The Chosen, by Loa
Chapter 3 - Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid...
What are you, stupid or something? Didnít you read the introduction to parts 1 and 2? If I owned The Lion King, do you really think Iíd be sitting here, writing fanfics?
Every hyena in Africa had been brought up on tales of the Chosen as a pup. Passed down from generation to generation, it was told how the Chosen Mother would give birth to the Chosen Born - the pups that would unite all the hyenas in all the known lands. And then there was the Chosen Mate - the sire of the Chosen Born and the life mate of the Chosen Mother...
"Shenzi canít be the Chosen Mother!" said Banzai, "She had it off with Ed!"
"It is written in the stars," said Rafiki, "I have seen it there. Do you love her?"
"B-but - if she really is the Chosen Mother - she canít have had sex with Ed!" Rafiki nodded, "But she told me..."
"She told you what she thought was true," said Rafiki, patiently.
"Hang on a moment! But if I still love her... that would make me the-" Banzai stammered. Some hyenas believed in the Chosen all their lives. Others thought that it was so much zebra dung. Banzai was of the latter, "But I donít believe in the Chosen!"
"Yes," said Rafiki, "That would make you the Chosen Mate. You see, Banzai, only part of the story of the Chosen is left from the old days. Yes, the Chosen Mate will love the Chosen Mother - but he will never have believed in the Chosen!"
"Isnít that some kind of paradox?" asked Sinzia, who was trying to resuscitate the barely half-conscious Askari, "One of those ĎZení things?"
"Yeah," said Simba. He looked down at Askari, who was starting to come round now.
Rafiki turned back to the rather shocked Banzai, "What is your choice, Banzai?"
Banzai sneered, "She can go to h-" But before he could finish his sentence, there was a scream. It seemed to come from the very Graveyard itself and went straight into Banzaiís heart, "Shenzi!" he gasped. He turned and ran in the direction of the scream. Askari stared after him for a second.
"Did I miss something very important while I was out cold?" she asked the world in general. After a few moments of waiting futiley for an answer, she followed Banzai hurriedly. Simba and Rafiki ran after her. It wasnít easy to keep up with the two hyenas at the speed they were running.
Shenzi was lying on the floor of the cave, gasping for air. There was blood all over her body. There was blood all over the floor. She had given up trying to run; all she could do was wait until she could stand the pain no longer,and pray that death took her before Afriti could.
Afriti was also covered in blood, but it was not his own. It was Shenzi's. The two hyenas did not see Banzai, then Askari, then Simba and finally Rafiki approach from behind.
"Odd, how you have not given in to me. You are tough, Shenzi. You are the strongest matriarch this pack has ever had, and that is something that I ought to have the knowledge of. But you cannot keep going forever. I, on the other hand, can."
Shenzi managed to raise her head. "What do you want from me?" she asked Afriti, through her pain. He was nearing her slowly, and she was all but ready to give up. On the other pawÖ "Why couldnít you just wait a few years for another matriarch of the Malign family?"
"Havenít you realised, Shenzi? Isnít it painfully obvious?" Afriti saw Shenziís look of confusion and continued, sneering, "Painful, then, but not obvious," He shook his head and laughed quietly, "You are the Chosen Mother!" He kicked her across the cave. She grunted as the wind was knocked out of her, "Will you give up now?" Shenzi shook her head, no.
"How can I be the Chosen Mother?" she asked Afriti, weakly, "I fucked Ed!"
"No, you didnít." Afriti dragged Shenzi to her feet, then threw her against a wall, "How about now?" he asked her. Shenzi managed to shake her head, weakly.
Shenzi gave a start. Banzai and Zani looked at each other, confused. Shenzi rolled her eyes upwards to try and see Afriti more clearly, "ButÖ I remember..."
"Despite the fact that Ed is gone, I still have his memories," leered Afriti, "I rememberÖ You dropped into depression one night, soon after the hyenaís banishment. You went out and got pissed with the missing link, the muscle-head, the rabid lunatic and some other morons." Afriti slapped Shenzi across the face.
"Call them by their names, you priggish bastard!" Shenzi snarled. Afriti rolled his eyes.
"Askari got so drunk that she passed out, and Banzai barely managed to get back to his own cave before he threw up everything in his belly," He cuffed Shenzi again.
"I know that," Shenzi croaked.
"Ed actually got so drunk that he mistook you for Askari! When you staggered back to your cave, he followed you. He made several passes at you. There was some light petting, then he asked you to have sex with him!" Afriti laughed and grabbed Shenziís broken foreleg. He twisted it about a little, almost playfully, laughing as Shenzi squealed, "How about now?" He gave it a final twist, and she screamed in pain.
"But you said no, you were sorry, but you loved Banzai too much. You went back to your own cave, almost totally inebriated, and fell asleep instantly. Ed followed you there and lay down beside you. After a while, he fell asleep next to you." Afriti slapped her across the dead end and into a rock wall, "You awoke the next morning with a hangover. You were lying next to Ed, so you jumped to the most obvious conclusion. You left the cave before he awoke. You never mentioned it again, and though Ed remembered what had happened, he didnít either." Afriti dragged Shenzi to her paws and chuckled. He dropped her to the floor again, roughly, "How about now?"
"No," Shenziís voice faded to a hoarse whisper, "Now give Ed back his body!"
Afriti lifted a paw to punch Shenzi again, then stopped, "Give Ed back his body!" he hissed, "Of course! Why didnít I think of it before!" He lowered his paw. As they all watched, he squirmed. When he looked up, it was Edís eyes again. Then he squealed as Afriti used Edís paw to punch Shenzi. Afritiís voice now spoke through Edís face, "Watch, as Ed sees what his body does to you!" He slapped Shenzi again, but much harder. Ed wailed and tried to stop his paw, without success. Hidden in the shadows, Askari shuddered and began to cry, quietly.
"Stop it!" cried out Shenzi, "Stop doing that to Ed!"
"Iíll stop when you give in!" snarled Afriti, kicking Shenzi in the stomach, "Forget Banzai! Get it into your thick hyena skull that he no longer loves you! He hates you! You have nothing left!! No friendship, no intimacy, no love, nothing!! Give up!!" His voice was approaching a perfect scream, "You still resist, even though Banzai no longer feels anything more than contempt for you!! Despite the fact he thinks you are filth!!!" Afriti jumped forward and sank his teeth into Shenziís shoulder. She shrieked in agony, "He has every reason to!!!"
"I donít care! I love him! I love him!! And I'll never love anybody else!!!" Shenzi screamed these words. Then she twisted and sank her teeth into Afritiís ankle in blind fury.
"EEAAARRGGGHHH!!!!" Two screams mingled - Afriti's and Banzai's. Afriti lifted Edís paw once more, but before he could strike Shenzi again, he was bowled over by Banzai. Askari jumped forward and pulled Shenzi gently aside. Shenzi whimpered in pain at any touch. Afriti had wiped Ed out of his conscious again. Banzai was screaming at Afriti, but Shenzi couldnít see who was fighting, for pain and blood blinded her vision. She tried to focus on who was directly in front of her, and managed to make out Askari's features.
"Askari?" she croaked, "Whatís happening?"
"It doesnít matter any more, Shenzi," said Askari gently, wiping the blood out of her mane, and the foam away from her mouth, "Everythingís going to be all right now. I promise."
Meanwhile, Banzai was fighting Afriti. Afriti was both amazed and terrified at the strength that anger had lent to Banzai. Banzai would pay dearly for it later, but right now, Afriti was the one who was paying. And now it was as if he was actually fighting two hyenas. Ed had forced his way back into Afriti's mind now, and he was as angry as Banzai was. Somehow, he was forcing Afriti to pull his punches. Afriti landed a punch on Banzai that should have knocked him all the way across the dead end, but just before it connected, Ed pulled him up short, and the punch only knocked him aside a little. Shenzi looked up, but she could only see two hyenas fighting, in a spinning ball of fur, claws and blood. She tried to get up to see what was going on, but she just collapsed back to the floor in pain. Her vision started to clear a little and she saw Askari standing over her more clearly.
"Askari?" Askari nodded, "What are we going to do?" Askari paused, "Theyíre killing each other!" Shenzi screamed at her.
Askari looked over her shoulder at the two fighting males, "I - I donít know..."
Afriti gasped as Banzai hit him again and again, "You arrogant bastard! You stole my brother! You tried to rape Shenzi!" screamed Banzai. He hit Afriti again, forcing him onto his back, and lifted a paw. But just before Banzai swung his paw down for the killing blow, Afritiís face changed, and Banzai was looking at Ed again.
Ed reached out towards his brother, whimpering, "Ungh..."
The red mist drained away, and Banzai lowered his own paw. Then Edís face flashed into Afritiís once more, and he leapt at Banzaiís throat. Banzai could feel the blood and the breathÖ but not the pain. There was a whumph sound, as another body hit the floor. Banzai got back up and turned. Askari had jumped forward and punched Afriti in the chest, as hard as possible. Afriti gasped. Then he jumped at her, knocking her onto her back and pinning her down.
"Ed thought he could fight me! Shenzi thought she could fight me! Now you think you can fight me! But you are nothing but a freak! You cannot hope to beat me!"
Askari whimpered, "Donít kill me!"
"I do not intend to kill you. Your soul is already dead!" Afriti leaned forward and hissed in her ear, "Kari..."
"You ate the meat?"
"Donít kill me!"
"I do not intend to kill you. Your soul is already dead, Kari..."
"NO!" Askari screamed. She narrowed her eyes and jumped up in a fury, throwing Afriti off her. Before he could retaliate, she kicked out with a hind leg, knocking him back, again and again. "Donít you dare call me ĎKarií!" She kicked out wildly again, "You made me sell my soul! You told me it was best for all of us!"
Simba only saw Askariís face for a moment. But her eyes shone with all the fires of hell. And anyone with eyes like that could kill anything they wanted, because sheer, unadulterated rage, unsullied by any other emotion, will have a worse effect than insanity. Because even though both can punch through a brick wall, anger really means it. In that state, you could have sandblasted Askari for ten minutes, and what was left of her still wouldnít give up and youíd bloody well better not turn your back on her.
Askari punched out at Afriti feverishly, "Iím your fault! Your fault!" Finally, she twisted and slapped Afriti round the face as hard as she could, using all her claws, "You BASTARD!!" she screamed.
"AUUGGHH!" He gasped, and clasped a paw tightly to his right eye. Blood was pouring from it. Panting, Askari looked in shock at her claws. They had blood on them. Edís blood. She staggered back in a daze, her emotions in a whirl of horror and fear. After a second, she found her voice.
"ED!!!" She tried to jump forward, but Banzai caught hold of her. But it was nearly impossible to hold her, even though she was a good six inches smaller than him. A voice spoke, not coming from any mouth, but out of the air perhaps, or even out of their headsÖ
"His broken body is of no further use to me..."
Edís paw dropped from his eye, and through the blood, they all saw the four scars that Askari had dealt him. For a moment he just stood there, almost as if suspended on strings. As they all watched, a black mist began to rise up out of his mouth. No-one paid any attention to it, but watched as Ed slumped to the floor. Askari managed to fight free of Banzai, and ran forward to Ed, wrapping her arms around him, pulling him close to her, and rocking him back and forth as he sobbed in shock and pain, bending a little to bury his face in her chest.
"Iím sorry, Ed," Askari said, over and over again, "Iím sorry, Iím sorry, Iím sorry. It had to be done."
Ed continued to sob, "I know..."
Shenzi was trembling with the pain and exhaustion. She turned to face Banzai and took a couple of shaky steps forward.
"You came back for me," she whispered, the tears still running down her face, "You came back for me..."
Banzai nodded, "Yes." There was nothing else to say. He caught her in his arms, just before she collapsed to the floor too. Simba watched as Banzai rubbed his cheek softly against Shenziís. She nodded at Askari, weakly. Wincing, she managed to get to her feet, and Banzai went to support her on her side. Ed got to his feet slowly, then Askari went to bear him up before he collapsed. He whimpered quietly, and the hyenas prepared to leave the dead end. But just before they withdrew, Shenzi turned slowly to face Simba.
"Rule your people well... king Simba." Shenzi turned away from him, and the four of them left.
"Did she just say Ďthank youí?" asked Simba. He watched the hyenas go. Rafiki shrugged. "You know," he said thoughtfully, remembering how some of the hyenas had been living, "Maybe a deal could be arranged..."
One week laterÖ
Ed was sitting on the border of the Graveyard, and looking up at the moon.
"Oh Kari, why I love you? You everything a decent bitch not, but I love you so bloody much..." He was suddenly aware of someone sitting next to him. "Kari?!" He turned, "Uh, I mean, hi, Askari."
Askari grinned, then sighed, "But itís true, isnít it? Iím not a very nice person." She scratched her left ear hard.
Ed watched Askari for a little while, then spoke again, "Why you think the demon-thing wanted you sister?"
Askari shrugged. There was a long pause, then he spoke again.
"I sorry for all this." Askari shrugged a third time, "I love you! But I not deserve you! I meanÖ look me!" Ed grabbed the right side of his face in one paw, angrily.
Askari took Edís paw and touched the left side of his face with it. In the week that had passed, Edís right eye had turned pearl white blind, with four horrible pink scars where she had struck him. "Really? Even though Iím a freak?" Her eyes were full of hope.
Ed nodded. He brushed a paw down Askariís face, "The day we met, you set fire burning in my heart. You learnt me to live." He wrapped his forelegs around her body and pulled her close, nuzzling her cheek lovingly, "We got through all - the drought, the war, the disease and the bloody hard work. Some stupid demon not split us up now."
Askari looked up at Ed again, then she touched her cheek to his, "Yes, youíre right," She moved closer to Ed and hesitated, "I loved you when you could barely talk. I loved you when we lost the fight for the Pride Lands. But I never knew just how much I really loved youÖ until I nearly lost you. Iíve looked for a place to call home for years, and Iíve finally found it," Askari began to lick Edís face all over, kissing him repeatedly, "In your arms."
"Askari," Ed whispered, his breathing hoarse and rapid, "Oh, Askari..." Ed ran a paw down her body, "Oh, Kari, I love you," He wrapped his forelegs around her body, pulling her closer and slowly climbing onto her, licking her face and neck. Askari began to whimper in pleasure. After a while, he started to mount her. She could feel his warm breath against her neck, his forepaws gripping her chest, with his claws lightly digging into her flesh, and his heart beating flat out against her back. She pushed him off gently, and he looked at her, puzzled.
"Ed, I've got something important to tell you." Askari sat up slowly and took a deep breath.
"Hmm?" Ed was looking at the moon again.
"I'm deeply, deeply in love with you."
Ed blinked. He had been ready to say something like, 'that's nice' or 'any colour you like' but his brain, not wishing to be inside a skull that had been stoved in with a large rock, managed to interrupt with, "What? You are? I mean, good!"
"It'll probably take a while to sink in."
The End (probably)
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