Zaro, The Black: Part 1 - Seeking the Magician.

Deep within the shifting sands of the Lost Desert, a secret council holds a meeting to deside the fate of Sakhmet. There were whispers of a new terror, more horrible than anything Dr. Sloth could do. There were rumors of a secret weapon, passed down from generation to generation from the line of Coltan. Perhaps something that could stop the new and hidden threat.

It was on these unfounded words that drew a meeting tonight. The highest council members of the secret society created for the absolute protection of Sakmeht and the Lost Dessert as a whole.

"Tonight, my friends, we gather to serve the memory of Coltan, as well as our people." Said Orsicon, the Lupe captian in charge of the Palace's royal gaurd. "There are whispers of a new and very deadly foe, we know nothing of it or from where it will come. But we must prepare either way. For our families, for Sakhmet."

"But how can we prepare if we do not know what is ahead?" A Blumaroo high priest from the western dessert asked. "And won't the spirit of Coltzan protect us?"

"NO! We can not be sure of anything, only that we must be prepared. If it is false, than the action was wasted. If it is true, we can not be take the chance of being unprepared." Orsicon looked across the council. "Legends of Coltzan's treasure's are know all across Neopia, among those legends is of a great jewel encrusted item, that will protect the city acting as a shield against any danger." He continued, "we can not be sure that this item is more than a legend but I suggest we find someone who may be able to speak with Coltzan himself. While the rest of us look into more traditional ways of defending the city."

Myrr, a Chomby priestess from the temple at Sakhmet stepped forward. "I believe I know just the pet we are looking for!"This caused a slight commotion from within the council. "Years ago there was a young Korbat with black wings, he came through this area seeking knowledge of ancient magics and secrets. At the time I did not know him, no one did, but now. I am certain all of Neopia has heard the name."

A mysterious hush fell over the gathering.

Orsicon frowned, "Surely you don't mean... Zaro, the stage magician?!"

"This is an outrage!" Someone shouted. "Do you take nothing seriously?!"

"I do." Stated a small voice from the darkness. A very young Aisha whispered nervously. "I understand what Myrr is saying. Zaro wasn't always a magician. He used to be a psychic. He could read any mind he wanted to, and had magic powers beyond that of Kauvara! I recall reading in the Neopian Times when I was very young. They said once he melted the tail of the Snowager, and it was even said that he could raise Maraqua from the ocean floor!"

Orsicon sighed, "Young Aisha, you realize that you have been dishonored among the counsil. Even being at this meeting could be a reason for exile? But as we need all the help we can get. I will send you, *alone* to find Zaro and get him to agree to help us. "

"Yes sir," she thanked him. "Thank you, sir. I know I have a lot of crimes to make up for, I won't disapoint you."

"Ishi," the Dessert Aisha nervously stated her name to two large mutant korbats. They leered at her menecingly. "Please, this is very important."

She stood waiting at the backstage door of the Neopia Grand Hotel, one of the mutants entered the other continued to stare.

As she waited, Ishi gazed at the large black and white poster of the famous Korbat "Zaro the Black." The poster showed him with a fierce expression and fire rising from a mad hat in his hand. Despite what she had been told of korbats being friendly, this one seemed very frightening. Was this a wise choice? She thought to herself over and over. Ishi had watched the show, over and over for the entire week Zaro was playing at the hotel's theater. Zaro the Magician was a frightening dark figure with a strange accent and a threatening gaze. If his powers were more than just stage tricks, than she needed his help.

Just then, the Mutant Korbat door gaurd returned. "You have permission to enter. I suggest you get to the point quickly and do not waste his time. His temper is foul these days."

She swallowed hard. And fallowed the door gaurd in. The back stage looked as she had expected it to. Only strangely free of hotel employees, and perhaps a bit darker. Ishi followed the mutant down a stair case that led to the basement. At the door, the gaurd instructed her again not to waste the Magician's time, and to be to be careful. She would enter the room alone. Ishi was starting to hate herself more and more as \ the frightening gaurd left her alone the the basement's darkness. Gathering her fleeting courage, she opened the door. To be greeted by the sound of a blood curdling shriek.

"AHHHH!" She jumped backwards in terror, shaking and panting. When in the dark silence, came another sound. A small one, that sounded like an amused chuckle.

"Do not be frightened, it vas only the hinges of the door." A deep masculing voice spoke from within the shadows of the room. Ishi recognized the heavy Korpathian accent right away, it was Zaro himself.

"Sir?" Ishi looked upwards at the ceilling knowing Korbats were fond of hanging, but could not see anything. A match was struck and a small candle was lit. The faint light seemed to cast the whole room into a dance of flicking shadows. There the Korbat could be seen, sitting in a strangely large stuffed chair. The candle next to him. His ears folded back and a distant look in his black eyes.

"Sir, I was told to be to the point, so I shall try to be." Ishi spoke quickly, partially because she had be told to, partially because of fear. It was hard to sit still and have those black eyes stare so intently at you. "I am Ishi, from the Isle of Fetu - "

"Is that in the Lost Dessert?" He interupted.

"Er, yes sir. I was sent by my - "

"Oh please tell me about it," he interupted again "it's so hot and bright in the Lost Dessert. One of the few places I've never be able to travel."

Ishi was at a loss for words, quite suddenly, but found herself studying his face. She had known korbats off and on over the years, but his fangs... seemed strangely long compared to those she knew.

"UH.. it's sandy.." Ishi studdered.

He laughed again, still that quiet chuckle. "It's sandy, I vould have never guessed." Ishi wasn't sure what to make of this but she was starting to get agitated.

"Sir, I was sent by the royal order of Coltzan to request your assistance!" He stopped laughing.

"If you can tell me that your powers are real, I was sent to find you! Thousands of lives are at steak!"

"Vhat is this about Aisha?! And be truthful vith me... I greatly dislike liars." He hissed.

This flustered her again, and she spoke slowly so not to miscomunicate anything. "Early in your carrier as a Magician, you once claimed to be able to summon storms. Once you claimed you were able to reverse the spin of the whirlpool of Maraqua -"

"Former Maraqua..." he said, not amused at all.

"So many things you claimed, I am here to find out if this is true. It seems as you grew more famous, the less you claimed to be able to do. No doubt not needed to once you had the public's attention."

"Haaaaaaaa!" He hissed viciously, "I am capable of things you can't even imagine. Now Aisha, I suggest you leave before I have you thrown out."

Ishi frowned, "So your powers are a fraud after all, I can't say I'm very suprised. After claiming all you have over the years. You can't even speak with ghosts."

"Vhat?" He stated, in disbelieving tone. "You come here to request I speak vith the dead? No, Aisha you came to request I speak vith the spirit of Coltzan. There must be thousands of Neopets that are psychic enough for that. Coltzan is rumored to speak to anyone at his own shrine. You are telling me he won't even raise the wind for one from his own order? Now who is exagerating...?" He smirked at her and turned to retreat back into his shadows, when she interupted.

"You knew, why I came. You aren't a complete fraud - "

"You are a very brave pet." He warned.

"Then help us and prove that you aren't just a stage show, show the world what you can do! If that won't sell tickets then nothing will." Ishi seemed pleased with herself somehow.

"That's just it, my darling, I have no desire to show the vorld what I can do. Now if your council vants to know where Coltzan's hidden his most powerful item, I suggest they find someone else."

He began to walk away, when she shouted. "We can pay you!"

He paused and raised an eye brow, "How much?"

Ishi thought for a moment "For Zaro the Magician, I am sure a kings ransom would be easy enough to get." She smiled.

"I'll think about it..." He grumbled before finally escaping her.

Zaro, The Black: Part 2 - ?.

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