The Jackals of Sakhmet II- Finding Lee: Part Nine
Slides of Doom!-
"Omar, no…" she said nervously. Omar smirked and nodded
It was too late. Omar gave Lee a gentle push
and she was on her way down the slope, at least one-hundred feet high and soon
slid down after her. They were in for the slide of their lives… Down, down,
down they fell, Lee screaming at the top of her lungs and Omar hardly able to
contain his joy. It all seemed like a game…a harmless, honest game…
"OMAR, YOU ARE SO GONNA GET IT WHEN WE GET OUT
OF HERE!" screamed Lee, closing her eyes as they came close to the end of the
drop. Omar replied with a whoop of joy. They were nearing the end of the slope
now… What lay beneath that slope was unknown, for it seemed shadowed… But reader,
Lee and Omar would soon find out what lay beneath the slope, for they were about
to reach it right about…
* * *
"NOW!" Kasha ordered. "Bring me the bag, NOW!"
It was no use; Cole remained where he sat, smirking
down at the four Cybunnies. It was quite amusing. Kasha had sent Niger and the
other two to try and climb to reach him, but they were too big to fit where
he was now. Every now and then, they'd fall to the ground, landing with a dull
"Kasha," Niger croaked, pushing himself off
the ground for the third time. "Just leave him! We can fill up the other sack
right now and leave!"
"And then what?" she snapped. "The moment we
go back out, Scarab and his little friends will be waiting for us, wondering
where the three orphans are! We have to bring the boy or one of the other two
to get out of this cave untouched! Now climb!"
Cole snickered to himself. He'd be there for
a while, he figured, so he leaned back on the stone ledge. He closed his eyes,
but soon opened them once more, for he heard something… It wasn't Kasha or the
others, it was a faint sound coming from…above? He looked up and saw, for the
first time, a hole in the bottom of the ledge above. (That made sense to you,
didn't it?) And he could hear a faint sound coming from that hole…it sounded
like something sliding. Before he could dwell on this any longer, two figures
popped out of the hole, falling on top of him.
"Omar, you little creep! How dare you push me!"
cried the first figure, pushing itself up.
"You said let's go," chuckled the second figure,
pushing itself up as well.
"No I didn't!"
"Well maybe I heard wrong…" Omar smirked.
"How can you hear wrong with those big ears,"
"Am I completely invisible?" Cole asked, staring
at the both of them. For once, Omar and Lee noticed their friend sitting on
the ground and gave him apologetic looks.
"Sorry… Hey, wait a minute, where's Niger?"
asked Omar, looking around. "Wasn't he with you?"
"Yeah, well, now he's down there with Kasha…"
Lee commented, pointing down at them. Cole and Omar looked down as well. Kasha
and Niger were glaring at the three of them, while the other Cybunnies started
to fill up the other sack with Rubite.
"The other two are up there with him?" Kasha
whispered to Niger in a deadly voice. "We need to get them down here!"
"I have a suggestion," Niger said slyly, walking
over to the other Cybunnies. He returned with a small bit of Rubite in his paw
and handed it to Kasha. She snatched it away angrily, wishing she had thought
of that a few minutes ago. She stared at it long and hard before closing her
paw around it…it started to glow…
"What is she doing?" Cole asked. But Lee and
Omar remained silent. They knew only too well what Kasha was doing. She was
getting ready to use the Rubite on someone, but there was no way she could use
it on them from this high up. They were wrong, my friends, wrong… They had entirely
forgotten the abandoned sack of Rubite lying directly behind them on the ledge…
The sack they had began to glow as well. All three children felt a sharp pain
in their heads as the Rubite took its effect on them.
"Clear your mind!" Omar shouted, placing his
paws over his ears. "Think of nothing but friendship! Think of nothing but it!"
Cole and Lee placed their paws, (in Lee's case,
hooves), over their ears as well, trying as hard as they could to obey Omar's
command. If anyone knew what it was like to be controlled by the brutal gem,
it was Omar. He had somehow broken the spell Rubite had cast many days ago by
thinking of his friends. The defense against Rubite must have been to think
of someone you cared about…your closest friends…
But, dear reader, was it possible to break free
of the spell pure Rubite cast? Had Scarab not said that Rubite alone, just the
smallest chunk, was very powerful? Had he not said that Rubite alone could destroy
the mind completely? Destroy… The word kept repeating itself in Cole's mind,
but he tried to push it away. If he thought of something other than friendship,
he'd lose to Kasha… But he couldn't ignore the thought. What if there was a
way to destroy the Rubite? But how could they do it, crush it, split each piece
in two…? If only they had a sign…
* * *
Caves' Main Entrance-
You haven't forgotten our other little friends,
Scarab, Lycos, Keera, and Wain, have you? Why, they were sitting, absolutely
bored, in front of the caves' main entrance. The only one not bored was Scarab,
who had spent the last hour or so pacing around; wondering what was taking the
others so lone to come back out of the caves.
"Scarab, sit down and relax," Keera said, her
head leaning against the side of the entrance. "They'll be back out momentarily…"
"How can I relax when three teenage children
are running around these caves facing who knows what?" Scarab snapped, making
Keera jump slightly. A gentle paw placed itself on Scarab's shoulder; Lycos
looked into Scarab's eyes and replied, "They can take care of themselves… They'll
"Can we really be sure of that?" he asked in
a softer, yet sharp, tone. Everyone fell silent for a long moment…and then Wain
"Maybe we should go in after them. I mean, Scarab,
you do know the way around, don't you?"
The Bori nodded.
"Then what's stopping us from helping out?"
Wain replied, getting to his feet. Scarab glared at the ground and whispered,
"My promise to Niger. One thing you need to know about a true thief: sure, we
lie and steal and cheat…but we never go back on our word…"
* * *
"It's not working…"
"No Niger, it's not working! They won't climb
down like I want them to!"
Kasha and Niger began to bicker, distracting
Kasha from controlling the Rubite. Meanwhile, the sack on the ledge with Cole,
Lee, and Omar had stopped glowing completely; they were free to think on their
"There has to be someway to destroy it," Cole
told his companions immediately. "Everything and everyone has a weakness! We
should be able to destroy Rubite!"
"But how," Omar asked.
"Destroy the source," Lee told them in a matter-of-fact
tone. "It's common sense. It's like dealing with vampires: if you want to get
rid of them all, you go for the head vampire. It's that simple…"
"Okay Ms. Genius," Omar replied grumpily. "If
you know so much, tell us, where is the source?"
The two glared at each other, looking as though
they'd pounce on each other at any moment, but Cole brought hem back to reality
by saying, "Lee's idea is good, but we have no idea what he source is… So we
have to go with another idea…"
"Or we could look up there," Lee pointed up
above them to an even higher ledge. The only way to the very top of it was to
climb off to the side of where they sat now, and then pull them up to the top.
"Okay, new plan," Cole said. "We stick with
Lee's plan and go look up there, got it?"
Omar was hesitant, but nodded all the same.
As the three of them set out to complete that task, Kasha and Niger had finally
took notice to what was going on… The watched as the children climbed up to
the highest ledge, wondering what on Neopia they were doing.
"Is there something up there I should know about?"
Kasha wondered aloud, staring blankly at the ledge… "I can't possibly imagine
what else is in this mine…"
"Perhaps they've given up and are running away…"
suggested Niger, but Kasha shook her head. That wasn't it. Something else was
up there, but what? What, was exactly what Cole, Omar, and Lee were about to
find out. They had finally reached the top of the ledge, only to find…a small
pond...a pond of some strange, red liquid.
"What is it?" asked Omar, kneeling near the
pond's edge. "Why's it so red?"
"It's not just red," Lee muttered. "It's ruby
red, like Rubite… This must be where it forms or something…"
"How could something this small make all of
this?" Cole waved his paw in the air lazily, signifying the Rubite in the mine.
"No, I think this must be the source of power… I mean look at it, it's glowing
like the sack did before."
Indeed it was. The pond glowed stronger than
anything in the entire mine. The pond was what gave Rubite power; it kept Rubite
working; it was the only thing that could destroy the accursed gem once and
for all…but how was they to destroy it?
"We have to do something," said Omar quietly,
staring transfixed into the pond. The three thought for a small moment before
Lee remarked, "I got it! What if we contaminated it?"
Cole and Omar looked at her questioningly. Lee
let out an annoyed sigh and replied, "Think…pretend you had a glass of apple
juice. If you were to pour, oh let's say, hot sauce in the apple juice, would
it really taste the same?"
"Why the heck would anyone put hot sauce in
juice?" Omar asked, looking puzzled.
"Focus!" snapped Lee. "Pretend this pond is
the apple juice! If we were to pour something else in it, it wouldn't work the
"Okay, but what's the hot sauce," said Omar,
catching on. Cole didn't have to think this one over. The answer came out of
mouth almost instantly.
"Poison," he told his friends. "Kasha has a
poisoned tipped dagger with her. If we took it from her, we'd be able to 'poison'
Cole felt a strange sensation of guilt wash
over him as he said this. He had yet to tell his friends of what Kasha had done
to his paw… Lee carefully crawled near the side of the ledge and peered over
to see what Kasha and the others were doing. This proved difficult, seeing as
Kasha and the others weren't there…
"Where'd they go?!" shouted Lee in surprise,
making Cole and Omar stare at her. "Kasha and Niger aren't down there!"
"That's because I'm already up here…"
The children jumped at the sound of Kasha's
voice, turning their heads directly across the pond. Kasha stood near a small
hole in the cave wall where Niger could be seen climbing out.
"Amazing how many secret tunnels there are in
this place, isn't it?" Kasha snickered, slowly walking around the pond to where
the children stood. "You aren't touching this pond, I'll make sure of that…"
"Back off, you old hag!" shouted Omar, getting
to his feet. "I am so not in the mood for you!"
"Language, child, language…" muttered Niger,
coming up behind Kasha. He looked at her and asked, "What should we do with
"Oh, I know just what to do with them…" Kasha
replied in no more than a whisper. She reached into her robe and pulled out
the dagger…just what Cole was hoping she'd do.
"Lee, Omar, scatter!" shouted Cole suddenly.
They didn't need telling twice. The three of them split up just as quickly as
Cole had shouted out, and were running here and there so quickly, it seemed
like they were all over the place.
"Ah, Niger, stop them!"
"How?" asked Niger, looking at a loss. "They're…they're
all over the place…"
Lee and Omar began to push Niger around, stunning
him for some time. As they taunted him, Cole went for the dagger in Kasha's
"Bingo," he whispered as he snatched it away,
heading straight for the pond. Kasha stood rooted on the spot for a few seconds
before she figured out what was going on, and shouted, "No! The pond… Don't
Before the last words could even escape her
lips, Cole was kneeling next to the pond and dipping the dagger's point in…
Kasha made to charge after Cole, but Lee had left Omar to take care of Niger
and started to distract Kasha. Cole finally took the point out of the pond and
watched to see whether it had worked…
To be continued...