Ailemea vs. Jenna: Part Five
Also by jeanaet
I can't BELIEVE I got myself into this! Jenna
thought worriedly as her arch rival led her farther and farther away from Maraqua,
Rain, Lailani, Lindsey and Kiara. Here she was, tagging along on a hopeless
quest that would most likely fail. She wanted more than anything to pull away,
insist on returning where she'd be safe. But there was nothing but a trap in
Maraqua, inevitable doom.
She'd take a chance with Aile, find out what
they were up against, and fight back for freedom and for Oreh and for all she'd
lost. I'm as crazy as she is, Jenna thought with a smile as she glanced
at her companion.
After what seemed like days (it was only a few
hours), they reached the shore of Neopia Central. Ailemea was feeling more furious
than ever. As they had passed Kiko Lake they had seen Grundos wading in the
shallows, netting panic-stricken Kikos and dragging them in.
"So where are we going?" Jenna asked the blue
Xweetok, drawing her sword protectively.
"My house, I have things I need to get," Ailemea
replied, as she pulled Haelee and the sack of omelettes out of the water. Thankfully,
Ailemea's bubble had done its job and both were perfectly dry.
"Why did you bring Haelee?" Jenna asked tiredly,
frowning at the petpet. "She would have been safer in Maraqua."
"She can help us," Ailemea said simply. "And
she wouldn't have been able to bear being left behind."
Jenna doubted that the Ditsy could help them,
but she didn't comment, feeling the truce between her and Ailemea was very fragile
as it was.
The sun was just visible, sinking below the horizon,
as it had the evening before on Mystery Island.
The two Xweetoks stealthily skirted the vacant
streets of Neopia Central, keeping to the shadows as best they could. A distant
roar sounded in the distance, like the deep hum of an approaching space ship.
Jenna felt they had very little time to spare. "We need to hurry," she urged.
"I can hear them coming."
Soon, Aile's home came into view, dark and silent.
Ailemea slunk into the front yard and scooped up the latest issue of the Times
which had been dumped on her lawn. She shoved it into her bag then gestured
at Jenna and the two Xweetoks ran around the back of the Neohome.
Just as Ailemea pulled Jenna into the kitchen's
back door, the striped Xweetok saw searchlights nearing the neighborhood.
Ailemea dashed through the house, into the foyer
where she made sure the front door was locked, then up the stairs. Jenna followed.
Ailemea led them into her office where she placed
Haelee on the windowsill. She ran to her desk and was just looking through drawers
when Haelee let out a small squeak, a signal. Without hesitation, the blue Xweetok
threw the papers across the desk and then dragged Jenna into a large pile of
pink pillows in a corner of the room. Haelee made sure they were covered, and
then she bounced in after them.
Jenna felt like she'd suffocate under the heavy
mass of pink material. But she held still and tensed as she caught sight of
a searchlight pass through Aile's office. Sharp voices could be heard outside
as Sloth's forces closed in.
For the first few minutes there was nothing to
be heard except the crashing sound of empty Neohomes being broke into, orders
being issued, and that constant deep humming noise of the space ships hovering
Jenna's heart stopped as she heard the front
door downstairs open with a bang, footsteps running through the house, furniture
We are so dead, the striped Xweetok thought
as the door to Aile's office swung open.
Ailemea's sight through the pillows was limited,
but she could still see the horrible Grundos that rushed into her office. There
were four of them; orange, yellow, white, and pink. She tapped Jenna lightly
on the shoulder and the striped Xweetok glanced at her.
Ailemea showed her the thing which she had been
searching for on her desk. A poison tipped dagger. Jenna's eyes widened and
she shook her head urgently. Ailemea ignored her, leaping out of the pillows.
The first strike fell on the orange Grundo, who
collapsed instantly into unconsciousness. The Xweetok swish downed the pink
Grundo, who appeared to be the strongest of the four.
Jenna's heart leaped when the two remaining Grundos
aimed their stun guns at Aile as she struck down the pink leader.
Out came Faith. Down went the surprised white
Grundo. Jenna then aimed a kick at the last intruder. He stumbled, and then
Aile finished him off with the Xweetok nip.
Jenna breathed hard, dumbfounded at what she'd
done. "Barricade the door," she panted. "This isn't the end of it."
"I only need a few minutes," Ailemea said, grabbing
Haelee and running into her bedroom. "Get my door and the bathroom door. Jeanie
was crazy to make so many doors in this house."
Jenna closed the doors, pushing tables and shelves
in front of them. Aile opened a drawer and pulled out her backpack. She carefully
wrapped up her dagger and put that and Haelee inside. She pulled a stash of
potions from her closet and then her make-up bag.
"You're packing MAKE-UP at a time like this!"
Jenna cried out in frustration. "We're under attack!"
Even as she shouted, the two Xweetoks heard a
great scuffle, shouts, pounding on the doors, and then, "Surrender in the name
of Emperor Sloth! Ruler of Neopia!"
Jenna ignored the warning. But her ears perked
up with dread as a cold feminine voice that definitely didn't belong to a Grundo
sounded, "You're getting a little carried away, General Tardon. You know perfectly
well who our REAL leader is."
Aile answered Jenna's exclamation as if there'd
been no interruption. "You can never know when you will need it," she said with
a slight smile. She zipped up the backpack threw it over her shoulder then ran
to the door. She put her ear to it then gestured to Jenna. "Be prepared to escape
through the window," she whispered.
Jenna nodded and she gathered her power within
her, prepared to use her Air faerie ability: Flight.
"SURRENDER IN THE NAME OF EMPRESS DEMONICA!"
the Grundos yelled again, correcting themselves.
"That's better," the same non-Grundo voice approved
"WE SURRENDER!" Ailemea screamed through the
door. As she said this, she moved a rainbow table away from the door. "Get ready,
Jenna," she said, and then powerfully she stuck out a paw and slammed the door
off its hinges, causing the door to fall on more than half of their enemies.
Ailemea turned to catch hold of Jenna almost
as soon as the door fell, so only the striped Xweetok saw what lay beyond that
About a dozen Grundos were stumbling and falling
over each other as the door crashed among their ranks. And just behind them,
pressed against the wall and looking down in disgust at the confused Grundos,
stood four winged figures; Space faeries.
Jenna didn't have time to register this strange
sight. A moment later Ailemea was at her side, and together the two silently
hovered out the window and then disappeared off into the night, darkness swallowing
them up in an instant.
The dark night was luminous after all the tumult
the two Xweetoks had gone through. Ailemea clung to Jenna as the striped Xweetok
glided through the air. Aile could hear Haelee's tiny snores from inside her
backpack. She envied the Ditsy as her muscles felt like water.
Jenna could feel herself weakening under Aile's
weight and the long flight. She couldn't go on for much longer; she needed to
land. Moonlight shone down and Jenna saw its light brightening what she knew
to be Roo Island, her next stop. Within the next few minutes, the two Xweetoks
had perched nimbly upon King Roo's castle roof.
Only then did Jenna care to survey the island,
and the damage that Sloth's forces had caused. The Merry-Go-Round was a mass
of wrecked timber, and smoke rose into the sky from burned shops. The castle
itself seemed perfectly sound, though the silence issuing from it made clear
the building's vacancy.
Jenna sighed as she collapsed into a sitting
position and closed her indigo-colored eyes, wishing to shut out the sight.
Ailemea sank down with relief, allowing her muscles
to relax. She pulled Haelee out of her backpack and set the Ditsy on her head
for a lookout. Rubbing her neck with a paw, she turned to Jenna. "The trick
is to not look in the first place," she told her fellow Xweetok, pulling blue
blush out of her backpack. "So, who do you think this Empress Demonica is?"
Jenna stiffened at her companion's first remark,
but then lost herself in thought at the question. "You didn't see who was behind
that door, did you, Aile?" she asked softly. "We're not just dealing with Sloth
after all. I always knew there had to be more to this invasion, but I never
imagined faeries to have a hand in it."
"Faeries? I doubt that sincerely! Fyora would
nev-" The Xweetok's eyes widened. "That's it! That's why Faerieland has been
taken too. Demonica must be a faerie... that would also explain how Sloth was
able to take over most of Neopia," Ailemea exclaimed.
Jenna nodded and let her face fall into her paws.
"WHY did you have to drag me into this?" she moaned, "It won't be long before
this Demonica learns that we've discovered her trick, and then!" Jenna didn't
want to think about that. "Fyora's the one who should be on this adventure,
not two Xweetoks like us. If there's anything we could do, it'd be to rescue
the Faerie Queen from whatever trap she's fallen for."
"I did NOT drag you!" Aile cried indignantly.
"I distinctly recall you yelling 'TAKE ME WITH YOU!' But you're right... We
need to rescue Fyora."
"What?! I never said-" Jenna cried.
"You are just so right," Aile said. "All we need
is a good plan and then everything can go back to normal."
"Wait, Ailemea--" Jenna tried again.
"We just need to figure out how to get to Faerieland,
then we can figure out where Fyora is being held and save her." Ailemea tapped
her mouth with a paw, staring into space as she envisioned her plan.
Jenna stared hopelessly at her companion, yet
deep inside, adventure was kindled. Could it be possible? A furious race in
Faerieland, escaping by a hair's breadth, rescuing Fyora just in time...
But Jenna's heart sank as mode of transportation
came to mind. There was no way she could have enough power to fly them to their
bizarre destination, and transport Eyries were no longer available. That left
only one option left.
"Aile," the striped Xweetok sighed. "Get ready
for a long trip. We need to get to Altador."
"Altador?" Ailemea said curiously, still lost
in thought. "I've never been to Altador. Heard it's a lovely place... lots of
old people and all that."
"AILEMEA!" Jenna yelled, snapping the blue Xweetok
out of her trance. "Just make the bubble shield already so we can go."
Jenna's planned route seemed easy enough; passage
through the Mountain's Strait, make port at Shenkuu, and then travel south through
the uninhabited and thankfully non-invaded wilderness until they reached Altador.
"How exactly are we going to pass the surrounding
mountains?" Ailemea asked practically.
Jenna just said, "We'll cross that bridge when
we get there."
It was discomforting to think of being trapped
in a small bubble for days on end. But as it turned out, the Xweetoks ran into
a much bigger problem other than claustrophobia almost as soon as they'd left
They were only a few hours into their journey,
when Jenna spotted a dark mass rising up from the dark waters. A low rumbling
vibrated in her ears and shook the shield. Two gigantic eyes pierced the murky
depths and centered their gaze on the two Xweetoks.
"AILE!" Jenna screamed, "LOOK OUT!"
At her companion's cry, the blue Xweetok instinctively
whirled out of the way, the bubble going with her.
"IT'S THE GIANT SQUID!" Ailemea squealed in delight.
"And my fishing level isn't even past thirty yet!"
"STOP SIGHT-SEEING AND GET US OUT OF HERE!" Jenna
screeched in reply, rather cranky after being thrown across the bubble.
Huge tentacles loomed over them, as the great
sea creature followed closely. Jenna's panic grew as the Aile began to zigzag
all around their foe. The blue Xweetok seemed to be enjoying herself.
Then WHAM! A tentacle sent the bubble streaming
through the deep water. The two Xweetoks spun about in the bubble, completely
Up, down, left, right, back, forth... the squid
tossed the bubble shield about like a beach ball. Whenever Jenna came close
to a standstill, she could actually see a hint of amusement in the monster's
Her stomach churned. "Aiiiileeee!" she moaned
as again and again she was rammed against the shield wall.
"I know I know," Ailemea replied, deciding it
wasn't as fun when your breakfast was about come up your esophagus. She struggled
to maintain control of the bubble but it was no use. She then decided there
was only one way to stop the merry-go-round ride.
The blue Xweetok's temper rose and she sank to
the ground of the bubble. Angrily, she stomped her foot.
The Titanic Squid blinked. Ailemea glared. "That's
right, Mister, I said STOP! We are not your plaything - we are trying to save
Neopia! Now... just let us be on our way!"
The Squid's gigantic eyes narrowed dangerously.
Jenna felt that Aile had only made things worse,
but at least the squid had stopped its playtime for the moment. That was all
"Get ready to make a dash for it!" she warned
her fellow Xweetok as she summoned her Flash ability. It took all her concentration
to avoid looking at the irritated sea monster before them. Closing her eyes,
she mentally saw the blinding flash of light that consumed the scene.
"NOW!" she screamed.
Ailemea did not need telling twice. The bubble
flew far to the right, and she searched in desperation for the side of the squid.
It was HUMONGOUS!
Finally, she saw it and weaving through tentacles,
the Xweetoks found themselves at the blinded squid's back. Ailemea gathered
all her strength and sent a water jet at their back, shooting them away from
the large red monster.
We made it, Jenna thought with relief.
The squid's roar of rage echoed in her ears as
the bubble shot farther and farther off. Soon the sound faded, and the two Xweetoks
sat panting heavily in the shield.
Jenna gazed at Aile, who was taking Haelee out
of her backpack to make sure the Ditsy was alright. Jenna thought over all that
they'd gone through since the Mystery Island invasion; hours of travel in the
bubble, and Haelee's reviving on the trip to Maraqua, settling into an abandoned
underwater Neohome, Jenna's desperate plea to accompany the blue Xweetok on
her quest, the disaster at Neopia Central, discovering Space faerie betrayal,
a bizarre plight to rescue the Faerie Queen, and their recent fiasco with the
There hadn't been any rivalry throughout it all.
In fact the two had teamed up in nearly everything. And they'd have to keep
teamed up if they were to go any further on their adventure.
"Aile," Jenna said, very softly, "I'm glad I'm
with you. I don't think anyone could've made it this far without you." With
these words, Jenna felt her pride melting into slush. But for some reason, it
didn't bother her that much.
She glanced uneasily at Ailemea to see her reaction.
Ailemea blinked. Slowly, she turned away from
her Ditsy to look at Jenna_Leanna. "Well, I couldn't have gotten anywhere without
you," the blue Xweetok admitted. "I couldn't have necessarily flown out of my
house after all." She smiled faintly and then was nudged hard by Haelee. Her
smile disappeared. "Yes and Haelee too..."
The Ditsy smiled smugly.
All of a sudden, Jenna felt that in the end everything
would turn out alright. They could succeed, now that they were a team. Queen
Fyora could depend on them to save her.
Jenna smiled at the thought, and then held out
her paw to Ailemea. "Pax?" she asked.
What's Pax? the blue Xweetok wondered,
but she held out her paw anyway and smiled. "Pax," she agreed. Haelee licked
their paws cheerfully.
And then the new team was thrown across the bubble
as their transportation crashed into something very hard.
"What now?" Jenna moaned, rubbing her sore head.
Then she froze with apprehension as an all-too-familiar humming sound reached
her ears. Shivering, she turned her gaze upward.
They'd smacked right into a whole fleet of ships,
of the sea and sky. And staring straight at them, over the high railings of
the huge metal craft that the bubble shield had crashed into, was a small band
of Grundos. Among them, was a figure that almost everyone in Neopia could recognize;
Dr. Frank Sloth.
To be continued...