The Jackals of Sakhmet II- Finding Lee: Part Four
Cap'n Keera's Ship (Somewhere Out At Sea)-
"Alright, every one, gather round, gather round!" Cap'n
Keera called to everyone on board. "I don't need everyone on this ship, just
its crew! Listen up!"
As everyone gathered round the farthest part
of the ship, Keera made her way to the steering wheel for the ship, looking
down at everyone. Cole, curious as to what needed to be said, followed the crowd.
"Alright, quiet down!" Keera ordered the crew.
All eyes were on her. "So you all know we're heading for Krawk Island, and we
have some guests on board! Let's get a few things straight, right? Number one…no
snooping! Their business is not your business… Number two, no rude behavior!
Which means, Mr. Awing," she glared at a smirking Buzz up front, "no roughhousing!
No fighting of the sort! I want a nice, clean, well-behaved ship, am I clear?"
"Aye, Cap'n!" all crew members chorused. With
one more nod, Keera said, "Alright, let's set sail! We have an island to explore!"
Everyone let out a loud cheer and departed,
tending to their own work. Keera remained at the wheel, the wind blowing back
her flowing, black hair. Cole was left all alone on the deck… Or at least he
thought he was alone. Off to the side in the shadows stood a cloaked neopet,
watching Cole intently... The only part of his body visible was his left eye…a
cold, piercing left eye…
"You'll get yours, Cole," he whispered to himself
coolly, walking off. "You'll get yours…"
* * *
Kasha's Ship (Somewhere Out At Sea)-
Lee stared out into the desolate sea, sitting
on the side of the ship while Garcon, the old Cybunny she had met, mopped the
deck. He had loosened up a bit to her, but he was still stern and snapped at
her every now and then. Lee didn't mind.
"Why do you work for her?" asked Lee. "Why do
you listen to Kasha? You do know what she's trying to do, don't you?"
Garcon waved a paw in the air, brushing her
"I don't care or want to know what Kasha's up
to," he snapped, not looking up from the mop. "As long as I get paid, I'm fine…"
Was that the way it was for almost all grown-ups?
Money…was that their main priority? Things like that sickened Lee! How could
one be so selfish…so heartless…so inhumane? What was becoming of the world they
lived in? Something had to be done, but what could she do? Letting out a sigh,
Lee jumped off the side of the ship, back onto the deck, and left Garcon. He
merely nodded gruffly as she said bye. Lee was utterly bored…
For what seemed like hours, Lee did nothing
but stay off in the sidelines, avoiding everything and everyone. They had been
traveling for two days now, and all the crew seemed to be stirred up about something.
Lee found out just what when she noticed a group of Cybunnies chattering away.
"I'm surprised she hasn't even tried to shake
him off yet! She knows he's on our trail!" one said.
"Kasha said just let him follow us, but Scarab
won't make it to Krawk Island in time…" said another. Lee gasped. Scarab was
following Kasha? If this was true, then that must've meant that she'd be home
soon… Or maybe not… At that moment, a Yellow Blumaroo in the crows nest above
"Land ho!" he cried, bouncing up and down on
his tail. "Land ho!"
It amazed Lee how fast the deck had filled up;
everyone was rushing to the side of the ship to get a glimpse of the land the
lookout was talking about. Lee pushed her way to the front of the crowd and
squinted to see what was coming in view. Krawk Island had never been so close…
* * *
Cap'n Keera's Ship (Somewhere Out At Sea)-
"So what, exactly," Keera asked, peeking into
the cook's pot, "are you cooking?"
The cook sharply slammed the lid onto the pot,
pointing to the kitchen door.
"With all due respect, Cap'n, but could you
please leave!" the Ruki snapped, waving her spoon grumpily in the air. "It's
Negg Soup, by the way…" With one nod and a knowing smile, Keera left the kitchen
and returned to the upper deck. If there was one thing she loved more than pirating,
it was soup… As she returned to the upper deck, she noticed the only one standing
out there was Cole. He stood near the side of the boat, staring blankly out
at the sun.
"Nothing better to do, eh," Keera asked, approaching
him. He didn't answer, nor did he move. Keera patted him on the back.
"Come now, what's bothering you?"
"Nothing's bothering me," Cole said quietly,
avoiding the captain's eye. But Keera saw right through his act.
"You really like her, don't you?" she smirked,
crossing her arms. Cole stared at her and said, "What are you talking about?"
"Your little friend, Lee," said Keera. Cole
turned back to the sun and said nothing. Who did this captain think she was?
His feelings were none of her business. Keera chuckled, gave him one last pat,
and walked away… Cole stood and thought to himself… Did he like Lee…?
Meanwhile, down in the kitchen, our little,
cloaked friend was watching the cook intently, waiting…waiting for the cook
to abandon the table on which several bowls of Negg Soup sat. The stranger stood
hidden amongst the shadows in the corner of the kitchen. In his paw was a small
tube of black liquid…a liquid which he planned on putting in the soup. But he
had eyes for only two bowls…the bowls that he knew would be directly delivered
to Cole and Omar…
His chance came. The cook left the table in
search of a cart to carry the soup, but the stranger had it all planned out.
He was the one who had stolen the cart. Quietly and carefully, he opened the
tube, dumped its contents half and half in two of the bowls, and loaded all
of the soup on the cart. He then pushed the cart out of the kitchen without
a sound…all the way to the dining hall, as the captain called it. All the tables
were set. Name tags sat in front of each seat, and the stranger placed a bowl
of soup in each seat…making sure that the bowls with the liquid in them were
placed in front of Cole and Omar's seats…
The stranger let out a low cackle, turning to
leave, and whispered, "Dinner is served…"
* * *
Later that night, the entire dining hall was
full. That night's dinner selection was Negg Soup, and everyone was assigned
a special seat. Keera wanted everything tiptop for the dinner. The mood was
very welcoming. There was much singing from the pirates who had drank a little
too much root beer; there was even some dancing from up front. Lycos had a bit
of fun and joined in. The only one not having fun was Cole… He couldn't explain
it, but he was in a downright, lousy mood…
"Cole, perk up! Try the soup, it is marvelous!"
urged Wain, who was sitting to the right of Cole. "Live a little!"
Cole wasn't in the mood for Wain's optimistic
behavior. Something didn't feel right, but he couldn't put his paw on it.
"Have you seen Omar?" Cole shouted to Wain over
all the noise, (for you see, Cap'n Keera had a band come perform). Wain shook
his head, too preoccupied with cheering on the dancers. Frustrated, Cole rose
from his seat and made his way out of the dining hall. Where was Omar? As he
shut the door behind him, all went silent. The moon was out, bathing the entire
ship a sapphire light. Not even the thousands and thousands of stars in the
sky could calm Cole. Despite the fact that Omar had finished eating and had
left the hall, something didn't feel right…
"Omar," Cole called out, heading down the ship.
"Where are you?"
No answer came. Cole suddenly had the feeling
that someone was watching him… It wasn't safe out here, at least not alone.
Quickly, Cole made his way to the room he, Omar, and Wain shared. Hopefully
Omar would be there. Dear reader, I'd be absolutely thrilled to say that Omar
was in the room…but I cannot be thrilled by the fact that Omar was lying, unconscious,
in the middle of the floor.
Cole rushed over and knelt down. Oh no! What
happened? From that spot, Cole examined the rest of the room: there was no sign
of struggle, it looked like no one had broken in, and nothing appeared to be
stolen or broken… Then who did this to Omar? Cole was just about to get up and
go call for help when an unfamiliar paw grabbed his paws and put them behind
his back. The other paw held a poison tipped dagger to his throat. Next, he
heard a deep, croaky voice speak in his ear.
"One move, boy, and that's it…just one move,"
it said. "What's the matter, didn't like the soup? Your little friend did…he
thought it was to die for…" The pet let out a harsh cackle that made Cole squirm.
"Hold still! All I have to do is cut you with
this and you'll be on the floor within a matter of minutes…" the voice snapped,
holding the dagger closer.
"Wh…who are you?" Cole whispered, not daring
to move an inch. The voice laughed once more. The pet behind Cole removed its
hood and looked down on him. With a smirk on his face, the man answered…
To be continued...