Place That Strains Life

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"Well, that was anticlimactic..." said Faith with a pout while they searched the room, clearly disappointed.

"Hmm... Hey, Aladdin, you find anything?" Alibaba asked.

"Nope, nothing. Just lots of rocks and trinkets," Aladdin answered.

"My grandma's junk room has more bling than this," Faith quipped.

"Yeah... seems like this place isn't a 'treasure chest' after all," Alibaba said with a sigh. "Eh, no helpin' it. There are a lot of buildings out there... so let's go outside and try our luck somewhere else."

"Sounds like a plan," said Faith, dropping the trinket in her hand like the rock that it was. Maybe they could find an old bank to knock over or something... She could feel the urge to kick a door in coming on.

"'Kay," Aladdin agreed, setting the vase in his hands down with a little more care as they moved to exit the tower. But as they stepped up to the doorway, they found their path blocked.

"WAAAAAAAAH!!" Alibaba and Faith yelled in alarm and surprise when they realized the huge shadowy figure towering over them was none other than Goltas.

"D? Dammit! It's on, bastard!!" Alibaba shouted nervously, reaching for his dagger.

"You want a piece of me, tough guy!?" Faith challenged the hulk, making fists.

"Wait, you guys!" Aladdin said anxiously. "He's already..." Then, almost right on cue, Goltas fell forward, collapsing to the ground. "This is terrible..." Aladdin said as they kneeled down to check on him. The big guy was covered in wounds. "He's still got burns from before..."

'But more importantly... he's got a huge slash on the side of his back!!' Alibaba thought, gritting his teeth. That could only mean one thing...

"Hey," said Faith, "if he's here, then the others..."

"Aladdin!!" Alibaba shouted suddenly when he saw danger closing in.

"!?" Faith gasped, jumping in front of the boy in an attempt to block the blur flying at him. Alibaba watched with wide eyes, shocked, as she was instantly pushed back as easily as if the attacker were merely swatting a fly, sending her crashing into Aladdin, taking them both out in one go.

"Bastards...!!" Alibaba cursed angrily as beads of sweat formed on his brow, taking up a defensive stance with his dagger as he faced Morgiana and her master.

"Peons, eh... Who do you think you're talking to..." said Jamil with his head lowered and sword in hand.

"It doesn't matter if you're the boss and I'm the servant anymore! You damn thief... First off, give me back Aladdin's flute!! We can talk things over after that!!" Alibaba said boldly.

"... A p? peon... talks to me... Don't make me laugh... you weak... vulgar... fool..." Jamil muttered darkly with his head still lowered. "You're no more than a waste of air, piece of trash..."

'What's his deal... He's acting weird...' Alibaba thought. He cast a sideways glance to check on his friends. 'Aladdin and Faith are... flying into the distance... Whoa!' he thought, surprised to see that they were still airborne. He flinched in surprise when Morgiana suddenly took off after them. "Wait a damn minute..." he shouted, moving to stop her, but Jamil wouldn't let him.

SLASH!

The Chief swiped his sword at Alibaba. Alibaba jumped back just in time to avoid being cut.

"I've got a list of grievances to administer punishment for..." Jamil told him.

"... Punishment?" asked Alibaba nervously.

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