Raider and the Lost Lamp Ch. 02bymythtrav16©
Clara was roused by an odd tingling sensation in her toes. As she began to stir, she realised that the fingers of her left hand were inside her vagina. She quickly removed them and pulled her hand out of her pants as she opened her eyes and looked around. It took her a couple of seconds to remember where she was, and she moaned when she realised that her entrapment hadn't just been a bad dream. That odd tingling sensation was all through her feet now, and starting to creep up her calves. Clara looked down at her feet and let out a startled yell when she saw that her shins and everything below them had been consumed by a swirling cloud of smoke that was quickly creeping up her legs. Clara's arms sprang to into action and she began to scramble backwards along the mattress, trying to escape the ominous cloud, but it was no good. As she moved, she dragged the cloud with her. Clara could only look on in horror as her legs disappeared, then her torso and arms. She had scarcely been awake ten seconds before the cloud engulfed her head and all she could see was swirling smoke.
Clara's vision was only clouded for a second or two. When the smoke lifted from her eyes, she was surprised to find herself in a very dark room, with an illuminated stone pedestal off to her side. She realised that she must me back in the chamber where she discovered the lamp. Her eyes quickly adjusted to the dark (a side effect of now being a genie, she assumed), and it wasn't long before she could make out a person standing in front of her. A man, a young man, staring at her with an expression of utter shock. Then Clara noticed the lamp in his hands and her expression almost mirrored his. Now she realised how she had managed to return to the chamber. This man had obviously rubbed the lamp and summoned her back into the real world.
"Oh no!" Clara said despondently. Before she was merely a prisoner, but now she was a slave. And this fool was her master. Clara wallowed in despair. Her predicament was getting worse and worse.
Eventually, she turned her attention back to the young man. He hadn't moved at all, and his expression hadn't changed. Clara now realised that he was trembling. He was obviously of western descent. He had a nice face, not quite boyish, not quite butch, but in a nice middleground, with a solid set of eyebrows that somehow made his eyes seem more commanding. He had a fairly thick five o'clock shadow, like he was normally clean-shaven but hadn't been near a razor in a few days. His hair was either black or brown, Clara couldn't be certain as most of it was covered by a light-brown akubra hat. He was also wearing an off-white short-sleeve cotton shirt under an army-style vest that was covered in pockets, and light brown shorts that also had no shortage of pockets. On his feet, Clara noticed, were a good sturdy set of hiking boots. Clara guessed that he was about five foot nine, the same height as herself. Judging from his exposed arms and legs, he didn't look very strong, but he still had a good build.
Clara watched as his eyes began to wander downward. Wondering what he was looking at, Clara lowered her own gaze. "Oh my God!" she yelled in horror, quickly turning her back to the young man. Her bare breast was still free of her top, and the front of her pants still exhibited a damp patch of her juices! She quickly crammed her breast back into her costume, pulling the strap back over her shoulder to secure it, while summoning a magic cloud of smoke to envelop her hips and legs and replace her stained pants with a clean pair. Recomposing herself, Clara turned around, trying to act as if nothing embarrassing had just happened. Still, the young man's expression hadn't changed.
"Hello," Clara said, trying to move things along. A few more silent seconds passed before the man began to quietly stutter incoherently. Clara leaned forward, trying to make out what he was saying. He soon managed to put together an audible sentence.
"You're... a... genie?" he said, still staring at her with a look of disbelief. He had an odd accent that Clara couldn't quite place.
"Apparently," she responded in a casual tone. A few more silent seconds passed, while the man looked her over carefully, from head to toe.
"A genie?" he repeated, obviously still freaked out.
"Well, I've obviously been released by a rhodes scholar. That's comforting. ARGH!" Clara stumbled backwards and held her hands to her temples as a sharp headache descended on her.
"What? What is it? What's wrong?" the young man asked with obvious concern as he approached her.
Clara wanted to say, "Nothing, I'm fine," but her lips began to move of their own accord, forming completely different words, "I was insolent to you, master, and I should not have been." She winced as she straightened up. Clara was not a weak person. She was not accustomed, and certainly not happy to say something so submissive to someone else. But she remembered reading somewhere in Zhiasa's journal that a genie cannot lie to it's master, so she was not terribly surprised by her involuntary honesty. By the time Clara was standing upright, the headache had left, as quickly as it had come.
"That's... okay, don't worry about it," the young man said absent-mindedly, as his gaze focused on no particular point in the shadowy void of the chamber. He seemed relieved that nothing was majorly wrong, while at the same time bewildered by the idea that he was talking to an actual genie. He began pacing around in small steps, and after a few more seconds, he broke the silence again, "So... you're a genie? A real genie?" Clara simply nodded. Once bitten, she was too shy to poke fun at his repetitiveness again. Besides, she was beginning to appreciate how surreal this encounter must've been from his perspective. "This is ridiculous!" he scoffed.
"So was the global acceptance of disco, but it still happened," Clara quickly replied.
"This can't be real... this has got to be heatstroke, or a dream, or something," the young man insisted. Clara surmised that the accent was probably either Australian or New Zealander.
"Look, I realise that this must seem bizarre, but this isn't exactly how I planned my day, either..."
"What do you mean?" the young man asked, his curiosity piqued by that last remark, just as his foot began to sink on the trigger stone for the battering ram trap.
"Look out!" Clara yelled as she threw herself at him, pushing him out of harms way just before the massive logs slammed together. The deafening bang echoed throughout the chamber as the young man layed sprawled out on the cold stone floor, with Clara on top of him. They both layed there for a few seconds, staring into each other's eyes and catching their breath. Then the mechanical noises began to emanate from the walls and the battering rams began to part. The danger passed, Clara all of a sudden realised that she was lying on top of the young man and violently pushed herself off of him with a disgusted grunt.
"Haven't you ever been in a place like this before?" she nearly shouted. "Don't you have the slightest clue about the dangers in ancient complexes like this? You bloody ammm...master." Clara wanted to say, "Amateur," but instead she stammered into addressing him by the only title that the imprisonment spell would allow, until he permitted otherwise.
"Well I have been into a couple of roman catacombs, and an Egyptian burial cache, but none of them had a doorbell as loud as that," he said as he sat up, picking up his hat which had been knocked off in the excitement.
"Very funny," Clara replied indignantly as the man stood up. "It sounds to me like you should stick to visiting places that come with a tour guide, to keep you safe."
"Shut up!" the young man said, beginning to tire of the genie's rudeness. "What do you know about ancient ruins, anyway? Of course you knew that boobytrap was there, you were probably here when they built this place!"
Clara's face tensed up with anger, and she pointed her finger at the young man as if she was about to give him a stern lecture, but when she tried to say something all she could do was mumble. Her mouth wouldn't open; her lips were stuck together like they'd been superglued. Mentally searching for an explanation, it didn't take her long to realise that she'd been compelled to obey his recent command of, "Shut up!" Clara hung her head in exasperation, before launching a long string of what seemed to be threats and curse words, mumbled incoherently at the top of her lungs. Her mood was also being clearly conveyed by the gestures of her wildly flailing arms. The young man watched her, mystified, for a few seconds, before it occurred to him what had happened. An amused smirk began to appear on his face, which only enraged Clara further. She tried to attack him with magic, but all her efforts yielded were benign waves of dim blue light fizzling from her fingertips. The magical powers that she'd commanded so masterfully inside the lamp could not be turned against her master.
"You have to do what I tell you, don't you?" the young man asked. Clara silently glared at him. "One blink for yes, two blinks for no," he instructed.
Clara gave a prolonged blink and continued to glare at him.
"Wow!" Her tormentor was now beaming with amusement, which quickly faded as a thought occurred to him. "Hey wait a minute... I didn't use up one of my wishes by telling you to shut up did I?"
Clara blinked twice in succession, to the young man's relief.
"Oh man, this is so fucking cool!" He looked Clara over again, while pondering various ways to test her obedience. Eventually he decided to take a page from a classic Eddie Murphy movie. "Bark like a dog!"
Clara opened her mouth and, to the surprise of both the young man and herself, began to make the actual sound of a large rottweiler barking.
"Uh, okay..." the young man said, momentarily thrown by this unexpected result. "Bark like a person pretending to bark like a dog," he commanded, trying to get the joke back on track.
"Ruuff!" Clara growled in a monotonous, human voice.
"Keep barking," the young man prompted with a growing smile.
"Ruuff! Ruuff! Ruuff! Ruuff! Ruuff! Ruuff! Ruuff! Ruuff! Ruuff!"
"Okay, now like a little dog..."
"Arrp! Arrp! Arrp..." Clara began barking in a higher tone, perhaps sounding more like a seal than a dog. The young man was clearly getting a kick out of this.
"Hop on one leg!" he chuckled, to bring the old routine to it's climax.
As ordered, Clara began to bounce up and down on her right leg, while continuing to yip like a chihuahua. Her new master doubled over, laughing.
"Okay... Okay..." he said as he tried to regain some self-control. "This is cruel..." He was about to say something else, but was momentarily distracted by the sight of Clara's attractive breasts bouncing up and down in her tight silk top. Then he quickly looked up at her face, as if he was ashamed to have caught himself ogling. The lower half of Clara's face betrayed no emotion, but her eyes burned with fury. "Shut up again, and you can stop hopping," the young man commanded. Clara stood at attention with an angry nasal huff, her lips sealed once again. She followed his every move with an icy glare as he stepped towards her. "Now if I let you speak, will you calm down?" he asked her in a gentle voice.
Clara stared at him in anger briefly, before accepting that he had made a fair offer. She took a deep calming breath, and gave a single blink as the rage retreated from her eyes.
"Alright, you can talk," he granted.
Clara parted her lips slightly, if only to make sure she could, but said nothing. The two stood there in silence, looking at each other, neither seeming to know what the next move should be. Then after a while, the young man turned his attention to the lamp, which was on the ground, having been knocked out of his hand when Clara tackled him.
"What did you mean before... when you said that this wasn't what you intended?" he asked her as he began to walk over to the lamp, being extra careful to avoid the trigger stone for the boobytrap.
"First of all, I said 'this wasn't exactly how I'd planned my day', and by that I meant... that I didn't intend on getting imprisoned."
"Imprisoned? How?" he asked her, intrigued, as he bent down to pick up the lamp.
"When I rubbed the lamp. It teleported me into a large chamber with no exit. Then I discover that I've been squeezed into a bad halloween costume, and I have all these magical powers..."
The young man dropped the lamp, as a look of horror washed over him.
"...A few hours later, I was swallowed up by a cloud of smoke," Clara continued. "The next thing I know, I'm back in this chamber and you're my master."
"The lamp?!?" the young man said with alarm, "The lamp made you..."
"Don't worry," Clara interrupted, "it can't do anything to you. It only takes one prisoner. " The man breathed a sigh of relief.
"So, wait a minute.... You're saying that you're a human? Who got trapped?" he asked as he bent down to pick up the lamp yet again.
"Was a human," Clara corrected. "Technically, I've been transformed into a genie." The young man took a good look at her once more. It was only now that he recognised her.
"I don't believe it... You're... You're the young lady Roft, aren't you?" he said in astonishment.
"You've heard of me?" Clara asked, pleasantly surprised. However, the surprise quickly turned to anger again as a thought occurred to her. "You've heard of me!" she said in a calm-before-the-storm tone, just as he was beginning to respond to her question. "Of course you've heard of me, you followed me here! How else could you have gotten here so soon! God, I should've realised it before!" Clara ranted to the bewildered young man. "What did you do? Hack into my research? That must be it, because there's no way that a clumsy oaf like you could've tailed me without me knowing about... ARGH!" Clara pressed her hands to her temples as she was once again punished for insulting her master.
"So soon? What the hell are you..." the young man replied defensively, stopping short as his expression softened. "Oh my god! You don't know do you?"
"Know what?" Clara snapped as the headache cleared.
"Lady Roft, you disappeared without a trace over two years ago!"
Clara stared at him in shock and silence.
Clara stepped out into the daylight from behind the huge stone slab. Before Clara had first opened it, the deceivingly plain stone door appeared to be just one in a line of seven slabs inbedded into the mountainside. They, along with some fragments of wall, floor, and the bottoms of a couple of stone columns, were all that remained of a glorious building that Hal'hadin himself had commissioned there centuries ago. The ruins stood on a small plateau about a quarter-way up the mountain. All of the relevant authorities had long ago declared them to be of minimal archaeological importance, but Clara had gathered snippets of information from Hal'hadin's tomb that lead her to believe that there might've been something of interest there after all. With so little remains to search through when she first arrived, it didn't take her long to discover the pressure switch hidden between two of the large slabs. Clara had managed to push the switch by sliding a crowbar (that she'd thoughtfully bought in case she needed to do some prying) between the slabs. It activated a mechanism that opened the concealed door just enough to allow a person to squeeze through.
Clara's new master followed her out of the ancient shaft. He had to carry his backpack (in which he'd stowed the lamp) in his hand in order to squeeze through the opening. Clara wandered over to her motorbike, forlorn as she noticed that there was indeed two and a half years worth of dust collected on it. Up until now she had held hopes that the young man's previous claim was some kind of sick joke. But now... there was no denying it.
"Your father's been doing his block trying to find out what happened to you. Last I heard, he's still funding search parties to comb through the area all around the Alladin tomb," the young man said from behind her, not needing to see her face to know what was going through her mind.
"That's over twelve hundred kilometres away!" Clara stated.
"Yeah, well, that's where the last confirmed siting of you was... I'm sorry." The young man tried to be comforting, but knew that there wasn't much that he could say or do at this point to make her feel better. Clara simply stared at the dusty motorbike, lost in thought. She hadn't bothered to tell anyone where she was going, or even that she was going anywhere. After the ridicule she suffered from suggesting that there might've actually been an 'Alladin's lamp,' she hadn't shared any further thoughts she'd had about the subject. When she eventually managed to deduce a possible location for the Princess's Vault, that several texts found within the tomb had alluded to, she took off to explore it without telling anyone. She preferred to work alone, anyway.
Clara turned to the young man as some internal alarm clock told her that it was time for her to return to the here-and-now. "It's fine... Can we leave now?" she asked, with newfound resolve.
"Sure," he answered. He led her down the dirt track to his topless jeep that was parked just around a corner and out of view from the ruins. When they got to the jeep the young man threw his backpack onto the back seat, while Clara jumped into the passenger side.
"I need to contact my parents, where's your sat-phone?" she asked as she began rummaging through the supplies he had stocked in the back.
"Sorry," the young man chuckled as he climbed in the driver's seat, "this is a no-frills expedition. Closest thing I've got is a CB."
"Perfect," Clara complained to herself.
"The nearest town..."
"Is over four hours away, I know," Clara interrupted in frustration.
"...Right. There should be a phone there, you can contact them then," the young man assured her as he took a pair of sunglasses from the dashboard and put them on. He started the engine, did a reverse three-point turn, and began to cautiously drive down the rugged mountain trail. Even at the low speed, Clara could feel the veils that ran down her back flapping in the gentle breeze. It was quite annoying. After a few minutes, the young man broke the awkward silence. "If you don't mind me asking, Lady Roft, what exactly are you going to tell your parents?" he asked.
"I have no idea..." Clara replied honestly. She looked out, contemplatively, over the vast dessert they would soon be crossing. Though it was now part of southern Kazakhstan, in medieval times this entire region was part of greater Persia. "Tell me something, how did you find this place?" she asked, changing the subject. "Obviously I didn't leave a clear trail of research on my computer, if father didn't send a search party up here, and I took the only map I marked with the location of the lamp with me."
"Well I don't know about any research you did," the young man answered. "I never saw anything with your name published. What did keep popping up in the documentation of the tomb were repeated mentions of a Princess's Vault that Alladin built during his life. There was even an engraving on a statue in the tomb that said they were buried with a map to the vault."
"That's right, except we never found any map in the tomb," Clara responded, quite curious as to where he was going with this.
"Right, so I start thinking what if they weren't buried with the map, what if they were buried in the map? You remember that the princess's sarcophagus was engraved with a bunch of things on the side? A lion, a stallion, a flaming sword, a scorpion, a warrior, and so on?"