Ailemea vs. Jenna: Part Three
Also by jeanaet
The icy sea water did not take long to wake Ailemea up.
In fact, as soon as Jeanie touched the water, her unconscious pet snapped awake.
The first thing Aile registered was that her family and Rain's were floundering
helplessly in the deep water, with Lailani desperately trying to help them keep
afloat. Instinctively, Ailemea closed her eyes and threw out her paws.
The water shuddered a little as Ailemea made
a bubble shield around the group. Jeanie sank down with a sigh, letting go of
Aile. Rain dropped the two babies wearily and sank down beside Jeanie. Isaerios
shook himself out and then strolled over to Lindsey.
"Took you long enough, Aile," he said, running
a paw through his mussed fur, as well as trying to help Lindsey straighten out
her wings. Ailemea just glared at him. Kiara and Nexy began to squeal and laugh
with excitement. Ailemea watched as they began banging on the walls of the bubble.
She immediately felt the symptoms of a headache coming on.
"Jeanie, stop them!" she groaned through her
teeth, clutching her head. The whole group immediately saw the effect it was
having on her concentration, as the bubble's walls began to ripple. Rain practically
flew across the bubble. A moment later the babies were contained, the owner
keeping a strong hold on them. The bubble solidified once more.
Then Rain let out a gasp as she looked around.
"Where's Jenna?" she cried, obviously worried. In unison the whole group stared
out of the bubble and towards the surface. There she was. The striped Xweetok,
with a heavy-looking sword across her back, was swimming towards them with long
powerful strokes. She was almost immediately at the bubble.
Ailemea grudgingly pulled her into the shield.
"Thanks," Jenna gasped, taking deep breaths.
"Whatever," Ailemea muttered, shrugging. She
stalked over to Haelee and immediately her face changed from a pout to ultimate
worry. "MOMMY!" Ailemea called, for perhaps the first time since her creation.
Jeanie did not hesitate to reach her oldest pet's side.
"What is it, Aile?" she asked. The Xweetok took
her owner's hands and placed them on Haelee.
"She's soaked! She'll never get dry!" Ailemea
Jeanie patted her gently. "It's ok, Aile, you
can just use one of your fire abilities," the owner comforted.
Ailemea's worried expression turned into a glower
once more. "I'm trained in water, Jeanie."
"Oh yeah... well, maybe Jenna can do it for you,"
Jeanie suggested. Ailemea's eyes widened with hope and she glanced at Jenna.
She frowned but then glanced at Haelee. She looked back and forth between Haelee
and Jenna again and again before picking up the soaked petpet.
Swallowing her pride, she carried the petpet
over to the striped Xweetok. "Would you... please... Jenna?" Aile said softly,
hugging her Ditsy to her. Jenna, still annoyed at Ailemea's curtness before,
looked up at the suddenly meek blue Xweetok.
Minutes of silence passed as the two Xweetoks
stared at each other. The rest of the group comforted each other; the babies,
still struggling in Rain's arms, trying to cheer Lailani up; Lindsey and Isaerios
quietly observing their siblings in sadness; Rain looking tentatively at her
pet, expecting the right thing to be done; Jeanie could only gaze in concern
upon Aile's distressed state.
Ailemea's heart fluttered at a little cough that
Haelee emitted, followed shortly by a sneeze. This obviously had an effect on
the rest of the petpets who began to run around in a frenzy, squealing and yelping
in worry. Aros even nuzzled Ailemea's paw, perhaps for news.
Jenna frowned at the petpets and then looked
back to Ailemea. "My Sunray might do something to the shield," she said finally.
The blue Xweetok almost collapsed with relief.
She shoved the Ditsy into Jenna's arms and then stepped into the center of the
bubble. Closing her eyes, she began to concentrate.
Jenna set the wet Haelee down and then pulled
her sword from her back. Focusing her Light Faerie ability into it, she gently
set the tip on the Ditsy's head. The bubble around them immediately began to
shake as the heat emanating from Jenna cancelled out with the water. Golden
rays shone brightly from the sword. Ailemea's eyes tightened shut as she struggled
to maintain their little safety vessel.
Finally it was over. Jenna opened her eyes to
see a very dry Ditsy staring up at her. Ailemea scooped up the Ditsy with a
cry of relief.
"There you go," Jenna declared proudly. "Easy."
"Thanks," Ailemea muttered, and she stalked off
cuddling and soothing her petpet.
Rain sat nearby the edge of the shield, gazing
through the shimmering walls at the gradually fading surface of the sea above.
She held Kiara to her chest tightly, though Trohanex had somehow been freed
of her grip and was now tottering toward Ailemea. Jenna observed the terror
in her owner's eyes, the disbelieving shock of having lost so much. To think,
Sloth had finally taken over, ravaged the world and succeeded. It wouldn't be
long before he had all of his "insignificant slaves" under control. Soon no
one would have the courage or hope to fight back.
Jenna knew that the salty water streaming down
her cheeks wasn't from the ocean, but from her own eyes. How had things gone
so wrong? Everyone knew that Dr. Sloth was nothing but a joke, a ridiculous
madman who couldn't think up a good strategy to save his life. Yet he'd taken
over just like that?
The Xweetok was still pondering this when she
heard the sharp voice of Ailemea cut through the silence. "Isaerios!"
Jenna turned to see her nemesis sitting with
Nexy in her lap being properly groomed. The baby Yurble was playing with his
toes as Ailemea used weak amounts of her Water Jet to rinse out his fur. The
blue Xweetok had already Quenched most of the salt out of her own sleek fur.
Aile was now glaring at Isaerios, who was sitting close to Lindsey - his paw
comfortingly patting the shivering Zafara's shoulder.
Outraged, Jenna barked, "Lindsey!"
The two pets looked at the two angry Xweetoks.
Isaerios returned his sister's glare, while Lindsey only gazed at Jenna in confusion.
Then, as Jenna took Lindsey's paw and pulled the Zafara away, Ailemea grabbed
Isaerios' neck fur and dragged him away. Lindsey came quietly enough, giving
her friend a last small smile. But Isaerios was indignant of being deprived
of the Zafara's presence.
"Quit it!" he hissed at Ailemea. "We were just
talking! Lindsey's had a hard time; she just lost her home!"
"If you'll remember, Isaerios," Ailemea snapped
back. "WE lost OUR home as well! Remember? That three story very expensive
Neohome on Bread Street? We have more important things to be doing than showing
The shadow Xweetok's glare deepened. "I'm not
showing off, Ailemea - I'm comforting! Why don't you stop being a jerk and try
it? Maybe taking a break from acting like the boss will do you good!"
"I AM the boss, Isaerios! I protect this family!"
his sister replied, her voice filled with fury. "Now just stay away from them,"
and she indicated Lindsey, who was staring at her in hurt surprise.
"If you're the protector of this family then
why didn't you do anything when our SISTER went and joined that army! Oh I remember...
you fainted," Isaerios said, sneering. Ailemea paled slightly. She then closed
her eyes and feeling that he had won, Isaerios began to approach Lindsey.
That was his mistake. His first step threw him
against the wall of the shield, and he was covered with the same substance that
created the bubble. Ailemea opened her eyes and ignored the fact that she had
imprisoned her brother in his own little bubble. Quietly, her eyes now soft
with worry, she returned to rinsing Nexy's fur.
Jenna clutched her sister's paw tightly. "Ignore
them," she urged. "They're not our friends."
"Don't say that Jenna!" Lindsey protested. "Isaerios
is kind and charming. You've no right to judge him!"
"He's not to be trusted in a time like this!"
Jenna snapped. "Don't go near him anymore, Lindsey; it won't do you any good.
Rain, Kiara, Lailani and I need you to be with us."
Lindsey was silent. Sighing, Jenna took Kiara
from her indifferent owner and dumped the baby pet into the Zafara's arms. "Here,"
she said gently, "I'll talk to Rain."
Seemingly lightened at the sight of her new charge,
Lindsey began crooning the baby Kougra off to sleep. Lailani was calming all
the petpets down, excluding Haelee who had curled up beside Ailemea. Jenna turned
to see that Rain already had a comforter. Jeanie was rubbing her new friend's
shoulder, and speaking softly to the distraught girl.
Jenna gritted her teeth with frustration. She
might be able to keep her sisters out of Ailemea's way, but there was nothing
she could do about Rain. And as long as the owners kept together, the pets would
have to deal with each other as well.
Fine, Jenna consented, so the battle
continues. She shot a meaningful glare at Aile and clenched Faith even tighter
in her salt-crested paw. Aile didn't notice, obviously lost in her own thoughts.
The last few hours of the trip to Maraqua were
spent in brooding silence.
To be continued...