The Chosen, by Loa
Chapter 2 - Of Course Iím Sane, My Psychiatrist Says So...
What did I say in the introduction to Chapter 1? Well, the same thing applies here. In case you havenít figured it out by now, Iím a Hyenaholic and a Hyenashipper.
All the most important hyenas had a cave of their own, and Askari was no exception. She entered hers and flopped down on her rock, tired out. Deciding that the best thing to do with a bad night was to end it early, she was about to close her eyes to sleep, when a paw wrapped itself around her mouth, suffocatingly tight.
"Hey, baby," Banzai said, in her ear. His voice sounded slightly slurred.
"Mmmph-mmmph? Mmmph! Mmmph!!"
"Shut up. Iím not gonna hurt you. Iím gonna let go now. Donít scream."
Banzai dropped his paw from over Askariís mouth. She gasped for air a couple of times, then turned around to face him. Then she slapped his face as hard as possible, "Banzai, you bastard! You damn near gave me a heart attack! What the hell do you think youíre doing in here?! This is my private den!"
Banzai leaned forward a little, "How about it, Askari? We can make it together. I know we can." His voice was slightly slurred, and there was an unpleasant smell on his breath.
"What in the seven hells are you talking about? Banzai, have you been drinking?"
"Shenzi and Ed ruined our lives. Together, we can put our lives back again."
Askari tried to step backwards, a difficult manoeuvre with four legs. Itís made even more difficult when thereís a rock wall right behind you. "Banzai, youíve had a nasty shock. You-" Banzai darted forward and knocked her onto her back, pinning her down by both her shoulders and her legs. She tried to push him off, unsuccessfully. "Stop it! Get off me!"
"Just think about it. Us. Together." He ran a paw down her body, "You canít say that you never wanted to. Not without lying."
"Banzai, youíre talking crazy talk. We shouldnít even be thinking about this."
Banzai leaned forward again towards the smaller bitch and looked into her eyes, "And thatís whatís turning you on. More than this." Banzai ran his tongue up her face, "Look into my eyes and tell me you donít want to."
"I... donít want to." But Askariís eyes darted guiltily, and shivers were running down her body. Someoneís paw ran down Banzaiís body, and it took her one horrified second to realise that it was her own.
With her last dregs of self-control, Askari pushed Banzai away a little, her chest heaving with the effort, "This isnít right," she managed, through gritted teeth.
Askari paused, uncertain. Then she put a paw behind his head, "You bastard!" She dragged Banzai down to her and kissed him passionately. Then she narrowed her eyes and drove her knee into his groin with all her strength. As Banzai doubled over cursing, she ran out of her cave, and out of the Graveyard, with tears pouring down her cheeks.
Simba paced back and forth. Hyenas meant little to him. They were filth. But he couldnít forget the look on Banzaiís face, just before he had walked off. Suddenly, a lioness ran up to him.
"Simba! Thereís a female hyena in the Pride Lands!"
Simba turned, swearing, "Not another one of those filthy beasts!" He ran off to find her. He didnít have far to look. The female was only about half a mile away. She looked up at him.
"Oh, Simba! Thank the gods I found you!"
"What are you doing in the Pride Lands, scum?"
Askari ignored the insult, "No-one knows where the hell Shenzi or Ed are! The whole Graveyardís already going crazy without a decent matriarch in charge!"
"What about you? Canít you take charge for even a few days?"
"No-one will listen to me! And now Banzaiís gone loco! He tried to-" Askari paused and pushed some of her mane out of her face, "You have to help us find Shenzi!"
"Have to? Listen to me, hyena, I don't have to do anything for you!"
Askariís eyes widened, then they narrowed again, "Youíve just killed your entire pride. Utanda!" She spat at Simbaís feet. Then she turned away and hurried back to the Graveyard.
Simba watched her go, then returned to Pride Rock. He turned to Nala, who was sunning herself nearby, "What does Ďutandaí mean?"
Nala wrinkled her nose, "Since when did you take an interest in hyenic gutter words? Itís the hyenaís word for Ďlioní," She paused, then added, "Itís also their word for Ďscumí."
Simba hesitated, "Whereís Rafiki?" he asked her.
"Heíll be in his tree-house, darling. Why?"
"Never you mind," muttered Simba. Rafikiís home was on the other side of the Pride Lands. He took off as quickly as possible. He had no idea what Afriti was, or what he wanted with Shenzi, but it was highly unlikely to bode any good for lions. He didnít know how much time he had left.
When Simba arrived at Rafikiís tree-house, it was to find him worrying over the death of the young lioness. Rafiki turned around to look at Simba and frowned.
"Nala has told me about the young lionessí death. It worries me greatly. I have seen this before, many years ago," he bent down to pick up his staff, "Do you know..."
"The thing called itself ĎAfritií," interrupted Simba. Rafiki dropped his staff in horror, "It wanted the matriarch of the graveyard, Shenzi, but I donít know what for." He quickly told Rafiki about his encounter in the Graveyard.
"Shenzi..." the baboon muttered, as if searching his memory of many years. He gasped in horror at the realisation of the name, "Not Shenzi, nor any other hyena know it yet, but she is the Chosen Mother. It is written in the stars that her pups will be the greatest hyena leaders of all time. But if Afriti is their sire, they will bring death and destruction to all. Evil will rule Africa, and that evil will not necessarily be brought by the hyenas."
"Then I must go to the Graveyard!" cried Simba
"You cannot go to the Graveyard," said Rafiki firmly, "The hyenas will rip you apart!"
Simba frowned and shook his head, "I have no other choice."
Rafiki sighed, "Then I must come with you."
Rafiki and Simba took off in the direction of the Graveyard.
People gave up trying to describe places like the Elephant Graveyard a long time ago. Instead, they try to compare it. Some say, 'Hey, maybe itís a heated up New York, with more bones and less casinos'. Others say, 'No, itís what Hell would be like if you cooled it down a bit and covered the demons in fur'. Still others say, 'No, itís more like a dung heap that has evolved its own life-forms'.
The hyenas who inhabit it have also given up trying to describe it. Instead, they try to excuse it. They say, 'Yes, it is smelly, and yes, it is an overcrowded little pisshole of a territory, and yes, it is the last place in Africa that we want to be, but you have to admit, no lion in their right mind would come here'.
Simba looked around the Elephant Graveyard. He could still remember the last time he and Nala had been here. How could he ever possibly forget seeing Shenziís jaws just behind Nala, ready to tear her to pieces? He couldnít believe that he was now helping someone who had tried to kill them.
"The first thing we must do is find Banzai." said Rafiki, "He knows Shenzi."
"How are we supposed to do that?" asked Simba.
"We could ask them," suggested Rafiki. They all watched as half-a-dozen hyenas of various ages and sexes slowly emerged from their hiding places in various skulls and ribcages. Rafiki raised his staff in warning. The bitch that seemed to be in charge at the moment stopped in her tracks.
"Hyenas, we need your help," said Rafiki. The lead hyena grinned and licked her lips.
"Should we help Pride Landers? Hmmm, what do you think, Kibaraka?" The bitch turned to the dog hyena standing just behind her.
"Yeah, weíll 'elp Pride Landers, Sinzia - when 'ell freezes over!" Kibaraka chuckled. Kibaraka was actually much smarter than Sinzia, his twin sister.
"I am King Simba," said Simba.
"Simba, Simba..." mused Sinzia, "Have you ever heard of any King Simba, Kibaraka?"
"Nah, I canít remember no king Simbas..." said Kibaraka. "No kings around Ďere..." He gave a short, sharp laugh, and the hyenas started to close in, "Iím not very good at my Ďistory, Sinzí."
Sinzia sniggered, "You know, I have heard that royalty has blue blood. I have an idea. Let us find out!"
Simba looked at the hyenas for a moment. Then he roared and jumped forward at them. In moments, four of them were nothing but a retreating cloud of dust, and Sinzia and Kibaraka were trapped under Simba.
"You know, now that I am coming to think about it, I think that I can remember a king Simba," whimpered Sinzia.
"Er, 'ow can we Ďelp ya, mighty king Simba?" grovelled Kibaraka.
"Take me to Banzaiís cave," growled Simba, "And make it quick."
Shenzi looked up at the dead end. There was no more running now, even if sheíd been capable of it. She turned to see Afriti approaching her from behind and whimpered. Ironically, this was the exact same cave that Shenzi, Banzai and Ed had chased Simba and Nala into so many years ago, but of course, she didnít remember that.
"You really donít have to make it so hard on yourself, Shenzi," said Afriti. He chuckled, cruelly, "Give in to me now, and you might just enjoy this."
"Youíre a fool to think it would be so easy," hissed Shenzi. She was terrified of this creature, but she still stood her ground. She did not intend to be taken down easily. She knew also that she was no use to this creature dead. But she didn't know about her Wild Card...
"I can take you to the darkest corners of your wildest fantasies, Shenzi. And your darkest corners are prettyÖ dark. Arenít they?" Shenzi snarled at him. But Afriti was right. She nodded and shuddered. He continued, grinning even more, "I can give you everything you desire. Things that no living hyena could give you. Things that no living creature could give you. Give in now, and I will take you wherever you want."
Shenzi thought for a moment, "Why donít you just take me now and get this charade the hell over with?" Then it hit her, "You canít, can you? You canít take anything that isnít given to you, can you?" That was her wild card.
Afriti frowned, "No, I canít. But I can do this!" With no apparent effort, Afriti swatted Shenzi right across the cave and into a wall, as easily as if she had been a fly. Shenzi gasped as the air was knocked out of her. Afriti sighed, "Will you give up now?"
Shenzi staggered to her paws and winced, "What do you think, bastard?" She crawled into a corner of the cave, shivering, "I swear, you will never have me!"
Afriti smiled and pulled Shenzi out of the corner, "Perhaps you misunderstood me; I have never lost!" He knocked Shenzi into a wall. Shenzi leapt at Afriti, snarling. She knocked him over and punched him in the face. She made a move to run out of the cave, but before she could get two body lengths forward, he grabbed her by her tail. Her claws made deep score marks in the rock floor as he dragged her backwards, snarling, "I could keep you alive for days like this, until youíd start screaming for me to take you!"
"Give up now, Afriti!" snapped Shenzi, "Iíll be dead first, and youíll have to fuck my rotting corpse! I didnít fight, lie, blackmail and cheat my way into power to have it taken away by a homocidal demon!"
"No, Shenzi. I am not here to take your power away from you. I am here to give you power! Vast, unsolicited amounts of power! Give up now, Shenzi, and think of the power you and your pups will have. Think of the power..."
"Never!" screamed Shenzi. Blood was running down her shoulders, and she was certain that one of her ribs had been cracked. She readied herself to attack as Afriti jumped at her again. But before she could so much as lift a paw, he had pinned her down. He smiled cruelly.
"Very well. Point three - you can still mate with me with a compound break. Do you know what that is?"
Shenzi nodded, "Yes. I gave one to a challenger once," She swallowed, "Please donít give me one."
"Will you give in?" Shenzi shook her head, no. Afriti shrugged his shoulders, "Oh well, itís your choice." He picked up a hind leg and twisted it sharply. The resulting crack was clearly audible. Shenzi screamed.
As Rafiki and Simba walked through the Graveyard, they saw the squalor that the majority of the hyenas had to live in. It occurred to Simba that Sinzia and Kibaraka were showing them it on purpose.
Most of the hyenas were sleeping right now, dreaming the dreams of the nutritionally challenged, which is to find so much abandoned food that youíd have to pay someone else with the leftovers, just to drag you to your next meal. Several of the more awake ones looked at the Lion King with hatred in the corrugated little organ of their souls, and Simba shuddered.
"Times are hard," explained Kibaraka, sadly, "Our mama starved ta death last week. Did ya ever stop ta wonder why we hyenas was banished from ya lands by ya grandfather, lion?"
"Uh, no," answered Simba.
"We do too," he replied, coldly, as they passed a hyena's funeral, "Even the smallest pup is being punished for a crime it doesnít even know how to commit. Still," he continued, sneering, "the Lion Kingís law must prevail! Ah, here we are..."
Simba and Rafiki looked up at the entrance to Banzaiís personal cave. As was the norm with the most important hyenas, the entrance was flanked by what Simba instantly recognised as two ĎSimplesí - hyenas born with little mind, less intelligence and no imagination whatsoever. If they could talk at all, a rare enough occourence, they usually used the old tounge, they never questioned their orders, and always carried them out to the letter. They werenít much good for anything other than guard duties, carrying messages or at the best, scavenging. On seeing Sinzia and Kibaraka, they pulled themselves to something resembling attention. Kibaraka yelped something to them in the old tongue.
They looked at each other, then at Simba. One of them said something in the old tongue, and they both sniggered. Then Sinzia stepped forward and punched him so hard that he was knocked to the floor. Her paw was now on the back of his neck. "Urk..." he whimpered.
The other dog hyena, who seemed rather more quick-witted than his partner, and therefore not cut out for a job in the bouncer trade, considered his options, "Pass, friend."
Simba and Rafiki stepped inside Banzaiís cave. They saw Banzai curled up in the cave in a tight ball. Kibaraka and Sinzia approached her cautiously. Kibaraka coughed. "Uh, Banzai? SomeÖ people are here to see you," Banzai uncurled and looked up to see Simba and Rafiki beside Sinzia. He jumped to his paws.
"Get the hell out of our territory, Pride Landers," he growled.
Simba sighed, "Banzai, we need your help, and that of the other hyenas of the Graveyard."
Banzai sneered, "Help you? Why should even the smallest pup help a lion? Get out!"
"You donít understand..."
Banzaiís face was grim. It had hatred written all over it, "I understand that youíre a lion! Get out, or I swear that Iíll kill you here and now!" He crouched to leap at Simba.
Sinzia ducked out of the cave to the males outside, "What are you paid for, being boring? Do that in your own time! Get Askari, and be quick about it!" The two males hurried away.
"Just listen to me, Banzai-" Simba started.
"No, you listen to me! All of my life, bastards like you given me orders, and I've obeyed them!! Well, now it's my turn to give the orders! Get the hell out of our territory now!" Banzai leapt at Simba, but someone grabbed hold of his tail, catching him in mid-air.
"Donít be a fool, Banzai! Heís three times our size and five times as strong." Askari turned to look at Simba again and wrinkled her muzzle, "Well? Get on with it."
Banzai interrupted, "If this is about that whore, Shenzi," he spat the name, "then just fuck off. I donít help lions, and I wonít help her." With that, Banzai turned away from them again.
"Do you really want Shenzi to die?" asked Simba, "I mean, really? And Ed? Heís your brother, isnít he?" Simba turned to look at Askari, "And I believe heís your lover."
Askari gave a start, "How do you know that?"
Simba shrugged, "Oh, I read it somewhere."
But Banzai was not so easily impressed, "Just fuck off, asshole. Do I look as if I care whether that piece of shit dies or not?"
"Let me try, Simba," said Rafiki to Simba. He turned to face Banzai. "Banzai, I know Shenzi has deeply hurt you. But if you truly loved her before, you must remember that true love cannot be destroyed by a simple mistake. Shenzi needs your help. If you desert her, you desert all of the other hyenas as well." Sinzia and Kibaraka looked at each other, puzzled, "You see, Banzai, Shenzi is the Chosen Mother."
"WHAT?!?!?" Banzai screamed and jumped to his feet.
Go to Chapter 3 - Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid...