Last Chance Ranch, Calatia (Noon)-
"Why doesn't your husband try to get the horses back, Mrs. Chance?" Kevin asked.
"Please, Medila," Link's mother said. "Arn did try to go after the horses the first few times. He went to the athorities, but they weren't much help either. I'm afraid those Gerudos are just too good."
Kevin and Mike looked at each other. "Gerudos?" Kevin asked. "Didn't Lana say she was going to Gerudo Valley with Zelda? In the meantime, the Gerudos are stealing from Link's parents..."
"I'm starting to think we may get some action after all," Mike said.
"Oh... but they might come back..." He pulled out his warp opener. "Mike, I'll be right back." A warp opened obligingly, and Kevin stepped into it. In minutes, the warp opened back out, letting Kevin out. He was followed by Stacey, Rick, Romeo, and Julius. "Medila, this is Stacey Anderson, Richard Walker, Romeo Roberts, and Julius Jones," Kevin pointed to each individual in turn. "Stace, Rick, Romeo, Julius, this is Medila Chance."
Rick held out a hand, "Link's mother?"
"Yes," Medila said, curtly.
Kevin turned to face the four that had come with him. "Guys, word of advice. When Arn Chance comes back... don't even mention..."
"What's going on?" Arn's voice demanded. "Who in blazes are these people?" His sweaty form rumbled in through the door.
"Uh... hi!" Kevin clipped what he had been about to say. "Mike and I are going after the thieves. I thought you might need some help in repairs and in case the thieves came back."
Rick stepped forward. "Cool. Never thought I'd ever get to actually meet Li- OUCH! Kevin, what was that for?"
"Sorry, Rick. Didn't mean to kick you." Yeah right. "Clumsy me."
Arn frowned. "Okay. I'll set you guys to work after lunch."
"We've totally snarffed earlier," Stacey said.
"We've already had lunch," Rick translated. Kevin walked out of the kitchen, motioning for the others to follow. Once outside, Rick faced Kevin. "Okay, Keene. What's up?"
"Mentioning his name within his father's hearing could be hazardous to your health," Kevin said.
"He trashed a communication box at the slightest hint of him," Mike added.
"So whatever you do," Kevin warned, "don't mention his name. Don't mention him at all."
"Julius, bless your ignorant soul. Shut up."
Gerudo Valley, Border Between Calatia and Hyrule (Early Evening)-
"Is it just me, or are all the guys we've seen so far really slaves?" Mike whispered to Kevin. It had taken them a good deal of time getting into the Gerudo Fortress, and several times they were nearly caught. It hadn't taken long to figure out that it was the red haired women that they needed to be most concerned about.
"No," Kevin whispered back. "I've seen a few men not doing slavework." He didn't bother adding that those few men who weren't working as slaves seemed about as dangerous as the red haired women. But the thing that got him the most was, even though the men were all vastly different... they all had green eyes. "Someone's coming."
They ducked behind some crates. Slowly pacing down the hall was one lone man. His hair seemed to have been singed, then trimmed. A large protion of his face was hidden by a sort of bone ribbed mask. The strange jewel clip other Gerudos wore on their forheads adorned his hair instead. For the most part, he wore the same armor most of the other non-slave men were wearing, except that instead of the loose fabric under the armor... he wore a white body suit. He was perhaps the second male Kevin had seen in Gerudo Valley wearing a rich cloak of red and woven gold... and the only person in the entire place carrying a broadsword.
The man reached where Kevin and Mike hid, stopped and looked around. Kevin saw his green eyes looking around wildly. But then the man shurgged and continued on. "That was close," Kevin muttered.
"That was a Hylian," Mike said, lowly.
"What? Couldn't get past the fact he had earrings, or what? How many other humans do you know of who have pointed ears?"
"Well... yeah.... Let's get moving before that guy comes back."
Gerudo Valley, Border Between Calatia and Hyrule (Early Evening)-
Link frowned as he continued down the hall. He could have sworn he had heard someone. Maybe it was the clip-on earrings fooling him. Or maybe it was the slight headache he was begining to develop. He walked into the chamber given over to him, looking down and rubbing his temples. When he looked up...
"I should not be unexpected," the blue haired woman said.
Link silently shut the door. "I'm amazed you recognize me in this gettup. I don't recognize me in this gettup. I don't suppose you're here to guide me through more wonderful moments in my life," he said rather sarcastically.
"I will not disappoint," the blue haired woman said cryptically.
Zora's Domain, Hyrule (Early Afternoon- March 3, 1989)-
The underground lake was unusually calm.
'Was' being the operative word.
The fourteen year old boy clad in Calatian garb spun his head around to the source of the shout. He looked around, at first his brown eyes caught nothing. Then he caught the image of Princess Ruto just under the water surface. She climbed out of the water, getting up right in front of Link.
By golly! Ruto was one good-looking fish! "Ruto," Link greeted.
"Link, I just knew you'd come!" Ruto exclaimed. She took his hand and pulled him along behind her, along the lake's shore. "I don't know how you knew of our hour of need, but I'm so glad you're here."
Hour of need? Uh oh... "Just doing my job," Link assured her.
Ruto pulled him over to where an altar stood in shallow water. "See this?" she asked him rhetorically. "Our most sacred treasure use to stand here."
"What happened?" Link asked.
"Gerudos took it," Ruto said simply. She clasped Link's hand in both her own. "They live in the desert to the west of here. We can't go into the desert, there is no water. We are Zora, we need water. Zora's Saphire, which they took, makes the water clean and pure. Link... we can't LIVE in this water! Look at it!"
Link took a look at the calm waters... and indeed it looked disgusting. It was slightly offcolor... maybe brown, maybe yellow... and seemed to have an oilslick covering the surface. Even Ruto didn't look too good. That was something that called out to his adventurous spirit. "Hey, Princess. I promise I'll get it back." Even the promise seemed to mean a great deal to her. "Now, which way did they go?"
Gerudo Valley, Border Between Calatia and Hyrule (Late Afternoon- March 3, 1989)-
Which was how a small, rather inexperianced, fourteen year old boy found himself sneaking into a fortress full of female theives. He of course had heard of Gerudos before, he had to be pretty deaf, dumb, and blind not to know about their raids on Last Chance Ranch- though personally, he had never seen the Gerudos durring their raids.
He almost fell over upon his first look at the Gerudos. Beautiful, exotic, red haired females... of exactly the same variety as he had seen on his first trip into Hyrule. Luckily, he kept his balance, and didn't alert them to his presence. While he watched, thoughts of revenge sprung into his mind.
Thoughts of revenge turned into thoughts of escape.
Those thoughts were short lived at the sight of the scimitar pointed right at him when he turned around. Dispite not having made a sound, he was caught anyway. Wait, I recognize that one! She's one of the ones who was with that monster... She was in that party that killed Uncle Acts. In a flash, Link jumped up and had the woman by the throat. Completely caught off guard, the woman stumbled backwards, falling under Link's weight.
A second Gerudo dashed up behind and smacked Link with her pike. He was thrown up against the wall. In the next instant, half a dozen various weapons were pointed at him, making sure he had no further plans of moving. The next part was almost a blur. He was aware of being pushed, pulled, and shoved, but not where.
One final shove, and he was sent cascading into a lonely prison cell. Most of the women walked off, laughing at their catch of the day. One stayed behind, to guard the cell... and to add insult to injury... it was the one who had found him in the first place. She glared at him, he glared harder back. His look said it all... he would have enjoyed tearing her from limb to limb. Her look in return simply said she would have loved to see him try.
Afternoon gave way to evening, evening to night. Robbed of light, Link no longer could glare at his cell guard. Soon, he grew tired and fell asleep. But like most people sleeping on baren rock prison floors... his sleep was sporatic at best. Up before dawn, and the guard was still there. The day advanced, the guard remained. Without food or water, sitting in a cell that was begining to act like an oven... Link began entertaining ideas that maybe he was going to die.
Through the rest of the day, Link laid in the shade along the wall, even though the wall itself was hot. The second day followed like the first, with the exception that his thirst had become ever nagging. He pressed himself against the wall. Even though it was hot, it felt cool against his dehydrated skin. The second day rolled into the third. His tongue had swelled from lack of moisture, peeling and cracking. His lips were so cracked, they bleed from simple movement. His skin was in flaky burnt patchwork.
It was then that the Gerudos came for him, when he was weak from dehydration. They bounded him and dragged him like a dog, pulling him through long corridors to finally wind up in a room filled with candles surrounding a stone slab. To this, he was pushed onto.
"You made the mistake of trying to sneak in," one Gerudo was saying. Link barely heard her, and he certainly didn't understand her. His mind was on the misery his dehydrated body was going through. The Gerudo snapped her fingers and a cup of water was brought to Link's bleeding lips. His tongue rejoiced by returning to its proper size, but the water wasn't nearly enough to satisfy what he had lost in the last three days.
But at least now he was able to pay attention to what the Gerudo was saying.
Another Gerudo had to lift up his head just so he could look at the Gerudo talking to him. She held a long needle up to his face, making sure he got a good look at it and its contents. It was a milky white liquid. "Those who sneak in become slaves. This is Gerudo Serum. It lets our slaves live in the desert like we do, and it marks them as ours." With one swift jab, the Gerudo stuck the needle into the side of Link's neck. It stayed there for all the long while the Gerudo squeezed its contents through the needle into Link's blood.
He felt like he was on fire. His mouth opened, he wanted to scream in pain... but it was silent, he couldn't get any sound to emerge. He jerked back and forth as spasms wracked his body.
It was only after long hours of this when Link realized the pain was gone. But he was still dehydrated, and the tremendious fits had left him even weaker than before. He had to be carried to yet another room, here he laid on a stone palate, a male slave tending to him. The slave helped him with the water until Link was able to manage it himself.
"You'll live," the slave said, "unfortunatly. Believe me, it would have been better to have died than to survive the transformation."
"Tran...sss...for...mmmm...a...tio...nn?" Link's speaking skills weren't yet back up to speed, he had to carefully form even that one word.
The slave nodded. "The business with the needle and all. In one big rush it changes your body so you can live out here like they do. It hurts like the dickens, but it works. Over the next few months, it'll randomly pick out some of your more prominant traits and enhance them. It has side effects- blistering headaches that continue unless you take the goopy grey stuff that only the Gerudos make, their way of making sure we stay with them... increase in metabolism... green eyecolor... inability to procreate..."
Link stared hard at the slave.
"...or at least none of the slaves have had the chance to try to procreate... that could be it." The slave frowned before continuing. "Slaves here are nameless. If you can win your freedom, they give you a name and let you go. Before I was caught, I was... no... still am... Dumas. I'm not allowed to go by it, but that is my name."
"Llll..innnnk..." he mangled his own name.
Dumas nodded. "Go to sleep... tomorrow you'll discover why you should have died rather that live through the transformation...
Gerudo Valley, Border Between Calatia and Hyrule (Morning- March 7, 1989)-
A Gerudo woman woke him up in the morning. "You are my slave now, you were given to me," the woman said without preamble. "I am Nabooru. You will come with me." The notion of getting up seemed rediculous to Link... he still hurt from yesterday. When he made no effort to move, Nabooru grabbed him and pulled him up.
Not exactly willingly, not exactly obedeantly, Link followed Nabooru. They entered the first real comfortable room Link had seen since coming here. "Do not leave my quarters," Nabooru said, and left, shutting the door behind her.
Leaving the quarters immediatly took priority in his head once she said that. But the lack of energy his own body wanted to produce told him just how bad an idea that was. Hoping she had nothing against sleeping... he headed for the nearest palate.
He glanced at a mirror on his way over, almost passing it completely. Link did a doubletake. Were his eyes decieving him? They weren't brown anymore... they were green!
Gerudo Valley, Border Between Calatia and Hyrule (Late Evening)-
Kevin and Mike had found a place to hole themselves up... at least until the nearby group of Gerudos went away. They didn't seem interested in going away thought...
"Is it true Lusus came back?" one red haired Gerudo asked.
"Yeah... And I still can't believe Nabooru and Rauriece actually went out and asked him to return. You'd think someone like him would say no.. but he is here. I saw him earlier today."
"Is he still as good as he was back then?"
"Oh, Rauriece says that his aim is even better now than when he left. Serum's still working on him, I guess."
Kevin and Mike glanced at each other. They had no idea what the Gerudo women were talking about. They remained silent, while the Gerudo asked, "Does he still blame..."
"Shame, he might be so much better if he forgot about it."
"If he is correct, then he does have plenty of reason to hate us, aside from the transformation."
Now this was getting interesting. Someone who hated the Gerudo returned willingly? Why? It didn't make sence. Kevin decided he was definitly going to have to find this Lusus person.
"I still think it might be better..."
"Regardless..." the one Gerudo inturupted the other, "I hope Nabooru's right. Lusus may be the only person to bring Resurgam back to reality. If he can't then we're one dead race..."