Amelia tossed and turned, groaned and moaned, and even tore her bedsheets to shreds before she got out of her bed.
Today was an especially hot day, and Lisa still expected her to "rest well". So she decided to sneak into Greely's room.
Greely was asleep, and Amelia suspected that there was no way she could convince him to watch the stars with her at midnight, especially since that made him nostalgic for Shade. Amelia's attention was diverted to a table before her, though.
A frame with green palm leaves lay on the table, unfinished, but Amelia could clearly see that they were wings. The leaves sparkled, showing her that they were enchanted.
Now, a normal animal would turn away at the sight of those wings, because they defied the normal nature of Jamaa, and magic items always led to trouble. But Amelia was daring, and she plucked the wings off the table as one would pluck a bird's feather.
Every breeze tonight was hot, which meant that riding the wind, Amelia would probably rise high enough to cool down as she flapped.
Good thing that Greely had finished the wings enough to add some Velcro to attach to fur, else Amelia would have to wake up Graham to finish them.
And Graham was grumpy if he didn't get enough sleep every night, believe me.
So Amelia started flapping, and she rose and rose. Pollen sparkled in the breeze, as it was of rare fruit, and Amelia frolicked among the evening birds and owls. She laughed out loud several times, watching a few night Jammers the size of ants, at least to her. Amelia didn't pay attention to the ground, though, and soon was flying over the coast to the open sea.
Storm clouds and tailwinds threatened Amelia, but by the time she realized she was far from land, she was indeed very, very far from land. Amelia jerked this way and that, barely dodging vultures and lightning.
Then, Amelia approached land, but alas, it wasn't Jamaa! Instead, she saw a land larger than Jamaa, and lowered herself down to get a better look.
Amelia was shocked at how much the land looked like Jamaa. The land was lush, yet tainted faintly by a long-ago war, which sounded a lot like Jamaa.
Monkeys that looked different from the monkeys in Jamaa played ball all around, but many heroes also battled monsters in crumbling ruins using weapons the Alphas used in the First Phantom War. What was going on?
Then, she saw a sign that read:
Welcome To Ook
and knew that she was in this land called "Ook". Amelia kept flying around, and learned more about this strange land of Ook. There were five tribes called Crossroads, Sea Dragons, Chim Foo, Ootu Mystics, and Ice Raiders. There was also some sort of steampunk tribe, but Amelia saw nothing about that tribe. She learned all about the Monkey King by overhearing conversations, blah blah blah, but then she saw some sort of glint in Z'or. The glint enticed her to come to it, and Amelia couldn't help but to swoop down and look.
The glint was very hard to detect once she entered the cold field of energy around Z'or, which burned like icefire. Something powerful was nearby, as not even the Coraxese ice palace atmosphere burned this much, and the palaces were teeming with spells.
Icicles froze her several times, but her muscles managed to wriggle her out. There were some weird "Spikers", squirrels that came out of the snow to shoot spikes, but she easily clawed them into little magic pieces.
Amelia guessed the myths were different in Ook despite the striking similarity to Jamaa, because the monsters died differently and they worshipped other magic protectors, which Amelia expected.
After a lot of struggling against the wind currents, she found a place deep in the heart of Z'or. Icicles formed a makeshift prison around a dark purple amethyst, which radiated a sort of icefire. Amelia shivered, since icefire was so powerful that it burned and froze you at the same time, like frostbite, only that it had many complicated magic properties even Greely had yet to figure out.
Amelia read the runes on a stone, and it seemed to explain the founding of Ook, in the Jamaasian myth and the Ook myth. It seemed as if the Jamaasians had the full story, but you could never be sure with mythology.
The stone rose, and a gnarled face that seemed like a cross between Apophis and a beat-up phantom appeared in the smoke inside the stone. Amelia now saw that it was shaped like a crude heart.
What is your desire... the stone whispered. The whisper was more of a rasp, the makings of the earth's blood and the smoke.
Amelia faced the stone boldly, and the face smiled.
Oh, young one, I am the Shadow Demon Ka, a sleeping serpent that was created from Apophis, as the legend states. That proud Monkey King shattered me with this little stick... argh, if he was still alive, I would bash him with my best minions! Ka snarled. Amelia knew that Ka was more powerful than all the phantoms combined, and now wondered how Ook got by with such an evil creature under the surface. Then again, the evil monsters were running loose.
Oh, of all creatures, it is me that knows you Alphas are fighting a hopeless battle. Your desire is one I could fulfill, if you gave in. I needn't no questions, my tentacles read minds mighty fine. Your desire is to make yourself accepted as a rogue. Well, my family are unruly rogues! You would be more than welcome to join me...if you wish. Ka whispered. Amelia stared at Ka unblinkingly. He sure did persuade well, but her oaths would stop her from treachery. Sensing her thoughts, the stone whispered even more.
You know my limits, as a rogue, so you know my vast power reserves can cut those bonds as easily as you would cut a cucumber. And with those sharp claws, you can cut anything. Amelia, if you don't swear oaths to join me as a lieutenant, at least free the stone from the cage and bring me to Jamaa... I promise, without the other Shadow Shards I cannot assist any evil or escape your bonds. After all, your curses and oaths are stronger than mine... Ka said. Amelia knew that she would need Ka later on to save Jamaa, so she went over her options as the stone just floated there, Ka's Shadow Heart taking in the new icicles that had grown around the stone. The Shadow Heart was the center of Ka's spirit, which meant that all the Shadow Shards had to connect to it to regenerate Ka.
"Fine," Amelia said boldly, "but you will have to swear my oaths."
I swear that I shall not destroy Jamaa, nor help the Phantom legions in any way, and if I break any oath or not bend to your will, the heart of me will be shattered into a million pieces. Ka said, doing the oath Amelia was just about to give him. And so, she hacked apart his bonds and put the Shadow Heart between her paw and the leaf wings.
"You brought a deadly demon HERE?!" Marco shouted, pounding his table of maps and plans. Amelia nodded, holding the Shadow Heart in a linen cloth between her jaws.
"Yes, I made Ka swear oaths, and I will let him possess me until further notice." Amelia said. Marco sighed.
"Well, if anyone were to be trusted, it would be you, but Sabre warned me a long time ago when we were friends that Ka were not to be trusted. If you let him possess you, be safe." Marco said under his breath. Amelia let her body absorb Ka.