The dust clouds could be seen rising into the sky all the way from Pride Rock. It was far too colossal to be the cause of a stampede, and they could hear the rumbling all the way from the caves. It took a few days for the dust to settle down.

Simba had forbidden anyone, even Zazu, to go near the gorge until the air in the surrounding area was breathable. When he finally allowed a group of lions to go check the site for signs of what caused the rockslide, he decided to go with them. He was also very particular on the ones he ordered to stay at Pride Rock, most notably Kiara, who, despite her recent accident, insisted she was able to go. Simba told Kovu to make sure she didn't slip off, and for good measure, assigned Vitani and Sarafina to keep an eye on the both of them.

It was a small group that headed to the gorge. But there was much to discuss now that they were out of earshot from the rest of the pride.

"Do you think it was another earthquake?" asked Kula.

"I'm sure we would have felt something if that was the case," said Sarabi. "No, whatever caused the rockslide most likely didn't happen on its own. So if anyone saw what happened, or if someone was caught in the gorge and survived..."

"I wouldn't want to see what condition that creature would be in," said Tama with a shudder.

"We've got one survivor here from the last rockslide," said Nala, pointing out the only other male lion in the group apart from Simba.

It didn't take them long to reach the cliff, and Simba called a stop, making sure no one got too close to the edge. After a moment where everyone looked around carefully, he asked, "What do you think, Afua?"

Afua, the young male lion, frowned. "There's still a bit of dust in the air, and I can't see much down there. We'll have to go into the gorge itself to check for survivors."

Simba nodded and asked Nala and Sarabi to accompany him down the gorge, and told everyone else to spread out and look for signs of what started the rockslide. Afua watched them make their way down the abyss before looking over the entire mess. He couldn't help but think of his brother and the accident that had occurred so many years ago. Tumaini, were you the reason for this as well?

It was an unlikely possibility, but nonetheless one that gave Afua a funny feeling. Like whatever had occurred here was the beginning of something.

Down in the gorge, Simba cautiously led his mother and his mate down into the rubble before they spread out into three different areas. The air was still the dustiest here, so they couldn't stay too long. But they didn't need to. They hadn't made their way very far before Nala called them over to where she was.

It was a terrible sight. Three dead lions were lying, half-buried in the rocks, dried blood smeared over countless wounds and what was visible of their carcasses bent in unnatural angles. One of them had his sightless eyes still open, and the expression on his face was one of pure terror.

"There might be more of them," Nala said softly, looking down at the dead lions.

"I'll call the others to start digging," said Simba, turning to leave.

"Simba, wait," Sarabi called from her spot, her voice uncharacteristically urgent. He stopped and carefully walked to where she was instead.

"Not all of them are dead," his mother said, pointing at a bloody pawmark on one of the stones. "There's at least one of them that's alive."

"I'll send someone to find the survivor." He turned to head back up but was interrupted again by her.

"There's more. Look." Sarabi pointed at the pawmark, which upon closer examination had a fang-shaped outline near the centre, and a few locks of black fur smeared in the crimson. Perplexed, Simba gave her a questioning glance.

"I recognize that tuft of fur," she explained. "And there's only one lioness I know with that fang birthmark. Janga."

"It can't be," Nala whispered, walking over to look at the pawmark too.

Feeling like he was missing out on something important, Simba asked, "Who's Janga?"

Sarabi gave a sigh of resignation as she stared at the pawmark. "Janga was born while Scar was king over the Pridelands. She was his daughter...and mine." She looked up to meet her son's shocked eyes. "Simba, you have a sister."


[Author's Note]

Well, that's the end of book 1. I hope you've enjoyed reading it and will be interested in reading the sequels to come, because Kopa's story is far from finished. This wasn't a long story in itself, but like I said, its purpose is to establish the characters and events for what happens next, so I didn't want to drag it out by adding filler. Again, feedback would be appreciated. I'm interested in hearing your thoughts (and reading your stories, if you have any to show to me) however unpleasant they may be. Thoughts, that is. I'm not saying anyone's written unpleasant stories. Anyway, I know some of you probably hate me for bringing Kopa so close to Pride Rock and then taking him away, so whether you have praise or condemnation for me, leave them in the reviews below.

P.S. Drop me a message for whatever reason if you feel like it. I'm always interested in making new friends on this site.