Secrets in the Lost Desert: Part Three
The evil Amira raised her weapon to strike. The real Amira did not dodge; instead she tossed her bracelet at her attacker. The false Amira winced, giving the other princess a chance to get up. The true Amira decided to make her exit through a window. Before she had a chance to escape, her counterpart grabbed at her dress and pulled her back to the floor. Suddenly the door burst open as General Dacon dashed into the room. The Tonu furiously charged at the evil Amira. She gasped and dropped her weapon, but she could still move. She darted past the general and towards the window.
“Sankara,” yelled Dacon, “not only are you a heartless monster, but a coward.”
The escaping Aisha only glared back as she crawled out the window. She gasped in shock as she collided with another body. As she got up, she felt a pair of hands grasp around her. Stan had a firm hold on her. Although the wicked princess struggled, he held onto her.
“Don’t worry,” boasted the thief, “she’s not goin’ anywhere.”
Nabile opened her eyes and looked around. She was back in her queen-sized bed in her room. Jazan was at her side.
“You are awake,” exclaimed the Kyrii. “What did you find?”
“Oh no, I’m too late,” sobbed the Ixi. “The Sakhmet army is going to war with Khmatef today. They will fight with us if we don’t help them.”
Jazan gasped. “We must do something to protect our city.”
“It’s too late,” explained Nabile. “They already left this morning. We have no time to prepare.”
“If they left this morning, shouldn’t they have already arrived here?” observed the prince. “We can check their progress from a tower.”
Nabile followed Jazan through the palace and to a tower. Once she reached the top, she looked down on the city she loved. It still looked ancient, but no longer in ruins. There was life everywhere, and buildings were being repaired to look good as new. Shops were open again and the attractions looked as beautiful as ever. She could not let anything happen to Qasala.
Jazan was looking through a small telescope. It was not as powerful as the ones for studying space, but it could see Sakhmet.
“They are retreating,” exclaimed Jazan.
“What?” asked Nabile.
Jazan motioned for her to look too. She placed her eyes on the glass and gasped. The whole army was returning to Sakhmet.
“I don’t understand,” said Nabile, perplexed.
“Neither do I,” said Jazan. “But what’s important is that, for now, our city is safe.”
The fake Amira was revealed to be Sankara. After she had been apprehended, Dacon had washed off her makeup that she had used to appear sick and removed her perfect disguise. Now, General Dacon was dragging her back to the dungeons.
“I don’t know how you escaped, but it will not happen again,” declared the Tonu.
Amira and Stan followed Dacon. Amira was explaining to the Kyrii what had happened over the last few weeks.
“You see, a while ago I was grabbed and blindfolded by a pair of brutes,” explained Amira. “When they removed the blindfold, I found myself in Princess Sankara’s cell. I tried to bang on the door, but I don’t think anyone heard me. Eventually, I decided to stop tiring myself out. Occasionally I was visited by Princess Sankara. The first time, I was surprised to see that she looked similar to me, but I soon realized who it was.”
The Aisha continued to explain her time locked up. Stan did not understand why he was listening when he should be escaping back into hiding. He concluded that he needed to know what had happened. Curiosity was his greatest fault.
As they approached the dungeons, a pair of guards appeared in front of General Dacon. It was the same Techo and Buzz that were guarding Princess Sankara’s cell.
“We’ll take this traitor from here,” stated the Buzz.
Dacon looked at them with suspicion, but decided that there was no reason not to trust them. He handed the silent Aisha to them. He watched them turn the corner that lead to the dungeons.
Amira was still explaining, “Being as vain as she is, she could not resist telling me her scheme. She was going to take my place and make up an excuse as to why she could seldom be seen. Once she was in control, she would order the army to attack on Khmatef and free her hometown from King Heksas.”
Stan continued to nod intently as Amira said thoughtfully, “She kept talking about a secret weapon. She said that my father designed it, and that it would help her win the war. Do you know what she is talking about, General?”
The Tonu pondered the question for a while then a look of horror crossed his face as he gasped, “It couldn’t be! Long before you were born, King Coltzan was working on a secret weapon that could win any war. However, he decided that it would be too dangerous to both his enemies and his own people. He cancelled the production and locked it up.”
“But how did Sankara know about it?” asked Amira, “My father certainly wouldn’t tell her about it.”
“I’m as confused as you. The only ones who knew about it were a group of guards.” General Dacon suddenly gasped. “The Buzz and the Techo. They’re the ones that have been helping that evil Aisha. We need to find this weapon immediately!”
The general rushed out of the palace with Amira behind him. Stan followed too, even though he knew that this was the perfect opportunity to make his disappearance. General Dacon dashed through the great gate. Princess Amira, who was not nearly as fit as the General, panted as she watched Dacon speed toward a large building. It looked like a magnificent prison made to hold something wretched. Every window was locked tightly, but the door was open. Standing guard were the Buzz and Techo.
“You two are under arrest,” stated General Dacon boldly.
The two minions stared defiantly at the General. The Tonu groaned as he pushed them aside with his famous strength. It was too late. The roof of the building was unfolding as an enormous contraption departed from the prison. Amira gasped as she saw the machine that Princess Sankara had wanted so badly. It was like a giant, robotic scarab. At first glance it resembled a great Virtupets machine, but on closer inspection Amira saw that it was actually a very simple form made of stone, ropes, cogs, and springs. The machine scarab began to hover out of the city.
Princess Sankara sat at the controls as she screamed insanely, “I am going to save my city. All who stand in my way will be crushed!”
General Dacon, Stan, and Princess Amira chased after her, but they could not catch up. The large, dusty coloured contraption headed put to the Lost Desert. Its large pincers were clicking at the front. It quickly left behind the majestic city of Sakhmet.
“Oh, sweet Fyora, she’s completely lost it,” moaned Amira, “With that thing she will end up harming many innocent people in Khmatef. No doubt, Qasala will suffer too.”
Suddenly the destructive ship stopped and collapsed on the sand. The trio immediately began to sprint to see what had happened. Dacon ran through his beloved city, determined. He saw all the baffled townsfolk watching him with apprehension. The general paid no attention to them as he arrived at the gate to the outside. The gate had been open in all the confusion. As the Tonu entered the vast desert, he noticed that Amira and Stan were no longer with him. Stan had decided that he had stayed too long; Amira had just gotten too exhausted.
Eventually, General Dacon arrived at the sight. He gasped in amazement. The great Scarab had gotten a nook stuck on the tip of Coltzan’s Shrine. The ship had fallen to pieces. Despite its tough look, it was very fragile. General Dacon began to dig through the rubble. He found Princess Sankara, miraculously unharmed. She wore a look of hate as she glared at General Dacon. Then she passed out.
After General Dacon apprehended Princess Sankara he returned to Sakhmet. She was locked up in an even more secure prison with more trustworthy guards. The two guard traitors were revealed to have freed Princess Sankara, provided her with a disguise, and kidnapped Princess Amira. They had been arrested. Everyone else returned to their normal lives. Princess Amira was her usual feisty self, and all of the prisoners were released. A few days after Sankara’s arrest, Princess Amira and General Dacon were discussing the past events.
“...Then the great ship scratched against Coltzan’s Shrine and went down,” explained Dacon.
Amira smiled as she said, “It’s good to know that our king is still protecting us.”
The two sat in silence for a while then Amira added grimly, “I can’t help feeling sorry for Princess Sankara. I know that what she did was evil, but she only wanted to save her people.”
General Dacon nodded and said, “I know what you mean. Try to understand that Princess Sankara knew exactly what she was doing. She could have chosen a better method.”
Princess Amira responded, “What about the people of Khmatef? They are still under the cruel rule of King Heksas.”
General Dacon answered, “I don’t know, but I think we’ve had enough talk of war for now. Hopefully, we can find a better solution in the near future.”