You're dead. The deceased tom had looked her dead into her own dead eyes. Reckless. Foolish. The deceased tom, her father scolds with harsh eyes.
He always had been difficult and stern with his children, even in the only three moons they had walked with him before he shriveled up and rotted away.

Not many made Sootstar cower, but her father did. Not out of fear, but respect and shame for herself. Father was one of the few cats in this world she sought to impress, she hadn't seen him since she was a little she-kit. Yet at their first reunion, he was scolding her. He was ashamed.

"...I- I've been trying my-" "You died over a twoleg pet. You died hunting a trapped piece of prey. No better than being slaughtered by a kittypet." He hisses, towering over his tiny daughter now. "You'll never hunt there again, WindClan will never hunt there again. You'll forbid it... my daughters clan will catch their own prey, not be fed out of the paw of a twoleg."

Sootstar obediently nods, "Yes, Soot Claw." Not dad, his full name for the respect he demanded.
"Best see that I don't find you back here over something so stupid again... Or I'll take every remaining life you've got back, and you can reflect on your foolishness with the dead for eternity." With a flick of his tail, the rest of her time deceased is total darkness.

Until there is light.

Eyes shoot open with heavy, labored and struggled breathing following. The blue molly lurches upwards, but it hurts like all hell... Her shot heart now continued to pump blood, she could feel it working extra hard against her chest. In absolute horror and confusion, she looks around. She's not at camp, she's not in the territory, but she's not in the chicken pen either. She's messily hidden under a large twoleg contraption... with large round paws, similar to a monster.

If it hasn't killed me yet... I must be fine. Regardless, she didn't have much of a choice. She needed to regain her breath.
Once she does, she stands on wobbly paws and carefully leaves the horse-place, cautious not to run into the twoleg that had put a bullet into her.

Despite being alive she was far from completely healed. StarClan fixed her heart, fixed a lot of the inside of her body. Yet there were two deep holes in her side, where the bullet had entered and where it had left... and though healed? Her heart was weak, it needed time to regain it's strength. Like it or not, she'd be out of commission for awhile.

So she walks, taking it slowly back to camp... Praying that her death hadn't caused her lead on the clan to be completely thrown out. They should know after all... right? That she was to return? Otherwise, they wouldn't have hidden her. They knew who led them, they'd wait.

With the sun high in the sky, she pushes through the gorse tunnel and makes a return.
Before them stands the risen queen of the hills. Her first command?

"...Get me some damn prey." With wobbly legs, she semi-collapses to the ground. She's okay, just weak.

//she has been knocked out for a day and a half! So the clan has been without her until now

He hadn't been there to drag Sootstar out of the chicken coop. It'd been Hyacinthbreath and Larktrek who'd taken their leader by her cold scruff and dragged her away from the chaos after ordering Inkylotus and Coldpaw to safety. He hadn't seen where they'd left her body, hadn't seen anything but the red mist of rage in front of his eyes.

The need to let them get her out, give her body a chance to resurrect itself -- it was time to let StarClan show they hadn't lied.

Weaselclaw had returned to camp, despite everything. One ear has a notch in it, round, in the shape of the bullet that had bitten through it. He'd been lucky. Shot in the ear, while she'd been hit right in her heart. His paw is sprained -- he'd lunged at the Twoleg and it had used its powerful hind paws to kick him away.

At this point, even he'd had to admit it was over, there was no fighting a Twoleg. Besides, the others had gotten out, Sootstar included, and he hadn't wanted to die surrounded by filthy chickens on the farm he'd been born on. He's a WindClan warrior now, and he has duties, a Clan to help tend to.

He's not been there long when she pulls herself into camp, weak, shaky on her paws, but with a determined glare. "Get me some damn fresh-kill."

She's a ghost of the vibrant, confident cat who'd lived before her. She looks as though she'll keel over any second. There are holes in her side, holes that may never heal.

But to him, she's beautiful, and she's alive. He forgets himself and attempts to rush towards her -- but his forepaw buckles, and he winces, reminded sharply of his folly.

He wants to nuzzle her, to fall to her feet and thank the stars for returning her to WindClan.

To him.

But he doesn't. He looks at the nearest lower-ranking cat and says, flicking the newly torn ear, "You heard her. Your leader needs to eat." He turns to look at Sootstar. "Let's get you to Honeytwist's den."


Hyacinth lifted her head from the grassy grounds as she heard Sootstar's wheezing breath start up again, tail lashing behind her in surprise. Despite the holes in her body, Sootstar was healed- StarClan truly blessed her with these lives, it wasn't a lie. Hyacinth wants to cry, wants to sob into their Leader's body, thanking StarClan. But she is too eager to begin walking back to the camp, and Hyacinth feels a hollow hole in her chest again.

That's right, she had a responsibility to the Clan. There was no time for rest.

She follows closely behind Sootstar, the memory of blood spilling all over the chicken coop still fresh in her mind. Her paws are tainted with dried blood, caking with every step through the misty grass. Weaselclaw was back in camp, he'd survived, it seemed. Hyacinth walks past Sootstar, marching right towards Weaselclaw to attempt to whack him upside the head with her paw. It wasn't noticeable at first, but there were small glistens of worried tears at the corner of her eyes.

They both almost died. They all almost did.

"Y-You fucking moron!" Hyacinth shouts at the other Lead Warrior, tail lashing behind her in faux irritation. She wouldn't admit it, but she was fond of Weaselclaw. Spending all day with someone usually led to friendships, anyways- right? His shout at a nearby cat to get Sootstar food is met with a hum of thought from the woman, and she turns to look back at Sootstar. "Do you need help, Sootstar? Even if you walked all the way here, it's still exhausting, isn't it?"

While he and Sootstar never really saw eye-to-eye and butted heads quite a number of times, he didn't want her dead. He didn't want her cold on the ground and unmoving somewhere in the moors, he didn't want his clanmates distraught and unsure of the future, he didn't want this-he had never wanted this. Dandelionpaw had felt so uneasy the second he found out where the older cats had gone, the first lesson a barn cat learned was the chickens were off-limits for good reason. If the rooster didn't tear your fur from your pelt then the farmer was sure to take offense to you swinging a claw at his hens. The relief that came with their hunting patrols return was immediately replace with horror. His blood felt ice, his usually cheerful demeanor fell in an instance and if there was even a ghost of a smile left on his maw it was one of disbelief. What happened to this whole StarClan chosen thing? What happened to the supposed nine lives she got? Was it all a lie? Some kind of cruel prank? There was no way she died nine times while out there, the despair in his clanmates gazes spoke volumes in mere seconds and Dandelionpaw knew a thunder stick wound when he saw one. They cracked like lightning hitting a tree, boomed like thunder when set off-what horrible things and every farmer seemed to have one. Two-legs were truly terrifying.
When the reeds parted and he lazily looked up he did not expect what he saw and he would not lie and say he didn't give a little jumping start in response to it. "What in hells blazes-!"
It took every ounce of willpower in his little sepia point body to not go bolting out of the camp in a panic. Locked firmly in place by alarm.
While normally he might have given a chipper little 'say please!' to Weaselclaw's sudden demand, this time he moved without a word and with purpose to the freshkill pile as swiftly as his dark little legs could carry him. It was fortunate that another hunting party had come back not too long ago and he hastily picked up the biggest, plumpest hare he could find on the pile and turned to rush back; it was still warm even. When he returned he saw Hyacinthbreath already there as well and sighed through the rabbit between his teeth.
Dandelionpaw held it in his maw carefully as he watched the two lead warriors attempt to coax her up, pausing to set it down so he could speak briskly, "Sh-shouldn't we ought to jus' let her stay 'ere for now? All that movin' might not be helpin' any. Ah can fetch Honeytwist..."
He had no doubt the medicine cat would help despite the tension between the two, but Sootstar might not be babied quite as considerably as others might have. Was fine, she was a tough bird; case in point whatever the hell this had been.

StarClan was real...he couldn't help but stare with both mismatched eyes wide in awe.


Mallowlark had not been there when it had all happened, other obligations barring him from such excitement. But he'd heard- he'd heard every gruesome detail. Or, at least, every detail anyone was willing to share. Sootstar had died- just like that, an almighty noise cleaving the air, and they had not the time to bring her back to camp. A day later, the white tom had begun to think she was truly gone. This StarClan stuff, as cool of a concept as it was, just... couldn't be real, not at this rate. If they were would Sootstar not have risen right away and made a fanfare of her return with her hunting patrol?

So, she must be dead. Resigned to that thought, though he had not yet accepted it, Mallowlark's smile grew a little sharper, a little strained. When relieved, broken breaths of worry and disbelief waltzed their way to his ears, the minuscule brightness held within his grin was back. There she was, their leader. She'd mourned his tail with him, and let him live here with all his new friends- and though some of his family hadn't yet warmed up to her, the black and white tom was relieved to see her up and about.

Dandelionpaw carried out the task, and with a slow gait Mallowlark made an inky-footed approach; however, wide eyes halted upon her scruff tossed form, and he felt a swell of great sadness that he could not hold back. It was only fleeting pity, but one wouldn't be able to tell just by looking at him; for soon, cackle-twisted sobs began to spill from his maw before he could stop them, though not as loud as they might have been had ne not been trying to hold them back. Oh, it was so nice she had not been murdered!! If she was to die, by a Twoleg's twisted hand it should not be; and at her fragile state, and his friends' relief, he couldn't stop himself from crying.

"Feel- HNNNK, better soon, Sootstar- ahuaauughauahhh..." he keened, offering her a smile despite his floods of tears and the violent, almost painful-looking sobs wracking his body. Almighty gasps were pulled in through his maw at every opportunity- he had to make sure to breathe when he couldn't stop himself like this.