The first official POV chapter yay! Please be tolerant. And I'm sorry if Sora's a bit OOC.

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Chapter Eight

Pride Lands, Act I, Scene II

We continued to walk across the savannah. I noticed right away the changes that had taken place here. The land was less barren, the sky a little bluer. One thing stood out especially was the amount of animals.

The lionesses had been complaining about the lack of food. Frankly, that had been the first thing to go, and now their prey was back again. It was wrong of me to think of other animals that way, but seeing as I was a lion cub at the moment, it was hard not to.

Simba was standing at the very edge of Pride Rock, seemingly admiring his kingdom.

"Hey, king!" I cried, waving.

"Sora!" He yelled back. "Come up here!"

I obeyed, my friends following me.

"How are you, Simba?" Donald asked, perching awkwardly on the edge of the rock.

"Oh, it's great here," he replied. "Who are you two? Are you new here?"

"No. I'm Riku, and this is Kairi. We're Sora's friends," Riku introduced. His voice was flat. He obviously wasn't happy with his new form.

"Hi." Kairi beamed.

"What are you guys doing here? Saving the world?" Simba asked.

"Pretty much, ayhuk," Goofy said.

"How's Nala?" Donald pressed on. "Didn't she have a baby?"

Simba clearly couldn't be happier with the new subject. "She did. Her name's Kiara."

"You have a daughter? Congratulations!" Kairi's eyes were glittering.

I fidgeted a little. Before we could get too deeply into a conversation, I asked, "Has there been any small, purple creatures here?"

Simba furrowed his eyebrows. "Not that I know of. But there's a lot of animals here."

"They're not animals," Riku informed him, still in that same deadpan voice. "They're called Mindless. They're dangerous little creatures that can fully possess a person. Or animal."

Kairi and I just stared at him, a little wary.

"Riku," Kairi warned. "Be nice."

He met her gaze, tail twitching a little angrily. "Isn't that kind of why we're here? To inform them about the Mindless and check if they've made it here or not?"

"I guess so…" she murmured, a bit downcast. Then, she cheered up a little. "Can I see your daughter?"

Simba was very confused. "Uh… sure…" he turned to me. "Sora, tell me more about these things."

I launched into my explanation- what they could do, how they could be defeated. A little lamely, I finished with my way to save someone.

Simba opened his mouth to say something, when a loud roar and a cry were heard.

"Nala!" Simba cried, dashing for the King's den. I glanced at my friends, then ran after him.

"Here we go again," Donald muttered.

The den was in complete chaos. The lionesses were whispering about something. Nala was sobbing openly as another lioness was trying to comfort her.

"What's wrong?" Simba asked in alarm.

"They took her," Nala sobbed.

"Who took her?" Simba raged. "Who took Kiara?!"

"The Outsiders," Nala whispered.

"No," he gasped. "I banished them! No!" He let out a long roar that nearly made the grounds shake. Kairi jumped.

Nala turned to us. If she'd been human, her eyes would have been filled with tears. "Please find her," she begged. "Find our baby."

Kairi appeared hurt. "Of course we will!" She glanced at me, and I turned to Riku.

"What if it's a trap?" He asked in a low voice. "It wouldn't be the first time you fell for something like this."

"It's a baby," I said.

"A defenseless baby," Kairi added. "We have to save her!"

Riku looked a little pained. "Fine."

I waved towards Donald and Goofy. "Come on, guys."


We searched practically everywhere.

"Who would want to take a baby cub?" Kairi was still incredulous.

I sighed. "People do bad things, Kai. Not all of them are pure of heart."

Riku gritted his teeth. "Now's not the time to flirt," he hissed, and I blushed beneath my fur.

"What's your problem?" Donald asked.

Riku growled at him, and we all flinched. He gasped a little, and then regained his composure. "I'm sorry," he said, not meeting a pair of our eyes. "I'm just in a bad mood, is all."

We backtracked to the savannah.

"Gawrsh," Goofy exclaimed. "Where could she be?"

"Maybe the hyenas have her," Donald thought out loud.

"I doubt it," I said, "Simba said something about 'the Outsiders.'" I made my voice low and mysterious over the last two words to get a laugh out of everybody, but they looked at me like I had three heads. "Besides, Scar was their leader."

"But Simba banished them, too," Goofy insisted. "He told us. Maybe they joined forces or something."

"From what you've told me, the hyenas were mostly stupid," Riku inputted. "And these 'Outsiders' are pretty evil, if they chose to become their own clan."

"Simba banished them because they formed their own clan," I explained. "I'm confused. It would be so much easier if we had been here when it happened."

"Me, too." Kairi furrowed her eyebrows.

When we arrived back at the plain, the entire kingdom was in complete ruckus. My mouth fell open. Apparently, when we were gone, Simba had called a group 'assembly.' And apparently, from the look on his face, previous meetings had gone better.

Right away the animals informed us that the princess was kidnapped, as if we hadn't known. Some lioness told everybody, including the particularly meaty detail that their enemy clan had done it.

We plowed through the crowd towards Simba, who was fruitlessly trying to get everyone to calm down, including himself.

Once we were back on Pride Rock, Riku turned to Simba. "I know what you can do to calm everybody down," he began.

"I'll try anything," the nervous king said.

Riku smiled a little evilly. "Did you try yelling?"

Simba raised his eyebrow, and then turned to the crowd. "All right, all right, EVERYONE SHUT UP!" He roared. Kairi and I blanched at the sound. Had we been in our human forms, we would've been deaf. Riku was smug.

The animals automatically halted in their terror.

"Panicking won't get us anywhere," he told them with a firm look in his eye. "It just gives our enemy an advantage. Remaining calm is the best option at this point."

And to think, only a few months ago, Simba was so afraid of being a leader he refused to leave his den. He continued on. "We need a group of animals willing to guard Pride Rock. Another group is gathering as a search party for the princess. Anyone who feels they can't contribute can just go back to their homes."

I felt my ears slick back. I saw that Kairi and Riku were having a similar reaction, and at the very edge of my hearing, heard the sound of long claws on baked dirt. I threw Simba a look of urgency.

The populace began to clear out as they decided what to do. Rhinos and elephants took their places under Pride Rock, guarding the path up to the den. Birds and other animals that could move quickly set off in search of Kiara. But a good deal of the crowd fled beyond the Savannah.

"You're a good king, Simba," Goofy commented.

"I have to be," the lion replied frankly. "What's wrong, Sora?"

I opened my mouth, but Riku cut me off.

"I heard something coming," he told Simba. "Something with nails. Long nails."

Simba snarled. "Zira…"

"Who?" Kairi was confused.

"Zira," Simba hissed through gritted teeth. "She's the Outsider's leader right now."

"So it's her?" Kairi asked.

Simba turned to her, but before he could say anything, the scraping grew louder. We all looked down and saw a grey lioness speckled with dark spots. She pounced and effortlessly pulled herself up to us, the sound making us all wince, except Simba, who was too immersed in hatred. He stepped back and roared.

"Well, well, well, if it isn't the King," the lioness spat. "It's nice to see you again."

"Give her back!" He yelled.

The lioness put on a look of false shock and innocence. "Whatever are you talking about?"

"You know very well what!"

"I'm afraid I do not. Poor little cub was snatched right in front of our eyes. But if you meet me in the graveyard, I might be able to tell you more…" She turned around and flicked her tail. "Otherwise… well, it's best you don't know."

Without even waiting for a response, she jumped from the rock and landed effortlessly about fifty feet below.

"Who was that?" Goofy asked.

"That was Zira," Simba growled. "We have to go after her!"

"I have a bad feeling about this…" Riku murmured.

"Me too," I whispered.

Kairi jumped up. "Simba's right! We have to go after her!"

Riku and I exchanged a glance.

"It's a trap," Riku mouthed at me.

"I know," I mouthed back.

But we had no choice- Simba and Kairi had already darted ahead.

Duh duh dun XD

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