The Legend of Zelda: The Alternate Link

Chapter 10: Ambushed

Just outside the quiet village of Ordon a certain pirate captain was faced with a decision. Tetra swiftly debated whether to take action. The reminder of Aryll being Link's little sister was all she needed to animate her. She was about to jump down but then took into account how far away the ground was and decided that it wouldn't be such a good idea. She knew she was taking too long and had to do something now if was going to do anything. That's when she noticed the vine dangling in front of her like a rope and she got an idea.

Meanwhile the older boy had sensed an unknown presence behind them. Thinking that it was the troublemaker from before, he whirled around to come face-to-face with the monster who had its club raised, poised to strike Aryll down. As if in slow motion he pushed Aryll out of harm's way and drew his weapon quickly. He stepped forward and brought his sword down on the creature and it fell back with a cry. At the same moment that this was occurring Tetra had just jumped onto the vine and swung in the monster's direction. Imagine her surprise when she saw that the monster had been replaced with the other Link. It was too late to turn back now or even slow down. Her momentum wouldn't allow her do anything but sail through the air until she hit something. She crashed into the other Link, who yelled in shock, and they both tumbled to the ground.

Link leaped to his feet and picked up his fallen weapon before turning its shining blade on Tetra, who had her dagger drawn. He rushed at her, clearly interpreting her was a threat and not an acquaintance. Tetra's eyes widened in disbelief and she dodged, the honed metal just missing her by a couple of inches.

"What the heck is your problem?!" Tetra exclaimed, furious that he was attacking her when she wasn't the enemy.

"You attacked me first!" Link retorted, making a horizontal slice which Tetra evaded by back flipping out of reach.

"That was an accident!" Tetra screamed in frustration.

"How do you attack someone by accident?!" Link argued still refusing to listen to her side of the story and swinging his blade her way once again. She met it with her own and the two glared at each other, the older boy's strength clearly winning over the young pirate.

"Guys stop!" Aryll's futile cries rang out around the wood. It was if they were deaf to everything else around them and the only thing that shook them out of their personal dispute was the blare of a horn. The dueling pair turned to look, their fracas momentarily forgotten. The bokoblin-type creature had discarded its horn to the side and raised its club, squealing a battle cry.

From out from behind bushes, trees, and any other concealing object appeared an entire horde of identical looking green-skinned monsters, all equipped with clubs and advancing quickly. Tetra took care of the first one that charged her, relishing in Link's shocked face as he watched her take down the monster that he thought she was commanding. He tore his gaze away from her and to the monsters approaching him, knocking them all back with a single slice. Tetra preferred to concentrate on her own battle rather than watching the elder boy and side-stepped as the monster's spiked club occupied the place she had previously been standing. She attacked the creature while it was open and disposed of it fairly quickly.

Aryll was safely in the middle of the circle that Link and Tetra had automatically formed around her in their fighting the bokoblin-like monsters, their bodies posing as the guidelines to an invisible barrier. Link was having better luck than Tetra in defending the small girl since his blade was longer and sharper, but even with a small blade Tetra wasn't allowing any monsters to sneak past her. She had made a promise and she was going to keep it.

Tetra ducked as two monsters came from either side of her swinging their weapons as if they didn't know how to use them and caused the creatures to injure each other instead of her. She finished the job by stabbing them both before swiping her leg out and successfully tripping the nearest monster. It fell with an irritated cry and she ended its existence quickly. It was strange. Anytime a monster died they disappeared into this grayish, almost black, smoke as if they weren't tangible. They almost looked like shadows. She made a mental note to figure it out later and turned to face the next berserk enemy.

She feinted right and struck home on its left shoulder. This enraged it further and it attempted to hit her, but she attacked it again before it had a chance to do any damage. "You know what, I'm really getting sick of you freaks," Tetra sighed in exasperation, charging another one that met the same fate as its cohorts. She stole a glance over her shoulder to see how Aryll was holding up. The poor girl looked scared to tears but didn't show any sign of one.

Tetra returned her cold gaze on the next foolish challenger. It made to knock her feet out from under her by swiping low with its club, but she leaped over it and kicked the monster in the face. It screamed and stumbled back. When she landed back on her own two feet she rushed the foul creature and stabbed it where its heart would have been if it had one. It faded in the same shadow like substance as the others. She removed her weapon from the air and glanced around searching for more. However, it looked like the enemies on her side had stopped coming. She looked in Link's direction to see him finishing off the last of his enemies. Only two were still standing.

She turned to Aryll who wasn't looking as scared as before. Tetra sheathed her dagger and winked at the kid, glad to see her free from danger.

Aryll saluted, an elated expression on her childish face. In the blink of an eye her expression changed to one of fear and she screamed, "Tetra watch out!" Tetra whirled around just in time to see a club flying at her face. She ducked at the last second and tried to unsheathe her dagger only to find that it was caught in its sheathe. Her eyes widened and she rolled out of the way of the next attack figuring that she'd have to use hand to hand combat now. She leaped to her feet and spun around with her leg extended kicking the creature in the stomach. To her amazement her attack did nothing and the monster grasped her ankle in its hands and threw her up in the air.

Tetra used the time to right herself and landed on the back on the monster. Outraged it tried to throw her off, but Tetra wouldn't allow that. She finally slipped her dagger free and went to cut its shoulder. The monster jerked to the side suddenly and she automatically let go of her weapon to stay on it. It had seemed that this was exactly what the creature had been waiting for and it flipped its club around and aimed over its shoulder, catching the surprised girl in the side of the head.

Unable to hold on any longer Tetra fell to the ground, pain shooting up her left temple. Spots dotted her vision and she almost thought that she was going to faint, but she fought to regain complete consciousness. Despite her condition, she refused to be defeated by a monster as simple as this one and forced herself to her hands and knees. After all, if she didn't get up the vacuous creature would go for Aryll next and she couldn't let that happen. When she finally lifted her head she witnessed the other Link jumping in front of her and meeting the bokoblin-type monster's club with his own sword.

Aryll had picked up Tetra's dagger from where she had dropped it and kneeled down beside her, offering the weapon as if it was a consolation prize. Tetra took it solemnly and put it away. Now she was angry because that idiot had jumped in the way to protect her and by the looks of things he had beaten it already. Protecting Aryll was her job, not his. On top of that he made her look bad. She could've taken care of herself. She wasn't weak but thanks to this fight he probably thought she was.

Tetra got to her feet despite Aryll's protests that she should sit down for a while. Tetra herself didn't see the big deal, the monster had hit her in the side of the head, that was true, but it had hit her with the very tip of its weapon so the spikes hadn't touched her since they were positioned on the sides. Even so it made for a splitting headache which she chose to ignore. Link sheathed his weapon and made his way over to the two girls.

"Are you alright? You got hit pretty hard," Link asked directing his question at Tetra.

"What the heck is this?! First you attack me and now you're concerned for me? What kind of crazy person are you?" Tetra exclaimed in disbelief. She couldn't believe this guy. One moment he was out for her blood and the next he was trying to help her?! She definitely preferred her Link over this one any day. The mood swings are kind of weird. Of course she had them too but at least her mood swings made sense!

"I was confused. I thought that since you came out of nowhere and knocked me to the ground you were trying to distract me so that monster could get to Aryll," Link explained.

"I was trying to protect Aryll! I wasn't planning on tackling you to the ground. I was aiming for the monster. You just got in the way," Tetra replied haughtily, crossing her arms.

"Well sorry," Link apologized, looking mildly shocked to see her standing after the blow to the head she just took, "I can help you heal that bump on your head. There's a spring right over there," he jerked his thumb behind him, "It has healing properties."

"And I should trust you…why?" Tetra inquired raising an eyebrow in distrust.

"You should trust me because I just told you it was a misunderstanding. Besides that, you're hurt and probably going to faint any minute. I'd like to get you to the spring before that happens," Link defended, his tone serious but joking at the same time.

"You don't know that I'm going to faint. In fact, I feel fine! I can endure a lot, not like you would know anything about that," Tetra retaliated.

"Just let him take you to the spring!" Aryll interrupted, grabbing Tetra's wrist in both her hands, "I don't want to see you hurt."

Tetra looked down at Aryll about to refuse and shake the girl off, but when she looked into Aryll's pleading emerald eyes she somehow forgot how to say no. Instead she nodded and the little girl's expression brightened.

"Aryll, why don't you go back to the village and have the other kids show you around a bit," Link suggested turning to the younger of the two.

"But-" Aryll was about to argue when Tetra cut her off.

"That wasn't a suggestion. Do what he says, now," Tetra ordered, the pain in her head warning her that they shouldn't stall much longer unless she wanted to end up on the ground. Aryll bowed her head slightly in understanding and ran off towards the village. Once she was gone Link took Tetra gently but firmly by the wrist and guided her in the opposite direction. She allowed herself to be led by the older boy, masking the pain that was exploding in her head at the moment.

She had gotten extremely good at hiding her emotion. Once her mother died years ago she realized that if she was ever going to become successful she had to conceal her emotions. Emotion had been her mother's downfall and she vowed that it wouldn't be hers. No one knew this of course, which was why she preferred to keep it secret. However, if people knew her well enough, they may be able to see past the mask but only her crew could do that. Her hero was getting close though. She wondered if that was a good or bad thing.

They entered a spring that looked almost identical to Faron's. In fact, if she didn't know any better she'd say that it was Faron's. Tetra knew that it couldn't be though. Faron's spring was further into the wood over the suspension bridge. No golden light shone in this spring's crystal like water.

"So, how does this work?" Tetra asked gazing at the calm water in doubt that it could heal anything. It didn't look special but then again, looks can be deceiving. She knew everything about that.

"You just have to submerge the wound in water and the spring will do the rest. For your case it might be best to lay down. The water's shallowest near the shore, but the further in you go the deeper it gets, so be careful," Link explained, releasing his hold on her.

Tetra walked forward into the spring while Link stood back watching. She went far enough in that the water licked just above her ankles before laying down. As soon as the water hit her wound she gasped in pain. It felt as if she had been clobbered over the head again and her vision swam for a moment. Then the pain began to gradually diminish until it was just a memory. She laid there for a moment as if to confirm that it was over before sitting up. Tetra raised a hand and gingerly touched the left side of her head. There wasn't a bump present and nothing was irritated by her gentle touch. The spring had done its job.

"Better?" Link asked, smiling hopefully.

"Yeah. I'm fine now. How does it work?" Tetra whispered glancing around the spring in wonder.

Link shrugged, "In this spring resides the light spirit Ordona, so the spirit uses its magic to bless the spring.” It was silent for a moment before Link spoke up again, "Anyway, what were you doing in a tree?"

"Just hanging around," Tetra said slyly, turning her full attention on the boy a few feet away from her.

"I'm serious, what were you doing? Hiding? Spying?" Link wondered, seeming a bit agitated by the shrewdness of her answers.

She hesitated a bit before responding. If she told him that she had been spying then he probably wouldn't trust her any more than he does now, but on the other hand her entrance wasn't exactly the most reassuring that she meant no harm, so she figured that she had nothing to lose. Besides, they needed his help if they ever wanted to return home according to Faron. "You could say that I was spying," Tetra answered finally, choosing her words carefully. Before Link had a chance to voice his thoughts Tetra spoke once again. This time it was her turn to ask a question, "What's this land called?"

"Hyrule," Link replied shortly about to ask another question of his own.

"Ha! Yeah right. I'm serious," Tetra smirked, "Where are we?"

"I just told you. Hyrule," Link repeated.

"Fine; don't tell me," Tetra shrugged nonchalantly. Things weren't making any sense. He claims that this place is Hyrule but it can't be. Hyrule was drowned hundreds of years before she was even born. Then again….the Master Sword. Maybe it was Hyrule, but if it was then it couldn't be the future since he would have told her 'New Hyrule' instead of just plain 'Hyrule'. It also couldn't be the present since the land was currently buried in the ocean. That left the past as the only logical explanation, but when in the past? The Hero of Time possibly? No. It couldn't be. The stories told of a boy, a child that traveled through time. The one in front of her, while he boasted the garb of the ancient hero, he was much too old to be the boy from legend. Maybe they were so far into the past, even further than the legendary hero's, that the stories of it hadn't survived the drowning of the kingdom.

If that was the case then sharing any information about herself, the others, and where they came from would be a huge mistake. She didn't need the people of the past to be freaking out about their precious kingdom being flooded. There was also the chance that he wouldn't believe her and then they'd be labeled as insane and probably wouldn't get any help. If they really were in the past she didn't want to alter anything major since it would mess up the future, err present day… All this time talk was making her head hurt, unless that was the after effects of Ordona's healing methods.

She was so lost in thought that she didn't even realize that Link was trying to get her attention until he grabbed her shoulder and shook her slightly. "What?" she snapped shying away from his touch.

"Are you okay? You spaced out for a few seconds," Link asked, seeming concerned.

"I was just thinking. You should try it sometime," Tetra shot back, standing up and pushing past him. The lack of sleep and food wasn't doing wonders for her attitude. On top of that a growing headache pounded inside her skull. She didn't feel like being interrogated.

She heard him sigh from behind her. "Let's go to my house to talk then. You're obviously in the same situation as Aryll even if you won't admit it," Link said, jogging to catch up with her.

"What exactly did Aryll tell you?" Tetra wondered keeping her eyes trained on the path in front of her. She hoped that the kid hadn't said anything to jeopardize her plan of keeping their origins a secret. Although it occurred to her that Aryll couldn't give away too much since they hadn't told her everything about their journey. All she knew was that her brother battled monsters to save her and then she traveled with the pirates while her brother took care of some unfinished business. They hadn't told Aryll what the "important stuff" her brother had to complete before going home was to preserve her childhood. After all, Tetra and Link had had that snatched away from them. Tetra still took the blame for dragging Link and Aryll into any of it in the first place, but now she had begun to realize that they had all been doomed to this fate from the start.

"She told me that she was traveling with her brother and his friends. Then they got separated and she got lost looking for them. I tried to ask where she was when she got separated but she said that she didn't know. Are you one of her brother's friends?" Link replied.

"I am," Tetra confirmed, nodding once.

"Then do you know where you guys were when you were separated? I could take you there and help you get reunited with them," Link offered.

"Don't you know the meaning of lost? Of course I don't know where we were! I think I made that pretty clear when I asked what this land was called! Even if we did know and you took us there, it wouldn't do any good," Tetra exclaimed, making eye contact this time, "They wouldn't have stayed in the same place that we got separated."

It was silent then, the soft wind rustling the tree tops. When they made it to Link's house Tetra scaled the ladder quickly, refusing any assistance from the older boy. Aryll was nowhere in sight so it was safe to assume that she was still taking a tour of the village with the other kids. Tetra gazed around the house. It had a larger interior than she'd been expecting. A large black pot hung over the fireplace and other pieces of furniture were placed off to the right and left sides of the spacious room. A large hand-woven rug hugged the wooden floorboards. Off to the side was a series of ladders and wooden platforms leading to what she assumed passed as the second level of the house.

"What did you say your name was again?" Link wondered shattering the silence between the two.

"I didn't," Tetra stated blatantly, still examining every inch of the house.

"What's your name?" Link attempted once again, rephrasing his question.

"Tetra," she replied glancing at him out of the corner of her eye.

"My name's Link, but you probably already knew that," Link supplied, referring to her earlier spying session. Tetra said nothing, just cracked a small smile that she knew he couldn't see.

"Why don't we discuss this when Aryll gets back since it involves her too," Link suggested noticing Tetra's fatigue.

"Really?" Tetra wondered taken aback by the older boy's suggestion. She had thought he wanted an explanation now instead of later, but he was proving her wrong.

"Well, yeah. You seem pretty tired and I know the spring's healing magic can do that sometimes. Besides, Aryll said that she'd been lost for a day, two if you count today as one of them. That's a lot of time to go without food and sleep," Link admitted.

"She slept," Tetra defended.

"But you probably didn't. I have the feeling that you stayed awake to keep her safe, judging by what you did today. Get some rest, and then we'll talk." Link motioned to a couch she hadn't even noticed was there. The invitation was too tempting for her to refuse. In seconds she was curled up on the couch, a blanket draped over her, barely able to keep her eyes open. Her deep blue orbs closed on their own and she drifted off to enter a new land. This one made neither of rolling green fields and mountains, nor waves of blue, but of dreams.

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