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K09-LAL-01 Urban Lion Jungle

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    K09-LAL-01 Urban Lion Jungle

    Urban Lion Jungle (Los Angeleos Lions - Eps 1)

    Los Angeleos Lions
    Episode One - Urban Lion Jungle
    By Darrel Vanwinkle (Lord Pouchlaw) -- May 20th, 2017
    a KMRT Universe adventure series

    Saving a fellow lion from the wicked gang known as High Jackal Hell, Leo Kingsden makes the decision to create his own gang to protect his neighborhood from the jackals preying ways. Though following good advice results in the admiration of the local police department and earns his gang special status.

    Coming up next on the premiere episode of L.A. Lions!
    Leo "Butch" Kingsden
    Renard "Ripper" Ranger
    Caleb "Yeti" Farley

    Supporting Characters:
    Mrs. Ranger, Pride mom lioness (mother to Renard)
    "Paros", Brazilian cockatoo fashion outlet owner
    "Highway", fox-coyote skateboarder (friend to Renard)
    "Thunderbolt", cougar leader of the Pride of Paw Springs
    Detective Faraduck, Canadian mallard detective
    ~(Otterside Police Department); built like a Mighty Duck~

    Rival Gangs:
    High Jackal Hell
    Los Angeleos Lions - Theme Song
    L.A. Lions! "Fight!"
    L.A. Lions! "Alright!"

    We're tough to the core! "Fight, baby! Fight!"
    We'll even up the score! "Fight, baby! Fight!"

    Clean up the streets!
    Learning to be brave!
    Fight against those jackals!
    And send to them to their grave!

    "Jail! We'll send them to jail!"


    A street rumble...
    Is coming your way!
    But we'll end up,
    saving the day...

    L.A. Lions! "Fight!"
    L.A. Lions! "Alright!"

    L.A. Lions! "Fight!"
    L.A. Lions! "Alright!"

    We're a family and how! Join the gang right now!
    Chapter One - Rob and Rescue.

    Los Angeleos, Cowlifurnia

    A muscular male lion and an even larger male sheepdog were walking down the sidewalk in their home turf, a place known as the Pride Hood. They had walked this route time and time before, but today was about to be very different for one of the two. And that difference came in the form of a group of jackals who were members of the High Jackal Hell gang from across town. They often targeted the weak and robbed them, so the jackals could go purchase drugs for the gang as a whole.

    "Hit him again, Raoul!" a jackal exclaimed, as he pocketed a twenty dollar bill. "This feline only had a twenty!"

    After a good kick in the stomach, the kicking jackal sneered, "This ain't no lion, guys! He's just a wuss! No wait... he's not a wuss... he's a PUSSY!"

    The sheepdog nudged his lion friend and whispered, "Hear that? They're rolling a lion."

    The muscular lion muttered, "This time the jackals have gone too far. And in our neighborhood, too. Let's go get them on the move."

    And the two rushed up on the gang jackals and two jackals were soon flying backwards through the air, and stopping suddenly against the bricks of a building's wall. "Wrong turf, Jackals!" growled the sheepdog.

    The muscular lion delivered some bone cracking jaw strikes to a couple of other jackals. "I've been looking for you guys! Unless you get out of my neighborhood, they will have to call in the undertaker!"

    The remaining jackals quickly picked up their buddies and fled the area.

    The two rescuers then turned and looked down on the young male lion teenager lying on his back in a fetal position, crying, just behind the trash cans. The muscular lion held out his paw-hand to the younger lion. "Let me help you up. It's OK, the jackals are gone now. Where does it hurt?"

    The younger lion slowly grasped a hold of the other lion's paw-hand. "My... my sides... they kicked me with... with something sharp... they took my mom's money, too."

    The sheepdog knelt down and examined the boy's sides. "Knife toe boots, Leo. This kid is bleeding. Let's get him into your apartment. It's closer." He then picked the kid up in his massive arms.

    The muscular lion, apparently named Leo, replied, "Right, Caleb. And I'll break out the medical kits and see what we can do for his injuries."

    Caleb and Leo carted the young lion across the street and into the neighboring apartment building. Not long after that, the three were in Leo's living room, where Leo and Caleb were treating the boy's wound.

    As Caleb cleaned the wound with a clean wash cloth damp with hot water, Leo cleaned up the boy's face and arms. "What's your name, kid? I know you're not a local. I know all the locals by name."

    The lion boy replied, "Renard Ranger. My mom and I just moved into the neighborhood from Otterside."

    Caleb hummed. "Otterside. There was a murder there just recently. Word is that it was a lion."

    Renard sighed. "My father was killed in Otterside. The police there don't have any leads, either. Someone is going to get away with murder and no one can do anything about it."

    Leo hummed. "Would it cheer you up if I stuck my nose in and tried to help?"

    Caleb gave Leo a hard stare, but didn't say anything.

    Renard shrugged his shoulders. "Not like it matters. My mom and I will starve before that happens. The jackals took our money. Mom was sending me to the corner market to get some needed dry goods. I don't have anything now."

    Leo hummed again, with a set expression. "Renard... here..." And he pulled out his own money and pressed a twenty into Renard's paw-hand. "I can't let you and your mom starve." He then placed his hand on Renard's shoulder firmly. "However... if you accept this money from me, you have to think about joining my gang. I am forming a gang of locals for defending this area against the jackals. I can train you, if you say yes. So how about it? Will you join me?"

    Renard slowly looked up at Leo's face, then over at Caleb. And then back to Leo. "I... I don't know... I don't want to make my mom cry like she did when dad was killed."

    Leo growled a little, as he said, "You can't let those goons get the better of you. You're a lion, aren't you?"

    Renard then thought about it and said, "Tell you what, Leo... you talk to my mom about training me, and if she okays your giving me self defense training, then I will join your gang."

    End of Chapter One.

    Chapter Two - Offer To Join The Gang.

    Renard then continued. "But if she says no, then I can't do it."

    Leo smiled. "You got a deal. But even if she says no, you'll still be seeing me, Renard. You can't stay a weakling forever. I really do want to train you and have you in our gang."

    Caleb finished wrapping the bandages, then said to Renard, "I think you need to go use the bathroom, Renard. It's right in there." He pointed the way.

    Renard hobbled off toward and into the bathroom, closing the door behind him. Once he was securely inside, however, Caleb grabbed Leo by the shoulders and forcibly whispered, "Your gang? Are you actually going to go through with that idea?"

    Leo squirmed in Caleb's very powerful grip, as he quietly replied, "If we don't do something now, the jackals will keep coming back. You know they will. They almost killed Renard this time. He needs my help and I want to make his stay here a good one. He seems like a nice kid. True, only a year younger than me, but dammit... he needs our help, Caleb."

    Caleb sighed. "The jackals murdered your whole family in that arson last year. Are you sure you want to do this? Once you get started, you'll be in the thick of things."

    Leo replied, "I am not backing down, Caleb. It's now or never. Are you in or not?"

    Caleb released Leo and glanced at the door. "If you get Renard and one other lion to join you, I will throw in my lot with you. But not a moment before. Deal?" He held out his paw-hand to Leo.

    Leo smiled and shook Caleb's paw-hand in his own. "It's a deal. The L.A. Lions are about to become a reality."

    About an hour later, Renard led Leo into his own apartment building across the street. Leo was carrying two bags of groceries. Dry goods, as per the request. Renard said, "This is where I live. Mom is in the kitchen. Do you want me to come with you?"

    Leo smiled. "I can handle myself, Renard. You go on upstairs and take a bath." And then he headed on into the kitchen.

    Within the kitchen, an older female lion stood washing dishes, pots, and pans in the sink. The whole apartment looked like a fixer upper nightmare and the kitchen was no exception.

    "Mrs. Ranger?"

    The lioness turned around and saw the handsome male lion standing there holding the bags of groceries. "Yes, I am Mrs. Ranger. Who are you?" She was a little hesitant about this new lion in her new home.

    "My name is Leo Kingsden. I live across the street. A friend and I met your son about an hour ago as he was on his way to the corner market. I don't want you to be upset or worried, but Renard had an encounter with one of the local bad gangs. They call themselves High Jackal Hell. They are a drug gang." He paused, then continued. "They caught Renard and was in the process of beating the Hell out of him to rob him of any money he had."

    Mrs. Ranger raised a hand up to her muzzle. "...oh no... Is Renard OK?"

    Leo smiled, as he placed the groceries on the kitchen counter and started shelving the goods away. "My friend and I came along and probably saved his life. We took him back to my apartment where we cleaned him up and patched up a stomach wound. He then told us about the two of you, and I escorted Renard to the corner market and used my money to buy groceries for you people. I mean, we're neighbors. We have to watch out for each other, right?"

    Mrs. Ranger was wringing her paw-hands, as she slowly looked out the back window. "Renard is all I have left," she whispered. "Savus and I wanted to give Renard another sibling someday. But then..." She openly sobbed a bit at that point. "...Savus was murdered after he left work. There were no witnesses and the police don't have any leads. They took everything of value that Savus carried on him. The coroner said that Savus bled to death after his attackers robbed him and left him there on the ground... behind the trash cans."

    Leo hummed. Behind the trash cans... that's the M.O. of the Jackals. Could they be involved in the Otterside murder? He then slowly reached over and comforted the lioness, patting her shoulders. "Renard told me about that. I offered to help the police find who did it."

    Mrs. Ranger turned her muzzle to Leo. "No, you don't have to do that, Mr. Kingsden. It is kind of you to offer, though."

    Leo smiled, gently rubbing the side of Mrs. Ranger's face. "Just call me Leo. Um... there is one more little thing, ma'am. Er... I would like to teach Renard some self defense lessons. You know, so he can defend himself... and you... while you're living here. I might not be around next time. And I don't want you to lose the only lion you have left. May I have permission to train your son? He said you had to approve it or he couldn't do it."

    Mrs. Ranger hummed, clearly thinking about the proposition. The groceries were then put away and the dishes washed, dried, and put away. Finally, Mrs. Ranger turned to look at Leo and said, "Give me a day to talk it over with Renard."

    Leo replied with a smile. "Thank you, Mrs. Ranger. I appreciate and respect your consideration in this manner."

    End of Chapter Two.


      Chapter Three - A Fresh Perspective.

      Otterside, Cowlifurnia

      "I can't believe you asked me to come along, Leo," said Caleb, looking around the front of the Otterside Police Department. "I must be crazier than you are." A few of the officers on hand shirked away from the massively huge sheepdog standing next to the muscular lion.

      Leo replied, "I promised Renard I'd come over here and give the local police a lead. Besides, the M.O. is unmistakable. We know who is involved. Just let me do the talking. OK?"

      Caleb merely grunted as he accompanied Leo inside the police station.

      Leo walked up to the front desk and said to the clerk sitting there. "Excuse me..." he said to the clerk. "Could you direct me to someone who is working on the Ranger murder case, please?"

      The male ram clerk looked up at the muscular lion with an examining eye. "Detective Faraduck is currently in his office. It's down the hall and third door on your left."

      Leo smiled with a nod of his head. "Thank you, friend." He nodded to Caleb. "Come on." And the two made their way down the hallway toward the detective's office.

      Detective Faraduck looked like a green feathered Canadian mallard built like a member of the Mighty Ducks hockey team. He looked up from his desk with a surprised look on his beak when the two large hulks entered his office. "Can... can I help you?"

      Leo took the seat across from Faraduck and said, "My name is Leo Kingsden from L.A. and the Ranger family just moved into my neighborhood. When they told me what had happened here, the M.O. sounded familiar toward something in L.A. that I had seen and witnessed on some occasions myself."

      Detective Faraduck immediately straightened up in his chair. "Go on." This was just the sort of break he was hoping for. He was really hoping that the information panned out.

      Leo said, "There is this drug using gang called High Jackal Hell. They rob people and use the stolen goods to buy drugs for their gang and pushers. On occasion... they will mob a victim, get him on the ground, beat and kick the victim, and take their valuables. A few of their gang members wear and utilize knife toe boots, so their kicks in the stomach produce some lasting meaning. After the beating and robbery... they dump the victim behind any nearby trash cans before departing the area. As you can imagine, if the victim isn't found right away, they might die from the attack."

      Detective Faraduck was elated. A lot of what Leo had just told him was not released to the public and only those working the case knew about it. "Your word alone isn't enough to help me put a case together against these jackals, you know. If we could get one of them to confess to the crime, and get it on tape, that would help immensely."

      Leo then explained how he had been trying to get a neighborhood watch started in his neighborhood, but the locals were too afraid to participate. So he was planning on forming a private watch, though among the street people, they would be called a gang. "But I don't want the L.A. Lions to be at odds with the police, you understand. I just want to protect my neighborhood. And these jackals keep showing up and make life difficult for our people who are living there."

      Detective Faraduck listened with interest to the whole scheme. Then, he exclaimed, "I think we can help each other here, Leo. If you agree to wear a 'wire' while you're out on the streets with your gang, I think I can help you get started."

      Caleb then spoke up. "Forgive me for talking, Leo, but if the other gangs find out that you are wearing a wire, and they catch you... you will end up dead. And that isn't a threat. That is simply L.A. gang justice."

      Leo irked. "Darn it. He has a point, Detective Faraduck. If there was a way to make the wire look like something else... something the gangs were not expecting... that would be better."

      Detective Faraduck hummed. "I have some friends in development who are working on a prototype wire that doesn't look like a wire. They tell me that it looks like a chain necklace with dog tags on it. So it is interesting that you would bring that up. And if we were to imprint a lion's paw on the dog tags..."

      Leo perked up with a smile. "...then it would be only natural for members of the L.A. Lions to have them. That is so great of an idea, Detective Faraduck. When will this prototype be ready for a field test?"

      Detective Faraduck replied, "Tomorrow afternoon, actually. Can you come back then?"

      Leo stood up. "You know I can, sir. And I really want to help you put this case to bed, too. I just know the jackals are involved in this case and I am willing to go all out to prove it." He reached across the desk and shook the detective's wing-hand. "We'll be back tomorrow afternoon. By then, I should have Renard under my wing. I offered to train him in self defense. I think he could really use the education."

      Detective Faraduck smiled, shaking the paw-hand in return. "I should be thanking you, Leo. This case was about to go cold. Thanks to you, I think it just heated up. I will see you tomorrow afternoon. Let me make some phone calls while you are seeing yourselves out. Oh! And be thinking about what your gang outfits will look like."

      Caleb grinned. "He's right, Leo. Every gang I know of all have one thing in common... and that is their gang uniform. Or lack of one, in some gangs cases."

      End of Chapter Three.


        Chapter Four - The Clothes Make The Lion.

        Caleb then continued. "Every gang member should wear a similar outfit akin to the leader. And because you will be the leader, you need to decide what the outfit will look like."

        Leo smiled. "In that case... I think it's time to go shopping, Caleb. A few factory outlet merchants owe me a few favors from last year. Maybe they can help me put together a set of gang outfits."

        The two friends departed the Otterside police department and hopped back into Leo's car and began the drive back toward Los Angeleos to the West. Leo was in a great mood, having killed two mosquitoes with one swat, so to speak.

        "This is beginning to turn out fantastically well, Caleb."

        "Don't forget that I said I wouldn't join unless you bagged TWO lions, not just Renard."

        "You worry too much, Caleb," Leo remarked with a grin. "Renard is practically in the bag. And I do know a few other lions. I just haven't talked to them yet. But once they hear what I am up to, they will be in the bag, too."

        "Famous last words."

        The two continued their drive toward L.A. chattering back and forth, though overall, Leo was certain that his gang idea was taking off beyond the shadow of a doubt. He only hoped that Mrs. Ranger didn't decide to do an about-face.

        The two friends walked into the factory outlet store's rear entrance. It was a literal mess and not an apparent store of any sort. "A little cleaner than the last time I was here," remarked Leo.

        "You got to be kidding me," grumbled Caleb. "This place looks like a disaster movie."

        At that moment, a Brazilian male cockatoo stepped out from a side storage room. He had a cloth tape measure strung around his neck and he wore an apron. "Glad to say that this is my disaster movie. Though if you don't like it, you don't have to shop here, gentry."

        Leo grinned, as he playfully punched the cockatoo's shoulder. "Hi Paros. Remember me? I helped you acquire this building back when you first came to the city."

        Paros smiled as he hugged Leo. "And what a night that was, eh stud? What brings you back to me this time?"

        Caleb made a face when he began to realize what Paros and Leo must have done months before. The more he learned about Leo, the less he wanted to know. But yet... they were still friends.

        Leo smiled. "Got my gang idea approved and we need some rocking rad looking gang clothes. And because you're the raddest guy around L.A., I came to you. What would look good with dog tags?"

        Paros smiled and led the two into the back of the store and immediately began getting an ensemble together from bits and pieces that he had lying around. It took about an hour and a half, but finally, they had it narrowed down to three outfits.

        Caleb remarked, pointing to the second one in line, "No offense, but we would be laughed out of L.A. if we wore that in public. It's a bit... girly..."

        Leo had been looking at the first one and the third one regardless. Both seemed... not quite right. Then, he looked at the second one, grabbed the black leather belt from it, took the black leather jacket from the third one, then swiped the denim jeans and tee shirt from the first and assembled the collected clothes and stepped back to get a good view of the result.

        Paros hummed. "That is almost it, Leo. But something is still missing. And I know what it is. But I can't supply you with that one remaining part. The back of your leather jacket needs to have your gang insignia on it."

        Caleb grinned. "The L.A. Lions. I can see that as an improvement to the jacket. So where do we go to get something like that?" he asked of Paros.

        Paros dug into his business cards and pulled out one of a few duplicate cards. "Go here and ask a boar named Gerek Gervase to do the job for you, ' a favor to Paros...' He will know what to do after that."

        Leo smiled and said, "I will need about sixteen sets of these clothing combinations, Paros. You can deliver them to my apartment. I am sure you still remember where that is, don't you?" He winked with a sly grin. Caleb was mentally wishing that Leo would stop flirting openly with this cockatoo. Friend or not.

        Paros smiled back. "Indeed I do, stud. I'll make the delivery, you can bank on that."

        As Leo and Caleb departed from the clothing outlet, the lion said to his sheepdog friend, "I'll go commission the jacket art and while I am doing that, you go tell Honeypuff what it is that we are going to be doing in the pride neighborhood. He gets along better with you than he does with me."

        End of Chapter Four.


          Chapter Five - A New Friend?

          Angeleos Park

          Feeling better after his mid day nap, Renard grabbed his skateboard and headed out of the apartment. He soon located the nearby Angeleos Park where he found that they did have a section for skateboarders. He did some warm ups first, and then... he rode his skateboard out among the others present and began performing what he was best at. Unbeknown to anyone locally, Renard was a pro skateboard tournament player, except he had always lost the tournament to a hot shot asshole from the East Coast who was also a press braggart.

          Renard performed his many practiced moves for the audience, which included skids, rippers, and the half-pipe.

          It was while he was resting near the back side of the park that a fox colored canine skateboarded by his spot, then came back and smiled at the new lion.

          "Hi," the canine said. "That's a really nice skateboard."

          Renard had been waxing the surface of the board and oiling the wheels, as he glanced up at the canine. His immediate thought was male fox. "Thank you. It's an Imperial 3000. My late father got it for me before the last tournament, a few months ago. It has sentimental value."

          The foxy canine nodded his head and sat down next to Renard. "I'm sorry to hear that, friend. When my mom passed away last year, I felt the same way." He held out his paw-hand. "The name is Highway."

          Renard shook the paw-hand. "Renard. I'm new in the area. Um, what kind of name is Highway, if you don't mind my asking?"

          Highway replied, "It's an on-the-street nickname. You never use your real name when you're out of your home. Using a nickname actually helps keep your family safe in case something bad happens that you're involved in. You're new in the area, so you didn't know about that. But now that you know, you should think of a really rad, cool nickname to use."

          Renard hummed. "There is a nickname I had back in my old high school. But I only used it in school."

          Highway smiled. "So what is it?"

          Renard grinned. "Ripper. No one rides a skateboard the way I do. I could rip through the competition like nobodies business."

          Highway grinned back, as he held out his paw-hand again. "My name is Highway. Now use your nickname this time."

          Renard firmly shook the paw-hand in his own with a sly grin. "They call me Ripper."

          Highway chuckled. "That was good. When you're around your mom, you allow your normal name. But when you're out on the street, you go by your street name. And Ripper makes you sound as if you're savvy to what's going on around you, even if you don't. So, want to go rip some stunts with me?"

          Renard grinned again. "Yeah! But first... let me help you modify your board a little so you can get a better feel for your ride. The proper wax and oil can improve your performance." And he got started in waxing and oiling Highway's board.

          After the board treatment, Highway and Ripper skated off together and began performing dual maneuvers and stunts for the crowd, and both were absolutely better together than they had been apart.

          Highway then said, "By the way, I am not a fox despite my dyed fur appearance. I am a foxyote hybrid regarded by much of the city as street trash. I really like you, Ripper."

          Otterside, Cowlifurnia

          The next day, Renard found himself in the passenger seat of Leo's car as they traveled east of Los Angeleos toward Otterside. "Um, where are we going, Leo?"

          "I have to meet up with Detective Faraduck today," he replied. "I wanted you to come along so you could find out for yourself how your father's case is progressing."

          Renard arched an eye. "Mom told you that you didn't have to help. Why are you getting involved?"

          "Because after hearing what the M.O. was, Renard, I knew who did it. Don't you want the scum brought to justice?"

          Renard sighed, looking out the window. "Yes," he replied quietly.

          The rest of the car trip was very quiet. Leo was hoping that Renard still wanted to hang out with him. He really liked Renard and the kid was attractive, too. Soon, they were parking in the lot in front of the Otterside police department and walking into the building once again.

          At the front desk, Leo said, "Is Detective Faraduck in? He asked me to come back today." He then smiled gently afterward. The clerk blinked his eyes when he saw how the two were dressed.

          End of Chapter Five.


            Chapter Six - Dog Tags.

            Both male lions wore tee shirts of a solid color devoid of advertising, denim blue jeans with black leather belts around their waists, and a stylish black leather jacket with chains on the upper lapels. The back of the leather jackets had a lion's head and the words, "L.A. Lions", brightly depicted in full color. Appearance wise, they were pretty impressive.

            The male ram clerk replied, "He is in the testing division at the moment but you can wait in his office."

            Leo smiled, patting the clerk's hand gently. "Thank you." Then he nodded to Renard, and the two headed off down the hallway toward Faraduck's office.

            As they reached the office door, a dull crash was heard within. Leo opened the door and stood in the open doorway. Standing in the office was a young male cougar and he had one of the filing cabinet drawers open and there were folders on the floor. Leo exclaimed, "HEY! What are you doing?"

            Instantly, the cougar about hit the ceiling, as he glanced once at Leo, then shifted his eyes to look for a way out of the office. Unfortunately, Leo was standing within the only exit.

            And worse, Detective Faraduck returned to the office at that moment. "What's going on in my office?"

            Leo moved aside a bit so Faraduck could see what he was seeing. "I caught this cougar turning your office upside down."

            Detective Faraduck sighed. "I know who he belongs to. He's with a gang called the Pride of Paw Springs. We've had our eye on them distantly since the murder. They were prime suspects until you arrived."

            Leo looked at the kid, then said to Detective Faraduck, "His gang has nothing to do with this. Let him go, this time." He then looked to the cougar again. "Come on, kid. You are fortunate that I, Butch of the L.A. Lions, bailed you out of a sticky situation. Now head on home and no side trips. Go on." Then he stepped out of the way as the cougar quickly departed.

            After helping Detective Faraduck clean up his office, the three headed down to development where they walked in and stood before the research team at the Otterside police headquarters.

            Detective Faraduck smiled. "Boys, this is Leo Kingsden. He is the one I was telling you about. Show him the dog tags."

            A Persian cat male technicians presented the finished product to Leo for examination. "As you can see, using the newest microcomputer technology, we have miniaturized a satellite link speaker/recorder directly into the dog tags. To the casual observer, they merely look like dog tags. But to see the beauty of their work, you would need a magnifying glass. Securely embedded in the center of the dog tags is the wire device itself. It is weather proof and durable up to two thousand pounds. It has the cell phone bar strength of double a cell phone's capacity, in case you ever find yourself in a shielded situation, and two way communication is provided as well. How many of these are you to be needing?"

            Leo was still examining the dog tags with a smile. They did indeed have the lions paw print engraved, front and back, upon the dog tags, just as they discussed before. "About sixteen, although I don't plan on having more than eight in use at any given time. But you never know. We may go over eight watch members. Am I permitted to wear this one now?"

            The technician nodded his head, making a small bow. "Of course you may. The remaining fifteen will be ready in a week, if that is to your liking, yes?"

            Leo smiled again, shaking the technician's paw-hand. "It is to my liking. And because you're so nice, I'll see that you get a gang outfit yourself. They are rather... snazzy and rad."

            After Leo put on the dog tag 'wire', Detective Faraduck inquired, "Why is Renard Ranger here, Leo? Is he going to be in your gang, too?"

            Leo replied, "It's rather complicated, but the jackals almost killed Renard yesterday morning and I saved his life. I then offered to teach him self defense lessons, with the suggested offer that he could join my gang. He said that unless his mom gave her permission for me to train him, then he couldn't do it. So I spoke to her, and she accidentally tipped me off as to the M.O. of her husband's killers. And when I heard the M.O., I knew immediately who had to be responsible. And then I came here and spoke to you. And I'll bet you were sure that I was the one who had done it. Right?"

            Detective Faraduck gulped, but remarked, "Yes. No one else was supposed to know the details you told us about the crime, so you quickly became a suspect. But I don't think you had anything to do with it now. You really do want to help us catch the real culprit. And with this wire, you will get your chance. And after this case ends, and don't be surprised that we will do it, I would like to keep tabs on your gang. To make sure you're keeping them on the up and up."

            Leo grinned. "I wouldn't have it any other way, Faraduck. And you know..." He leaned in close and gave the Canadian mallard a firm hug and a beak lick. "'re rather studly yourself." He winked, as he turned to head out the door. "Come on, Renard. Time to head back to Los Angeleos."

            Detective Faraduck stood there watching Leo and Renard leave. Then he turned to the technicians and quietly asked, "Did it look like Leo made a pass at me?"

            The Persian cat giggled. "Looked that way to me. You lucky duck, you. I wish it was me. Last date I had was four months ago and she was a real monster; not a stud like that lion. Twenty three skiddoo, eh?" He winked and giggled again.

            A nearby police dog said, "I have to admit that Leo is a real clean looker. I wouldn't mind palling around with him on my days off."

            The Persian Cat smirked as he remarked, "Are we just hard up or would we sleep with anyone?"

            End of Chapter Six.


              Chapter Seven - Going To A Rumble.

              Los Angeleos, Cowlifurnia

              "What do you mean I can't come with you, Leo?" whined Renard. "I want to help!"

              Leo looked between Renard and Mrs. Ranger once again. "I'll be doing police business tonight, Renard, and it's dangerous. Besides, your mom still hasn't given me permission to train you yet. You just stay home with your mom and do as she says. You are all she has left."

              "But!" Renard started.

              "I WON'T SAY IT AGAIN, RENARD!" Leo then turned to Mrs. Ranger. "Please make sure Renard stays in tonight. If he had some training, I might allow his going. But you haven't said yea or nay yet." He then turned and faced the door with his head tilted down a bit, barely whispering, but still overheard by Mrs. Ranger, "...these jackals murdered my whole family in an arson and no one will care if I die bringing them to justice..."

              Leo then walked out the door, closing it behind him.

              Mrs. Ranger sighed, as she looked to Renard. "I... I had no idea..."

              Renard arched an eye. "What do you mean, mom?"

              Mrs. Ranger replied, "The jackals burned his whole family alive. He thinks no one will care if he dies bringing the jackals to justice."

              Renard growled, "Let me go after him, mom! I care about him! I care!"

              Mrs. Ranger rung her hands, then she said, "He asked you to be in his gang, didn't he? Don't lie to me, Renard. That is why you care what happens to him. He impressed you and you want to be with him. Right?"

              Renard sighed. "You knew all along. Why didn't you say something?"

              Mrs. Ranger hugged Renard and smiled. "Your father often got mad when I could figure things out before he could. If you want to go after Leo, I won't stop you. But wear your gang clothes, Renard. There is no way you could have afforded that nice outfit on your own. And take your skateboard, too. A friend of yours stopped by to see you this afternoon. He asked me if Ripper was home. Called himself Highway. He can't wait to see you in school on Monday."

              Renard grinned. "Highway is cool. Thanks mom. I won't let you nor Leo down." And he rushed off to his room and emerged moments later in his new street gear and carrying his skateboard. "Time for Ripper to go shred some jackals." He then kissed his mother and darted out the door.

              Just across the street, Renard saw Caleb knocking on Leo's door. "Dammit, where in the flip is he?"

              Renard exclaimed, "Caleb! Hop on my skateboard with me! Leo went to the park to face the jackals by himself! Mom gave me permission to go after him!"

              Caleb growled, "He'll get himself KILLED! Let's go, Renard!" And he got on with Renard and they rocketed off down the street toward the park.

              Angeleos Park

              "I know you jackals are involved in the Otterside murder," remark Leo as he faced off against seven of the High Jackal Hell with chains and knives. "Just tell me which one of you did it and we won't have to go the Honeypuff route."

              "We ain't afraid of you, Butch," said a jackal as he stepped forward. "You're sticking your nose into something that isn't any of your business. So... we'll just have to teach you a lesson."

              "Are we really going to take Butch down, Keith?" asked one of the lesser jackals.

              Keith growled at the lesser. "I TOLD YOU TO CALL ME SCIMITAR ON THE STREET, YOU TWIT!" Then he grinned at Leo again. "Yeah, we're going to take Butch down. Just like I took down that business lion in Otterside."

              Leo grinned back, totally unafraid. "That's what I needed to hear, Scimitar. I thought it might be you, but I wanted to hear you say it. Unfortunately, you will be the one who goes down."

              And then, the jackals began their advance on Leo, and he was more than ready for them.

              As he steeled himself up for the first two jackals pouncing directly at him with knives drawn, two or three other jackals suddenly got themselves clothes lined by a charging Caleb. The sheepdog was not a force to be reckoned with.

              End of Chapter Seven.


                Chapter Eight - Gang Alliance and the Pride Mom Ultimatum.

                Another jackal found himself run down by Renard, as the young lion came flying out of the night's air as the skateboard struck the jackal directly across the muzzle, knocking the jackal unconscious from the skateboard strike. And the jackal that was then unconscious was none other than Scimitar himself.

                The remaining few jackals were about to throw their knives at Leo, when suddenly, a whip crack made them drop their knives on the ground as they whined in pain from the unexpected strike. Standing in the nearby shadows were a trio of cougars in black trench coats and cowboy hats. One had a whip in which he was recoiling to place on his belt loop.

                The younger male cougar pointed at Leo and quietly said, "He's the lion who got me off the hook with police."

                The larger slender cougar stepped out of the shadows and helped Leo up to his feet. "You're Butch, right?"

                Leo smiled. "Yeah, that's who I am. Don't know who you are, but thanks."

                The cougar gang leader grinned. "I am called Thunderbolt. I run the Pride of Paw Springs. Earlier today, you helped my kid brother get out of the Otterside police station. He shouldn't have been there. Because you helped him, I want to return the favor. I can see that you don't really have a full roster of a gang yet, Butch. But you must be doing something right if you can bend the police around your little finger so easily. What I am offering you is this, Butch... any time you need the Pride for a rumble, let us know. We'll be there." Then he lowered his voice. "My kid brother adores me, Butch. But he gets into stupid situations sometimes. Consider this as an alliance between our gangs. I keep my promises."

                Leo quietly spoke in return, "Then you better get yourselves scarce before the police show up. I got a confession out of Scimitar earlier. If the Otterside police can't bring him to justice..." He made the slit throat motion with a grin. "...then you guys can finish what I started. Because of this twit, the Otterside police was sure you guys were involved. Now go on... the police will be here any minute now."

                The three cougars bowed, then departed into the shadows of the night once again.

                After the police arrived on the scene, cuffed Scimitar and the other captive jackals as well, they loaded them into their police cruisers and then they got a statement from Leo. He said, "As I suspected, officers, Scimitar performed the crime without the knowledge of his gang leader. So the entire gang is not to blame for the crime; only Scimitar and those who were obeying his orders. I will make sure the Jackal gang doesn't interfere in the police case from here on out, officers." And then they departed back toward Otterside. It was at that point that Leo turned to look at Caleb and Renard. "Thanks for the timely arrival." Then he groaned a little, as he slowly leaned against a nearby tree.

                Caleb immediately came over and examined Leo where the muscular lion had been holding himself. "I knew you would get hurt, you stupid idiot. Come on, Ripper. Let's get the big baby back home. You should feel pretty smug, though. You were the one who actually took down your father's killer."

                Renard grinned. "Ripped and shredded in my natural environment... the skate park. By the way, Butch... mom wants to talk to you when we get home. She's smarter than we thought."

                Ranger Household

                Mrs. Ranger was now playing doctor to Leo, while Caleb and Renard watched from a love seat in the living room. "So your neighborhood watch group is called the Los Angeleos Lions, is it?" she asked with a wink and a grin. "I am not a blond high school lioness, Leo. I wasn't born yesterday. Now hold still while I apply this Methylated Spirit to your wounds. We don't want you to get an infection, do we?"

                And Leo then flinched with a loud yelp as the denatured alcohol was applied to his wounds. Both Renard and Caleb shirked away when Leo yelped from the medical treatment.

                Mrs. Ranger giggled. "Hurts, doesn't it? Here's the deal, Leo... you can train Renard AND have him in your gang... PROVIDED!" She paused for effect. "...provided that you play the equal opportunity employer by allowing females to be in your new gang. Otherwise, no Renard. So what do you say? Get an even mix or do I get to pour more of this alcohol on your wounds?"

                Renard whispered to Caleb, "This is usually how mom got her way with dad." Caleb grinned back, whispering, "Blackmail, you mean. I think this might be fun to get a few females on the team. And I already know one that I can ask. She is a mechanic."

                Leo was gritting his teeth from the pain that the alcohol was causing through his body. "You. drive. a. hard. bargain. Damn. it."

                Mrs. Ranger chuckled. "Now watch your mouth or I will be forced to wash out your mouth with soap."

                Caleb then spoke up with a smile. "Then you better do it, Mrs. Ranger. He has a very dirty mouth. And a dirty mind to match. He proved that yesterday at the clothing outlet." He winked.

                Leo, still gritting his teeth, growled, "I'll kill you, Caleb!"

                Renard laughed. "Sounds like we're getting along great. Let's head into the kitchen, Caleb, and I'll see about fixing us something to eat before bedtime."

                Caleb grinned again. "Food. Now that is the best idea I've heard all night."

                Renard smiled. "How about we split a steak between the four of us." Caleb smiled back. "Better to have a meal that way than to waste three extra steaks. I can bring more food on Sunday."

                End of Chapter Eight.


                  Chapter Nine - Confessions are Good for the Soul.

                  Ranger Home, Pride Neighborhood; Los Angeleos, Cowlifurnia

                  On Sunday morning, Mrs. Ranger along with Leo and Caleb were hosting a Sunday Morning church service within the lioness' home. Several neighbors were gathered there which included a kangaroo family from Otterside as well as Detective Faraduck who had brought the family the good news regarding the solving of the case. Scimitar's confession for all to hear in a court of law was enough to convict the jackal in question. A few of the gang leaders from around the city had also chosen to attend these services as a courtesy only. This was a no-attack day; no one wanted the Lord of us All exacting vengeance upon them for causing a scene on a Sunday.

                  Highway sat with Ripper and a few of the other youngsters their own age in one section of the floor closest to where Mrs. Ranger was playing church hymns on the piano.

                  In the back of the living room, Leo was in a quiet discussion with the leader of High Jackal Hell, whom was not high for a change and he smelled decently. "Word reached me that you spoke up on my behalf to the Otterside police, Butch. I know we don't get along at school; but thank you for assuming that I was in the dark in regards to Scimitar. My gang is a large one and I cannot keep tabs on all of my captains and those following them. When he chose to go to Otterside, he signed his own death warrant. I care about my people, Butch, but his entering the territory of the Pride of Paw Springs was against the gang charter. Since you are going to be running your own gang, you had better create and enforce a charter for your people to know and obey or else the other gangs will assume that you are the ultimate threat. While my gang had nothing to do with your family's arson; I know who was involved. If you want to know more, meet me later at Papa Pizzazio's Disco Cyber Cafe; it is the city's neutral spot for all neutral activities. Word is that Papa Pizzazio was once an Italian Mob Boss. So he doesn't take guff from young wannabe hoodlums like us."

                  Leo placed a paw on the jackal's shoulder as he looked him in the eye. "I know you personally had nothing to do with the arson, Jacob. But my police officer father had been poking his nose around gang territory. Burning my family alive was not necessary to send a message. I would have been dead too had I not been spending the night with Paros at the factory outlet."

                  Jacob, not his real name, then said, "You don't have your gay eye on Ripper, do you? He is under-aged, Butch. He is going to find out from someone and then he will be cautious when you are around. Don't make me go the Honeypuff route."

                  Leo quietly grinned. "I had my eye on him at first, but ever since the Pride mom put the hurt on me last night, my eye has turned toward her. She poured some sort of red alcohol into my knife wound. It hurt like fucking lava. Caleb was laughing at me for being in such agony."

                  Jacob was trying to keep a straight muzzle at how amusing Butch's confession was just then. "You know, Butch... that sounds like Methylated Spirit. My mother does that to me even at her advanced age. I can sympathize since you finally had to endure that. And you often wondered why I was so tough; now you know. The red stuff will make a grown male cry like a baby." He was laughing at the end since he couldn't help it at that point.

                  Leo wanted to box Jacob's jaws for laughing but it would have to wait; this was Mrs. Ranger's house. He still feared that she had the red stuff within reach somewhere close by.

                  Up front, the normally violent kangaroo joey from Otterside was surprisingly calm, angelic and obedient as he sat beside Renard with his head leaned against the young lion's shoulder as he sang with his accented voice together with the other youths. The Kangaroo's parents thought that this was some sort of trick but the young lion in question was one of the joey's former school mates back in Otterside. Renard had saved the joey from a gang beating back in Otterside and soon after the murder of Renard's father, the Ranger family moved to Los Angeleos which literally made the kangaroo joey, Deryk Roo, go out of his mind violent and become hateful to nearly everyone around him.

                  Yet here he sat as reverent as could be.

                  Faraduck spoke to the joey's parents. "I had a suspicion that this Sunday service to see his hero would calm him down and now we see why, Mr. and Mrs. Roo. He only became violent once his hero whom had saved his life moved out of Otterside. Deryk is a special case; as long as his hero was around, he was on the road to recovery. Remove the skateboarding lion and we saw the results. You were on the verge of having him committed to a psychiatric ward; this is not necessary. He will stay calm as long as he can be around Renard Ranger. I've done some checking; the home right next door to Mrs. Ranger is available and for sale. Acquire that property and move Deryk Roo in so he can be near his hero. I know you both have jobs back in Otterside; But a few Otterside officers are on the verge of retiring from the force and I can ask them to be the in house parental figures for Deryk Roo. Come on, folks... look at how peaceful your son is right now. Remember how he was before the morning drive to Los Angeleos? This move would help to restore his mind."

                  Mr. Roo looked at his sheila and then he turned to Faraduck and replied, "The 'ome will 'ave to be cleaned up before we could let Deryk move in there. But remember... we do not want our son to join any gangs. A gang is what almost got 'im killed in the first place. Does this neighborhood 'ave a gang?"

                  Faraduck glanced toward the back of the living room toward the front door where Butch was speaking to Jacob. "Leo Kingsden recently started a Neighborhood Watch Group which is called the L.A. Lions. Leo was the son of a former police officer locally. To make his Watch Group look impressive, he has told the other gangs that he is running a gang; the truth is that he asked me at Otterside Police Headquarters to help him keep his group on the up and up. And so far, he has earned his keep. We are keeping our eye on him since that was our deal with him."

                  Mrs. Roo said, "'e does look impressive in those clothes. We will permit Deryk to join Leo's Watch Group; but we will keep our own tabs on Deryk. No gang shit or the deal is off. We won't be able to get 'im legally up 'ere for another week or so. We 'ave to make arrangements with the school in Otterside and we will be back every Sunday to check on 'im."

                  Faraduck nodded his head. "This is your right; but be honest with me, folks. Had you had him committed to a psychiatric ward, how often would you have checked on him while he was there? Something tells me that you would have wrote him off the moment he was committed. Your jobs are pretty darned involving and complicated. Your time was limited for him anyway."

                  Renard whispered to Deryk, "Detective Faraduck is convincing your folks to let you move in locally so you can school locally with me. By the end of the month, you will be here full time."

                  End of Chapter Nine.


                    Chapter Ten - Donations for the House of the Lord.

                    When the services were over, Renard took the young people with him and Highway to get some ice cream at Papa Pizzazio's Cyber Cafe which was right across the street from the skate park. While they were gone, the Los Angeleos police arrived and they awarded Leo with a certificate officiating his Neighborhood Watch Group. This action was based on his service to assist the Otterside Police in bringing a cold case to a close. Newspaper photographers were on hand to get the picture of Leo accepting the certificate from the police. Leo also received awards that rightfully belonged to Leo's deceased L.A. police father. These awards included his father's police officer uniform which he had stored at police headquarters instead of having at home with him which would have been lost in the fire; like his police trophies had in the intense inferno.

                    A local church in the neighborhood which had been under reconstruction was to be given to Leo as well. Titled as the Kingsden Memorial House of the Lord; Leo handed the property deed and door keys to Mrs. Ranger. "Will you please oversee the church for me, Mrs. Ranger?"

                    Mrs. Ranger nodded her head. "In the name of my deceased husband, I would be honored to oversee the memorial chruch. But never forget that I am the Pride Mom and I have the stuff that can make you cringe and whine." She shot off a wink with a grin before she went into the kitchen to serve refreshments to her guests.

                    Leo had a look of fear when she said that as he backed off to speak to Faraduck near the front door. "Mrs. Ranger and her bedside manner are almost criminal, sir. She poured Methylated Spirit on my injuries last night. And I think she enjoyed doing it. And for some weird reason, that turns me on."

                    Faraduck smirked. "I know where an entire warehouse is located if you want to bathe in the stuff the next time you get injured. There is nothing arousing about in being submerged in Methylated Spirit. Just keep your focus on the Neighborhood Watch, Leo. My research division team all think you might be a hot fun date."

                    Leo smiled at Faraduck as he placed one arm around the stud duck. "For the record, sir, I am bisexual; but I told the other gangs that I was gay; so they all think I am only into guys. But I wouldn't be interested in Mrs. Ranger if I was gay and she turns me on in that I can hurt a tough lion sort of way."

                    Faraduck giggled as he put his arm around the lion and whispered, "Mrs. Ranger is a martial Arts instructor as well as a registered nurse. So when you told her that you would like train her son in self defense, she expertly had to prevent herself from laughing. As for putting the hurt on a tough lion, it takes knowing how to heal someone to know how to hurt them. Yes, her bedside manner is pretty atrocious, but when you live in a gang area, you tend to learn some things. Extra note, Renard is dating Deryk Roo."

                    Leo smiled. "I knew something was going on between those two. They were so close during services and the joey looked like he was in Heaven."

                    Faraduck then chose to tell Leo the story on how the press braggart skateboarder from the East Coast chose not to get involved before the big tournament and how Renard put the contest on a back burner to save the little roo's life. A decision he has not regretted. The true love of the kangaroo was reward enough. Leo felt a lump in his stomach when he heard the story.

                    And then Mrs. Ranger and the Roo parents approached Leo and Faraduck. Mrs. Ranger handed Leo and Faraduck a glass of fruit juice while Mrs. Roo spoke to Leo directly. "We will be permitting our son to move into your pride area so 'e can be near Renard. But our stipulation is that 'e cannot be involved in gang warfare or we will extract 'im from the arrangement. So do we 'ave yer word that yer Watch Group is only and exactly that? If we learn that yer Watch Group is a gang no more Deryk Roo. We will move 'is ass off to Briar Bay where the closest Psychiatric 'ospital is located."

                    Leo remarked without a thought, "Briar Bay has three major gangs living in their city. So if you learn that Deryk is involved down here, you are going to ship your son to other gangs to do as they like to him. Yeah, that sounds real mature and intelligent. They would break Deryk out and then you would never find out where your son ended up. Having dealt with gangs locally, it pays to keep track of where all gangs are based at so you don't migrate straight into their rumble zone. It pays to learn the lingo too so you know what to avoid."

                    Then Leo got a little loud, "If my parents treated me like you are treating Deryk, I would have ran away from home and I would never have come back! Before the arson, my parents showered me with unconditional love! I always did as my parents asked me and the reward is learning that my whole family got cremated by in an obvious arson case that is legally cold with no suspects!! I don't have to try to protect my neighborhood but I wanted to do the right thing for my neighbors! If Deryk is going to be living here, he will be involved in various things and not by choice! So if you are threatening him with the crazy farm if he can't stay out of trouble, then he isn't the one who needs psychiatric help! YOU ARE!"

                    Faraduck pulled Leo back away from the couple and out to the front stoop where the lion could cool down. "Good thing Renard didn't see you blow up like that, Leo. You would have scared him. And then you would have lost his respect. He thinks you can handle anything. You can handle gangs but when it comes to parents, you lose it? You owe them an apology. They are at wits end because of Deryk's mental instability. He calms down when he is near Renard. If you blow this, I will shut down your watch group myself. It hasn't even been a week, Leo."

                    Leo sobbed a bit at that point. "I held my father's bare skull in my hands, Faraduck. That is a memory I would not wish on anyone. It was still warm from the inferno. I promised his skull that I wouldn't rest until justice was done. It was either this watch group or my dressing up as Bat-Lion from the comics."

                    Mr. and Mrs. Roo emerged from the house at that point and they rested their paw-hands on Leo's shoulder, "We didn't mean to eavesdrop, Leo, but we 'eard yer story through the door. We're sorry for yer loss and we're sorry we are at the end of our rope for dealing with Deryk. Savus and Ah worked together at our financial firm in Otterside; 'e was never late for work in all the years that Ah knew 'im. When 'e failed to show up for work that morning, Ah grabbed a guard and we went looking for 'im. 'e was dead by the time we located 'im behind the trash cans in that alley. Savus 'ad a life insurance policy only collectable by 'is son, Renard, and only when the young lion reached 21 years of age. The amount of this policy is in the millions. Renard could be living in a mansion with our son if 'e wanted to. And that is another reason yas cannot let anything bad to 'appen to Renard while 'e is in your watch group. The boy is set for life but 'e 'as to live to collect it; otherwise, the entire amount is gone forever. Ah 'ope yas can see why we care about the youth of tomorrow, mate."

                    Leo lifted his head and muttered, "...Renard is an instant millionaire when he turns 21? Then I add his life to my family oath. He will reach the age to collect on the policy and I swear I will protect both him and Deryk as long as they are in Los Angeleos."

                    End of Chapter Ten.
                    End of Episode One.

                    Stay tuned for the next episode, Recruiting School.