I was at the lake thinking about what I just heard; I didn’t dare go find out, it would have been a trap or something. Then again, could have been someone practicing; but now I could see ripples in the water. It was nothing, I thought, that was until I tossed a small stone into the water and made my exit; as I was about to leave, a voice boomed.
“It’s rude to throw stones at the animals here, ya know?” I looked around to see another snake; she had light turquoise scales this time and her muzzle was less elongated than everyone else’s, she did have copper brown hair cut to her shoulders and she was also wearing a yellow corset. This snake had dark teal stripes on her arms and tail (as far as I could see)
“Oh, sorry, I didn’t notice you…” I replied without anything good to say…
“You better be!” The girl snapped back in an even more angry tone. “If I could right now I’d strangle you with my own tail… No… My bare hands! Or I would ‘ave bit you, because I’ll tell you now my kind’s got more poison than beauty!” She spoke with a southern accent while raging at me.
“Then why can’t you get out the water and do it now?” I sat down by the shore.
“Because I’m stuck, that’s why! I was patrollin’ and got the end of my own tail stuck! Now I’m ssstuck, can’t even go anywhere beyond this shore!” She swam up to the rocks and lay by them.
“Well, it’s quite odd for a snake to be swimming…”
“I’m a ‘sea snake’ apparently…” It probably explained her teal scales and muzzle
“Then why aren’t you in the sea?”
“Because, Skylands doesn’t even have an ocean, doofus!”
“I understand that, maybe I can help you?” I offered, she looked at me with her green eyes.
“Help me? I don’t need no helpin’, as a matter of fact!” Then she turned her head downwards into the water, “then again, I could do with a bit help; ok, kid, it’s a deal. Can you swim?”
“I suppose I could…”
“Then get down there!” The truth was I couldn’t swim that well, but I slowly climbed into the water and tried to swim down to the surface while the other girl swam down after me. I couldn’t talk underwater, because there isn’t any oxygen; there was a rock on the end of her tail as well
“There,” She faintly said, “that’s where I’m stuck…” I nodded and attempted to lift the rock off her tail with no success; I tried again, and I nearly lifted it, but it fell down again. The girl watched as I was trying and failing too many times, she eventually told me it would take two and grabbed onto the opposite end; then together, we lifted the stone up. Shortly after, I and that girl were both at the surface, and I could barely breathe.
“I never caught your name…” She said as I was getting out the surface.
“Is the correct term Jemima?”
“No, it’s Venima.” I never knew why so many people out there get my name wrong…
“Oh, I get it, my name is Bea.”
“Nice name,” I turned to see the sky getting darker by the minute, “I have to go now…”
“Well, bye, oh and be careful of the um… Doom Raiders…” I didn’t hear what she had said and what the ‘Doom Raiders’ were, but I kept going through the woods and eventually back into the sunlight; Shake wasn’t there, but Rise was…
“What’s wrong?” I asked him, he seemed worried.
“Oh, you’re here at least, Rocket is missing.” Rise answered back
“I thought she didn’t come back till late…”
“Well, about that, if my calculations are correct, she’s been captured!” He panicked a bit.
“I can help if you want!”
“You can? I hope so.”
“Spy, don’t worry you can trust me…”
Soon I was setting off again with a sword equipped (because you never know when you might need one) and Swift followed behind, the forest itself was getting darker by the hour; up ahead there was a yellow glow, it wasn’t the sun, probably something reflecting off the sun like gold or platinum.
“It’s pretty far away,” Swift examined the distance between me and the shiny thing. “How fast can you go?”
“It would be faster if I had legs!” I joked around, using my pendant (again) to switch into lizard form. “Ok, let’s go.” I told him as I ran off into the woods, hopping from island to island, to get there. I’d run across the horizon to see the birds flying past me, those different coloured ones, and I’d see an array of flowers swaying in the breeze. It wasn’t until I ran into the wall of something metallic that I realised I arrived. Swift said it wasn’t just a shiny coin or something like that; it was a whole golden temple with turquoise engravings in the sides, like an Aztec temple.
“This is the place, eh?” Swift said, flying rapidly to find a door so we could get in.
“We don’t need doors.” I informed him “Doors are for those kinds of people without imagination. So I’d think again, my friend, we can break in through over 16 ways.” I jumped onto the wall and climbed slowly to the nearest window, which was small and not very wide, but it was big enough for me.
Taking a peak at what was in store; I saw lakes of liquid gold and bridges, crates of turquoise and riches all around. I couldn’t believe someone could live in a place like this. I could hear voices at the other end of the building; they were talking about something or someone, so I listened to what they were saying.
“Well, I found this cute little… Erm… Robot, isn’t she cute?” The first voice was fairly high pitched and scratchy like a broken record. Another lady spoke, her voice wasn’t scratchy, it was deep like a queen and rich like gold.
“What is that exactly?”
“I don’t know your highness; I guess she’s an android of some sort?” The next voice interrupted, his voice was gruff but high pitched like the first voice.
“It could be an android… Well then, I guess I have to welcome you to the Queen’s lair,” He paused for a split second, “How tough are ya?”
“How tough am I?” I recognised Rocket’s voice. “I have a flamethrower!”
“You do?” ‘The Queen’ asked hesitantly, “are you sure?”
“I think so Queenie…”
“I would rather not be called ‘Queenie’, child, I prefer ‘The Golden Queen’ and I see you are quite small, and shiny…”
Rocket was getting more concerned as she spoke, “is that a problem?” And again, the queen hesitated, “No? Isn’t like I am going to kill you or something like that, no, no...” She whispered something but I didn’t know what. The conversation finished and I leapt from the ledge onto a narrow bridge leading to one platform, in the centre of the platform was a big red button mounted on a block of gold; upon pressing the button, a giant megaphone-speaker-radio thingy emerged from the ceiling, right in front of me.
“Outsider or no outsider, you interrupted my coffee watching so make it quick.” The voice boomed.
“I’m an outsider, is that a problem?” I was concerned slightly.
“What’s your name? Age? Address? Favourite Food?”
“Why would you want to know all those things?” I asked.
“Because – I am a troll.” I began to hear someone shoving the troll away before he could speak again.
“MOVE AWAY! Let me take over from here…” It sounded like The Queen’s voice. “Ok, who are you, speak up, I do not take strangers at this time of night.”
“Well,” I said with a bit of pride, “My name is Venima. I’m around sixteen. I don’t have an address. And I like cream pi-“
“That is enough information. Ignore the troll.” She interrupted me, “why are you here?”
“I’m here because I believe my friend ended up here.”
“He or she did? What would you expect me to do? Bring that individual to you?”
“No, I’d never ask for that…”
“You wouldn’t? Then leave.” The lady interrupted.
“I’m not going until I get what I want!”
“Fine, you may enter.” The megaphone disappeared into a hole in ceiling and I was alone again, so I thought why not? The lady said to come in so I wandered further into the temple till the point I came across another door, a large one with golden engravings. There were voices on the other side, the same ones I heard earlier on; and I waited until the voices died down, and then I knocked. When I knocked everything fell into silence, then the same lady from before started calling.
Without any hesitation, I slowly opened up the doors.
And it was another corridor, the walls were black with golden engravings and at the end there was a bit of light; Swift wasn’t there anymore, he’d flown away. So I was on my own in a nearly dark tunnel, walking up to the light bit at the end.
“Wait a minute…” It was another voice, right behind me, “…you can’t be here, see!”
And someone’s hand grabbed me from behind.
Seemed like minutes before I woke up again on a rug, there was this guy; in fact, a bunch of guys.
“You fainted, my dear… That Scrap Shooter must have grabbed you too hard; meh, we’re pretty… Uh…” The guy in front of me said.
“No need to say who you are, where am I?”
“You’re in the Golden Queen’s lair, that’s where you are; did I answer your question well?”
I didn’t say anything after that, I nodded instead, and then the weirdo laughed a bit and kept speaking.
“You’re a shy little lizard, aren’t you? Only you would be crazy enough to end up here, and I’d be crazy enough to have five legs. See? Nobody can outrun these!”
“Yeah, interesting…” I faked a smile (to be honest, I wasn’t really interested in the fact he had wooden legs…)
Turns out his name was Dr Krankcase or something along the lines of that, the guys I saw before had left down the other corridor and we followed them down to (what I thought was) the throne room, everyone was there. And all of a sudden this random girl with silver eyes and platinum hair leapt right in front of me.
“Hey there, new girl! My name’s Naivel, Naivel Note! Who’s this, Doc? She looks fancy!”
“I don’t know her name; she just ended up here all of a sudden.”
“Let’s not push the newbie here, Nai.” Then all of a sudden this werewolf guy appeared, and he was carrying Rocket in his arm. “So, what’s your name?”
“My name?” I asked suddenly, “It’s…”
“Go on…” Everyone started to convince me to say my own name.
“Oh come on! How can you not know your own name?”
“I do, it’s Ven… “ I didn’t finish because Naivel interrupted.
“Ok, it’s Ven then; heh, that rhymes!”
“Yeah… It does…”
The next half an hour of my life was boring as heck, it was basically eleven or so people telling me about themselves and convincing me to join their group called the ‘Doom Raiders’. And it seemed to me that ‘Queenie’ had completely forgotten about the fact I came here to get someone who got here and that was it. Apparently if I did join them, all my dreams would come true and I’d top all of Skylands; rubbish, I’d never do anything like that.
“So yeah; we rob banks, we attack villages and every typical thing an evil group would do. So, what do you think?” Naivel kept gibbering on.
“I’d rather not, I’ve got other ambitions.” I answered.
“Being a Skylan-“ Everyone gasped. Bad idea, I thought, should have said potato farmer.
“A Skylander?! Oh, don’t be stupid. And that hat and skirt? So not my style, come on Ven I’ll fix you up…”
“As if!” This random floating head started mocking me.
It took me a while to convince them that I was only here for Rocket, they wouldn’t listen. She seemed fast asleep and not knowing what was going on; and they even asked me who she was and I said she was the girl the werewolf dude had in his arm, they said she was one of them now. I paced steadily around the room waiting for a good idea on how to get her back, I tried bribing them (but I didn’t have much gold on me) and I tried trading with them.
Then after five minutes of thinking I rolled my eyes towards Naivel again.
“Ok, I know what.”
I stepped up, clutching my sword. The torches flickered towards us and made the room smell a bit like smoke. She smiled suspiciously, like something sinister was about to happen
“What is it, then?”
I cleared my throat, tipped my hat and smiled back.
“We’ll make one more deal, take me on and if I win I get the girl, if you win keep the girl.”
“Oooh! A fight?” Krankcase asked.
“Yes, a fight!”
Naivel charged right at me, with her guitar in hand.
“Bring it on, sis!”
I blocked the attack, she swung it again and I dodged. Then it was my turn to swing and she ducked. We kept doing that attack, block, attack, attack, and block routine until she got fed up, then ran towards the nearest wall and to my surprise she began walking up it. I was all like ‘how could she do that?!’. She started shooting crystals from her hands at me while running on the ceiling towards a door, in which I followed her through.
This next room was decked with piles of gold and jewels. Naivel dropped from the ceiling to shoot me with a beam of purple light to leave me fighting back with life magic; luckily I managed to strike her, and then we were back to sword and guitar combat, and back into the other room where she leapt back onto the ceiling.
I used my magic again to climb the walls using a vine; that was when I noticed the moon was up ahead.
“Go knock her out!” It was Rocket, she was awake! I swung across the ceiling to strike Naivel again with undead magic. But then the doors swung open and we saw this lady made and dressed in gold carrying a staff.
“STOP!” She boomed out. Everyone in the room froze, we fell off the ceiling. “What is this? I demand an explanation, now!”
“She started it!” Naivel pointed to me.
“Is this the one who I talked to earlier?”
“What? No!” I shouted back.
“I am talking about the lizard woman who calls herself ‘Venima’ here. I recognise your voice, Venima, do not lie to me. Do you think you could come here just to mess up my property?”
“Wait, her full name is VENIMA?!”
“Sadly it is.” I looked up at the moon. “And I’m sorry, my ‘queen’ but I’ve gotta go!” So I ran off grabbing rocket along the way.
“AFTER THE LIZARD!”
“You heard her, Wolfgang, let’s go!” And then Krankcase, Naivel and that werewolf guy they call Wolfgang tried to get me through the window I got in. But all three went through the window at the same time and got stuck.
“Curse you Ven… whatever your name is!” Was the last thing I heard from Naivel before we broke out of the lair and back into the woods.
I was breathing heavily, and just in time my curse came in. It was late, nearly midnight I suppose. Rocky was right on top of me doing nothing but blinking, after a bit she spoke.
“That was totally wicked!” She hugged me tightly.
“Was it?” I asked.
“Well of course!”
“Ok, I’m exhausted now. Well, we could always go home…”
“Not yet, look!” I turned around to see fireflies passing along, and it turned out I landed by a stream in front of some really tall trees. The fireflies flew into the trees, lighting them up; they seemed to be showing the way out of the forest, since the flies were in different trees spread across the pathway.
“Ok, now can we go home?”
“Yeah, I guess…”