CONJUROCALYPSE: Part Four
The small Aisha had ran for what seemed like ages. The rage was her fuel that carried her legs. She should have tired long ago but the warmth turned hotter the longer she ran. The more that heat burned her heart hummed with desire. Her guild and members needed her. She was getting closer. This was for them!
The small Aisha hit something and it knocked the air and rage out of her as she hit the ground with another hard thud. She came back to reality. Her face hurt. She looked up at what she had hit. It was a large metal door. Determined to not let this slow her down, she stood up swiftly and felt around for the handle. She couldn’t find one. She began to get frustrated so she felt under the door knowing the black creatures had to come this way too.
She was right when she felt another hole under the door. She used it to push her hand and arm through, grab the door and pull towards her. The door hinge squealed as it opened. Stepping through the large metal door, she stepped into a dark, clammy cellar. It was only lit via a single torch against the wall. She could see claw marks that were dug into the stone floor. She followed the path it laid out through the cellar, up wooden stairs and through another metal door. Her body was felt warmer. She knew she was getting closer to whatever Conjure magic was here.
Through the cellar door, she walked into another dimly lit hallway. She looked one way and another, unable to see the claw marks on the floor. But she could feel the heat, stronger now. Almost as if she held a torch near her to warm her. She followed the heat down the hall. She seen light coming from an opened door. She crept to it and peered inside.
She was floored.
Inside was a grand ball room. In the middle was a pedestal made of silver metal, with a small metal rounded top with a silver light beam coursing through both pieces. Inside was a small clear bottle that glowed all different colors of the rainbow. It sparkled brightly and lit up the room. To the side of the pedestal, some feet away, was a metal cage on the floor. It contained all the black creatures she seen earlier. When one tried to claw its way between the bars, a yellow force field would create between and block its hand away. The black creature would hiss and back away, only to try again in another spot.
Her eyes darted towards the moving hooded figure moving around the cages. It opened up a door located on the other side where the small Aisha couldn’t see clearly. It reached in and grabbed a black creature, holding it by the nape of the neck. The hooded figure held it sharply with a metal hand. It took the black creature over to the pedestal and held into the silver light. The black creature cried out and fought to break from the metal hands that held it. Its hands wailed around frantically as if it knew what was going to happen. The hooded figure stepped closer to the silver light and sparkles surrounded the black creature. It slowly started to fade into prism of light similar to that of contained into the bottle inside the silver light held by the pedestal. The black creature cried out a high pitched wail that echoed into the room and out through the halls where the small Aisha was located until its entire darkness was absorbed into the bottle. The metal hand held nothing.
The bottle absorbed the creature! That was her guild mates! Crone was turning them into guild energy. He was filling the bottle even more! The small Aisha was disgusted, hurt, angry and repulsed at what she seen.
The hooded figure walked back over to the metal cage and proceeded to grab another black creature. The small Aisha couldn’t let another one of her guild members perish into the bottle! She stood up, opened the door and announced as loud as she could.
"STOP! CRONE!" The small Aisha yelled.
The hooded figure stopped. A deep, soulful laughter echoed from under the cloak.
"Aww, Aisha! I have been waiting for you! You’re the last part of Conjure I need!"
The hooded figure turned and faced the door where the small Aisha had stepped through. It reached up with metal hands and removed the cloak from its head. It pinned the clasp from around its body and let it fall to the ground. Crone stepped into the glow of the silver light.
Stood before the small Aisha was a dark metal robot casted with red painted pieces. Its eyes shone a bright red that pierced through her soul. It appeared to be in the shape of a Zafara. It had dark purple faerie wings attached to its back that sent cosmic like sparks off towards the ground periodically. It stood tall and proud, glaring evilly at the small Aisha.
"Welcome to my lair, Aisha. I have been waiting for you, since I saw you at the Haunted Woods Neolodge a few weeks ago. I figured if I poisoned your Petpet you’d be scared off back to wherever you came from. Couldn’t have you sneaking around where you didn’t belong. But since you’re here, you must have figured out that I’ve been slowly collecting your guild mates here and turning them into the last portion of guild energy I need. Now that you are here, I can finally top off the bottle and complete my goal." Crone giggled.
"Who in Jhudora’s Bluff are you, Crone? What do you want with Conjure? Why Conjure? What are you after? SPEAK!" The small Aisha demanded answers.
"Oh, Aisha. Now now. No need for rash questions. All will be explained, in due time. Allow me to introduce myself, my dear. I am Crone Junco. I am the result of your guild’s magic. Conjure, created me." Crone excited exclaimed.
"Created you? How?" The small Aisha was very confused.
"Stupid bubbles, stupid robots... I believe was the chant the guild cried out as I was created. Half robot, half Faerie. With none of the pros of either but all the cons of each. Not really the way to live, I’m afraid. You see, I need the guild’s magic in order to fully develope. I am quite tired of being metal and circuits and the like, my dear, you can understand my dilemma, can’t you? Oh, be a doll and tell me you do?" Crone took a step towards the small Aisha in one fluid moment. It’s body reacting towards every word as if it was truly faerie. It did not walk or behave as though it was a robot at all.
"No, I do not, Crone. I do not see the solution that you are seeking that involves the perishing of my guild members or the snatching of our guild magic away from us! I vowed you would pay for your crimes against Conjure! I will avenge my guild mates, my guild and my home!" The small Aisha exclaimed.
"Oh, my dear, sweet, gullible Aisha. There will be no avenging anything, because I am taking the thing that is rightfully mine to begin with! A life! A full life! A true heart beat that isn’t made of circuits and metal conduits and batteries, but a real body of a real Neopian!" Crone swirled around if only living in a daze of a dream world before stepped closer to the Aisha and hissed. "Your guild denied me the right to ever being anything but mere junk metal and scraps by preventing me the rights to even have a real body! A REAL SOUL! AISHA! YOU TOOK FROM ME THE ONE THING I COULD NEVER HAVE AND THIS GUILD MUST PAY."
Crone hissed his way towards the small Aisha, his voice booming every step of the way until it stood in front of her, the volume of his voice now echoing into the hallways. The small Aisha wanted to shed tears for Crone, as it heart broke as he told his story.
"Why didn’t you just reach out for help from us? We would have helped you! You had no right to take something that doesn’t belong to you! That magic belongs to Conjure as a whole! No member is better than the other to ever OWN it." The small Aisha hissed towards Crone.
Crone cackled in the small Aisha’s face. It looked over her as if searching for something. All at once, it grabbed the small Aisha by the back of the neck, her glass skin bending with its fingers. She fought to break free, but couldn’t. Crone held her out too far for her to make contact with him. He put his hand into the pocket of her cloak and pulled out the faellie plushie. The small Aisha cried out as he took it and her and stepped towards the silver light. He held it up to the light and it dissolved into the bottle just as the black creature had done before it. The small Aisha fought and yelled as loud as she could, as Crone threw her into another cage beside the black creatures.
"Asked for help, Aisha? ASKED FOR HELP? I did! I came to your guild! I knocked on its doors! I was ignored and pushed away like dung jelly because I apparently wasn’t good enough for your guild! AND YOU CREATED ME. I was told to join a waiting list to get in. A WAITING LIST? FOR MY LIFE?! No! These batteries won’t last forever! This metal body will rust! I need this magic to become a real Neopian.. NOW. There is no waiting!" Crone bellowed towards the small Aisha as it slammed the cage door behind the small Aisha.
Crone walked over to the black creature's cage and took another from it and introduced it to the silver light at the pedestal. The remaining prism of light filled the bottle as Crone looked at the small Aisha.
"I will get what I deserve, Aisha."
The small Aisha paced inside the cage that was built similar to the black creature's cage. Every time she tried to reach through, her hands would be met with a yellow energetic current that shocked her entire body. She sat down at the center of the cage and thought about how to get out. She was fresh out of ideas and each black creature Crone fed to the silver light destroyed her slowly and painfully. Those were her guild members she was watching perish. And she was stuck in here.
Hours seemed to go by. The small Aisha stared as one by one she was helpless to stop Crone. She would get angry and attack the cage bars, try to break them, pull them apart and she was met with electrifying pain throughout her body. She tried to do small talk with Crone during recovering from those shocks and Crone would reply with a shallow, "I will get what I deserve, Aisha."
The small Aisha seemed to have fallen into a dazed sleep because she seemed to snap back to reality and looked over at the very much thinned out black creature cage. She became angry and started to lash out until she seen the small shine of white out of the corner of her eye.
The small Aisha looked over and saw Mutini! The kad had found its way to her, somehow and was here. She waited until Crone had his back to her and silently pointed towards the cage door. The mangy kad nodded and stuck to the shadows along the walls to make its way around to the cage door. The small Aisha kept watch towards Crone has he slowly repeated the process of adding black creatures to the silver light.
Mutini waited until Crone had his back turned and sprinted towards the cage door, jumped and smacked it unlocked with its paw. The mangy kad yelped from the pain but the job was done, the small Aisha opened the door and ran out. Crone turned around, surprised and darted for the small Aisha. His metal hand grabbed the back of her neck once again and trapped her.
"Mutini, get the other cage door!" she cried out.
"Aissshy are you crazy? They’ll get us all!" Mutini cried out in panic.
"MUTINI TRUST ME! OPEN THE DOOR!" The small Aisha rushed.
Mutini ran towards the cage door but Crone darted and snatched the mangy kad by the tail before it could get to the cage door. The kad hissed and snarled and tried to fight its way free as Crone started walking them back towards the cage that once held the small Aisha.
"Nice try, my dear Aisha, but that won’t work here. My work is too precious." Crone laughed.
"Oh, go sit in a bucket and fry your circuitsss, you chia!" The kad sniped off before it curled upwards and sunk its sharp teeth into Crone’s wings. The pain he felt allowed his grip on Mutini to loosen enough for the kad to break free. Mutini climbed on Crone’s shoulders and jumped towards the cage door, knocking it open with its paw. Mutini again, cried out in pain from it and laid unconscious on the floor a short distance away.
The black creatures scrambled out of the cage and instead of going after Crone, they darted straight towards the silver light in the pedestal. A few were absorbed into a prism of light into the bottle before the small Aisha called out with all her power.
"ENOUGH!!" The small Aisha screamed out a loud as a pulse of energy expanded from her body and pushed outwards through the room. It shook the room to its very core and made the pedestal shake slightly. The shake was enough that the bottle of glowing magic contained in the silver light bounced. The small Aisha spoke allowed that each word surged with enough force that it made Crone drop her from his grip. The black creatures stopped trying to claw their way to the magic contained in the bottle. They stared and contently listened to the small Aisha.
"ASKORI MIRUST CYLEHA AROMN JADITICUS TAELORIUM!" The small Aisha spoke her ancient language passed down by her Lost Desert ancestors to control magic around her. She was unsure if it would still work without her Desert heritage, but she could feel it in her veins. She asked the creatures around her to obey her commands, to help her defeat this evil that threatened their guild once more. The black creatures all stood up, facing Crone. They stared at him with blackened eyes. The reflection of his own piercing red eyes staring back at him through them.
"How are you doing that? Transparent can’t speak a loud! Stop! You’ll ruin everything!" Crone yelled in a panicked voice.
The small Aisha straightened up, proclaimed loudly with a booming, deep echoing sound that mimicked that of all voices of all members within the guild: "WE AM THE MAGIC THAT BINDS TOGETHER GREATNESS AND LOVE! WE ARE THE MAGIC THAT FILLS ALL WITH WARMTH AND BELONGING! WE ARE LOVE! WE ARE FAMILY! WE ARE CONJURE!"
The small Aisha spoke and the black creatures chimed in, hissing their words with an echoing magnitude so powerful each word shook the room at its core.
"WE ARE UNITY. WE STAND STRONG AGAINST ALL. WE RISE UP ONCE FALLEN. WE COME BACK WITH VENGEANCE. WE ARE ONE. WE ARE CONJURE."
The black creatures and the Small Aisha took a step forward towards Crone. Crone looked around at the group advancing towards him. He panicked backing towards the pedestal containing the guild magic. He grabbed at it and held it in his hands.
"You shall not take this from me, Aisha. This is my destiny. I will be a real Neopian. I will live. I will get what I deserve! I deserve to live!" Crone shouted as he held the bottle out.
"You shall get what you deserve, you heap of junk metal!" Mutini hissed from behind Crone. The kad awakened and climbed up the side of the cage. He kad hunched back and jumped off the metal bars towards Crone. It aimed for the bottle of guild magic but missed, only grabbing the bottle top with it. The kad landed at the feet of the small Aisha. The small Aisha flashed her sharp teeth through her transparent skin, realizing now what Mutini had done.
"We are Conjure. You are Conjure. You shall get what you deserve, Crone." The small Aisha smiled.
Without warning, the black creatures massed together and jumped on top of Crone. He released the grip he had on the bottle and it dropped to the ground. He cried out as the black creatures slashed at his metal pieces protecting his body. Piece by piece they were ripped away until he was bare circuits and wires. His moving parts could be seen through the black creatures jumping over him.
The small Aisha picked up the bottle and what she had to do to overcome this all came to her. She looked sorrowfully at Mutini and shed a tear. Mutini nodded silently to her. They both knew what she must do. She reluctantly moved towards Crone and the black creatures. She held the open bottle towards the chaos.
Neither the black creatures or Crone noticed their bodies slowly turning into prismatic sparkles being absorbed into the bottle. One by one, they all disappeared slowly into swirling light contained inside. The small Aisha sobbed silently as Mutini brought over the bottle top to her. As the last black creature was absorbed, she put the top of the bottle on and held it tight to herself. She was distraught.
"We shall all get what we deserve, Crone." The small Aisha thought. Mutini laid a reassuring paw on the small Aisha.
"Everyone will Aissshy. You did the right thing." Mutini cooed.
The small Aisha wondered if Mutini was right. Did she do the right thing? Her guild members suffered the fate she fought to stop Crone from doing. She did it to them, for him. All of them are now gone. All of them are now contained in the very bottle she held so tight. That bottle was the only thing that remained on her guild. Of Conjure.
"Come, Aissshy. We need to leave this place." The mangy kad said softly.
The small Aisha and mangy kad left the ballroom in silence. The small Aisha took one last longing look at the room and held the bottle tightly. She will make sure everyone got what they deserved: peace. They both wandered through the halls until the found the exit. As they left, the small Aisha couldn’t help but wonder if Crone was right. If it was truly was Conjure’s fault he was the way he was. She almost felt sorry for Crone. Almost.
To be continued…