Ailemea vs. Jenna: Part Seven
Also by jeanaet
When Jenna finally awoke, she saw the anxious face of
Ailemea bending over her. "Did we make it?" she asked faintly. "Where are we?"
"We're safe," Aile confirmed. "Right now, if
I'm correct - we just passed the famed Lutari Island. I got a glimpse of it
for a second. Grundos and faeries everywhere. You should have seen those owners
though with their Lutaris." Ailemea shook her head pityingly. "You'll never
see one of those in the pound."
Jenna sat up slowly, her head pounding. "What
happened to that faerie and Oreh?" she asked, beginning to massage her forehead.
Ailemea frowned and turned away.
"Far behind us."
Jenna also frowned. If they had already passed
Lutari Island... "Aile," she said slowly, "how long have I been out?"
Her fellow Xweetok was silent for a moment. "About
three days," she answered. "That faerie must have really hit you hard."
Jenna shuddered. "When did we make it out of
At this, Ailemea turned to face her. "Those weren't
canyons, Jenna. It was the Mountain pass, fathoms down."
Jenna's heart leaped. "So when we entered the
caves we actually went..."
Ailemea nodded. "We passed that entire wilderness
underground. Most of it's underwater."
Ailemea didn't tell Jenna that she'd spent pretty
much the whole dark frightening journey worrying about Jenna, and desperately
doing her best to revive her friend. Instead, she calmly pointed ahead, causing
Jenna to stand up and look in the indicated direction.
To the striped Xweetok's immense relief, there
in the distance, lay the waiting harbor of Altador.
When the two Xweetoks reached shore, they saw
that the city was in chaos.
"Shenkuu! Shenkuu's been taken! Sloth is coming!"
people shrieked all around. Homes were being emptied, and the harbor was crowded
Jenna grabbed a small Shoyru by the wing as it
zoomed by. With a yelp it swung around to face her. "What!?" the pet cried,
her voice squeaky with fright.
"Is the portal to Faerieland still open?" Jenna
"No! Haven't you heard? King Altador has blocked
it for the past few days. They say he can't hold it much longer!" And with a
hard tug of her wing, the Shoyru flapped off in a scurry.
The two Xweetoks stared after her for a moment,
then looked at each other. They silently agreed to press on.
It took them the whole day to get through the
bustling, evacuating city. The portal was up in Altador's highest mountain,
in a heavily guarded cave. At the end of their long trek, Jenna and Ailemea
found King Altador and more than a dozen armed pets guarding the portal.
The king was certainly surprised to see them.
"My ladies!" he exclaimed. "Why aren't - "
"We need to get to Faerieland," Jenna explained
firmly. Ailemea nodded in agreement, her face solemn.
The king frowned. "Now why would anyone want
to go to Faerieland in a time like this?" he asked. The soldiers around him
tightened their grips on their weapons.
"We plan on saving Fyora," Ailemea said simply.
The king almost smiled. "YOU plan on saving Fyora?"
he asked with a slight chuckle. "You with your primped fur?"
Ailemea blushed, for in fact, she had spent the
last few hours of the hike rinsing the salt out of her fur and coloring it with
blue eye shadow. Jenna could not help but smirk.
The king turned to her. "And you? With that little
smirk on your face and that sword strapped across your back - you think you
will beat Sloth with vanity, my Lady?"
Jenna was speechless. Me? Vain?
The king shook his head with a sigh. "If anyone
defeats Sloth - it will not be you, girls. Now I think it would be best if you
find somewhere to hide like everyone else."
This comment confused Ailemea. "What about Maraqua?"
The king stared in surprise at her. "Didn't you
hear? It was taken only yesterday."
Jenna gasped. Maraqua, Rain, everyone gone!
Ailemea had gone completely pale; tears were
shining in her eyes. Jenna shook her head, telling herself that it wasn't true.
They can't be gone. I'm NOT the only one left!
She swayed on the spot. "No!" she whispered.
The king's expression softened. "You had family
there?" he guessed.
Jenna looked up into the king's face, and spoke.
"Look, WE have come from Mystery Island, to Maraqua,
to Neopia Central, to Roo Island and now to here! We escaped raiding parties
in Neopia Central, played cat and mouse with a giant squid, saw Sloth himself
and lived, navigated through Neopia's underground caves, and all the time we've
had these space faerie minions to deal with! Do you really think, after ALL
that, we won't go through that portal?"
By the end of this speech, Jenna's eyes were
flashing and her fur bristled.
Ailemea nodded fiercely in agreement and stepped
forward. The two Xweetoks exchanged a look and then smiled. It was not a pleasant
smile. The king and his soldiers shivered.
"We've lost our homes; we've lost our families,"
Ailemea said quietly, dangerously. She stood right in front of the king. "We
are NOT going to lose our lives because some old King decided he didn't want
two pretty little Xweetoks to get past him."
The king's expression hardened. "Now see here
- " he began.
But Aile and Jenna had had enough.
A blinding Flash filled the cave, and Altador's
guards scattered in confusion.
When the king had finally calmed things down
again, he just caught a glimpse of two Xweetok tails, one striped, one blue,
disappearing through the portal.
"See ya!" a voice called, and they were gone.
The two Xweetoks stumbled into a lovely spacious
Ailemea ran to the end and peeked around the
corner. She pulled her head back instantly and dashed back to Jenna who was
still getting her head clear.
"Six Grundos and two Faeries right around the
corner," Ailemea told her, her voice quiet. Jenna frowned and the two Xweetoks
looked contemplatively around. All there was other than the portal was a few
windows down one side of the corridor.
"Do you think you could fly us down to where
we can ask where Fyora is being kept?" Aile asked.
Jenna resisted a snort. "Aile, if Grundos and
faeries are patrolling Fyora's castle, what do you think will be down in the
Before Ailemea could retort, Jenna took her paw
and they both went to the nearest window. "The only way we'll figure out where
Fyora is, is by a bit of eavesdropping," the striped Xweetok confirmed, remembering
with a small smile how she'd found out about the method in a few of the many
books she'd read.
The striped Xweetok then wrapped her paws around
her companion, glanced out the window for a split-second, and then soared out.
She faced the rose-colored castle towers, shifted their upward course till they
apparently seemed to be flying around them. But instead, Jenna skilfully landed
-- on thin air.
"Welcome to the Hidden Tower," she said softly,
opening an invisible window.
The two slipped in to find a deserted, empty-shelved
Ailemea smirked. "Great job, oh mighty one,"
she said with a mock bow. "I wonder if a particle of dust can tell us where
the queen is being held."
Jenna glared. "I didn't bring us here to find
that out," she said coldly, "I brought us here to hide and figure out what to
do. Know any safer place?"
Aile made no retort, but with a flick of her
mane began meandering around the shelves, leaving the exasperated Jenna behind
The shop obviously hadn't been visited in a long
time. Either it'd been raided the first day of the invasion and thought no more
of, or Fyora had confiscated everything before the enemy moved in. Either way,
Ailemea knew, there was the end of her idea to perhaps obtain weapons from the
Jenna, meanwhile, had taken the opportunity to
view the city below.
She immediately wished she hadn't.
It was worse than Roo Island. Instead of being
completely deserted, the city was swarming with Grundos, all marching in organized
ranks around the town center. Practically consuming the entire city, (several
known shops had disappeared,) was a HUGE building, not unlike a warehouse. Jenna
could see pets being herded into it.
And looming above the entire cloud kingdom, was
an ENORMOUS spaceship. From the sight of space faeries zooming in an out of
it, it was apparent that the ship was the great Empress Demonica's headquarters.
"Aile," Jenna said, numb with shock, "I think
you'd better come see this."
Ailemea padded over and looked out the window.
"Oh my goodness... Jenna... I don't think all of these people were in Faerieland
when they took over," Ailemea whispered. "Maybe Demonica is bringing them all
here to- oh no. Jenna. Look." A paw pointed out the window at one specific group
of Neopets and owners.
"Rain... no!" Jenna moaned at the sight of the
wailing Kiara and Nexy and the frightened Lailani and Lindsey along with Isaerios
who appeared to be in shock. Jeanie and Rain, however, looked angry. A Grundo
nudged them with a gun to get them moving and Jeanie actually turned and yelled
at him. The Grundo backed away, his blank eyes misunderstanding.
Then the two Xweetoks saw a space faerie significantly
cloaked in red approach Jeanie and the baffled Grundo. The faerie stared at
the teenage captive for a moment before wrenching the Grundo's gun away from
him, cocking it, and then aiming it directly at Jeanie's chest.
Ailemea screamed, "JEANIE!"
Instinctively, Jenna clapped a paw over her friend's
mouth. "Quiet!" she hissed.
Ailemea stiffened with fear as she watched.
Down below, Rain stepped to Jeanie's side and
took the girl's hand, trying to get them out of the faerie's way. The space
faerie, obviously satisfied, turned with a swish of her scarlet cloak, shoving
Grundos out of her path.
The two owners and their families soon disappeared
into the huge prison.
Jenna turned from the window and sank weakly
down against the wall. "We need to find Fyora," she said tiredly.
Ailemea nodded and without a word headed for
the far-off door, remembering how Queen Fyora had surprised her and Jeanie with
a free picture-taking last year, when the two had gone on their memorable vacation.
Now the doorway was vacant and open as she approached.
"Come on," the blue Xweetok said determinedly. "Let's do a bit of snooping."
Jenna stood to join her. "We're never gonna make
it," she muttered, though she eagerly followed Ailemea out the door.
Ailemea paused and glanced around the corner.
She whipped back around and pressed herself against the wall, taking out her
dagger as she did so. In turn, Jenna drew Faith, ready for anything.
Right on cue, three Grundos walked by.
The two companions were upon them immediately.
The Xweetok Swish slammed the leading Grundo to the ground, sending his gun
flying. The blunt side of Jenna's sword cleanly knocked the Grundo cold.
The other two had barely flipped the switch on
their guns to 'stun' when each Xweetok took down their own Grundo. A few moments
later the Grundos were contained and locked away in the Fyora's empty shop.
"Let's go," Aile said, finishing gagging the
last Grundo and dragging him into the room.
Jenna breathed hard. "Let's try and avoid that
as much as we can," she advised, indicating the knocked-out Grundos.
The two darted out into the hall again, and seeing
it vacant, padded down it as quickly as they could. Almost as soon as they turned
the next corner, Ailemea grabbed Jenna and dragged them into a closet. They
waited breathlessly as marching boots came by. When all was silent again, they
And so it went for the next view hallways. Jenna
was getting rather dizzy by the time they'd taken refuge behind a regal faerie
statue, and were waiting for the patrol to pass. But this time, they heard voices
as well as marching.
"I assume that Fyora has finally given in? Since
you found need to take my time?" The voice was feminine and so cold that it
sent a shiver up Jenna's spine.
"Err, ah... no she still won't talk. The reason
I called you was to discuss a certain problem that's come up."
"This had better be worth my talking to you,
Jenna froze, and together, she and Ailemea turned
slightly to see Sloth standing before... someone. The other speaker was blocked
from view by the statue.
Sloth and his companion continued on their march,
and Jenna suddenly pulled Ailemea out into the soon vacant hall. "We've got
to follow them," the striped Xweetok mouthed.
"How do you know they'll lead us to Fyora?" Ailemea
mouthed in return.
Jenna shrugged. As far as she was concerned,
the conversation just heard was enough for them to take risks.
Ailemea bit her lip. "Maybe we should split up?"
The striped Xweetok shook her head fiercely.
"Absolutely not! Come on - what could happen if we just follow them?" she insisted.
Ailemea was about to reply when-
"INTRUDERS! IN THE NORTH CORRIDOR!" While the
two Xweetoks had been speaking, a faerie leading eight Grundos had come around
"RUN!" the two Xweetoks yelled in unison.
The two Xweetoks dashed away down the hall, both
air and bubble shields protecting them from the oncoming blows.
Around one corner, and past the next, footsteps
pounding after them, countless streaks of light pummeling the shields, through
random rooms and around obstacles.
Jenna had no idea where she was within the next
Finally she yelled, "We've got to stand and fight!"
She drew Faith.
Ailemea screeched to a halt and pulled out her
dagger. She whirled around to face - where did all those faeries come from?
Jenna tried her best to shoot back at the enemy
as they closed in. Numerous abilities shot from her paws. Ailemea had flooded
the corridor, and ranks of Grundos slipped and slid across the polished marble
floor as streams of water trickled around them.
But nothing could stop the faeries. With every
surge of energy that burst from their palms, Jenna felt her power dwindle, until
her Air shield was shivering with stressed concentration.
Then a voice called, "Merge your power, you fools!
Bring them down! Bring them down!"
Oh no, was all Jenna could think as the beams
of faerie magic suddenly flowed into one shining crimson streak of light. There
was a blinding red flash!
And then there was darkness.
To be continued...