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The Jackals of Sakhmet II- Finding Lee: Part Ten

by arrielle5


Rubite Mines (The Pond)-

At first, nothing happened…but then the pond began to lose its glow and a green liquid, poison, began to spread quickly throughout… It had worked… The pond, the source of Rubite's power, had been contaminated, destroyed…

      "You little rat! You urchin! I'll have your head for this!" Kasha hissed, shoving Lee to the side and heading for Cole. The Wocky moved quickly out of the way, heading for the tunnel Kasha and Niger had come up in.

      "Lee, Omar, let's go!" he called over his shoulder. Without hesitation, the three of them were running for the tunnel, Kasha and Niger right on their tails. They all had jumped inside the tunnel, sliding down, down, down to the base of the ledge. Cole, of course, was the first one out, followed by Lee, then Omar, and finally Niger and Kasha. Apparently, the two Cybunnies, Kasha's henchmen, were waiting for them at the opening of the tunnel. The moment Cole and his friends were in sight, they had grabbed them by the arms.

      "Let-us-go!" Lee cried, trying to break away, but her attempts were for naught, for the henchmen had them in a tight grip.

      "You'll pay for what you did," snarled Kasha, glaring at each child with a murderous look in her eyes. "I will…"

      No one found out what Kasha would do, for a rock, flying out of nowhere, hit her square in the eye. Another one hit Niger on the head. Soon dozens of rocks were hitting everyone…everyone except the children. The henchmen were forced to release them; backing away slowly as more rocks came pelting down on their heads and faces.

      "You aren't touching a hair on any of them!" called a sharp voice one the rocks had stopped falling. All heads turned to the very entrance of the mine: Cole, Lee, and Omar smiled as Scarab, Lycos, Wain, and Keera entered the mine. Gratefully, the children ran behind them, knowing that things were going to be better now…

      "You gave me your word, Scarab," Niger pointed out coolly. "You were to stay outside the cave or the Wocky was through…"

      "The last time I checked, Niger, Cole was standing directly behind me." Scarab replied just as coolly, glaring at the Cybunny. "Besides, you're one to talk… Attacking innocent children, going back on your word… I told you things wouldn't be pretty…"

      "Back off, you bozo!" Kasha snapped, yet wearing a weary expression. "Those urchins have ruined my plans…again…"

      "Oh really?" he asked in an amused voice, casting the children a quick glance. "Figures…"

     * * *

      It was done quickly and without hesitation. Kasha, Niger and the henchmen were forced outside the cave…or more really, the henchmen gave up immediately and did everything Scarab told them to. For evil sidekicks, they weren't very reliable.

      "Don't think this means I don't still have a bone to pick with you," Keera snarled at Niger, squeezing his paws tight behind his back as they all walked down the path. "Nobody, I mean nobody, messes with me, my crew, or my ship… Do you think pirating comes cheap, buddy?"

      She went on fussing at Niger the entire way… Cole all of a sudden felt very lightheaded. He lagged behind the others, closing and opening his eyes repeatedly. No…he thought nervously. Anywhere but here… Anytime but now… Never would be nice… He saw it coming the entire time. Immediately he regretted not telling the others about his paw… He looked up at the others, lagging even farther behind. The only one who seemed to notice was Kasha who smirked knowingly, letting out a small chuckle.

      "Perhaps this trip did have some benefits," she called to Scarab, ignoring the tight squeeze Wain gave her paws as she made to break free. Confused, Scarab looked over his shoulder to see what Kasha meant: there, on the ground, lay Cole, his breaths short and eyes closed…

     * * *

      My head…my arms…my legs… I can't feel any of them… Where am I? Am I…am I dead…?

      Cole wanted so longingly to open his eyes, but his eyelids felt so heavy, it seemed impossible. He could not move at all, as if his very body was made of stone or brick… Was this death…to be stuck in an endless void of darkness for all of eternity? No…It couldn't be… Why would Cole hear singing if he really had passed on? The voice was beautiful… It sounded so graceful, so smooth, so familiar… Who was singing? He had to know. He had to come back to reality…

      Someone gently brushed a paw through his hair; the singing grew louder. It sounded mournful…and yet, it sounded as if the Faeries themselves were singing of a joyous occasion…

      Across the seas

      Over the skies

      Nothing can keep me away, away

      Under the stars

      Over the moon

      Nothing can keep me away…

      Such beautiful words… Cole's eyes slowly opened… Lee was peering down at him, wearing a large smile. She was the one singing…

      "Glad to see you're awake," called Omar from across the room, sitting on a small stool. Across the room… Cole sat up from the bed he was in quickly and stared around their surroundings. From the looks of the looming ceiling, the elegant wall decorations, and the doors made of gold, Cole assumed they were in the Palace…back in the Lost Desert. He had so many questions: how was he alright after what had happened? Where were Kasha and Niger and the others? How exactly had Omar survived his encounter with the poisoned soup?

      As if reading his mind, Lee gently placed a hoof on his knee and quietly said, "You have some catching up to do…"

      "You think," asked Cole sarcastically. "But seriously, what happened after I passed out? How did you..."

      "Scarab forced Kasha to tell what she did to you and as soon as we found out, we rushed you immediately to a doctor on the island. They gave you some sort of injection…I don't know, but you still didn't wake up…" Lee cut him off. Omar had found his way over and sat on the edge of the bed.

      "The doctor said you'd be fine, though," he added. Lee nodded and continued.

      "We went back to Keera's ship and once all of Niger's 'friends' saw that Kasha and Niger were capture, they surrendered and gave back Keera's ship."

      "So we sailed all the way back here?" yawned Cole, rubbing his eyes groggily. Lee nodded.

      "We got here and of course, Niger and Kasha went straight to the dungeons. Princess Amira says they're heavily guarded at the moment."

      Cole understood now. He was grateful; if his friends hadn't been there, he would be here right now… He then turned to Omar and asked, "And what of your soup?"

      Lee looked confused, staring at Omar as well. The Cybunny smirked and replied, "Thought you'd never ask. Well, as you know, it was dinner time on Cap'n Keera's ship." He was more really talking to Lee so she understood. "We were served soup, and of all the cloaked stowaways to be hiding in the shadows on the ship, Niger was the one lurking in the kitchens… Who else would have poisoned our soups?

      "The moment I looked at the soup, I knew something wasn't right. It was darker than usually. I swirled my spoon in it: some black stuff was mixed in it… Whatever it was, I noticed the same stuff to be in Cole's soup. Niger… I decided to pour it out in one of Keera's fake plants and leave early, making it look like I ate already. I knew that if Cole saw me leave early-"

      "I'd think that something was wrong with you and go looking for you…" Cole finished, smiling knowingly. Genius… Omar never missed a meal, it was common sense…

      "I proceeded to make my way to our room, but I felt like someone was watching me," Omar continued. "As soon as I stepped in the room and closed the door, I heard footsteps approaching the room. Whoever messed with the food was following me… So, I made a loud thud, fell on the floor and…"

      "You pretended to pass out from the soup," Cole finished once more, looking pleased. "Omar, that was clever!"

      "Very," Lee added brightly.

      "Yes, I couldn't have done better myself," added a familiar voice. The three turned to the door, which was now wide open. Princess Amira stood there, smiling nervously at the children. Cole suddenly realized why she looked so uncertain: their conversation from a few days ago came back to him…

      "We have concluded," Advisor Wessle had said. "That all orphans from ages 0 years to 16 years are to be shipped off to Neopia Central and adopted into a family, or, if they wish not to leave, they can be adopted right here. Either way, orphans are being taken off the streets, so it doesn't matter what you choose…"

      Princess Amira slowly walked up to the bed and looked down at Cole.

      "I'm glad you're okay," she said quietly. Cole nodded, not saying a word. He wasn't sure whether he was still angry with her or glad to see her…

      "Princess," said Omar so abruptly that everyone jumped and stared at him. "Why do we have to be adopted?"

      Lee stared at Omar incredulously, and then to Cole who gave her a meek shrug.

      "I mean," Omar continued. "You're in charge; you should have a say in what to do. Isn't there another way?"

      Amira shook her head and replied, "I'm afraid not… It's either adoption or relocation… You have only those choices…whether you like them or not."

      She glanced at Cole when she said those last words. Cole knew what she meant: their conversation before they had left to Krawk Island… Cole still didn't feel ready to grow up…

      "I have an idea," said Lee, suddenly smirking. Omar and Cole stared at her as if she was a talking Slorg… How could she be smiling at a time like this? Her eyes flashed knowingly as she stood up and began whispering excitedly into Amira's ear…

     * * *

Palace Gates (Several Days Later)-

      Various pets were walking, strolling, or running along on the sidelines. Shopkeepers bargained with customers. Customers bargained with shopkeepers. Hissi Charmers performed for the crowds that enclosed them in a small circle. Everyone was busy. Everyone was doing something. Everyone was crowding around the Palace Gates, for Amira had something special to announce. Curious Neopets shot disdainful glances at the many orphans, the Jackals, lined up in a row in the very front of the crowd, cheering excitedly.

      No one knew why they cheered except for the children themselves and the Princess… Why wouldn't they cheer such splendid news? Amongst these children stood three well-dressed, knowing little children, Cole, Omar, and Lee. They clapped with the crowd as Princess Amira appeared in front of the Palace gates, accompanied by Lycos and two Grarrl guards. She held up her paws to silence the crowd.

      "Loyal Sakhmetians," she called happily. "Thank you for being here today… I have excellent news; now, for some time now, I've been receiving many of your complaints about parentless children running loose among the streets and stealing from you. You need not worry anymore! The Royal Council and I have come to this conclusion…"

      Amira had everyone's undivided attention when she spoke the last few words.

      "Instead of adopting these children into families, or sending them away, or locking them up, we've opened a brand new children's care center!"

      The crowd began to cheer, but not as much as the Jackals. Amira held up her paws to silence them once more.

      "How this works is simple; if you're generous enough to donate to the children's care center, you would be helping to pay for these children's food, clothes, education, and helping them to keep their home here in Sakhmet! They'll live in the children's center and go about their average lives, except no stealing!"

      She shot a small glance at the children who nodded eagerly. She smiled once more and went on, "And without further ado, I present to you the SOCC, Sakhmetian Orphan Care Center!"

      All heads turned towards the brand new building made of adobe brick to the very left of the street. The letters SOCC were boldly engraved above its door. Amira clapped her hands once and added, "Well, go on; let the festivities begin!"

      Everyone cheered, rushing here and there. Most Jackals rushed into the building to get a first look, but some stayed outside to join in on the celebration. Among these Jackals were Cole, Omar, and Lee. They walked to the sidelines and sat down, staring around with interest.

      "What a crazy week," Omar muttered, rolling on his back and staring blankly into the sky. "It's just so weird… It's finally over…"

      "Yeah, and it's great to be back home," added Lee, blowing softly on his ear for no reason. Cole stared and smiled at her for a long moment. When she realized, she asked, "What?"

      "Sing that song…" he said quietly. "The song you sang for me…"

      Lee blushed and shook her head, yet Cole could sense a small smile across her face.

      "I don't…remember it," she muttered. Cole nodded, smirking…and then gently poked her on the shoulder.

      "You're it," he muttered, climbing to his feet and running off. Lee smiled, rising to her feet as well. Before running off after Cole, she poked Omar on the shoulder.

      "Now you're it."

      Omar, still lying on his back, sighed, rising to his feet as well.

      "I'm always it!" he whined, smiling all the same and chasing after his friends. There was nothing like a good game of tag that took your mind off of things. Cole was far ahead of the two of them, but he was still in their view. He may have been a year or two older than his friends, and Princess Amira had told him that he had to grow up sometime, whether he like it or not… But for now…he chuckled to himself… For now he'd enjoy the time he had left before he had to make really tough choices…

The End

Author's Note: Thank you for reading the JOS II- Finding Lee! I had real fun writing in! Please feel free to neomail me any comments or questions about the series, and once more, thanks for reading!

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Other Episodes

» The Jackals of Sakhmet II- Finding Lee: Part One
» The Jackals of Sakhmet II - Finding Lee: Part Two
» The Jackals of Sakhmet II- Finding Lee: Part Three
» The Jackals of Sakhmet II- Finding Lee: Part Four
» The Jackals of Sakhmet II- Finding Lee: Part Five
» The Jackals of Sakhmet II- Finding Lee: Part Six
» The Jackals of Sakhmet II- Finding Lee: Part Seven
» The Jackals of Sakhmet II- Finding Lee: Part Eight
» The Jackals of Sakhmet II- Finding Lee: Part Nine

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