This is my first Lion King fanfic, and I gotta say, it was quite enjoyable to write. I've been thinking about doing one for a while now, but it wasn't until recently that I really had a solid idea on what it would be about.
Kopa in particular had caught my interest as a character because he didn't appear in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. And I've noticed that quite a few writers on this site have turned that discrepancy into an opportunity for a story (not to mention that 9 out of 10 of them like to pair him up with Vitani). For creativity reasons, I've avoided reading most of these stories until I've finished my own.
I am well aware that the common belief is that Zira had killed Kopa sometime between the events of the two films. And I had an idea that sprung into my mind sometime over the summer…what if Kopa hadn't died? I'm sure that I'm not the first to come up with this idea, but again, I've only read as far as the summaries in the Kopa stories so I don't end up accidentally ripping off anyone's ideas. One plot idea led to another, until now I've resolved to write out an entire 5-part story series on what became of Kopa and what he's doing after the second film.
The story you see below begins the first of the five stories. You don't have to favourite/follow me or this story, but I would appreciate any feedback or reviews so I'll know how to make the sequels even better. I've already finished planning all five stories, but there's always room for improvement.
Just an additional note, the majority of this story is written to establish characters and events for its upcoming four sequels. So even though Kopa might not have the most number of appearances, he's still for all intents and purposes the protagonist. Don't worry, he'll definitely be the central point in the sequels.
(By the way, to any authors who also wrote about Kopa, I promise I'll read your stories once I get this one going. If you tell me what you think of this story, I'll return the favour and review yours too.)
Night was beginning to fall over the Serengeti when Siri caught sight of Mount Tempest. It was still a ways off, and she was quite exhausted since she had been out the entire day hunting with her party. The lionesses worked very hard to bring down no less than four different animals that had taken them many hours to find, and despite their exhaustion were very pleased with their work. It was slow progress, dragging the carcasses all the way across the plains, but Siri was heartened to see the small mountain that was her home coming into view.
The other lionesses were further behind, still carrying the kills. Siri was asked by Hamu, the leader of the hunting party, to run ahead and ask Malka to send a few other lions to help them bring in the carcasses. Not something they usually did, but they were a small pride and it was rare for a single hunting party to kill four animals, so Hamu and the others were finding themselves a bit burdened at the moment.
Siri quickened her pace when Mount Tempest came into view, but by the time she was nearing it, the sun had already gone down. She stopped when her keen senses caught the sickening smell of blood. It wasn't blood from any prey they had killed, and even so, Hamu's group was to bring in the first animals since two days ago. No, this blood was fresh, and even more ominous, it was mingled with the scent of lions. Was the pride forced to kill something that had threatened them here?
Or did the blood actually belong to lions?
Siri crouched low to the ground, moving through the tall grass without a sound. She reached the short stretch of flat, open rock that surrounded the mountains. The scent of blood was stronger here, but there was no sign of trouble. True, there weren't any lions outside at the moment, but the sky overhead was filled with the storm clouds that frequently passed over Mount Tempest and gave it its name, so she wasn't really surprised. All the same, why were all the openings sealed? Malka would never have ordered it, unless...
Siri grimaced, refusing to accept the possibility until she saw it. She stayed in the cover of the tall grass rather than risk exposing herself and sneaked around the perimeter of the mountain, eyes and ears not missing a single detail of her surroundings. It didn't take long for her to see them.
Two dozen unfamiliar lions, gathered closely around the mountain's back entrance and speaking in low voices. They didn't look very friendly, and some of them had blood smeared on their claws. Siri felt a spasm of dread. Where was her pride? And who were these lions?
Hesitantly, she edged closer to the strangers. Something was very wrong here. She had to find out what was going on before Hamu's party caught up and ran into trouble.
"Have you figured out how to open the entrances yet, Kivuli?" growled Jeraha.
"Not yet," replied the lioness, Kivuli.
"Well, get a move on. Janga is getting impatient."
If Kivuli was intimidated by her companion's demeanour at all, she didn't show it. It seems the only impatient one here is Jeraha himself, she thought, turning her gaze from him to their leader, Janga, who was a medium-sized but sinewy lioness with dark brown fur and pitch-black fur lining the rims of her ears. Her irises were a gentle orange. She was somewhat younger than both Jeraha and Kivuli, but the three of them were the closest of friends and treated each other with the utmost respect.
Well, mostly. Jeraha's large and slightly barbaric figure reflected his brusque personality. Easily the largest and strongest lion among them, he had proven himself to be quite savage when he flew into a rage. His fur was a dull tan, and he had a dark crimson mane, almost the colour of blood. His eyes were the same colour as his mane, perhaps a touch lighter.
But it was Kivuli that usually caught the most stares between the three of them. Her fur was a dark sleek grey, almost black, her irises in contrast a glistening silver. Many of the others in the pride feared her by appearance alone, although the more sensible among them were more afraid of her cunning and unpredictable nature.
Janga, who was absently staring at the fang-shaped birthmark on her right paw, suddenly caught Kivuli's gaze and asked, "How many of our patrol have not yet returned?"
Kivuli had already counted the number of lions in their pride, and immediately answered, "Thirteen. Wivu thought she saw another one of Malka's hunting parties approaching and is tracking them down. And Taya is trying to figure out where Malka himself took his survivors. He won't be back until sunrise."
Janga growled, but it held a thoughtful tone rather than an angry one. "I'll send two other teams with him tomorrow. We need to make sure they don't interfere when we make our attack on Pride Rock."
Kivuli hesitated, debating whether or not to bring up her foremost concern with her leader. It had been nagging her for a while, but she decided that Janga was far too rational to resent her input, even if they were already far in the proceedings of their plan. "Janga, Malka and his followers may be heading to Pride Rock now that we've chased them away from this mountain."
Janga's ear twitched slightly, the only visible sign of her slight irritation. "I've already told everyone why we're here, Kivuli. These grasslands are the closest route to Pride Rock, and we had no way to pass without attracting Malka's attention anyway. We can't scale the surrounding mountains. It's a two-week trip across the Outlands, which, I'll add, has practically no food or water, and I refuse to weaken our forces right before we reach the Pridelands. And if we try to go around the Outlands, the herds will spot us and you know how quick word travels in the Pridelands. We would have wasted a lot of time only to have Simba's forces bearing down on us before we even catch sight of Pride Rock."
Janga had barely grown out of adolescence, but she was quite skilled and had easily gained the respect of their pride even when the three of them were growing up. Still, she was young, and had an irrepressible urge to remind everyone that she was capable and didn't make foolish decisions. Nonetheless, Kivuli waited until she was finished, even though she had indeed heard this explanation from the beginning. "I am aware of these facts, and I'm glad you've thought it all through." She was careful to slip in the encouraging words, knowing Janga was more clear-headed when she was confident. "But while I agree that there was no alternative, I think I have an idea, as...a precautionary measure, to make certain that Simba's pride doesn't learn about us before we make our attack."
For the hundredth time, Kivuli was thankful that her friend and leader was more reasonable than most would assume. The fact that Janga treated everyone in the pride fairly, and that she trusted others below her to offer insight was what made their pride strong. The possibility of dissention was practically nonexistent. "Instead of pursuing Malka's pride with sheer numbers, I can ensure that they won't be running to Simba."
"What do you have in mind?"
"Fujo," Kivuli said simply. The single word sparked a looking of comprehension in Janga's eyes, and the lioness leader grinned.
Jeraha looked up abruptly and turned his head towards the direction of the grasslands. Kivuli heard it too, as did many other lions in the pride. Someone was coming.
It was Wivu, an older but sturdy lioness who leaped out of the tall blades of grass and gasped breathlessly, "We've trapped the last hunting party, but there's one missing."
"Are you sure?" Janga demanded.
"I counted myself. I tracked her...she's somewhere around here."
Thirty feet away, Siri dashed off, sprinting for the Pridelands as fast as possible. Jeraha was the first to react, leaping to his feet and giving chase. The six other lions and lionesses in his group quickly followed.
The lioness had to die. She had heard too much. Janga only hoped that Jeraha caught her before they reached Pride Rock. Her brutish friend was hardly the most gentle of creatures, and if a fight broke out between him and the Pridelanders, things could get ugly very quickly. But her concern wasn't with him, it was with someone less powerful and with lower chances of survival if it did come to a fight.
Her gaze returned to the birthmark on her paw. She had a habit of staring at it when she was deep in thought. If you see anything, don't come running, mother. I need you to be alright after I take back Pride Rock from Simba.
In my Kopa's Legacy stories, I name my original characters by an appropriate Swahili word. So whenever I introduce a character, I'll write out the meaning of each name in English as accurately as I can at the end of each chapter.
[Original Character Names]
[Canon Character Names]