La Femme Vitani
by: Shahn-Ryan Schumacher
Disclaimer: This is a fan fiction using the most beloved characters Disney ever created-those from The Lion King and The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride. I used them here without permission with no plans to profit from them or take credit for someone else's work, so Disney, DON'T SUE ME!! The same holds true for the La Femme Nikita references which is copyrighted by LFN productions. I tried to keep this as clean as possible, but a PG rating would probably be useful here-and now, on to the hootnanny...
Beginnings--Part 2 (OR: The Zira Imperative-Part 2)
I grit my teeth together as the prison barge landed on the shore of the Outlands. There was no fanfare, no announcement; hell, there wasn't so much as a map with an "X" on it stating, "You are here." Oh well, so much for hospitality. The ferryman let the plank down and I moped my way down it stopping just short of the end. I knew that the second I stepped off the plank, I was trapped in the Outlands for good.
"My kingdom awaits," I muttered under my breath. However, before I could set paw into my new home, the ferryman grabbed the plank out from under me and I landed face down in the mud. The reddish-brown goo stunk to high heaven and proceeded to lodge itself in my bangs, nostrils and mouth. I scrambled back up and turned back to face the ferryman who was doing his best to hot-foot it back across the river. I bellowed at the top of my lungs, "Thanks a LOT, Captain Dimwit!! I'll have you know I prefer meat pies to mud pies and I'll never get this$%*@! out of my bangs!!!" The old fart just kept rowing the ferry back to the Pride Lands, but I heard him yell back, "You wrecked Kiara's fashion show, so why should you care if your looks are a wreck? You're a fashion disaster if ever there was one, even more so now than before!" With that statement, I felt my blood pressure rise until steam poured out my ears. Cursing under my breath I found a good sized rock and hefted it in my paw. Now, I can't speak for you, my audience, but do you believe in a conscience? I never gave the matter much thought until I saw a little version of myself propped on my shoulder wearing a dingy white robe and a slightly tarnished halo (leave it to my higher self to be not so holier-than-thou...). I had to blink to make sure I wasn't seeing things. I wasn't. The little rube actually spoke to me. She said, "You know, 'Tani darling, beaning that old fart on the noggin would be kind of fun, but you's gots better things ta do." And wouldn't you know it, the little angel had her opposite of course. I knew I could be a devil when I wanted to, but even I draw the line at a devil suit in extremely form fitting red spandex that shimmers like a ruby with matching stiletto heels. I liked her style though, and her gumption.
"Aw shucks, toots," she purred at me, "You always have liked going for shock effect and what real harm is that little rock gonna do? If you're gonna do the deed, then MAKE ITGRAND!!" My angel must not have been all that much of an angel, because she just sort of shrugged and disappeared with a poof!, but not before giving me a wink. My devil, well, she swagged her tail at me and then winked as she touched a claw to her hip and made a sizzling noise. She disappeared with more a pop! sound. I stood for just a moment and then my eyes saw it. I dropped the rock I had (and swore mightily as it landed on my paw!! Geez, that REALLYhurts!) and scooped up the small mountain I had just seen. It was weighty, and I starting swingin' it around in a circle to help gain leverage. When I had managed to get a good speed going I let the projectile go sidearm straight towards its intended target. I had kind of suspected that ferryman's head was hollow, but when he got beaned by that rock that I had let fly, my ears were met with a resounding hollow, "CLANG!" He toppled over and took a dive. I gave him a two out of ten for effort, ( I helped him and outside help don't count!) but minus several million for style; just one more sod who became food for the fishes.
I tried to psych myself up for whatever lay before me. I took a deep breath, held it till I started to see spots in my vision and let it out, feeling my spirits sink. To try to get myself out of this funk, I shook my head to clear my thoughts and my bangs (my bangs by this point were hopeless) and said to myself, OK, I can do this. Deciding that I first needed to procure a place to bed down, I climbed the small rise and was greeted by the sight of dozens of termite mounds. I felt a rumbling in my gut and realized that I hadn't eaten in nearly two days, not since the morning of the fashion show. A sudden noise caught my ears and I noticed that just off to my right, the land sloped downward and I heard the noise again. Aha!, I thought, Dinner! I extended my claws, or what was left of them, and crouched low to the ground. The sensation of the thrill of the hunt surged through me and I started to race towards my intended meal. Man, I could taste those warthog chops and my mouth watered more than the river when it floods during the rainy season. Waiting till the last possible moment, I sprang...and damn near scared the life out of a small group of other Outlander lions and feeling suddenly very conspicuous. The group all stopped and stared at me, transfixed. I stood my ground, ready, should the need arise, to make like a banana sundae and split. I've never backed down from a good fight, but even I know when I'm outnumbered. Slowly the group moved forward and I noticed that they all had on the same weird garb, too. Their robes were russet-colored with mauve and silver tassels on the fringes and I could have sworn I heard some whispered, "Hail, Nukas." coming from them. I dismissed it as the fevered rambling of a starved mind and felt another hunger pang hit me dead center in my gut. What really got me were the helmets these guys were wearing on top of their heads. I couldn't be certain, but I swear they were made to look like giant termites. That's just my luck. I'm hungry and I end up almost taking out an entire fruitcake religious cult.
I stayed tense as the group paused just before me and another lioness approached. She was either very brave or stupid or perhaps a little of both. I also noticed that her outfit was a little bit more showy than the rest and at first I thought that they were all rejects from the Las Leonis gambling pride. The fear I saw in her eyes melted away to reveal an intense joy that I found unnerving. She reached out a trembling paw and started to toy with my bangs.
"HEY!" I shouted, "Paws off! That's a new do!" Little miss psycho kitty didn't listen and kept pawing me all over.
"IF you don't stop," I growled low, "I'm gonna stuff that helmet where the sun don't shine, toots." She was just about to get my patented Vitani Jap-Slap when she stopped and turned to address the other lions with awe, excitement and a very pronounced lisp which made all her R's sound like W's, "At long last she has returned to us!" The rest of the group dropped to their knees on that note and the head lioness turned back to face me. Raising her arms heavenwards, she began to chant with that lisp of hers going full blast, "It IS a miracle! Let us join paws and praise Vitani! Praise Vitani! Praise Vitani! PRAISE VITANI!!" All of the lions in the group were bowing and shouting praises. I was speechless.
"That's a little more like it," I finally managed. Aw shucks, a little hero worship never hurt anyone, especially if that someone is me, right? Right. My stomach started rumbling again and I tapped the termite priestess on the shoulder, "I hate to interrupt your little praise fest," I said, "But is there any chance of a well done zebra steak and a baked potato? I'm starved."
I should have known something was wrong the moment that I saw the termite people's camp. A series of cheap cloth lean-to's were arranged in a rough circle; but it was the statue at the heart of the camp that caused me to stop while my face did about five expressions at once. Before he was killed, Nuka had always dreamed of immortality and schemed to be king. He had likened himself to be cut from the same cloth as Scar; but where as Scar was cut from pure watered silk, Nuka was, well, Nuka was more of a polyester blend. He died with his dream unfulfilled but in a perverse way he had found his immortality with the termite people. I'm sorry, but a twenty foot high statue of him with a crazed expression and a termite helmet on his head is hardly what I would call poetic justice. Yeah, old Nuka finally got to be king all right. According to the inscription at the base of the statue, he was the Almighty, Longsuffering GreatGod Nuka, the Termite King. I'm sort of tempted at this point to say that statue had to have been a deliberate planted distraction designed to throw me for a loop. If that was the case, it worked like a charm. You know, what is it with people conking me on the back of the noggin?
When I came to, the termite people were dancing around Nuka's statue screaming their heads off and naturally, they've got me tied to a post. My bangs are still matted with mud and the zebra suit's legs have been cut off just above my knees and a load of logs has been piled up against me. My head's throbbing like a mug, and through the throbbing that matches the termite people's chant, I see another statue. I had to blink to make sure I didn't have a concussion! The sight, however, was unmistakable. In twenty foot high carved stone, stood a statue of myself with a club in its paw. I was wondering how in the Great Kings could I have missed that eyesore. The look was all wrong, too. It appeared to have me as emaciated and thin and no boobs! I'm sorry, but I've been told by more than one member of the pride that I've got great boobs and I'd have to agree. I noticed that there was an inscription at the base of the statue and I could just make it out. It read, The Goddess Vitani; Termite Slayer. My guts trembled at the possibility of the horrible prospect that the statue represented. The termite people were dancing and shaking like they'd just been struck by lightening and chanting like they had a class one speech impediment. Sounded a little bit to me like they could have used the services of a good speech pathologist, or at the very least, a dentist. They had me bound with some kind of twine or rough hide straps and when I struggled against it, I only managed to rub my wrists raw. I did, however, feel them start to give a little...
The chanting grew louder until it was a unified chorus, and I could make out the following, "Moan! Groan! Moan! Be bop the termites! Bugs! Ugh! Bugs! We'll kill the termites!" The spaz attack kept on going for a few minutes until it just stopped mysteriously. Compared to the silence that followed, I think I preferred all the chanting and general hullabaloo. The high priestess faced me and lifting her arms shouted, "Oh, great god Nuka, heed our prayers! The goddess Vitani has returned and with her comes victory over the termites..." I interrupted her and shouted, "You could achieve the same results with a can of Bug-Zap bug spray, darling!" I don't think that termite-for-brains bimbo heard me, because she kept on talking and her steel wool-over-silk voice was really grating on my nerves. I REALLY wanted, at this point, to throttle her.
"We have gathered together to free the Termite Slayer to ascend again to the Great Kings from whence she came. When her soul is once again united with yours, Oh Great Nuka, then may the blessed victory over the termites descend!" There was a lot of hoopin' and hollerin' at this point and I couldn't even hear myself think. But it was that bimbo's next words that really set my teeth on edge, "May Vitani's spirit be set free and speeded to Nuka's side on the tongues of this sacred flame!" Now wait just a Pride Rock minute! There's no way I'm about to let myself become a Vitani-kebab! And besides, I hadn't had time to wash my bangs and apply my heat activated conditioner. The psycho kitty shrieked some more, had another minor apoplectic fit and then tossed the torch she had in her paw on the wood pile surrounding me. It lit up like a Christmas tree. I kept straining against the bonds that were holding me, wincing as the heat and flames from the fire kept creeping closer and closer. I flexed my muscles, feeling the bonds loosen from around my arms. Anxiously, I kept working on them as the group danced around me.
"I hate to send your plans up in smoke," I shouted, "But just you wait till I get outta here! THEN we'll see some fireworks!! And you sister," I said indicating the high priestess, "When I get outta here, I'M GONNA BARBECUE YOUR ASS!!"
I concluded that the bonds must have been an old hide from some poor, long dead, smelly thing, because they finally broke. I tried to take a second to assess my situation. I had two options; 1) Become Vitani pot roast, or 2) Shimmy like I ain't never shimmied before. I decided to shimmy and clawed my way up the pole. Spotting my prey on the ground, I got my balance and somersaulted off the top of the pole to land in the middle of the startled group. I have never been one to be the main course at someone else's dinner; dessert maybe, but NEVER the main course. I threw my head back and roared and then lunged at the nearest loon. I gave him a maniacal grin and then let my paw fly across his scruffy looking snout. Man, that felt good! I felt my spirits lift and I set about kicking me some serious boo-tay. One of the termite people came at me from my left and I sidestepped as he passed me and swung around for another attempt. I planted my feet firmly and met his crazed stare with a steady one of my own. I motioned for him to come at me with my paw and blew a kiss at him mockingly.
"Come and get me, sugar," I trilled seductively. My heart pounded in my chest and my cleavage heaved as I took slow rhythmic breaths. Raising a club, the dumb noodleloaf charged. I held my ground as steady as I could, letting him come closer...closer...closer. At the last possible moment, I twisted my body back as if I were going to claw the fool and let fly with my patented (patent's still pending, actually) Vitani Jap-Slap. He never knew what hit him.
I clasped my paws together so that the claws of both were intertwined and I crooked my claws so that the claws of my left paw were exposed. When the idiot was in range, I swung with all my strength and caught him full in the mug with my claws. Now here's the beauty of the Jap-Slap. It has a second part! I turned my right paw, cupped it slightly and extended the claws on that paw. I swung and made contact, feeling my claws sink into his face. I then yanked as hard as I could back towards myself pulling shreds of flesh away with my paw. Just goes to show that when I want to get under a guy's skin, I REALLY get under a guy's skin. This nutcake was either brain-dead or stupid because after my attack, he just stopped dead. Raising a paw to his face, he pulled it away covered in blood. He sniffled a couple of times and then trudged off sobbing for his mommy. Oh well, that's what you get if you can't play nice with this girl.
I cast a quick glance around me and most of the other lions were staying put. I kept searching till I found Little Miss Number-One-On-Vitani's-Poo-Poo-List. The bimbo priestess was back at the far end of the camp blocking the route back to the river. About a dozen or so of the termite people stood between us and I slowly started towards them, a growl rising in my throat. As I moved forward, a few of the termite people edged forward, but a low snarl made them think twice.
"Attack her! Her sacrifice is required for victory," cried the priestess. They started towards me, but a full fledged roar sent them scattering to the four winds. What I didn't notice was the one fellow who, I later found out, was keeping to the shadows...
At last I was alone, face to face with my enemy. We circled each other until at last I shouted, "Are we gonna dance or fight!? C'mon and make a move already!" She grinned maniacally and grabbing a ceremonial dagger from who knows where, she lisped, "Nuka waits to welcome you with open paws! Ahahaha!!!" I don't know what she had been sniffing, but I figured I could get the same results back home by spiking the water hole. She charged and swung, but I easily dodged her. I brushed my bangs back and said, "Is that all you've got?" Hopping up and down like a demented rabbit, she cackled again and lunged...and caught a paw full of my hair. We went down in a tumble of freshly churned mud. We wrestled in the grime and I felt the wet goo slide into body cracks that I had forgotten even existed. The priestess and I tumbled around and my state of physical fitness gave me the upper hand. I managed to wrangle myself on top of her and was pleased that I managed to pin her down. This was beginning to be more fun than mud wrestling in a thong bikini and I let out a whoop...and got an instant mud facial. That psycho kitty caught me off guard and before I know it, had grabbed another paw full of my hair, jerking my head back painfully. Before I could even think about what was going on, that nutball had taken her dagger and sliced a good three to five inches of my hair off!
THAT did it!
Nobody, but NOBODY, messes with my hair!!
Like my claws, my hair is another part of my pride and joy, so when she did that, I gave her a backhand with my paw that sent her on a one way ticket to la-la land. I was furious now and I stormed over to where I was almost burned at the stake. I grabbed a flaming torch that I found smoldering and decided that I'd shine a little light on this dreary day. I set the entire camp ablaze and watched with a smug smirk on my face as the entire village burned to the ground. Turning on my heel, I stormed off to finally try to start my life, what there was left of it, over again.
Three Weeks Later-
You know, you don't really appreciate the creature comforts of a hot bath, clean clothes, and plenty of Mane & Tail shampoo till there's none to go around. My fur had gotten matted, my bangs were crusty and looking like I'd stuck my paw in a light socket. Not to mention that being short of my "Musk of the Pride Lands" deodorant didn't help interpersonal relations. My senses must have really been dull, because I didn't even notice Camrath until he was on top of me. I had been subsisting on only the barest essentials that I could scrounge up just to keep body and soul together and didn't have the strength to hardly bat an eyelid. I groggily gazed up at him and asked, "Who the HELL are you?" A smile was the answer that I got in return. Cam looked tough as nails and like he could rip a gal in two merely by looking at her. However, his manner threw me completely when he extended his arm out to help me up from where I was sitting. A low, soft voice spoke to me and there was a hint of bemusement in it that touched a chord in me.
"So, you must be Vitani. It is a pleasure to finally meet you. We've been keeping tabs on you for quite some time now, my dear." I folded my arms across my chest.
"Is that so."
"It is indeed."
"And would you mind telling me just who 'we' are? And how do you know who I am. C'mon, buster I want some answers!" He just smiled at me again, which infuriated me. I tried my best to look mean, but I think I came out looking more like a refugee from the town dump. I noticed him pull some kind of flask from a pocket in the long coat he was wearing and regarded him a little suspiciously when he asked, "Drink?" I just stared at him for a moment before asking, "What's in it?"
"It's only water. And after being out here in this godforsaken hellhole for three weeks, I imagine that you're probably rather thirsty with the lack of decent water out here. I promise you, I won't harm you. Here, I'll have some myself." His voice was hypnotic and I found myself starting to warm to him and feeling a little guilty for being so snappy just moments before. I thanked him and took the water and smiled as I felt it's coolness wash down my parched throat. I handed him back the flask and wiped my mouth on the back of my paw.
"Look," I said, "Just a few minutes ago when I was short with you, I didn't mean it. I've only just had my whole world turned upside down, so it's made me a little bitchy."
"I quite understand." He extended his paw, "Camrath," he said as he did so.
"Camrath. That's my name. You did ask me my name earlier. Also, the reason I knew yours is because Pride One has taken a keen interest in you. Pride One is the 'we' you asked about just a moment ago. We are the most covert anti-terrorist group in the Serengeti protecting the Pride Lands from those that would see it destroyed, but with only one slight catch."
"And that is?"
"Well, there's really very little to actually fight against, but what there IS out there, we make sure they know their place. We want you to become one of our operatives, Vitani. After the way you handled yourself at Kiara's fashion show..."
"Hey!," I interjected, "I saved her life! And besides, why would anyone wear mauve and chartreuse in..." Camrath finished my sentence for me, "In a place where earth tones are the rule. I know, I know. So, what do you say, will you join us?"
"Will I have a warm bed, clean clothes, and plenty of hot water for bubble baths?"
"We'll take care of everything for you."
I smiled and felt good for the first times in days. Giving it some thought, I decided being a secret agent or spy wouldn't be so bad, especially if I had this great looking lion sitting next to me to show me all that I'd need to know. I smiled and looked over at him.
"Sure," I said, "Why not? When do we leave?"
"Well, there's no time like the present. Oh, and one more thing."
He bent down and kissed me gently. At that moment, you could have shoveled hot coals into my bra and I wouldn't have noticed. Man, can that lion kiss!! Pulling away, he said, "Consider that your welcome to Pride One." I don't remember much after that except feeling like I was floating on cloud nine and promptly fainted dead away. As I slid into unconsciousness, I heard Camrath sigh, "Oh dear, I'm afraid I've done it again. Must be something about my kisses..."
The End-Part 2