Valley of Thundra: Mid Day
Needless to say it was a long flight and Iago's wings were tired, but it was well worth it. No one would pop out to tease him. No one would watch curiously, no one would interrupt. The rainy season had passed and though Thundra still had to take care of a few things, this was her lightest season of work. Yes, the long trip on his own was definitely worth it. A rainbow flew overhead and Iago chased after it.
The rain bird caught a glimpse of red feathers and had to look twice. Sure enough, there was Iago who had come to visit. "My little giblet!" She tackled him in a crushing hug into a cloud and gave him a kiss.
"I'm happy to see you too," he attempted to get some air into his crushed lungs, while somewhat returning the embrace the best he could. "I heard the rainy season's over."
Thundra smiled, "indeed it is and I can take the whole afternoon off today!"
The forest had already been watered and the sun could be left to shine for the rest of the day. The two parrots sat comfortably on a cloud with no one to intrude in their loving moment... until it began to rain.
"Thundra!" Iago complained, flapping his wet wings..
Thundra was getting wet as well, "I didn't do that," she looked at the dark rain clouds above in annoyance. "What do you think you're doing? Stop right now!" The rain did not stop. "I said stop!" Thundra's necklace glowed brightly as she commanded the clouds that continued to rain upon them. "These are no clouds of mine. But how is this possible?"
"Is there another rain bird around here?" Iago didn't like the idea, especially since it was raining on them non-stop.
"No!" Thundra was beginning to feel frustrated, "I am the only rain bird!" She flew closer to the dark raining clouds above. "I command you to stop!" She glared fiercely, "disappear!" Every feather in her body was wet from green to yellow to rainbow. She couldn't take this anymore. "So you want to fight?"
Iago looked slightly worried as he braved the insistent rain flying by her side. "Is that really such a good idea?"
"I will show these clouds whose boss!" Thundra declared.
"Did I tell you, you look really cute when you're mad?" Iago's comment went unnoticed as Thundra was focusing her powers.
"I call the mighty wind of the north, blow away these rebellious clouds!" Thundra commanded. A powerful wind formed into a tornado that widely swallowed up the clouds.
Iago flapped his wings hastily, trying to escape getting caught in the tornado as well. Fortunately, he managed to withstand it with some difficulty long enough. "That was close," he breathed in relief. His feathers fluffed up after being dried by the wind. "Oh that's just great." Annoyed, he tried to fix his feathers in mid air. "At least the clouds are gone."
"Si, I guess I showed them," Thundra nodded in satisfaction. "Now, where were we?" She smiled at Iago, but her expression changed to anger when the clear skies were again covered by dark clouds. "What is the meaning of this? Where are these clouds coming from? They are not mine!"
Iago looked around but didn't see anyone else there. "Come out of hiding you coward! Wait till I catch the one who's doing this!"
Fed up with the situation, Thundra decided to fight clouds with clouds, "come mi amigos, this is war!" A mass of dark clouds gathered around Thundra, with abundant sparks of lightning. "Take cover my little giblet!"
Iago gasped at the concentration of electricity and dove into the tree tops below.
"Attack!" At Thundra's command a massive bolt of lightning pierced the skies and lit up the entire forest in a blinding light. The lightning zapped the invading clouds making them dissipate into nothingness.
Iago came out from the tree tops and flew up to Thundra, "that was amazing!" He couldn't help it but to admire her.
"I'm happy you enjoyed it, mi amor," Thundra smiled victoriously. "Finally, those pesky clouds won't be bothering us." Her own clouds dissipated and the skies were sunny and clear again for a few seconds. Once again, the peace didn't last, the rain resumed. "This is not funny anymore."
"It wasn't funny in the first place. What's with these clouds?" Iago glared at the offending clouds.
"Maybe we should investigate the source." Thundra looked into the distance; the dark skies had no end. "I've been fighting the clouds in my forest, but it looks like they reach much further than that. Let us investigate, then maybe we'll find the dirty cucaracha that's been doing this."
"Right behind you," Iago might not be one to often rush into battle, but he was very angry. Who ever ruined his time with Thundra was going to pay.
xoxox xox xoxox
Agrabah: Late Morning
"A gift for me?" Genie loudly exclaimed as he took the package in his arms and spun around with it. "Aw, Al, you shouldn't have!"
"Actually, I didn't," Aladdin tried to explain eyeing the small box suspiciously. "That package just appeared in front of the door this morning."
The word 'Genei' was written on top of the box, a detail which Genie finally noticed. "Who's Genei?"
"I think it's supposed to be Genie," Aladdin theorized.
"In that case it is a present for me!" Genie cheered happily. "But who is it from? If it's not from you then,,," Genie paused and looked at Abu, "you got this for me didn't you monkey pal?"
Abu shook his head and shrugged in indication that he didn't know who had brought the mysterious box.
Genie looked out of Aladdin's small humble residence towards the palace at the end of the main road. "Maybe it's from the princess," Genie paused, his expression shifting to doubt, "you'd think Jasmine would have better spelling. Maybe it's from the Sultan!"
Aladdin chuckled, "maybe, but I don't think so. It's odd for a package to just be left there."
"Do you think Iago left it?" Genie suggested.
Genie, Aladdin and Abu gave it a split second's thought before chorusing, "nah!"
"Where is Iago anyway, I haven't seen him today," Aladdin mused.
Abu laughed, batted his eye lashes and blew kisses in the air while making monkey noises.
"You don't say?" Genie listened, "it sounds like our parrot pal has flown off to see his love bird and he doesn't want to be followed. Who's up for spying on them?"
Abu raised his hand in amusement.
"Genie, Abu," Aladdin half-scolded lightly, "let's give them some privacy."
Abu pouted, but didn't protest. He rather enjoyed teasing Iago.
"Well I can't wait any more, I'm opening my gift!" Genie announced. He opened the box and found a pair of dull stone bracelets. "Rustic yet fashionable!"
"That's a really unusual gift. I have a bad feeling about this," Aladdin's instinct was telling him that something was out of place.
"Aw Al, don't worry, I'll let you borrow one of these to wear on your next date with Jasmine," Genie admired the stone bracelets on his wrists. There was something odd about them. "Hmm, I feel strange, as if bound by something... It's the need to thank whoever gave me this birthday gift!"
"Birthday?" Aladdin was taken by surprise. Genie had never mentioned when his birthday was.
"You don't have to pretend like you didn't know today's my birthday," Genie playfully elbowed Aladdin.
The young man laughed, "of course I knew, it's just that it's still really early in the day."
"You're right, my real birthday isn't for another few hours," Genie agreed.
"Yeah, so you should relax until then," Aladdin smiled and played along. "I have some things to do at the palace. I'll be back soon, you should stay here and rest."
"Is that so?" Genie looked at Aladdin suspiciously, but the young man didn't lose his smile. "Alright, I'll stay right here and take a nap. You can go about your business, which I assure you I have no idea what it could be."
"Right, see you later. Carpet, Abu, we should get going or we'll be late for that thing we need to do," Aladdin jumped on Carpet with Abu on his shoulder and the three flew off towards the palace.
"I know they're planning a surprise party!" Genie materialized a party hat and confetti, which he threw into the air, "party time! What will I wear? What surprised face should I make? I have to get ready!" He went back into his lamp, which was at the edge of the window.
On the street below, Abismal and Harud were plotting. "Now all we need to do is find a way to get that lamp away from Aladdin."
"We should have planned this out better," Harud criticized. "After all, the lamp isn't just going to fall into your hands."
Up on the window ledge, Genie's lamp vibrated and bounced as he tore through his magical closet inside, searching for the perfect party outfit. The lamp fell off and landed on Abismal's head.
"Ow, that hurt!" Realizing what hit him, Abismal picked up the lamp victoriously, "you were wrong Harud, for it was not in my hands, but in my head that the lamp fell!"
"You mean on your head," Harud corrected, surprised at their random luck, "there's nothing in it," he was referring to Abismal's head.
Abismal thought Harud was talking about the lamp, "it was pretty heavy for an empty lamp," memories of a different Genie returned and he shuddered. "This is not Jafar, not Jafar," the clumsy thief chanted. "Let's return to the hide out so that I can think of my wishes!"
xoxox xox xoxox
Agrabah: Early Morning
Abismal made his way through the Agrabah marketplace complaining to Harud. "I have to find something that will help me defeat Aladdin and his Genie. Oh, if only I had a Genie," Abis Mal paused and shuddered remembering Jafar. "Oh no, no genies! I just remembered I hate genies because they don't listen to me."
"May I remind you that Aladdin's Genie is free anyway," Harud reminded.
"Free? Free to steal? I wish it was that easy!" Abismal pouted in frustration.
"Free as in he has no formal master of the lamp," Harud tried to explain himself in simple terms.
"You're wrong Harud, for stealing the Genie will be useless!" Abismal declared, pretending to know everything. "The Genie has no master so he won't grant the wishes of the one who holds the lamp!"
"Oh, why didn't I think of that?" Harud sarcastically remarked as he rolled his eyes.
The market was buzzing with activity as usual. The voices of many different people, merchants and customers, all blended into a sea of barely distinguishable noise. A few words rung out clearly as the thieves passed each stall and their products were advertised. Abismal was searching for a new sword to steal, one that was "sharp enough to cut down Aladdin."
Among the many booths in the market, a gypsy was showcasing her wares from across the globe. "Something you will find, a treasure one of the kind, in this shop of mine!"
Upon hearing the word treasure, Abismal immediately dashed towards the gypsy. "Did you say treasure?" He searched for something shiny in her display but didn't see anything. "None of these things look like treasure!"
The gypsy was wearing robes in shades of blue, magenta and purple. Her face was covered so that only her pale green eyes could be seen. "Not all that shines is gold, so it has been told, of a certain item sold."
"That doesn't make any sense, of course gold is shiny!" Abismal's head was starting to hurt in confusion.
"I think she was using a metaphor," Harud pointed out, though he knew the explanation would be lost for Abismal.
"Met a for?" Abismal looked confused, "whatever this lady has its contagious. Now you're not making any sense either!"
"Tell me your wish? Is it to be rich?" The gypsy asked mysteriously.
"Don't we all wish that?" Harud commented.
"That and to defeat Aladdin and get rid of his Genie and to rule Agrabah, oh and I'm thirsty, some water would be nice too," Abismal went on, "there are other things I want too, but mostly that."
"A genie you say?" The gypsy spoke, "defeat him you may, if turned to a slave."
"You seem to know about genies," Harud inquired with interest. "Is there a way to turn a free genie back into a wish granting slave?"
The gypsy nodded, "indeed there is, if you use this." She pointed towards a pair of stone bracelets on display on her modest little table. "I require a small fee, but your success I guarantee."
"No one can guarantee that," Harud argued.
"We'll take them!" Abismal immediately accepted the deal without doubts and tossed his bag of coins to the gypsy. Harud wanted to caution him not to be so gullible but Abismal interrupted, "I'm so glad I had this idea!"
xoxox xox xoxox
"We've been flying for hours, we're almost back in," Iago paused, breathing heavily and looked ahead, "we are back in Agrabah and its raining here too!"
"Rain in a desert? This is all wrong!" Thundra huffed.
"A little rain in the desert wouldn't hurt every now and then. Just not right now, after flying around in the rain so much I'll be lucky if I don't get pneumonia," Iago complained.
"The problem with rain in a desert is that after a while it turns into a muddy mess," Thundra pointed out. It seemed that it had already started to happen, the streets were a mess and people were having trouble moving around. "Maybe your friends can help us find the cause of all this."
"I can find the cause myself, you can count on me," Iago couldn't finish his speech before Thundra hurried towards the palace. "Wait for me!" She always got like this when it came to the forest or the weather; she became focused on her duties.
Thundra and Iago flew into the palace by a window, shaking the water off their feathers. It seemed that the palace was quite active. They flew towards the room from which people came and went and found Abu and Carpet putting up a variety of decorations. "There are festivities today?"
"Looks like it..." Iago paused and thought about it, "hey! Why are you having a party while I was gone?" He flew up to Carpet and Abu, who then noticed him. Abu explained the situation. "Today is Genie's birthday and no one knew until this morning after I left?"
Aladdin wanted to do something special for Genie and Jasmine suggested personally baking a cake. He had bravely venture into the royal kitchen that the princess commandeered. Together, Aladdin and Jasmine were hard at work trying to make a remotely edible cake with their basically non-existent experience. They knew Genie would appreciate their efforts, though they were both determined to make it taste decent.
"It looks like you're busy, but this is important," Thundra persisted. "I have to find the cowardly cucaracha who is responsible for this!"
"I can find out who's causing it myself. In fact, let everyone do what they need to do and leave the investigation to me," Iago insisted, trying to impress Thundra, despite having no idea how to go about solving the rain problem.
"This is serious!" Thundra emphasized.
"C'mon, give me a chance!" Iago continued to insist.
Thundra sighted, "alright, alright, but only because I love you. Don't let me down, mi amor."
"No problem, figuring this out will be a peace of cake!" Iago was already starting to feel the pressure of his promise sinking in. He didn't know where to begin. It looked like Carpet and Abu had no idea what was going on, but they were giving him teasing looks. Iago didn't know how, but he could tell Carpet was too. "Well I guess I better continue my investigation." He flew away followed by Thundra.
Abu shrugged and continued working on decorating the grand party room with Carpet.
Outside, Iago flew over the palace yard looking for anything that seemed out of place. He could feel Thundra's impatient gaze on him. Then he saw Abismal trying to get over the wall. Maybe he could buy some time to think of a real plan under the pretext of stopping the thief from breaking into the palace. Then he saw Genie, but why was he with Abismal? "Something's not right."
"Oh, I wish I was good at climbing over walls!" Abismal unwittingly wasted a wish.
"Granted!" Genie was just glad to have another wish out of the way, with relatively little harm done. The stone bracelets had turned into golden cuffs much like the ones he had before he was set free. He had been happy thinking that someone finally remembered his birthday, though he should have specified when his birthday was in the first place. He didn't expect to end up trapped in the lamp again, forced to grant wishes.
"Genie? What's going on?" Iago demanded to know.
"Iago, Thundra! This is terrible, I'm stuck as a slave to the lamp again and Abismal has it!" Genie cried. "I was tricked by a cursed birthday gift. The only birthday gift anyone has given me and it was evil!"
"You poor dear," Thundra felt sorry for him, then a thought occurred to her. "Wait a minute; have you been causing this rain?"
"Not on purpose," Genie admitted, "it was Abismal's first wish, he said it was too hot in the desert. He complained about how it probably rained more in other places than in the desert. Then he said," Genie's head morphed into Abismal as he imitated him in a mocking tone, "I wish it rained everywhere in the world all the time."
"So this is the cucaracha!" Thundra glared at Abismal.
"Who are you calling a coo-ka- something!" Abismal growled. "I'll show you weird rainbow bird. I'll make the genie turn me into the ruler of Agrabah, or into the richest man in the world, or into the ruler of the world, or into an all powerful wizard," Abismal went on with the possibilities becoming more troublesome.
"You will do no such thing!" Thundra realized Iago had disappeared. He must have snuck off while Abismal was going on and on about his possible wishes.
"Go on, wish for all that!" Iago returned with a bottle. "It doesn't matter what you wish for. I have my own genie right here," he put his wing around Thundra. "The best part is that she can grant infinite wishes, not just three. I can have all the wishes I want!"
"Ridiculous!" Harud didn't believe it for a second.
"Yeah, that's a bird, not a genie!" Abismal argued.
"Really?" Iago had a plan, "I wish that he would turn into an icicle!" Iago pointed at Harud.
Thundra played her part, "your wish is my command." She used her weather powers to create a strong artic wind. The icy wind froze the rain until Harud was trapped in a block of ice.
"Looks like you're in trouble, master," Genie informed, "everyone knows that bird genies are far more powerful than regular genies. That's why they grant infinite wishes to whoever holds their bottle. I bet she has more wish granting power in one of her feathers than a hundred genies have all together."
"More power in one feather than a hundred genies?" Abismal's eyes shone with greed. "Give me that bottle!" The clumsy thief jumped on Iago who purposely dropped the bottle. Abismal caught it, letting go of the lamp.
Iago grabbed the lamp victoriously and grinned at Thundra, "I told you I could take care of everything. I wish the weather was back to normal, with my dear Thundra as the only weather master," he winked.
The clouds cleared out from the sky while Abismal feverishly rubbed the bottle. "Bird genie, I wish I was an all powerful wizard, and the richest man in the world, and the ruler of the world and," he sneezed, "and I wish my cold was gone and I wish..."
"There will be no wishes for you cucaracha!" Thundra zapped Abismal with lightning, causing him to yelp in pain.
"That's no way to treat your master!" Abismal complained.
"How's this then?" Thundra shot a larger bolt of lightning at Abismal, which fried him, making him cough out smoke.
"This is why I don't like genies!" Abismal passed out.
"You still have two more wishes," Genie reminded, "you could... oh I don't know... free the genie!"
"Or I could wish for a lot of treasure," Iago pictured the mountains of gold and jewels.
"Let's not make Genie work anymore on his birthday," Thundra reminded, placing her wing around Iago.
Love struck, Iago postponed his quest for treasure for the time being. "I wish for Genie's freedom."
The golden cuffs fell off Genie's wrists and he was again free. "I'm free!" He cheered, "this is great," he hugged the two parrots, "freedom is the best gift anyone could receive!" Genie put them down and danced around his lamp in the palace garden.
"You were very heroic today, mi amor!" Thundra kissed Iago.
Minutes later, Aladdin exited the palace on Carpet. He spotted Genie, Iago and Thundra in the garden. "You look cheerful, Genie. Iago, you got back right on time and Thundra's here too."
"Al!" Genie stopped his happy dance and hugged him. "Isn't it great to be free?"
"Yeah, it's great," Aladdin wasn't sure what in the world that was about, but he was glad Genie was so cheerful. "There's something I want to show you. But first, could you tell me why those two are here?"
Abismal was still knocked out and Harud was still mostly frozen. The hot desert sun had melted the top of the ice, but he was still frozen from the shoulders down.
"Those two were causing trouble, but my feathered friends took care of that." Genie trapped the unconscious Abismal and the partially frozen Harud in a cage. "Let's leave them here for the guards to find. There was something you wanted to show me?"
"Yeah," Aladdin smiled, "let's all go inside."
Aladdin, Carpet, Genie, Iago and Thundra headed inside the palace towards the decorated party room where the others were waiting. Genie was received with a chorus of "surprise!"
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