After years of traveling, Richtofen and the gang have gotten past many challenges.
However, once Richtofen goes missing, his friends are frantic.
Where is their friend, and is he okay?
MAJOR FANTASY WARNING XD
Richtofen blinked in confusion.
"Vhat do you mean by, 'promises of power?'" he growled.
The dark brown tabby tom laughed, his ice-blue eyes glinting.
"We heard you have the power to bend the elements. If you work with us, you will control the world." he meowed.
"Who are you!? I vill never believe you!" Richtofen snapped.
"It's simple. I'm Hawkfrost." the tom meowed with a smirk.
Dempsey washed his face gently.
"Wonder what Richtofen's doing, he's been at the stream for a while now." he meowed.
He padded alongside the trail of river stones, the morning dew on the grass tickling his paws with every step. The sky was a light baby blue with morning streaks of light pink and orange, the clouds a bright white.
Takeo and Nikolai snorted at each other.
"Shut up, Russian bear." Takeo hissed.
"Japanese idiot." Nikolai replied.
Takeo reached down to take a sip, remembering Richtofen leaving much earlier to go take a break at the stream. Where had he gone? What was taking him hours to do?
"Zo, your telling me zat you are building an army of toms to control ze vorld, and because I can make ze Magic Substance, or vhat I call, element 115, that provides cats vith powers, you vant me to join it?" he mewed, and then narrowed his eyes.
"Y-yeah. Duh. I'm evil like you. And if you help, maybe you'll learn to control those zombies you mentioned?" Hawkfrost offered.
Richtofen sat right up. The zombies? He lightened up a bit, but then darkened again. This cat was suspicious. He could not be trusted.
"No." Richtofen meowed simply, and turned away, padding up a slope.
"Woah woah woah, when I make an offer, you don't get a choice!" Hawkfrost snapped, and then lunged, tackling Richtofen to the ground, slashing the tom in the forehead. A trickle of blood ran down onto the bridge of his nose.
Hawkfrost tied a cloth around Richtofen's mouth to prevent him from calling for help, and put a chain around his paws to prevent movement.
"Now, you'll HAVE to obey me!" Hawkfrost meowed, and stared deep into Richtofen's eyes with a strange glow until the tom stopped struggling. Richtofen's eyes grew dull, as if under a trance.
Dempsey froze at the stream, and saw a tabby with Richtofen pinned to the ground.
"HEY! LEAVE HIM ALONE!" Dempsey screamed, and ran towards Richtofen.
But it was too late, the cats suddenly vanished from sight.
"NIKOLAI! TAKEO! RICHTOFEN'S BEEN CAT-NAPPED!" Dempsey screeched.
Dempsey frantically paced back and forth, his pale blonde-colored fur bristling in fear and anger.
Nikolai and Takeo padded up alongside him, sadness in their eyes and utter fear.
"What happened!? Where's Ed?" Nikolai growled.
"H-hawkfrost was here, and then Richtofen was-It's a long story, I'm still not sure!" Dempsey wailed.
Takeo smiled and reassuringly rested his tail onto Dempsey's shoulders.
"Wherever he is, I'm sure he'll be fine. Relax, we will work this out." Takeo meowed, hope in his words.
Richtofen screeched, "Vhere am I!?"
It was utterly dark, he couldn't tell what he was standing on, but it felt like the soft, dew-covered, green grass as always. He looked down.
Luckily, he was correct in his inference. He was standing on grass.
It was stained with his own blood.
"Vhat kind of sick joke is zis, Dempshey!?" he hissed, narrowing his eyes into a glare.
"Richtofen, help us Richtofen!" Dempsey's shriek filled the air.
Visions of his friends locked up in cages, while he was tied to the center of a room, awaiting death.
Like a maniac, Hawkfrost evilly laughed.
"No!" Richtofen screamed, waking from his visions.
He was lying on the grass, bright daylight in front of him.
"Welcome to Past-Time Grove!" Hawkfrost mewed.
Richtofen had a hard, metal wristband stuck to his ankle, and he let a growl rip through his throat.
"Wondering about the tracking device? It lets us know where you are, since you'll be working here forever. I heard you are good with chemicals and potions, as you know how to create mixtures to give us powers.
Now, you will start off by making a sampling potion that will allow one drop to strengthen one cat. If we can give incredible strength to one cat with but one tiny drop, then I can make my whole army of toms stronger than the most powerful cat in the forest!" Hawkfrost meowed.
"I vill never obey you! VHERE ARE MY FRIENDS!?" Richtofen protested, hissing at the sneaky tom.
Then a shock of electricity ran through Richtofen. He felt like he was burning on fire.
"S-stop! F-Fine...I-i'll d-do i-it!" Richtofen stammered through the waves of the electric power.
Hawkfrost nodded, and the shock vanished.
"Get to work. If you try to leave the lab, it will electricute you." Hawkfrost snapped.
Richtofen whimpered and padded off to get to work.
"Can you find Richtofen's scent!?" Dempsey snapped.
"No! Quit asking!" Nikolai growled.
"Guys, what if he's gone? What if right now, he's being used for some great evil?" Takeo meowed.
"Takeo-you can't give up now!" Dempsey wailed.
"And how many times has Richtofen gotten us in trouble?" Nikolai snapped.
Richtofen was a troublemaker who constantly teased Dempsey and Nikolai, while treating Takeo fairly. He constantly was injured or downed, but still, Richtofen was their friend. He never gave up on them.
"Richtofen never gave up on us, nor did we him.
"A no-good Dark Forest tom has our friend captive, and we're going to do nothing about it?" Dempsey growled.
"D-Dempsey, I think it's time we all moved on." Takeo stammered, looking at his paws.
Nikolai and Takeo exchanged sympathetic glances, and then looked to Dempsey with sadness.
"N-no, guys, please don't do this!" Dempsey meowed sadly.
"We have to move on in our lives. Our time of legacy and greatness is over. Nobody in this forest remembers the great goods we did to protect them from the zombie outbreak. It's over. Goodbye." Nikolai meowed, and turned away, started slowly padding away.
Takeo took the other direction, and took one last look at Dempsey, before vanishing.
Storm clouds rolled in.
"Takeo, Nikolai, wait!" Dempsey wailed, and tried to go after Takeo. The tom was out of sight. He ran towards Nikolai's scent, but the remainder was quickly washed away.
"Takeo! Nikolai! Don't leave me here!" he shrieked.
Lightning streaked the sky.
"Richtofen! Nikolai! Takeo! Don't leave me behind!" Dempsey screamed, and crawled underneath a rabbit burrow that was under Tree Roots, giving good protection.
"Don't ever forget me...." he murmured sadly, staring at the sky.
Morning lifted, but was hidden in the dense storm clouds that Hawkfrost had made.
"Zis is torture..." he grumbled, and kept working.
His mind floated back to when he worked at Der Riese.
Der Riese was practically barren for all he knew.
After the zombie invasion, Group 935, Der Riese, was just a lost memory that only Richtofen himself knew.
"And to zink I've nearly vorgotten my full name." Richtofen commented to himself while mixing samples of 115.
Richtofen's full name was Edward Alto Richtofen, but he didn't usually share it.
The reason is because his initials spell "EAR."
His siblings used to tease him for it.
"Come on, Ear! Let's go play, Ear!" Maxis taunted.
"That's not my name! It's Edward Alto Richtofen!" I complained, and narrowed my eyes.
"Ear! Come on, Ear!" his siblings cheered.
I ran screaming from the den.
Mother had to comfort me and tell my siblings not to do it anymore.
Gee, that sure DIDN'T help at all.
Richtofen shook the thought away as Hawkfrost bounded into the den, paws stained a rusty-reddish color.
Most likely Richtofen's own blood had dried onto his paws.
"Dr. Richtofen." Hawkfrost meowed, dipping his head.
He dropped a small kit at his paws.
"I want you to raise this kit and teach it knowledge. We need more scientists like you to finish the Grand Scheme." Hawkfrost meowed.
Richtofen hastily nodded.
The gold, brown, and silver she-kit blinked in confusion.
"H-hi, s-sir." it squeaked.
"I'm Richtofen. I'm not going to hurt you, young one. Your name?" he mewed.
"D-dawnkit." she replied.
"Nice to meet you, Dawnkit. I'm sure, in time, ve vill be great friends." he mewed.
Dawnkit purred and smiled lightly.
"Thanks, sir." she mewed.
"Now, since Hawkfrost wants me to teach you, vhat vould you like to learn?" Richtofen meowed.
Richtofen was once the teacher-type, but he isn't anymore. Blame Dempsey.
Memories gently flooded back to him.
"Bring in Test Subject 5T0P1D." Richtofen meowed.
His fur tingled with excitement. What kind of torture would he cause today?
The scientists brought in a honey-blonde tom. The tom's ice blue eyes shone with fierocity and reluctance. He was obviously a fighter.
"Leave me alone you German freak sacks!" he yowled.
"Zat is very offensive!" Richtofen snapped in outrage.
He was very smart for a cat raised in Germany.
"What'll you do to me!?" the tom growled.
"First off, let's play a game. Vhat is your name?" Richtofen meowed.
"Dempsey. Tank Dempsey." the tom growled.
This was the first time Richtofen and Dempsey met.
"Good. I'm Dr. Edvard Richtofen, but just call me Doc or Richtofen." Richtofen meowed.
He thought carefully of his next move, and then swiftly tied Dempsey to the floor.
"Zhere." he mewed.
"Velcome to Super Soldier Class. Ve'll need to give you the strengthening shots and then vipe your memory. Zen you'll be teachable." Richtofen mewed.
He only spoke the truth. He wasn't going to lie.
Richtofen was strictly ordered to mind-control any test subjects brought to him and teach them to fight off intruders.
Although he did not like his job at Group 935, he was a great teacher.
But then, the accident happened.
Dempsey broke free and threw Richtofen against the teleporter, accidently activating it.
"NOO!" Richtofen screamed.
No cat has ever survived teleportation.
Streaks of blue and purple surrounded him, and then Richtofen found himself in a dark room.
There was barely any gravity.
He found the light switch with his tail and flipped it on with a quick flick of his tailtip.
Richtofen looked out a window. The moon was around him.
He was at Group 935's moon base, known to them as Griffin Station.
Something was not right.
A strange, black pyramid stood in the room.
It was alien-like in nature, big enough to fit himself inside.
"Vhat's zis...?" he meowed, and padded towards it.
He reached out with one paw slowly and carefully, and touched it.
Searing bolts of static electricity shocked him, blowing him backwards. He yowled in surprise, but floated gently back down.
The pyramid abruptly opened, a glowing light coming from it.
Richtofen gasped in surprise as it slowly drew him towards him; it was literally pulling him.
He screamed for help, and to his relief, Schuester and Groph, two scientists who sometimes work with him when he visits Griffin Station, arrived and held onto his scruff until the pyramid closed, stopping the pull.
"Zank... god..." Richtofen meowed between panting.
However, something was not right with him. Something had changed.
He suddenly attacked Groph and Schuester mindlessly, eyes turning from their cheery pale brown to a dark crimson. Groph pinned him to the ground and held him there until he changed back.
"Vhat happened!?" Richtofen shrieked. He had no memory of the seconds of evil that had passed through him.
"You almost killed us!" Groph spat.
"VHAT!? HOW COULD ZIS HAPPEN!?" Richtofen screamed, and struggled to get free.
"Contact Dr. Maxis immediately and tell him that Edward has had an outbreak, and has teleported to Griffen Station. We'll need to put him into the testing room to figure out what happened!" Schuester hissed.
Richtofen faded back to reality, remembering his split-personality disorder. All because of Dempsey.
Maxis had put him in the testing room and dosed him with sleeping gas when he went into that strange red-eyed mode. They took a look at it and had discovered the pyramid caused the disorder.
Richtofen was never the same again.
Day after day, he went more and more insane. And it was never his own fault.
But by the time it had ended, all of Group 935 had died out. He had spent 50 years of time traveling and came back. Not a single ancestor, none of his friends and co-workers were still alive, but Nikolai, Takeo, and Dempsey, who he'd timetraveled with.
And Richtofen cannot go back to the time he belongs in. He longs for his nieces, Samantha, Maria, and Fluss.
His siblings Bella, Maxis, and his little kit sister, Antoinette.
He remembered the day Anne (Antoinette) had died. They were young kits.
She died at 3 moons old.
With narrow eyes, Richtofen remembered when his father killed Antoinette.
Before he could think any further, Dawnkit spoke,
"Hey, you okay, mister?"
He glanced at her, tears watering in his eyes. He nodded slowly and looked away.
"Nikolai! Takeo! Dempshey! Vhere are you vhen I need you most!?" he whispered to himself.
Clear drops hit the ground after rolling off his white face.
He had heard Dempsey's yowls, but didn't bother doing anything about it.
"Richtofen lied to us. He probably just wanted to power the MPD and control all the zombies." he meowed through the heavy rain.
He trudged along the muddy terrain, his fur covered in the squishy brown substance.
"I hope he dies." he added angrily, but then stopped. The rain kept falling.
He thought of the time when they were all swarmed by zombies. Takeo had been cornered, and Richtofen had not rested until his friend was okay, slashing at them until Takeo could find an escape route.
"Richtofen, where are you?" he meowed, eyes watering up.
The rain poured like his heart.
He did have feelings for his missing friend.
"I will destroy all remrants of re Dark Forest!" he growled.
He had scented Hawkfrost all over where Richtofen had vanished at. Only a faint trace of his friend had last been seen.
Memories of his friend filled his mind.
Yes, Richtofen was once a member of that evil Group 935. Takeo, along with Dempsey and Nikolai, had all been test subjects to him.
But Dempsey had been the only one able to cause any damage.
Richtofen was always the oddball. But that wasn't his fault. He had a split-personality disorder.
Takeo almost could hear Richtofen mew, "Zis is wunderbar, Takeo!" in compliment to his skills.
On the horizon, a few cats appeared, and narrowed their eyes.
"A rogue!" one snapped.
Takeo let out a low hiss.
"I'm no rogue, I'm the honorable Takeo Masaki!" he yowled.
"I'm Icestar, leader of RainClan. Have you noticed these storms? It's nonstop; it's been raining for weeks, and I have a feeling it's not going to clear up soon." the ice-blue she-cat meowed.
Silver stripes rippled through her pelt, her dark stormy blue eyes glittering with curiousity.
Takeo knew right away he could trust her.
"My friend was kidnapped." Takeo admitted.
"Most of our clan has been taken hostage to Hawkfrost's army that lives in Past-Time Grove. He's been at it constantly, collecting as many strong toms as he can. He also takes she-cats and forces them to reproduce. Makes me sick." Icestar meowed.
"Wait-you know where Hawkfrost is!? He took Richtofen!" Takeo meowed, eyes frantic.
"Yeah. Past-Time Grove. We have to go there every moon to give up another brave warrior to his army. He's taken control of the forest, and mentioned powering his army by using the 'Magic Substance' he needed from some Group 935 cat.
Group 935 is this ancient group that lived in the forest. However, their ancestors all joined our clan, and Fluss is a young warrior now. She obviously was part of Group 935's past, but doesn't seem to contain any memories of it." Icestar meowed.
She bowed her head in shame.
"Don't be sad. We need to break in and free them all.
Richtofen is the cat from Group 935 Hawkfrost wants, and if we don't free them, we might as well be slaves." Takeo meowed.
"Tomorrow we go to Hawkfrost for Preycheck Day. You can tag along and try to see if you can see your friend.
And please, take a clan name. It'll disguise you." Icestar meowed, and led the way through a deep and mysterious tunnel, which led to a gloomy, damp cave underground.
"This is camp." Icestar meowed.
Takeo was shocked at the dismal area.
It was so...depressing.
He looked to the right and saw Fluss.
He remembered she was a tiny kit 50 years ago, but Richtofen had wiped her memory and cryogenically froze her in time. She must have unfroze and had been rescued by this clan.
Takeo then decided to call himself Opalstone, at least for now.
.::.The next day.::.
Opalstone yawned and stretched his legs.
As Icestar had said, it was Preycheck Day. Maybe he'd at least find out what Hawkfrost was torturing his friend with.
He followed her, Fluss, and several other cats up the hill, and looked down. Another clan was right next to us.
"Brightstar. LeafClan." Icestar meowed, and dipped her head.
The ginger she-cat, who Icestar had spoken to, nodded.
"Hello Icestar. RainClan." she croaked, and then they padded down into Past-Time Grove, which looked like a torture camp.
Richtofen sat at the edge of camp, weird metal...things...that looked like a cross between handcuffs and bracelets.
All the cats that belonged to Past-Time Grove wore them.
"Richtofen! Psst!" Opalstone growled.
Richtofen glanced up. A small kit bounced at his paws.
"Dr. Richtofen, what's Hawkfrost doing?" she squeaked.
"Dawnkit, it's Preycheck Day. Ve get fed, vor once." he meowed.
Opalstone's mouth dropped open.
They only feed cats on Preycheck Day? Which was, what, twice every week?
That sounded cruel.
"Mmm...I'm starved!" she mewed.
Richtofen purred, and then looked up, and Opalstone growled again, "Psst! Richtofen! Over here! It's Takeo!"
"Takeo! Zank god, vhere's ze ozzers!? Hawkfrost is using me to-" Richtofen began, but was interrupted by Hawkfrost.
"Dr. Richtofen, what are you doing, talking to commoners? Hurry to your spot before I beat you again!" Hawkfrost snapped.
"Yes, Master!" Richtofen yelped in pure fear, and picked up Dawnkit by the scruff, hurrying away.
Beating? Hawkfrost beats him?
Opalstone had never seen Richtofen so...scared. Richtofen was fearless up until now. How harsh was life in Past-Time Grove?
"Each cat may pick one piece of prey from any pile. You may socialize with anyone and be anywhere in the camp until the Preycheck Day is over." Hawkfrost yowled after sitting down on a stump.
Opalstone hurried over and snatched a rabbit, and looked through the crowds for his friend.
Richtofen had a large chicken in his jaws, probably stolen from a Twoleg Barn.
Dawnkit clung to his back as he padded towards a small lab-like den, modeled after his from Group 935.
Opalstone hurried into it. It was a dismal den, just like how RainClan's cave was.
"Richtofen-what happened? Dempsey's been so worried!" Opalstone spat.
"I didn't have a choice. I was kidnapped!" Richtofen growled.
"How did you let Hawkfrost?" he growled.
"Vell, I can't even remember. In a split second, I think I vas pinned and then...he like, did zis mind-control zing, so I couldn't resist..." Richtofen meowed, but he was clearly confused.
"Dempsey and Nikolai...they scattered." Opalstone admitted, and took a bite of his rabbit.
"What will happen if zey find out zat I know you!?" Richtofen meowed worriedly, fear flashing in his eyes.
"Dr. Richtofen; this is your friend?" Hawkfrost boomed, in the doorway.
Richtofen yelped and tried to flee, but then an electricity surrounded him, making him collapse on the ground; but not unconscious.
"Y-yes..." Richtofen groaned, and was zapped again.
Richtofen growled in frustration. Opalstone could see the pain in his friend's eyes, and gulped.
What would become of him?
Hawkfrost pinned Opalstone to the ground, forcing the same metal bands he had seen onto his own paws.
Now he knew he couldn't escape, or tell Icestar.
"Since you seem to be friends, you'll work with him in the lab." Hawkfrost growled, and let go.
Opalstone rose to his paws, and ran to Richtofen's side. He noticed several scars on his flank.
"Now, what's your name?" Hawkfrost growled.
Opalstone blinked, but his light gray eyes gave away everything.
"Opalstone." he lied.
He was still Takeo.
"No, your real name." Hawkfrost snapped, and electricuted Takeo.
"Takeo...Masaki!" Takeo yowled through screams of pain.
"Thank you. Get to work. Preycheck Day is over for all three of you, so finish your prey." he growled, and vanished outside.
"Hawkfrost stole all the prey, so he gives everyone a piece twice a week. He controls all of us." Brightstar glumly replied with a sigh.
Nikolai glanced around. Almost all the Past-Time Grove cats wore strange metal...wristbands? Yeah, he assumed, these are wristbands...wait, is that...THE JAPANESE IDIOT!? Nikolai had locked eyes with Takeo.
Takeo's eyes pleaded for Nikolai to do something, but the russian tom knew that he'd have to find help first.
"Why are so many cats taken hostage?" he whispered to Brightstar.
"They take toms and she-cats from us one-by-one." Brightstar whispered back. Her fur bristled slightly, and to calm herself, she took a bite of her mouse.
Nikolai glanced around again, and then looked to Takeo. He was wearing the metal wristbands, and Richtofen gloomily sat next to him, gazing at the sky.
Nikolai sighed and padded away with his clan.
He knew that if he attempted to help, he'd only make things worse.
So he desperately needed a plan.
.::. Later that Evening .::.
Dawnspade sighed in frustration.
Arrogant she-cat, Nikolai thought!
"But if we recruit cats from RainClan and any rogues nearby, we can fight Past-Time Grove! We cannot give up!" Nikolai yowled.
Brightstar shook her head.
"We'll lose, and they'll turn us all into his next slaves." Brightstar hissed.
Nikolai's tail twitched in irritation.
"You can't give up, we've just started! We'll make a rebelliation! I saw my two friends trapped as slaves-your friends too-dying day by day!" Nikolai growled.
"You want your allies, cats you grew up since you were born, to die in that rotting hole?" Nikolai yowled.
"NO!" clan cats yelled.
"You want to see Hawkfrost take us that direction, too!?" Nikolai yelled.
Rage and fury blazed in his fur.
"NO!" they repeated.
"So we must take action! Gather everyone you can! I will speak with Icestar of RainClan! Freedom will return to the forest!" he yowled.
"YEAH!" they all yelled, and then scattered to go carry out his plans.
Nikolai let out a low purr. No one ever had listened to his ideas.
Dempsey would not talk. He would not move from his nest.
His eyes were sore from crying.
"Today is Sacrifice Day." Nikolai meowed to his friend.
Dempsey moaned, "I'm not going."
Nikolai sighed and grabbed his friend by the scruff, heaving him to his paws.
"Dempsey, stop being so...well..." Nikolai began, but cut himself off.
"F-fine, I'll go!" Dempsey groaned, and slowly slumped towards the entrance with the others.
Richtofen stretched with a yawn.
"Today's Sacrifice Day. Everyone gives up one clan cat." he meowed.
Hope flickered in his tired pale brown eyes.
"Why are you so happy? This is lame!" Cody meowed.
"Quiet, inexperienced one!" Takeo spat.
"Maybe it'll be someone who knows how to break these 'bands." Dawnkit commented.
"Yeah yeah, sure." Cody grumbled.
"Vhat an arrogant child." Richtofen growled.
He put on his light green uniform with a sigh, gently lifting a paw to adjust his cap.
He smiled in the mirror. The suit easily disguised his thinning pelt and visible ribs. Takeo put on his as well.
"Your just a bunch of twolegs." Cody snorted.
"Zis vas my Der Riese uniform. Ve're forced to vear zis; and it disguises my fur." Richtofen mewed.
"Wow. Twolegs!" Cody meowed, and started laughing.
Richtofen helped Dawnkit into a small pink dress-like outfit, more of a skirt and a shirt.
"You make me sick." Cody grumbled, and padded out, dark brown fur bristling.
Richtofen rolled his eyes.
"Drama queen." he grumbled, and then let Dawnkit climb onto his back.
Her pretty cream-and-brown fur was hidden under the pink shirt and skirt.
"Do I look good?" she squeaked.
"Course, darling." Richtofen mewed. He had become a fatherly figure to the tiny kit.
Richtofen let out a low sigh and a gulp.
"Not right, Richtofen, horrible event!" the voices in his head whispered,
The voices were never wrong.
"Ze voices..." Richtofen stammered, trembling, taking a step back. He winced and blinked. The world around him turned gray, a few cats still in color.
Hawkfrost, Dawnkit, Dempsey, Nikolai, and Takeo. Bright and lively in color.
"Something wrong, Doc?" Takeo mewed.
"T-terrible...something's not right!" Richtofen muttered, staring distantly and confused. He trembled on weak legs.
Hawkfrost glanced at Richtofen, and prowled up next to him.
Hawkfrost tipped his head. Richtofen's eyes had turned a light gray color.
"What. Is. He. Doing!?" he growled.
"W-well, when he has a feeling something either terrible or for the better will happen, he sees everything in black and white except for the things that will be involved. He shifts in and out of it." Takeo admitted.
Hawkfrost narrowed his eyes. A wicked smile popped onto his face.
He could use this somehow to foretell the future. He could use this cat as his personal slave; maybe brainwash him like he did that tom Sergei, who's his bodyguard. Richtofen is very valuable in gifts.
Richtofen blankly stared at Hawkfrost as the tom's dark brown tabby pelt was moving, somewhat like bristling.
Dempsey and Nikolai gently padded over to the three cats.
He saw it all in a split second. He had traveled into the future, well, sort-of, he got a look into it.
"D-dawnkit!" Richtofen meowed.
Dawnkit's eyes grew round with fear. Why had he mentioned her, but nobody else.
"D-don't...h-hurt...her!" Richtofen added hastily, and his claws unsheathed, but quickly went back in as his eyes turned pale brown. He panted heavily and weakly.
"Vh-vhat...just...vait...vhat?" he meowed.
He glanced up at Hawkfrost, who was about to start the Sacrifice Day.
Hawkfrost shot his special stare at every cat, making them unable to move unless they are called.
"Today, on our Sacrifice Day, as always, I choose one cat to become a bodyguard of mine, two, one from each clan, to be new slaves, and another, a member here, to perish." Hawkfrost mewed, and nosed into his name slips pile, pulling out just the one he wanted.
This one was for the bodyguard. He nearly jumped for joy.
The slip read "Richtofen."
"Richtofen as bodyguard!" he yowled.
Richtofen froze. His eyes grew watery and his legs trembled more than ever before.
Was this his fate, to be an eternal slave, even worse, a bodyguard, to his enemy?
Dempsey's heart sank.
His friend was nothing more than doomed.
"Guards, take him my den." he yelled.
His hypnotized workers ran up and grabbed the distraught tom and nudged him away.
Richtofen's friends all bowed their heads.
"Now, the two to join the army." Hawkfrost growled, and used his light pink nose to gently dig through the slips.
"Hmm...Dempsey from LeafClan, and Nikolai of RainClan!" he yowled.
Dempsey's light honey-blonde head shot up, light blue eyes frightened. He and Nikolai exchanged scared glances.
"And to be killed....Dawnkit!" Hawkfrost yowled.
"NO!" a piercing scream made everyone silent.
It was Richtofen.
His white face was damp and coated in tears. His brown-and-green pelt bristled.
"Not her!" he wailed.
Dawnkit screamed and tried to run, but Hawkfrost electricuted to keep her from escaping.
He jumped off the stump and right behind her, pinning her to the ground.
With a quick slice, he cut open her throat.
She was killed almost instantly.
Richtofen fell silent, and bowed his head.
"You may all go now, except for the ones chosen." Hawkfrost hissed to the clan cats.
Richtofen was pulled back into the den.
"HELP!" he screeched.
Dempsey would have done something, but he was held down as the wristbands went "CLINK" right onto his paws.
He growled angrily and lashed at the cats, trying to break through to where Hawkfrost and Richtofen were, but was dragged back.
Richtofen was held down.
"Now, if you stop struggling, I won't have to hurt you." Hawkfrost grumbled.
Richtofen stopped and closed his eyes.
"Force them open, Sergei." Hawkfrost hissed.
The massive silver tom used his paws to hold them open..
Richtofen hissed and tried to bite Hawkfrost, but was quickly snapped right into the trance. His wristbands turned a light green, just like all the other hypnotized cats.
Hawkfrost smiled. His work was complete.
He had found the cat able to help him complete his goal.
"Move him to the lab." Hawkfrost ordered one of his guards.
An evil-looking brown-and-green tom with narrow, pale, cold, light brown eyes smiled in a bewitchingly scary manner.
"Vell, vell, vell. Vhat do ve have here? My next victim!?" he mewed, smiling.
It was Richtofen.
"What do you mean by 'victim?' Get your head screwed on, Richtofen. Maxis isn't here to torture you." Dempsey spat.
"Zat is vhere you are vrong, slave. I'm vhat you call higher class. And vho is Maxis? Get to your den before I slit your throat and let you bleed your vay to StarClan!" he snapped.
Dempsey's mouth gaped open.
What kind of a monster had Hawkfrost made out of his friend!?
Richtofen glanced around. It was dark and cold around him.
He knew he was no longer in control of his own body.
His soul had escaped to the mountains.
Snow swirled around him.
"H-hello!?" he yowled.
A golden-and-white tom with light blue eyes padded towards him.
"Richtofen, don't give up! You'll make it to the ones who can free you!" he hissed.
"M-maxis!? H-h-how...?" Richtofen stammered. His toes grew numb from the blistering trickles of glistening white.
"No time! The Star Cats, they can save you and your friends!" he spat.
"Star Cats?" Richtofen questioned.
He cocked his head, stopping.
"You'll know when they get there, please don't give in!" Maxis pleaded, and touched noses to Richtofen.
A burst of warmness filled him, absorbing his heart, his freezing paws, healing his cracking pads.
My brother, my master! For once, he actually praised me! Richtofen thought, beaming.
Maxis had always teased or scolded his younger brother. His heart was a piece of ice, but maybe it had warmed up?
Richtofen kept running up his way towards Crystal Cave, the one at the top of Frost Mountain, the highest point in this gigantic forest of mystery.
Then he hit an invisible barrier.
"What. Was. That!?" Lavenderheart growled, her pale purple fur bristling.
"How should I know? I put the barrier to keep Past-Time Grove out only!" Phoenixfeather grumbled. Her orange fur glistened against the dark walls of the glittery cave.
Her emerald eyes traced over to the barrier, seeing an unconscious tom lying on his side at the edge of the barrier.
"Oh my! We've hurt someone!" she yowled, and telepathically removed the barrier, grabbing his scruff and gently dragging him to a nest.
Her plump belly gently brushed against the ground.
"He smells like Past-Time Grove, too!" Faolanwolf hissed.
Richtofen slowly opened his eyes.
"He's awake! Let's make him talk!" a silver tom meowed. He looked wolf-like in appearance.
"Vh-vhat did I do!?" Richtofen shrieked, backing against the wall until he didn't go any farther.
"Why are you here?" the tom continued.
"I'm innocent, I tell you! I just escaped zem!" Richtofen wailed. The cuffs were still stuck to his paws, a light green. He wondered what was controlling his own body back at PTG.
"Stop, Faolanwolf!" a ginger she-cat snapped.
The silver tom sighed and sat down.
"Don't be scared of us. Just, who are you, and why did you come here?" the lavender-colored she-cat mewed.
"I-I'm Edvard Richtofen...just call me Richtofen." he began with a sigh.
"My vriends and I vere kidnapped, ve're not sure vhy zey did zat. I vas possessed, but my soul escaped here, apparently." he mewed. Calmness and trust shined in his eyes.
"Unfortunately, my vriends are still stuck." he added with a sigh.
"I'm Phoenixfeather, and the purple she-cat's Lavenderheart, the silver tom is Faolanwolf. Nice to meet you." the ginger she-cat mewed.
"Are you lost?" Lavenderheart asked.
"Sorta." Richtofen mewed.
He dipped his head.
Four young she-cats padded forward, staring at him in confusion.
"What's with the metal circles on your paws?" the smallest, a silver tabby with dazzling blue eyes, mewed.
"I'm still a prisoner. All prisoners are forced to vear zhese." he explained with a sigh, and then his personality switched again as he tried to desperately break them off. He made a dent in each.
"Ouch. Those look tight!" the honey-ginger one mewed.
She padded forward and gently gnawed at them until each one broke at the fronts. Richtofen sighed in relief.
"Zanks, zey are very painful. If I kept vearing zem, Havkvrost could have electricuted me through-" he began, but was cut off by a ginger she-kit who padded and sat underneath her mother, Phoenixfeather's, legs.
"They torture you there by doing that!?" she shrieked.
"It's okay. I'm fine now." Richtofen meowed.
His eyes grew a sad, gloomy blue as he turned away.
"My friends are all captured..." he meowed with regret. He couldn't save them.
"It's alright." the ginger kit mewed, light gray-brown eyes sparkly.
He froze. The she-cat from his dreams, the one for his soul mate. This kit was the one. He felt it in his bones.
"I'll think of zomezhing." he meowed quickly, trying to keep from revealing anything.
"You should rest. You hit your noggin hard, mister!" a red she-cat mewed.
"I zink I vill." Richtofen mewed, and lay down again.
Richtofen woke up the next morning, stretching his legs. The Star Cats nodded.
It was time. He glanced at Himekit, well, now Himepaw. She grows at an unnatural pace, five times bigger every day, yet at the same time, he liked that. She, as he predicted, would be pyHe could maybe find the one he's been waiting for: a love interest, perhaps?
They marched out into the snow-blanketed ground, grim faces. This land would be stained in blood, but they must bring peace to the clans. They must!
Past-Time Grove cats bared their teeth, and then Richtofen...he...he saw himself, or, well, his body! His eye twitched in disgust. That's. So. Not. Wunderbar!!!!
He narrowed his eyes, unsheathing his claws. His spiritual state thinned, eyes glowing.
Dempsey's teeth were bared at him.
"What have you done!?" he snapped.
Dempsey was mixed in a flurry of hate and grief, and a lot of confusion. It was like a cyclone of feelings, twirling around. Faces, he saw faces! It came so fast.
"Dempshey, look out!" a familiar german voice screamed.
His vision fogged, blurry and hazed with smoke-like gray. He coughed up scarlet blood as something slammed into him, forcing him to the ground. Fighting, fighting was happening around him.
The cats ran in different directions, screams of pain, it was all so confusing!
The smoke-haze turned midnight as the stars streaked his mind.
"R-richtofen...help..." he murmured, claws unsheathed, digging into the soft, blood-covered ground. He struggled against the dizzying black darkness.
Richtofen slammed into his body, and felt himself slip back into place.
A small demonic-looking spirit left out of him, and snarled. He killed it with a quick bite to the neck.
"Phew, zat vas awkvard!" he mewed, and then looked back to Dempsey, who he had slammed to the ground to knock him out of the way from an incoming enemy.
"R-richtofen..." Dempsey meowed. His eyes looked cloudy, and the light stench of dried blood surrounded the tom.
"It's alvright, everyzhing is okay!" Richtofen pleaded, green eyes wide and scared. Water began to fill his eyes-no, tears. Dempsey couldn't leave him...not here! Not now! He wasn't ready to lose someone else he had loved, after Star had left him, and his three daughters trapped as a playtoy for Past-Time Grove...
He remembered Maxis, Sophia, all his co-workers. Did they feel terrible when they watched their friends and family slowly die at his paws? An awful feeling rushed through Richtofen.
This should be me, not my friend, my family, anyone! Not anyone but me. he thought, eyes watering.
"No Dempshey! Don't die, please don't die!" he screamed, nuzzling his friend.
Dempsey turned his head slightly and smiled.
"Knock it off, I won't leave you anytime soon..." he struggled to mew. He was weak, but the wounds weren't too strong. Richtofen sighed in relief.
Dempsey sighed and tried to rest above the screams and cries of battle.
Richtofen looked up, to see Himepaw next to him.
"Are you alright, Richtofen?" she mewed. She sounded older than yesterday.
These Star Cats were weird!
He nodded, and then leapt out into battle, charging at Hawkfrost, who had gripped Nikolai in his teeth. He lunged and bit the tom in the throat until he stopped struggling, collapsing on the ground.