There was a problem. A very big problem that Seawatcher had been neglecting if she was being honest with herself. With Stoatstar gone, the question towards succession wasn't much of a mystery, Seawatcher was after all named his deputy. The problem was that the silver molly hadn't yet gone to the star pool and stand before Starclan to receive her nine lives. The merging of the clan's and sudden death of Creekclan's previous leader left Seawatcher with little time to go. Too much was going on and the threat of Seawatcher catching the Spore should she leave was still prevalent.
However, in such dire strait times, the silver striped molly would just have to take the risk. Should she fall and join the ranks of Starclan she could only imagine the chaos she'd be leaving in her wake. Creekclan would be without a representative and Seawatcher could only think about how her clan. Nobody would be truly willing or happy for that matter, to allow either Spiritsong or Littlebird to govern them. Creekclan had Spiderfrost, but honestly, he was young and he was already bogged down caring for the clan to effectively lead them. Never mind the fact he wouldn't exactly excel in such a position.
And so that's how she found herself calling a meeting with the high ranks in the merged clans. By default, Spiderfrost was automatically included in this meeting. He was the medicine cat of Creekclan and Seawatcher was to be the next leader and as such would be working closely together to govern their clan. So it was only natural that the two power-houses get on a good rapport with one another and what better time than now? Where they could make their first real impactful decision together.
As for Littlebird and Spiritsong, Seawatcher included them not only for appearance's sake but because they were all leaders of this current clan and as such, they had a right to their opinion in regards to the functions and decisions regarding the clan. And while Seawatcher didn't know Flickerfrost very well, she valued the older medicine cat's opinion. So Seawatcher sought after the white and black spotted molly for her advice. Should she leave it would be Flickerfrost and her apprentice staying behind to take care of the clan since Spiderfrost would be accompanying Seawatcher to the star pool.
An exhausted sigh left the woman's muzzle as saffron-colored eyes stared off into thought. She appeared to be watching the camp, watching warriors and apprentices come and go and kits and their mothers run about. She was looking, but clearly not seeing - too deep in thought to properly filter what was happening. A soft frown marred her features as thoughts bounced inside her head. The soft sound of paw steps approaching shook her out of her trance. Instantly her frown changed into a soft, polite but still guarded smile. "Ah! I'm glad you could join me."
Troubling news was far from a surprise by now...but to have an urgent meeting of both the representatives and the medicine cats called was certainly something that unnerved Spiritsong slightly. He would not show it - the clans needed a calm leader to rely on, especially in such a dire situation - but he did have a little trouble keeping his ears forward the fur along his spine smooth. Still, the raven tom did not hasten his pace as he approached the meeting spot. He would greet warriors and apprentices as he passed, though he did not allow conversations to slow him either. This was bound to be important...he just hoped the medicine cats were only present from formality. An urgent meeting with the healers never sung good tidings.
Seawatcher certainly looked troubled. Spiritsong hardly knew her well at all - really she had only been deputy for a few moons before she had to take stance as leader, and he was not sure if she had been given enough time and experience for such a leap. Still, the frown upon her face and the way she stared distantly out over the camp...to Spiritsong it said that she cared. That she was worried, even if only for her clan, at least it was still something. Though were she worried only for her clan...surely she would not have let them all come together?
Pushing the thought away, Spiritsong offered the molly a polite smile and a dip of his head, though the question in his eyes was clear as he settled to wait with her. He was surprised to see he was the first to arrive beyond her, but medicine cats were certainly busy, and Littlebird likely was not far from arriving.
"Of course," he offered, tone far less light and playful than usual, though to any outside ears, still calm. It had to be. "Though I hope the reason for this meeting is not quite so dire as it suggests." The tom flicked an ear, blinking at the molly in question, before allowing his gaze to slip toward an approaching medicine cat.
With the Clans merged together, clustered so close together with three leading figures, Flickerfrost had honestly expected more carnage - more hostility, more fighting, more wounds to treat. But it had been quiet as of late, with those friendly enough to step forward and bridge the gap between Clans and those not interested cornering themselves away and surrounding themselves with only those they were close to. She couldn't complain. The medicine cats had enough to worry about without want of battle wounds from hotheaded warriors.
Still, it was times that the quiet unsettled her. Things had been quiet at the start of Bonestar's reign - not that she expected something to happen, heavens no - but it had taught her that not all silence is peaceful. So when Seawatcher calls her together with Spiritstar - no, Spiritsong, and Littlebird, as well as her own apprentice, she doesn't hesitate to join. Of course, there were a few loose ends still to tie up, so undoubtedly she wasn't prompt in any sense of the word, but she still made her way to the gathered cats, stride slow and long. Her eyes caught the figures of Seawatcher and Spiritsong and she supposed she wasn't too late, if Spiderfrost hadn't arrived yet.
Flickerfrost reached the duo soon enough, sighing heavily as she sat, immediately setting to fixing the tuft of shoulder fur she had been unable to before making her way over. "Sorry I'm late, had to take care for a few things first. Nothing drastic, but you know warriors and their thorns," she mused, greeting each with a firm nod of her head after her fur finally flattened. "I hope nothing serious has happened, to summon us all here."
Seawatcher was still unfamiliar to her. She hadn't had the time to properly gauge her in Flickerfrost's time in CreekClan, and she hadn't been deputy long before the merge. The deputy-turned-quasi-leader didn't seem like a bad fit, a firm head on her shoulders, so Flickerfrost supposed it would do. The less drama, the better, especially if it didn't involve her Clan in any way. Granted, she intended to continue to keep an eye on Seawatcher - Spiritsong, as well - to insure that nothing would harm her Clan. She wouldn't be foolish enough to fake a cheerful persona when no doubt Spiritsong, at the very least, knew of her enough to know that wasn't her. Besides, she was never one for putting on a mask for others.
She would be friendly, as friendly as she could with her dry words and drier personality, until it was necessary not to. It would better when Littlebird, Spiderfrost, and Featherpaw arrived, when she could ease up a bit.
it seemed that his day was never a dull moment in the merge, but as he had expected, earlier that morning he had told an apprentice he would be gone into the territory alone, judging by gruff appearance and nasty scowl, it was to be expected that the tom was in no mood to be social. from head to toe his body ached from tiring nights of wondering what was happening beyond a border he could not cross, and most importantly the changing climate was affecting his leg more and more with each passing day.
it was why he had laid upon the sunny rocks, to soak in as much of the warmth as he could, to ease the ache in his limbs as he pondered the day away. he had been given a short list by lilypaw the other day - mind you, a good few cat tail lengths away so as to not catch this spore - on what they required for the herbs. mostly just poppyseeds and more coltsfoot if they could spare it. it was why he had sent it along with a small patrol of warriors to grab a few pieces of prey for those who could not hunt yet for themselves.
his lounging, however, came to an end when he saw the small form of his own clanmate, blizzardberry approach him. she spoke of a meeting between the co-leaders and their medicine cat - called by seawatcher no less - and that they were looking for him. he had sighed, his own expression souring even more as he pulled himself to his paws, each step towards camp with the white molly beside him more tiring then the last. as they entered camp, he turned to gaze around him.
there across the way, sat seawatcher with spiritsong and flickerfrost. for a moment the tom wanted to turn around and leave the clearing once more. it was unimportant as to why the co-leaders would be called together, but to see flickerfrost sitting there without her apprentice caused the tom to feel annoyed with the prospect that she was not invited or viewed as important enough for this conversation. bristling, and with a nudge from blizzardberry, the black tom moved forward, his head held high, his mangled leg dragging behind him as he moved.
the first words to leave his maw as he approached, his eyes narrowed in both pain and annoyance at being disturbed. however, as he gazed upon the three current cats, his face dropped to a more serious one, his body shifted as he winced in pain, to settle as comfortably as he could. his whiskers twitching, he began once more, "apologizes, what is so dire that requires three leaders and two medicine cats?"
if you ever fall down and you can't get back if you lose your strength to stand
[attr="class","bandittext"]It seemed that since the clans had merged, there was no shortage of meetings. If anything, lately it felt like it took three times as much effort to accomplish the same amount of work they once had separately. The leaders had to convenine on every matter and while Littlebird understood the formality, the practicality of meeting to discuss every apprentice and every warrior's ceremony would grow tiresome quickly. Surely they'd have to find a better way. Littlebird assumed that they knew just as well as she did that there was plenty of work to accomplish without holding these meetings so regularly, so surely they'd find a better way soon.
But when she'd heard that this one was urgent, and that Flickerfrost and Spiderfrost would be joining them, her heart filled with a wave of worry. There was little reason to call all cats together like this, and since there had not been any recent news from the quarantine zone that sat idly in her own clan, it was easy to fear the worst. But she did her best to hold her head high as she approached the gathered cats.
Mentally, she made another note to suggest they find a more private place to hold meetings of this caliber in the future. While most warriors knew not to meddle in the affairs of the leaders, that didn't change the appearances that them all gathered together with their medicine cats appeared so... dire. The clans were already tense and thrown together at best, they didn't need more reasons to be on edge.
Dipping her head in greeting before meeting the large molly's gaze, she slid to sit beside Flickerfrost, her gaze quickly glancing over her and the black tom that had appeared shortly after. She'd only caught the tail end of his greeting, but knew the short-tempered brute well enough to assume his greeting had been short and to the point. She offered no explanation as to why she was late, though her muddy paws would make it easy to tell that she'd been patrolling the border of CreekClan and GorgeClan. The smell of the illness was still strong in the air, which only caused the feline's features to be lined with dismay, but she placed a smile, albeit a tight one, on her soft features.
"Hello, my apologies." She said with a sweeping glance before turning her gaze toward Seawatcher. "What is this meeting regarding?" Her voice was not cold, but straight and to the point. Her mind had been swimming since the meeting had been called, and while there was no representative from the quarantined medicine cats, she also knew that was impossible right now. Though, she would have hoped that Spiritsong would be the cat to call the meeting were that the case.
"I guess it truly depends on how you look at it," a vague response to Spiritsong's question that was quickly paired with a thin, but friendly smile. While the matter of her lives might not be so serious to the other power-figures, it was indeed a very serious matter to her. The catalyst of her death could push Oneclan into a civil war and Seawatcher wanted to very much put safeguards in place to avoid such a bloody scene. The silver molly dismissed Flickerfrost's apology with a wave of her tail, "No worries. I'm very much aware that you, Featherpaw, and Spiderfrost are very busy," she gave a pleasant smile to show her sincerity before noting the black pelt of Creekclan's medicine cat. She shook off the hostility emulating from him, noting the pain in his eyes as he dragged his crooked leg behind him. She nodded in acknowledgment to his hasty apology but wasn't able to say anything on it as Littlebird appeared. Having everyone gathered by Stoatstar's old den she gave a quick glance around to see if anybody was within earshot. Their current meeting place was less than ideal and Seawatcher was very much aware of how everything looked when the leaders gathered to have their "meetings". However, a better solution had yet to present itself so she could only deal and make do with what they currently had.
For a moment she paused, gathering her thoughts as she debated on how to bring the subject matter up. She could see no real way of gently easing into it and instead figured just telling them bluntly was easier and more manageable in the long run. Better to rip the bandaid off right away then sugarcoating things. "It's the matter to do with gaining my leader lives," she spoke slowly, confidently as she eyes each cat before and around her. "To be honest I think it's in our best interest to think about what we'll do should I fall sick." She didn't need to say it out loud. The tension in the air between the clans and the hostilities between Creek and Gorge were still present. It wasn't a pleasant thought, but it was one they had to take seriously if they wanted to avoid a less than ideal possibility. "However, the Starpool is very much in the quarantine boundaries. It's a matter of getting to and from safely without contacting the spore."
Vague and brief came Seawatcher's response, and while Spiritsong had not expected much less, he still found himself resisting the prickle of fur along his spine all the same at the possibilities of what might include the medicine cats and leaders together. Of course, not all the healers were present...but he knew that was both impossible on one side, and likely impractical on the other. Whatever the matter, it was important enough for two, but not so much as to disrupt their work entirely by calling all three.
Perhaps that might lend the matter some hope, then.
The medicine cats in question were soon enough to arrive, one more hostile and pained than the other, though both as blunt and frosty as their suffixes implied. The tom merely flicked his tail, nodding a smooth and respectful acknowledgement to both healers before his gaze carried to Littlebird's approach in turn. Her paws were muddied and the vaguest tinge of the sickness and Gorgeclan clung to her pelt, but it was barely noticeable, enough so to assure that she did not let wish overcome reason enough to guide her paws too far. Just a patrol, then, he presumed. Of course she would want to keep an eye on her homeland, however distant.
Still without a word, Spiritsong returned his attention to Seawatcher in turn, once everyone was gathered. She seemed a little on edge, perhaps, but there was less panic in her fiery gaze than perhaps the more dire of his worries would call for. Perhaps this was another discussion of how the search for a cure was coming along, or if there was more news from across the border. Something told him, though, that such a guess was not quite right...he simply could not place his paw upon what was on her mind.
Ah, lives. Of course, it was a matter that was bound to come. They may lead as one for now, but the clans were still as separate in mind as ever. Should something befall her without a deputy to take her place...no doubt the remainder of Creekclan would riot without a leader to enforce the stay of the other clans and keep the peace between them. That, and to leave any clan leaderless was not an option Spiritsong was willing to entertain.
The matter of safety, however...was a different thing indeed. Nodding thoughtfully, the tom mused silently for a moment, before shifting his gaze toward the medicine cats. He supposed now their presence made sense...though why they required two, rather than simply one or the combined minds of all three was beyond him. Seawatcher did not seem the type to see Featherpaw as much lesser than her superiors...yet then again, he hardly knew her well at all. Perhaps he was reading her entirely wrong on that matter.
Even so, the situation was as it was.
"Do we have more knowledge on how the sickness itself spreads?" the tom asked the healers specifically, leaving his words to them as confirmation enough to Seawatcher beyond his prior nod that he agreed enough to go along with this. "If it only spreads from the ill then that is a matter we could coordinate across the border...but if it can be caught from the land itself then that lends a bigger issue..."
With the arrival of cats more familiar to her, Flickerfrost found herself relaxing even further, the few tufts of fur on her shoulders that refused to fall finally doing so, her pelt smoothed out once more.Spiderfrost was as snarky as ever and she had to fight the smile that threatened to take over - she expected no less from him and she was not disappointed. Littlebird wandered in not long after and Flickerfrost once more had to resist snickering softly to herself. It seemed no cat wanted any part of this meeting; she couldn't say she did but the attitudes surrounding her were reminiscent of her own and she found it rather funny.
Thinking on it, it could've been the tension and stress they were all being put under that was causing their new, sour moods. The thought ripped any amusement from her and left her suddenly frowning.
Seawatcher began to speak and she refocused herself, listening aptly to whatever it was that caused such a sudden meeting. "You absolutely need them, and you need them soon," she bluntly stated, interjecting herself into the conversation. "Tensions are riding high enough as it is, we don't need you getting sick and passing before choosing a successor, and worse yet, we don't need any cats getting any ideas of overthrowing you for power. Not that I'm suggesting any cats in camp would," she continued dryly, unsure if Seawatcher would take offense to her words but also not caring if she did, "but the fact still stands that some cat could."
She fell silent as Spiritsong spoke, allowing him to get his opinion in without interruption. "As far as I know, it passes from sick to sick - I don't believe cats are getting sick twice over from staying in the quarantined lands, and it was spread by land, wouldn't it have crossed to here by now?" Flickerfrost pondered on it a moment - it was true that there was water separating the two lands, but could that be enough to prevent the Spore from traveling to OneClan territory? She wasn't sure. "If Seawatcher heads straight there and straight back, I think it'd be safe enough, though we could set up some kind of shelter a bit away from camp to quarantine her for perhaps a week? Just to be on the safe side."
It could work, in theory, but Flickerfrost was more focused on the event rather than the consequences. Seawatcher brought up an excellent point with having no successor and she really didn't want to deal with the fallout of what happened if she fell ill. There was simply too much drama as it was and she didn't fancy herself getting into an innerClan war of CreekClan warriors fighting for leadership. "Skywhisper would know more, but we've not talked to him directly in quite some time."