Last Chance Ranch, Calatia (Mid Morning)-
"We ain't seen visitors for a while," a fuzzy haired man said, leaning on a fence and chewing on the end of a piece of grass in his mouth.
"Where are we?" Kevin asked.
"Last Chance Ranch," the man replied.
"Optimistic name," Mike muttered.
"Why do you call it that?" Kevin asked.
The man grinned. "This here ranch called that 'cause the day his brother decided to be a woodmonger, Arn Chance, the boss, was the last one left on the ranch."
"Last Chance... I get it," Mike said. He looked over at Kevin. "I know that look, what's on your mind."
Kevin frowned. "Link never mentioned anything about a ranch."
The man's eyebrows raised. "You two know the boss's eldest son? Who in Vid-land are you two?"
"Kevin Keene, and this is Mike Vincent."
The man's eyebrows returned from his hairline. "Ah. Yeah, I remember he mentioned you two several times on his last visit home. I'm Theodore Striker, you can call me Ted. I'm one of the Ranch Hands."
Kevin took the chance to look around. It seemed the typical ranch, a little bit wooded, a little bit open plains. "Nice place. Link mentions us to you, but not you to us... that's wierd."
"Nah," Ted continued chewing on the grass. "Doesn't come as a surprise to me. He and the boss aren't exactly set. First chance he got, he left. There did seem hope when things softened between the two some- around the kid's 11th birthday, but there's been some things that built the wall higher between the two. He comes home every now an' then, but it's to see the lady boss. It's stone cold between the kid and the boss."
Mike leaned over to Kevin, "Why am I suddenly reminded of Spock and Sarak?"
Kevin dismissed Mike's question. "Is there any trouble?" he asked Ted.
"Not that I know of, why?"
"We traced a no message distress call to here."
"Well, we ain't even got anything to make a call with. Let's ask the boss about it." Ted straightened up and motioned for Kevin and Mike to follow. He led the way into a wooden shed that looked like it was about as old as the dirt. "Hey, Boss! I got some kids who followed a distress call here."
"Distress call?" One man looked up from where he sat, leaning over a bucket of water and various dirty and greasy nuts and bolts. He was running a grease spotted rag over one bolt, removing black grease from it. His hair was thinning, and a bit grey... but the resemblance to Link was obvious. This had to be Arn Chance. "We ain't been sending distress calls."
"Fact is," Kevin shrugged, "the N Team recieved a no message distress call which we've traced back to this ranch."
Arn frowned. "This better not be a prank."
"If it is," Mike muttered, "it's not a very good one."
Arn suddenly slammed down the rag and bolt. "Damn! I bet I know what it is..." He got up and walked with a quick pace into the ranch house. He stormed into the parlor. In one corner sat a metalic box, very much out of place. It was activated. "I should have never agreed to let that boy install it here. Madila!"
A woman walked into the room, wiping flour off her hands with a towel. "You called, dear?"
"Have you activated that thing?" Arn pointed to the metalic box.
"No, honey. No one's touched it since..." She was cut off when Arn grabbed the box in his strong hands and yanked it out of the wall. It crashed into the wall and fell to a crumpled heep on the floor.
"We will accept no more things from that liar, you hear me?" Arn bellowed before storming out the door.
Kevin and Mike blinked in startlement. Ted wasn't all that startled. "I'll... uh... be with the boss," Ted said before walking out.
"That's way worse than Spock and Sarak," Mike said.
Kevin looked at Medila, "If I'm not being rude, might I ask: huh?"
Medila sat down, and motioned for the other two to sit also. "I'm sorry you had to see that. It's a bit of a feud between family members. My husband and my elder son have some unresolved issues. It only recently got worse when my younger son never came home."
"Jayce, right?" Kevin asked, remembering Simon's account of his adventure into the dreams of the Wind Fish.
Medila nodded. "Do I know you?"
"We're friends of Link."
"He's told you about this ranch?" Medila asked.
"Actually," Kevin glanced quickly at Mike. "Actually... he didn't. He's never spoken of growing up on a ranch. We didn't know he had a brother until Simon Belmont met him- except that I think Zelda said he introduced himself as the oldest child. He once mentioned going home, but never said to where. Our only clue this was the place was the fact that it's called Last Chance Ranch."
"Why did he," Mike pointed out the door, indicating Arn, "call Link a liar."
"Because my son says he works for the princess of Hyrule, and recently a member of the N Team. Unlikely and improbable."
"But he does work for Princess Zelda," Kevin frowned. "And Princess Lana made the two of them members."
Medila cocked her head. "Did he send you two here to say all this stuff?"
"We followed a no message distress call," Kevin looked over at the junk heep that had once been an operational communication box. "It stopped when that thing was ripped out of the wall."
"Strange," Medila tilted her head. "It's been silent all these years." She turned her head as shouting filtered into the room from outside. Evidently, she recognized it. "Aw crud. The Gerudo are back."
"Gerudo?" Kevin asked, unfamiliar with the word.
"What are Gerudo?" Mike asked, facing the same problem as Kevin.
North Castle, Hyrule (Mid Morning)-
"Doof is still in his lab?" Link practically screached. "Why didn't someone go get him?" The entire east wing had lost all power, they were standing in the dark, despite it being mid morning.
"He wasn't in danger until the Mushroom Hall caught fire," one of the sentries reporting to Link said. The Mushroom Hall was so named because of it's portraits of various famous figures from the Mushroom Kingdom.
"You guys are unbelievable sometimes," Link grumbled. He shoved the Gerudo, who's are he had been holding, into the sentry's grasp. "Hold her." He turned and ran down the hall, almost immediatly dissappearing into the darkness. The green jerkin and floppy cap back in his bedroom and not on his person... the heat prickled his skin.
He opened Doof's lab door, stumbling backwards away from the billowing black smoke. Against better judgement, he strode in. "Cough! Cough! Doof!?" Link bellowed to be heard above the roaring flames. "Doof!?! Cough!" This fire definitely was not good for his health. He stumbled inward, trying to make out where Doof would be. "Doof?!?... Doof!!!"
Doof was uncontious and pinned under a bookshelf that the flames hadn't gotten to yet. He was also on the otherside of a wall of flames from Link. Link unsheathed his sword, slashing at a shelf which fell and smacked out just enough of the fire for him to get through to Doof. He dashed over to the other side and pulled Doof out from under the bookshelf.
With Doof in his arms, Link dashed back to the otherside of the flame wall. A section of timber fell in one corner, catching Link's attention, holding him still. That was a mistake. Link stood still long enough that the support timbers above him collapsed on him, making him drop Doof. His skin stung and singed, the beam on top of him was burning.
As if by mirracle, someone was there pulling the burning timber off of him. That person helped Link up and helped Link to drag Doof out of the lab. Once out of the lab, Doof was deposited to one of the awaiting sentries. Link had to lean heavily on another sentry just to remain upright. They were helped away from the room and out of the castle as Hylian fire fighters rushed, finally able to get to this area. Only once they were out of the castle was Link able to take a look at his benifactor.
As fate would have it, it was the Gerudo woman.
Link gently sat down. His skin stung, his brown undershirt and pants were sliced in the fight with the Gerudo, and burned heavily by the timber... his boots didn't even look like boots anymore. He looked at the Gerudo, her white tube top and genie pants were now stained in various spots with soot. "Why did you save me, Gerudo?"
"It would hardly benifit me," she started, "to come here looking for you then to let you die in a fire."
"Speaking of the fire..."
"I swear I had nothing to do with it."
"Why should I believe you?" Link barely managed that out of his mouth.
The Gerudo looked at Link, completely serious, "Because you are Lusus Naturae. Trustworthy Gerudo member. You earned Gerudo rank no other transformed has earned, and that earns you truth. I give you the truth freely."
Link coughed massivly. Great, just die of smoke inhailation, why don't you? He still didn't trust the Gerudo, and he certainly didn't believe what she was telling him.
"Please help," the Gerudo begged.
A Gerudo begging for help struck Link as odd. "And you are..." he prompted her to fill in the blank.
"Rauriece. Nabooru sent me here to fetch you."
"Please," Rauriece begged again. "The others have captured Shiek and Hiefie and there's no reason for them to. They're being held prisoner by Resurgam. Please! Resurgam has become strange lately. I think he's too obseased with his personal quest."
Link stared at her. "He? Don't you Gerudo only have one male per hundred years?"
Rauriece nodded. "Yes. Resurgam is from the outside. Dragmire found him and brought him in. He has taken over Dragmire's place when he left. Oh, please help, Lusus. Resurgam's obsession will be the ruin of us."
"What is he obsessed about?" Link asked.
Last Chance Ranch, Calatia (Late Morning)-
Kevin and Mike had put up a good fight against the Gerudo thieves... but they were just flat outnumbered. In the end, the ranch lost three horses, though Arn assured them they would have gotten away with more had the two not been there to help. Kevin and Mike had offered to go after the horses... Arn assured them that it wouldn't matter... the Gerudos were good, and they didn't come often, and never took more than six at a time.
Arn and his men set off to repairing the damage. Kevin and Mike were once again inside the house with Madila. Kevin took the time to look around. This is wierd. The only evidence I see that Link ever lived here is the broken communication box and the family portrait with his face scratched out. "If you don't mind my asking," Kevin looked at Medila, "why do they hate each other?"
They were in the kitchen, Medila had resumed cooking. "Hate might be the wrong word. Misunderstand might be closer. They did seem to come to an understanding after my son's 11th birthday. Four months to the day after his birthday, September 9th, he left with full farewell from Arn. Nearly ten months passed before we saw him again. He returned with a wild tale of having been pulled by an owl into the dreams of a whale with wings... Wind Fish I think he said... and having been rescued from the middle of the ocean, after waking the whale, by a clipper."
"Fingernail clipper?" Mike asked.
Kevin frowned. "No, you dork. A clipper is a fast ship."
"Anyway," Medila continued, "the tale was so wild, my husband didn't believe him."
"The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening," Mike quiped. "It did happen."
"He left again," Medila continued again. "This time he didn't come back until June of '90... or (appropriate year to be inserted later) Hyrule Reckoning. He said he was hired by the princess of Hyrule to guard a Triforce, and that he and the princess defeated an evil wizard. Arn nearly ran him out of the house, the tale was so outlandish. Link was ready to leave and never come back. But I think something happened to him that made him want to come back because on November 6th, '93, he did. He claimed to be an N Team member and that something the Triforce did punched holes in his memory. It was so ludicious, Arn demanded Link leave. Shortly after, something attacked the village and Jayce vanished. Neither of my sons have returned since... and my husband blames Link for it."
"Tough luck," Mike muttered.
"My husband also blames Link for not keeping his promise."
"What promise?" Kevin asked.
"On the day he left, he promised my husband that he would get revenge on the gang that killed my husband's brother. He has yet to do that."
"So Arn thought Link was lying," Kevin concluded, "and the gap between them widdened."
Lake Hylia, Hyrule (Early Afternoon)-
Maybe Link was crazy to go along, he certainly felt that way. He didnt' know what he was thinking when he agreed to go with Rauriece to meet Nabooru by the lake. Like most Gerudo women... Nabooru was early. "Lusus," Nabooru greeted. She was garbed like most Gerudo women, tube top and genie pants, heavy makeup and massive jewlery. Her flaming red hair was longer than most Gerudo women, but not uncomfortably so. The biggest difference between her and anyother Gerudo woman was that her lips were small and attactive, not big and lumbering like the others.
I've seen her before, Link thought. Not along with the group that killed his uncle, that was for sure... but somewhere... Strangly, when he looked at here, he couldn't help but asign kindness and goodness to her... Certainly she did look almost exactly like every other Gerudo... but experience told him otherwize... Yeah! Experience I don't remember!
"Is there something wrong?" Nabooru asked.
Link dismounted from Cathrine, his horse which he had rode to the lake on. His usual brown undershirt and pants had been replaced by a white body suit- the former being too badly slashed and burnt to be worn. His boots with the purple coverings had been replaced by simpler bronze colored boots, buckled instead of tied at the top. The fire had left nothing in his room intact, and his jerkin and floppy cap had been in his room. They had been replaced by a tunic and longer floppy cap... both green, of course. No one had yet found his armbands... so he was wearing leather fingerless gloves. His old belt was burned, so a new red one took it's place. It wasn't fitted to carry the sword, so the sword was strapped to Link's back.
His hair had required fast and creative trimming, since the fire singed a lot of it, especially in the back. It was parted in the middle and swept to both sides. The back now only came to the middle of his neck instead of somewhere on his back. The locks of hair he let hang in front of his pointed ears had to be trimmed to his jawline, they too suffered singes.
One step forward. "Some time ago, I was given knowledge in a rather unorthodox fashion, and it nearly killed me. To remain alive, I was forced to forget some things in my past. I have holes in my memory, some filled back in... I never know what I remember and what I don't... and I barely remember you."
"I've heard rumors to that effect," Nabooru stated. "You don't remember your time in Gerudo Valley, do you?" Link shook his head, so she continued. "Might as well get the biggest shock out of the way first... We captured you when you were fourteen. You were transformed with Gerudo Serum and given to me as a slave."
"I obviously didn't stay there."
Nabooru chuckled. "No, you didn't. We only had you for five months before you were able to win your freedom. I remember that day, 6th of August, year '89..."