The Golden Globes of Light: Part Nine
“Well, what do you suggest we do about all of this? It isn’t like we can just tell them to stop,” I growled.
Ky shook her head. “No, that isn’t what I plan to do. The first thing I want to accomplish is getting our memories back.”
“And how do you plan to go about with that?” I snorted. “How are we supposed to regain something that we haven’t even the vaguest idea about?”
“We need to find connections to whatever time period we came from. The more things we recognize, the greater a chance I will have at restoring our memories.”
“Ky, we could have come from anywhen. We don’t know if anything is left in our time period! We might have come from thousands of years from now. I doubt anything would be left that would be recognizable,” Alex protested.
“Not necessarily. Magical artifacts tend to last a very long time,” Ky countered. “Although they might be in a different form.”
“That’s it!” I trilled. Everyone stared at me, and I hurried to explain myself. “I can’t remember now, but I am certain I could remember more when we were around magical artifacts. In addition, I think I know why things are so familiar.”
“Do tell,” Ashiel said dryly. I glared at my friend, and he sighed. “Sorry, I’m just stressed out from all the excitement.”
I cleared my throat and continued. “When Ky said ‘they might be in a different form’ just now, I was able to say why things are familiar but we are unable to recognize them.” The tension was tremendous, and I felt a bit pleased with myself. “We have seen this all before somewhere, only in a different form. If we were seeing something that was in the same form as we know it, then we would probably be able to remember more than mere feelings of familiarity.”
My speech was interrupted as Ky began to transform. “Uh-oh,” Kassiel moaned. “Ky, you can’t be inspired now! We have to finish this meeting!”
Ky turned her gaze on my friend, and he stiffened. “I have not undergone several weeks of training and months of waiting for naught. I can wait, but not much longer. Shriek has said something that is true, and it has provided the last link in my plan.”
“What do you mean?” I asked uneasily. It was always discomforting to see my sister in such a state. She looked unreal.
“The things I made for you were a link to your powers, but also to your past. At one point, their colors and symbols meant something. Perhaps you even still remembered what it was. But that is not so any longer, am I right?”
I glanced down at my armor. The design did seem familiar, but she was right; it no longer meant anything to me. “You are right,” I said sadly.
“Then we must find an artifact that is still in the same form as we will recognize it. If we bring it here, I will be able to unlock the memories that have evaded us. But it will not be easy. This must all be done without suspicion from the older Circle members. This will be even more difficult, for the only place likely to have artifacts that will not change with time is the Jungle Ruins, where the last of the Kayannin stored their greatest masterpieces.”
“Whatever these masterpieces are, they can’t be as marvelous as your workings, sister,” I said lightly.
I was only trying to lighten up the mood, so I was surprised at Ky’s answer. “Well, when I said the last of the Kayannin, I was not being entirely accurate. Their descendants live on. I suspect that the six of us are some of the last descendants of their line.”
“What makes you say that?” Lilly piped up. “It doesn’t make much sense. We aren’t even related.”
“There was more than one family in the Kayannin culture.” Ky scowled. “The reason I think this is a likely possibility is due to the nature of our powers. But there is no time for that now. We need to map out our plans for the visit to the Jungle Ruins. I don’t think I will be able to accompany you. I am getting dangerously close to losing control over my surges of power.”
“How are we going to escape detection? After this little incident, I doubt the other Circle members will give us as much freedom as we have experienced thus far,” Alex said with a hint of sarcasm.
“I have modified our rings so that they will function as miniature shields against spying spells the other members may decide to use,” Ky replied with a smile.
“Even if we find something we recognize, how will we be able to take it with us? You can’t just take an artifact like that.” Ashiel frowned.
“You might have to trade it for the Staff of Ni-tas,” Ky said softly. “It will probably be the only way.”
“WHAT?!” I shrieked. “We can’t just give that away! That is the oldest artifact known to exist, and it is incredibly powerful!”
“To you, perhaps, but it functions only to those with good intentions. Besides, I wasn’t talking about the real one. I was talking about the one we were given.”
“You mean... the Staff of Ni-tas isn’t real?” I sputtered. “But the leaders... they presented it to us...”
Ky laughed. “Oh, they presented a staff, but not THE Staff of Ni-tas. I persuaded Faelinn to keep the real one until we were all ready to wield such power. At the time, I figured the six of us might be a problem, but now I see that such foresight has granted us control over the true Staff and taken it out of the hands of the older Circle members.”
“Out of curiosity, what does the real Staff of Ni-tas look like?” Lilly asked sheepishly.
“I don’t know. I have not seen it yet,” Ky admitted. She looked around the table. “I think the current plan is quite clear. We need to find an artifact we recognize, and then bring it here. In order to do that, we may have to trade the replacement Staff of Ni-tas for the said artifact. After this meeting, we won’t be able to talk until I attempt to bring back our memories. Remember to never take off your rings. And now,” she finished, standing up, “I think we should leave.”
“What is our excuse? We will have been gone for at least an hour, even with these Time Mists,” Kassiel pointed out.
Ky laughed. “I got lost, of course, and you were trying to find me.” This excuse was quite believable; Ky tended to get lost if she didn’t have a map.
We departed from the mysterious room and left the chamber. After traveling back through the endless maze of tunnels, we finally reached the normal part of the library again. When we entered the main area, I was startled to see Zan there waiting for us. “Where have the six of you been?!” he scowled. “I was looking everywhere for you!”
Ky stepped forward and gave a slight bow. “Sorry about that, Zan. You see, I got lost in some of the older sections of the library. Did you know that it extends underground?”
At first I was surprised to see that she was giving away such valuable information. Then I realized she was bolstering her story, and that it was highly unlikely that Zan would ever find the secret chamber. Zan eyed Ky curiously, as if trying to read her thoughts, and then sighed. “Don’t go wandering off again like that. You had me worried.” I noticed he used “me” instead of “us”, and felt slightly guilty at what we were doing. Still, there wasn’t much I could do about it.
After a few more days of library research, Ky could no longer contain her surge of inner power, and left for the cave outside Neopia City to work on her project. The rest of us met in Two Rings Palace to discuss a visit to the Jungle Ruins. “We just visited Kal Panning!” I protested. “Can’t we wait to visit the Jungle Ruins until later?”
“I thought you really wanted to see the ruins. Why the sudden change?” Myra said sharply.
I sighed. “I had hoped Ky could come with us,” I muttered. This was part of the reason, but I was also startled at how quickly things were progressing.
“There has been trouble in the ruins,” Avery said with a scowl quite unbecoming to his Skeith features. “Apparently, one of the scientists is encouraging revolts by the natives, and the entire project is spiraling into chaos.”
I raised an eyebrow. “Then why didn’t we visit the Ruins first, instead of stopping at Kal Panning?” I frowned.
“We only just learned of it,” Pat said smoothly. “And besides, your sister was quite eager to make a visit to the libraries.”
“How critical is the situation?” Kassiel interrupted. I gave him a grateful look, and he smiled back.
“The scientists have started fighting amongst themselves,” Jantal scowled. “More than usual, I mean.”
“Do you think we should take the Staff of Ni-tas with us?” Ashiel asked. “We might be able to turn the tide if we bring it along with us.”
Judging by the looks on the older Circle members, this suggestion had already been in the back of their minds. They seemed quite pleased at the additional offer. “Yes, that would be a most wise precaution,” Amber said softly.
With that, the meeting dwindled off into trivial matters, such as the placement of statues around the palace and who should speak with the cooks about making better omelets. It was only a matter of days before we found ourselves flying back over the ocean, this time heading to the Grarrl Peninsula as opposed to departing from it. We spent a night in the jungle, and resumed our journey the following morning. I had transformed the second we arrived on the peninsula, and I only felt tenser as we approached the ruins. I felt gravely inadequate to handle the task at hand, and wistfully wished that Ky were with us. However, she was miles away, working on another one of her projects.
When we entered the ruins, I could already here the fighting taking place in the lower levels. Myra grabbed one of the scientists running around in the entrance and started asking questions. “What in the blazes is going on here?!”
“Run while you can! He’s gone mad, I tell you, mad!” the poor scientist yelled. He was obviously under a great deal of stress. “Korabric is trying to reason with him, but it’s no use!”
“Who is this ‘him’ you keep talking about?” Lilly said soothingly. “We are here to help you.”
“No one can help us now! We called for aid from the Circle of Twelve, but they didn’t listen.”
“We are the Circle of Twelve. We didn’t receive the message until a few days ago,” Pat growled. “What is going on?”
“Rollay unleashed terrible things in the dungeons,” the scientist whimpered. “He’s gone completely insane...”
“Who stands against him?” Avery said sternly. “We have an artifact that may be of some help,” he offered, displaying the staff we had brought with us.
The scientist’s eyes grew wide. “Korabric is in the tower. He is the head of the expedition,” he stammered.
“Where is Rollay?” Kassiel asked sharply. “If he has been causing all this chaos, he must have some powerful artifacts with him. He must not be allowed to keep those.”
“He is in the dungeons, but why do you want to confront him?! He is insane! He will destroy you!” the scientist yelled.
Lilly sighed. “We can’t let him keep control over any magical artifacts, or he really will destroy things.” She glanced at Zan. “I suggest we split up; some of us taking the Staff to Korabric, and the rest searching for Rollay to confront him.”
To my surprise, Zan nodded. “That is a very sound idea. How about the six of you search for Rollay? With Ashiel to aid you, I am certain you will find him much faster than any of us could.”
Zan’s willingness to agree to take the staff and have us hunt for Rollay by ourselves was a bit too quick for my liking, but I had no time to ponder. Ashiel started running off to the dungeons. He had transformed for the very first time, probably under the severity of the circumstances. It was a good thing he had transformed, because he didn’t already know where Rollay was hiding. In his transformed state, his magical ability was magnified to the point where he just knew. Even with Ashiel in the lead, I had the feeling that we were going in the wrong direction at this point of the chaotic adventure.
The dungeons of the Jungle Ruins are just as bad as the mazes of the Techo Caves. Once we entered the dungeons, we found ourselves in the midst of an enormous battle. Ashiel and Lilly got separated from the rest of the group as they dashed forward, ignoring all the fighting around them. Kassiel, Alex, and I were not so fortunate. Once Ashiel and Lilly had blazed through multiple duels between scientists and denizens of the jungle that Rollay had twisted, the attention was turned onto us. I found myself using both whips at once and my tail as a third whip while screaming an eyrie war call at the top of my lungs. I have been told that I scream louder than any living, undead, or animated object known to exist, so the sound was heard even over the noise of battle. My whips stunned anything that came near me, and I was so completely surrounded that I could not see where Alex and Kassiel were.
This continued for what felt like hours, as we slowly moved along the dungeons. I finally had some respite and managed to meet up with Alex and Kassiel in a hall of portals. Before long however, we were fighting again, and this time against lizards and scamanders that were larger than Skeiths. My whips went flying, and I fell into an instinctual trance as I fought to defend myself. I wasn’t aware of anything else until Lilly and Ashiel suddenly fell out of one of the portals. Lilly had transformed, becoming nearly twice her size and holding a sphere that looked like a globe of Neopia. In a flash of light, we were suddenly gone from the Jungle Ruins, and reappeared in the Kal Panning library. At first I thought she had teleported us to another place in the ruins, because we were nearly flattened as a fireball tore through the side of the building and the sounds of battling spell casters pervaded the air. Kal Panning was under siege!
To be continued...