Since I’m such a major geek I decided to mix together Science Fiction and “The Lion King”.  Some people complained that my other stories were too rushed, so I believe that I’ve remedied the problem with this story.  Although I’ve split this story up into five parts every individual part is still pretty long.  You can email me with feedback, questions, and/or the ability to use my characters or locations at: (of course I’m referring to my made-up characters and locations).


Part III:  Far Ahead From Home


The Royal Family Tree:


                                                                Mohatu + ?


                                         Igunoi + Frehda     Ahadi + Uru

                                                     |                             |

                                                     |              ---------------------------

                                                     |              |              |                                |

            Xygolapo + Sarafina   Sarabi + Mufasa    Scar + Zira   Veni + Trapa

                             |                              |                          |                    |

                             |                  -----------         ------------(--------)       |

                             |                  |             |         |              |           |        |

                          Nala     +   Simba   Kimba  Nuka    Vitani   Kovu     ?






                                                Ethigi + Varimi           Phantooh + Kura

                                                           |                                                     |

                                                        Zira                                  Kovu



Simba (age: 4):  Simba is the king of the Pride Lands and well liked by everybody.  He has a mate named Nala and together they had a son named Kopa who vanished.  Simba’s fur is a goldish-orange and his mane and eyes are red.  Simba is kind of distant and tends to shirk his responsibilities, but he’s really a nice lion and a great king.  He’s saddened by all of the horrible things that happened in his life and it affected his mental stability a little bit.

Ouilee (age: ??):  A lion who was rescued by humans after being abandoned as a cub.  Due to a certain experiment performed on him he never really got close to anybody.  Ouilee is very wise because he’s seen it all, he’s seen much more than any being in existence should ever see and it’s left him permanently scarred.  It’s very hard to tell what he’s thinking.  Since he was raised by humans he can understand their language.

Trebb (age: 67):  The mayor of Nairobi.  She is widowed and without child.  She’s very dark brown in color and she has blonde hair all of the way down to her knees.  Her eyes are green and she usually wears bright colored clothing.  She has spent her life studying all of the animals in the African savannah and understands their language.

Tawabe (age: 89):  Tawabe is the leader of a trio of humans that go around capturing all of the remaining animals in Africa.



            Yaguie                                  |     |       

            _________________           |     |        Ruins of Harbach

           /                                  |        /      /         (a huge metropolis

 ____/        Lake                    |___/      /           of over 5million.)

|Dam|                                                 /                              \____|________________________/



ß                                                        Skyway 8994570841                                              ą


                                                                        Pride Rock



Sahara Desert                            Gorge               Hill


                                                                                    Nairobi city limits


The Jungle is further west and slightly north of the Sahara Desert



Pride Rock:  Pride Rock is no longer the magnificent sight that it once was, it’s now crumbled to the ground and all that remains are tiny rocks that once made up this wonderful structure.

Savannah:  No longer called the Pride Lands it’s just a regular savannah, nobody still lives there.  It’s completely ruined, all of the grass has been uprooted, it’s horribly muddy, there are sharp rocks everywhere, and there’s no life left anywhere.

Gorge:  This is where the stampede that killed Mufasa was.  There are several abandoned mines along the canyon walls of the Gorge.

Sahara Desert:  Still a huge desert, but due to human activity it has shrunk significantly.  What remains of the desert is uninhabited due to harsh conditions.

Jungle:  On the border of the Sahara Desert and what is now a village lies a jungle called the Jungle.  It’s been massacred by local people in the area, a lot of the trees have been cut down.

Ruins of Harbach:  Crumbled ruins standing where the Elephant Graveyard used to be.  It was once a major metropolis but it got ruined during an acid rainstorm one day.

Nairobi:  A megalopolis of over five billion people.



This is a list of everything that inspired me to write this particular story:

The Lion King (of course) along with

Chrono Trigger


The Time Machine

Quantum Leap

Final Fantasy VII


Star Ocean:  Till the End of Time

Quantum Physics

Philosophical Ideas that I created


Part III:  Far Ahead From Home

Chapter 1:  Am I Back?

Chapter 2:  Surviving the Sahara

Chapter 3:  What’s That?!

Chapter 4:  Another Mysterious One

Chapter 5:  “The End…”

Chapter 6:  Putting the Past Behind Us

Chapter 7:  Exploring

Chapter 8:  Humans

Chapter 9:  Caged Lions

Chapter 10:  Family History

Chapter 11:  Ms. Trebb

Chapter 12:  Escape From Nairobi

Chapter 13:  He Who Continues to Watch From Above

Chapter 14:  My Kingdom



            You will be lost if you haven’t read the first two parts of this story, and even if you have read the first two parts you may still be confused at some of the events that happen here.  Also you won’t know who some of the characters are if you haven’t read my first two stories either.  Part 2 ended with Simba falling out of the fifth dimension and back into the third.


Chapter 1:  Am I Back?


            It was dawn as Simba once again awoke in the Jungle where he used to hang out with Timon and Pumbaa, he remembered nothing that happened after he entered the portal from the fifth dimension.  After rising to his paws Simba looked around more cautiously than ever, to make sure that he was home.  Simba spent a good fifteen minutes exploring the Jungle; but he saw a lot of plants and trees that he had never seen before, the lake was all dried up, the bugs were at least three times the size that they were before, all of the grass and plants were dead, there were no other animals anywhere, and the Jungle seemed much smaller than it previously had been.  Simba knew that this was his jungle, this is where he grew up.  Despite all of the major differences the similarities were shockingly similar; this couldn’t possibly be a different place, it had to be his jungle.

            Simba was home but he wasn’t back, it wasn’t the same place that he once knew.  Simba’s stomach growled, he had no idea how long it had been since he last ate something; but before he ate he had to get something to drink.  Simba searched the Jungle high and low but couldn’t find a drop of water anywhere; in fact, he wondered how the Jungle was even living.  Simba decided that it was hopeless, so he headed off into the desert where the oasis is.  The desert seemed much warmer than it ever has been before, even though the sun has just barely risen in the sky the warm breezes caused Simba to sweat.

            In his search for the oasis he battled the most intense heat that he had ever felt in his life, it was almost overwhelming; he struggled to breath, the sun was draining his energy, and he could still see the Jungle right behind him.  As he wandered for several minutes that seemed like hours his mind only focused on keeping his body cool which caused him to lose his way.  Once Simba realized that he didn’t know where he was going he looked to his right and saw the sun, it was still just beginning to fill the morning sky.  “I must be heading north.” He thought to himself.  “But for how long?  Was I going north the whole time?”  Simba kept on moving as he tried to think all of this through because he knew that if he stopped then he would be as good as dead.

            After going north a bit longer Simba saw something far off in the distance, it looked like a giant tube heading from west to east.  Simba had no time to investigate it, he needed water… and fast, so he turned around.  He felt the sun beating down on his back; and he felt the warm breezes flow smoothly under his chest and across his face, his tail, and every other part of him, it was so hot he could’ve sworn he fell asleep in an oven or something and was dreaming all of this.  After a few more minutes he was moving slothily through the desert, the sun was sapping all of his strength and he barely had the energy to breath, he couldn’t even keep his eyes open anymore.  He found the situation to be completely hopeless, “This is the end.  I can’t go on for much longer.  I’m going to die here, damn that cursed sun.  I’m sorry Nala, I couldn’t get back home to you, and now you’re going to live the rest of your life without me or a cub.”  By now Simba was crying, and the only reason that he knew this was because he felt the tears trickling down his cheeks and occasionally landing on his paws.

            “It’s all my fault Nala, Kopa died because of me, you’ll never have another cub because of me, and now you’ll be wid-… HOLY SHIT!!!!”  Simba felt himself falling down a very steep cliff.  As he fell his survival instincts took over and he forgot about everything; the heat, the sorrow, and the fact that he might die out here; all that he could think about right now was how he was going to survive falling down a cliff.  He burst his eyes wide open which actually forced a layer of mucus that covered his eyelids to shoot up into the sky.  Then Simba saw what was waiting for him at the bottom of the cliff, “Water!!!!” he yelled out in triumph.  As he looked down he noticed a small ledge poking out of the cliff that he could stand on, but the question was how could he possibly land on it without breaking his legs.  Simba had to think quickly, although the ledge was still a good 250 yards below him it was fast approaching.  He decided on the best possible course of action, he would stop thinking about it and let his instincts take over.  Simba felt his mind shift to the point where he couldn’t control his body any more; he didn’t know what he was doing or what he was going to do next, it all just happened and it all happened so quickly.

            When Simba safely landed on the ledge all that he could remember was running down, as in he was running vertically down the cliff, he had no idea how he did it but he did and he knew that he was going to feel it in his legs and his lungs the next day.  However Simba felt just fine right now and he still had to reach the water, so he made his way slowly down the cliff finding whatever platforms he could until he reached the bottom.  Once at the bottom Simba submerged himself in the liquid.


Chapter 2:  Surviving the Sahara


            Simba didn’t stay underwater for very long, in fact he felt intense heat as he entered the lake that caused him to immediately surface and jump out.  It was so hot that the water was actually beginning to boil a little bit, which is something that Simba couldn’t notice when he stood at the summit of the cliff.  Simba felt burning sensations all over his body; especially in his lower legs, his face, his tail, and his chest.  Simba thought to himself and developed a look of unpleasantness on his face, “It may be boiling hot, but at least it’s water.”  Simba hesitated for a moment, but he saw no way out of it, he had to drink something… and this was something.  He slowly bent down towards the water and felt the steam rushing up against his face.  Simba let out a very hushed “Ugh.” and then he began to drink, he sipped up the water very quickly because it didn’t take long for it to burn his tongue and throat.  This water was so warm that he felt a sensation of heat slowly trickle down his throat and swish around in his stomach, it was so warm that he ended up with a few burns on his tongue and in his throat.  Once Simba was done he turned around and walked away from that unpleasant experience.

            Despite getting rehydrated Simba was still extremely overheated.  Since he just drank he knew that he could survive a little bit longer without something to eat so focused on escaping the heat of the desert before anything else.  He decided to head to the Jungle to await nightfall when it was cooler.  Simba struggled in a westward direction; the wind that rushed against his fur only increased the intensity of his burns, every step that he took sent shockwaves of pain from his brain all of the way down to his paws.  As the sun rose further into the sky the heat only increased on an exponential basis.  It was difficult for Simba to concentrate on where he was going due to the pain; but when he considered everything that he had gone through in his life, this was nothing.  Actually this was more like a physical manifestation of what he mentally and emotionally went through over the course of his life.  As far as Simba’s concerned physical pain is nothing compared to mental and emotional pain; because physical pain is not only easily identifiable but it goes away, any other kind of pain is weird and confusing and leaves you scared for life.  He knew that he could make it through this, he was strong enough to handle it.

            Simba saw the Jungle off in the distance, he had to resist the urge to run because of the already extreme pain that he felt all over his body.  He was so relieved to find his sanctuary that he couldn’t help but make a joke out of the situation, he thought to himself, “What would Timon say?  He’d probably say something like ‘I wonder if this is what it feels like for the lionesses to be in heat.’”  Although he didn’t really want to laugh at that he couldn’t help it, but his laughter was cut short as soon as his mind reminded him of the burns on his chest.  As the Jungle creeped up over the horizon Simba was getting more and more relived, he just kept telling himself that he was almost there and he would make it no matter what.  At last Simba made it back to the Jungle.

            Now, it takes an excruciatingly, agonizing, deathly hot place to help you appreciate an agonizingly hot place.  Simba didn’t even notice that the Jungle was warm when he awoke that morning; in fact the only real difference between the Jungle and the desert is that the Jungle doesn’t have flaming hot breezes blowing through it, the shade is another advantage that the Jungle has over the desert.  Simba found that it was a reasonable temperature underneath the shade of a tree.  He lied down and closed his eyes, he picked a spot between two trees so that as the sun moved he would always be in the shade of one of the trees “Just a few more hours Nala, just a few more hours.” and with that he fell asleep.


Chapter 3:  What’s That?!


            Simba awoke and saw the night sky filled with stars, but he noticed something very wrong with the moon.  It appeared as if grass and life had taken root there, he also saw many stars moving all around the moon; some were circling it, some were heading right into it, some were moving away from it, and others suddenly vanished into thin air.  Simba sat there and stared at the moon in amazement and unease, he didn’t know what this meant.  He uttered the name Tunuki under his breath but got no response.  He decided that he would never figure out the answer by just looking at it so he walked off and headed for home.

            “What’s with these sudden temperature changes?” Simba wondered to himself as he shivered in the icy wind that seemed to move in a southbound direction.  Simba was in the same location he had been just hours ago but it felt as though it dropped from 150Ż F. to -150Ż F.  In fact Simba not only saw his breath but when he turned around to look at the Jungle he saw a frozen wonderland.  Everything was covered in frost, some of it was even covered in ice.

            Simba returned to the little oasis that he had found earlier but this time the water was frozen over.  Although this didn’t at all surprise Simba he had to melt the ice somehow, he needed some cold water but he didn’t have very long to think.  He was left with one option; he had to urinate on the ice in a pathetic attempt to melt it, it was disgusting and probably wouldn’t melt all of the way through but it was his only option.  Luckily he already had that “Let me out of here!!” sensation in his bladder so he let it go onto the ice.  Luckily this created a hole just barely large enough for him to sip up the water from.  “Well, Hakuna Matata.” Simba said to himself as he slurped up what little water he could from the hole he created.  It only took about ten seconds for the hole to freeze over again.

            Simba headed north towards the tube that he found earlier that day.  He didn’t stop moving for a second, he wouldn’t let the freezing winds overtake him.  By the time he reached that strange tube his face was numb along with one of his hind legs, and everywhere else he just barely had feeling.  As Simba headed up to the tube he noticed that it was letting out heat, the only problem is that he had to be right up against it to get that warmth.  Simba followed the tube west to his home; the tube itself was a transparent blue made out of a material that Simba couldn’t identify.  Every few hundred yards or so there would be a strange mark on the side of the tube that looks like this:  <{[(0)]}>, he didn’t know what it was or what it meant but the spots right next to them were the warmest ones of all.

            After a few minutes Simba regained feeling in his body, and he felt comfortable for the first time since he ventured into the desert that morning.  As he continued to move west he suddenly heard something in the distance; it sounded as if something was moving at a very high speed towards him.  He turned around and saw something moving inside of the tube… but it had to be going at least 200MPH.  “Whoa!  Wait a minute, is that a human?” Simba wondered to himself.  As it got closer he saw that it was indeed a human, but it wasn’t just any human, it was the same one that Simba saw flash in front of him when he saw his life flash before his eyes.  This human continued through the tube and Simba heard her gasp as she passed him by.  Simba started running now, he had to find this person, he knew that she would be the one to take him back home.  Simba stopped for a second,

“Home, this isn’t my home… it’s my house, but it’s not my home, someone else lives here now and they’ve rearranged the furniture…”

            Simba continued to run alongside the tube hoping on that slim chance of catching up with the lady he saw.  “I don’t think that she’ll go anywhere.  She gasped when she saw me, she knows something…”  Simba continued to run, not knowing where he was going; but then he saw something, something that chilled him to the very bone…

            “No…” Simba said as he reached the summit of a small hill overlooking a familiar savannah.  “NO!!!!” he roared out in frustration.

“Who’s there?!” a voice commanded from off in the distance.


Chapter 4:  Another Mysterious One


            Simba stood there in silence, he still stood by the tube because it was keeping him warm.  He didn’t recognize the voice and he was still in shock at what was staring him right in the face.

“I said who’s there?!”

Simba could tell that the voice was getting frustrated now; but he couldn’t answer, he was devastated by what the fates decided to do to his kingdom while he was away.

“Hey, why aren’t you answering me?!! I heard you walk up!”

            Simba saw a very beat-up looking lion walk up to him.  This lion’s fur was ghostly white with a barely visible yellowish hue on his paws.  He has a very light pink nose, round in shape (compared to Scar’s which is more triangular), and his face is horrible looking.  He’s missing his left eye and his right eye is bloodshot with a very dark brown iris.  He’s also missing three whiskers on the left side of his face and one on the right side.  All over his body he has tattoos and scars, but despite all of the physical abuse this lion appeared to have suffered he didn’t seem to mind at all.

            The lion walked up to Simba and stopped a few feet away from him with a look of amazement on his face.

Simba just had to ask, “Are you all right?  You look like hell.”

The lion continued to stare.

Simba began feeling uncomfortable, “Um… Is there something on my face?”

Then the lion spoke, “King Simba…”


The lion bowed, “It really is you… isn’t it?”
“Yes it is, why are you so shocked to see me?”

The lion stared at the ground and quietly said, “You’re dead.”

Simba raised an eyebrow, “How am I dead when I’m standing right here?”

“Simba, your majesty, you died over seven-hundred thousand years ago.  You must be a ghost or a spirit or something.”

“Excuse me!  Seven-hundred thousand years ago!!  What do you take me for, a fool?!!”

“But sire, it’s true.  You died at the age of sixteen; and Nala, poor Nala… and Kovu…”

“What on Earth are you talking about?!!  If I really died that long ago how could you possibly know all of this?!  I don’t even know who Kovu is!!”

“I know about all of this because…” he sighed, “…because I was there.”

“WHAT?!!  Tell me the truth, I’m not stupid!  How could you have possibly lived for that long, how could you have even lived for a fraction of that time?”

The lion smiled, “You’re here, are you not?”

Simba stood there dumbfounded, “Touché.”

“My name’s Ouilee.”

“Okay then Ouilee, did you go through the portal as well?”

“What portal?”

“That’s how I got here, you can’t mean to tell me that you’ve actually lived for this long.”

“Actually longer.” Ouilee replied.

“What are you talking about now?”

“I’m seven-hundred eighty-five thousand, two-hundred and eleven years old.”

“Come on now, stop being ridiculous.”

“No, it’s the truth.  It’s all because of the humans.”


“Yes.  I was abandoned as a cub and raised by humans until I was old enough to take care of myself.  They didn’t know if I would make it or not so they developed a serum to help me survive…” Ouilee quietly stood there.

“And…” Simba urged him.

“………it worked all too well.  I was able to survive because I can never die.”

“Tell me the truth!!” Simba demanded.

Ouilee just turned around and rammed his face into the giant tube until part of his skull cracked open, he turned around and showed it to Simba.  Just as Simba saw the wound it started closing up.  New bone formed on Ouilee’s skull and the flesh began to cover it, the blood stopped flowing and all that was left was a scar across his forehead.

“Oh my God…” Simba gasped.

“Yeah, I’m cursed.  Cursed to forever roam this Earth.  Cursed to watch all of my closest friends drop dead around me, knowing that I can never join them.  Cursed to know too much.  It’s all because of the humans, it’s all their fault, I’ll never forgive them for what they did to me.”

“So you can never die.”

“Nope, never; and believe me I’ve tried.  Once you’ve lived as long as I have you reach the point where you can’t stand living anymore.  I’ve tried drowning myself only to discover that I don’t even need oxygen to survive.  I’ve tried ramming my head into sharp rocks only to discover that my wounds heal seconds later.  I’ve tried jumping off of cliffs only to discover that excruciating pain awaits me at the bottom, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve broken my paws and legs…”

“Wow, what a terrible life.”

“This isn’t a life.  A life has meaning, a life is meant to end, a life supposedly worth it.  No, this isn’t a life at all, this is an existence; I don’t live… I only exist.”


Chapter 5:  “The End…”


            Simba was saddened by Ouilee’s story, he had never heard of such a thing before; to live forever is truly a curse.  He still needed to know one thing though…

“Ouilee… What happened here?  Are we really in the Pride Lands?”

Ouilee sighed before speaking, “Yes, this is, er, was your kingdom.  This happened on that one day, the day that we all called ‘The End.’”

“‘The End?’” Simba said.

“Yes, ‘The End.’  It started off just like any other day, suddenly it began to rain.  This was no ordinary rain though, it killed anything it touched; it was rumored that Scar channeled his evil into the clouds which affected the rain.  This rain burned; it skinned all of the wildlife before dissolving their skin, it killed the trees and burned holes in the wood.  On that day everyone hid inside of Pride Rock… but the rain quickly began dissolving the rock as well, soon the back half of Pride Rock was wide open… eventually all of Pride Rock dissolved leaving everyone exposed to the rain.  I was the sole survivor, and now our entire species is gone.”

“There are no more lions at all?!!”


“That’s horrible.”

“How do you think I feel?  I’ve been in solitude for the past seven-hundred thousand years.”

“I guess you’re right.”
“Imagine being the only lion alive on Earth, it’s a very lonely existence.  Not just the lions died off that day you know.”

“Oh yes, many species were wiped off of the face of the Earth during that storm.  Along with the lions were the elephants, the monkeys, the cheetahs, the hyenas, the leopards, the rhinos, the hippos, the giraffes, the birds, all of them… gone…”

Simba felt his heart sink deep into his chest, he felt that the he was going to be the last one to rule Pride Rock, “How could something like this possibly happen?”

Ouilee grew silent, then he uttered one word, “Humans.”

“Humans?  They made the rain do that?”
“Yes.  I found out one day when I snuck into a human city called Nairobi.  They said that their mission was successful, their mission was too eliminate as many animals as they possibly could.”


“They said that we were taking up too much space.  We were threatening their ability to build more cities.  They felt like they deserved to live more than we do.  I was so angry that I took out as many humans as I possibly could, I knew they couldn’t kill me so I killed many of them.”

“How did they do it?  How can something possibly make the rain burn like that?”


“What’s pollution?”

“Pollution is basically leftovers.  Anything that the humans don’t need anymore they send up to the sky causing problems and disrupting the balance of nature.  It was about seven-hundred thousand years ago, the humans finally discovered a way to control the weather.  With this newfound ability they were able to, well… do this.  They created rain clouds all across the skies of Africa, everything in Africa died… including the humans that couldn’t escape in time.”

“They killed themselves just to get rid of us?”

“Yes, they were that desperate.  I’ve seen it all; everyone being burned away by the rain, their dying screams and gasps, the look of despair on everyone’s faces, their bare flesh dissolving into the ground, the rain piercing thousands of tiny holes in their bodies, adults protecting cubs, then falling over dead crushing the cubs they were protecting; I saw all of this, and I could do nothing to stop it…”

“Hey, it’s not your fault.”

“I know.  It’s those filthy humans and their greedy ways.  They would easily sacrifice a million of us just to save one of their own.  They did it in the worst possible way… genocide, genocide against the weak, genocide against the innocent, genocide against the defenseless, genocide against the “inferior” species, and not one of them seemed to care even the slightest bit.”


Chapter 6:  Putting the Past Behind Us


            Simba was shocked by what he heard, he didn’t know how to respond.  He was angry that the humans would do such a thing, he wanted to kill them, he wanted them to suffer the same way that they had made all of the animals suffer.  Suddenly Simba had an idea, he realized that this was the future; it hadn’t happened yet so it could be changed.

“Why don’t I go back to my own time and stop it.” Simba said aloud.

“You can’t.” Ouilee replied.

“But this is the future, I can change the future.”

“This is not the future, this is the present, you can never exist as you are in the future.”

“But if I go back to the past-”

“It’s hopeless, it can’t be changed; if it could then it would’ve happened the second that I told you everything.  Let me tell you something, the future is set in stone; it exists simultaneously with the past and the present.  Every second from the very beginning of time up to the very end of time, they all exist side-by-side; the only way to travel between them is to use the fifth dimension which isn’t something that we can do.”

“Ugh, I know all about that.” Simba sighed.

“Just let me finish.  Anyway you can never change the future, if you could then you’d fall into a loophole.  Imagine this scenario; you arrive at a future exactly like this one and you try to fix it, but then when your past self enters the future he realizes that everything’s fine and there’s nothing to fix; this means that we would never have this conversation and you would never know about the acid rain, because you don’t know about the acid rain it happens, and it happens because you don’t know that you need to stop it.  So the future once again becomes this, and then your other past self enters and sees this world and the whole process repeats itself.  If you try to change the future you’ll just create an ever-alternating world that changes so constantly that the universe actually collapses in on itself.”

“…then how do you explain déją vu?”

“Do you walk around knowing exactly when déją vu will occur and what events will happen during that time?”

Simba knew he was beaten, then he replied with a weak “no.”

“Yes you are in control of your actions, you’re in complete control, but every single one of your past and future selves will make the same exact choices that you make at the same exact time.  Keep in mind that these aren’t alternate worlds, it’s all the same exact world seconds apart from each other.”

“You mean there’s absolutely nothing that I can do to stop this.”

“It’s already happened, even if you were to try it will still happen.  It can’t be stopped, as much as I wish it could be, it can’t.”  Ouilee looked down and sighed deeply.  “Simba, I’m sorry that you had to see this.  You were never supposed to know about it, it happened long after you passed away.” Ouilee sighed even deeper, “You were never supposed to know.”

Simba knew that it was hopeless; he didn’t want to admit it, but there’s absolutely nothing that he can possibly do to change it.  He let out a sigh and said “Hakuna Matata.”

Ouilee laughed, “Now that’s a term I haven’t heard in ages.”


Chapter 7:  Exploring


            Things started getting brighter, the stars were no longer visible and the sky was turning from a dark blue to a pinkish-orange.  Simba was surprised by how long they had been standing there, in fact, they barely even moved at all.  Simba was still right up against the tube and Ouilee was at the base of the hill.  They were very quiet as the sun rose, Simba broke the silence, “If you don’t mind, I’d like to see what’s left of my kingdom.”

“Sure, of course.”

            Simba began to wander through the Pride Lands, it wasn’t extremely hot or cold like the desert had been, but it was still uncomfortably warm.  Not only was it warm but the air was very dry and thin.  There’s no sign of grass anywhere, it’s all dirt and mud; there’re no trees, only stumps; Pride Rock is gone, all that remains are boulders lying on the ground in its place.  Simba didn’t even want to ask about Nala, he didn’t want to hear about how much she suffered through the rain; however Ouilee suddenly mentioned that the rain didn’t happen in Simba or Nala’s lifetime, as a matter of fact, it happened centuries later.

“Are you reading my mind?” Simba said.

“Oh, sorry.  Were you thinking about Nala and Kovu?”

“I was thinking about Nala.”

“No, I’m afraid that Nala suffered a much worse fate than dissolving in the rain.”

Simba had a look on his face, this is a look that makes you wonder what kind of gruesome, terrible things are going through that person’s (or in this case lion’s) mind.  He looked disgusted and it appeared as though he might vomit at any moment because of the thoughts rushing through his head.

Ouilee noticed this and quickly asked Simba if he was all right.  Simba was lost in his thoughts, he didn’t notice anything that was going on around him.  He thought about Nala, he didn’t want to lose her… he couldn’t stand to lose her.  Although he didn’t want to hear it he just had to ask, “Ouilee… what happened to Nala?”

Ouilee was silent, he slowly got up and started walking away.

“Hey, I’m talking to you!!” Simba chased after him, but once Ouilee got over the hill he was nowhere to be found.

Simba looked around, he looked in every possible direction, even up and down, “What the?!!” he said to himself.

            Simba stood there dumbfounded for a few moments before he decided to look for Ouilee.  Simba searched for a good hour or two but hadn’t seen head or tail of him.  Simba heard a whooshing sound off in the distance, “That’s it, the tube!!  Ouilee must’ve entered the tube.  But how did he get there so fast from this part of the hill, and how did he enter it anyway?”  Although Simba saw nothing in the tube he definitely heard something go by.  As he approached the tube he stared into that strange symbol that he saw earlier, as he stared at it a huge hole suddenly opened up allowing passage into the tube.  He entered with a little hesitation, once he was fully within the tube the hole closed and he felt a huge gust of wind pushing him out east.  He was moving at a dangerous speed, in fact he felt his insides not being able to keep up with his exterior body.  He was afraid that he would smash right into a wall, then he’d never see Nala again for sure.

            Just as Simba felt his lungs getting pulled back to where his diaphragm would normally be the wind suddenly stopped, however due to the momentum Simba slid forward for almost a mile before he finally stopped and was forced out of the tube.

“Ugh, what was that about?!!”

            Simba shook the dirt out of his fur, it was shortly after that that he noticed where he was.  He stood amidst a sea of crushed buildings and unstable looking tombs.  He saw a sign with weird symbols printed on it:  “Harbach” but to Simba it just looked like random lines put together.  Simba knew that he was in human territory, but he felt safe since it didn’t seem like any human in their right mind would hang around a destroyed city.  Simba was afraid to enter any of the structures that he saw, he felt that they might collapse at any moment so he chose not to risk it.

            As Simba continued north through the ruins, the structures seemed to get progressively worse.  They started off just as an abandoned city from ancient times would appear, but later the buildings were starting to become habitats for many organisms.  There was one building that was about 48 stories tall.  It was twisted around another building in a unique architectural fashion; anyway this building is covered in vines and moss, there are many flying insects hanging around the upper portion, there’s even a sycamore tree growing out of it.  Even further into the ruins it was humid, there were many trees which obviously marked a jungle that was in this location long, long ago.  Because it’s so humid many unwanted things thrived, mold seemed abundant and it let out a dank, musty smell that filled the air; Simba couldn’t stand the stench and breathed only as much as he absolutely needed to.  These are truly disgusting ruins and they seem to stretch on forever.

            Simba finally had enough and decided to turn around.  As soon as he looked over his shoulder he saw a figure in black standing right behind him.  This figure was so close to Simba that he was surprised he couldn’t feel it, he turned around quicker.  Simba faced the creature; it had no face, no arms, no legs, it didn’t even really have a torso.  This creature was indescribable, and it just stood there.  Simba slowly backed away and felt something against his tail.  He turned around and saw another one of the creatures right behind him.  For awhile the two creatures spoke gibberish to each other, then suddenly one of them jumped on top of Simba.

            This is a very weird sight to observe, since the creature doesn’t really have a physical body it cannot land on Simba.  Instead the long, black robe of the creature covered him, once the creature arose Simba was gone… and so the creature vanished into thin air as well.


Chapter 8:  Humans


            Simba awoke in a room, a room dimly lit and very small.  In the center of the room was a pedestal, on the pedestal stood a human.  Simba turned around to spot the two creatures in black that ambushed him.  “They must’ve brought me here.” Simba thought to himself.  He heard the human speaking with the creatures, but he couldn’t comprehend what they were saying.  Once the human was done speaking the two creatures in black took off their capes.  Without their capes the creatures were humans, but to the best of Simba’s knowledge the capes gave them some kind of powers.  After revealing their true identities the humans continued to speak to one another, “If only I could understand the human language…” Simba said to himself.  He could tell by their tone that they were angry and frightened, the one on the pedestal appeared to be in charge of the other two.

            Simba didn’t know what they were saying so he focused more on their facial expressions and their tones of voice.  The human on the pedestal appeared old and feeble, he has dark green eyes that he used to glare at the other two sharply.  His hair is gray and it trailed down to his waist.  He has a beard as well that reaches his belly-button.  He’s very short and he uses a cane to get around.  He always wore a stern look on his face and he seemed to yell a lot, all of this yelling caused the other two to cower in fear or respond in some way.  Simba never got a good look at the other two’s faces, in fact they never turned to face him at all.  All that he knows about the other two is that they have no hair, they’re very skinny (the kind of skinny where you can see their ribs), they’re very tall, and they aren’t wearing any clothes.  Their leader is wearing a long white robe that trails behind him.

            Something about this situation really bothered Simba; although he was in a dim room it was so bright that his eyes hurt, the room seemed like it only consisted of a bunch of chairs around the central pedestal.  Simba himself was sitting on a small platform off in the distance.  There are no doors or windows anywhere, it seemed like there was no entrance or exit to this room.  The humans themselves made Simba feel uneasy, he could tell by the scents that they were giving off that the two standing naked in front of the pedestal were a male on the left and a female on the right, but the human standing on the pedestal seemed to give off both a male and a female scent.  This was all small stuff compared to what really bugged Simba, the one thing that he didn’t understand was how the humans weren’t keeping an eye on him.  If they went through the trouble of capturing him then why weren’t they going to make sure that he didn’t escape… maybe he couldn’t escape.

            Simba began getting a little paranoid, he didn’t know what was going on or what was going to happen.  He suddenly felt the urge to scream, he tried to fight it to avoid drawing attention to himself; but this urge was overwhelming, he was fighting it so hard that he actually started giving himself an ulcer.  He began shaking, he felt it rising up through his throat, he actually had to cringe his face to keep himself from screaming.  It all began building up in his head, if he couldn’t scream physically he would have to scream mentally… and so he did.  “HOW THE FUCK COULD THIS HAPPEN?!!  WHAT AM I DOING HERE?!!!!  UGH, WHY CAN’T I JUST GET BACK TO MY GODDAMN HOME ALREADY?!!  WHY AM I FORCED TO STAY IN THIS WORLD?!!!!  AHHHH!!!!” then Simba lost the ability to let out his feelings mentally so he suddenly blurted out, “WHY ARE YOU TEASING ME LIKE THIS?!!!!”  This caused the humans to suddenly turn around and start surrounding him.  He heard them speaking to him, “What?  I’m sorry, I don’t underst-” Simba was smacked across the face by the leader.  The other two humans tried speaking with him but it was no use, Simba couldn’t understand them and they couldn’t understand Simba.

            Everyone, including Simba, began frantically yelling at each other; Simba roared at the humans, the humans yelled at Simba, and the humans even argued amongst themselves.  Then the humans began circling around Simba.  He sat there and stared the leader right in the eyes, his eyes began to pierce through Simba, then from behind Simba felt a blow to the head, next came darkness…


Chapter 9:  Caged Lions


            Simba awoke in another weird room, this room was identical to the other one except there was no pedestal in the middle.  This time Simba found himself inside of a cage, he saw many other cages; most of them empty, some of them occupied by the weirdest looking creatures.  He found Ouilee in the cage next to him.

“So, I see they caught the almighty King Simba as well.”

Simba ignored Ouilee’s sarcasm and asked him a question, “Ouilee, what on Earth is going on here?”

“We’ve been captured.”

“I know that, but why?”

“It’s because of me…”

Simba sighed, he believed that he understood, “…It’s because you’ve killed so many of them, isn’t it.”

“Yes, they know that they can’t kill me so they try to keep me contained.”

“And you always break free?”

“Of course.  I’m worried about you though, who knows what they’ll do to you.  You’re the only lion they’ve ever seen besides me.”

“Yeah, I-”

“Shh!!  They’re coming.”

Simba heard the humans speaking in the hallway.

“Ugh, I wish I could understand what they’re saying.”
Ouilee smiled, “I can translate for you if you want.”

“You can understand them?!!”

“Of course, I was raised by humans, remember.”

“Okay good, translate for me.”


            Just then the three humans that Simba saw before entered the room, the leader was still wearing that white robe and the other two now wore tiny loincloths that barely covered their genitals.  As the humans began to speak Simba turned to Ouilee for a translation.

Ouilee crouched down very low and began whispering, “The short old guy there is named Tawabe, I’ve never heard him refer to the other two by their names.  He calls the male #1 and the female #2.”

Tawabe spoke to his two lackeys for several moments before they walked off leaving Tawabe behind.

“Okay, you’re in luck.  They don’t think that you can die either since we’re of the same species.  They just want to keep you locked up in here, but Tawabe wants to examine closely.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Simba whispered.

“He’ll take you to their lab and perform some experiments on you.”
“Experiments?!!  Are you serious?!!” Simba almost exploded but remembered that he had to whisper.

“Yes, experiments.  Don’t worry they won’t kill you, but it will be very painful.”

Tawabe approached Simba, but Simba yelled out “BACK OFF HUMAN!!!!”  All that Tawabe got out of that was a loud roar.

“My aren’t you a little ferocious.  Why don’t you calm down like your friend over there?”

Ouilee chuckled a little bit but Simba stood there muddled.

“What?  Ouilee, what did he say?”

“Ha, ha, ha.  This guy is about to make a huge mistake.”

“What do you mean?” Simba asked.

            Just then Tawabe opened Simba’s cage.  Simba took advantage of the moment and slashed Tawabe across the face.  Tawabe looked like he was about to kill Simba before he suddenly regained his sanity.  Tawabe muttered something before he walked off, Simba looked at Ouilee; he said, “Well then, I guess we’ll try this again later.”


Chapter 10:  Family History


            Simba was once again locked in his cage, he decided that since he was here he would speak with Ouilee some more.

“Say Ouilee, were you ever a member of my pride?  I only ask because I didn’t recognize you, your name, or your voice.”

Ouilee sighed, “Yes I was.  I knew your aunt, and once she returned you accepted all three of us into your pride.”

“Wait a second.  I don’t have an aunt.”

“That’s because she hasn’t returned yet… well you know what I mean.”

“Yeah, go on.”

“Well your aunt Veni ran away from home when she was only an adolescent.  She took refuge in the Reed Lands far to the west of your kingdom.  This was before I discovered my ability, I was barely an adult at that point.  Anyway, she discovered that she was pregnant, but when she went to tell the news to her mate Trapa he told her to leave.  Nobody understood why he did this… it wasn’t for another four years before we discovered why he did what he did.  He only used Veni for sex, and once there was a cub in the picture he wanted nothing more to do with her.  Shortly after Veni left he came back with another lioness and once he got her pregnant he told her to beat it, and he kept doing this in secret until somebody found out.  Apparently Veni was the only one that he ever introduced to the pride, and to this day I still have no idea why.  He even admitted to seeing a good fifteen lionesses before he even met Veni.”
“Oh my God.  That’s terrible.”

“Yes, your aunt was heartbroken the day that he left her.  She returned to the Pride Lands only to find it in ruins and being ruled by her brother Scar.  She couldn’t stand to be under his reign so she ran off into the middle of nowhere so that she could die alone.  I found her and comforted her, I decided to take the place as her mate and together we raised a family.  Before she died she wanted to return to her home, so all of us went to the Pride Lands, Veni was relieved to hear that a descendant of Mufasa was ruling the kingdom instead of a descendant of Scar.  He accepted us and we introduced ourselves to you and Nala, although I did always have the feeling that you knew who I was already.  You always asked me questions about things that you shouldn’t have known about, and now I know why.  We lived there in peace for a couple of weeks, but suddenly disaster struck.  It wasn’t the acid rain, it was something else, it was the thing that killed Nala and Kovu in the most gruesome way imaginable…”

Simba looked at Ouilee very sad, “…What happened that day?”

Ouilee started crying, “……it’s too horrible to even say… I-I-I-I can’t say it, i-i-i-it-it-it’s too terrible to repeat.  I can’t say it, I’m so sorry.”

Simba started tearing up as well, “But my wife is in danger, I need to know what happened.”

Ouilee was still crying but not as much, “You can’t change it Simba, it already happened; in your time it already will happen, there’s nothing you-”

“I DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT!!!!  I CAN TO DO SOMETHING!!!!  I CAN CHANGE IT!!!!  I WILL CHANGE IT!!!!”  Simba screamed at the top of his lungs despite the fact that he was bawling like a newborn cub.

“NO YOU CAN’T!!  Simba, it’s going to happen no matter what.  Your wife WILL die, you need to accept that.”

Now the tears were really flowing, Simba felt the trickle of his tears as they rolled down his cheeks, he felt the mucus flowing out of his nose, and he was literally breathing in sobs.  “B-b-but I don’t want her to die.  Why can’t I die instead, I don’t want to lose her…”

“That’s not the way it happens Simba.  I’m sorry to tell you this but it’s better if you prepare for it now.  Besides once you return to your own time you’ll have years and years before it happens.  Rather than obsessing over when she’s going to die you should enjoy the time that you have with her before she dies.  If you worry about trying to leave her alive then you two will never get anywhere in your lives, you’ll always be overprotective of her and she may leave you for not letting her live her own life.”


            Simba continued to cry, he didn’t care what Ouilee had to say, he finally realized that it was hopeless to keep Nala alive.  Simba finally realized that Nala was going to die in some terrible accident and there was nothing he could do about it, the situation would be hopeless once it happened.  This realization made Simba cry even harder than he already was.  Simba felt that he was cursed, everybody that he’s ever been really close to ends up dying long before their time.  First was his father, this was the biggest loss Simba ever felt until his son Kopa died.  Now Nala was going to die; he didn’t know how, when, where, or why but none of that mattered, Nala would die in a few years.  Simba didn’t know if he could handle it, he already experienced two major losses, both of which took a major toll on his life.  It took him years to recover from his father’s death; and even now, month’s after his son’s death, he was trying to get over it.  All of this death was crippling to Simba, reliving some of these deaths actually made his knees buckle.  Simba felt his stomach drop, then he felt empty inside.  He stood there wallowing in his sorrow when suddenly a woman walked in, “Hello, lions?”


Chapter 11:  Ms. Trebb


            Simba saw this woman, she was the same one that he saw going through the tube before, and the same one he saw after his life flashed before his eyes.  She has deep green eyes and blonde hair all of the way down to her knees.  She wore a garment made up of bright pinks, greens, blues, and purples.

“Who’s that?” Simba whispered.

“Her name is Trebb.  She’s the mayor of Nairobi, she’s actually studied animals all of her life, she can understand us.  I’ve spoken with her and she does not condone what the humans did to our civilization, in fact we’re fighting together against the humans for what they did.  She’s the only one that I trust.  If she’s here then we must be in Nairobi science labs.”

“Ah, there you are.” Trebb approached all of the caged animals but focused her attention on Simba.  She looked at him for a moment, studied him intently, then she looked at Ouilee.  “I thought you said that you were the only lion left.”

“I am, he doesn’t belong here.”

“What do you mean?”

“He isn’t in the right time.  He lived over seven-hundred thousand years ago.”

“Yes, we need to get him back to his own time.”
“Hmm… I may have a plan.  But first we need to get you out of here, they’ll be back in a few minutes.”

            Trebb opened up all of the cages that had animals trapped in them, except for Ouilee and Simba they all scattered.

“Come on lions, follow me.”

Simba had to but in now, “How come she knows that we’re lions?  I thought you were the only one left.”

“I told her the stories about lions, their prides, and their way of life.  She was always fascinated to hear the stories of the extinct animals.  Now I’ve told her everything that I know.”

Trebb looked behind her, “Hurry up!!”

“Come on, let’s go Simba.” Ouilee started off towards Trebb with Simba following right behind him.


Chapter 12:  Escape From Nairobi


            Trebb led Ouilee and Simba through the twisted corridors and dimly lit hallways of Nairobi labs.  Every room was white in color, extremely sterile, smelled like medicine, and disturbingly bright.  As the three of them walked through the laboratory’s hallways an alarm suddenly began ringing out.  Simba looked around spooked by the shrill cry of the alarm, “Ugh, what is this sound?” he asked.

“It’s the alarm, someone noticed that we’re missing from the caged animal room and pulled the alarm.”  Trebb replied.

“What does that mean?”

“It means we need to run, come on we’re almost there.”

            Trebb, Ouilee, and Simba all ran through the compound.  It was hard for Simba to keep up since Trebb and Ouilee suddenly turned right or left down one of the hallways, it was obvious to Simba that Trebb had escaped from this place thousands of times before.  Suddenly they reached a hallway that had sunlight at the end of it, Simba saw the sunlight shining through the glass doors.

“Is that the outside?” Simba asked as he continued sprinting.

“Yes, but we’re not home free yet.  We’ve still got to get out of the city.” Ouilee said.

“Yeah, and after that we have to get far enough away for them to give up searching for us.” Trebb said.

“What if we get caught again?” Simba asked.

Trebb grinned and said, “Then we’ll just escape again.  They only make their rounds once a week, my plan will only take five days to execute.  You’ll be fine, Ouilee here is used to it by now.”

Ouilee laughed.

            It seemed as if this final hallway stretched out forever, despite all of their running it appeared to Simba as if they weren’t getting any closer to those doors of freedom.  They continued running and very slowly Simba noticed them inching their way closer and closer to the door; they seemed to progress very slowly, the door stood there practically laughing at their pathetic speed.  After what seemed like a good half an hour they were practically centimeters away from the doorway, they kept pushing forward when suddenly one of the humans appeared in front of them wearing that black robe that seemed to give them special powers.  All three of them froze, Trebb and the cloaked man argued with each other and the cloaked man went for Simba.  Ouilee jumped in the way saying that Simba had to get back to his own time, he told Trebb and Simba to go on without him, he said he’d follow them as soon as he could break out.  Without hesitation Trebb left the building but Simba remained for a few moments before yanking Simba outside.  She yelled at him a little bit but then gestured for him to follow.

            Now that they were outside Simba got to see a real human city for the first time, it was quite an amazing sight.  He stood on a platform thousands of feet above the ground with buildings that touched the Earth below and continued to tower out of sight into the sky.  There were many other hovering platforms, each of them about two hundred feet above one another.  Every building connected to every one of the platforms, there were many flying machines all over the place and they moved in no particular pattern.  Many people walked along the many platforms hovering throughout the city, each of them jumped back in fear when they saw Simba.

            Simba had no choice but to follow Trebb, without Ouilee he could no longer understand what she was telling him but he knew she could understand him.  She communicated with body language that Simba would understand.  They entered one of the buildings eight blocks south and six blocks east of the lab.  Some of the buildings were very small and only touched the platform they were currently on, not to mention the fact that they only went up about seventy-five feet in the air.  The building that they entered touched the Earth but didn’t go much higher than their current altitude.  Once inside Simba realized that the building was completely abandoned; the floor and ceiling was deteriorating, many insects dwelt inside, it smelled musty, and there was no furniture within the compound.  Trebb led Simba into a room with stairs, they walked down a good 300 stories worth of stairs to reach the ground level.  Even this floor was abandoned, and they walked right out of the front door unnoticed.

            Looking at the city from ground level was much different than viewing it from one of the platforms.  Simba couldn’t see the sky at all from underneath the city because every building reached at least the first platform and the ones that didn’t were still right underneath the platform.  Not many humans seemed to dwell on this ground level since it was horribly unappealing and dark.  What once appeared to be a glorious civilization filled with billions of people now seemed like a dank, uninhabitable place with no sunlight and creepy oddballs.  Since there were so few people here it was very easy to escape.  They just headed off out of the city limits and into the glorious sunlight in of the savannah.  There were no suburbs or anything, it went right from thousand story buildings to complete wilderness in a matter of twenty feet.  Trebb and Simba continued off into the wilderness until they could no longer see Nairobi behind them.


Chapter 13:  He Who Continues to Watch From Above


            Trebb and Simba continued out into the wilderness for a little while longer, they camped out for the night.  Trebb provided Simba with water and meat, Simba had never tasted this kind of meat before; it was delicious, it was very wet and juicy, and it was hot something that Simba wasn’t used to.  Once Trebb fell asleep Simba stalked away from the campground and looked up at the sky.

“Father, what am I going to do?  Will I ever make it back to my own time?  Will I ever see Nala again?  I need answers.  Please, send me back home…”

Suddenly a face appeared in the clouds, but it wasn’t Mufasa’s; it was a lion with a half grown mane, he was very light brown in color and had a mane that was pure gold in color.

“Who are you?”
“I am your great-grandson.”

“My great-grandson… wait, that means that Nala and I will have a cub!”

“Yes, and you will return to your own time.”

“But how?”

“You have everything that you need around you.  You just need to discover how to use it for you.”

“What, what can I use?”

“I’m sorry, but I have to go now.”

“No, wait!!  Don’t go, I need help.”

But the face was gone.  Simba returned to the campsite and went to sleep for the night.


Chapter 14:  My Kingdom


            Once the sun’s radiance filled the morning sky Trebb woke Simba up gently, she knew that Simba was a ferocious carnivore so she couldn’t take any chances.  Trebb gently did an ancient tribal chant that was forgotten by the modern day African lifestyle.  Once Simba woke up they returned to where Pride Rock once stood.  Trebb just stood there and allowed Simba to look around, he hesitantly looked around what was once his kingdom.  It was a miserable disaster, although he saw it before he never really SAW it.  Simba wanted to change the fate of his kingdom, he knew he couldn’t, he realized how hopeless it was to change the present future.

            He couldn’t help but sob a little bit at the remains of his once great empire; he saw a pile of boulders at Pride Rock’s location, he saw many dead trees, he saw everything that he never wanted to see.  What he really hated was that the sun was shining over this horrid savannah, it made it seem as if it was no big deal at all.

            Simba just sat and thought for a moment, “Those humans, why did they have to interfere with our lives?  Why do they feel that they’re so important that they have to eliminate us?  What did we ever do to them?  Why us?  Why me?  Why do I have to see all of this?  How can I go back to my subjects knowing that this is their fate?  Why is it so hopeless?  I can’t tell any of them because then I also have to give them the hopeless speech.  I’m condemned to bring my kingdom’s fate with me to my grave, no, it won’t even be my kingdom by that point… it will be my heir’s.  How can I die knowing that their kingdom lies in danger.  Should I tell them, or should I not tell them?  Would they believe me?  What would they do if they knew all of this?  How could I possibly tell them that the kingdom may end with them and there’s nothing that they can do about it?  ‘Hey great-grandson guess what, you’re going to be the last one to rule this place.  Shortly after you’re in charge everybody’s going to die, you’d better prepare them for it.’  Ahh, why the hell did I have to see this?  WHY ME?!!”



            Imagine carrying this kind of weight on your shoulders, how would you feel?  How would you handle the situation?  Now you know how I feel, just kidding (or am I?), obviously if I’m not then it’s not about the same thing.  Anyway parts 4 and 5 are coming, part 4 is expected to be just a little shorter than part 2 and part 5 is painfully short.  Anyway keep your eyes open, I want to finish before 2008.  Isn’t foreshadowing a great tool, now all of you will want to read my later stories to find out what happens to Nala and Kovu, and you’ll discover that it’s still a good three stories away on my list, but if you’re reading this after those are all posted and decide to skip ahead you’ll just be lost because it’s a continuing story.  Later all.