Tales from the Outlands
(The following is the fourth section of my ongoing chronicle, tales from the Outlands. In this particular section, I have created five new characters that soon become major players. They are all copyrighted, but may be used in future texts by other writers, if they spark some interest. Or, if one of these characters really intrigues a future reader, he or she may devote an entire text to one of these new characters, as long as I give approval. This is simply achieved by sending me the text so I can see how my characters are managed.
This section takes a PG rating due to adult content and minimal suggestive themes. Questions, comments, and/or concerns will always be accepted and can be sent to my new address,firstname.lastname@example.org. Now walk alongside Zira and enter The Outlands.)
PART FOUR: ENTANGILING ALLIANCES
CHAPTER SIXTEEN: A NEW HORIZON
"At last, the Outlands!" Zira smiled as her gaze fell upon the vast expanses of the formless wasteland. The sun glared brightly, and the humidity was so tremendous that Zira began to sweat profusely to the point of causing her entire pelt to become glossy and matted. She rose her head, breathing in the sultry air and closed her eyes. She could detect the faint scent of lions not far from where she was standing.
"Phase three begins! Soon Scar, very soon, all shall come to pass! You will witness all my fabulous dreams become a..."
"Ah! Jeez! Oh, these damned bugs! Why are they always biting me? Ugh, these are worse here than the ever were back in the jungle! What are these accursed things anyways? Oh, God, not termites! They bite the worse!"
"Hush, Nuka!" She turned to she the beleaguered male in another one of his scratching fits. "Will you please stop that! Don't you realize how annoying that is?"
"Oh, these stupid little..." Nuka was too busy scratching his flanks with his claws to pay attention. "When I find you little demons, I am going to rip your antennas off, and shove them up your anuses sideways!"
"What? Oh, sorry mother. It's just that these termites are driving me crazy!"
"Deal with it! Or you'll be bleeding so much, it will wash those bugs right off your body!"
"Uh, what... Bleeding so much?" Zira exposed her claws in one quick twist of her paws and rose them before her eyes. Nuka quickly got the point.
"Oh, I got ya... sorry." Nuka tried to look at the scenery, not much help there for there was none. He shook his mane and tried to think of things that would take his mind off the itching. He looked back, and noticed Zira had turned her attention away from him, so staring right at her, he made sure she didn't turn back towards him suddenly, and did an occasional scratch with his back paw.
"The time has arrived, Nuka. I must introduce myself to the pride that Fabana told me inhabited this place."
"They could have picked a more scenic place, if you ask me. Jeez, what I wouldn't give to be back home in our jungle." Nuka immediately stopped his quiet scratching, as he saw Zira swing her head back towards him.
"And be dead at the claws of Simba!?"
"Oh, yea, sorry... forgot about that. But you said with the help of this pride we can go back and conquer the Pridelanders, right?"
"That is my plan, but I know nothing of these Outsiders. Their ways and customs will no doubt be foreign to me. I must face them alone. I want you to stay here, out of sight, until I return."
"Out of sight, in a wasteland? Where am I going to hide?"
"Why not over there, behind that big termite mound?" Nuka twisted his face into a look of disgust.
"You got to be kidding!" Nuka had plenty of complaints for his mother, but when he looked back, he saw Zira's powerful body head towards the horizon. He grumbled a few curses, but headed towards the termite mound, flexing his claws and stretching his sore muscles. He knew he was in for a long day of relentless scratching.
"Maybe I should start eating bugs? Nah, that wouldn't work, I might as well join up with a meerkat and a warthog if I did that. Hmmmm, what to think about to pass the time... Well there is always that lioness I saw at the water hole. I'm sure I can think of plenty of stuff about her." Nuka was soon busy laughing, to worry about the itching for a little while.
* * * * * *
She was definitely a lioness, but could she be even called a lion? The proud species reduced to this? Zira was hidden behind a mammoth termite mound, and watched the lioness from a safe distance. She felt a slight sense of pity stir in her heart, as she saw this wretched creature poke and claw at a hollowed ribcage of some, long dead beast, hoping to find something left that was edible. The lioness suddenly lifted her paw and stared at the bones, as if she found something. A pitiful smile spread across her cracked lips, as she suddenly pounced upon the ribcage. She rose her paw in triumph and dangled a small mouse before her eyes. Laughing a high-pitched shriek, she tossed the mouse into the air, attempting to catch it in her mouth. But she forgot about the glaring sun, and it suddenly blinded her. She lost sight of her dinner, as the mouse bounced harmlessly off her head, and tumbled to the ground. Shaking its head, it scurried towards a large termite mound. The small mouse looked back and laughed his squeaky laugh, as he saw the lioness, looking all around herself for the little creature, her loose skin swaying across her visible rib bones. The mouse breathed a huge sigh of relief, and turned around to scurry away, but he suddenly froze as his eyes locked onto a muscled paw right in front of him. He slowly looked up and his mouth dropped as he saw a muscular lioness leering down at him. The doomed mouse only had one chance to scream, before Zira's other paw came crashing down on him, crushing his little bones.
Zira looked back up and saw the lioness was still looking for her dinner. A plan formed in her mind, as she picked up the dead mouse's tail with her teeth. Finding the perfect way to introduce herself.
"Lost something?" The lioness' ears twitched and she splayed her claws in the same instance she sprang in a full circle. Zira was somewhat impressed that this lioness still seemed to have her reflexes in top form, even if the rest of her was not. The lioness snarled as she saw Zira approach.
"Who are you?"
"Just a friend, look I found your dinner." Zira tossed the dead mouse in front of the agitated lioness. The lioness cocked her head, looked down at the mouse, then back up at Zira. Her hunger quickly overcame her mistrust, and she moved her head back down towards the mouse, spread her jaws and hungrily gobbled it up. The lioness closed her eyes, savoring the taste, and relishing in the sound of breaking bones, and tearing flesh. In three seconds the mouse was devoured, and the lioness, still with her eyes closed, was busy licking her lips, making sure every ounce of flavor was tasted. Slowly opening her eyes she fixed their gaze upon Zira. But now the gaze was less hostile, and the lioness even allowed her muzzle to twist into a small smirk.
"I suppose I should thank you. That was delicious. I haven't eaten that well in days."
"Yes, I'm sure it was a great feast," Zira rolled her eyes, "But, is this The Outlands?"
"The Outlands?" The lioness laughed that high-pitched shriek once more, causing Zira to shake her head; she thought Nuka had an annoying laugh. " Where did you hear that name! I thought this place was called Hell!"
"No, I doubt that."
"I wouldn't! If you even knew what I and the rest of my kind have endured in this wasteland..." The lioness allowed her gaze to travel all over Zira's body, "And from the looks of you, you haven't."
"Trust me, I have endured as much as any other lion, probably much worse."
"Oh, is that right? Oh, what a saint you must be then! You still can't even imagine what it truly means to suffer! How would you like to go days at a time without food? Gnawing on bones hard enough to chip your teeth, watching your children starve to death before your eyes, drinking water that looked like a hyena took a bath in it, and living under a sun, so hot, you think any second your pelt will burst into flames? Oh, I bet you have endured much worse!"
"You know, we could stand her for hours and argue about who had it worse, but trust me the atrocities I have suffered, would make everything you said sound like a pleasant dream, because my life has been a nightmare!"
"Looking at how well-fed you are, I find that hard to believe."
"Food means nothing, when the hunger of your heart cannot be sated."
"Hunger of you heart?"
"Yes. That is why I humbly ask to join your pride. I have a proposition for you that will solve both of our problems."
"Why should I trust you? You know, those meaty flanks of yours would feed the whole pride for a week. How about I just call my sisters and we'll see if you fight as well as you talk.
"Call them. But you may be feeding on one of them instead, if they dare try to attack me."
"Why do you want to join us? What is this so-called proposition you offer?"
"I know of a place, that would be your ultimate dream come true. Any creature you could possibly imagine inhabits it, and believe me you could have a different one every night. How long has it been, my friend, since you've tasted wildebeest?" Zira noted with content that her words were beginning to have their effect on this ravenous lioness. The lioness' paws were shaking, and drool was beginning to drip from her widespread jaws. "Oh, I am not making any of this up, my friend, this place will be your heaven, if this is your hell."
"All right," The lioness wiped her muzzle with a backhanded paw, "I guess I am somewhat intrigued by what you've said."
"Follow me, I'll take you to him."
"Oh, the one who makes you lionesses stay here in this God-forsaken realm? Tell me, can't you find a more hospital land?"
"I'm sure that is so easy for you to say, isn't it? But this is our home, and our pride. Our pride has called this place our homeland for as long as I can remember, and we have no intention of leaving... I'm sure you don't understand."
"No, not really. I have no idea how you lions call a place like this home."
"Exactly as I thought, an Outsider through and through." Zira held back a roar, and tried to keep her tail from lashing. She slowly regained her composure, as she hurried after the lioness.
"You know it's funny that you said the word Outsider..."
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: SOLACE IN THE SHADOWS
Zira kept pace with the lioness, as they traveled past termite hill after termite hill. Zira couldn't decide which astounded her more, the wretched condition of the place, or the wretched condition of its inhabitants. The pair passed by a couple lionesses, that Zira politely nodded too, but was perplexed when they did not return the gesture. Instead, she felt their indifferent gaze fall upon her, and saw their eyes move slowly, watching her pass and studying her every movement. She looked behind her a few times, and noticed a two of them had gathered together, and were slowly following her. Zira couldn't help but feel a slight sense of fear as she could feel their icy gaze penetrating her fur and searching her soul. She had counted about four lionesses, as the pair traveled through the empty expanses, and they all matched her guide, in appearance and demeanor. The sun was becoming unbearable, and Zira could feel her pelt was soaked with sweat, and the stench of her companion was enough to almost make her gag.
When Zira felt as if one more step would either cause her to collapse from exhaustion or from the lack of air, her gaze feel upon a mammoth termite hill. It had a cave-like entranceway in the middle, and was as tall as a tree. Zira's guide suddenly stopped and she sat back on her haunches, suddenly scratching her pelt. Zira's eyes rolled away from the lioness, as she began to scratch other places that Zira rather not see.
"Ooooh, that feels much better. Oh, yes, I think I... GOT YA!" Zira couldn't help but look back, her curiosity getting the best of her. She grimaced in disgust, when she saw the lioness flick a small termite in her mouth, and gobble it down greedily.
"Well, one thing about this place, the food sure is abundant." More shriek like laughter followed, the joke which, by the lioness' continued maniacal laughter, must have been the funniest thing she had ever said. "Well, what are you waiting for, Outsider? The king's lair is beyond."
"Are you not coming with me?"
"Of course, just behind you in case our king decides to not let you escape." The lioness twisted her muzzle into a mocking smile, then spit out an antenna, which must have been stuck in her teeth. Zira shook her head slowly.
"You know, your manners are just... gorgeous."
"Why thank you, I try." Zira just sighed and mumbled something about 'good help being so hard to find,' and walked into the giant cave-like termite hill.
She followed the path downward into the depths, which seemed to take her and her companion down deep underground. It seemed the cave-like hill really did open up into a cave after all. The air was pleasantly cooler, although still stagnant, and bones were scattered here and there. A few places above, the earth was broken, and long cracks allowed the sunlight to stream down, illuminating the interior. Zira's path ended, opening up into a large vastness, and in the center of the cavern was a giant mushroom like stone formation.
"Stop!" Zira did as she was told, "Kisasi, there is someone here that wants to talk to you!"
"Is that so?" A deep, seductive voice echoed into Zira's ears. She squinted her eyes; anxious to see whom it belonged to, and struggled to see the King of Termite Hill. Her eyes widened when at last he stepped into the light.
The rays of the dimly lit cavern fell upon his resplendent, green eyes, causing the orbs to sparkle. Zira's gaze traveled down his body, and her tail began to lash. His pelt was a mixture of dark colors, gray like a hazy mist in some parts, pure black in others, and his mane was even more breathtaking. It hung in his face and scraped the floor. Its length was amazing, and its color was something she had never seen any male posses before. It was as if Scar's pelt was this lion's mane. It was bright red, as if it was soaked in blood, a notion that caused Zira's muzzle to curl into a grin, her tongue scraping across her front teeth in a sensual manner. Her eyes moved back up to his dark face, and she squinted into the pale light, at his eyes, suddenly noticing something that had previously gone unnoticed.
"Is that hairs of his mane over his eyes, or are those what I think they are?!" Her mind flooded with this thought, but was soon answered as the lion pushed his mane back in an elegant display. His caws ran through his locks, but the red lines remained.
"Oh, dear God, he has a scar over each eye! Two scars? Oh, why hadn't I come here sooner?" Zira couldn't hold back her thoughts any longer, and was about to speak, but was thankfully silenced by the lion's sudden words, for she might have said something that would have been inappropriate.
"Are your eyes always that wide?"
"Oh, sorry! I just never seen a male with a coat and a mane like yours."
"If that is true, why are you staring at my eyes?"
"Oh... I, uh... well..."
"I take it you never seen a male with scars before either?"
"Uh...well... to tell you the truth, yes."
"Well, one scar, not two."
"I was given these symbols by the previous king of this pride, of course I made sure he is no longer around to take credit for it."
"You killed him?"
"Mind, body, and soul! It was amazing how these lionesses were, shall I say, so easily manipulated, to turn against him."
"You had his own lionesses do it?!" Zira could not hold back her curiosity.
"Yes. Why just kill someone, when you can make him suffer first? The actual death is then so much more... enjoyable."
Zira cocked her head; this male was starting to intrigue her. Now she understood exactly what Fabana meant when she had said "you two will get along beautifully."
"So this... lovely, termite infested hole is where you call home, and you rule this wretched place?"
"Some say it is so." The male began examining his claws.
"The word vain was an understatement for this lion," Zira narrowed her eyes at this thought, and she decided to see how curious this lion was.
"Tell, me... Kisasi, right?" The male nodded, "I was wondering if you could do me a little favor."
"Sorry, my dear. I have plenty of lionesses for that. Go take your little problem elsewhere." Zira held back a snarl, her damned heat! Its intoxicating scent was still with her, and gazing upon this male was making her pheromones more easily detectable.
"No, I am not referring to that... although the thought did cross my mind about three times." Zira grinned as she noticed Kisasi's right scar raise at her words. "But, the reason why I am here, and why I had one of your... lionesses lead me to you, is because I have a proposition for you."
"A proposition, eh? What could you have that I want, let alone need?"
"A paradise beyond your wildest dreams."
"I told you, I already have that with my lionesses." Zira was starting to like this male.
"No, I mean a new land for you and your lionesses to call home."
"A new home?"
"Well..." Zira decided she was in the mood for a little game, "If you're interested. But you wouldn't be, would you? As you said, you have everything right here. Well, I should be one my way." Zira turned to leave and began to walk away.
"Wait!? What do you mean a new home?" Zira swung her head back in a provocative fashion and raised her eyes,
"Are you interested?"
"It is called The Pride Lands and how can I even begin to explain what wonders it holds."
"Well, you can make the attempt, can't you?"
"Hmmmm.... Let's see... Every animal, great or small calls it their home. There is a place known as Pride Rock, that is just perfect for a pride like yours to live in, and this is all found in a verdant savanna, that has such beauty you can't not even conceive it." Zira grinned as she watched Kisasi scratch his chin with a claw, obviously taking in all that she said.
"Well, I can certainly try!" Zira's ears twitched as the anxious voice of the lioness behind her suddenly broke the long silence. Somehow, Zira forgot she was there.
"So can I... Tell me, my shapely lioness, what do they call you?"
"Zira will be fine."
"Zira..." Kisasi allowed his muzzle to twist into a grin as he thought of the translation, Zira likewise allowed herself a grin too, thinking how his name could be translated.
"Well, Zira. You certainly have me intrigued, and I must say you carry yourself in a manner that has me extremely... interested."
"I'll take that as a compliment, and by the way, your own nature is quite... interesting as well." The two lions stared into each other's eyes for a long while. Green orbs locked onto red ones.
"Yes, Kisasi?" The lioness that had been Zira's guide, ran up beside Zira and bowed her head low.
"Leave us. Zira and I have some things to... discuss."
"Are you sure?" Kisasi didn't reply only allowed himself to show that sly smile of his, once more.
"As you wish, my lord." Usiyahi bowed her head low again, and with a not too cordial look at Zira turned on her paw and stomped away. Kisasi watched her depart, then refixed his gaze onto Zira."
"Zira, I'd like to get to know you better."
"You know Kisasi, I was thinking the same thing."
"I have this feeling, that you and I are going to get along well together."
"Strange... I have that same feeling." The two lion's eyes met in a passionate embrace. Their muzzles soon followed, and the two lions nuzzled together as only their species can. They became one, mind to mind and heart to heart, as their blood burned through each other's skin.
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: CONSUMED INTO THE FIRE
The sun's rays gleamed off of Usiyahi's claws, while the fur upon her paws swayed from her heavy breathing. She glared at her claws, and pictured Zira's blood dripping off of them. Incensed by rage, she tried to picture this, instead of what she knew Kisasi and Zira were no doubt doing. How could Kisasi betray her like that? In the middle of her season, no less! How could one lone, wandering lioness take his eyes away from her so easily? Zira's own seductive scent told Usiyahi the moment she first saw her, that Zira was deep into her season as well, but it made no difference! Usiyahi was Kisasi's love, soulmate, and queen of this land. Kisasi chose her over all the others, and she ruled by his side. This was all going to shattered before her eyes?
"NEVER!" She suddenly roared towards the glaring sun, "Zira, you will not destroy all I have created, you will not end everything that I have begun, and you will not shatter all that I had built during these past months. I have survived all my pain you will not attempt to give me more! Do you hear me, Zira? You are nothing! Nothing but an arrogant bitch!"
"Usiyahi?! Uh, sorry, did I come at a bad time?" Usiyahi ran her paws down her face, trying to calm herself, but they were still shaking with rage as she tried to do so.
"No, Nyota," Usiyahi attempted to smile at her friend, "I am just a little tense right now, that's all."
"Is it because of that lioness we saw?"
"That is about ninety-nine percent of it!"
"Who is she?"
"A minor nuisance," Usiyahi felt a termite scuttle over her left paw, "And like this termite... (The breaking of a shell was soon heard) she will be crushed!" Usiyahi rose her claws towards her mouth and liked off the juices that covered it.
"The other lionesses and I can take care of her, my queen. We would love the opportunity, and imagine the rich red meat we could all feast upon."
"No, Nyota! Kisasi may have been poisoned by her charms, but we cannot allow his wrath to fall upon us. Even with all of us combined, I doubt we would be able to kill him, plus I would never even make the attempt. I've already killed one king, I will not kill another!"
"Nor would I. He is our king to the end, and you are our queen. We would die for you, and your enemy is ours." The two lionesses nuzzled in a warm embrace.
"Thank you, Nyota. Now what is it you wanted to tell me?"
"Jua and Mwezi, have found something that is quite... interesting."
"The twins? What did they find?"
"A lone male."
"A lone male?! Where?"
"Very close to the border. He's hiding behind a termite mound."
"Hiding? Then how did the twins discover him?"
"Trust me, my queen," Nyota laughed quietly to herself, "The twins told me his laughter could be heard fifty yards away."
"A lone male, eh? Very... interesting. Tell me the exact place."
* * * * * *
"Zira, where are you? When are you coming back? Oh, why am I always second in your life? Why don't you ever pay attention to me?" Nuka sighed as he gazed at the sun. It was well past its zenith and was starting to fall towards the horizon.
"Sometimes, I think I'd be better off without you. Of course, without you, whom would I have? No one! Not that beautiful lioness I saw at the water hole. The only place she comforts me is in my dreams. I will never be able to be with her in reality. No, she is the enemy, and she loves Simba. But how could she? How could she even imagine herself mating with that killer, let alone actually do it? How could she even have one ounce of love for him? He killed my father, killed the goodness of my mother, and ruined my life!
When I finally have the chance to kill him, I am going to make sure Zira will be watching me. I will send him to meet my father before Zira's very eyes! Then at last she will love me, and give me all the attention that I crave. It will be what I have been trained for. As Zira always used to tell me, it will be 'my moment of glory.' Oh I wish for that day, I wish and I pray for it, One day I will..."
"Do you always talk so much?" Nuka froze, and his tail began to shake. That voice, he had never heard it before.
"Oh, God," Nuka thought to himself, "I've been discovered. This is it. It's over! Fabana, I'll see you very soon." Nuka closed his eyes and clenched his teeth, hoping that the death stroke would be accompanied by minimal pain. Instead he heard a shriek like laugh.
"Did anyone ever tell you, how cute you look like that?" Nuka opened one eye. "Turn around, you silly male, so I can take a good look at you." Nuka gulped as he complied, but still kept his eyes tightly closed.
"Oh, come on, I may look terribly skinny, but I don't look that bad. Open your eyes, so you can see I am telling the truth." Nuka did as he was told, but then his jaw dropped in the process.
"Oh, God! You're a lioness!"
"Yes, last time I checked."
"You're... You're... You're a lioness!"
"Good, I glad your eyes are still working."
"No, I mean... You're a lioness, and you're actually talking to me!"
"Uh... Yea." Usiyahi shook her head and looked around not quite sure what to make of this male.
"I've never... Well, I, uh... I mean, I've never seen a lioness, uh... well." Nuka's tail began to pound the earth a hundred times a second. Usiyahi noticed it and twisted her face into a confused look. "I mean, I've never seen a lioness from the... front. Nuka felt like kicking himself.
"From the front?"
"Uh, yea there was this one, but she didn't know I was there."
"Oh... I see. You were getting a little show then?" Nuka thought all the fur on his face must have suddenly changed color to bright red.
"Uh, yea... I mean...Uh, no! I, uh...uh..."
"Hey, I have no problem with that." Usiyahi put on a seductive smile, "But tell me, how do you like the sight of me? Here, I'll let you get a view from every angle." Usiyahi began to walk around Nuka, so he could get and excellent view from every perspective. He took note of her grayish pelt, her seductive golden eyes, and, of course, her perfectly curved rump.
"Well, you're definitely a... you're really... Wow!"
"I guess I'll take that as a compliment."
"Oh, please do. Uh, how many more would you like?" Usiyahi's laugh echoed around Nuka once more.
"I like you. You make me laugh. I didn't think any male could do that."
"Uh... Well, OK!"
"Instead of me calling you "male," what is your name, so we can have a formal introduction."
"Uh, its... my name is not important."
"What? Your name is your very essence. It defines your very being. For instance, I am called Usiyahi." Nuka clearly understood why she received that name. "So what is yours?" Nuka gazed into those questioning, gold eyes.
"My name is... Nuka."
"That's an original name."
"Uh, thank you. But Zira wants to change it. She says it means..." Usiyahi suddenly snarled, causing Nuka to jump back.
"What did you say?!"
"Uh, she says it means..."
"No, who wants to change it?"
"Oh, my mother, Zira. You should meet her, she's real nice."
"Your mother?! Meet her?!"
"What's wrong?" Usiyahi resumed control of her emotions, and lowered her voice.
"Nothing! So you are her son?"
"Yea, at least that what she tells me, but honestly," Nuka looked around to make sure no one was listening, then whispered, "Sometimes I don't think she is."
"Yea, you see, I was raised by a female hyena named, Fabana. She was even nicer, but then Zira came into my life, and Fabana told me she was my mother. I know Fabana would never lie to me, so it must be true."
"Fabana is a hyena?"
"Oh, yea, a real nice one too." Usiyahi began to take note of Nuka's appearance and mannerisms.
"You were raised by a female hyena?"
"Yes. That's what I said."
"Are you sure she just raised you?" Usiyahi kept looking up and down Nuka's body, and she shook her head trying not to imagine what she thought she was looking at. But she did have to admit, this strange looking lion, was definitely attractive to her, and she felt like she was growing more and more consumed with the fires of her season every second.
"What do you mean, and why are you looking at me like that?" Nuka began to back up, especially growing concerned when he saw Usiyahi began licking her front teeth.
"Never mind. Be what you are, I still find you extremely...sexy!"
Nuka reflexively began to sniff the air, noticing a strange new scent was becoming more and more prevalent around him, to the point of becoming intoxicating. He felt it slam into his face, enter his nose, and begin to play with his mind.
"So tell me, Nuka. What brings you to these parts?" Nuka began to fall under the haze and the spell of this strange, new, sensuous scent. If only he knew what it was, and realized what it was doing to him, but by then it was too late.
"I, uh been traveling with my mom, we where looking for something." Usiyahi couldn't take it anymore. She needed this and she needed it now. If Kisasi was presently occupied she would have to settle for this. True this male was a strange one, but nonetheless, she couldn't lose this opportunity.
"What are you looking for, Nuka? Tell me!" She began pacing towards him with slow, deliberately sensual strides."
"We, uh... I mean I. I was looking for... uh, looking for..." Nuka began backing up, not quite sure what he should do. He didn't know what was happening to him, one half wanted to run from this lioness, but the other half wanted to stay. His eyes began to look on her differently; he began to see her in a different light. He shook his head, but was unable to clear the salacious thoughts that were now pounding on his apprehension and threatening to break his wall of resistance to pebbles.
"Nuka... when you saw that lioness, what did you want to do to her?" Usiyahi kept coming, closer and closer, and her grin was one of desire, that she was not about to change anytime soon.
"I, uh, when I saw her... I wanted to... you know. Nuka's abdomen suddenly came in contact with a termite hill, and temporarily distracted, he looked back at it and grimaced. He looked back and saw Usiyahi's golden eyes staring directly into his. Her muzzle was inches from his, her hot breath blowing into his face. The pheromone's aphrodisiac effects had him in their grasp: His heart was pounding in his chest, his paws were shaking, his tail was twisting like a snake, and his mind was on the verge of an explosion.
"Tell me, Nuka. If I was that lioness, and I would grant anything you asked, what would you do to me?" Nuka shook his head, trying to blot out what his mind was screaming at him to say. He desperately tried to change the subject.
"Uh, you know, Usiyahi, it's getting late, I should be looking for Zira."
"Let me try this a different way, since my subtle hints don't seem to be working. Do to me, what you wanted to do to her!"
"Uh, Usiyahi, I really should be leaving..." Usiyahi decided there was only one way left to get Nuka to understand her. She suddenly grabbed Nuka's face with her paws.
"SHUT THE HELL UP AND MAKE LOVE TO ME!" Nuka's eyes spread wide and he was about to try and respond, but suddenly a termite bit him so hard in the rear that he screamed and fell to his side.
"Ow, you nasty, little monster! Why did you have to bite me now?" Nuka began to rub the spot where the termite had bit him. But he suddenly felt another paw on top of his and rubbing/scratching the same spot.
"Oh, you poor thing. Here let me help you," Usiyahi attended to her work with soft, sensuous efficiency, "Is that better?"
"Much better... Wow, where were you, when they were biting me before?"
"Termites bite you all the time, don't they? All over that lanky... sexy body of yours."
"Oh, man your good at that! What? Oh, yea they do... All the time!"
"Did any bugs bite you here?" Usiyahi moved her paws up to Nuka's stomach, as she continued her maddening torture.
"Uh, oh yea... they bite there all the time. You have no idea how many times they bite me there..."
"Hmmmm, all the time, eh? Does this make it fell any better?"
"Oh, yea! Oh wow, that is definitely... Oh jeez... God, you are good at that! That is really going to take the itch away." Usiyahi twisted her muzzle into the most salacious smile she could, as she suddenly moved her paws back down.
"Tell me, Nuka, do termites ever bite you... right here?"
"Well, no I... Oh my God! What are you doing!" Nuka's words were soon lost as Usiyahi placed her muzzle over his and drowned out anything else he was about to say in a long, slow kiss.
CHAPTER NINETEEN: SUBSEQUENT VISIONS
Zira opened her eyes, and gazed into the rays of the sun. They painfully blinded her, and she turned to the side, playfully knocking into Kisasi's paw in the process. She looked up and had to smile. Kisasi was dozing peacefully up on the mushroom shaped rock formation that served as his throne. The scars upon his closed eyes were sunk deep into his face, and he was snoring quietly, his right paw dangling lazily above her. Zira laughed a quiet laugh as she pushed Kisasi's paw back and forth like a cub, thinking back to how wonderful the time was that they shared together. She breathed in a happy sigh, as she knew her heat would be sated for a long time. Looking up upon her new mate, her mind suddenly traveled back to her past mate...
"Oh, God! What have I done?" She voiced her thoughts aloud, but Kisasi was too sound a sleeper to hear them. Thoughts coursed through her brain and they all centered on one name, Scar. She rose to her paws, and quickly backed away from the dark lion.
She wandered the caverns of Kisasi's lair for many minutes, her mind screaming curses at her for what she had done, and deep sense of guilt gripped her heart in an icy grasp. At last she found a secluded corner, where she could be alone with her thoughts. She suddenly fell to her stomach and threw her head back, voicing her thoughts aloud.
"Scar, I am so very sorry! I feel as though, I have betrayed you. You must understand I had no choice. How could I pass up an opportunity like that? This lion was the most handsome I have ever saw, but next to you, he is not worthy to be feasted upon by hyenas. What am I saying? I am no longer worthy to even call myself your love! You have to understand I had no choice! My heat got the best of me; the pheromones destroyed my mind. I didn't even enjoy it...
Oh, why am I lying? I can't lie to you, you know me too well. Yes I could have, avoided it, even ran from it when I felt it surge upon me, but I didn't. I accepted Kisasi knowing full well the consequences, but during our passion I could care the less.
Maybe now I understand why you mated with Fabana, no doubt for the same reasons why I mated with Kisasi. We were both desperate, and we took what we could get. Scar tell me you understand, let me know you forgive me." Zira closed her eyes and remained perfectly still for many minutes.
"Scar, why can't I hear you. Why have you never visited me since that perfect dream we shared? Are you angry with me? Your silence tells me you are, or am I crazy for even believing you talk to me at all?" Zira let her head slump to the cold floor, and she began to feel tears well up behind her eyes.
"Whether you are watching over me or not, I will make you proud of me Scar! I will finish what I have begun, and soon our vengeance will be satisfied. My time with Kisasi may have been incredible, but that is all over now. It is time for your plan to be fulfilled, and it is time for all my plans to come to fruition. With Kisasi and his pride by my side, I will not fail!
I love you Scar! I always have, and always will. If you can hear me, know this, I my have mated with another male, but I only love you!" Zira tried to smile as she felt the cold tears soak into her fur.
* * * * * *
"Kisasi, my dear! Kisasi! Zira shook the dark lion's dangling paw with her own.
"Mmmm, uh, what... Oh, that sweet voice courses into my ears," Kisasi's eyes flapped open and his green orbs fell upon Zira. "My lionine goddess, must you wake me so early? You can't be ready for another round, can you?"
"Perhaps later," Zira grinned, "But the reason why I woke you is you must know the real reason why I have come here in the first place." Kisasi turned on his side and grinned.
"Tell me, my love."
"First, stop calling me that!"
"There is only one, lion who called me that. You will not take his place."
"What?" Kisasi narrowed his eyes, causing his scars to appear longer, "You know, I do not take very well to threats."
"Listen, I need to know, I can trust you."
"Of course you can, Zira. Why are you having doubts?"
"What about the lionesses?"
"They follow my commands to the letter, and they know better then to cross me."
"I need you to assemble them. I must speak with all of them, about what I plan to do, and how we shall conquer The Pride Lands."
"You wish is my command, my lady. After I sleep." Kisasi closed his eyes, but opened them suddenly. "You would be wise, not to disturb me!" Kisasi turned on his side, after a vicious look. Zira watched him fall back into unconsciousness, with narrowed eyes. She turned from him, and began to walk away, but suddenly turned back and snarled.
"Kisasi, you do not know who you are dealing with, do you? My patience is wearing thin with you. And since I am no longer in need of your... services, you had better watch that vain tongue of yours. You know I would say this to your face, but you would not understand it. Kisasi, You are nothing more than an arrogant son of hyena... YOU ARE NO SCAR!" Zira turned and headed for the entrance, all the while laughing quietly to herself, as insidious schemes coursed through her mind. Kisasi's eyes suddenly sprang open, and he snarled. Leaping from his throne, he descended into the shadows. If only Zira knew he was awake the whole time, and if she only knew he had heard every word she had just said.
* * * * * *
The same light fell upon the eyes of Nuka, and he moved his face trying to turn away from its light. He was enjoying the warm caresses of Usiyahi too much.
"Wake up, Nuka. Come on, wake up I know you hear me." Nuka kept his eyes closed, but responded with a slow caress across Usiyahi's flanks with his tail.
"Why couldn't I have found you sooner, Nuka? You have shown me so much more love than Kisasi ever had."
"Where were you, Usi? When I needed you in the past?" Nuka opened his eyes and gave Usiyahi a loving lick across her muzzle with his tongue. "What does it matter? We have each other now!" Usiyahi returned the lick with one of her own, and the two lions nuzzled together, feeling the warmth of each other's hearts. Usiyahi suddenly broke the embrace and stared into Nuka's eyes
"Do you trust me, Nuka?"
"Of course, why wouldn't I?" Usiyahi only wore a satisfied smile.
"Just wanted to make sure."
"You still think this place is hell, Usi?"
"Not after I found you? You still think this place is nothing more than a termite infested wasteland?
"Usi, I would let a thousand termites bite me, as long as I am with you."
"Do you know how long you've been asleep?"
"No, all I know is you were by my side the whole time, and that made me sleep more peaceful than I ever had!"
"You been asleep the whole remainder of yesterday, the whole night, and the sun is already past its zenith. Nuka, the time combined must have been a whole day!"
"Well, what do you expect, you wore me out."
"Wore you out? I am the one who had to explain everything to you!"
"Hey, I told you, you were the first lioness I ever saw, can I help it, if I didn't know anything about mating?"
"Well, yea, but come on, how many new words did you learn? And I actually had to tell you what to do, every step of the way."
"Yea, but I definitely enjoyed it."
"Yes, I could tell."
"You would be lying, if you told me you didn't enjoy it too."
"Hey, I told you I'm done with Kisasi, didn't I?"
"Uh, I lost count of how many times you did." The two lions' laughter coursed together causing misery to any ear that heard it.
"So," Nuka rose to his paws and shook himself violently, "Would you like to try again?" Usiyahi smiled seductively,
"If you think you know what to do this time?" Nuka wore a seductive grin of his own.
"Well, there is only one way to find out..."
CHAPTER TWENTY: INSIDIOUS SCHEMES
Zira stood upon the throne like formation, deep underneath the termite mound. She flexed her claws and swished her tail impatiently as she waited for the lionesses to assemble.
"Kisasi! What is taking so long?" Consumed by the shadows a deep voice whispered back behind her.
"Patience is a virtue you should work on, Zira."
"And you should work on that vanity of yours."
"Touché, my dear. Aren't we in a splendid mood today? Woke up on the wrong side of the pelt this morning?"
"No, just remembered why I came here, and so sorry, but it wasn't for you."
"Do you enjoy seeing a male cry?"
"You have no tears to shed." Zira laughed quietly as she heard Kisasi snarl behind her, but loud enough, so Kisasi could hear her. She was beginning to beat this male at his own game.
"The lionesses have assembled, Zira. Tell us your plans, before I loose my patience with you."
"You know Kisasi, patience is a virtue you should work on." Zira grinned when she head Kisasi curse behind her, then watched his dark from become illuminated as he sauntered out in front of her. He plodded over to a far wall, his pelt becoming once more enveloped by the shadows, but she knew he was there as his green eyes stared incredulously at her.
Zira looked over the four lionesses that were standing before her. They were all standing as they always did, with their indifferent expressions, and their bellies hanging loosely off their ribs. She let her gaze fall upon them, then straightening up on her back paws; she spread her paws out wide before her and began her discourse.
"Many of you, no doubt, have no idea who I am or why I am here. Sure enough most of you probably do not even care. I am Zira, and you should remember my name well for I bring with me news of a place beyond your wildest dreams. I can see by your eyes and your poorly nourished bodies that you have suffered hard here in this place, which I call The Outlands. But I applaud your will power and lust for survival even in a wasteland such as this. You all deserve much praise and respect due to a fact that a pride can prosper even in a place like this. My heart swells with pride that my species can accomplish this, but what if I told you of a land that is so abundant in food, beauty, and peace that all your years of toil will at last be worth something?
This land does exist, my friends! It is called The Pride Lands and it is filled with heavenly wonders. There are verdant savannas stretching to the horizon, great beasts of prey that would feed an entire pride, plenty of water, and even a great lair called Pride Rock, that is a perfect sanctuary for any lion. Everything you could need is there, and everything you could want will be at the tips of your claws. Never again will you go another night without food, and your pride will prosper for generations to come. Your cubs will grow up in a paradise, full of food and prosperity, and their cub's cubs will reap the benefits as well!
There is only one problem, before this New World can be yours. Pride Rock is currently occupied by a tyrant of a king who rules over all the creatures with a bloody paw. The creatures of The Pride Lands call him king, but he is no king! He is not even fit to carry that title. There was only one true king of Pride Rock, but during a wicked takeover, this usurper murdered him and became king! Even his own lionesses turned against him. (Zira suddenly heard Kisasi laughing quietly in the shadows, but held back a snarl.) Then his beautiful body was torn asunder by ravenous hyenas!
I have made it my mission to avenge this male's death whom, in my opinion, 'was the lion of all lions.' His name was Scar, and he was this title in every meaning of the word! But deep below his hard visage and tortured soul, was a lion who I feel in love with and, (Zira turned to the shadows,) he was the only male who I ever truly loved. No other will ever take his place! (Zira turned back to the four lionesses, that were, by now, hanging on every word.)
The Tyrant of Pride Rock, who was given the simple name, Simba murdered Scar, but we shall avenge him! Simba will die by my claws, and we shall conquer his pride, quite easily I am sure, for they are weak, but we are strong! But I do not want excessive bloodletting, (Zira paused for a second) well not yours anyway, so I have devised a plan that will guarantee our success.
Simba has no knowledge of my existence, nor the vengeance that courses through my veins. I will return to The Pride Lands, and persuade him to let me join his pride, creating a false sense of trust, that will quickly be his downfall. Meanwhile Kisasi, and the rest of you, will slip in unnoticed from the north and as soon as I give the signal, you shall attack!
The best way to topple their resistance is to kill Simba quickly. I shall lead Simba blindly towards his death, into the tall grasses of the savanna. I have dreamed of this ever since I saw my love murdered before my eyes, and Simba will fully understand the hatred he created. I want two of you, to head towards The Elephant Graveyard and light the bones that are strewn throughout it with fire from the many geysers that constantly erupt there. Bring back these burning bones, into the savanna and light the grass aflame. I will be hiding, safely a ways off, but not before I let Simba know what he did to me.
Kisasi! I will need you to distract Simba, long enough for this to take place, and you must hold him off until fire surrounds him. Trust me Kisasi, he won't be very happy, no doubt enraged when he learns the truth about me, but you must keep him from me, and hold him off long enough so I can escape."
"I will do as you ask Zira," Kisasi suddenly stepped into the light, "Every creature who has ever faced me has not lived to tell about it, and neither will this Simba."
"Thank You, Kisasi, but you must not kill him! That task is mine!"
Two lionesses that almost looked exactly the same suddenly bowed before Zira, the larger one's words causing Zira to grin.
"Zira, you have moved us both with your tale. Yes the wrong committed against you must be righted, and participating in the death a tyrant such as the one you refer to will be our pleasure. It will be small price to pay, if The Pride Lands are truly as wondrous as you say they are. Jua and Mwezi will be the lionesses who shall send Simba out in a blaze of glory!" Zira nodded towards the twins.
"Thank you Jua, just remember to get yourself out of there, or you two will not be able to enjoy the wonders of The Pride Lands." Kisasi and the twins walked behind Zira and ceremoniously sat on each side of her. Zira looked back towards the two remaining lionesses who sat unmoving. She especially noted with disdain that the one on the right seemed to be snarling at her.
"I didn't catch your name, my friend."
"Friend!? The lioness spat on the ground, "You are nothing! I shall never follow you. Kisasi you disgust me, and as for Jua and Mwezi, I have lost all the respect I ever had for you, but I always knew you two were nothing more than Kisasi's little mindless spies, no doubt playthings." The twins snarled and splayed their claws, but Kisasi held out his paw, holding them back.
"My dear, Nyota, is there a problem I should know about?"
"You may be the king of this pride, Kisasi, but you do not rule over me! I have had enough of this mockery of a so-called alliance. I want no part of this! Better to live in a wasteland, than to waste my time with you four!"
"So be it!" Zira suddenly snarled "Get out of my sight then! You are not worthy to even be listening to me!" Nyota locked her eyes onto Zira for some time, but then moved them towards her allies. Nyota knew she was outnumbered, so she turned on her paw and stomped away, but looked back, and gave Zira a sly wink.
"You know, I now know why my friend called you that perfect name, it is so true!" Her tail flashed once from the darkness, then she was gone. Zira twisted her muzzle into a confused look, not knowing if she wanted to know what Nyota meant by that or not.
One lioness remained, who had sat unmoving during Zira's speech, Kisasi suddenly whispered in Zira's ear the reason, causing Zira to smile.
"Will you join us, Shari? It would be a great help to have a seer of The Gods among us!" The lioness slowly raised her head, and spoke in a very soft tone.
"Your words may have moved the souls of my fellow lionesses, but it is the will of my god, Kondo, that his oracle remain absent from this conquest. During your entire spiel, I have looked deep into your soul, Zira. I shudder at what I found." The oracle slowly turned and followed the path Nyota had taken.
"Wait, Shari! What do you mean? What did you see in my soul?" The lioness slowly turned and smiled.
"Nothing. An emptiness that will never be filled, until the final breath escapes your body!" Zira narrowed her eyes, but felt the warm paw of Kisasi upon her shoulder, restraining her. Zira watched Shari go with a deep sense of dread; knowing full well she spoke the truth.
* * * * * *
"When will you be leaving, Zira?" Zira turned and tried to smile, but Shari's words still echoed in her ears.
"Hmmmm? Oh, very soon, Kisasi. I need you and the twins to reach The Pride Lands by the next full moon. By then I should have Simba completely oblivious to what awaits him."
"You seem a little tense, my dear, is it because of what Shari said?"
"Of course not, no shaman scares me! I already told you, my belief in any God died a long time ago."
"Don't tell that to the twins. For most, including myself, still believe in the all seeing eyes of The Kings of the Past who always watch over us."
"Only Scar watches over me!"
"You know, my dear," Kisasi sauntered in front of Zira, "You never mentioned, this so called love of your life to me when we first met."
"Should I have?" Zira wore a seductive grin "All I could think about was you during those first few days."
"Don't play games with me, Zira. Your heart has been cold as ice, for the past two days now, as has the spot next to my side, where you used to sleep."
"I told you, I want to be alone for awhile. I promise I'll be your mate once again Kisasi, as soon as we conquer The Pride Lands."
"You had better remember that promise, Zira!"
"Don't you trust me?" Kisasi said nothing but stared into Zira's eyes. Zira stared back. Her eyes changing from a questioning look, to one of confusion, then to one of anger.
"I'll see you in The Pride Lands, Zira."
"You didn't answer my question, Kisasi!" Kisasi said nothing, but resumed sauntering towards the entranceway of his lair, at last looking back with a knowing grin spread across his face.
"You'll have your answer... in The Pride Lands." With that he was gone.
* * * * * *
Zira looked upon Kisasi's lair one last time, letting her eyes and mind wander.
"Scar, never let me see this place again. My new home shall be The Pride Lands! Watch over me, and guide me as you always have." Zira turned and began walking towards the entranceway of the lair, but looked back one last time.
She followed the path, towards the sunlight, and soon was back into the glaring sun and disgusting humidity.
"Good Luck, Zira!" Zira jumped, and spun her head towards the voice, only seeing the smaller of the twins grinning up at her.
"Thank You, Mwezi. Until we meet in The Pride Lands."
"I can't wait!"
"By the way, have you seen a lone male wandering around the border anywhere?" Mwezi began giggling like a cub.
"What? What did I say? What is so funny?"
"This... lone male didn't happen to be lanky, had this hysterical laugh, and was scratching himself silly all the time was he?"
"Well, you just described him perfectly. Obviously you've seen him?
"Oh, yea, in more ways than one." Zira narrowed her eyes.
"Where is he now."
"I really don't know, but from what I hear through the lionesses, he's been pretty busy." Zira raised an eyebrow.
"Oh yea, a friend of yours, happened to find him, and from what I hear, she is showing him a thing or two."
"A friend of mine?"
"Yea. There was one lioness who was too busy to attend your speech, although I did tell her she missed a good one." Zira let Mwezi's words roll over and over in her mind, suddenly Zira's mind exploded with a picture of the leering Usiyahi. Zira had totally forgot about the lioness, but she did plainly remember "the look" Usiyahi gave her when she had left.
"Well, I have to go see what Jua's up to. By the way, you'll surely find them close to the border, you heading that way aren't you?" Zira slowly raised her head, wearing her famous, wicked grin.
"Thank You, Mwezi. Yes, I'll have to stop by and say hello."
"Well, see you soon!" Zira was surprised, when Mwezi ran up to her and bumped heads with her in a warm nuzzle, then ran off towards the horizon. Zira watched her go with a slight smile, feeling slight warmth in her heart.
She was about to head towards the border, but suddenly felt an eerie presence, as if someone was watching her. She spun on her paws but saw nothing, on the feeling grew more intense, as if it came from above her. She raised her head, but was blinded by the sun. Still she could definitely make out a lioness perched atop the termite hill. She tried to blot out the sun's intense rays with her paws, but was unsuccessful.
"Blinded by the power of Kondo, Zira?" Zira suddenly realized, with a question like that it had to be that enigmatic shaman, Shari. She just wondered how she managed to get up there. Still keeping her eyes covered by her paw, she tried speaking to the shaman, wanting to know why she said what she did back in Kisasi's lair.
"Shari, what did you mean by that prophecy?"
"Exactly as it sounds. No matter what you try to bring you happiness, it will all be futile. The only way the emptiness of your soul will end is when your life does."
"What are you saying, when, where?!"
"I can only say, it will be the ultimate choice, and your choice alone."
"Does it concern the conquest I am planning?"
"In a matter of speaking, yes. But the choice will only be answered by future events, but these events are already set into motion. As I said your choices, are already creating the path to your death."
"Shari, I must know! Can I trust Kisasi?"
"You trusted him enough, for him to become your mate, didn't you?"
"That is not what I meant, I had no choice. I had no..."
"I don't want to hear any petty excuses, it is far too late for that."
"What? What are you saying?"
"His seed runs deep inside of you, Zira. Soon new blood will form from it!"
"You had better make sure, what you promised us, is true Zira, because very soon you'll have a few more hungry mouths to feed."
"No, tell me you are lying! Tell me you are making this all up. I can't be a mother, not now, not anymore!" Zira screamed towards the sun, pulling her paw away from her face, but when she tried to make out the oracle's form, Shari was gone.
"No! Shari where are you? Don't be doing this to me, not now! Shari! Shari!" Zira looked all around but was only met with silence and shadows. Zira shook her head, it couldn't be true, it just couldn't. She gazed back towards the sun and pictured as though it was Scar's angry gaze; any second it would set her fur aflame. Slowly turning, she began her long trek back towards The Pride Lands. Nuka and Usiyahi were soon forgotten about, they were the last thing on Zira's mind. All she could think about now were Shari's words. Now, more than ever, she knew she had to complete her mission. It was now not only a quest to avenge Scar, but a quest to right the terrible wrong she had committed against him, and secure a new land for her cubs to prosper.
* * * * * *
Like the shadows, cast by the sun, a large shadow moved around the giant termite hill. But this shadow had claws, teeth, and an extremely devious mind. Kisasi sauntered out from his hiding place, flanked on one side by Shari and Nyota on the other. He lowered his head and fixed his gaze on the distant form of Zira far off in the distance.
"So, our little friend knows the truth, eh, Shari?"
"Yes, but I have this feeling she didn't take it very well."
"Oh, is poor Zira, concerned about the future?" Kisasi and Shari both turned toward the voice of Usiyahi as she crept out from the shadows. Like Kisasi and Nyota, she was hidden the whole time as well, and overheard the entire conversation between Zira and Shari. Kisasi nuzzled Usiyahi in a warm embrace.
"You forgive me, don't you, Usi?"
"Of course, my king, you are allowed to mate with as many lionesses as you want, but remember what you heard Zira say? She has always only loved Scar. Well, now I know you have always only loved me!" Kisasi licked the face of his soulmate in a passionate kiss.
"More than you'll ever know! But as for the strange looking one, does he know any of our plans?"
"Oh, don't worry about, Nuka, my lord. I have him so wrapped around my claws, it is actually quite sad." Shari began laughing wickedly.
"Zira, has no idea what she is getting into does she?"
"No she never did. She had no idea what she was getting into the moment she stepped into our lands." Nyota's voice broke through Kisasi's haunting laughter.
"I am so interested to she how this plays out, it will be so... interesting." Usiyahi lowered her evil gaze upon the distant form of Zira.
"You have no idea!"