Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 113,598,787 Issue: 227 | 10th day of Awakening, Y8
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The Jackals of Sakhmet II- Finding Lee: Part One


by arrielle5

--------

Author's note: Don't have a clue who Lee is? Want to know why she's stuck with Kasha? Read the series prior to this one, The Jackals of Sakhmet- Kasha's Plot (issues 210-218) Also, if you have any comments or questions about the story, feel free to neomail me. Thanks for reading!

Darkness… It's like a predator, and anything that moves is its prey… Lee stood there, rooted on the spot in complete darkness. She could see nothing but the blackness as thick as tar. Where was she? And why did she feel lightheaded? She held out a hoof to feel for the slightest sign of life at all.

      "Hello?" she called, her voice ringing out in the darkness. No one answered. Was she dead? No. There was no way.

      "Hello?" she called again. Answer came there none. But something else happened, despite however strange it was. A thin sliver of light fell upon Lee's face, so thin, that it was no bigger than the tip of her horn. The light gradually became bigger, and bigger, and bigger still, until she was standing in the middle of the Lost Desert. She was greeted by nothing but large piles of sand and the blazing sun. It looked like the Lost Desert, it smelt like the Lost Desert…but it didn't feel like the Lost Desert. It didn't feel like home…

      Further in the distance, Lee could see two small figures waving and calling to her. Who were they? She squinted at them, but it was not necessary, for they soon became clearer. They looked like mirages from this far away. It was then that Lee recognized them for who they were. Two thirteen year-old pets, a Wocky and a Cybunny, were waving to Lee, calling, "Lee, c'mon! Let's go!"

      For once, Lee smiled, starting towards them.

      "Cole, Omar, wait up!" she called back, running as fast as her feet would allow. Was it her, or did they seem to be getting smaller with every step? No! It couldn't be! They were becoming farther and farther away every time she took a step!

      "Cole, Omar, wait!"

      "Come on, Lee! Catch up!" they urged her, still gradually shrinking into the distance.

      "I can't… Don't leave me!"

      It was too late. They both had vanished and Lee found herself stuck in the darkness once more. She could see nothing but the blackness as thick as tar. She was all alone again, all alone… Lee let out a frustrated yell and fell to her knees; she pounded the ground with her fist, shutting her eyes as to not let the tears flow. But it didn't help. It didn't help one bit.

      As she sat there, sad and lonely, Lee whispered into the darkness.

      "Don't leave me…"

     * * *

The Lost Desert-

      Presently, someone was shaking Lee, or more really, the sack she was being dragged away in.

      "Quit that whining, child!" snapped Kasha from the outside. Lee groaned and crossed her arms, which, strangely enough, were soaked in tears… It had happened again. Every time, every time, Lee had fallen asleep, she had the same dream. She would be standing in darkness, which would transform into the Lost Desert, where she'd see Cole and Omar, who would simply disappear anyway… She'd then be back in darkness, and blah, blah, blah… It was driving her nuts!

      And the fact that she and Kasha had been traveling for three days didn't help… Where were they heading anyway? Lee was not able to tell, for she had been tied up in a sack for the whole time. The only time the sack would open was when Kasha let her breathe in some fresh air, but that was it.

      "Yes, finally," muttered Kasha, stopping suddenly. Lee fidgeted, but Kasha paid no notice this time. Something was happening, and Lee had a feeling it wasn't good. Suddenly, the sack was open, and she was being yanked out of it by a towering Shadow Tonu. Lee let out a frightened scream.

      "I see you've met my little friend," Kasha snickered at Lee. "Take her to the ship."

      Nodding, the Tonu dragged Lee to the ship Kasha had mentioned. As Lee looked about, she saw that they were on the coast of the Lost Desert, where tens and tens of ships were anchored all over! The Tonu rudely dropped Lee on the deck of the particular ship, and then was off. Kasha stepped on the deck as well, and pulled Lee to her feet. Lee took a look around.

      This was a pirate ship all right; you had pirates cleaning the deck, pirates packing things away, pirates talking secretively to each other in small little corners.

      "What's going on?" Lee whispered.

      "We're going for…a little trip, shall I call it?" Kasha answered with a smirk. "Men!" she shouted to all the pirates on deck. All eyes were on her, many filled with a mixed emotion of envious admiration.

      "I want this ship ready to go within the next ten minutes!" she continued, still smirking. "All set sails for Krawk Island!"

      Lee stood, rooted on the spot, and frozen with horror. Krawk Island… What could Kasha possibly wan to do on Krawk Island, and why was she forced to be included?

     * * *

The Lost Desert (The Dunes)-

      Scarab pounded an angry fist on the table that stood before him. The Red Hissi that had just delivered some very vital information to him sat straight and still in front of the Bori, not showing any emotion whatsoever.

      "Let me get this straight," Scarab growled at him, rubbing his temples in frustration. "You said you saw Kasha boarding a ship to Krawk Island?"

      "Yesss, sssir," hissed the Hissi, nodding his head. "But why isss that ssso important…"

      Scarab glared at the floor, avoiding the Hissi's eye, and replied, "Krawk Island has a small, secret section where nothing but caves stands."

      The Hissi nodded, still not catching on.

      "In those caves," Scarab continued in a level voice. "In those caves I have set up a variety of tests and traps that will determine whether or not you can go on to the next cave…they're interlinked, you see… I've taken Kasha in those caves before, and she knows ways in and out, what are traps and what tricks are."

      "But Ssscarab, I sstill don't underssstand…" interjected the Hissi but was silenced immediately when Scarab held up his paw. Scarab continued.

      "Those caves, Lucian, are where I hide all of my Rubite…"

      Lucian's eyes widened in horror.

      "Now you understand," said Scarab. "If Kasha's going to Krawk Island, that means she's heading for those caves. She knows her way inside… You have no idea what she can do with all that Rubite…"

      "Whatsss the worssst ssshe can do?"

      "Lucian, do you remember how she took control of all those Cybunnies in Sakhmet a few days ago? She did that because she made it so the Rubite only works on Cybunnies. It didn't have that much an effect when implanted in a locket. Rubite alone, even the smallest chunk, can do much more, even without a core to power it. You can not only control someone's mind, you can alter it, make them think what you think; you could see what someone else is thinking; you could make someone forget something if you wanted them to; you could erase their memory completely…

      "You could take total control of their body, let alone their mind. With all that power, Kasha could have anyone do exactly what she wanted them to do, make them forget what she wanted them to forget, make them think exactly what she was thinking… With all that power, Lucian," Scarab stared solemnly down at the Hissi. "She could destroy all of Neopia… and that's with even the smallest chunk…"

      "I think…" whispered Lucian. "I think, I underssstand now… Doesss thisss mean that we are not to go after her anymore?"

      "What do you mean?"

      "I mean, the little girl, Lee I think, isss with her. We are ssstill looking for her, yesss?"

      "Yes."

      "Ssso, that meansss we are to follow Kasssha to find the girl."

      "I suppose," said Scarab, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. "Lucian?"

      "Yesss, Ssscarab."

      "Can you deliver one more message for me?"

      "But of courssse."

      "I need you to deliver a message to two little friends of mine; they're two little boys by the name of Cole and Omar…"

To be continued...

  * * *

      It is here, dear reader, that I must put our story on pause. I'm pretty sure you're tired of seeing * * *, and I'm also pretty sure that you have many questions as well. Such as, 'When do Cole and Omar actually come into the story, physically?', or 'Couldn't Scarab destroy the Rubite?', or 'Can a Weewoo fly?' Yes, I'm sure you have many questions in mind, and I would so longingly love to tell you all the answers, but you, like everyone else, must wait. (Although I have no shame in telling you that a Weewoo can fly…)

      Perhaps you remember, dear reader, when Cole had so many questions he wanted answered as well, but could not find any of the answers? This is just like that, and if there's one thing no one likes, it's unanswered questions…but you know that already, don't you?

 
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