Hyena Love, by Loa
Chapter 6 - What Happens When You Seemingly Return From The Dead...
Are you stupid or something? I’m not bloody getting paid for this! How many bloody times do I have to say it? This Chapter has a lot of scrapping in it, and I call it a PG13. It’s a week since Chapter 5, by the way.
The Elephant Graveyard
Ed looked at Banzai. Screwed up as he was, he could recognise true misery when he saw it. And it was pasted all over Banzai’s face. He remembered when Banzai had looked after him. Now it was Ed who looked after Banzai. He hardly ate and barely slept. When he did sleep, it was only to whisper Shenzi’s name, over and over again. He had become as thin and mangy as Ed. He never went out. All he did was stare out of the window, or listen to the radio. Ed walked over to the window and looked out. A lot of people were lining up outside, probably to apply for the new army. Cur had said he only wanted volunteers, which might have been why there were so many people down there. When an usurper said he wanted volunteers, he didn’t want to have to go out and force anyone to join. Ed sighed and turned off the radio. Banzai didn’t move. He just continued turning Shenzi’s ‘leader’ ring over and over in his hands. Ed had never really loved anyone. He didn’t know how. But he knew Banzai loved Shenzi. All he could do was watch his brother die…
The Pride Lands
"You’re working with a hyena!?" Nala’s screech could be heard a good way across the Pride Lands, "That - that thing and her mindless morons tried to kill us! Have you lost your mind?!" Nala was wearing a white slip dress and the gold wire that stood as a crown in the Pride Lands.
"Hey, I’m not a hyena no more!" Shenzi snapped, "And mind your tongue when you talk about my friends, or I’ll be mindin’ it for you!" Shenzi had spent half-an-hour in the wardrobes and the only thing she had found that fitted her was a white slip-dress very similar to the one Nala was wearing. It didn’t suit her at all.
Nala turned to face Shenzi, "Was I talking to you?"
"No, but you were talking about me! You think it’s our fault Scar’s still alive? If you and your girls had let us kill Scar in the Pride Lands..."
"Gah! Look, you little slut, I’m not gonna help you and your friends!"
"Listen up, Queen Noodle, I know you hate us ‘hyenas’, but if I were you I’d ask myself… do I hate them with all my life?"
"Are you threatening me?"
"No. Just warning you. Without me, you and your boyfriend will run in there wearing your pretty little crowns, and get ripped to shreds by 200 royalty-hating people!"
"Break it up, you two!" Simba shouted. Shenzi and Nala were still glaring at each other, but they stopped shouting at least.
"The thing is, sire," said Zazu, "her majesty has a point." He turned to face Shenzi, "How do we know you won’t turn on us as soon as you get your armies back?"
"How do you know you’ll live when Cur’s brand-new army of more than 200 attacks your puny pride of ten?" Shenzi sneered, "The odds are ten to one for your survival, and I wouldn’t place a bet on it. I need you to get in. You need me to get out. That’s all there is to it."
"It’s not all, is it?" Simba asked Shenzi, "You can live without leadership. What is it you really want?"
Shenzi glared at Simba, but he held her gaze. Finally she gave in, "I napalmed Cur’s face. He wants to keep me alive for it. That is why I can’t go back. And..." Shenzi took a deep breath, "Banzai is still in the Graveyard. He loves me, and - and he will die if I’m not with him. That is why I have to go back." Simba was amazed to see Shenzi blinking back tears.
"Why should we trust you?" Nala snapped, "You’ve told us why you need us. Why do we need you? We’ve beaten you hyenas before!"
Shenzi turned and glared at Nala, "We retreated because I ordered us to. Even if the pack had won, many of us would have died." Shenzi’s eyes glazed slightly and quoted, "‘they who scream and run away live to run another day,’" She continued, "But Scar won’t care about wasting other people’s lives, and neither will Cur. They will attack, and they will not let my people retreat. Don’t you understand? As long as either Scar or Cur live, we will all wish we were dead!"
The Elephant Graveyard
If someone had been listening to a large pile of rubbish, they would have heard a whispered argument going on, something to the tune of;
"I can’t believe we’re helping hyenas..." Nala’s voice.
"At least take off your damn crown!" Shenzi’s voice.
"I’m the king!" Simba’s voice.
"Do you want to stay king? Then take that thing off your head! Unless of course, you want to find another head to put it on."
"It’s just a piece of wire, Shenzi!" Zazu’s voice.
"You think my people don’t know the difference, you lil’ stooge?"
"It might be wise to listen to her, Simba." Rafiki’s voice.
"But people will recognise you, Shenzi!" Zazu again.
"I’m counting on it."
There were soldiers in combats everywhere. The small group were now standing outside a pub. It was called ‘The Lion’s Head’ .Simba had seen the sign that swung in the wind. It had a picture of a lion’s head. A few feet away hung another sign. It had a picture of a decapitated lion on it. Shenzi wrinkled her nose as she looked around the Graveyard.
"That creep. Gonna invade the pride lands and the first thing he does is raise an army. I bet they’re all volunteers too. When I..." Shenzi paused, "Uh, if I was going to invade the Pride Lands, I’d have introduced conscription. Then people would at least know where they stood."
"Yes. Under a merciless, power-crazed bitch," muttered Simba.
"Hey! I’m not merciless!"
"So, hyena scum, where’s Scar?" asked Nala.
"I’m a human! Just like you!"
"So, scum, where is Scar?"
"He’ll probably be with Cur. If I know Cur, he’ll have employed Scar as his advisor. And Scar will be running the joint. Cur has the brains of a dead rock," Shenzi looked up at the apartment block they were standing outside.
"What do you suggest we do, then?" asked Nala.
Shenzi turned to face Nala and opened her mouth. But just then, a soldier walked up to them. "N-names and id-d-dentity c-c-cards p-please?" he asked, nervously. Simba and Nala opened their mouths.
Shenzi smiled. Simba had seen that smile before. Its basic translation was; someone is going to get hurt, courtesy of Shenzi Inc., "Hello, my name is Shenzi. I suppose you’ve heard of me."
A look of shock entered the soldier’s face, "Sh-Shenzi? We - Urk!!"
Shenzi jumped forward and grabbed the soldier by the throat, "I know you - you’re Mount, right?"
"L-l-lance C-corporal M-M-Mount n-now, err..."
Lance Corporal Mount was rather short, even for a male. He had black hair and brown eyes and a very bad speech impediment. He was 19 years old and had been born outside the Graveyard. He was the sort of person who lives their life trying not to get in anyone’s way or draw any unnecessary attention to themselves, and certainly didn’t deserve to be standing in front of Shenzi right now.
"Where is Cur?"
"C-Cur? Oh, he t-tells everyone to call him K-King C-Cur n-n-now. H-he -"
All the blood drained from Shenzi’s face. She went white with rage and dropped the soldier to the ground. Simba had never seen anyone so angry in all his life, and the fact that Shenzi was talking in a flat, calm voice somehow made it worse, "He kills my pups. He beats me to within an inch of my life. He follows me here, despite my warnings. He allies himself with my second-worst enemy. He plans to make my life a living hell. And now," Shenzi took a deep, infuriated breath and screamed, "he has the ARROGANCE to use PEERAGE!! That MISERABLE BASTARD!!" Lance Corporal Mount was now cowering on the floor.
"Uh, Shenzi..." said Zazu, nervously. She ignored him.
"I’ll kill him! I’ll rip his eyes out!! I’ll cut his heart outta his body!!! I’ll dismember his corpse!!!! I’ll -" Rafiki slapped Shenzi across the face, hard. Shenzi gasped, "Thank you," she said, rather more calmly. She turned to the soldier.
"Uh… Ki - that is, C-Cur s-said y-y-you were d-d-dead?" Mount ventured.
Shenzi looked at him hard, "When a female hyena called Moult challenged me for the leaderness a few years ago, every hyena in the Graveyard knew about it. It was carried out in the open so that there could be no cheating. There were no real hard feelings because she knew the fight was to the death. She was the last person to challenge me."
Mount shuffled his feet. Then he stood up, "L-l-lance C-corporal M-Mount at y-your service, milady."
"What was that?" asked Shenzi, softly. Without waiting for an answer, she continued, "I never want to hear you refer to me as peerage again, do you understand?"
Mount nodded. Nala turned to Rafiki, "What do the hyenas think is so bad about peerage, Rafiki?"
"I believe that, since the hyenas have had problems with royalty in the past, they believe it is a great insult to refer to any matriarch in such a way. It seems that Cur is demanding that this is done, despite this."
Nala frowned, turning to Shenzi, "Are we going to find Scar and Cur now?"
Shenzi thought for a moment, "No. I think there are more important things to do just now. First we should swell
our ranks a little." She looked up at the apartment block again, "Right, we’ll have to go up to meet someone. Mount, come with us."
Banzai looked miserably at Ed. He had barely talked all week.
"Why do things have to be this way? I mean, why can’t we all just be happy?"
Banzai continued, "What did I do wrong?!" he shouted, at no one in particular, "Why did this happen to me? Why… why did she have to die..." Banzai put his head in his hands.
Ed sighed and patted Banzai on the shoulder, "Hee-hee-hee..."
Banzai jumped to his feet, "What have I done!?" he yelled to the world, "Why am I supposed to be miserable like this?!" Suddenly, there was a knocking at the door, "Get lost!" Banzai screamed at the door. Whoever it was just banged louder. It sounded like at least three people were out there, arguing.
A soldier’s voice called out, "Banzai, you must come out, by order of King C-Urk!!" There was a scream, then the sound of someone struggling. Then it sounded very much as if a head had been smacked into a wall a couple of times, then a couple of cracks that sounded like bones were being snapped. An oof sound was heard, as if someone had been punched in the stomach. There was the sound of someone scrabbling frantically at the door, and finally there was a faint bubbling noise. Someone was definitely in a lot of pain out there.
A young male’s voice said, "That wasn’t fair, six against three."
Another male voice said, "Y-y-yeah. I d-d-didn’t have anyth-thing to h-h-hit."
A female voice was the next to speak, "Weapons? Where the hell did they get weapons?! No, forget I said that." Banzai stood up slowly. The owner of the voice knocked on the door, rather more politely than the last person, "Banzai, this is Shenzi. Please let me in." Impossible… no one could take a bullet in the chest and live! His mind was just playing tricks on him. Again. The owner of the voice seemed to give up on politeness, and shouted, "Banzai, if you don’t open this bloody door right now, I’ll kick it in!"
Banzai and Ed looked at each other. Then they both ran to the door, nearly fighting each other in the race to get there. Banzai won the race and opened the door. Standing outside the flat were six people - Simba, Nala, Zazu, Rafiki and Mount. But the only person Banzai was looking at was Shenzi. She was standing there, smiling gently. Banzai stared at her for what seemed like forever, then they ran into each other’s arms. Banzai whirled Shenzi around. Finally, he found his voice.
"I thought you were dead," he whispered.
"Living without you is like being dead," Shenzi whispered back.
Ed turned to Mount and laughed. Mount sighed. "L-look g-g-guys, I h-hate to inte-te-terrupt this m-moment of intama-macy, b-b-but w-we’ve g-got work to d-d-do."
Shenzi finally let go of Banzai, "Now, I want to get out of these horrible clothes and into something more ‘me’."
Ed laughed at nothing in particular. Shenzi turned to Nala, "You might be better off changing out of that white
stuff too. It’ll show up all of other people’s bloodstains. Mount, pick up all these weapons and share them out."
So, thought Simba to himself, this is how Shenzi became matriarch; by taking charge. She doesn’t ask people to do things; she acts as if they’re already done and all people have to do is carry them out.
In Cur’s Flat…
Cur was talking to Scar.
"When are we going to invade the Pride Lands? If I can’t have Shenzi, I might as well have vast amounts of power!"
"I will invade the Pride Lands when I am ready," Scar sneered at him. Cur now wore a crown. It wasn’t even a subtle slim wire like Simba’s crown was, but very large, and it reeked of crown-ness.
"When will you be ready?"
"When the armies have finished recruiting every able-bodied person in the Graveyard."
Just then someone battered at the door, "Gods, it’s Sergeant Grind again," groaned Scar, "Just let her in with the minimal amount of fuss."
The door was opened to a young woman of average height with the normal brown eyes and black hair. Though she could not be called attractive by even the best of liars, her features could have once been called interestingly handsome, but for the ravages of many fights with anyone and everyone that moved which covered her body. She saluted smartly with her helmet under her arm, "Sergeant Grind reporting, your majesty. I bring… bad news."
Cur sighed, "And that is?.."
"Err… rumour has it among the soldiers that um… the old matriarch has returned." Grind shuffled her feet.
"What?" There was a long pause, during which the Sergeant started looking rather nervous, "That’s not bad news! That’s great news!"
"Huh? Er, perhaps you didn’t understand, your majesty. Shenzi has returned. The more stupid soldiers say that she has been reincarnated and has the power of the devil behind her."
"I understand perfectly," said Cur. Both he and Scar were grinning, "Any other ‘bad news’?"
"Um, it is also said that King Simba," the Sergeant spat, "is now under her control. As are his advisors."
"Simba is here also? Even better!" Scar stood up, "Grind, take twenty of your best men. Find Shenzi and her allies. Bring them to me." Scar’s grin could now have held a set of billiard balls, and quite possibly the cue.
"Yes, your Grand-Visierness."
Cur stopped Grind from leaving, "Oh, and Sergeant? I want them all alive and unspoilt. And if they are damaged in any way..." Cur drew a claw slowly across his throat, "You will be relieved of your duties. Permanently."
Grind gulped and hurried out of the door.
"Not the sort of person you’d hire for thinking," said Cur, "But if you want someone brutally killed in a hurry, she’s your woman. With any luck, she’ll capture Shenzi, and all of her companions."
Scar smiled, "It seems that you will get your wish after all. Just make sure I get mine." He looked at Cur. He had thought the youngster would be smart enough to figure out by now that Shenzi was right; it was Scar who was running the joint. The ignorant little whelp had no idea of Scar’s true intentions…
Now, it must be understood that Sergeant Grind was not a particularly bad person, in the same way as a plague bearing rat is not a bad animal. She simply carried the ‘disease’ of being obnoxious, slightly contaminating all
those who came into contact with her. She gathered together twenty of what she thought was her best men. This
basically meant that they were all small-minded twats with muscles where their brains should be.
"Right men," she said sharply, "King Cur has ordered us to find and capture Shenzi and her companions. He has ordered that they be alive and unspoilt. Now, I want you to..."
A small male private spoke up, "’Scuse me Sergeant, but do we really need twenty-one soldiers to capture one little girl?"
Grind looked at the male, "You’re right." Then she pulled out a gun and fired it at the young man. It struck him in the chest and he fell to the floor, dead, "Now, who else don’t we need?"
Another soldier said, "This is going to be a tough job, Sergeant. We’ll need all twenty of us!"
"So," said the soldier, "where do we start? The Graveyard is huge!"
Grind looked around her and smiled, "The Joshua N’Clement apartment. Because that is where Banzai and Ed live. And it is the first place Shenzi would go."
Outside Banzai And Ed’s Flat…
"Males never cease to amaze me," Shenzi said, more to herself than anyone else, "All these weapons and barely a scratch on me." She had changed into a black crop-top and black track suit bottoms; very similar to those she had worn when they had first ‘changed' .She picked up a gun, looked at it and put it in the belt she had taken off another soldier. Then she looked thoughtfully at a knife and added that to the belt as well.
"You mean you wanted to get hurt? I can always arrange that for you if you want," suggested Nala. Shenzi ignored her. Nala had changed into Shenzi’s dark blue denim jeans and a black T-shirt. Now it was her turn for the clothes not to suit her.
"No .I just expected my people to put up a better fight than that." One of the soldiers groaned slightly. She kicked him in a soft place to shut him up. "I’m glad we didn’t have to kill them, though."
Banzai looked up at Shenzi. He couldn’t take his eyes off her lithe body. He remembered the first time Cur had captured them. Just thinking about what that bastard had tried to do to her made Banzai want to vomit. Pinning her up against the wall, kissing her… the Gods only knew how far Cur would have gone if Ed hadn’t stopped him. ‘If he even touches her again,’ he thought to himself, ‘I swear I’ll kill him.’ And he meant it. Just then, Shenzi turned to stare at him, and he looked away hurriedly.
"Th-th-there’s not en-nough w-weapons t-to go round us all," said Mount.
"Bugger.Then we’ll have to get some more," said Banzai, picking up a gun, "But off who?"
"Them?" suggested Zazu, nervously. Twenty more soldiers and a Sergeant came out of the stairwell.
"Give yourself up now Shenzi, and we won’t have to knock you out!" shouted Grind.
"I expect that means you want all of us alive?" asked Shenzi, her voice curiously cheerful. She drew the knife she had just picked up. Mount and Banzai drew their weapons and Ed balled up his fists (nobody trusted Ed with any kind of a weapon; at least, not until he could be trusted to not nail his hand to his head, or shoot himself whenever he saluted).
"All right!" said Shenzi, Banzai and Mount. Ed nodded vigorously. Then the four of them threw themselves at the group of soldiers. Rafiki quickly followed suit, as did Simba and Nala. Zazu just sat there cowering in a corner and trying not to get hit.
Banzai stabbed a small female in the back, "It’s been a while since I’ve done this sort of thing," he said, "I’d forgotten how much fun fighting people can be!"
"D-d-d-ditto." Mount kicked a male under his kneecap.
Ed punched a male nearly a foot taller than him in the face and laughed.
Nala flipped a soldier over her head and into a wall, "Simba, remind me again," she asked, "Why are we fighting for these jerks?"
Simba stabbed a soldier in the chest, "Because these soldiers want us alive?"
Shenzi spun around and looked at Grind, slashing a soldier’s stomach as she did so. She had always hated the female. Grind had tried to fight her for the leaderness. Shenzi had won, but Grind had grovelled so much that she had let her live. For the life of her, she couldn’t think why. She threw herself at Grind, knife in hand. Grind drew her own knife at the same time, "Now I’m going to do what I should have done years ago!" she yelled. The two collided in a blur of steel, "You can’t kill me," sneered Shenzi, "It’s ‘against orders’." She punched Grind in the stomach, then stabbed her in the shoulder. Grind squealed.
"No !But I can still do this!" A soldier jumped up behind Shenzi. Just as she was turning, he clubbed her over her head with the butt of his gun. She gasped, stunned. The soldier had just raised his gun again, when Mount tackled him and pulled Shenzi to her feet.
"C-c’mon, l-l-let’s g-g-go!" he shouted.
"Without him?" Grind pointed at Banzai. Another soldier was holding him up. He had just been hit over the head and was too groggy to stand by himself.
"Sorry Shenzi," Banzai managed.
"You wouldn’t desert your own boyfriend, would you, Shenzi?" Grind laughed. The soldier was holding a knife to Banzai’s throat.
"You wretched..." Shenzi grimaced. There was a small trickle of blood running down her forehead.
"Shut up and let yourselves be tied up!" barked Grind.
"NO!!" screamed Shenzi.
When there was still no reaction to her orders, Grind growled and pulled out a gun. She pointed it at
Shenzi and released the safety catch, "Get in line now!!" she yelled, "I’m not playing with you!!"
"You STUPID BITCH!" Shenzi screamed again, "Are you RETARDED OR SOMETHING?! I’LL BE DEAD BEFORE I -"
To everyone standing there, the next few moments seemed to happen in slow motion. Grind gritted her teeth and pulled the trigger. Shenzi didn’t even have time to duck. And then she didn’t need to. Mount knocked her to the floor, and the bullet ripped through his flesh instead, breaking his ribs and puncturing his lungs. He crumpled to the floor. Shenzi gasped in horror and pulled herself to her knees. She bent over Mount and turned him to face her. No one tried to stop her.
"Oh bugger..." muttered a soldier behind Grind.
"Why did you do that, Mount?" asked Shenzi softly, oblivious to everything around her. Simba was amazed to see tears welling up in her eyes, "Why did you… you didn’t have to..."
Mount coughed up some dark blood, then spoke, slowly and painfully, his voice now curiously free of any speech impediment, "I thought she… would kill you..."
Mount sighed. He could hardly feel the pain any more. The world was starting to blur, but there were things that had to be said, things that Shenzi had to be told, "You won’t remember, Shenzi..." Mount paused, coughing up some more blood, but still managing to continue, "But when you left the Graveyard for the Dark lands… you were my sister… And you still are..."
"Your s-sister?" said Shenzi, almost choking with trying to hold back the tears. Her face now depicted shock.
"Same mom, anyway… You never knew… Mom told me never to… tell you… She wanted you to be a strong matriarch… Thought I’d hold you back..." Mount closed his eyes.
"You’ll be all right, Mount..." said Shenzi, trying to pull him up, "Just hold on..."
Mount’s eyes opened slowly, "Just stop being afraid, Shenzi..." His eyes closed, but they did not open again.
What was worst, Banzai thought through the dizziness of being hit over the head, was that Shenzi was just crying. It wasn’t great choking sobs like when he had thought she was dead. It was just tears, rolling down her face. Somehow, they were worse.
Grind snapped her fingers and three soldiers stepped forward. One nervously tapped Shenzi on the shoulder. She just stood up. She didn’t resist as her hands were tied behind her back. Simba looked down at Mount’s body and sighed as another seven soldiers approached him. Then he gave himself up, as did Nala, Rafiki and Zazu.
No one noticed that Ed had disappeared.
Go to Chapter 7 - What Happens When You Stop Being Afraid...