Disclaimer: I don't own Disney's Aladdin or Prince of Persia, movie or game. They are the sole property of Walt Disney Animation Studios, Walt Disney, and EA games. The Aquatic Kingdom Hearts series are my property; Original Characters as well. This story takes place within the Rising of Atlantis story.
AKH Rise of Atlantis: Prince of Persia
Chapter 1: Arabian Nights; Of Diamonds and Dark Purposes
The Arabian Desert was located in Western Asia. It had a vast desert wilderness stretching from Yemen to the Persian Gulf and Oman to Jordan and Iraq. It occupied most of the Arabian Peninsula, with an area of 2,330,000 square kilometers (900,000 sq mi). At its centre was the Rub'al-Khali, one of the largest continuous bodies of sand in the world. Gazelles, oryx, sand cats, and spiny-tailed lizards are just some of the desert-adapted species that survive in this extreme environment, which featured everything from red dunes to deadly quicksand. The climate was extremely dry, and temperatures oscillated between extreme heat and seasonal night time freezes. It was part of the Deserts and xeric shrublands biome and the Palearctic ecozone. This ecoregion held little biodiversity, although a few endemic plants grew here. Many species, such as the striped hyena, jackal and honey badger had become extinct in this area due to hunting, human encroachment and habitat destruction. Other species had been successfully re-introduced, such as the sand gazelle, and are protected at a number of reserves. Overgrazing by livestock, off-road driving, and human destruction of habitat are the main threats to this desert ecoregion.
However, there were those who ventured through the wilderness bravely, or foolishly, through the desert. There, striding through the desert on a heavily-loaded camel, was a small man peddler of sorts. He was a very small man with tanned skin, a thin, black goatee, and a rectangular mustache with a triangular gap at his philtum. His clothing was quite simple, consisting of a sky blue robe that reached the floor, a faded red sash tied around his waist, and brown sandals. The most noticeable aspect of the Peddler's outfit was his ridiculously large, white turban, whichwas twice as big around as his own head. The man and his camel strode through the blistering heat of the Arabian Desert, heading to who knows where. But as they did so, the Peddler started singing out loud.
Oh, I come from a land, from a faraway place, Where the caravan camels roam,
Where it's flat and immense, And the heat is intense
It's barbaric, but hey, it's home.
A while later, the man and his camel traversed throughout the desert, and made it on a hill, as the man continued, When the wind's from the east, And the sun's from the west, And the sand in the glass is right.
Come on down
Stop on by
Hop a carpet and fly,
To another Arabian night
Until finally, the two had reached their destination, as they cross over the hill, to be in view of the place they had reached.
Agrabah, officially known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is the largest Arab state in Western Asia by land area (approximately 2,250,000 km2 (870,000 sq mi), constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula) and the second-largest in the Arab world (after Algeria). It is bordered by Jordan and Iraq to the north, Kuwait to the northeast, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates to the east, Oman to the southeast, Yemen in the south, the Red Sea to the west and Persian Gulf to the east. Its population is estimated to consist of 16 million citizens and an additional 9 million registered foreign expatriates and 2 million illegal immigrants.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded by Abdul-Aziz bin Saud (known for most of his career as Ibn Saud) in 1932, although the conquests which eventually led to the creation of the Kingdom began in 1902 when he captured Riyadh, the ancestral home of his family, the House of Saud, referred to in Arabic as Al Saud. The Saudi Arabian government, has been an absolute monarchy since its inception, and it describes itself as being Islamic. Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and the kingdom is sometimes called 'the Land of the Two Holy Mosques' in reference to Al-Masjid al-Haram (in Mecca), and Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (in Medina), the two holiest places in Islam.
Saudi Arabia has the world's second largest oil reserves which are concentrated largely in the Eastern Province. Oil accounts for more than 95% of exports and 70% of government revenue, although the share of the non-oil economy has been growing recently. This has facilitated the transformation of an underdeveloped desert kingdom into one of the world's wealthiest nations. Vast oil revenues have permitted rapid modernization, such as the creation of a welfare state. It has also the world's sixth largest natural gas reserves.
And in the far back, making its view to the whole trading and economic kingdom of Agrabah, was the palace of Agrabah's Sultan, the ruler of Agrabah. It was a vastly large castle, similar in design to the Taj Mahal. The palace itself was surrounded by high walls, with a main gate granting entrance. A small area on the wall was outfitted for the Sultan to make speeches and announcements to the people. The Palace itself was mostly white in color, with Golden domed roofs. There were multiple towers of varying sizes.
Arabian nights, Like Arabian days
More often than not, Are hotter than hot,
In a lot of good ways!
The Peddler and his camel made his way into the Bazaar, the trading district of Agrabah. They were making a good distance, reaching a good empty space among the other shops around. The camel was exhausted, panting out loud and wheezing for air. But that didn't matter to the Peddler, as he finished his song,
Arabian nights,'Neath Arabian moons!
A fool off his guard, Could fall and fall hard
Out there on the dunes
The camel finally gave in to exhaustion and crashed on the ground. The Peddler slid down the camel's back, and skidded to a halt, as he straightened himself out. Then his attention was drawn to somebody, as he smiled and greeted, "Ahh! Salam and good evening to you worthy friend. Please, please come closer." But suddenly, an unforeseen force shoved right into his face, smooshing to against a surface like he was in front of glass, as he mumbled, "Too close! A little too close!" the force backed up away from him, as he straightened himself out and sighed in relief, "There!"
He strode over to his camel and smiled, "Welcome to the city of Agrabah." The man looked deadly serious and mysterious, as he cloaked his lower face, and lit a match, "City of Mystery." And reverted to his happy self, as he hugged his confused camel, "Of Enchantment." And then pulled a rope, causing the stuff on the camel to fall harmlessly off him, and fold into a stand, as the Peddler stepped to the counter, smirking, "And the finest merchandise this side of the river Jordan! On sale today! Come on down."
The Peddler then took down a brass Hookah, as he smiled, "Look at this! Yes! Heheh." He demonstrated the Hookah's many uses, even as much as sticking a potato in it, and making fries. "Combination hookah and coffee maker, also makes julienne fries." He then swatted the fries, away as he demonstrated the Hookah's durability and warranty. "Will not break!" he guaranteed as he tapped it on the table, "Will not…" but then it fell apart, as the Peddler frowned, "It broke."
The then rummaged around, and became very surprised, as he pulled out a plastic Tupperware container. "Oooh! Look at this." He examined it carefully as he commented, "I have never seen one of these intact before." He looked to whomever he was making a deal with, as he guaranteed, "This is the famous Dead Sea Tupperware. Just listen." He opened the lid, and made a raspberry sound, and smirked, "Ah! Still good."
However, the customer seemed less excited, and walked away, but the Peddler stopped him in time, "Wait! Don't Go!" The customer stopped, as the Peddler slyly smirked, "I can see you're only interested in the acceptionally rare. Then I think you'd would be more interested in… these."
The Peddler then pulled out two objects of interest. One of them was a brass but still cleaned oil lamp. The other object was of strange design; it was a dagger of sorts. It was a mildly long Arabian dagger, with an almost translucent topaz blade. The hilt of the blade was a stylized golden one, with the hanlde being encased in vine like designs. The handle was made of a strong glass, with a ruby red gem on the bottom, and in the glass handle … was sand.
"Do not be fooled by their commonplace appearances," the Peddler explained. "Like so many things, it is not what outside, but what is inside that counts." The Peddler then took notice that the occupant This is no ordinary lamp, nor is this an ordinary dagger. They once changed the courses of the lives of two young men. Young men, who, like this lamp and dagger, were more than what they seemed. Diamonds in the rough."
The Peddler smirked, as he asked, "Perhaps you would like to hear the tale?" The figure nodded, as the Peddler looked up at the approaching dusk, "It begins on a dark night. Where two dark men wait… with each sharing a single dark purpose."
In the Arabian Desert, the Moon shined over the great sandy dune desert far and wide away from any civilization. But the view was not what was getting most attention. For standing on the side to where the tallest dune lay at, two figures sat atop two horsed, who looked like they were dressed for Arabian politics.
There on a horse, was a tall and very slender, bony man dressed in extravagant clothing. He was Arabic in origin, pale but slightly tanned showing that he lived out in Saudi Arabia, but he spent most of his time in the shadows, haughty eyebrows, brown eyes, and had a twisted, black goatee and a faint mustache, as well as grey eyeliner. He wore a black business suit with red sleeves and black cuffs, and black shoes, with red trimming, a red sash around his waist going down to his greave, a black cape with the inside being red as well. And to finish his look was a black and red turban. Perched on his shoulder was a slender Scarlet macaw, with red feathers, and blue tail feathers as well as blue finger feathers, and a yellow beak.
Accompanying them on another horse, was another Arabic individual. He was no older than a teenager, pale but slender, with black hair as a few bangs stuck out of his black and blue turban, he wore a blue and grey Arabic robe business outfit, with a black and brown sash tied around his waist going down to his knees, a black camp with a shawl scarf nearly covering his neck. And finally, he had only on his right hand, a large brown gauntlet glove with black trim.
Whatever these two were up to this dark night… it was evident that it was a dark purpose.
Riding towards them, a small thief dressed in ragged clothes, and an very unclean and unshaven fellow at that. He hopped off the horse to greet the two, who didn't seem rather happy to see him.
The Man sneered at the thief, "You… are late."
The thief bowed his head in apology, "A thousand apologies, O' Impatient One."
"You have it then?" the other man asked.
The thief smirked prideful as he rummaged through his vest, "Well, I had ta slit a few throats…" and yanked out what appeared to be half of a golden scarab broche, "… but I got it." And just before the older man could take it, the thief pulled back, shaking his finger and holding out his hand, "Ah-ah-ah. First things first. Where's my gold?" But then suddenly, a black fast blur shot at his hand, nearly snapping it off, as he flinched back, looking at what had snapped at his hand in fright.
There, floating around the young man, a grayish flying eel slithered around its master. And in its mouth, was the other half of the broche. The snake then obediently placed the broche in the young man's gloved right hand as he took it. He then handed the piece to the older man, who pulled out of his cloaked cape, the other half of the scarab broche.
"Trust me, my pungent friend…" the elder man replied, his smile and face appearing as he brought the two pieces nearly close together, "You'll get what's coming to you."
"What's coming to you! Rhak!" The red parrot squawked.
Everyone watched as they saw her bring the two pieces together. They were so close to each other, others could smell the tension in the air as they waited for whatever would happen. And then, at the final moment, she clicked them together making the butterfly broche whole once again. And just as that happened, the broche lit up brightly, and its wings began to flap rapidly, coming to life after so long separated. It then flew out of the man's hands, flying around them, and then finally shooting forward at rapid speed, nearly disappearing from sight.
The older man readied his horse, shouting, "Quickly! Follow the trail!"
Not arguing with him, the thief and the younger fellow chased after the older man. Now it was a race of the four after a speeding living piece of jewelry.
What felt like a few hours, the three individuals found that it had stopped at a mountainside near a large dune. There, the scarab stopped near the top, and split in two. But it didn't fall to the ground lifeless, but instead shot into the side of the wall, as the three stopped. They looked up, but then a great rumbling was heard from where the two halves embedded themselves into the sandy hillside. Suddenly, an earthquake shook all around them, forcing them to fall on their butts, as they saw the sandy hill shooting forward, taking shape. After the winds and sand stopped swirling and flying all over the place, the three took witness as to what had transpired. There, formed from the sand, a giant tiger's head, with its giant gnaw opened up to reveal light down below. Looking rather realistic and for the eyes, swirling energies formed around the two halves of the scarab broche.
As they all began to stand back up again, the older man smiled in triumph at this accomplishment. "At last," the man whispered in accomplished pride as his grin showed, but not in malice but in this sight, "After all my years in searching… the Cave of Wonders."
The parrot squawked, "Rack! Cave of Wonders!"
The younger man's smile was smaller, but his hunger for power dripped with every word he spoke out of, "And within it, the greatest power ever known in the Persian Kingdoms, and that of all Arabia."
"By Allah," the thief whispered in awe.
However, the man's smile disappeared as his serious face showed, glaring at the thief. He grabbed him by the collar of his vest, and demanded from him with an icy snake glare, "Now remember: bring me the lamp. The rest of any treasure you find in there is yours, but the lamp… is mine."
He then threw the weasely thief aside as he steadied his pace, and snickered in a greedy manner as he waltzed over to the open gnaw of the head. As he did so, the man's macaw squawked out, "RACK! The lamp! The lamp!" but then the macaw had to contort his face in disgusted disapproval as he looked to the man and asked, "Sheez, Jafar. Where'd you dig this bozo up?" But all he got was a whispered shush from his companion.
The weasel had made his way up to the lip of the tiger cave's mouth, and took a good gander down yonder cave throat. The bottom of the throat was a single red dot, stretching downward a darkened stairway leading downward. Gulping, and using much of his greed-induced courage, the thief was about to venture down the throat. Until the cavern roared to life, spitting him out as everyone took notice of the next transpired event.
The cave's head had come to life, and spoke out with its lips moving, "WHO DISTURBS MY SLUMBER?"
Startled at first, the thief bowed his head, in trying to get into good favors with the now living head, "It… it is I, Cassim. A humble thief."
The Head snarled as he replied, "KNOW THIS: ONLY TWO MAY ENTER HERE. TWO WHOSE WORTH LIES FROM WITHIN." this in turn earned much confused stares to everyone as they looked for the answer to that, until the head finally finished, "THE DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH."
Cassim shrank back in defeat, and looked to Jafar and his companions, shrugging that it was impossible. However, the icy death glare said no to this as he hissed, "What are you waiting for? Go on."
The thief gulped as he hesitantly moved back towards the open mouth. As he stepped further towards it, he could hear the breathing of the mouth as he neared further. Finally, he climbed back up the lip and looked down the stairwell. He lifted his foot as he gently took his first step towards going down the stairs. When he took the first step, he opened his eyes, looking around and saw nothing happened. He sighed in relief, letting his shoulders slump in relaxation. Unfortunately, it was short lived. The mouth roared and shook, making Cassim's fears come back as he screamed out. He raced for the mouth, but it was no use, as the cave's mouth closed up, and the cave was swallowed back into the mountain, sending dust and wind push the others back, and the two pieces of the broche fell back down to the others, as the cave's last words were, "SEEK OUT THE DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH…"
After the dust had settled, the others were getting up, now reduced to two without their dead thief. The macaw was the first to berate out in frustration as he scolded, "I don't believe it. I just don't believe it! We're never gonna get a hold of that stupid lamp!"
"Never get the lamp, never get the lamp," the eel hissed in broken-English, as he slithered back to his master's shoulders.
"Seriously, I agree with Xerxes. Just this once. Let's just forget it," the macaw complained, as he suddenly pulled off falling feathers, "Look at this! Look at this. I'm so ticked off, that I'm molting."
"Patience, Iago, patience," Jafar reassured her associate as Xerxes slithered to the boy, giving back the halves of the broche that returned after the cave's mouth disappeared back into the sands, "It seems that Cassim or any other is obviously less than worthy."
"That would be no surprise to me," the young boy stated as he scratched his head, not showing much sympathy for the thief, "He was practically a worthless, no-good villain. No wonder he got swallowed up like he did."
Iago just huffed at this as she continued to complain, "Oh, well that's a great surprise! That doesn't give us much of a clue to figuring out the mystery. The Mandarin's woken up, much to your Hun contacts back in China! If we don't get that spear piece from the Hourglass of the Gods, we're gonna be Chinese Food! What are we gonna do? We've got a huge problem; a huge…!"
And was silenced by Jafar as he covered closed his beak, giving Jafar a moment of silence as she stated, "Yes. Only two can enter. We just have to find these two; these… Diamonds in the Rough."
Next Chapter: One Jump Ahead; Riff Raff, Street Rats with Much More