A chapter a day keeps the boredom away.

Chapter one

The start of terror.

Michtail was a warrior cat and warrior cats never cried, yet today Michtail was crying his cat’s eyes out.  He had found a quiet part of the forest and hidden himself away so he could avoid the shame of his tears, if his troop knew that he had shed a tear he would be banished from the Freelion platoon forever.  Cat’s in the Taberian army weren’t allowed to cry, ever, it was seen as a sign of weakness and that simply was not permitted in this army.  The Captain believed that soldiers who cried created fear in the other troops.  Michtail had just heard the news that his longtime friend Franklint  had been reported missing in action during a reconnaissance missio and although Michtail had been trained to the highest order of the Purlitary he had never lost someone close to him before, this was a first, and he was desperately concerned for his friend.  Franklint was out in the most dangerous enemy territory on a secret mission, so secret even Michtail didn’t know what he was doing there, all he knew was that the territory was extremely dangerous.  The Purlitary had already lost 20 warrior cats that year carrying out missions in that region on the other side of the forest.  What made the Territory of Terror so dangerous was that it contained everything a Cat tried to avoid on any normal day, there were wild dogs, there was swampy bogs and ferocious rats, there was high hills but few trees, and humans were rarely seen except for when they were zipping past inside those fast; giant; shiny animals that had no fur, the Cats at the Catacombs had come to know them as Carnosaurs.  They had a saying in the Catacombs about the Territory of Terror “If the Carnosaurs don’t get ya the Dogs will, if the Dog’s don’t get ya the rats will, if the rats don’t get ya the bogs will, if the bogs don’t get ya exhaustion will and if exhaustion don’t get ya the madness will.”  Only a handful of Cats had ever returned from the Territory of Terror and all of them had turned mad before they got to tell of what they saw, all except one that is, Agent White Tip.

Michael was a Tabby cat best known for his Ginger tortus shell down one side of his body, the other side was completely plain ginger.  No one else in Catacombe had markings the same as Michtail and that made him feel unusual and a little bit left out.  Michtail’s mother had always told him that his fur made him unique and special but he never felt that way, he had always just wanted to fit in and be the same as the other cats.  Michtail had joined the Purlitary when he was just out of Cotton Yarn School, he always dreamt of being a great warrior just like the stories of Agent White Tip.  Agent White Tip as he was known to Catacombe was the only Cat to ever return from the Territory of Terror un-harmed and in his right mind, he was Catacombs very own real life hero.  Agent White Tip was called that because of his all black fur with just a white tip at the end of his tail, it looked just like a Soldiers Helmet on top of his tail.  Since Agent White Tip’s return from the other side of the forest he had kept himself to himself, rarely speaking of the sights that he saw.  He was in a team of 4 Cats that had left but only he had returned home, after a secret meeting with the Captain and his Generals, to inform them of what he had seen, they moved him to a brand new home on the outskirts of Catacombe where he was left alone.  No one ever spoke of that meeting or what was seen, but whatever it was the Captain gave Agent White Tail special treatment and anyone that asked Agent White Tip about what he had seen where to be banished.

Michtail wiped his wet nose with his paw and pulled himself back together, “This is no way for a Cat in the Purlitary to behave.”  Michtail thought to himself,  he began to head back towards Catacombe now that he had composed himself.  While he was on route he was startled by a voice “Hey, you there, furry one.” said the voice.  Michtail jumped up the nearest tree, instinct took over as it is with all cats, not expecting to hear a voice way out here,  “Who said that?  Where are you?  Come out and show yourself.”  Said Michtail in response.  “I’m down here, you’d have known that if you hadn’t jumped up that tree.” mocked the voice.  “Why can’t I see you down there?”  asked Michtail wonderingly.  Now you might be wondering why a cat is not aloud to cry in the Purlitary being that it is a sign of fear yet a cat instinctually leaps for a high place when surprised?  It isn’t fear that causes this reaction as you might first think, it’s actually a warrior instinct to fight from high ground, the best position in battle.  The only thing Michtail could see except for trees and grass was a giant mushroom with red stripes across a white head.  “Are you hiding behind that mushroom?”  enquired Michtail once again.  “No you baffoon I am the Mushroom.”  replied the mushroom.  “A talking Mushroom? I’ve never heard of such a thing.” Michtail unthinkingly spoke this out loud which in turn provoked such a response from this mushroom phenomenon.  “A scaredy cat that talks to Mushrooms, who ever heard of such a thing?” the mushroom’s mocking shout echoed around the trees.  “Will you please get down here so that I can talk to you properly?”  the mushroom Instructed Michtail, “I’m getting a neck ache looking up at you all this time.”  Michtail wasn’t about to budge and lose his fighting advantage so he stayed put on a branch hanging over the mushroom’s head.  Suddenly the Mushroom appeared on the branch next to Michtail, Michtail jumped again to a higher branch, the mushroom disappeared “This could get silly.” said the Mushroom as he re-appeared on the branch next to Michtail again.  The mushroom introduced himself before Michtail could jump again “My name is Mushy T.”, somehow knowing a talking Mushroom’s name made everything OK and Michtail stayed put right there on the branch next to the red stripy head mushroom.

Mushy T had at last got the full attention of Michtail and began to relay his important message “I have come here from the other side of the forest, I live right where the forest meets the Emptiness, I believe you know it as the Territory of Terror.  I happened to be watching as 4 of your community members where approaching the edge of the forest.”  by now Mushy T had the full attention of Michtail and the story was only going to get even more interesting. “I managed to speak with your friends and warn them of impending doom as they approached the clearing.  I told them to go on no further but they wouldn’t listen because of some ‘code of honor’ or something.  They couldn’t have been in the clearing for much more than 5 shadow counts when a platoon of Rat-Dogs jumped upon them and killed all but one of them….” “Did you know the name of the one surviving member?”  interrupted an anxious Michtail “No I’m sorry I didn’t hear any names.”  replied Mushy T sorrowfully “Your friends put up a good fight if that is any consolation?”  Mushy T continued “I saw the surviving member of the group dragged away, up across the bog by the Rat-Dogs, they were heading towards the hills where they have made their new territory.” a silent pause created and eerie awkwardness “I was just on my way to find your colony when I saw you.”  added Mushy T to help break the silence.  “If I can gather some help from the colony would you wait for us here until we return, to show us where this all happened?”  a rather excited Michtail enquired hopefully,  “Yes, but on one condition, you have to return in no more than 2 days because it is a 2 week journey for you Cat’s and I can only be away from my habitat for 2 1/2 weeks or something terrible will happen to me.” Mushy T had laid down the law and the rest was up to Michtail.

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