Chapter 1: Abducted

AN: Yes, well I usually prefer to publish just one story at a time, but I thought that since 'Hamlet in the Pridelands' is such a… sophisticated piece of work, it would be fun to experiment with something a little lighter as well.

So this idea just struck my mind- Mufasa didn't get along with Scar, right? It was a darn shame how it ended up, right? So what if the brothers were given a little obligatory 'group therapy' together in the form of being abducted and thrown into one cage at the ZOO? Yes, I had been in a ZOO recently… It makes you wonder- the life conditions there are somewhat different than those in the open savanna, so how does a wild animal adjust to them? And how would the two sons of the lion king adjust, if they were made to face such a situation? Are they going to run away? Or is fratricide a fate they can't escape?

So here's chapter 1 for ya, tell me what you think. Is it good? Is it crap? Hell, I've never added any humans in any of my stories, so it's sort of a new ground. And I also haven't read many stories from Mufasa's point of view, so let's give tribute to the king since he's mostly known for being killed anyway. If you like it, I'll continue, but I can't promise to update this regularly.

Awaiting your reviews as a hungry cub awaits his mother.


Day 1

Pain.

That was the first thing he felt after waking up. A piercing ache located somewhere behind his eyes, very similar to the sensation of being stabbed with a porcupine's needle, only that he felt it in his brain. He lead out a low groan, but didn't open his eyes. No, not just yet- he wasn't ready. He was too dizzy and feared that if he let the light blind him now, he wouldn't be able to stop whatever was still in his stomach from… well, checking out. Besides, the strange movement of the floor wasn't very helpful as well… Throwing up was nothing worthy of a king, and Mufasa had to put his highest effort just to free his mind of every image that could cause him to crack.

Don't think about rotten meat. Don't think about hyenas. Don't think about Rafiki's medicine for flatulence…

Instead, he wondered about what had happened. He remembered the morning as being nothing out of the regular- he was lucky enough to wake up before Simba did, he took a walk to the waterhole, later said his good-bye to Sarabi and the lionesses when they went off towards the hunting grounds… He also heard out Zazu's typical morning report along with his son, who, as always, was using the poor majordomo bird as a training dummy… Nothing out of ordinary. But wait- what was it that Zazu was saying to him that morning? Hmm… He could not remember. It seems he was too preoccupied with laughing and observing Simba's developing hunting skills… Afterwards he just ordered Zazu away when he saw that he'd had enough of being crushed to the ground with the weight of a cub that had already exceeded his own. Later he told Simba to go play with Nala and wandered off to inspect the western border of the Pridelands. Again, nothing out of order- the wind blew, the grass grew, the birds flew and the cheetahs were bowing their heads slightly to show respects to their land's good lord.

So what went wrong? Was he attacked? He felt pain, so he considered it as proof that he was alive, luckily, but still Mufasa strained his memory to remember the last thing he could possibly recall before passing out. And then it flashed right before his eyes- the stinging pain in his butt.

Drowsily, Mufasa attempted to lift his front paw from the ground and touch his right buttock. Indeed, the muscle was still swollen and it felt as if he'd been bitten by a hornet when he was touching it. But what kind of a hornet knocks a grown male lion off his feet? That was, in the least, strange.

Everything was strange. The shaking, hard, wooden floor, the lack of wind, the bizarre sound… And also the smell. Not very pleasant, but yet kind of… familiar.

Could it be…?

Mufasa groaned yet another time and made up his mind to try to open his eyes. First he slowly raised one of his eyelids, immediately being blinded by the intensive sunlight. He could see that coming. He was asleep at least for a few hours… or maybe even a whole day? It was hard to tell, but still it took some time for his eyes to adjust. When he was finally able to narrowly open both of them, the first thing he saw were bars. A set of thick bars that formed one of the walls of a big wooden box he now seemed to be locked in. And also, in front of that wall of bars, there sat another lion, gazing passionlessly at the receding world behind them. A brown lion with a black mane.

-Scar? – Mufasa uttered, not sure if what he was observing was still a dream or not. His brother noticed him, but he only rolled his eyes and sighed.

-Puff… Sleeping Beauty finally decided to wake up…

Seeing that Scar immediately turned his eyes back away from him in order to gaze behind the bars, Mufasa growled. With a lot of effort, he rose from the ground, still feeling that all his four paws were as if made of jelly, breathing deeply to fight the annoying nausea. Step by step, he approached and sat down beside his brother and, as it was slowly becoming more and more vivid in his mind, his fellow cellmate.

-What, in the name of the Great Kings, happened? – he moaned, rubbing his aching temples. What he was seeing in front of him was a sandy road, oddly moving away from under them and from under the box they were in. Also, the horizon seemed to be getting farther and farther... Scar turned his head and looked at his older brother. At first even the most perceptive creature wouldn't be able to make out what mood he was in, but a second later his face was twisted with a frown of fear when his ears fell and he mumbled-

-I think we're in a hole, Mufasa.

-Yes, I'm afraid you're right, brother – answered the king.

-And I also think you know as well as I do what kind of a hole this is.

Mufasa glared at the horizon. Somewhere over there, was his kingdom. And it was becoming more distant with every second.

-Yes. I do – he shuddered.