Ailemea vs. Jenna: Part Eight
Also by jeanaet
Jenna was in Mystery Island again. She was running through
the burning jungle... it wasn't Ailemea at her side, but Rain. Her owner was
screaming something, but Jenna couldn't hear... a space faerie with abnormal
scarlet hair landed in front of them... she was smiling malevolently, and Jenna
felt so completely afraid. She didn't have her sword! The faerie aimed... and
shot Rain through the heart. Jenna screamed, and kept screaming... RAIN!!!
Jenna awoke screaming her owner's name. As she
lay on what felt like a smooth stone floor, panting heavily, a soft voice said,
"Ah, you're awake."
Jenna blinked. Then everything came flooding
back. Of course, she'd been captured at last.
She sat up wearily, and looked through the strong
metal bars of her prison at the speaker. She gasped.
There, standing before her, was the faerie from
her dream. Except for the cinnamon-colored skin, everything about her was red;
the hair, the eyes, the cloak and tunic. Altogether, this space faerie had a
sinister, almost demon-like appearance. She gazed at her prisoner maliciously.
"I have many questions for you, but firstly, would you like to tell me why you
were snooping around my palace?"
The striped Xweetok snapped her mouth shut and
glared fiercely at the faerie. Her captor only shrugged. "Very well, be that
way. I will come back later, after you've experienced a few of my persuasive
ways of making you talk," she said, and left.
Jenna tried not to think about the faerie's "persuasive
ways" but turned to look at her cell and gasped.
In the corner of her cell, a frowning faerie
held an unconscious Ailemea in her lap. It wasn't just any faerie.
"Your Majesty! I-" Jenna_Leanna stuttered, falling
down to her knees. She stared around hopelessly, trying to collect her wits.
What could you say to someone you tried in vain to rescue?
Fyora smiled weakly. "I am no Queen any longer,
my dear," she said kindly as she ran her paws over Aile's thoroughly mussed
fur. It was then Jenna realized Ailemea's fur had an odd red tint to it...
"That isn't... blood, is it?" Jenna said, swallowing
and fearing the worst.
Fyora shook her head. "No, dear - those faeries
shot her with Reptillior Venom. Nasty stuff - but it works and she now has Reptillioritis.
Causes red and itchy skin, poor dear needs Cactopus Cream immediately."
Jenna frowned and stood up to inspect her friend.
Ailemea was beginning to stir. "Can't you cure her?" Jenna asked Fyora quietly.
The faerie shook her head sadly. "No, dear. I
have no power now. And neither do you. We've all been drained of it. And I don't
think Demonica's about to offer medication," she added.
Jenna then realized who the red-haired faerie
was. Shivering, she looked over herself. Apparently the faeries hadn't done
her any serious harm. Other than a throbbing headache, she felt fine.
Her sword, predictably, was gone, but Ailemea's
sack lay spilled out in a corner of the cell. Jenna rushed over to it. There
was no food, or stash of potions, but the make-up remained and Haelee... Jenna
touched the motionless petpet uneasily. "Hey, wake up!" she hissed.
Haelee opened her eyes and looked blearily up
at Jenna. The Xweetok hesitated, having never actually tried to communicate
with a petpet before. Unexpectedly, Haelee chirped.
Jenna blinked and repeated the chirp. Haelee
rolled around and squealed with laughter for a moment at the Xweetok's attempt
to speak petpet. Then she hopped over to Fyora and perched on the faerie's shoulder.
The Ditsy chirped in the Queen's ear and then Fyora looked up at Jenna.
"She wants to know why you woke her up and why
you never wear make up," the Queen translated. The Ditsy rumbled a purr and
Fyora giggled. "She adds that you would like great with a little pink and purple
eye shadow mixed into your stripes."
At this, Jenna burst out laughing. It was first
time she'd managed to laugh since before the invasion. She grinned at Haelee.
She was trying to think up a good answer to the
petpet's remark when Ailemea stirred once more and then opened her eyes. Jenna
tensed, watching as the blue Xweetok surveyed, first her surroundings, then
her fur, and then her eyes trailed the hands holding her up to Fyora's face.
Ailemea blinked slowly at the Queen and then
at the Ditsy on her shoulder. Haelee barked something at the blue Xweetok and
Fyora translated, "Welcome back to the real world."
Ailemea's eyes rolled into the back of her head
as her muscles went limp.
In reply to Haelee's meow Fyora said, "She only
fainted, dear, no worries."
"Figures," Jenna said dryly. She then turned
to the faerie queen. "If you don't mind me asking, your Majesty, how exactly
did you let this happen?"
Fyora sighed and began, "I should have known
Demonica would come back - yes she's made trouble before, long before you were
born, back when I first became queen. The space faeries use to be a big help
in supporting Neopia.
"As the new world established, governments and
lands being settled, the space faeries protected it from inevitable invaders.
They're the main reason Sloth didn't take over at that most vulnerable stage.
So you can imagine how they, or rather their leader Demonica, felt when it was
I who took charge.
"For the first few months of my reign, I had
to deal with rebellion. But in time, they drew back, Demonica was banished and
Neopia continued to grow in peace. Now, thanks to my slack security and foolishness,
I've fallen for Demonica's treachery. It landed me here."
Jenna thought over this tale. Ever since she'd
been created, she'd been taught how all faeries, excluding the Darkness ones,
were good and brought great benefit to others. Now it seemed that bitterness
and hate and even evil could exist among those graceful and wise beings.
But the worst of it was that if this space faerie,
Demonica, was powerful enough to conquer and even strip Fyora of her power,
what chance did she and Ailemea have of escaping, let alone defeating the tyrant?
At this point, Haelee let out a series of yelps
and barks. Fyora looked at the Ditsy in surprise.
"What did she say?" Jenna asked curiously, making
a note to learn petpet sometime.
"She asked when we want her to get us out of
this horrible cell!" Fyora said, her voice betraying disbelief but her eyes
shining with hope.
"Well, now, of course!" Jenna demanded.
The Ditsy's face betrayed something along the
lines of a smirk and the petpet dashed to Ailemea's backpack. After digging
for a moment the petpet resurfaced with one of Ailemea's makeup brushes.
Haelee strolled casually to the cell door and
peeked out. Clear. The end of the brush went into the lock, Haelee's eyes focused
with concentration. A little twist here, a flick here - click. Haelee removed
the brush handle and pushed the door open.
"Oh my," Fyora breathed, dumbstruck.
Jenna stared at Haelee. She'd been in this cell
for less than an hour and already she was free. Hardly daring to believe it,
Jenna walked over to the open door.
Just as she stepped out, Fyora stood up, "Don't
- !" she began, but it was too late.
A piercing alarm rent the air, causing Haelee
to squeal with panic, Fyora and Jenna to cover their ears and Ailemea to sit
up with a jolt.
Jenna didn't take time to think. She only knew
she had to escape the blaring beeps that rang in her ears. She dashed to the
far chamber door...
Only to see it open before her, revealing Demonica
leering down at her.
Jenna's heart sank, and she quivered with fear
under the faerie's gaze. Demonica snapped her gloved fingers and the alarm stopped
abruptly, "Forty-five minutes till attempted escape," she stated. "I must say
I'm impressed. It took our dear queen here about a day," she added with a smirk
at Fyora, who looked away.
Demonica then kneeled down till she was face
to face with the striped Xweetok, "Don't play games with me, Xweetok. You may
have made it this far. But can't you see you've lost? It's over. You're not
a winner anymore."
With this, Jenna felt herself move under Demonica's
silent command, and, shoulders sagging, she walked listlessly right back into
her cell. The door banged shut, the lock clicked, and Demonica left the room,
smiling to herself.
Jenna's companions watched the striped Xweetok
for a moment, as she collapsed to the prison floor, completely abashed. She
should have known that escape wouldn't be so easy.
Ailemea meanwhile had picked up Haelee, and was
obviously still trying to register her situation. "Pardon my Tyrannian," she
said lightly. "But where in the fires of Kreludor are we?!!" Her face turned
into a glower and Fyora smiled weakly.
"We are in my very own prison cell," the Queen
replied, "or shall I say the prison cell of Demonica."
At this, Jenna looked up, "Absolutely not!" she
snapped vigorously. "YOU are the true queen of Neopia, no matter what Demonica's
done. This will always be YOUR palace as long as we can help it."
She stood up, and began pacing the prison, thinking
as strategically as she could, "Are there any secret ways through the castle
the Demonica doesn't know about?" she queried.
The faerie queen sighed. "I've pondered escape
plans ever since my capture, and as you can see, I haven't been very resourceful.
Demonica seems to know the castle through and through, probably because of some
Fyora pointed down at the smooth floor. "Below
this prison is a maze at the bottommost layer of Faerieland - yes, it's made
of cloud. My mother liked to play tricks and games with prisoners in her reign."
At this, Jenna wondered just how old this castle
Fyora continued, "The trapdoor is - why it's
just below your feet, dear - I'm sorry, but I don't believe I know your name."
Jenna blushed at her rudeness and said, "I'm
Jenna, and this is-"
"Ailemea," Aile finished.
Jenna expertly tapped the floor beneath her.
It was indeed hollow beneath. "So why not just try out the maze?" she asked
Fyora sighed. "Demonica filled the entire maze
with a kind of mist. It makes you dizzy and you lose your bearings completely.
The first time I tried it, confident and proud of my mother's strange ways,
Demonica had to come and lead my back to my cell."
The Queen closed her eyes, still feeling the
humiliation of the incident. "I never tried again, though the thought that it's
possible, even by the tiniest chance, keeps nagging me. There is a way out,
but it took me years to memorize it. And now..." Fyora looked away. "All of
that memorizing is useless."
At this Jenna flared up. How could Demonica have
diminished the queen this much?
"It's not useless!" the striped Xweetok barked.
"Where there's a will, there's a way. And we have a way, even if Demonica has
fiddled with it. And besides, everyone knows that Faerieland has its weak spots.
We could wander around till we fall through the cloud, and then you could fly
us out." Jenna grinned, proud of this new inspiration.
But the faerie queen only stared hopelessly at
her, and then took a deep breath and confessed, "I can't fly, Jenna. Wings are
a part of faerie magic. I'm powerless and flightless. You might as well be with
a human for all the good I'd bring you."
It was only then that Jenna noticed the queen's
wingless back. The sight made her lower her eyes, somehow ashamed to see Fyora
Ailemea sat up, frowning in as she thought. The
others set to pondering as well, and the cell was silent.
Haelee just hopped over to the backpack and dug
into it. A moment later she pulled out a large spray bottle, which she carried
over to Ailemea.
"Not now, Haelee, we need to think - THAT'S IT!"
Aile took the bottle and showed it to Jenna and Fyora.
"What's it?" Jenna asked, utterly confused.
"This, my friend, is Xweetok Bright Blue Fur-Gel,"
Ailemea said proudly. "Haelee made it up." The Ditsy sat a little taller with
"Okaaaay... and how is this supposed to help
us?" Jenna asked skeptically.
"It leaves a blue mark wherever you spray - and
it is impossible to remove without the right cleaner," Aile explained.
"And what is the right cleaner?"
"No idea - that's why I've never used it."
Finally, it clicked. "Of course!" Jenna exclaimed.
"We can use this-" she took the fur-gel from Ailemea - "to get through the maze!
We can mark our path!"
Fyora's eyes shone, but she didn't dare let her
hopes rise again. "Demonica will know where we've gone, and then-"
"Not if she thinks we've gone somewhere else,"
Ailemea countered, grabbing the spray can back. "Haelee, unlock the door again."
Haelee obediently headed for the door. Meanwhile,
Aile turned to Fyora. "So how do we open the trapdoor?"
Fyora knelt down by the Xweetok's feet. "There's
a switch right... here." A click echoed in the cell and the trapdoor swung open.
The two Xweetoks glanced into the hole and saw only mist.
"This should be fun," Ailemea muttered with distaste.
Following this, she picked up her backpack and placed Haelee inside it. The
Ditsy had just finished opening the cell door and closed her eyes contentedly
when placed in the backpack.
Ailemea took one glance around, then shouldered
her backpack and leaped down into the maze. "Heads up!" she yelled as she disappeared
into the mist. Fyora and Jenna heard a distinct thud as she reached the ground.
There was a pause, then Aile's voice drifted up to them. "It's a long way down!
But all clear... kind of."
Fyora smiled and gazed at Jenna. "For the first
few hours after you were brought here, I felt sad and hopeful at the same time.
Then you woke up, and I saw a look in your eyes that told me you would never
give up... not like me. I see true heroes in the two of you." And with that,
the Queen jumped nimbly down the trapdoor, her violet skirts swooshing around
Jenna took a moment before following. Somehow,
after what Fyora just said, she felt she could defeat any Grundo, any faerie,
anyone! Maybe even Demonica.
With a smile, she followed the others into the
misty cloud maze.
To be continued...