02/11/09 - Facing the Rogue

Characters:

Kori, Male Lion
Kinyago, Male Lion (Rogue)


With the trail still warm on the wind, Kori races through the pridelands carelessly as he barrels on, and on through the thick foliage of the grass. With the years of being a skilled guardian, and tracker, he becomes wrapped up completely in the scent of the strange lion, and that of his cubs. He didn't bother to introduce himself to Mtukutu's lands, he practically invited himself, and woe to those who may try to stop him, or get into his way. He'll cut through them like a hot knife through butter if that is what it takes to bring his children back. Another loud roar echos through the sky, one which cracks like thunder. Show yourself!

Little does Kori know that there are many such trails in the pridelands, crisscrossing themselves. The gray lion may be a rogue, but quite a cunning individual, even if his actions may not seem that wise. The roar drifts to Kinyago's ears as he walks through the pridelands, quite calm. The smell of blood follows with him, his muzzle bathed in a wash of red. Not trying too hard to hide, the lion just chuckles a little bit, calling out, "Looking for someone…?" He asks, chewing something hanging out of his mouth. On closer inspection, that dangling thing appears to be a small tail, one that matches the same color as both Kori, and one of his missing cubs.

As the black juggernaut barrels out of the open grass, Kori practically steamrolls himself towards Kinyago as he spies the gray lion. He doesn't know his name, but he does know that he is the enemy, and that this is war. As he slides to a stop, his breathing is heavy, his chest rising and falling with each one he takes, deep, angered. "Give. Me. My. Cubs." He hisses out in a dangerous hiss as his yellow eyes narrow to thin, golden slits. He stares at the gray lion, every fiber of his being twitching, and eager to fight.

The gray lion doesn't seem remotely afraid of the hulking form barreling towards him. He simply stands, chewing calmly with a small smirk curling his crooked muzzle. "Why so serious, Kooorriii?" Kinyago drags out the dark lion's name as if he found it incredibly funny. The cold, sickly yellow eyes peer steadily, a chuckle in his chest. "I'm afraid I can't give. you. your cubs. At least… not both of them." He repeats with the same pause between each word. The tail hanging from his mouth bobs up and down each time he chews. "That girl of yours was trouble." His eyes narrow, slurping the last bit of the tail into his mouth and swollowing it quickly. "Mmm. She cried out for you, calling for her daddy… too bad it didn't last long. Did you know they squeek when you crush them in your jaws?" He says with a dark laugh.

Watching the tail get slurped up between his teeth, Kori finds whatever shred of restraint quickly melt away. As he stares, his face slowly slackens as his jaws unhinge into a gape. The words sting him like a cobra's bite. With a shuddering breath, his ears fall backwards against his skull. ".. Why? What did I ever do to you? I never got the chance to tell them that I love them." Blinking his eyes a few times, tears break at his eyes as they spill down his dark muzzle. Adrenaline sparks through his veins once more as he gives his head a hard shake, then bellows outwards once more, a powerful roar mixed of agony and rage. His voice chokes out as he snaps his gaze back towards Kinyago, then starts to advance on him at a quick pace, his head lowered to protect his throat. "Let's see if you squeak."

If sympathy existed in the withered heart of the gray lion, it was all but extinguished long ago. There might be a distant tug at some part of him that still remembers the pain of his own children being taken from him, but now there is only anger, hatred, and a need to pass it on to others. "You existed." The lion replies with a small snarl, his tail lashing behind him. "Looked at me with contempt the moment you laid eyes on me. Like I was a piece of trash not worthy of your time. But now you'll remember me, and in your nightmares you'll hear your daughter's death cry in your ears." The lion steps back a few paces, lowering his own head as if preparing for an attack he knows is coming. "Going to kill me, Kori? Become a murderer just like me. Oh, that would be precious. Can the brave pride guard live with himself knowing that he's sentenced his only son to a slow death by starvation… somewhere in the wilds."

There is no more words from Kori as he pushes off on his strong haunches, barreling after the lion with a deep, throaty growl. It seems that Kinyago got his answer. He /can/ live with himself if he takes the life of this particular lion. In his mind, he's going to get his daughter back one way or another. He's going to tear her from the lion's stomach, and bring her home to bury if need be. He comes at the lion like a black, speeding bullet, leaping out of the grass with a murderous growl, hoping to dive into him with his large weight, and sharp claws, and topple the older one down to the ground.

It wouldn't do to let the larger lion knock him down just yet, not too fast. It must not end too quickly or he'll know something isn't quite right. So, Kinyago moves quickly to the side, just barely avoiding the oncoming rush of angry lion. Still laughing, the gray one lowers his head and snarls, showing yellowed, ancient teeth. "Kooorrri… too slow to catch me. Too stupid to save his children. Maybe when you're dead I'll have my way with that pretty little mate of yours." He goads the dark lion on, giving a sickly sounding purr in his throat. Still laughing, he rears up a bit, trying to strike his ebony claws against the dark lion's side.

Again, Kori does not answer the older lion as he lands heavily on his paws, and wheels himself around quickly with a good deal of speed for one of his bulk. Adrenaline pours through his veins like liquid nitrogen, exploding all the way to his heart. As the claws come whipping towards him, he lashes out with his jaws to catch the lion by the wrist, crunching down loudly as he jerks his head to one side in an attempt to yank him off balance. If anything, that paw won't be very useful from here out. With the taste of blood in his mouth, his yellow eyes stare at the lion with an angry squint.

The gray lion snarls as his paw is caught, his age showing true in his fighting skills. There is no way he could realistically win a fight against the younger, stronger Kopje lion. That's exactly what he wants. As his paw is yanked suddenly, the lion digs his back paws into the ground in an attempt to keep his balance. His other paw swings out, trying to cuff the dark lion across the head. For once, he is silent, cold eyes focused and with concentration. It's the last fight of a long and tired life, and he's going to make a good show of it.

Still holding firm to the leg in his jaws, Kori gives a terrifying yank backwards, ensuring that his jaws are wired shut around him. If Kinyago was a turkey, it would seem that the Kopje knight is trying to win his portion of the wishbone. The cuff comes across his head in a firm strike, causing his ear to ring, and blood to pour out from his head, causing only a muffled grunt as he finds himself rocked to one side. Pushing off with his paws, he looks to lurch off to one side, to 'drag' the lion along with him as he scrambles.

The jaw of the old lion grits down, showing quite a bit of pain from his crushed paw. His back legs don't have the strength to keep him semi-upright when the lion yanks him forward. With a snarl, he's pulled off-balance and dragged into a prone position, scrambling on his feet, Kinyago tries to get up, leaning his weight back to try to pull his paw free from the grasp of his opponent. One good tug finds not even a budge in Kori's jaws, and that's enough to make the gray lion change his tactics. With a snarl, he aims his free paw out towards the nearest of Kori's forelegs. "I can just hear your poor son now. Daddy, mommy, where are you? I'm hungry. And to think his pathetic…" The lion grunts, having trouble talking through the pain in his paw. "… useless grunt of a father would rather sit fighting than save his son… such priorities."

As the strike lands on his foreleg and rips open another wound, Kori finally lets go of the leg he holds in his jaws, but not before giving it a good twisting with his head. There is a loud -snap-, and by now, that leg is probably dangling in a different direction than God intended for it. Whirling around once more, he circles the lion, narrowing his golden eyes upon him. He knows that without that foreleg, he can't very well launch a proper attack at him. "Where is my son?" He finally barks out, snapping at the air with his jaws towards him. "Tell me where he is and I'll let you live."

The gray lion gives a roar of pain as his paw is snapped brutally. His teeth clamp down and his eyes close, as if he were trying to block out the pain. As his paw is released, the old lion draws it close to himself, limping heavily on the three good legs he still happens to have. When Kinyago's eyes open once more, they look at Kori with a sort of strange mixture of anger and hopelessness. The gray lion snarls a bit, taking a few panting breaths. "You've already shown how little you care about your son. Once you know where he is, you'll just kill me anyways." The lion gives a pained smirk, searching the other lion carefully. "What proof do I have that you'll keep your word…"

"I love my son! If I didn't care about him, I'd have just killed you where you stand. I'm giving you one chance. One chance of mercy.. just give me my son.. please." Kori says, his voice panting heavily as he begs the older lion. His ears slick back as he spits out a mouthful of blood which has gathered about, finally beginning to feel the ebbing pain in his shoulder, and head with each beat of his heart.

Closing his eyes once more, the inner world of Kinyago wars within itself. The part of him that wants so desperately to die, and the part that still remembers what it was like to lose his own children. Snarling to himself, he gives a shake of his head before opening his eyes once more. "So be it. I'm probably dead anyways so what does it matter if it comes at your jaws or from the seeping hunger." Taking a step backwards, the gray lion leans heavily onto his good paw and looks at Kori, giving one finally sad laugh. "He's at the border, near the Uzima valley. That is… if the hyenas near there haven't gotten to him yet." Then, the gray lion just sits himself down, waiting to see if the Kopje guard actually is one to follow his own word or if he's just as dark hearted as the monster that Kinyago has become.

There seems to be a great deal of conflict in Kori's eyes as he looks off across the lands of the Tsavo, then back to the lion. He hesitates for a moment, then turns, running as hard as he can towards the Uzima lands. If he is on a wild goose chase once more, at least he knows that a trail of blood, and a crippled leg won't get him very far. If anything, he's sentenced him to a long, painful death as it is. No ability to hunt, and the amount of blood that is pouring out is enough to fall the old one. He kept his word, to a point.

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