Return to the Pridelands
Howie: brother of Michael, decides to stay in the real world this time
Michael: done writing about his 1st experience in the Pridelands, he gets bored and decides to return
Ahaden: Current King of the Pridelands, Michael and Kara’s father
Serra: Current Queen of the Pridelands, Michael and Kiara’s mother
Zira: supreme warleader (general) of the outland pride.
Akahitu: Akah for short, comes in later in the story
Kara: the Prideland’s top assassin. So silent the enemy doesn’t even know that they’re dead
Tsara: appears later on in the story
Chapter One- “Im bored of the real world Howie…”
(Midnight in Auburndale Florida, Michael is finishing his story “Three Brothers 3”When Howie comes into the room)
Howie: (yawning/to Michael) dang, you’ve been in here ever since lunch, please give it a rest
Michael: (finishing/explanation) this book is gonna make me rich Howie, I gotta make sure it’s perfect, and im done anyways
Howie: (question) do ya think that they remember us? (Looks at the unplugged T.V.)
Michael: (answer) probably not
Howie: (thinking out loud) right now, im just glad that it’s over…
Michael: (bending down and plugging the T.V. back in) it wont be for much longer, do ya wanna go back again?
Howie: (answer) heck no, ive had way too much excitement in just one trip I mean between a stampede, an insane dictator, and an atomic explosion, that’s just too much.
Michael: (statement) im tired of the real world Howie… so…
Michael: (turning the T.V. on and popping in what he thought was T.L.K 1/continuing) im going back with or without you (he puts on a reality ring and rubs it)
Howie: (last minute thought) be careful bro; remember what happened in the stampede
Michael: (laughing) hey, ill just take your shelter spot this time…
(Michael’s statement is cut off as the reality ring whisks him into his selected alternative to reality)
Chapter Two- Oops…
(In the dark of night, the Queen gave birth to two cubs; these births couldn’t be celebrated because the very same day, the Outlands declared war on the Pridelands and everybody had their eyes glared on their enemy’s next move, except Michael, who realizes that he’s made a mistake)
Michael: (thinking) oh no, it appears that I goofed… oh well; ill make the best of this
(The reality voice pipes in)
R.V.: (to Michael) wow, you’re the first ever to use the reality ring twice, oh well, you know the drill right?
Michael: (in mind/to the voice) you take my memories and my ring and I stay here until ive done everything I was intended to.
R.V.: (taking said things) goodbye now, enjoy your new life.
(And with that the voice was gone and so were the said things that he took)
Chapter Three- The Battle for the Plains
(Three Years have passed, three years of endless troop movement and territory gains and the occasional blind charge that would gain the enemy several miles of territory, the queen’s son and daughter had been forced into service when they had just turned a year old (remember it takes a lion about four years to reach maturity)
Then one day, the Outlanders just vanished, and they vanished for what seemed like an eternity, but in truth it was about a month, confusion reigned over the Prideland main garrison who are currently out on the plains patrolling)
Warlioness: (to Michael) I wonder where they went sir, they’ve been gone a while.
Michael: (looking around) hmmmm… me too…
(a low rumble is then heard, as it gets closer they recognize that it is the sound of marching. then a entire legion of outlanders and a new species of cat charged over the hill (a legion is roughly 200,000-500,000 troops) these new cats were like nothing anyone in the 100,000 strong Prideland army had ever seen, they resembled a lion, but they had giant saber like teeth and quite a stumpy tail, they stopped and Zira stepped ahead of their army, and spoke to Michael)
Zira: (to Michael) it’s over Michael, you are outmanned, none of your clever tactics will work, surrender to us, and we will spare you a gruesome death by the paws (hands whatever) of our newfound allies, the Sabertooths.
Michael: (to Zira) I’ll never surrender, not after what you have done to my family (Michael banished the memory of the battle for the elephant graveyard in which he had lost his mom and his dad)
Zira: (taunting) aww… poor baby, still blames me for his ineptitude
Michael: (angry) grrrr… Those are the last words that you will ever say! (Turns to his army) CHARGE!!!!!
(The 100,000 top condition Prideland army charged at the malnourished, poor condition Outland army and their saber-toothed allies
Michael, who was superbly muscled from tackling full grown Cape buffalo and knocking them to the ground without effort, was the first to get a kill, he hit an outlander in the back as hard as he could, and a satisfying crack is heard as the malnourished lion’s spinal cord is severed,
He then looked to his left, and saw a Sabertooth pounce on top of one of the lionesses from his army and bite into her neck, he then turned his head as the ‘saber ripped off her’s completely, then an emotion that he hadn’t felt in two years seeped through his veins, he was afraid, not just for his life, but for his sister’s as well, even though she wasn’t at this battle, he hoped that she was alright, but that was all he was able to think before he banished the idea of fear from his thoughts, fear wasn’t in his vocabulary so he never felt it, and quite frankly he didn’t want to start to now.)
(The battle raged on for a week without end, no one slept, no one ate, just endless slaughter, until all that was left of both sides was Michael, an outlander, and a ‘saber. Michael had the marks of combat all over him, and was quite exhausted and this outlander could barely stand, but the ‘saber didn’t even look like he had broke a sweat, Michael then ran at the ‘saber, he knew that if he could kill the saber first, the outlander would be an easy target, he went for the ‘saber’s jugular and managed to slice it open. the vein oozed scarlet red all over Michael, but he didn’t care, so he turned and with one swipe of a forepaw he decapitated the outlander and ended the battle)
Michael: (breathing hard) its… over, we won…
(Michael started to leave the battlefield when he remembered that Zira had disappeared earlier on in the battle, and he needed to make his victory complete, and just as this memory had resurfaced sure enough, he saw something move out of the corner of his eye, on the cliff edge near where he was standing, he looked over the edge and saw Zira hanging there, fighting for a good grip on the rocks, when she sees Michael, she speaks)
Zira: (almost frantic) Michael, help me.
(As she flails her hind legs in vane for a good foothold, loose stones tumble down the seemingly bottomless ravine, she looks at Michael with eyes full of fear, and Michael cocks an evil smile as he replies)
Michael: (mocking/evil tone) aww… poor baby… (Michael then extends his four inch claws and dives them into Zira’s forepaws)
(As he does this, a look of horror and pain appears in Zira’s eyes, and then he let go, leaving Zira clawing to get a good re-grip on the rocks, but she claws to no avail, and gravity takes over and she falls to her death)
Zira: (falling/screaming) Ahhhhhhhhh…
(The battle of the plains and possibly the war ended with Zira’s death, Michael walks out of the battlefield then decides to rub it in the outlands face, he remembers that he saw an outland den-camp a few miles into enemy territory, he figured that a few troops and a bunch of lionesses were no mach for him, so he started walking. a few miles turned out to be 20 and Michael was only half way there, and he was so tired that he collapsed into the deepest sleep he had ever experienced in his entire life)
Chapter Four: Michael’s Nightmare
(there he stood, the general of the Prideland army, dead and dying lay all around, he appears to be the only one left, but then the general of the outland’s army attacked, the two tussled and fought for an eternity, with Michael backing up towards a giant bottomless ravine, getting closer and closer to the edge then he backed off of it, he couldn’t get a strong foothold on anything below him (because the cliff had a sort of reverse slant) and his forepaws were slipping, so he called out to Zira (ya right)
Dream Michael: (desperate) Zira, help me (slips and pauses) please…
(He flails his hind legs and slips a few inches, but Zira just turns away and starts walking leaving Michael to fight for his grip, he gets kinda desperate)
Dream Michael: (to no one in particular) help, someone help!
(one of his forepaws slides off the rock and he tries to put it back but it just slides away again, leaving him hanging by one forepaw, primal fear is in his tone)
Dream Michael: (yelling/primal fear) HELP!!!
(He manages to regain a weak forepaw grip, but still no foothold, without a foothold, he won’t be climbing back up and if his forepaws slipped, he would fall to a gruesome death, then he saw a lioness walking toward him, he couldn’t see her face at a distance but he called out for her assistance) (Big mistake)
Michael: (desperate) you there, help.
(The lioness’ face came into view, it was Zira, she had come back and she showed no signs of wanting Michael alive) (Obviously)
Dream Zira: (mocking/bizarrley Michael sounding) aww… poor baby, need help?
(Michael’s eyes opened wide with fear as Zira grabbed onto his forepaws and dropped him, he fell to his death as Zira laughed…)
Chapter Five: The Outland Den-Camp
(Michael awoke from his nightmare and looked around frantically, he must’ve passed out while he was walking, and that’s what he figured anyways. Another second and he made another discovery; underneath him there was a small dark patch of dirt where it was wet and warm, and he was disgusted at that fact, but he gathered his composure, got up and started walking anyway.)
Michael: (thinking to himself) no, im not a murderer, it was a battle, aren’t you supposed to kill your enemies in such a scenario? That’s what I was taught anyways “kill first and ask questions later” that’s what dad used to say when I was in the cub unit of our army, but something doesn’t feel right, I know she was the enemy’s warleader and all, but did she have to die like that, in cold blood? What did that dream mean? Was it one of those “if you were her how would you feel sort of things?” ok, I really need to calm down, you can’t change the past.
(A couple of hours later, the den-camp came into view, a guard stops Michael at the entrance to the camp)
Guard: (to Michael) halt. What is your business here?
Michael: (a fabricated story) Zira sent me, to tell you that we’ve lost the battle of the plains and to be on alert, the Pridelanders’ army will be moving in this direction soon
Guard: (believing every word) hmmm… this is disturbing news, thank you anyway, say do you know where our brilliant general ran off to?
Michael: (answer) she wouldn’t tell me.
Guard: (talking) oh, well her son will have to suffer again, another night without his mother, but he’s a fighter for such a young one.
(These words stung Michael to the very core, as he realized that this was a young cub of about a year and a half)
Guard: (continuing to talk) say, you look tired, go find you a place to lie down; I will have some slaves tend to you momentarily
Michael: (grateful) thank you.
Guard: (statement) you’re welcome.
(Even though he had just woke up, when he found a place to lie, he fell into another deep sleep) (Start of Michael’s dream # two) Michael is standing out on a battlefield, the bull elephant skull says it was the one of the elephant graveyard campaign, the skies are dark and the air smells heavily of the dead, and he then saw Zira slash his father’s stomach, as a result of the slash his father’s innards fell out. he then saw himself cry out at Zira, she charged, but then his mom jumped in front of the charge, his mom was then nearly cleaved in half and her blood splattered all over him, he was just a cub back then, cubs are not supposed to be exposed to things like that, it gives them a feeling of powerlessness, and kills their spirit, leaving them with one emotion, unchanneled anger, and that’s what happened in this case, then blackness falls…) (end Michael’s dream)
(Michael then awoke to nine lionesses standing around him; he recognized one from a scar on her face as to being at the battle for the elephant graveyard; that battle just refuses to go away in Michael’s eyes)
Michael: (realizing/low tone) you’re all Pridelanders, what are you doing here?
Slave Lioness: (whispering) we could ask you the very same question general.
Michael: (command/whisper) you first.
Slave Lioness: (agreement/whisper) we’re P.O.Ws, forced into slavery by Zira to serve her exclusive guests, so why is the guard sending us to you? Did you betray the Pridelanders?
Michael: (answer) no, I came here for the spilling of outlander blood, and as for Zira…
(Michael tells the whole story of the week long battle, the death of Zira, and his nightmares.)
Michael: (finishing) ...and that’s how I ended up here.
Slave Lioness: (putting it all together) hmmm… sounds to me like these dreams are a result of war guilt, war guilt is when you do something that your mind tells you in a battle scenario, but your heart tells you that there was an easier solution and sometimes even posing the classic question “if I were her, how would I feel?” (Changes the subject) we were sent here to serve you, if we don’t in some way, we will be beat by the guards and as you see, we just aren’t in military fitness anymore.
(She was right, two and a half years of very little food had taken its toll, and they were really just skin and bones)
Michael: (thinking) hmmm… I care about the lives of my people so let me think, hmmm… what can you do for me… just tell the guard that I enjoyed your service.
(The lionesses leave and Michael lies down quietly in a corner, he starts to nod off to sleep until he is approached by Zira’s cub)
Cub: (to Michael) um… im sorry to have bothered you, but do you have word on my mom yet?
Michael: (answer/lie) sorry kid, last I saw her, she was telling me to run to this camp with the info that we had lost the battle.
Cub: (disappointed) oh… ah well, ive survived a week or so without her, I can do so for another night or two
Michael: (question) you got a name kid?
Cub: (answer/what appears to be pride in his tone) im Akahitu, Zira’s third child and future ruler of the entire outlands
Michael: (statement) ok, im gonna call you Akah from now on, because Akahitu is too hard to remember, is that ok?
Akahitu: (answer) I like it, ive never been nicknamed before, it’s cool, hey what’s your name.
Michael: (answer) im Michael (making up a history with the outland army) I was a military strategist, I helped your mom come up with some of the best assault tactics ever (notices Akahitu is straining to hear something other than him) what is it?
Akah: (quieting) shhh… listen…
(A low marching sound is heard off in the distance, the camp then starts to stir, with outsiders running around and calling the names of loved ones)
Michael: (standing up/to Akah) we can’t stay here, that’s the sound of the Prideland reserve army, and last I saw them, they had at least 700,000 troops.
Akah: (question) do you really need that many troops to take out a den camp of about 50-60 non-military lions?
Michael: (ignoring the question/picking up Akah) time to go.
Akah: (surprised) hey! I can walk ya know.
Michael: (running towards the exit of the den camp/smart Alec answer) you can’t walk faster than a Prideland Warlioness, and I can.
Akah: (giving up) ok, but where are we going?
Michael: (running/answer) as far away from here as possible.
Akah: (smug statement) oh that answers a lot…
(Michael, carrying Akah lion style (in his mouth by the scruff of the neck) runs out of the camp just as the main legions of the Prideland army crest the hill)
Akah: (squirming) wait! Go back!
Michael: (statement) and get killed? Heck no.
Akah: (crying out in desperation) my brother and sister are still back there!!
(When Akah completes his statement, the Prideland troops charge the camp, and in a matter of minutes they completely destroy it…)
Michael: (apology) im sorry Akah…
Akah: (shrugging it off) don’t be…. It’s not your fault, come on let’s go, keep walking, we gotta outpace those troops
Michael: (running again) oh I can make sure of that…
(In his younger years, Michael could easily beat a cheetah in a race, and that hasn’t changed, so Michael ran full on into the desert that was before them)
Chapter Six- In the desert
(Two days have passed as the two walk into the desert; the temperature is a toasty 98 degrees and what’s worse is that there’s no food or water, and that’s bad)
Michael: (noticing Akah falling behind a little) hey Akah, are you alright?
Akah: (answer) I need to take a break…
Michael: (worrying) what’s wrong?
Akah: (lying down) im very hungry, and very thirsty…
Michael: (statement) me too…
Akah: (remembering/or trying to) if I remember right, there’s another camp about another day’s walk from here
Michael: (question) do you think that you can make it that far?
Akah: (answer) maybe if you carry me half of the way, then again I’m still not very sure.
Michael: (statement) we’ll start tomorrow, it’s getting late
Akah: (agreeing) ok, im tired anyway
(Michael and Akah fall asleep quickly and morning arrives on swift wings)
(Michael yawns and stretches then gets up, and realizes that Akah isn’t around)
Michael: (calling) Akah? Akah? Where’d ya go?
(Michael then hears a distant cry for help, he runs toward the noise, when he gets to the source of the cry, he finds Akah in a lot of trouble with three Black Panthers)
Akah: (relieved) finally you’re here; can you deal with these guys?
Panther: (to Michael) hey, we have no quarrel with a fellow Black Panther (turns to Akah) just you shrimpy, for stealin’ our breakfast.
Michael: (confused) wait… you think… that im… a Panther?
Akah: (laughing) you Panthers are so stupid, Michael is a lion, he may have black fur but he’s still a lion.
Panther: (looking at Michael) wait… Michael? The General Michael? (Turns to his two friends) my friends, what stands before you is a living legend; he led his army against the outlanders and liberated our homeland.
Akah: (question) Michael, what is he talking about; didn’t you say you were with my mother’s army?
Panther: (to Michael) hey, we have a lioness in our den site, we found her starving and half dead about a year ago, maybe she’ll walk with you guys, she wants to leave anyway, will you take her off our paws? (Hands whatever)
Akah: (command) answer me first.
Michael: (statement) Akah, ill answer you when we start walking again.
Michael: (turning to the panther) sure ill let her travel with us.
Panther: (nodding) follow us back to our den site.
Chapter Seven- A New Addition
(The two are led to a remote oasis and the lead Panther runs into the forest, he comes out a few minutes later with a lioness following him)
Panther: (introductions) Michael and Akah, I would like you to meet Tsara, Tsara this is Michael and Akahitu, but we just call him Akah
(Michael fought the urge to gape at her, she was beautiful)
Tsara: (To Michael) it’s a pleasure to meet you general.
Michael: (to Tsara) the pleasure’s all mine Tsara.
Akah: (to Tsara) hi Tsara, nice to meet you.
Tsara: (to Akah) hello Akah.
(Michael hears a rustling in a nearby bush)
Michael: (quieting) shhh… be silent.
(He realizes that it may be an assassin, so with a growl of anger, he leaps into the bush and pins the would-be assassin to the ground.
Michael: (smart Alec) wow, you’re the quietest assassin I’ve ever met... (Realization) Kara? What are you doing here?
Kara: (gasping) if you let off my throat just a little, I’ll tell you.
Michael: (letting Kara up) oh, sorry sis.
Kara: (explanation) we found the body of Zira in the bottom of a ravine, and the claw marks up about 120 feet on the rim of the cliff say that she unwillingly fell to her death with the assistance of another lion, and since we found one of your claws imbedded in her left forepaw, we know 100% that you killed her, congratulations brother, you soothed one big pain in the neck.
(Tears streak down Akah’s face and he runs off, Michael chases him, leaving the two lionesses behind)
Tsara: (to Kara) what’s wrong with him?
Kara: (answer) I dunno, I don’t even know the cub, but I’ll go see what’s up with them.
Tsara: (statement) you’d better hurry.
Kara: (statement) girl, I INVENTED hurry, watch.
(A blur of motion is seen and faster than you can blink an eye, Kara is gone)
Tsara: (yelling) impressive, but can you do this?
(In a micro second Tsara is next to Kiara again)
Kara: (impressed) nice, how much of an assassin are you?
Tsara: (answer) I am your predecessor, the Prideland army saw you as good assassin material, so they decided to try and kill me, but I killed all who attacked me and ran off, I must never let the general know this, I don’t know what he’ll do to me.
Kara: (question) we’re the same age, how can you be my predecessor?
Tsara: (answer) let me tell you the story…
Akah: (tears running down face) how could you do that to another member of your own species and then lie to me about it?
Michael: (trying to explain) do you think I wanted to Akah? Ok I did kill your mom, but let me explain, I was young, about your age, I was in the third cub unit in the Prideland army, it was the battle for the elephant graveyard, I had just killed an outsider cub unit leader, and then I saw your mom slash my father’s guts out, so I yelled out something like “dad, noooo,” and she laughed and charged me with her claws out, so I braced for a painful death, then I heard the sound of flesh being torn but it wasn’t mine, so I look and my mom had taken the attack for me, and as a result, she was nearly sliced in half, but when I approached her dying body, she was able to gasp the words “I love you” and give me a small nuzzle before she died, then Zira raised her paw with her claws out and got ready to kill me, but then she said “no, now is not the right time,” and she left me with the corpses of my parents and I stayed there for three days, in that same spot, not moving, I was young, I wasn’t used to death yet, it wipes out any soul that you have in you, and afterwards, all that you are is an empty shell that eats, sleeps, drinks, and kills, but I retained a hint of compassion, and apparently I also retained a little bit of my conscience, otherwise, I would’ve just killed you and everyone else in that camp, but here’s where I make my point Akah, I did not want to kill you, because you remind me of what I used to be, a strong, young, intelligent lion cub and also know this, if I had it to do over, your mother would be standing right next to you agreeing with me.
Akah: (taking it all in) my mom? She killed lions? She said she had never even touched a Pridelander, she said that’s the job of an outland soldier…
(A ghost appears, its Michael’s mother)
Ghost Serra: (interrupting) well she did, she killed me and Michael’s father, and she killed Michael’s father so bad his body couldn’t make a ghost
Michael: (not believing what he is seeing) mom? Is it really you?
(G) Serra: (answer) well, not really, im just a spectral imprint that my body made when it ceased to live, and I’ve come to tell you something, I am the cause of your guilt after you killed Zira, it was me who planted that dream into your head, you owe this cub a serious apology for what you have done to him.
Michael: (as serious as they come) im sorry Akah, how can ever make it up to you?
Akah: (answer) just promise me one thing.
Michael: (question) what?
Akah: (answer) that you do not have kids who murder, promise me this and I’ll accept your apology
Michael: (statement) I promise Akah.
Ghost Serra: (statement) good, now that that is settled, I can leave you two to your long trek back to pride rock…
Michael: (interrupting) we’re not going back to pride rock mom.
Ghost Serra: (question) why not?
Michael: (answer) the outland’s ghost legion controls it and their best of the best when it comes to war, so we’re gonna find somewhere else to live.
Ghost Serra: (leaving) well, I hope you find what you are looking for Michael, goodbye
Michael: (calling out) goodbye mom
Akah: (ushering tone) come on, we need to pick up Tsara and get going, we need to start scoping out places to live
Michael: (statement) I dunno if you heard or not, but Tsara whispered into my ear that she loves me, so we need space for the cubs to run around if we do find a place.
Tsara: (walking up) ok, let’s go.
Kara: (walking up) if you three are interested I know a place that will suit your needs, and im now officially retired from our army
Michael: (concurring) me too, take us there please
Kara: (agreeing) ok come on let’s go
(The four start walking away from the panther oasis and back into the desert)
Chapter Eight- Six Months later
(a lot has happened in the six months since the four arrived in their new home, Tsara gave birth to two Boy lion cubs, and Michael named them Mufasa and Taka (Taka means Scar in Swahili) (irony of the situation, re read the part where Michael promises Akah he wont have kids that kill and then watch The Lion King, see how it’s ironic?) (Anyways Akah became old enough to ask for Kara’s paw in marriage) (Hand whatever) (And they had a cub which Akah named Zira after his mother, and everyone is satisfied, a month ago, they received word that the outlands stunningly won the war, and the last of their saber toothed ally had been betrayed and slaughtered, and the outlanders elected Raidou who had taken Zira’s role as their general as their king, and from what word was spreading, he was a king who ruled with an iron fist, and they started sending bounty hunters after the remnants of the Prideland army, it was said that if they found you, they would knock you out, wake you back up and push you off a cliff, stating “Zira didn’t like it, how about you!” they say they leave you hanging there to either climb back up and be hunted down again or to slip and fall to your death, but they never found Michael, or his family or friends yet, but no one was taking any chances, and for good reason, no one wanted to fall off a cliff)
Young Mufasa: (after story) great story dad.
Michael: (question) really?
Young Taka: (answer) yea, I liked it
Young Mufasa: (question/agreeing) me too, dad can you tell us another?
Michael: (answer) oh no it’s past your bedtime, ill tell you two one tomorrow, and Uncle Akah and Aunt Kara will help me tell it to you, now good night.
Young Mufasa: (lying down) dad tells some great stories eh?
Young Taka: (asleep) *snore*
(Michael walks into his section of the cave and lays next to Tsara)
Tsara: (question) what was tonight’s story?
Michael: (answer) ours.
Tsara: (question) did they believe it?
Michael: (answer) not a word.
Tsara: (just talking) well, you need to make them understand that if they wander off too far, they could never come back…
Michael: (eyes closed and smiling) uh-huh sure, whatever you say.
Tsara: (closing her eyes) well, I hope that you really mean that, goodnight…
(The two quickly fall asleep, and just as quick as it had come, the night faded and submitted to the day)
(To be continued…)