However; today the Pridelands are brittle and lifeless. The earth is dry and hard, the vegetation dead under the rules of a new king that watches over the Pridelands. He was a thin lion with that of a dark mane and a corrupted mind. Scar was his name and he had been the second in line for the thrown. Mufasa had been his wise older brother but jealousy slowly corrupted Scar's mind over the years until he finally murdered his only brother to gain reign over the Pridelands. He also was clever in his scheme of murder and convinced the other lioness's that Mufasa had died in a stampede down in a gorge trying to save his only son, Simba. The plan worked out perfectly as Scar had had hyenas kill off Mufasa's son after he himself had thrown his own older brother off the gorge into the stampede. Life was great for the new king but he was selfish and refused to look after the Pridelands not realizing that they were dying more and more each day.
"Sarabi!" Scar bellowed.
A broad built lioness with dark rimmed wars slowly walked across Pride Rock towards Scar, weary of what he may do to her.
"What Scar?" She questioned in a low unsatisfied tone.
"Where is all the food? Why is your hunting group not supplying my hyenas and I with enough food!?"
Sarabi let out a low rumble in her throat as she spoke up, "Mufasa would have never allowed the Pridelands to become like they are now! Scar the lands are dying, the herds are moving because everyone is fending for themselves and breaking the rules! If you don't take proper control on something soon then we will all starve!"
"How dare you speak to me like that Sarabi! And you know better than to bring up Mufasa's name! It is forbidden to do so now that I am king! You have no right to speak down upon my ruling either because you are the ex queen of the Pridelands!"
Sarabi snarled at Scar slowly pacing towards him watching every move of the male lion.
"Watch yourself Sarabi. I don't like that tone from you." Scar whispered in a joking way.
Satisfied snarls echoed up Pride Rock as a group of thin lioness's made their way towards Scar with bits of fresh flesh hanging from their mouths. Scar smirked, his emerald eyes lightening up to see the leader of the hunting group approach him first.
Scar chuckled happily, "Zira, my Queen, I see you've been successful at your hunt again. I am very impressed with you and your party."
Dropping the fur and flesh in front of Scar, Zira bowed showing her crooked smile, "Your more than welcome my King. You know I am so loyal to you and your ways of ruling over the lands. I try not to fail you."
Zira's blood red eyes followed Scar as he paced back towards Sarabi. Rumbling deep in her throat Zira dug her claws into the hard rock beneath her as the tan fur on her back slowly raised up.
"Zira," Scar stated in a blunt tone while glaring at Sarabi, "guess who failed to bring our Pride food again for the third day in a row?"
"Sarabi!" Zira snapped.
Standing her ground Sarabi took a step towards Scar, "I already told you, the herds are moving Scar! The Pridelands are dead!"
Zira's pupils contracted while she let out a roar pouncing forward, claws extended. Gasping Sarabi stepped back feeling Zira's claws protrude into her face, blood escaping her fresh wound onto Pride Rock. Stunned she fell over glancing up in fear of Zira, watching her breathe in and out deeply with rage in her eyes.
"Never speak to the King like that again! You have no right to treat Scar like that you ungrateful lioness! You should be lucky that we don't exile your group out of these lands!"
"Zira, I am only speaking of the truth. Can you not see these lands around us? They are dying more and more each day."
"Sarabi, get up! Enough of this nonsense! I need to speak with the King anyways, now on with you and I don't want to see you for the rest of the night. You aren't allowed to sleep in the den either for the next week or two. I am sick of you always putting my mate down like he is nothing but trash. Now off with you!"
Snarling Sarabi slowly stood up, her face wounded on one side as she wearily paced over to another lioness of her hunting party. Disgusted Zira glanced at Scar seeing a wide crooked smile snake up his face. Brushing up against him Zira sauntered on past him purring, disappearing into the shadows of the den. Chuckling Scar willingly followed after Zira with an evil look in his emerald eyes.
"Sarabi!" cried a young lioness with a smaller frame than Sarabi's, trotting up beside her filled with worry.
Her coat was a pale complexion that contrasted her indigo eyes and crimson nose.
"I'm alright Nala," Sarabi sighed, "I have to go elsewhere and find a place to sleep tonight I suppose. You heard Zira, she banned me from the den for a couple weeks again."
"You can`t let her do that to you over and over again Sarabi! You ARE the Queen, not her." Nala whined with a worried expression.
"Nala, I was the Queen but not anymore. I was over thrown by Scar and that's that. I am going to go sleep under some shelter near the bottom of Pride Rock tonight. That's where I normally stay anyways."
Pacing after Sarabi, Nala gave her a weak smile, "I shall accompany you then until you are welcomed back into the den."
"Thank you Nala. You are like one of my own. At least someone understands what else is happening to the Pridelands and it's not just me seeing it."
Disappearing down Pride Rock the other lioness's shrugged their shoulders heading into the den for the night.
Zira purred softly in the wake of the night, all of the lioness's fast asleep around her. Scar nudged her chin with his muzzle while sweeping around her in circles.
"You're so majestic in the shadows my King." Zira complimented digging her front claws into the hard rock beneath her.
"And you're so loyal to me Zira. You're everything I've ever needed to help in aiding me as my Queen with the ruling over Pride Rock."
Stepping over Zira, Scar's claws extended as he quickly latched onto Zira's neck holding her still. Continuing to purr, Zira glanced back at scar with her ruby eyes waiting for what he was about to say.
"You, Zira, had better bear me a son."
With those last words Scar mounted Zira, his claws digging into her neck so she couldn't move letting out snarls to warn her to stay still.
Dawn was slowly approaching the Pridelands, the shallow light from the rising sun casting across the dry lands. Kicking frantically in their sleep lay a couple hyenas near Pride Rock. They looked thin and brittle having had little food for the past few weeks; their skin tight against their ribs.
"Wake up you idiots!" Snapped a female hyena.
Jumping at the voice of their leader the hyenas scurried to their feet sitting in a line in front of her looking from one to another.
"Jee guys calm down! You guys take me way to seriously at times when I just have a bone to pick with those lions and I want to share it with you guys." The leader stated waving a paw towards the other hyenas.
"Shenzi," growled another hyena stepping forward from the line, "Stop scaring us to death would yeah? I was dreaming of having all the food in the world and sitting on top of it having the best lunch ever. Did you really have to wake us up this early?"
Banzai was Shenzi's closest friend and follower who wasn't afraid to speak up to her when he felt the need to. Pacing over to Shenzi he sat beside her watching another hyena stagger over to them from the line. This hyena had his tongue lolling from his mouth along with tattered ears as he let out a crackling laugh.
"What's wrong with Ed?" Shenzi asked pointing towards him.
Banzai shrugged, "Who knows with him. I can barely understand him when he does speak let alone those crazy laughs he lets out."
"Whatever. Back to my bone that I have to pick with those stinky, hairy lions! Do you guys see this?" Shenzi cried pointing to her ribs, "This is ridiculous! You shouldn't see a woman's ribs! Women need curves not bones showing. I am starting to get really impatient with Scar if he doesn't start feeding us more. We adopted him in as a cub and now he is treating us like pests and refusing to share his food with us. That is not what I can a good friend."
"So.... what are you saying Shenzi?"
Smiling she glanced at Banzai with an evil glare, "Wait for the right time and back stab him."
All the hyenas let out a gasp and started whispering among each other.
"Think about it," Shenzi laughed, "Scar is pushing all the Pridelanders away from him by force! They only followers he has are a couple outlander lions and his precious Zira. If we can get close enough to talk to the old Queen I believe we can make our move and get rid of Scar once and for all. He is literally killing the Pridelands and leaving no food for anyone. This is now worse than living in the outlands."
Banzai's mouth dropped, "Are you crazy Shenzi? What bonked you on the head this morning girl?"
All the hyenas waited in shock, anxious to hear what Shenzi had to say.
"Seriously though," She went on trying to get the others to follow her, "Would you not rather live in a land of peace with ounces of meat and flesh all around us? That's what the Pridelands used to be. Also I have thought about it and if we were to help Sarabi I have a feeling she would welcome us back into the Pridelands as long as we followed by her rules. Good idea, right?"
Ed giggled, his tongue flopping about as he shook his head up and down agreeing with Shenzi. After a few minutes of silence everyone started whispering back and forth until Banzai spoke up, "You are our leader Shenzi so I guess I am willing to follow you. I'm sure everyone will but please just watch what you do for our sake. You know Scar would knock us out one by one if we get him too agitated..."
A low snicker rose from Shenzi until she threw her head back letting it out in a burst of laughter.
"This will be perfect. We'll never be hungry again."
The sun burned bright above the savannah, its rays spreading across the dry earth and vegetation. Sarabi crouched in the brittle grass, her crimson eyes watching a lone gazelle that was digging his hoof into the dry earth searching for some fresh vegetation. Carefully she moved forward placing a paw down as the grass snapped beneath her. Lunging forward the gazelle had heard the grass snapping and took off racing across the dry earth; Sarabi not too far behind it with her claws outstretched. Letting out a wild roar Sarabi collapsed sliding across the earth, weak and exhausted.
"Ahhh! Sarabi!" Nala cried racing not too far behind her with the rest of the hunting party trailing at her feet.
Nuzzling her head Nala waited for a response.
"Nala... I... I am too... weak... I'm exhausted and need energy... Nala I need food. I am literally worn out. I can't catch anything anymore because all the animals hear the dry grass beneath your paws. I don't know what to do... I am lost in my own hell..."
Breathing uneven Nala's heart sank as she looked to the other lioness's, "Everyone lets help Sarabi get back to Priderock. I'll lead the group out of the Pridelands and we're going to steal from the neighboring prides. We need food and there is nothing left for us here. If Scar wants food we'll bring it to him for now. Plus I fear if Sarabi doesn't get any food soon she'll become too ill and possibly leave us. Now hurry and whatever you do please stick close to me and do not get seen by the other neighboring prides."