TIME ISN'T ENOUGH || meeting 8.19.22

He'd gone to the leader's den, crawled beneath the elderberry bush and shuddered at his weakness. His inability to protect his warriors, to lead efficiently, to force the other leaders in the forest to respect him.

Blazestar is no fighter. He is a kittypet. He did not claim leadership of SkyClan to force these traumatized souls into senseless war. He wants nothing but for all of them to live in relative peace, out of the way of the Clans who mean them harm, full of squirrels and birds, lounging in branches and soaking up sunlight through pine needles.

But Sootstar has forced his paw.

He exhales, imagining he can see his breath plume despite the stagnant heat of greenleaf. The sun is rising over the treeline, but its light is as pale and weak as his cream-colored fur. As his heart is today, now, as his Clan prepares to sit vigil for a fallen soldier.

Blazestar emerges from his den, eyes wild with all of the conflict buzzing in his head and heart. He will address Sootstar's transgression against SkyClan. He will not let her think SkyClan is made up of kittypets, because really -- Haze was not one. Was not ever one. Squall and Rain's other children had been raised in this forest, belonged to it as much as any other feral cat in Sootstar's Clan.

He ascends the Highbranch with a grim expression. "All cats old enough to catch their own prey gather beneath the Highbranch for a Clan meeting." He shakes his pelt, letting the morning wind touch hints of bare skin.

He watches them gather, and he waits. "We will sit vigil for Haze, and make no mistake, Sootstar will not walk away from this murder without consequences." He doesn't elaborate. He does not know what he intends to do about this yet. Marching his meager Clan across multiple territories, territories with new borders being set and forced, seems mousebrained to him, but what else can he do?

He trains his dark gaze on Squall, and he exhales. "StarClan has called me Blazestar, and our medicine cat Dawnglare, for a reason. There's power in these names, and tradition. RiverClan has began to implement names in this style for their warriors, and I would like to do the same." He flicks his tail. "No one will be forced to take a name of this style, but for those of you who would like to, please step forward."

For some, he knows, it would be an insult to their heritage, and he does not blame anyone for feeling this way. But for others, the name will bring new life, new power -- and it will show the other Clans they are not lesser. They will not be cast aside any longer.

"I, Blazestar, call upon my warrior ancestors to look down on these noble cats. StarClan, we stand beneath you to let you know we respect and honor your wishes and customs."

He exhales, looks at each cat who has stepped forward, and asks, "Do you swear to defend SkyClan, its territory, and all its members with your life?"

He waits for their assorted pledges before continuing. The defeat in his voice is waning, ever so slightly, and replaced with reverence. "Then by the powers of StarClan, I give you your warrior names.

Harpy, you will be Harpyfall, for your ferocity and your flexibility.

Churro, you will be Churrodream, for your imagination and the joy you bring to the Clan.

Tugger, you will be Crimsonbite, for your red pelt, your scarred muzzle, and your skill in battle.

Duck, you will be Duckcall, for your outspokenness and determination.

Deer, you will be Deersong, for your softspoken nature and your desire to help others.

Vermilion, you will be Vermilionsun, for your brightness, both in pelt and in personality.

Stone, you will be Stonequake, for your tenacity and steadfastness.

Red, you will be Redstorm, for your loyalty and your fierceness.

Finch, you will be Finchcatcher, for your hunting skills and your desire to provide.

Theodora, you will be Leopardclimb, for your sleek coat and your swiftness."

For a moment, his voice falters, and he looks again for the silver tabby pelt amidst the crowd. He speaks: "Squall, you will be Squallmist, in honor of the brother you fought to defend. He's with StarClan now, but you are an honor to his memory." He is not sure this will mean anything coming from him, but there is genuine grief in his voice.

He takes a breath, shaking the fluff around his neck as though it's a lion's mane, and steels himself again. "Now, will the young cats of the Clan please step forward?"

The death of Haze had shaken them all.

There's a typhoon of conflicting emotions that harbors itself within Harpy. Of course, he's furious. Furious at Sootstar for taking the life of a clanmate, furious at StarClan for even granting such a cat nine lives. He wants her to pay, just as much as the rest of his clan. But on the same note, he couldn't stop this feeling that Haze was asking for it. Wandering onto WindClan's territory... It was a foolish move, especially knowing the WindClan leader's opinion on SkyClan.

But what is done is done, and they now have a fallen clanmate to bury.

Harpy returns to camp with a squirrel clasped between his teeth in time to see Blazestar ascending the Highbranch. The cream cameo's tail tip flicks with mild interest, wondering how Blazestar is going to address this situation...

His gaze drifts to the pile of prey momentarily, before he decides against putting the squirrel there. This was for Shell; he'd make sure that she gets it and not another. So he carries it over to his typical seat at meetings, allowing it to plop unceremoniously to the ground beside his paws as he sits.

The announcement of Sootstar's wrongdoings is... underwhelming. She would not walk away without consequences, Blazestar says, yet he fails to list the consequences she would face. Harpy's eyes narrow. He supposes that he shouldn't be surprised about this, coming from a guy as soft as Blazestar. Nonetheless, Blazestar'd better hold true to his words.

Blazestar swiftly moves on to announce that he would be implementing RiverClan's two-part names. Harpy supposes it makes sense, seeing as Blaise is now Blazestar and Valentine was now Dawnglare. (His train of thought derails momentarily to wonder why Dawnglare would not keep the name given to him by his twolegs and become Valentineglare instead.) At least Blazestar wouldn't be forcing these names onto everyone... "If I can keep my current name as the first half, then I'll take one, mate," Harpy pipes up, and once he notices any sign of agreement, he stands up.

Blazestar asks him, and the rest of the warriors who'd stepped forwards, if they'd defend SkyClan with their lives. Harpy nods. Then, the flame point bestows upon him a new addition to his name; Harpyfall. Symbolic of the two worlds he remains loyal to. "Harpyfall," the cream cameo tests it on his tongue, scrunching his nose up as a smile breaks the surface.

It's decent enough.

The air to the meeting is heavy, Churro could sense it as soon as Blazestar calls it out. A vigil, he says, and Churros lips turn up in to a frown. An ear flicks as she finds herself lulling in to thought. Death, a fickle little thing, one that Churro has not faced before; does she run here, return to her housefolk and never look back? A head tilts slightly up as she looks towards the sky. Are they going in to battle? Will everyone die? She scrunches up her nose. Windclan, as these cats called them (in fact every other clan) seemed to look down upon Skyclan. She hums idly, thinking thoughts that pinged against one side of her skull and to the next much like the DVD logo.

Then she shrugs.

Blazestar calls out, tells them he'd like to implement 'Riverclans' way of naming. Her eyes narrow as she perks her ears. She stands up and steps forwards before she knows what shes doing, a yawn coming through her mouth as she dips down to stretch before standing high once more. "Si~ Yes yes, I do." she pledges, though inwardly she fights a battle with herself- does she truly believe she could give her life for these cats? She finds herself searching for Red, for Dawn, even for Sopapilla, looking for their emotions for this.

Churrodream. For your imagination and the joy you bring to the clan.

Her heart slightly warms. "Gracias!~" she hums out in a sing-song like voice, once more looking for Red. He got a new name, she wanted to congratulate her friend. Press against his side like she did when Blaze said his deputy, but rejoice in a lighter manner.

When Blazestar calls for a meeting, Red barely hears it. He stares with eyes focused on the dirt that he has dug his claws into, anchoring himself to this world. First Rain and now Haze, his father and his brother. Was there no end to the things that would be taken from him? They had both been supposed to live for so much longer, he had been supposed to grow old with Haze. There were so many things that they couldn't do that he wished for with everything in his bones. No more teasing Haze for being lazy, trying to wake him up in the morning and convince him that no- it was not too early to go hunting. All that had been taken from him in just one short night.

When Blazestar brings up his brother's killer he finally looks up and meets the point toms blue eyes with his own, a solemn nod in his direction. Finally, something Blazestar was doing right, something they could agree on. Haze would be avenged. He imagines the dark-furred she-cat and he flexes his claws. Red had never been blood thirsty in the past, but he can't help but imagine what Sootstar's and Cicadastar's would taste like. He imagines it's poisonous.

He is drawn from his thoughts of violence by Blazestar's next words, he says that the names that they have taken on have meaning, that River Clan has decided to do it and he thinks they should too. Inwardly, he feels revulsion at doing anything that River Clan would do, but he holds his tongue. He is loyal to Star Clan, he knows that, and he will be loyal to Blazestar if he can uphold his promise of revenge. "I do" the red tom swears with the others, a chorus of pledges.

Redstorm. With this name he is reborn. He stands up a little straighter and takes pride in the name. Blazestar does not say it but he thinks that maybe it is a homage to Rain. Or maybe the tom hadn't thought that, either way, he would cherish this new name, the way it made him feel strong when that's exactly what he needed at this moment. His heart falters though with the thought that Haze should be here, that Haze should be getting a warrior name too but the melancholy feeling of grief is wiped away when he feels another body press into his. Churro. He smiles gently down at her, letting out a small purr. Her happiness is contagious and he cannot allow his grief to ruin such a big moment for his friend.
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With injuries and loss still fresh, Squall has nothing better to do while the pain heals but to rest. It's perhaps the most he's had in a while. The loss of Rain, the change of leadership, and the loss of his own future all had kept him restless at night. But, with the recent events?

Squall just feels tired. More lost than he was before.

The call for a meeting momentarily shakes Squall out of his pain-ridden grieving, eyes opening to the sight of flame-pointed fur perched atop the Highbranch. He's slow to rise, but does so eventually, silver fur settling at the edge of the crowd. Any further into the crowd would be too much for him, would bring too many memories of that fateful night back to him.

Blazestar speaks of Haze, and storm-green eyes settle their gaze towards the ground. He will get the vigil he deserves, and Sootstar will face consequences. Blazestar doesn't elaborate further, and Squall can't help but feel disappointed by such. It's yet another moment of Blazestar failing to know what to do.

He moves on to speaking about names. He isn't sure whether or not a name change will do much, but if fitting his name to StarClan's traditions would rid himself - would rid SkyClan - of kittypet-related taunts, then so be it.

So, just like Red - and many others - Squall steps forward.

"I do," Squall pledges along with the group, uncertainty rising within him. What if Blazestar gives him a bad name, as punishment for not immediately siding with him? What if he's permanently left with a target on him?

He shifts his paws in anticipation, a long list of names changes decided before his own. But eventually, the flame-point gets to him, and gives him his name.

Squallmist. In honor of Haze.

Haze who should be next to him. Haze who should be receiving a name, too.

His new name is a combined effort between the leader of the Pine Group and the leader of SkyClan. A name to honor those he's lost. One that, decidedly, suits him. Though he's surprised Blazestar decided on a nice name for him, Squallmist feels a sting in his eyes at the leader's words.

"Thank you," the silver tabby says, bowing his head in response.
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They step forward, one by one, pledging their lives to SkyClan. Blazestar bows his head in turn as they accept their names, grateful for their acceptance of him, however small. He knows he'll have to find some way to make good on his promise, though he's still at a loss on how to do so. He considers pulling Daisyflight aside after the meeting so they can discuss the WindClan problem.

But for now, Blazestar's meeting goes on. He gazes at the young cats of the Clan, minus Gaia and Twitchkit. Gaia had looked sickly today, coughing and shying away from those who tried to look at her more than normal. He supposed he'd wait until she felt better to force her into an apprenticeship. As for Twitchkit... Blazestar hadn't been approached by his parents yet. Perhaps he wasn't old enough; the flame point really has no way of knowing. He makes a mental note to visit the two warriors so he can figure out when they want him out of the nursery.


Blazestar clears his throat. "SkyClan will be implementing something else the other Clans have introduced. This time by Emberstar of ThunderClan." He had not felt right discussing Cicadastar, but Emberstar is well-liked, still considered a friend. He feels some of the unease vaporize from his pelt. "The young cats will be trained until they reach adulthood by the warriors. Unless you request otherwise, you will receive a name ending in paw, to signify the path you have to walk in order to become a warrior." His tail curls inward as he prepares to begin.

"Aster, it is time for you to train as an apprentice. From this day on, until you receive your warrior name, you will be known as Asterpaw. Your mentor will be Churrodream. I hope she will pass down all she knows to you." He hopes the two will be a good pair -- he imagines Churrodream could get along with just about anyone, despite her sleepy demeanor.

"Basil, it is time for you to train as an apprentice. From this day forward, until you receive your warrior name, you will be known as Basilpaw. Your mentor will be Harpyfall. I hope he passes down all he knows to you." He seeks Asterpaw's littermate, the strange kit who'd eaten rocks and then cried when Blazestar had tried to interfere. Harpyfall is strict, he muses... but perhaps it's what Basilpaw needs.

He turns to the next cats. "Cosmos, from this day forward, you will be known as Cosmospaw. Your mentor will be Vermilionsun." He finds the shorthaired flame point in the crowd. "I hope he passes down all he knows to you." Cosmospaw would learn to be self-sufficient, just as Finchcatcher is. He has faith Vermilionsun can inspire that in him.

"Bug, you will be known as Bugpaw from this day forward. Your mentor will be Leopardclimb." A new warrior, one he doesn't know well yet. He only hopes she can handle Bugpaw. "I hope she passes down all she knows to you."

The next kit... "Centipede, you will be known as Centipedepaw from this day on. Your mentor will be Squallmist." His eyes find the mourning tabby's in the crowd. Perhaps it's too soon, but Centipedepaw needs a strong mentor, one with conviction. "I hope he passes down all he knows to you."

Speaking of... Bugpaw's littermate. "Bumble, from this day forward, you'll be known as Bumblepaw. Your mentor will be Crimsonbite." He finds Crimsonbite's dark eyes. Bumblepaw is a nice, exuberant cat -- he hopes they are enough to lift Crimsonbite out of his dreary mood. He imagines it isn't easy, after seeing Fritter as Sootstar's medicine cat at the Gathering. "I hope he teaches all he knows to you."

Finally, he finds Spark, the helpful young she-cat. "Spark, you will be known as Sparkpaw. Your mentor will be Redstorm." Another of Rain's children, one of his younger sons. A little more stoic than Sparkpaw, but he hopes they will balance one another out. "I hope he passes down all he knows to you."

He then quiets, dips his head, and gives the cats permission to cheer each other on, for the mentors and the apprentices to greet one another in their new roles.


The weight of Haze's death still clung to her pelt, a serious expression carved into her heart-shaped face. Blazestar's promise of consequences didn't surprise her. It had to be done, but the route he planned to take eluded her. Daisy Flight wasn't sure where the tom fell when it came to taking retribution. She knew well enough the softest faces could hide the sharpest claws.

Ceremonies went on however, with warriors first. The half-names offered made her smile slightly. While pandering to a twoleg's attention wasn't her cut of prey, it gave her a little pride to know their clan accepted those that did. It had been that openness that welcomed her at her lowest and the molly was glad to preserve it. Giving each of the newly named felines a low, respectful dip of her snout she murmured, "Congratulations"

As apprentices were called forward Daisy Flight couldn't help but glance back to the nursery. Gaia had shown signs of illness, a whispering cough that span worry through her stomach. The brief break from tending to her to oversee the ceremonies was necessary, but the queen had one ear poised to listen for any mutters for help. She would have to give her another good grooming when she got back.

It was a joyous moment to see the youngest in the clan greet their teachers. So much was so complicated nowadays. Watching the clan's future was exciting, hopeful.

He stands before Blazestar to receive his new name.

Though he is among the youngest of the group receiving their full names - those younger than him, closer in age to Cosmos are to receive different names, ones in between the kit names and whatever these new StarClan names were, he learns later - Finch thinks he's been through quite a bit in his few moons in the pine forest.

He has the scars to prove it anyway.

Blazestar begins to rattle off names, and Finch begins to understand what goes into these sort of names. He just hopes the leader doesn't name him something like Finchfire - for the reason he and Cosmos arrived in SkyClan - or Finchscar - for the many battle-torn injuries he'd accrued. Or, even --

"Finch, you will be Finchcatcher, for your hunting skills and your desire to provide."

Or even Finchcatcher.

While those receiving their names seem to be grateful for what Blazestar has chose, the flame-furred tom is anything but.

His hunting skills aren't up to par - haven't been since the battle. No, he's been too distracted, too torn up over what had happened, over what all he destroyed. His desire to provide was meant for Cosmos, a promise to his father meant to be kept. A promise he failed.

Finchcatcher didn't feel like a name Blazestar had given him for his skills. No, Finchcatcher felt like a mockery of a name. A reminder of the last thing he truly caught:


He tries to shake the image of the frightened kits out of his mind as he gives a quiet nod in acknowledgement towards the name. He doesn't want to cause uproar over it, if it's something StarClan willed for. StarClan probably wanted him to be punished, to carry such a reminder with him.

It's a blow that only furthers itself with Cosmos becoming Cosmospaw - with his mentor being named Vermilionsun. It's as if Blazestar meant to separate the brothers even further than what the ginger-furred tom had already done. He doesn't look at his brother - hasn't looked at him all meeting, for fears of seeing his reaction. Of seeing a look of anger towards the older of the two's name, of seeing relief that it was anyone but Finchcatcher mentoring him.

He cheers for Cosmospaw and the other apprentices, pretending everything's fine. Pretending he still has a place to call home within the pine forest.

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The one that replaced Rain is up on the Highbranch yet again.

Cosmos wonders if he likes it up there - if that's why he's had to sit below the landmark so often as of late.

Snowy paws gather with the rest of SkyClan to listen to the new leader's words. It is the first he hears of Haze's death, and it takes a moment to put the name to a face. But he remembers the silver tabby, Rain's son. He remembers Haze keeping him busy while Finch's hunting took too long once. The same fateful day that brought his brother back injured, torn open by marsh claws.

He looks around at the crowd, searching for the silver tabby's siblings, hoping they're doing okay. As okay as they can be, at least.

Cosmos' attention turns back to the leader as he continues to speak. The flame-point speaks of names - of changing them, making them longer by StarClan's will. Ginger ears flatten against snowy fur at the thought. New names? Cosmos could hardly keep up with each and every SkyClanner's names, as is. How would he be able to keep up with even longer names?

He watches nervously as a good chunk of the clan - Finch included - steps forward. The small tom listens closely to the names, trying to memorize the new names to the best of his ability, trying to put names to faces.

Finch's new name is a mouthful, he thinks, as the leader gives his brother his new name - Finchcatcher. How odd. He doesn't think much of the name past that. He hardly wants to think of the brother he's still upset with, anyway.

He thinks the leader is done, after he gives all the older cats new names, but, he seems to want to give the younger cats long names too. Long names and mentors. He half-expects his mentor to be Finch - or, what was his new name, again? Finchtrap? Finchhunt? Finch... Finchcatcher! - but as he hears his name, as Cosmos becomes Cosmospaw, it is not his brother's name who follows.

It's Vermilionsun.

Who was Vermilionsun again? The apprentice looks around, names he tried so hard to memorize already lost in his mind. Sky-blue eyes look lost - panicked, almost - as he tries to remember just which cat was supposed to be his mentor. Perhaps it would've been easier, if Finch was his mentor instead?
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