He began, face changing from orange to beet red before he was interrupted by someone slightly more helpful.

Well, “slightly” might’ve been too strong a word. Where Mallow’s reaction had left Flanders infuriated, Hunts’ made the tom more confused than anything (which was a step in the right direction, he supposed). “An…owl?” what was that, Some special kind of twoleg? The most exotic creatures the cat ever laid eyes on from the confines of his nest were the squirrels who occasionally scampered across his fence, so whatever this owl thing was was well outside his wheelhouse.

Flanders was about to make an even bigger fool put of himself when someone more knowledgeable stepped forwards, bringing with them crushing disappointment. “No pellets?” he repeated, casting a quivering glance towards the prey pile. The monk was really meant to eat those things? “Um…I’m not hungry. I was just asking for later” he asserted, before a grumbling stomach gave him away.

The next cat is much more accusatory, and like with Mallow, its a sentiment he doesn’t take well. Somewhere in the back of his head, the spindly tom knew it was a bad idea to try and defend himself, but pride wouldn’t allow it. “My twolegs never let me outside” he shot back. “The only reason I’m here is to try and help you bumpkins. I abhor violence in all its forms, and that includes killing those animals. But…” The trembling cat took a tentative step towards the pile of gore. “If twoleg food is truly impossible to come by out here, then I guess I have no other choice.”

Flanders hesitated for a moment before pulling out a scrawny squirrel, at least wise enough to know it would be bad form to take the juiciest pieces. The sunset-hued cat laid the lifeless body in front of himself, before taking a tiny bite. “…it’s good.” he admitted, almost sounding like he was about to burst into flames. However, he wasn’t done. “If I’m going to eat another creature, then I’m doing it the right way” the pacifist proclaimed before digging in.

There wasn’t much meat to be had, but Flanders made sure none was wasted. After the kittypet was done, he bowed his head to the small pile of bones, showing more respect to it than he had to any of his clanmates so far. “Thank you for feeding me. I will make sure the energy this meal has provided won’t go to waste.” he muttered. ​



"What are you trying to help us with?" Dusk ask, not bothering to mask his confusion as he made his way over to join the Windclan cats. It felt strange to say 'us' when he knew he was still far closer to this newcomer than he was any Windclanner here, but he supposed he'd been here longer than some, which maybe made it a bit more justifiable. Either way, the copper and gold tomcats curiosity was genuine, seeming to lack any of the scathe that existed in some of the others.

In the few weeks he'd been a part of the clan Dusk had seen a number of cats join for a number of different reasons. None though, had come wanting to join the ranks to 'help them'. And maybe Dusk was blind or just plain stupid -which wasn't that much of a stretch given where and how he was raised- but he didn't think the Windclanners were exactly in need of any help. Prey was running well and the ranks were growing stronger each day, so he couldn't understand just what this other tom thought he was going to help with.

He'd been curious enough to ask though, something the normally quiet tomcat usually didn't do.

windclan warrior - male - 17 months - homosexual - polyamorous - single - tall, strong bengal tomcat

Honey had been listening from a little bit away, collecting flowers as she usually did, but when sneering voices made their way over to her ears she rolls her eyes and pushes herself to her paws, which were covered in pollen. She makes her way over with a quizzical look before she begins to laugh at the cats reaction to freshkill. Honey had never been a kittypet, always a street cat, but she finds herself sympathizing with the poor thing anyways. He mutters a thank you to the piece of prey and Honey’s eyes soften. Perhaps he was not all that bad, at least he knew how to thank the prey when eaten. Starving cats knew to thank whatever was out there for a job well done and a meal provided, but he wasn’t thin.

"Whats your name, mon ami?" she tilts her head up before leaning close. "Don’t make a scene about this stuff." she warns lowly, hoping her voice was quiet enough for only the new cat to hear her. A cushy kittypet would be setting themselves up for embarrassment, she learned from Jenko’s poor treatment and she resents it. All cats deserve to be treated kindly.

She ignores the bit about help, only flicking an ear and looking at Dusk. She was quite curious herself, but she would not say it and instead keeps a gentle demeanor.

A slightly annoyed set of blue eyes turned towards Duskfire, hoping for a longer moment of silence in order to properly respect the squirrel, but it seemed a few seconds was enough for these windclan cats. However, the irritated look was quickly wiped off Flanders’ face as he took in the other tom’s question. The kittypet knew in the back of his head that if he went off on one of his spiels it likely wouldn’t end well, but the self-assured tom couldn’t help himself.

“I’m here to try and teach you lot the proper way to live” He began, confident attitude undermined by skittish eyes scanning back and forth just in case Soot popped up with another set of claws. “Violence in intrinsic to life here” he said with a glance to the squirrel bones. “Pacifism is the right way to live. You may not see it yet, but I’m sure you’ll all come around.”

Flanders was about to continue when a hose came to extinguish the fire of his speech before it could grow out of control. So far, Honeytwist was by far the kindest cat he’d encountered in the wild, but unfortunately her sensible words wouldn’t register. “My name is Flanders, and its a pleasure,” he began, “but I won’t stay quiet. If I see something, I say something. That’s how I operate, and I don’t intend to stop.”
Weasel watches the kittypet bow his head over a scrap of a squirrel and thank the earth for the blessing. He quirks a brow, gazing at the cats around him as if he's never seen such a thing. He supposes it isn't bad to be grateful for prey, but why does everything this guy does have to be so weird?

Dusk asks a perfectly reasonable question, and Flanders' response baffles Weasel. "Violence is intrinsic to life here." He preaches pacifism. Weasel's sneer deepens. "It's easy to preach peace when all you've done your whole life is sit in a Twoleg nest and have everything handed to you." He lashes his tail. "We have to feed ourselves out here. Take care of our own kits and companions. Peace isn't an option. You'll find that out soon enough, kittypet."

Weasel had lived in the barn his whole life, avoiding Twolegs but never having to struggle for resources. But cats like Sootstar and those who had come with her from the forest -- they had seen Clanmates die over territory and lack of prey. It's a grim reality, but it's one he embraces wholeheartedly.

He doubts a kittypet is capable of doing the same, but he does not say this. His expression speaks all the words he does not.

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