Instinct. All animals have it, especially a predator like Zira. A hunt was the perfect thing to sate her appetite. She had her fun with the strange, savage animals usually, but she needed something smarter. Another 'character', someone to chase or scare. The sun was bright, with a few clouds, a nice day for a walk. Discovery Island Trails, they were called. Winding paths around a large tree, the trail itself was... acceptable for an evening, but surely it would attract something small and weak, whether to wander it, or just coming through. She drew no attention, really, as she practiced her prowling, moving low along the grass, even pouncing, here and there. It only made the humans like her more to see an 'actor' perform with such excitement. She did her best not to attract too much attention, and keep her eyes out for her goal. Already, several plans of how to play it off. She planned to move with swiftness, however she does so.
Even though the lodge was a short distance from the actual park, Nick Wilde still had to take the bus. Apparently, there were no walking trails between the two locations, and that meant the only way for guests to get from the Animal Kingdom Lodge to Animal Kingdom, was by transportation. In hindsight, it would of been a smart idea to make a path, that probably meant taking down a few more trees.And for a park that was about wildlife, doing so was probably a big no-no.
He wasn't complaining though.
The red fox had just stepped off the bus and walked down the path away from the bus station, and towards the park. After passing by security (thankfully he had no bags on him), Nick Wilde walked through the front gate and into the park itself. Right away, he was surrounded by trees, and it felt that he was walking through some jungle. After he picked up a map, and after some walking, he did spot some animals. Though, like the ones at the lodge, they were walking on all fours, and didn't seem to care much about anything except food and water. He was still kind of dismayed at this discovery, but this was a world where humans rose to be the dominant species. Animals? They didn't have the time, or luck, to obtain sentience.
Still made Nick feel like he was out of place.
Finally, Nick Wilde stepped off the path with the trees, and onto a bridge. In the distance, was a massive tree. All over the tree, was carvings of different animals. Nick even swore he saw a fox and bunny somewhere on the tree. There was some buildings before it, and as the guests walked over the bridge and moved in different directions, Nick saw that there was a cast member taking pictures of a family, who were holding a picture frame that celebrated the park's anniversary. Nick, only smiled as he took his sunglasses out of his pocket, and put them on.
"Well Nick, let's see what this Animal Kingdom has to offer," He said to himself.
The red fox made his way down the path, past the buildings, and took a left at the fork in the road. He was intending on starting left, and working his way right. The fox glanced down at the map he picked up, seeing that he could walk from Pandora, to Africa, into Asia, and finally end at Dinoland U.S.A. But as he walked, he soon stopped and looked to his right. There was a path that went close to the large tree, which guests could walk on. There wasn't much people on it. The red fox thought it might be a good little path to get away from the crowds, and so, he walked down it.
And yet as he walked down it, he had a feeling that there was something else on the trails...
Delving deeper into the 'jungle', Zira felt increasingly at home. At least, closer than anywhere thus far had felt. Her prey would eventually come into sight, the large lioness not exactly hidden, but no one would think to look for her, or suspect anything. She however, was very aware. She smelled... something, and soon could hear it. Setting back on her legs, she prepared to pounce. Adjusting her position as the prey drew nearer, and eventually into her sight. From the brush just outside the trail, she made a leap! Eyes fixed on her target, as her paws aim to pin him down, particularly her front ones. A roar escaped her maw in the motion, her instincts on full blast. Almost certainly, Nick would find himself pinned under a vicious lioness.
The path was rather quite, besides the occasional wind and the distant crowd. Nick walked down the trail, and stopped as he now had a good view of the tree. The fox would let out a whistle as he looked up at the tree, seeing it in all of it's detail and beauty. Of course, it wasn't a real tree, but it was still impressive. He would chuckle to himself, "Well, gotta say, it is rather large up close. No one would think that there was a show underneath it." He then had a thought, "Wonder if Judy saw this. Knowing Carrots, she probably wanted to explore the entire theme park. She is an optimistic bunny, after-"
He suddenly heard a loud roar, and the fox only had a moment to turn around to see a lioness jumping at him. Nick's eyes widened in fear as he let out a loud scream as the large feline pounced on him, and pinned him to the ground. He felt the wind being knocked out of him as he hit the hard floor, and he soon was eye to eye with the feline. She had dark yellow/brown fur, sharp yellow and red eyes, and to top it off, she was on all fours. Nick wondered if a lion got out of the zoo or something!
"Please don't eat me. I'm thin, and probably more bone than meat," He said out of fear. Though, he then winced, as his nose picked up the lion's breath, "Also, eugh. Two words: breath mint." Even in fear, Nick has a chance to crack a comment. Or two.
It felt good, to finally pounce. For a long moment, she felt back at home in the Outlands, the feeling of a small creature in her clutches again. She overheard some of his words, but had not paid them any attention. A hungry grin crossed her muzzle, her teeth exposing themselves to the pinned creature. She wanted him to fear, to... entertain her, as it were. Surely he didn't mind, it seemed to be what the locals were all about from what she had seen.
"Please don't eat me. I'm thin, and probably more bone than meat," He said out of fear. Though, he then winced, as his nose picked up the lion's breath, "Also, eugh. Two words: breath mint."
Her eyes met his, her growl quieting over time, every movement examined by her keen eyes. Savoring his fear before she finally spoke, knowing it would ease him no matter what she said to know she understood. "I am well used to that kind of a meal." she chuckled,her tone confident as she kept him pinned, feeling him in her paws as her instincts lessen their control. "That sounds like a command." She raised a browas her eyes met his. "My prey has the markings of a predator... The sharp teeth... But your eyes." she seemed, displeased. "Soft, weak."
The lioness spoke. Nick realized that this lioness was like him. They were someone who was stuck here, probably from another world. Though, she was different, compared to him. Feral, more embracing of her predator side instead of trying to keep it under control. She reminded him of the animals who were under the effects of the night howler drug. But, while she had the appearance, she was still under control. Which both meant that he could talk to her, and that he should be wary.
Also, weak? Yes, he was weak and small, but he did a lot more than any animal did, normally.
"And that is why your probably always hungry. Ever had a burger and fries? It's more filling," He replied in his usual witty manner, "Also, yes, I am a predator, but I don't go around attacking anyone for food. We mammals, from my world, got over that part. Unlike you, I see." He would groan as he tried to move out from under her, "So, if you can...get off me, perhaps we can have a normal conversation. Please?"
"And that is why your probably always hungry. Ever had a burger and fries? It's more filling,
The lioness shook her head, at least the gestures were familiar. "I have had no better luck with food, I do recall burgers are meat. Meat, is meat." she said, her words a mix of hope and threat depending how it is applied.
"Also, yes, I am a predator, but I don't go around attacking anyone for food. We mammals, from my world, got over that part. Unlike you, I see."
Her tail moved slow behind her, she knew that he thinks himself above her for this. She saw it the other way, yes... he would be at odds with her on much. "In other words, you have grown lazy and abandoned your own history. The physique of a predator, the mind of a meal." she scoffed.
"So, if you can...get off me, perhaps we can have a normal conversation. Please?"
Zira slowly raised, making a point to be clear on how heavy, strong she was; She wanted him to know it. Sitting back, she nodded. "Yes, I'm sure you have much to tell me." she said, "In turn, I can educate you on what it means, to be a carnivore." her voice full of pride as she said the word.
The lioness did allow him to get up, though not before a few remarks about how he's grown weak due to not acting like a carnivore. And it did sound like she had a burger, going by her earlier statement. Right, so she was proud to be a predator, and probably had no regrets of being such. Meanwhile, he had to live with prejudice because he was a predator, in a city where prey were the majority. Just hearing her made him think of some supremacists he heard about. Basically, predators who felt they should fight back, and embrace their predator side. Predator pride, so to speak.
Once he was able to, Nick would crawl out from underneath her, and brush off the dirt from his green shirt. "Right. Not that I had to deal with predators embracing their carnivore side while I was running for my life. No sir," He muttered to himself and rolled his eyes, before he spoke to Zira, "First off, name's Nick Wilde. Red fox, former con-man, now police officer. Or I was, back in my world. And you are...?"
He could already tell, this conversation was going to be an interesting one.
"First off, name's Nick Wilde. Red fox, former con-man, now police officer. Or I was, back in my world. And you are...?"
She couldn't make out his muttered words, nor did she care for what he said before she was properly addressed anyway. She did get his tone, however. She grinned, "Zira." She had figured out from the brief encounter with Shere Khan about two-part names at least. She listened closely to his introduction. That is her way, exploiting what she knows. It almost worked before. "Lioness. Leader, Mother." she said. "Not a queen, more... democratic is the word?" she thought aloud. Close enough, anyway. "In my world, I was exiled. Cast out to the harsh outlands with other lionesses... Who came to form my own pride. My children were only cubs." she said. "So my apologies if I come off a little, Irate."