"All in favor of choosing a new leader, please rise," a large dark tom cat roared with authority. In the faint moonlight, a dozen cats of various shapes and sizes rose to their paws, leaving only three cats sitting defiantly on the crumbling asphalt. The three glanced nervously at their fellow clanmates before sitting up proudly and returning their gazes to the dark tom.
The large cat stepped forward into the beam of a streetlight. His long fluffy coat swayed gracefully as he moved forward toward the clan. Each of his silver tabby stripes was distinct and clearly visible against the soft charcoal colour of his fur. He unsheathed his claws and tensed his body, outlining every muscle. His white razor-sharp teeth glistened as he spoke.
"Kane is no longer fit to lead Nightclan," the tom glared at one of the three cats, a she-cat with a rough sandy coat. "She let her emotions take over, and it cost us the lives of three honorable soldiers. We cannot risk this happening again."
The she-cat rose to her paws abruptly. "You know damn well that there was nothing I could have done, Zero! Their fate was sealed as soon as they ventured into the humans' land. They couldn't have been saved, and there's no point in risking other cats' lives to try." Her right eye, as blue as the sky, glistened defensively. She had been born without vision in her left eye, which had glazed over with time.
The second of the three cats, a black tom, rose calmly and flicked his feathery tail across Kane's back comfortingly. His icy blue eyes shone confidently and he spoke with purpose, "Kane has her reasons. She is the leader, and was elected as such for good reason. To question her is to question the Clan's and your own judgement, is it not?"
Murmurs of agreement rose from the crowd. Several cats lowered back onto the ground, siding once again with their leader.
Kane brushed up against the black tom affectionately. She flicked her wispy tail underneath his chin. "Thank you, Venom," she whispered as they both sat back down together.
Mortified, Zero studied the crowd. Not a single cat was standing in his support. Desperately, he called out, "Kane is dying! She'll be lucky if she lasts another moon! We need new leadership now if we are to survive the coming snowfall!" He paused briefly, but still no cat stood up.
The last of the three cats, a tiny she-kit no older than two moons, curled up against Venom for warmth. He curled his soft, fluffy tail around her protectively.
Zero unsheathed his claws again and clenched his jaw in fury. Fueled by rage, he launched himself at Kane. Before anyone could realize what was happening, the powerful tom ripped open the weakened leader's throat, severing the artery and sending fountains of warm blood into the street. He flipped over her body as the life drained from it rapidly. Venom shrieked in horror and excruciating despair as he witnessed the murder of his mate. He lied helplessly beside her, attempting to stop the profuse bleeding. He rasped his tongue across her cheek and neck, then her chest, as he tried to remove the blood from her pelt.
Meanwhile, the young kit climbed her way onto Venom's back. Holding his ear down with her tiny paw, she watched in confusion as Kane emitted a gurgling noise from her gashed throat. The kit mewled weakly as Kane's heart stopped and her body shuddered violently.
Zero examined the crowd. His green eyes glowed with such intensity that one might assume him to be mad. The Clan, stricken with pure terror, stood in dead silence. Zero grinned, his teeth glimmering with deep red blood.