03/19/07 - Kinoro's Revenge

Participants:

  • Mzohari, lion
  • Nyunya, lioness, Mzohari's mate
  • Nabana, lion, Mzohari's brother
  • Kinoro, lion, Kenta's ex
  • Kenta, lioness, Mzohari's mate and new mother
  • Kacela, lioness, member of the Tsavo pride
  • Mtukutu, lion king, king of the Tsavo pride
  • Nonceba, lioness cub, Mzohari and Kenta's daughter

TLK Nabana - Monday, March 19, 2007, 5:51 PM


Kopje Valley - Bottom of the Waterfall Cliff
You come to the bottom of a large cliff. Just above you is a massive promontory jutting out of the side, it sends a shadow across the waterfall. A large torrent of water comes down, creating a large 'lake' at the bottom of the cliff. Many sweet grasses grow on the edge perfect for grazing animals. As you look up the cliff face, you see a small path leading to the promontory and then stretches further along the cliff.

To the [K]opje [V]alley [Climb] up to the Promontory
[E]dge of the [S]avannah

A sparkling and cool lake

You can see…
[ZZZ] Sanlina
[IC ] Mzohari
[ZZZ] Usafidi , little ball of fluff.
[ZZZ] Kyoko, the desert rose.
[ZZZ] Auri
[ZZZ] Jespah
[ZZZ] Kiini
[ZZZ] Mzuhali
[ZZZ] Tangaza
[IC ] Nyunya
[ZZZ] Kiado
[ZZZ] Nakomis
[ZZZ] Khairi
[ZZZ] Kasjari
[ZZZ] Kia
[ZZZ] Tahlili
[ZZZ] Chiboa, Balana's property!

The talk with Nyoto has left him with even more to think about — but it's in a better light now. Sort of. The lion is currently making his way down from the overlook, where he'd been spending a little time just resting and pondering over some things. Shouldering his way through the last of the tall grasses before stepping into the clearing about the lake, Mzohari takes a moment to look around, releasing a low rumble to see if anyone else is up and moving.

Nyunya is laying around. She's just been doing that lately, when not helping hunt. It's been…well quiet. For her. She flexes her paws and sighs, letting out a low yawn before dropping her head back to her paws.

So Nabana comes back from patrol… and off goes Nyoto for his turn. The older lion's gaze drifts upwards as he hears his brother's pawsteps. Mmm. For now he's content to not move much, save for a tailtwitch.

He takes a moment to look over the piles of leonines — he swears, it's growing bigger by the day anymore. Sanlina's introduction a couple nights ago only served to support that observation, and Mzohari gives a silent laugh in his head. With a flick of his tail, he begins to amble forward again, and Nyunya's motion is the first to catch his attention. Correcting his path, he makes a beeline for the lioness — and when he reaches her, he promptly plops down at her side and scoops her up within his forelegs, a pleased rumble echoing from his chest.

Nyunya makes a bit of an 'Oomph' sound and wiggles as she's grabbed up. "ACK! Whoz? Mzoh?" She angles her head, "Hello to you too," she chuckles softly.

Nabana watches Mzo head over to Nyunya. Wow, he's giving her some attention! Now where are lionesses for Nabana to pay attention to? Alas, not here! The lion lets out a low rumble as he rolls to his belly, giving his mane a shake.

"Mm-hmm," he confirms, head bobbing in a nod before he delivers an affectionate nuzzle to the side of Nyunya's neck. He leans back then, half on his stomach and half-slouched on his side with one foreleg still slung over the back of the lioness's shoulders. Mzohari's mouth opens to say something — but then he hears the sound of his brother. Looking aside, a lazy grin surfaces. "Hey, Nabana .. Patrol go alright?"

Nyunya's tailtip flicks and she purrs. "What's got you so…awake today?" she asks amusedly. She grunts as she is hugged up a bit more and her eyes half close. She too peers to Nabana and smiles, "Hi," she tells him.

Nabana gets up and wanders over towards the pair, laying down again. "Oh, well enough. It was pretty quiet, which is good. Did catch the scent of a lioness wandering back this way, but Nyoto said it was Sanlina's."

Looking back to Nyunya and giving her closest ear a light nip, he says, "I finally got to talk to Nyoto about his whole .. wandering off habit. Took some weight off my shoulders. So y'know." Mzohari's grin broadens, a front leg shifting so that his forepaw can gently knead into the muscle of the lioness's upper back. Looking back to his brother, he nods. "Yeah, she wandered in last night while I was talking with him. Said something about wanting to speak with Siombe .. though I'm not sure what about."

Nyunya smiles and she actually stretches out a paw to pat beside the pair invitingly. She lets out a soft squeak as her ear is nipped. "Monster," she giggles and leans in, purring softly as she lets out a breath. "Wait, who's to the where now?"

Nabana nods softly. "Agreed. I asked him to let us know if he took off, and he said he'd already spoken to you about it." Shaking out his mane, he chuckles softly and looks at Nyunya. "Some visiting lioness, apparently. Sanlina. Nyoto said she wanted to talk to granddad about an alliance."

He chomps his teeth at the lioness in a fake threat, before a broad smile ruins the effect — but a quick blink turns Mzohari's eyes back to Nabana. "An alliance? She had said something about being from a pride that was far off." Looking back to Nyunya, he explains. "I guess Nyoto met a lioness called Sanlina while he was gone. She's from a pride that's aways off, and came here to speak with Siombe."

Nyunya smirks a bit and shifts her weight just a bit, pushing full against the lion, kind of a cuddly sort of way. She lets out another light breath and makes a soft purr. "Oh is that so? Is he…well, you know." She winks.

Nabana shrugs. "That's just what Nyoto said…" He then turns his gaze to Nyunya. "Is who what?"
But apparently, Mzohari doesn't know — he still has a few of those rocks lying around in his head. A lightly confused expression tilts onto his features as he regards Nyunya, and he nods slowly as his brother echoes his confusion. Though he does give a pleased purr as she stretches out against him, he says, "Is Nyoto what?" He pauses, and then, " .. Involved with Sanlina somehow?"

Nyunya scruches her brow lightly and chuckles. "You are -so- brothers," she jokes and flexes her toes a bit. As Mzoh speaks she grins, "Yeah, let's go with that. Are they Involved?"

Nabana furrows his brow. "Don't know. Frankly, I'd bet a kill on Zephra more than Sanlina. He did say she was back, and didn't really give me an answer when I asked if she and Sanlina were visitors." He reaches out a paw to swat at Nyunya. "That sounded like an insult."

"So Zephra did come back, then?" Something of a knowing smirk settles onto Mzohari's features. "I guess that pretty much seals the deal on Haiba .. Y'know, her ever coming back." The lion shakes his head for a moment, before snorting a laugh. "Yeah, an insult to ME, insinuating that I act like you. Blech!" Mzo' sticks his tongue out at his brother over the top of Nyunya's head.

Nyunya hrms, "Guess I'm out of the loop," she decides and sighs. She shifts a little and looks around,
"I'm just saying you both have a head full of rocks sometime."

Nabana grins at Mzohari. "Please. You just wish you could act like me." He shifts his gaze over to Nyunya, tail curling. "Well, things are starting to get a little hard to keep up with. As for Haiba, well… if Zephra ends up staying for good, it evens out number-wise."

"I like my rocks," Mzohari says simply, before snorting a laugh and idly shrugging a shoulder. "And I don't really think you're too out of the lop, Nyun' .. I can barely keep up with what Nyoto's doing. I think HE has a hard time keeping up with himself." Something of a pointed look is shot to Nabana, before his ears tilt forward within his mane and after a moment of thought, he says, "Maybe it's for the best. No more stressed-out Nyoto because of Haiba's antics."

Nyunya lets out a light grunt and smiles a little, peering to the others, "Lots of rocks," she tells the pair and giggles amusedly.

Nabana gives a soft sigh, shaking his head. "Sometimes things just… don't work out. I'd like Haiba to come back too, but the two of them bickering all the time was starting to get old. And I just try and keep up what's going on when it comes to who I need to protect." He looks over to Nyunya, and smirks. "More than you, I'd have to say."

~ Not too far away, male lion roars!

~ Not too far away, female lioness roars!

He relaxes his chin down onto the crown of Nyunya's head, releasing a lazy sigh, an idle smirk sent over in Nabana's direction. "Starting to get old? Who are you kidding? It was — " But he stops, body immediately going rigid and head snapping up. "What the hell is — " And then, a second roar, this one from a female. Was that Kenta? Green eyes shoot quick looks to both Nyunya and Nabana — before he detaches himself from the lioness, rising and immediately turning to bolt into the grasses. A clear path is trampled as he runs, the fronds beaten down by the passage of his body.

Mzohari decides to walk to the Valley

Mzohari has left.

Nabana rolls to his belly as he hears the roars, and casts a glance to Nyunya before he looks after his brother. "If you need help, roar and I'll be back." He's after a moment later, striding after his brother.

Kopje Valley - Lukesia and Siombe's Place
You come out of the savannah towards the edge of a jungle. The ground is consistantly shaded by trees during the hot parts of a day, and a cool breeze blowing through the air refreshes you and makes you feel relaxed. This is Lukesia and Siombe's place where they enjoy spending time togeter and time with friends. The trees behind you loom overhead, absorbing the brilliant sunshine that gently stroked you body. You lie down on the soft green grass feeling a new sense of peace and serenity…

[K]opje [V]alley [S]iombe's [T]raining [P]lace

You can see…
[IC ] Mzohari
[IC ] Kinoro
[IC ] Kenta

With the sounds of backup on the way, Kinoro is quick to leave Kenta where she lays and move in to finish the job. Only the body of the single male cub stifles the bloodthirsty roar that spills from his twisted, bloodstained jaws, the newborn's terrified squalls of agony cut short with a sickening crunch of finality as tiny bones give way to a far more powerful force. With the time cut short with the arrival of Mzohari, Kinoro digs his claws into the back of the remaining cub, a dappled pale tawny female, and with the strength be might better use to down a zebra with one swipe, sends the little cub on a brutal arch to land in the brush out of sight, her yowls cut short with the crash of small branches. It's all the more Kinoro can afford, leaving him open to the onrush of Mzohari.

Seeing her only son become crushed in the jaws of Kinoro, Kenta becomes a tornado of emotions, the first and foremost of it all, psychotic rampage. It is probably not Mzohari he has to worry about at this point. As he goes to face off with the male, she stampedes as hard as she can, despite the crimson blood swirling across her face, harrying her vision. She leaps, jaws red, agape, searching for the throat. "Murderer!" She screams out like a banshee.

But he isn't fast enough. "NO!" His scream slices through the air, heavily scented with blood and fear, as he watches the life of his newest son destroyed within Kinoro's jaws. The subsequent wave of shock nearly causes him to fall over his own feet — but emotions always play so fast. The wave passes, swiftly replaced by a massive tide of fury. A massive, bellowing roar splits from his throat — and finally, the distance is closed. Kenta times her leap almost perfectly with his, and unless Kinoro is swift about it, he'll likely find both a lion and lioness crushing different portions of his body within the next few seconds.

What in the name of the kings? Nabana just chases after his brother's path, a little slower than Mzohari. He has no idea what he's dashing into, and the cries of the cubs have ceased by the time he arrives. He's not about to just dash in blindly, preferring to assess the situation first. He arrives too late to hear just what it was Kenta said, though he heard her cry from a distance—and when he arrives, Mzo and Kenta are going after Kinoro. This leaves Nabana unable to see him from his vantage point. However, the pungent scent of blood that reaches his nose lets him know that somebody's been injured.

The teeth of Kenta find a mouthful of wire-haired mane and just the brush of skin at the tips of her fangs, that critical vein pulsing hard ans swift, teasing her as it lies just a fraction out of reach. Her weight forces him to adjust his, and in doing so, he is left at a weaker stance when the larger mass of Mzohari collides into him. The two males and lioness are caught in a struggling, unbalanced pile of claws and fangs and fur, everyone fighting for that critcal hold or bite. For all his unimpressive appearance, the truth of Kinoro's heritage comes through clear as a cold wind. He's a fast and powerful fighter, even as his blood begins to flow from the work of tooth and claw. He has to be, without the boon of a pride to aid him. On his back then, he fights to ward them both off. Foreclaws fly for faces, hind legs curl up to help protect his vulnurable belly as well as kick out with hindclaws for limbs and sides and bellies. And teeth? Well, they're ready to grab onto whatever comes closest.

As Kenta grips hard into his mane, she gives a good tug, which will surely be no doubt, painful for Kinoro as she spits out a wad of hair. Soon as Mzohari collides into the 'lion pile', she is tumbling as well, biting, and clawing, searching for anything she can dig something sharp into. Her motions are a frenzy blur of emotion as she chokes back sobs, replacing each tear with hate, anger, and rage. "Murderer!" She screams out again, followed up with a swipe of her claws, looking to take his eyes, her voice shrill, and sharp. "I'll kill you! I'll -kill you!-." Completely out of character for her, but this is not such moment where she is all together.

In this moment, it would seem that Kenta and Mzohari are working against each other — to some degree, at least. Two leonines blinded by their own anguish and rage don't exactly serve to make a fluid team, and so the lion nearly bites into the side of Kenta's face as she makes her grab for Kinoro's throat — which fails. Thankfully, he has enough sense about him to stop the motion of his teeth .. and instead, in that moment of hesitation, he gets a violent swat from one of Kinoro's razor-filled forefeet. Phsyically unable to see as three furrows are torn into his face, all Mzo' can do is fend off the opposite lion's flailings as he regathers himself. And in this moment, Kinoro might be able to slip away.

It just takes a split second of viewing for Nabana to figure out what happened. The source of the blood—three cubs some distance behind the fighting trio. The lion's face falls. Oh no. He's stunned in place for several moments. Did this lion slip through while he was on patrol? Whether Kinoro was specifically after Kenta's cubs or just out for breakfast, it now doesn't matter as Nabana's thoughts turn to his own cubs and he goes in protective mode. This rogue's not going to get any of the rest of the cubs, he's going to see to that! He lets out an angered roar before he goes into motion to dash forward, but Kinoro may well be up and moving before Nabana reaches the trio.

The opening is seen and taken, though with his body showing an already advanced stage of 'ribboning', it is unlikely Kinoro will be able to get very far. Blood dripples from claws that have torn his face and he can't smell a thing, a slash having laid his nose wide open. He limbs and stumbles on ripped up limbs, and bare patches where his mane once was oozes faintly red from abused and tooth-pocked skin. He snarls and spits as he goes, trying to make a break from the fight he knows he can't win, especially as Nabana joins in the bloody, traumatic fray. Flight, now, takes hold over fight.

Tumbling to the side as Kinoro shoves her off, she rolls to her paws, then stumbles from the pain which ripples through her body. Giving her head a shake to clear the cobwebs, she breaks down into a sob as she turns towards the bodies of her three babies, staring at their prone, decimated forms. Falling down to her stomach, she pushes her face into the bloody corpses, breathing in their scent, before breaking down into a fit of manic hysteria. Blood continues to drip down her face, and by now, she can feel the sting of her ravaged ear.

Indeed, he is up and running — but damaged. However, Mzohari is suffering from more than a few handicaps of his own. Blood from his torn face is running into his eyes, making it extremely difficult to see. Plus, his own state of total emotional upheaval has left his mind completely stupid, and he's finding it hard to do anything sensible. The only thing he can seem to focus on is his determination to rip Kinoro's body into pieces — not even Kenta's heartbreaking wailings shake him from it. But by the time he's regathered himself, Kinoro has gotten a fair head start. Nevertheless, he nearly bowls over Nabana as he pivots around and takes off after the rogue male.

Nabana clearly has his head together much more than either of the other two--but they're his parents, after all. He is... their half-uncle. His heart goes out to Kenta, but he has to shove the impulse to stop and comfort her aside, because Kinoro is a very real danger to the rest of the cubs if he were to get to them. Mzo seems to have the rogue on the run, but that's not enough. He's got to be seen to the edge of the territory--at least.

Mzohari has left.

_( The Pride Lands )___
(PL) West of the Water Hole
Directly west, the congregation of color and movement indicate that there is
life, and where there is a large congregation of life, there is normally water.
The immediate area is grassy, looking much like a typical savanna. Hot winds
and cool breezes from the east reflect from the water's surface and pass over
this area often. Even as the grass dances with the wind, the Pride Rock water
hole is still a good distance away.

The evening sky is overcast, with calm winds.
It is currently raining.

[NE] Northern Border [E] The Water Hole
[ESE] Water Hole Meerkat Colony [S] East of Pride Rock
[SW] Front of Pride Rock [W] Northern Savannah

You can see…
[IC ] Mzohari

Kinoro has arrived.

Kenta has arrived.

Adrenaline and emotion are powerful motivators. Even torn, bloody, and physically strung to the limits, the males keep going, even as dawn just prepares to break above a sky thick with black clouds and pouring down rain like the gods themselves were crying for the lost cubs who'd never even yet seen their first sunrise. On and on, his breath ragged, foam and spittle and blood clinging to his gaping, panting jaws, Kinoro limps and lopes for his own life. He knows they're still behind him, so he keeps going, headlong into the territory of others.

His sight has deteriorated rapidly during their progress. Not only is his heavily-bleeding face a great hindrence, but the rain is now getting in his eyes as well — along with the mud flung up by Kinoro's fleeing feet. Even when the border of Kopje comes up beneath his own paws, there isn't the slightest moment of hesitation on Mzohari's behalf — if he has to run to the ends of the earth, the rogue's life will cease beneath the power of his fangs. Bellowing roars are released amidst a jumble of snarlings and sobbings — but it would seem that the distance between Kinoro and his pursuers is beginning to lessen.

~ Mzohari holds his head high and ROARS!

Though the best off when it comes to injuries, Nabana is the furthest behind. Why? Because he drew to a slowdown at the border. He knows that Mtukutu doesn't take all that kindly to trespassing, although he sure puts up with it more than they would in Kopje. However, he's not going to leave his brother to deal with Kinoro--and possibly the Tsavo boys--alone. As such, his pursuit resumes. He joins in Mzohari's roaring, more for effect than out of the emotion that Mzo's is.

~ Nabana holds his head high and ROARS!

Kacela has arrived.

Kinoro makes his way like a bat out of Hell across the landscape of the muddy, dark Pridelands, leaving a trail of his dripping blood behind him and chunks of fur loosed from his pelt and mane in the fight. His sides are heaving, breath rough and wheezing as muscles burn. Lions are built for brute strength, not speed and not stamina, and with all his energies burnt already he's all but ready to collapse. His lope slows, he stumbles and nearly trips, snarling out in frustration and pain as uncountable wounds pull open even further, releasing a fresh gush of blood to sink into his tawny fur. No, he can't run any further. In that realization, he stops completely and whirls around, jaws agape in a deafening roar of defiance, ready to make one last stand.

~ Kinoro holds his head high and ROARS!

It was only a matter of time until a stand-off was initiated — though truth be told, Mzohari wasn't expecting Kinoro to be the one initiating it. All the same, it is more than welcomed, but not handled as well as possible. Still too dumbfounded by the slaughtering of his infant children to form anything resembling an attack strategy, the lion simply hurls himself full-out at Kinoro's damaged body. Another splitting roar of his upset is released, fairly blasting the area with noise as he sends himself airborne — but his own leap is so wild that who knows where he'll actually land. On Kinoro's head, chest, back, side — not to mention the possibility that the rogue might actually move in the time it takes their bodies to connect.

Kacela was obviously only just awoken from her afternoon nap, and was still blinking the sleep from her eyes as she headed for the watering hole, the fur on one side of her at an odd angle, and she seemed a bit unfocused as she walked. At the first sound of the roar however, her ears went back and her teeth bared. That voice wasn't familiar, and not having yet spotted Kinoro, she crouched lower into the grasses, sweeping her head from side to side, searching for the source.

~ Mzohari holds his head high and ROARS!

Mtukutu has arrived.

Kinoro is in no shape to dodge a flying Mzohari. Lucky for him though, the unplanned, mad rush of the other male lands him in a very unvital heap on Kinoro's rump, sending the rogue once more to the ground in a storm of mud, fur, blood, snarls, and flying claws. He's quick to curl back on himself, a fresh surge of last-ditch adrenaline kicking on upon impact as he aims to sink his teeth into the back of Mzohari's haunch - likely the only place he'd be able to reach at that awkward angle.

From the direction of Pride Rock, a lone lion can be seen approaching, following a slightly worn path out across the lands in the direction of the numerous roars. His brow is furrowed curiously, mannerisms somewhat cautious as he spies the group up ahead. A rather large group. And then his eyes grow wide. A fight?? Here??

The scene that the lionessand any otherscome upon is Kinoro and Mzohari facing off, with Nabana dashing in from the direction of the waterhole. The trampled grass and trail of blood and mud suggests that Kinoro and Mzo also came from that direction. Their state shows they've exchanged blows as well, with several bloody injuries. Nabana takes no notice of the locals, intent on helping his brother. He tries to get close enough where he can find purchase with his claws somewhere in Kinoro's torso.

A double-edged sword, really. While the location of his landing is anything but ideal, at least it's not a total waste. As the two go toppling down into the drenched soil, his footing is completely lost as his body goes sliding about in the mud — but in compensation, he manages to keep a firm grip upon Kinoro's backside, having snagged into the rogue's skin with extended claws as he landed. Forgoing any efforts to stand again, Mzohari's jaws stretch wide and his claws spread wide to try to dig further into Kinoro's flanks — but then, teeth close upon his own haunch. Snarling in pain, he instinctively kicks out with one of his hindlegs — trying to land a blow in either Kinoro's stomach or ribcage. But then Nabana finally reaches them, and perhaps the thrashing of his back foot isn't even needed should his brother get a good hold.

Kacela crouches as if to spring, but stops herself. Throwing herself into a fight with two strange males didn't seem like a wise thing, but she couldn't help but be curious as to who they were and why they were here. She circled around, trying to get around the fight rather than joining it, and trying quietly until a twig snapped loudly under her feet, and she flattened herself to the ground, inadvertentky shifting the grasses as she did so, and to outward appearance, there was either a very large grasshopper or a spy.

Kinoro keeps his jaws firmly clenched into Mzohari's haunch, digging his teeth in and shaking his head not unlike a shark latched into a seal. He seems fully determined to take a chunk of someone before he goes, even as Nabana's claws work to pop fresh holes in his side and belly to join the multitude of previous wounds across his form. He's even gone silent at this point, not even growling as his eyes go wide and manic, instinct alone driving him through a vision of red.

The first instinct here is to immediately charge into battle and defend his family. And so, Mtukutu claws up a couple heaps of mud as he accelerates toward the battling lions, growling deeply. And yet, as he nears, it becomes apparent to him that the fighters are not of his pride. For that matter, he sees no one of his pride anywhere around, Kacela being on the opposite side of the battle. He slows, frowning deeply, and utters as deep a roar as he can muster.

~ Mtukutu holds his head high and ROARS!

The rogue's teeth find purchase in his flank, digging deep and wide trenches into the muscles knit there. But Mzohari utters no cries of pain or ire now — he's too busy using his own jaws to bite down into the exposed lower back of Kinoro, forepaws making dual swiping motions as claws aim to rake matching slashes along his sides. Yet even as he does that, he is inching upward — biting in a succession that is slowly bringing him up the length of Kinoro's back. It's too bad that the angles of their bodies doesn't allow him a good reach on the lion's spine, otherwise this all might be over already. As it is, he simply chomps and snaps on the opposite side of Nabana, making his was towards his ultimate goal — Kinoro's throat, even as he nearly bends himself in half to get there. Mtukutu's roar goes completely unheeded, Mzo' not giving the slightest indication that it was even heard at all. He doesn't give a damn if a band of fifty lions is surrounding him right now — he's busy, to put it mildly.

Kacela jumps at the unexpected roar, but realizes the danger, and springs to her feet, making her way quickly behind Mtukutu. She had obviously not been seen, and glad for it, but she rushed anyway, with a low growl, but little other sound, yet her eyes betray that she is fearful.

To those who may have seen them before, the two lions with the upper paw, the two with black manes, may be recognizable as two of the Kopje pride. The lion who is being attacked most likely a stranger to the two observers. He's essentially a stranger to Nabana, who only learned his name today, truth be told. Claws having found a hold, teeth attempt to follow suit. The older of the brothers opens his jaws and prepares to lower his head. However, Mtukutu's roar gets his attention. It's not because he was worrying about the locals—more because he doesn't know if Kinoro may have backup. To leave himself vulnerable to an attack would be stupid. As such, he withdraws himself from the fray and turns to face the local king, mane bristling, jaws open, and claws bared. However, he's not so driven by emotion that he lunges blindly. No, he recognizes the king, and here he freezes.

Sounds are lost on ears filled with the sounds of his own pulse. Kinoro barely even feels the teeth of Mzohari as they creep up his spine, the two latched so firmly on the other that their bodies are all but twisted together like a morbid leonine celtic knot. Blood soaks into the muddied ground, each drop annonymous as it meets and mingles in the puddles stamped into the dirt by pounding, flailing paws. Finally, though, the muscles in Kinoro's neck give from the strain of his awkward position, adrenaline flow suddenly running dry as his body heaves from the loss of blood and sheer amount of abuse and energy expenditure. His grip on Mzohari falters, gravity jerking his head back to earth, leaving the bottom of his neck open for just that critical fraction of a moment even as he begins to try and recover and snap back once more.

This is not his fight an as such, Mtukutu halts nearby. His muscles remain tensed and ready for battle, should it come to him. To his utter surprise he finds that there WAS infact one of his own here, out of his line of sight. He swings around to Kacela at once and asks, "What the devil happened here??" He doesn't have long to get a reply before turning to the sound of a snarl directed his way. The Pridelands King utters a deep growl of his own, teeth baring as he fixes eyes with Nabana. He knows exactly who it is, but without knowing his intent, remains defensive, even as the other freezes. The look he gives conveys a message that's all too clear, 'don't even think about it.'

For the first time all evening, he is prepared. The feeling of Kinoro's teeth loosening from his mangled haunch serves as a mind-clearing moment. The scene now processing in slow-motion, Mzohari's green eyes turn aside to the rogue as his body snaps back, breaking the complicated tangle that their bodies and limbs were creating — and he sees the opportunity. Shoving off of Kinoro's ribcage with his two front feet, Mzohari's head becomes a blur of motion — his jaws spread open as he darts in to the exposed section of the lion's neck. The next instant, his fangs snap together in a crushing action, mimicking the earlier performance that smashed the life out of his two daughters and son — save that now, the murderer is murdered. The strength of his jaws and the length of his fangs come tearing down through Kinoro's tattered mane, seeking the life-flow of blood that lies just beneath. And still, he is oblivious to the interaction playing out between his brother and the two Tsavo lions — he doesn't even seem to realize that Nabana has stopped his assault.

Kacela's eyes widened and she shook her head. "I have no idea, sire. I only was just going to the water hole and I saw these lions fighting and.." she broke off into a shiver, her ears flat and her eyes cast down. "I'm sorry..I didn't know they were here until they roared. I have no idea who they are."

The older brother's pause is just long enough to get the look from Mtukutu. His expression is still that of a lion poised to kill, and another snarl follows. However, it is nothing more than a warning for the local king to stay out of this fight. Nabana is about to turn back and join Mzohari and Kinoro again, but he sees that Mzohari is not only standing over Kinoro's body, he also seems to have a death grip on the rogue's neck. No matter how much he may trust his brother, in such limited space, he's not going to join else he risk receiving injury. This decision is a snap judgement, and the dark-maned lion turns to face Mtukutu once again. "The elimination of the murderer of our cubs," he spits, but more because the words are spoken about Kinoro than the fact that they're spoken to Mtukutu.

No, in that moment, there is the world and then there is Mzohari and Kinoro. Seperated by an wall of blindness and silence. Outside of those walls, nothing exists, but inside the reality is all too present in its full, horrific, uncensored truth. Blood pours free anew like a river through Mzohari's teeth as he rends the mortal vein in Kinoro's neck, left unprotected by Kenta's earlier attempts to tear every hair of mane from about his head. The very mantle meant to protect him, in its absense, it what kills him. A gasp of surprise and an incoherent gurgle is all Kinoro can voice as his eyes widen in shock, staring up into the face of the father who's cubs he slaughtered, and all too soon do the eyes dull and pupils widen with the loss of the last of his blood. He goes slack, leaving not even the satisfaction of a slow, painful death.

From the distance, another scent is caught in the breeze, as Kenta stands, her face bloodied, with her ear torn, and laying against the side of her head in a ragged manner. As she watches Mzohari take his kill, she shows no sigh of relief, no happy elation that the battle is over. In fact, she feels nothing, completely cold, like an old brick left out of the project, tossed to the side in the snow. The girl is visibly shaking as she makes her way slowly towards them, following the trail of blood her paws walk through, left over from the sparring warriors.

Mtukutu responds to the snarl in kind, but like before, he holds his ground and lets the fight go on, however it plays out. To Kacela's words, the King nods then calls over his shoulder. "Very well. Just keep back and out of their way." He can see this battle is about to come to an end and his ears flatten back, but nothing is said. Even as Nabana explains the situation, nothing in said. Mtukutu simply observes, intent on letting the fire burn itself out, so to speak.

The spurt of metallic warmth is felt in his mouth, and his initial reaction is to come alarmingly close to vomiting upon Kinoro. After all, it is his first kill — and to take it like this .. Releasing Kinoro's throat and half-spluttering on the rush of blood, his muzzle and face and chest now stained in blaring crimson, Mzohari feels no rush of satisfaction or vindication. Instead, as he stares down into the face of the swiftly-dying lion, an overwhelming ache burrows into the center of his chest. A broken sob is voiced, and the lion actually dry heaves a couple times before staggering sideways, away from the vacant expression of the dead male. Blood courses in a thick rivulet from his shredded haunch, and the blood of the wounds on his face mingles with the redness from Kinoro's body. Mzohari simply stares outward, seeing nothing and looking for all the world like an overgrown, terribly lost cubling.

It was not Nabana's intent to let this come to an end on the neighboring pride's territory. He was going to merely see that Kinoro was chased out of the valley. However, Mzohari's emotional pursuit led the older lion onward to follow his brother, although judging from the end of the battle, his presence was unneeded. He didn't even get to get in a good bite! He looks over his shoulder as he hears various gurgling and gagging noises and sees Mzohari stumbling away. It is over. He slowly calms, and stands there, breathing heavily. He doesn't notice Kenta's presence just yet, instead returning his gaze to the king, voice calmer now, but firm. "He killed three newborn cubs, and we could not risk that he would get to the others," he explains. "Nonetheless, on behalf of myself and Mzohari, I apologize that it took place on your territory." A glance is cast over to Kinoro's fallen body. "The scavengers will take care of… that. I will see my brother home."

With a quiet, clear of her throat, Kenta lets her gaze fall upon Mtukutu and his pride mate, then to Nabana as he speaks. With a deep breath, she comes to a stop in front of Mzohari. Her cloudy light eyes lift upwards towards him as she leans in to push her face against his mane, quietly letting her own emotions spill out as she begins to cry, whispering softly. ".. I.. I'm sorry I was not fast enough.. I'm so sorry…. I'm -sorry-." Her voice takes on a trembling plead as she practically begs for forgiveness, despite this not being her fault. Her entire posture looks completely broken, and pitiful as she slumps down to her haunches, though her face refuses to fall away from him.

Mtukutu frowns at this, even despite Nabana's explanation. He can certainly understand their reason for this. Had the situation been reversed he would have done the same. But why did it have to happen here? To further his annoyance is the fact he's now burdened with the murderer's carcass left to rot here. Nevertheless, he does not voice this. He knows all too well the pain of losing cubs. More than any lion really should. And so he merely offers a nod, then turns to Kacela, gesturing for her to come to him.

Kacela's ears perk a bit, and she pads obediently closer to Kacela, but she is troubled at the thought of someone murdering innocent cubs. Who would do such a terrible thing? She sits next to Mtukutu and blinks. "Yes?"

Kinoro has disconnected.

A few moments spiral outwards, seeming to last forever, before Mzohari's eyes finally refocus on the present scene. Really, it's Kenta's touch that grounds him again — though he's so hyper-sensitive that he nearly recoils away from her, his stomach still rolling with nausea. Then her voice reaches him, and confusion surfaces through the numbness of his shock. Why is she apologizing? Not particularly understanding what the lioness is saying, he slowly looks down to where she's buried her face in his tattered, gorey mane. " .. What?" The word is whispered stupidly, hoarsely, his voice understandably damaged from all the noise he was making not too long ago.

Nabana also knows what it's like to lose cubs… although he can't say he's ever had any newborn cubs that were killed in the manner that Mzo's cubs were. Sayt's murder flicks across his mind, a pain he has to deal with on a daily basis. Right now, though, this is not the time nor the place. His cubs are still alive, after all. He's got to be there for his brother and sister-in-law. He gives a final nod to Mtukutu before his amber gaze falls on Kacela, softening. "I'm sorry you had to witness an act of such brutality so close to your home," he says softly, leaving the Tsavo pair as he makes his way towards his pridemates. "Mzo, Kenta… come. This is not the place."

With a crack in her voice, Kenta murmurs. ".. I'm sorry." Pulling herself away from him, her tear streaked face, mingled with blood, and dirt, stares up at him, then bumps her nose to his for a moment. With a soft breath, she nods to Nabana's words, and slowly, but surely, steps back from the prince, and turns, starting back down the path towards home, wearing a bit of limp in her step as her head drops down between her shoulders. Sullen, and broken.

Kenta has left.

Kopje Valley - Lukesia and Siombe's Place
You come out of the savannah towards the edge of a jungle. The ground is consistantly shaded by trees during the hot parts of a day, and a cool breeze blowing through the air refreshes you and makes you feel relaxed. This is Lukesia and Siombe's place where they enjoy spending time togeter and time with friends. The trees behind you loom overhead, absorbing the brilliant sunshine that gently stroked you body. You lie down on the soft green grass feeling a new sense of peace and serenity…

[K]opje [V]alley [S]iombe's [T]raining [P]lace

You can see…
[IC ] Mzohari
[IC ] Kenta
[IC ] Nonceba

In the clearing where once the peaceful scene of a mother and her cubs could be seen, now only is there the grizzly scene of death, of lives ended before they could even begin. However, not all is lost. The rain reaches even here, the pouring waters soaking the blood back into the earth, perhaps to be reborn once again someday. And there, above the din of the rainstorm, there is a sound. Soft, waivering and weak, but any creature could recognize the cry of another's young. Deep within the brush where she was thrown and left for dead, a tiny, muddy, bloody lioness cub squalls out her indignation at the cruel, cold world. She doesn't understand the smell of death in her nose, but she knows that it is not Mother. She shakes in the cold of the storm, crying out for the bodies of her siblings to snuggle against. She cries against the gnawing emptyness of her belly that wishes only to be filled with rich milk. And she cries, too, for a warm, rough tongue to soothe the burning fire of agony on her back, not understanding why it hurts but wanting only to be relieve of it. Cry and cry, over and over, not for the death of her siblings or the sorrow of her parents, but her own, instictive, selfish need to survive where so few have this night.

Heading back into the scene of death, Kenta chokes up once more as she sees the trio of cubs, crushed to death. Her breathing picks up quickly as she feels a painful throbbing in her chest, whispering. ".. Aiheu, please see them safely home." She whispers, tilting her head upwards to the stars, almost as if she was waiting for four new stars to be born in the black heavens. As the sound of crying catches her ears, she twists her head over, then bolts for the bushes quickly. ".. Please.. oh please.. please be OK.." She murmurs, ducking her head into the thick brush, and spying her daughter. With a loud sob, she topples down next to the child, pushing her face up against her, pulling her carefully close so that she can soak up her scent, and warmth. "Shhh… Shhh baby. I'm here for you. I'm so sorry.. I'm so sorry."

Kings… Nabana leads the way back home, quietly relieved when they cross back over into Kopje territory. He's pretty muddy and wet now. Gaze falls to the trio of dead cubs before his eyes close, gaze turning away. Ears twitch at the sound of a cub crying, and he turns to look towards it. However, seeing Kenta dashing over, he stays put.

Were it not for Nabana and Kenta leading him, it's highly likely that Mzohari would've wound up .. well, anywhere, really. Or perhaps he wouldn't have moved at all, only continued standing beside the dead body of his adversary. As it is, they are back in Kopje — and despite his horrific mental state, his body has enough sense now to know that it's hurting. He's having a hard time walking, the muscles in his one hind leg not functioning very well thanks to the large chunk of muscle that's now missing. Hobbling along, he catches the sounds of an infant crying — and at first, takes it for a wishful hallucination. But then Kenta bolts forward, and he follows after her, though his leg finally gives out on the way there and he simply falls flat onto his face. But that doesn't stop him — he proceeds to drag himself forward by using his forelegs.

The thankless wretch she is, the little cub continues to protest, this time as Kenta pulls her in closer. Ow! Moving hurts! Now make it -stop-! She wails at the top of her little lungs until she sounds about ready to go hoarse, her little mud-smeared nose scrunched up in sheer indignation of her poor treatment, eyes and ears shut as though she resolutely refused to pay a lick of attention to the world outside beyond her own all-important needs. Though the wounds left upon her from Kinoro's claws are downright awful, open and bloody and caked with mud, if the volume of her cries are any indication, this one might still have a chance to survive this night.

Tears rain down Kenta's face like shallow rivers, those that sting over the wounds marring her own face. She curls up tightly around her child, continuing to apologize, over, and over again. With a loud sniff, she trembles out in a soft voice. "I love you, my little girl. I love you." She leans down to whisper it against her ear. If the lord of the heavens wishes to take her from this world tonight, at least she will know that she was loved. "Shhh… it's alright. Everything will be better now, I promise. No more pain. No more." She says, giving the child a soft lick with her tongue, working out the dirt, and blood from her body slowly, nudging her to her stomach. Please eat. Please.

He hitches himself forward a few more times, before making use of his one still-working hind leg to totter upwards again. Half-hopping the rest of the way to where Kenta and the surviving cub lie. Once there, he collapses back down without a hint of grace, a wheeze escaping him as his body has finally up and had it for the night. Raising a forepaw to swipe at his eyes, clearing away the rain and blood and mud, he gets a full view of his squalling, loud-mouthed daughter — and she is the most beautiful thing he's ever seen. Curling his own frame around to complete the half circle that Kenta was making, he nudges the girl more heartily towards his mate's offered stomach and the food to be found there. "Make .. Make sure her wounds are clean .. " His focus and general brainpower seems to be returning to him, now that he has this.

One might've made it. "Let one survive…" Nabana murmurs under his breath as his gaze turns to the three dead cubs. He pads over and sniffs at them, giving them all a slight nudging… no. They're all cold. He lets out a soft sigh, shaking his head before he turns to look over at Mzohari and Kenta. He doesn't want to interrupt, but… he clears his throat sofly in their general direction. "I… if you want, I'll take care of these three…?" he offers tentatively, not wanting to do anything to upset them, but also knowing that the dead are not a pretty sight.

Cries continue even as the tongue falls on her back, the harsh rasps pulling at torn flesh. Will she never be pleased? But then, oh? That smell, the smell her belly has been so desperately craving. The little cub is quick to latch on and drink of her mother's milk, at last finding other things to occupy her mouth with. In time, as her belly fills with warm, rick milk and wards off the cold and numbness begins to take the sting from her back, the little one begins to calm, and once she'd had her fill does her little head slowly bob and then fall and she goes quiet. But ah, no worry. All is well, for now at least, for her sides slowly rise and fall, and the softest sounds of her sleeping breath can be heard as the little cub curls against her mother's side, soaking in the warmth she has to offer, augmented by her father's great presence close by. Yes, at least this night, she will survive.

Trembling, Kenta softly says to Nabana. ".. No.. No I.. will tend to them… we will." She says, looking to Mzohari for a moment, before letting her eyes trail back down towards their child. As she nurses, a smile tugs at her face, before she cracks once more, letting out a hiccup of a sob. Be strong. Just be strong for your family. With a deep sigh, she leans over to push her face into Mzohari's shoulder, where she too, closes her eyes, so very tired. ".. Mzo, watch over us tonight.. " She murmurs in a soft, sleepy drawl.

His brother's voice also helps to replant him, and Mzohari's head lifts and turns aside as he looks to Nabana. At first, it appears that he doesn't understand — but then he follows the older lion's gaze, and that ache gnaws the hole in his chest a little deeper. "No," he says. Nodding to Kenta's words, he places a gentle kiss atop the bridge of her muzzle as her exhaustion finally overpowers her. Despite his haggardness, he now forces out his last reserve of strength to stagger to his feet again. Swaying for a moment, he limps over to where Nabana is standing beside the trio of unmoving cublings. "But .. perhaps we should move them for the time being, so that they aren't the first thing we .. we have to see."

"Alright," he says simply, softly. His gaze is cast around for a few moments before he catches sight of a shaded, somewhat sheltered spot. They won't keep forever, but putting them in the coolness will at least give Mzo and Kenta a little more time to get some rest before they tend to their cubs. "Over there," he says as he motions to the spot with his nose, helping Mzohari to move the still bodies over. That done, he looks at Mzohari. "Rest, my brother. I will stand guard." And that is exactly what he settles to do.

Kenta has disconnected.

Nonceba has disconnected.

The threat of vomiting surfaces for a fleeting instant again upon the handling of the passed cublings, but he gets a handle on it this time, swiftly squelching the feeling away. Once the tiny bodies are moved, Mzohari finds that he doesn't even have the energy left to voice a worded reply to his brother. He only grunts and gives an appreciative look — before stumbling the short distance back to where Kenta and their surviving daughter sleep. Again, he collapses downward, finishing the circle created by the curling of their two bodies — with the girl-cub tucked between them. The lion's body has scarcely settled down before he slips into unconsciousness, still an awful mess of blood and mud, his wounds left untended. That's something else he'll worry about later.

Presently, Nabana's gaze lingers upon the trio, mostly upon his brother. "Now you know my pain," he laments softly, before turning his attention to groom any remaining blood from him. He keeps awake, a silent vigil as the others sleep.

Mzohari has disconnected.

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