The Jackals of Sakhmet II - Finding Lee: Part Two
Sakhmet City (The Palace)-
Cole was becoming impatient. As he stood outside the
Throne Room doors, he began to tap his foot rapidly. How long did it take for
Princess Amira to finish one quick meeting? A gentle paw was placed on his shoulder
and he looked back to see Lycos looking down at him.
"Cole, she'll see you when she's finished. Just
calm down… Besides, she has enough on her plate without you asking day after
day whether or not she's found Lee," Lycos said. Cole snorted and glared at
the floor. I bet you wouldn't say that if Lee was your best friend, he
thought to himself.
"Cole?" asked Lycos. "Where's Omar?"
"I don't know. I thought he was behind you."
Lycos sighed, turning back and forth, staring
down both halls.
"I'll go find him," she told Cole.
"Lycos, he'll be fine. He won't get into any
"This is coming from the boy who nearly had
all of Sakhmet destroyed!"
"It would've happened anyway…" Cole muttered,
avoiding her eye.
"What was that?" Lycos snapped.
With one last look at the child, Lycos set off
the right hallway to find Omar. She didn't have time for games! Where could
he be? Lycos began to call out to him, but no one answered.
"Okay Lycos," she muttered to herself. "Where
would Omar most likely go?"
The answer came immediately, in fact, Lycos
even walked right to it. The kitchen… Of course Omar would be where there was
food. Lycos knocked on he kitchen doors and a stout, chubby Chia barged out
into the hall. He wore a chef's hat and an apron, and had a short temper. He
snapped, "What, what is it? What do you want? Who are you?"
"Have you seen a Blue Cybunny? He's a little
boy who likes to eat," said Lycos. The cook's expression went from scorn to
"You don't mean the little boy that has been
the best taste-tester I've ever had, do you?" he asked, allowing Lycos to enter
the kitchen. He let out a low chuckle. "Yup, the little devil's in here. He
knows great recipes, you know. Who knew that asparagus and bananas could make
a tasty treat?"
Lycos didn't answer, but simply laughed. Omar
probably did make a great taste-tester. They found him sitting on a small stool
near a stove, sniffing the scents coming from the boiling pot of stew.
"Hiya Lycos," he greeted, smiling. "I was getting
kind of hungry…"
"I could tell," Lycos chuckled. "C'mon, Cole's
waiting for us."
The two of them left the kitchen and returned
back to the entrance of the Throne Room. Cole stood bored, next to the door.
"Hey Cole, I'm back!" Omar announced, approaching
the Wocky, but at that moment, the Throne Room door was flung open and Omar
ran into the pet coming out of it.
"Ow… Excuse me sir, I didn't mean to… For the
love of Fyora, you're fat!"
Lycos covered her face with her paw; Cole let
out an embarrassed groan; and the Desert Tuskaninny that had come out of the
Throne Room grunted and glared down at Omar.
"I beg your pardon, young man," snorted Senator
Palpus, completely outraged. Several others, including Princess Amira, had now
come out of the room. They council stopped at the site of the two boys.
"Is there a problem, Palpus?" asked a stern
Desert Acara, Senator Barca, giving Cole a look as if he were dirt. Palpus gave
Omar one more glare before replying, "No, nothing at all… Amira, what are these
two…children doing in the palace?"
"These children came to see me," Amira said
blankly, staring at the Tuskaninny. "They have my permission to come whenever
they like. Cole," she added, turning to him. "What did you want to see me about?"
"Well, it's about Lee…" Cole never finished
his sentence, for Senator Barca cut in.
"Amira, you can't go on seeing peasants all
willy-nilly! There are laws about royalty mixing with the poor, and those laws
concern you as well! You two, Wocky and Cybunny, run along now! Amira is much
too busy! Lycos, see them to the door…"
"Um…yes, Senator." Lycos bowed nervously, taking
Omar and Cole by the arms, but Amira stopped her, holding her back.
"Barca, I know you have Sakhmet's best interests
at heart, but the last time I checked," she gave Barca a piercing stare, "I
was the princess, ruler of the Lost Desert. If I want to talk to these children,
then I'll talk to them. Besides, didn't you say, during the meeting, that one
of Sakhmet's affairs that needed to be resolved was finding a home for orphans?"
Barca looked confused, not sure what to say.
Finally, she let out a large huff and said, "Make it quick, Princess! We still
have matters to cover. Come, Palpus!"
With that, Barca and Palpus were off. Princess
Amira smirked, turning to Cole and Omar.
"You know, I haven't been so happy to see you
two in a while. That old oaf, Barca… Anyway, what's this about Lee? Are you
asking if I found her again?"
Cole glanced guiltily at his feet, but nodded.
Amira sighed, frowning.
"Guys, I haven't found her yet. But don't worry,
I have Sakhmet's finest out there searching."
"But is it enough?" asked a sly voice from behind.
Everyone jumped, noticing the Desert Kyrii for the first time. Advisor Wessle
smirked, politely folding his paws behind his back.
"Come now, Amira, you haven't forgotten that
I'm still here, have you?" he joked, chuckling. But there was something about
his eyes that Omar didn't like…not one bit…
"Oh, Wessle, you scared me! I thought you went
"No, I'd rather stay here." He cut Amira off,
pacing back and forth. "Do go on. Just pretend I'm not here…"
Everyone stared at him for a moment, but then
went on with their previous conversation.
"Anyway Cole and Omar, I'll tell you when I
do find Lee. Don't forget that Scarab's searching as well. Besides, I have more
important matters on my paws… I've been getting so many complaints from the
citizens about…" Amira suddenly looked surprised, as if she said something she
wasn't supposed to. Lycos had suddenly become very uncomfortable and ran off,
saying she needed some fresh air. Cole and Omar, on the other hand, were stumped.
"Princess Amira, complaints about what…?" asked
Omar, not wanting to know the answer. Amira remained silent, still looking stunned.
Wessle could be heard chuckling from behind.
"Amira," he said, walking up next to her. "I
thought you had announced the final statement… But I guess I should tell them,
Amira didn't answer. Wessle went on with a snort.
"I'm surprised you two haven't found out, but
Amira has been receiving complaints from the citizens about you urchins! The
Jackals, as you call yourselves… So we've been discussing what to do about it
for days, and finally came to a conclusion. Amira was supposed to have announced
it to the city yesterday, but I guess it slipped her mind…" He gave Amira an
accusing look, and she blushed deeply.
"We have concluded," Wessle went on, "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…"
Cole and Omar were no longer listening to him.
At the words "shipped off to Neopia Central," Cole and Omar stared shocked at
Princess Amira. She tried desperately to say something, but nothing came out
"Cole, Omar, it was either that or lock you
all up in the dungeon… What was I supposed to do?" she whispered nervously,
but Cole was already on his way out of the Palace. He had heard enough… Omar
gave the princess one more solemn look and left as well.
"Cole, wait up!" he called, running to catch
his friend who was already at the door. Cole pushed open the door and was about
walk out, but a Red Hissi was in his way…
"Cole and Omar?" it asked, staring at the pair
of them. They nodded, looking stunned. How did he know their names, and what
did he want? It bowed its head, saying, "My name isss Lucian. I come from the
Dunesss to deliver a messsage from Ssscarab. He sssaysss he knowsss where Lee
isss, but he wantsss you two to come with him…"
Did the two hear correctly? Had he said he knew
where Lee was? Cole nodded, still not sure about what was just said…and then
Lycos showed up.
"Look, guys, about what Amira said… Oh…hello
Lucian." She smiled at the Hissi. It bowed its head to her.
"You know him?" asked Omar. Lycos nodded.
"Yes. I was at the Dunes, remember? What brings
you here, Lucian?"
"He says Scarab found Lee and that he wants
us to come with him…" answered Cole, still unsure. Lycos's face lit up as she
replied, "Ooh, can I come too?"
"But of courssse," said Lucian. "Meet usss at
the Desert Coassst at sssix in the morning tomorrow… Don't be late…"
With that, he slithered off, back through the
Palace gates. Lycos and Omar began chatting immediately about the trip to the
coast, but Cole stood alone, thinking… Was it true? Had they really found Lee?
Another question came to mind: was Lee okay?
To be continued...