Scar, the Unsung Hero

THE LION KING: SCAR, THE UNSUNG HERO

BOOK ONE


Story written, and edited By: Michael Ponce'

The Lion King ©1994 Walt Disney Company


AUTHORS NOTE


This is the first story I have ever thought up completely by myself (I'm only seventeen here so hey, it's a start.) This was created solely for the enjoyment of fans and no profit is made from it whatsoever. I have obviously used characters from Disney's The Lion King . The story may change your view of the movie, The Lion King, as it is intended to, and that is why I wrote it. I haven't always been a Disney fan, but The Lion King changed that. I'm not the type to side with "the villain", but so far, Scar is the only exception to my normally impossible to break morals statute. This story couldn't have worked with any other ‘villain' due to the time The Lion King came out, personal problems I have experienced during that time, and Scar is not human. (Please keep all of that in mind while you read.) This was all written as a continuance to The Lion King, and was written for Scar, not against him like so much of the Internet literature (i.e. Fanfics) I have read already. This is not an NC-17, X, or XXX rated story. If you ask me, stuff like that is quite sickening. I'm voluntarily rating it as ‘R' due to a limited amount of cuss words, and some graphic violence. If you don't like my view, tough, stop reading NOW. No one is forcing you to read this. One thing to keep in mind while reading: I have added humans to this story due to how I saw things. Scar, in my opinion, could not have been friends with anything other than humans, so that's what I wrote. Well read on and enjoy, or hate it, I don't care. But, please try to see my view of things. It really is sad when you really think about it.


" To be great, is to be misunderstood..."

R.W. Emerson


Dedicated to those who saw Scar as an evil, uncaring, immoral character.

" started on April 3 1996"


Thanks to: Disney for making this movie and leaving so many unanswered questions, Prozac for giving me the motivation I needed to write, the cops of Virginia for ruining my life, music in general, and my sister, for treating me like shit while all I did to deserve it was be born.


Feedback to: Scar@i2020.net

©1997 Michael Ponce' Productions





Life. Do we know how much it's worth, how much it can be? If we do, we sure don't seem to act that way. In fact, judging by the way we abuse the world, animals, others, and ourselves, life is pretty cheap. As the days fly by, life for many of us becomes a deadening process of just getting by. Society poisons TV, junkfood, beer, sports, etc., tranquilizes us as our lives, our dreams, slowly fade away. We live, work, consume, and ultimately die, too numb, too scared to ever ask "Why?"

---Anonymous




















THE LION KING: SCAR, THE UNSUNG HERO


BOOK ONE: THE BEGINNING

Part One












CHAPTER I



The moment that Scar fell from the cliff after fighting Simba, he thought it was all over. He had fallen, probably breaking ribs on each of his sides, while pain from the fall seemed to be all over his body. He opened his eyes to see his friends a few feet away. Weakly shaking his head and getting to his feet, he sat up, his sides paining him slightly. "Ahhhh, my friends! " Scar said, happy to see his friends had come to see if he was alright. "Freh heh hends? " Shenzi said in response, cynically grinning. "I thought he said we were the enemy." "Yeah, that's what I heard." said Banzai. Scar was baffled for a second and then realized they must have taken what he said before he had fought Simba to heart. Scar saw, to his horror, that they were friends no more. In unison, Shenzi and Banzai both looked at Ed and said, "Ed?" Ed gave an evil laugh, and the hyenas slowly began closing in on Scar. Hoping that he could explain himself, he said "No! let, no, let, let, let, let me explain! ", trying to dissuade the unruly mob of hyenas. The hyenas were slowly advancing towards him though, vicious, angry, and hungry looking. "No! You don't understand! No I didn't mean.. no. No!" Scar said in a final attempt to explain, but was cut short. In an attempt to fend the hyenas from him, all his forelegs did was flail helplessly as hyenas piled themselves on him. Hyenas flew from every direction, managing to knock him over on his back while a few of them landed on his stomach. One was on his chest getting ready to bury it's jaws into his throat. Fortunately, he quickly managed to flip himself over, knocking most of the hyenas on his vulnerable stomach and throat away from him. Fire was rising all around him now, seeming as if hell had come for him. Hyenas piled on top of him seeming as if they were going to crush him. Struggling beneath the weight of so many bodies, Scar tried to escape from the mass of hyenas. He could feel teeth sinking into his sides, his legs and his stomach. The pain that he felt was excruciating but mustering every ounce of strength that he could find left in his tattered body, he got into a position that he hoped he could launch himself from the mass of hyenas. Extended his rear claws and crouching, belly to the ground, he closed his eyes all while hyenas were still all around him, biting and snapping at him. Almost ready to spring himself free, hopefully, a hyena bite deeply into Scar's rear left leg, bringing blood squirting from it. He screamed with pain and at that moment, reflex rather than thinking made his claws dug into the stony earth, and go soaring from the hyenas roughly twenty feet diagonally into the air. His attackers were confused for a moment at the sudden disappearance of their victim, and by the time that they had realized that Scar was gone, he was off and running a good three hundred yards away; away from Priderock. No one saw him leave, not even Rafiki, who usually knew and saw everything. The hyenas were not about to give up though, sniffing at small pools of Scar's blood that they had tapped from him. "Well, don't just sit there, let's get him!!" Shenzi bellowed. Soon all the hyenas had vacated from the presence of Priderock and were in hot pursuit of Scar.

It was only by a miracle that Scar escaped from the hyenas' clutches. He didn't want to get into any confrontations with anything, so he sprinted as fast as he could from the Pridelands, not even looking back. He knew now that he definitely had a few broken or cracked ribs. They pained him whenever his front feet hit the ground. More scared for his life than the pain he felt, he ran for almost an hour, non-stop, until weariness set in. With his sides still paining him, he looked for a safe place to sleep and soon found a small, uninhabited cave. Hurrying in, he made sure that he was alone. Paranoia told him that he was being followed but he tried to dismiss the thought as nothing. After looking around and not sensing anything, he settled down and began to look over what damage had been done to him. Scar's leg, where one of the hyenas had bitten him, was paining him terribly, and in general, he was cut, bleeding, and hurt all over. He went to licking his wounds, trying to make them heal quickly and prevent infections. His ribs pained him quite a bit now that he had stopped, but he tried to ignore it the best he could. While he went on licking his wounds, he began to cry, the first time he had done so in a long time.

Everything from his old life was gone. His friends, or enemies now, would never even be a possibility to consider friends again. They had tried to kill him! "How in the hell do you become friends with animals that claimed to be your friend and then turn on you? If they taken what I said that literally, they didn't deserve to be befriended by anyone other than themselves." he thought. Scar thoughts turned to Simba and made him cry even more. He had actually liked Simba when he was a cub. He never wanted to hurt him, just take his place. Sure it would have been nice if he had died, but he was still family. He just hated to feel less important than a small cub, which made his jealousy for attention thrive. It was Mufasa who had made him try to kill him. It was personal and not personal, but he himself should have rightfully been the king. That's how everything started, with Mufasa. Mufasa was to blame for everything that went wrong. Scar stopped and thought about his life; his past; his future. Where was he going? Why was he going? He might as well be dead; nobody wanted him. All his life it was the same thing; rejection. These thoughts went on in his head until he finally drifted off to sleep, still crying, and dreamed.



CHAPTER II




"Ahhhh, you idiot! That hurt like crap!!" said the young blond teen rubbing his knuckles. "Five bucks man! Pay up!" said Mike, a tall, eighteen year old man, with a mop of hair. "I told you man!, I never lose at bloody knuckles!" "Well geez!" said Bryan, the young blond teen, "You didn't have to break my fingers and stuff! Man that hurt!" the young blond teen said, shaking his hands vigorously. "Sorry dude. Forget it. You don't have to pay up. Now we're even." said Mike referring to a past incident in which Bryan had owed him money for. "Not yet!" said Bryan who quickly kneed Mike in the groin. Mike groaned loudly as he fell to the ground. "You nutsac!" Mike choked out while rolling around on the ground holding himself. " Heee Heee Heee! I got medieval on yo' ass, bunghole!" Bryan joked, delighted at his accomplishment. "You buttmunch! I won't be able to sit for a week now." Mike said recovering a little from his pain. "And in a minute, you're not going to be able to move for a month!" Bryan turned from where he was and began to run away. "I'll get you back sooner or later. Somebody's face is gonna feel the wrath of my foot!" Mike said as he began to hobble after Bryan, kicking blindly at the air. "Come on, lets go see what's on TV." Bryan said after the rough housing had simmered down . "Fine," Mike said, still wobbling a bit, "but no more nad kicking! It sucks, and hurts."

Bryan and Mike went into a relatively new, twenty by thirty foot, little shack they had both built after running away to Africa. Each had been friends ever since childhood, and went just about everywhere together. After they had gotten sick of the way things ran in the United States and the trouble that they faced for certain things they had done, they decided that life there wasn't too well off and each booked a flight to Russia. The plan worked as Mike had hoped it would, and they were now finally free from the ties that held them down in the U.S. The transatlantic flight they were on had a planned stop somewhere in Africa, and that's where both of them got off at. The tickets only put them out five hundred dollars apiece, which was pennies to them now. Mike had sold his pride and joy, a nineteen sixty five Ford Mustang modified so much that it almost wasn't street legal. He had bought it as a regular, rusty, piece of crap, restored it, and soon found all kinds of cheap things from an automotive catalog that he put on. It pretty much drained his meager life savings, which totaled no more than seven hundred dollars. He had gotten a little bit of money when his mother died a while ago, but his dad had taken most of it. The car had been modified so much it didn't even look like a Mustang; more like one of those funny cars that race down drag strip. He had sold it and gotten ten thousand bucks from it. Some car nut from Texas bought it up the day he put the ‘For Sale' sign in the window. It was sold at an emotional loss, but Mike needed the money and it was either sell it, or let it be taken from him.

The connecting flight from Africa to Moscow only cost one hundred more, which the travel agent Mike found was glad to take, and after floating Bryan a little wad of cash, they were set for their journey. It was solely to insure that they would never be found by anyone. They had gotten off at the African airport and never got back on the jet. They had everything they needed in medium sized carry-ons they had bought back at Richmond International Airport in Virginia. They each had about twenty CD's, a weeks worth of clothes, and roughly nine thousand American dollars. The way that they got along so good in Africa is that the American dollar was worth almost five times more than the country's own currency; at least at the time. Using it to his advantage, Mike bought an old four-wheel drive, left hand drive, Toyota Land Cruiser for fifty dollars. It needed engine and transmission work badly, but having taken auto mechanics and shop in school, the project was fairly simple for him. With a few aftermarket accessories, like Rancho shocks, Bigfoot tires, Hella off-road lights, a light bar lined with two hundred watt halogen floodlights, and numerous other items, the thing looked like a jeep that black dudes had back in the U.S. It had a Bose CD player, a ten speaker Bose system with amplifier and box, and on top of that, it had hydraulics that lifted the body ten feet in the air. Security was no problem with a special coil mechanism that gave a one hundred volt D.C shock to any potential thieves or curious onlookers, and with the siren and flashing lights, it made the thing look like a lighthouse and sound like an air raid siren. It was probably the best machine in Africa, and the seventeen hundred dollars that Mike paid for everything, even the Bose, seemed unreal.

Mike turned on the moderately old Trinitron TV standing on a small table and flipped on the mini satellite, a Sony DSS that had a pirated account on it. Bryan had bought it off a guy that evidently was a thief and a smuggler, and hooked it up himself. Thirty bucks for the DSS wasn't much, considering the guy didn't know what he was even selling. Even though they lived hundreds of miles from the nearest big city, a small local powerplant, apparently a large, diesel generator, provided them with good, cheap electricity.

Coming to the country was easy, getting work was not. Bryan knew how to do yardwork, and Mike could repair electrical and mechanical things. Bryan soon found a job during the day at a local missionary doing landscaping and grounds maintenance. After about a month of working though, the missionary closed and he was out of work. Mike, however, found a super high paying job in the local town fixing cars, and soon took Bryan to work with him. It seemed that in the isolated part of Africa where Bryan and Mike lived in, that an auto-mechanic was almost nonexistent. That was fortunate for them both because a steady income was now pouring in from all the fixed vehicles. No longer did they have to rely on Mike's ever draining account. In fact, Mike soon bought a small garage and gas station that had closed, reopened it, and started his own business. After that, money was no problem. In a usual day, there were about five to seven broken vehicles. These included tractors, cars, buses, tour buses, and his favorite to work on, Mercedes Unimogs. Each job brought in about the equivalent of a hundred U.S. dollars (most of the damage was usually to radiators or a misused engine). But some jobs raked in the dough, like a tour bus that had come in months ago. About forty Japanese tourists were on the bus, giving anything they saw strobelight flashes with their cameras, and the bus somehow managed to break the rear differential open. The bus driver was all upset about it and said if he didn't get back to the agency's headquarters pretty soon, he'd probably get fired. Mike just happened to have an old parts bus in his small "junkyard" with a differential on it and managed to intricately adapt it to the modern coach within two hours. The driver had almost died he was so happy and gave Mike a blank check from the South-African Touring Company Inc. and told him thanks. Mike was not the type of person to rip off anyone, so he filled in the check for a thousand dollars. It was worth it to the driver and he signed the check, hand shakes were exchanged, and another day came to an end.
"Whoa! Cool!" Bryan said, " Hurry up with those nachos, it's almost on!!" I'm hurryin', I'm hurryin'! God man, hold on a sec!" said Mike. Just then, the familiar banjo music began playing and an announcer began saying his lines. Next the familiar laughs (or rather grunts) of Beavis and Butt-head came from the TV's aging speakers. " Here, CATCH!!" Mike said, tossing a cold Coca-Cola to Bryan. " What was the title?" said Mike. " I think it was ‘Teachers Pet' I'm not sure." said Bryan. Mike finished preparing the nachos and went to sit down and watch the show. It started out as usual, Beavis and Butt-head were in school doing nothing but talking in their desks and Coach Buzzcut got angry at them and took them to the principals office. McVicker started shaking, telling them how terrible they were, and threw them out of school. They wandered the streets doing nothing until a cop picked them up. The cop thought they were skipping and asked what they were doing out of school. They told the cop that Buzzcut and McVicker were ‘sensually' harassing them, "Yeah. They were like hurting our feelings and stuff." Beavis chipped in as the cop went to Highland High. "Yeah, yeah!" said Beavis in the principals office with the cop, Butt-head, Buzzcut, and Principal McVicker, "Buzzcut tried to touch my nads!" " I will positively KILL YOU!" screamed Coach Buzzcut from the aging Sony television. Watching, and laughing until they almost cried as the scene was played out before them, Mike and Bryan clutched their stomachs. Just as the cop was getting ready to beat down Buzzcut with his nightstick, a blaring siren came from outside, and an array of white lights began flashing, illuminating the dark landscape outside. The land cruisers security system had been triggered. "Oh man!" said Mike, instantly jumping up. "Get the Tec-9!" "Right!" said Bryan hopping up and bounding to his room in the small shack. He came back with the semi-automatic gun, and a twelve gauge shotgun. It was pitch black out, but the flashing lights on the cruiser lit up the night. "Ssshhhh! Lets see who it is." whispered Mike tiptoeing nearer to the cruiser and pointing to a figure slumped on the ground in front of it. Mike reached the cruiser, reached in and turned off the alarm, and then hit the flood lights, which instantly flooded the area surrounding the cruiser with blinding white light. Bryan had already moved to the front of the cruiser and raised the gun to his shoulder, ready to fire at whatever was slumped on the ground. " WAIT!" bellowed Mike, jumping out of cab and running to the front. "Holy SHIT! What the hell?" gasped Mike "I thought there weren't supposed to be any lions in this part of the country!" But sure enough, before them on the ground, lay a lion, who had a bad looking hind leg, some bad cuts all over his body, and a funny looking scar over his left eye.



CHAPTER III




That night, Scar slept restlessly, but finally he drifted off and dreamed a strange dream. He had a dream that he went back to the Pridelands and Simba was scared to death of him. He felt invincible and never noticed the two figures standing close beside him. These creatures when he finally noticed them, were humans, and one seemed to protect him whenever a lioness or hyena leapt at him. He felt good for the first time in a long while. He trusted one of these two humans. The one he felt strange about didn't do much of anything, except stand there. They could even talk to him, which at the time made Scar feel very awkward. He had always been told that humans couldn't communicate with animals, but these two did. Soon Scar realized that they weren't the ones talking, he was talking to them, and he understood every word exchanged between them. The dream was always jumping from one scene to the next, and in all of them, Scar was protected from harm by the one human with anything he had, be it weapons or his bare hands. He flashed into a scene where he was in the back of a strange machine that moved very fast, and had very nice music coming from within it. The two humans were in the front, apparently operating the machine. "The cruiser?" he all of a sudden thought. They looked back and talked to him, and he would answer civilly and joke with them. He felt good. Nobody had ever paid so much attention to him in his whole life, and one of them seemed like the best friend he had never had. He loved the way he felt at that very moment and didn't even know how he had come to know these two individuals. And he didn't care; he was happy. Then all of a sudden, the dream was over.

Scar slowly got up and stretched, and went to licking his wounds again. The wounds he had on his body were still fresh, and the healing itched terribly. It was about noon; he had overslept a little. Starting to get a little hungry for some breakfast, he staggered out of the cave and scanned the grassy horizon. Knowing that he was in no condition to catch anything, he began to walk, with a slight limp, in the direction he had headed for the night before. He suddenly remembered everything that had happened last night and began to quicken his pace a little bit. He could never\plain go back to the Pridelands. Everyone there hated him and wanted to kill him. He would be killed on the spot by either the hyenas, or Simba and his pride. He, at that moment, hated everything about his life. He had trusted the hyenas and they had failed him miserably. Hell, they had almost killed him! He hated Simba, and Mufasa and Sarabi and Sarafina and..... That was when he lost it. He laid down on the ground and wept for almost a whole hour. His life had been destroyed by his own blood! He had been betrayed by someone even worse than a friend; he had been betrayed by his own brother. This is what Scar was very upset about. Mufasa had always treated him in an unethical matter, bullying him to get his way. Everything that Scar remembered of Mufasa was of how he had mortified him and distrusted him. After their father had died, it all started to fall apart and sides were taken and line drawn. Sure there were good memories of him and Mufasa, but the bad ones seemed to overpower the good ones. He had loved Mufasa when he was younger, but he all of a sudden he became cocky, and conceited. He was a totally different person from the Mufasa he once knew. "God knows I didn't want to kill Mufasa." Scar said while still crying. With his chest heaving slightly Scar began to talk again "Why did he have to change? He stopped liking me ever since he took over Priderock. I wish things could have been different!" Eventually, Scar recovered from his emotional turmoil and was able to continue on his journey away from the Pridelands.

It was about two in the afternoon now, and he found a watering hole with an ample amount of water in it. He walked over to the edge of the watering hole and looked around to see if he was alone. After confirming that he was alone, he leaned out and began to drink the cool water. The water soothed his burning throat as it trickled down. He drank steadily for about five minutes, never noticing the lone hyena carefully making his way toward the pool. Scar finally had had enough water and decided to continue on his trek. When he turned around, his heart almost jumped out of his chest. There, about twenty feet away, stood a hyena. He didn't recognize it as one that he knew, but took no chances. He quickly ran from the pool past a small grove of trees and was back on the plains. The hyena watched all of this, shrugged, and went to the pool.
After carefully checking that he wasn't being followed, Scar ran for about twenty minutes, never looking back but just running as fast as he could. After e started to tire, he stopped in the shade of a tree and lay down to rest up awhile. Many things raced through his mind at that moment. "Was that one of the hyenas from the Pridelands?" he thought to himself. "What if they start following me?" Soon Scar was paranoid that every twig that snapped was a hyena trailing him. It was about three now and he thought it was about time that he run from his current position. This time, he didn't run, but rather jog. It was a pace about between a powerwalking lady and a jogger. He jogged on for about three hours, and then the sun began to set. He began to hunt for a place to spend the night, knowing pretty much that it was hopeless to continue on in the dark. He walked for about an hour and a half and made about fifteen miles. Finally, an indentation in the ground looked like a good place to lay down and spend the night. Sleep came almost immediately, and Scar, for now, slept peacefully.



CHAPTER IV



Scar woke up and stretched a bit. Something felt wrong.... no....something was wrong. He quickly looked around and saw to his horror that Shenzi, Banzai, Ed, and the other hyenas had surrounded him. "Scar, you can't run from us." said Shenzi in the calm, cold voice she had. "Yeah, what are you trying to do, lose us?" chipped in Banzai. Scar was too shocked to do anything but stand there and stare wide eyed at the hyenas. The hyenas started closing in on Scar and then they were all over him, again. He had a terrible vision that he wouldn't get out of this unscathed. He felt teeth sink into his back, but he was too petrified to move. Scar saw Shenzi in front of him, and she lunged at his throat and locked her jaws. "The punishment that fits the crime, eh Scar!" she said laughing while blood began dripping from around her muzzle. Snap. Scar awoke from his nightmare and could not stop himself from shaking. His heart rate was well in excess of its normal speed and it beat inside his head, making his hearing seemingly disappear. He bolted from the depression in the ground and ran off, disappearing into the night.

After running for nearly a whole hour, again, Scar stopped to catch his breath. His leg pained him slightly and it felt like someone had just kicked him in the sides. He was exhausted and soon found that staying awake was impossible. So, giving into sleep, he collapsed onto the grass and immediately fell asleep. This time, his sleep was peaceful, and dreamless.

The next morning, Scar awoke unsure what had happened the previous night. He had a vague memory of a dream where the hyenas were trying to kill him but that was pretty much it. His stomach rumbled; he was famished by now. He hadn't eaten much since the days before Simba arrived due to the scarcity of food. Scar sat scanning the plains when a spot of movement caught his eye. Off in the distance, a crippled young wildebeest was ambling around, obviously a loner. Scar sank to the ground and began sauntering slowly in the animals direction. He weaved in and out of the grass, his stomach low to the ground and careful to be as quiet as possible. When he had got about fifty feet from the wildebeest, he quickly made a check that it was the only animal around. After confirming it, he lunged from where he had been hiding and was on the confused animals throat in seconds. The shocked creature merely stood there and Scar managed to bring it down in about a minute. He waited five or so minutes until he was sure that the wildebeest was dead, and then began to tear into the animal, filling his empty stomach with as much food as possible. After an hour of eating, wound tending, and cleaning, he was ready to go. " Just where am I going anywhere?" he said to himself. He was being drawn, as if by some magical force, toward the north. He didn't know why but he had an idea. The dream he had a few nights ago seemed a little too real. In fact, it felt like it had actually happened. The two humans he remembered seemed to be what he was wandering to, but why? For what purpose was an exiled and friendless lion going to humans for? Maybe because it was his last hope of ever being accepted in any kind of social trust again. Maybe it was because these two humans were special in some way, untainted by mans normally hateful and greedy nature. Whatever the reason was, he had full confidence that wherever he was going was better than where he had come from.

It had been a couple of hours since he ate and by now, it was three in the afternoon. He took his time, walking slowly, while hundreds of thoughts raced in his head. He was pretty sure that whatever he was being drawn to was coming closer every day. He seemed to look forward to the day that he could meet these two humans and make sure that they were actually real. He knew that they were, but he wanted to see them. He wanted to know that someone could hear his tale and maybe do something for him. He didn't want friends like the hyenas, he wanted real friends; Friends that would like him for who he was and not for what he could do for them. He wouldn't use these two people like he had the hyenas. It would be totally different this time. He thought on and on and soon, hours had passed and the sun was beginning to set again. Noticing this, he began to search for a place to spend the night again. A spot of grass under a large tree caught his eye, and he laid down and went to sleep.



CHAPTER V



"Put the gun down, NOW!!" said Mike, bellowing at Bryan. Bryan still steadied the gun on the unconscious, wounded lion's body. Mike was getting mad now. "Put it down or I'm gonna pop your ass!!!!" he said brandishing the Tec-9. Bryan seemed to hear this time, and he slowly dropped his aim to the ground. "If you want to kill some poor defenseless animal, go research lab mice. Don't touch this lion." Bryan, who had been under some strange trance seemed to be totally unaware of what had been going on the past couple of minutes. "Whoa!" he said, "What happened?" "I'll tell you what happened, you almost blew this lions head off!" Mike said coldly. "Geez, I don't remember anything that happened." replied Bryan. "Never mind. Go get a blanket so we can put him in the tool shed." Bryan scurried off and got a blanket while Mike crouched down to examine the lion. It looked as if something, wild dogs, hyenas maybe, had attacked and drove it away. A look into the distance confirmed this when a few dozen green dots could be seen in the dark. The floodlights showed all kinds of wonders at night. Mike aimed his Tec-9 above a set off eyes in the distance and swept the horizon, emptying the magazine. All of the eyes instantly vanished. Just as he had laid the gun down in the driver's seat, Bryan came back with an old, moth-eaten blanket Mike used for working under the cruiser. "Put it down here." said Mike. Bryan did as he was told. "Now, let's try to roll him on it, and drag him into the shed. Be careful, I think a few of his ribs might be broken. I saw some hyenas, and I don't think that he'll make it through the night out here." "Okay." was all Bryan muttered. They managed to roll the unconscious lion on the blanket and began to drag him to the little shed parallel to the shack. As soon as they had managed to drag Scar into the shed and turn on the bare 100 watt white lightbulb that dangled from a musty two by four, Mike gave the lion a quick once over glance. "These wounds look pretty bad," Mike said looking at the fresh cuts on the lions body and left rear leg. "Go inside and get my field surgeons kit, some clean towels and some peroxide please." "Do you want me to bring some Band-Aids?" asked Bryan, "No..." replied Mike. "I think these cuts need stitches."

Being a volunteer at the local rescue squad back home certainly paid off. Mike had made tons of friends, got his own EMT kit, helped people, and it was all free. The kit he had had lots of nifty items in it. All Mike managed to bring of it was a small field surgeons kit, some bandages, and some vials of morphine with small syringes. These were all packed inside of a small black nylon bag that Mike called his ‘doctors bag'. The peroxide was bought in a small store beside Mike's garage when one day he cut his hand on a rusted out exhaust pipe. Now, all of the items lay before him on a white towel. "Okay, now lets see." said Mike. " I don't know if his leg is hurting him or not, but I'll assume it is. Pass me the morphine and syringe Beavis!" " Here you go." said Bryan, looking unsure. Mike inserted the syringe into the little glass vial and began to fill it with 2cc's of the painkiller. He then made sure no air was trapped in the syringe by giving it a tap and a small squirt. Taking an alcohol prep pad and rubbing a clean spot on the lions hindquarters, Mike injected the morphine and waited a minute or two for it to begin taking effect. "Hey Mike?" said Bryan, "Why the hell are you doing this?" "Doing what?" replied Mike. "Fixing up this wild lion that could at any moment get up and kill us both, that's what!" Bryan shrieked. "Chill out, dude! I don't think that he's going to hurt us." "Well, I don't know about you, but I'm going inside and watch TV." he said. " Fine. Go." Mike replied, sounding a bit hurt. Bryan went inside and watched some shows on TV and then after a while, fell asleep.

After Bryan had left, Mike went to work on the hurt lion. First, he put peroxide on all of the cuts and stitched them up with long strands of his hair and a surgeons needle. Next, he looked at the lions rear leg. It was pretty bad looking. It looked as if the hyenas he had seen earlier had taken their toll on it. It was still bleeding a little, and had lots of sand and dirt mixed with it. Taking one of the towels Bryan had brought out, he wet a spot with peroxide and carefully laid it over the wound and gently pressed. Scar grunted and pushed his head up as Mike did so, but after being rubbed on the nape of his neck, the grunting stopped. Soaking most of the fresh blood up and dampening the wound, Mike took out a scalpel from his field kit and attempted to scrape away all of the loose dirt from the lions leg. After scraping away most of it, the wound began to bleed again. Mike put the peroxide wetted towel on it again and then took it away as small, white, bubbles began frothing around the wound. After it stopped, he wiped the blood off again and then poured a large amount of the remaining peroxide all over the wound. Bubbles rose from all over the place this time. The wound had definitely been infected, and now, he hoped, it had been disinfected. After a final wipe and peroxide pouring, Mike wiped the wound for a final time, and wrapped a towel around it, securing it in place with gauze and a loose knot. After fixing the leg, Mike placed his fingers on the lion's side and began to gently press down. He could feel Scar's ribs and discovered to his relief, that they weren't broken. They were just badly bruised and a little swollen. He wondered how the lion could have gotten bruised ribs, and suddenly felt scared that something was going to get him from outside. He quickly got up and shut the little shed's door, turned off the light and after shaking a few minutes for no reason, instantly fell asleep on the floor. Throughout the entire ordeal, he never once looked at the lions face. If he had, he might have seen two barely open green eyes watching him gratefully. Scar was sure that this was the place he was meant to find, and sure he had found his first friend.



CHAPTER VI



It was coincidence that there were hyenas chasing Scar the night he found his first friend. After he had settled down to sleep that night, he never quite fell asleep. The snapping of a twig brought him to his feet. Seconds later, a hyena dashed from the darkness and managed to bite Scar's hurt leg. At the same time Mike and Bryan were watching and listening to Beavis and Butt-head laugh and grunt to banjo music, Scar let out a roar of pain. He swatted at the hyena with his claws and snapped its neck. He began to run as if all the devils of hell were chasing him, which wasn't too short of the truth. It was roughly two miles between where Scar had been resting and where Mike's shack was, but to Scar, the distance seemed unbelievably long. He looked over his shoulders and saw through the moonlit night, to his horror, the trio of hyenas he recognized as Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed, followed by a couple dozen other hyenas. They were coming fast as Scar lowered his body to the ground and began to run faster. Just when he thought he had outrun them and began to slow down, one of them lunged at him from his blindspot and managed to give him a few cuts and bites on his back. He managed to shake it off and began running faster. He figured that the hyenas had been tracking him for a day or two, and he wondered how they caught up with him so quickly. No matter now, he had to run, and run he did. He ran a total of about 1.9 miles when he saw that the hyenas were gaining on him very quickly. He could hear Shenzi faintly yelling, "Give it up Scar! You can't run forever!" The hyenas were now following fifty feet behind him, and he was beginning to get tired. He saw a light, faintly out of the corner of his eye and quickly changed direction to meet it head on. He was within five hundred feet of the light when another hyena managed to overtake and bite him. Shaking free, he ran on, about ready to give up and await whatever the hyenas could throw at him. Within a hundred feet of the light now, Scar saw the faint shadow of something that looked like a big rock and lunged up onto it. Instantly, he was greeted by a severe shock, bright flashing lights, and a wailing, 250 decibel siren. He fell to the ground, shocked and barely conscious. Luckily for him though, the lights and siren had scared away the vengeful hyenas, and as they watched within a safe distance, two humans ran out to see what was going on. Just when one of the humans went away and the hyenas prepared to go and finish off Scar, the remaining human fired a gun at them, almost killing one and wounding a few others. They ran off into the night, and Shenzi, who had been grazed on the leg with a bullet, swore that she'd be back to finish off Scar, and inflict damage on the human.



CHAPTER VII



The next morning when Mike awoke, he had forgotten totally what had happened the night before. He got up, stretched, and looked out of the small window to the world outside. "Good morning everybody, I'm Regis Philbin, and I'm Kathy Lee Gifford.. and welcome to the Today Show." Mike said in a near perfect rendition of the two morning talk show hosts. He yawned and heard an unexpected reply from behind him. " Well hello.. uh is it Regis or Cathy Lee?" Mike turned to the source of the voice and saw a lion. He remembered now; he sewed up the lion last night and fell asleep in the shed. As he looked at the lion thinking, Scar stared back at him and then said, "Well, you don't look like a Regis or a Cathy Lee if you ask me." Mike's eyes grew big and his jaw dropped as he heard and saw the lion talk. He began backing up and then he hit the wall of the shed and slowly shrank to the floor, still shocked from what he had just experienced. He sat where he was and looked with wide eyes as the lion got up, walked over to him and began licking him on the face. Mike couldn't take any more, and he fainted, his body drooped back against the wall and his shoulders slumped.

Mike had only been out for about seven minutes, and when he woke up to the sight of Scar's massive body sitting in front of him, he suddenly remembered what had happened. He shot up in the air and, feeling foolish, said to the lion, "You said something to me a minute ago didn't you?" "Yes I did!" replied the lion excitedly. "I asked if you were Regis or Cathy Lee." Mike got up and began pacing around the small shed. "Okay Mike! Get a hold of yourself! You must of gotten high off your ass last night! Lions can't talk to people!" Scar watched as the human who called himself ‘Mike' paced around the room and began talking to himself. He watched and listened as the human started saying that lions can't talk to people. Scar interrupted by saying " Quite the contrary, Mike, I can talk to you and I'm a lion." Mike stopped pacing, looked at Scar and then said to himself "Okay, I'm losing my mind here!" He opened the shed door and briskly began walking out into the landscape, which was covered with fresh morning light. He walked quickly to the cruiser, turned off the security system and jumped in. Scar, curious at this strange behavior, was following Mike all the way. After Mike had climbed into the drivers seat, Scar jumped up in the passengers seat beside him and sat, looking innocently and curiously at him. Mike looked over and looked the lion right in the eyes and said in as calm a voice as he could muster, "Okay, I've either smoked weed within the last day without remembering it, or something funky is going on here. Now, if you can hear me and understand what I am saying, repeat this phrase, ‘Life sucks.'." Scar immediately mimicked "Life sucks."

Mike knew that the lion he had saved last night was somehow special, but this came as a complete shock to him. "A talking lion?" he thought as he fumbled with the ignition key, started up the cruiser and began to put it in gear. "It is totally implausible! I know there are dogs that can say ‘mama', but a lion that can understand you and talk back? No way." As Mike pulled out onto the main dirt road, he asked the lion a question. "So, what is your name?" "My true name is Taka, but please call me Scar." replied Scar, happy that the human had finally communicated with him. "Your name is Mike I presume?" "It is but I am also known as Michael. Just Mike. Please." replied Mike a bit awkwardly. "Sorry if I seem a little nervous, but I've never talked to anything other than a human and gotten an educated response." " Oh, then that makes the two of us. I've never talked to a human so I guess we're even." Mike, still thinking that a prank might being pulled on him said "Do you mind if I check around your throat? I forgot to check last night if you had any cuts there." "Be my guest." replied Scar, pointing his nose in the air and leaning his head back to expose his throat. Mike felt through his mane but didn't find anything he expected to find. "No microphones, no speakers, nothing." he thought to himself. Slowing down a little bit, he pulled off the small dirt road and stopped the cruiser.

"Okay, I still have my doubts about you, Scar. If you do what I say in a few minutes, I will believe you. You see, it's not everyday that a lion starts talking to me out of the blue." "I understand one hundred percent." said Scar. He knew from his dreams that convincing the humans that he could talk would not be an easy task, but the effects would change all of their lives. "Okay then, would you please step out of this vehicle and run around it three times." Scar did as he was told and Mike watched, astonished. "Okay now....uh... let me see.....Okay I got it! See that big stick over there?" Scar nodded to show that he did. "Okay, go get it and bring it to me, please." Scar bounded off and picked up the stick, then brought it back, jumped up with it into the cruiser's cab, and dropped it in Mike's lap. "Oh my god." were the only words that came from Mike's mouth.

"Alrighty then! It seems that you can talk." Mike said seeing the seemingly impossible happen right in front of him. "Say something.... anything, whatever comes to mind first." Scar thought a moment and then said "Friends... Do you think we could be friends?" "Sure, It's fine with me." replied Mike, finally realizing that he wasn't dreaming. Mike started up the cruiser, put it in gear, and then began to go back. When he reached the T-intersection where the road continued or led to his shack, he purposely missed his turn and rode on. Scar interrupted the silence after a few seconds. "Wasn't that where we were supposed to go back there?" Mike said, "Yep....But before I take you back to the shack, I want to learn a little bit more about you. It's not everyday that I meet a talking lion you see." "Yes, I understand how you feel." Scar said. As he did, Mike popped in ‘And Out Come The Wolves', one of his Rancid CD's, and rode off down the dirt road.

When Mike awoke, It had been about eight o'clock. After all that had happened that morning, it was now around nine. The CD had already looped and was now on track nine, Ruby Soho. Soon, the song came to an end, and Mike turned off the stereo. He had traveled about forty miles and finally pulled over. No traffic was ever on the road until after two in the afternoon which was tourists buses, and locals mainly. Mike reached in the back of the cruiser and produced a lunchbox. Inside were leftovers from the previous days lunch; a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich, a small bag of potato chips, and a Coke. " I always keep a little stash for just such an occasion." Mike said to Scar, grinning. "Come on." he said, getting out and pointing to a tree about twenty feet away from the cruisers left side. Mike got out, and Scar obediently followed him. When Mike reached the tree and sat down, Scar sat right in front of him. "Okay, don't take this the wrong way, but how in the hell can you talk to me?" Mike said with a questioning look on his brow. "I'm thrilled that you can, but how can you do it?" he added. Scar replied, "I would kind of like to know that myself. All that I can tell you is this. I had a dream that I met two humans, one which I'm sure was you, and that I could talk to them. That's all I can say." "Okay, then. You of course have a story to tell, and if you don't mind, could you tell me it?" asked Mike, opening the slightly warm Coke. "Yes." said Scar, lowering his head. "Finally I can tell someone who is not prejudiced against me."



CHAPTER VIII



Mike sat for almost a whole hour and had never heard a sadder story in his whole life. He had heard some pretty sad ones too. To him, what Scar told him sounded like Forrest Gump by Satin. Even though he had had a lot of bad luck in the past couple of years, this poor lion had been marked for bad luck the day he was born. Scar told what he had to say almost as if he expected to be judged and sent off as soon as he finished. It took some thinking, because many of the things, he had forgotten about, or tried to forget about. Mike listened intently to everything Scar said, and less than midway through, his eyes swelled with tears at just the thought of what Scar had gone through. He continued to weep until he had heard it all. Mike was no wussy, so to speak. He could just as easily snap someone's neck as shake their hand, but preferred the latter of the two. He either made really good friends, or really bad enemies. No in betweeners. When it came down to personal experiences, that's what hit his tear switch. He knew where Scar was coming from. He had been ridiculed and deemed an outcast before he even started school, and on top of that, he had had an older brother himself that had always gotten drunk and beat him up. One day, when he had had enough, Mike fought back, and his older brother ended up in the hospital with fifty eight stitches in his head. (A broken beer bottle makes a great weapon in a pinch.) After that, his brother left him alone, and just moved out. If he'd of stayed where he was, he'd just be asking for trouble again; trouble which Mike hated end up fighting. Mike grew attached to Scar instantly, and all the while he was being told his story, he finally felt his life had a purpose; being endowed to change one thing with his life. The final thing that Scar said that made Mike one hundred ten percent sure that he wasn't going to ever let anyone hurt or betray him again was when Scar told, in great detail, about how the hyenas turned on him and tried to kill him. "And that is the story of my life." Scar concluded.


Mike sat with his hands over his eyes as he faced the ground. Scar looked at him questionably, and then saw Mike's chest start to heave. "That son-of-a-bitch!" he said in a tear muffled voice. He looked at Scar and Scar saw that his face was red and wet with tears. Looking at this made Scar feel like crying too, so he did. He had been on the verge ever since he started. Mike collapsed onto the ground and lay crying. He thought about what Scar had said; he thought about his own life; he thought about his dumb brother that tried to kill him with a weed-eater once. He thought long and hard. He hated his old life, that's why he came here, to start on a new foot. Hearing Scar made him realize that he was not alone in this cruel world.

When Mike collapsed, Scar laid down beside him, also weeping. Mike, still crying, saw his new companion as a large housecat and draped one arm over Scar's black mane. He had always confided in animals for comfort. Back in the states, he used to talk to his cat whenever he felt sad. He knew it didn't know what he was saying, but having someone to talk to always helped. Talking to Bryan always proved to be a mistake. He would cuss at him and call him a wussy. That always hurt, so he looked to common, household pets to talk to. Finally, the tears were gone and he sat up. "God, I know exactly how you feel. My brother used to beat me, and my supposed friends used me as a scapegoat for their crimes." said Mike, chest still heaving slightly. " I'm glad that someone can finally see my side of the story." replied Scar, who had managed to stop crying by now. Neither of them knew it, but they both had found parts inside of them that never before been present. For Mike, it was compassion, and caring. For Scar, it was sorrow, regret, care, and knowing what a true friend really is.

About the time Mike and Scar finally got themselves together, it was around eleven. After splitting half of his lunch with Scar, Mike went to the cruiser and sat in the drivers seat, vacantly staring out through the windshield. Scar was close behind him and jumped into the passengers seat at about the same time Mike sat down. "Earlier, you said you wanted to be friends." Mike casually said while picking at a bit of bacon from his teeth. "Yes, I did. Why do you ask? You still want to be friends don't you?" said Scar in a slightly panicked voice. "Hell yes!" replied Mike. "I wouldn't want to not be your friend now if you got up and whacked me in the head! Seriously though, you've had a rough damn life from what you told me. You can stay in my home as if it were your very own. I don't know what Bryan will think, but the hell with him; it aint his house. He's been getting on my nerves a lot these past few weeks." Mike sat in the cruiser, and casually reached over and plucked out a CD and looked at it. "What's that thing?" asked Scar looking inquisitively at the CD. "It's called a compact disc, or CD for short. It's a way of digitally recording a song or other stuff like that." said Mike. "What does ‘digital' mean?" asked Scar. Mike, seeing things from Scar's point of view now, only replied, "I'm going to have to teach you a lot of things Scar, especially if you plan to stay. I'll tell you some things on the way home, and stop and ask questions whenever you have any. I'll be glad to answer them."

The moment Mike turned on the ignition system in the cruiser, Mike was hit with Scar's first question. " Why does it make such a loud noise when it moves?" he asked. So Mike told him about the history of the automobile. He talked about every square inch of the engine. He told Scar what a cast iron block is, he told him what a distributor cap was, he said everything. He talked about the transmission, the transfer case, the gas tank, what gasoline was, where it came from, how it was gotten, everything. Scar took it all in and surprisingly, he understood most of what he was told. He understood the basics of physics now; he knew that a wheel is simple round object that makes work less difficult; he learned how cars ran and moved; he learned about centripetal forces, and most important of all, for the first time in his whole life, he learned how to have fun. The moment that Mike and Bryan found Scar was comparable to the time when Pumbaa and Timon found Simba, in a sense. Scar was acting like he was a cub, even though he was almost eight years old. He saw Mike as the brother and friend that he never really had. Mike was someone completely willing to tell him anything he'd ever wanted to know about humans, and be his friend. Scar liked Mike. He liked him the moment he saw him fixing his wounds last night. He knew that this human would not hurt him, and he was glad. Everybody he ever known before always tried to humiliate or lay false friendship in front of him. That had all changed in a matter of hours. He had finally met someone that actually cared for him. If Simba, or Mufasa, or anyone who knew Scar a couple of weeks ago saw him as he was today, they wouldn't know who he was. He had changed so much in the past few day, and it all began with something as simple as a dream.

As Mike turned the corner to go into his driveway, he was telling Scar about electricity and how it makes things work. Mike went down his mile or so driveway and looked at his watch as it chimed off two. He had taken his time coming home because he knew Bryan would be totally unprepared for what he had found out about Scar. "Okay, now remember, stay in the cruiser and lay down low in the back. You'll scare him silly if you walk right up to him and start talking." Mike said. "Now, when I yell your name, you come on inside. I'll leave the door open." "Okay." Scar answered in an excited voice. Mike drove over the crest of the final hill on his driveway and steered toward the spot he always parked in. After reaching it, he cut off the ignition, jumped out of the cab, and proceeded toward the small shack. He turned around a final time to make sure Scar was hidden from sight. After giving him a thumbs up, Mike went into the little house and called for Bryan. The moment he walked by the ragged sofa, he was kicked in the groin, and he dropped to the ground, screaming in pain.

"You freak!! Where the hell have you been? I've looked everywhere for yo......" Bryan started, before Scar came rushing in at full speed, knocked Bryan to the floor, and pinned him. "What did he do to you?!" Scar said to Mike in a rage. "Nothing. Get off him." Mike said in a strained voice while he rolled around in pain. "What? Didn't he attack you?" Scar said, looking perplexed. "He did, but he's also my friend.... He was just kidding around." Mike said, coughing and recovering a little bit. Scar looked angrily at Bryan in the eyes, and then got off of him. Bryan had the same shocked expression that Mike had worn earlier in the morning. "Uh, Bryan" Mike said in a slightly pained voice, "Meet Scar, my new friend." Bryan looked at Scar and then to Mike and then fainted.



CHAPTER IX



When Bryan awoke to find a large pair green eyes staring curiously at him, his eyes widened and he scrambled back against the wall. He still wore the shocked expression when he saw and heard the lion talk to Mike earlier. Mike looked at him and said something back to the lion. The lion left the room, and Mike walked over towards Bryan. Mike knelt down in front of Bryan and just sat there. Bryan, finally recovering from shock mumbled out, "Whaa... whaaa..... what in the hell?!" Mike just sat and calmly talked to Bryan. "I know you're wondering what the hell is going on. I'll try to explain, but you must promise me that you don't call me a crazy son-of-a-bitch for what I'm about to tell you. Okay, promise?" Bryan shook his head to acknowledge that he did. He was still wide eyed and in shock. "Okay Scar, come in and sit down, but don't make any sudden movements or you'll freak him out." Scar came walking slowly around the sofa as Bryan's eyes opened even wider and his jaw dropped open. Scar came in, sat right beside Mike, and muttered something under his breath to him. Mike barely said "Good idea." when he got up, went to his room and brought out the guns. "Bryan?" he said, "I'm going to hide these so you do overreact or something, Okay?" Bryan again shook his head as Mike went outside into the shed and hid the guns under some rags. He came back in and sat Indian style in front of Bryan. "Bryan, this is Scar." he said, " He wants to say something to you." "Okay, go ahead." Mike said in a low voice, gesturing toward Bryan. " Hello, Bryan. My name is Taka, but please call me Scar." Bryan just shook his head in disbelief at what he had just heard and said "Oh my god!"

Bryan sat for nearly a whole hour and listened to Scar talk. He said exactly what he had said earlier to Mike, but Bryan didn't cry at all. He didn't even care for the most part. Bryan was not the type of person to let his true feelings rise to the surface anyway, but Mike was disturbed at his silence nonetheless. When the story was over, Mike said to Bryan what he was thinking. "Isn't that depressing?" he said, "Made me want to go out and put a bullet in everyone of those hyenas' heads. I don't know about you, but I'm not letting Scar out of my sight from now on. After what he's been through, I think he needs us. If that Mufasa were still around, I'd show him a thing or two." Bryan cringed a little bit when Mike added in the last sentence. He had a vacant look on his face that made Mike a uncomfortable. He hadn't said a word since about an hour ago, and when he finally spoke, his voice sounded foreign and different. He simply said, "What do you plan to do for Scar?" He had a tone in his voice that set both Scar and Mike at unease. It was not like Bryan to ask directly what Mike's intentions were. Somewhat suspicious, he quietly told Scar to follow him outside and directed Bryan to remain seated. Once outside, Mike checked over his shoulder to see if Bryan was still seated. Once he visually confirmed this, he turned to Scar and said, "Something weird is going on. I've never heard him talk like that before. Usually he just says something like, ‘cool' or ‘die you son-of-a-beatch!', I don't like it." Scar sat a moment thinking, and then replied, almost in a whisper to Mike, "This might sound a little bit crazy, but he sounded like Rafiki the way he talked in there. Maybe he's been possessed by his spirit." "Who's Rafiki?" Mike asked. "Never mind. I'll tell you later." Scar said. "I don't know what to think, all I know is I'm getting hungry. Let's go find something to eat." said Mike. Mike and Scar got up and went into the house and looked over to where Bryan had been sitting, and discovered that he was gone. A quick look to his bedroom showed that he had gone to bed, and gone to sleep all inside of three minutes. "Weird." said Mike, walking in front of Scar as he went to go rummaging through the small kitchen cupboards.

After packing a small dinner, Mike left a note beside Bryan saying that he was going out to find something for Scar to eat. They left and were gone for about three hours. During that time, Bryan dreamed a strange, disturbing dream. After Mike and Scar went outside to talk, he got up and went to sleep. He hadn't been able to control himself at all since last night. He wanted to say things today to Mike and Scar, but he couldn't. He felt as if someone else was controlling him. He lost all control of his body when he saw the massive lion jump at him. He was scared, but it seemed as though another part of him was terrified. It wasn't a part of him, though. It felt like a foreign presence had entered his body. He remembered saying something to Mike that made him upset, but he didn't remember why he said it. In his dream, Bryan was walking out in the grassy plains right before sundown. He didn't know where he was, but he liked it. He walked for about a mile and nothing but more plains and hills. In his dream, he got tired and laid down in the grass. He had been laying in the grass for about five minutes when he thought he heard a noise that sounded like someone talking off in the distance. He sat up and looked around. All he saw was an old baboon carrying a stick under a tree. "Stupid monkey." Bryan said to himself. He had just laid down and shut his eyes when he opened them again and saw the baboon standing right over him. He jumped to his feet and yelled at it. "What the hell are you doing? Trying to give me a heart attack or something?" Bryan said, fuming mad at the stick carrying primate. The baboon laughed at him and ran off. Bryan gave pursuit, still angry, and soon found the baboon sitting down and meditating. He approached the solemn looking monkey and asked him a question. " What are you bothering me for?" The baboon replied, still sitting and meditating. "You and your friend are endangering the creatures of my land." "What people?" asked Bryan, hastily. " I have come a long way to try to put a stop to this nonsense and you are my last hope. Your friend Mike and his new friend, Scar, are a major threat to the circle of life in our valley. They will destroy many things and lives if they are not stopped now." "What are you talking about? He wouldn't do that." "Oh yes he would! He also plans to destroy you in the process, but that is why I am here. " I don't know what you're talking about. He wouldn't hurt me, I'm his friend." Bryan barked at the meditating monkey. "Oh, so you think so, huh? Let me ask you this, if you had been around one person most of your life and that person always made fun of you, hurt you, and didn't do anything, would you like them?" Rafiki asked. "No, of course I wouldn't. I'd probably ditch him. Why do you ask?" Bryan said. "Just think of you and Mike. Have you ever made fun of him? Have you ever hurt him? Have you ever done anything for him?" Bryan looked at his feet and answered the question on his own. "No." "Then why do you think he'd want you around for?" Rafiki asked. "He wouldn't. He'd try to ditch me." Bryan said as he began to cry, knowing that everything was his fault. If he hadn't been so mean to Mike, things would be a lot different. "What am I supposed to do?" Bryan managed to say. "Do what I say and you will be well rewarded." Rafiki said as he slowly began to smile. He had found his soldier and intended to use him as he wished.

Bryan was totally scared of what might happen to him. He had no one to blame but himself though, and the memories of what he had done to Mike were there to prove it. "What am I supposed to do?" Bryan asked Rafiki. After a moment of silence passed, Rafiki replied. "I will tell you what to do, and if you do exactly what I say, I can help you." "What do I have to do for you?" Bryan asked. "Nothing much. I'll tell you exactly what to do when the time comes. Until then, you should still continue to be cruel to Mike and Scar. They aren't going to change any, so you might as well play your guise out as they know it to be." "Do you mean keep making fun of Mike, and kicking him in the nads?" "Yes." Rafiki said with a slight chuckle. "It is too late to reverse what you have done. Mike does not like you as much as he used to. He wants you out of his life, but hasn't the heart to tell you." "No. I don't believe you!" Bryan said as he stepped back a few feet. "I don't know who you think you are, but you can't tell the future! You're just some freak trying to mess with my head!" he said as he turned around and began to run away from Rafiki. "You will find out soon enough that I am right!" Rafiki yelled at him as he ran. "He want's nothing to do with you! You might as well be cruel to them both. They hate you! They want you dead! They want to..." Rafiki's voice trailed off as Bryan ran away from him. Running faster and faster, farther and farther away. Running until he collapsed on the ground, Bryan said to himself, huffing and puffing, "It's not true! I'll show him it isn't. I'll show him that Mike likes me and won't kill me!"

Mike and Scar left in the cruiser and went off in the opposite direction they had come from. Mike had his Tec-9 with him and intended to shoot something for Scar to eat. After going about ten miles deep into the plains, Mike cut the engine in the cruiser, and looking at Scar, said, "So, do you see anything?" Scar put his nose up in the air, sniffed and then began scanning the horizon. "I think I see something over there. Some antelope" he finally said looking off into the distance. "Do you want me to go and shoot them, or do you want to get them yourself?" Mike asked. "I think I'll go after it." Scar said. Jumping out of the cruiser, he began slowly stalking toward the antelope. Mike sat back in the cruiser and watched as Scar snuck off in the grass toward the small animals. It was about six now and the sun had about another hour before it started setting. Scar was getting very close to the animals now, in fact he was almost on top of them. The antelope were roughly eight hundred yards away from the cruiser Mike estimated, and as he sat watching, Scar popped out of the grass and took the animals by surprise.

Taking out a cigarette and lighting it with his Zippo, he sat back and relaxed. The time for one of his three or four cigarettes a year had come. He turned the cruisers ignition to accessory and popped in his Pulp Fiction soundtrack. Skipping through the tracks, he found his favorite, Surf Rider. The song began booming monstrous bass through the sub-woofers when Mike saw something else start to move out of the corner of his eye. Scar had his back turned to him, but he could see from where he was that he had taken an antelope down and already had started eating. Dismissing the motion he saw the first time, Mike saw it again, turned, and faintly saw a pack of hyenas slowly walking towards Scar. "Holy Shit!" Mike yelled as his cigarette fell from his mouth and started the cruiser.

Putting the cruiser in gear, he popped the clutch while flooring the accelerator. With Mike's rapid shifting and clutch usage, the cruiser went from a standstill to about forty miles an hour in just about four seconds. He passed the hyenas as the almost merged with the cruisers path and looked back over his shoulder to see them chasing after him. Flooring the accelerator, he hit about sixty seven on the open plain. He had gone about three hundred yards and was a little more than halfway to where Scar lay eating. Laying down on the horn, he caught Scar's attention. Scar didn't see the hyenas because they were blocked from view by the cruiser, so he naturally didn't know what was going on. Mike pulled up right beside where Scar was and yelled at him to get in. Scar, looking bewildered, did as he was told and then he saw the pack of hyenas hurdling toward the cruiser. "Oh no!" Scar said, shrinking to the floor of the cruiser. "Not again!" "Don't worry" said Mike vengefully, "I'll take care of it." Turned the cruiser around, he floored the cruiser, sending grass and dirt flying in an arc from the rear wheel. Raising the hydraulic body two additional feet off of the ground, the cruiser now stood with about three feet of ground clearance. The hyenas, who seemed to think that he was going to stop, came head on toward the vehicle. Mike never moved an inch as he heard and felt the first hyena meet it's fate under the massive bigfoot tires. When the other hyenas saw this, they quickly turned around and began running in the opposite direction. Mike easily overtook them and managed to run about four or five more over. Those that were in range, he let his Tec-9 deal with. He managed to kill about four more until his ammo ran out, so after that, just floored it all the way until he was about a mile from the shack. The hyenas, now knowing that they had stopped being chased, ran after the cruiser. They soon gave up and stopped to count their losses. Eight were dead in all, out of fifty or so, and Banzai was among one of the dead. Shenzi wept over the loss and decided it was time to go back home. Enough damage had been done trying to find Scar, and she wanted no more losses from her pack.

Mike looked over his shoulder and saw that the hyenas had stopped following him. He was about a mile from home when he stopped the cruiser and turned it off. Scar was down on the passenger sides floor still shaking uncontrollably. "God damn they must have really messed you up. Don't worry, your safe now. I got a few of them. They aren't going to get you." Mike said trying to comfort him. Scar looked up at Mike with wet eyes and then jumped up to him and draped his paws on his shoulders. He began sobbing uncontrollably, and Mike just sat there, patting him on the back and comforting him. "They would have killed me if you hadn't of reacted when you did." Scar finally managed to say in a tear muffled voice. "No one has ever done anything for me, let alone save my life. You are a true friend Mike, and I will never forget what you did tonight." Scar said this and then slowly recovered himself. After managing to recover from the shock of the incident that had occurred, he slowly returned to sit on the passengers seat. They both just sat there until Scar began to look at Mike's head. Mike looked over and stared into Scar's green eyes. "Mike?" Scar said, "I promise that I will protect you from any danger I can. I would give my life to save you." Mike replied, still staring him in the eyes, " Scar, I will do everything in my power to protect you from anything or anybody that tries to hurt you." They both just sat there and stared at each other for a long time. After about an hour of silence and staring, it started to get dark. Mike slowly turned on the cruiser, flipped on the lights, and began to proceed on home. The trip home took about fifteen minutes, and when they got out of the cruiser, they both unknowingly had found the loving, and caring brother they each had never had.

Mike and Scar walked from the cruiser side-by-side. They both respected each other more than they had before they left. From that moment on was the point where they became inseparable. They reached the house and saw Bryan preparing dinner for himself. He greeted Mike first, and then he said hello to Scar. Both were a bit weary of what had happened earlier and didn't get too close to him. Bryan saw what they were doing and he asked them if he could explain himself. They agreed to listen and sat down on the sofa. Bryan told Mike and Scar that he was sorry that h had been acting strange. Mike seemed a little relieved, and Scar began to trust Bryan a little more. "I'm glad you said that dude. I was starting to get a little PO'ed at you." Mike said. "Yeah. I guess I've kind of been being an asshole lately." "That's an understatement." Mike said. Bryan realized that what he had dreamt was probably true. Mike didn't like him as much as he used to, he could tell. "I guess we were destined to find Scar and go and avenge him. I don't know what to make of it." Mike said. "He deserves so much better than what he had, don't you think so?" Mike asked Bryan happily. "I don't want to talk about it." Bryan replied knowing what Rafiki had said had been true "What's egging you man?" Mike asked an equally hasty voice as Bryan had replied. "When the right time comes, I'll tell you what."

The night went on and after Mike had eaten, they all were filled with food. Scar loved his new home. He loved the company, and he also loved having Mike around. He had saved his life, twice! He liked Bryan too, but their first encounter with each other seemed to have put each on their toes. He wasn't sure if Bryan would turn out like Mike or not. So far, he seemed not to care for him, but time has a way of changing most things. He hoped that Bryan would come to like him as Mike did but seriously doubted it. As long as everything went the way it was going now, he didn't care. He sat down with them both as they watched MTV for a few hours. He saw Beavis and Butt-head for the first time and liked it, sort of. It had a strange humor to it, but he found it amusing. He stayed up with them until they got tired and prepared to go to bed. Mike went over to the kitchen sink, brushed his teeth, and then drank some water before he turned away from it. Bryan went directly to his room. After that, Mike closed all of the doors, checked to make sure all of the windows were closed, and went to his room. Scar was unsure of where to go and sleep until Mike motioned for him to come in his room. Mike and Scar said goodnight to Bryan, and Bryan said goodnight in return. Bryan closed his door, and then Mike closed his. Turning on the small light on the night table, Mike crawled under the covers. He picked up the book he had been tackling for the last week or so and read a page or two. "Well, are you gonna sit on the floor all night, or sleep on the bed?" Mike said patting the other half of his old, king sized mattress. Scar jumped onto the mattress, stood for a minute trying to get used to the bouncing feeling the springs created, and then laid down beside Mike. They looked each other in the eye again and then Mike reached over, put Scar in a light headlock, and gave him a noogie. After they played around for a minute and both stopped chuckling, Mike said, " Jesus, even though you're a lion, I'd swear you were my brother. Does that sound strange to you?" "No." Scar replied "You are like the brother I never had. Mufasa wouldn't of ever did what you did today. He never cared for me at all. Well, he did a little bit, but not much." "I know where you're coming from man. I probably would have killed my brother if he had stayed any longer. If there weren't those friggin laws for "premeditated murder", I would have. I couldn't take that crap from him; he was supposed to protect me, not beat me!" A moment of silence hung in the air and then Mike said goodnight to Scar. He said the same and after turning out the small bedside light, they both went to sleep. Both of them, Mike, and Scar, dreamed the best they had dreamed in a long time, especially Scar. And why shouldn't he of? He had found where he belonged. Bryan, on the other hand, had a dream of a different nature.



CHAPTER X



It was about seven in the morning when Scar woke up. Mike was still sleeping, and by the look of it he was sleeping pretty well. He didn't want to wake up now so he tried to go to sleep again. He tried for about half an hour and couldn't, so he gave Mike a gentle nudge with his muzzle. Mike moved a bit and mumbled something in his sleep, but failed to arise. Scar gave him another nudge and Mike let a slow, deep groan. "No!" he said coming awake and yawning. He let out a slow yawn that lasted around fifteen seconds, and then laid in bed with his eyes half open. "Morning there my fine friend. How are you on this glorious day?" Mike said rubbing his eyes and looking at Scar. "I'm fine. How are you?" Scar replied. Mike shook his head and shrugged his shoulders. "Well." Mike said as he threw off the covers and put on a pair of faded blue jeans. After putting on a T-shirt that had ‘Spam' written on the front of it, Scar sat on the bed staring at Mike. "Well, what?" he asked. "Well." Mike said as he stood for a second, and then lunged at Scar and held his neck in his arm. "Well, it seems I trapped you." he said as he held on. Scar smiled and then pulled his head out of Mike's headlock and pushed him over. "Ahh! This sucks!" Mike said as he lost his advantage and was pinned in under two seconds. Scar stood over him smiling and then let him up. After he sat up and stopped laughing, Mike said, "I'm going to wake up Bryan. We have to go to work today. Do you want to come? I don't mind if you do." "Sure, as long as I don't scare away anyone." Scar said. "Don't worry, there's an old guy in a shop near mine who has a domesticated leopard in it. It's real tame and the customers love it. He can't talk though, so if I were you, unless you want some animal freak kidnapping you, I'd kind of like, not talk. You can hang around the garage, but don't scare the customers. They might call the border patrol or something." "Okay. Got it." Scar said and they both headed to wake up Bryan.

Both Mike and Scar woke up Bryan. Mike nudged him in the arm, and finally ended up having to dump a glass of water on him. Bryan finally began to stretch, and Scar went outside, telling Mike that he'd be in the cruiser. "Come on, nutsac! We gotta go to work." Mike said. "NNoooooo!" Bryan said half yawning. "This sucks! I wanna sleep!" "So do I, bunghole, but we need to make money. If we sleep every day, we'll be poor and have to eat those nasty beans again." Bryan, who hated the nasty beans, which they had eaten in a poor house back in the U.S. once, jumped out of bed and began to spazz out. He got dressed and was completely ready in three minutes. Both of them got into the cruiser and went to go to work.

A small lunchcounter a little way off from Mike's garage served the best food Mike had every tasted, and it was cheap too. Mike, Bryan, and Scar altogether got five humongous pancakes, twenty pieces of bacon, three apples, a half gallon of milk, and five big sausages for about five dollars. After every scrap of food was gone, Mike walked back over to flip the open sign in his shop, and to open the two large garage doors, to welcome any potential customers. He pulled the cruiser into one of the garage stalls and turned on the radio. To prevent the battery from draining, he plugged in a special adapter plug he had made that connected to a battery charger. He plugged it in up at the front of the cruiser and flipped the charger switch. After doing that, they all just sat around and waited until around eight thirty when a customer pulled up.

The driver of the small, shabby car got out and walked toward Mike. Mike got up and said "Hello sir, is there something I can help you with?" The man said that his car was overheating, and he thought that he might need a new radiator. Mike looked the engine compartment over and determined in a matter of seconds that the thermostat needed to be replaced. "Advanced Auto parts: part number 14, the eye." Mike said jokingly as he saw what was wrong. The guy laughed and asked how much it would cost to fix, and Mike said he'd replace it for about thirty bucks. The man looked kind of worried and told Mike he only had fifteen. Saying he could probably could fix the existing thermostat at no charge, the man agreed hesitantly. After tinkering away for about an hour, the car was fixed and the man was extremely grateful. He tried to give Mike ten bucks but Mike politely refused, saying it was done out of good faith. The man, who seemed genuinely amazed, paused for a moment and then asked Mike to step around to the back of his car. He did so and then the man opened his trunk. Inside was one of almost every handgun ever made. The man said he sold weapons, and now he asked Mike to pick one. Mike, with a furtive look on his brow, asked if they were stolen, and the man, smiling, said that they probably were. Mike asked how he got through the border patrol without getting caught, and the man said that he crossed at night. Mike was very intrigued at all of this, and he asked if he needed a place to store anything, he could always come to him. The man seemed to like and trust Mike and said that he had a large shipment coming in next month that he would like to store in the garage. Mike asked if he could "borrow" the weapons, and the guy said sure. Mike asked what the man's name was, and the man said his name was Saddam. Mike and his new friend shook hands and Saddam said to pick a gun. Mike saw an Uzi that caught his eye and picked it up. "AH! An Uzi, eh! That's my favorite also!" Saddam said chuckling slightly. Mike laughed with him and said that he should come around within the next two weeks and set up a time to make the drop. Saddam agreed, and got in and started up his car. He leaned out and waved Mike over to the window. "You might want this." Saddam said, handing over three large boxes of bullets and six clips. " A gun is no good without bullets, eh?" Mike laughed and again thanked Saddam. Saddam again thanked him back for fixing the car and then they said goodbye. "Alright, in exactly two weeks, be here and I'll take the stuff." "Okay, and thank you again. A good storage place is hard to find these days. Saddam thanks you again Mike!" "Thank you Saddam." Mike said, comically brandishing the Uzi at his car. Saddam then sped away waving as he went.

Mike went into the garage and started freaking out when he showed Scar and Bryan the Uzi, and told about Saddam. They could use any kind of weapon they wanted now, and they didn't have to buy them. Bryan didn't seem to be too interested, and Mike thought he knew why. Scar didn't know what was going on and asked "Why are you so excited?" Scar didn't know what Mike was grinning about so smiled anyway. "This is so cool. Free guns, free bullets; man I can't wait to try those guns out!" Mike said barely able to contain his excitement.


CHAPTER XI


The day went on and five more customers came. When Mike closed up shop at around two, he had made about four hundred and fifty dollars repairing everything from gas tanks, to master cylinders. Business was always at its peak during the morning, but in the afternoons, any customer at all was rare. After buying a few sandwiches at the lunchcounter, Mike, Bryan, and Scar all piled into the cruiser after making sure that everything was locked up. Mike put in his Rancid CD again and turned up the volume. He put the cruiser in gear and floored the accelerator. As ‘Maxwell Murder' pounded through the ten speaker Bose, they all rode off toward home to eat lunch and make plans for the upcoming ‘drop-day' as Mike had now dubbed it. No one talked while they sped home but many thoughts raced on in each of their heads. Bryan had mixed emotions about what to do. He knew what Mike was planning to do, but he also thought of what Rafiki had said to him in his dream. "Your friend Mike and his new friend, Scar, are a major threat to the circle of life in our valley. They will destroy many things and lives if they are not stopped now". Normally, something of this magnitude would thrill him to death, but the situation now made him want to stop it. Why though? What would happen to them all? What is he supposed to do to them? Kill them? He didn't think he could ever bring himself to shoot Mike, but he could Scar. He didn't like Scar. He had kind of muscled in and ruined everything. Scar he could definitely bring to shoot. All in good time.
Mike was pissed at the hyenas, and Simba. He had a few tricks up his sleeve that he thought of using on the hyenas. A little bit of homemade napalm would do wonders on their hairy little bodies. A few shrapnel bombs would do a considerable amount of damage to Simba, and his loyal subjects. Many more thoughts of how to destroy the uncaring ‘bastards' that had bullied Scar came to mind. He was all too familiar with what he had gone through and envisioning his tormentors as the hyenas and Simba, thought ways to get even. He would give the hyenas and Simba the pain and suffering they had caused Scar, back with a multiplied magnitude of destruction.

Scar, just sat in the back of the cruiser and was content with what was going on. It wasn't the type of satisfaction he had felt when he was using the hyenas though. It was different this time, because he wasn't using Mike, and he had saved his life twice, something the hyenas had failed to do even once. He was glad that his former companions, who had failed him more than once, were going to get what they ultimately deserved. That is, slow and painful deaths. He somewhat hoped that Simba would die too, but in the back of his mind, it's not what he wanted at all . It was kind of ironic though. He, at one time, didn't want to even hurt Simba, he was just extremely jealous of him. It was Mufasa he wanted to hurt. After Mufasa was dead, he didn't see Simba as that much of a threat. If the hyenas had killed him when they had had the chance, none of this might of ever happened to him. But still, it was all like a big ‘ what if...' game now. What if Simba had been killed. Would the hyenas have eventually turned on him anyway? He knew that they were losing faith in him quickly near the end, but they had no one to blame but themselves for their problems. They were the ones that had eaten up everything in sight, and the food was pretty much gone anyways. He didn't know what to think, but was glad that he had gotten this far. By the time Scar had finished thinking about this, they were already home.

Mike turned off the cruiser and then hopped out. Bryan followed, and then Scar too, eventually jumped down. Mike and Bryan went and changed clothes and ate lunch. Two extra sandwiches were given to Scar to eat until some kind of animal could be found for him. They were all pretty much full when Mike decided it was time for a little excursion through the country. He didn't plan on working tomorrow, so tonight they would get their tent and sleeping bags and go on a one night camping trip. This camping trip was a special one that both Bryan and Mike were anxious to go on. Scar could sense the excitement but didn't know what it was all about. Mike filled up a large five gallon water container from the water pump outside and put it in the back of the cruiser. Bryan brought out the sleeping bags, a bag with clothes and other items in it, and the large, four man tent and heaved them onto the back of the cruiser. He was about to go and get his shotgun when Mike told him to hold on. He rummaged around behind his seat and brought out the stuff Saddam had given him today. He took one of the clips and quickly filled it with the bullets he had. He locked the clip in the Uzi and pulled the bolt back, putting a round in the chamber. "Okay, here we go!!" Mike yelled switching the gun to ‘auto'. He put his hand on the grip safety and aimed at a tree off in the distance. He pulled the trigger and the tree was instantly ripped of its bark. The gun vibrated in Mike's hand as the entire clip was drained. "Whoa!! That ruled!!" Mike said. He sat and filled the clips until they were all teeming with bullets. Bryan brought out a cooler that contained enough food for two days, and put it on the back of the cruiser. He then went back in, and after locking the door, brought out a little black case, and put it on the seat. Mike told everyone to get in, and everyone took their spots. Scar jumped up and sat where he now customarily sat now, in the back behind the seats. Bryan got in the passengers seat, and Mike in the drivers seat. Both were in a state of excitement now, laughing, and acting like they were drunk. Scar couldn't stand not knowing what was going on anymore and said, shifting his green eyes to Mike then to Bryan and then back to Mike, "What are you two so excited about?" Mike then produced a large plastic bag from under his seat, and shook it at Scar. It had small, greenish particles in it and smelled like some sort of herb. Scar asked "What is that?" Mike chuckled a little and said one word..... "Weed!"

Scar had never heard of weed, (there were a lot of words he hadn't heard of but would learn) and soon, Mike and Bryan informed him what it was. He understood that it was a hallucinogen and it sounded strange to him. Mike said that it is lit and then inhaled with a pipe. Scar wanted to try it, but he knew there was no way for him to smoke a pipe. Bryan coughed up that cats can get ‘high' if you exhale smoke into their ears. Scar didn't like the sound of it but said he'd give it a try. "ENOUGH!" Mike said as he calmly threw his arms in the air, silencing them all. "Let's stop talking about it... and go do it!" he yelled triumphantly. Bryan and Scar agreed and soon they were off.

Mike took an old trail that he had found while roaming aimlessly one day. Twenty miles into it, it led to a large lake that was perfect for swimming in. After a slow one hour drive in the grasslands, Mike, Bryan and Scar saw the lake off over the next hill. Within minute, they were near the lake, parked under a large tree. The lake was about seventy to a hundred meters away, and the view from where they were was excellent. After parking and getting out of the cruiser, Mike and Bryan began to unpack all of the camping gear they had brought. Mike began to set up the tent and Bryan helped hold up the poles. Scar said that he was going to go and look for something to eat, and Mike, weary at first of Scar venturing out alone, finally told him to be back before sunset, which was almost three hours away. Scar went off, and Mike and Bryan were left alone for the first time since Scar's arrival. The tent was now standing, and both began to haul their stuff inside of it.
"So, what do you think of him?" Mike asked Bryan. "Who?" Bryan said, looking puzzled. "Scar, you freak!" Mike replied. "Oh! I think he's pretty cool." was Bryan's convincing pretense. "Pretty cool! Is that all? I think he's pretty god damn cool! How many times have you ever met a lion that talked and was friendly? I'd think that normally a lion would have ripped us to shreds by now!" Mike said happily. "That lion has a lot more credibility than most people in this whole country. Shit, if it came down to it, I think I'd rather take on that pack of hyenas with my bowie knife rather than see him face them. They scare him to death." Mike said while carrying the water jug into the tent. Bryan replied with "You're stupid, man! I much rather let him fight off those hyenas than me do it." Stopping where he stood, Mike asked "Bryan? Remember that time back in the states when you tripped up that big dumbass, Kenny? Do you?" he said looking at Bryan angrily. Bryan nodded to show that he did remember. "You were scared shitless of him. He probably would have kicked your ass, or even worse, sat on you if I hadn't of stepped in. He was a loser that anybody could beat up, but when he scared you, he thought that he might be able to take you. That's the way Scar is with the hyenas. I saw him like that yesterday, he totally freaked and was cowering on the floor when those hyenas were attacking. If I hadn't of seen them in time, we probably would be minus one lion today." Bryan finally saw Mike's point, but still said he wouldn't fight hyenas bare handed to Scar fighting them. "It's his battle. Let him fight it!" Bryan said. "You don't understand. You might someday, but now, all you can think about is your damned self. You have no room for compassion." After this was said, silence passed between them and went undisturbed until Scar came trotting back blissfully unaware of the small altercation that had taken place in his absence.
After Scar had left the two to find something to eat, he went in the opposite direction that he had come from. He walked for about half an hour, thinking, until a twitch of movement made him freeze. Through the corner of his eyes, he had seen something move. When he turned to face the direction he had sensed movement in, he saw, to his delight, that a small herd of gazelles was off in the distance grazing. He sank to the ground and began to slowly maneuver his way through the tall grass towards the small animals. When he had first seen them, they had been almost half a mile away. He had been stalking through the grass faster than he thought he was going and soon found himself no less than a hundred meters away. He was surprised that he had made such distance in what seemed like such a short amount of time and quickly looked up and selected his victim, a small fawn that looked to be no more than four months old. He kept creeping up until he knew that he was almost on top of the herd. He knew where the fawn stood and he bolted from the grass towards it. He was lucky in that he had caught the animal while it's back was towards him. Gazelles scattered in every direction the moment he lunged from the grass, but his next meal just stood there. He ran towards the confused animal just as it was realizing it was under attack, and brought it down in seconds and snapped the gazelles neck instantly with his powerful jaws. He began to rip the animal apart and eat heartily. The meat was tender and delicious and he assumed animal must have never ran in it's entire life. He sat there and slowly ate as the other gazelles stood from a distance and watched in horror. Scar took his time eating and was soon stuffed. He got up away from what was left of the animal and walked to a tree that was a short ways off. He sat and cleaned himself and then laid down to have a nap. Before falling asleep, he thought about his new life. His sleeping schedule had been changed dramatically since he had come to his new home. He was used to sleeping more than half of the day. Now, he got up around the time the sun rose, and went to sleep about four hours after it set. His whole lifestyle had really change dramatically in the last week, but he didn't mind that much, really. Back at Priderock, no one had liked him. All of the problems that arose were quickly pinned on him. Because he was king, everything was automatically his fault. When Mufasa had ruled, everything had run perfect. It was perfect for everyone but him. He thought now that the gods must hate him. He quickly disregarded this and told himself that they must have directed him to Mike. "Mike." he thought. Now there was one in a million. No one had ever listened to him the way he had. He was intrigued about everything he had said to him. It wasn't that he was amazed, primarily, but it was that he cared. He sensed that Mike was caring the night he saw him stitching up his leg. Although he was barely conscious, he knew that his journey was over, and that this human would protect him. He had seen Mike save his life twice and for that, Scar was forever grateful. Both he and Mike had found traits in each other that before had been dormant, but now, outshined even the most obvious ones in them. Scar saw the brother he wanted to have in Mike, and Mike had seen the same. He just wished that he had met Mike when he had been a cub with Mufasa. It would have probably made him feel the way he felt now, happy, and have prevented many terrible things he had done from happening. As his thoughts drifted from one thing to the other, he gradually fell asleep and had a two hour nap. When he awoke, it was a little after sunset. There was still a little light left, and he began to walk back to camp.
After the half hour hike back to where the tent had been set up, Scar came bounding happily to Mike. He slowed down as he sensed tension in the air. He jumped up into the drivers side of the cruiser, and sat down, watching the two silent friends. At some point in time, Mike had started a large bonfire and had collected enough wood to make it last the whole night. It was almost completely dark out now, and the stars began to come out, one by one. Scar broke the silence and asked what was going on between the two. Mike, still a little pissed from his earlier talk with Bryan, said that nothing was going on. Scar knew he was lying, but decided to leave it as it was and not stir up anything. Mike solemnly asked Scar, "Did you get anything?" Scar told him he had caught a gazelle, and Mike nodded his head in acknowledgment. No words were exchanged for the next ten minutes, as all three of them sat silently. Mike poked at the bonfire with a big stick as Bryan sat silently and kept to himself. Suddenly, Mike remembered the weed and went and produced it from under his seat. Bryan instantly began to show signs of life as he began to act like Beavis from Beavis and Butt-head. "Get da sac son! We's gonna have ourselves a little party!" Mike said shaking the bag of weed. Bryan got his little black bag off of the tent's floor and unzipped it. Inside it was a Zippo, a stainless steel bowl, incense, and a small vial full of black resin chunks. Getting out of the cruiser, Mike walked past Scar and sat down in front of the bonfire. He was shortly followed by Bryan, and then Scar. Mike said to Scar, "Now, Scar, you must understand that this stuff really messes you up. It makes you fall in and out of deep sleep, it makes you act stupid and make lots of noise, it makes you hungry as hell, it makes your mouth all dry, and you'll act totally unlike you're regular self. Now, do you want to do this?" Scar thought for a second or two and then said. " Sure, I'll give it a try. I'm not the type for not trying something new." With that, Mike took a pinch of weed, inserted it in the bowl, took it, and lit it. He took a monstrous drag and held it in while Bryan took his turn. Mike slowly exhaled, and then coughed a little. He spoke to Scar again. "I have to blow the smoke in one of your ears in order for you to get high. I'll do it in a second. Just scratch me or something if I hurt you." Mike took the bowl from Bryan, and took another huge drag. He held the smoke in a little bit and then leaned over to exhale into Scar's ear. He let out all of the smoke, and watched as Scar shook his head and pawed at his ear. Mike began coughing again, and Bryan took another drag. Mike stopped coughing and took the bowl from Bryan and put in another pinch of weed. He lit it and took the first hit, which burned the sides of his throat momentarily. He held it in and passed the bowl to Bryan. After ten seconds or so, Mike leaned over towards Scar again and exhaled completely through his ear. Afterwards, he burst out laughing for no apparent reason. Scar couldn't control his laughter and began laughing too. Bryan, who had just took a hit, breathed out the fresh smoke and burst into gales of laughter. Scar asked, still laughing, " Mike, are we high yet?" After a moment or two, "We're not even close yet my friend," he replied "Not even close."



CHAPTER XII




It had been ten thirty when the three had first begun smoking, and now it was about eleven. Mike kept looking at his watch as Bryan was saying that it seemed as though they started smoking hours ago. Mike said they had started only a half hour ago which only made Bryan shake his head and laugh, saying he was sure they had started hours ago. Mike, Bryan, and Scar had been laughing steadily for the past half hour. All almost fell asleep until Mike got up and went for the water jug. There were two plastic cups and a small cereal bowl that Bryan had packed in the bag of clothes, and upon finding them, he pulled them out and went back into the tent coming back out with the cooler full of food. Bryan had fallen asleep and Mike kicked at, not waking him up. He kept kicking him in the arm until he was fed up with that and kicked him very hard in the crotch. Bryan bolted up and covered his crotch and began saying, " My nads! My nads!! Ahhhh! This sucks!!" He rocked back and forth and within seconds, the minute pain he had over-reacted to was gone. Getting up and looking around to see the food and water, he got a cup, poured out a glass of water, and began to drink greedily.
Mike was poking at Scar, who also was sleeping, when all of a sudden he began laughing in his sleep. Mike started laughing also and laughed even harder when he heard Bryan laugh up the water he was drinking. Scar was sleeping on his right side facing the tent and Mike was behind him still laughing and trying to wake him up. The bonfire was still blazing and was behind Scar while Mike got down on his knees, put his hands on his left side and attempted to move him when all of a sudden, Scar got up and pinned Mike to the ground. Mike was not scared, and Scar was not mad. Mike then broke into hysterics which made Scar fall off of him onto his back and start kicking his hind feet blindly in the air laughing. Bryan watched all of this while trying to drink some more water but laughter again got the best of him. When the water shot out of his nose again, it made Mike laugh so hard that it hurt his sides. He got up, still laughing, and sat with his legs under him. He then began waving his temporarily amputated legs around and said, " Lieutenant Dan! Lieutenant Dan! You aint got no laigs Lieutenant Dan!" in the same way Gary Sinise did some of his scenes in Forrest Gump. This made Bryan and Mike laugh so hard that they both almost threw up. Mike upchucked a little of his sandwich but swallowed the partially digested stuff back down. Scar finally was able to get off of the ground and sat watching the two.
When they began laughing, he did too. He didn't know why he had started laughing. He just saw Mike and Bryan laughing and he began laughing. After about five minutes, Mike, Bryan, and Scar had finally gotten themselves together, somewhat. Mike was pouring a glass of water for himself when Scar, who was sitting nearby, asked if he could pour him a bowl of water. Mike took the cereal bowl and poured his glass of water in it, and set it down on the ground. Scar began to lap up the water and soon he had drank it all up. Mike had poured himself another glass of water and had drank it already. He read Scar's mind and took the bowl and refilled it. Scar drank about half of it and then stopped. Bryan was over by the cooler making a ham and cheese sandwich and seeing this, Mike and Scar got up and went over to where he was. Mike took a loaf of bread from the cooler and got out four slices. Gave two to Scar, he watched as he quickly devoured them, and then took some of the ham and cheese that were in the cooler and began to make himself a sandwich. There was around two pounds of ham, so Mike threw a few slices to Scar. He quickly began to eat it and soon it was all gone. Mike had finished making his sandwich and began to eat it when he took out an apple from the cooler and held it in his hand. Looking at the apple and turning it over in his hand, he ate about half of his sandwich before deciding he'd save the rest for later. A quick glance to his left quickly changed his mind. Sitting and staring at the sandwich was Scar, so Mike handed it to him and Scar gently took it from his hand. Laying down and beginning to slowly eat it, Mike began to eat his apple when he spoke to Bryan. " So, uh , when do you wanna hit the sac?" he asked. "I'm gonna go hit it in about ten minutes. I'm tired as hell." replied Bryan drowsily. Mike sat silently and ate his apple until only the core was left which he threw away and afterwards got up to go and get some more water. Getting up, Scar followed him over to the jug, watching as Mike got his bowl and filled it up to the top with water, then got his cup and filled it up. Drinking it all, he let the cup hang from his hand as drops slowly trickled out and hit the dusty ground, beading up the dirt. Lapping at his water, Scar drank all of it when Mike began walking towards the cruiser. Finishing up the water quickly, he stalked over and slowly trotted behind Mike. Reaching the cruiser, Mike climbed up in the drivers side, put in the key, and turned the switch to accessory. He turned on the stereo and was in the process of selecting a CD when Scar jumped up into the passengers seat. Mike looked at him and then glanced back to the CD case. He was trying to decide between one of two CD's. "Pulp Fiction soundtrack, or Rancid?" he said aloud to himself. Without even a question, Scar said "Pulp Fiction soundtrack." Mike looked at him and nodded. He took the CD from it's jewel case and put it in the CD player. He hit the shuffle button and it skipped to song number ten. "Girl... you'll be a woman, soon... I love you so much can't count all the ways I've died for you girl and all they can say is, he's not your kind, they never get tired of putting me down and I never know when I come around, what I'm gonna find, don't let them break up your mind, don't you know, girl, you'll be a woman soon, please, come take my hand, girl, you'll be a woman soon, soon, you'll be a woman," The rest of the song blared through the Bose, and when it was over, Mike took out the CD, put it back into it's jewel case, turned off the radio, turned off the cruiser, and took out the key. He and Scar sat there for a moment until the silence was broken by Mike. "What do you think about weed now?" he asked. Scar sat for a moment thinking and then replied, "I like it. I wouldn't want to be like this all of the time though, I'd starve."
Mike laughed and then sat silently. He was looking at the stars, counting them, staring blankly out at the sky. " Do you know what those are?" Scar casually asked Mike. Mike sat for a moment and said he did "Why? What are you thinking about?" Scar sat for a moment, thinking and then answered him. "My father.... You see, I've always been told that every king that has ever died, goes up there and watches down on his family. My father is up there... I've talked to him a few times before and now I miss him more than ever. I just wish he missed me." "Can't you just talk to him whenever you want?" Mike asked. "No. The last time I talked to him was when Mufasa was alive. He told me that everything would end up being okay, and that was the last time I saw him." They both sat there in a moment of silence until Mike stretched, and said "Well, I'm going to go to bed. You ready to sleep yet?" Scar took a final look at the stars and said that he was ready.
Mike jumped down from the cruiser and waited for Scar, who after a few seconds, jumped down and slowly began to follow him. Stopping on the way, Mike picked up the water jug and went into the tent, where Bryan was already asleep in his sleeping bag. Setting the jug down just as Scar came into the tent, he paused. "Stay here, I've gotta go and get the cooler." Mike said, going over to where the bonfire was blazing. Scar obeyed and soon, Mike came into the tent dragging the cooler behind him. "Oh crap!! I almost forgot!" he said running back out to the cruiser. He grabbed a small black bag that had the Uzi and it's clips in it, and turned on the cruisers security system. Running back into the tent, he set the bag on the floor, and zipped the tent flaps shut. He got into his sleeping bag, zipped it up and then motioned for Scar, who was sitting in the middle of the floor looking at him, to come on over. Scar walked over to where Mike was on the floor and laid down beside him. "Seeya in the morning Scar." Mike said in the middle of a yawn. "You bet." Scar replied, smiling. Mike and Scar instantly went to sleep, and they both slept soundly until the next morning.



CHAPTER XIII



Scar woke up first that morning. The moment the light started to shine through the tents thin walls, his eyes opened. Lying where he was, he heard Mike's watch cheerfully beep off another new hour. He had slept for nearly seven hours that night and it was around seven now; he still felt the effects of the weed from last night, but they were very weak. "Mike had been right; that stuff really did mess you up." he thought to himself. He liked it though; it made him feel different. He liked that because it was something new that he had never experienced before and somewhat hoped that he could do it again soon. He was getting restless by now. lying on his side and thinking, and decided that it was time her got up. Stretching his body out on the floor of the tent, he yawned and rose to his feet. On his feet now, he yawned, stretched again and began walking around the tent to stretch all his muscles. Mike and Bryan were still sound asleep and by the sound of it, they were both sleeping heavily. Scar had seen how Mike had closed the tent last night, and as he walked over to where the door was, he looked it over and found the zippers that held it shut. Gently grasping the zipper that opened the door vertically with his left paw, he raised it up about three feet and then sat down to study it again. He saw the two zippers that ran parallel with the floor, and again, using his left paw, opened one of them. Another flap was outside that he guessed was to keep any rain out so unzipping it as little as possible, he slipped out of the tent. Looking around outside and seeing that it was all clear, he turned around and tried the best he could to reseal the tent. He was able to close the tent exactly the way it had been before he had opened it, with the aid of his paw of course, and afterwards walked off towards the lake that was not too far off. After taking a long drink of water, he walked off in the same direction he had gone the night before, where he had eaten the gazelle.
Mike woke up at exactly eight o'four only to see that Scar was gone. He sat up and looked around the tent only to find Bryan, the cooler, the water, and his gun bag. The tent was closed and thoughts raced on in his head. "Somebody came in last night and stole him!" was the first thought that came to mind and enraged, he threw the sleeping bag off of him and got up instantly. He still had his clothes from last night, so slipping on his shoes quickly, he grabbed his gun bag, took out the gun, and put in a clip. Opening the cooler, he got a sandwich that Bryan had made last night, pocketed it, and left the tent. Stalking over to the cruiser feeling slightly ill to his stomach, he jumped in and was off in a matter of seconds.
By now, it was about eight ten, and Mike was racing as fast as he could in the opposite direction he had come from. He figured that anyone who knew their whereabouts would probably go in that direction. Madder than a hornet, the thought of someone taking Scar appeared in his mind only fueled his anger. "He must of been so high, he didn't even put up a struggle." Mike said aloud, trying to explain to himself what might have happened. To ease his anger a little, he pulled the bolt back on the Uzi, putting a round into the chamber. Slowing down a little, he stood up in the cruiser when he saw a lump laying on the ground up ahead. It looked like what he thought it was, and when he got closer, he was relieved to see it was Scar, sleeping. Apparently, he had found another gazelle somewhere, because a half eaten one was no more than fifty feet away. Mike got out and walked over to Scar, whose chest was rising and falling slowly. He went around Scar so that he could see his face and sat down, seeing that Scar was awake. "Geez, it scared the crap out of me when I saw you were gone this morning. I thought that someone had stolen you or something." Mike said, his heart still racing. "I didn't want to wake you, so I opened the tent myself." Scar said, still lying down on the ground. Mike laid down in front of him, crossed his arms behind his head, and looked over at Scar. "How did you open the tent?" Mike asked. "I opened it and got out." Scar replied. " Well NO SHIT!" Mike said with a chuckle, "I meant, how did you know how to open it?" Scar said back to him, "I saw how you closed it last night, so I gave it a try and, viola." Mike shook his head a little, grinning, and then got up.
After he stretched a little, he started to walk around. Scar too, got up, and began following Mike. Seeing that Scar was following him, he suddenly ran as fast as he could away from him, laughing. He had had the advantage of surprise, but Scar could easily overtake him. Mike ran about a hundred feet when he looked to his left and saw Scar beside him, not even quite jogging. Mike stopped running and fell to the ground, breathing heavily. He blacked out and didn't remember anything until he awoke almost an hour later.
When Scar saw Mike collapse, he thought that he was playing around, but after five minutes when he didn't move, he began to panic. He had caught his breath a few minutes ago, but he hadn't even run really. When he sat beside Mike and he didn't say anything, he though that he was mad at him for leaving the tent, but after four minutes went by, Scar got a worried. When he went over to nudge Mike, he felt that his skin was cold and sweaty, he panicked. "Don't let everything be ruined so quick!" he thought to himself as his heart raced. He didn't know what was going on, but he knew it wasn't good whatever it was. Sitting and trying for several minutes to wake him up, he was met with no luck. Looking up, he saw the cruiser about a hundred and fifty feet away, and decided that if he didn't do something now, Mike might burn out in the increasingly hotter sun. He thought of what to do and soon came up with an idea. Mike was laying with his stomach on the ground, and walking over to his side, he got down on the ground and began to try and get Mike up on his back. He put his head near Mike's stomach and began trying to nudge his nose under his body. After about five minutes of struggling, he had managed to get Mike's limp body onto his back, which hung limply like a saddle bag off of Scar's back.
Scar hated to see his friend in this condition and walked as fast as he could to where the cruiser was. After a slow five minute walk in the increasingly hotter sun, he finally reached the cruiser, found a shaded part that the cruiser had made, and laid down in it. Slowly he crawled out from underneath Mike and got to his feet, standing over him. He could see and hear Mike breathing, but his face was in the dirt now. Scar managed to nudge his body so that it was facing up now. The dirt had mixed with the sweat that was streaming off his face and hesitating a second, Scar leaned out and licked it away. Afterwards, he jumped up into the cruiser and began looking for something that he might be able to use. Rummaging around in the back he found an old towel and thought he might be able to do something with it. Jumping down from the cruisers cab, he went to where Mike laid and tried to wake him up again, but again, failed to. He began to lick the remaining dirt off of his face and watched as Mike twitched a little. Seeing a slight reaction, he kept on licking his face until eventually Mike began to come out of his spell.
Opening his eyes, he looked up at Scar with a vacant expression on his face. Scar saw that his pupils were dilated and knew that it wasn't a good sign. "food" Mike barely managed to croak out. Scar looked at him and then went for the sandwich Mike had left on the drivers seat. Ripping the plastic baggy off with his teeth, he got to the ham and cheese sandwich and took it out. Putting it between his lips, he set it on Mike's chest, thinking that he was strong enough. Mike tried to move his arms but they felt like they were made of lead. His blood sugar level had dropped again, that much he knew. This had happened to him a few times before, and it had left him almost completely helpless for a few hours. He tried telling Scar that he couldn't move much, but he already knew. Picking up the sandwich again, he held it so Mike could take a bite. Mike took a bite out of the sandwich and slowly began chewing on it. Three minutes later when he was finished, he looked up at Scar and leaning over again, he let Mike take a bite. After ten minutes, Mike had eaten the sandwich and could now move a little more. He could talk now, and he asked Scar to help him sit up. Scar sat down beside where Mike laid and sat as Mike put his arm around his neck and pulled himself up. He sat up and tried to move over to where one of the cruisers Bigfoot tires was and almost fell, but Scar was there to hold him up. He carefully edged his way over to one of the tires and leaned his back against it. He set his head inside of the wheel and closed his eyes for a moment. Scar sat by and watched as he rested. Mike said in a slightly fatigued voice, "You're probably wondering what happened to me back there." Scar said "Yes." in a soft voice, and Mike began to explain. "I've always had this this condition where if I don't eat anything before I run, or do any strenuous activities, I pass out. It's happened to me before and I think I just forgot about it today." Mike was silent after this, and Scar sat, thinking it over. After a few minutes Mike said, " Technically, as a doctor would say, my blood-sugar level dropped dangerously low, or in other words, I didn't have enough energy to run like that." "By the way," Mike asked " How did you get me over here? The spot where I collapsed was way over there." he said roughly pointing to the spot where he had passed out. "I put you on my back, and walked over here." Scar said. "Yeah, but wasn't I a little heavy? I'm not much, but I weigh almost one sixty." Mike said, looking puzzled. "It didn't bother me Mike. I thought that you weren't going to get up, and I knew that if I didn't get you out of the sun, who would have?" Mike thought this over, laughed silently at the sight of Scar carrying him on his back, and tried to get up. His strength hadn't quite returned yet, and his legs buckled beneath him. He threw out his arms to try and catch the running boards on the cruiser and only grasped at air. He fell back to the ground and landed on his butt. Laughing a little, he said " I hate to ask, but can you help me up? I still haven't got my strength back yet." Scar gladly nodded yes and helped Mike to his feet. Stumbling a little at first, he soon was holding onto the cruiser for support and managed to make his way to the drivers side and tried to get in. The cab was about three feet off the ground and in his present condition, he was too weak to get in. Gathering all the strength that he could, he put his foot up on the metal tubed running board and pushed himself into the cruiser. He was half in, and half out when he reached over and grabbed the passengers side seat belt. Pulling with all his might he finally managed to pull himself in, his head on the passengers seat and his legs on the drivers seat. Letting go of the seat belt, he slowly sat up and positioned himself in his seat. Scar was still standing guard, making sure that if Mike fell, he would be there to break his fall, but once he saw that Mike was in the cruiser, he walked around to the other side and jumped up into the passengers seat.
Mike sat for a moment and rested his head on the steering wheel thinking. After a minute or two, he put the key to the cruiser in the ignition and slowly turned it on. The engine faithfully roared to life, and as Mike put his foot on the clutch, he took the parking brake off and put the cruiser in first gear. He coordinated his feet right and the cruiser slowly began to move ahead. Turning it around, he began heading off in the direction he had come from and after about half a minute, the plain they had just been on was once again vacant.
Mike drove slowly on the ride back. He never got out of second gear for that matter. He felt safe cruising at about ten miles an hour, feeling safe that if he fainted again, the cruiser would only stall out and not go racing into a tree or hill if he had been driving at his normal speed. The whole trip back wasn't a silent one. Mike and Scar talked. Mike was amazed at how Scar had enough concern to ‘carry' him all the way over to the cruiser. "You know, you probably saved my life back there." Mike said humbly. "I know." Scar replied, "You saved me twice in two days and I said that I'd do anything in my power to protect you, and I wasn't joking. What you did meant more to me than anything to me." Mike remembered the night that the hyenas had come out and tried to attack Scar. "Did you say that you'd give your life to save me?" Mike asked. Scar looked at him and said, "Yes. And I still mean it." Mike, still driving slowly, looked over to Scar and said, "I said that I'd do anything to protect you. Now, I think I'd die for you, brother." he added unknowingly after thinking the idea to himself. Scar sat dumbfounded for a moment. "You just called me brother. Did you mean to?" Scar asked as he leaned over and looked at Mike, intrigued. Thinking a second, he replied. "Yes I did. It slipped, but yeah. Scar," Mike began before pausing a few seconds. "You're more of a brother to me than even my own brother was. And even though it's only been a few days, I'd say you're the best friend I've ever had." Scar closed his eyes and recoiled, feeling almost like crying. Mike stopped the cruiser and sat for a moment and thought. He turned the ignition off, and looked at Scar. "Are you okay?" he asked, concerned that he had said something wrong. Not looking up to show that he was crying, Scar looked at the floor and said that he was. Mike was watching closely and seeing tears dripping down onto the floor, he reached over and stuck his hand under his chin, lifting it to meet his face. "You don't have to hide from me Scar. I'll never, ever make fun of you." At a loss for words, Scar stared at Mike with his mouth half open, and then reached over and hugged him tight, weeping as he did so.
It was only a matter of minutes, but the two sat the way they were hugging onto each other the whole time. It was Mike who finally broke the silence. "I'm not sure, but somehow, I feel, somehow, we were meant to be ‘brothers' in one way or another. I know I accept it in my mind. I don't know about you though." "Oh, I do Mike. I accept it and welcome the feeling more than anything I've ever felt before." Smiling, Mike patted him on the head, causing him to smile and close his eyes. "But, it isn't in our bodies. At least physically." "What do you mean?" Scar asked as he opened his eyes and blinked, baffled. "I mean that we are not technically blood related. Usually, if you become a blood brother, you are always bonded by blood." Mike replied. "What's that?" asked Scar. "It's when you prick your finger, or in your case, paw, and put it against another persons finger. Then, you become blood brothers; you both have some of each others blood in your body." Mike finished. " Let's do it." Scar replied, wanting it more than anything. Mike took a pocket knife out from under his seat and opened it. The knife was a medium sized Buck Knife, and as he took the single blade out, he cleaned it's edge with his pants. Testing it on his index finger, he found that it was razor sharp. He always liked to keep his knives sharp in case he really needed them. Blood began to ooze from the small cut. It dripped a little bit, and Mike put the cut finger in his mouth, trying to keep the blood from clotting. Scar lifted his paw and allowed Mike to put a small incision in one of his pads. Blood began to trickle out from the cut and quickly, Mike held out his finger, and Scar put his paw out to meet it. Their blood beaded out and as they touched each other, the two beads combined into one, mixing. They both kept their hands together until the blood soaked Scar's fur and covered all of Mike's hand. Holding them in that position for what seemed hours, the blood began dripping down onto the cruisers black carpet when Mike finally said " Brothers forever." A short pause and then Scar said "Brothers forever." in return, and both were now brothers in soul, body and mind.



CHAPTER XIV



Mike rummaged around in the glove compartment and found a small first aid kit with a few Band-Aids, first-aid cream, gauze, medical tape, and other first-aid items inside it. Taking out some of the gauze and the medical tape, he looked at his hand and then at Scar's paw. "It doesn't hurt that much does it?" Mike said to Scar. "Oh! It's killing me! I can't stand the pain!" Scar said jokingly. "That's pretty funny!" Mike said, laughing. "I never knew that you had a sense of humor." "Of course I do!" said Scar, licking his cut pad slowly. Mike's whole hand was red with blood, and Scar's whole foot also was a red. Getting the towel from the back of the cruiser and wiping all of the blood off his arm, he wrapped a large strip of gauze around it, securing it into place with a large piece of medical tape. "Hold out your foot." Mike said to Scar who did as he was told. Mike wiped off his paw and wrapped a strip of gauze around the cut pad, tying it in a knot so that he wouldn't have to put tape on it. Scar began licking it immediately and Mike lightly slapped his paw away from his mouth. "Don't lick it! Fool, you'll lick off the bandage." "Sorry, big brother." Scar said, tilting his head and grinning. He stopped licking the bandage and set his foot down on the seat again which made Mike feel much better.
When he had exchanged blood with Scar, that almost made him feel completely better. He couldn't explain it; he just instantly felt like he hadn't ever fainted, his strength returned, and he was happy again. Scar, too, felt good when he exchanged blood with Mike. When they had set there for almost two minutes while the blood dripped onto the floor, their hands seemed to be fused together. They both had just sat and stared at each other; the expressions had drained from their faces. It was as if they had gone to sleep and not even known it. Now, they both felt normal. Both were happy that they could now call each other a real brother now. Mike had saved Scar's life twice, and Scar had saved him once. They both would never forget what the other had done. Never. As the moment of silence was interrupted by Mike turning on the cruisers ignition, both snapped back into reality. Mike put the cruiser in gear and began going back to the campsite at a slightly higher speed this time.
They reached the tent at ten thirty, and found that Bryan was still sleeping. Mike, hungry now, opened up the tent, dragged out the cooler, and left the tent flaps halfway open. Opening the cooler up, he began to feast on the food inside eating almost a pound of the ham, most of the cheese, and an apple. He left the loaf of bread, an apple, and the rest of the food for Bryan. "If he starts complaining that I ate all the food," he said to Scar, "then I'll tell him if he wants any food next time, get up a little earlier." "Nicely put." Scar said in response. After eating his lunch, Mike went back to the cruiser and got the bag that had his and Bryan's clothes in it. Rummaging around in it, he brought out a fresh change of clothes, and a plastic bag with soap and shampoo in it. "I'm gonna go take a bath in the lake. If you want to come, I don't mind. Just don't try to drown me or anything." Mike said. "Don't worry. I won't." Scar replied. Getting into the cruiser they headed down to the lake.
Upon reaching it, they both got out at the same time. Mike took off his clothes until he was standing only in his boxers, took his bag of soap and shampoo, and ran as fast as he could toward the water. He hit the water, went under, and began splashing around in it. As he began swimming out in the water and diving under to wet his hair, he left the plastic bag floating in the water as he dove under and didn't come up. He could hold his breath for up to two minutes, and did so as he began swimming back to shore, underwater. The lake was about three feet deep at the very edge of it and Mike swam to where he thought Scar was and stopped to look for him. He saw him pacing back and forth above the water looking for him. Staying at the edge of the lake he hid underwater, holding in all his breath, and flicked his fingers hitting the water four feet away from the bank. Scar leaned out to investigate, and Mike made his move; popping out of the water, grabbing him by his front feet and pulling him in. He hit the water and immediately began swimming back to the land, climbed out and began to shake himself dry. While Mike was laughing and on the verge of going into hysterics, Scar said "I don't see anything funny." and then leaped out into the lake. Mike was surprised because he thought that cats hated water. He walked in the water to where Scar was swimming around. "I thought that cats were supposed to hate water?" Mike asked. "I'm not a cat" replied Scar, " I'm a lion, and your brother, so if you do something, I might as well try it too, and besides, this is pretty fun." he said swimming circles around Mike. "Whatever!" Mike said moving toward his soap bag. As he got to it, he opened it up and began washing himself with the soap. White, soap suds were all around him now, floating across the top of the lake.
After washing and rinsing the soap off of his body, he got out the bottle of shampoo and put some in his hair, scrubbed it in for about two minutes, and then dove under the water to rinse it. When he popped to the surface, Scar went floating by him. " What is that stuff?" he said, swimming and looking over his shoulders at the white suds floating around Mike. "Soap and shampoo. It cleans your body and hair. Why? Do you want a bath?" "I guess so." Scar replied, a little unsure. Mike walked over to him with the soap and shampoo and told him to get out of the lake. They both reached the edge of the lake at the same time, and climbed out onto the bank. Mike, still in his boxers, told Scar to stay where he was while he went and changed clothes. He went over to the cruiser and got a towel from the bag. The bandage that he had put on his hand earlier had grow soaking wet, so he shook it off onto the ground. After drying himself, and changing into fresh, clean clothes, he came back from around the cruiser and walked back over to Scar.
Scar was still wet, and Mike poured the shampoo on his back, and on his sagging, black mane. He began to vigorously rub the shampoo into Scar's fur and mane, and when he got up around his face, said "Close your eyes. This stuff stings if it gets in them." Scar closed his eyes, and Mike began to scrub around his face. Mike's cut hadn't quite healed yet, and the shampoo managed to get in and sting it a little. After he was all done scrubbing, he told Scar that he could open his eyes. "Now, jump in the water and go under the water." Scar, again, lunged out into the lake, and when he hit, a huge soap ring formed around him. He went under the water for a second or two and then came up. He swam around the soap ring and then began swimming to shore. Reaching the bank, he jumped out and started shaking the water from his mane and fur. "Don't sit down yet." Mike said catching Scar getting ready to. " Get in the cruiser and lick yourself to death in there. You'll get all dirty again if you sit down in the dirt." Scar walked slowly past Mike, smiling, and then jumped up into the cruiser's back. He immediately began licking his fur, getting all the mats out. Mike walked over to the cruiser and got in. Starting up the engine after making sure he hadn't forgotten any clothes or other things, he turned on the stereo and popped in his Coolio CD, hit play and ‘Fantastic Voyage' began pounding through the vehicle. He toyed with the hydraulics, making the front end hop up and down in a wave-like motion, and after doing it a couple of times, put the cruiser in gear and slowly began to move ahead. Scar jumped up into the front seat, his mane still wet, somewhat unnerved. "You'll dry up real fast out here." Mike said looking around him, to indicate the heat. "What CD is this?" Scar asked. "Coolio. Bass is really a killer isn't it." he said glancing at the twelve inch subwoofers bounce and jiggle behind Plexiglas in the box that was in the very back. "I know," Scar replied, "it almost blasted me out when you turned it on." Mike chuckled a little bit and then began to slow down.
Coming upon the campsite, they saw Bryan ambling around outside of the tent. Stopping the cruiser, Mike turned the ignition to accessory as the CD still played. "You ate all the food, nutsac! You didn't leave me anything." Bryan said walking over toward Mike. "Well, like I was telling Scar this morning, if you want the good food, wake up a little earlier, bunghole. I got up around eight, and now it's almost eleven thirty." "I was tired though." Bryan complained. "Whatever." Mike said, turning the cruiser completely off this time. The bass instantly stopped and Mike jumped out of the cab. "Let's start packing up, I wanna get home and watch some movies. Pulp Fiction is supposed to be on HBO2 tonight at seven thirty." he said. "Why didn't you say so! Let's get moving!" Bryan said.
They walked in the tent and began to carry stuff out to the cruiser. After they had everything packed and took the tent down all inside half an hour, they were ready to go. Loading the last thing onto the cruiser, Mike took a quick look around at the camp site, hopped up in the cruiser, and turned it on, heading for home.
It was about one o'clock when they arrived back to the little shack. Mike drove the cruiser up to the door and turned the ignition to accessory, put in Alanis Morissette's ‘ Jagged Little Pill', and played track number one, All I Really Want. He had borrowed it from his friend back home and had failed to return it before he fled the states. Bryan hated it, but Mike had found that just about anything was good to listen to when he lived in the middle of nowhere; everything except Yanni, John Tesh, and other low-end, highly liked musicians. The bass on the Alanis CD somehow seemed to surpass even Coolio, which was nearly impossible to accomplish. Jacking the volume up to about one third what the system was capable of , Mike let the music pound out into the air. Bryan used his set of keys to open the front door and came back to the cruiser. "Man, turn that shit off!" he said to Mike. "Up your nose with a rubber hose!" Mike said, reciting the famous ‘Welcome Back, Kotter' line. Bryan shook his head and took a piece off of the cruisers back, taking it into the house with him.
Jumping down from the cruiser, Mike grabbed the tent poles and went to put them in the little shed beside the house. He leaned them up against a wall and came out to get the tent and seeing that Scar was still sitting on the back of the cruiser, stopped and looked at him. " Well! Aint that the life! You gonna sit there all day or get off of that stuff so I can unpack it?" Mike said jokingly. " Oh, I don't know." Scar replied back, also in a jovial tone. " I was thinking about getting up, but I got so comfortable that I didn't feel like it." Mike made a quick rush at him and he jumped down, smirking. Mike, also smirking started to run like he had this morning. Rounded the back of the cruiser he flew past the unsuspecting lion with great speed. He had already eaten, so he wasn't going to faint again. When he had been in the U.S., he had been on his high school track team. He ran almost everyday and soon had begun to be able to run five miles non-stop. He had won a few regional, and state championships, and was very happy about them. Right now, he guessed that he was sprinting at about sixteen miles an hour. Looking back over his shoulder he saw that Scar was still standing where he had landed after jumping from the cruiser. Mike laughed at him, and Scar, seeing this, began running in pursuit. Mike had gotten almost a hundred foot head start, but another look over his shoulder showed that it was not enough. He had run off, catching Scar unaware, but he was barely fifteen feet behind him now.
He had been running towards a large tree and was within fifty feet of it now. He began to slow and soon he was tackled from behind by Scar. Normally, when Scar jumped at something, his claws were extended, as they always were now, but when he pounced on Mike, he had retracted them, hitting him lightly on his back and making him fall to the ground. "You bungmunch! Get off of me!" Mike said laughing, struggling beneath Scar's weight. Scar got off of his back and Mike sat up. Scar was snickering a little bit and after brushing some dirt off his knees, Mike said, "Ha, ha. Very funny. Now I'm gonna get you!" he said getting up and running after Scar. "Oh, what ever shall I do?" Scar said, with a false tone of worry. " I think you're way too fast for me." he said, streaking off back towards the cruiser. Mike stopped running and yelled, "SHOWOFF!" as he began laughing to himself. He saw Bryan come out of the house and saw him jump as Scar ran by and scared him. Bryan then ran after him, chasing him around the cruiser a few times before giving up and sat down. Scar came over and sat down beside him and talked to him.
Mike was about a hundred feet away from them, and could faintly hear what they were talking about. It wasn't anything important, just them getting to know each other a little better. Mike finally got to the cruiser and saw Scar and Bryan looking at him. "Uh, Mike?" Bryan said. "Yeah?" Mike replied. " There's this humongous bug in your hair!" "Ahhh! Get it off! Get it off!!" Mike said yelling and shaking his head violently. He stopped for a moment and saw Bryan rolling around on the ground laughing. Scar was laying down on the ground, covering his face with his paws. Upon closer investigation, Mike found out why. He too was laughing, and was trying to conceal it the best he could. "Oh ho ho! I'll get you two back later!" Mike said, waving his finger at the two laughing fools. Bryan and Scar managed to stop laughing, looked at each other and began going into hysterics again. "Man, chill out, dudes! You guys are acting like freaks!" Mike said. As the laughter began to die down slowly, Scar got up and was followed shortly by Bryan. Mike, Bryan, and Scar went into the house and flipped on the TV and DSS.
Flipping through the channels they found an interesting show on dung beetles. Mike made cracks about beetles rolling dung into a ball. "It'd be cool if they could roll joints." he said. "Yeah, that would be cool. But I wouldn't want any dung in it." was Bryan's reply. They all began laughing at this and had a good time wasting time watching TV. Scar liked Bryan a little more now, at least for the time being. He sort of trusted him, but wouldn't put his life in his hands. That was something he had and probably would only entrust to Mike. He could honestly say that Bryan was a friend of his though; one that he intended to keep. Bryan knew this and intended to use it fully to his advantage... later on.
Pulp Fiction came on at seven thirty, just as Mike had said it would. For him, it was the third time seeing it; for Bryan, about the tenth; and for Scar, it was the first. He had no idea what the movie was about, but he liked the soundtrack. It started with two people talking in a coffee shop. They sat at their booth and talked about robberies that they had done in the past. They sat there a while, and then they held up the place. The girl said vulgar stuff at the people, and the familiar music they all knew by heart played. Misirlou was then interrupted by Jungle Boogey, while the screen changed from credits to two guys talking in a car. They talked about cheeseburgers from France, "a royale with cheese", and the metric system. It was all very intriguing.
As the movie played on , Mike got up and grabbed him and Bryan a Coke from the aging refrigerator. Scar looked over to where Mike was and jokingly said, "Well what about me? Don't I get one?" Mike smiles and said "Ha ha." and got a bowl and filled it with water from the sink.
He had seen something on TV that had inspired him to make a small sink with running water. All he did was take one of those five gallon spring water bottles and put a hose on it. He rigged it so that it hung up on the wall and had a small rubber pipe coming from it. The pipe ran to where the sink was and had a small water spigot on it. They didn't have to go outside in the night to get a drink from the well after that. When the bottle got empty, they took the empty bottle from where it was hanging on the wall, opened the little hatch Mike had cut out of the top, and poured in a few buckets of the well water until it was full. After that, they put the bottle back up on the wall and had enough water for a few weeks.
After filling up Scar's water bowl and grabbing the two Cokes, Mike went back over to the couch, handed Bryan his Coke, and put Scar's water on the floor. Scar jumped down and began drinking from the bowl and after drinking for a minute or so, returned back to where he was sitting before; in the middle of the couch. When Mike had left to go get the drinks, the movie had been in the spot where Vincent, one of the guys in the car who was a hitman, had shot some dude's head off in the car. Now the other hitman, Jules, and Vincent were in Jimmy's house drinking coffee. Jules commented on how good the coffee was and Jimmy went off, yelling that if his wife got home, his "ass was going to get divorced." Mike, Bryan, and Scar watched the movie to it's very end and never breathed a word until it was completely over. It was about nine thirty then, and a movie called 1984 was coming on next. The silence was finally broken when Scar spoke "That was the first movie I've ever seen, and I think that it is the best one I'll probably ever see." he said. "Yep. That's why Quentin Tarantino is the best, man. He writes the best damn movies you could ever think of." Bryan replied. All of them were still tired from last night and decided it might be worthwhile if they turned in early. Deciding upon that, Bryan brushed his teeth and then went to his room, leaving his door open and cracking the one small window in his room. The night was a pretty warm night and the house felt a little warm and uncomfortable.
Mike brushed his teeth and turned off all the lights in the house, went to his room, leaving the door open, and turned on his small nightstand light. After he changed into his silk night shorts and got under the two sheet bedspread, he picked up his copy of "The Anarchist Cookbook" and began leafing through the pages. Finding an article that caught his eye, he began reading it. At about this time, Scar came into the room and jumped up on the double bed. Mike was sleeping near the stand, and the other side was parallel with a wall. The bed was placed in a corner to make more room in the already small place. Scar slowly walked over to the vacant spot and laid down. "What's that you're reading?" he asked. "The Anarchist Cookbook" Mike said, putting the book down for a minute. "It tells how to make bombs and stuff." "Oh. That's the last thing you should be reading." Scar replied. Grinning, he cuffed Scar on his face.
He had only been reading for less than a minute, but now the book bored him. He folded the corner of the page he was reading and closed the book., putting it on his nightstand and then laid down in the bed. He wanted to talk to Scar. He wanted to know what he thought about everything that was going on. He knew what it was like not knowing what anything was, he had been a kid once too; unknowing of what was around him. After thinking on how to ask him, he did. "Scar, what do you think about this whole situation. Me, you, and Bryan I mean." Scar thought to himself for a few seconds and then replied, "I don't know what to make of it. I'm glad that it has happened though. My life back in the Pridelands was pretty much gone anyway. I had my taste of leadership, and I though it pretty much stank." Mike pondered over what he had just said and then, in a slow and solemn voice said, "I never told you why I fled from my home, did I?" "No. I don't think you did. Why? Did you do something bad?" Scar asked, showing concern for his new brother. "It's not really bad unless you look at it in the right, or wrong view, I guess."
"Well, we kind of, more like Bryan, were trying to make a little money selling weed back home. I honestly didn't like the stuff, but he kept calling me a wus and said I was a dumbass. I was kind of forced into it really, but it all came out the wrong way. He grew a ton of the stuff in some woods near his house and harvested almost a trashbag full of it." Scar's eyes grew wide with the sight of such a vast amount. "Well, he got a lot of his druggie friends together and we all got so high, we literally forgot our names. After about a week, it had finally worn off totally and we all went to sell it. We each got about five pounds and a quota we were supposed to follow. The quota turned out to be a crock, so we just sold it when we could. I turned out to sell all of mine first and got about eight thousand for it all. All the other dudes did was smoke theirs and that's where the serious crap happened. One of the dudes got high and went wandering around in the middle of the night with some of his other high friends. They had weed all over them and a cop found them, took em down to the station and questioned them. Of course they squealed on Bryan, who eventually squealed on everyone he had given it to, including me. They came to my apartment and found eight grand laying in my kitchen drawer. Of course I tried to deny that I had ever sold any, but somehow, they arrested me for it. I went down to the station, got processed and a court date. Well, three months passed, and I still didn't know how I got ratted on. I thought that it was the idiots that had gotten caught, so I still was friends with Bryan. I was real low on cash so I moved in with him, taking my car with me of course. Well, as time passed, I went to court. The judge was a real jerk and said that because I was an "adult", that most of the weight of the whole matter was to blame on me. I exploded at that and started blabbing out that it wasn't me that went out and got caught. The judge didn't care and gave me something like a twenty five thousand dollar fine, a thousand hours of community service, and after I finished all of that, I was going to jail for a year. I had to sign all these papers saying that I'd pay, and not run away, and then it was all over. I lived in that apartment with Bryan and his mom for a while, but soon she ran off with some hippie dude and we were alone. Since my dad left me a long time ago and Bryan's dad had divorced his mom, we were pretty much all alone now. That's when we decided to leave that corrupt country and start all over. Now that I know that Bryan is the one that squealed on me, I have lost a lot of respect for him, as you may have noticed. And that is my story of how, and why, I'm here today." Mike concluded, bowing his head. "I hated my country. If I hadn't of gotten away, I probably would have started making bombs for terrorists or something."
Overcome with all the emotional stress, Mike began silently sobbing. He was sitting up in bed with both of his hands covering his face and Scar didn't know that he was crying until he saw tears dripping from his hands. Putting one of his massive front paws on Mike's arm, he caught his attention. With Mike's eyes red and swollen with tears Scar looked at him and said, "It's not your fault. Bryan is to blame for it all." with a hint of distrust when he said Bryan's name. "I know he is but I can't change the fact that I brought him with me. If I'd have known what I know now, I'd of left him there to rot. The government screwed me. They ruined my life, so I had to run. There's no way I could have ever had a life in the states, not after what I did. Did you know that they wanted to take eighty-five percent of my paychecks to pay for that fine I had to pay? That is messed up." Mike said, starting to get his sobbing under control. "Well, I'd rather not think about that. It's in my past, and I don't know anything about it. I started in this country with a clean slate and it's going to stay that way forever. Bryan is just a person who hasn't done anything to me yet. I forgive him for that, but I can never forget." After a moment of sitting with a vacant expression on his face, he blurted out "I'm tired, I think I'm going to sleep now." Scar agreed with this, and with that, Mike turned out the lamp, laid down under the sheets, and went to sleep. He didn't instantly drift off, he laid there, staring up at the ceiling, wondering what they were all going to do when it was all over. Going to the Pridelands and doing a little wargame? He went on thinking about the possibilities and finally drifted off to sleep. Scar, on the other hand, made sure that Mike went to sleep first. He thought that he might try to do something rash or extreme, like try to kill himself. What he had heard disturbed him greatly. The place that Mike was born in had messed him up big time. Bryan had messed him up, and continued to hurt him. Ironically, that's what made Scar mad, but happy because it had caused him his new life. Now Mike was a refugee who had left his country because of it. It all seemed too familiar to him. He knew where Mike was coming from. That's the way he himself had once been, but not to the extremity Mike had experienced. Finally, after being positive that Mike was asleep, he too drifted off and went to sleep. With his back facing Mike, as he customarily slept to anyone, he had disturbing dreams that Bryan was trying to kill both him and Mike. He didn't like them at all. Not one bit



CHAPTER XV



Mike awoke at exactly seven the next morning. The beeping of his watch was all that was needed to wake him from his shallow resting state. He had had nightmares last night; having flashbacks of when he had stood before the judge and was condemned to his sentence. His lawyer had said, ‘It could have been worse.' Mike said he knew that it could have been. "Yeah, they could of sent me to jail, just for being Bryan's friend." he uttered under his breath. He was sitting up in bed, looking over at Scar, who was still sleeping, and soundly at the look of him. He was purring up a storm, which made Mike smile. Rubbing his eyes for a moment, he sat with his arms crossed, and his knees up under his chin, slowly rocking back and forth on the bed. After a few minutes, he got up and put on clean clothes., looked back at Scar and stood staring for a moment. After making sure he was asleep, he silently opened his door and went out into the kitchen to get breakfast.
Making himself some toast in the toaster, he made a sandwich out of Lebanon balogna and Munster cheese. His hair kept falling into his eyes, and after finishing, he went back into his room to get his afro pick. His grandmother had given it to him, and he used it quite often, even though he didn't have an afro. Spotting his keys on the nightstand, he pocketed them, ran the pick through his hair and left the room. Putting the pick in his pants pocket, he opened the front door, and went out to sit in the cruiser. Getting there, he turned the ignition to accessory, turned on the CD player, rummaged through the CD case and found and old one he had almost forgot about; Twenty of the Best Hits From the Eighties. Put it into the CD tray and waiting as the CD loaded, he looked around and saw Scar walking out towards him. Laying back in the his seat and searching the CD for Thomas Dolby's, She Blinded Me With Science, he found it and began to play it.
Scar had reached the cruiser by now and jumped up into the passengers seat, yawned, and said good morning to Mike. "Wasup?" Mike replied. Just as he did, funky synthesizer music pounded through the speakers and the song started playing. "It's poetry in motion!" "She blinded me with science." " I could smell her chemicals!" the CD exclaimed, blaring synthesizer music in various phrases. Mike sat in a dreamy state until the song had played to it's entirety and stopped. The CD player stopped playing and everything remained quiet for a moment. The silence was interrupted by Mike who said in a slightly gruff voice, "Man, I had a terrible flashback last night. I was back home in the states and I was in front of the judge again. He listened to what the jury said; six guilty, and four not guilty, and sentenced; no ordered me to pay that freaking fine all at once. Man, I was sweating like a pig in that bed." Scar looked at him and said, "Try to forget it." Thinking and somewhat unable to phrase what he wanted to say, he blurted out, "I'm not trying to tell this to you as a friend; I'm telling you as a brother to a brother Mike. It's in the past and there's nothing you can do to change it. I know that now; I never had really thought about what I was doing. I kind of had a small idea in my head that grew to enormous proportions. I just saw an opportunity and went overboard doing it." Mike listened to Scar's advice and accepted it. He knew that there is no way to go and change the past. If there was, he would have never become friends with Bryan. He remembered that he had tried to tell him to not sell the crap, but Bryan disregarded his advice. Bryan knew that Mike didn't really like him as much as he used to, but they got along.
"Those are some pretty powerful words man." Mike said. "Thanks for telling me; It makes me feel a little better. I never can quite totally forget what happened though. It's like I've had it tattooed into my mind, reminding me." "Me too." Scar replied. "Now, I just wish that I hadn't have done what I did. It really messes with your conscious." "Yeah." Mike said, inspired by this deep thinking. "I knew that it was wrong to sell that shit, but I was pushed into it. Peer pressure. Nothing is more influencing than that. Well, maybe holding a gun to your head is influential, but peer pressure really makes you do stuff you'd never do alone. Bryan was a bad influence on me. I was either too blind to see it back then, or too stupid to see it. It's not like I'm a all out dealer or anything. I was good before all this crap happened, but now, It's like I've been given some sort of moral insight or something. I know what is right and wrong."
Scar sort of understood what he was getting at, and added: "I did things in the past that I would never do over again the same way; ever." Mike added, "I know what you mean. Your experiences, just like mine, have changed your character, way of thinking, and probably your heart. There's a lot of stuff I wouldn't do over again the same way either also. It feels like I've evolved from my former self. If you put me from two years ago where I am right now, I'd probably shoot you or something. I didn't care about anything back then. Shit, I didn't even have anything to care for." "Well put." Scar said. "I see your point exactly. If me from, say, a year ago were put in this seat, I'd have probably ripped you to shreds, because I, too, didn't care about anything but myself. I was power hungry for the throne; that's all I cared about was getting to be king. The last week has really changed me, and I owe a great deal to you for trusting me." Mike interrupted, "I hope you trust me too, because Bryan is the only person I've ever known to really trust me. Well... somewhat" "I trust you, Mike." Scar immediately said. "I trusted you the first time I saw you. You didn't express any hate, fear, prejudices, or doubt when you found me. You were just kind, caring, and confident. You didn't even worry about the possible danger you had put yourself into risking your life to try and help me. When you fell asleep on the floor, I fell asleep too and I felt like I was young all over again." "I guess that's what tragic experiences are supposed to do to people, Scar." Mike said. "It either makes the person change for the better, as in our cases, or for the worst, like half of the poor bastards the United States government screwed up." "I care too much about you now to just lose you. You are, truly, the brother I never had, and if you died, my life would never be the same again." Shortly after Mike said this, Bryan came waltzing out of the shack, carrying a small potato sack with extra cloths in it.
It about seven thirty, and Bryan tossed the sack into the back of the cruiser. Scar walked back to the back and sat down while Bryan climbed up into the passengers seat. He said good-morning to Mike and then to Scar. When he looked back to say it to Scar, Scar was looking at the shack, and a single tear rolled from his left eye onto the cruisers plush black carpet. When Bryan said good morning, Scar was startled but then said good morning back without turning. "You got your keys and your wallet?" Mike asked. "Oh no. I seem to have forgotten them in my room." Bryan replied in a sarcastic tone. Mike laughed at him and started up the cruiser. Putting it in gear he began rolling towards the road and a mile later, they had reached the main road and turned left. Another day had begun.
Mike reached the garage around quarter past eight. Stopping in front of the garage, he left the engine running and went to open it up. Opening the office door, he went into the garage bay, turned on a row of overhead fluorescent lights, opened the two garage doors up, and walked back over to the cruiser. After getting in, he put it in reverse, backed it into the garage, hooked up the battery charger, and got out. "Come on! Do you guys want breakfast or not?" Mike said, standing in front of the cruiser looking at Bryan and Scar in the cruiser. They both looked at each other and then hopped down from the cruiser. Mike, followed by them, went to the lunchcounter that he bought breakfast from almost everyday. He was going to get six pancakes, a cup of milk, some bacon, and some toast, while Bryan wanted some bacon, a cup of O.J., some pancakes, and a piece of sausage. When Mike asked Scar what he wanted, he said "I'll just have what you're having." Mike went up to the lunchcounter and ordered breakfast from the short, aging, black native. The total came to seven dollars and Mike gave the lady a ten.
After getting his food and change, he carried it over to the little picnic table that Bryan and Scar were sitting at. "So, what's on the agenda today?" Bryan asked. "Same shit as always, man. Whatever people come in. I think today that we might be picking up a little bit though; I can feel it in my bones." Bryan said, "What? You're feeling your bone?" "Shut-up you nasty nutsac! You know what I meant!" Mike said laughing with Bryan. Mike took his food, and distributed the rest amongst Bryan and Scar. Bryan dug in heartily to his pancakes, and then hit the bacon. Scar silently sat on the ground and ate the pancakes and bacon Mike had set down for him. Managing to stomach all six of his pancakes, half of the bacon, his cup of milk, and one of the three pieces of toast, Mike leaned back and patted his stomach. "Hey Scar? You want this?" Mike said, pointing to his uneaten remains. Scar thought a moment and then replied, "Sure, I'll take it." Mike held out the pieces of toast, and Scar gently took them from his hand. When he was finished, he took the small pile of bacon and held it out also. Scar again took it gently from his hand, and then quickly consumed it. When he was done, he began to clean himself. Mike sat at the picnic table watching until he finally got up. Bryan got up to throw away the trash in the wastebasket in front of the lunchcounter, and by the time he got back, Mike had gotten up also and was ready to go to the garage. "Come on, Mr. Clean." he said to Scar, who was still cleaning bacon grease from his paws, "We haven't got all day." Scar stopped for a moment and looked up at Mike, gave a little shrug and got up. By this time, Bryan had already walked the one hundred or so feet from the lunchcounter back to the picnic table. "Ready everyone?" Mike said. Bryan and Scar nodded in agreement that they were, and the trio began the small walk to the garage.
They walked very slow, taking their time. All three had been silent since they left the picnic table a minutes ago and it was Mike who broke the silence. "You know, I've always liked cats better for some reason. I don't really care that much for dogs. If you ask me, they're pretty dumb animals. Back home I used to have a cat and a dog. I'd sit outside and watch them sometimes, when they were away from each other of course. My dog, Mo, was the stupidest dog I have ever seen. He'd always try to chase birds or squirrels and scare them away running after them. My cat, Mikey, would always hide close to the ground or behind something, and then pounce on it. I saw him catch a squirrel once, and he killed it within a few minutes. That was cool looking. The squirrel was all shocked and was too scared to do anything, so he kinda just gave up and let himself be killed." Another minute of silence passed, Mike's conversation to start something having failed. Walking with his hands in his pockets, he sighed while Bryan kicked a bit of loose gravel and Scar walked beside him. "How long ago was it?" Scar finally asked, "When you had them?" Mike thought for a moment and then replied "Oh, probably three or four years ago. They both died before I came here though. Old age I guess." No words were passed until almost five minutes later.
At eight forty nine, the three reached the garage. It was less than two hundred feet from the lunchcounter, but they took their time and reached it in about ten minutes. Mike opened up the door to the small office and sat down in a ragged chair, Bryan sat down behind the desk, and Scar sat down on a blanket Mike had gotten out of the garage for him. They sat around for a while and Mike's watch beeped to let him know that it was nine o'clock. "Well, any minute some one will come up and get a tank of gas, or get their wheels rotated, or something." Mike said. Bryan belched and then laughed. Mike laughed and then joined in. Scar tried to belch and managed to get some sort of guttural noise to come out. Mike laughed at him. "You call that a burp? You might be able to go against me in a belching contest sometime. You might even win." Scar caught himself before he started to laugh and said, "I doubt that that will ever happen." Just then, Mike made a humongous belch that sounded very unnatural coming from him. "Damn man!" Bryan said, "Rock the house, why don't ya!" Mike then got up, went over and climbed into the cruiser. Putting his key in the ignition, he turned it to accessory and turned on the stereo. Looking at the hydraulic controls, he started to fiddle with them.
Pushing a button mounted on a little box on the dash, the body started to rise. The familiar whine of hydraulic motors could be heard underneath the cruiser and as the body rose to half it's capable height of ten feet, he popped in a Nirvana CD, and pushed play. Smells Like Teen Spirit began to play through the Bose and Mike turned up the volume, hopped down from the cab, and went to look underneath the body. He had to crouch a little but easily fit under the body. He looked over all the main parts; the front and rear differentials, the transfer case, the transmission, the engine, the driveshaft, and the hydraulics. When he was looking over the front differential, he saw a small patch of dried blood and a small tuft of fur stuck on one of the bolts. "HEY, BRYAN!" Mike yelled over Kurt Cobain's singing, " COME HEAR A MINUTE!" Bryan heard him and came over to where he was. "Hold on a sec." Mike said, getting out from underneath the cruiser and going back into the cab. Pushing stop on the CD player he went down under the body again. "Look at this." he said pointing to the dried blood and fur. Bryan looked at it and said, "When did that get there?" " The first night when you went to bed after you met Scar, I took him out to find something to eat. While he was eating something he caught, I saw some hyenas trying to sneak up on him. I gunned the cruiser and beat them to him, but they still came and tried to get him. I hit a few of them, killed them I'm sure, and I popped off a couple more with the Tec-9. Scar was shaking like crazy, but I finally calmed him down." Mike replied. Bryan thought for a moment and said, "Why didn't you ever tell me what happened before?" Mike said, "Well, that day you seemed less than content about Scar being there, so I kind of kept it a secret." While the two were still examining the blood and fur, they never heard Scar get up and walk over behind them. When he spoke, they both jumped a little; startled. "Those were the hyenas that once were my friends. They probably would have gotten me if you" he said gesturing with his head towards Mike "hadn't of saved me. I was so scared, I just froze when I saw them coming at me. When I heard the thuds and felt the bumps, I thought that you had just hit some holes or something. I didn't know that you ran some of them over." "I think I got about eight or nine of them." Mike said. "Do you think that we got their leader?" Mike asked. "No. I doubt it." Scar said. "Shenzi usually keeps her distance from the rest of the pack. You probably got a few of the ones I never knew that well."
Mike was making his way out from under the cruiser, and after a while, Bryan too came out from underneath it. After he was out from underneath it, Mike climbed up into the cab and lowered the cab body to the lowest level, the running boards now about one and a half feet off the ground. Turning the ignition over and started up the engine, unplugged the battery charger and hung it on it's hanger; a nail sticking a few inches out of a two by four. Scar and Bryan stood off to the side while he drove the cruiser over to the small gas pump island. Putting in a pump, he began to fill the tank. It was a little more than half full and within two minutes, he had topped it off, filling it to the top. Putting the hose back on the side of the pump, he got back in the cruiser and drove it to a small spot in the dirt lot and parked it in the sun. Turning it off and taking the keys he walked back to the garage, went to where had been sitting a while ago and let out a sigh. Bryan and Scar were already sitting in the office when he got there and after a moment, Mike said, "At three o'clock we're taking off to where I killed those hyenas a few days ago. The vultures have probably already taken their share, but I want to know which hyenas those were."
Five and a half hours later, and almost a thousand dollars richer, Mike was true to his word. The day had turned out to be prospective, as he had thought it would. At quarter till three, Mike and Bryan began to close down the garage. Mike closed all of the garage doors and made sure they were locked, while Bryan swept up the floor and put misplaced tools in their correct spots. After the garage was to Mikes liking, he shooed Bryan and Scar out, locked the office door, and briskly walked over to the cruiser and got in. Scar jumped up into the back as Bryan flung himself into the passengers seat. Starting up the cruiser, Mike put it in gear, and floored it out of the dirt lot.
They had all eaten lunch at the lunchcounter, so were pretty much full now. Mike was going about fifty-five Mph down the two lane dirt road, happy that there weren't any speed limits. He could drive as fast as the cruiser could go, which was very fast. Having had been in a tremendous hurry once, he had hit one ten on the road. There had been a dust cloud behind him that looked as if a bomb had gone off, he remembered. His memory was cut short when Bryan put in one of Mike's CD's, The Flaming Lips: Transmissions From The Satellite Heart. All of the songs on the CD were good. In fact, they were great. Mike's favorite was Turn It On, and She Don't Use Jelly. They had a beat to them that he liked and had tried to copy in his very short lived band. As he listened to it, he saw that he was nearing the driveway. He slowed down to make the turn and put on his blinker. Turning right he proceeded down the part grass and part dirt road. He went about thirty Mph and was quickly at the shack within a few minutes. After parking, he hopped out, telling Bryan and Scar to stay in the cruiser. Running quickly to the front door, he opened it, went inside and came out a few seconds later with the Uzi and the Tec-9. After locking the door back up, he ran back to the cruiser, handed the Tec-9 to Bryan and turned the cruiser back on. Accelerating slowly, he began to go towards where he had saved Scar a few nights ago from the hyenas.
Mike remembered almost exactly where he was headed. How could he forget? He had saved Scar there and would never forget that site. It took about fifteen minutes to get to the spot he had been at a few nights ago and reaching the clearing where he knew the bodies would be found at, it was about twenty minutes past three. Seeing a lump on the ground about five hundred yards in the distance, he quickened the cruisers pace and soon was twenty feet from the body. Getting out to investigate, he was joined shortly after by Bryan and Scar. "Yep. That's a hyena alright. Looks like the birds haven't found him yet though." he said, walking up to the corpse. Mike was a few feet away from it when he saw Scar walk over and look at the body. After examining it a second or two, he said, "It's one of the hyenas alright. I remember this one, I forgot his name though. This is one of the ones that jumped on me the night I fought Simba. I think he did that." he said looking at his slowly healing leg. Mike looked at the corpse and said, "Okay, I saw a few more over there. Let's go see if you recognize them." All three walked back over to the cruiser and got in. They went to the next body, and the next one, and the next one. They had seen seven bodies all from the same pack but of no real importance, and up ahead a few yard, there was the last one. "Come on, man!" Bryan said to Mike . "They're all from Priderock, let's go." Mike answered solemnly. "No. The last one might be Shenzi. I have to see." "Alright. But hurry up! This is boring."
They all got into the cruiser again and went the last couple of yards to the last body. Mike stopped the cruiser and got out. "You coming?" Mike asked Bryan. "Nah, you two go ahead; I'm staying here." At this, Mike simply shrugged and kept walking. He went to the last body and looked at it. Scar looked out from behind Mike and saw to his astonishment that the dead hyena was Banzai. "I know that one!" Scar said. " He was probably the second in command, I'd say. He used to be one of the ones I trusted. He was usually pretty careful, but he must have been mad or something that day." Mike thought to himself for a second. "So, that's one of the big traitors, huh? No matter. This'll make me feel better anyways." He had been carrying his Uzi with him to all of the bodies, eight total, and now raised it from the ground to the body of Banzai.
Scar saw what Mike was getting ready to do and ran away from him back to the cruiser. Standing a good ten feet away from the body, Mike pushed in the grip safety and pulled the trigger. Bullets sprayed from the Uzi's muzzle while flesh and bone flew from the carcass, creating a shower of pinkish mist. Draining the clip, he let go of the trigger, hit the clip release button, and let the empty clip slide into his free hand. Banzai's body was now nothing more than blood, flesh, and bone scattered over an area roughly the size of a small putting green. Turning around, he slowly walked back to the cruiser, got in and said, so that Bryan and Scar could hear him, "I just envisioned that judge lying there and it makes it so much easier. It's kind of like a stress reliever." Bryan looked over from his side to Mike. "Man, that was nasty! I looked over and saw all this blood and skin flying in the air." "Just think of it this way," Mike said, "Eight down, and around fifty more to go. Think of all the shit they put Scar through. Wouldn't you have done what I just did? Backstabbers." After a moment, Bryan replied, acting happy but hiding his true feelings: "Yeah, I guess I would have! They suck and.. and.. uh .. and I'm gonna kick em all in the nads after we kill em!" "That's the spirit Beavis!" Mike said. Mike, feeling better, and Bryan, knowing full well that he hated what Mike was going to do later, joked around for a while. Scar kept silent. He was shocked at what Mike had done. He knew that he was going to go after the hyenas and Simba, but he never knew how serious he had been. The thought of having Mike as an enemy frightened him, and he at that moment felt a little sorry for the hyenas and Simba. Silently thinking to himself, he remembered a line from one of his dreams. "The punishment that fits the crime." Scar barely muttered, and at that moment, the cruiser started up. "The punishment that fits the crime."



CHAPTER XVI



The trip back took them no time at all; they were back in under half an hour. Getting out of the cruiser, Mike stood and stretched a moment. He had the empty Uzi in his right hand, and a clip in his other. Putting the clip in his pocket and raising the gun, looking as if he were going to shoot, he held the gun like he would as if he were playing the arcade game, Lethal Enforcers. He pretended shooting at imaginary objects off in the distance. Each pretend shot was followed with one of his gun sound-effects. "Come on Man!" Mike yelled at Bryan. "They're too many of em! Help me!" Bryan, who had been watching from the cruiser, took out the clip from the Tec-9, pulled back the bolt to make sure that a bullet wasn't in the chamber, and then hopped over to where Mike was. He too began in an imaginary shooting game and additional sound effects came from him. "There's one in that tree!" Mike said pointing to an imaginary tree and enemy. He aimed his gun at it and pulled the trigger. Sound effects came with the trigger pull, and the imaginary enemy was dead. Scar, who had been watching from the back of the cruiser, looked at the two as if they had completely lost their minds. When they were silent for a moment, waiting for round two, he said, "What on earth are you two doing? You're starting to scare me." Mike looked over to him and said, "We're just playing around. This is the next best thing to virtual reality." "Virtual what?" Scar asked. "Virtual reality." Mike answered. "I'll fill you in later." Mike went back to the game and joined in with Bryan. "Whoa! Cool!" Bryan said. "What?" asked Mike. "I just shot that dude in the nads!" he replied. " Whoa, good idea." Mike said snickering, now lowering his aim to repeat what Bryan had just done. He envisioned judges and cops dropping to their knees and rolling around on the ground. " Ha ha ha ! That'll teach ya!!" Mike said triumphantly. The game lasted about a few more minutes, got old, and both stopped playing. "Let's go see what's on TV." Mike said. Bryan and Scar seemed to have no problem with this, and followed Mike to the door. Unlocking it they went in and sat down on the couch. After turning on the TV and finding Ace Ventura: Pet Detective getting ready to start on HBO3, they sat watching.
One and a half hours later, all three of them felt better and were laughing at scenes being played out by Mike who was re-enacting parts of the movie. Re-enacting the parts where Jim Carrey was in the Lunatics Ward, he did the instant replay scene. "Let's see that....in instant replay!!" Mike said. He started to move slow and made noises just like Jim had done. Bryan fell off the couch and rolled around on the floor, clutching his stomach and laughing silently while Scar sprawled out on the couch and roared out laughing. Mike, who was now at the point where he couldn't control himself fell to the ground and laughed. The weed they had smoked a few nights ago had returned for it's relapse, and they were all high again. Mike managed to stop laughing enough so that he could sit up. He sat up and waited for Bryan to stop and once he did, Mike did his ‘Lieutenant Dan' act again. "Lieutenant Dan! Lieutenant Dan!" Mike said, trying to hold his laughter in. "You aint got no laigs Lieutenant Dan!" Both Mike and Bryan fell to the floor and laughed, not able to help themselves. Scar, who hadn't seen Forrest Gump, didn't know who Lieutenant Dan was, but laughed anyways; he couldn't help not to. After Mike finished his acting session, he fell back on his back and laid, half laughing, and half trying to control himself. After a few minutes he managed to stop but lost control again. It was now about five thirty five and the three would continue to amuse each other with tons of remembered skits from Saturday Night Live, Monty Python's Flying Circus, In Living Color, and many other shows until around eight, when they all fell asleep. Mike fell asleep first, then Scar, and finally Bryan. They all slept for about two hours until Mike woke up and roused them all up. He had managed to get Scar up, but Bryan wouldn't wake up. "Get up nutsac! I don't wanna trip over you in the night or something." he said to Bryan. Finally, Bryan opened his eyes and slowly got up. He immediately went to his room, and went to bed. Mike went outside and made sure the cruiser's security system was on, and after checking, went back into the house and locked the door.
"Mike? I'm thirsty. Could you fill up my bowl?" Scar asked politely. "Sure." Said Mike going over to get the cereal bowl on the floor. He picked it up and carried it over to the sink, filled it with water, set it down on the floor, and watched as Scar immediately began drinking. Getting a cup from the counter, he filled himself a cup of water too. After drinking it, he got another cup. After drinking it, he set it down and turned off the lights. and stumbled through the dark as he headed towards his room. After turning on the light, he changed into his night clothes and got under the covers. Waiting for Scar to jump up on the bed, he watched as he padded in and did so. Turning the light out, he stared blankly at the ceiling and sighed. "We're not going to work tomorrow. We're all messed up again." Mike said quietly to Scar. "I kind of figured that." he replied. Mike reached over and patted Scar on the head. "I'm going to sleep. I'm tired as hell." he said. " Me too." Scar replied yawning. "Seeya in the morning then." Mike said. "Sure thing." and shortly after, they both fell sound asleep.
Bryan went to sleep instantly and dreamed of Rafiki again. Walking through the grass he found him sitting in the lotus position. "Do you see what I mean?" Rafiki asked him. "Yeah. I really screwed up." Bryan said. "Mike plans to kill you, you know." Rafiki said, knowing that it was false. "Not before I get him!" Bryan snapped back. Rafiki was no fool. He knew that Bryan was evil. More than likely, he was more evil than Scar had ever been. He was telling things to him, planting ideas, and actually making him believe them. Even though the relationship he had with Mike was now rapidly disintegrating, it was a perfect chance to use him.
"I want to tell you something. Something you should say in a while when you think it is right. I can help you, remember, and if you do what I say, I will." "Okay." Bryan said. "In a few days, Mike and Scar are going to be vulnerable for you to get close to them. You tell them that Simba came to you in one of your dreams, and told you things. You can make things up of course, but be sure to make it about Simba killing Scar. It will enrage Mike, make him listen to you, and make Scar want to like you more. It is a perfect time to dig deep down inside of them and make them trust you. Will you do it?" Bryan thought it over for a second and then said yes. "You know, ever since Scar came, things have been messed up real bad." Rafiki nodded, knowing that both Scar and Mike had changed for the better, but also knowing that Scar had killed Mufasa, and to him, was unacceptable. He also knew that Mike held a grudge against Simba. Whatever they planned to do must be prevented at all costs, even at the cost of Bryan's life. "Mike doesn't even pay attention to me anymore. He acts like I'm not even there. That pisses me off." "Well," Rafiki started. "you know that he still doesn't like you. The only reason he puts up with you is because he feels inclined to take care of you. If you don't do anything work wise to repay what he is doing for you, he will get mad at you, and dislike you even more. You should try to do this, but don't be too subtle about making it look staged. You should hurt him as much as possible while you still can. Do it without making it look like you are trying to. Just act normal, don't help him out, and sleep as long as you want. He will never be your best friend again, so you might as well make his life miserable." "Yeah!" Bryan said. "He's an asshole! I'll screw him up like he has me! And I'll even make it look like I like him. I'll get Scar first so it'll make him fall apart." "That's the spirit!" Rafiki said. "Put him through the suffering that he has put you through!" "I will Rafiki. I will." Bryan said as he slowly smiled in his sleep.
Mike woke up first the next morning, and it was about eight. He had gotten up for no reason and didn't want to get up so he tried going back to sleep. Soon after fifteen minutes of tossing and turning, he found it impossible to sleep, so got up, sat on the edge of his bed, rubbed his eyes and yawned, finally standing up and going over to his dresser. Opening the middle drawer, he shuffled around in it and finally took out some pants, tossing them over his back. After throwing them on his bed, he went to the bottom drawer and got a shirt out, took off the nightshirt he was wearing and threw it on the floor beside his bed. Putting on the white T-shirt, he went over and sat at the edge of his bed, quickly changing into the stone washed blue-jeans. Afterwhich, he stood up and looked over at Scar, who was sleeping soundly. He thought of waking him but decided better of it. Yawning a final time, he opened his bedroom door.
Walking over to the kitchen sink, he poured himself a glass of water and slowly drinking it. Look around the kitchen for some food, he opened up the fridge and saw some leftovers that he had saved from lunch a while back. Looking them over, he them back, not really feeling like having a tuna salad sandwich for breakfast. Searching a little more, he found nothing that suited him, so decided to make some pancakes. Getting out some pancake mix, oil, milk, and a frying pan, he turned on the old, white electric stove and let it preheat. Mixing the ingredients together he hoped he could get ten medium sized pancakes. Putting a little bit of butter in the frying pan, he watched as it began to hop and jump as the heat melted it down to a puddle of bubbling yellow stuff. Doing as he had been taught by his late grandfather, he mixed the batter a final time and poured a blob of it into the frying pan. Looking at it he added a little more to be sure it would yield a big enough pancake. Rummaging around in the crude kitchen drawers, he produced a spatula from them.
Watching the batter begin to bubble and cook, he thought that the time was right and quickly flipped the pancake over and let it cook. A few minutes later, it was done so he took it off and poured in some more batter as he got two plates out of the cupboard. Putting the pancake on one of the plates, he set it on the table. As he did so, he smiled, all of a sudden remembering the band he had once been in. Getting a fork and some syrup, he sat down and ate the pancake, remembering songs he had written and produced himself. It hadn't been a highly liked band but had been popular enough that a studio asked to put some of his songs out on a CD in the local music stores. He accepted it and got money, which he split with the three other members and had a party. After the CD, it died and along with it the possibility of making it into the national scene. Having finished his pancake by now, he remembered the pancakes and raced up to get his second one. Eating it, he was full and didn't want anymore for himself so put his syrup coated plate in the sink and let water run over it. Adding some soap, he went and made the rest of the pancakes.
When he had finished making all of the pancakes, he turned off the stove and sat down. No one was up yet and Bryan was going to wash the dishes when he got up. Usually, Mike always fixed breakfast and Bryan cleaned up. The bowl he had mixed the batter in still had some in it, so he put it down on the floor, went in his room and began to try and wake Scar up. At first, he kneeled on the bed pushing at his shoulder, but when he failed to get up, he went to his sock drawer and got a bunch of socks. Rolled up in pairs, they resembled big potatoes and could easily be thrown. Throwing one, he hit Scar on his side. "Direct HIT!!" Mike said. He pretended to throw the socks like grenades, yanking imaginary pins with his teeth, until Scar finally rolled over and showed signs of life. Mike threw a sock grenade at him and he slowly rolled over. He got up and stretched, yawned, and said good morning to Mike. Mike threw the remaining five pairs of socks at him, dashed out of the room and jumped onto the couch. He was soon followed by Scar who slowly walked out and sat down beside him.
Mike turned the TV on, began channel surfing, and after seeing that not much was on, switched to MTV and watched music videos. It was about nine o'four now, and Bryan slowly came out into the den. Mike and Scar said good morning to him and Mike told him about the pancakes. He seemed interested and went to have one of the seven pancakes. Eating two of them, he left the others on the plate. Around nine thirty, after Bryan had eaten, Mike told him that he had to wash the dishes. Bryan happily got up and began doing the tedious task. Mike got up during an Oasis video and took the remaining pancakes with him outside. "Oasis sucks like crap." he said as he did so. Scar was following him, and when they got outside, Mike put the plate on the ground. It would take Bryan a good ten minutes to wash and dry the dishes, so Mike told Scar to take his time. Leaning down, he ate one pancake in one mouthful. "You eat them that fast and you're gonna get indigestion." Mike said as Scar downed two more in under a minute. "Tums tums tums tums TUMS!!!" he finished. Scar chuckled to himself when he did so and ate the remaining pancakes. Two minutes later, and with a stomach half full of food, he had finished. "You know, saying that stuff about Tums brings back memories." Mike said. "Back a couple years ago, I was in the school band and we had this teacher that had a really short fuse. We always joked about him having really bad ulcers from all the stress, so one day I took a little pack of Tums and set them on his pedestal. He came out, looked at them, and then pocketed them. We laughed about that for months!" Mike said, looking off in the distance. Finally after a few moments, he picked the plate up and ran it inside for Bryan to wash. He had almost finished washing the plates and sighed when Mike brought in another. Dropping it into the half full sink of soapy water, he ran back outside. After Bryan finished washing and drying the plate, he went outside, finding Mike and Scar in the cruiser listening to some music, and he ran to join them.
With bass guitars strummed and drums eloquently being played, Nirvana's song, Lithium, pounded from the Bose. Mike silently played an air guitar and lipped the lyrics while Scar just sat and listened. When Bryan came running out, Scar climbed from the front seat into the back, letting Bryan hop up into the cruiser and listen as the music played. When the song came to an end, he pushed stop on the CD player and asked Mike a question. "What the hell did you leave that damned ‘Wussywall' song on in there?" He said referring to Oasis' song, Wonderwall. "Just thought that I'd torture you a little, that's why." Mike replied. "Man, you suck!" Bryan said, shaking his head and laughing a little. "So, what are we gonna do today?" Bryan asked. "I don't know." Mike replied. "Wanna go and see Priderock?" he said. Scar jumped a little when Mike said this. "Sure, why not? There's nothing else to do." Bryan said. Mike looked back at Scar and saw that he was shaking a little. "Are you all right?" Mike then got a concerned look on his brow." No, forget it. We aren't going anywhere." "No, no, no!" Scar said, "It's all right, I just had a little.. uh.. flashback. I want to go back and see what everything is like. Of course I'm not going to waltz in there or anything like that; I'm going to stick with you guys." "You're sure now?" Mike said. " I don't want to freak you out or something when we get there. I just want to survey the place and get a general idea of what it looks like. I don't plan on doing any ‘extermination' yet. I'll wait for Saddam's shipment to come in before that." "No, really. I'll be alright." Scar said, "But please bring your guns! Those hyenas are fierce in mobs." "Oh ho ho! I never said we weren't going without guns!" Mike replied "I need them for ‘protection' and ‘self-defense' you know." Scar laughed a little moments later, Mike got out of the cruiser. "Come on!" he said. "This will probably be an all day affair and we need to start packing some equipment."
Both Bryan and Scar hopped out of the cruiser and began to follow Mike. Just as they had reached the door, Mike came out with his Tec-9 and the Uzi. He asked Bryan to make some sandwiches and he began preparing them. Mike packed a water jug, some blankets, a tent (just in case), Bryan's shotgun, and the medium sized box full of 9 mm bullets, Uzi and Tec-9 clips, and boxes of 12 gauge shotgun shells. When Bryan had finished making the food, he carried it out to the cruiser. After putting that on and locking up, he started up the cruiser. Bryan took out Nirvana and put in The Offspring: Smash. As ‘Come out and Play' began to play from the random track order, Mike put the cruiser in gear, looked at Scar and said "Which way pal? You're the only one that knows where we're going." Scar looked over in the grassy plain and pointed with his paw, "Over there." Mike moved the cruiser to meet these directions and soon, the little shack was deserted.



CHAPTER XVII




They had left around nine forty five and now, twenty minutes into the trip, had gone twelve miles. Mike had reset the trip odometer and read off random increments whenever he glanced at it. "Twelve point four miles right..... now!" he said, smiling. "How far do you think it is to Priderock?" he said to Scar. Thinking for a moment, he answered. "It's quite far from where we are now. It took me almost four days to get away and to your house. I'm sure it will take no time at all to get there now that we're in the cruiser." he finished. "Damn right! This thing gets you where you want to go and it gets you there fast." Mike said pointing to the speedometer which now read fifty three miles per hour. Nothing lay in the way except grass and hard packed earth so speeding was therefore encouraged.
Upshifting into sixth gear, one that he rarely used, the engine's high pitched whine became a deep hum. Pushing his foot down on the accelerator, the cruiser rose to sixty miles per hour. He kept the vehicle at that speed and navigated his way through the flat, open plains.
While Mike drove, Bryan took a CD out of the nylon CD carrying case and put it in the CD player, hitting play. Mike was over in his seat rocking his head when the Beck album began to play. Bryan could see Mike knew the song Loser by heart; his lips moved in sync with every word. While driving and swinging his head from side to side, he looked up in the air and saw the blue sky begin to change into rainbow-like swirls. "Whoa!" he exclaimed, amazed at the site. Looking up, Scar and Bryan saw too but were indifferent. "Those look like acid swirls." Bryan said, looking at the landscape, watching as the trees bent back and forth seeming to be enveloped in a whirlpool of color. Mike was mesmerized and took his hands off the steering wheel to try and grasp the swirls that brushed over his head. The cruiser drove itself as he did, making Mike think of the movie Christine for a moment. "Nice book, cool car, crazy kid." he said swatting blindly at the air.
As the song came to an end, so did the swirling sky and self-driving car. As the next songs played, similar things happened and only Mike seemed to notice and care. During one song, he had looked back to where Scar sat and saw that the cruiser's back had stretched back at least forty feet farther, making it appear like a stretch limo. Turning around and looking back again, it was back to normal. Shaking his head, he finally took the CD out and put it away. The moment he did, the odd phenomena stopped, seeming to stem from the CD itself.
After driving unguided for a while, Mike would occasionally look back to Scar and ask him if he was headed in the right direction. Scar would say he was while Mike grinned and went faster. Another quick look at the odometer told Mike that he had now traveled fifty miles. Surprised to see that he had gone so far in what seemed like such a short amount of time, he glanced at his watch; it read eleven thirty. "Shit! We've been traveling for an hour already!" he said. "So what?" Bryan said. "Well," Mike began, " it seemed like we left just a minute ago! I guess I just lost track of time listening to that CD. Put another one in and maybe it'll make the time fly again." he said, thinking maybe a new CD would cause more strange things to happen. Digging around in the black, nylon CD carrying case again, Bryan saw ‘Silverchair' first and plucked it out. He fed it into the Bose and it scanned, showing ‘11 <30:39>'. Mike watched as he played around with it so that only songs two and four would play.
As Tomorrow began playing, Mike began to do some light head banging, cruising along at fifty eight miles per hour. Nothing unordinary happened this time. When the song finally came to an end and Pure Massacre began playing, he asked Bryan to get the guns and start getting them ready. Bryan saw the guns and clips in a brown box sitting in the back of the cruiser, got up, moved past Scar, and went to it. "You can go and ride shotgun. I'll be back here getting the guns ready." Bryan said. "Ride shotgun?" Scar asked. Mike, who had overheard the conversation through the song, shouted, "It means when you sit in the passengers seat." pointing to the passengers seat. Scar understood now and went up front and sat down in the seat. As Mike drove on, Tomorrow came back on.
Bryan loaded the shotgun up with eight shells, all buckshot. Leaving the safety on, he set the pump shotgun down on the cruisers carpet and looked at the clips for the two guns, refilling two empty ones. Inventorying everything that was set before him, he counted six, forty round clips for the Uzi; three, thirty round clips for the Tec-9; six boxes each containing fifty rounds of 9mm hollowpoint bullets; and two boxes of shotgun shells. Bryan grinned and sat back as Pure Massacre played.
Looking to the left of the cruiser, he pretended to see imaginary hyenas coming towards the cruiser. He picked up an Uzi, which was empty, and began to play one of his imaginary gun games. He imagined himself shooting off hyenas by the dozen, and soon bored himself. "Man, put in something else. This has been playing for like an hour." he said to Mike. Mike had been talking to Scar and replied to Bryan, "Okay. And it only played for half an hour." He stopped the CD before it changed to the next song and took it out. "Hey Scar. Can you get that case down there?" Mike said pointing to the black CD case on the floor. "Sure." Scar replied, leaning down and grasping the carry strap with his teeth. He held it as Mike drove and put the CD back in it's case. Dropping the CD into one of the little slits, he picked out Coolio. He put it into the CD player and hit play.
A moment before, the cruiser had been silent; the hum of the engine the only sound. Now, gut rumbling bass spewed from the ten speaker Bose. Bryan, who had been a little too close to the box in the back, was surprised at the sudden blast and threw up his arms, falling back. Mike caught it in his rearview mirror and began laughing. Bryan smirked and gave him the finger. Slowing down to about ten miles an hour, he turned the hydraulics on. "Hold on! It's hydraulic time!!" he said as he pushed one of the buttons on the floor. Instantly, the hydraulic motors whined from underneath as the front hopped up in the air a few inches as the back dropped close to the ground. Slowing down even more, the front began literally jumping off of the ground. Suddenly, out of nowhere, what appeared to be a Lincoln Mark III and a Chevrolet Impala pulled up on each side of him. Each car donned gold chromed wheels; small, low profile tires; bright, custom paint jobs; and insides covered with felt and plush. In each car, the person closest to the cruiser looked out and up at him, wearing sunglasses and faces that looked stone cold. Mike waved and smiled, seeming to be what the people staring at him wanted. Instantly, the systems and hydraulics in each car matched to that of the cruisers and the three hopped and boomed in unison. Holding onto the steering wheel, Mike turned up the hydraulic actuators to send the cruiser into a state only comparable to a mechanical bull. Accelerating ahead of the two, he made the cruiser buck like a horse; jumping first off the front end, and then off the back. Looking around, he saw that Bryan and Scar had somehow vanished. Shrugging, he slowed down as the two cars pulled up ahead of him and did the same. Thinking of something else to do, Mike stopped the hydraulics, lowered the front end, and raised the rear. Making the rear hop now, he looked over to each side of him and saw the two cars were still slowly following him. After the cruiser did it's stunts, the two raced up in front of him, each with it's hydraulics fully raised. As they did, the song began to fade, and as it ended, the two cars raced past him, going the way they had come and within seconds, were gone.
Mike turned the hydraulics off and quickly accelerated back up to fifty five. The cars now gone, Scar and Bryan reappeared without him seeing. Still with the idea that songs that brought strange things, he turned the CD player off, scared that something bad might happen if he listened to anything else. Taking a quick look at his watch and the odometer, he read twelve o'nine off his watch and eighty two miles from the trip odometer. "Are you sure that we're going the right way?" Mike said, looking at Scar. "It's not that I doubt you, it's just I don't believe you could have run this far in a few days." "Believe me," Scar began. "I ran this far. When you run for your life, you run. I walked only when my feet were too numb to feel anything." "Geez. I'm sorry." Mike said, seeing his happy hydraulic competition was over.
"I didn't know you ran all the way literally. I thought you just meant that you ran out of there." he said, the seriousness having returned. "No. I ran. I ran for a couple of hours that night." Mike pictured in his mind the hyenas chasing after Scar. He saw a horrified look on his face as he ran for his life. Mike, who had had a look of sorrow on his face a minute ago, now looked as if he would kill anyone who touched him. Scar saw the sudden change and decided not to say anything. Without a word, he floored the cruiser, taking his anger out in the form of speed. The speedometer needle pointed to eighty seven as Mike kept it there for ten minutes. The ground he was driving on was as flat as a pancake so he didn't worry about flipping over. He watched as the odometer raced by quickly, making the white wheel for tenths of a mile, turn like a waterwheel; eighty three seven, eighty three eight, eighty three nine, eighty four he counted off in his head. He raced down the terrain and when he finally slowed, off around five miles in the distance, he could see what was Priderock. Stopping the cruiser and looking Scar in the eyes, he said "Is that Priderock over there?" Scar looked and replied. "Yes, I'm sure it is." "That's all I needed to know." he said, and with that, he asked Bryan to give him the Uzi and the clips. He did so and Mike put in one of the clips and placed the remaining on the passengers floor. "Alright, I have a little plan." he said "Okay, this is what We're gonna do......"
At two thirty, after all of the three had eaten their lunches from the big, blue Igloo cooler and drank lots of water, Mike went over the final plan again. They had spent the day sneaking around Priderock: Mike in front with his Uzi and several clips on his belt, Scar trailing a little behind pointing out landmarks and secret entrances, and Bryan in the rear, with the shotgun. Mike saw Simba and the lionesses sunning on Priderock and had almost fired a shot towards them. It was lucky that he hadn't chambered a round or the whole plan would have been ruined. It had been a good twenty mile hike all the way around the area, and the detour they had to take to get around the gorge accounted for about a mile or two. After the group had gone around the gorge, they were passing the elephant graveyard when Mike heard what he was looking for. The sound of some hyenas laughing and talking could be heard emanating from it. Mike was excited now and was also a little trigger happy. Scar whispered to him that they had better hurry up and go along with the plan before things started to go wrong. At this, Mike rounded up the group and they marched back to the cruiser.
He had driven the cruiser up to about a mile of Priderock, and now, they could all see it clearly. Scar bolted over to it and sat beside it in a matter of seconds, waiting. He didn't get in, because Mike had warned him that he was going to put the shocker on, and turn the siren off. A few minutes later, Mike and Bryan reached the cruiser and as Mike reached in and turned off the shocker, they all climbed into the cab. "Okay, we'll put in Nirvana, turn up the volume as loud as it will go, and get the hyenas, or whoever to chase us." After these plans were finalized and Bryan sat facing the rear of the cruiser with the Tec-9 and the shotgun, Mike turned on the cruiser and drove over towards the elephant graveyard. Now within a quarter of a mile outside of it, Mike took the Mike for the CB radio, flipped the selector switch to ‘PA' and began speaking. "You chickenshit, dumb-ass, idiots couldn't catch a cruiser even if you tried!! Come on you bungholes!!! Come and get it!!!!" Mike yelled into the microphone.
Shenzi, and all the others had heard this and were angered by what had just been said. "Come on. Let's take this bigmouth, and whatever ‘cruiser' he's talking about." she said angrily. The hyenas formed a quick group and began pacing off towards the hill that separated the graveyard from the plains beyond. A quarter of a mile from the hill sat the cruiser with it's passengers sitting in it. As soon as the first hyenas crested the hill, Mike started up the cruiser, revved the engine, and flew forward. He went about forty MPH and drove slow intentionally, looking over his shoulder and seeing the hyenas gaining. When they were about three hundred feet behind the cruiser, Mike hit the play button on the CD player. Instantly, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit' started. Mike threw up his arm and shouted, "You are dead!!!!" Bryan popped up from under a blanket in the back seconds after the song started. He opened fire with the Tec-9 first. Now about two miles away from the graveyard, the hyenas were trapped. Bryan hit and killed four hyenas instantly. He drained the clip on the others as they turned around and began running back. Mike quickly turned the cruiser around and accelerated to catch up with them.
Now, behind the running pack, Bryan changed places with Scar and got up in the passengers seat. He stood up and began firing as Mike also stood, still driving, and drained the Uzi on the pack. A dozen or so bodies fell to the ground and gripping the steering wheel harder, the cruiser jumped as it ran over two bumps. Mike and Bryan changed clips going over the bodies, but still, forty or so hyenas were running, or limping, ahead of them. Accelerating a little, the engine spewed out a course sound and pulled the two within fifty feet of them now. Both drained their clips again, bringing down quite a few more hyenas. Around thirty was Mike's estimate. Still, there were a few hyenas in front of them. Mike changed clips as Bryan went to the back and got the shotgun.
Scar was under the blanket doing the best he could to cover his ears. He didn't really like the sound of guns, especially these guns. Bryan took the gun and a box of shells and sat in the back. Mike raced past the hyenas and herded them back from where they had just run from. Now, he just chased them out further and drove up beside them. They were running fifty feet from the drivers side when they started to close in. Bryan took the safety off of the shotgun, pumped it, and fired. The buckshot ripped through three of the remaining twenty hyenas and killed them instantly. Mike aimed his Uzi at them and fired short controlled bursts. He dropped maybe five more until the ammo ran out. Bryan had gotten nine more and the rest were so badly wounded, Mike didn't want to waste his time on them. Deciding better of it, he stopped the cruiser, put in another clip and chased the limping hyenas on foot. He shot them down and they were dead. Getting back up into the cruiser, he stood looking at the carnage that lay before him on the plain. "Justice has been served!" he screamed at the top of his lungs. All of the hyenas were now dead. The three guns that they had used worked perfectly and through it all, it had been a very good day. It was about four ten now and they all wanted to go home. Save Simba for when Saddam brought in the weapons. They were low on ammo now but in a month, they'd have enough to take over a small country. "Let's go home." Mike said. Bryan sat up front, and Scar finally came out from under the blanket to see what had been done. He surveyed the scene, saw the blood and guts everywhere, and quickly turned his head to face the front of the cruiser. Mike took a final look behind him and saw the bodies again. This time, they made him a little queasy so he too turned his head. As they headed towards home, the sun was almost ready to set, and the cruiser threw a long shadow behind it as it disappeared into the red horizon.



CHAPTER XVIII



Mike awoke at twelve thirty to see Bryan standing over him. "AHH!" he yelled, sitting up in bed. "JEEZ man! You've been asleep forever!" Bryan said standing back. Scar wasn't in the room so Mike assumed that he was outside. "Man! I had the weirdest dream dude!" Mike said, still confused and mixing his dream with reality. " I bet you did. You've been asleep for like fourteen hours!" Bryan answered. Mike got up and told Bryan to get out so he could change cloths. Bryan went out and closed the door behind him. Opening the top drawer of his dresser, he got out clean socks, and boxers, threw them onto the bed and stopped short for a moment. "Deja vu man, big time." he muttered to himself as he remembered doing so in his dream.
He continued through the drawers until he had found his wardrobe for the day: some bluejean cut-offs, and a white T-shirt that had ‘Winston Racing Team' printed on the front of it. He had swiped the shirt from his uncle who had smoked and had tons of them. Taking off his nightclothes, he changed into the clean clothes, kicking his old clothes off into a corner. After doing so, he opened his bedroom door to see Bryan sitting down watching TV while Scar was on the floor in front of him napping. "Man! That dream I had seemed so damn real!" Bryan, who took his eyes momentarily off of Kurt Loder babbling on about something, looked at Mike and asked what it was about. "We like went to Priderock and killed all the hyenas, but along the way, we played CD's and all this weird stuff happened." "What was so weird about it?" Bryan asked, turning the TV off. "Well, it was just weird. I mean, I can remember almost every second like it actually had happened. I remember that I got up, started to throw sock grenades at Scar, and then I made pancakes." Bryan raised a brow, looking confused about the sock thing. "Wait. I'll show you." Mike said getting up and retrieving a pair of his sock ‘grenades' from his room. He threw it and Bryan and nodded, showing he understood.
"Well then we packed the cruiser and headed towards Priderock. I asked Scar how to get there and he told me." Scar, hearing his name being said, woke up from his catnap, sat up and began listening. "After that, everything got all messed up. I played these CD's and it seemed like an acid trip or something happened when I did. All these swirls of color that seemed something like the aroura borealis came from the sky. Then, these dudes in these really tricked up cars pulled up beside us and it was like some sort of hydraulic competition. I forgot what happened after that, but way after that, we walked around Priderock for a while, went back to the cruiser, and then I got on the PA and started yelling stuff at the hyenas. They all chased after us when I drove off and you popped out from under a blanket and started shooting. You shot a few and then I turned around and shot a dozen or so of them with my Uzi. It was a weird damned dream I tell you!"
"It doesn't sound that weird to me." Bryan said. Mike thought for a moment and then said, just to be humorous, "Oh yeah! Simba was there and he was yelling about you or something." Hearing this instantly caught Bryan's interest. Mike saw his mood change from bored to intrigued in less than two seconds. "What was he saying?" Bryan asked in an attempt to suppress his mood of curiosity. "Nothing man." Mike said. "He was just yelling at you. That's all." He didn't know why, but he could sense a strange feeling coming from Bryan.
"Dude. Are you happy that I said Simba was in my dream?." Mike said. After a brief pause, Mike asked, "What, did he say something to you in your dreams?" Bryan sat still for a moment and then asked if both Mike and Scar would leave the room for a moment. They agreed and went outside and shut the door. "What was that all about?" Scar asked. Mike thought a moment and then answered. "Don't look at me. I'm just as lost as you. It might sound a little strange, but I can tell that he got interested all of a sudden when I mentioned Simba." "Why do you think that?" Scar asked, a little appalled. "Well, he wasn't even looking at me that much when I was mumbling about my dream, but when I said ‘Simba', he whipped his head around and looked at me. Weird." As soon as Mike had finished saying this, Bryan opened the front door and let them in. He went over and sat on the couch and was soon joined by Mike and Scar.
Mike didn't say a word for a few minutes, and when he was almost ready to, Bryan began talking. "I only want to say this once so listen close. You want to know what happened to me a few days ago? I had an awful dream that Simba killed Scar." When Mike and Scar had left the room, he had taken Rafiki's advice and thought up a story to get close to each of them. It was the perfect trap. "It was so messed up, I can only remember that, and this. He said this to you Mike, after he had killed Scar: ‘I did it to hurt you in a way you'd never been hurt before; right in your heart. You don't deserve to live after you helped him'." Bryan was almost on the verge of falling apart, induced of course. He was a very good faker.
He acted very upset, enough to convince Mike and Scar that he really was crying. "He is DEAD!" Mike bellowed, making both Scar and Bryan jump. "Are you telling me that that freaking Simba is going to somehow slip past me and get at Scar? Do you think it will happen?" Bryan nodded and then broke into sobs which were followed by torrential downpours of tears. Bryan sat on the couch and cried silently while Mike mouthed vulgar words and couldn't believe what he had just heard. He looked at Scar, who was on the other side of the couch, and gestured to the shocked lion to comfort Bryan. Scar put his right paw on Bryan's back and asked him in a comforting voice if he was alright. Bryan seemed to relax a bit by this and started saying something. Mike who was still angry by what Bryan had said, got up and walked outside. Simba was going to get Scar? He couldn't believe this was true. He knew that the dreams they were all having now were coming true, and if that was really happening, why did it happen to Bryan? If it was going to happen to anyone, it should have happened to him, not Bryan. He was thoroughly ticked off and at that very second swore to himself that if anyone, even if his own mother, were to ever hit, strike, shoot, claw, or even touch Scar, he'd shoot them on the spot. He didn't care if Scar didn't mind it, but if it was against his will, there would be hell to pay. All of the dreams coming true stuff finally boggled Mike's mind so he walked over to the cruiser and after turning the shocker off, got in it. He put in his key and turned it to accessory as he looked through the CD carrying case. Plucking out The Spin Doctors album, Pocket Full of Kryptonite, he turned on the CD player and put it in.
The disk was scanned then began to play. Mike pushed stop, and then the programmed it for random play. The first song that came on was "Two Princes". Mike listened as the song played and thought to himself as he did so. He thought about his entire life; his childhood, his friends, his brother, his mom, everything up until he had found Scar. Before he had found him, both he and Bryan just lived each day as it came. They didn't worry or care about anything back then, except money, girls, and TV. Those were all the normal things to like, but it was unbalanced. They worked only three or four days a week and sometimes would skip a week. Mike had tried to make a sign stating when he'd be open, but the irregular hours had made him trash it. Life back then was pretty much carefree and boring. Mike really got into the weed then because he wanted to forget his life and be happy. Meeting Scar had changed that all around. He was like another person to Mike now, but not just any person: Mike respected Scar. He would fight Simba bare handed if it came to showing that. He was no fool, even if fighting a lion bare handed is quite foolish. He knew where to hit, and when to block. Scar had brought out qualities in him that he never knew he had. Mike had a brother, in a way, that acted like a brother should.
Mike protected Scar, unlike his real brother who had beaten him countless times and tried to kill him once. That's what toughened him up fast. He lived in his home and was threatened constantly by knowing that at any second, his brother or father might come in in a drunken rage and beat him senseless. He learned though.
A while after his brother had left, a couple of years, Mike started a gang in his middle school. He led it and five or six other people stood behind him. They were very loyal to each other, stepping out of each others way to help. One time, someone had made a crack at one of the gang members and Mike said, ‘If I were you, I'd either apologize to him, or run and always keep running for the rest of your life.' The kid apologized and said he was just joking. Mike said to let the guy go, so they did. The gang was mainly for friends, not for fights, but once there was a clash between another gang. Mike and his gang were out playing a short game of basketball after school once when a group of black guys came to play too. The black guys insisted that they were on their court which prompted Mike to reply that he didn't see their names carved anywhere. Saying that, he got rushed. He reacted quickly because he was expecting it. He had ducked down and pushing with his legs, hit the dude rushing at him right in the stomach with his shoulder. The dude fell down and stayed down. Then the other black guys jumped in. Mike's gang fought excellently, not backing down at all. The black gang didn't know that Mike had taught them the basics of self-defense. Even in middle school, he had read up on how to make bombs and how to kill people with his bare hands. Libraries were such wonderful places to visit. He hadn't taught anyone how to actually kill, just how to hurt really bad. Killing people over something as stupid as being on a basketball court was ludicrous to him. The black gang finally retreated and never came to the court again. They were scared was Mike's guess.
The song in the Bose had only been playing for fifteen seconds or so when his thoughts drifted back to Scar. Even though Scar was a lion and Mike was a human, that didn't stop anything; on the contrary, it helped things a great deal. Sitting back in his seat, he sighed, wishing he had had Scar for his brother when he was younger. Scar had had it real rough, and on top of that, he had absolutely no one there for him when he was hurting. Mike shook his head, knowing that that was probably what had ultimately made Scar into what he had been. Shaking his head sorrowfully, he knew that it had come to and end though. No one was going to beat anyone anymore and if Scar ever needed someone, he would have someone.
The only brother Mike had beat him up, so when he whacked him over the head with a beer bottle one day, was that bad? No, not if the brother was trying to kill you. That was called standing up for yourself. Remembering when some guy slapped his girlfriend in the face back in high school, what was he supposed to do, stand there and let it go? No. When Mike saw that and she fell to the floor, he flew from his open locker, dropping his Chemistry book letting countless homework assignments fly across the polished tile floor, and jumped the guy. This was all before the drug charges he got into. The guy was stunned as Mike threw him on the floor and beat him down. He remembered it easily, because people who saw the fight said that the whole thing looked like the scene in Forrest Gump when Forrest and Jenny are at the Black Panthers meeting and that guy slaps Jenny. People said it looked exactly like that. Luckily for the guy though, a principal was roaming the halls and heard the commotion. He ran over to see what was going on and saw Mike standing over the defeated girl slapper. Mike went peacefully with the principal and told him exactly what happened. The principal was appreciative of Mike's honesty and only assigned him to a few days of in-school suspension. He quite possibly could have been expelled, but he was a good student with a reputable past, all the teacher liked him, and he got good grades. The other guy, the one Mike had beat up, had had a history of problems: bad grades, poor attendance, and on top of that, he always slapped girls the way he had. That day though, he had picked the wrong girl to slap. Mike and his girlfriend were pretty close up until the weed incident. Around that time, she had to move to Ohio because of her dad's business. Mike was grief-stricken when she left, and with the weed thing too, he lapsed into a deep depression. He was snapped out of this dreamy state by the sudden silence around him. The song he had been listening to was over, so he pressed power and turned off the cruiser. He sat in his seat for awhile, looking off into the distance, and then finally got out of the cruiser, slowly walking back to the shack.
He stood in the front doors frame and peered inside to see what was going on. Bryan was sitting up now, having had stopped crying while Scar was sitting beside him. When Mike returned, seeing him, he told Bryan he'd be back and walked over to Mike. "Let's go outside for a minute." Scar said. Mike turned around, going back outside and Scar followed. "What's the deal?" Mike asked, sitting down on the dirt ground. "Bryan is really out to get Simba." Scar said. "He was in there crying and saying how he was going to kill him. He said that he was going shoot him in the knees and then pour boiling water on his face. He said some other stuff that I can't really remember, it was pretty graphic though." "I'm a little confused at what it was exactly Simba said to him." Mike said. "He said that Simba killed you. I think that's what he might have dreamed about, in fact I'm sure. I've never really seen him cry like that before. It was like he just hit a switch and he began babbling out and crying. God only knows if I had had that dream, I'd have woken up screaming." A moment of silence passed between the two and was finally broken by Scar. "Are you sure that you wouldn't have come over here if the weed thing had never popped up?" pondering over the question for a moment, he replied. "I guess we would have come over here even if we hadn't got caught. We both were sick of the U.S. and wanted to go somewhere where we didn't have to worry much about anything." He stopped for a moment and then started again. "Maybe we were destined to come here and do something, like save you, one, to avenge you, two, and to live our lives in happiness instead of in misery, three. Maybe Simba somehow knew this, tried and succeeding in making Bryan feel some kind of grief, thinking that it might make him ‘see the light' or something. Bryan's not like that though. I know him. Nothing could change him, not even Simba. That is unless he said something to him that was so messed up he believed it. I want to kill everything over in Priderock now. Scorch earth is what I'd like. I want to wait though, before we go I mean, because I want to know what kind of fire power we're going to get from Saddam. I doubt we could take on everything with just the guns we have now." As Mike finished, Bryan slowly came out of the house and walked slowly over to where Scar and Mike were sitting.
Both were silent and curious as Bryan walked the ten or so feet to where they sat. After reaching the two, he sat down beside Mike. "You all right man?" Mike said. "Yeah." Bryan answered in an emotionless voice. "Don't worry man, you got dibs on Simba." Mike said, trying to further comfort Bryan. "Hey! I'll even rig something up, kinda like a taser so you can torture him or something!" Bryan smiled, sick to his stomach at the sight, but was relieved to see his clever guise had convinced Mike that he liked Scar. "That would be cool." Bryan said, doing well to hide his disgust with the two. "I wish I could have a real one though; that would be the best." Mike, seeing that he was raising Bryan's spirit, or so he though, said, "Hey, you wanna go to the lunchcounter and get something to eat? I think that little grocery store near it has some Cokes on sale real cheap. Wanna go?" "Yeah!" Bryan said with real enthusiasm. "Let's get like a billion Cokes this time though. Those last ones lasted like a week and then they were gone." "I know bunghole," Mike said, "If you hadn't of drank like ten a day they would have lasted longer." Bryan was a little happier. As long as he got free food and a place to sleep out of Mike, he wasn't complaining. He might as well ride him for everything he was worth. He liked to go out and eat, he liked to go shopping, he especially liked going to the magazine rack and looking at the ‘adult' magazines. And as long as the tab was picked up by Mike, he didn't care what he bought.
Scar had sat pretty much still and silent during the whole conversation. Looking from Mike to Bryan as they talked to each other, he could see the change that Bryan had gone through in such a small amount of time and was happy that he felt better. He actually liked him now. He had had his doubts about him, but the stuff he went through a few minutes ago had pushed them aside. It would turn out to be another of the biggest mistakes in his whole life.
After a few minutes of getting ready, the three locked up and began to go into town. They all walked slowly to the cruiser and when they got in, Mike put in the Nirvana CD and hit random. As he started off, Lithium began to play, and turning the cruiser around, headed off towards the road. "I'm so happy cause, today I found my friends," the song proclaimed as Mike got on the small beaten down grass driveway. "It couldn't be more true." Scar muttered silently to himself.



CHAPTER XIX



It took Mike the usual ten to fifteen minutes to get into town, the trip being silent except for the CD player. Once Mike had gotten into the small town, he passed by his garage, which was on the outskirts of the town, and drove slowly on the packed, red clay road. The store where he was going to buy food and other things was about a quarter of a mile from the garage and when he finally got to the small, family owned store, he and Bryan got out while Scar stayed in the cruiser. Mike had told him that most people freak out when they see a lion, but eventually, once they knew him and got used to the sight, they wouldn't care. That's the way the old man's, who had a shop near Mike's garage, leopard was treated like at first, but soon, no one cared where it went. Mike just hoped that Scar could keep quiet and not scare anyone away. If he spoke to someone, the person might go insane.
Opening the rickety screen door that looked as if it was in dire need of a paint job, Mike stepped into the small, house size store, ringing a small bell above the door when he did so. Looking to his left, he saw that behind the cash register was empty, but within seconds, a clerk appeared from the back and manned it. "Hello." the black man said to Mike. Mike replied with a quick, "Hello." and began looking for some things that he felt he needed. He knew the store's layout and went to the back, where most of the bakery foods were.
The shelves that held the food were waist high and contained many variations of food. In rows of six, lining the entire length of the store, there was plenty to choose and buy. Midway through an aisle going to the back of the store, Mike turned around when the little bell rang again and Bryan came in. He had stayed behind and talked to Scar for a second and walked to where Mike was, asking him what to do. "Go get what food you want, man. I haven't got any limit on what I'm spending." Bryan, hearing this, ran to the front of the store, snatched a shopping cart, and raced down one of the aisles, putting Ho-Ho's, cookies, Twinkies, and other treats in it. Mike thought better of getting junkfood and went to get a cart himself. He usually got all of the healthy things while Bryan got all the munchies.
Going back to where he had been, he put two loaves of soft white bread in the cart and began browsing through the aisles, looking for easy to fix meals. A few boxes of spaghetti and macaroni looked good so two packages of each found their way into the cart. A bag of nachos, a jug of milk, and various other food items made there way to his cart and by the time he had finished, the small shopping cart was overflowing with food. Heading towards the cashier, he yelled for Bryan to hurry up. "Come on man, I'm ready to check-out." he said. Bryan, who had been at the magazine rack, put a few magazines in his already overflowing cart and headed to the register. He had filled the cart with cases of Coke and had another one he went back to get. As he retrieved it, the cashier began checking Mike out, using an archaic cash register to do so. Typing in prices for five minutes or so, he finally had gotten all of the items. The total came to roughly one hundred thirty four dollars, which Mike gladly paid. After loading the cruiser with the food, they both hopped up in.
Scar, who had seen them both packing the food, said after they both had gotten in, "What's all of this? Are we feeding an army?" grinning and motioning at the huge amount of food in the back. "No, we just like to buy a lot of food all at once because it usually will last us a couple of weeks." Mike said. With that, he started up the cruiser and began going back down the road. Once he had reached near where his garage was, he turned in where the lunchcounter was. As he crept closer to the freestanding building, he stopped the engine and asked what everyone wanted.
Bryan wanted a hamburger, fries, and a large Coke, while Scar sat, unsure. "Hold on." Mike said getting ready to walk off. "I'll get you something I know you'll like.", and saying that, went up to the counter. After giving the lady his order, he came back a few minutes later with three bags in his left hand, and three drinks in a small cardboard carrier in his right. Upon reaching the cruiser, he gave one of the bags to Bryan, handed him his Coke, and put his stuff on the floor in front of his seat. After hopping up into the cab, he still had the remaining bag in his hand and turned around in his seat, waving the bag at Scar. "Bet you can't guess what's in here?" Mike said, teasing him.
Scar sniffed the bag and could tell it was meat of some kind. He said this to Mike as Mike slowly took a large package wrapped in white plastic from the bag. "It's meat, but not just any meat," he said, slowly unraveling the slab of meat, "it's filet mignon!" Scar didn't know what 'filet mignon' was, but when he began to eat it, he would never forget. As Mike handed the meat to him, he grasped it between his jaws as Mike watched him begin to eat it. The slab of meat was gone in under a minute. "That was delicious!" Scar said, remembering having tasted something similar only once before. "It should be; it's the tenderest, and most expensive, meat that you can buy. Liked it, huh?" Mike said happily. "You bet I did!" Scar answered. "Thank you." "You are more than welcome." Mike replied. "I know it was only like a snack, but we'll go hunting tonight, okay?" "Sure."
Turning around and getting the third drink, which was ice water, Mike took off the top and set it down in the back for Scar. He then took out his hot-dog with sauerkraut, mustard, and ketchup on it, and began eating. Bryan was halfway done eating his hamburger as Mike took his first bite. He quickly ate the hot-dog and took a big sip from his Coke, reached into the bag again, and took out a big cardboard container of french fries. After taking little packets of salt and sprinkling them over the fries, he began eating them and occasionally handed some to Scar. Eventually, he became full and sick of the fries so put the tub in back for Scar to finish off. He began eating them as Mike started up the cruiser and put it in gear. He slowly turned around as he reached down and got his drink, setting it between his legs, turned left on the clay road and began on the trip home.
The trip home took them no time at all. After Mike had gotten out on the main road, he quickly accelerated to fifty five and traveled that speed the whole ride home. There was little conversation between the three, but each thought to himself. Mike thought about what he hoped Saddam had. He knew that there at least had to be an assault rifle, maybe an M-16, or something. He was anxious and ready to go to Priderock, but wasn't going to rely solely on the guns. He knew quite a bit about how to make MacGyver bombs, or in layman's terms, the kind of bombs made out of dish detergent, and bleach. Once, he had made a pipe bomb by wrapping nails around the pipe, putting a five minute fuse on it, set it in a junkyard, lit it, and ran. It was on a Sunday, and naturally the place was closed. He had set it on the hood of a junked Audi, and when he came back to take a quick look after it had exploded, there was practically no front end left on the car. The engine block had big chunks of shrapnel embedded in it and several surrounding cars looked as if they had been shot with buckshot. Mike then left the lot and went back to his home to look for other bombs to make. He had found a recipe to make the now infamous, ‘Oklahoma City bomb' and set out making one of those.
The results of his fruitless labors was well worth it. He had taken four, fifty pound bags of fertilizer, some diesel fuel, and a few other chemicals and mixed it all up in a cement box. After refining the mixture for several days, he got one of his friends to haul the heavy box way out into the country with his truck, where he detonated it. He had put it in the middle of a field, ran around three thousand feet or so of wire to it and the detonator, hid in a depression and ignited it. An earth rumbling explosion occurred milliseconds later. Mike had been covering his ears, but he could still hear the blast, almost half a mile away, and when he and his friend went over to the place where the bomb had been, there was nothing left but an eight foot deep crater fourteen feet in diameter. Mike and his friend then ran back to the truck, which was parked safely almost a mile away. They both had feared that someone might report the blast to the police, so they ran very fast. He had made tons of bombs, both for him and for friends, and luckily, had never gotten in any trouble making them. He kept thinking over in his mind what he should use to ‘punish' those at Priderock. A few ideas came to mind, but soon, his thoughts drifted elsewhere, because he had turned on the CD player.
Bryan didn't think deep much, but lately, he had been thinking about a lot of things. Rafiki was what was mainly on his mind, but his thoughts also drifted to other things. He remembered the first time he had met Mike. He liked Mike the first time he met him, almost ten years ago. He was kind of like a brother to him then because they went everywhere together, and did just about everything together. Mike had gotten him his first date, and when they double-dated and went to a refurbished drive-in theater, he emerged from the back seat of Mike's Mustang a non-virgin. He still wished that it could still be like that, but knew it was far too late to change what he had ultimately messed up. He too hated all forms of government though. It was probably that common bond that kept their friendship from completely ending. He and Mike had hung around a gang that was full of anarchists before fleeing the U.S. Their ‘religion and beliefs' had rubbed off bigtime on Mike and it had gotten to the point that whenever he saw a cop, if he wasn't held back by anyone, he would have ended up assaulting the officer.
Mike's experience with cops had not been too hot, and with all the crap that had been done to him, it was no wonder that he hated them. Cops enforced the law, but the law was corrupt. Why was it corrupt? Because greedy politicians saw an opportunity to ruin lives and make money doing it. They didn't care about the lives though; all they cared about was the latter of the two. Money. They were just as guilty of theft and robbery as a the guy who held up a 7-11. Mike had formed that view and didn't care for any kind of politician. Bryan knew that without even asking. Mike had once tried to mail a mail bomb, like the ones the uni-bomber had sent, to a senator who had argued and argued to have a wildlife reserve leveled to make room for a new government building. Unfortunately, the bomb was detected before it was opened and didn't go off. There was a big thing about it on Primetime Live, but of course, everyone pinned it on the uni-bomber. Barbara Walters had said something like "Fortunately, the explosive device was detected before it was opened." Mike had been watching and yelled, "Yeah right! If they knew how much money that thief stole from the government, he'd be getting a hundred bombs a day!" Pretty soon, Bryan shared Mike's views and he too became a so called ‘anarchist'. The philosophy that Mike followed was simple, and should be what the law everywhere is. It was simple enough: You don't bother me and mind your own business and I'll do the same. Of course, it was just a view never to be voiced or activated. Why? Because it wouldn't have made them any money, which is the root of all evil.
Scar had kept to himself on the trip home. He laid down silently in the back as his mind wandered through the silence. The only real sound that was audible was the sound of the engine and the loose gravel being thrown up by the cruiser's tires. He had no idea what was going to happen in the upcoming weeks. The only talk there had been was of going to Priderock and killing. From there, things such as details were a bit vague. He didn't want to kill anything anymore because he had found a conscience in the past few days and had been listening to it. The opportunity to get those who had hurt him so badly was so close, he didn't dare say anything, but he had already put the pride through enough pain already. The hyenas were just what he was angry at now. He knew that killing blatantly without getting anything from it was bad and if anything was going to be killed, it would ultimately be him who was responsible for it.
He never knew how angry and how personal Mike would have taken his story, and if he had known, he might have left some of it out. He and Mike were almost like carbon copies of each other; the only significant difference was that Mike was human and he was a lion. Mike treated him as a brother and as a friend, something that had never been privileged enough to have happen to him in his old life. If he had had the choice of having Mike or Mufasa for a brother, he would have chosen Mike paws down. It wasn't that he didn't love Mufasa though. He at one time had loved Mufasa. (The same way a person might love their spouse, but years later, hate each other and end up getting divorced. Time changed things and people.) Things had changed so fast that Scar didn't know what was going on. Mufasa soon changed from his carefree, happy brother to a cocky, conceited, power mongering king; taker of lionesses extrordanaire. He could understand that it must have been fun becoming king, but to be insulted as to have his older brother become king before him? That he could not understand. He hated the cockiness that, then, arose out of Mufasa. The king could do anything he wanted to and get away with it. He had learned this fact out too late and gotten his name and his trademark from his mistake.
Still, the power Mufasa had intrigued him and he soon wanted to have a taste of it. That had been his biggest mistake, and he had finally realized that. All he had to do was run away, but he couldn't. It was as if he owed payback to everyone who had ignored and belittled him. He thought of what Mike had said earlier about the ‘U.S. government' screwing him of his life. Mufasa had pretty much been the government in his life, and his killing Mufasa was long overdue payback. He understood completely what Mike had gone through, but his problems had been far bigger than his own. If Mike had fought, he would have fought countless numbers of FBI agents, police officers, and various other law enforcement personnel so he ran away. That is what Scar should have done, but he couldn't get the idea of being king out of his mind. As Mike had said a few nights ago during a conversation, "There's no turning back now. I will do whatever is in my power to make sure nothing survives from Priderock. I'll even buy a damned Apache helicopter if it comes down to that! I have no remorse whatsoever for anything that lives there." Scar remembered this and shivered as he thought about it. He didn't ever want to be on Mike's bad list, and never would. From what he had said about his dream, he was sure glad he was on his good side. Scar figured that Mike was the persistent kind of person who never forgot a thing, like himself. He was right. Just another thing they both held in common. A bad thought of Mike never came into his mind. Why should one have? Here was a person that respected him more than anything in the world, a person whom he could relate to, and most importantly, a person that loved him. "No." he said, his mind creeping and thinking in the gutter. His days of treachery, hatred, and disloyalty were over.
Just then, as if by some strange force, the Nirvana song ‘Lithium' came on again. Scar knew the words of the first few phrases by heart now, and as a smiled creased his face, he began silently mumbling them to himself. "I'm so happy, cause today I found my friends......"


CHAPTER XX


Mike turned the cruisers ignition off and took out the key. Hopping down out of the cab, he began walking towards the house and was shortly followed by Scar and Bryan. Putting his housekey into the lock, he opened the door, and stepped inside, leaving the door open behind him. The day was still bright as he walked over to the sink and poured himself a glass of water. He had drank all of his Coke from lunch, but was still thirsty. While drinking the large glass of water, Scar came over to where Mike was and licked up a few drops that had fallen from the outside of the glass. "Want some?" Mike asked, looking at him lick the drops up off of the floor. "Yes please." Scar replied, raising his head as Mike fetched the water bowl and began filling it with water. "I'm gonna go and start bringing in the groceries." Bryan said, standing in the doorway watching, getting ready to walk out of the house again. "No, hold on a minute." Mike said setting the water bowl down for Scar. Mike tossed the keys to the cruiser to Bryan and told him to back it over to the door. An instant glow of excitement beamed from Bryan's then expressionless face.
Mike never let Bryan drive the cruiser. He was always afraid that he'd smash it into a tree or something. Bryan knew how to run it, but he hadn't ever asked to drive it, except once. Mike had instantly said "No." and the question was left at that. Bolting outside to the cruiser, he hopped in, started it up, and began to rev the engine. Mike walked over and watched from the doorway as Bryan began to start moving the cruiser. He began to showoff a little, driving in circles out on the plain. Mike watched as he threw up dust and laughed. Soon, he was joined by Scar, who went outside and sat in front of the door. "I was beginning to think that only you drove." he said watching Bryan have fun. "Well, I think I laid that Simba shit on him and I didn't really mean to. Besides, he's gotta learn to feel comfortable driving that thing. We're gonna do a lot of camping when all this blows over." Mike said this as they both watched Bryan enjoy himself. Finally, after a few minutes of watching, Mike motioned for him to come over so that the groceries could be unloaded.
Bryan pulled up in front of the house, stopped the engine and walked to the back of the cruiser. Mike stood down on the ground as Bryan passed down bag after bag of the groceries. Ten minutes later, the cruiser was unpacked, and the refrigerator and cupboards were once again full of food. Mike told Bryan to leave the cruiser where it was for now, because they were going out soon to hunt for something for Scar to eat. Mike turned to him and asked how hungry he was, and Scar replied that he could wait. With that, all three of them sat down on the sofa and turned on the TV.
Not much was really on, so they watched music videos for a half hour. Nothing much ever was on around three thirty anyway, except music videos. After watching Coolio, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Offspring, Nine Inch Nails, and countless other bands videos, Mike got up and asked Scar and Bryan if they were ready to go. They said yes to show that they were and they got up. Mike went and got the Uzi and the Tec-9. He rarely went anywhere without the guns now on account of not knowing if and when the hyenas might attack. He didn't want to take any chances so he grabbed all of the clips and brought them with him to the cruiser. After locking up, he got in the drivers seat and, for a change, Bryan sat in the back with the guns while Scar sat up front beside Mike. Before starting the cruiser, he said to Bryan, who was looking the Uzi over, "You can drive on the way home, okay?" Bryan nodded. "If you see any hyenas, tell me then start shooting; use the Uzi if you want to." "Cool." Bryan said and began to pretend to pop of imaginary hyenas. Mike started up the cruiser, put it in gear, and moved off towards the plain, which, if the driveway continued, would lead straight out into the plains.
Traveling through a small grove of trees, they came out on the other side, now, on the open plains. Gradually accelerating, Mike veered a little to the left. The silence that had befallen on them earlier in the returned and about a mile into the food hunt, it was broken by Mike. "Hey Scar. Do you know how fast you can run?" he asked after the question had popped into his head. "No, but I can run pretty fast. That's all I know." Mike began slowing to a stop as Bryan looked up from the back and asked what was going on. "Hold on, you'll see." Mike said. "Okay, I wanna see how fast you can run, just to know." Mike said directing Scar to get out and run. "I'll pace beside you and clock you, but don't try to jump into the cab. The brakes aren't the best in the world on this thing." Scar agreed to be clocked and got out. Mike slowly began rolling ahead as Scar began keeping up with him. Motioning with his hand for him to run at full speed, he did and quickly flew ahead.
The cruiser had been going about fifteen miles per hour before Scar bolted off, but after he ran, Mike had to go almost seventy in order to catch up with him. Scar was still running at full speed as Mike pulled up beside him, slowed down, and looked at his speedometer, which read around forty eight miles per hour. Starting to slow down the cruiser, Scar slowed his pace and then stopped completely. When the cruiser had come to a complete stop, he walked over and jumped up into the passengers seat again, this time, panting. "How fast?" he asked. "Around forty eight. That's pretty damn fast too." Bryan looked from the back up front and said, "He ran forty eight miles per hour?" "Sure did." Mike answered. Bryan looked at Scar for a minute and then back to the Uzi, which he had been toying with, and said, "Man, I'd hate to have him after me!" "Me too." Mike added. Putting the cruiser back in gear, Mike accelerated back up to about forty five, and after twenty minutes, and ten miles later, Mike had spotted Scar's dinner; a small pack of gazelles eating way off in the distance.
Mike had seen the gazelles from almost a mile away, and they didn't see or hear him, having no way of knowing what was in store for them. "Okay. This is what I think we should do." Mike said after having stopped the cruiser and talking to both Scar and Bryan. "Scar, I think you should go and take one of em down and start eating. Then, we'll drive over and throw the body in the back. I took the initiative to pack some plastic trash bags under my seat so when we did this, the back wouldn't get all bloodied up. What do you guys think?" Both of them agreed that it was a good plan, but it was Scar who suggested that they do something a little different. "That's a good idea Mike, but, for your sake, I don't want you to come out here every night to find something for me to eat. I know you've already come out here more than once, and it seems to me that it is an inconvenience to you." "Oh, no, no, no, no, no! It's fine with me! I don't care!" Mike said quickly. "Well, I do. I don't want to impose on you. It doesn't make me feel good making you come out here every night. I think that it would be better if we shoot a few of those gazelles and take them back, which should last a week or so." Mike thought about it for s moment and thought that it was a good idea. Bryan asked, "Why can't you kill a few?" Mike quickly answered for Scar, "Because, haven't you ever seen those shows on the Discovery channel? When anything chased one gazelle, all of em ran. We can get a lot more with the Uzi, and we're faster than them in the cruiser." "Ohhh! Duh! Sorry I even asked. That was a dumb question!" Bryan said sarcastically. Giving Bryan a disapproving stare, Mike continued talking. "Okay. I think we should just barrel ass through the grass, and then chase them for awhile. Then, I'll get up close to them and you start shooting. Don't shoot them all. Just like two or three." Mike said. Bryan moved back to where he had been sitting in the back and put in a clip. "You ready?" Mike said to Bryan. "Ready." Bryan said, and with that, Mike started up the cruiser and floored it.
It was almost too easy. The gazelles seemed to be ignorant of the cruiser hurdling towards them. They had looked up and ran a little when they saw and heard it bulleting towards them, but they didn't seem to run much. Bryan got three of them, and wounded two other. Mike stopped the cruiser and got out as a few dozen or so gazelles stood off in the distance, watching and stamping their feet occasionally. Mike got the heavy duty trash bags out from under his seat, and with Bryan's help, managed to bag the three, fifty or so pound, bodies. After getting them up onto the back of the cruiser, they got back into the cruiser.
Scar, who had sat and watched, thanked both of them for doing what they had just done. "Your welcome, but I guess we're all like a family now, so that means we do things for each other and stuff. I'd of done it anyway, because I haven't got anything better to do." Mike said, laughing a little." "Yeah man, you're welcome. And what he said." Bryan concluded. After a second or two, Mike started up the cruiser and looked for a CD to play. He went ahead and put in his ‘Best Hits of the Eighties' one and skipped a few tracks. "Hey Mickey your so fine, your so fine you blow my mind Hey Mickey, Hey Mickey." Tony Basil and her accompanying vocal artists sang the song ‘Mickey' as Mike and Bryan lipped out the most popular phrase of the song. Putting the cruiser in gear, they began heading home.
It was now five o'clock, and in a few hours, it would be dark. After going a short distance, Mike began to slow down a little. "Oh, shit! That's right!" he said, remembering. "You were gonna drive home." he said as he turned an looked at Bryan. Bryan, who had forgotten all about it, got up and quickly exchanged seats with Mike. Mike crawled back into the back of the slowly moving vehicle as Bryan took control of it.
The back of the cruiser was pretty big, and looked almost like a convertible pickup truck. Mike had cut the entire top off and had removed the two doors. It was more like a stretch jeep than a land cruiser. The windshield was still attached though; he had wanted that on. There was about twenty square feet of space in the back of the cruiser and the reason it was so big is that it had at one time been a touring vehicle with many rows of seats in it. Mike had also removed those and put them out in his garage's scrap heap. Right now, the only things in the back were the bass box, and the gazelle bodies, which were slumped in front of the box.
Mike, who saw a blanket behind the drivers seat, reached for it and after he had, balled it up and made a temporary pillow while asking Bryan if he remembered how to get home. Bryan said he did. "I'm going to have a little nap. If I don't get up before it gets dark, wake me up." "Okay." Bryan said. Mike laid down in the back of the cruiser with the blanket under his head and went to sleep. An hour or so later when he finally woke up, It was about six twenty two. The sun was about halfway set, and a look to his left showed that Bryan was inside watching TV. He looked over to his right, feeling body heat and beside him lay Scar, also sleeping. Mike patted him on the head as he got up, jumped down out of the cruiser, and went inside to get Bryan to help him put the gazelle bodies in the shed.
When Mike walked into the house, he saw Bryan was sitting on the couch and watching what looked like the movie, ‘Under Siege'. Mike snuck up upon Bryan and grabbed his shoulders while yelling at the same time. Bryan jumped up in the air and whipped his head around, looking angry. Mike began laughing as Bryan recognized it was only him. "You bunghole! I could have like died or something." "Yeah right. I don't think you'd have a heart attack." Mike said. "Come on, we gotta go put those bodies in the shed or they'll be gone tomorrow." "Fine, but let's do it quick. The movie just started and all the cool stuff is going to happen in a minute."
Mike and Bryan went to the cruiser as Bryan climbed up in it and began handing the bodies down to Mike. Mike put them all on the ground, and after they were all out, he carried two of the bags, while Bryan carried the other one. Gripping the two bags by the tops, Mike carried them into the shed and was soon followed by Bryan. Putting his two body bags over under one of the windows, Bryan waited in the doorway for instructions. "Leave that one there." Mike said. "Scar's probably hungry by now. I'll go wake him up in a minute." "Okay. I'm gonna go back inside." Bryan said, dropping the bag on the floor and hurrying back to watch the movie.
The sun was getting ready to set soon, so Mike pulled on the little string hanging from the ceiling, instantly giving life to the one hundred watt white lightbulb it was attached to. The shed illuminated, throwing light out of the open door as Mike began walking out to the cruiser to wake up Scar. Looking back over his shoulder, he saw that light was emanating from the windows. "Cool." he said as he reached the cruiser and began climbing up in it.
Scar was still sleeping soundly in the back as Mike looked at him. He crawled over to him and gave him a light nudge with the backside of his hand. "Hey." he said whispering. "Hey, get up. Your dinner's ready over in the shed." As he finished his sentence, the huge lion began stretching out on the floor of the cruiser, arching his back , and then extended his forelegs, exposing his claws. He gave a quick yawn before he got up. "Come on or your dinner'll get cold. Mike said jumping down out of the cruiser and staring back at Scar.
"How long have I been sleeping?" he asked, jumping down, still a little weary. "Oh, well I went to sleep around five, so whenever you went to sleep, I'd say about an hour is a good estimate. When did you go to sleep anyway?" "Well, Bryan seemed as though that driving the cruiser was more interesting than talking to me, so about ten minutes after you laid down, I laid down beside you and fell asleep." Scar said. "He always does that." Mike said, "He gets way too involved in what he's doing, like driving for instance. He wouldn't talk to you unless you told him he couldn't drive or beat him over the head. He's real weird." "Well, I don't mind it really. As long as he's my friend, that's all that matters." "Right on." Mike said as they both entered into the light that was thrown from the light bulb in the shed.
"You're still hungry, right?" "Hungry as I'll ever be." Scar said smiling slightly. Mike dragged the lone body bag outside a short way away from the shed and opened it. The sun had pretty much disappeared now. All the light that could be seen now was the red haze the set sun radiated off in the horizon. Looking inside of the bag, Mike saw a leg, and grabbing it with his right hand, pulled on it until the body came out of it. "Try not to make a big mess or anything. I don't want to pick up little chunks of meat and crap, so please try to just eat in one spot for now; it'll make cleanup easier. Oh, and don't get all bloodied up, or I'll make you sleep outside!! No, just kidding, but try to keep clean, I'm not too fond of blood and guts and stuff on my bed." "Sure thing." Scar replied as he began to tear at the left side of the stomach.
Mike, who had planned on going inside to watch ‘Under Siege' with Bryan, decided to stay out with Scar and watch him eat. "Hold on a minute. I gotta go turn on the cruiser's security system. Be back in a sec." He said, going over to the cruiser, reaching in on the drivers side floor, and flipping a rocker switch mounted under the dash. A little red light blinked twice and then remained dark. The security system was now armed, and anything that jumped on it would get one hell of a shock now. Bored, he walked around the cruiser once and then went back over to where Scar was eating. He had eaten quite a bit in the amount of time he had been gone. Already, the stomach was open and it's contents half gone. "How much of that would you usually eat?" Mike asked as he sat down on the ground. Scar, who was asked this with his mouth half full of food, made an attempt to eat the meat faster in order to talk. After a couple seconds of quick chewing and swallowing, he answered. "Usually, I'd stop about now, but I haven't had a big meal for a couple of months. I might eat a little more than a third of this tonight. Why do you ask?" he said, cocking his head to one side. "I was just wondering. I didn't know how much a lion ate. All those dumb Discovery channel documentaries don't show you crap. They just show this and that, nothing of real interest really." "Oh. I thought you wanted me to stop eating." "Geez Scar, could you please stop that?" Mike said. "You don't have to ask me what you can and can't do. You're free to do whatever you damn well want to do. I don't mean to offend you or anything, but I'm pretty sure you're capable of making your own decisions. It seems to me that you have an IQ of something well over 180. I mean, if you wanted to jump off a cliff or something, I'm sure as shit not going to let you jump, but I'm never going to tell you to stop eating. You can do what ever you want; you are free and respected here."
An odd moment of silence passed between the two as they both pondered over what Mike had said. He had just started blabbing out what was on his mind. He disliked it when Scar asked him if he ‘could', or ‘couldn't' do something. It made him feel like he was superior to Scar which he knew was definitely not the case. He hated feeling superior; It made him feel like an asshole, because there was person he remembered back in the states named Robert who thought he was the smartest person in the whole world and liked to tell that to everyone. Mike pictured himself as him and shuddered. Scar was an equal in his mind and always would be. He would never ever be like that cocky, arrogant, conceited S.O.B. Robert. Never.
"Hey, I'm sorry if I went off a little there, but I want you to stop doing that. It's a form of negative self-esteem. You are an equal to me Scar and you are to be treated that way. If anyone ever said that you were inferior, I swear to God that they'd be dead if I were there. I'd tend to that personally." "No, it's all right. I'm used to this sort of stuff. Mufasa always did it to me and all I could do was insult him back. He thought because he was older, bigger, and stronger that he could make anyone do what he wanted, when he wanted." "Man I wish he was still alive! I'd rip him to shreds!" Mike said. "It seems like it was his fault for what happened to you. Shit! I'd of done the same thing you did too!" Pausing for a moment, he looked to the sky vacantly. "It stops here though. You are special Scar; you aren't any ordinary lion. You're an extraordinary one. I never knew Mufasa, but in my opinion, you are a million times squared better than him. I bet that if Mufasa had come here instead of you, I'd have shot him." Lowering his gaze, Mike looked Scar in the eyes. "Do you remember that night that we found you?" Scar nodded to show that he did. "Well, I don't know if I was tired or high or what, but I could have sworn that I heard a voice telling me to protect you. I yelled at Bryan when he had the gun on you, and I really think I would have shot him if he had shot you. I'm glad I didn't though and everything turned out alright. I don't know how I could have lived with myself if I had shot him. He's the best, and really only friend I have in this damned cruel world." "I'm your friend Mike." Scar said, looking Mike in the eyes. "I know you are Scar, I know you are." A long pause passed as Mike sat hugging his knees under his chin while staring at the ground.
Scar silently nibbled on the gazelle and soon stopped eating. He didn't feel like anything anymore and after a while, just sat with his head hanging low too. After a few minutes of silent thinking, Mike got up and went to the door of the house. He walked inside and in a few seconds returned back outside. "You wanna go on an evening joyride?" he said to Scar. Scar, lifting his head to meet Mike's face, said "Sure." He got up and followed Mike as he went to the cruiser and turned the security system off. Mike jumped in and Scar jumped up on the passengers seat. After putting his key into the ignition and cranking the engine over, it roared to life as Mike turned on the headlights and the rollbar Hella's, lighting up a circle about two hundred feet around the cruiser. Rummaging around in the black CD case, he picked out the thick, two CD case that had ‘Forrest Gump: The Soundtrack' emblazoned on the front. It had that picture of Tom Hanks sitting on the park bench with his suitcase and ‘Thirty two American Classics On Two CDs' above the title. Taking out the second CD, which was a shade of red in color, he put it in the Bose, and skipped to track two as the cruiser began to move forward. About a minute into the song by the Youngbloods, ‘Let's Get Together', Mike began singing along with the CD. "Come on people now, smile on your brother everybody get together, try to love one another right now!" About forty seconds later, when the phrase was repeated again, Mike was joined by Scar singing in accompany. Mike started to rock his head back and forth as the hippie music poured forth from the ten speaker system.
He had planned on going into town and just hang around awhile. Bryan was too engrossed in the movie to go so Mike decided that just he and Scar would go. He was about halfway to the road, in the middle of his driveway, when he stopped the cruiser completely, put it in neutral, and set the parking brake. After turning up the CD player's volume a little, he went to the back of the cruiser and stood up. The Hella's shone right at his eye level, so he turned around and began doing a rather weak attempt to headbang. After a few minutes or two, he looked up and stared at the stars for no apparent reason at all. His mouth stood half open as the Hella lights shone on his chin, illuminating his upper body. Scar, who had been watching Mike headbang, saw him looking up and looked up himself. Mike slowly walked over to the front of the cruiser, killed the engine, and cut off the lights. The CD player interrupted Scott McKenzie in between his song as he did so. Mike stared in disbelief as he saw what appeared to be a cloud swirling rapidly form into the head of a lion. "Father?" Scar said somewhat recognizing the cloud formation. Mike rubbed his eyes a moment and then stared up again. "Whoa." he said as he went to the back of the cruiser and laid down, stomach up near the left, rear wheelwell. Scar soon walked back as he continued to stare up at the mass of swirling clouds. "Father!" he said as he sat down beside Mike still staring up in the night sky. "Hello Taka, and hello Mike." the cloud lion said.



CHAPTER XXI



The Pridelands were doing pretty good now Sarabi thought. After Scar had been defeated by Simba, the curse that seemed to have befallen upon them was now lifted. The biggest decline in the pride's history was when Scar took over and she knew why too. If he hadn't of united the hyenas with the pride, their food may have lasted a little while longer. Hyenas and lions were natural enemies. Bringing them together was like mixing oil and water. The hyenas all cleared out when Simba took over though. Things, for once, were a little back in order.
Sarabi's thoughts were interrupted by Simba calling. "Mother!" he yelled excitedly running towards her. "What is it Simba?" Sarabi said getting up off of the ground and smiling slightly. "Mother! Come watch Tanabi!" Tanabi was Simba's and Nala's son. Simba was very proud of him, taught him everything, and spent more time with him than anyone else. Tanabi looked up to him too. She loved Tanabi, but there was just one thing that made her a little apprehensive about him. He was nice, extremely polite, and well liked, but the color of his fur made her worry a little. His fur had been the normal, tawny color at first, but about a month later, it began to change colors. He had turned from the normal yellow to a color that frightfully reminded her of Scar. And to further worry her, the tip of his tail was black, also like Scar, suggesting that he would also have a black mane. If she had known of the name Michael Jackson, the term of "Michael Jackson Syndrome" would have fit very well. Just as Michael Jackson changed from black to white, Tanabi had turned from yellowish, to a tan-orangish color. She knew that the strange trait had been an inherited thing throughout the prides history, but to see it come out again so soon was very odd. And also, Tanabi was smart; very smart. He picked up on everything on the first try, usually doing what she remembered Scar doing; observing. Sarabi remembered when she had been a cub that Scar had been the same way, trying to get things done right the first time as to impress everyone. He only ended up impressing no one which remembering, made Sarabi wince.
Tanabi's similarities to Scar were strange to her, but she loved him all the same, besides, he was her grandson. "What is it Simba?" Sarabi said, walking towards him. Simba, full of excitement said "Come watch Tanabi!" Sarabi followed Simba as they walked to where Tanabi and Nala were, about a hundred feet or so away. Sarabi could see that Tanabi was chasing butterflies, grasshoppers, and anything else that moved. She laughed a little when she saw him try to pounce on a butterfly. "Did you see that?" Simba said. "Look at him playing!" Sarabi loved to watch her three month old grandson play, and even though the thought that he looked like Scar stuck in the back of her mind, she loved him. She was proud of her grandson. Her only son now had his own.
As she walked over to where Nala and Tanabi sat, her thoughts drifted back to Simba's cubhood. He had been robbed of it by Scar but she also thought about him too. She hadn't really thought about him seriously in a long time. She knew the story of how Scar happened to get his scar. Mufasa had told her once and afterwards, she had went to see him. She tried to talk to him, but when she mentioned Mufasa, he looked away from her and coldly said, "I don't want to talk about him." She had tried getting him to talk, pressing him persistently but without any luck. After a few minutes of interrogating, he just got up and left. He was gone for almost a week and when anyone asked him where he went, he just stared blankly off into the distance and remained silent. A lion of few words was a good term to describe him. She felt a little sorry for him though, and if Mufasa had told her the whole story of what he had done, she might have had second thoughts on her husbands kindness.
Zazu, besides Scar, was the only one alive now that knew everything, but he refused to say anything that would ever disrespect Mufasa. Sarabi didn't know the entire truth. Simba didn't even know about how Mufasa had given Scar his namesake. He had never asked, so he had never been told. Besides, Sarabi would be embarrassed to tell what had happened. Simba saw his father as a lion that never hurt anyone he loved. If he knew what Sarabi knew, he wouldn't think the same ever again. If he knew what Zazu knew, it would turn his life upside down and the rationale that he once stuck to would shift.
Simba first saw his uncle as caring and a nice lion to be around. When the truth was finally spilled at the edge of the cliff, he thought different. What Nala had told him about uniting the hyenas he couldn't understand. It was, in his opinion, a foolish and uncouth move, even though the intentions at first had been good. If he hadn't of lost his temper, another trait that ran dominant in both Mufasa and Simba, and everything had explained, the battle that followed probably could have been prevented. But, that was all in the past; something to be forgotten by future generations. Things were pretty much back to normal now.
"Mother! Did you see that?" Simba said to Sarabi. "Yes Simba!" Sarabi said happily watching Tanabi bound after insects. Three months ago, Tanabi was brought into the world and blessed by Rafiki. From the end of Scar's rule to the present, it had been around seven months.
Tanabi walked over towards Nala before he caught and she began licking him. "Aww mom! Quit it!" Tanabi said as the tongue bath began. "Hold on. It'll be over in a minute." Nala said back to him, smiling. Simba began talking to his mother now as the bath was going on. "Mother?" Simba asked. "I just thought of something strange that never had crossed my mind before." "What is it Simba?" Sarabi said. "Well, I hate to bring this up, because it's all over, but have you noticed that Scar's body was never found?" Sarabi though of this too. She had never really noticed if his body was down in the gulch before either. No one had gone to see him because no one cared. He was a miserable creature everyone was glad had been murdered by the hyenas.
"I've never really noticed that either Simba." she said. "Probably the hyenas dragged him to the elephant graveyard. They'll drag anything over there." she said indifferently, as if Scar's body had been a burlap sack; something of no importance. "That's another thing I've been meaning to ask you. Have you noticed that about some of the pack is gone? I remember seeing them coming home once, I guess from a hunting party. They were all there, but some of them were missing." Sarabi, who never really paid much attention to the hyenas, said so, so Simba was the only one who really noticed. "It's just strange." Simba said. "I never really counted how many there were, but I am sure there were more than I saw then. Maybe they got too near another pride." "That's probably what happened." Sarabi said. A brief moment of silence passed between them as the subject was quietly dropped.
Tanabi came running over a minute later after he was finished with his bath. "Dad!" he yelled as he came. Simba got up and when Tanabi reached him, he gave him a playful cuff. "Well, I'm going to go back Simba. I think I'll organize a hunting party to go look for dinner." "Okay." Simba said laughing as Tanabi jumped on his back and gently nipped at the nape of his neck. Sarabi walked off after saying a "See you later" to Simba, Tanabi, and of course Nala. They all looked at her and said the same, and then Sarabi began to search for a hunting party.
As luck may have it, everyone was available to help with the hunting. Sarabi led the group out into the plains as they all scanned for a herd of something. A few miles away from Priderock, they found a herd of wildebeests that looked like an easy target. The lionesses fanned out from their central group and quietly worked their way around the herd. Upon a signal given by Sarabi, she rushed at a singled out wildebeest as the others ran to where she was. The wildebeest started to run, which startled the rest of the herd. As the rest of the herd ran away from the lionesses, Sarabi lunged onto the singled out wildebeest's back. Sinking her teeth into the animals back, she brought both grunts and blood from the wildebeest. It kept running though, but after lioness after lioness jumped to assist Sarabi, the weight soon forced the wildebeest to the ground. Another lioness clenched her jaws around the wildebeest's neck and slowly began to suffocate the animal. Ten minutes later, the body lay still, and the lionesses began to feast on the body. No one was dying of hunger, so an average amount of meat was eaten by each. Soon, after everyone had finished eating and had started to clean the blood off of themselves, Simba, Nala, and Tanabi showed up. Zazu fluttered down from the sky and landed in front of Simba. "You're dinner awaits you sire." he said as Simba walked forward with Nala. "Thanks for finding it Zazu." Simba said. "You are most welcome sire." Zazu said as he boiled with dignity. Simba walked up to the partially eaten corpse as he turned to Sarabi. "Have you all eaten already?" he asked. "Yes Simba. The rest is for you and Nala, and I guess you're going to let Tanabi try some meat tonight." she said smiling down at the small cub. "Yeah." Simba said as the other lionesses fanned out and laid down on the ground. "He's been wanting to try it for a while now, so today I thought I'd let him." As he said this, Tanabi began to walk to the carcass and start nibbling at it. Simba, Nala, Sarabi, and the others watched silently as he tore off a small mouthful and swallowed it. All were quiet as Tanabi turned around and looked at his parents. "Well, how was it?" Simba questioned. After thinking for a moment, Tanabi replied. "It taste a lot different from grasshoppers." At this, Simba burst out laughing, and was soon followed by a light uproar of laughter from the rest of the pride. Tanabi merely shrugged when the laughter started and when it was over, he began to eat some more. Soon, he was joined by Simba and Nala and the three all began to eat their share of the kill.
A few hours later, with stomachs full of food, all of the pride got up from their big cat nap and stretched. Tanabi had been restless and had finally woken Simba up. He had pretty much occupied his time venturing out, not too far, with Zazu's supervision of course. There were a row of trees roughly two hundred feet from where the wildebeest body was, and this is where the pride had gone to rest. Tanabi had finally managed to persuade Simba into letting him go off, on account that Zazu went with him, and he not go out of sight of the pride. Lucky for him, the area was flat, so "not being out of sight" could easily be a mile or two off in the open plains. He took advantage of this and soon was half a mile away from the sleeping pride. "I don't believe that your father meant for you to be out this far." Zazu said as he landed in front of Tanabi, attempting to block and him go back. "He said as long as I stay in sight of the pride that I was alright. Besides, we can see them from here, can't we?" Tanabi said. "Well," Zazu said hesitantly, "I suppose that's what he said, but I'm sure that he hadn't meant for you to be this far away." "Oh Zazu! Live a little! You heard exactly what I did. ‘Stay with Zazu and don't go out of sight'." Tanabi said, toying with Zazu's mind as Simba had once done as a cub. "I heard what your father said, but it's the matter of interpretation that you're confused on. I heard your father say to stay with me and to not go out of sight of the pride. I interpreted that as simply saying to keep you out of harms way. The farther we go from the pride, the more dangerous it is." "I laugh in the face of danger! Ha ha ha!" Tanabi said, mimicking what his father had said in the elephant graveyard a long time ago.
Zazu, who remembered what happened next with Simba and Nala said, "I'm experiencing deja vu Tanabi, I think we had better head back. When your father said that when he was a cub, something catastrophic happened next." "Aww! Come on! Do we have to?" Tanabi whined. "Yes, I believe we had better return. I wouldn't want to get in trouble like I did with Mufasa that time I almost let Simba get eaten by the hyenas." Genuinely interested by what had just been said, Tanabi turned to Zazu. "Whoa! Dad never told me about that! What happened?" Zazu was about to begin, but then thought of something different to say. "I'll tell you the whole story if you come back to the pride with me." Tanabi agreed that he would, and on the way, Zazu began to tell him about the hyenas and Simba. Zazu said that it had all been masterminded by Scar. "Who?" Tanabi asked. "Your father has never told you of his uncle Scar?" Zazu asked, totally dumbfounded. "No. Who is he?" Tanabi asked. "It's a long story Tanabi, and it seems like this is as good a time as any to tell it." Zazu said a little hesitantly. "Your father will be sleeping for quite a while, so I guess it will keep you out of trouble."
About a hundred feet from the pride, Zazu herded Tanabi over toward an isolated patch of trees. "I wouldn't want to wake your father; he has quite a temper you know." he said. "Really?" Tanabi asked curiously. "Oh yes! Your grandfather Mufasa had a temper too. He learned to control it but yes, he had one." "Whoa! I can't see dad getting mad at anyone." Tanabi said as he began to settle on the ground, interested. Zazu, seeing that he was beginning to calm Tanabi down was satisfied. "Maybe I can get him to fall asleep." Zazu thought to himself. "Who's this uncle Scar you were telling me about Zazu?" Tanabi said. Zazu, who had been brought out of his thinking quickly responded. "Oh, he was an evil lion. Your deceased grandfather Mufasa's brother. That would make him your great uncle, but let me assure you, there was nothing great about him. I'm surprised that your father has never told you about him." Zazu said. "Oh, well, he doesn't tell me much. Mainly he just says to stay out of trouble and things like that. Tell me more about him Zazu." "Well, if your inquiring mind must know, I guess I might as well. Your fathers uncle Scar wanted to be the king, but two things stood in his way, Simba, your father of course, and Mufasa. From how I remember it, Scar had a troubled cubhood with Mufasa." Zazu said, knowing very well who had really had the problem. "No one paid him any attention and as time passed, he moved away from the main body of the pride. No one really knows why, but I suspect that he made his plans in the cave that he moved to. The plan that he had was to kill both Mufasa and your father, and inheriting the throne by doing so. He was able to kill Mufasa in the gorge by getting the hyenas to start a stampede of wildebeests to trample him. Your father ran away and that's where he met Timon and Pumbaa."
Tanabi knew Timon and Pumbaa. Soon after Simba had to take being the king seriously, they moved back to where they had come from and frequently came to visit. They had been by a few days ago, stayed for about a week and then left to go back. Simba liked to have them around and was always trying to persuade them to stay, but they really couldn't adapt to the lifestyle. "Your father grew up in the jungle with them, while back at Priderock, Scar ruled and united the hyenas with the pride. It wasn't until Nala accidentally found Simba that he was defeated and your father became king." Zazu finished. "What happened to Scar?" Tanabi asked. "From what Simba told everyone," Zazu said, "he threw him off the cliff and he fell to the hyenas. They turned on him and ate him alive, getting rid of him for good." "That's pretty harsh" Tanabi said, "even if he was bad." "Oh ho ho!" Zazu said, flabbergasted. "He was more than bad Tanabi, he was pure evil! He deserved the fate he got. He killed Mufasa, and nearly your own father, and you feel sorry for him?" "No, I didn't say that. I meant that no one really deserves a fate like that, that's all." Tanabi replied. "Well, all I have to say is that you had to have known him to despise him like everyone else at Priderock did." Tanabi thought of saying something, but decided it would be best not to say anything. "Well, how about you go and take a nap with your father?" Zazu asked. Tanabi didn't want to but agreed that he would try to. Zazu flew up in the air and began to follow Tanabi as he slowly walked toward the sleeping pride. Tanabi reached the clearing that everyone was sleeping in and went over and fell asleep beside his father. Zazu, perched up in one of the trees, looked down and saw that he had fallen asleep. He stood on the limb he was on and kept a lookout until Tanabi got up almost thirty minutes later, waking Simba up.
Simba yawned, stretched, and got to his feet. He heard and saw Tanabi and turned to the direction he heard him in. "So, what did you do all this time?" Simba asked him. "Nothing much. Me and Zazu went out exploring for a little while, and then he told me some stories." Tanabi replied. "Stories about what?" Simba asked. "You." Tanabi replied. "He told me about the time you went to the elephant graveyard and almost got caught by the hyenas." Simba, blushing a little with embarrassment, said "Oh, he did, did he." "Yeah. He told me a lot of stuff you never told me." "Like what?" Simba asked. "Well, he told me about my deceased great uncle Scar. Why didn't you ever tell me about him?" Tanabi asked, a little curious. "Well," Simba started. "Well, I ahh just didn't think you needed to know about him. That's all. What else did Zazu tell you?" Simba said. "Not much. He just said that stuff and then I tried to go to sleep. Why? Are you mad at him?" Tanabi asked. "No Tanabi. Not really mad, but more like ashamed. I wanted to forget about Scar, but now that Zazu has brought it up again, I'll have to try and forget him again. It was hard enough the first time."
"I'm sorry I even mentioned it dad." Tanabi said feeling a bit remorseful. "No. It's not your fault. I don't know who's fault it really is. Every time I think of how I liked uncle Scar once, and how he betrayed me and my father, it really is hard to interpret. I don't know why he hated me and my dad so much. It's probably some kind thing that happened when they were cubs." Simba said. "You should ask Zazu one day. He knows pretty much everything that goes on, or went on." Tanabi said. "I don't think he would know about this though. It was something that really didn't concern him." With that final word, they both just sat there and remained quiet until Zazu flew down from the branch he had been perched on.
"Sleep well, sire?" Zazu asked Simba. "Yeah, I guess." Simba replied. "Well sire, if I may suggest, it might be wise to start heading home. It will be dark in an hour or so and then the hyenas will find that body out there." Zazu chipped in. "Yeah. I guess you're right." Simba said walking over to Nala and rousing her from her nap. She opened her eyes and saw Simba standing near her. "Wake up your highness." Simba said. "Stop that!" Nala said. "You know I hate being called that." Nala replied. "What? You mean when I call you ‘Your highness', your highness?" "Oh you." Nala said getting to her feet as she began rough housing with Simba. The laughter coming from both of them woke up Sarabi, and then the rest of the lionesses. They all got to their feet and yawned as the couple began to simmer down. "Alright." Simba said. "I think it's time to go home. Don't you all think so?" The lionesses nodded and they all got in a group and began to head back to Priderock.
The trip back to Priderock took about forty five minutes. Upon leaving the wildebeest carcass, the hyenas, who had been in hiding for almost two hours, came out and went up to the body. After Shenzi quickly looked around to make sure that all the lions were gone, she signaled and the fight for food began. Shenzi managed to get a big chunk of leg and scurried a few meters off as the others still fought for a mouthful. Beginning to eat the leg, Shenzi looked up and saw Ed's standing in front of her with his tongue hanging out and his blank stare. "What do you want Ed?" Shenzi said with a mouthful of meat in her mouth. Ed still sat there and panted as he eyeballed the leg Shenzi had. "Fine." Shenzi said. "You can have what ever's left."
Shenzi had changed quite a bit since Banzai had been killed. She really didn't know how much he had made things less boring as they were now. Ed was still the same as always; dumb and crazy. Shenzi was still mad with herself that she had managed to lose Scar. She was very upset that he had lived. They were so close to killing him but then he had run. When they caught him again, he ran. When they saw him for the last time, he had a human with him, and it was the human who had done all the damage. Slowly chewing another piece of meat, she thought of what happened that day.
"Come on Shenzi!" Banzai said. "He's way over there. Let's go after him and finish him now!" All of them were unaware of Mike sitting in the cruiser a couple hundred meters away, smoking a cigarette. When Banzai lunged and Shenzi called him back, this was the first movement Mike caught out of the corner of his eye. The pack of malicious hyenas were walking along looking for Scar when they saw him taking down a small gazelle. They had happened upon the scene about two minutes too early. If they had came there a few minutes earlier, they might have seen Mike sitting in the cruiser way off to the left. "Okay. I've got a plan." Shenzi said. "Let's all sneak up behind him through the grass and all jump him at once. Don't say anything or give yourself away. Be quiet!" Banzai, who was famous for jumping the gun, ran up first. He headed the large pack as it began to quickly run to the grass. Shenzi took up the rear with Ed as Banzai, for a change, headed the pack. It was this large movement that finally made Mike look over and see the pack of hyenas advancing towards Scar. Banzai had no more gotten to the grass when Mike roared past in the cruiser, almost merging it into his path. Banzai instinctively began chasing it, bringing the rest of the pack with him. Banzai, still running at full speed, saw the cruiser stop and pick up Scar. He saw a human sitting in it as it turned around and headed straight toward him. Banzai, who stayed on his course heading straight towards the cruiser, never budged an inch. Instinct rather than common sense bestowed him as he hurdled towards it. Much as in the same way a dog will chase a trash truck thinking it can stop it, Banzai ran towards the cruiser and in an instant was squashed under one of its massive bigfoot tires. The other hyenas, who were close behind him, turned and ran for their lives as Mike hit a few of the ones that were too slow. The cruiser headed off, and just when the hyenas thought that he was going for good and started to chase him, he began firing his gun on them. He managed to kill a couple more as Shenzi, in a furious rage, tried to run after him. Soon after the cruiser was long gone, she stopped running and hurried back to see the damage done. Eight in all were dead, but one of the eight was a major loss for her. The last body she reached that had many hyenas standing around was Banzai. When Shenzi saw this, she gasped "No." and remained silent for a while. After it began to get dark, she finally spoke. "Let's go home. There's nothing more we can do here."
Shenzi snapped back into reality as she realized Ed was taking the leg away from her. She didn't care now. She had lost her appetite. She watched as Ed dragged the leg a foot or two and slowly began stripping the meat off of it.



CHAPTER XXII



"Who is that, Scar?" Mike asked. Scar, who was still overwhelmed at his father sudden appearance didn't answer immediately. "Who is that?" Mike repeated a second time, awed by the formation that formed above him in the sky. Thinking of the dream he had had earlier, he bit his tongue, bringing both pain and blood. "That's my father Mike. His name is Ahadi." The cloud lion stared emotionlessly down upon the two laying in the back of the cruiser until Mike interrupted the silence. "How did you know my name?" Mike asked the cloud lion. Immediately, as if he had been expecting the question, Ahadi answered down to Mike in a slow and solemn voice. "I have seen and heard everything since the night you rescued Taka from the hyenas and I cannot express how grateful I am that you saved him. After my time on the earth had run out and Mufasa became the new king, I had no idea what was happening to Taka where he was." "What do you mean?" Mike asked. "I never knew how Mufasa soon made Taka despised in the pride. There are some things you can only see when it is too late, even if it's right before your own eyes."
Scar then began talking to his father. "What am I to do father? You said that everything would be alright. Is it alright now, or is there something that I need to do to make it alright?" The two watched as the solemn face returned and finally replied. "Taka, what your brother, Mike, has planned will suffice to make everything alright. I do not want to sound like I am condemning Simba and his pride though because that I have not. Mike has thought up his plan completely by himself and it is his decision if it will be carried out." "Oh, it's going to be carried out alright!" Mike added hastily. Pausing a moment, Ahadi continued. "I see that you have much haste towards Simba and the hyena pack Mike." "You bet I do." Mike said sternly. "What Taka has told you is true. Everything that he told you is what happened. I was too blind to see it when both Mufasa and Taka were cubs because I had devoted most of my attention to Mufasa and left Taka neglected. There are many things I wish I could do over again, but that is impossible." "I know exactly how that is." Mike said. "Do you know about what I did so that I ran away?" "Yes." Ahadi said. "I heard you when you explained it to Taka. All I can say is that I am sorry you had to be put through that. I can say now that I consider you an adopted brother of Taka. I thought that Mufasa and him were close like you two are, but I see now that it wasn't that way at all."
Looking at Scar, seeing him staring up, Mike got to his feet. "Well, you being Sca... I mean Taka's real father and all, I think I need to let you two talk alone for awhile. Is that alright with you two?" Scar was still looking up at his father in the sky as he slowly nodded his head. Ahadi also nodded and said thank-you as he stood up from the back of the cruiser, jumped down, and disappeared into the night.
Alone at last, Scar looked up and asked questions which the answers he had long searched after. "Father? What do you think of Mike?" he asked his father after he saw Mike disappear into the night. "Taka, you are very lucky that you have him there to stand beside you. I watched as the hyenas chased you and were almost successful in killing you." Pausing a moment, Scar looked up hopefully. "When Mufasa died, Taka, I was not angry at you. I know what you did and was disappointed though." The smile that had formed on Scar's face slowly faded as he broke contact with the formation of his father and began trembling. "Please son, do not carry guilt with you. I know how you are with emotions, keeping them inside until they violently come forth. After I had finally seen what Mufasa had done to you, I knew why you did what you did." Looking up once again, Scar looked somewhat relieved. "He never once called upon me Taka; something you have done many times. I saw the troubled cubhood you experienced, the troubled growing up you experienced, and I compared it to Mufasa. I spent most of my time with him and failed to do so with you. I feel terrible that I could have done that to you, but where I failed, Mike has stepped in, giving you the long deserved attention that you are entitled to. I believe in Mike, and in his heart; I can see that he loves you as Mufasa should have. He would go to the ends of the earth to see that you live a happy life and always remain safe. He wants to give you the life that was so wrongly taken away from him. You should treat him with respect and listen to his advice. He is wise beyond his years, as are you."
Scar listened intently, his thoughts focusing on what Ahadi was telling him. "He will always treat you with respect Taka; I can detect that quality without even asking him. Mike is that one in a million chance you had for a happy life and you found him Taka. What you decide to do with it now is entirely up to you." "Father, did you help me in any way to get away from the hyenas? I've wondered how I got so lucky as to get away from them." Scar asked his father. "I could not help you in any way Taka. As much as I wished I could have, all I could do was watch and hope that you escaped. If I could have helped you, I would have."
Thinking at something that was muted before, Scar voiced the recurring thought that came from his head. "What do you think of Mike's plan to destroy Simba and the hyenas?" "Taka? I have no feelings either way. It is up to him and you what to do. I know you both are wise and I am sure you each will do what you know is right. Taka, I know I have only been here a short time but I must go now." Ahadi began to slowly dissipate into the starry sky. "Father! Please, no! There are so many things I want to ask you!" Scar said, getting up and pleading with his fathers image. "I must go Taka." Ahadi said, his voice growing slightly fainter. "Mike can answer things for you. He knows more about what will happen." "Father! PLEASE!" Scar said, begging for his father to stay. "I must go Taka." Ahadi said, growing fainter. "You know who you are. I cannot tell you that. Remember who you are my son. And remember what you have. And remember me." Ahadi said until he faded completely and Scar was left alone in the cruiser in the dark night. "Father! I will never forget you." Scar said in a low whisper as he laid down in the back of the cruiser and silently wept.
Mike had gone far away from the cruiser, making sure he could find his way back to it. His eyes had now adjusted to the darkness and he could see things the stars illuminated that were virtually invisible to him ten minutes ago. He hadn't really believed what Scar had said about his father being up in the stars. He did believe a little bit of it though. It was kind of like UFO's. You don't really believe unless you actually see one. Mike now believed that whatever Scar said, was probably true. He had grown increasingly fonder of him everyday and was someone that Mike could relate to and whom he felt a kinship with. He still couldn't think of why he had been so determined not to let Bryan shoot him that long time ago. He hated to see people he loved, friends, and certain animals be in pain, but when he had stopped Bryan, he was literally just saving a lion that could have killed him. He let this roll over in his head and soon was just as lost as he was before he had began. In fact, he was more confused now.
Nothing was really making sense nowadays. Everything seemed all spiritual and strange. He really didn't believe in spirits, ghosts, and things like that, but when Ahadi came down to talk to Scar and him, that pretty much had changed his thinking. He wondered why Ahadi had come to Scar while he was with him. He thought that stuff like that would be limited to family only. He thought that maybe Ahadi considered him Scar's brother, but soon got lost in his train of thought again. Eventually, tired of walking, he sat down under a tree, pushed a little button on his watch, and the LCD screen became a light green glow saying that it was nine forty five. Closing his eyes just for a minute, he got lost in his thinking and fell asleep. He only slept about fifteen minutes though. Scar had waited for him to return and after a few minutes, had picked up Mike's scent and followed it. He found him sleeping under a tree and walked over to him. He was sleeping pretty good, so slowly and gently began to try and wake him up. Nudging with his nose, he moved his left arm a little as he talked in a low voice. "Mike. Mike! Wake up. It's getting late." Still nudging his arm, Mike eventually opened his eyes and looked around. He rubbed his eyes and yawned a little. Looking at his watch just as it chimed off ten o'clock, he grinned. "I guess I fell asleep." "It's alright. It happens to everyone." Scar said. "I know, but something could have gotten me out here. That was stupid of me to do that." Mike said, feeling kind of silly. "Well, I'm beat. Let's go back home." "I agree. It's been a long day." Scar said. With that, Mike got to his feet and began slowly walking towards the direction of the cruiser.
The cruiser was about half a mile away and finding it was no problem as Scar led the way. It seemed as if he could almost smell the cruiser, Mike thought to himself. All there was to smell was oil, gasoline, and possibly the tires. After a brief seven minute walk, they both arrived as Scar jumped up in Mike's seat, walked over onto the passengers side and sat down. Mike climbed up into the drivers seat and sat for a moment. Turning the ignition on, he flipped on all the lights. Instantly there was the circle of light that surrounded the cruiser. Putting the cruiser in gear, he drove back to his home.
Upon reaching the house, he turned the ignition off, removed the key, and after making sure Scar was out, flipped the security system on. The lights were on in the house and as Mike walked in, he saw that Bryan was still watching TV. Bryan turned his head to see them and then turned back to the movie he was now watching. "Man, I'm tired as hell. I'm gonna hit the sack now." Mike said going to his room. "Now?" Bryan said, confused. "Are we working tomorrow?" "Yep. You better turn in a little early too." "I will around eleven thirty I guess. Seeya in the morning then." "Ditto." Mike said as he waited for Scar to enter so he could shut his door. "Oh yeah." Mike said. "Make sure you lock up before you go to sleep. Okay?" "Oakally dokally." Bryan said. "Night." Mike said as he shut his bedroom door.
Quickly, he changed into his nightclothes and dove under the covers, pulling the chain on his light and illuminated the room. Scar lay beside him, staring at him and grinning slightly. "What chu lookin' at, fool?" Mike said, imitating Mr. T the best he could. "Nothing." Scar replied. "I pity the fool who messes with me!" Mike said as he reached over and picked up a Popular Mechanics magazine off of his nightstand. He thumbed through it, saw nothing of interest so dropped it on the floor, turning off the light shortly after doing so. The room was dark now except from the light that emanated from the small space between the bottom of the door and the floor. The light would change and flicker as the scene changed on the television outside. Mike watched the light, mesmerized, until he finally broke the silence that lingered. "Do you mind if I ask what you and your father talked about?" Mike said quietly to Scar. "Not at all." Scar answered in a low voice. "Well, what did you two talk about then?" he again asked softly as not to let Bryan hear what conversation was going on between them. "He talked about you." Scar said, audibly matching Mike. "What did he say about me?" Mike said as he stared blindly up at the dark room's ceiling. "He trusts you. He talked to you tonight because he accepts you." A brief pause followed. A few seconds later, Scar began talking again. "He told me that he accepts you as my adopted brother. He is sorry that he never paid any attention to me and he said he was mad at Mufasa for what he did to me. It took him all that time to finally realize that." "Did he say anything else about me?" Mike asked. "Yeah. He said that you're a bunghole. No, Just kidding." Scar joked, making Mike laugh silently. "He really likes you. He said that you were the one chance I had for happiness, and he was glad that I found you." "I'm glad you did too Scar. God I'm glad you did." Mike said. It remained quiet for ten minutes and Mike didn't know why. He was barely awake when he reached over to where Scar was and felt his head. He had fallen asleep, so patting his head, he closed his eyes and fell asleep.
Scar had heard what Mike had said and was content. Good thoughts rolled through his head. This was definitely where he was meant to be, or at least where he felt happy being. Mike's words made him boil with happiness, and while that feeling stewed inside of him, he fell asleep. He dreamed about his past, but it had been changed around. Instead of Mufasa being there, Mike was there. He felt just like he did before he had fallen asleep. He felt happy; he felt wanted. He felt like for the first time in his life that he belonged.
Bryan stayed up until around eleven thirty. He watched Beavis and Butt-head for a while, got sick of the ever so predictable plot, and went to bed. He went to the front door and locked it, afterwhich he walked over to the kitchen sink, retrieved a cup sitting beside it and filled it with water. He slowly drank the water and then stood for a moment thinking. After putting his cup back beside the sink and turning off all the lights in the house, he went to his bedroom, closed the door, got into his nightclothes and turned the light out. Pulling the single sheet over him, he lay in bed, thinking silently. He was starting to miss Mike's company now. Now, he and Scar went everywhere together. He thought maybe that Mike was obsessed with not letting anyone hurt Scar. He could understand that. Mike wouldn't let anyone that he loved, or was friends with, do anything that would put them in danger. He was overprotective.
Once, he had had a bad experience when he had taken Bryan to a river to swim. While they both were about to dive off of a rock into the water, some guy pushed past them and dove in head first. As it turned out, the water was only two feet deep and it was so cloudy and dirty that it was impossible to tell how deep it was unless you stood in it. The guy hit his head on the bottom and broke his neck. Mike and Bryan were about to jump in, unaware of what happened to the guy, until they saw three of the guys friends go rushing into the water. They dragged the guy out seeing that he was still alive, but was paralyzed. Mike stood there in awe as he walked into the water where the guy dove in. The water didn't even reach his knees and he remembered that the guy dived in almost completely vertically. He continued to stand there until one of the friends started yelling to call for an ambulance. Mike got out of the water and hurried to his car. He opened the door and opened the glove compartment, which inside was a deactivated Motorola flip phone. He turned the power on and dialed 9-1-1, hitting send. "Richmond city 911. How may I help you?" A 911 operator said. "Yeah! I'm at the James River, right under the Huguenot bridge, and a guy just jumped into the water and broke his neck." Mike said. He got an ambulance to the scene within minutes. They both then got in Mike's car and left. They didn't leave their name or anything; they just left. Mike was horrified at the whole situation and from then on became like Bryan's mother. He would always be after Bryan not to do this, and not to do that but eventually, he just stopped it, though occasionally he would comment on really dangerous stuff.
He had bought a pipebomb and was going to detonate it but Mike heard about it, he had told him not to light it. Bryan strangely took his advice and sold it back to the guy he bought it from. Good thing he had taken Mike's advice, because the person that the other guy sold it to, blew himself up. It seems that the maker mixed up his slow and fast fuses. That's when Bryan started to actually take Mike's advice, and it saved him from getting in a lot of trouble too. That's when Mike and him were almost inseparable. Only two years ago it was. They too were like brothers, but for a different reason. Scar and Mike now were like Mike and he were a long time ago. Bryan thought on about this, and soon he was left more lost than he was before he started. He came to the conclusion that the situation now was not fine, and something had to be done to make Mike hurt.. Mike wasn't going to give up Scar, so hurting Scar would also hurt Mike. If he did it that way, he could kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. That's when he began to plan out how it would happen. The assassination that is. He was not jealous, he was just angry. Angry both at himself, and at Scar. Rafiki had pointed out the obvious and said he'd help him. Bryan believed that Rafiki would help him, so kept his plan to kill Scar, and seriously wound Mike's heart secret. Playing out that he still liked Mike, and cried at Scar dying made him chuckle. He wouldn't cry if Scar died. Mike would though because he was a wussy, a pantywaist. He cried over anything, while he himself cried only if he had been kicked in vital parts of his anatomy. As Bryan laid thinking to himself, he thought of Mike as the person he most hated. Why? He didn't know; he just did.
Mike woke up at the next morning, his watch chiming it's fairly loud hourly chime. It was enough to jostle him from his sleep. He had slept well the previous night but it was one of those odd mornings again. Every so often, he would go to bed around four in the morning and somehow manage to get up, feeling fully rested, roughly four hours later. It was very strange though. The opposite happened when he went to bed early. If he went to bed around nine o'clock, something that isn't even feasible to him, he wouldn't be able to wake up until around noon. Today, he felt fully rested, like the days when he only got a mere four hours of sleep.
He laid in bed after his watch chimed, thinking, and staring at the ceiling until he began rubbing his eyes. Tilting his head to the right a little, he saw Scar sleeping soundly beside him, facing the wall. Mike decided that it was about time for him to get up, but he hated to get up alone. There was no one to talk to and nothing to do so he began to wake up Scar. He moved his right arm over and began to lightly nudge him with it. "Get up, this sucks, get up." Mike said in a monotonous voice as he continued to elbow the sleeping lion. Finally, wakened by the dull voice and rib jabbing, he began to move. He had been sleeping on his right side with his back to Mike, and as he yawned, he flipped his head back so that he could see him. With his head in an upside down position, his head stretched to reveal his neck and throat, Mike turned and said "This sucks." again. "Tell me about it." Scar replied. "I was sleeping just fine until you started jabbing me in the ribs." "Sorry. I just don't like getting up all alone. That sucks." Mike finished. A moment of silence passed as the two laid on the bed waiting for the other to say something.
Scar still had his head back, but shrugging to himself, moved and let it fall onto the pillow beside Mike. Looking over, Mike saw, in great detail, the scar over Scar's left eye. It was probably the second time he had really seen it this close; the first time being the night when he found him. Mike's eyebrows slanted down in anger as he ran his finger over the scarred tissue thinking over what Scar had said Mufasa roared after gashing him. "She's mine Taka, and she'll never be yours again." Mike remembered him saying. "How could anyone love you? The whole pride thinks you're a joke, and that doesn't exclude me."
Making a fist with his right hand, his fingernails dug into his palm while his knuckles turned pure white. Closing his eyes trying to control his anger, he opened them to see Scar staring at him, a look of concern across his face. "Come on, lets get up." Mike said, forcing a grin as he began to get out of bed. Scar turned his head back to it's normal position, rolled over, and then jumped up to his feet. Arching his back, he yawned and then hopped onto the floor. Mike opened the door to his bedroom, then the outside door, and let Scar out. Still in his nightclothes, Mike told him he'd be out in a minute. Hustling back to his room, he opened up his dresser drawers and picked out a set of clothes. He took off his nightclothes and then slipped into his ragged pair of bluejeans, and his short-sleeved shirt that had "PHAT" centered on both the front and back. After closing the dresser drawers, slipping on some shoes, and kicking his nightclothes up onto his bed, he rushed back outside.
Scar was sitting outside of the tool shed apparently waiting for breakfast. Taking a small Master key, Mike inserted it into the small lock that had blue plastic running around the base of it. As the locked popped open, he went into the shed, found the bag with the half eaten gazelle and dragged it outside. Dumping the body out of the bag, Mike started in the direction of the cruiser. "I'll be in the cruiser. When you're finished, just come on over." "Okay." Scar replied with a mouth already half full of meat.
Slowly walking over to the cruiser, he reached in flipping the security system off and hopped up into the drivers seat. As he put the key in the ignition and turned it to accessory, the CD player made a whirring noise as it scanned a CD left in it while it was still on. "Funny. I don't remember turning it back on." he thought to himself. "Oh well." he said aloud as he pushed the open/close button and removed the CD left in the Bose. "Forrest Gump The Soundtrack: disk two." he said aloud as he saw the CD, put it back in the two disk case that it came in, and shuffled through the carrying case for a CD.
Beck caught his eye so taking the CD from it's jewel case, placed it in the CD player. As it was scanned and then automatically began playing Mike smiled as "Loser", the first song on the album, began playing. Fiddling with the bass, treble, graphics equalizer, and volume, he soon could actually feel the bass rumbling through him. That was the kind of music that he liked; music that he felt pounding through his innards and drilling into his head.
Looking over at where Scar was eating, he saw him staring back at him. Suddenly, as if by impulse, Mike jumped from his seat to the hood of the cruiser and began head banging, and moving all over the hood acting as if he were in the mosh pit at a fairly large concert. "Sooooy, un perdedor! I'm a loser baby, So why don't you kill me!" he yelled at the top of his lungs, mimicking what the song playing proclaimed. He had memorized every word from the song and had made a sheet for the lyrics, even at the mumbling part. The mumbling part was simply that: the chorus that stated "Soooy, un perdedor! I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me!" which commonly was mistaken for other things. Soon the song faded and Mike was left standing on the hood looking like a fool. As the next song started, he got off of the hood and got back into his seat. Running through most of the songs, the CD got old fast so he replaced it with his Spin Doctors CD. The first, second, third, and seventh songs were the only ones he really cared for and leaning back crossing his hands behind his head, he let ‘Jimmy Olsen's Blues' blast from the stereo and shake the windows in the house, which was a few hundred feet away.
The Spin Doctors had a good sound which Mike liked to listen to when he wanted to "mellow out." As he listened and sat back relaxing, he began to make motions as if he were playing an imaginary drumset, shaking his head slightly to the sides.
He had had his eyes closed while the song played, and when it was over and he opened them, Scar was standing on the hood, almost pressed to the windshield staring at him. Mike jumped back in his seat, startled, and then began to laugh. "You terd! You almost gave me a heart attack!" Mike said, laughing and shaking his head. "I thought you had gone insane! What were you doing?" Scar asked. "When? A few minutes ago, or just now?" "Both."
"Well, I was headbanging the first time. It's what all these people do when they go to concerts and stuff. I was about to crowd dive, but remembered that I wasn't at a concert and that I didn't want to break my neck. Now, just a minute ago, I was banging on the ole' imaginary drum set." "How do you know the words for all these songs? Do you listen to them every day?" Scar asked "Pretty much. There's not a whole hell of a lot to do around here besides listening to music, getting high, drunk, et cetera, et cetera. There aren't any really good chicks around so that also sucks. Come on; get off the hood and get in the cab." Mike said.
Scar obediently jumped over the windshield, gracefully leaping and landing on the passengers seat. A small cloud of dust scattered from the cloth covered, foam rubber seat as Scar hit it, and the cruiser tilted to the right for a second.
"Man! How much do you weigh?" Mike asked. "I don't know." Scar replied. "Good god! You almost tipped this thing over!" he said, somewhat amazed as the shock absorbers leveled the cruiser. "I bet you weigh like four thirty. Remind me when we're at the garage and I'll put you on some scales I have in there." "Okay." Scar said meekly. As soon as he replied, the song that had been playing discreetly for the past few minutes faded and track seven, ‘Two Princes' began playing. Both listened as Mike thought about an episode of ‘Bill Nye The Science Guy' where they had a spoof of the song that was by ‘The EYE Doctors.' It was something that ran with the theme of that days show. "The Soundtrack Of Science" was always the album name.
"Said, if you, want to call me baby, just go ahead now. And if you, like to tell me maybe, just go ahead now. And if you, wanna to buy me flowers, just go ahead now. And if you'd, like to talk for hours, just go ahead now!" Mike sang in his deep, bassy voice. He hit the ‘play mode' button, so that the song would loop itself and as the song ended and began to start the second time, he got up and went to the back of the cruiser.
Picking up a socket wrench with a three quarter inch socket in it from behind his seat, he held it, intending to use it as a fake microphone. Scar looked back at him as he began to start singing along with the socket wrench microphone. Choosing to imitate the lead singer, Mike mimicked in a perfect imitation and Scar found himself grinning, and throwing the idea that he'd be laughed at aside, start singing too. Even though his voice was a little gruff and deep, it was a lot like Mike's.
Mike had a voice that boomed over Bryan's. Probably second only to Barry White, Mike could sing very good, and not just deep either. Scar had heard him singing a Jackson Five song when they were all high a while back and he remembered that the pitch in both the original song and Mike's version were very close if no identical. He had been singing the song, "ABC" in perfect pitch.
Mike heard another voice, saw Scar singing, and motioned for him to get up from the seat and start singing louder. A bit hesitant, he got up and sang regardless of his temperance. If anyone had seen them singing, they would probably have started laughing their asses off, completely embarrassing them both. Mike was very careful about letting anyone hear him sing, but with Scar, he didn't care. Likewise with Scar. He rarely, if ever, sang, and he too would be embarrassed if anyone heard him once he really started to get into it. "One two, princes kneel before you, that's what I said now. Princes, princes who adore you, just go ahead now. One has diamonds in his pockets, and that's some bread now, this one, said he wants to buy you rockets, aint in his head now."



CHAPTER XXIII




The singing lasted up until the end of the song, which Mike stopped before it looped again. Deciding to stop for now, they both sat down on the floor as Mike thought to himself how weird it was when you sang a song, and then sat down and actually just said what the lyrics were about. When you think about it, it usually has some kind of message or something subliminal in it.
"You know you could write a song about a terd?" Mike said aloud. "Well, you could, but I wouldn't want to." Scar answered, amused at the thought. "Why not? All you have to do is rap and make it go something like this: ‘I had a big terd and it went plop, I ran out of Teepee so I had to hop, I hopped to the kitchen and got some paper towels, then I had a relapse and spewed from my bowels!"
"You are very disgusting, you know that?" Scar said, grinning. "I know, but it just goes to show that you can make a song about anything in around ten seconds. You wanna try?" "Not really." "Come on. Sing something. NO! Hold on a sec!" Mike said jumping out of the cruiser and rushing to the house. "Shit! How'd I forget about that?" Mike said to himself as he went to his bedroom closet and produced from it an old steel string acoustic guitar. Rushing back outside, he climbed back into the cruiser and sitting down on the wheelwell beside where Scar sat, ran his fingers along the strings, tuning the slightly off key instrument. "Okay. I got it. I know you know this one." Mike said as he smiled and began to strum out a few chords of a song on the guitar. "Just jump in when you know you're supposed to." "Okay."
Scar knew exactly what song it was by the first three notes; ‘Lithium' by Nirvana. Even though the song was being worn into the ground by now, it still applied to everything that happened almost everyday. The guitar Mike played didn't have a deep sound like a bass, but it was close enough for it's purposes.
"I'm so happy, cause today I found my friends, they're in my head, I'm so ugly, that's okay cause so are you, woke up this, Sunday morning, is everyday for all I care, your my skib, now my candles, in a daze cause I found god!" Scar sang in solo until Mike stopped playing his guitar. "It really doesn't sound that good without a bass and drums. You wanna stop?" "Yeah. I really don't like singing that much. I'd get so embarrassed if anybody heard me." "Same here. I was singing in the bathroom at school once and some dudes were listening to me. When I got out of the stall, they pointed and laughed at me. Man, I ran out of there and my face was beet red!"
Laying the guitar down onto the floor, Mike was about to go back up front when a tune he had never heard before popped into his head. Stopping in midstep, he cocked his head to one side as he picked the guitar back up and began playing what he was thinking. At first, only garbled plucks came from the guitar but as he sat down trying to figure out the sound, it molded into the melody of a wordless song. Scar watched, beaming with delight as he saw and heard everything. Looking to where he sat, Mike smiled at him. "I think I might have something here." he said as his hands inched across the neck, striking vibrant powerchords as he did so.
Somewhat satisfied with the new tune he had thought up, he did what he had planned to previously; going to his seat and turning the cruisers ignition to accessory. "What do you want to listen to?" he asked, turning on the Bose once again. "How about that eighties CD? I like that." Scar replied. "Cool. That CD kicks!" Mike said as he picked up the black nylon case that was under Scar's seat.
Thumbing through the CDs until he came upon the one he was looking for, he pushed the eject button on the Bose, opened up the jewel case and took out the CD. He placed it on the CD tray and gave it a light push, letting it be taken in and scanned. "Okay. What song you want?" Mike asked. "I don't know. You pick one." Scar replied. "Alright, lets see." Mike said as he looked on the back of the CD case. "How about.... ‘Money For Nothing' by Dire Straits? It's pretty cool." "Okay, whatever you say."
Mike skipped to track 11 and the song began playing, turning up the volume a little more than a quarter of the way through the song. "We've got to move these, refrigerators, we've got to move these color TV's!" Mike nodded his head in rhythm of the song, until it was over. "Well, that was cool wasn't it?" Mike said to Scar. "Yes. It was." "Okay, check this one out. This is like a song that is impossible to find anywhere! Here is ‘The Safety Dance', by Men Without Hats!" he said as he hit the skip button back twice. The song was probably Mike's favorite from the eighties era, and soon after hearing it only once, it would become Scar's. "We can dance if we want to, you can leave your friends behind, cause your friends don't dance and if they don't dance then they're, no friends of mine. Say, we can go where we want to, to a place they'll never find, we can act real rude and totally removed, and we can act like an imbecile. And we can dance. Françes!" The four minute song played until Mike hit stop.
"Did'ja like it?" Mike asked. "I did." Scar said coolly. "I told you that eighties music is cool! Bryan only likes new stuff because he's a dumbass. Okay. Listen to this one." Mike said as he scanned the disk for another song. "Alright, here it is." As Mike said that, Devo came on with ‘Whip It'. It was a relatively short song and was over in about two minutes. This time, Mike hit stop, then power and turned the cruiser back off. "Whoa. It's only seven twenty. What the heck are we going to do for the next forty minutes? You wanna take a walk or something?" Scar though it over and said "Sure, why not?" "Cool! Let me go inside and leave a note for Bryan, and I'll grab something to eat, get a gun, and put that body back in the bag. You wanna come inside with me?" "Sure." Scar said as he jumped out of the cruiser with Mike.
Mike first put the gazelle body back into the garbage bag and dragged it back into the shed. After locking it back up, he went into the house and wrote a note to Bryan:
Dude, Me and Scar went on a walk. We got up at seven and listened to music for like 20 minutes. We'll be back around eight or eight thirty. We're going to work around nine today. Later.
Mike stuck the paper on the small, round kitchen table while grabbing a small box of crackers and went into his room to go and get his Uzi. After putting a clip in, and putting an extra one in his pocket, he said, "Let's go."
With the Uzi hanging around Mike's neck by it's carrying strap, he and Scar set off on their walk. Walking was so grand. Only when you walked did you really stop and appreciate the land. Everything about the world seemed to be placed on hold: pollution, crime, drugs, corruption, everything.
Mike had often just gotten up at night back home in the states and gone for a walk; just out of the blue, he'd get up around eleven, put on some clothes and shoes, and go walking. It would be dark out and few, if any, people were out and most importantly, it was quiet. No cars flying past him on the road or obnoxious little kids crying and screeching in the yards he passed. That's the way it was now, except it wasn't dark. Mike and Scar passed the cruiser and walked of to the clearing that Mike had crossed so many times in the cruiser. Opening up the small package of crackers, he took one out. They were those kind of crackers that most vending machines had and the crackers he had were cheese crackers with peanut butter in between. He popped an orange cracker in his mouth and began to eat it.
"You want one?" he asked Scar as little chunks of orange cracker matter flew from his mouth. "No. Thank you anyway. I'm full from breakfast." he replied. Mike was still walking as he took out one of the five remaining crackers and put it in his mouth. After he had finished eating the cracker, he began talking again. "Hey, Scar? You know what really sucks?" he said. "No." Scar said. "Life. It bites man. It's totally unfair and I often wonder why we are even alive." "Amen to that." "You know, that ‘the meaning of life' crap; most people say that it's some kind of spiritual stuff. I don't really believe in that, but your father changed that around a lot. You wanna know what I still kinda think?" "What?" Scar asked as he looked up at Mike. "Well, if you ask me, we're all here as fertilizer. I know it sounds stupid, but that's all we really are when we die. We just feed the grass. The grass feeds livestock, livestock feeds us. We give it all back though when we die." Mike finished. After a minute or two, Scar, who had been thinking this over in his head, agreed that that is what sounds most plausible. ‘The Circle of Life' as Mufasa might have said. Still, he was a little confused on one thing. "Mike? If we die and feed the earth, then how did my father come to us?" Mike was a little baffled at the question and tried to think of an answer. "I guess maybe we get a reward when we die or something. The way I see it is that when you die, you can watch the lives of the one's you loved, or still love, like you watch TV. Maybe even be with the ones you love and stay away from the ones you hated. I'm just assuming stuff here so I'm probably not even close to what really happens. I guess also that you can go back in the future, like when you play a movie, home video, or something like that. You get all these answer that you never really knew when you were alive."
"That sounds very plausible." Scar said. "Yeah. Well, I don't actually know what happens, but if what I said is true, people would know who really shot Kennedy, how and if Elvis died, what happened to that guy who highjacked that jet with something like five million stolen dollars and then jumped out of it and disappeared, the truth of the Whitewater scandal, and of course, where in the world is Carmen San Diego!" Mike and Scar both chuckled at that. That show, ‘Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?' came on sometimes, and it was really bad. "Back to you Greg!" Mike said still laughing.
Both remained silent for quite awhile after that, walking side by side into the African plain. "There's one thing I'm positive you can't do when you're dead though." Mike said as he broke the silence. "What is that?" Scar asked, turning his head and looking up. "You can't look into the future. It isn't set, and at any moment could change. Just like you said last night what your father said, you can only see the things you've done wrong when it's too late."
Mike looked at his watch and saw that it was half past seven. Walking over to a small tree, he sat down in it's shade as Scar came over and sat to his left, also in the shade. Taking out the peanut butter crackers he had pocketed a while back, he put another one in his mouth. After he finished chewing it and had swallowed, he took one out and offered it to Scar. Scar was a little hesitant at first, but as Mike persisted, he gently took it from him. "Thanks." He said as he quickly consumed the cracker. "Welcome." Mike said in response.
"What do you think about all this crap that's happening?" "What...uh ‘crap' do you mean?" Scar asked. "Well, just everything in general. My garage, work, you, Bryan, me, the cruiser, etc." "Well, most of it I like pretty much. I like your music too. It kind of, well, puts my mind at ease." "Sure does. Some of it, like Beck for example, depresses me. I don't know if it's true for everyone, but it does to me. I guess it might be how you perceive it and stuff." Mike said. "Yeah. Most of it, like Nirvana for example, seems like it might depress some people, but it does the opposite for me." Scar replied. "Yeah, it does that to me too. I like all that stuff, but my personal favorites are the songs from the eighties. I don't know why, but I just like em. What about you? Do you like em?" "Yeah, they're pretty good. I like that ‘She blinded me with Science' song." Scar said as he halfheartedly tried to imitate the funky synthesizer music. "That just cracks me up!" "You oughta see the video!" Mike replied laughing a little. " Now that is a riot. There's this freaky old doctor dude that yells out ‘SCIENCE!' every once in a while. That song is a riot." Mike said. After the laughter quickly faded, a relatively long period of silence fell between them. It was interrupted by Mike, who got the old laughter going again. "Hey Meeky you so fine, you so fine you blow my mine!" he said as the laughter came out in bails from both of them. That Toni Basil song was undoubtedly another of the weirdest, and funkiest song ever made. Finally glancing at his watch, Mike saw that time was getting a little short. "Come on, we better start heading home." he said as he slowly stopped laughing and got up stretching. Scar got up and stretched also. "Come on people now, smile on your brother everybody get together, try to love one another right now!" Mike yelled at the top of his lungs as he and Scar began to head back home.
As the two of them saw the cruiser in view a couple hundred feet in front of them, Scar ran from Mike's side over to it. "What are you doing?" Mike yelled after him. Faintly, "I'm going to play that eighties CD again." Scar yelled over his shoulder. Mike ran towards the cruiser and when he reached it, Scar was looking through the open, nylon CD case. "How'd you open that?" Mike said with a furtive look on his brow. "I just went like this." Scar said as he zipped and unzipped the zipper with his left paw. "Whoa! That's heavy man! Do it again." Mike said as he watched Scar use his paw like a hand, zip and unzip the small zipper. "Okay, now see if you can take the CD out." Mike said, watching intently. Scar took the CD out of it's jewel case and as Mike handed over the keys to the cruiser, he put them in, and turned the ignition to accessory. Putting the CD that had ‘Best Hits Of The Eighties' emblazoned on it's top, Mike gasped. "Shit! How long have you been able to do that?" he said, meaning Scar being able to handle things no different from himself. "Oh, quite awhile. I kind of had a lot of practice doing it. I was afraid that if I showed you before, you might be scared of me or something. Now that I know you wouldn't mind, I decided to show it." Sighing deeply, he continued. "No more secrets Mike. I have nothing to hide anymore because I have what I've always wanted. Why ruin it?"
The CD loaded into the Bose and ‘Men Without Hats' came back on. Mike was hit bluntly by what Scar had just said. "Should I tell him about that Mufasa nightmare or not?" he thought silently to himself, not wanting to stir up anything. "I mean, just because of what happened in my dream, that doesn't necessarily mean that Scar will die at Priderock. I'll do everything in my power to make sure he doesn't get so much as a scratch. Everything." Finally, overcome with a feeling of guilt and indescribable sickness to his stomach, he confessed to what he had just been thinking. He turned the volume of the music down and thinking a second, turned the entire cruiser off. "Scar, there's something I want to just tell you. I haven't been completely honest in telling you what's been going on inside my head. I hate to bring it up, but a couple of nights ago" he paused, Scar staring at him intently. "I woke up sweatier than hell, I was soaking wet, I was shaking uncontrollably, I was even crying . I was afraid I'd wake you up, so I went outside and let it wear off." Scar, suddenly very concerned about what Mike was saying, leaned closer and listened tentatively. Mike's chest started to heave slightly as he started again. "I had this dream that was so real I almost thought it was real. It was you, me and Bryan at Priderock discussing last minute details in the cruiser. You and me went in one group, and Bryan went off by himself, armed to the teeth with guns. You and me were going to the gorge when all of a sudden I looked back and you were gone. I began screaming your name out, and all of a sudden, it got real dark, real fast. I looked up at the sky and saw what looked like your father forming, only I didn't know about your father then. As I looked up at the clouds forming, I knew somehow that it was Mufasa. I yelled ‘What did you do to him you bastard!!!' and he just smirked and replied in a cold voice, ‘You'll see.' Then, all of a sudden, you fly out of the cloud screaming, and land on the ground. I ran over to where you were and I just saw a lifeless lump. I screamed at Mufasa and began firing every gun I had at the cloud. Tears were pouring out of my eyes as I ran back to the cruiser and picked up a mini-gun and drained the ten thousand or more rounds at him. He just smirked back and then I saw him start to pick up what was left of you and he threw it at me." About to break into tears reliving the nightmare, Mike tried his best to finish. "He threw you on the hood of the cruiser, impaling you into the windshield and just looked at me. Finally, he said ‘There. Now you know what losing a loved one feels like.' That's when I woke up. I.. I.... thought .. that.. he really had..." Mike trailed off as he put his head on the steering wheel and lost control of his emotions. Scar's face softened visually inside of a second.
He was crying over him? He must have really, really meant what he said. He had meant what he said, but had kind of doubted that Mike would be this devoted to him. He had always been told that humans are unreliable, greedy, deceptive, and destructive. Mike was only the last one of the four, which was good in some ways. Putting his left paw on Mike's shoulder, he tried the best he could to comfort him. "It's alright, I'm here. Look at me." Scar said with a tranquil, soothing tone of voice. Mike still continued to bawl though. "It was only a dream. It doesn't mean that anything will come of it." "There was nothing I could do! He just took you and flung you down on the ground like a rag doll!" Mike blurted out. "I had told you that I'd protect you and I failed to do that!" Tears dripped from his face to the black rubber floormat below him on the floor. One side of his face would drip, and then the other side would. Already, a small pool was forming and beginning to diffuse over the floor.
Mike continued crying until finally he looked up. "Oh man. I'm gonna look like shit at work." he said as he began to run his hands through hair and wiping his eyes with his elbow. He looked over at Scar, who was sitting on the passengers seat. Sniffling a bit, he pulled himself together, sat back in his seat and closed his eyes. After thinking to himself, he began speaking. "I meant what I said a while ago, you know. I meant every word of it. I just felt that if I didn't tell you that, my conscience would start to eat away on me." "I understand." Scar said. Any doubts that he had had of Mike were gone now. He trusted Mike with all of his heart; what was left of it anyway.
Still with his eyes shut, Mike began to speak again. "You don't know how upset I was that night. I really did think that it had happened, and the last thing I need now is another mid-life crisis. That made me so mad and so goddamned angry at myself that I was afraid to even think about it. I was afraid that it would happen, and there's no way in hell that I'd ever recover completely if it did. I probably wouldn't even be able to live." Scar was deeply touched by what Mike had said. Never in his whole life had anyone ever said this to him. Mike might have mentioned it before, but he really meant it now; He could tell just by what he had seen a few minutes earlier. Had anyone besides Mike ever wept for him? No. Had anyone ever accepted him in the amount of time that Mike accepted him? No. Finally, had anyone besides Mike ever done something to make him happy? The answer again, no.
"You know that I'd take a gunshot for you?" Mike said. "I'm not like your mom or anything, but I just can't stand to see you suffer anymore. You been through so damned much, I would stand there and take a bullet for you." Scar thought over this and then replied. "Why would you do that? You would be willing to risk your own life to save me?" "Yes. I would. You might say next, ‘Well, don't you think what I did was bad?', and I'd say ‘I'm not the one to judge that. I don't look at people's pasts. I look at what they lay before me. You have only bestowed kindness and caring in front of you and that's all I care about.' Everyone wants a second chance at life, and you've been given one."
Moving a little closer to Scar, Mike looked him in the eyes, "I can pretty much tell when someone's changed for the better. You were given the chance, and you took it. Now, you're my brother, I'm proud to be able to say it, and I will make sure that you are never hurt again, even if it involves me risking myself to do so."
Scar settled back in his seat, totally shocked and on the verge of tears. Years ago, had he had what he now possessed, there would have been a lot of things he wouldn't have done. Finally, he had found someone that cared if he were missing; that cared if he was hurting; that cared about him in general. Sitting in his seat, he stared out at the horizon, no words exchanged until almost ten minutes later.
"I think we better go wake up Bryan. He's been asleep long enough." Mike said as he started to get out of the cruiser. "You wait here and I'll go wake him up." "Alright." Scar said as he remained seated. "Do you mind if I listen to the CD again?" he asked Mike. "Sure, but please don't scratch them with your claws. Some of those are very rare." Mike responded. "Okay."
Mike walked around the cruiser as he walked towards the house. When he was about twenty feet away from the front door, he heard the Bose blasting ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' by Cyndi Lauper. "The video to that song was cool. Too bad she never made it big." Mike thought as reached the door and opened it. Bryan was still sleeping as he entered the kitchen and seeing the note, picked it up, and threw it in the trashcan. After doing this, he knocked loudly on Bryan's door. "Wake up you terd!" Mike said as he started to hammer on the door with his fists. From behind the door, he could faintly hear Bryan mumbling, trying to go back to sleep. "Get up you bunghole! You sleep too god damned much. Get yo' ayass outta bed, boyyee!" Bryan got up and got into his clothes. He opened the door as Mike was still hammering on it. Mike stopped and looked at Bryan. "I'm UP!" Bryan said to Mike's face. "NOW you are. You'd of slept for years in there." "Well, I was tired." "What the hell do you ever do to get tired. All you ever do is sit around and watch TV. Even at the garage, you just sit on your butt and drink Cokes." Mike said, getting angry.
"God man! Chill! So I don't do anything, so what?" Bryan yelled. "So WHAT?" Mike said, getting angrier at Bryan now. "I do all of the work around here and what the hell do you do? You sit on your butt watching TV, eating food I buy, and leave the work all to me. Your the one that should be working but your so lazy, you won't even help me at the garage. And you complain about me not giving you enough money. Shit! If I paid for the work I got out of you, I'd pay something like five cents a year for you. Probably even less than that!" "Well, isn't that the whole damn reason we came here is to quit that shit?" Bryan put in. "Yeah, so I could get away. You didn't have to come, but you wanted to. I'm starting to regret that I ever decided to bring you with me." Mike concluded, and then stopped short of saying something else.
Bryan went to the refrigerator without saying a word and got out a pre-made sandwich. "Man, I'm sorry." Mike said. "I've been in a bad mood this morning. I'm wasn't thinking; I'm really sorry I blew up at you dude." Bryan didn't even acknowledge that he was there. He took a Coke from the fridge, put it, along with the sandwich in a brown paper bag, slammed the fridge door shut, and went outside. "Man! I said I was sorry!" Mike said as he followed Bryan out the door.
Bryan stormed towards the cruiser but as he neared it, he kept walking. "God damnit Bryan!! I said I was sorry!!" "...Girls. They just... Wanna have fun..." Bryan kept walking and soon disappeared behind the row of trees. "DAMNIT!" Mike said as he brought his fist down on the cruiser's right rear tire. Scar turned the CD player off now, walked to the back of the cruiser and peered down at Mike. Not wanting to stir anything up, he sat silently until Mike began to talk. "I blew up at him and now he's pissed at me. He'll get over it in a few days." Mike said, more to himself than to Scar. Scar could see that Mike was going through another kind of emotional turmoil, so he just laid down in the back of the cruiser and went to sleep.
Mike had given up waiting for Bryan to return, knowing his cooling down was going to be an all day thing and probably wouldn't be back until much later that night. Going back into the house, going to his room, he went to his dresser, opened the top drawer, and fished his wallet from beneath his boxer shorts and socks. After looking in the medium sized mirror that hung on the wall, he picked at his hair, making it stay in some kind of order. After being satisfied with his hair, he took a Coke from refrigerator and locked the house up. If Bryan came home a little early, too bad for him. He had left without taking his keys, so that was his problem. Mike walked over to the cruiser as he opened the cold Coke, letting the familiar ‘hiss' emanate out of the can. He took a sip of it as he neared the cruiser, got into it, and looked over his shoulder and saw that Scar was taking a catnap.
Mike smiled and then turned the cruiser on. He skipped to "Money For Nothing" by Dire Straits, he thought of scaring Scar, but decided not to and changed the fade to the front so that the bass wouldn't blast him out. Pushing in the clutch with his left foot, he shifted the gearshift from the neutral to first gear, and let out on the clutch while pushing on the accelerator. The cruiser slowly began to creep forward as he began turning in a circle. Heading towards the driveway and increasing speed, he shifted up into second. After going a short distance and gaining speed, he shifted to third and went the mile or so to the main road. When he reached it, he stopped, looked both ways, and started out in first again. After reaching a normal speed of about fifty five in fifth gear, he turned off the CD player. He didn't feel like listening to the Bose anymore.
The ten or so mile trip to the garage seemed to take hours. In reality however, the drive took on average only eleven minutes. Mike was a little angry with himself that he had gone off on Bryan like he had. He had done the same thing a long time ago, and almost the same thing had happened.
Bryan was lazy though; It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. Whenever Mike asked him to help do something, he would just stand in a spot and act like a statue. Whenever Mike yelled at Bryan for just standing there, he would always reply "Well, you didn't ask me to do anything!" Mike had been working on the cruisers hydraulics a while ago when a bolt rolled out onto the floor right at Bryan's feet. Mike had put blocks under the cruiser and lowered it so that he could get underneath. He was pretty much stuck under it, but could get out if he wanted to. Mike just watched for a moment as Bryan failed to pick up and hand him the bolt. Mike finally said "Well? You just gonna stand there and stare at it? Kick it over to me."
He did, and he did it like he was shooting for a field goal. It hit Mike on his right shoulder, he got out from underneath the cruiser, angry and cussing. "You dickhead! Are you trying to gouge my eyes out or something? Huh?!" Mike said right up in Bryan's face. Bryan just stood there and said, "Well, why didn't you tell me when it fell?" "God your an idiot!! If I dropped a grenade right in front of you, would I have to tell you to pick it up, or would you have enough common sense to pick it up and get rid of it?" Mike said angrily. "Well of course I'd get rid of it! What do you think I am? Stupid?" "You answer that for yourself." Mike said as he walked away and then got back under the cruiser.
Bryan had come from his family, and his family had been pretty easy on him. When he got caught with the weed on him and he had to go to court, his mom paid for the lawyer they had to get and they were sorry for him. They had told him ‘Oh, don't do that stuff anymore.' and of course he lied and said that he wouldn't. The very next day, he was smoking pot again. Bryan was just a bum, plain and simple. He wouldn't last a day on his own; He didn't even know how to boil a cup of water. That is what was pathetic. Mike was kind of mad with himself now, not over what happened today though. He was starting to regret that he had brought Bryan over with him. He was starting to regret that he had ever become friends with him.



CHAPTER XXIV



When Mike finally reached the garage, he saw that a large Mercedes cargo hauler with three huge wooden crates on the back was parked on the lot. After opening up the garage and backing the cruiser in, he went over to investigate. Upon closer observation, he was still as confused as to where it had come from when he first saw it. While he was standing there, someone had walked up behind him and put their hand on his left shoulder. Mike whipped around, ready to punch whoever was there, and then recognized the person. "Ha ha!" the familiar friend said. "You were ready to knock me down. I like that! When a person is jumpy like that!" "HEY Saddam!! What're you doing here?" Mike said to the arms smuggler/friend. "Well Mike, I had to move my shipment or else they would have been taken by the police. Someone tipped off where I was hiding them and almost made me lose them. Bastards!" Saddam said. "I was hoping I could put these in your garage for awhile. Is that okay?" Mike thought over it for about two seconds. "Well, you're a little early but okay. But, on one small condition. You let me use any weapon that I store, and some I may want to keep." Saddam's face went from a hopeful face, to a face with a huge grin on it.
"You beat me to the conditions Mike! I was just about to say that!" Mike began to smile too. "You were going to let me use and keep the guns anyway?" "Yes. That's how I got dragged into this. I stored guns in my house for someone and I got hooked on them. Soon, I had found a new job that I liked!" "That's cool man. Don't worry though. I'm not going to take like all of the guns or anything, just a few." Mike said. "Oh, take as many as you want. They're not even mine, and they haven't even been inventoried yet. Oh yes, there's a nice mini-gun in one of these." Saddam said as he looked up and patted the closest wooden crate. "Now, that I want you to have. I have one at home. Finest gun I've ever had, but it's a bullet hog!" "I bet it is!" Mike exclaimed. "I see you brought one of those little asshugger forklifts with three wheels on it." Mike asked pointing to the rear of the cargo hauler. "Yes. It's on the back. Where do you think the best place to put them is?" "Hold on a second Saddam." Mike said as he began to walk back to the garage. "Let me move my truck out. Why don't you back the truck around after I move it?" "Okay." Saddam said as he began to get into the trucks cab.
Mike went to the cruiser and jumped up in it. He crawled to the back and began to shake Scar, trying to wake him up. "Scar! Get up! Hey, wake up!" Mike said. Soon, Scar opened his green eyes and looked at Mike. "I was sleeping just fine until you woke me up." he said grinning at Mike. "Sorry man!" Mike told him in a false tone. "We got company. It's Saddam and I don't think he knows about you yet." "Mike, you ready yet?" Saddam yelled from the cargo hauler's cab. "Yeah! I'll move it in a sec!"
Talking back to Scar. "Okay, so what do you think we should do? You wanna go into the office and sleep on the blanket in there, or do you want to stay in the cruiser?" Scar thought for a moment and then decided upon going into the office. "Alright. Cool. Hurry up though, I gotta get this thing outta here." he said referring to the cruiser. Scar got up very slowly, and slowly walked to the edge of the cruiser. Mike had returned to the front of the cruiser and was preparing to start it. "Come on! Make it snappy!" Mike said to Scar. "Oh! I'm so high up! I'm afraid to jump!" Scar said again in his playful voice. Mike quickly shifted in his seat as if he had had a newspaper in his hand and intended to whack Scar on the head with it. Scar quickly jumped down out of the cruisers bed and onto the cracked concrete floor below. Mike put the cruiser in gear and before going out, gave Scar a peace sign. Scar sat down and returned it. Mike saw it and over his head gave him the finger, smiling. Scar returned this also, chuckled a little, and then went to the office and laid down on the blanket.
Mike quickly raced the cruiser and parked beside Saddam's cargo hauler, after which he jumped down. Saddam began to move the cargo hauler as he walked out in front of the garage to direct him. Saddam moved out into the street, and then put the huge truck in reverse. The "beep, beep, beep" most familiar with garbage trucks and school buses came from somewhere under the three wheeled forklift that was hanging off the back. Mike backed up and directed Saddam to a spot within thirty feet of the garage. He then gave the signal for Saddam to stop. A final puff of black diesel smoke came from the trucks towering muffler and Saddam opened the drivers side door. As he came around to the back of the cargo hauler, Mike stood staring at the forklift.
"I wanna use that forklift. I've never used one of those three-wheeled jobbies." he said. "Go ahead, be my guest!" Saddam said laughing a bit. "Just make sure you don't spill the contents of them. The neighbors might be a little suspicious!" Mike laughed and went up to the forklift and took a length of chain that kept it securely anchored to the trailorbed. He then hopped up in the forklift, turned it on, and lowered it to the ground. Once on the ground, he lengthened the body, put it in reverse, and backed around to the left side of the truck. Three crates that were altogether the same length of the cruiser were sitting on the back of the cargo hauler.
Mike went to the one that was closest to the trucks cab and maneuvered the two forks into the wooden palette that the crate was sitting on. Lifting it up a little bit, the forklift began to tilt forward a little bit, so he moved a lever that extended the small vehicles wheels out further. As he did so, the center of balance was enough to hold the crate in the air, so he slowly lifted it off the bed and began going towards the garage. As he reached it, he lowered the lift and made sure he'd have enough clearance to clear the garage door and after he did, he drove the forklift in and set the crate down in the very back of the garage. He went back out, got the second one, and put it in, and finally, put the third one in. After the last crate was in, Mike wiped his brow with his shirt sleeve.
"I'm sure glad that's done." Mike said to Saddam as he stepped down out of the tiny vehicle. Saddam smiled and then replied. "Well, you've done all of the hard work. Do you want to open the crates up now?" "Do I!?" Mike exclaimed. "I sure do!"
Mike shuffled into the garage, grabbed a crowbar hanging on the back wall and a step ladder leaning on a post, and after setting the ladder on one of the crates, went away at opening the crate. After prying at the top for nearly five minutes, it came off and he laid it on the floor. He climbed back up the ladder and saw in the huge crate many boxes with barcodes and numbers all over them. Saddam had already stepped into the garage and watched Mike looking in the crate. Mike took one of the top boxes and handed it to Saddam. He took it as Mike climbed down from out of the crate.
"What kind of gun is it?" he asked eagerly. "Well, I think they are mainly surplus M-16's, but their are some very good sniper rifles in one of the crates." Mike opened the box and saw that the gun was an M-16. It had four empty clips packed in with it and he took them out along with the gun. Holding the gun up to his shoulder and looking through it's sights, squinting his other eye shut he said "This is the most beautiful gun I've ever seen." while Saddam grinned. "Oh, wait until you find the mini-gun! It's in a big box, at the bottom of one of the crates." Saddam said as he began to walk over to the truck.
"Hey! Where're you going? Aren't you gonna stay a while?" Mike said as he put the gun down and ran out to Saddam. "No, I really can't. As much as I'd like to, I really can't stay in any one spot too long. I've got so many people to see that if I stayed for ten minutes, I'd probably lose twenty thousand dollars." "Oh, I see." Mike said. "A salesman can never be caught with his pants down, right?" "Right!" Saddam said as he lightly hit Mike on the shoulder. "Well, I thank you again for letting me store my guns in your garage Mike. I must be going now. I'll come by in a few weeks to check up on you. Well, I better get going." Saddam said as he extended his right hand to Mike. Mike took it and shook hands. "It's been a pleasure doing business with you Saddam." "Likewise Mike." As the two finished saying farewell to each other, Saddam began to go off in the direction of the cargo hauler. Mike, who had been walking back to the garage to inspect his new treasures, suddenly turned around and yelled at Saddam. "There's ammo for everything in the crates, right?" "Saddam nodded his head and then waved his hand as he reached the cab of the truck. Mike waved in response and watched as Saddam started up the truck and drove off.
Rushing back inside the garage, Mike scrambled up the ladder onto the open crate. He took most of the M-16 boxes down and looked deeper into the box. As far down as he could see, which was quite a way, he couldn't see any different sized boxes. A little excited about finding the mini-gun, he repacked the first crate with the boxes of guns, and after making sure he'd be able to reseal the crate, moved the ladder over to the middle crate. Taking the crowbar he had used a while ago to pry open the first crate, he wedged it between the top and the crate. Hands shacking with excitement, fifteen minutes later, he had the top off. He quickly moved the top over the side a little, climbed down the ladder, and pulled it down to the floor. Scrambling back up the small wooden step ladder, he walked on top of some boxes that looked like the M-16 boxes. After a quick check of one, he saw that it was one of the sniper rifles Saddam had told him about. He closed the box, took it down, and laid it beside the M-16 box. Scrambling back up the ladder again, he took the boxes and began piling them on top of the crate he had just opened. After he had moved about half of the guns out of the middle crate, he came upon another wooden crate packed in the bottom. He tried to lift it out, but had no luck in doing so. Thinking over how to get it out, the idea of using his block and tackle came to mind.
He scrambled out from inside the crate and went over to a small workbench at the very back of the garage. Reaching underneath, he produced a small cardboard box and upon opening it, he took it's content, the block and tackle with a large coil of nylon rope. Going back over to where the crates were, he got on top of the one closest to the outside, and climbed up into the rafters. There were many two-by-fours that braced the ceiling, and as he inched along one of them, he tied one of the small metal pulleys to one of the overhanging ones. After making sure that it was securely fastened to the wooden beam, he climbed back down and got into the middle crate again. After removing all of the surrounding boxes and rocking the crate to get the rope around the box, he began to pull on the rope going up to the pulley. The box began to slowly rise off of the crates floor, and soon was clear of the top. Still holding onto the rope, Mike smacked himself on the head. There was no way he was going to be able to get out of the crate while holding onto the rope.
Lowering the box down again, he jumped up on one of the crates thick, wooden walls and climbed out. He still had the rope in his hand, and as he got up on the third crate, he began tugging on the rope again. The box slowly rose up, and was soon in the position to be taken out of the crate. Mike moved the box a little, and it began to swing as does a pendulum. He kept moving the box until it swung out enough to be lowered to the concrete floor below. He watched as the box swung around on the rope, and waited to lower it so that it would hit the side of the crate. He timed it just right, and the box slammed into the crates side. The box had stopped swinging and Mike lowered it to the ground. Soon, the box came into contact with the floor, and he let go of the rope, rushing to it. After untying the rope, he picked up the crowbar that was lying on the floor nearby and began to pry the top off of the crate.
After a brief two minutes of ripping the nails from the crate, he opened the top to reveal an excessive amount of shredded paper packaging. He dug into the middle of it and in the process, the packaging was strewn about all over the floor. In the middle of the crate is what Mike had hoped was in it. Wrapped in clear, heavy plastic bubble-wrap sheets was a mini-gun about three feet long. Reaching down into the box, he wrapped his arms around the gun and lifted it out of the box. Setting it down on the concrete, he began to tear the plastic wrapping from the gun. When the wrapping was all off, he sat in awe at what set before him. He tried to twirl the six barrel muzzle, but it was locked in place. Little yellow tags that had "STOP! PLEASE READ INSTRUCTION MANUAL BEFORE OPERATING!" were all over the gun. In all the excitement, he had forgotten about the instructions. He got up and looked back in the box and found them also wrapped in the plastic. He tore it out and opened the one hundred fifty page instruction manual. He gasped at all the instructions, but was relieved to find that it was written in three different languages. He turned to the beginning of the parts written in English and began reading.
He sat and read the instruction to their entirety. He had to fish out a tube of grease from the box and lubricate a bearing that the muzzle spun on; take out the block that was supposed to prevent the gun from firing during shipment; and prime the electric motor that ran the barrel. After making sure that he had done everything the book said, he put the thick, nylon strap on the gun, picked it up, and held it. The gun had no ammo in it as he pushed the firing button and let the barrel whiz to life. It made a silent whining noise, much like the noise of very quiet electric drill. The barrel spun at blinding speed as he pretended to sweep the road with bullets. Thinking of that, he set the gun on the floor and went to look for them.
He took about half an hour repacking the middle crate and opening up the third one, which was the one that seemed to contain the ammo, and other stuff. Other meaning the boxes upon boxes of grenades, cases that contained rocket launchers, tons of M-16 clips and accessories, and countless other guns with ammo. Mike found what he determined to be the mini-guns fifty caliber machine gun ammo and dragged box after box of the small olive drab boxes out of the crate. They had U.S. army stenciled in with white paint on the tops of them, which was no surprise to Mike. After the last box of ammo was out, he began to sort through the other stuff he had removed from the crate. There were thirty boxes of grenades that contained fifty grenades per box; ten rocket launchers; twenty additional Uzi's; hundreds of M-16 and Uzi clips; a box of twenty, brand new Smith & Wesson .357 magnums; an equal amount of .45 Magnums; and box upon box of ammo.
Mike had a field day taking things. He took four of each of the handguns, three more Uzi's, two of the rocket launchers, ten boxes of grenades, fifty clips for both the M-16's and the Uzi's, and two hundred boxes of each of the bullets. After repacking the crate and sealing it back up, he ran out to the cruiser and backed it up to the other garage door. He let the tailgate down as he began to load it with his treasures, packing everything in the back until there wasn't so much as a place to sit in. He went over to the first crate, lifted up the lid, and took out another M-16, knowing it was always good to have two of everything. Putting this in the back of the cruiser, he wandered into his office to sat down. He was going to have to cover the back of the cruiser with something, and the only thing to cover it was Scar's blanket. He really didn't feel like waking him up; he was sleeping so well, he didn't want to disturb him.
After resting a moment or two, Mike's stomach rumbled and glancing at his watch, saw that it was eleven thirty. "Damn!" he exclaimed getting to his feet. He hadn't eaten anything besides the crackers he had that morning so quickly, he walked out of the garage and over to the lunchcounter that stood a couple hundred feet from it. Upon reaching the counter, the old, black lady came up to the window and waited to take Mike's order. "Okay, I'll have a large Coke, two krautdogs with ketchup and mustard, uh a large order of french fries, and four pounds of raw beef, highest grade." The lady went back into where she had appeared from and five minutes later, reappeared with the order. Mike paid her with a twenty and let her keep the ten or so dollars in change. The lady smiled at him as he carried the large bag of food and drink back to his garage.
Sitting down in the ragged satin chair that was in the office, he began to eat the krautdogs, taking a huge bite out of one of them, swallowing, and then taking a big swig of Coke. He made a loud belch and began eating again. Scar woke up when Mike belched but kept his eyes shut. He would occasionally peer over at him and see what he was doing.
Mike sat back in his seat and closed his eyes. This was what Scar had been waiting for and as Mike sat in the chair chewing the krautdog with his eyes closed, Scar got up silently and walk over to him, standing and ready to scare him when he opened his eyes. Mike continued to keep his eyes closed as he reached over on the desk in search of his Coke. Once his wandering hand found it, he picked it up, sat up, and was ready to take a sip. He opened his eyes and then a calm and unexpected "Boo." made him jump in his chair and drop his Coke. Mike saw that it was Scar, now rolling on the floor laughing. "Ha ha ha." Mike said. "Good thing my drink had a lid on it you terd." Scar looked up at him, stopped laughing at him for a second, and then started up with it again. "You," he started to say through his laughter. "you should have seen your face!! Your eye's almost popped out of your head!" he barely was able to say through his chuckling. He still was rolling around laughing when Mike reached into the paper bag and took out a smaller bag that had the four pounds of raw meat in it. It was a large plastic Zip-loc bag and he threw it on the floor in front of Scar. "I got you a snack, but since you scared me, you open it yourself." Mike said laughing with Scar now. He wasn't mad; He was just having fun.
Bryan never did stuff like this; he only kicked people in the nads and laughed. That wasn't funny unless he was the one getting kicked. Mike let out another belch and inadvertently, the contest for who could belch the loudest was on. Scar stopped laughing, sat up, and let out a belch of his own. "Good. See if you can top this one." Mike said as he began to swallow air. After swallowing about ten times, he tried to burp. A little "erp" came out and he began to hit his stomach. "Oh crap! It's stuck. This sucks!!" Scar began laughing a little until Mike literally made the room resonate with the belch that was stuck in his stomach. The final belch was what made the two laugh stomach hurting laughs.
Mike fell to the floor and then began rolling around, clenching at his stomach. Scar remained where he was, but now began to pound his right paw on the floor laughing as much, maybe even more than Mike. The two laughed for almost two minutes, nonstop until Mike tried to sit up. After sitting up with the aid of his chair, still holding his stomach, he stopped laughing for a second. "Man! I almost bust a gut there!" Mike said as he looked to Scar. Scar stopped laughing, looked at Mike, tried to make a concealed laugh, and then put his head back between his paws, muffled laughs coming from him. Mike laughed a little, but it hurt his sides so bad that he had to stop. "Come on man. Stop it. I'm going to have a hernia if you don't stop making me laugh." Scar finally got himself together and stopped laughing.
Mike got up and then sat back down in his satin chair. Mike often called it the satin chair, like the devil dude satin. Satin sucked but it was fun to act like him. Mike had sat in the chair once and had had a really big sugar rush. Bryan said something to him, and he sat grabbing the arms of the chair making his voice sound deep and harsh. "I AM SATIN!! Bow before me or you will DIE!" Mike had said. He said a lot of other stuff he couldn't remember, but he remembered one thing though. He was talking about "The Cannibal."
The Cannibal was a big wussy he had known back home in the states who really did worship the devil. He was a real wus though. He was a freshman in high school when a fifth grader beat him up at his bus stop. Real tough guy.
Mike sat back in his chair and took the remaining krautdog and began eating it. Scar was still laying on the floor when he took the plastic baggy and opened it with his paws, Mike watching him as he did so. He really hadn't seen how he had opened the CD cases before. He had been too flabbergasted about Scar in general to really say or notice anything. First, in strolls a lion that can talk; next, Mike learns that he has some kind of kinship with him; and most recently, he learns that he can use his paws like human hands. It was all something that only a person could see to understand.
Scar took his left paw, extended his dewclaw, and used it as would a person use their thumb. He picked up the bag of beef and held it as he peeled the top open with his right paw. Mike sat mesmerized as he watched the lion do all of this. Scar, who had seen Mike staring at him, finally looked over at him. "It's not polite to stare you know." he said. Mike snapped out of his trance and said "Sorry." "I was just joking." Scar said, thinking Mike might have taken his remark literally. "I know. You know what? You're undoubtedly the most amazing personality I have ever met. I'm kind of sad and stuff about what happened, but when I think about it, it gets all confusing. I mean like what would have happened if I hadn't of been home that night? I would have missed you and you probably would have just kept running. It has totally changed my life so don't think I don't like your company. I can honestly say now that you are better company than Bryan." "Really?" Scar asked curiously. "Hell yes! Bryan is a dumbass. I kind of wish that I hadn't have brought him. He's jealous of you; that I can tell. The thing is that he and I were always around each other and we were kind of like brothers. I didn't do the blood brother thing with him though; we weren't that close." Pausing to think a moment, he began again. "He was basically a dumbass when I met him, and he hasn't changed a bit. If he wanted me to pay attention to him, he had all the time in the world to ask for it. I mean, not like love and touching attention. That's something altogether different. I mean just being friends and stuff. He doesn't really like you and even though he may act like he does, I can tell. I've known him a long time Scar, and I know how he operates. But don't worry about it though; If it was either him or you, I'd choose you. I really care for you man. It's weird. The only other time I felt like this is when my mother was still alive. She was warm, understanding, and she never put me down. I don't really remember her that much, but you remind me a lot of her. Don't take this the wrong way or anything, I'm not one of those dudes with my little fairy dance and stuff. There's enough of those dudes in San Francisco." Mike paused and shuddered. "But, I guess I love you man. I would and will do what I said a while ago. You will never be hurt again as long as I live. That's a pledge I'd put my life on, and I don't pledge myself to many things, especially the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic, for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. That's just like pledging yourself to a lie." Scar sat, still in awe at Mike's little speech. "You would rather have me alive than Bryan?" he said bewildered. "You bet. I'm so sick of that lazy terd that the only reason I didn't shoot him that night I found you is because he was all I had. I don't want to sound mean, but he is one lazy, bastard that doesn't deserve to breath in air."
Scar at that moment felt sorry for Bryan. He could see what Mike meant though; Bryan was lazy. He never did anything to help out, on the contrary, he did just sit around, watching TV, and drinking Cokes. Scar could see Mike's point of view though, but he still didn't understand why he'd choose him over Bryan. He had known Bryan for so long, and known him for only one or two weeks? Mike definitely was a committed person once he saw through some one's appearance and got to know them. Scar was glad that he had left the lies and his hate back at Priderock. He wasn't going to lie anymore anyway, and now he was glad he hadn't tried. Having Mike mad at you was like having the world against you. Although he had probably known it subconsciously all the time, for the first time in a very long time, Scar felt safe. He felt very safe and owed that feeling to Mike. Mike was a symbol of power and authority to him. Although he just looked like a common mechanic with an IQ of 90, he was much more than that. He would literally go to the ends of the earth to save him. Scar knew that now, and he liked the feeling. If he had been his old self, he might have used this to his advantage, but now, all it made him feel was warmth. Mike trusted him enough to tell him that, and that was all Scar needed to finally feel accepted.
Sitting in his chair, Mike let his thoughts wander aimlessly. He had had absolutely no customers that morning and soon saw why. A glance to his watched showed that it was Saturday; there was little if any business on Saturdays. He must have lost track of the days or something, more than likely when he had gotten high and disoriented. That happened all the time. Deciding that it would be a waste of a day if he just stayed at the garage waiting for the one, if any, customers that came, he got up out of his chair and walked into the garage. He stood for a moment thinking when Scar came in and stood beside him. Mike looked down at him as he thought. Suddenly, remembering something he had wanted to do, Mike raced to the back of the garage and started to scrounge around through all of the clutter that was around. Finally, finding what he was looking for, he wheeled out a rusty, steel platform with a balance and weights on it. "What's that?" Scar asked as Mike maneuvered the thing around a few boxes. "It's that scale I was telling you about. I used to use it to weigh engines and stuff. I wanted to put a real heavy engine, cast-iron block, in the cruiser for better traction and stability, so I bought it from someone in a town about a hundred miles from here. It goes up to something like a ton. It's real heavy duty." Mike said as he began to set the scales up.
There were some heavier weights that he went back to go get; a five pound block of lead, a one pound block, and a three pound block. Setting them down on the concrete floor, he continued to play around with the scales, fiddling around with the balance and weights for a moment. After setting the balance to zero, he asked "Okay, you wanna hop up on it?" "Sure." Scar replied as he got up on the thick, steel platform. It bounced down a little as Scar first put his front paws on it, but he was reassured by Mike who nodded his head. He got completely on the scales and sat down. "Okay." Mike said as he picked up the three pound lead block and hung it on the balance. The little thing that was supposed to line up and show that you had the correct weight shot up in the air the instant Scar had sat down. A pound of lead represented one hundred pounds and Mike began to move the sliding weight over so that he could try to get Scar's weight. The beam balance went all the way up to a hundred pounds, so the maximum weight that could be recorded without adding any other lead was four hundred pounds. Mike slid the balance all the way over to the left and the balance still stayed where it was. Putting the one pound lead block alongside the three pound one, the balance quickly snapped to the top again. Mike reset the hundred pound sliding weight and the balance stayed up still. He slowly began to move the slider over to the right and gradually the bar began to lower. After looking carefully and adjusting the weight, Mike read Scar's weight.
"You weigh about four thirty seven. No wonder you shook the cruiser." Mike said to Scar. Scar looked smug as he asked if he could get off the scale. "Sure. And wipe that grin off your face Beavis!" Mike said in an imitation of coach Buzzcut. "Just because you outweigh me by about three hundred pounds doesn't mean I still can't take you down!" Mike said as he lunged at Scar.
Catching Scar in a head lock, he thought for a moment and then gave him a noogie. He laughed while doing so and Scar laughed back, pushing with his front paws on the floor and breaking free of Mike's headlock. He then grabbed Mike with his forelegs and held him as if he meant to smother him. Mike let out a few muffled yells as he fell back on the floor and laughed every so often until finally, the roughhousing stopped, and he was let free. He sat looking up at the ceiling, and then folded his arms behind his head and laid down looking out at the sky. Scar laid down beside him and looked at the sky with him.
"Man, some days I wish I could just get out of here and go back to the states. There's nothing here at all, but there's no way in hell I'm leaving without you. Your like my moral support, my only reason to live." "Don't say that! There are plenty of things to live for." Scar exclaimed, looking over at him. "Name one." Mike asked. "Well, there's uh, well, music I suppose." "Yeah. I bet when you die though, you have to listen to Kenny G, and Yanni. That'd be a fate worst than death for me. If I got to choose the music I'd listen to when I died, I'd choose disco and eighties stuff." Silence befell on the two. Mike finally got up and began to shut down the garage. "What are you doing?" Scar asked, still laying on the floor. "I'm closing shop. Today's a slow day anyway. You can go get in the cruiser if you want to. I'll be out in a minute."
Scar got off of the floor and obediently went and got into the cruiser. Mike took his leftover food and packed it back into the paper bag. Scar's bag of meat was still on the floor, barely eaten, so he took that and put it in his bag also. As he was about to close the door and go out to the cruiser, he remembered the blanket. Going out to the cruiser and putting the bag of food on his seat first, he went back for the blanket. Grabbing it off the floor and shaking some dirt off of it as he did so, he left, shutting and locking the office door. Walking to the cruiser, he got up on one of the rear tires and spread the blanket out over the back, concealing the weapons beneath it. Jumping up to the front, he moved the paper bag and then sat down in his seat. After starting the cruiser up and turning right on the road, Scar asked where they were going. "Oh, I have a few gadgets I want to try out. They're real neat." Mike said. "I think we'll be able to use them sooner or later."
Mike aimed the mini-gun at a small tree, fired, and cut the tree along with several others down with the spray of bullets. Tracer bullets were mixed with the regular bullets, and they glowed red as they flew off into the dense forest. Mike let go of the trigger. "Damn!" he said as he realized how destructive the gun was. "I saw in that movie ‘The Predator' when that dude went crazy and shot that mini-gun cutting down trees and stuff, but I didn't think it really happened! Shit! With one of these, you could kill tons of people! Just fire it, and erase whatever's in front of you." Scar, who had stood and watched from the back of the cruiser as Mike fired, was amazed at how powerful the gun was.
After traveling around twenty miles down the road, Mike had turned off of the main road and gone down an overgrown trail, leading into a dense jungle. He stopped a few miles down the trail and unveiled his arsenal, digging out the mini-gun first and threading it with the fifty caliber machine gun ammunition. Lowering it to the ground, he had picked his target, a tree.
"This gun is the gun." Mike said as he put the gun back into the cruiser, having finished targeting with it. He took the remaining string of bullets out of the feed mechanism and put them back in the green box they were stored in. He then took one of the M-16 boxes, removed the gun, and put the box aside. After filling two clips for it, he inserted one of them and loaded a bullet into the chamber. Switching the selector switch to ‘Auto', he took aim at another tree that was untouched by the first gun attack. It was a larger tree and had quite a big trunk and carefully aiming the M-16 at it, he switched off the safety and squeezed the trigger. The gun vibrated in his hands and the clip was drained within three seconds leaving the tree riddled with bullets and partially ripped of its bark. Mike, holding the gun by it's handle grip, walked over to the tree which was a few hundred feet away and surveyed the damage. The trunk had splintered where the bullets had hit and taking the clip that was full, he held it up and looked at the bullets inside. At about this time, Scar had walked over to where Mike was and asked what he was looking at. "This thing fires god damned hollowpoints! Man, you could take down a rhino with this thing!"
Scar saw how much damage the guns had done and the thought of one of them taking down a rhino was mind boggling. "You mean" he started "that that gun could kill a rhino?" "Well, the gun and these bullets could. I bet these bullets were those ones that people used to shoot through bulletproof armor. This stuff could probably pierce through two inches of solid steel." Mike said. Suddenly feeling very weary of the silence, he stopped talking. "Come on. Let's start going. I don't have a good feeling about this place. It feels like someone's watching us." he said as he began to look around the strangely quiet place, backing up as he did so. Scar stood, his ears standing up, doing the same.
Mike led the way back to the cruiser as Scar followed. Feeling a little paranoid still, Mike put the full clip in the M-16 and pulled back the bolt. As they walked, careful not to make any noise, Mike heard a twig snap in the foliage of the jungle. Scar had heard it too, and as Mike gave a silent signal to him, they both ran when Mike said to. Mike let Scar get in front of him as he looked behind his left shoulder and saw that a hyena had run from the cover of the trees and was attempting to chase them. Mike aimed his M-16 behind him and fired off a few rounds, missing the hyena, but seeming to scare it off. It ran back off into the cover of the thick jungle and disappeared. Mike reached the cruiser, jumped up on the hood, and jumped into his seat. He turned the cruiser on, put it in reverse, and floored the accelerator. He had put it in four wheel drive when he came in because the trail had pretty much been only a hiking path. All four wheels spun into motion, throwing up foliage and dirt as the cruiser began to travel backwards. Mike looked for a good spot to turn around in saw a patch of trees that he could do it in. Backing up in them, the front end whipped around sliding across the damp ground, and he quickly turned around and sped off. He took a glance behind him and saw a couple hyenas following. "Shit!" he said as he went about thirty seven in the heavily wooded terrain. "Do you know how to steer?" Mike said to Scar. "What?" Scar said, overhanging leaves being thrown up by the windshield and lightbar. "Do you think you can drive the cruiser for a minute?" "Well, I've never tried it, but I think I can." "Okay." Mike said as he began to set the cruise control. "Reach over and grab the wheel. We've got about five feet on each side so that's a pretty good space cushion."
Scar extended his left paw, took hold of the steering wheel, and steered the cruiser as Mike turned around and aimed the M-16 at the hyenas. He sighted them in his sights and squeezed the trigger. He was met with a non-firing trigger and saw that the safety was on so quickly turning it off, pulled the trigger and dropped two of the seven or so hyenas. As he was ready to shoot again, he put the M-16 aside and got an Uzi from the back. He had loaded a clip up previously and popped it in, pulling back the bolt, draining it and taking out the rest of the hyenas. He climbed up back to the front and took control of the wheel again "Good driving you did there." he said, settling back in his seat. "Good shooting you did there." Scar replied.
Mike reached the road a few minutes later and turned on it to go home. "Where are we going now?" Scar asked. "Home. Home to get high." Mike replied. Mike and Scar both slowly smiled.



CHAPTER XXV



As the sun began to set, Shenzi paced back and forth in the elephant graveyard. "They should be back by now. Something must have went wrong." she mumbled under her breath, referring to the small group of hyenas she had sent to go and spy on Scar and the human. She had given them very explicit instructions not to go after them if they saw him, but doubted that they had followed their instructions and had gone and gotten themselves in trouble. She had been waiting for the eight hyenas to return for almost six hours now. She had sent them out early in the morning a day ago and told them all to be back before the sun set the next day.
They had ran from the elephant graveyard and made good time, traveling the seventy or so miles in the first day. Leaving early in the morning had let them travel while the temperature was still cool, permitting them to run longer distances without tiring easily. Shenzi had planned the spy group from the day after the unkempt pack had made it back to the graveyard. She was still mad, both at herself for letting what happened happen, and for the human involving himself in something that doesn't concern him. A group of hyenas that were out a little ways looking for the spy group suddenly came back and walked over to her. "Shenzi?" one of them said. "They're not coming back. They would have been back by now." "NO!" Shenzi said, cutting off the other hyena. "They'll be back. They just got caught up, that's all." A long and dreary silence befell on the whole pack. They had been instructed to be back before the sun set no matter what and looking to the west, the sun was completely below the horizon now, giving off it's eery red glow. The group wouldn't return; then or ever. Shenzi's worst thoughts came true, even though she'd never be sure.
The eight hyenas that she had sent out to only spy on Scar had probably gotten overwhelmed by an opportunity they saw and tried to take out him and the human. Still pacing back and forth waiting for the eight to return over the hill at any moment, Shenzi gave up and called all of the pack together. She announced what she had planned and what probably happened to the eight missing hyenas. Only a few of the pack knew about the plan, so most were intrigued to hear about it. "I believe that the eight I sent out on a spy mission today are either lost, or have been killed. I hope for the first, but I can't change whatever happened. If they're not back by tomorrow, then I will hold a memorial in their honor." A few of the hyenas walked away as Shenzi said this. The last thing they wanted to hear was more death after what had happened with the last encounter with Scar. Enough damage had already been done.
Mike slowed as he saw the main road through the thick foliage. He slowed down even more and then stopped completely as he got to it. Looking in both directions, seeing that it was clear, he accelerated onto the main road, quickly reached a speed of fifty seven miles per hour and noticed that the cruiser was making more noise than usual. Remembering that he still had it in four wheel drive, he slowed down and stopped in the middle of the road. "What are we stopping for?" Scar asked as Mike got out of the cruiser and walked around to the front of the it. "I still have it in four wheel drive, and if you go fast with it on, it'll screw up the transfer case." he said while switching the hub lock off on the left side. Walking over to the other side, he switched it off too. After doing this, he got back in the drivers seat, shifted the transfer case lever to ‘2WD', and put the cruiser in reverse. He went back a foot or two and heard the hubs make a little clicking noise and after hearing this, put it in first gear and quickly accelerated back up to around fifty seven.
Cruising along in fifth gear, he began to accelerate at a mind boggling speed. The engine began to reach it's peak as he pushed in the clutch and shifted into sixth gear. The engine's noise went down to a low hum as the load came off of it. Mike looked at the speedometer and it read one hundred and one miles per hour. The scenery raced by on both side as he drove over the packed red clay road, racing by the small town where his garage was. Pushing down on the accelerator even more, he hit a peak of one hundred thirty eight as the eight cylinder big block engine began to scream through the exhaust pipes. After a while, he took his foot off of the accelerator and the cruiser slowly began to slow down. Once it hit sixty, he put his foot back on it and continued to travel at that speed.
Looking over to his right to look at Scar he saw that he was gone. Dreading that he may have fallen out while he had been speeding, he slammed on the brakes; all four wheels locking up as the cruiser went from sixty to zero in less than six seconds. The cruisers rear had fishtailed slightly to the left and ended up blocking the entire road. Mike whipped his head around and looked behind him, looking way off down the road and was about to turn around when he saw Scar almost directly behind his seat, covering his head and shaking a little. Quickly unbuckling his seat belt, he went back to where he was and kneeled down beside him. "Are you alright?" he asked. Scar didn't reply but still just shook and covered his head with his paws. "Damnit! I always find some way to scare the shit out of someone!" Mike angrily said to himself. "Damnit! I could have given you a heart attack and I didn't even think about it. Stupid!" Mike said as he hit himself in the head with balled fists. "You dummy! Is that what you want to do? Kill your own brother?" Mike said enraged with himself now. The hitting soon turned to hair pulling, running his hands through his hair and taking them out with hair in them. He didn't feel the pain; he was too angry with what he had done, inflicting penitence for an act that hadn't even happened.
Bryan liked to go fast, but he had never asked Scar if he liked to. Slowly beginning to return to normal, Scar saw Mike hitting himself and pulling his hair out. He was kneeling down in the back near him and seemed enraged at himself. Saying something to him, he got no response as Mike continued to hit himself. Scar said that he was fine but Mike seemed not to hear him. Getting up now, Scar walked over in front of Mike and tried to say something to his face. Mike still acted crazy, and was starting to cry. He kept on muttering about "you coulda killed him", and "You stupid idiot!" Scar had never seen him like this before and didn't like it. Mike still acting insanely, Scar tried for two minutes to stop him. He seemed to not even notice him and kept crying and mumbling things. Finally, having seen enough of Mike being in shock, Scar leapt at him, pinning him to the black plush carpet. "Snap out of it! Wake up!" Scar said harshly as Mike began to slowly snap out of his trance. Mike finally began to realize that the horrible reality he had envisioned had all been false. He saw Scar looking down on him and began crying more. "Scar!" he yelled, recognizing him.
Scar got up off of him as he saw him snapping out of it. Sitting up, Mike looked at him, then threw his arms around his neck, sobbing uncontrollably. Closing his eyes and telling Scar what had just happened, Scar put a paw on his back, reassuring him. "I saw you were gone, and I, I almost blacked out. I thought you had fallen out of the cruiser when I sped. I saw you beside the road all disfigured and I... I lost it!" Mike said, bawling now. Scar patted him on the back and continued to soothe him with his words. "It's alright. I'm here." he said while Mike cried into his black mane.
Scar didn't know what had caused him to freak out, but he knew who had caused it. After Mike had began flying like a madman down the road, Scar had gotten a little scared and went to the back of the cruiser to sit. He didn't feel safe going that fast without a seatbelt or anything on. He had been on the left side of the cruiser when all of a sudden, the brakes were slammed on, and he slid up to the back of Mike's seat. He saw Mike turn around in his seat and then go pale and break down right before him. After that, he just went ballistic and starting hitting himself.
Still crying and with his chest heaving rapidly, Mike clung to Scar like a child who hasn't seen it's mother in months. Old thoughts telling him to take advantage of the situation quickly raced through Scar's head. "No!" he said, thinking to himself. "Not anymore!! Mike needs me now and I'm never going to cross him. Ever!"
Mike continued to bawl for almost ten minutes, while Scar just sat with him, occasionally patting him on the back. Once in a while, Mike tried to say something but would end up crying before he could finish. He tried to talk through his disconcerted state, but to no avail. "I could have killed you!" he finally managed to get out with a distressed tone in his voice. "If I had, I would have taken one of those grenades and let it blow me up." Mike concluded. Scar now understood how much he really meant to Mike. He knew that Bryan sure wouldn't commit suicide because he died. Mike would though; he would do anything for him. Devotion and affection was all he could feel towards Mike. However many times he had said it to himself before, Mike truly loved him, and he loved him back. The kind of love one would most familiarly and accurately associate with a very close brother-brother relationship, they both shared for each other.
Mike, after almost fifteen minutes of self induced hell, finally began to stop crying. He still clung to Scar though, sniffling, staring of into space, and coughing occasionally. Nothing was said for almost five minutes until he finally spoke, still staring off into space. "I'm never, ever going to going to speed again." he said emotionlessly. "I thought I had killed you back there and it almost gave me a heart attack." After saying this, he took his arms from around Scar's neck, sat in the middle of the cruisers bed in a sitting in a fetal position, and slowly rocked back and forth. He stared blankly off into the distance as Scar got up and sat over beside him. Mike rubbed his eyes with slightly balled fists and then got to his feet. "We better get home." he said in a slightly nasal voice. "I don't feel like trying the guns out anymore, I wanna take a nap instead." he finished as he went to the front of the cruiser and turned the ignition on.
Putting the cruiser in gear, he began to move forward in the road he had blocked. No cars ever came on the road, except the occasional tour bus, or wandering motorist. He went the two miles to the driveway at a speed no faster than twenty five. His insides were completely ill; he had felt like puking at the thought of seeing Scar dead beside the road. Any other thing, (person or animal) he probably wouldn't care about, but Scar was an exception. The only exception.
Mike turned the corner to see Bryan sitting on the edge of the well. Circling around a tree, he pointed the front of the cruiser towards the driveway and turned it off. Taking the keys, he got out with Scar right behind him. Walking over to where Bryan was sitting on the well, Mike sat down near him. "What have you been doing all day?" he casually asked him. "Well, I ate some lunch, walked around for an hour, and came back to find the door locked. Thanks." Bryan replied sarcastically. Mike, not even feeling like retaliating or getting angry again, remained quiet. "I don't know about you dude, but I'm real tired. I'm going inside to take a nap." Mike said as he got to his feet. "I'm not that tired, I'm just bored." Bryan said. "Hey man, I'm really sorry about what I said this morning. I was in a bad mood." "Apology accepted." Bryan said as he got up also.
Mike began walking towards the house, followed by Scar, and then Bryan. As the trio slowly made their way to the house, silence befell between them all. Mike and Scar were both tired after what had happened so far, and Bryan was bored. After a slow three minute walk to the house, Mike took out his keys, put the house key into the doors deadbolt, turned it, grabbed the handle, and opened the door. Going over to the sink , he got a glass of water from the homemade watertank. Filling his glass a second time, he dumped it into Scar's bowl, as Bryan sat down on the couch and turned the TV on. After Scar drank half of the water in the bowl, he followed Mike into his bedroom. Mike told Bryan that he would be taking a nap and to wake him up around six. Bryan said "Okay." as he watched a commercial on TV. Shutting his bedroom door, he opened one of the windows in his room and laid down on his bed. Scar jumped up from the foot of it and went to his spot.
Mike laid for a while just looking at him. Scar, feeling as though he were being watched, looked over to where Mike was and saw that he was being watched. Mike shook his head a little and kept looking at him. "What are you doing?" Scar finally asked. "Thinking of how I couldn't live without you now." "What're you doing that for?" he asked again. "Cause I think sooner or later I would have committed suicide if you hadn't have shown up. I had nothing to really live for." Scar didn't say anything. They had already had this discussion before and bringing it up wouldn't solve anything. Mike laid where he was until his eyes felt heavy and he fell asleep. Seeing him asleep made Scar tired too so laying on the bed, no less than a foot away from him, he turned and fell asleep facing him for the first time.
Mike fell asleep having a song stuck in his head. It was "Money For Nothing" by Dire Straits. It was one of his favorites and he didn't mind having it stuck in his head; it made him loosen up. The part of the song that went ‘We've got to install microwave ovens, custom kitchen deliveries, we've got to move these refrigerators, we've got to move these color TV's.' droned on and on in his head. He dreamed he was in the video, with the old, computer generated mover people. He felt like he was in a Peter Gabriel video instead; a cross between ‘Steam', and ‘Sledgehammer'. He was running around chasing ‘chicks for free', while installing microwave ovens. All of a sudden, everything went black, as if a power surge or something had occurred and in the darkness, he heard someone say "Get the lights damnit!". Seconds later, light filled a ballroom and he was sitting in the middle of it, alone.
There was a grand table with punch, finger food, caviar, and other goodies a few feet away from him. Getting up, he noticed he was wearing a combat suit; grenades hanging all off of his side, a gun strapped to each hip, and a twelve inch bowie knife on his upper left calf. Baffled for a moment, he took the knife out of it's leather and metal case and examined it. Rotating the blade as the light from the ballroom chandelier reflected off of it and onto the wall, he returned it to it's sheath and went over to the table, fixing himself some food. Putting some of the caviar on a few crackers, he sliced off a piece of roast beef, and poured himself a glass of the punch. Taking a sip of it, he quickly noticed that it had been spiked with vodka. Disgusted by it's taste, he threw the glass onto the floor and it shattered, spilling the pinkish punch on the floor that seemed to have been recently waxed. As he took a bite into one of the crackers, the room seemed to change a little. The big, hanging chandelier that was made of crystal and gold, suddenly changed into a mirrored ball. Staring in disbelief as the whole room changed into what looked like the disco place in the movie Saturday Night Fever, he stood still holding his cracker. Still, the room was empty but music began to play and lights flashed. As K.C and the Sunshine Band blasted ‘That's the way (I like it)' through huge, fifteen inch sub-woofers and in a room where the floor lit up in strange geometric designs, Mike stood looking around.
After wandering around the place for a while, he heard a commotion that made him stop in his steps. He stood still, unlatched the leather straps that held the two .45 caliber guns in their holsters, and took them both out. The two automatic pistols each had eleven rounds in their magazines; he knew this without even looking. Putting his thumbs on the safeties, ready to flip them off and blast whatever was making the sound, he stood and faced the front of the disco place, listening as the noise grew louder. It sounded like someone yelling out to him to help them. Mike stood his ground and held his guns up. He listened until the sound was almost outside the door and hearing it outside the door, he flipped the safeties off. "MIKE!! HE'S AFTER ME!!" a familiar, but unknown at the time voice said. The swinging door slammed inwards as Scar raced in and hid behind Mike.
Standing his ground, he watched and waited as the door swung open once again and a scroungy looking man holding a shotgun came through. "You god damned cat! Come on and..." The man was cut short by the rain of .45 caliber hollowpoints hitting his chest. Mike saw the person and judging on what he had just said, opened fire. He squeezed the triggers of each gun consecutively as small clouds of fire expelled from the barrel. He saw the demented person's chest turn from what it was, into a piece of Swiss cheese, the hollowpoints making huge craters roughly the size of softballs in the man's chest. He dropped his shotgun, looked at his attacker, and then fell to his knees. Still alive and groping at his devastated body, Mike aimed one of his guns at the mans head. He pulled the trigger and the head in front of him exploded. Gray brain matter flew and hit his shirt. He didn't care. He just turned around and looked at Scar. "Don't worry, I'll never let anyone hurt you. No matter what." He then woke up to Bryan shaking him. "Come on nutsac! It's six fifteen already!" Mike rubbed his eyes at being waken from his odd dream. Scar was up already and looked eagerly at him. Mike couldn't all but think of his dream and look back at him with admiration. Mike got out of bed, went into his closet and got a plastic bag filled with green stuff. "SHIT!" Bryan exclaimed. "We're doing that again?! COOL!!" Bryan said almost jumping through the roof. "I'll go get the food and stuff ready!" he said racing out of the room to do so.
Mike went back to his bed, sat on the edge, and fell back. Scar had jumped up on it and was sitting behind him as he did so. His head fell between Scar's front paws and Mike stared up at him. "Had another funky dream." he said. Scar looked down at him. "What about?" "Let's just say that you're not going to have to worry about getting hurt." "Well, I already know that. And you should know the same; I mean it just as much as you do." "Thanks. That's really thoughtful of you." "No. I really mean it. I know I can't stop that much, but I'll try to stop anything that tries to hurt you." "I think as long as I got the guns and stuff, we'll both be alright." Mike said as he put his arms up in the air, stretching them. After he had stretched, before putting his arms down, he covered Scar's eyes with his hands. "Guess who." Mike said after doing so. "John F Kennedy!" Scar said. "Incorrect answer! Try again." "Theodore Roosevelt!" "No! Not Teddy!" "Okay, Jim Carrey!" "No." "Beavis." "No." "Me!" "No!" "How about..... Jenny Macarthy?" "Damnit! I think your some kind of mind reader or something. You always get em!" Mike said as he removed his hands from Scar's eyes, uncovering them. "Now you must die!" Scar said as he opened his mouth and put Mike's whole head in it. "Oh no. Help me, oh, the pain. I'm so scared." Mike said as he willingly let his head be put inside Scar's mouth. With a jaw that could have easily crushed his skull, Scar gently clamped down on Mike's head. "Ahh! You went a little too far there!" Mike said as he felt Scar's teeth push on his skull a little. Scar reacted by opening his mouth wider and letting Mike pull his head out. "The gentle giant. That's what I think I'm going to start calling you." Mike said. "Please don't." Scar said, shying back a little. "Man, you could have mashed my head like a grape but you don't. That would take a lion tamer years to do, and he still really wouldn't trust the lions." "Well, maybe if they could talk it'd be a different story." Scar said. "Probably. If we ever started a circus act, we'd be rich."
Bryan dropped something out in the kitchen and it made a thud. "What you doin' boy?" Mike said in his best imitation of Mr. T's voice. "I dropped a Coke." Bryan replied. "That's gonna be yours bunghole! Last time you did that, you didn't tell me and I got it all over me!" "Oh yeah! That was cool!" Bryan said, laughing a little. Bryan went back to packing the cruiser as Mike and Scar still sat on the bed.
Mike moved back so that he could have his head up and still be lying down on the bed. Scar was looking towards the door when Mike took his right hand and gave him a light backhand right on his left shoulder blade. He flinched when he was hit, slowly looked at Mike, and then put up his left paw. His claws, which were already partially extended already, came all the way out. He twiddled his fingers at him as Mike watched in awe. He had never really seen his claws out that far before. A swipe from them could snap a neck, and just as easily pick up a CD. "Good lawd! What d'you do to keep em that sharp?" Mike said as Scar retracted his claws to how they always were. "Not much. They just grow like that." "Cool." Mike said as he got up off of the bed and stood up. "Come on. We better get ready to go. Bryan packs like a madman when he knows we're gonna smoke up."
Scar jumped down off of the bed and followed Mike out the door, watching as he went to the refrigerator and got a Coke. Popping the top on it, he took a sip and looking down at Scar's bowl gave him an idea. He picked it up, emptied the water from it into the sink, and poured a little bit of the Coke into it. He put it back down on the floor as Scar sniffed and looked at it. "Try it, it's good." Mike assured. Unsure but knowing that it must be good if Mike said so, he lapped up a little. Carbon dioxide bubble stuck to his tongue as he shook his head in an attempt to shake them off. Mike laughed a little when he did so, and when he had stopped shaking his head, he closed his mouth. "Ha, ha. Very funny." Scar said. "No, drink it! Wait, screw that." Mike said as he picked up the bowl and dumped it into the sink. Mike set his partially drunken Coke on the floor and told Scar to pick it up. He sat down and did so, waiting for Mike's next instructions.
"Now, just tip your head back and take a swig of it!" He did so and bubbles began to burn the roof of his mouth. He swallowed it though, and liked the flavor. He took another swig of the cold Coke. "Hey, hey!" Mike said as he grabbed for the can. "I want some too!" Mike snatched the can from Scar and took a giant swig of the Coke. He handed the can back to him and he too took a big gulp.
Scar emptied the can and set it back onto the floor. After he swallowed it, he had to belch so he did. The air escaped from his nose and he began to bat at it with his paws; the carbon dioxide bubbles had burned his nasal passages, bringing tears to his eyes. Mike laughed a little until he saw that he must have done a really big burp and not known the consequences. "You all right man?" Mike asked as he kneeled down beside Scar, slightly concerned. Scar was laying down on the floor now covering his face with his paws. "My nose is burning." he said. "Just blow a lot of air through it and it will go away. I should of warned you about that burping stuff." Mike said.
Scar was still covering his face and snorting out his nose when Mike put his head right up to Scar's face. Scar was blowing lightly through his nose and when he saw Mike directly in front of him, he snorted. "Ahhhh! You bunghole! You got boogers all over me!" Mike yelled as he hopped to his feet, wiping his face with his shirt. Scar laughed and then got up off of the floor. After Mike had wiped his face, he went over to the fridge and got another leftover Coke. He turned off all the lights in the house, locked the door, and went to help Bryan get the tent in the cruiser. It was going to be a long night.
After Mike helped Bryan put the tent on top of the weapons stored below, he let Scar jump up in his seat and sit on top of the blanket. Bryan jumped in the cruiser and asked if Mike had gotten the weed. Mike held up the bag and then tossed it to him, starting up the cruiser and heading over to the field that he regularly went through to get to the lake.
After an hour of slow driving, Mike could see the lake as the setting sun reflected off of it. Going over to where he thought the tree to be, he changed direction and headed for it. All of the cruiser's lights were on, casting the circle of light all around the cruiser. Mike spotted the tree through the glare of the sun and headed towards it. Leaving just the rollbar Hellas on, all three of them got out of the cruiser, Mike reaching up, grabbing the tent, and dragging it off of the back as he did so. Throwing it to Bryan, he opened it up and began to unroll it. He and Mike quickly staked it to the ground, set up the poles, and had the tent completely set up in less that fifteen minutes. Bryan then carried the cooler, the sleeping bags, and various other items in the tent while Mike and Scar went off in the cruiser to look for some material to burn in a bonfire. Returning quickly with enough wood to last a week, Mike threw it in a big pile and then drove the cruiser off a few hundred feet. He ran through the increasingly darker night and reached the tent.
Taking a small can of gasoline that Bryan had put in the tent, he went back and mounded the wood into a big pile, doused it with gas, and touched it off with his Zippo. The gasoline soaked wood instantly blazed to life as he got the bag of weed and the bowl ready. Taking the first hit, he held it in, and then exhaled into Scar's ear. He passed the bowl to Bryan, took it back and took his hit again. He held it in longer this time and let what was left out into Scar's ear again. He took another hit and then let all of that go into his ear. Scar swayed a little on his feet as Mike gave him the hit.
Passing the bowl to Bryan, ready to take a hit, Mike burst out laughing. Smoke flew from Bryan's mouth and he began to cough. Scar broke down laughing too. Still laughing a little and trying to suppress it, Mike took the bowl and took another hit. He was able to keep it all in as he took another one and blew into Scar's ear. The bonfire was now burning on it's own, blazing into the sky. Bryan took a hit, Mike took a hit and then blew into Scar's ear. It happened like that for almost fifteen minutes, until all three were higher than god knows what. Bryan fell asleep on the ground as Scar opened up the tent and went inside. Mike dragged himself along the ground and got in too. Taking his sleeping bag, unrolling it, and unzipping it so that it looked like a comforter, he spread it down on the floor of the tent and crawled onto one of the two halves. Scar got on the other half and laid down beside him. At about this time, Bryan came wandering in, shut the tent, got his sleeping bag and fell asleep as soon as he got inside of it. Mike rolled over on his back and faced Scar. He was already sleeping and he was almost ready to fall asleep himself. Feeling cold being in the cold night air, might moved over close to Scar and rolled the side he had been on over them both. Heat came like a furnace from Scar and warmed him up as he fell off to sleep and dreamed again of some strange place.
Mike woke up almost an hour later to the beeping of his watch. He pushed the little Indiglo button on his Timex and it lit up it's green facedial. The digits read off 9:00:14 p.m. . After sitting up a little and rubbing his eyes, he crawled over to the cooler, opened it, and took out some deli meat and cheese. He found a loaf of bread in it also and decided to make himself a sandwich. He did so and was still hungry, so he made another, and another. With three sandwiches settling and beginning to digest in his rumbling stomach, he crawled back over to where Scar was lying on the sleeping bag. He saw that he was sleeping and decided that he wanted to go somewhere in the cruiser. Pushing his left shoulder blade, attempting to rouse him from sleep, Mike poked at Scar for a minute and managed to wake him up. He looked over his shoulder, yawned, and then put his head back down. As Mike got to his feet, he began to speak in a low voice. "Come on. I'm going somewhere in the cruiser. Gonna listen to some music real loud!" Mike went over to the tent door and unzipped it. Scar reluctantly got up and walked outside, swaying back and forth on his feet.
The bonfire was still burning a little, but had pretty much died down in the past hour or so. Mike ran over to where he remembered the cruiser was and hopped up inside of it. Scar lagged behind and got lost until Mike flipped on the Hella's mounted above his head, instantly illuminating the surrounding area with blinding white light. Mike saw Scar as he saw the light and squinted his eyes shut. He ran over to the passengers side and jumped up in the seat beside Mike. Mike turned the ignition over and the engine hummed in idle. Putting it in first gear, he took off the parking brake and turned just the headlights on. He asked Scar to get his Alanis Morissette CD out as he turned the Bose on, and switched a switch under the dash, the bass-hydraulic actuator. As Scar took out the CD, Mike told him to put it in. Scar pushed the eject button with one of his claws and the CD tray slid out, ready for a CD to be placed in it. He put it in and gave the tray a light shove to make it retract into the player. It went in on it's motorized tray, was scanned, and then began to play the first song. "Hold on!" Mike yelled as the song began playing, accompanied by the whine of hydraulic motors, and a bouncy ride. "Oh no. Not again!" Scar said as he crouched lower to his seat in preparation for a very hoppy ride.
Mike put on the brakes and then turned up the volume. The Bose responded by blasted out gut rumbling bass and made the front end of the cruiser jump off the ground. Mike began to play with the body lift switch and made the cab rise a few feet higher than it had been before. He tilted it to the side a little and made the body lean that way. Scar almost fell out between the tilting and hopping. He would have if Mike hadn't of grabbed his left front leg and held onto the steering wheel with his other free hand. He dragged him in and then quickly hit the bass switch under the dash to off. The hydraulics stopped, killing the hopping as a result. The music still boomed through the ten speaker system as Mike reset the hydraulics and the body settled back to normal.
"Sorry about that." Mike said as he looked over to Scar. "It's alright, I'm alive aren't I?" Scar said happily. "Yeah, and you always will be as long as I'm with you." Mike said dead seriously. As the song came to a close, he felt extremely tired all of a sudden and almost fell asleep at the wheel. Too tired to drive back, he went to the back where the guns were. He lifted off the blanket, piled a few boxes on top of each other, and made a spot big enough to sleep in. He laid down, yawned and then closed his eyes. Scar looked back at him and then asked what he was doing. Mike told him that he was too tired to go back so he was going to sleep right where he was. "Where am I going to sleep then?" Scar asked. "I think there's enough room back here if you want to sleep beside me, but I gotta warn ya! I snore real loud!" Mike said jokingly and sounding very drunk. "I think I'm willing to take that chance." Scar replied.
Reaching over first and turning the ignition Mike had left on to off, he watched as the greenish glow from the Bose's display went out and the speakers stopped making the almost undetectable static hiss. He then moved through the dark to where Mike was laying, over beside the right wheelwell. He had pretty much moved everything to the back and to the left so a pretty big clear spot was made. Scar laid down on the plush black carpet and felt Mike's hand pat him on the back. "Move over if you want some of the blanket on you." Mike said in the cold, dark night. Scar moved over closer to where he was and laid next to him. Mike then threw the blanket over Scar and covered his whole body. After Mike yawned, he began talking to him.
"When do you think we should go and hit Priderock and the hyenas?" he casually asked. Scar was caught unaware and had to think about the question a little. After a little while, Mike began to hum the infamous Jeopardy song. After Mike had finished, Scar answered. "Do you think a few months is too long?" "No. It's fine with me. I think it would bring on that good old element of surprise too." "Yeah, it would wouldn't it?" Scar said rethinking the question now. Mike stared up at the stars and watched as a shooting star whizzed by. Mike made a quick wish and then looked at the other stars. After watching them for a while, he looked over to Scar. During all the silence, he had fallen asleep. Smiling, he shook his head a little, rubbed his eyes, and put his left arm under Scar's resting head, wrapping it around his neck and patted him lightly on the head. Moments later, he fell asleep himself.
A tremendous bolt of lightning crashed through the sky at around one in the morning. Ten seconds later, the booming thunder caught up with it. Loud enough to wake the dead, Mike and Scar laid in the cruiser, sleeping as if they had been rendered unconscious. Another bolt of lightning flashed throughout the sky and was followed by an eight second delayed rumble of thunder. Still, the two slept in a deep sleep as the wind began to pick up, and large drops of rain began to start falling in light sheets. A drop of water hit Mike right on his left eyelid and made him twitch a little. Still, he stayed asleep. As the thunder and lightning neared and flashed directly above the two, they still slept as if nothing was going on. Rain now began pouring down in buckets, soaking the blanket, the wooden boxes some of guns were in, and the cruiser. The black carpet was soaked with water and huge drops bounced off of the hood as they hit, bouncing back up a foot or more. Scar's mane gradually grew soaked with water and flowed onto Mike's arm that still lay under his head. Mike's cloths were soaked as he shuddered a little and moved closer to Scar. The rain continued to pour down on them for almost an hour before it finally moved off and stopped. Lightning could still be seen off in the distance and the report of the thunder came minutes later. It wasn't until six hours later when Mike finally woke up that the rain was first noticed.
Mike woke up under the soaked blanket to find he was soaked himself. He slowly yawned and stood up. Water was all over the cruiser. "Damn man." he said to himself through a yawn. He walked up to the front, looked at his seat, and tried to brush the puddle of water in his seat away. Getting most of it, he watched as the sun began to rise. The top of it could be seen as it gave off the reddish-orange light, so sitting down in his slightly dry seat, he looked around, and then felt tired again. He yawned yet again and then walked back to where Scar was still sleeping. He picked up the blanket, wrung it out over the side of the cruiser, and then threw it down on the floor. He absorbed a bunch of water, wrung it out, and then did it until the floor was merely damp. Laying down beside Scar again, he threw the blanket over them both and laid down, trying to go to sleep again. After thinking about killing hyenas and bad lions named Mufasa, he fell asleep. "The time will come." He thought to himself as he fell asleep again.
After sleeping another couple of hours, Mike woke up around eleven. This time, the sun was shining and he couldn't go back to sleep. He laid trying to but finally threw the blanket off of his head and got up. Scar was still sleeping as he kneeled beside him and told him to get up. He didn't move, so Mike moved closer and repeated it. Still he didn't move. Mike, now an inch from his ear, yelled it at him. Scar's head came shooting up, and hitting Mike's face in the process. He fell back, hit in the lip, and covered it with his hands. Scar didn't see what happened until after he had stretched and turned to him. Mike was huddled up behind the passengers side seat covering his mouth as silent tears rolled down his face.
"What's the matter?" Scar asked, still unaware of what had happened. Mike took away his hands to show that his lower lip was bleeding badly. Scar's jaw dropped open as he saw what his head had hit when he woke up. "It's not your fault." Mike quickly blurted out as he sucked in his lip to stop the bleeding. Scar looked at his lip again and then went over and sat down beside Mike. "I'm sorry." Scar said humbly. "It's not your fault! I never should have yelled in your ear like that." Mike said as he winced a little with pain. "Can I see it?" Scar asked, wanting to see what had been done in detail. Mike took his hands away from his mouth again and showed Scar his now swelling, bloody lip. Tears were still spilling down Mike's cheeks as he covered it back up and leaned up against the back of the seat. Scar felt miserable that he had caused Mike any suffering. He mouthed a vulgar word to himself, angry that he had let what had happened happen. Mike heard it and turned over to him. "It's not you FAULT!" Mike yelled, mad at himself for making Scar feel the way he did. He leaned his head over on Scar's shoulder as Scar slumped his head down. Putting his right arm around his neck, Mike talked to him. "It's alright. I'm not dead am I?" "No but..." "Shhhhh. I'm okay, you're okay, and that's all that matters. I'll live. I shouldn't have done that. It was just your natural reaction, not something you could have controlled. I know you'd never hurt me on purpose, believe me "
Seeing that he had hurt Mike and that he didn't care about it made Scar feel all the better. He had hurt him, by mistake, and he was not mad at him. If he had accidentally hit Mufasa, he would have been hit in the face and terribly scolded. He had done it once and that was exactly what happened. He thought he knew Mike, but he found out that he grew more and more attached to him everyday. He still was amazed at how patient, how gentle, how in control, and how caring Mike remained during pain. It made him feel so happy. He was wanted, cared about, accepted, talked to, and loved by one person. A person that would give his life for him.
As Mike sat there with him and the thoughts ran through his head, Scar too let out silent tears. They were not of pain, or of sadness; they were tears of thankfulness and joy. Thankful that he was wanted, loved, and thankful that he was understood.
After sitting in the back of the cruiser for about five minutes, Mike, the tears beginning to dry on his face, got up from where he was and stood as he stretched. He looked down at Scar and saw that he had his head down, tears dripping onto the carpet. "What's the matter?" Mike asked as he sucked in his lip and looked at him. "You." Scar said barely audible. "It's not your fault Scar." Mike said. "No. It's not that." Scar replied. "I was expecting you to hit me when I hit you, but you didn't. I was scared that you'd be mad at me and never want to talk to me or even look at me like you cared anymore." "Scar, no matter what you do, I'll never, ever strike you. That also goes for not wanting to see you. If you bit me in the leg and I had to sever it off, I'd still want to see you."
Scar, still confused replied "Do you know how vulnerable you are by telling me this?" "Yes, I do Scar. I know one hundred ten percent. For some reason, I trust you more than anyone I have ever met. I understand that you could use everything I've told you to get me to do what you want, but you wouldn't have to do that. If you want something, just ask me. I'll do anything and I mean it. I won't go stand in a nuclear reactor or anything, but besides that, anything."
Mike had known all along that everything he had told Scar could be used to get him to do something. He had taken a huge risk in even confiding with him, but it was a risk that was more than worth it's rewards. Luckily for both of them, they each had changed a lot when their paths crossed on the night Mike saved Scar from the hyenas. Scar had been eager to earn the trust of Mike just to have a friend. As time went on, he found out that he had made more than that. He had grown so fond of Mike that he too would give his life to save him. No ‘behind the back' things would go on anymore; that was in his past. He had a totally new life now; a life he loved, cherished, and would not trade for anything in the world. He had found Mike, and he was all an old lion like Scar needed to live happily.



CHAPTER XXVI



Around eleven thirty, Mike and Scar arrived back at the campsite to find that Bryan still was sleeping in the tent. "You see what I mean? He always sleeps, and what has he done strenuous?" Scar nodded agreeing with Mike. During the short trip back, they had began talking about Bryan. Scar liked him, but nowhere near as much as he did Mike. He had never liked someone as much as him, and that was the truth. He had seen the ‘work' Bryan did and was kind of appalled at how lazy he was. Mike would do all the work while Bryan sat around and did nothing. Scar had left his company many time and went to Mike talk.
Bryan didn't talk much to Scar. He was getting a little rough around the edges since he had first met him. There was a queer feeling he had around him. He never really trusted him, and so stayed with Mike most of the time. "I mean, all he ever does is sleep until around one or two in the afternoon! It's ridiculous!" Mike said a little loudly. "I can understand once in a while, but he does it every day!" "I agree with you." Scar said. Scar, waiting near where the ashes of the previous nights bonfire were, waited as Mike opened up the tent to get the cooler out. After retrieving it, he closed the tent flaps, dug into the cooler and got out some of the food. Ham and Swiss cheese were in the cooler along with a cool loaf of bread. Making two large sandwiches for himself, Mike ate one, and after getting full, gave the other to Scar. "Thanks." Scar said as he took the uneaten sandwich from Mike's outstretched hand. "Welcome." Mike replied.
After Scar had finished eating the sandwich, Mike got up and began walking off towards the lake. Scar quickly joined up with him. Upon reaching the edge of the lake, still half soaked, Mike ran and jumped in, tucking his legs up yelling "Cannonball!". Scar jumped in after him as Mike ducked underwater and held his breath. He stuck his hand up above the water in an attempt to look like a shark's fin, wandering over to where Scar was swimming around and was grasped with his mouth. Mike popped up and began joking around. "Ahhhh! You're killing HANDS!! Where's JAWS when you need him?" Mike said laughing. Scar laughed too, then snorted in some water through his nose. Coughing and laughing a little, he swam around as he and Mike horsed around. Letting go of Mike's arm, he began to swim around him. "What is this? Monkey in the middle?" Mike asked. "Yep." Scar said. Mike then leapt at him through the shallow water. "I'll get you for that!" Mike said, leaping from the water and landing on Scar's back with his side.
Not expecting the extra weight, Scar quickly sank down into the water, breathing it in and filling his lungs. Mike saw he had dunked him and quickly moved off to the side. Scar didn't come up though. Mike, thinking that he was playing waited for thirty seconds; a minute; a minute thirty seconds. About this time, he got very worried. He himself could only stay underwater for two minutes tops, and Scar had been in way over a minute and a half. Diving under the water, he began to frantically search for him. After searching the cold water for fifteen seconds, he found him, floating limply and lifelessly at the bottom of the lake. Mike let out a silent scream of terror as he saw him float lifelessly at the bottom of the clear lake. Bubbles rose to the surface and quickly were followed by Mike popping to the surface to get another breath of air. After doing so, he dove underwater, found Scar's floating body, and wrapping his arms around him, pulled him to the surface. The five foot deep water was easy for him to walk in, so he grabbed onto Scar with his arms and dragged him to the closest bank. Shaking, his heart racing well past it's normal rate, Mike got to the edge of the lake, got out, and began to lift Scar out of the water. (Almost physically impossible to pick up someone who weighs well over four hundred pounds, Mike did just as some people do when they move a two ton car to save a baby trapped underneath it; forgetting the pain that they receive.) Mike, with an abnormal surge of strength, lifted Scar's limp body out of the water and set him down on the ground.
Putting his head over his chest, he didn't hear a heartbeat at all. "Oh shit!!!" Mike barely whispering as he almost went into hysterics before his old medical training went into effect. He did what had been drilled into his head over the course of a year: he assessed the situation, saw what needed to be done, and began to use CPR on Scar. He had used it on a little pug dog once when some old lady's house was burning and the dog had passed out due to massive smoke inhalation. He was the only one who got up and helped it.
Finding his sternum, he counted three fingers up above it, and began giving chest compressions. "One...two.... three... four...." he silently counted as water seeped out of Scar's mouth and nose. Seeing this almost made Mike cry, but he knew it had to be done or else he would die. Tilting Scar's head back, he covered his mouth, and put his mouth over his nose, breathing into it several times, watching his chest rise and fall with each breath. After this, he went back to the chest compressions. "One...two.... three... four...." he said, pumping a bit more of water out of his lungs. Seeing the water seep out, he turned Scar on his side and patted him hard on the back. It seemed to work as a liter or two of water came gushing out. Mike turned him back on his back and began to give him mouth-to-snout again. After three breaths, Mike went back to chest compressions. After them, back to mouth-to-snout. On the third breath Mike gave him, Scar coughed. Mike saw that he was starting to breathe on his own and everything was going to be alright. He put his head on Scar's chest to hear him breath. Looking at his face, Mike saw that Scar's eyes were looking at him.
Mike rested his head on Scar's chest, listening to him breath as he began crying. It wasn't silent this time; it was full scale crying. The reality of what could have happened had just hit him, a mere minute after he had dragged him out of the lake. If he had panicked, like he might have done if he hadn't of been an EMT, Scar would have died. This is what made him go off. Here in the middle of nowhere, there were no cel phones to dial 911 on. There wasn't even a telephone, or a 911system for that matter. The thought of losing Scar to something as simple as a lake and a simple bit of roughhousing made him cry even more. Finally, turning over and letting Mike's head fall to the ground, Scar got up and went over to him. Still coughing up small bits of water, he sat by him and watched him cry. Mike soon crawled up from the dusty ground and went over and threw his arms around him. Sobbing, and covered with dirt and mud, Mike held onto him as tightly as he could. All Scar did was put a reassuring paw on Mike's back, wondering what just happened.
"You almost died!" Mike said in a highly upset voice. Scar remembered going under the water and waking up a few seconds ago. The idea that he could have died never occurred to him until just then. Mike had dragged him out of the water, revived him, and now held onto him as if he had died and come back to life; which is what happened. Scar saw Mike as a strong, hardworking person who never let his emotions get in the way at first, but soon learned that he had feelings; very deep and passionate ones. He had seen them a few times, and they had always been about him. Mike turned his head back and forth as he sobbed wildly. Scar felt his arms getting tighter around him, so hugged back with equal strength to let Mike know that he was there for him. "Shhhhh. It's alright now." Scar said in a gentle, soothing voice. It seemed to help because Mike looked up at him moments later and stopped crying. Tears still trickled down his face, but the major hysterics had stopped.
Mike didn't speak for almost ten minutes. All he did was sit and keep his arms around Scar, sniffling occasionally. Never had he been so close to losing him as he had today. Losing him would be like losing the most important thing in his meaningless life; Scar. Everything revolved around him now. It hadn't ever revolved around anyone before, except his mom somewhat. Mike thought about what would happen if Bryan suddenly saw Mike hugging Scar and what he would say. "Are you some kind of queer or something?" Mike heard Bryan saying in his mind. He didn't care what Bryan said, or anyone else. He knew he was no queer, and he knew the same of Scar, so he had nothing to worry about. If they didn't like seeing a human and a talking lion who were brothers hug, then that was their problem.
"I almost lost you in that damned lake." Mike said emotionlessly. Scar didn't reply, still shocked seeing what Mike must have done to get him out of the lake. "Did you drag me out of the lake?" Scar asked. "No, I picked you up and put you down over here." Mike said as his head rested above Scar's right shoulder, his face half covered with his wet mane. Mike suddenly felt a terrible pain in his arms but was too shocked to notice it much. He merely twitched them, and clung to Scar. "I almost lost you in that damned lake." he repeated before fainting, still holding onto Scar.
Fifteen minutes later, Mike woke from his state to find that he was still clutching onto Scar. Scar had sat there holding onto him, becoming devotedly attached as he Mike. He now understood how much Mike loved him. No one else would give him CPR simply for the fact that they either didn't know it, or didn't want to use it. They would just have dragged him out of the lake and let the buzzards pick at him, if even that much. He had died and Mike had revived him; that was another time he had saved his life. Love was a powerful thing. For two people fighting over the same woman, one might resort to killing the other to get her; for two rival siblings, it might resort in a fist fight for a simple position on a swing set, or a highly sought after toy; but for a kinless boy and lion who had been managed to change his dark heart for the better, however, it would mean going through hell to see that the other would be okay. Mike hated to see Scar suffer any form of pain. He had been through enough already and wanted every second of his life to be full of happiness. Scar wanted the same for Mike also. There was no one that he could really say he has ever genuinely loved except him. He taught him what caring about others was like; he taught him how it felt to be wanted; he had taught him things he had been robbed of during his life at Priderock. There, all he endured was Mufasa getting all the good attention, while all he himself got was the unwanted attention. No one talked to him so he didn't talk back.
The silent people are the ones that are the most dangerous. No one knows what broods inside their minds. Without anyone who gives a hoot in hell about them, what have they to live for? Another day of chastising, or a chance to fight back? A person can not just sit and be beat down and not fight back in some way. Scar had endured all he could at Priderock and finally, after years of trying to ignore it, retaliated. Scar and Mike's lives were so similar that it was almost scary. Mike took all the stuff he could take from his corrupt government and left while he was being beat down. Scar left after narrowly escaping death and after years of being verbally, and physically abused by Mufasa and the rest of the pride. As Mike still clung to Scar, he looked down and hugged him back, tighter. As Mike's watch chimed off twelve o'clock, they both sat there silently and held to one another. The only thing different between them was that Scar had fur where Mike had skin. No one could ever separate the two brothers, which is what they were in heart, mind, spirit, blood, and soul. With a power like that, nothing could ever come between them. Corruption, greed, money, nothing.
Bryan woke up, stretched inside of the tent, and then slowly began walking towards where the tent flaps were. He could hear the faint sound of Mike and Scar talking outside, and when he opened the tent, they looked at him and then ceased. Mike lifted his arm to look at his watch. "Two thirty. Has his royal majesty had sufficient rest?" Mike said in a deliberately loud voice as he dropped his arm. "Screw you!" was Bryan's reply as he walked to the cooler, opened it, and began searching through it. Mike, who had been sitting in the cruiser with Scar, hopped down out of it and walked over to the cooler where Bryan was; Scar sat in the cruiser watching.
Mike took out some food from the cooler when all of a sudden, Bryan looked back at Scar and said something to him. Mike, enraged at what he had just heard, dropped his food onto the ground, and grabbed Bryan by the collar of his shirt, lifting him off the ground a few feet. Holding him up in the air, Mike, with a voice full of hatred and anger, began to verbally flog Bryan. "If you ever say that again I swear to GOD I'll put a god damned bullet right between your eyes! I'm tempted to now you lazy little son of a bitch!" Mike said as he dropped Bryan to the ground. "Geez man! Chill out!" Bryan said as he crawled backwards on the ground. "I was just joking!" "Well, for future reference, keep your damn mouth shut if you ever think of saying something like that." Mike said as he turned his back on Bryan and walked back over to the cruiser. "Man I'm getting sick of him!" Mike said loudly to Scar as he watched Bryan go back to fixing up some food.
"What did he say?" Scar said, dumbstruck and amazed at what had just happened. Mike hesitantly replied. "He said ‘His head would look good on a wall'." Scar's mouth dropped open. He lost all respect he had for Bryan almost instantly. No wonder Mike had almost killed him. If anyone said that about Mike, he would have ripped them to pieces. Bryan had been getting quite unstable in the last few days and soon, Mike feared, he would turn on both of them. Being around him for almost seven straight years, something bad was bound to happen. The thought made Mike want to put an end to the whole situation by one simple shot to his head; no one would miss Bryan. No one even cared about him. His habit of using drugs excessively, sleeping hours into the afternoon, his laziness, his uncouth and apathetic manner towards everyone could all so easily be gone. Mike wanted to, but couldn't. He had thought of it many times before Scar had come into his life but couldn't face the consequences of being alone in the world. So he took Bryan's put-downs, he took his groin kicks, he took all of his crap. He had never really stood up to him for the simple fact that he couldn't survive without company. All his life he had lived with his bad company though. He had put up with his crap and for what? Being put down? No. That was the old him. The new Mike had changed; the Mike that cared about himself and a certain lion. He wouldn't take any shit from anyone now. Bryan had probably at one time controlled Mike like a dictator controls a puppet government. He had finally broken free with the help of Scar though. Scar had showed him that there are people in the world that were willing to change for the better. Bryan was a total loss; a bum from the day he was born, and a bum until the day he dies.
Mike turned the cruiser's ignition over to accessory and then put in on of his Green Day CDs. Bryan hated Green Day and that was the whole purpose. Skipping all the way to the last song of the album ‘Walking Contradiction', the song Bryan hated almost as much as Oasis' ‘Wonderwall', Mike turned up the volume and let the song blare and pound through the silent plain. Bryan looked up at him as it began to play and tried to yell something at him. Mike smiled, gave him the finger, and then sat back listening again. Free at last.
Bryan had made a major slip-up. He knew that and kicked himself for saying it. He just had to say that crap about Scar's head and screw what he had worked up for. Now, he was going to have to start all over and earn their trust. That sucked. He had had them almost believing he would die for Scar. Hell! He wouldn't lift a finger to help him! He hated Scar and had let it accidentally slip out a little. When he had made the comment to Mike a few minutes ago, he had meant what he said. He said it jokingly to let it pass, but apparently, Mike took it to heart. As he got up and went over to the cruiser to apologize to Mike, he was given the cold shoulder. "Dude! I'm sorry. I didn't mean it. I was just screwing around." he said trying to convince him that he was sorry. "Man! Whenever you say shit like that, it makes me want to get a baseball bat and beat your damned nads until they look like creamed corn! You don't know how much that hurt."
Bryan then began kissing up to him, knowing sooner or later that he would forgive him. Eventually he did. It only took three hours too. Bryan was happy, Mike felt a little better, and Scar didn't want to have anything to do with Bryan now. Whenever he said something to him, he wouldn't respond, but instead, turn and ask Mike something. It wasn't until later that night that Scar told this to Mike and both were squared away on the Bryan situation. For the rest of the day though, Mike and Scar stayed close by each other while Bryan was left all to himself. Mike and Scar talked to each other silently as Bryan walked around and later disappeared for a while. Mike didn't really give a rat's ass about him and almost left in the cruiser without him. He though about it, but still kind of wanted to have Bryan around for some reason. All he ever did was take up space and do nothing so why did he still want him around? He could do a lot better without him, now that he had Scar, but he couldn't shoot his old friend. He wished he could, but Mr. Normally Nonviolent couldn't. Only if Bryan did something rash could he retaliate.
Bryan walked off from the camp and after a while, laid down and went to sleep. He instantly fell asleep and had another dream about Rafiki. "What happened today?" Bryan asked as he neared Rafiki. "You said something that you weren't supposed to out loud is what!" Rafiki replied. "Don't worry though, Mike will trust you enough to let you seriously do damage to Scar and himself." "What do you mean?" Bryan asked, confused. "I can't look into the future, but I have a general idea of what Mike is thinking. Right now, he is extremely angry at you. However, he most definitely will forgive you. He is very forgiving, but he remembers everything that you do. If I were you, I'd be careful what I do and say to him from now on." "What are you going to do to help me once this is all over?" Bryan asked. Rafiki feared the moment he would be asked this and was lucky to have gotten this far without being asked. He had though up a response but it was still a little rough around the edges.
"What is it that you want?" he said. Bryan thought over the question and then replied. "This isn't like some genie in the bottle thing is it?" "No." Rafiki said. "It is better. I can change anything to suit your needs. I cannot change what has already been done though." Bryan believed Rafiki and Rafiki knew it. Bryan thought over the endless possibilities of what he could have. He thought of never having to put up with Mike or Scar again. He thought of having chicks all over him. He though of never working and getting money for nothing , and chicks for free. He told Rafiki that after it was all over, he wanted to be a billionaire. "Sure." Rafiki said back. "I wanna have chicks all over me and they'll let me do them anytime I want." "Consider it done the day you get rid of Mike and Scar." Bryan smiled. He couldn't wait until the day he turned on Mike and back stabbed him. He didn't care about his feelings for life, his ‘work for what you get' idea, or his relationship with Scar. He hated Mike and was happy he was finally going to get his chance to get back at him.
As Rafiki watched Bryan smile, he could only watch, and do his best to feel sorry for him. He was a total loss from the day he was born. He had made Mike into what he had been, and therefore, the blame for what was going to happen laid on himself only. If he hadn't of dragged Mike into the whole mess during the his time back in the states, Mike would have been fine, Scar would have been killed by the hyenas, and the circle of life protected. He knew Bryan was lazy and didn't deserve to breathe the air he breathed; That is why he said he could make his wishes come true. His laziness and love for nothing was his weakness. He had detected that the day he found out Scar was still alive. He didn't tell anyone because he was afraid that they would over react and go and get themselves killed like the hyenas, and he knew all about what had happened to the hyenas. They had over reacted and gotten themselves killed. He was afraid the same would happen to Simba so kept quiet. He would tell him everything when it was all over though. He would leave out how Scar had changed for the better because no one would believe that he had changed anyway, so a little white lie couldn't hurt anything, could it?



CHAPTER XXVII



Bryan walked back into camp around five thirty, looking sad. He saw that Mike and Scar were still sitting in the cruiser, so ignoring them, he went to go and sit over on the cooler. Letting his head hang low, to act as if he were depressed over something, Mike saw him, and eventually hopped down to talk with him. He felt a little angry at himself for thinking all that crap about killing Bryan. He wouldn't do anything that rash, unless he purposely did something that would hurt him. Walking over to where Bryan was, sitting on the cooler, he stood by him. "Wassup?" Mike said as he lightly hit Bryan on the shoulder with his right fist. Bryan ran his hands through his hair and looked up at Mike. "Man, I am so sorry I said that shit today. I was just joking around." Mike gave a sour smile and then told Bryan he knew that. "I just got pissed that you even said that. I didn't even think that it was you that said it. If anyone else had said it, I'd of done the same thing. You're forgiven by me, but Scar is kind of at ends with you." Mike had forgiven him.
He had earned his trust again. Good. "What's up with him anyway?" Bryan asked Mike, gesturing his head towards Scar, who was sitting silently in the passenger's seat. "He really doesn't trust you. I don't know why, but he only seems to trust me. I told him that I trust you, so it's okay for him to trust you. He won't buy it though." "He'll trust me, in time. I won't hurt him." Bryan said as he got to his feet. "I hope you don't hurt him!" Mike said jokingly. "Otherwise, I'd have to kick your nads in." "Ahh! That would suck." Bryan said as he smiled. "Come on dude, lets get this shit packed up and go home before it gets dark." Mike said as he began to walk over to the tent and bring some stuff out.
Bryan walked over to it too and as he went inside, he sat down and rolled up the sleeping bags. After rolling them up, he picked them up, and carried them to the back of the cruiser. He threw them in as he laid a casual glance in Scar's direction. Scar was watching him and when Bryan looked at him, he quickly turned around and looked forward. Mike then came out, put on the cooler, and went up to him. "It's alright man. You can trust him." Mike said to Scar. This was the first thing Mike had ever told him that he couldn't believe. He knew something funny was going on with Bryan, and he didn't like it. Not one bit.
After all of the camping gear was packed away on the cruiser, Bryan got in the back and sat, while Scar stayed in the passengers seat. Mike had said to him that it'd be wise to do that and do something nice for him. He agreed, using every situation to his advantage. It didn't impress Scar though; He knew that something funny was going on, but couldn't quite put his finger on it. Bryan was becoming badly unstable right before him.
Mike got in the driver's seat and started the cruiser up, accelerating to about thirty MPH and driving at that speed until he got home, almost half an hour later. After unpacking the cruiser and stowing the gear in the shed, it was around seven, and the sun had pretty much set, the only feasible amount of light came from the house. After clearing the things out of the cruiser, Mike went into the shed through the darkness and got a gazelle out so Scar could have something to eat, while Bryan went inside to find something to watch, and to silently hate Mike and Scar.
Mike took the gazelle body out of the bag and let the more than half eaten body drop on the ground. "Come and get it!" Mike yelled as Scar came bounding from the darkness to him. "Take your time. There's no need to rush." Mike said as he watched Scar tear into the body. He slowed down a little when Mike said this, and after swallowing down the meat he had been chewing on, he asked him a question. "What do you think is going on with Bryan?" "Shhh!" Mike said. "We'll talk about that later, just eat for now." Scar shrugged and ate all of the rest of the gazelle, leaving the stripped body on the ground; He was full. Mike picked up the body, put it in the garbage bag and threw it back into the shed. "We'll get rid of that later." he said as he locked the door. "Come on. Let's go see what's on TV." Scar reluctantly agreed, not wanting to be near Bryan. Mike saw his discomfort with the idea of being near him so when they sat down on the couch, he sat in the middle.
The movie ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day' was on. It had started just a few seconds ago and all three settled down to watch. As two hours passed and the movie had it's rather strange sad/happy ending, it was about quarter past nine. Mike said that he was tired, and after brushing his teeth, he and Scar went into his room to ‘go to sleep'. It was apparently enough to fool Bryan. He thought that they had gone to sleep. They didn't though. When Mike turned off his light, he and Scar had a small, quiet discussion. The subject was about Bryan.
"I think he's okay to trust." Mike said to Scar as the lion looked over towards him doubtfully. "I just can't seem to believe what he says. He sounds like he's hiding something." Scar didn't doubt Mike's words at anytime before, but he doubted what he had just said. "I know I can trust you, but him, well, I just can't give any credibility to him." Mike though over it and then silently replied. "I know how you feel man. Bryan is getting a little unstable these days, but all I can really do is put up with him. I know you don't really like him; Hell! I don't even like the bastard! The only reason I put up with him though is because I was the reason he's here. I didn't have to loan him that six hundred dollars so he could come with me. I really liked him back then, but being around him this long really has screwed up our friendship."
"So you're saying that the only reason you trust him and are friends with him is because you feel like you owe him something?" Scar asked. "Exactly." Mike replied. "I brought him here and that is my fault. He really didn't want to come but I asked him to. He wanted to stay home, smoke weed, get drunk and all that crap. I told him that weed practically grew on trees over here and that convinced him." "Yeah, where did you get that anyway?" "The weed?" "Yeah." "Well, I found this guy that stops in the garage once in a while that was a dealer. He had everything: weed, ludes, opium, crack, heroin, you name it, he had it. I hate all those drugs you need needles for. I hate needles altogether in fact. Well, I bought about two pounds of weed off of him for something like five hundred bucks. That was almost a steal. I hid one of the baggies from Bryan and the other one we've used a little of. It really doesn't do that much for me. I don't even really like it that much anymore." Scar nodded his head in agreement. He too really didn't like it and only said he did because Mike seemed to like it. "The first night we tried it, I was scared a little." Scar said. "Don't worry, it scared me shitless the first time I used it. It's normal."
Knowing he had gotten off subject a little, Mike paused and brought up Bryan again. "Bryan is a real difficult person to understand. He never lets his true feelings rise to the surface." "I know that." Scar began. "He seems like he hides them all the time." "He does Scar, but I think it's because he doesn't care about anything. He has nothing to live for, so he just keeps to himself. It's really a shame." Mike finished. "Well, as long as he doesn't start foaming at the mouth in front of me, he's okay in my book. He wouldn't be my first choice for a barber though. I wouldn't feel too comfortable with him putting a straight edge razor on my neck." he said as he shuddered. "Well, I don't really care for him that much, but if you think it is okay to trust him, I can try my best to also." Scar said. "Oh no! I didn't say that it was okay to trust him! He could turn on me like that." Mike said as he snapped his fingers. "He's a backstabbing little S.O.B. that'll spill his guts if he's in trouble. He'd turn on me if he was in trouble, and if he'd turn on me, he'd turn on you. Just put up with him for now, but don't ever put your life in his hands. That's a mistake." Mike said as he laid out on his bed and prepared to go to sleep. "We can talk about it more later, but for now, I'm really tired." he said. "Me too." Scar said back. As Mike got into a comfortable position, he closed his eyes and laid on his bed. "Night." he said as he yawned. "Night." Scar said back. Minutes later, both were sleeping soundly.
After Scar and Mike had went to bed, Bryan stayed up and watched TV for a while. After finding nothing on except for ‘Planet of the Apes', he watched it for a while and then turned of the TV set. He went to his room after turning all the lights off, and laid down on his bed, the hate festering inside him like boiling water. He was going to get his shot to ruin Mike's life soon, but all he could do now is put up with him and Scar until that day. He was going to have to try a little harder if he was going to be able to get a gun from him though. Mike would definitely know if one of them was missing, so he would have to build up their friendship. He thought about going in and shooting them both right then, but decided he'd better wait and ask Rafiki later. Doing something all of a sudden might anger him and his dream wouldn't come true. His dream is all that kept him from shooting them right on the spot. He was so sick of Mike not paying any attention to him that he wished he could go back and shoot Scar when he had had the chance. He had almost pulled the trigger, but when Mike started bellowing that he'd pop his ass with a nine millimeter hollowpoint, that made him drop his aim real fast. He would have done it too. He knew that. Mike really didn't care for him since the damned weed incident. He had gotten scared and so made up a total lie.
He told the cops that Mike had masterminded the selling ring out of pure fear for himself. They had believed it too. Who were they going to believe was a dealer anyway? A seventeen year old, or a thirteen year old? He of course never told Mike what he had done; No one ever told him. Mike was charged with more things than there are people in the world. He had gone into court without any family, without a lawyer, without anything but his faded blue jeans, T-shirt, and flannel shirt. The commonwealth attorney accused him with all these things that Mike pleaded innocent to. That didn't go too well with the judge, so he got that huge fine and a lot of community service. Mike still didn't know that he had pinned everything on him though. He had gotten away scot free, making Mike do all the worrying, hard work, and take his penalties. It was a nasty thing to do to him, but he didn't want to waste his time doing four thousand hours of community service. He wanted to go back to smoking weed and watching TV; his two favorite pastimes.
He had used Mike as a scapegoat and gotten away with it. He liked the way the U.S government ran; It was so corrupt that it actually did punish the innocent and let the bad guys get away. He liked that and laughed a little at the thought of it. Mike took his punishment but still liked him. Mike was so stupid. He was glad actually that he could further hurt him. Killing Scar right in front of him would make him fall to pieces. He envisioned the scene as he closed his eyes; He walks up to Scar with a gun behind his back, whips it out from behind him, pulls the trigger, and hits him in the chest several times. He instantly dies as Mike is holding him and crying. He looks up at him and asks "Why?". Lifting his gun and without answering, he shoots Mike between the eyes, screaming in triumph as he waves his gun in the air and yells victoriously.
Scar woke up around two in the morning to the sound of someone slowly sneaking across the creaky wooden floor outside of Mike's bedroom. He shot up in the air and adjusted his ears to hear the sound better. A few seconds later, he did, and when he did, he began to try waking Mike up. Nudging him with his nose, Mike quickly woke up when he heard the creaking. No words were exchanged as Mike got up, got the Uzi and a Mag-lite that were under his bed, and stood beside the door. Through the barely lit room, he motioned for Scar to get down off of the bed and near the closet. After he had done so, Mike opened the door, turned on the Mag-lite and shone it around, found the intruder, and aimed the Uzi at him. "Freeze!" Mike yelled out, until he dropped his aim, seeing that it was Bryan. "You dumbass! I almost shot you!" Mike said as Bryan stood in the flashlight's beam. Bryan rubbed his eyes, pretending that he had been sleepwalking. "Whoa. What happened?" Bryan said. "I think you like got out of bed and were creeping around, dude." Mike said to him. Scar was still hiding near the closet and remained there while Bryan was outside. "Dude, did you have a bad dream and go running around or something?" Mike asked. "I don't know what happened. All I remember is waking up just a few seconds ago." Mike shrugged his shoulders and told him to go back to sleep. "I'm gonna step outside for a minute and get some fresh air." Bryan said as Mike was about to shut his bedroom door. "You do that, but close the damn door this time! Last time I woke up and there was that hyena eating food out of the cupboards." "Oh yeah. That was cool." Bryan said as he opened the front door in the pitch black house.
Stepping out into the night, he reached behind his back, and under his shirt. Nestled between his boxers and his pants was a forty-five loaded up with hollowpoints. As he walked over to the cruiser to put it back in the box he had taken it from almost half an hour ago, he unloaded it's bullets, packed it back in the cardboard box he had gotten it from and put the bullets back in their box. After cussing to himself a little bit, he flipped the security system on and went back into the house. After closing the door and going back to bed, he cussed at himself again. He had planned to kill them a few minutes ago but when Mike pulled the Uzi on him, he had lost the chance. He was going to have to wait until the perfect time. He was sure that it would come.
After Mike shut his bedroom door and heard Bryan go outside, he told Scar that it was okay. Going back and laying down on his bed Scar soon joined him. "What was that all about?" he asked. "You heard as much as me. I think he was just sleepwalking or something. He does it a lot." Scar, not fully satisfied, or comfortable with the answer, began to press Mike a little further. "How often does he get up in the middle of the night and do that?" "Oh, I don't know. Usually a couple times a month. Sometimes, I think he goes out and smokes some of the weed. I've noticed a little of it has seemingly disappeared when he sleepwalks. I don't care, just as long as he doesn't get caught." Mike was still tired and told Scar he was going to try and get some more sleep. Scar agreed as he laid his head down on Mike's chest. Mike fell asleep almost instantly, and soon, Scar too had fallen asleep. Bryan came in about that time, shut the front door, and went to his room.
"Wake up." Mike said to Scar as he woke up and flailed his arms out on the bed. Scar's head was resting on top of Mike's chest, and his body was stretched out the whole width of the bed. Taking his right hand, he patted him on his ribs. Still, Scar slept as he watched his chest rise and fall slowly. Lifting up his left arm, he glanced at his watch. It read seven o' four, so he stayed in bed, stared at the ceiling for a while until he looked over and saw Scar's feet. He took his hand off of his side and began to barely touch the hair between his pads. As he did so, Scar's feet twitched a little. Mike was going to do it until he woke up but stopped, remembering what happened when he had tried something like that the other day. He touched his slightly swollen lip as he thought of it and then let his arm fall on Scar's side again.
As he laid in bed, half asleep, half awake, he stared at Scar's face. It looked almost perfect to him. He was not the kind to tell one animal apart from the next, but Scar would stand out in a group of lions like a sore thumb. His face was much thinner than any other lion he had seen; his eyes had a deep set, darkish color around them; and the most outstanding feature besides the scar over his left eye was his chin. On it housed what could only be described as a beard. Reaching under his chin for a moment, Mike scratched it, making Scar purr softly. Smiling, he continued to run his eyes over the lion's body.
As he continued looking at Scar and stopped scratching his chin, he smiled as he whined in a low voice, moving his head trying to find something to nuzzle. Returning his hand to where it had been moments before, the whining stopped and was replaced by the soft purring once again.
Mike shifted his eyes from Scar's face to his build, something he had never paid much attention to. In his eyes, it was perfect. He was very slim and lean, almost comparable to a greyhound in shape, but his shape was much different. He didn't appear to be fat, for his stomach looked very small, and in all, his fur color, his face, his build, his mane, everything about him seemed to be perfection. It wasn't that way because Mike loved him, but it was the honest truth. Maybe it was because the biggest cat he had ever seen was a common house cat. He looked at Scar and wondered how anyone could have ever been mean to him. It made him mad when he thought about it; it made him very mad.
He was still tired and knew that he wasn't going to work today. He had had enough of that for awhile. He was going to take the week off. He deserved it. It had almost been two months since he had taken a week off, and he was his own boss so he could do it. After saying to himself that he was off for the whole week, he put his hand back on Scar's side and patted him. "I love you bro." he silently said as he drifted back off to sleep.
Scar awoke at nine fifteen to find Mike's arm on top of him. Lifting his head off of his chest, he stood up and went over by his head lightly nudging him. When he didn't move, he began licking his face. Mike instantly woke up when Scar's sandpaper-like tongue streaked across his right cheek. He took his right arm and quickly grabbed him around the neck. "Got ya!" he said to him. "Who's got who." Scar said as he slipped his head out of Mike's arm and quickly laid on top of him. "Ahhh! Get off me Yokozuna! You way a ton!" Mike said as he struggled beneath Scar's weight. "Who's the best brother in the world?" Scar asked. "You of course, now hurry up and get off me. I'm starting to lose consciousness!" Mike joked as he pretended to be dead. "Who's the other best brother in the world?" Mike said once he sat up. "Why, you of course!" Scar said. Mike laughed and then rested his head against the wall. "Extend your claws for a sec. I want to see them again." Mike casually said. Scar did so and showed them to Mike. "Put it on my chest so I can like really look at it." he said. Scar did so and Mike examined the almost two inch long claws. He picked up his paw and then ran his finger along the tip of one of them. It wasn't sharp like a knife, but it had a point like a needle; deadly weapons.
As he was looking them over, Scar retracted them, and with his right paw, he very slowly raked Mike across the face. Mike pretended he had been hit and in slow motion moved his head to make the scene complete. "My face. Oh no. The horror!" he said jokingly. He threw his hands up and in a voice almost identical to Saturday Night Live's Stuart Smalley said "Do you want a hug?" Scar acted like he had just been through a crisis and fake crying, hugged Mike as Mike hugged him back. "It's okay, but remember, I'm not a licensed therapist." Scar's faked crying was instantly turned to laughter. "You're crazy." Scar said. He had seen that show on Comedy Central, on of the DSS's better channels. He knew all about Stuart and his little blue sweater. He was a little too nice too people and had a really bad lisp, which made everything the whole concept funny. Unfortunately, he had seen the skit on Saturday Night Live where Martin Lawrence was on it. Mike laughed back and still hugged onto Scar. "I'm good enough, I'm strong enough, and doggonit, people like me!" Mike added as he began laughing harder, shaking his head. Scar too was laughing and tears came out of his eyes as he did so; laughing tears. Soon, the laughter simmered down and the two were out in the kitchen.
Mike made a sandwich and afterwards, went outside into the shed, dragged out a new body and let Scar eat his breakfast. After he was done, Mike put it back and got the other bag with the already eaten gazelle in it. Walking over to the cruiser, he flung it in the back and grabbed onto the steering wheel. The moment he touched it, he was greeted by a one hundred volt shock, flashing lights, and a blaring siren. Yanking his arm off of the steering wheel, he reached in under the dash to turn the system off.
"I did not turn that on last night." Mike said to Scar as he looked around. "I bet Bryan put it on to piss me off or something. Well, I don't care. I like to get zapped once in a while. It feels cool." Mike hopped up in the cab and Scar jumped up in the passengers seat beside him. "Where to big brother?" Scar asked as Mike turned the cruiser on. "To the middle of nowhere!" Mike said as he floored it, crossed the patch of trees and went in a new direction.
"We need some music, man. Put in Alanis." Mike said. Scar picked up the black CD case and unzipped it, found Alanis Morissette's CD and took it out. Turning on the Bose, he ejected the tray, put the CD on it, and pushed play. The tray went in, was scanned, and then began playing. "Skip to track ten for now. I want to listen to ‘Ironic'." Mike said as he made a path through the tall grass. Scar pushed the track skip button and skipped to track ten, turned up the volume, and let it play. He loved the video for the song as did Mike. Bryan hated Alanis altogether. That old T-bird with four Alanis's with different color sweaters on was cool. Mike had told Scar that he wished he could have been in the car with them all.
"Alanis rocks!" he said as he threw up his right arm, his fist balled. "Don't you think so?" he asked. "She rocks alright." Scar said. "Where are we going anyway?" he asked. "I don't know. I've never been over this way before. I was hoping you'd see some landmarks you remembered." Mike said as he smiled a little. "Why do you as..." Scar stopped short as he realized what Mike was thinking. "You don't plan on doing that now do you?" "I don't know. We've got all the guns in the back and I feel like some moving targets." "I thought a while ago you said we should wait until it all blows over and then go." "I did didn't I." Mike said as he took his foot off of the accelerator. The cruiser slowed down, and as Mike slowly put pressure on the clutch and brakes, it stopped altogether. He turned the ignition off and sat silently for a moment. After about five minutes, he began speaking as he stared vacantly through the windshield. "You know," he began, "I've been thinking. I've been real pissed at Simba, Mufasa, the hyenas, everyone over there." Scar listened intently. "The very first time I heard your story, I wanted to slit all of their throats because I thought that was the best way to make up for how they treated you. I just got to thinking that it would probably hurt them more knowing they had done that and live with it. What do you think?" Scar was a little unclear on what he was getting at. "What do you mean?" Mike replied looking him in the eyes now. "I'm getting at that the only one who knows everything about what happened to you is you, Bryan, me and Zazu. I don't want to make it sound like I'm chickening out or anything, but I think we should let them all live."
Scar looked very confused now. "Wait wait wait wait!" Mike exclaimed. "They'll live in misery though. It'd be like we prepare a big long speech and say it on the cruiser's P.A. I'd say something that sounds all official and stuff, and then you tell it like it happened. They don't know what Mufasa did to you. I bet it'll be like Clinton when he got accused of harassing Gennifer Flowers." "Who?" Scar said, liking the sound of the plan. "Nevermind. But if you tell exactly what you told me, some of the lionesses might side with you. I don't think they'd start slashing Simba in the face or anything, but they would feel sorry for you. If it made me cry, it'd surely make them cry." Mike said as he patted Scar on the back. "Thanks." Scar said in appreciation. "No, I really did want to go and shoot em all up today, but when I got to thinking, I though that this would be the best way. We might even be able to get Sarabi to come back with us." Mike said as he raised and lowered his eyebrows and looked at Scar. Scar laughed a little bit at this. "No Mike. Mufasa told her things to the contrary and she wouldn't understand a thing we said. She was Mufasa's mate, not mine. Even though I wish she could have been mine, it's pretty much impossible."
Mike was going to blurt out how unfair it was that he had had Sarabi first, how much smarter he was than Mufasa, and how much he was better in general than anyone, but then didn't. It would only make him spin his wheels and get nowhere. He'd start crying again and cuss. He knew all of that about Scar and no one could ever tell him otherwise. Scar was just as smart as he was, probably a couple hundred points higher than him on the I.Q scale. Mike had had his I.Q taken at school once and it ranked something like ninety eight out of a hundred percent in the whole state. It was something like one eighty seven, and he had to go to some big assembly to get a dumb award. He had dressed in a suit and was totally embarrassed when his name was called. Here he was just a "normal" kid with a room full of dorks, dweebs, and bookworms. All he had ever done was read a few books, a lot of science magazines, experiment a lot, and read the dictionary a few times. He had a lot of time back then. He was like fourteen, had no family, no car, no job, hardly any money, and so all he did was school stuff. It paid off though. He had a neat little plaque that claimed that he had a one eighty seven IQ He wasn't too proud of it though. After the whole school knew about their little "genius", the teachers expected him to get ‘A pluses'. He never got higher than a B and pretty much disappointed them. He didn't care what they thought. They were all dumb even expecting that from him. Why should he remember a bunch of ancient history crap when he could learn about computers? Ancient history was of no use in today's world, unless you were going to be a museum curator or something. Who in their right mind wants to know the order of Prince Henrys and Charles during the seventeenth century? Not him. Modern stuff was a lot more interesting than that.
"I don't know if any of the lionesses would side with me." Scar said. "I think they all hate me and will even more after I tell what happened. They wouldn't believe me. They thought I was evil and a murderer." "I'm going to change that, Scar. That is no way for you to be remembered. You fought back at Mufasa and got the throne in the process. If they knew half of what I know and have any sympathy at all, they'll understand. If not, we can say we tried and then I'll tell them a thing or two." Mike remained quiet for a while. "They think you killed him for the throne. That was about one quarter of it. The other three forths was all the shit Mufasa put you through. I know exactly how that goes, and I understand. That's why I said I'd protect you no matter what. The pain has to stop somewhere Scar, and if I don't do it, who will? No, for you, it stopped the moment you came into my life." Mike said staring blankly off into the horizon as a single tear rolled down his face.
After their little talk, Mike turned around and went to the garage. He put a lot of the guns back but kept the mini-gun and it's ammo. Among the other guns he saved were two of the forty five's, the sniper rifle, an Uzi, and an M-16. He put a lot of the ammo back, tremendously lightening the load on the back of the cruiser. The grenades stayed though; A lot of fun things could be done with them. Scar totally agreed with what Mike had said. He had been slightly reluctant at first, but then saw the slight possibility that he might not be able to somehow redeem himself to the pride. He didn't like to be called a murderer and although he didn't like to admit it, he knew he was, but for a different reason than everyone thought. It toyed with his conscience and after Mike told him the new plan, he liked it better than the first. Mike was right in what he said though; it would be better to explain everything from the beginning and then act if they had to.
Everyone thought he had murdered Mufasa for the throne only. It wasn't that though. It was the simple fact that Mufasa had ruined his life and lived a happy one. He didn't care that his younger brother was called names, made fun of, despised and disliked. All he cared about was himself and his pompous regiment. He had killed out of spite. Mike was the only one that actually saw through what he had done and saw why he did what he did. Mike was just a small voice that couldn't change anything unless he did something rash. After his brother continually beat him up and abused him, he cracked him on the head with a beer bottle, almost killing him. He got rid of his brother without having to kill him, but to get rid of Mufasa, he had to be killed. He would never back down or go away unless it were for good.
He had planned the stampede so that it would hurt Mufasa in a way he could feel the pain he had caused him. He had wanted to have Simba die first, quickly, so that he could have his life ruined but then, the opportunity to say it to his face came up. As Mufasa groped to stay on the cliff, he dug his claws into his paws and gave back years worth of torment in four simple words. "Long live the king." was all it took to tell Mufasa that he had had enough. He had loved the look of surprise in his eyes; he ha expected him to help after everything he had done. Mufasa then dropped to his death and the tormenting had finally ceased. He could take on Mufasa's perfect life and live like he was entitled to; he had waited and worked for it and he finally got what he wanted.
It didn't work out that way though. Everything was the opposite for him as it was for Mufasa. No one liked him, no one loved him, and his only friends turned out to be backstabbing mongrels. He felt as if he had been predestined to live in misery until he had found Mike. Mike wanted to do things for him that no one had ever done for him before. He liked him, he loved him, and he was his only friend. One of the nights that he had been running, he had almost let himself be found and killed by the hyenas. He hadn't had anything to live for then; he never had had anything to live for for that matter. He could never go back to the Pridelands; more than likely, he would be killed on the spot. Everyone thought he was dead anyway, so whoever found and killed would probably be glorified for really killing him. When running from the hyenas thinking that, he had all of a sudden felt that there was a reason to live and got away from them. A few days later he found out what his reason to live was. On the same exact day at the same exact time, Mike found his reason to live. The only reason.
Scar sat in the office while Mike sat in the chair. Both were a little tired, but nothing that either of them would fall asleep over. Mike, bored with nothing to do, got out of the chair and sat down beside Scar. "What're you doing?" he asked as he picked up a rusty staple off of the wooden floor and toyed with it. "Nothing. You?" Scar replied. "Not a thing." Mike said. "What do you honestly think of what I said we should do? Tell me the truth, I wanna know how you feel about it." Scar looked up at the ceiling for a second as if he were trying to remember something. "I actually like it better than the first idea. I didn't want to actually kill anyone in the first place. I just wanted to start over." he said as he met Mike's eyes. "Yeah. I probably planted that stuff about killing everyone when I flew off the handle that first time. Sorry about that." Mike replied. "Oh no. It was okay. I was just glad that someone could actually hear the truth for once, instead of fabricated stories." Scar said earnestly. "I'm glad I found you to tell it to instead of some poacher who probably would have killed me. You know, you are the only person I can actually say that I totally trust and believe in." "Same back at you." Mike said. "And to even prove it, do something for me." Mike said as he laid down on his back. "Put your mouth right on my neck and clamp down. I'll yell if it hurts." "Why do you want me to do that?" Scar asked. "Just to show that I really mean that I trust my life in your hands." Scar reluctantly moved over to Mike and placed his mouth on Mike's neck. He very gently clamped down until Mike told him that he could get off. He did so, as quickly as possible.
Feeling that he needed to display his trust in Mike, he asked him to go and get a loaded gun and put it to his head. "No way." Mike said. "I'm never, ever going to point so much as a water gun at you. Putting a gun to your head is one thing you couldn't pay me to do." Mike said. "Okay, then, ah.... put your hand right on my throat." "Okay. That I'll do." Scar laid down on his back as Mike took his right hand and lightly grasped his throat. "You know, my throat is the most vulnerable place on my body." Scar said. "I know. The first day when we went on that ride, you let me feel around it for a microphone. I kinda thought that you trusted me then. You took a lot of major risks during the first couple of days, and so did I. I'm glad I did now." Mike said. "Me too." Scar said as he still laid on his back staring at the ceiling. Mike took his hand away from Scar's throat and laid down beside him, also staring at the ceiling.
"I don't need to hold on your damned throat to know you trust me. I already know. I'm glad you do too, because you're probably the only one I can trust my life with now." Scar smiled as he listened. Things were going perfect for him now. He too trusted his life to Mike and the many times he had thought and said it, he was glad he could. He'd never be able to say that he'd been able to do that with anyone else simply because he didn't. Mike was this; Mike was that; Mike was everything to him now. He never knew how attached he would grow of his new brother. He became brothers with him never knowing what it was like to be loved; He became brothers with him experiencing only ridicule, embarrassment, and torment from the last thing he called "brother." He became brothers with him not knowing what it felt like to be happy; He became brothers with him not knowing how happy he'd be in later days. Mike was everything to him now, and no one would take him away from him.
Mike thought exactly the same of Scar also. He would seriously injure anyone who so much as breathed a bad word of him under their breath. Scar to him was an equal, a person with feelings, a person who had been mistreated, and a person who he would make sure was never hurt again. Mike looked over at Scar the same time Scar looked over at him. Laying on his back submissively and happy, Scar smiled and began to purr. Mike laid beside him and rubbed his stomach, momentarily making Scar close his eyes. In a bond that could only be broken by one of their deaths, they laid on the office floor locked emotionally looking at each other. "You'll be understood by them Scar; everybody will one day. I'll make it my life's purpose if it takes that." Mike said as sat up and rested his head on Scar's chest. Scar looked away from Mike as tears filled his eyes. He was so happy.



CHAPTER XXVIII



"So what did happen dad?" Tanabi asked, pressing Simba for answers. "Not much really. I went with your mom to the elephant graveyard and got chased by the hyenas." Tanabi puzzled over the thought of his dad encountering the hyenas. "Did you get away by yourself?" he asked. "What do you mean?" Simba said back. "Well, did you get out without any help from anyone other than mom?" "Well, to tell the truth, my dad, your grandfather, saved me when they were about to get us. We got lucky." "What do you mean by that dad?" Tanabi asked. "I don't know. I just got lucky. You're full of questions today Tanabi." After the pride had returned home from killing the wildebeest, Simba and Tanabi went out on one of their "father-son" talks. Tanabi was intrigued that he had a relative that he had never heard of before.
"Dad?" Tanabi asked timidly. "Yeah?" Simba answered. "I know you said it was hard to forget the first time, but just this once can you tell me all you know about your uncle Scar?" Simba was a little shocked to hear this and asked him why he wanted to know about him. "Well, Zazu brought it up, but he didn't say a whole lot. I never knew about him. I heard all about Mufasa, and I guess.. well... I just want to know what he was like." Simba didn't want to, but sucked in his breath and began to tell his son of his dead (or so he thought) uncle.
"Tanabi? I once loved Uncle Scar the same way I loved, well my dad. I looked up to him and I thought he liked me. He acted like he did, so I liked him back. He would always tell me about neat places, and sometimes take me there. I liked that because most of the time, we went real far away and he never told my dad. Dad always took me away from him saying that he was teaching me bad things. He might have been, but I didn't learn anything bad from him. As time went on, everything seemed good. Scar told me he had a surprise for me and my dad, so I followed him down into the gorge. I waited there, and then felt the rumbling start. It was a stampede and you know the rest of that story. Well, after everything passed over for a while, I came back. I challenged Scar and I threw him off of the cliff and to the hyenas. I guess they killed him cause the fire grew up all around them and I couldn't see. He really didn't have that much of a chance though, with almost a hundred of them, and one of him." Tanabi sat and listened intently as his father spoke. "The funny thing is that I've never seen his body anywhere." Simba finished.
"D'ya think he's still alive?" Tanabi asked a little excitedly. "No, and if he was, I'd kill him on the spot." "Why? Everyone deserves to live." Tanabi said. "Well, he really didn't. He killed my dad, and almost me. Why are you so interested in him Tanabi? He was evil." "I don't know dad. I just kind of wanted to know why he hated you and Mufasa. It doesn't make sense that he hated you for no reason." "He hated me because I was next in line for the throne." "Would you call him a murderer?" Tanabi asked, turning a simple discussion into an all out debate. "Yes. He killed my dad." "He could have killed mom too, but he didn't. Do you think that he was a murderer? Do you think that he could have killed someone himself?" "I don't know, but if you don't mind, I'd like to stop talking about this. It's over, and it's in the past. We've got to live and look to the future, not the past." Simba said. "I'm sorry I got all into to that dad. I was just curious." "It's okay Tanabi. I was curious once too."
"Hi Simba!" Nala said as Simba appeared, followed by Tanabi. Tanabi walked over to his mother as Nala grabbed him and gave him a bath. "Not again!" he said. Simba walked around and soon found Sarabi. "Mom?" Simba said as he approached his mother, who was sunning in the late afternoon. "Yes Simba." she replied looking up from her position. "I want to talk to you about something. Tanabi brought it up after Zazu told him today." "What is it Simba?" she said as she got to her feet. "Well, I hate to bring it up to you, but I need to know something that you might know more about than me." "What is it?" Sarabi asked. "Well, it's about.. Scar." Simba said, looking at the ground. Sarabi didn't want to talk about him, but her son, the king had asked and she had to answer him.
Sitting down slowly, Sarabi reluctantly began talking. "Simba, there is a lot that me and your father never told you about Scar. We thought that you didn't need to know, but apparently now you want to know." "Yes mother. Do you know why he hated me and dad so much?" Dreading the fact that she had to tell the truth, she knew why Scar hated Mufasa. "Simba, the whole pride used to chastise Scar. And it started when he had been your age" Simba's looked wide eyed at Sarabi. "You all what?" Simba said, flabbergasted. Sarabi kept her cool and told him what she knew. "It started as a joke but I think that your father went as much as to actually hurt him emotionally. I know he did now." Simba was still shocked at what he had heard. "You know that Scar had that scar over his eye, and..." Sarabi swallowed. "Mufasa gave it to him after he tried to explain that I was for him. That's when he left the main body of the pride to live by himself." "What happened?" Simba asked. "It's very complicated, but before Mufasa became king, he was taught many of the things you were taught growing up. Scar wasn't as fortunate and wasn't taught. Someone once said that it was because he was worthless and wouldn't ever be anything, and, well, soon everyone said that to him, just as a joke."
Things were starting to make a little sense to Simba now, but he still couldn't see how Scar could kill over that. "Who else knows about this?" Simba said. "Almost everyone. Anyone who usually saw Scar would call out and tease him. Now that I really think about it, I feel sorry for him. We made him the way he was, I think." Simba didn't know what to think. "Did dad ever apologize to him?" he asked. "He did almost every day. He and Zazu would go alone and talk to him. Mufasa told me that Scar had tried to hit him, so he would always hit back. Scar looked like a mess all the time back then. I think it was because of me." "That's sad." Simba said. "I never knew about that. Geez. But I still can't.." A slight noise caught Simba's attention, catching him in the middle of his sentence. He looked in the direction of it and saw a cloud of dust trailing what looked to be a big animal. "What's that, mother?" He said as Sarabi began looking at the strange thing also. "I don't know Simba, but it's heading right towards us." From off in the distance, noise could be heard. "...I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me!"



CHAPTER XXIX



Bryan had slept until about two the day Scar and Mike went out and put a lot of the weapons back. He woke up and laid in bed thinking. He yelled out Mike's name, and hearing no response, he got up. They were gone. Good. He could stop the happy face routine and let his real face show; It wasn't a real pretty face either. It was a face full of hate and anger. All he thought about was killing Scar and then Mike. He wanted Mike to suffer miserably. Why though? Why did he want his once best friend to suffer? He had already put him through hell and he didn't know. Rafiki was the reason; He liked Rafiki. He could make his dream of having money, chicks, and never having to work come true. He guessed that it was greed that made him hate the two of them. Mike didn't make enough to give him the things he wanted. Rafiki could though. Rafiki seemed to be his savior, his friend, while Mike kind of ignored him and moved his attention to Scar. It made him real mad, both that Scar had come along and ruined everything, and that Mike couldn't, or wouldn't, buy him anything. Mike was cheap. He'd buy himself lots of neat stuff, but buy him hardly anything. As he fixed a bowl of cereal and poured the milk in the bowl, he went and got a spoon out of the crudely made drawers. After doing so, he sat down and began to eat. He though about something else that made his angry face disappear. He thought of sitting beside a pool and having tons of women around him. He could have any one of them he wished. He thought of having a huge TV with billions of channels. He liked what he envisioned and smiled as he thought of it. There was no Mike though. He was glad of that. Mike always screwed things up. He was dead in his vision. Scar was also dead. On his TV, he had a tape of Mike almost falling to pieces over Scar dying. Mike could barely even speak he was so upset. "Why?" he managed to peep out as he shot him in the head. He had it looped so he could watch it over and over again. He loved that tape. All he did was kill Mike and Scar, and anything he wanted he had. He almost had killed them last night but was afraid that Rafiki might not approve, and thus, not grant his dream. He would have to wait until Rafiki said it was okay to kill, then he would do it. He couldn't wait until the day came. He'd be rid of his crappy life in Africa. He hated the damn country anyway. He was going to go to Hawaii or something. He would be rid of Mike, Scar, and their sickening relationship. He would be rid of everything that he hated at that very moment. Life and love.
"Get up." Mike said as he rolled over, flinching at the light outside the garage. He saw Scar sleeping on his back and began to try and roll him. "Come on, get up." Mike said as he got to his knees and tried to wake him up again. Scar still slept soundly on the office floor as Mike moved him. Still a little tired, Mike let his head fall on Scar's chest again. He heard his heartbeat and soon was mesmerized by it. Forgetting wanting to wake him up, he laid down and listened to Scar's heart. Even though it was a dull, repetitious thudding sound, he liked the sound of it; it made him feel safe when he heard it. He listened to the heart he had revived a while ago and thought to himself that if that heart ever stopped for good, so would his. Scar eventually felt the presence of Mike's head and opened his eyes. Mike was facing the other way, so he put up his paws slowly and then quickly grabbed his head. Mike didn't move, but just stayed where he was. "I think that just me and you should go on a camping trip tonight." Mike said as he still listened to Scar's heart. "What for?" He asked as he took his paws off of Mike's head. "Well, I want to kind of be alone with you." Mike paused, trying to think of something funny to say. "I Want Your Sex!" he comically said, referring to the song off of George Michael's album, ‘Faith'. After they both had stopped laughing at that, Mike continued. "No, really, Bryan is always there and he's just a lump on a log really. Takes up space, eats the food, and all that stuff. I just want to be able to talk to you alone in the tent instead of having to go out in the cruiser and talk. I hate having to go out and have a ten minute talk when we could talk all night, unhindered from Bryan's prying and perverted ears." Mike had by now turned his head to look Scar in the face. "Sure. I want to go, but didn't we leave all the gear in the shed?" Scar said. "Yeah. I'll tell Bryan that I have to go way out of town and fix a whole fleet of buses or something. If he wants to come along, I'll tell him that he can't because I have to take a lot of tools. If he asks why I'm taking you I'll say something like, you go everywhere with me now. It's business and it's none of his." Mike said as he closed his eyes on Scar's chest. "Sounds good enough to me." Scar said. "Okay then!" Mike said as he quickly got to his feet. "Let's go get the stuff now. Maybe he's still asleep and we don't even have to worry about him." "Okay ." Scar said as he too got to his feet. Mike closed down the shop and went to the cruiser. After Scar had hopped in, Mike headed for home.
Upon reaching the house, Mike went in to see that Bryan was indeed sleeping. He was smiling though, which was odd. He quietly took the cooler out of the shed, packed it with most of the fridge's food and after loading it onto the cruiser, he got the tent, the can of gas, the sleeping bags, a few days set of cloths, and all of the guns that were in the house, packed it all and was off in less than fifteen minutes. Scar sat where he rightfully should have sat even when Bryan was in the cruiser while Mike sat behind the wheel as he began to start the cruiser up. "He was sleeping." Mike said to Scar. "I noticed." "Geez man! Stop that ‘I noticed' thing. I'm getting a little tired of it." Mike said, referring to the movie ‘The Gods Must Be Crazy', in which the female co-star was fond of saying. "I noticed." Scar said, laughing a little as he did. Mike threw out his right arm towards him as he was driving to the campsite. Scar knew he wouldn't punch him, so he didn't flinch at all. When Mike's hand hovered inches away from his face, he put it in his mouth.
"Ahhh! Quit it!" he said as he tried to free his hand. "I noticed." Scar said through a muffled voice. Mike slammed on the brakes, turned the cruiser off, and began to play with Scar. "Oh yeah! I pity the fool who tries to bite my hand off with teeth that could easily crush steel!" Mike said as he dived from his seat at Scar. Scar let go of his hand, and quickly hopped over the seatback to the rear of the cruiser. "You can't run from me! I'll get you!" Mike said as he lunged at Scar again from the passengers seat. He caught Scar unaware and quickly got him in a headlock and started giving him monster noogies. "Say mercy and I'll stop!" Mike said as he laughed. "Never!" Scar said, smiling and laughing. "Say mercy! I command you!" Mike said also laughing. "Merci bo cou!" Scar answered. "Good enough for me." Mike said as he took his arm from around his neck and went back up to the drivers seat. Starting the cruiser back up, he resumed on his course to go to the campsite.
As he shifted into third gear, Scar came up and sat in the passengers seat again. He flipped on the Bose, looked through some CDs, and picked one out. "Which one is that?" Mike asked as Scar put it in. "You'll see." he replied as he pushed play. It was of course the eighties CD. It was Cyndi Lauper that had dibs on the first track, and ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' was the first song. It was a good song, but when they had ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks' sing it, it ruined it. Mike heard what CD it was and began to move a little faster. He envisioned the music video for the song in his head as he did and smiled. He saw Cyndi skipping down the street bringing tons of people home to her room. It was cool. Scar watched as Mike rocked his head to the beat of the song. As it was ending and the repetuous chorus faded into nothing, Mike hit the power switch on the Bose and stopped the CD altogether.
"You've got good taste in music there bro." "Why thank you." Scar replied. "I learned from an extraordinary person what music is." Mike's face turned red a little bit and then told Scar that in a few minutes, they'd be at the campsite. Just as he had said, six minutes later, he saw the lake off in the distance. He went over to the tree, turned off the cruiser and stepped down onto the ground. "We're back!" Mike said in a different variation of the eery ‘Poltergeist' cliché saying.
After setting up the tent, putting all of the gear in it, and taking a walk to get some more firewood, it was around five. After going on a short hunting trip and successfully taking down a zebra, Scar was full. Mike had returned to camp at first at about five, and half an hour later, Scar came trotting in, licking his chops. "Whadja get this time?" "Zebra." Scar replied. "Big game now, huh?" Mike replied, happy that Scar had gotten something a little fresher and tastier than the few day old gazelle carcasses at home. "Well, it caught my eye, so I took it. Real good." "Good. You deserved that. Lets start building a fire. Well, lets not actually build one, but get one ready to burn."
Mike piled up sticks in the shape of a crude teepee as Scar passed them over him, grasping each piece of wood in his mouth. After a big pyramidal pile of sticks was made, Mike began to walk over to the cruiser. He was shortly followed by Scar, who ran up to walk beside him. "So, what do you have in store for tonight?" he asked. "I don't know. But whatever it is, Bryan isn't here to mess it up." As they got to the cruiser, they hopped up into it as Mike turned the ignition over to accessory and turned on the Bose. The eighties CD was still in it as Mike reached down and picked up the CD carrying case. He took the CD from the Bose and put it back in it's case, looking for something different to play. After finding something, he put it in and hit play. He skipped to track ten and then hit play. "What's this?" Scar asked. "Blues Traveler. Hook." Mike replied. It was the only song they made that he liked, so the rest of the CD was not listened to. After that was over, he took it out and put in his Green Day CD. He had been real lucky to even get that one due to he left almost right before it had come out. It came out and he bought it, and then on to Africa.
He hadn't even gotten a chance to listen to it until he had gotten the Bose all put in. All of the songs were good, but ‘Walking Contradiction' took the cake because it had an awesome video. It was all chaos and cool stuff in it; Cop cars flying all over the place, accidents, you name it, it was there. After listening to that CD for an hour, he took it out, and put in Rancid. He let it play to it's entirety and when it was over, it was dark out. Neither one of them had exchanged a word since Mike had said ‘Blues Traveler. Hook.'. They had each thought about stuff. It was pretty much the same thoughts too. Mike thought about the agenda for their ‘unhindered chat' and came up with a good list. As soon as it became real dark, he was going to touch off the bonfire, and get a Coleman lamp going in the tent. He just sat in the cruiser without even moving so much as a muscle when he stood up and stretched. Scar had been sitting down on the seat thinking about what he wanted to discuss with Mike. When he saw Mike get up, he too got up and followed him as he jumped down out of the cruiser. "Let's go in the tent and wait until it gets a little darker. Around nine or so, I'll get the bonfire going and we'll have a serious talk." Mike said as he waited at the tent door. He waited until Scar went in after he had, he closed the flaps behind him and laid down on one of the sleeping bags. Scar laid down on the one spread beside it and looked at Mike. "So, what do you want to talk about that isn't serious?" he said. "I don't know. How about details about me and you? Ones we left out I mean." Mike said. "Sounds fine to me." Scar said.
After almost two whole hours of giving details more descriptive than video footage, the discussion of old life was coming to a close. "Oh!" Mike said. "There is one thing I almost forgot to show you. It makes me feel like I really am supposed to be with you or something." Mike said as he rolled up his left pantleg. Right on his knee was a scar about three inches long. Scar's mouth dropped open slightly when he saw it. "How'd you get that?" he asked. "Believe it or not, but it was my brother. He got a little carried away with the weed eater when he was drunk once and hit me with it. It bled like a bastard for almost ten minutes. I just covered it up with a towel because we didn't have any insurance to pay for stitches or anything. It's not on my eye like yours" Mike said as he pointed to Scar's, "but my brother gave it to me, I tried to kill him, and it's on my left side."
Scar pondered over the striking similarities. "That makes me feel even more that somehow we were meant to find each other." Mike said. "I can't explain it or interpret it, but it's pretty strange." "Indeed it is." Scar replied. "Okay. You ready to have the talk now?" "Ready as I'll ever be." "Okay, I'm going to go and get the bonfire going, get that Coleman, and then I'll be right back." Mike said as he hurriedly got up, ran out of the tent and did so. A few minutes later, the bonfire was blazing, and the Coleman was throwing out light from inside the tent. "You know, on second thought, this damn light is way too bright. I think I'm going to turn it off." Mike said as he squinted his eyes to look at Scar. "Yeah. It is a little bright." Turning a little knob, the two glowing mantles slowly went out. Mike set it over at the foot of the tent and then crawled back to his sleeping bag. As he laid down facing the top of the tent, Scar moved from where he was and laid down on his back, resting his head on Mike's chest. Mike let out a grunt as the unexpected weight fell on him. As his eyes eventually adjusted to the dark, he could see the faint outline of Scar's head from the bonfire outside.
"Okay. The first thing I have on my agenda is Bryan. I'm losing faith in him real fast, but I still consider him a friend somewhat. Not a close one, but a friend all the same." Scar nodded his head in agreement. Mike began to scratch Scar's head as he began to talk more. "I hate to talk behind his back, but it's the only thing I can do without hurting his feelings. He's a good guy, but he just is kind of stupid." "Yeah." Scar said. "He seemed to be real nice at first, but then he started to act kind of strange." "I think that was because I started to really forget about him and focus on you. I kind of feel responsible for how he's acting because of that. I just forget about him and couldn't get you out of my mind." Mike said as he thought to himself. Even though he knew it was impossible, he wished he could turn back the clock and left Bryan back in the United States. He didn't like him as a friend anymore but he also didn't have anywhere to go, so he was stuck.
"Like I was saying, I wanted to get rid of Bryan, and when you came, I kind of did. I want to thank you for that, and also strangle you!!" Mike said as he playfully grabbed Scar's throat. Scar began to fake that he was choking and then acted as if he had died. "Get up before I really choke you!" Mike said. Scar smiled and then let Mike rub his head again. "Man, I get so sick of being around that bungmunch, it isn't funny. I don't know what I can really do about it though." Mike said. "You say something bro. You're being awfully quiet here." Mike said to Scar. "Well, I don't really like Bryan, but I can stand him." Scar said. "I guess he's okay, but I wouldn't ever be as close to him as I am to you, bro." Hearing that made Mike feel warm inside. He too was feeling what Scar had been feeling the past few weeks.
He felt as if he were loved for the first time in his life. He knew his mother had loved him, but he had been too young to remember what it felt like. Bryan sure as hell didn't love him. He was too egotistical, arrogant, and insensitive to for that. All he could do is make people feel bad, put them down, call them names, physically and emotionally damage them, and all that stuff. Mike had had a brother that had pretty much kicked him around. He hated him and let him have it one day. He thought that Bryan would be his brother after that, but he wouldn't have it. He had an image to keep, so he was only friends. It was really a shame that he had to come all the way to Africa and find someone that loved him. He would place his life on a bet that Scar loved him. He loved him back and would probably give his life to prove it. Here he was a human that found salvation from a talking lion who has had almost the same life he had, and they somehow met and made the best of it. It boggled his mind thinking of all the factors that came into effect.
The ‘what if' syndrome popped to mind. What if this, what if that. He didn't give a damn. He and Scar had found each other, end of story. They each grew extremely fond of each other and called each other brothers. It was accepted by Ahadi, so it was to be accepted by everyone. "Scar?" Mike asked. "Yes?" Scar replied. "I love you more than anything and I'm not shitting you either. I mean it." "I love you too, Mike. And if for any reason you doubt me, please don't, because I do mean it also." "I know that. Come on. Let's give each other a real hug now. No Stuart Smalley hugs though." Mike said as Scar got up and sat down on the sleeping bag. Mike sat up and hugged Scar as Scar hugged back. Both were glad that they knew there was no distrust at all between them. Scar truly trusted Mike, as did Mike. The two sat on the sleeping bags for a few minutes hugging, and silently thought how they would each do anything to make sure the other was okay. "Man, I never knew how attached I could grow to someone." Mike said. "I love you Scar." Mike repeated. "I love you too Mike."
At around nine forty five, there was an unnatural booming noise in the sky that made the two get out of the tent to see what was going on. A sight that both recognized to be Ahadi forming in the clouds appeared as they sat around the bonfire. "Looks like dad is making another visit." Mike said as he smiled and looked up to the sky to the forming lion. "He sure is." Scar replied. Ahadi formed and greeted the two. "Hello my sons." he said to them both. "Hello father." both replied. Mike felt strange. He had called Ahadi ‘father' seriously, not even thinking about it. He had accepted him calling him father and acted like he was his own son. "I see that you two have changed your plans." Ahadi said. "Yes, we have." Mike answered. "I didn't like the idea of more death. It doesn't solve anything, just makes it harder for the survivors to cope with." After a second or two of silence, Ahadi replied. "Mike? It is not for me to determine who is and isn't right, but you are wise beyond your years. Anyone else would have done what you originally planned and not cared. You seem to appreciate life better since you found Taka." "Yes I have, do you mind if I call you father?" Mike asked. Smiling down on the two, Ahadi replied that he didn't.
"The first day I talked with Taka, I felt so sorry for him. He had been neglected, made fun of, embarrassed, hurt, and put through much of the same things I endured. What really made me mad is that he couldn't fight back or else he would have been killed by Mufasa. What else was there for him to do but kill him?" Ahadi looked down upon his two sons. "You are right. I have seen what happened and the only thing Taka could have done was kill and become someone looked up to, or be submissive to everything that the pride did to him. Mufasa would have eventually killed him if he hadn't of fought back, that I do know. Mufasa was much stronger than he knew, he easily could have gotten mad and lost control."
"Father?" Scar looked up and asked. "Yes Taka?" Ahadi replied. "Do you forgive me for killing Mufasa?" he asked, trembling as he did so. Mike saw it and put his hand on Scar's back to comfort him. "Yes I do. He had no right to treat you the way he did, and what you did was rash, but yes son, I forgive you." Scar stopped looking up at his father and slumped his head to the ground. He fell asleep shortly thereafter, leaving Mike and Ahadi to talk alone. "I think he fell asleep." Mike said. "Yes, he has. There is something I want to tell you before I go. I must be going soon, even though I've only been here a few minutes. Remember the wish you made on the falling star a while ago?" Ahadi said. "Yeah?" Mike replied. "Keep close contact on what's happening in the rest of the world." "Oh my GOD!!" Mike said as he jumped to his feet, shaking. "It hasn't really happened has it?" "I can neither confirm nor deny that question Mike, but wait and you will see." "I will father. Thank you for saying that stuff to Scar. I mean Taka! I think it really made him feel better." "Yes. I think that also. I have to go now Mike. When Taka wakes up, please give him my regards. And take good care of yourself, and him." "Don't worry, I will." Mike said as Ahadi began to slowly dissipate. "When is the next time we will see you father?" Mike added while the sky enveloped Ahadi's image. "In a while." Ahadi said as his voice began to get farther and farther away. "In a while."
Scar was sound asleep and it took Mike almost ten minutes to wake him up. He didn't want to scare him awake, so he gently nudged at him and said in a normal voice for him to get up. After about nine minutes of doing this, he got up and then followed Mike into the tent. The bonfire was still blazing up a storm as Scar laid down on one of the spread out sleeping bags. Mike laid down on the sleeping bad parallel to the one Scar was on.
"Okay, let's talk. We're all alone now." Mike said. "What do you want to talk about?" Scar said as he rolled over on his side and faced Mike. "How about the speech we're going to give when we go to Priderock?" "Yeah! Good idea!" Scar exclaimed. "Hold on. I think I have a notebook I can write notes and stuff in. Hold on." Mike said as he went to his overnight bag and began to search for a notebook and a pencil. "Yep, I got it." he said as he took out a spiral notebook and a pencil. He quickly flipped past half of the notebook, which had written stuff in it, and to the middle, where there was fresh notebook paper. "Okay. How does this sound: ‘Citizens of the Pridelands! I stand before you today not as a threat, but as a giver of information! As you may all have seen already, I have with me here a former member of your pride. You all should recognize him as Scar, and I swear to you all if you attempt to harm him today, or any other day from this day forward, I will then be a major threat to you all.'." Mike said slowly as he wrote it down in the notebook. "Excellent so far, big bro." Scar said as he looked at Mike and smiled. "Okay, let me think of some more to write." he said as he read over what he had just written and thought of his speech. "Okay. I got it!" he said as he began to write in the notebook again. He was silent this time, and as he wrote steadily for almost half an hour, flipping through more than five pages, he wrote almost every second, taking only a few minutes to think of what he should say. After he had written down what he thought to be the best thing he could write to make anyone listen to him, he began to read it.
"Okay, here's the rest of it. ‘It is a very long story on how I came to meet him and let me tell you, you may find what I have to say a little repulsive. I have been well informed on the treatment Scar endured during his residency here, and if you ask me, I think you are all heartless creatures. How you could ever be cruel to the lion that did nothing but keep to himself, I'll never know. I am not going to dictate to you all how I dispise you, but I will make my point be known. This is what you may find a little repulsive. If you can believe it or not, I love Scar. He came into my life wanting a second chance while I myself was looking for one also. We soon became friends; later, we became best friends; later still, we became brothers, and now, if one of us dies, the other cannot live without him. We are inseparable. I feel totally comfortable to have Scar around me. I trust him with my life, and if you believe that he is faking it all so that he can get me to destroy you, you are all very wrong. You all might think that Scar has absolutely no credibility whatsoever, but he has told me more truth than anyone else has in my whole life. He has changed for the better, and if you cannot believe this, then I can only weep at your ignorance. You have all treated him so badly, you made him into what he became and in the end, forced him to kill Mufasa. I know everything about that, and I believe Zazu knows a little bit more than all of us. Scar was willing to be nice to everyone. He was willing to be friends with everyone. You all had to go to side with your future king Mufasa instead of him and make him the way he was. Wouldn't you have done the same thing if you were left to lay in the cold, made fun of, and even hurt by the same beings that were suppose to be there for you, not against you? I know I wouldn't have treated Scar so badly if I had been in your places. He saved my life once, and for that, I can never forget. Never. I will stop lecturing you all now, and let Scar take over. He will tell you the truth, and I believe that Zazu can confirm it to be all true. Please be advised though, if anyone attempts to come within one hundred yards of this vehicle, and if anyone even comes near Scar without both of our permission, you will be shot by a security official I have appointed to oversee all of this. He won't shoot unless I give him the signal, and he will only fire upon you unless you do something rash. Here is Scar with the truth. Let it be heard by all." Mike paused a moment and then looked at Scar. "Well? Whadja think?" Mike asked nervously as he fumbled with the pencil. Scar looked at the notebook and then at Mike. Trying all he could to suppress his emotions of pure happiness, he replied. "Perfect." he said as his eyes began to water. "Perfect."
"Is that how you really feel about me?" Scar asked while a few stray tears ran out of his eyes and down his face. "You know it is. I've told you a million times before, but like I said, I love you man." Scar bent his head down and looked at the floor as he tried to further hide his silent crying. Tears splashed down on the tent's tarpaulin floor as Mike reached his hand over, put it under his chin, and gently raised it to his eyes. "It's okay to cry in front of me." Mike said softly. Scar just looked at Mike as he pulled him over and gave him a lion hug. "I mean every single word of that, and you can have my word on it. You've shown me what being loved is. You've shown me what caring is. You've shown me so many things, I can't list them. I owe it all to you and all I can really do to repay you is to give what you gave me right back." Scar was enraptured at that moment; Happier at that one moment than he had been in his whole life. It even surpassed the previous days of happiness he had felt. He had always been told that humans didn't care; that they were destructive, unforgiving, and highly dangerous. Obviously there were exceptions to that, and Mike was one of them. Releasing his grip off of Scar's body, Mike settled back down to where he had been before. He sat with his knees up under his chin as he rocked back and forth slightly. He remained sitting like that as he asked Scar a question. "Do you love me?" Mike asked. "Of course I do! You know that!" Scar instantly replied, his tears gone by now. "I know you do, but have you ever felt this way towards Mufasa, or anyone else?" "No." Scar said as he began to think for a moment. "No one has ever treated me the way you have, so I can honestly say that I have never loved anyone except you. You truly are the brother and friend I never had."
Hearing this made Mike want to cry, but he felt he had some sort of image to keep. Finally, saying to himself that it was Scar there, not Bryan, he laid down on his sleeping bag, stomach to the ground, and began to silently cry. He was thinking that he had done more crying in the past few weeks than he had done in his whole life. Why? Because he had found his best friend, his brother, and his twin that he never knew existed, all rolled up into one lion. He thought of what Scar had said a minute ago. He knew what he said was true. He knew Scar would never lie to him, unless it was something that he didn't want him to know. As he thought on how Scar had dramatically changed him, he began to start sobbing louder. Scar heard it and laid down beside Mike. He draped his gigantic paw on his back and asked what was wrong. "You man!" Mike said. "I can't believe you almost drowned in that damned lake! I was going to get an Uzi and shoot myself if you didn't live!" Mike said, recalling the lake incident. Scar comforted him, and eventually he calmed down. After a short talk and a goodnight, Mike fell asleep on the sleeping bag. As the fire died down and the night grew colder. Scar, who still hadn't gone quite to sleep yet, saw Mike shiver due to the fact that he had laid on the sleeping bags without getting in them, and not covered himself with anything. Mike was sleeping on his back as Scar crawled over close to him and rested his head on Mike's chest. "I love you." he said as he fell asleep instantly.
Mike woke up at around twelve that night, and felt like going on one of his infamous night walks. Scar's head was resting right on top of his chest, and after slowly, and carefully moving out from underneath, he held his head and let it gently fall to the floor. He stood up, went to the tent's door, and unzipped it. He had zipped it up and had gone no less than twenty feet when he turned around and went back. Usually he went on his walks alone because it was to get away from everything. There was nothing to really get away from now, except maybe Bryan a little. He went in the tent, laid down beside Scar, and started trying to wake him. Eventually, after nudging him and telling him to get up, he slowly opened his eyes and looked at him, smiling a little.
"What do you want?" He said as he laid down, still half asleep and peering at Mike with his green eyes. "Wanna go on a night walk?" Mike asked. "Okay." Scar replied as he instantly jumped to his feet and waited eagerly for Mike to get up off of the sleeping bag. Seeing how excited it made Scar that they were going to go on a walk, Mike began to tease him. "Oh, never mind. I'm all of a sudden very tired. Goodnight!" he said, and then began to make fake snoring sounds. "Come on! Let's go." Scar said. Mike smiled a little as he snorted up snores, and then Scar leapt at him. Grabbing Mike by the arm, he began to clamp down with his teeth lightly. "Ahh! Quit it." Mike said as his shirt began to get soaked with saliva. Scar growled menacingly as if he were in a big fight, but he was just playing around.
"Oh yeah?" Mike said. "Take this!" he said as he jumped up, stepped over Scar wrapping his arm around his head, and fell to the ground, knocking Scar onto his back. With his hand still in Scar's mouth, he took it out and wrapped it around his throat. "Who's got who now?" Mike said in a playful voice. "Okay. You win." Scar answered as he lay on his back, completely at Mike's mercy. Seeing and knowing that, Mike loosened his grip and began to scratch him around his throat and under his chin making Scar purr back with approval. Finally taking his arm from around his neck, Mike got up and went over to the tent flaps. After Scar got up and walked over to where he was, he waited for him to open the tent. "Well?" Mike said. "You can do the honors." he said as he bowed and pointed to the zippers. Scar opened them up with his paws, and as Mike stepped out, he said "Ladies first!" After saying this, he bolted from the tent, expecting to be chased by Mike. Upon hearing Scar's remark, Mike indeed ran after him. "I'll get you!" he said as he tried to catch him, but gave up, knowing he was no match for him. After a minute or two, Scar came walking from the dark over to where he was sitting on the ground.
Mike got up when he saw Scar, and began walking. Scar walked beside him as they walked blindly into the night. "So, how's the weather?" Mike asked. "What?" Scar said. "Nothing. I've just always wanted to say that." "Oh." They walked for awhile, not talking, but just thinking. Mike let his gaze wander up to the sky, and as he did so, he saw a falling star whiz by. He shuddered a little bit when he saw it, reminding him of his wish on one earlier. After a few seconds, he was fine again.
"Isn't it ironic?" Mike asked. "It's like rain on your wedding day, it's a free ride when you've already paid, it's the good advice that you just didn't take, and who would have thought it figures!" Scar exclaimed. "No, fool! B.A Baracus don't take crap from no fool, especially you!" Mike said in his infamous Mr. T voice. "No, I mean isn't it ironic that we had to suffer so long in order to be happy?" Mike said as he stopped walking and looked at Scar. "Yeah, I guess it is." he said as he sat down. "Man, I wish I could have helped you out earlier, but like I said a while back: our paths were meant to be crossed at that time, and any other time, we might have killed each other." "I don't think I would have done that." Scar said. "No, but, nothing personal, back when I was in the states, I didn't care about anything except me, my car, and my girl. That was it. If I had seen you running to me back then, I would have ran like hell and probably shot you. If I did that knowing what I know now, I'd first puke and then blow my brains out. I can't even think of hurting you. It makes me sick how they treated you back there." Mike said, thoroughly disgusted at Mufasa, Sarabi, and all of the other backstabbing, ungrateful lions.
"I could never think of hurting you either, let alone actually do it." Scar said humbly. "I know that, and you know I meant what I said. Let's go back now. It's getting a little cold out here." Mike said as he felt a cold chill run through his body. "Sure." Scar said. With that, they both returned to the tent, made a mattress and comforter out of the two sleeping bags, and fell asleep.
After falling asleep after the walk, Mike had a nightmare. He was having fun, talking with Scar in the cruiser, listening to music, just living it up, when all of a sudden, he was standing in a dark, grassy plain, alone. He didn't like it at all. It was windy, and the grass moved oddly as the wind brushed over it in wavelike patterns. As he stood where he was, still trying to figure out what had happened, a baboon carrying a stick walked around from behind him and kept on walking. Mike stared as he walked off, turned around, looked at him, and then ran off laughing. Mike stood dumbfounded as he watched the laughing baboon run, and soon he began to run after him. As the waving grass hit against his pants, he looked ahead and saw the baboon turn sharply and disappear behind a small grove of trees. When Mike reached it, he looked off to his right and saw the baboon sitting no more than a hundred feet from him. He walked up to the baboon, who was meditating apparently, and stood near him. "Were you laughing at me?" Mike asked. "Yes." was the baboon's immediate response. "Why were you laughing at me?" Mike asked. "Because you are an idiot." the baboon replied. "Who do you think you?" Mike asked angrily. The baboon, still meditating, coolly replied a name Mike hated the moment he heard it. "I am Rafiki."
"Okay you ugly piece of crap, what are you laughing at me and running away for?" Mike questioned. "Scar." Rafiki said. Mike's face went from mad, to fuming mad with the shade of red to match. "Are you laughing at him?" Mike said in a voice more serious and cold than Clint Eastwood's. "No, I'm laughing at you because you like him. You are an idiot if you could ever like him." Mike balled his fists while he made a short advance towards Rafiki and looked at him as if killing him would be pleasure.
"What are you talking about you old piece of shit?" Mike said, losing his self-control and using his very limited cuss word vocabulary. "You have no idea of what he did, and you have no idea of what he's going to do." Rafiki said, still meditating. "I know he has been put through hell and came out of it pretty damned well, and if you contradict the way he is now, then I will kill you!" Mike said. "He doesn't love you, he hates you! He just wants you so he can use you like the hyenas!" Rafiki lied as he got to his feet, leaving his stick on the ground. "You lying bastard!" Mike screamed at the top of his lungs as he lunged at him.
Rafiki dodged and began to run off, knowing that this wasn't a person that took well to lies. In his dream, Mike picked up Rafiki's stick and gave chase. Wielding it like a Louisville Slugger, he ran in hot pursuit, screaming at Rafiki. "When I catch you, I'm gonna beat your face in until it looks like tapioca pudding!!!" Mike bellowed, in an uncontrollable rage now. Rafiki was fast, but not fast enough and in a minute or so, Mike had caught up with him. His track days had paid off. As he was about five feet behind Rafiki, he swung the long stick and clipped him in the back of the head. He slowed when he had been hit, and Mike swung again, hitting him in the head again. Rafiki slowed even more, and then Mike flew feet first at him. He hit him on his back and made him fall to the ground. As Rafiki quickly got up and was about to fight Mike, Mike swung the stick low and did the ‘Nancy Kerrigan Knee Hit' to Rafiki. Rafiki howled out in agony as his left kneecap was crushed inwards by Mike's powerful swing. He fell to the ground, still screaming with pain as Mike walked over closer.
"You think Scar doesn't love me? You think he'd cross me?" Mike said standing over Rafiki now. "Let me count the ways you are wrong!" Mike said as he began to beat Rafiki with his stick. After each hit, Mike would say "One!", or "Two!" to correspond with the hit he had delivered. After counting all the way up to three hundred and forty seven, he stopped. There was nothing left of the lying baboon but tapioca pudding. Looking at the mass, he felt as if someone should say ‘J-e-l-l-O!' Just then, after in his dream Mike had beat Rafiki to a pile of tapioca pudding, he shot up in his sleeping bag in a cold sweat as Rafiki jerked out of his meditation and thought to himself that he had made a big mistake trying to get inside Mike's mind. A very big mistake.
Seeing that what he had just experienced was a horrible nightmare, Mike looked over at Scar and saw him sleeping soundly, lying on his side and facing him. A quick look at his watch showed him it was two o' three a.m. He felt scared that maybe this Rafiki might try to hurt Scar. The thought made him want to cry again. Why couldn't they just leave him the hell alone? He was gone! He wasn't over there doing stuff he would have done if he had been his old self. He was with him, doing nothing harmful, and getting the attention he so badly wanted and needed. It made him think of how unfair life was. They all held a grudge against him and wanted him dead. As long as he was alive, he'd turn that grudge against them and make them pay for their ignorance. He'd tell the truth for once, and let them see the horrible reality of how their lovable Mufasa had gotten his come uppance long overdue. Thinking all of this over, Mike almost did cry, but seeing that he had Scar and not them made him feel better instantly. He loved him, and was loved back. In a world as cruel as it had been to both of them, it is a wonder that two abused individuals like them actually met. Mike forgot all of this and nestled up to Scar, who was radiating heat like a furnace. He lifted one of his paws over his shoulder and fell asleep again, happy that what had happened had only been a dream.



CHAPTER XXX



Mike woke up first that morning, but laid where he was, not wanting to get up. He was warm, it was comfortable in the sleeping bag, and he was still a little tired. Closing his eyes after seeing it was nine twelve, he laid in the sleeping bag with Scar's paw still draped over him. As he laid on the floor, he began to think of his girlfriend. He wished she could be here with him. She would have loved Scar. After she had moved to Ohio, Mike kind of got out of contact with her and got depressed. He was lonely and wished he could just talk to her; That would have helped a lot. He wasn't as lonely as he was before Scar popped into his life. He got a friend, a brother, and an equal out of that. Something both of them had been either denied or neglected was their common link as strange as it was. Thinking about how much Scar had helped him in the past few weeks or so, he began to run his fingers through his coarse, black mane, looking at him appreciatively. A few stray hairs pulled out, and when they did, he brushed them off and went back to running his fingers through his mane.
He had never really seen a lion with a black mane, but had heard that there were some extinct ones called cape lions or something that had had them. He didn't care what color his mane was. He was no racist, nor was he a skinhead freak who called every black person some vile segregational name. Segregation sucked. Judging someone by how they look or the color of their skin/fur is signs of a racist. No one is the same and unless people accept that everyone looks different, there would always be racism. All of those southerners who had had slaves a century ago were lazy bastards who liked to see humans suffer. Black was one of Mike's favorite colors anyway, even though pretty much every color was his favorite.
Staring at the tents ceiling for a few minutes, he got tired and felt like going to sleep. He had had a rough night and had gotten little sleep after his nightmare. Thoughts had kept coming to him that something was going to happen that was bad. Forgetting his fears for the moment, Mike wrapped his arms around Scar's neck, pulled his body up to his and fell asleep.
After about one and a half hours, Scar woke up to find Mike pressed right up against him with his arms around his neck. He wanted to get up, but also didn't want to wake him up in the process. He began to say in a low voice for him to get up, and soon had to resort to licking his face. His sandpapery tongue made Mike's eyes open, and soon, he rolled over on his side of the sleeping bag. After letting out a long yawn and stretching his arms by groping for the top of the tent, he rolled over and smiled at him.
"What are you smiling at?" Scar asked. "I'm smiling at a big buttmunch." Mike replied. Scar, getting the joke, threw himself onto Mike, pinning him. "Scar! You weigh a ton!" Mike said as he gasped for breath under his weight. Scar quickly got off of him and sat down on the sleeping bag. Mike got up and opened the tent and then walked over to where he had parked the cruiser. Scar was right behind him and hopped up with him when he got in. They sat there looking out the windshield, not speaking, not thinking, just sitting. Eventually Mike got bored just sitting there and slapped his hands on his knees. "Well, I guess we better pack all that crap up. If we're not home by sundown, I bet that Bryan will have taken over the house or something." With that, he jumped down out of the cruiser and went over to the tent. Taking it down, he had it all packed in fifteen minutes, and after loading all of the stuff on the cruiser, he stood staring up at Scar.
Looking at his watch, Mike saw it was around eleven, or for him, time for food. Giving the site a last lookover, he got up in the cruiser and found Scar curled up and sleeping in the back. When Mike approached him, he jumped up and said "Boo!" Mike jumped, roughhoused with him for a minute or two, and then both went to sit up front. Turning the cruiser on, Mike popped in the now infamous eighties CD. A quick skip to the second song brought "Walk Like an Egyptian" by the Bangles to the speakers. The CD had more than twenty songs, and had a lot of forgotten songs that were popular, and then weren't; One hit wonders. All the same, all of the songs were cool, even if they were eighties songs.
Putting the cruiser into first and starting off to home, the song was at the part where all the music had stopped and just whistling could be heard. Mike upshifted into second, then third, and then forth gears, smiling as he did so. Whenever the "Walk like, an Egyptian!" part was sung, Mike let go of the steering wheel and moved his arms and head in quick, jerky motions. Soon, Scar caught on and did it too. Seeing that he was doing it, Mike lightly slapped him on his arm and told him to stop copying him. It started a ‘Monkey see, Monkey do' thing that made both of them laugh. Mike would rub his chin, looked like he was thinking something over, and then all of a sudden, throw up his arms and start yelling. Scar did the same moments later as Mike thought of something else. It lasted until they got home and ended when Mike got on the ground and started rolling around on it. After rolling for almost twenty feet, Mike looked up and saw that Scar wasn't doing it. Scar looked at him as if he were crazy. "What on earth are you doing in the dirt?" he asked, smiling at him. "You were supposed to do it too." Mike said. "Oh that immature game? I quit that already. I wasn't really even playing." Scar said, in a voice full of sarcasm.
Mike rushed towards him and made him jump from the cruiser. He tried to catch him, but knew he never would. After finally letting himself be caught, Scar let Mike pretend that he had taken him down. "Ha ha ha! I got you!" Mike said. Scar laid down and let Mike have his fun. He had grabbed him around his neck, and as he kept repeating that he had him, Scar slut his eyes, grinning evilly as he got up and started walking around, dragging Mike with him. "HA! I still have you! You just walk around Mr. Man and try to shake me! No one shakes me!" Mike said jokingly. After that, Scar looked him in the face and began running, snickering. Mike let go and slid to a stop, covered in dirt now as he sat up. Scar came over and sat beside him, grinning.
"Look what you did to me you terd!" Mike said as he patted dust out of his shirt and pants. "I'm dirtier than a dog now!" "Sorry." Scar said. "It's alright. I don't mind." Mike said. Getting to his feet, Mike dusted off his pants and began walking to the house. Scar got up and followed, but stopped at the door when Mike stopped inside. Bryan was inside watching TV and Mike asked what time he had gotten up. "Oh, I got up around eight this morning. Where the hell have you been?" Bryan asked as his eyes didn't move from the TV. "I had a big job a couple hundred miles away that I had to camp out for. You woke up at eight? "Yeah. I just woke up and fixed some breakfast." Bryan said as he pointed to the sink. In it were frying pans, dishes, silverware, and glasses.
"Did you have a party or something?" Mike asked. "No, I had bacon, eggs, hash browns, toast, waffle, pancakes, milk, and O.J." Mike look baffled. Bryan could cook? It was a mystery to him that he could make something like that. Maybe he had underestimated Bryan's abilities. Maybe he should start trusting him a little more. Hell! If he of all people could cook, next he might be fashioning ornate sculptures out of twigs and grass. Mike went over to him and slapped him on the shoulder a little. "Congrats on the cookin', dude. How'd you know how to cook stuff?" "I don't know." Bryan said as he smiled. "I had a dream."
The night that Mike had snuck off with the camping gear, Bryan had had a taste of what his dream would be like. Rafiki had come to him and told him that if he did what he was told, then what he dreamed of next would really happen. Bryan dreamed of chicks, money, and cool stuff. There was porno piled everywhere, a huge house, a monstrous pool, a home arcade, an indoor pool, lots of junk food, and more chicks. When Mike had snuck in to see if he had been awake, he was smiling then because he saw what he could get if he killed both Scar and Mike. Who gave a rat's ass if they loved each other and would die if the other one did? All he cared about was him, not them. If he was given the chance to better his life the easy way, he'd do anything to do it. He was not like Scar had been; Bryan did not do hard work to get his goals. He had pretty much used Mike all of his life because he was older, he had wheels, and he got all the blame. He was the perfect scapegoat and was a totally unaware one too. When Scar had told his story to him, he had almost burst out laughing; And then when Mike said that he felt like going out and putting a bullet in every one of the hyena's head, he felt weird and had to go to sleep. Scar had been beaten up on because he took shit from that Mufasa. He didn't really give a hoot in hell about who screwed over who wherever Scar came from. All he knew is that he was to kill Mike, and Scar, nobody else, and then his dream would come true.
He had been told that by Rafiki and knew it must be true. Mike did hate him, and the key was to gain his trust enough so he could get his hands on a gun. He wouldn't dare sneak one off; he kept a very tight inventory on them and would know within the hour if one was missing. He had to let Mike give him a gun, and then, *pop pop*, his dream is a reality. He was kind of glad that it would be over; He hated work, he hated Mike, he hated Scar, he hated everything. When he got his way, he'd live like a king. Do nothing, buy everything, and have girls whenever he wants. When he had fixed breakfast for himself that morning, Rafiki had told him what to do and how to make stuff. As odd as it seemed, in his dream, Rafiki had been like a chef, instructing him on what to do and not to do. He had said that it was vital for him to make it easy for Mike so he could start to like him more. After that, he had been told to take an interest in the stuff Mike did, and do things that he hadn't been told to do, like mop the floor, pick up stuff, sweep; stuff he was supposed to do but never did. He hated to even lift a finger to help him, but a few months of toil was worth a lifetime of anything he ever wanted, so he started that day to re-befriend Mike and Scar. He hated to do it, but a few months of seeing them together would be worth it. He would get back at them though.
In the end, he would take out those months of torturous work from behind a gun. He had envisioned it both in his dreams, and while he was awake. He shot Scar and killed him; Mike started crying like a baby and pleads with him, mumbling ‘why?' through is crying. He aimed the gun at his head pulled the trigger and killed him. After he did that, he saw what seemed like a rainbow fly at him and make his wishes come true.
First, he wished he had an ax so he could chop up the bodies of the two people he hated more than everything in the world. He butchered the bodies of Mike and Scar as he laughed. He was evil; wickedly evil. Bryan was probably more evil than the devil himself. He had no concern for others, and could never, ever change like Scar had done. It was the exact reverse of what Scar and Bryan were because Bryan had changed by choice, unlike Scar. Scar once cared, turned bad due to Mufasa and the pride, and then found Mike and changed the world over. Bryan kind of cared once, turned evil as hell when he got with his druggie friends, and would never change or care again. He hated life, he hated work, he hated everything. He was a bum who had actually made himself evil. What made him hate so much was that he was so obnoxious to people, that they stayed away from him. Getting the idea that everyone hated him, he started to hate in return, never realizing that the only person at fault was himself. No. Bryan and Scar were very different. Scar was never anywhere near as evil as Bryan. Putting it to terms that are easy to explain, Bryan would have made Saddam Hussein look like a saint, and Hitler look like a priest.
On the first few days of Mike's small vacation, Bryan began to cook regularly and do stuff around the house. He washed the dishes, washed the dirty cloths, swept the floor, and even started to like Scar, or so it seemed. Scar was baffled by Bryan's outgoing behavior and soon slowly learned to forget his grudge and started to like him. Bryan kept his happy face on the outside, but on the inside, he was puking his guts out being so nice. He felt like one of those people who have the job of greeting people as they walk into a store. They smile all day, saying "Hello! Welcome to Wal-Mart!" or something like that. The people look all nice and happy, but when it comes to their breaktime, they revert to their true selves. Bryan was like the store greeter in the day, but the moment he shut his bedroom door for the night, the grin wiped completely off of his face and was replaced by an angry face that would scare the warts off of a toad. All of that smiling and being nice to them made him madder than hell, but if he didn't do it, he'd never get a chance to pop them off. If he didn't pop them off, his dreams would go down the drain. He could smile now and fake it, but when he shot Scar and walked over to Mike, weeping and holding on to Scar's lifeless body, he'd really smile then. A smile of pure pleasure would rise from his face and let Mike see the truth. He might even tell him that he had blamed all of those legal troubles on him so that he would have a messed up life; Well, a short one, but messed up all the same. He didn't know though, but he wanted to make him know that he had never really been smiling, just playing out a clever guise. As he passed a hefty turkey and cheese sandwich to Mike, Mike thanked him as he smiled back, doing the Wal-Mart smile. He had to be that greeter until he went to bed. He hated it so bad that he almost couldn't stand it. Finally however, the day ended and after all of them said goodnight and went to bed, Mike and Scar trusted Bryan more than they had a few days ago, and Bryan hated them more than a few days ago.
"Man!" Mike said as he turned off the nightstand light. "I've never seen him this fired up! It's like he's a totally different person, and smile; I think he's smiled more in the past few days than in his whole life." "Yes, he has seemed to changed from when I first met him." Scar replied. "He's changed, but I don't know why, or how. Maybe he thought that if he started getting off his ass and doing some work that I'd like him more. Well, he was right." Mike said as he blindly put out his hand in search of Scar. After finding him and telling him to move over closer, Scar did as he was told as they both talked more about Bryan's apparent change for the better.
"I guess if he acts like he has been for the past couple of days forever, I can say that he is actually fun to be around. I like him a lot better now that he gets off his butt and does something." Mike said as he scratched Scar's head. "What do you think bro?" he asked. After thinking a moment, Scar again said that he liked him a lot better than he had almost a week ago. "Yeah." Mike said. "It's weird. Maybe you're starting to change him like you did me. I don't think he'd go as far as to be as close as we are, but I think he's changing for the better and liking you more." Mike stayed quiet for a minute as he thought over all the things Bryan had done in the past week He thought of how he fixed breakfast every morning and then washed the dishes; of how he washed the loads of dirty cloths and hung them out to dry. He was totally astonished at how he had seemingly changed overnight. He shook his head, smiling, as he saw Bryan toiling with the dishes and drying them, not wanting him to help at all. He had asked if he wanted help washing, and Bryan told him to sit down and watch the movie he was watching. So, after doing just that, Mike sat beside of Scar as he watched Forrest Gump on HBO3.
"It's very very odd the way he does all that stuff without complaining." Mike said as he broke out of his thoughts. "Usually if he'd actually do the dishes, he'd cuss about how all the bleeping grease and bleeping burnt crap was on the pans and spatulas. He just does em now and doesn't say a word." "He actually washed dishes before?" Scar asked. "Well, he did once, but he complained and cussed so much, I told him to just forget them and I'd do em later." Mike answered. "Where's your paw?" Mike asked as he searched for one of Scar's front paws.
"Right here!" Scar said as he lifted his right paw and slammed it down lightly on Mike's chest. After letting out a grunt, Mike asked him if he'd extend his claws. He did so and Mike began to run his fingers over them. "Man, those babies are sharper than my knives! They don't grow like that you liar. I bet you file em on rocks or something when I'm not around." Mike said. "Well, actually I use a file. No, I do file them on rocks occasionally. It used make everyone run off because it made a weird noise." "Oh, I know what you mean." Mike said as he reached in between the mattress and box spring of his bed and brought out a little tiny piece of slate-blackboard he had bought at a store. He ran his fingernails down it and produced a high-pitched squeaking noise. "Like that?" he asked. "Exactly." Scar said.
"Cool. There were these girls when I used to go to school that would freak out and say it hurt their brain. How is that going to hurt their brains? It's just noise, like music!" Mike exclaimed. "I guess it'd be like me saying that if I listened to Milli Vanilli or Yanni, my brain would hurt." Mike added, chuckling with Scar as he did so. "I don't know, but I know that all of the lionesses would run off whenever I dragged mine over rock. It was rather funny!" "I bet it was! I always laughed at those people who covered their ears and told me to stop. They kept saying ‘Oh! Stop! It's hurting my brain!' I wanted to chew them out but just didn't feel it'd be worth arguing with valley girls, so I'd stop."
The talk of dragging their fingernails and claws over slate-like materials quickly stopped when Mike asked Scar if he was happy. "What do you mean?" he asked back, a little perplexed. "Well, are you happy with the way things are going, how you live here, are you comfortable being around me, and all that stuff?" Mike asked. "Of course I'm comfortable being around you!" Scar's immediate response was as he stood up on the bed, looking down at Mike. "You've made me happier in one day than I've been in my whole life!" he paused for a moment thinking over the question again.
"Do you mean do I feel comfortable that you are a human and I'm a lion?" "Well, kind of." Mike said. "I just didn't know if you felt weird being around someone like me, just because I was a human." "No." Scar said. "I am totally comfortable being around humans as long as you're with me. To tell you the truth, I don't feel safe anymore unless you're around." Mike was happy at that moment. He had made Scar feel safe and comfortable around him. He in return felt safe and comfortable around him. A mutual relationship had formed between them, and everyday, it grew stronger, making them feel more secure and more appreciated. Mike told Scar he was happy that he had saved him from the hyenas that night, and Scar said he was glad everything worked out the way it did. With that, both fell asleep at almost the same exact time, Mike with has arms around Scar's neck, and Scar with his right paw on Mike's left shoulder.
Bryan had a different night that night. He sat up, pouting for most of the night, his break from the ‘store greeting job' had come. Mike appreciated everything that he had done for him, but he still hated him. He had to hate him or else it'd be harder to kill him. Just thinking of how he and Scar never went more than five feet away from each other made him all the angrier. It reminded him of how it used to be when all those old people said ‘When I was your age...', and he hated it. Seeing Mike and Scar so close made him want to puke his guts up. Mike was supposed to be his scapegoat, a person who's life was to be made worthless. He had tried to do that back in Virginia. He didn't know why he wanted to be that way, he just knew that for some reason, he didn't like Mike. Sure he was okay once in awhile, but he had gotten all serious after he got in trouble and that's when he began to get all stupid. He had heard Scar's little story and was not impressed. It made Mike cry because he was a wus. To him, it sounded like some kind of soap opera crap that would make old ladies, and people like Mike cry. He really didn't know why he had put up with them so far, but now knew that it was because of Rafiki and his promise. Thinking of how he could have girls do his every whim made the angry face disappear. He saw all these girls bringing him drinks, saw them in a pool, and when they got out, they looked like they had been greased up with coconut oil. He liked those thoughts, but eventually, he thought of how to kill Mike. He knew he'd shoot and kill Scar first, to render Mike useless. That's as far as he had gotten so far, due to not knowing if he'd get a good gun. Eventually, he would get one. One way or another, he'd get what he deserved from the day Scar arrived. He thought that after he killed them, he'd get his wish. Later, he'd learn that even thinking of crossing him was a big mistake.
As Mike woke up at one thirty in the morning, he went out to the kitchen to get a glass of water. After drinking two glasses of it, he ambled around furniture back to his room. It was getting colder each night now and there was a light wind breezing up outside. It howled slightly as it blew through cracks in the house's wooden infrastructure. After reaching his bed and sitting down on it, he found that Scar had rolled over in his spot and was sleeping soundly on his left side. Still, more asleep than he was awake, he didn't think of getting up and getting on the other side. Instead, he lifted Scar's right paw and laid down on top of his left one. Now, stomach to stomach with him, he tugged at the blanket and pulled it over them both. He had gotten cold when he had gotten the glass of water, but now, he instantly felt warm. He let out a small grunt, rubbed his eyes, and then fell asleep with his left arm draped over Scar.
Mike woke up again around eight and decided that he wouldn't go back to sleep. He had been sleeping in for the past few days and didn't want to make a habit of it. He was still the way he was when he had fallen asleep earlier that morning, and Scar was still lying on his side. With his arm still over Scar, Mike slid his other arm under him and hugged on to him, thinking. Closing his eyes, he laid on the bed with his arms wrapped around him for almost ten minutes and thought. He really loved him and wanted everything to be like it had been the past couple of weeks. He had never, ever felt this close to anyone; not even his girlfriend. Scar was like family to him; Almost like a cousin, and a brother all rolled into one. It was very difficult to explain how he felt towards him, but he knew that he'd never be this close to anyone ever again. If Scar had been a human, he probably wouldn't like him as much simply because he'd of been human, and the fact that most humans were greedy and always corrupt.
He always kept thinking about why he had fallen asleep in the shed with him the first night. He could have easily been killed but wasn't afraid of him. Why? He couldn't answer that, and probably no one could. It just happened and turned out for the better. He had seen Scar kind of like a big cat at first, and cats being his favorite animals anyway, he felt like he had to help him. Help him he did. Soon, he saw him as a lion, but looking through his mane, his fur, and his green eyes, he saw a person with feelings underneath; a person who had been abused and neglected laid under the fur, the mane, and green eyes and was timidly trying to establish a true friendship with him. Without even hesitating, he instantly liked Scar. It was hard to determine at the moment, but he felt as if he was indebted to help him. He helped him, and soon grew to love him. Being treated so kindly and being accepted for the first time in his life, Scar soon forgot his past, how to hate and started on a new foot. Even though the memory of abuse and reprimanding of Mufasa and the pride was settled in the back of his head, all of the attention and warmth he received from Mike all but dissolved it. He had, in fact, been the sole cause of Scar's new life. Mike knew all of this and knew that at any given moment, he could use Scar like Scar had used the hyenas. There was no way in hell he'd ever do it, but having someone trusting him like that made him feel important. He'd never cross him, not even if it meant putting his life on the line. When someone like Scar had been put through what he has, no one deserves to be betrayed twice. As he thought about all of this, and how lucky he was to find Scar instead of some greedy poacher, he was still tired. Although he had promised himself that he wouldn't go back to sleep, he eventually did. He loosened his grip around Scar's neck and laid his head up under his. Now, throat on top of throat, Mike felt like he was protected. He smiled a little, rubbed the bridge of Scar's nose with his hand and quickly drifted back to sleep.
Half an hour after he fell asleep, he awoke again and saw that Scar was up too. He was stretching his paws when he got up, but still laid the way they had slept most of the night. "Good morning." Scar said, sending a deep, throaty vibration to Mike's neck. "How'd you sleep?" Mike asked after a few seconds. "I slept quite well. And you?" "Never better." he replied. After laying in bed for a minute or two, Mike got up from underneath of Scar's neck and sat up on the edge of the bed. Scar got up and sat beside him, looking over at him. "So, what are we going to do today?" he asked as Mike yawned. "Well, I thought about starting it out with a hertz donut." "A what?" Scar asked. Mike quickly wrapped his right arm around Scar's neck, got him in a headlock, and gave him a noogie with the knuckle of his middle finger. Flinching a bit, Scar broke free as Mike said "Hurts, donut?" Taking his left paw, he shoved Mike back on the bed and pinned him by his shoulders with his paws. After doing that, he opened his mouth. "I'm afraid you'll have to be paid back for that one." he said as he put Mike's whole head in his mouth.
"Okay man. I'm getting a little claustrophobic in here." Mike said as Scar then let Mike's head free. "There! Now I can see my vicious attacker." Mike said as Scar looked ferociously at him. He closed his eyes as Scar inched closer to his face. He knew what was going to happen next. "Ahhh! Quit it!' he said as Scar's sandpapery tongue washed over his face. Trying to get his hands to his face, he couldn't because of Scar's front paws. As he still licked his face, Mike managed to get his right hand up to Scar's side and jabbed his finger lightly at him. Not expecting the poke, Scar cringed enough so that Mike quickly could pull his arms free and cover his face. He was still hit with the barrage of tongue lickings, but eventually sat up and wrapped his arms around Scar's neck. It was Scar's way of playfully telling him he wanted a hug, and he was catching onto the hints easily now.
As he hugged onto him, Scar stopped licking him on the face and sat down, putting his paws up on Mike's shoulders and his head over on his right shoulder, looking at the wall. He loved to be hugged. It was something he had never been privileged to have previously but when he was hugged now, a strange feeling coursed it's way down his spine. Just walking around most of the day not knowing what's going on in his head, hugging was a way of non-verbally telling each other that everything was ‘Okay.' Hugs were not something Mike gave away freely. He was not the type to hug anyone, and definitely not the type to walk into a bar and give the closest stranger a hug. That was good grounds for getting his teeth knocked out. He really had never hugged anyone except Scar. His mother had died when he was still very young, so he didn't remember giving her a hug. His dad was a thieving drunk who had kicked him once when he had tried to give him one, and his brother, he never tried to give him one. He felt comfortable hugging him. When he put his arms around Scar, it wasn't like he was hugging a human. It was weird what he felt. Scar was a person but not a human. He talked, he thought, he had feelings, and he needed affection; things pretty much all living things do and need in order to survive. He felt like he was hugging a big cat, but knew he was really hugging a lion. A lion that could talk, loved him, and a lion that he called his brother. A lion that could easily kill him in an instant if he wanted to.
Somehow, Mike just knew that Scar wouldn't harm him that night. He had been right. To that day, Scar had never once put so much as a scratch on him and he knew that he never would. Just as he'd rather take a bullet rather then see him hurt, he knew Scar would probably do the same for him. As they both sat on the bed embracing, no words of affection need be exchanged. They each knew that the other loved him just as much as the other. Mike patted Scar on the back as Scar patted him on the back of the neck with one of his paws.
"Okay. I think we need to get you some more food." Mike said as he looked in the shed. The gazelles he had shot almost a week ago were pretty much all eaten. "I won't bother waking up Bryan. Just you and me'll go. Okay?" "Fine with me." Scar said. Mike had gotten himself some breakfast a few minutes ago after he and Scar had stopped hugging. All he had had was a toasted sandwich with cheese and salami in it. It was enough for awhile, but Scar had nothing to eat, and that is what worried Mike. Even though he had taken down a zebra the night before, Mike liked to make sure that he ate whenever he could.
As he walked to the cruiser and flipped off the security system, he told Scar to hop up while he went to get a gun. He did as he was told and after a minute, Mike came out with two forty-fives and several clips. "The hunting party is back in business!" Mike said as he turned on the cruiser and put it in gear. After almost half an hour of traveling, he stopped after seeing some things moving off in the distance. "You see that?" he said to Scar as he squinted his eyes and pointed to some moving specks more than a mile away. "Sure do." Scar said as he saw what Mike was pointing at. They each looked over, met each others eyes, and smiled. Mike floored the cruiser as Scar put in a CD. After turning the volume up, it began to play loudly. Again, it was the eighties CD and as Wang Chung proclaimed for everybody to have fun tonight, Mike sped up closer to the herd of animals. He could see now that they were zebras and as they began to run as he approached them, he sped up beside of them and then slowed down. Scar jumped out and began in pursuit of one Mike had singled out for him. As he caught up to it, he came in on it's left side and lunged at it's throat. He got it and quickly twisted his head counterclockwise, not quite killing it. It slowed and eventually fell to the ground, shocked and dying. As he held it by it's neck, trying to kill it, Mike walked over to where he was.
He had parked the cruiser after he let Scar jump from it. Mike held up one of the forty five's he had brought and looked questioningly at him. After shifting his eyes, still holding onto the zebra, he took his jaws from the zebra's neck and nodded. Mike took off the safety on the gun, aimed it at the almost dead zebra's head, and pulled the trigger. A shot rung out, making both of them deaf for a moment. The zebra was dead now. The hollowpoint had pretty much taken most of it's head off, so it was definitely not alive now. It wasn't done out of cruelty or pleasure for either of them. It was done for the zebra so that it didn't have to choke on it's own blood and die in horror. Both of them pretty much hated to kill anything now, unless it was for food or to save their lives. Neither of them liked hunting for sport. The one exception that Mike had done was when he had shot the hyenas a while back. He had been so enraged at them, he had forgotten and went mad. Mike went over to the dead zebra, stood beside it, and put his left arm under his chest and bowed. "Dinner, is served." he said in a fancy waiters voice. Scar bowed back, smiling, and began to eat.
Mike had been intrigued about eating meat raw, and as he watched Scar eat the zebra, his wonders were heightened. Seeing that if Scar could eat raw meat all the time and not get sick, he took out his knife. As he began opening it, Scar saw and turned towards him. "What are you going to do?" he said with a mouth half full of meat. "I'm going to kill you!" Mike replied, wielding the knife in the air. "No. I've never had raw meat before and thought I'd try some." Scar covered up the body and looked at Mike. "You can't have any! It's all mine!" he said, acting like a greedy little kid would with a toy. With a few quick slashes of his claws, he cut off a chunk of meat and handed it to him. "There. No need for your knife now." he said to Mike. Mike reached over and took the meat from his paws, and looked it over. Scar was staring at him, waiting for him to eat it, and after looking at it for a minute or two, he took a huge bite out of it and began chewing. "After he had swallowed it, Scar said "Well? How was it?" "Good." Mike said as he took another bite. After he had finished it, he licked his fingers and watched as Scar ate. Eventually, he laid down on the ground and started eating, and Mike went over, laid down perpendicularly to him , and rested his head on his right side. With his head propped up off the ground, he sat with his arms folded across his chest.
"You know, now that we're not going to kill Simba, I'm kind of looking forward to the day." "Why is that?" Scar said after swallowing the food he had had in his mouth. "Well, I've never really liked speaking publicly, but this is different. This time, I'm speaking with you by my side. It makes me feel like I can do it." "Of course you can do it." Scar said. "Well, not really. I'm doing it mainly so I can make them all depressed and to show Simba what he hasn't been told. It seems to me that everyone kind of forgot what they did to you, and forgot to tell anyone else about it. Stuff like that really bites. They screw you up, and then act like nothing ever happened. Now that is something they'll regret doing to you. I'll see to it." "What are you going to do?" Scar asked. "Well, no killing, first of all. I think that the power of words is far more influential than violence. You had an exception with killing Mufasa, but if Simba had killed you, not knowing the truth, who would have ever told him the truth? No one. They all wanted him to see Mufasa as ‘the good guy' and you as ‘the evil uncle'. You weren't evil, nor are you evil now. I'd kind of like to hear the lionesses and Zazu's versions of what went on. Their stories would probably be so different from one another and messed up, none of their stories would make sense because no one has made up a lie for everyone to say is the truth. That's why I always tell the truth. It happened like that, and it's the way I remember. You never forget what really happens." Silence befell on them. Mike laid on the ground with his head up on Scar's side as Scar laid down, stuffed. "Well, I guess we better get a move on." Mike said as he got to his feet. Scar got to his too and followed Mike as he made his way to the cruiser. After they were both in it, Mike started it up and began to make his way home, going slowly.
As Mike pulled up to the house, Bryan was sitting on the edge of the well, eating his breakfast. He cut the engine and then jumped out, Scar trailing close behind. "Wassup home boy?" Mike said as he approached him. "Not much, man. I got an eggroll for breakfast. You want some?" Bryan said as he showed Mike his half eaten eggroll. "Nah." he replied. "Maybe later. I just had a little food with Scar."
"What. Did you eat a gazelle or something all raw?" Bryan said jokingly. "Actually, it was zebra. It was good too." Bryan looked at Mike disbelievingly, and then looked at Scar. Scar smiled and then nodded. "You didn't." Bryan said. Mike nodded. "Man, you know you can get worms and shit from that?" Bryan said. "So? They don't hurt you." Mike said as he shrugged his shoulders. After a moment, Bryan looked up at him again. "Do you want me to start giving you raw hamburgers and stuff?" he said smiling. "No. I just tried it once. It doesn't mean I'm gonna go chase after cows and eat em while they're still alive." All three chuckled at the site until Bryan got to his feet after a minute or two. "Dude. Lets go inside and watch TV. This sucks out here." "Fine with me." Mike replied. "What do you think?" Mike said looking at Scar. "Ditto." he said as the three began to walk in the house.
They watched TV for a few hours, got tired of it, and went into town. After getting there and getting a bite to eat, they headed home. It happened pretty much like that for almost two more weeks, until Mike got off of his vacation and went back to work. He finally made a schedule that he stuck to, and had good business for the eight months that led up to the confrontation with Simba. Getting up at eight thirty and working until two, five days a week, did wonders for him. He finally made the "hours" sign he had tried to make once and proudly posted it in his office window. He and Scar continued to grow closer and closer, as Bryan gained more and more trust from them. As he went with Mike, pretending to be his best friend, he hated them both more and more to the point that he almost couldn't stand it any longer. He kept his happy face on the outside, while inside of him, hate, anger, and greed boiled. Mike had let him use one of the forty-five's, and he liked it. "It would do the job quite nicely."
Bryan had thought to himself. He kept having his dreams of Rafiki as he told him to continue what he was doing. He did so, never getting word from either him, or Mike that the plans he had made had been drastically changed. Rafiki simply didn't like Scar and wanted him dead. He saw using Bryan as a way of killing him, and took the chance to reach him. He didn't care if Scar was good now. He remembered that he had gotten the hyenas to kill Mufasa, and Mufasa was one of his closest friends. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth was his philosophy. He had to pay for his crime, no matter how much he had been reformed. He liked Simba and wanted to ensure that he would live until his life naturally ended, unlike Mufasa. If both Scar and Mike died, there would be no one who knew the truth and more importantly, no one to enforce it. It was buried in them, and the only way to get rid of it was to get rid of them. Mike had thought about his dream of Rafiki at times and tried to make sense of it. He hated whoever was in that dream, real or not and wouldn't let anyone give him, or Scar any crap. They had both had more than their share and had had enough.
During the eight months that elapsed from that day until the current day, Mike got into two barfights, one fistfight, and a major slugfest. All four instances involved the subject of Scar. Scar didn't talk to anyone except Mike and Bryan, and when he tagged along on one of their drinking nights, some guys made a few harsh remarks about him. Mike started talking to the guy, and then ducked as the other guy threw a punch. He proceeded in kicking his ass and the two other cronies the guy had, and then took off in the cruiser. He'd kicked the other people's asses too, and almost got arrested if it hadn't of been for the early warning of blaring sirens. Mike didn't take it from anyone anymore. His days of trying to take things lightly were over. Bryan knew that and bit his tongue whenever he tried to say something about him and Scar. Saying something would quickly lose what he had worked for the past eight months. All was, or seemed peachy keen in the house, but on the day of the confrontation, things would change between all of them, and to the rest of the world. That was when ‘IT' hit, and solved all of the worlds problems.



Part Two



CHAPTER XXXI



Mike walked out to the cruiser with Scar as they both climbed up into it. "Which one shall we pick today, my fine friend?" Mike said as he held up some CD's as if they were playing cards. Scar looked over the jewel cases and picked one that had ‘Garbage' written on the front. "My choice also." Mike said as he took the CD out and put it in the Bose.
Over the past eight months, he had vastly increased his CD collection to that of the finer alternative music. He had gone a few hundred miles to get them, and after piddling away close to three hundred dollars, he came home with armloads of CD. It was only about a hundred or so, but to all three of them, it was a huge amount. Mike had picked out all the CD's that he liked the music videos from, and bought them. He had everything from the little known artist, Gary Young, who had sung the song ‘Plantman', all the way up to Oasis. He had cringed when he put it in his cart, but decided "What the hell." and bought it anyway. He had almost bought a Yanni CD, but said to himself that that was going too far. In all, they had some CD's that were pretty much up to date.
As Mike flipped to track eight, ‘Stupid Girl' began to play. The video for the song was kind of like a Nine Inch Nails video. Mike thumped his foot on the floorboards as it played and closed his eyes. He had taught Scar a lot in the past eight months; a lot of things that he probably shouldn't have taught him. He had taught him to read and write, which was a major accomplishment for him. It had been fairly easy to teach him though. He was eager to learn, and Mike was eager to teach. Finally, after the six or so months he had taught, Scar could read a book like him, and write. It was all sloppy at first, but time improved that. Soon, he read off books to him like they were nothing and whenever he asked for something new to read, Mike supplied him with it.
He wrote very well too. Mike had bought him a notebook like his, and gave it to him as a present. Once in a while, Mike would lay in bed and see him writing with one of his yellow number two pencils between his right paw, and ask what he was writing about. He always replied nothing, but Mike thought he knew what it was about. Scar liked writing because he could put into words what went on inside of his head. In addition to telling Mike stuff, he could write it down. He wrote about how he had helped him so much, and wrote how much he meant to him now. Mike kept hacking away on his speech and had perfected it. He let Scar read over the final copy and he had cried over it again. He hugged onto Mike for almost half an hour and cried, the reality of everything hitting him at once.
As the song in the Bose started to come to it's end, Mike flipped it off and laid back in his seat. It was about nine o'clock, and Bryan was in the tent eating something. They had come to go camping that night, and all were tired. As Mike reclined his seatback down, Scar stretched out and after laying his head across Mike's lap, both fell asleep in the cruiser.
At about eight the next morning, Scar woke up, and lifted his head off of Mike's lap. He yawned, and then poked at him. Cringing a little, he opened his eyes. "Morning." Mike said as he woke up and stretched his arms in the air. "Good morning." Scar replied. Mike put his seatback to where it normally was and sat staring at nothing in particular. After watching him for a minute or two, Scar raised one of his paws and waved it in front of his face. Mike looked over at him and then got up, going to the back. He laid down and soon after he did, Scar hopped back with him. Patting Scar on the head, he thought of how he'd approach Simba and the pride. He had planned it in about two weeks, and was dying to go and give his speech. He kept it at the house, under his mattress so that Bryan couldn't see it. He was still his friend, but just didn't want to show him it. It was personal business, and he didn't need to know of it. He was nice to both of them, but still, letting him read that would make him laugh at it. He didn't understand how much the speech was to Mike, and if he laughed at it, Mike'd probably go off on him again.
"How are you gonna say what you have to say?" Mike asked Scar. "Well, I was going to tell exactly what I told you a long time ago. Why do you ask?" "I was just wondering. That's all." Mike said as he started to lightly hit him on the chest. Scar rolled over from off his back and cuffed him lightly with his right paw. That sparked off a wrestling match in which Mike jumped to his feet, stood up on the tailgate, acted as if he were up on a turnbuckle, and then jumped down, falling on Scar, but in the cheesy fake style real ‘pro' wrestlers used. He landed on the carpet with his stomach arched inwards so that he wouldn't actually hit Scar. He then started to give him fake punches.
Using his hind legs, Scar lifted Mike off of him, landing him where he sat on the floor, confused for a second. Still laying on the floor of the cruiser, Scar leapt at him and pinned him, gently holding his throat in his mouth and uttering something to Mike. "Ay er-hee." he said as Mike acted like he had been killed. "Mercy. You win, again!" Mike said. Whenever they played around like that, Scar always won. Mike would be no match for him if they ever really fought, but he could inflict a lot of damage though. Releasing Mike's neck from his mouth, Scar got off of him and sat down. Mike then flew at him and wrapped his left arm around him in a headlock. "You didn't say no crosses count!" He said. Scar smiled, and then walked around, dragging Mike along with him. "Yeah!" Mike said. "You just better run! I'll beat you down!" he said as he let his grip go and sat. After sitting and staring at the floor for a moment, Mike opened his arms up. "Come here." he said to Scar. Scar came over and sat down, letting Mike embrace him. He hugged back as Mike patted him lightly on the back. They hadn't hugged in almost a week, and doing it then made them feel good; a kind of morale booster. Soon, Scar loosened his grip and Mike did the same.
"That felt good." Mike said as he sat staring Scar in the eyes. "Yes. As a matter of fact, it did." he replied, staring back. He could stare Mike in the eyes, which is something he could never do to anyone else. Everyone else he would try to meet eye to eye with, he could feel the hate brewing behind them. There was none looking at Mike. "Let's say we go and wake Bryan." Mike said as he still stared into his eyes. "Let's." Scar replied as they both broke from the other's stare at the exact same time and headed towards the tent.
Mike snuck around the tent as Scar followed, close behind. As Mike began to laugh a little, he began pushing his hand against the tent wall and making noise. The whole tent shook as Bryan awoke to Mike singing ‘Plantman'. "Plantman knows if the plants will grow..." Mike said as Bryan rubbed his eyes and sat up. "God damned idiot." he said to himself as he stood up and began opening the tent. Mike was still running around the tent when he opened it and smiled, the angry face he had just worn completely gone. He began to join in, singing as Mike began to bang on imaginary drums. Soon, after singing the same phrase over and over, they stopped as Bryan went to the cooler and made some breakfast.
After making up a few salami and cheese sandwiches for him and Mike, they began to eat. Mike finished his first and then let Scar lick his fingers. He had caught a gazelle last night and was pretty much full from it. Bryan had smoked a lot of weed last night, but both Scar and Mike had quit it quite a while ago. Bryan didn't say anything, even though he wanted to. The plastic baggy was less than an eighth full now. He had pretty much smoked all of it in the last eight months. "What are we doing today?" Bryan asked Mike. "I don't know. Same shit as always I guess." he replied as he picked at his back teeth with his index finger. "Man! That's nasty. You're gonna get germs and stuff." Bryan said, a little disgusted that Mike would put his hands in his mouth after Scar had licked them.
"What do you mean? You mean putting my hands in my mouth?" he asked. "Yeah." Bryan said back. "Man, I don't care. Watch this." he said as he told Scar to move closer and lick him in the face, especially around his mouth. He did so, as Mike laughed, opening his mouth and feeling Scar's tongue lap over his tongue. Bryan watched, appalled by the whole scene, as Mike let Scar lick him in the mouth. "Alright man." Mike said after a few seconds. "That's enough." Scar didn't stop though. He kept on licking him. "It's the attack of the tongues!" Scar exclaimed. "I can't help it! I've been possessed!" Mike covered his head, trying to block him, but to no avail. He got licked in the nose, on his forehead, on his ears, and in his mouth many times. Finally, he stopped and sat down again, laughing to himself. Mike looked over at him, expecting at any moment for him to start up again, but he didn't.
"Okay." Mike said as he got to his feet, laughing a little. "Let's pack up all this crap and go home. I'm ready to watch some tele- vis- shion!" Bryan nodded in approval and they began to pack up the camping gear. Fifteen minutes later, they were all set to go. Bryan let Scar take the passengers seat as he had done for quite awhile. It went over real well with both of them and he was content with that. If having to sit on the floor in the back of a piece of shit Land Cruiser was something he had to do in order to achieve his dream, then so be it. It got to the point now that he'd eat horse crap to have it come true. All he had to do now was wait a few more weeks, and then it'd all be over. He'd get what he deserved then. He could just sit back, and leech off of others, like he had done his whole life. He had leeched off Mike for more than ten years, getting a little money, and getting out of a lot of trouble. He was the perfect scapegoat, not suspecting that he would have been the cause of all his problems.
As he sat in the back watching them converse happily, he smiled whenever they looked at him. They in turn smiled back, not even knowing what he was thinking. "You idiots." he thought to himself as he smiled. "You think I like seeing you two in my face everyday? You think I'm your friend, but you're too stupid to see that I'm your worst nightmare. I'll get rid of you two and then live like I should have. Like a god!"
As Mike arrived back home, he cut the engine and then hopped down. Scar jumped down next, and Bryan stayed up where he was. He began handing stuff down to Mike as he carried it to the shed. After putting all of the stuff in the shed, he opened up the front door and dragged in the cooler, unloaded it in the fridge, and then set it outside the door. Bryan came in, sat down on the couch, and flipped through some channels before finding something of interest. It was a movie that was new, so he watched it for a while. Mike and Scar eventually sat down with him and watched along with him. It was a pretty good movie, and when it was over, it was around eleven in the afternoon.
Mike fixed himself some lunch, took about an hour eating it, and then told Bryan that he was going to take a little nap. Scar of course took his nap with him, so he followed him in as he went into his room. After he shut the door and laid down on his bed, he turned over to where Scar was lying and stared at him. "What are you looking at?" he said after Mike had stared for almost a minute. "I think I'm looking at a big terd." he replied, laughing a little. "Oh, ha ha." Scar said as he reached over and cuffed him. Mike changed his face and playfully looked vengeful at him. "No fool better mess with me! I pity the fool who messes with me!" Mike said as he grabbed Scar's front paws together and held them with his left hand. He then pointed his right finger at him and inched it closer and soon was pushing his lip up with it. "I go smack you! You bad lion. I no feed tonight!" Mike said in his imitation of an oriental person who didn't know English too well.
Scar broke free of his grip and wrapped his arms around his head. "Ahhh!" Mike yelled as he was caught off guard. He started saying things while his head was covered, but it was muffled. Soon after trying to break free, he said clearly "You want another hug don't you?" "Yep." was Scar's immediate response. As he let go of Mike's head, Mike laid down on the bed, facing Scar with his right arm across the bed. Scar laid down on it and faced him. With Scar facing him, Mike wrapped his arms around Scar's large neck and closed his eyes. As he did so, Scar smiled and closed his also. Mike fell asleep first, still holding onto him. He loved Scar; more than anyone, or anything in the whole world. He always had, and always would. Thinking of his girlfriend made him realize how easily someone you love could be taken away from you. She was gone. Scar was all he had now, and he intended to keep him for the rest of his life. He could control the factors in this situation, unlike he had been able to to her. He wouldn't let Scar go out like some worthless piece of crap. He cherished him and was glad he had been chosen to help him feel good.
As he thought about that, Scar began purring. He did feel good, and it was all thanks to Mike. He thought of how nice and caring he always was to him. He treated him like he was a king. He never got mad at him, never yelled at him, and always treated him as an equal. Mike was all he had to really live for now. His old life was gone, and if Mike ever died, Bryan could never replace him. He had been the first person, human or animal, who had cared for him and for that, and trusting him, he could never forget. Thinking this all over while he was barely awake, a tear rolled out of the corner of his eye and onto the pillow his head rested on. He hugged Mike closer and rested his head over his neck. "I love you." he said silently to him, and then fell asleep.
Mike had pretty much stopped dreaming odd things a while ago. He didn't actually stop, but rather dreamed and forgot what he had dreamt about. That day, he had a dream he clearly remembered. It was as if he was in a security booth, monitoring cameras. He dreamt that he was in a small, dark place, watching about twenty black and white monitors. In all of them, there were people who looked like doctors. They kept walking around and looked under microscopes and stuff. He looked at one monitor and saw people dressed in what looked like biochemical suits. He saw all the hoses for air and stuff hanging off of them and attached to the wall and as he watched them handle small test tubes full of something, one of them opened the door to the decontamination room. It was basically an airlock that the suited doctors got decontaminated in, but as the guy going out took his hoses from the wall, one of the other suited people dropped a vial that they had been handling. The camera seemed to pan and capture it in slow motion as it fell and shattered on the floor. All of them froze as the colorless substance began to diffuse through the room. A red light began flashing in the room as Mike saw one of the doctors lips say "Oh shit!".
The one guy who had been standing in the doorway, getting ready to leave, ran out of the room and quickly shut the airlock door. As the spray began to decontaminate him, he began to run off. He was quickly stopped, and looking over his shoulder to his horror, his air tube had been caught in the door's seal. Air rushed into his helmet as he threw off his yellow suit and began running and screaming. The two or so other doctors who were still suited up in the room sat down in chairs, knowing they were as good as dead. Now, watching as if a small helicopter was flying through the scene, Mike saw the camera zoom out and show, clearly written on the outer airlock, "DANGER! CLASS FIVE BIO-CHEMICAL HAZARD. HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS AIRBORN PATHOGEN!" Sitting where he was, there was a small yellow sheet in front of him and he reached for it. On it was written five categories of bio-chemical classes. ‘One' was the one you didn't have to worry about, and ‘four' was things like the Ebola virus. ‘Five' was a totally new category that had some highly deadly stuff in it. It said that anyone contaminated with what ever was in it had to be killed, and the contaminated area evacuated and sealed indefinitely. Mike shook as he saw the man who had been contaminated with it run through office after office, unknowingly spreading whatever he had like wildfire. He made it all the way to his car and Mike watched, horrified, as he drove up to the security gate, got clearance, and went outside to the public. Seconds later, he watched through his monitors as soldiers dressed in full combat uniform, made their way to the underground laboratory where the two sealed off bio-engineers were. A person, who Mike assumed was an admiral, looked through the four inch thick glass in at them. They looked back and knew what was going to happen. The admiral left along with his troops. Shutting the door, they welded it shut with an acetylene torch and after doing so, evacuated everyone from the bunker and welded every huge, steel airlock shut. As the troops got into the elevator, everyone else evacuated, two of them took out two keys. They inserted them beside a button that had ‘S-07' on it. They each turned their keys, and now, floor sub-level seven was restricted to everyone. No one could go in, and no one could come out. It was sealed for eternity, and the virus that had contaminated it's interior sealed. The virus was sealed, but had spread to everyone that had been on sub-level seven that day. As they all went home early, happy of their day off, they went home giving their spouse and children more than a hug or kiss; they gave them sure death. As Mike sat watching contaminated women hug their children and give them it, he sat horrified. The next day, the children would go to school and spread it to their friends, and they would spread it to their parents, and the cycle wouldn't stop until the people did. As he sat, all of the monitors went out and the room went dark. It stayed dark for the whole time, until he awoke.
Mike awoke a little unsure, and a little uneasy. He had read that book by Stephen King, ‘The Stand', in fact he had a copy with him. His dream had seemed a lot like it, but was it some kind of vision? A while back, he had looked up at a falling star and wished it would happen, but the thought that someone or thing had heard him and had granted his wish was scary. He had been0 kidding when he did it, but now, his dream seemed to make it appear true. He finally assumed that it was a result of watching too much TV, and reading too much, so dismissed it as a simple dream. After pondering over that for a good five minutes or so, he rolled over and faced Scar. He was sleeping soundly, so Mike decided to leave him be. He had thought of waking him up, but decided to let the poor lion catch up on some long deserved sleep. As he got up out of bed and walked over to the door, he stopped short of it. He took a final glance over his shoulder to see that Scar was sleeping, not faking it like he sometimes did. He shook his head a little bit, turned around, and opened the door.
After opening the door, he went out to the cruiser and sat in it. He had bought a lot more eighties and seventies CD's when he went to ‘The Big City', and decided that he'd listen to them for a while. One of them was a CD with twenty hits from 1980 through 1984. It had a lot of songs that his original eighties CD hadn't had. Taking the CD out and looking at it, he pushed the open/close button on the Bose. When the tray shot out, he put it in and sat for a moment as it was scanned. Hitting the random button, he laid back in his seat and closed his eyes as K.C. and the Sunshine Band came on with ‘Please don't go.' K.C. was one of his favorite groups from the seventies, and when he was in the U.S, he had all of their records in his room. He had to leave them behind, unfortunately. He liked CD's. They definitely were more practical, but he liked records better. There was just something about them that made them better.
As he thought of the library of records he had had once, group's names, album name, songs on them, the song came to an end as he thought of a Wang Chung record he had had. On that thought, he stopped the CD and put in another, Top twenty hits of the eighties 1985-1989. After skipping two tracks, he came upon the song. He played it at full bass and sat back as he listened and lip synched it. As he closed his eyes and sang it, he envisioned the video for it. It was filmed like it was in stop motion or something, kind of like a Peter Gabriel video. He kept seeing this dude standing way in the back hopping all over the place. He remembered that due to an episode of Beavis and Butt-head. One of the episodes had the video on, and when the part he remembered came on, Beavis said something like "Hey. I think that guy's Wang Chunging it." It was pretty funny. He also remembered it from that movie, Blank Check. He hadn't seen it, but had heard the music on the ads all the time. As it faded out, the Bose skipped a few tracks and stopped Bananarama, ‘Venus'. "I'm your Beavis, I'm your fire, show desire." he remembered from yet another Beavis and Butt-Head episode. That show always made him look upon songs differently.
As he listened to the song, he got tired of it and skipped a few tracks. Falco came on singing, or rather mumbling, ‘Rock Me Amedeus.' He had no idea what was being said, but listened anyway. He got the part when the chorus sang "Amadeus Amadeus!" over and over again, but that was all. He vaguely remembered it's video, remembering people dressed in old, seventeen hundreds clothing and dancing in a ballroom. He also remembered some biker dude that came in on his bike and that was it. After he had finished listening to that, he flipped through the rest of his CD's.
Pulling out a single that had ‘MC 100 FT JESUS, ‘If I Only Had A Brain: Maxi single.' written on the side of it, he placed the CD on the tray. He had also seen the video for that song on an episode of Beavis and Butt-head. It was some guy who tried to mail himself in a box, got thrown around in it and ended up back where he started. As the song played and slowly faded out, he turned the cruiser off and thought to himself.
About an hour of listening to CD's, he got bored with them and went inside. As he opened the door and walked into the kitchen, he saw that both Bryan and Scar were still sleeping. Shaking his head a little, he went to the fridge and opened it up. There was a lot of food that he had bought a few days ago, and after gawking over it a while, he took out some salami and cheese. Closing the fridge and walking over to the bread box, he opened it, took out two slices of bread, and then closed it. After making a quick sandwich, he ate it and then sat on the couch. He flipped on the TV, then the DSS, and then began to look for something decent to watch. A movie was on, so he sat down and watched it for a while.
Half an hour later, the movie was over and the credits began to flow onto the screen. Seeing that, he turned both the TV and DSS off and sat staring at his bedroom door. Taking a quick glance at his watch and seeing that it was almost one, he got up and went to his room. After opening the door, he saw that Scar was still asleep on his bed, so closing the door behind him, went over to him and sat down on the bed beside where he laid resting. Staring at him for a moment, he began to scratch him between his ears. Moments later, he heard Scar begin to purr and as he continued to scratch him on his head, he rolled over on his back and opened his eyes slightly. Mike saw that he was beginning to wake up and so stopped scratching his head. As Scar's front forelegs stood up in the air, his paws dangling folded over, he looked over at Mike and yawned. Mike slowly fell over, laying his head on Scar's chest and closing his eyes.
"What have you been doing all morning?" Scar asked after Mike's watch beeped off one o' clock. "Nothing." he replied. Mike, who still rested his face on Scar's chest, reached up blindly and grabbed onto one of his arms. Pulling it down, he began to rub it over his face. Soon, he let go, and Scar began to run his paw over it. Mike laid where he was on the bed as he let Scar rub his face.
Insane in his own way, Scar admired Mike because he had opened himself up to him, telling him things. He hadn't wanted to use him and Mike had known that. Now, through months of crisis and turmoil, they laid on the bed together as he rubbed his paw over his face. Nothing had happened to either of them during the past months except good things. Mike never once had gotten angry at him and vice versa. It was as if things were perfect. He liked it, in fact he loved it. There were two things he wouldn't give up for anything else in the whole world; One was Mike, and the other was his new life. Two irreplaceable things he knew he could never find anywhere else he now had in his possession. He cherished both of them and would die of grief if he were to ever lose them, Mike especially. He thought all of this over while he rubbed Mike' face. Glancing down, Mike had fallen asleep where he was. Scar remained where he was, closed his eyes, and fell back asleep with his arms wrapped around Mike's head, grateful that at least one person loved him.



CHAPTER XXXII



Later that day, when all three of them had gotten up, it was pretty much a regular day; A regular day meaning, sitting around, watching TV, and just doing everyday stuff. Bryan still played out his ‘Happy Face' routine, although it was almost unbearable for him now. Mike and Scar were still too blind to see it which Bryan was glad of. His appearance to them made them trust him, and believe him. If he told them that there were aliens from Mars that landed and ate zebra terds, they'd probably believe him. He had worked very hard to get to the way he was today; trusted by them that is. Now, all he needed to do is ask for a gun, and Mike would pass him one. He had gotten them to trust him that much. Bryan still had his dreams of Rafiki, and lately, they were getting to be more frequent. He had begun to tell Rafiki what he wanted, Rafiki would listen and act like he cared. He knew that Scar must be killed, but listening to Bryan ramble on about how he deserved this and how he deserved that made him want to kill Bryan himself. He knew using Bryan was about the only way to get Scar killed without his direct involvement, so he put up with it. He was sure Bryan would accomplish what he had been told to do, but if he somehow didn't, then he'd let Simba kill them both. He knew that they weren't bringing anything except a mini-gun, a snipers rifle, and a chainsaw. He knew what the snipers rifle was for, but the mini-gun and the chainsaw were a complete mystery to him. He hoped that Mike wouldn't use the mini-gun on anyone in the pride, but could only wait and see. He hoped Bryan would do what he had to do with the snipers rifle before anything happened. That is, get both Mike and Scar in his scope and then squeeze the trigger, sending a single .270 Winchester bullet to each of their heads, finishing the job once and for all.
Mike awoke like he had for the past two weeks or so, finding that Scar was resting nearly on top of him. He didn't care. He kept him warm, and it made him feel safe; Safer than if he were locked in a bank vault with the Secret Service to protect him. Scar made him feel like he was important and prodigious. He didn't, however, feel superior to him. He imagined that he made Scar feel the same way that he felt and again, he was right.
Yawning once and then looking at his watch to see that it was seven thirty, he got up out of bed and quickly got dressed. Today was the day. The day that they all went to Priderock and admonished guilt upon everyone for what they had done to Scar. He had been up the past few night reading, re-reading, editing, and re-editing his five page speech. It didn't look like a whole lot of words, but it was mainly a speech of making the lionesses admit the odious act they had done to Scar. As he quickly put on his shirt, he pried the mattress of his bed up, reached underneath of it, and produced the speech. Scar was lying on the bed and moved a bit when he rolled up the mattress. Mike was going to let him sleep in a little because in an hour, they were leaving, regardless.
Walking briskly into the kitchen after getting all ready, he made himself a quick breakfast. After eating a large bowl of corn flakes, he put the bowl in the sink and got the cooler and for the next ten minutes, prepared sandwich after sandwich for all three of them. He made himself three, Bryan two, and Scar six, piling the salami onto Scar's because he felt he deserved it. After he had finished packing Cokes, potato chips, sandwiches, and a few ice packs, he carried it out to the back of the cruiser. After doing that, he went to the shed an opened it up. Inside were most of the guns. He looked them over, wondering what to take, and decided that only two guns were needed. If Simba didn't want to hear what he and Scar had to say, he was prepared to die fighting. He might as well go out using his fists instead of an Uzi, which would run out of ammo quickly and thus be rendered useless. No, if he went, he was going to take everything he could with him, and hopefully Simba; with or without guns. He hoped it wouldn't come to that though, but he had to plan for any and everything that might happen.
After selecting the mini-gun and the sniper rifle he had taken from the first shipment Saddam had brought to him, he took them each in one hand, and took them out to the cruiser also. After going back and getting ammo for them, he carried that out and put it beside the guns. Everything was pretty much in the cruiser that he was going to take, so he went back inside and sat on the couch, getting his speech from the kitchen, and reading over it again. About that time, Scar woke up and came out to where Mike was sitting. Seeing that he was reading, he jumped up on the couch and sprawled out on it.
"Morning." Mike said as he skimmed through a page and didn't look up. "Good morning." Scar replied. "So, are we doing it today?" he asked as Mike still read. "We sure are." Mike replied solemnly. Scar raised his eyebrows a little, then lowered them back down and began rocking his head from side to side. "What're you doin you fool?" Mike asked as he quit reading and looked over at him. "Singing silently to myself." Scar said. "What're you singing?" "Whip It." "Cool." Mike said as he thought of the song and got it stuck in his head. After a few minutes, Scar looked at Mike's speech that he was holding in his hand. "Can I see that?" he asked as he looked at it. "Well, I'd rather you don't because I want it to be a surprise." "Oh, okay." he said, eager to hear it. Mike had re-edited it from the last time Scar had seen it, which was about three months ago.
"Well," Mike said as he looked at his watch. "It's eight o'seven. I better get Bryan up." he finished as he got up and opened Bryan's door. After a minute or two, Bryan got up excitedly. He knew as well as Mike what day it was. He was excited for a different reason than Mike thought. "Okay sharpshooter!" Mike said to him. "You ready to pop off any lionesses or hyenas that come near us?" "I sure as hell am!" Bryan said as he smiled. Mike smiled back as Bryan thought to himself. "You are so dead you asshole." he though after they had all gotten into the cruiser and were prepared to leave. As Mike and Scar sat up front talking, he sat alone in the back, with his rifle. As he picked it up, he aimed it at the seatbacks of both of them. "Bang, Bang! You are dead, fifty bullets in your head, one here, one there, one in your underwear." he very quietly joked to himself as he envisioned the scene he hoped he would see later.
Mike asked Scar if he knew how to get back to the Pridelands soon after he had began the trip there. "Yes. I think I remember how to get there from here." he said sounding a little unsure "It's okay. Don't rush it." Mike said. "It's almost been a year and if you did remember, it's a miracle." After thinking for a moment, Scar recognized a landmark he had passed when he had ran from the hyenas quite a while ago. "I remember that tree!" he exclaimed as Mike crept by it, barely going ten miles per hour. "Sweet." Mike said as he increased speed and watched Scar scan the horizon, looking for more familiar landmarks.
After a while, Mike turned on the Bose, popped in his Garbage CD, and turned down the volume until it was almost barely audible. He didn't play around with the skip buttons, but instead just hit play. Usually, whenever he was intently doing something, he didn't care what he listened to. He wouldn't listen to Yanni, or David Haselhoff; all of the really crappy music. Garbage was cool and it gave him the opportunity now to listen to the songs he usually never listened to. After listening for a while, Scar pointed out another landmark that he recognized. It was a large rock about the size of a rhino, and he told Mike which way to go. Veering to the right a little, Mike took Scar's directions and continued to listen to the CD. He wasn't driving too fast for the simple reason that he didn't know where he was going. He had never been where he was now, and traveled at a steady thirty miles per hour over the smooth, flat terrain. As three more songs played, Scar still looked out and searched for some familiar site. Mike would occasionally look over at him and see if he was doing okay and once in a while, would turn around and ask Bryan what he was doing. Sitting up against the right sides wheelwell cover, he would shrug his shoulders and say "Nothing."
Once when he turned around, he saw that he was holding the rifle and aiming at something over the left side of the cruiser. When he turned to look at what he was aiming at, it was nothing. One of his gun games, was his guess. The gun that he had was a real good gun. It had a thirty times zoom scope, a seven clip magazine, skeleton fiberglass stock, and it was matte black. It took .270 Winchester bullets, but unfortunately, the bullets were cheap steel ones that would only put a hole in something, and not explode like more expensive ones would. Overall, it was an awesome gun. Mike had toyed with it once, playing with the sights on the scope, but for some reason, it was always off. He could hit a can that was twenty feet away, but had never tried anything else at any other distance. He had never mentioned the scope to Bryan for the simple fact that he had never thought to tell him. Now, as he drove slowly over the grassland, he looked ahead, forgetting all about what he had just seen Bryan doing. The moment he turned his head back to the front, Bryan began to load the clip with the steel bullets. Laying it down on the floor, he put his knees under his chin and sat holding them, smiling.
Shortly after Bryan sat smiling in the back of the cruiser, he fell asleep. When he did, he had a dream of Rafiki. It was kind of like a last minute briefing more than anything. "Well. Are you prepared?" Rafiki asked him as they both sat on the ground veiled in black by the dark of night. "Very." Bryan replied. "It is going to happen in about five or six hours and you will be in an ideal spot to kill them both." Rafiki said. Bryan smiled a little when he heard that. "Okay, I just want to know what to do after I do it." Bryan said excitedly. "Does it instantly happen, or do I have to wish for it?" Rafiki thought for a moment over that. He had avoided being asked that the whole time he had been contacting Bryan. He dreaded answering it because he knew he was lying to him anyway. Finally, thinking of how to make him do his deed, and convince him that he was going to be rewarded for it, he formulated one of his now infamous lies. "After you kill both of them, come and find me. All you have to do is walk and you will come upon me." "Cool!" Bryan said. "So after I blow their heads off, I just find you and that's it?" "Yes, but remember, you must kill Scar first, otherwise Mike will not be rendered useless. If you shoot him first, he cannot suffer the way he should. Mufasa must be avenged!" Bryan didn't give a rat's ass about Mufasa or Simba or anyone else. All he cared about was himself and if some crazy ass baboon said that all he had to do was kill his best friend and his pet/friend/brother lion, then so be it. He'd eat a pile of horse manure if someone'd give him everything he's ever wanted. Hell, he'd kill his own mother for a hundred dollars! He had no feelings, felt no remorse for anyone other than himself, and had no sympathy for anyone. He hated work and always let others do it for him. He had used Mike for awhile, gotten sick of him, and so decided that rather than let him live on happily with Scar, that he'd kill him and tell him the truth. It was all too fun for him, and he couldn't wait until he really got to shoot them both. Seeing them together was bad enough, but when they hugged and called each other ‘brother', that was all he could handle. He hated animals of every kind, especially cats. Once, a cat had scratched the speakers for his stereo all to hell, and he literally skinned it alive when he finally caught it. Mike was too soft when it came to animals. He wasn't like those little kids who look at a lamb, or a pig, or a calf and then point and go ‘Awww! Isn't it cute'. No, Mike only liked housepets. He loved cats, which probably explained how he and Scar got along so well. But still, he was too mushy when it came to any kind of cat, especially Scar. As he thought of what Rafiki had said, and how he was going to be living it up in a matter of hours, he smiled, both in his dream, and in his sleep.
"I think he's sleeping." Mike said as he looked over his shoulder and saw Bryan on the floor. Scar turned around and saw that he was. "It seems he is." he replied as he turned around and scanned the horizon some more. Mike pretty much knew where he was going now. He glanced at his trip odometer and it read about fifty miles. As he did so, Scar burst out excitedly as he pointed over to the right of the cruiser. "Over there!" he exclaimed, waving his paw and pointing excitedly. Mike turned the cruiser to meet his new directions and soon was on his way a little closer to Priderock. Scar settled down after Mike changed directions and watched from his seat as they went in the new direction.
The landmark he had just passed he remembered passing the second to last night. He was getting very excited now. Something he wished everyone had known, he could now tell them. No one was going to hurt him as long as Mike was there. As he thought of standing on the hood of the cruiser, reciting what he was going to say, a thought crossed his mind. "Why didn't I ever tell them when I was king?" The question baffled him a moment, and he momentarily took his eyes away from the horizon. He couldn't think why he hadn't of told them. Maybe he had thought that as long as Mufasa was gone, he could forget it. Apparently, for a while, he did. That was why he had made it forbidden for anyone to say his name where he could hear it. Whenever he heard his name, it was like reminding a concentration camp refugee of his torturer, years after he had been liberated.
Mufasa had frightened him when he had been alive. He felt that every time he turned his back to him, he'd be ripped apart. Thinking of that, he shuddered in his seat. Mike saw him as he visibly shook.
"You okay?" he asked as he looked over. "Yeah. I'm fine." Scar replied. After saying so, his thoughts drifted back to Mufasa. He really didn't hate him now. Now that he was dead, so was his anger with him. What angered him now was the fact that no one knew the truth, or wanted to know. If he told them he killed Mufasa out of self defense, they'd say he was full of shit. It was what it was though. If Mufasa would almost kill him over a lioness, then no telling what else he'd do. Talking wouldn't have solved anything. Mufasa would have just either swatted him in the face again or maybe even killed him then. He of course could of lied to everyone again and said that hyenas had gotten him.
Something extreme had to be done, so something extreme was done. When Mufasa had clung to the cliff, grasping for a hold, Scar had hesitated a moment. Mufasa was finally looking up to him, and asking him for help. He almost had helped, but the flashbacks of how he had been cheated out of his life and insulted prevailed.
"Scar! Brother! Help me!" Mufasa had pleaded, but he was no brother. All of a sudden, he had dug the claws which Mike had admired a while ago, into his paws as Mufasa let out a roar of pain. When he saw the fear in Mufasa's eyes, a feeling of excitement washed over him. His perfect, non-violent, caring, and loved by all brother saw what he had feared. Scar fought back that day.
Scar daydreamed for a while more until his gaze was broken by the sound of Mike putting in another CD. He snapped out of his trance and looked over to his true brother. Mike looked over and smiled back as he hit play as the Spin Doctors came on.
As Bryan still snoozed in the back of the cruiser, both Mike and Scar listened to all ten songs on the ‘Pocket Full Of Kryptonite' album. During the hour or so while they listened, Scar gave new directions, Mike changed the cruisers direction to meet them, and they just sat and listened. As the CD came to an end, Mike took it out and put it back in the black nylon carrying case. After looking through it, he picked one out, looked at it for a second, and then flung it out of the speeding vehicle. "What was that?" Scar asked as Mike went looking through the case again. "Oasis. That was a mistake buying that poor excuse for a CD."
After that, Mike, still thumbing through CD's, chose one that he thought was worth playing. As he took it out and put it in the CD player, he sat back and drove on. "What CD is that?" Scar asked after a moment. Mike gradually smiled and then said "Push play and see for yourself." Scar reached over from his seat and hit the play button. It was Mike's favorite CD, the one that had the top twenty hit from 1980 to 1984. As he pushed play, the song ‘Super Freak (part one)' by Rick James came on. M.C. Hammer had ripped the song off and it served him right that he was a one hit wonder. As Scar first heard the song, he thought it was him, but the different lyrics, and much better music quickly made him figure out that it was the eighties CD, and not ‘Hammer'.
They listened to the CD until all the songs had played until Mike turned it off. Scar told him he was within a rocks throw of Priderock now. Mike was both tense, and excited. He was finally here, after months and months of caring for and confiding in Scar. He gripped the steering wheel more as the palms of his hands became sweaty. Off in the distance, maybe ten or so miles away, Mike could see a rock jutting up in the air. "Is that it?" Mike asked Scar. "It sure is." he replied. Mike floored the cruiser, bringing the speed from a steady fifty, to sixty seven on the open plains. He upshifted into sixth gear and watched the odometer as the little white wheel, which marked tenths of a mile, spun like the wheel in a slot machine. Hunched over the steering wheel like a madman, he turned to Scar and told him to go and wake up Bryan. Scar jumped back and quickly woke him up.
As Bryan opened his eyes and saw where he was, he smiled. Mike veered off sharply to the right as he kept looking over to the left. "Dude. Get your gun and get ready. I'm about to drop you off." Bryan smiled even more. The time had come.



CHAPTER XXXIII



As Mike quickly stopped by a large, tall rock formation, Bryan jumped out with the rifle and a pocket full of bullets, and stood with the gun slung over his shoulder. "You know what to do, right?" Mike asked as he looked back at him. "Shoot on your signal only, and shoot to wound unless they come at you." he said. "Righty-O!" Mike said as he smiled a little and looked ahead of him. "Okay. I better get going soon. Do you want me to wait until you get to the top of that thing?" Mike said as he looked up to the top of the tall rock. "No, go ahead. It'll only take me a sec to get up there." "Okay dude. I'll wait until you get to the top first though." "Alright." Bryan said as he began making his way to the top of the rock. He had to go around it a ways, but finally found a place where he hiked up to the top. The whole trip took him no more than ten minutes, and when he finally reached the top, he saw that it was mainly flat. As he crept over the edge of the cliff, he looked down at Mike as Mike stared up at him. Mike gave a thumbs up from a few hundred feet below as Bryan did the same. After they did that, Mike started up the cruiser and began moving slowly towards Priderock, which was no more than a mile off in the distance. Bryan looked down through his scope as if he were Lee Harvey Oswald and Mike were Kennedy. He pulled the trigger a little and went "Pow!" as he imagined what he'd do in a few minutes.
As Mike drove away from the rock Bryan was on, he drove slowly. Looking over at Scar, he smiled, excited that he was finally going to make him feel real good. He reached in between the two bucket seats and produced the speech he was going to give first. He looked at it for a second and then put it back where he had found it. Scar was staring straight towards Priderock when Mike had the sudden urge to veer off to the left and floor it. He did so and caught Scar a little off balance. When he corrected himself, he didn't say a word as Mike flew across the plain, spewing up a huge cloud of dust behind him. Gradually, he began to slow down a little and soon steadied out at thirty five. They were getting very close now. They could see a few dots off in the distance, which they both knew were lionesses. As Mike looked at them, he slowly rolled to a stop and sat with the engine idling.
"Are you ready for this?" Mike asked Scar. "Ready as I'll ever be." Scar replied. Mike took out the eighties CD that lay mute in the Bose and put it back in the case. Reaching into it, he brought out his Beck CD, and carefully placing it in the CD tray, he pushed it in as it was scanned and then lay mute. Taking a final look at Scar, he turned the volume all the way up, and then hit play. As the sound of a strangled guitar came blasting through all four, eighteen inch woofers, he floored the cruiser. Dirt flew from the back tires and up into the air as it went from a standstill up to fifty miles per hour. The engine screamed and redlined as Mike kept it in third gear, wanting to make as much noise as possible. After a second or two, he upshifted and raced the last half mile to Priderock. When he finally got to the edge of it, he saw Simba and his pride, all standing in awe.
Within two hundred feet of them all, Mike stopped and cut the engine. Scar sat in his seat as Mike stepped over the windshield with the CB mike in his hand. With the CB set on PA, he depressed the button on the side and began speaking.
"Hello everyone. My name is Michael and I am here today to dig up some dirt, so to speak." Mike watched as his audience's mouths dropped open and their eyes opened up wide. "Yes, I am a human and I can talk to you. This is not a trick of any kind, so you have no reason to fear for your lives." Simba and the lionesses still hadn't taken their eyes off of Mike and failed to recognize Scar, sitting in the passengers seat somewhat hidden. Mike had jumped the gun and not read off of his speech and now was just saying what he remembered writing. The introduction he had written was a lot wordier, but the one he had just given was better. As all eyes were cast upon him, he looked over backwards and down to Scar. He motioned for him to come up and a second later he did.
Scar jumped up from his seat onto the hood of the cruiser, and as he sat down, Mike watched as some of the awed expressions of the lionesses turned to faces full of hatred. Some of them began to slowly advance towards him but were stopped when Mike yelled at them to. They listened to him, and sat back down, still snarling a little. Simba still sat in awe as he saw his ‘dead' uncle with the human up on the cruiser. He had just been talking to his mother about him, and now, here he was. He snapped out of his little daze when Mike began to speak through the PA again.
"I believe you are all able to see that I have a former member of your pride with me. Believe me, if you don't attempt to hurt him, you won't be hurt. I have a friend who is watching all of this and will kill anyone who ventures too near. I don't wish to hurt any of you, and Scar doesn't either." A few lionesses snarled a little when they heard Mike say that. After hesitating a moment, he began to talk again.
"It is a very long story on how I came to meet him and let me tell you, you may find what I have to say a little repulsive. I have known Scar for the entire time you have thought him dead. I have been well informed on the treatment he endured during his residency here, and if you ask me, I think you are all heartless, sadistic creatures. How you could ever be cruel to him when he was so small, I can never know. All I know is that you made him miserable and he took that out on you by trying to better his life. I am not going to dictate to you all how I dispise you, but I will make my point be known. This is what you may find a little repulsive. If you can believe it or not, I love Scar." The lionesses who had looked angrily at both Scar and Mike lost their angered expressions and again turned awed.
"He came into my life wanting a second chance while I myself was looking for one also. I was very skeptical about him at first, but then after hearing his story, decided that no one would ever hurt him in any way again. We soon became friends. Later, we became best friends. Later still, we became brothers. And now, if one of us dies, I doubt the other will be able to live too much longer. We are inseparable. I feel totally comfortable to have Scar around me, I trust him with my life, and if you believe that he is faking anything so that he can get me to destroy you, you are all very wrong. You all might think that Scar has absolutely no credibility whatsoever, but he has told me more truth than anyone else has in my whole life. He has changed for the better, and if you cannot believe this, then I can only weep at your ignorance. You treated him so badly, you forced him to kill Mufasa. I know everything about that and I believe Zazu knows a little bit more than all of us."
Zazu, who had been standing in front of Simba with a face full of disgust, looked up at him and saw that he was being stared down at. He felt a little nervous being stared at that way and gave a little unsure laugh.
"Scar was willing to be nice to everyone; He was willing to be friends with everyone. You all had to go to Mufasa instead of him, and make him the way he was. Wouldn't you have done the same thing if you were left to lay in the cold, made fun of, and even hurt by the same people that were supposed to prevent that? I know I wouldn't have treated Scar so badly though. The only thing he's ever come to me for is attention. He wanted someone to say ‘I love you.', or just simply ‘I care about you.' Here, he got none of that, but he hears it everyday from me knowing that I mean it." Pausing a moment thinking quickly of what to say next, he sighed.
"He saved my life once, and for that, I can never forget. I will stop lecturing you all now and let Scar take over. He will tell you the truth, and I believe that Zazu can confirm it to be all true. Please be advised though, if anyone attempts to come within one hundred feet of this vehicle, and if anyone even comes near Scar without both of our permission, you will be shot by a security official I have appointed to oversee all of this. He won't shoot unless I give him the signal, and he will only fire upon you unless you do something rash. Here is Scar with the truth. Let it be heard by all."
Mike jumped down from the hood of the cruiser and leaned up against the left front tire. He saw a single tear fall from Scar's face and onto the glossy clearcoat surface of the hood. Mike smiled as he took the CB in his paw and began to speak. Finally, it was happening. Those ungrateful bastards were getting spoon fed the truth for a change. As Scar greeted everyone who sat before him, all except Simba and one lioness remained with no facial expressions at all.
"Well, I don't really know where to start." Scar began before Mike heard one of the lionesses mumble something rather loudly under her breath. "HEY!!!!" he yelled at the top of his lungs at her. Walking from where he leaned on the tire, he started to scream at the lioness. "Shut-up! I have come almost two hundred and fifty miles to be here and the last thing I'm going to put up with is some ignorant fool like you! Now, everyone shut the hell up!" Calming down as he walked back to the cruiser, he looked up at Scar. "Okay. Go on Scar."
Scar began to speak again, this time, uninterrupted. "If you can believe it from me or not, I'm sorry I caused you all the pain and suffering I caused you. It was unintentional, but alas, I did it. I can start from the beginning, but that would take too long. You all should know some of what happened because you were part of it. Contrary to what you believe, Mufasa was never nice to me after he became king. In fact, when he told you he was ‘apologizing' to me, he was actually using me as a ‘sparring partner.' He said that if I ever tried to fight back, he'd kill me." Scar watched as Simba, Sarabi, and the rest of the pride's mouths again went agape. Simba looked down to Zazu. "Is that true?" he asked disbelievingly.
Now, feeling like he wanted to be anywhere except here, he muttered "Well sire, I suppose it might be." Simba pretty much figured out the rest before he was told.
As Scar began speaking again, Mike looked up at him and nodded his head. "I am trying to ask for your forgiveness, but from the look on most of your faces, you do not believe me. I only can..." Scar stopped short, feeling what seemed like something biting at his right shoulder. A millisecond later, the report of a gunshot echoed out through the air. All of the pride scattered and ran towards Priderock.
Mike looked for the fallen animal that had gotten too close without him seeing, but saw none. He looked up at Scar, and saw a few drops of blood dripping from his right shoulder onto the hood. Seeing that it was Scar that had been shot, Mike's eyes grew wide as his heart almost jumped out of his throat. Scar noticed that he had been shot, looked wide eyed at Mike, and then fell off the left side of the hood into his arms.
Mike caught him and slowly let him down onto the ground. Too shocked to even know what was going on, Scar looked up at him speechlessly with eyes full of terror. Mike saw the wound in his arm and saw that it was a clean shot. Shocked himself, he literally ripped the ‘Hookt on fonix werked 4 me!' shirt off of him and with it, applied a crude tourniquet and cut off circulation above the wound. As he was tying off the shirt with Scar looking wide eyed and totally shocked, another shot rang out.
It ripped through the left rear fender, leaving a hole roughly the size of a dime. With Scar safely behind one of the bigfoot tire's three inch thick, rubber sidewalls, Mike reached up in the cruiser, put the transmission in neutral, and then started it up. More shots rang out, this time missing the cruiser completely, and during the rain of poor shots, with much hesitation, Mike finally was able to get Scar to jump into the cruiser. The moment he got in and sat shaking on the passengers side floor, Mike flew up into the drivers seat and floored it until he was out of sight from Bryan's firing.
Still close to where he had just been, Mike forgot that the pride was still hiding behind a small hill of grass. As Mike told Scar to stay where he was until he got back, he just nodded, too shocked to do anything else. With his hands bloodied from Scar's wound, Mike slowly made his way to the back of the cruiser. Trying his best to keep a cool head, he flung up a blanket and revealed the mini-gun. It was threaded with bullets and ready to go. He picked it up and put the carrying strap over his shoulder. Taking one last look at Scar, he jumped out of the cruiser and began running towards Bryan. He screamed, both in anger, and in mental anguish, running faster and faster.
Bryan looked through his scope and fired a round at him, missing him by at least twenty feet. Mike didn't act like he was supposed to have acted, and Bryan knew it was all over for him now. Somehow his scope had been misaligned and instead of hitting Scar in the head, he had gotten him in the shoulder. He had tried fiddling with the sight adjusters but soon was worse off than when he started. Now, all he could use the gun for was a telescope. Through it, he saw Mike running faster than he had ever seen him run, holding the mini-gun. Firing off a few rounds down towards him, they only hit up dust yards away from him. He was a goner, and he knew it. "At least he'll know I was the cause of everything." he said to himself as Mike was quickly closing in on him.
Mike saw a shot land right in front of him and through his sprinting, he mouthed a cuss word and raised the barrel of the mini-gun, depressing the trigger and firing rounds at Bryan. They chipped the rocks that Bryan was near to pieces, and for a while, he stopped firing. As he neared the rock though, Bryan began firing more and more, but still hit nothing but dirt. Mike looked down at his bloody hands again, and then up to Bryan. He bellowed a sound that frightened everyone that heard it. More or less a scream of pure anger and hatred, Bryan was scared.
Mike ran faster and faster until it almost seemed as if he ran any faster, he'd fly off the ground. After sprinting for about two minutes, he had almost reached the rock at which Bryan sat atop of. Finally, a minute later, he reached the base of it. Pausing a moment to catch his breath, he looked up to the top of the rock. He couldn't see anything, but he knew what was up there. After resting for a minute, he ran around the rock and quickly scaled it. He saw Bryan aiming his rifle down at him, but when he let a few hundred rounds fly out of the mini-gun, it shredded the barrel and rendered it useless. Now completely unarmed, Bryan was sure he'd never get out of this. He backed up to the far edge of the cliff as Mike got to the top and slowly began stalking towards him.
"I'm gonna shoot you from the feet up you fucking traitor!" Mike said angrily. Bryan stopped being afraid that second. "You know, there's something I want to tell you Mike." Mike remained silent. "You know when you got in trouble back home for doing something you didn't do? Well I told the cops that you were the dealer and they bought it. I used you and you were too god damned stupid to know it. Another thing. You think I actually like Scar? I hate his fucking guts!! I hate you too! I know your not going to kill me. You're too much of a pussy to do it, so you might as well just let me go." After that, a moment of silence passed. Mike stood his ground without flinching as he thought over what Bryan had just told him.
He was the one that blamed him for his crime. He was the one who shot Scar, and definitely would have killed them both. It was all too much. "You know?" Mike solemnly began. "I used to think you were my friend, but now, I see I was just too blind to see that all you were was a god damned loser. You think I won't shoot you? Well, see you in hell then, my friend!" Mike finished as Bryan pulled a .45 from behind him and tried to aim it at him. Without even seeing the gun, Mike pulled the trigger of the mini-gun and the gun fell to the rocky surface. Tracer bullets flew as Mike saw his former friend be cut down to nothing but a pile of flesh and bones. He began crying. Still holding the mini-gun's trigger in, he began crying louder, his sobs muffled by the drone of the gun. As the five thousand rounds quickly were used up, he still held the trigger in as the barrel spun almost noiselessly, just like in ‘The Predator'. He dropped the gun onto the ground and got down on his hands and knees. He hit the ground with his fists, and then stared over at Bryan's remnants. He looked away as he heard Scar faintly yell his name out. During the final confrontation with Bryan, Mike had forgotten about him. "SCAR!!!" Mike screamed at the top of his lungs.
Quickly grabbing the mini-gun, he slid down half of the rock, and upon reaching the bottom, began running fast again. Finally, remembering that the mini-gun had no ammo left and was useless, he dropped it and began running at an ungodly rate of speed. Running on pure adrenaline fueled with rage, his face turned beet red as he pumped his arms and ran close to thirty miles per hour across the plain. He heard Scar scream his name out again, and within twenty seconds, he was within visual contact of the cruiser.
Scar was nowhere to be seen, but a quick look under it on the other side let him see that Simba had pinned him by the neck, almost ready to kill him. Mike yelled out Scar's name once again but no one seemed to hear him. As he neared the cruiser, he remembered something he had left in the back of it. It was a McCulloch chainsaw that was almost three feet long. Almost upon the cruiser now, Mike planned his quick attack. As he ran to the cruiser, he cartwheeled up from the rear bigfoot tire, grabbed the chainsaw with his left hand, began pulling the starter cord rapidly, and jumped at Simba feet first.
It took him two tries to start the saw, and by the time he had the throttle in all the way, his feet hit Simba hard in the side and sent him sprawling. Scar was lying on his back, shaking violently as Mike kneeled down to him. Simba got up and was about to leap at them both when Mike quickly shot up and wielded the chainsaw like a saber.
"Come on!! You want to die? Just go ahead and take a step closer!" Mike said over the noise as the chainsaw's chain whizzed inches from Simba's face. Scar curled up in a tight ball behind his back and began sobbing wildly as he stood. Simba growled at Mike, knowing that he was outpowered. From behind him, Mike saw the lionesses. He didn't flinch at all as he stood in front of Scar and facing Simba. He would die protecting him, and if it came to that, then so be it.
Pushing in the chain oiler with his thumb, he sent small, amber drops flying from the whizzing chain at Simba's face. Simba flinched as they hit his face and stuck to some of his whiskers. "Do you want to talk this over rationally or die like an idiot? I don't want to hurt you." Mike said to Simba. "I want to talk it out, but I want him dead." Simba said, motioning to Scar. "Well if you want him, you gotta get through me first, so what do you want to do?! Live, or die?!" Mike said louder. "I want to live." Simba said. Still not trusting Simba a bit, Mike lowered the saw a little out of good faith and to see what his reaction would be.
"If I put this down, do I have your word no one will attack either me or Scar?" Mike asked. "Yes." Simba said after thinking for a few seconds. Mike flipped the run switch to off and killed the tiny engine, but flipped it back in case he needed to start it up quickly again. Simba still stood where he was as Mike set the chainsaw slowly down on the ground. After he did so, he went over to where Scar lay shaking and sat down beside him. "I'm here." Mike said softly to him. Scar, still shaking uncontrollably, looked over to him and then literally jumped up, and draped his paws around his neck. Blood rubbed up on Mike's shoulder as he hugged him. Scar clung to him, crying, as Simba and the lionesses looked at them. Scar's head was on Mike's left shoulder, and as he cried with his eyes shut tightly, all of them looked amazed. None of them had ever seen Scar cry before.
Mike patted him on the back, and soon, Scar's chest slowly started to stop heaving. As he slowly stopped crying, he let out a pathetic groan that brought tears to Mike's eyes. Turning his head, he saw that all eyes were on them. "What the matter?" he asked through his tears. "Did you think I was lying?" Mike's eyes caught one of the lionesses, and he could see that she wanted to step forward, but didn't dare. She saw him looking at her and then dropped her gaze to the ground.
Deciding that if he didn't start talking soon, he might not have the chance, he got to his feet as Scar slumped to the ground and continued to sob uncontrollably. "Look what you've done to him." Mike said as he pointed to Scar angrily. "You made him so afraid of his own kind, that the only thing he had left was to go to humans! He never so much as said a cross word to you when he was small and yet you treated him like shit. You should all be ashamed of yourselves you ungrateful bastards." He paused a moment as he looked over the small pride, again meeting the eyes of the shy lionesses.
"We came here peacefully, but my friend betrayed me and I had to kill him. He was the one that shot Scar, and probably would have shot all of you also. All I wanted today was to tell you all the simple truth. Now that I have, you can get Zazu to cough up the rest." He stopped again and saw that all were listening to him intently. "I'm leaving with Scar now; Taking him where he's wanted, respected and loved. There has been enough death already and I want no more of it. Please don't follow me because if you come after me to kill Scar, I'll kill you. He will suffer no more as long as I live." Mike said as he patted Scar on the shoulder and told him it was time to go. He very slowly got to his feet, still sobbing, and with Mike's help, made it up into the cruiser. After he was up in it, he looked at his former pride. Mike picked up the chainsaw and tossed it into the back and then hopped up in himself.
"I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive, because if not, you will live on with the pain you suffered forever. As a wise person once told me, ‘We who forget the past, are condemned to repeat it.'." On that final note, Mike started the cruiser up and slowly began to move ahead.
"WAIT!!" a feminine voice yelled from the group of lionesses. Mike stopped the cruiser and craned his head around, seeing that it was the shy lionesses he had seen earlier. She walked up beside of the cruiser and looked humbly up at Mike. "May I go with you?" she asked, shaking and scared to death that she might not be able to. Mike turned around to look at the other lionesses and saw shocked expressions on all of their faces. Simba was even shocked.
"Sure. Hop up in." Mike said as he got up and let the lionesses jump up into his seat and then go into the back. He then sat back down and drove away from the Pridelands.



CHAPTER XXXIV



After driving about five miles, not talking at all, Mike slowly stopped the cruiser and then turned around. Still shaken, shocked, and upset about what had happened earlier, he tried his best to remain calm. "I don't mean to be rude, but who are you?" he asked. The shy lioness looked at him, and then back to the floor. "I'm Seliena." she said, acting as if looking him in the face were a sin. "Seliena." Mike said as he repeated her name. "That's a very beautiful name." Seliena smiled a little, but still kept looking at the floor. Over in the passengers seat, Scar let a pathetic groan that drew Mike's attention away from her. Sitting with his head almost touching the seat, Scar wept silently as Mike tried to comfort him.
"It all over." he said to him. "We did it. We told em and we lived through it." Scar still hung his head low as Mike lightly patted his back with his right arm. Scar still cried, but had stopped making any noise. Seeing that made Mike hurt inside. Whenever Scar cried, he wanted to cry right along with him. This time, he caught himself, not wanting to embarrass himself in front of Seliena. Instead, he wrapped his arms around Scar's neck and pressed his face up to his black mane.
"What's the matter?" Mike said into his ear. "Nothing." Scar uttered. Mike moved his left arm down onto Scar's wound and drew his hand back, soaked with slowly clotting blood. He looked at it and then slowly drew back from Scar. As he stared at it, he suddenly realized just what had happened. His chest heaved once as an ill feeling washed over him, and he fell back in his seat and began crying.
For almost five minutes, Seliena watched as Mike cried and was finally comforted by Scar. Seeing him crying made him momentarily forget his own problems. Telling Mike to sit in the back, he did as he was told and slowly hobbled back and fell down. Scar was there to make sure he didn't fall too hard. Mike leaned up on Scar's right side, facing him as he held onto him and cried.
"That traitor!" he screamed, referring to Bryan. Scar didn't say a word, but kept Mike under control. He was too embarrassed to look up at Seliena because he had cried, and admitted that he loved a human. Seliena didn't care about that though. She knew why she had come with them. She remembered what everyone had done to him, and she had tried to stop it. She had secretly had a crush on Scar the first time she ever saw him, but when he somehow became everyones scapegoat for everyday problems, he changed. She had tried siding with him once, but when she either faced being made fun of herself and treated as an outcast, she regretfully said to herself that there would be other lions for her. She had been wrong, and just a while ago, did an extreme thing that would make her feel better, and hopefully Scar. Now, she saw that Scar already felt better, being helped by Mike, and for the first time in almost a year, she felt happy. The Scar she had remembered from so long ago was before her and she could treat him the way she had always wanted to; with respect, with care, and with love.
Mike wiped away a few stray tears that still clung to the side of his face as he let go of Scar and sat down. All three of them sat in the back of the cruiser in a triangle as Mike interrupted the silence that had seemed to befall on them.
"I apologize for my behavior just then." he said to no one in particular. That didn't seem to spark off any conversation, so a few more minutes passed before anything was said. Mike sat looking from Scar to Seliena, and every time he shifted his gaze, they would be staring at the floor. Not wanting to start on the wrong foot with Seliena, he remained quiet.
"You really love him, don't you?" Seliena said, catching Mike a little off guard. "That I do; more than anything." Mike quickly replied. Mike looked at Seliena and stared her in the eyes, the first eye to eye contact they ever made. "I thought that all humans were greedy, smelly, cold-hearted murderers?" "Well ma'am, the smelly part I might be classified in, but the other stuff, I'm the opposite." Seliena laughed a little. She felt the same unexplainable thing Scar had felt when Mike had first met him. She trusted Mike, and just in the last half hour, liked him already.
Mike was still a bit edgy having one of the lionesses with him, but he soon learned that she was different. "Seliena? May I ask you a question?" Mike said. "Sure." she replied. "Did you ever make fun of Scar before?" Mike asked, staring her in the eyes again. Not flinching at all, she replied "No. I never did, and never will. Please don't stereotype me with them. I secretly was in love with Scar, but he never knew." Scar lifted his head a little when he heard that. "You did?" he asked, looking puzzled. Looking at him, she felt her face becoming hot and red, and she shifted her gaze to the floor again. "Yes." she said as she shuffled her right paw along the black carpet, totally embarrassed. Mike saw that she was embarrassed and went over to her. He sat beside her and whispered something into her ear. After he had finished, she looked over to him and smiled a little. "Really?" "I never will." Mike said. As Seliena still stared at him, Mike smiled a little also and with his right hand, rubbed her on the head. With that, he went over to Scar, said something to him, and then went up to his seat. As he started the cruiser up and began to move ahead, Scar poked his head from the back and looked at Mike.
"What am I supposed to do?" he said. "Just talk to her." "Okay. I'll try." Scar said as he started to turn around before Mike caught him. "Do you love her?" Mike whispered to him. "I don't know. I never knew she loved me." Mike tried to think of something to say, but couldn't. As Scar waited for some advice, Mike turned around and said "I can't help you here bro. This is one thing you can only do by yourself." Scar put his paw on Mike's shoulder, patted him, and then smiled.
Both of them sat in the back and stared at each others feet, not knowing what to say. Scar had always noticed that Seliena never insulted him and stayed neutral, even when he hadn't been king. He liked her back then, but thought that Mufasa had a hold on all of the lionesses so kept away, fearing for his life. Still a bit confounded at what Seliena had said a moment before, he looked up at her.
"You loved me?" he asked in a normal, questioning tone. "I guess you could say I still do." Seliena replied, looking at him now. After thinking her reply over a second, Scar was dumbstruck. Seliena could clearly see that he was lost, and rose to her feet, moving a little closer. Scar again dropped his gaze to the floor, not knowing what to say or do. Both remained quiet until Scar began talking, still looking at the floor.
"You love me after I killed Mufasa, almost Simba, and united the hyenas with the pride?" "Yes." Seliena said. "How?" Scar said, raising his questioning eyes to meet hers. "I can't explain it, but I've always liked you Scar." "You mean that you would have rather had me than the king?" "Yes." Seliena said. "It's just that simple. I didn't really like Mufasa. He always would come to me while I was sleeping and try to act like he was made for me. It was real pathetic, but you; You kept to yourself, not bothering anyone, and here were all of Mufasa's bimbos calling you names, making fun of you, and all you did to deserve it was keep to yourself. I wanted to be with you, but the lionesses told me that anyone who would like you would either have to be stupid, or desperate. They also said that anyone that wanted you would only have you because they would never talk to that lioness." She paused for a moment, as she had been close to tears.
"I wanted to swat at Sarabi when she said it, and I almost did until I thought of the consequences." A million thoughts racing through her head, Seliena lost it. She began sobbing wildly as she fell to the floor. Mike caught it in his rear view mirror and slowed down a little. Scar went over to Seliena but stood there, not knowing how to handle it. Finally, doing what he felt was right, he went over and slowly laid down beside her.
"Why are you crying?" he asked, concerned. "You." Seliena muffled out. "When Simba came back and said that he had killed you, I almost died. All of the lionesses were smiling, laughing, and happy. I ran off and cried for hours." She still kept crying as Scar looked at her. After a while, her sobbing slowly faded and was replaced by sniffling. "I loved you Scar. No one knew it either, and when you supposedly died, so did part of me. Seeing you today made me almost die again because I knew that I could finally do what I wanted. When Mike was about to leave after he had risked his life for you, I said to myself that that was the last chance that I'd ever get to be with you."
Scar was starting to understand things a little better now. "I leapt from behind everyone and raced up to ask him if I could come. I was terrified that he would say ‘no' because he thought I might have been one of the ones who hurt you, and then I really would have died from being both heartbroken, and completely insulted by the entire pride." Scar though everything over a little and then stared back to Seliena. "I can't believe he took you in the first place. I can imagine he was a little weary at first because he will do anything to protect me. I'll do the same for him, so don't think I'm faking anything." She knew that neither of them were faking though. If they had been faking, Mike wouldn't have leapt feet first at Simba without thinking at all of himself. She knew there was no way love could be faked under extremely stressful conditions. The cruel games Sarabi and her posse had played on Scar were over, and now, she was with him. She wouldn't be mean to him like the other lionesses had, but love him the way she had wanted to for so long. She was not faking her feelings. She loved Scar and now, after such a long time, she could stop hiding it.
As she thought of this, she slowly moved closer to Scar. He was sitting on the carpet as she came over, rested her head on his left shoulder, and nuzzled him. "I love you Scar." she said softly as Scar finally accepted that what she claimed was true. Hesitantly, he weakly smiled. "I love you too Seliena." he said, not really knowing if he meant it at all. He knew that he loved Mike, but he had only been an acquaintance with Seliena. She liked him, and understood him. That's all that mattered to him. As Seliena nuzzled him, he felt loved like he felt when Mike hugged him. "Tell me about how you met Mike?" she asked as she backed off a little, but still remained close by his side. "It's a very long story Seliena. Do you want to hear it?" "Yes." she said.
Seliena listened to Scar as he told her how he had escaped from the hyenas, escaped from Priderock without being seen, and how he had found Mike. It sounded like he had been drawn to him, and in fact, he had. He told her about how Mike, without giving any regard to himself, had dragged him into the shed, fixed him up, and then fallen asleep near him. Seliena was fascinated with every aspect of the story; especially on how Mike had taken him in. Hearing that alone was all she needed to tell what kind of person he was. She had liked him a while ago, but now, for some odd reason she loved him too. She loved him for the simple reason that he was a human and he was different. He took Scar under his wing, taught him things, liked him, and loved him.
She felt happy lying beside Scar and hearing him tell of how much Mike had helped him. "If it hadn't of been for him, I'm sure I'd be dead now." he said as she thought of it. She knew that it was probably true, but what fascinated her the most was hearing of how Mike protected him. Scar went on to tell of how Mike had kept the hyenas from getting him, and how he had cried during the whole ordeal. He had blushed a little when he said that he cried, but Seliena didn't care if he did or not. Not crying meant that something was wrong with you. Mufasa never cried. After he had stopped blushing, he went on to tell how Mike had fainted, and how he had almost panicked when it happened. "He just fell on the ground, unconscious." Scar said as Seliena listened tentatively. "If you can imagine me scared out of my mind, that was how I was when that happened. He was all I had, and if he went, I'd probably of gone too." "How did it finally turn out?" she asked him with a questioning stare. "Well, I slid under him, carried him on my back, and put him in the shade of the cruiser. After I tried to wake him, he finally did, and he was sort of alright." She could see the change Scar had undergone' the were so obvious now.
He was no longer cold to everyone, like he had been when Mufasa and the other lionesses were around back at Priderock. Now, he seemed very outgoing, and from what she heard, wouldn't go anywhere without Mike. She hoped Mike would like her like he liked Scar. Mike would too, sooner than she ever expected.
"But there are two things I will never forget about him." Scar said. "Once, he was going real fast in this," his said, gesturing to the cruiser's floor, "and I was sitting up beside him. I got scared and jumped into the back, but he didn't see me, and when he finally noticed, he slammed on the brakes, and went berserk. I was behind his seat and he didn't even see me until he got up and walked back. When he finally did see me, he started hitting himself in the head. He wouldn't stop so I jumped at him and pinned him so he wouldn't hurt himself. He was crying, and after I got up off of him, he wrapped his arms around me and hugged me for almost ten minutes. He was shaking, but all he could say was that he thanked god that I was okay."
He pause for a moment to catch his breath. Seliena was staring at him, hungry for more. "The real barrier breaker happened a couple of days after that. We were both swimming in a lake when he playfully lunged at me. I went under and that was all that I remembered." He paused a little for effect. "I died Seliena, and he lifted me out, and revived me. He gave me what they humans call ‘CPR' and brought me back to life. He cried for half an hour after he did it and all I could do was sit there and hold him. He loves me Seliena. I love him too, and nothing can ever break that." "Does that mean me?" she asked a little worried. "No. I don't mean something like that. I meant that there is no way we can ever separate. We are brothers Seliena. Mike is my only friend, and the only person who I know that would die for me. He trusts me, and I trust him. I would die for him and that is something that I don't just go offering to do for everyone." "I know." Seliena said. She saw what Scar meant, knowing that she might detract the amount of time they were around each other, but if she did everything just right, maybe it would work out fine.
Mike couldn't hear what the two of them were saying due to the drone of the engine, but if he had heard, he would be happy. At first when he saw Seliena step forward from the lionesses, he thought that she might lunge at him. When she asked if she could go with them, he oddly agreed, still a little edgy. Having just been ultimately betrayed by Bryan, his naiveness should have been all but gone, but Seliena was not Bryan. He trusted her after a few minutes though. Seliena, to him, was a strong, gutsy lioness. He figured that if he had said ‘No' to her, the other lionesses would have given her similar treatment that Scar had endured or maybe even killed her. It was either take her along knowing that she was either being honest or deceitful, or let her stay with the pride to take on humiliation. He was glad he did what he did, or else both he and Scar would live the rest of their lives in solitude. He was overly excited to hear that she had a crush on Scar. He could detect a liar miles away, and she wasn't lying. It's pretty hard to blush instantaneously like she had. Mike thought about her more, and as he did, he looked up in the rear view mirror. They were still talking, and as he looked, Seliena turned her face towards the mirror, not seeing him staring at her.
"God she's beautiful." Mike said under his breath, seeing her face really for the first time. He used to think that all animals looked the same, but learned after Scar had come to him, that there are both ugly and beautiful creatures. The two that sat in the back of his car were the latter of the two, Scar being handsome instead of beautiful of course. As he occasionally stared back to them in his mirror, he wondered to himself what the world was coming to. It still baffled him how he could talk to lions. He didn't know if anyone else could but seriously doubted it. If they could, then they would have had interview with lions on the Discovery Channel rather than stalking them all over the place with cameras. No one better come stalking after Scar or Seliena or he'd kick them in the nads and smash up their cameras; A patented Beavis and Butt-head response. He smiled a little at the thought of kicking cameramen in the nads. His thoughts again drifted from that to Seliena again. He wondered if she'd be able to adapt to living like Scar had.
Scar had had no problem because he was scared to death he'd be kicked out and just did what Mike did. He hoped that Seliena would adapt and soon be like Scar. He loved Scar, loved being around him, loved his company, and respected him more than any person he had ever known. He wanted badly to feel the same way towards Seliena. He was scared that he might like her, but not get so much as a simple hi from her in the morning. He was more scared that she might even steal Scar away from him, but knew deep down inside his heart that Scar would never, ever let that happen to him. Still, he wanted badly to get home so he could talk to them a lot more. Getting anxious, he looked at his speedometer and saw he was going fifty. Putting his foot down on the gas a little more, he watched as the needle rose to sixty. Yes. He definitely wanted to be home. As far away from Priderock as he could get.
A few hours later, Mike crossed through the row of trees and saw his house sitting no more than five hundred feet away. He made his way over to where he usually parked and then cut the engine. "Home sweet home." he said as he got out of the cruiser and began walking towards the front door. Scar jumped down and was shortly followed by Seliena. Bounding off to where Mike was, he stood at the door and began talking to him. Seliena didn't hear what they talked about, but rather, slowly made her way over to them, surveying the new land. She was very cautious around her new home, never having been outside of the Pridelands and thus was very jumpy. Mike called her name out after he had opened the door and she jumped. As she quickly came and went inside the house, he asked if she was okay. She smiled and said she just felt a little awkward. With that, Mike closed the door as she began to explore the house and it's very few rooms.
After nosing around the kitchen, the two bedrooms, and the living room, she felt a little more at ease with her new home, knowing where everything was. As she marched around, sniffing at things, and exploring, both Mike and Scar had gotten up on the couch and sat watching her. She didn't notice them, and when she was finished, she jumped up beside of Mike, who was now in the center. Mike looked over at her as she looked back at him. Looking at Scar, he saw what remained of his shirt and remembered. Getting up without saying anything, he went into his room, put on a new shirt, and brought out his small black medical kit. Setting it on the sofa, he went over to the sink, washed his arms and hands and then came back.
"I forgot all about that." Mike said grimly. Scar twitched his wounded shoulder as he got down onto the floor where Mike was. "It doesn't hurt anymore." Scar said as Mike slowly unwrapped the red shirt from his arm. "I don't care if it does or doesn't. I don't want it to get infected." he said, throwing the shirt onto the floor and taking out the bottle of peroxide.
"Thank go it didn't hit any bone or main arteries." Mike said as he got Scar to lay on his side and poured some peroxide over the closed holes the bullet had made. Getting up to get a towel, he came back with a small armload and began to wipe away the frothing peroxide, cleaning Scar's blood stained fur in the process. Scar patiently waited and occasionally cringed as Mike delicately stitched the already clotting wound shut. Wrapping gauze and bandaging it to keep out dirt and other stuff, he patted Scar on the side and told him he could get up. He did so and thanked and tackled Mike afterwards. Letting him up a minute later, they both got back up on the sofa, where Seliena had sat and still did sit.
Settling down and patting Scar on the head, Mike closed his eyes and began moving his head from side to side, exercising his muscles. "Man. I almost went crazy driving home. I wanted to talk to you two so bad but I knew I had to get home." He said, opening his eyes and sitting up some. "What did you want to talk about?" Seliena asked. "Well, I just wanted to get things straight I guess. I'm not going to stand between you two if you guys want to be alone, but please remember, both you and Scar are the only company I have or probably will ever have." "No. I'll never leave you Mike." Scar said firmly, knowing what he meant.
After a second or two, Seliena said it too, knowing that she had nowhere else to go now. "I know you won't leave me Scar, and I hope that you stay Seliena. I would really appreciate your company." "Oh, I'll stay!" she said anxiously. "I wanted to stay with both of you anyway." "Cool. Then we got that out of the way. What next?" Mike asked.
Scar answered. "I don't know about you big bro, but I'm extremely tired. I think I'm going to take a little cat nap." "Yeah. That goes for me too I guess." Mike said in the middle of a yawn. "Well, I might as well too. I'm a little sleepy myself." Seliena said. "Yeah. We can talk more after we take a little snooze." Mike said as he stood up.
Heading towards his room, he jumped up on his bed and was followed by Scar, who went to his right, and Seliena, who jumped up and stood to his left. A bit hesitant at first, she looked from the floor at the bed and finally did what Scar had done and jumped up. She swayed on her feet as she got used to the mattress. Lifting her feet, testing the bed, she smiled, liking it. It was nice and soft; tons better than the rocks she was used to.
As Mike closed his eyes, he thought of all the weight that the bed must be holding. A second later, he heard a small snapping noise. "Uh oh." he said, seconds before all four legs gave way and the bed crashed to the floor leaving them dazed on the now legless bed. Scar stood up when it happened, and Seliena bolted off onto the floor. Mike remained where he was and as he turned and looked up at Scar, both began laughing. Seliena looked at them, confused as to what seemed so funny. She didn't find what had just happened funny, but seeing them laugh made her smile. Soon, she returned to Mike's left side and after discussing what had happened a minute or so, went to sleep. Mike went next, and then Scar. All three were exhausted, and slept until it was dark out.
Mike awoke first. It was dark and he had to use the Indiglo button to see what time it was. When he saw that it was half past eight, he bolted up in the bed, waking Seliena in the process. "What's the matter?" she drearily said. "Nothing. It's just that we've been sleeping for almost five hours." Seliena was used to having long ‘catnaps', and to her, it didn't seem that long. "Seliena?" Mike said after he checked and was positive Scar was asleep. "Yes Mike?" she replied. "Well, I might not have shown it today, but I just... ah.... wanted to say that I really like you." Mike blushed a little in the dark room, feeling foolish. His compliment didn't go without a response though. "I really like you too Mike. And don't worry. I'm not on some secret mission, trying to get rid of you two. I'm here on my own, and so far, I love it."
Sighing, a huge weight lifted from Mike's mind. The idea of what she had just said had crossed his mind but he hadn't wanted to believe it. Now he could rest assured. She had the same train of thought as him and knew he would be on his toes unless she said that. "I love it too." Mike said. "You don't know how much Scar has done for me. He totally changed me, and I think I changed him too." He paused a moment, thinking and wording what he wanted to say next.
"I really do love him, and I guess I'm starting to love you too, even though I've known you for like eight hours. I heard what you guys were talking about on the way back here and I'm glad you feel that way. I love you because of that, but I think that soon, I'll won't need that to love you." Both of them stayed quiet for a while, thinking about each other. Seliena liked Mike a lot, as did Mike like her. Gradually, as he thought about her, he laid back down, this time closer to where she was lying.
"Mike?" she asked. "Yeah?" "What would you have done if Simba had killed him?" Mike thought over the scenario for a second. "I don't know, but I know that I'd of killed everyone with my bare hands. Anyone who so much as touches him is considered dead in my book. Simba was lucky that I didn't kill him. I didn't want to kill anyone in the first place but the thought alone of losing him makes me want to cry." To reassure that Scar indeed was okay, he reached over in the dark and patted him on the side. Seliena saw it and sensed the warmth that Mike emanated while he looked over at him in the pitch black room. She didn't say anything, but just smiled. "Thank god that he had Mike!" she thought to herself as Scar began purring softly. Mike scratched him between his ears and soon, he awoke, yawning. As he rolled around in the dark, Seliena could hear them both laugh as they started rough housing and took light swings at each other. Mike yelled out once, saying that he had just been hurt, but then resumed in tackling Scar.
After a while, they settled down and Mike reached over to turn on his light. After he turned it on, he closed his eyes. "My eyes!" he said, sounding as if he had just had a laser beam directed into his eye. Eventually, his eyes adjusted to the light and he got up off of the bed. As he walked over to the door and was about to open it, he noticed that Scar and Seliena were still on his bed. "Well?" he said as he looked at them. "Are you two gonna stay there all night, or do you want some food?" The two looked at each other, and then hopped down and followed Mike as he went out to the kitchen.



CHAPTER XXXV



Mike cleaned out the fridge that night. There was meat he'd never eat that he gave to Scar and Seliena. He made three ham and cheese sandwiches for himself and drank a Coke which was his dinner, while ten pounds of beef and a few pounds of chicken was their dinner. Seliena was overjoyed at having something to eat and thanked Mike. "No thanks needed. Food is free, as is the hospitality." Mike got up after sitting around awhile and went back to the fridge. Opening it and getting a Coke, he threw one to Scar and got one for both him and Seliena. Scar caught his Coke and to Seliena's amazement, he opened it and drank it like Mike did.
"How did you do that?" she asked, referring to how he was able to hold his Coke. "I just hold it, and drink." Mike came over and sat in front of them both as he cracked the top of his Coke. He took a sip before setting a can in front of Seliena. Scar and Mike watched the can, waiting for her to try and pick it up. After a few minutes had passed and nothing happened, Mike said "Go ahead and try it. We won't laugh." "Too hard." Scar quickly added. Seliena smiled raptly at him, and then laughed, a little unsure.
"Okay. Here I go." she said as she slowly outstretched her left arm and got her paw around it. As she tried to pick it up, it fell out of her grip and landed on it's side, spilling on the floor. As it rolled around on the floor, Mike quickly corrected it as Scar bent over her way and stretched out his arm. "No, like this." he instructed after another unsuccessful try. Scar put his arm out and Seliena put hers beside his, doing what he did. "You've got to use your dewclaw." Seliena took his advice and on her next try, she picked the can up. "Excellent!!" Mike said as he smiled and nodded his head, acted like Bill from the movie ‘Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.'
Seliena blushed a little and then dropped the can purposely. "Whoops. I guess I need a little more practice." she said as she tried to pick it up again and didn't. Scar again leaned over towards her and told her something that she didn't hear. She didn't hear because she wasn't paying attention, but rather admiring Scar. She had been told that he was cold and could not love anyone, let alone be loved by anyone. Whoever had said that was full of crap. She felt safe and happy around him. She wasn't scared of him like the other lionesses had been during his reign. She loved him. She felt no ‘coldness' coming from him but felt the exact opposite. She soon found that he had stopped talking and was staring her right in the eyes. He looked a little confused at first and it made her want to nuzzle up on him. She shifted position and then did nuzzle up on his left shoulder. He looked very confused and looked to Mike for some kind of help.
Mike nodded his head rapidly and slowly mouthed to him. "Tell her that you love her." As Seliena rubbed her head through Scar's mane happily, she began to start purring. "You don't know how much I've wanted to do this." she said as she continued to rub her face in his mane. After a few seconds, she said what was on her mind. "I love you Scar." she said through her purring. "I love you too Seliena." he said back to her. Mike got up from where he was on the floor and laid down on the couch. He wanted to let them have a little time to themselves so they could ‘get to know each other' a little better. He closed his eyes and went into a light sleep as they nuzzled and talk for a while.
Scar really did love Seliena. He could sense it just as Seliena could sense her love for him. He was a little afraid that he might factor Mike out a little but knew that Seliena wouldn't come between them. If it ever came down to a decision over his mate to his best friend who had risked everything for him, he'd have to choose Mike. He was faithful and couldn't ever forget the one person who had saved him and treated him so kindly. To do that would to be letting any and everything that ever gave him a reason to care away. He hoped that she wouldn't come between them and would later be relieved to know that all three of them would be like family.
"Seliena?" Scar asked. "Yes?" she replied as she stopped purring a little hearing the concern in his voice. "What's the matter?" she said as she backed off a little and looked him in the eyes. He dropped his gaze to the ground and looked sad. "I..." he began, trying to word what he wanted to say correctly. "I love you, and I know you love me, but... I can't forget about Mike." Seliena knew exactly what he was getting at and instantly replied. "I know. I'm not going take you away from him or anything. I know he loves you too, maybe more than me, if that's possible." He looked her in the eyes and she stared into them. "A long time ago, " Scar began, " I wouldn't have cared for him or you. I didn't care for anything except the power of ruling Priderock, and you know why. He was the first thing I ever cared for and will always be the first." His eyes began to water a little. "I'm not saying that you are second, but Mike means everything to me now. He's saved my life more times than I can count, and he loves me." He began to cry now, his chest heaving slightly.
"It's funny." He said through a muffled cry. "The night that I was about to give up and let the hyenas kill me, I saw a light and began running to it. I don't know why I ran to it, but I did. Minutes later, Mike was standing over me looking down. A while later, he fixed me up and then fell asleep about two feet away. He cared for me that first night for no reason at all! I felt it!" At this, he couldn't handle his emotions any longer and he fell to the floor, covering his face and crying silently. Seliena, a bit confused at why he was crying, knelt down to him and asked him what was the matter.
"He cared about me without even knowing or caring what I had done. He risked his life to save mine." He said as he kept his paws over his face. Mike heard him crying and quickly popped up from his light sleep. He raced over to Scar's side and asked him if everything was alright. Scar quickly got up and threw his arms around Mike's neck as he cried into his shirt. "What's the matter?" Mike said, talking softly to him and rubbing the side of his face. "Nothing." Scar said as he stopped crying a little. "Nothing at all."
Seliena saw a little more of just how much Mike meant to Scar. She knew how much Scar meant to Mike, and it was the same the other way around. She saw why Scar felt so shameful now. He felt as if he might forget Mike, so he pulled away from her and tried to explain. Mike had been sleeping lightly through it all but Scar's crying had instantly brought him awake.
"You sure you're okay big bro?" Mike asked. "I am now." Scar said as he wiped his face with the back of his paw and then pushed Mike onto the floor and began licking him on the face. "Aw man! Not again!" Mike said as he made a half hearted attempt to cover his face. His arms were no match keeping Scar's tongue at bay, so he let himself be at his mercy, something . "Alright. that's enough." Mike said and ended the tongue lickings. Sitting up, he looked from Scar to Seliena. Both sat no more than five feet from him.
"Alrighty then! Whadda ya'll wanna do now?" Mike said as he sat in front of them. Seliena shrugged as Scar lipped something to him. Seliena saw it, but didn't make anything of it. "What are you two talking about?" she asked. Mike got to his feet as did Scar, both walking slowly to the front door. "We're going to go on a walk and would be pleased to have you join us." Mike said as he bowed to Seliena. "Alright." she replied after giving Mike a slightly surprised look. "I'm a gentleman and always bow to ladies." Mike whispered to her as she came up to his side. Seliena just smiled and as Mike bent down to hear her reply, she said "I know you are." and then gave him a quick kiss on his cheek.
Mike blushed until he was beet red and was speechless for a minute. During his speechlessness spell, he opened the front door and followed the two outside. Seliena ran off about a hundred feet ahead of Scar, scouting around in the dark, so he went and walked beside Mike.
"What was that all about?" he asked, referring to Seliena kissing him. Mike blushed a little and then said it was nothing. "So, what do you think of her?" Scar asked as the two walked slowly, side by side. Seliena was up ahead, running around as Mike answered. "Well, I guess it's okay to say it this way, but I think she's beautiful." Mike had been having a hard time coping with the psychology of having a talking lioness with him now. He had been able to handle Scar okay, but she was a lot different. She was so sweet, but she was a lioness. Saying that she was a ‘pretty kitty' was not enough to describe her. That's what is said about common housecats, but were Scar and Seliena housecats? Mike answered it in his head. "No. They are talking lions with one hell of a personality. As long as they are with me, I'm going to treat them like people and not like some common pussycat." Glad that he felt better with that somewhat straightened out in his head, he looked down to Scar and asked him about Seliena.
"So, what do you think of her?" "She's beautiful and loves both of us." "She loves me?" Mike said, a little surprised. "Yes!" Scar said with enthusiasm. "She doesn't want to come between us, and I think she really does love both of us." Mike grinned. "Whoa. That's cool." was all he could think of to say. Two talking felines now loved him. He smiled at the thought of that and was content with everything that was going on. With Scar walking beside him, he shuffled his feet and kicked at some loose dirt. Up ahead, Seliena slowed down, and sat, apparently waiting for them. After ten minutes of slowly walking in the dark, the two came upon her and stopped. "What are you doing?" Mike said as she sat and looked around. "Just surveying my new home." she replied, smiling.
Seeing that it was a good time to get to know each other a lot better, Mike sat down; Scar sitting beside him. "So, what do you think of the place?" Mike asked her. "It's nice. Real nice." Seliena said as Mike ran his fingers through the dirt nervously. As Seliena sat looking around, a motion caught her eye and made her jump to her feet. Sensing the fear, Mike and Scar got to their feet a millisecond after she jumped up. "What is it?" Mike whispered as he stood motionless. "I don't know." She replied. Soon after, they all heard laughing and ran as fast as they could for the house.
It was the hyenas again. They had tried to sneak up on the three, but had somehow been detected by the lioness. As Mike, Scar and Seliena fled towards the house, Shenzi led her pack after them. Confident that she'd get Scar this time, she had gone all out and brought the entire pack. Mike had been expecting such an attack, but not so soon. He had stored almost all of the weapons in the shed; the only things in the house being the shotgun, two Uzis, and twin forty five's. He was the last one in the house, and slammed the door, shutting off the hyenas that had almost gotten him. As he locked the door and pushed a chair up against it, he turned off the lights and hid behind the sofa with Scar and Seliena.
"What are they doing here?" Seliena said nervously. "They've been after Scar since I found him. I thought they had gotten over it, but apparently not." As Scar sat, his whole body shook. Mike saw it and it made him angry at the hyenas all over again. He crawled to his room and got the weapons he had been fortunate enough to bring in and laid them on the sofa. Scar looked at him, still shaking, and remained silent. Mike put his hand on Scar's shoulder and instantly stopped the shaking. "Don't worry. I'll take care of them."
Mike got up with the shotgun, peered out of the front door window and saw to his horror that there were literally hundreds of hyenas outside. "Oh shit!" he silently breathed to himself. Inching over to the nearest window, he cracked it open on the top and yelled outside. "Shenzi!" he yelled outside. Hearing her name being called, she got up and walked forward a little. "Yes, human?" Thoughts of what to do went on inside Mike's head. "Should I shoot her, or wait later and make up a plan on how to get the rest of the ammo and the grenades?" Uncertain of what to do, he simply decided to save his ammo. "What do you want?" he yelled. Without even hesitating, Shenzi replied. "You know what I want human! I want Scar dead!"
Hearing that enraged Mike further. "You want him?! You gotta get through me first you bitch!" He wanted so badly to shoot at her, but showing them the firepower he had might not be such a good idea. Shenzi was taken aback by Mike's crude response, and growled menacingly. Mike shut up the window he had opened and went back over to where Scar and Seliena were. Scar had stopped shaking and as Mike sat down beside him behind the couch, he looked at him admiringly. "Are they the hyenas from the Pridelands?" Seliena asked, breaking the momentary silence that lingered in the air. "Yes." Mike said. "But there are hundreds of them out there!" "Can they get inside?" Scar asked. "I don't think so, but we need to get to the shed. Everything is in there. We need to either make a mad dash for it or a diversion. Any ideas?"
Seliena had an idea. It involved risking her own life, but she didn't care. A lot of risk was going to have to be taken tonight, and she was prepared to take it. "I have an idea." she said as both Scar and Mike turned to look at her. "What is it?" Mike asked. After thinking it over again, she responded. "Let me go out and let them chase me and you can go to the shed." "No." Mike responded immediately. "You're not going to pay for my mistake." "What mistake is that?" she asked. "For not killing them when I had the chance. They won't leave us alone!" Mike said angrily to himself. "Let me handle this by myself. I don't want you two getting hurt." Feeling like small cubs again, all the two could do was let Mike protect them and do his thing.
"Just stay here while I get to it." he said as he slowly got up and peeked out of the front door. The hyenas were everywhere! They were sitting on the grass, around the well, near the front of the house, and what angered Mike the most, they were in the cruiser. He wished that he had gotten a remote to activate and deactivate the security system. That would have made for a good diversion. After looking out the front, he went to the back of the house. After wiping his hand over a window and wiping away the dust, he peered out of the small dirty window and saw that there were no hyenas there. Not believing it, he cracked it open, poked his head out, and saw there were none. "Good." he thought to himself as he went to his room and looked in his closet.
He found what he was looking for and carried the hammer out with him. The house he had built was very simple. It was just 2x4 studding, covered on the outside with boards. He walked over to where the window was, and gave a board a light tap. He turned around and walked to the front to see if the hyenas had heard. They had because some were coming closer to the house.
"Think Michael, think!" he said as he tried to decide what to do. As he paced through the living room towards his room, he stepped on the remote for the TV and turned it on. The room was instantly full of eery light and noise from the staticy TV. "That's it!" Mike said aloud through the noise. He fumbled around in the light looking for the DSS remote. He could see Scar and Seliena huddled close to each other and watching him. "Cover your ears!" Mike said to them. They did as they were told, and looked like they were preparing for a tornado. Mike flipped the DSS switch on and waited a second as a small title bar came up and then disappeared. He flipped to MTV, and found what he wanted. A loud song. He quickly turned up the volume to it's highest level, and then went to the front door again. The hyenas had ran back a little and sat watching and listening. Excited, Mike ran to the back of the house and began pounding at the cheap wall to the rhythm of Oasis' song, ‘Don't look Back in Anger.' Soon, he had pounded out the board and could see the outside. The hole was small, but big enough for him to fit himself through. Getting on his stomach, he crawled through the hole and was soon outside. The shed, being almost ten feet parallel to the house, was within sight now.
Creeping to the edge of the house and looking to see if the hyenas were watching, he saw it was clear and so bolted over to the back of the shed. With his hammer still in his right hand, he began quickly, but silently prying at the boards. From inside, he could hear the song had changed from Oasis to Hootie and the Blowfish, ‘Old Man and Me.' The two bands he had once hated were now his favorite. They were his freedom songs, in a sort.
After getting a good hold on the boards with the end of the hammer, he pulled back and ripped the board out. Again, he had enough space to get in through and crawled into the shed. Stumbling around in the dark, he found what he was looking for. Two hard plastic cases that contained two rocket launchers in each were in front of him, so he pushed them out through the hole and searched some more stuff. He found the grenades and shoved them out through the hole also. After almost leaving, he though better and rummaged around for a gun. After finding what seemed to be a forty five, he held it as he crawled back out. Taking a case of grenades with him, he ran to the back of the house and shoved them through the hole. "Scar!" he yelled. Scar got up and went over to him.
"What?" he asked as he peered at Mike through the hole. "Push these back. I've got a few more cases to shove in to you." "Okay." Mike went back and got one of the rocket launchers, passed it into Scar, and then went back to get the last case. After shoving it in and getting ready to go through the hole, he looked to his right for no reason and saw Shenzi, grinning at him. Mike froze, scared to death. He took his pistol he had gotten in the shed and fired it. Nothing; It wasn't loaded. "You're dead human!" Shenzi said as she lunged at him. "Scar!!" Mike screamed out in terror.
Scar had heard Mike stop outside and was about to ask him if he was okay when he smelled Shenzi. The hair on his back raised up as he heard Shenzi say what she said to Mike. Digging his claws into the pine boards that made up the house's floor, he threw his body up against the boards over the hole and crashed through to the other side. Shenzi, who just a second before lunged at Mike, hit Scar's side and fell down. Unhurt, Scar got up and stood between Mike and Shenzi. "Leave!" he said "Or be killed!" Shenzi got up and without even replying, lunged at Scar. Mike, scared to death, screamed as Shenzi's jaws sunk into Scar's side. Scar responded instantly and swatted at her, sending her sprawling. She got up and was about to lunge at him again, but was knocked over again. Seliena, hearing Mike's screams and Scar's yelling had raced through the hole to fend for them. Shenzi got up, yelled for help, and was quickly re-inforced with her pack. Growling, Scar and Seliena backed up to Mike and shielded him. Gaining his senses back, still somewhat shocked, Mike peeked inside the hole and saw a rocket launcher case. He blindly grasped for it and as he did, he heard Seliena lunge at a hyena.
All hell broke lose then. The two fought the hyenas off, killing many and receiving a suprisingly small amount of wounds. They kept Mike shielded so he could do what he had to do. After grabbing the case and opening it up, he took one of the launchers and got it ready to fire. Never having fired one before, he flew over the directions and aimed it at a group of hyenas a way off. He hit the trigger as a ball of fire erupted from the front and flew to his target. Upon impact, the missile exploded and sent hyenas flying into the air. The fight that had just started had quickly come to a halt.
Shenzi, who was severely wounded and close to death saw what had happened and wished she could have let things be. Scar had been gone, not harming her, but she still had wanted him dead. He and his human friend had killed Banzai, but again, it was her fault. She stood wobbling as the human began to speak. "I'm gonna give you all to the count of three before I start firing this thing in every direction." Mike counted to three and none of the hyenas had moved; on the contrary, they kept slowly walking towards him. Keeping true to his word, Mike began rapidly pulling the trigger and sending ballistic missiles into the remaining hyena pack. More hyenas flew through the air as the missiles hit the ground and exploded on impact. Emptying the first launcher, he tossed it and began firing the second one. After that, they were all gone. Literally. Not one hyena had survived the onslaught of missiles. Shenzi had taken a rocket directly in her side and her body was scattered over a hundred foot radius.
Mike had been in shock during the entire ordeal, but only until now did it hit him what had happened. He remembered Scar and Seliena flying past him to fend off the hyenas and that was it. As he stood, pale and scared, he dropped the now empty missile launcher and fell to his knees. Almost ready to fall over flat on his face, Scar ran over to where he was and broke his fall. Easing him down to the ground, he went to his side and sat.
With tired eyes, Mike looked up to him. He was speechless and was now starting to recover from his state of shock. He lifted his right arm up and patted Scar on the head. "You did good." Seliena wandered over to his other side and sat down. "You two saved my life tonight." he said, knowing that every word of it was true. He reached his left hand over and patted Seliena on the head too. He sat there for about ten minutes just doing that. This was his family now. A lion and a lioness. He was protected by them, and they were protected by him. Finally, Mike felt weariness begin to take control over him. From inside, the TV still blasted and was the only noise that kept him awake. Not wanting to fall asleep outside, he slowly got up and walked through the house's new back door.
Scar and Seliena followed him in and after they were all inside, Mike turned on the lights, turned off the TV, and covered the hole over with the mattress from Bryan's bed. He was dead tired now, and if he didn't go to bed in a minute, he'd fall asleep where he was. Taking a final glance outside, he saw that there were hyena bodies everywhere. Tomorrow's project, body removal. He gave a final yawn, and after turning off all the lights, went into his bedroom. Scar walked onto the now legless bed and laid on Mike's right as Seliena walked on it and laid on his left. Laying between them, he fell asleep instantly.
Mike had a horrible dream that night. In fact, it was a nightmare. He dreamt that Bryan was still alive and was coming to get him. In his dream, he was running. Every time he looked over his shoulder, he saw him. He looked hideous, like a zombie or something. He kept saying "I'm gonna get Scar and gut him in front of you you loser! Then, I'll gut you!" Mike tried to outrun the zombie thing, but even he couldn't outrun it. Eventually, the zombie caught up to him. It grabbed his ankle and made him fall to the ground. Mike whipped around, ready to kick the thing's face but saw that it had Scar in a headlock. With it's right hand up in the air holding a knife with a serrated edge, it quickly slit his throat open. Mike screamed both in his dream and in his sleep as he began to violently toss. The zombie began laughing when Mike did so. He laughed a laugh that sounded like satin's laugh; garbled, distorted and very deep. Mike, terrified, began kicking his way backwards, trying to flee from the hideous creature. As he did, the zombie got up and transformed in what he was sure was the devil. It had horns on it's head, messed up teeth, goats feet, and eyes that looked like glowing, red hot coals. Mike tried to avoid it's eyes, but somehow couldn't. The eery eyes peered at him as he got up and began running. He heard deep, rough, evil laughter erupt when he did and when he turned around, he saw the thing was after him. Realizing it was futile to run, he turned around and faced the thing head on. He was ready to die now. It had killed Scar, so it might as well kill him. He watched as it came closer and closer to him. As it did, something told him to fight back, so fight he did. The devil thing was about to stab him with it's arm, but Mike jumped to the side and kicked the thing in it's side with all his might.
"Come on you wus!" he yelled as the thing crouched down in pain. As he said that, the thing came rushing at him at an incredible speed. It raced by him, and grasped onto his arm when it did. It picked him up and threw him to the ground so that it was standing over him. Mike opened his eyes and saw it standing over him with a pitchfork. He was really scared now. He literally trembled in his sleep as he saw the thing over him, raising it's pitchfork ready to kill him. Little did he know that during his violent thrashing, he had woken up both Scar and Seliena and stood over him, desperately trying to wake him up. As Mike saw, as if in slow motion, the pitchfork come closer to his head, he watched in terror. Now, the pitchfork mere inches from his throat, his eyes popped open.
Shaking him, and trying to calm him down, Scar was directly over him, in almost the same place where the devil thing had been. Being that he had just woken up from a nightmare and the room was almost completely dark, Mike mistook the shadowy figure before him as the devil thing and bolted from his bed, hysterically screaming. He raced out of his room, wildly knocked over the stuff that acted as the back door, and ran outside as fast as he could. Running and running until he collapsed onto the ground in a heap, he couldn't tell if he was dreaming or awake now. Scar and Seliena knew that he was awake, and after he had ran out of the room, screaming, they sat and looked at each other until they too ran from the room to search for him.
Moments later after picking up his scent, Seliena found him lying in the grass, breathing heavily, and unconscious. Yelling to Scar that she had found him, he came running over to where she stood and looked down at Mike. Not knowing what had happened to him, he crawled under him and carried him on his back the mile and a half he had gone back home.
Mike awoke an hour later to see that he was on the living room floor with both Scar and Seliena lying down in front of him. The lights were on and when he sat up, both Scar and Seliena's heads went up. Sitting on the floor silently, Mike just looked at them. Finally, after a few minutes of silence, Scar nervously broke the eery silence that had fallen on Mike.
"Are you alright?" he asked as he sat up and looked him in the eye. Mike was still a little shaken from his dream and was scared that something else was after him and Scar. "Yeah, I guess so." Mike replied in a nervous tone. "What happened?" Scar asked. Thinking over what had happened, Mike told him what he had dreamt. It sounded very disturbing to him, but then again, the whole day had been very disturbing. Bryan had tried to kill them both, and the hyenas tried to too. Seliena sensed what Mike was going through and got up and sat down beside him. Mike ran his hands through his hair and as he did so, his whole body visibly shook. "It's okay Mike." Seliena said softly to him.
Hearing her voice made everything he had been thinking of that night dawn on him all at once. He thought about how Bryan had tried to kill him; how he had shot Scar, how he had been the cause of all of his misery. He knew he was alone in the world now except for Scar and Seliena. It dawned on him all at once and was too much for him to handle. He began to sob, silently at first, and then louder. He cried as Seliena moved over closer to him and talked softly to him. Mike slowly wrapped his arms around her and cried into the fur on her shoulder. He latched onto her for five minutes, until he had stopped crying. Still a little upset, but better now, he sat up as Seliena backed off a little. Mike looked at his watch for a second and saw that it was past twelve. Still very tired, he slowly got up, turned out all of the lights and then made his way back to his bed. Scar and Seliena followed and as they all piled onto the aging mattress. Without saying a word, Mike put each of his arms around their necks and instantly felt reassured. He closed his eyes and fell asleep, this time, peacefully.
"You awake yet?" Seliena whispered over to Scar. Opening his eyes and slowly smiling, Scar replied that he was, now. "What do you think happened to him last night?" she said as she gestured towards Mike, who was still sleeping. "I think he had a very bad dream." Scar said. "It must have been a real bad one because he's never done that before." he finished. Seliena just shrugged and then began to walk towards the open bedroom door. "Where are you going?" Scar asked as he sat up on the bed. "Just outside. I'd enjoy your company." she said. Scar was caught a little off guard with that and could only stand speechlessly with his mouth half open. Seliena looked at him and then motioned for him to come on. A little hesitant about leaving Mike alone, afraid that he might go insane again, he slowly left his side and went to join her.
After walking through the new back door and went outside, they walked around together, side by side. "So, what've you got to eat around here?" Seliena asked jokingly. "Anything you'd like." Scar replied. As they walked around to the front of the house, they saw the hyena bodies. Hundreds of them. Seliena looked away, disgusted at the site of the hyenas, dead or alive.
"How did you put up with them?" she asked without even thinking. Scar hung his head down low and answered blandly. "Seliena? When your own kind has insulted you to the point where you can't take it anymore, what choice do you have but to sink that low?" Seeing that she had inadvertently brought that up, she stopped in her tracks and hung her head low too. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to say that." she said after a second, feeling bad. Scar remained quiet, feeling slightly sad. Without saying a word, he began moving out towards the plain beyond the patch of trees. Seliena followed quietly.
Mike woke up minutes after Scar left his side. He had been sleeping peacefully when all of a sudden, something felt wrong. He woke up and saw that he was all alone and remained motionless. Still scared about his nightmare the previous night, he was afraid to even breathe, fearing that some zombie creature was going to pop out of nowhere and start chasing him. Eyes wide with fright, he remained motionless in a cold sweat, staring blankly at the ceiling. He felt his stomach rumble, but ignored it. Hunger couldn't get him to take the chance of having a devil dude after him, not after what he had dreamt last night. He laid in bed for two hours, in a cold sweat, shaking, and scared to death until Scar and Seliena returned. During that time, he stared at the ceiling and twice thought he saw the devil's face on it. It scared him even more and all he could do was close his eyes and wait.
After walking around for a short while, Scar thought that it'd be worthwhile to go and try to find something to eat. Seliena joyfully agreed and the two searched for some game. After half an hour of it, Seliena spotted a small herd of wildebeests and the chase was on. After taking one down and eating for an hour or so, they both cleaned up and headed back home. Talking as they went, they both had a good time. "So, what do you think so far?" Scar asked Seliena, referring to her new life. "I don't know really, but as long as I'm with you, it's perfect." Hearing that made his heart begin to pound a little more. It made him happy.
They were within a mile of the house now, slowly walking, when Scar was about to asked her something else. Before he could though, he heard a faint, but very familiar scream. As his ears perked up, he mouthed the word "Mike!" and bolted off towards the house. Seliena followed. Making his way closer to the house, he could hear things being broken inside. Mike yelled out again and then more things could be heard breaking. After that, there was only silence. Thinking that someone was inside trying to kill him, Scar ran faster, passing the hyena bodies, the cruiser, and went soaring into the front door, smashing the deadbolt through the doors wooden frame. "MIKE!!" he yelled as he frantically searched the house. Mike was nowhere to be found, and only after being silent for a second could he hear him whimpering. The sound came from inside of his room and as he ran inside it, he looked to where the noise was coming from. Over in a corner, Mike was curled up in a ball, shaking and silently weeping to himself. Scar immediately went over to him and nudged at his elbow with his nose. Mike didn't move, or even acknowledge him, but still cowered and shook.
Nudging him a second time, he had a little more luck and managed to turn Mike's head around. Mike, seeing that the voice he had thought was the devil's was in fact Scar's, began sobbing more. He sat sobbing as Scar went to him and sat down beside him. "What's wrong?" he asked in a concerned tone. Mike remained silent through his sobbing, and sat, distraught. He was delirious, running a fever in excess of a hundred. Scar asked him again if he was okay, but again was given no reply. Thinking that Mike was angry at him for leaving him, he laid down close beside him and fell asleep, angry with himself without saying a word. Soon after, Mike fell asleep as he sat huddled in a little ball. He slowly began to fall to his right but landed on Scar's side. They both slept as Seliena came in and watched from the doorway. She smiled at the site and then walked in, jumped up on the bed, and fell asleep herself.



CHAPTER XXXVI



Mike moaned in his sleep, quickly bringing Scar awake. Yesterday had really taken its toll on him, and now, it was starting to show. Not only did Scar get shot, but it was Bryan who had shot him. Mike was angry at himself for something he believed he could have prevented. He was angry that he had ever gotten mixed in with the likes of Bryan. He was the source of all his misery and he hated him for it. Letting those bullets fly out of the mini-gun was like a gigantic stress reliever, only now instead of stress, depression took it's place. When he had seen Shenzi lunging at him the other night, he really had thought it was over for him. He had sat, helplessly, and the first thing that came to his mind was "What'll happen to Scar when I die?" He screamed what he thought would be his final noise, and then watched as an orangish-tan blur whizzed by him and shielded him. Along with the blur came a dark-tan blur; Seliena. He had sat and watched in horror as Scar took a bite to the side before he finally gathered his senses. As he turned his back to get some weapons, the fight was on. Scared to death that the hyenas would outnumber Scar and Seliena, he reached for the big artillery.
He found the rocket launcher first, so tore open the case and got it ready to fire. After he shot the first shot, he had pretty much regained all of his senses. Thoughts throbbed inside of his head as he stood, not knowing what was going to happen next. The hyenas had tried to get Scar more than once, and he figured that if he didn't stop them then, they wouldn't ever give up. He knew how that felt. He had had cops after him all the time and all he wanted to do was just kill them all. Taking that to heart, he gave the hyenas a few seconds to run, but they didn't heed his warning. He then shot the rocket launcher in every direction. When it's three remaining rockets were gone, he quickly threw it aside and got the second one. He used that one up and then fell to the ground, shocked. He saw all of the hyenas were dead, but still didn't believe it. He felt like they would come back and try to kill Scar again.
Thoughts like that were what made him so delirious. He was terrified that someone was going to kill Scar and so worried himself to death. He had nightmares, and as a result had terrible headaches while he had slept. Life was unfair to him, and it seemed as though it had been to Scar also. He couldn't very much change the past, but he could control the future somewhat. That's what he had been trying to do and had been pretty much successful in it so far. Seeing Scar had given him a reason to live. Before Scar, he had nothing to look forward to, except maybe another fifty years of living in the middle of nowhere and going to a nothing job that he wasn't all that fond of. He had tried to run from his problems once, but found out the hard way that it only caused more. Meeting, or rather finding, Scar had turned on some lights inside of his head. He thought crazy thoughts in his mind when he saw him the first time. He thought that maybe if he fixed him up, he'd hang around and be somewhat of a pet. Little did he know that his crazy idea would turn into what some might call ‘a gift from god.'
He had known that Scar had come to him for some reason, but had no idea that he'd talk, and soon become his best friend; his only real friend. The past few days he had come to respect that more than anything. Now with Seliena with him, he was beginning to wonder if something ‘big' was going to happen. He had a feeling that something was, but didn't know what. Casting those thoughts aside, he slowly began to wake up. He saw through the slits of his eyes that his head was resting on Scar, who was asleep. As he was about to open his eyes all the way and yawn, Scar began speaking silently, as if he expected no response. "Are you awake?" he asked morbidly. "Yeah." Mike replied. Scar quickly jerked his head around and looked at him. Seeing that he was awake, he excitedly got up and sat down beside him. Mike could see that Scar was clearly excited and asked why. "Well, for one thing, you've been sleeping for five hours." he replied, happy that Mike was finally awake.
"What time is it?" Mike said as he brought his arm up to look at his watch. He blinked in disbelief as he read of that it was four thirty four. "Damn! I guess I was sleeping!" he said as he put a hand on his forehead. Scar smiled and then spoke. "I was getting worried after one, so I just hung around and waited until you got up." Mike looked around the room for Seliena but saw no sign of her. "Where's Seliena?" he asked. "Oh, she's in the living room lying on the couch." Just as he finished, she came walking in.
"He's finally awake, huh?" Scar nodded as Mike got to his feet and made his way out to the kitchen. When he got there, he put together a crude sandwich made of bread, ham and cheese, stuffed his face, and then stood at the front door, looking at all the dead hyenas. It made him slightly sick to his stomach, but he was glad that they were finally dead. They wouldn't be coming after Scar anymore, unless the movie "The Night Of the Living Dead" held some truth in it. After surveying the scene a few minutes, he turned around, walked over to the couch, and sat down.
After turning on the TV and flipping through the channels aimlessly, he flipped onto MTV and laid down on the couch. He still felt tired, though by all rights, he should feel totally rested. He was depressed, although he showed no signs of it. As he laid down on the couch, listening to Garbage perform ‘Stupid Girl', Scar came up beside him and nudged his elbow with his nose. Mike, who had been daydreaming and looking in the opposite direction, slowly turned towards him and smiled. "Whatcha want?" he asked as he began to scratch his head. "Nothing." Scar replied as he sat and rested his head on the edge of the couch, closing his eyes. Mike continued to scratch his head as Scar kept his eyes closed and began purring.
"God I am lucky." Mike thought as he looked at him. For some reason, a song he remembered began to play in his mind. He had only heard it a few times, but knew the words. It was ‘Back on the Chain Gang' by the Pretenders. He had heard it years ago, but why he had thought of it now was a mystery. As the song played in his head, he closed his eyes and had brief flashbacks of scenes he remembered from months ago. It reminded him of a music video because of the song playing. One second, he was outside cooking up hamburgers on a cheap charcoal grill, the next, he and Scar were walking somewhere, talking. He flashed in and out of these scenes for almost ten minutes, and during that time, he had started crying. He wasn't crying because he was sad, but the memories brought back seemingly happy parts of his life that he had forgotten about. Of course Scar was still there, but the memories alone were enough to make him think what would happen if he died. That was something he couldn't handle and knew he'd kill himself if he ever faced that scenario. Thinking of that, he broke out of his light flashback and opened his eyes. He wiped the tears off of his face and looked down at Scar. He was still purring, and by the looks of it, Mike determined he had fallen asleep. His flashback still fresh in his mind, he leaned over the couch a little and wrapped his arms around his neck and hugged him. "Don't leave me." he began before he began to choke back tears. "You're all I have." he barely finished before he silently cried into Scar's mane. Still sleeping and purring up a storm, Scar sat with his head resting on the couch, while Mike held onto him. "Please."
"Is everything okay?" Seliena asked as she wandered in from Mike's bedroom. Mike, caught off guard, looked up and then quickly tried to regain his composure. "Yeah, everything's fine." Mike said as he quickly wiped his eyes. "It doesn't look like it is." Seliena said. Mike slowly got up off of the couch and walked over to her. "Seliena? Can I talk to you outside?" "Sure." Mike walked over to the front door, opened it, and closed it behind them both. He walked slowly past the dead hyenas and made his way to the cruiser. When he got to it, he climbed in and sat in the drivers seat. Seliena had been close behind and had jumped up in the passengers seat. Mike stared out of the windshield for a long time, and just when Seliena was about to break the long silence, he spoke.
"Did you hear what I said in the house? About me telling Scar that he was all I had?" "Yes." Seliena said after hesitating a moment. "Well, I meant it. I don't have anything to live for. My life is gone, my friends are gone, my lifestyle is gone, and the only reason I get up in the morning now is to see that Scar is there right beside me." Seliena listened to Mike talk and it hit her deep inside; very deep. "You really love him don't you." she said softly. "Sure do." Mike said as he continued to stare emotionlessly at the sun, which was now beginning to set. "I've never felt this way towards anyone, and it's impossible to explain just how I feel." He took in a deep breath and slowly exhaled, almost going into tears again. He was extremely distraught and at any given moment could snap and have a nervous breakdown.
As he sat looking at the sun set, his right hand began to tremble and his eyes started to swell with tears again. Seliena outstretched her arm and was about to comfort him when all of a sudden, he wiped away the tears and sat up straight. "Oh god. Sorry. You must think I'm the biggest loser there is." "No, you aren't a loser Mike; you're nowhere near being one. What you've just told me is the bravest thing I've seen in a long time." A little interested and perplexed, Mike looked over towards her. "What do you mean, me being brave?" "I mean that it takes a lot of guts to say how much you love someone and not be afraid of what people say. I was scared to death that if I ever told anyone I loved Scar that they'd exile me. That hurt a lot, not being able to say what I wanted to." Both remained silent after that and just sat, watching as the sun set and disappeared over the horizon.
They both sat in the cruiser for a long time, doing nothing but thinking. Mike thought about what Seliena had said, and it made him feel a lot better. If Bryan had been around, he would have said something along the lines of "God you're a wussy. Grow up dude." After a while, he stopped saying stuff like that when he was around. Only occasionally did he hug Scar and tell him that he loved him then. It did hurt to keep what you want to say inside. It stays there and wants to pop out and be heard but you are afraid; afraid that someone, the wrong someone, might hear you and belittle you. Bryan always had to him, hence why he kept quiet. Thinking of how he kept what he wanted to say in for a couple of months, he wondered how poor Seliena kept it in for years.
"Seliena?" he finally asked. "Yes?" "How did you keep what you've told me to yourself?" "You mean me loving Scar?" "Yeah." Seliena remained silent for a moment which made Mike feel awkward. He wished he hadn't of asked. "It wasn't easy, I'll tell you." she began. "I've pretty much had a crush on him since I laid eyes on him, but like I said, I was afraid to tell anyone, mainly because Mufasa was the king and saying something like that might mean banishment, or even worse, death." "Every time I think of Mufasa, it makes me hate him even more. I can't believe how he could do that. You'll never see me smacking Scar around. That's a pledge I hold with my soul." After pausing and thinking for a moment, Mike began to talk again. "Did you ever know about Mufasa beating him up like that?" Seliena remained mute and Mike asked again, a little more compassionately. "Seliena? Look at me." She lifted her gaze which had been on the floor to meet his eyes. He could read it in her eyes. She knew more than she was letting onto. "Oh god!" Mike said. "What did you see?" Seliena began crying.
"Seliena?" Mike said as he watched her cry. "Are you okay?" Mike didn't even have to ask if she knew about it previously; he already knew. "It's okay babe." Mike said as he put his right arm on Seliena's head. The touch was all she needed, and she began to calm down. "Mufasa was the biggest bastard I've ever known." she said in a low voice. "If you'd of seen the things I saw him do to Scar...." she trailed off and went back into tears again. "What did you see?" After pausing again, she began to tell what she knew. "Everything, and it was not pretty what I saw. Once, I was trying to sneak up to where Scar was and before I got there, I saw Mufasa stalking up ahead of me with Zazu. They were talking low so I stopped in my tracks and snuck up on them." Mike listened intently. "I heard Mufasa say Scar's name, and sure enough, he came out of his cave and hesitantly walked over to Mufasa. He said something I didn't quite hear, but after that, Mufasa whacked him across the face and he fell to the ground." Tears began rolling down Seliena's face as she struggled to finish. "Mufasa yelled at him, saying that he was nothing, and the only reason he was alive is because it would make him look bad to the lionesses if he killed him." She began crying again and hid her face in Mike's shirt.
As she sobbed into it, Mike shook his head, both in anger, and in confusion. All he could do was sit there and hug Seliena while she cried. "God I hated Mufasa!" she said aloud. "I went up to Scar after he left, and he was all curled up in a ball crying. I put my paw on his shoulder and he flinched back, scared to death. He was crying, but when he saw me, he tried to stop but couldn't. I sat with him the whole night and we talked. I've never had him out of my mind since...." Seliena stopped crying after that, but occasionally, she would sniffle a little. She was still up against Mike, looking out over his back towards the dark distant horizon.
"God. He never told me that." Mike said after a while. He thought to himself for a second and then said unknowingly what he was thinking aloud. "We can't change the past, but we can the future..." "That's so true.." Seliena said, snapping Mike from his daze. "Huh?" he said. "I said that that's so true... what you just said." "Oh." he said, blushing a little. Somewhat wanting to go deeper into discussion about what she knew, Mike slowly said "Seliena?" "Yeah?" she replied, still pressed up against him. "Do you wanna talk about this more, or just forget it?" After a seemingly long pause, one through which Mike thought he shouldn't have asked her that, she replied that she did want to go deeper into the subject. "Okay then, let's got to the back where we can get all comfy. Feels like this might be a while." "It will." Seliena said as she got up and started towards the rear of the cruiser. "I've wanted to talk to someone about this for a long time." "Well now's your chance babe, go on."
The two of them sat in the back of the cruiser for half an hour, basically discussing what they each thought and knew about Scar. Seliena told a few more stories that brought tears to her eyes, but they were all basically the same; Mufasa beating up Scar and telling him that if he ever fought back, he'd be killed and with no one who would miss him. Mike didn't want to hear them, but it made him feel like he owed Scar everything he had. Scar lived with the thought that he was nothing but a worthless thing, and was told so almost every day by his own brother. "You know Seliena? It's a wonder he didn't kill Mufasa sooner." "He couldn't Mike. If he hadn't of made it look like an accident, the lionesses would have killed him. I feel so sorry for him. He's had it so rough." "You can say that again." Mike said.
"You know what amazes me the most?" Mike said after a while. "No. What?" "It just amazes me that after he went through all of that, he came here and basically put himself at my mercy. I'm glad he did because I love him more than anything now." "You want to know why I think he put himself at your mercy?" "Sure." "I think it was because he was ready to die. He had nothing to live for anymore. I know for a fact that his reason to live now is you." Mike had known this in the back of his mind, but being told by someone else made him feel like he was both needed, and wanted; something he had never felt before. "Call me a baby for saying this, but I don't think I'd be able to live if he goes first." He was silent fo a long time but Seliena broke it.
"You're not alone Mike. The night Simba said that Scar had died, I went off for weeks and just cried. I never ate, and I slept very little. I was trying to starve myself, but for some reason I couldn't." Mike looked at her face and saw that she was looking off in the distance, acting as if she were reciting from a book. "I never knew why I didn't starve myself, but I do now." Emphasizing on the last word, she turned her head towards him. "The only living things that I have ever loved were my mother, my father, and Scar. The first two were painful enough for me to lose, but a third....." she trailed off. Mike looked at her with sad eyes. "I never thought I'd say it, let alone be able to say it, but I love you too Mike." Mike began crying.
He was so happy now. In a sorts, he was in a family now, and not in some dysfunctional one like he had ran away from. His new family loved him and weren't afraid to admit it. As Mike cried tears of happiness, Seliena came over beside him and put her paw on his shoulder to calm him. After a while, he stopped crying and was able to look at her. The moon was out and shining full force. As Mike looked at Seliena, the light shone off her eyes and glistened. "Damn. Scar is lucky he's got you." Mike finally said. "No," she began. "he's lucky he has you." Mike smiled, wrapped his arms around her, and gave her a big hug. Still clutching onto her, he whispered "I love you too. How couldn't I? You're my sister now."
After having their little chat in the back of the cruiser, both Mike and Seliena got out of it and went on a night walk. This time however, no hyenas were there to hinder them. Both of them knew this and seemed to be more at ease. Mike walked with his hands in his pockets as Seliena walked closely to his right side. They walked around in a big circle, and ended up back at the cruiser when they had finished. Neither had spoken during the walk mainly because there was nothing else left to say. They had each told what was on their minds in the cruiser.
Upon getting back, Mike hopped up into the cruiser, took the keys he had in his pocket out, and inserted the ignition key into the cruiser. Seliena looked up from the right and told him that she was going to go inside and wake up Scar. Mike nodded as he slipped in a CD and she slowly made her way back to the house. When she got to the front door, she nudged it and the door swung inwards, having been rendered lockless earlier by Scar. She proceeded in, smiling, astonished with all the things she had learned already.
Mike was so patient with her, and the exact opposite of the humans she had been told about. As she slowly made her way into the house, she rounded the sofa and saw Scar, still sleeping as he sat in front of the sofa with his head on one of the cushions. She stopped for a second and admired the lion she had loved and always would love. Moving closer she softly spoke his name. He did not move, but continued to sleep.
"Scar?" she asked in a slightly louder voice. Still nothing happened. Moving within inches of him, she whispered his name into his ear. His eyes slowly opened, and he turned his head to meet her face. Both smiled at the same time. Seeing Scar's face now, Seliena quickly buried her face in his black mane and began purring softly. Caught a little off guard for a second, Scar sat dumbfounded, but then moved closer to her. "Why are you purring?" he asked casually as they both sat still together. "Why not?" Seliena replied. As she purred contentedly, she had to say it or she'd explode. "Oh god I love you." she said, which was followed by Scar saying something to the same effect. It only made her want to press closer to him. "Let's go on a walk." she said through her purring. As if to comply, Scar slowly got up, stretched, and stood beside her. From outside, Mike was playing a UB40 CD very loudly, and every once in a while, the windows would rattle as gut rumbling, reggae bass boomed through the massive sub-woofers and passed through them.
"Come on." Seliena said as she slowly made her way to the front door, pulled it open, and then stepped outside into the cool night air. Scar followed close behind and shut the door as the two began to move between the hyena bodies. They made their way to the cruiser and both jumped up into it, scaring Mike. He quickly hit stop on the Bose, turned around to the back, and looked at them both.
"Well well. Sleepy head finally got up huh?" Mike said. Scar gave Mike a sarcastic smile. "You're the one to be talking." He said as Mike smiled and then started a small conversation with them both. "You two going somewhere?" he asked as he looked at them. "Sort of." Seliena said, and then leaned on Scar's shoulder and began purring softly. "Okay, well I'll let you two go then. I'll just sit here all by myself and do nothing." Mike pretended to be sad, and both of them played along. "Aww. Poor Mike." Seliena said and started giggling. "Okay. Go have fun. I'll be here if you need me." Scar nodded, and then jumped over the side of the cruiser. Seliena followed just as Mike hit the play button and started on the song he had stopped on, ‘Red Red Wine'. As he sat and rocked his head to the rhythm of it, Scar and Seliena walked off side by side.
All of a sudden, Seliena, who had been walking with Scar silently, bolted off giggling. Scar stood for a moment, and then gave chase. Seliena was fast for him, but he caught up to her sure enough; rather, Seliena had let herself be caught. She playfully batted at him like a cub, and Scar smiled. She bounded off again playfully and again Scar gave chase. "You'll never catch me!" Seliena piped as she ran through the grass and then did a hairpin turn to her left and hid. She remained motionless as Scar stopped and looked for her. He stood with his right paw up and began to worry that something might have happened. "Over here." Seliena whispered. It was all Scar needed to know that everything was alright, and he slowly moved towards where he had thought the sound had come from. Instantly, Seliena burst from her hiding spot and ran at full speed past him. Scar whipped around, and began following her as fast as he could go.
Seliena ran this time, wanting both to be caught, and not to be caught. She ran for about half a mile before she slowed down and stopped completely. She sat down and eventually Scar came and sat beside her. "What was that all about?" he asked, not winded in the slightest. "Just a little jog." From off in the distance, they both heard that another song had started playing in the cruiser, ‘Can't Help Falling in Love'. Even thought they had run a little ways off from the cruiser, they could hear the music just fine. As it began playing, Seliena moved her head to meet Scar's eyes and gave him the look. Scar caught it right off, but was unsure if she meant it or not. He lowered his head, and looked at the ground, feeling ashamed and embarrassed. The last time a lioness had given him a look like that, he had been slapped in the face and then laughed at. Seliena reached out with her left paw and gently lifted his head to meet hers again. "I love you Scar." she said. "I love you too, but do you really want to do this?" he replied "Yes. I've wanted this my whole life and I've left everything I've ever known to prove it." Tears began to swell up in Scar's eyes and he finally realized that it was true. One of his own loved him. Seliena saw that he was ready to lose it and quickly nestled up to him.
"It's okay. They won't hurt you ever again." she whispered. Hearing that reassured Scar, and he slowly lost the tears. "Are you okay now?" she asked as she slowly moved away from him. "Yes. Thank you." Seliena gave him a genuine smile and then ran off again. Scar was ready for that and chased her. "Wise men say, only fools rush in. But I can't help falling in love with you." He caught up with her rather quickly, but instead of running off again, Seliena gave up and rolled over on her back. Scar came up on her as Seliena looked up at him and smiled. "Take my hand, take my whole heart too, cause I can't help falling in love with you..." Seliena looked up into Scar's green eyes as he stared back down into her green eyes. "I love you more than anything Scar. Take me." "As the river flows gently to the sea, darling so we go some things were meant to be. Take my hand, take my whole life too, cause I can't help falling in love with you..."
While listening to his CD, Mike sat with his feet propped up on the cruisers dash, and sat listening. ‘Here I Am' had just come on, and as he listened to it, all of a sudden, he knew that Scar and Seliena weren't going to come back that night, or possibly the next. Normally, he would instantly go grab some guns and tear out looking for them in the cruiser, but tonight, he sort of knew what was happening; He wasn't blind. He saw the way they had looked at each other the whole night. Mike gave a slight chuckle to himself and shook his head. "You lucky lion you." he said as he thought about what was probably going on as he spoke. No matter. He wasn't jealous, nor was he angry. He had no reason to be anyway. All the love he wanted, he got from them both, and he knew that they would be a family no matter what. He loved Scar and Seliena to death and was willing to bet anything that it wasn't unreturned. Sitting back in his seat and listening to the music play, Mike thought back in retrospective.
What had he, of all people, done to deserve what he had now? He had always envied having a family that loved him, and now he seemed to have it. Scar was what he thought about most. He had literally turned his life around, and all he had to return for it was his undying love for him. The brother who had beat him up, the brother who called him names, the brother who at one time had tried to kill him; that was all in the past. Now, he had a brother who cared deeply for him. He didn't care that he was a lion. Things like that didn't bother him now and really never had. As long as Scar was there when he needed him, he didn't care what he was. The fact that he was a lion surely helped him get along and like him better though. Ever since he was a child, he had always held some fascination with cats.
He remembered one time when he went to a zoo on a field trip, he wandered off and sat in front of the tigers cage. He was young then, maybe eleven, but remembered the scene perfectly. He had managed to climb over a little fence that was supposed to keep people a good distance from the cages and walked up to the closest cage. He sat down right in front of it, stuck his arms through the bars, and called for the tiger, which was laying down on the opposite end. The tiger had gotten up and slowly walked over to where he was sitting, licked his hands, and then laid down in front of him. Mike had sat, hidden from the view of nosy people, and pet the fairly young tiger on the head for almost half an hour. The tiger purred, and was very gentle with him, which delighted Mike at the time because, he was young, and anything made him happy. It was only until a zoo keeper came to check up on the tiger that his fun ended.
The zoo keeper called for security and soon, four guards showed up armed with high powered cattle prods. Mike had hugged the tiger through the bars as the guards tried to sweet talk him to move away. The tiger, Risha, purred contentedly as Mike hugged it for support, but soon, some guard snuck up on him and quickly yanked him away from the cage. The tiger looked up surprised and then roared violently. Mike started crying, which only further enraged the tiger. It started violently thrashing in it's cage, and then the guards started zapping him through the cage with their cattle prods. Mike screamed for them to stop, but they didn't. Soon, the tiger lay in it's cage, cowering, and barely conscious. Mike saw that there were many people watching, and that even a television crew was awaiting for him to be returned safely. As he was set to the ground, people everywhere cheered and the guards came out with their cattle prods held victoriously over their heads. One bent down to Mike and said to him, and then chuckled, "You okay, tiger?" Mike glanced back at the cage which held the barely conscious Risha, and then with all his might, kicked the man in the groin. "Sadist!!" he screamed as he did so. Even then he knew words that many his own age didn't. The man fell back in pain and during the commotion, Mike managed to run back to the cage. Risha saw him and tried to crawl to where he was, and eventually did. Mike waited for him, but a few guards chased after him and now tugged at him, trying to pry his hands from the bars. Mike kicked one of them again, and then was let go of when Risha let out a fierce roar which made the two guards run away. Mike reached through the bars once again and took Risha's head in his arms. Instantly, the tiger began purring again, but this time, he was left undisturbed. The guards had thought that Mike's life was in danger, but now, they saw something that they could not believe. Making sure not to get too close, people, reporters, guards, everyone crowded around Mike as he held on to the injured animal. Reporters scrambled to make up fairy tales as the local feed was sent to national news affiliates around the U.S. He was asked why he was doing what he was doing, and simply answered, "I love him."
With a somewhat good experience like that behind him, Mike had somewhat hoped it would happen again when he found Scar that night. He had had his doubts though, but felt sure now that he had somehow been destined to be blessed with Scar and all he had to give him. Thinking about how much better he felt, as compared to before Scar came into his life, he remembered something that made him a little angry. Hitting the stop switch on the Bose, he hopped out of the cruisers cab and briskly walked past the hyena carcasses and into the house. He went straight to his room and into his closet. After he rummaged around for a while, he found what he had been looking for. Producing a large plastic baggy filled with weed, he went back outside.
Walking back over to the cruiser, he began opening it and smelling it. He hated it's smell now. It smelled of false promises, and no hope. Mike smiled as he reached the cruiser and kept on walking. Almost powerwalking now, he dropped the baggy and kicked it with his feet. "I don't need you anymore you bunch of crap!" Mike kicked the bag, which was emptying rapidly and laughed like a madman. "I don't need you to be happy anymore!" he screamed. "I have everything I've ever wanted now, and I don't need you! Ever!" Mike said as he gave the almost empty bag a running punt kick. The rest of the weed emptied out midway through it's flight, and now, the empty baggy fluttered to the ground. Mike began dancing around, grinding the large lumps into the ground as he did so. "Weed is bad, weed's no good, little kids sell it in my neighborhood! I hate weed, no use to me, and if you think I'm nuts, then you're cra-zy!" Mike danced around, pounding bits of the marijuana so into the ground until they were useless pieces of crap. He no longer needed it to be happy; He was happy. Back in the pre-Scar days, he had rushed to get home so he could forget his problems, and enlighten his mind. It had worked, but it's effects were short lived and the next morning, he was back to normal. Now, everyday he woke up, he had something to look forward to. He finally had a family that he could honestly say loved him. He thought of this as he danced about madly and began to cry tears of joy. Throwing his head to the sky, he stopped dancing and looked up. "God? If there is a god, I thank you. Thank you so much. I've never believed in you, but I'm starting to. You've given me the best gift anyone could receive. You've given me a reason to live."



CHAPTER XXXVII



That night, Mike was alone the first time that he could ever remember. He missed Scar's company terribly, but he knew that he and Seliena needed their time together. He respected that and wasn't going to interfere because it wouldn't be fair to them. Sitting in the cruiser had bored him soon, so after turning it off, he went inside and flipped on the TV. Going instantly to MTV, he caught the song, "Lightning Crashes" just as it came on. He set the remote on the floor and reclined on the couch as he listened. He laid down and listened to music as it came on and off for about an hour, and then watched as some dumb show came on. Grabbing the remote, he changed the channel to HBO3 and caught the end credits for some movie. Pressing the "Next" button on the remote, he saw that the next movie, "The Running Man" was coming on. Somewhat excited that at least something decent was going to be on that night, he got up and made himself some snacks. After making a few sandwiches, and grabbing a Coke, he sat back down just as the opening scene came on. He sat for quite awhile, nibbling on the sandwiches and sipping Coke, and after the movie was over, he walked around the house, turned off everything, laid down on the couch, and fell asleep.
Dreams came almost instantly to him this time. He had good dreams that night, as he did most every night. He dreamt about the future, but it must have been a fantasy future because he dreamt that he was home in the United States with Scar and Seliena, driving around with them in a big motorhome. They talked to him, while he himself played the in dash CD player. He was driving down some big interstate and whenever he felt like it, he'd stop right in the middle and stop for the night. No one else was out or around, and he just assumed that it was a holiday or that the roads were closed or something. He was the only person on the roads, even though at the time, he didn't notice it because it was a dream. He dreamt that after he stopped for the night, he went to the back where Scar and Seliena were and played with them for hours on end. He would playfully bat at them while they took turns siding with each other. Seliena and Mike would team up on Scar, and then it would be the opposite. He enjoyed it because he was just spending quality time with his ‘family'. \par For some strange reason, during his whole dream, everything was tuned to the song "Mr. Jones" by Counting Crows. The dream, in fact, seemed like a video for the song. Mike sat back in his dream and watched as he heard the song play out. He saw Scar and Seliena fumble over each other and play like cubs, then calm down, and then go at it again. Every once in a while, he would hear or see them laugh, and it brought a smile to his face. As Scar lay down on his back on the queen sized mattress, he kicked his feet in the air as Seliena tried to poke him in the stomach. Eventually, he quit fighting, and she put her face in his mane and began purring. They both instantly became docile.
Scar moved his head over to his left, faced Seliena, and then licked her face. She giggled and then licked him back, which started them both back on their little escapades once again. Scar would bat at Seliena, she would bat back, they'd laugh, and then it would start all over again. After watching for a while, Mike began to feel a little left out and the two seemed to notice. They went over to where he sat leaned up against the motor home's wall, and licked him on the face. He smiled and then purposely fell onto the floor. Scar laid down on his legs while Seliena stood over him, pinning his arms with her forelegs as she grinned down at him.
"Uh oh." Mike said in an attempt not to laugh. Seliena smiled and then began to give his face a barrage of tongue lickings. Mike squirmed beneath the two felines weight, but made no attempt to free himself. He laughed as Seliena licked over his eyes, his ears, and even up his nose a few times. Finally, after he thought that it'd never stop, she got off and let his arms free. Scar still laid on his feet though. Mike wiggled them in a half-hearted attempt to move him, but Scar just slowly turned his head and looked at him emotionlessly. Mike returned the gaze, but being as he couldn't keep a straight face, he smiled, which in turn made Scar smile back. Mike let out a laugh and then Scar moved up quickly, pinned his arms, and began licking his face also. Mike laughed again, loving every second of it. He was having fun. After a few seconds, Scar stopped licking him in the face, and stood above him. He looked down at Mike, opened his mouth, and then made as if he were going to bite his neck. Feigning horror, he laid still as Scar gently clamped his powerful jaws lightly around his neck. With the same jaws that could so easily snap the neck of a wildebeest, it was amazing at how gentle he was. After a few seconds, Mike politely told Scar to get up, and he obediently did so. Wiping saliva from his neck, Mike opened his arms to the two lions and hugged them both. "I love you guys. You treat me so well." "Well, we're treated so well by you, it's all we can do to repay you. You know, I love you." Seliena said. "I love you too Mike. But I'm sure you know that." Scar chipped in. "I know that, guys. You're just so damned special to me." Both of them looked at each other and smiled. "I love you guys." Mike finished before he woke up from his dream to the sight of blinding white light. Morning had come.
He winced and opened his eyes to slits as sunshine invaded his sleep through the old, dirty windows. Slowly opening his eyes to adjust to it, he yawned and stretched his body at the same time. Laying on the ragged couch, he blinked a few times, and then glanced at his watch which read that it was eight thirty four a.m. Not wanting to wake up, he closed his eyes, but then opened them back up and slowly got to his feet. There was work that needed to be done, and it would have to be done soon or else it would be more difficult to do the next day. After stretching on his feet for a second, Mike shuffled into his room, put on some old work clothes, and then looked down at his bed. He smiled and laughed looking at it, remembering that at one time, it had stood on legs. Now, it was just a mattress on the floor with a head and foot board, and was covered with hair from Scar's mane. Mike went over to it, ran his fingers over the mattresses surface, and when he stopped, had a small, black fuzzball. He picked it up and smelled it. "That's him alright." he said as he recognized the now familiar and pleasant smell. He smiled a little, and then dropped it to the floor and slowly walked out to the kitchen.
When he got there, he opened up the kitchen cabinets, shuffled through them, and took out a box of cereal. Going over to another cabinet, he opened it and took out a bowl, poured some of the cereal into it, and then put the box back. Next, he took some milk out of the fridge, poured it on his cereal, and then sat down and slowly ate as it crackled and talked back to him. He wasn't too enthusiastic about disposing of the hyena bodies, and knew that they'd only get smellier by the day unless he just went out and did it. Taking his last bite of cereal, he put the bowl in the sink and then opened the front door. "Oh boy." he said as he looked around at the fifty or so bodies that were in the front of the house.
Standing and thinking of how to do it the best way, he finally had an idea and went to the shed. Looking around in it, he found what he wanted, took it up in his arms and walked out towards the cruiser. He spread the thick, plastic sheet in the back of it, and then put on his gloves. Going over to the closest body, he held his breath, grabbed it by the foot, and dragged it to the cruiser. "Oh boy. This is gonna be fun." he said as he looked at all the bodies spread out on the horizon.
Seliena was the first to wake up that morning. She was nestled up close to Scar, under his left paw, and being so close to him made her instantly start purring. She moved her head so that she met his face and she stared at him. He slept with his eyes shut loosely, and every few seconds, his chest would rise and fall as he breathed. The whole scene appeared too perfect to her. Here she was with him, the one and only lion she had ever truly loved, and he loved her back. She loved the way he looked, the way he moved, the way he talked; she loved everything about him. He had a hypnotizing charisma that, now factored with his personality and openness made him highly liked and loved. She wished that she could have been this close to him years ago but had been too afraid to risk it. Now, if she had to do it over again, she'd do it no matter what the consequences.
Slowly moving her face closer to his, she came mere inches from it. Smiling, she began licking the side of his face slowly. Scar remained where he was and Seliena was just as happy that he did. "My big sleeping baby." she said softly as she pulled back and took a moment to admire him. Looking at him, a warm smiled appeared on her face which prompted her to bury her face in his dark, black mane. She rested with her neck on top of his and purred contentedly. Scar began to mumble something in his sleep which she quickly stopped by scratching him under his chin with her paw. A slow smile formed on his mouth as she scratched him, and he too slowly began purring. Seliena sensed that he was awake, and after poking him in the ribs lightly and making him cringe and laugh, he was. Seliena got to her feet and sat beside him just as he stood up and began to stretch.
"How'd my big baby sleep last night?" she asked as Scar yawned and blinked his eyes. "Well." he said. "Good." she replied as she went over and nuzzled up to him. She began purring again, which in effect, made Scar slowly start purring also. "So," Seliena began. "Did you have fun last night?" A slow smile started to form on Scar's mouth as he sat and replied that it indeed was a night to remember. Seliena got up and walked over to where he sat and leaned her head on one of his broad shoulders. In response, Scar began rubbing heads with her and for the next ten minutes or so, they sat with each other, rubbing heads, purring, and occasionally playing. Seliena closed her eyes and smiled as she leaned up against him. She was happier than she had ever been, knowing that she would finally have cubs, and that her husband was someone who would love them.
As she sat cuddling with him, she could see the looks of disgust on the other lionesses' faces if they could see them now. She didn't care one bit for them now; all she cared about was Scar and Mike. Why should she care for her pride? They, along with Mufasa, had been the sole cause for Scar's misery, and partly her own. She had seen what Mufasa had done to Scar and her heart had gone out to him. He was abused and no one was there to help him; to talk him through why everything went wrong for him. He had to live with those memories and was supposed to face Mufasa with respect? "No." Seliena said in her head. "If there was anyone who needed to be paid respect, it was Scar, not Mufasa. Mufasa was handed everything; Scar struggled to get what he could and still failed." After a long mental pause, she said in her head, "You deserved to die Mufasa. You hurt him more than you knew and look where it landed you." She didn't notice herself, but Scar saw that she had started lightly crying and became a little concerned. In a calm, soothing voice, he asked, "Are you okay?" Seliena slowly looked up at him, smiled, and then buried her face in his black mane. "I'm fine Scar." A slow tear fell from her face and into his mane as she wept out of pure happiness. "I love you more than anything." she added without hesitation. Scar smiled, rub heads with her again. "I love you too Seliena."
The rest of their day was spent flirting and catching up on very old times. Seliena could see clearly how much he had changed. Gone were the days of a depressed Scar. With no one to compare him to, he was superior in every way. He was clearly the most intelligent of the entire pride, and he hadn't lost any of it. Seliena loved this Scar, just as she had the old one. She felt very remorseful that she had never stood up to Mufasa before and might have been able to change things, but knew now that Scar was planning to take some initiative of his own. Midway through the day, as Mike was close to finishing cleaning up the hyenas bodies, Seliena bolted from behind a tree and ran off, giggling through the tall grass. Scar, who had been looking for her, gave chase and soon caught up with her. Seliena had let herself be caught intentionally and Scar pounced on her, pinning her. As he slowly got off of her, he sat down and began licking his paw. Seliena rolled off of her back and then walked over and sat down beside him.
Scar looked at her with a face full of happiness as Seliena stared back. Something that had bothered her for a while was on her mind, and she was somewhat scared to ask. "Scar?" she began. "Yes Seliena?" "May I... ask you a question?" Seliena said as she stared down at her feet. "Go right ahead dear!" Scar said happily. Seliena raised her head, seeing that he seemed to not care what he was asked, and managed a weak smile, knowing what she was about to ask might hurt him. "Scar? Why did you become friends with the hyenas?" The smile on his faced slowly faded away as his head slowly fell and he stared down at the ground. Seliena felt an acute pain in her heart and wished she hadn't asked.
"I'm sorry Scar! I didn't mean to..." "It's okay Seliena." Scar said in a monotonous tone. He winced a little as he remembered why, and still felt a little hurt about it. "Seliena? If you really must know, no one liked me; no one wanted to be friends with me; no one loved me; no one respected me; no one gave a wildebeest's hide for me. The hyenas seemed like they did, and I was too dumb to see that they weren't friends at all; they used me when I was king to get what they wanted." Scar began crying as he saw his whole life flash before his eyes again; Mufasa beating and abusing him, him going to a steep cliff about to end his life, and then encountering the hyenas. They approached him, showing no sign of causing him any harm, so he stood, his back to the cliff, and talked to them. He was so vulnerable at that time that he believed everything they said. They knew who he was, who his relatives were, and tried to plant the idea to take the throne from Mufasa. That's when all the real serious planning went into effect. He started meeting with them every night, they talked, and became friends. The rest was history.
Seliena got up and moved to comfort him. She nuzzled him as tears dripped from his eyes and into his beautiful black mane. "My poor baby." Seliena whispered softly to him. Scar continued to cry as the memories poured back to him. "No one cared!" he yelled "I had to have some type of friends!" Seliena understood now, although she somewhat already did. All she could do was sit, comforting him, and shake her head as she thought of the things she had just heard. Scar continued to cry and showed no signs of stopping either, so Seliena pressed her body closer to his and did all she could do to soothe him. It took all she could muster to keep from crying herself. She felt so sorry for him and now wished she had stood up for him. Maybe if she had talked to him more, stood up for him, and shown her undying love for him, none of this might have happened. She felt partly responsible and wanted to cry with him, but knew she had to be strong through this crisis.
As Scar leaned back on her, she slowly felt her emotions slipping, and she began to stutter as the tears slowly rolled down her face. "Oh Scar!" she bawled. "I've loved you ever since the day I met you, and couldn't show it. I feel so guilty. I feel like this is part my fault." Scar stopped crying long enough to answer her, in a slightly congested voice and his eyes still full of tears.
"It wasn't your fault Seliena, it was mine. I should have jumped and left things alone. I had been destined for nothing." This further upset Seliena and she started crying even more. Scar had just basically said that his life was worthless and that what he had done was bad. In one's eyes, it might appear to be bad, but to another who had seen both sides, it might seem good; rather , justifiable.
"I love you Scar!" Seliena screamed. "Don't ever say that again! If you died now, so would I!" Scar felt truly miserable now. He just wanted to forget that life and start a new, but he soon realized that it was a lot harder than he thought. As he thought to himself, weeping with Seliena, he thought of all the good things that had happened for him and could only think of two so far; Mike and Seliena. Mike had more than proved his affection to him, and he in return returned as much as he possibly could. Without him, he'd have surely died. He owed him everything he had.
Seliena, on the other hand, cared for him, and gave him the love that Mike couldn't give him. It was strange when he thought about it because no one had really ever cared for him like the two of them did. It was as if he had been given a new life and not earned one. Seliena, a lioness who had loved him but faced humiliation if she expressed her true feelings to the pride, was now his. She loved him and he loved her in return.
Mike, a human of all things, who showed his undying trust and love to him was definitely a rare find. The chances of him finding another human like him on his own were slim to none and he knew that. As he thought about the few good things he had so far, he slowly stopped crying, which in turn made Seliena stop with him. She sat, pressed against him, and looked down at his feet. A few remaining tears dripped from her face and fell to the dusty earth, until finally, he spoke.
"Don't cry over me Seliena. Who you're crying for was the old me; the me that hated everyone, and couldn't think of anyone but himself. If you cry for me, please cry for me, and not the old me." Seliena was a little confused at what he had just said, and looking up into his emerald green eyes, asked him a single question. "Do you love me, Scar?" Scar smiled and stared directly back. "Yes. And I always will." Seliena smiled and cried again. Tears of pure joy for Scar; a loving lion who treasured everything he had.
Mike was both exhausted and disgusted when he had finally finished the tedious task, but as of now, there were no longer any hyena bodies within a mile of the house. He had removed all of them with the help of the cruiser and had twice vomited while doing so. The first time, he had vomited due to the stench, but an hour later, and halfway finished, he felt light-headed for no reason, broke out into a cold sweat, and then vomited again. He took a break after that, drank some water, and then got back to work. It was nasty, but he had to do it, or else he wouldn't be able to live in the house anymore due to the stench.
"Man." he said as he glanced at his watch and saw that it was three o' clock. He missed Scar and Seliena's company terribly. When he had taken his lunch break, he had instinctively dropped the remains on the ground, but then remembered that they weren't there. Something subsided in his heart as he sighed and wished that they would get back soon; he needed them.
Getting up and intending to go to the cruiser, he started to when his head started spinning again. "Oh man, not again." Mike said as he turned back and made his way back into the house. He made it to the couch and fell heavily onto the cushions. The throbbing in his head felt as if someone had dragged him to the bottom of the ocean and the pressure was trying to crush his skull inwards. As he held onto his head, his vision flashed in and out as nausea swept over him. Wanting to throw up again, he tried the best he could to prevent it and succeeded. Putting a hand to his head, he felt that it was hot and thought that he might be coming down with something. After a few minutes though, the throbbing in his head left and he sat up, feeling light headed. He ran his left hand through his hair and slowly rose to his feet as he did so. Now standing again, he went out the door going to do what he had intended to do earlier: listen to music.
After walking slowly, dragging his feet as he went, he reached the cruiser, slowly crawled up in it, and sat in the drivers seat with his head thrown back. Turning the ignition on, he sat and thought about what to play. Reaching over to where the CD case was, he picked it up, put it in his lap, and started thumbing through what was in it. "I need some new CD's man." he silently said to himself as he looked at them disgustedly. "Oh well, guess I can do with the Pumpkins." he said after thinking for a few minutes.
Opening a double CD case, he pulled out disc one of ‘The Smashing Pumpkins: Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness', slipped it in the Bose, and pushed play. Skipping to track two, he came upon the song he wanted to hear, ‘Tonight, Tonight'. Getting totally enthralled into the song as it began to play, he totally lost all senses around him as he closed his eyes and listened. The song had an eery oldness to it that Mike liked, and ranked high on his favorite songs list. Moving his head to accentuate the rhythm of the song, he imagined the video in his head; the strange dirigible with the strangely colored people. All of a sudden, he threw his head back and began to wail the lyrics in his rich, deep voice. "Time, is never time at all, you can never ever leave without leaving a piece of youth and our lives are forever changed we will never be the same the more you change the less you feel, believe, believe in me, believe that life can change, that you're not stuck in vain, we're not the same, we're different tonight! Tonight! So bright! Tonight! Tonight."
As soon as he finished, he stopped singing along, turned up the volume, and then sat back in his seat as the bass blasted from the sub-woofers. With his feet propped up on the dash and his arms crossed behind his head, he just happened to glance in the rear-view mirror for a second and saw two dots far back in the horizon slowly making their way towards him. He instantly turned around and stood up in his seat to get a better look. He waved his arms in the air, the two dots saw him and then began running towards him. Mike saw that is was Scar and Seliena and without even thinking, ran to the back, jumped over the tailgate, and began running at full speed towards them. "SCAR! SELIENA!" he yelled out in reverence as he saw the only two friends/relatives he had left on the earth come bounding towards him. As the two felines approached Mike, Seliena stopped running and started walking as Scar began to jump around Mike excitedly. Mike fell to his knees, opened his arms, and then hugged Scar around the neck as he came to him.
"Oh god I missed you guys!" he said as an inadvertent tear of joy ran down his face. Scar put one of his arms around Mike, pulled him close, hugged him back, and then pushed him back, put his paws on his shoulders, and pinned him to the ground. Mike let out a brief groan as the weight hit him all at once, but then smiled up at him. "I think I know what's gonna happen next." he said as he looked up at Scar, who was smiling. "I bet you do too!" Scar said as he leaned down to Mike's face and began licking it.
Mike laughed and made no attempt to free himself; he loved every second of it. Finally, after Scar had finished licking Mike's face, Seliena walked over and stood over his head. Scar smiled at her and Mike knew what was gonna happen. "Not you too!" he said as he looked up at Seliena. She smiled, and then bent down and began to lick his face also. All three laughed as Mike's face was licked over and over again. Finally, Seliena stopped and came around and sat down beside them. Mike glanced up at Scar. "Well? You gonna get off me?" he asked in a jokingly tone. Scar looked from Seliena and then back to Mike, and answered "Nope." Making as if to get off, he let Mike's arms free, and then laid his chest up on Mike's, which now totally pinned Mike to the ground.
"Ahhhhh!!" Mike yelled out while he laughed. "I think you're gonna really crush me now!" Scar laughed again and then got up as Mike sat up. The three all looked at each other as the music in the cruiser still played a few hundred feet away. Mike looked from Seliena to Scar, as they looked from him to each other. It had already become a game, and now, they all quickly whipped their heads around making total fools of themselves. Scar laughed, which in turn started both Seliena and Mike laughing. Scar continued laughing and then rolled over on his back, kicking his feet in the air, still laughing. Mike made a playful lunge at him and was now on top of him in an infamous and fake WWF pins. "Who's got who now?" Mike said as he laid on top of Scar. This only made Scar laugh more, which made Mike laugh too.
"Oh gods this is fun!" Scar thought to himself as he laughed. While thinking that, Mike rolled off and began poking him lightly in his side, making him cringe. He started laughing more as Mike began to poke him in the ribs over and over again. Mike, who thought that he might accidentally hurt Scar, finally stopped poking, but Scar still remained submissively on his back with his back legs splayed. Mike looked at him, smiled, and then began rubbing his stomach. Scar instantly began purring, closed his eyes and laid his head back on the ground. Seliena looked on smiling as Scar purred and Mike rubbed his stomach. Sensing that she might be jealous, Mike gave Scar's stomach a final rub and then crawled over to where Seliena was. Scar still purred contentedly with his eyes closed.
"How are you doing Sel?" Mike asked Seliena. "Sel?" she asked, smiled. Mike chuckled a little and then told her that that was his new nick name for her. She nodded it off and the two began to talk. "So, how was your night?" Mike asked smiling. Seliena smiled and remained quiet, avoiding looking at him. "That good huh?" Mike said as he smiled back at her. "The best." Seliena chipped in and then began giggling. Mike poked her with his finger, and she in turn lightly pushed him back. Mike responded by pushing her again, and she responded back by pushing him again. Mike smiled and then threw her arms around Seliena's neck and hugged her. "You are the best thing since I met Scar, Seliena. God I love you two." "I love you too Mike." Seliena said putting one of her arms around Mike and hugging him back. She really liked him. He was unlike anyone she had ever met; nice, patient, sensitive, and most of all, caring. He was definitely one in a million.
As Mike hugged onto her, she licked the side of his face with her tongue and made him laugh. "Quit that." Mike said in a jesting tone. She stopped and then let Mike out of her embrace. Mike looked at her, and then patted her on the head as he crawled back over to Scar and laid his head on his stomach and closed his eyes. "Come on Sel." he said in a low voice as he patted beside him with his hand. Seliena got up and laid where Mike had indicated, laid her head on his stomach, and closed her eyes. From below his head, Mike could hear and feel Scar purring still. As he turned his head up to look at his face, he saw that he was sleeping with his arms jutting up in the air and his paws folded over, as if he were begging. He smiled, mouthed the words "I love you guys.", rested his head on Scar's soft stomach, and then fell asleep.
Two and a half hours later, Mike was nudged gently awake by Seliena. "Wake up Mike." she said as she nudged his elbow with her nose. Opening his eyes, he looked drearily at her. He glanced at his watch and saw that it was almost six o' clock. As he slowly sat up and stretched his arms, he looked behind him and saw that Scar was still sleeping on his back, smiling. Mike crawled over to his head, sat on his knees, and then started to run his fingers through his mane, scratching his head. As he did so, Scar began to slowly start purring again, and after awhile, he had squirmed back and set his head in Mike's lap and purred contentedly. Mike looked down at him, and then over at Seliena, who simply smiled, and then shrugged. As he purred in his lap, Mike stopped stroking his mane, and then lifted Scar's chin with his finger and scratched him underneath it. Scar began purring intensely now, which only made Mike feel happier for him. He knew that he was happy and smiled as he continued to scratch his chin. "You're in good hands now Scar, and you know I love you." Mike thought to himself as he began to scratch around his throat now. "So trusting; I wouldn't think anything would let me be this close to them." he still thought as he knew how much Scar must trust in him.
Mike was very aware of Scar's actions and knew that not just any lion was going to lay down on it's back and let a human runs his hands around his throat and stomach; the two most vulnerable places on them. Mike thought of himself special, and for the most part, he was; but only to two lions. Scar trusted him with his life, as did Mike trust him with his life. Seliena was no exception either. She had proved where she stood on matters a few nights ago. She wasn't about to take the chances of losing the two things she loved more than anything now.
Mike admired Seliena, both for what she had done, and what she was doing. She had basically asked for sanctuary away from the pride and wanted to come with him and Scar. As he thought back on it now, he remembered being very suspicious of her, but now was glad that he had let her come. She was so sweet to both of them and he could tell that it was genuine. He didn't know how, but he could just tell. As he had sat thinking, no more than a few seconds had passed, and as he broke out of it, he looked down and saw Scar's face lying in his lap. He smiled, and then scratched the bridge of his nose. Scar smiled a little bit wider, then slowly his eyes opened to slits, and then were open and wearily looking up at him. Scar smiled up at him, and Mike returned it. All of his thoughts rushing into seeing him awake, he bent down, took his massive head in his arms and hugged him. Scar licked his cheek and Mike let out a little laugh. Seliena, hearing the commotion, padded over to where the two were and sat down.
"What are you two doing?" she asked, smiling. "Oh, nothing." the two said as they looked at each other and smiled. Mike continued to scratch Scar's nose as Seliena came over and laid down beside him. Using his free hand, he reached over and scratched her on the head as well. Almost instantly, she began purring also. She slowly closed her eyes, lowered her head to the ground, and purred as Mike scratched around her ears, on her head, and under her chin.
"You have the touch, Mike." she said to him as she purred. Mike blushed and continued to scratch each of them on and around their heads. As he did so, he finally noticed that it was getting dark out, but did nothing to stop what was going on. He was happy, as where the two large felines. Everything seemed so perfect, he didn't want it to stop. Knowing that all good things must come to an end, he reluctantly stopped the scratching and looked at the two. "Either we have to stop this for the night, or we can go inside and continue." Mike said as Scar's and Seliena's eyes locked on his. Scar rolled over and got to his feet quickly. "Let's continue inside." he said with a grin. Mike returned it and got up the same time Seliena did, and shortly after, the three headed for the house.
Upon getting inside the house, Mike went to the kitchen as Scar and Seliena walked off and sat down in front of the sofa. Digging through the cupboards, Mike found a large bag of potato chips and walked with them in his hand as he went and sat down beside the two lions. Ripping the bag open, he plucked out a few chips, and then handed each of them a couple. As he ate the chips, he looked behind him on the sofa and saw the remote. Grabbing for it, he got it and turned on the TV and DSS. After turning on to MTV and finding nothing much new, he decided to switch the TV to another channel for a change. Pushing the channel up button, he did so and came upon nothing except a black screen. Puzzled a little over this, he flipped up to the next highest channel and found the same thing. Scar, sensing that something was wrong, looked at Mike and asked. "Nothing yet." Mike said as he wore a puzzled expression on his face. As he continued to go through channels, he found the same thing over and over again. Suddenly getting discouraged, he flipped back to MTV and saw that it was okay, and then began going down the channels. He passed CNN and saw that it was on and as he continued down through the channels, saw that it was the only channel besides HBO1, and MTV. Now, half scared, and half curious, he went back to CNN and watched. Normally, little ticker tape flew across the bottom of the screen showing stock quotes and things of that nature, but now all that was there was a middle aged reporter sitting behind a CNN news desk.
Mike turned up the volume until the reporter could be heard. Barely visible, and mixed in with lots of background noise, a cryptic looking reporting sat and spoke. "...the apparent outbreak of a new strain of the flu has already cost hundreds of millions their lives." Mike shot bolt upright upon hearing this. "Oh my god..." he gasped as he suddenly felt cold chills run throughout his body. He continued watching. Scar looked up with a concerned look on his face but saw that Mike was fixated on the TV now. "The cause and source of the new strain are still to this day unknown and a cure seems unlikely to be found soon." As Mike watched with his jaw hanging open, the reporter began coughing, and did so for almost three minutes consecutively. "Pardon me ladies and gentlemen. Similar cases of what is now commonly being called ‘The SuperFlu ‘ have been reported at all major cities throughout the world. Areas affected by the flu have been quarantined, and enforcers have resorted to violence, and in some cases death, to enforce the quarantine." As the reporter stopped for a second, a quick video file was played showing Mexicans running the American border and being shot down by U.S. Border patrol officers in the yellow Bio-hazard suits. Mike gasped as he watched the scene and then as it went to another video clip which was inside the U.S. "Oh my god!" Mike said as he saw vacant streets littered with bodies patrolled by soldiers wearing camouflaged spacesuits, and toting their standard issue carbines. A quick jerk of the camera showed that a civilian was running towards the soldiers with his arms outstretched, when all of a sudden, they opened fire and killed him. Mike flipped the TV off instantly and fell back on the sofa, too shocked to even move. As he sat staring at the blank TV screen, the remote slowly fell from his hand and onto the floor. Scar and Seliena looked at him strangely until they both gathered their wits and went to him. Scar came up to him and asked him what was wrong. "We're screwed is what's wrong. It finally happened and we're going to die." Scar's mouth dropped open. "What?!"



CHAPTER XXXIIX



Mike acted strange the rest of the night and barely muttered a word as he wandered blindly to his bed and tried to sleep. Scar and Seliena came in and laid down with him, but couldn't do anything to snap him from his state. Terrified of what he had just witnessed, Mike lay curled up on his mattress, shaking uncontrollably. Wild thoughts raced on in his mind as he did so. "Am I going to die? I can't! It'd kill Scar if I did." More concerned for Scar than himself, he lay in bed and started to weep. Scar heard him and moved over to him. "Are you okay, Mike?" he asked. "No. Go away. Please." he replied as he began crying, muttering nonsense. Scar looked perplexed, for that was the first time Mike had ever told him to go away. He knew that something was wrong; something very wrong. Not sure what to do, he sat beside him and watched as he cried.
Looking to Seliena for support, she simply shrugged and was bewildered as him. Stopping to think for a second, he finally began to nudge at Mike with his nose. At first, Mike tried to push him away, but as he persisted and then put a paw around him, Mike turned up to him. "What's wrong?" Scar asked him in a concerned and inquiring tone. Mike's eyes, now red with tears, looked up at him and then slowly sat up on the bed. Sniffling a little, he sat facing Scar and looked down at his paws. "It's a virus; a super flu. That was Washington D.C. that I just saw, and... I just lost it...." Mike hung his head and closed his eyes, hoping that what he saw was fake, but knew it wasn't.
"I don't want to die Scar!" Mike all of a sudden said as he looked at him with watery eyes. Scar took a look at him and then put his paws around him and pulled him close. "You're not going to die. I won't let you." He said, trying to soothe him. Upon hearing that, Mike felt a little better, but it wasn't significant. "Please.... if I do start to go Scar, can you promise me one thing?" Scar stopped hugging him, and sat back down the way he had just been sitting. "Anything." "Kill me right off so I don't suffer. It'll be better for both you and me if I go quick." Scar winced when he said that. "You're not going to die Mike!" Scar bellowed at him. "I'm not going to let it happen, and besides, we live in the middle of nowhere and what are the chances of something like that coming here? There aren't any people here and you haven't been in town for more than 2 weeks!" Mike looked down at Scar's paws again and thought to himself. "I'm too shook up to talk about this tonight. I'm tired and scared now. I just want to sleep." With that, Mike got up out of his bed, turned out all of the lights, and then went back to his bed. After laying down on the mattress, Scar moved close to his right side and rested his head on his chest. Mike put his arms around him, said a silent prayer for Scar, Seliena, and himself, and then slowly fell asleep.
As Mike's watch chimed off eight o'clock the next morning, he pried an eye open and saw Scar's head was still resting on his chest. He laid for ten minutes just watching him and after a while, he began to scratch him on the bridge of his nose. A smile slowly started to crease on his lips, and a few minutes later his eyes slowly opened. Mike smiled at him and then ran his fingers through his mane, pulling out a few loose hairs.
"You know, most people would kill to be this close to a lion." Scar smiled back at him, and after yawning, replied. "I know, and I'm sure most lions would kill to be this close to a human. Especially one like you." Upon hearing that, Mike smiled and then locked his hands behind Scar's head, and began to lightly pull him towards him. "Oh ho! What's this?" Scar said as he got up and put one of his paws on Mike's chest and pushed lightly away. "Ahh!" he said as Scar put more weight on it and made Mike laugh. "You oaf! Get off me!" he said as he laughed and held onto Scar's paw, half-heartedly trying to lift it off of him. Scar did so, but not before he gave Mike's face a quick lick with his tongue. "That's all I need; lion slobber!" Mike said as he rubbed his face with his sleeve and laughed. Scar smiled, and then reared up and pounced on him.
"Hey! Uh oh!" Mike said as Scar pinned him, leaned down and began to lick his face again. Mike laughed as the rough tongue ran over his face, but after a few minutes, Scar stopped, and let Mike up. Mike looked at him and then slowly began to sit up. "Okay. Time out bro." Scar sat on the bed as Mike got up and stretched. He was still a little weary of what he had seen last night, but was now coming to accept it. He had had dreams that night that had comforted him in a way. They were ones similar to a lot of his dreams: Scar, Seliena and him traveling across America in a motorhome doing whatever they pleased. Thinking that if that was how it was going to be, then it wouldn't be so bad after all. All the dreams he had had previously made sense now.
"I'm going to get something to eat. You want anything?" Mike said in a low voice as not to wake Seliena. Scar sat thinking, and then answered yes, got up, and followed Mike into the kitchen. Opening the fridge, Mike handed a steak to Scar and then poured some cereal if a bowl for himself. Pouring some milk in also, he went and sat on the couch again. Attempting to brave the horrors of the TV, he picked up the remote and turned the TV on. Slowly, the picture came into view and as he turned up the volume, he saw that another, even worse looking, reporter was on CNN. The reporter had hazy looking eyes and looked as if someone had puffed his face up with air. Doing his best to talk, the reporter mumbled on. "A recent update now shows that the filovirus believed to be the Ebola virus has spread worldwide. Attempts to quarantine areas has proved to be massively inefficient and deadly, and although medical institutions around the world have joined forces to attempt and find a cure for..." Mike hit the power button and slowly shook his head.
"I'm gonna be alright, Scar. I know I am; I had a dream." Scar looked over to Mike with a smile on his face. "I'm glad to hear that. You were starting to scare me last night." "Scar? I didn't mean that. I was so scared..." "You don't have to explain." Scar interrupted. "I know." Mike smiled slowly and then leaned over and hugged Scar again. "I just wanted you to be okay. I was afraid that I might infect you or something. If I ever had some disease that you could catch from me, I'd quarantine myself from you and Seliena." "And I'd break quarantine and sit right beside you. If you come down with something, I want it too." "So you can be there by my side I bet." Mike said as he laid back on the couch and looked across at Scar. "Exactly." he replied. "You're amazing. I'm so glad I met you Scar. Even my own family wouldn't do something like that for me. Well, actually, I know that they would now because you and Seliena are my family." Scar smiled and looked at Mike. "I've always wondered just why you did what you did that night." "Me too Scar. God, it was like I knew something about you. It was actually like I knew you." After that, a long moment of silence passed as the two stared indirectly at each other rolling over thoughts in their minds. Eventually however, Mike broke it.
"Whelp! I guess we better go into town and see if anything's happening there yet. You wanna wake her up or not?" Mike said as he got up and walked slowly into his room, gesturing towards Seliena. "I'm awake already, hun." Seliena said as she laid motionless, and then rolled over. "Get up you sleepyhead!" Mike said as he ran and dived onto the bed and onto her. Mike got his now customarial face licking from her, and after a few minutes, she was up and ready to go. "Okay! To the cruiser!" Mike said as he and the two lions strode out to the cruiser, hopped in, and headed off to town.
No one spoke much on the trip into town. When Mike reached the town, he appeared upon a grisly scene. Dead people were lying all over the place, and even though the towns population was only about one hundred people, it seemed as if at least a thousand bodies were lying around. Mike drove through the ghastly street and up to his garage. From a distance, he saw that the large, glass garage doors had been busted out and on closer inspection saw that looters had raided his shop. He wasn't angry though. If the world was now dead, so was money and whatever his shop had was worthless anyway. Letting the cruiser crawl to a stop, he turned it off and then got out and walked into the garage.
"God." he said as he looked inside and saw things scattered everywhere. Scar and Seliena came up behind him and looked in with slightly shocked expressions. Mike sighed, and then sat down on an overturned engine block. "Oh well. Guess I won't be fixing anyone else's cars for a long, long time." "Is that a good or bad thing?" Seliena asked as she stopped nosing around a box and looked up at him. "Both. More good than bad though." "Why's that?" Scar asked. "No people, no economy, money is worthless, why work?" Mike said as he smiled and looked over at him. "I see." Scar replied and then smiled back. "Well, there's nothing I want here. Not even those guns. All I wanted was a gallon of milk, but I guess that's something of the past now. No people means no stores and stuff. That sucks." Suddenly, Mike came to a realization.
"Oh man!" he said excitedly as he got up off of the engine block. "I just thought of something! With no people, that means I can take you guys anywhere I want!" Seliena, who thought that Mike was crazy, looked to Scar. Mike caught the look and then answered for him. "No! I mean, I've always wanted to go home and start a new life there, but once I met Scar, and now you Seliena, I couldn't go because of customs and stupid crap like that. Now I can!" Seliena now smiled, getting what Mike had meant.
"How?" Scar asked. "By..." Mike's heart tumbled down again. "Oh no. That's right too. Dead people equals a dead airline service." Mike sat back down and though a little more. "Should I try?" he said to himself. "I can fly a Cesna, but a jet ?" Mike looked over to his family and saw that they were sitting side by side smiling at him. "Yes. I bet I can." he said as he got up and then hugged both of them.
"Hey. Do you guys wanna go to the U.S?" Scar nodded his head, and then after a few seconds, Seliena did too. "We'll head out to the closest international airport tomorrow. I know there's one about two hundred miles from here." Scar looked at Mike with a sly look on his face. "You can fly, right?" "Nope" Mike instantly responded "But there's a first time for everything, right?" Scar smiled and then pushed Mike to the floor and began licking his face. "This is becoming a custom now, Scar." Mike said as he giggled and tried to fend him away. "Well, do you like it?" Scar asked down to him, smiling. "I never said I didn't." Mike said, returning his smile. Scar began licking him again, which made Mike laugh. "Fly-by-night, licked-by-day." Mike chipped in between tongue lashings. Scar eventually stopped and as Mike got up, the three headed back to the cruiser. "Let's go home. This place is dead." Mike started the cruiser up, and then they were gone.



CHAPTER XXXIX



Rafiki was not about to give up. His first two attempts to get rid of Scar had been unsuccessful, and during the days Mike had gone to Priderock and then returned, he had been walking alone, heading towards Mike's shack. "If you want to do something right, you have to do it yourself. Sheesh! Can't rely on anyone nowadays!" he said as he sat down under a tree and rested. Less then 40 miles from Mike's house, he knew he was getting close to his goal. The goal? Kill Scar, possibly Seliena too. Purpose? Vengeance and spite. As he sat under the tree, Rafiki remembered back to earlier times, when both Mufasa and Scar had been younger. He never had liked Scar that much, and he thought that the feeling was mutual. Had he showed any concern at all for him, he would have learned that it quickly turned that way even though Scar at one time had liked him. Mufasa had always been his favorite, and when he had a favorite, it usually meant an unintentional cold shoulder to anyone that wasn't his favorite; in this case, Scar. Rafiki now had it in for him. Even though he never had liked him or given him any attention at all, he still felt no part responsible for what he had turned into. "Now that everything is back to normal, it's time you pay, dearly."
Mike sat with his feet propped up on the dash of the cruiser while Scar and Seliena laid on the hood. With the CD player blasting Beck's "Odelay" loudly, all three of them sat back and enjoyed themselves. Today was their last day in Africa, or so Mike hoped. Tomorrow, he planned to leave very early and trek out to an airport, find a 747 or equivalent, figure it out, and then fly over the Atlantic to the U.S. Somewhat of a farfetched and preposterous idea, anything was better than being where they were now. For now, all the three did was sit back and relax, enjoying their last day in the country. As Mike sat back rocking his head slightly to the beat of ‘Where It's At', he looked through the windshield and watched the two as they half slept and half listened to the music. After a little bit, Mike hit the loop button on track eight and got out of the cruiser and began walking around, acting as if he were in the video for the song.


There's a destination a little up the road
From the habitations and the towns we know
A place we saw the lights turn low
Jig-saw jazz and the get-fresh flow


Pulling out jives and jamboree handouts
Two turntables and a microphone
Bottles and cans and just clap your hands and just clap your hands


Where it's at!
I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at!
I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at!
I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it's at! [robot] I got two turntables and a microphone


[sample]: take me home in my elevator bones!


[sample]: that was a good drum break


Pick yourself up off the side of the road
With your elevator bones and your whip-flash tones
Members only, hyponotizers
move through the room like ambulance drivers
Shine your shoes with your microphone blues
Hirsuits with your parachute flutes
Passing the dutchee from coast to coast
Let the man Gary Wilson [sample]: "rock the most"


Mike continued to babble the song as he walked in large circles around the cruiser, wishing he had an orange road-workers vest to make it look complete. Eventually he got tired of the song, so switched it off and then laid in the back of the cruiser gazing out past the tailgate. With his head propped up on a small cardboard box full of greasy bolts and small engine parts, he reached into it and pulled out some of them. Examining them closely, he toyed with them for a while and then chucked them one by one out onto the ground. With each throw, there was a small thud, and each thud made Scar's ears twitch. Finally after Mike had thrown about twenty of the pieces out, Scar got up and leaned his head over the windshield, peering back at him.
"What on earth are you doing back there?" he asked with a grin on his face. Mike smiled and turned around. "Throwing away these bolts and crap. They were for someone, but I don't think they'll need em now." Scar nodded, and then hopped over the windshield, jumped on the drivers seat and then went back and laid down beside Mike. Seliena, who had been jostled awake when Scar had jumped, causing the cruiser to bounce, peered up and after a few seconds joined them. She sat across from both of them, and watched as they rough housed with each other. As she sat, smiling and watching, she saw just how much Scar had changed. She already knew that he had improved for the better, but when she watched the way he played with Mike, she saw how gentle he had become. Mike would poke at him with his hand, and Scar would lightly cuff him on the head; Mike would lightly jab him in the sides, and he would roll over on his back with his paws up in the air and laugh. This was the Scar she had remembered from so long ago, but never was he this happy. As she looked at them playing, she thought about what Mike had told her once in private: "He's the brother I never had, Seliena. I love him dearly, and I know he loves me back. We were meant to meet, and I thank god we did." As she recalled this, she smiled lovingly at them both, and saw just what Mike had meant.
After the three of them had sat around in the back of the cruiser, talking about nothing in particular, Mike leaned up against the seatback and scanned the horizon slowly. The sun still had about four hours or so before it set, but besides the fact, he thought about the next day and how he was going to go about it. Pondering over how far the airport approximately was, he thought that it might take him 5 hours to get to it. As he looked at his watch and made a few calculations, he decided that if he went to bed now, and then got up and left at three or four in the morning, he would definitely be there by twelve, which would give him plenty of time to find a plane and food for the nights flight. Glancing at his watch again, he got to his feet and stretched. Scar and Seliena both got to their feet when he did, and as Mike hopped down explaining his plan, they both followed him, listening as he walked to the house and began to pack a few items.
Going to his room, Mike took an old backpack from his disordered closet, packed a few nights worth of cloths, a few sentimental things, and then closed the blinds, his door after Scar and Seliena were inside with him and laid down on the bed. The two lions walked onto the fallen bed's mattress, and as Mike yawned in the dimly lit room, Scar laid beside him on his left, and Seliena laid on his right. Each rested their heads on Mike's chest, and soon, all three of them were sleeping soundly.
As the sun set, Rafiki climbed out of the acacia tree he had been up in most of the day and began walking around, loosening his joints. "The time has come." he mumbled to himself as he began to slowly walk away from the tree. Inside him, much anger and hate brewed. The same kind that had once infested Scar now had a hold of Rafiki. He had forgotten his own words of wisdom, and now was trying to take out his anger and hatred on the lion who he thought had ruined it all. Knowing only half of the story anyway, Rafiki, in his own mind, was justified in his mission, but still, he knew he was wrong. He didn't care though. When he had learned that Scar had been behind Mufasa's death, it had infuriated him. He didn't care that Scar was the outcast, the loner: all he cared about was that he had been behind Mufasa's death and that he must pay.
"You wretch. I wish I could make you suffer." he said to himself, knowing that the only way to kill him would either be poisoning, or suffocation. Since he felt angry, he felt like choking the life out of Scar himself so had that planned in mind. Less than a mile from where Mike's house was, Rafiki moved along at a quick rate, almost anxious to see his deed done.
As he thought of his first attempt to get rid of Scar, he shook his head in shame. Bryan had proved to be very ineffective, although he had inflicted some damage to Scar. When Scar had been shot, Rafiki had been watching from a treetop. After everything went drastically wrong, he decided that he'd either have to kill Scar himself, or let him live. The latter was not an option he intended to choose. "That boy had no purpose." Rafiki said to himself as he hobbled along quickly. "At least he did something useful while he was alive." Thoughts of what might go wrong flowed through Rafiki's mind, but as he felt that he was getting closer, he felt more determined that everything was going to go just fine.
Soon, his walking led him to a large clearing, and through the beginning twilight, he could see Mike's house. A smiled creased Rafiki's face as he climbed up in a tree. He sat on a branch smiling, waiting.
Rafiki walked up to the house at around ten thirty. He approached cautiously, fearing that someone might not be fully asleep, but as he found the front door, opened it and slipped into the living room, he was reassured that if anyone had been awake, they would be coming after him by now. Slowly and carefully making his way through the pitch black area, he guided himself to where the scent of lion and man was the strongest, and after slowly feeling around, found a door and carefully proceeded to open it. As he turned the handle and pushed it inwards, he could hear breathing inside of the room. His heart raced as he realized that a few feet from him was what he had come all this way to dispatch. He delightedly crept over to where Scar's scent was the strongest and found that he was on the mattress with his back facing him. Rafiki rejoiced. He had had thoughts that he would have had to walk with the utmost care getting into the house and probably have found Scar somewhere where it would almost be impossible to get to him. Instead, he had waltzed right in, and here was Scar in the perfect position.
As Rafiki smiled, he slowly went over to where Scar was and reached out and touched his back. He made a soft grunt, and then began to purr softly. Rafiki smiled almost sadly as he stood over Scar. He had come all this way to kill him, and when he touched him, he purred. He felt pity for him, but it was quickly killed by the thought that it was him who had killed Mufasa. Reassured by this knowledge, Rafiki slowly guided his stick under Scar's neck, and when he had it where he wanted it, he grabbed the two ends and slowly pulled back. He heard that it was working, and as he slowly began to choke Scar, the purring stopped and Scar began to softly grunt. Rafiki grinned and he pulled back even more. As he did, he heard Scar's breathing pattern begin to slow quickly. Soon, he began wheezing, which made Rafiki pulled back even harder. The wheezing quickly stopped, and after a minute, he let go of all the pressure and put one of his hands on Scar's chest. His heartbeat was now so slow that in five minutes, he was sure that he would be dead.
Seeing that he was hardly breathing, he took his stick out from under his neck and placed his hands on Scar's face, covering his nostrils and clamping his mouth shut. As he moved to get in a new position, one of his feet stepped and pulled on a cord which brought the lamp that sat beside Mike's bed quickly crashing to the floor. Mike shot up in bed as Rafiki quickly took his hands off of Scar and began to slowly back out of the room. Mike sensed that something was wrong, and when he went to nudge Scar, he didn't even hear a breath come out of him. "Scar?" Mike said as he put a hand to his chest. He felt an almost non-existent heartbeat. "Oh god!" Mike yelled as he fumbled on the floor for a flashlight. He found one, and as he turned it on and shone it quickly across the room, he saw Rafiki slowly moving out of the bedroom door. "YOU!?!" Mike yelled in a new found rage. He quickly jumped out of bed and flipped the lightswitch to his room on, only to find that nothing happened.
With his flashlight still in hand, he raked it across the living room and saw Rafiki running out the front door. "I'LL KILL YOU!!!" Mike raged as he picked up the Mossberg shotgun behind the front door and began to chase after Rafiki. He pull the pump mechanism back, loading a shell into the chamber and fired in Rafiki's general direction, lighting the night with a belch of fire from the guns muzzle. He hit nothing and as he fired three more useless shots, he stopped and then remembered about Scar. He began running back to the house, and as he did, Seliena ran in front of him, scared and worried. "What's wrong with him?" she said, close to tears. "Rafiki." Mike said as he raced past her and to Scar. Seliena let out a roar of anger, and as her face turned from worried to fully enraged, she tore out of the house with her nose to the air, and smelled for Rafiki. She found his scent and tore after him.
Mike raced through the living room trying to turn on lights, but found that they were out. No power was running anywhere because the generator that had powered the town and his house was dead. Giving up hope of finding any light, Mike raced to where Scar was and laid the flashlight he had on the floor. "Scar! Wake up!" Mike said as he grabbed his shoulders and shook him. Scar didn't move at all and when Mike put his hand on his chest, he almost screamed aloud. As he pulled back quickly, he accidentally kicked the flashlight against the wall and broke the filament in the bulb. He lost it in the darkness, and instead of wasting time trying to find it, he ran outside to get all the light he could ever want. Running to the cruiser, he hopped up in the drivers seat and cranked the ignition over. As the engine roared to life, he flipped on the lightbar and the headlights, illuminating everything around him. He raced the engine and after shifting into gear with the accelerator pressed all the way in, he popped the clutch and flew towards where the front door of the house was. Upshifting to third, he ducked before reaching the front of the house, and then crashed through it.
Slamming on the brakes, he skidded over the floor, knocking the sofa off through the back wall, and knocking the TV over and smashing it to pieces. As he got back up in his seat, he backed up, and went forward until he was pouring light into his bedroom. He then jumped out, and ran to where Scar was lying.
Hands shaking, he could now see him. "God no.." Mike trailed off as he felt for a pulse and found an extremely weak one. Checking to see if he was breathing, he found that he was, barely, and then quickly began CPR. As he gave chest compression, and did mouth-to-snout for five minutes, and finally gave up crying, laying his head on Scar's chest and beginning to cry uncontrollably. The second he did so, he heard Scar swallow dryly, and mumble something. Mike sat up dumbfounded, tears still trickling down his face and began to shake him. "Wake up!" he said as he held him and shook him. "Come on.. that's it.." Still, Scar didn't wake up, but as Mike laid his head on his chest, the regular breathing and heartbeat patterns had returned. Mike began shaking him again, telling him to wake up. After a few minutes, his eyes cracked open and he looked up and saw Mike. Mike threw himself on him and wrapped his arms around his neck, giving him the biggest hug he had given him in a long time.
"God... I thought you were dying on me.." Mike said as silent tears trickled from his tightly shut eyes. He held onto him as Scar awoke, dazed, with a huge headache, and totally unaware of what had just gone on. "What happened?" he eventually asked. Mike said nothing, but still kept hugging him and crying silently. Sure that he wouldn't get an answer, Scar began to lick his face. Mike cried a little louder, realizing what he had almost lost. Scar heard him, and then slowly got up off of his back, and sat up with Mike still clutching onto his neck.
"It's okay, Mike." Scar reassured as he put a comforting paw around him. As Mike closed his eyes tightly, trying to stop crying, he began to tell Scar what had happened. "I woke up and you weren't breathing." he started. "I turned on the flashlight and saw Rafiki and ran after him. He tried to kill you." he finished summarizing and then went back to crying. "Why can't they just leave you alone? You're not even anywhere near them; you're not hurting them and.. they..." Before he could finish, he broke down again. "You've made me so happy Scar and it makes me so angry that they're still after you. What no one else could do for me, you've done." Mike rested his head on Scar's soft mane and shut his eyes. "You treat me kinder than anyone ever has and you're still judged on how you used to be. I hate them for that."
Scar began to pat Mike on the back, close to tears himself. "It's okay." he said as he looked away. As he did so, a tear fell from his eye and onto the mattress. Mike's words, although brief, had hit him deep in his heart, as they always had done. He cared for him so much; he never wanted to let go of him. Thinking to himself, he remembered just how he had been and was amazed himself how much he had softened. It was not something he had ever though possible, but he had learned to overcome that.
Raising his other paw, he wrapped it around him. As he hugged Mike back, he asked him where Seliena was, and after receiving no reply saw that he had fallen asleep in his arms. Scar smiled and as the blinding light poured in from the living room, he laid back and held Mike to his chest like a small baby. After patting him on the back and deciding that if he was okay that Seliena must be fine, he laid back and stared at the ceiling.
Half an hour after Mike had fallen asleep hugging Scar, Seliena appeared at the bedrooms doorway with a bloody face. Scar, startled out of a light doze he had gone off into, was shocked to see her bloodied. Before he could say anything, she ran to him and nuzzled up to him. "You're okay!" she said excitedly and began purring loudly. "Of course I'm okay, but why do you have blood on your face?" Seliena remained quiet. "I don't feel like talking about it tonight Scar. I just wish tonight hadn't happened, but now that you're okay, so is everything else." Seliena then quickly ran over to where the cruiser now sat in the living room, jumped up in it, and turned it off, lights and all. A few seconds later, she came back through the darkness and cuddled up next to Scar. "Let's just go to sleep and take tomorrow as it comes." "Okay." Scar said, and with that, he closed his eyes and fell asleep.
At about six thirty the next morning, a plank loosened by the cruiser fell from the ceiling overhead and hit the cruiser. Instantly, the dark house was filled with both light and noise. All three of them shot up in bed, and as Scar and Seliena backed up against the wall, Mike instinctively stuck his hand under the mattress and pulled out a Glock that he always kept hidden there. Getting up, he held the gun in front of him and as he poked his arm in front of him, he jumped out into the living room and scanned it. Seeing nothing, he reached up in the cruiser and flipped the security system off, while turning the floodlights on in the process. As he went slowly back into his room, he stood in the doorway, silhouetted by the light. Scar and Seliena were sitting, staring at him, and as he moved out of the light and slowly went back to where they were, they breathed sighs of relief and stood up.
"What was that all about?" Scar asked. "Got me." Mike said as he fell back onto the mattress. "Probably a quirk or something in the electrical system." Mike opened his mouth and yawned, stretching in the process, and after scratching his head for a second stood up. "I know one thing for sure; I'm not gonna be able to get anymore sleep now." he said as he stood looking down at the two. "Come on. Let's get something to eat. We've got a lot of traveling to do today." The two lions looked at each other and then followed as Mike went into the demolished living room. Upon seeing the scene, Scar was astonished.
"What did you do?" he said, looking at the sofa that had been impaled through what remained of the back wall, the television set that was now in ruins on the floor, and the whole front of the house. "I gave new meaning to the word ‘drive-in'." Mike said with a weak smile. "No, last night.... I was crazed and drove the cruiser in here cause it was the only way I knew how to save you." Scar looked perplexed and as he looked from Mike to Seliena for answers, all he got were grim faces. "What exactly happened last night anyway?"
Mike kicked at a window pane that was lying on the floor as he looked over to Seliena. Both looked each other in the eye for a second, and then dropped their gazes to the floor. "I don't know how," Mike began "or why, for that matter, it happened, but last night, I woke up after I heard that lamp beside my bed break and something felt strange. I reached for my flashlight, aimed it at the door and saw Rafiki. I flipped out, ran after him with my shotgun and after he was gone, Seliena came out and started chasing him, and I ran back to where you were." Mike paused a second as the terrible memories of the previous night came back to him. "I tried to wake you up but you wouldn't." Mike swallowed as a knot began to swell in his throat. "You wouldn't wake up, and I looked for your pulse and.. you weren't breathing. I lost the flashlight in the dark and then ran out to the cruiser, and here it sits." Mike finished, trying to suppress his emotions.
Scar stood speechless. As he looked from Mike to Seliena, all he got were hung heads. "Man. I was scared out of my wits. You weren't breathing, you didn't even have a pulse.." Mike's voice began to tremble. "Why? What do I have to do to make them leave you alone?" Mike said, on the verge of tears now. "God knows that I'll do whatever is in my power to protect you, but why do they keep coming after you?" Mike was at a loss of words so sat down on the floor and covered his face with his hands. Both Scar and Seliena sauntered over and comforted him, but the thought of the previous night disturbed Mike. "When will it stop?" he said as he sat, shaking his head.
Ten minutes later, the little phase Mike was going through was over, but the memories still lingered fresh in his mind. He had gone to his room and after packing most of his clothes into an old, beat up suitcase, threw it on the back of the cruiser. Scar had taken Seliena aside, and as Mike started the cruiser up and drove it back into the yard, the two began to talk semi-privately.
You ran after Rafiki last night?" He asked her. She looked up at him and nodded. "What happened?" Seliena shook her head uncomfortably and broke eye contact with him. "Please, I don't really want to talk about it." Scar nodded, assuming she had taken care of Rafiki, and knowing her normally gentle nature, understood why she felt like she did. "I love you Seliena." he said to her after a few seconds. "Tell me something I don't know." she replied, attempting to smile. Scar smiled back at her. "Oh... get over here!" She said as she laughed and pulled Scar over to her. As she stuck her face in his mane and finally let her head rest on his shoulder, she closed her eyes and softly purred. "I love you so much, Scar. You don't know how terrified I was last night. The thought that Rafiki had so much as hurt you made me lose it. When Mike told me that he had run away, I ran after him." Seliena stopped and didn't say anymore about that. "I love you more than life itself, Scar." As the two sat, nuzzling each other, Mike was peeking in on them. He smiled as he watched the scene. "Man I'm happy for you." he silently said to himself. As Seliena purred and rested her head in Scar's mane, Mike smiled even more. He saw a large part of himself in Scar and was so happy for him. Deciding that they needed their privacy, he respected that, turned around and walked back to where the cruiser sat, illuminating the landscape.
As Mike sat back in the cruisers seat, his gaze shifted as he heard laughing from inside the house. Every once in a while, either Scar's or Seliena's laughter could be heard coming from inside, and after about five minutes of it, he got up to investigate. "Shhhh! Here he comes!" Seliena said quietly as she hid in a dark corner. Scar let out an small laugh as he hid in the bedroom. As Mike crept inside the dark house, he saw that it was completely empty and turned back around. Before taking ten steps, he heard the laughing again. Smiling, he decided to ignore it, and after walking ten more steps, he turned around a second too late as Seliena came running at him full speed. Turning to try and fend her off, Mike was too slow and Seliena pinned him and began laughing.
"What're you doing?" Mike said beneath her weight. Seliena stopped laughing for a second and smiled. "This." She said as she began to lick his face. "Ahh!" Mike yelled out, surprised. Seliena began giggling again. "Hey! Come on now." Seliena yelled, still continuing to laugh and lick his face. Thinking quick, Mike gave up all resistance and stopped fighting. He let his body go limp, and as she stopped and backed off, worriedly, Mike slit his eyes open as a smile creased his face. "Hey! No fair!" she said, moving back towards him. Mike opened his eyes all the way now and smiled at her. Just as she was getting ready to pounce on him again, Scar walked up to her side. "Uh oh." Mike said as he saw him smile and advance toward him. "Not you too!"
Mike scooted back, but was still unsuccessful; purposely done though. Scar pinned him down just as Seliena had done and then looked down at him. "I hate to do this, but, you know..." Scar said as he smiled. Mike prepared for the onslaught of tongue lickings that awaited him. "Ahhhhh!" he cried as Scar's rough, pink tongue grazed over his whole face leaving it wet with saliva. All three laughed as it happened, but eventually, Scar gave up, and let Mike up. "That was fun. Lets do it again!" Mike said jokingly. "Okay." Scar said as he turned toward him, smiling. "No no no! That's okay." Mike replied, smiling himself. After that, they all remained silent. Scar laid down with his head between his paws, Seliena laid beside him, and Mike leaned back against Scar's body and looked up at the sky. In his mind, he imagined playing a bass guitar and singing the songs he had written up on a huge stage, in front of thousands of people. "Dream on man. They're all dead." he thought to himself. As he looked at his watch, got up and told the two that they had better be going, the thought still stuck with him.
Mike finished loading what he could into the cruiser; some cloths, food, the weapons, and then told Scar and Seliena that it was time to go. As all three piled into the cruiser and Mike double checked to make sure he didn't leave anything he'd want or need, they took a last look at the now half demolished house. "It was good while it lasted." Mike said as he started the ignition and turned on the headlights. Slowly shifting into first gear and rolling forward, he slowly drove away as Scar looked at the house as it began to slowly disappear. He smiled as it disappeared completely from sight; It had been where he had found a new life, and as it disappeared, it signified that he was ready to move onto better things. With Mike and Seliena with him, he could. Tragedy had found him happiness; Happiness that he had deserved from the very start of life, but had been shortchanged of. He didn't care about the past now. There was nothing from it that he cared to remember except the valuable lessons he had learned. He had started with a clean slate and intended on keeping it that way; bitterness and hatred had left him. As his mind wandered on the subject, Mike reached the end of the driveway and after stopping, turned right. After going a ways, Scar got up from where he sat in the back and put his paws on the seatback where Mike was. His paws halfway on his shoulders, Mike reached up and patted one. "You okay back there?" "I'm fine Mike. Just fine."
Mike wasn't too fond that the airport was almost two hundred miles away, but every mile that ran on the odometer was one less than he had to travel. The thought of going home to the U.S made him happy. No one was there to grab him when he got back, and his slate had been wiped clean, so to speak. All the goodies that were there were just sitting there, waiting to be found. As he thought about it, he thought of how fun it would be. He could have any car he wanted; all he had to do is find it. A Lamborghini? A Lotus? A Ferrari? They could all be his. Thinking about cars, he thought of his old car and soon strayed back to his past. He remembered the day he had sold it. The guy bought it, handed him the cash, and the very next day, he purchased the tickets for him and Bryan.
A few weeks later, they left and had landed in Africa. They had roamed around the city for a while until finally Mike managed to get a ride out of it. They rode with a trucker for about three days until finally ending up in the town Mike had started his garage in. More or less stranded, they were basically bums until Mike found out that his handiwork brought in large sums of cash. Soon, he had added to his little stash of money, and that was when he bought lumber and other building supplies and built the house. He and Bryan had worked almost 3 months before it was finally finished, and on the housewarming night, they each smoked up. He had been addicted to the stuff back then and it had basically taken ahold of him. Even though he wasn't too fond of it, he had done it just to forget his problems. He had done it at home in the U.S all the time to forget his family, but now that he was all on his own now, he was lonely and even the pot couldn't help that.
Lonely, bored, and problem ridden, Mike had been assimilated by the stuff. Bryan was just a plain fool for using it because he didn't care about anything. Many a night, he would try to give the habit up, but found that without it, he couldn't be happy. Being artificially happy helped for a while, but as soon as it wore off, he was in the same rut. The night Scar came, Mike was happy. Something different had happened, and for the first time in a long time, he had been genuinely happy. As the weeks passed, he quickly lost his need for pot, and eventually was able to quit using it altogether. Bryan still needed it, but as for himself, he was fine. Scar was something he could look up to and someone he could trust, care about, and love. The few times he had done pot while with Scar, he had been sorry that he had done. Wishing that he could go back and stop it, he felt guilty that he had dragged him into it. Now, he didn't need anything to be happy. Artificial happiness was no longer needed because he had the real thing. He had kicked the almost unbreakable habit for something far better and was happy that he had done so. He accomplished what would have taken months of therapy and rehab for others in a matter of weeks. Smiling as he drove, he looked in the rear view mirror to see the road disappearing behind him. Along with it, he saw his problems go. "I am free."
Around eleven, after about four hours and two hundred miles, Mike stopped within twenty miles of the city limits for lunch. Sitting in the back of the cruiser, he pulled out a half a loaf of bread, smeared some peanut butter and jelly on a few slices and ate some sandwiches. Reaching further down in, he pulled out some warm steaks that he had thrown in and held them out for Scar and Seliena to snack on. They each gently took their share from his hands and ate quickly. Hungry for more, they sat licking their lips. "No more guys." Mike said. They each pretended to be sad so Mike tossed them the rest of the bread. They shared it, and within a minute it too was gone.
Mike sat finishing his sandwich and when he had done so, he licked his fingers and then sat staring at them. "Come on, get over here." He said as he spread his arms. The two got up, and walked side by side over to him. Wrapping an arm around each of their necks, he held them, and then let go. "Man, I'm scared about this." he said as he leaned back on the seatback. "About what?" Scar said, sitting back down. "Flying. I mean, I've flown small planes before, but I have to fly at least a 747 and those are damn big planes." Mike looked worried as he thought about it. "Why such a big one?" Seliena asked. "It's going to be a trans-continental flight, and with a 747 using four jet engines, we need a whole lot of fuel. That'd suck if we got halfway there and ran out of fuel over the Atlantic." Scar laughed at the thought of that, and got Mike to too.
"Oh well, I'll find something big and easy enough to fly. I'm kind of hoping I can get a cargo plane and take the cruiser with us." After a minute or two, Mike got to his feet and sat back in his seat. "Well, we better do this now. I'm afraid of what we'll see in the city. Bodies and stuff freak me out." Scar gave a nervous smile and then jumped up in the passenger seat and sat beside him. As Mike started the cruiser up, the two looked at each other and smiled. "Let's go bro." Mike said, and with that, sped off leaving a cloud off dust behind him. Moments later, the dust settled, where it would undoubtedly remain undisturbed by man ever again.
"Oh my god." Mike said quietly as he came upon the interstate that ran through the city. As he slammed on the brakes and the cruiser stopped, he rose to his feet and looked at the gigantic traffic jam that laid before him. Jaw dropped in awe, he was totally aghast at what he saw. "It looks like a parking lot at Christmas time!" Mike exclaimed. "Man!" Packed, bumper to bumper were literally thousands of cars, sitting, dead. After coming out of his state of awe, Mike advanced onto the nearest on-ramp and slowly drove down the wrong side of the road in the breakdown lane. It had alarmingly remained clear most of the way, but a few miles later, he came upon a stalled car. Not even bothering to get out and move it, he rammed it aside and continued on. Trying to look straight as to not see what was on his left, his eyes wandered there and saw a dead person with his head leaning on the window. Mike shuddered and sped up a little. He felt as if the people would come alive and eat him, like in a movie he saw once, ‘Night of the Living Dead'. Going about thirty miles per hour in the breakdown lane, he saw the exit he remembered as the airport exit, and went up the onramp, which had no traffic on it at all. Getting up on another road, he then drove over the overpass riding in the median and made his way through stalled cars that littered the roadway.
Inevitable as it must have been, there was a large accident that blocked the end of the bridge. Mike had seen it and thought that he could get around it, but now right at the scene, it told him otherwise. Stopping the cruiser, he jumped down and walked over to the cars that together formed a roadblock five car lengths thick, and spanning from on side of the bridge to the other. "Damnit!" Mike said out loud as he kicked the door of a smashed up Mercedes 500SL in. Nothing happened, so he kicked it again and again until finally he settled down. Scar had stood with his paws propped up on the dash, but had been afraid to say anything. As Mike looked up to him, he still remained quiet.
"Well" Mike began to say as he opened the door of the Mercedes and quickly pulled a nasty carcass from it. Holding his breath, he sat in the drivers seat and tried to start the car up. Having only been sitting for maybe a two weeks at the most, it started right up, and as he shifted into first gear, he floored the accelerator and pried the car away from the one next to it. Ramming a small Fiat in the side, he pushed it up against the bridges railing and as it stopped suddenly, the Mercedes stalled. Mike opened the door and came out, unscathed but having smelled better. As he walked the one hundred or so feet he had just gone, he got into another car and did the same thing. Soon after repeating that over and over again, he ran out of space to put the cars so began rolling them over the overpass to the interstate below. Eventually, after an hour or so, a patch of three cars Mike couldn't get to move remained. Smiling, he returned to the cruiser and started it up.
"What are you so happy about?" Scar asked him, grinning slightly. Mike grinned back at him and then shifted into first. "Ladies and gentleman! Start your engines!! Tonight is the Bigfoot smashup!" he yelled as he floored the accelerator and began to race forward. "Hold on tight guys!" he said as he ramped up the front of two cars and began rolling over the tops of cars. Raising the hydraulics to gain ground clearance, he revved the engine as he felt the tops of the cars begin to cave in under him. With glass crunching and metal being warped under the massive bigfoot tires, Mike steered to where the last few cars were he couldn't move. Coming up on them, the left rear of the cruiser suddenly sank down low as it hit the top of a convertible and caved in. Seliena, who had been sitting looking between the two front seats, suddenly began sliding back as the tire crushed the inside of the small car. Digging her claws into the plush carpet that lined the back, she held on as Mike and Scar looked back at her. Mike pushed the clutch in and stopped moving completely for a second.
"Shoulda done this before I started." he said as he shifted into four wheel drive low. Rolling back a little, he heard the hubs lock in place and let the clutch out again. Pulled ahead, the tires that could grip did and brought the cruiser out of the convertible. Mike floored the cruiser as it flew across the remaining cars and then sailed over the tops of the last three. Landing with a large thud, he put on the brakes and let out a sigh of relief. "Well." he said as he looked behind him at the demolished cars. "I knew those tires would come in handy some day." Scar smiled and with the back of his paw, hit him lightly on the arm. "That was some smooth work there." he said, still smiling. Seliena came up looking at Mike also. "Yeah, that was." Mike smiled and shrugged it off. "Looks like it's smooth sailing from now out." Mike said after a few seconds, referring to the clear road in front of him.



CHAPTER XXXX



After a few miles of clear road, Mike arrived at a tall, chain link fence topped with coiled barbed wire. Behind it were large jets and concrete runways that seemed to span for miles. A big sign written in red and white said that it was the military entrance only. Mike looked to the left and saw a little guard house with no one in it. Getting out, he stepped inside it to open it while Scar and Seliena both stood at the edge of the cruiser, peering in on him. After finding that he couldn't open the gate by any non-destructive ways, he told Scar and Seliena to get out of the cruiser for a minute. They both complied and Mike backed up and then sped towards the gate. The gate toppled down and as Mike put on the brakes, he came to rest on top of it.
"Okay. Come on guys." Mike said as he turned around behind him and yelled at the two. Both ran back to the cruiser, hopped up in it, and took their spots. "Now what?" Scar asked. Mike sat with his head resting on the steering wheel, peering through the windshield at what was set before him. "Now, we find one of those things that can fly and get ready to leave." Scar looked at the huge planes that sat before him and stared in awe. He had never seen any kind of plane before, but had been told all about them by Mike.
"Those are going to fly in the air?" he said still staring. "Yep. And I'm gonna do the piloting too. That is unless we can find someone alive that can fly them." Mike shook his head. He was scared to death of flying a jumbo jet all by himself but knew that he had to. A Cesna was one thing, but the C-5A Galaxies that sat motionless on the runway were totally different. Weighing in at about 30 tons, they were indeed more than a Cesna.
"Well, I guess we'd better start and get ready. I don't want to waste anymore time fooling around." Mike had all of a sudden gotten a mood of seriousness that both Scar and Seliena didn't like too well. They had always known him as carefree and just an all around great person to be around, but after they had driven over the traffic jam, he had all of a sudden turned serious. It was a strange transformation, but they both accepted it as just a short phase.
Mike began moving the cruiser ahead as they passed rows of the huge army jets. He eventually stopped under one of them and got out. "Hey. You guys stay here while I go check this out, okay?" The two nodded silently and Mike walked to the plane, opened a hatch, and disappeared inside. As soon as he was inside, Seliena turned to Scar. "What's wrong with him?" Scar thought for a moment and answered her. "Seliena, this is no easy thing for him. He's going to fly that huge thing, and from what he's told me, it's not that simple. I just think he's under a lot of stress right now." Seliena slowly nodded, still a little unsure. "Well, I just hope he's okay, that's all." she said. "He kind of worried me." "No need to worry about him, Seliena. I know him; he's just excited, scared, and worried all at the same time." Scar said after a few minutes. Seliena nodded again. From within the plane, they heard banging and every once in a while, a few cuss words. It of course was Mike, fumbling around trying to figure out something.
"Well..." Scar began, but was cut short when he and Seliena both heard a loud click and then the sound of servo motors whine. Slowly, they watched, fascinated as the nose of the aircraft began to tip up and reveal the inside cargo area of the plane. The cockpit midway up now, their eyes shifted to the cargo area and saw Mike, standing and smiling from where he was. Slowly, he walked out and up to the cruiser. "Is that ours?" Scar asked in awe. "Well..." Mike said, pausing a moment. "It is now."
Scar got out to further investigate the jet. He had just seen it from a distance before, but now that he knew that it was his, he was fascinated by it. Mike had driven a few army vehicles out of the cargo area of the jet and replaced them with the cruiser. While he began to figure the jet out, Scar walked around staring up. As he stared up under a wing, he heard the nose begin to close down. He stood watching as it closed all he way and then went back to examining the plane. From inside, Mike had closed and locked the nose in place, and with Seliena by his side, he opened the cockpit door, half expecting bodies to be strewn all about in it. After opening it however, he was relieved to find it just as it had been left; clean.
Walking through the cockpit, he went over and sat in the pilots seat and took hold of the control yoke. There were buttons all over it and all over the cockpit as well. Just as he had imagined, dials and switches dominated the cockpit, but looking to his right, he saw a computer display terminal. As he pressed the power button on, a backlit monochrome screen came up that for a minute or two, said "Starting main system... Please hold..." Mike waited as the screen changed and then saw that it was a navigation computer.
"Woo hoo!" he yelled as he saw it, nearly scaring Seliena half to death in the process. "What's that?" She asked as she stopped snooping and went over to where Mike was. "It's our easy ticket out of here!" Mike said excitedly. "Oh man! I didn't think there were gonna be any planes with a modern on-board navigation system on it. I was afraid I'd have to navigate myself." Seliena had no idea what Mike was talking about, but seeing that he was happy, she smiled and was happy too. "This is neat." Mike said as he began to play with the computer. As he toyed with it, he entered a flightplan to Bangor International Airport knowing that it was one of the only airport on the east coast designed to bring in planes as large as the one he was going to fly.
"Okay. Now with that out of the way, lets see if I can get this baby off the ground." he said as he got to his feet and went back, opened up a recessed metal cabinet, and looked through some books. One was a flight manual, which was what he had been looking for. Plucking it from it's place, he opened it up and thumbed through it. "Pre-flight check. Okay. Maybe I better do this first." he said as he followed the instructions. Pushing buttons, and flipping switches, he began the startup procedure. Looking at the manual and then turning a switch, he looked to Seliena. "Cross your fingers. Here goes." Pressing a button, a slow whirring noise began on both sides. Letting go of the button he had been pressing, he smiled as he heard all four of the General Electric TF39-1 engines kick in. "Both of the wing tanks are full. Oh man. This is working out perfectly." Mike said as he looked out of the cockpit windshield. "Oh man! I forgot to let Scar in!" he said as he got to his feet quickly. "Be back in a minute." he said as he scurried out of the cockpit and down to one of the hatch doors. Opening it wide, he ran outside and began to yell out Scar's name over the drone the engines were making. Soon, he came running and ran inside. Mike went back inside and closed the hatch behind him, covering his ears. "You okay, Scar?" Mike asked him. Scar nodded his head, but couldn't reply because the noise was still too loud. Mike pointed to the cockpit and as he walked to it, Scar followed.
After getting inside and closing the door behind them, Mike went back to the pilots seat and buckled himself in. "Where were you?" Mike asked Scar. Scar looked at him, and then down at the ground. "The engines came on and they scared me, so I ran away." Mike could hear that he wasn't too proud of saying this and unbuckled himself. "It's okay, Scar. It was my fault really. I forgot just how loud those engines are when you're right under them. I'm sorry." Mike lowered his head too, because in actuality, he had been so excited about the jet that he had forgotten all about Scar. Scar looked up to him and smiled. "This is no time to be sorry. Let's just get out of here. I want to fly." Mike smiled back to him. "You'll be flying in a few minutes; I promise."
With that, he returned to the pilots seat and after playing with a few buttons and looking at some gauges, increased the throttle as he began to taxi out of the spot he was in. Rolling ahead a few feet, the plane stopped suddenly and Mike remembered that the wheel chocks were still in place. "Man!" he said in disappointment. "Be right back." Quickly going outside, he unchocked the wheels and ran back up to the cockpit. "There. Now it's time." With that, he increased the throttle again and began to taxi the huge plane out of it's spot and onto the main taxiway. As he did, the cabin began to pressurize slowly, making all of them feel a little strange. Using the rudder pedals to taxi, he put his hands behind his head as he watched the taxiway.
"Hey. You guys might wanna hold onto something in a minute. I don't know what kind of takeoff this is going to be." Scar and Seliena looked at each other and then both laid stomach to the floor with theirs claws dug into the carpet. As Mike taxied out onto a runway, he locked the wheels up and began to increase the thrust to the engines. Putting the flaps down and doing a last minute check on everything, he reached what the manual said was the correct cabin pressure and the Rpm's needed for takeoff and released the wheels. Slowly at first, the plane moved forward and then it began to go faster and faster. "Hold on!" Mike said, both scared and excited. As he looked out, he saw that the end of the runway was coming up soon. "Now or never." he said to himself as he pulled back on the control yoke and the front pulled off the ground. Seconds later, the back dipped down a little and then was off the ground itself. "We're UP!" Mike yelled aloud as he continued to climb. Scar cautiously got to his feet and went over to him. "You mean, we're flying?" "Yes!" Mike said as he pushed a switch that brought up the landing gear. Scar smiled and then went back to Seliena, who was sitting and watching them. "We're flying!" Scar danced around her excitedly, and soon, Seliena joined him.
"Hey!" Mike said, looking back for a second. "Look out the windows over there." he said pointing to a few windows in the backside of the cockpit. Both went over and looked down below them. Mouths dropped in awe as they saw the landscape below them. Mike saw them and chuckled to himself. Scar had been fascinated about flying ever since Mike had mentioned it to him ages ago. He had thought that it was impossible, but knew now that it wasn't.
Returning the flaps back to where they were supposed to be, Mike unbuckled his seat harness while he kept slowly climbing altitude. Every once in a while, his ears would pop, and when he looked to see if it was affecting Scar and Seliena, he saw that they must be too intrigued by the concept that they weren't on the ground anymore. "Oh well." Mike said as he kept holding back on the control yoke. "When this baby gets to 33,000 feet, I'm gonna party."
After reaching a cruise speed of 490 miles per hour and an altitude of 33,000 feet, Mike set the auto-pilot on, and after making sure that the navigation computer was working with it, he tapped Scar on the back. "You wanna go in the back?" Scar nodded his head and got to his feet. Seliena got to her feet, and after looking out the window a last time, followed them through the cockpit door and back to the cruiser. Mike got up in it, turned it on to accessory, and after putting in a CD, got down with a cooler in his hand. "What are you listening to?" Scar asked as Mike. "You'll see in a minute." Mike said as he opened the cooler and took out a can of Coke. All of a sudden, the speakers spewed forth music that neither Scar or Seliena had ever heard before. It was instrumental only.
"What is that?" Scar asked, dumbfounded. "It's my Herbie Mann CD. Never played it because I never needed it. It calms me down when I'm nervous." Scar shook his head slowly and then went to lay beside where Mike was. Lying down on top of some canvas that had been heaped into a pile, he looked up at Mike and listened to the music. Seliena came and laid beside him after a few seconds. "Well, all we have to do now is wait." Mike said. "Wait and pray that we get on the ground in one piece."




(to be continued...)