Masilahi looks back frantically. He can still hear voices following behind. Angry voices, voices crying out for blood and revenge. His other concern is the safety of Omolara, his mate. She too, has been charged with Ezenachi's death. Both claimed innocence, both denied the right to prove so. Ezenachi's mate, the lioness Malika would not hear of it. She gave them no chance of a reprieve. Malika has sent Jabali the rhino, Gathii and Githinji the hyenas after them personally before news of the King lion's death was known to all. Masilahi and Omolara both know that involving the other chimpanzees would endanger the rest of the unit.
They swing as fast as they can, trying to make distance between them and their pursuers. Masilahi thinks to himself as he looks back every so often to Omolara, why were they blamed for Ezenachi's death by Malika? Why of all the animals in the jungle would they have wanted him dead?
But in losing himself with the thought of whys, Masilahi didn't see the wall of chimpanzees and other apes blocking their way. Masilahi grabs Omolara, palm and tries to find an alternate way of escape, only to find themselves surrounded.
Masilahi demands to know why they were accused and pursued for a crime they didn't commit as Malika walks out from the darkness. The contempt in Malika's eyes burns a hole in Masilahi's. He tries to not look away, but can not help feeling an overwhelming hatred coming from his Queen. Gathii and Githinji burst through the leaves, fangs exposed, ready to kill. Malika orders them down before they reach Omolara, relunctantly they obey. jabali can be heard stomping his way towards the gathered animals, eyeing both Masilahi and Omolara with disappointment. He longed to taste chimpanzee meat once again, as it has been forbidden to do so for years.
Ezenachi reached an agreement with the chimpanzees years ago for protection. no other animal hunts them as long as they help build shelters and dams. With their "humanlike" hands and intellect they were an asset to the rest of the Pride. With Ezenachi's, the rest of the unit of chimpanzees have sided with Malika to ensure they are not next to be punished. Masilahi holds one hand to his mate, while the other points to Malika demanding proof of her accusations.
"Your demands of proof offend me on this night. My mate has been betrayed, murdered without provocation and you dare you question my judgement on your guilt?!" Malika voice rises as she walks towards the chimpanzees with authority.
Malika composes herself and asks Gathii to bring to her a patch of fur found near Ezenachi's body. Gathii smugly walks over to Masilahi and drops the patch at his feet. Omolara defiantly snatches the patch and sniffs, "This has the scent of my mate, but also the scent of Jabali, who's tusk caused this patch to no longer be apart of him." She drops the patch as she turns her back to Gathii.
Malika asks Jabali what was he doing attacking Masilahi before Jabali answers she asks to see where the patch was missing on Masilahi's body. Malika looks at Masilahi's back and notices not only a patch of fur missing, also scratches on his back. She asks where did he recieve the scratches, as to which he replies he recieved them from Githinji who became angry by a bit of teasing by Masilahi.
Malika coyly wonders at loud why does Ezenachi's paws have his blood on them, to which Masilahi replies "Because Gathii was going to attack me again when Ezenachi stopped him, their paws came into contact."
Omolara steps up to Malika and asks her how did Ezenachi died. She responds a boulder was dropped on his head. Omolara then asks how were they to move the boulder on their own, just the two of them? Why would they harm the King when he saved her mate twice from harm or even death? She walks closer to her Queen and begins a scenario of her own. "Both the hyenas and Jabali have been the victims of the King's interference. Both have reason to plant evidence and the means to move a boulder, given Jabali's strength. If you doubt these words, ask Jabali why his tusk is chipped on the tip?"
Everyone's attention was now drawn on Jabali's tusk. Jabali looks over to the hyenas and the Queen. The rage in her eyes make Jabali step back and before he has a chance to give his reasons as to why his tusk is chipped, the Queen roars the royale words of execution. From the jungle's dark, damp embrace comes ten lions. Five rush in and attack Jabali before he knows what strategy to use to defend himself. The other five rush in and attack the hyenas. for the next few minutes all that is heard is flesh tearing, teeth grinding and the sound of absolute pain from the accused, now sentenced murderers.
After the ten lions feast on their victims, they descent back into the dark jungle leaving nothing but a trail of blood. Malika kneels and apologizes to the tired two chimpanzees as she and the unit leave them be in silence.
Omolara consoles her mate who falls to his knees, shaking in sweat and tears. She whispers in her mate's ear, "Draw strength once again soon, before the next moon's breath Malika will know, like her mate, to never betray us again."
Masilahi looks up at his mate and asks. "What have you done?"
"What I had to for our child. I was not going to let them eat our only son and behave as if it were an accident. It will send a message to the rest that even the meek can inherit the jungle." She gets up and weeps a bit before she tells her mate to help her or join them in death.
Masilahi gets up, dusts himself off and walks over to his mate. He gently grabs her palm and whispers to her, "Let's make the bitch pay".
At that very moment, Malika feels a cold shiver up her spine, she looks back towards where the accused chimpanzees were and wonders how long she has.