"Boss, I know how you feel about rock music and that former call girl, Lynch. But the stadium needs the money, and the bands always bring it in. We've had dozens of suggestions to boost our profits, and the concerts are the only things that are…respectable enough. So I'm gonna forget the lyrics they sing and hire'em tonight. We'll discuss 'ethics' and 'taste' while we're counting the cash."
The Las Venturas stadium wasn't usually this packed. The soccer games and public speeches by the mayor were always attended by diehard sports fans and people eager to boo the politicians. It was always only half-full each time, as people and therianths in the city found more…engaging things to entertain them. But now it was filled with men, women, therianths and countless others, all eager for the music to start.
Casey Lynch was in the spotlight, with every creature in the stadium having their eyes and ears on her. Most would've panicked under the stress. But not Casey, lead guitarist for 'Sight Readers' and unofficial 'Goddess of Rock'. She just smirked and began the intro.
All present would agree Casey cut an unforgettable figure. Her platinum blonde hair flew in the breeze as her fingers danced across her guitar. Wearing her black bikini, the 'Electric' tattoo on her chest was in plain view and enhanced her aura of unrestrained rock. Her skintight black jeans with a gun symbol on the hips made her look as tough as she was beautiful.
Casey continued strumming her axe, as the rest of the band kicked in. Behind the stage, a small Pokemon providing the power for the band tapped its feet to the tune .Many would claim that the rest of the band was little more than backup for the goddess of rock. But they would all say it was a combination of their efforts that made the band unforgettable. Even if half the populace didn't know the lead singer's name. Still, it was clear that Casey composed all the music, and people thought she would be just as successful as a soloist or even a composer.
Casey didn't care either way. As the band launched into their best song, Casey felt a surge of absolute joy. This was the life. Playing her heart out in front of a loudly cheering audience. She couldn't imagine anything other than this concert. Was there even anything other than this city?
With that in mind, she played even louder. The audience cheered in kind.
"I got my work cut out for me finding this hero. People in this Hyrule country don't have last names, much less family archives or address books! I'm going to have to do this search on asking around…hope my conversation skills are up for it."
On the other side of the ocean from Las Venturas was an isolated country. The ocean was incredibly rough around the continent, as if the weather was trying to keep the ships passing through from discovering what was beyond the high mountains. With the advance of air travel, however, the kingdom of Hyrule had been recently discovered. However, the Governments of the world have recognized Hyrule's sovereignty and desire for privacy, and closed it off to commercial exploitation, including tourism and trade…unless in times of crisis. But it seemed that Hyrule was capable of handling its own crisis's.
A man and a woman walked through the thick Faron woods. The man kept looking around and marveling. Douglas had never seen unspoiled nature like this before…there were birds chirping and squirrels watching the pair move through their home. There was something else about these woods, something the detective couldn't put his finger on, that made the woods, for lack of a better word, magic. Douglas stroked his stubble and thought to himself, no wonder these guys don't want contact with the cities.
The woman he was traveling with broke him out of his reverie. "Are you certain this village is where he'll be?"
"Certain as I'm gonna be." Douglas shrugged.
That seemed to satisfy her. Douglas couldn't help but have a good look at the form of his companion. She was pretty, all right. A long brown ponytail snaked down from her head. She wore a form fitting shirt that made her rather ample bosom clear, and shorts belted with some very hi-tech equipment. Next to her, he looked even scruffier than normal in his coat. Douglas always figured archaeologists were old men in those ridiculous white hats. She came as a surprise.
Another surprise came when she stopped suddenly and grabbed Douglas. He snapped "What?"
"Something's coming. Be quiet, Mr. Cartland."
Mr. Cartland was quiet, and sure enough, there was a snapping noise of something stepping on a twig.
Douglas groaned. "Probably a cat or somethin'."
The lady smirked. "Maybe. But I've been in more jungles than you ever will, Douglas. They're as dangerous as they're pretty."
"Huh." Douglas scoffed. But he still put his hand on the gun he kept in his pocket. They kept walking on, in silence.
Lara was right. A few steps later a large purple creature brandishing a sharp blade smashed through the clearing and charged right at them. He was quickly joined by two others…Bokogoblins hunt in packs. The monstrous creatures charged at the two intruders.
Douglas grabbed his gun and thrust it out of his holster. While he was doing that, his companion went into action.
Douglas watched in wonderment as the woman smashed the lead creatures face with a well placed kick, before rapidly turning her attention on the two others. She leapt over the blade one of the creatures and, in a single movement, whipped out a gun that ended that creature's threat. Doing an impressive backflip, she hit the last Bokogoblin with some kung-fu move Douglas couldn't name, much less describe. In less than a minute, the three creatures were either dead or unconscious and the woman was standing over them without even a sweat.
Douglas looked at the gun that hadn't even been fired, and then at his companion. "Lady, they weren't kidding about you."
She just smiled. "They never do."
"Wooooow." A young voice that did not belong to either of them commented. Douglas and the woman turned to the voice.
A young blonde boy with several sticks in his hand was staring wide-eyed at the two. He wore what looked like a traditional Hyrule outfit. It looked funny to Douglas, but he figured that his jacket and pants looked funny to him.
Lara smiled friendlily. "Good day. Who might you be?"
"Um…my names Colin. Are you heroes like Link is?"
Both of their ears pricked up at the name. "Link?" Douglas replied. "You know Link? We're lookin' for him, actually."
"Yeah, I know where Link is. Do you wanna see him, mister…?"
"Douglas. This is Lara."
"Oh. Are you her husband?"
"Wha-" Douglas was stymied by the idea, but Lara quickly covered him.
"No. Just a friend. Anyway, can you take us to Link?"
"Sure! Ordon village is right this way." The boy piped up, and waved the two to follow him. Douglas looked at Lara and smiled.
"Certain as I'm gonna be."
Lara sighed and followed Colin with Douglas.
"Another shocking example of how Pokemon continue to be abused is given by, not surprisingly, rock star Casey Lynch. She has neither a license nor the interest to get one, and yet she has taken a perfectly innocent Pikachu and brought it up in her image. Covered with garish tattoos, 'Jimi' is used as free power for her loud and senseless concerts. It's disgraceful. Absolutely disgraceful."
Casey gave her fingers a few stretching exercises to make sure they were still functioning. That concert was longer than she had thought it would be…everyone wanted at least two encores. She was happy to give them, but now she was bushed. The theater manager, a bear therianth, was happy to have Casey take her pay and take herself out. Casey didn't mind. She was looking forward to crashing tonight.
"Heya, baby! Ready to show me yer backyard tonight?"
Casey groaned. Just what she needed, that twerp Sparrow. "I'm not in the mood, Eric."
The gangly teen didn't get the message. "C'mon, baby, we haven't got together since everrrrrr."
Evidently he still thought himself a ladies' man. "Let's go paint the town red, rockers."
"I'm TIRED. Scram."
"Tired, eh? Well, maybe we can have an old-fashioned sleepover! C'mon baby, let's dance!"
Eric made his last mistake when he grabbed Casey's tush. An electric charge blasted out of seemingly nowhere, and Eric found that he simply could not move. He was still buzzing when Casey casually shoved him over and he lay flat on his back unable to get up.
Casey smiled. "Good timin' as always, Jimi."
A Pikachu ran out of the shadows at the sound of his mistress' voice. To say that Jimi was a ragged creature was an understatement. His yellow fur was long and scraggy, and he had copious scars that sang of a hard life. There were cuts on his chest, arms and face, and a particularly nasty slash across his throat. He had clearly been torn apart in battles…his tail was gone and his left ear was good as gone. He had two tattoos…JIMI, in stylized letters across his chest, and a fist in an 'L' shape on his forehead. Jimi also seemed bigger than most Pikachus…more the size of a cat than a mouse.
Still crackling with electricity, Jimi gave a practiced sneer at the hapless Sparrow before leaping onto Casey's shoulder. Casey gave him a good-job pat. "Thanks, Jim. Now let's head home and crash."
Jimi smiled as he and Casey walked away, leaving Eric flat on the floor, muttering against that yellow rat.
"Ahem, ok let's try this…Here we are at Nookington's, the most successful business in Las Venturas to be run by a Therianth. Therianths are human-like animals…er, no…animal-like humans…no, that won't work, uhh…a mixture of humans and animal? No…ah, forget it. They'll understand what I mean when they see Tom Nook. Get a good shot of him, Ty."
-Gabrielle (Gabby) Horst, interviewer.
Las Venturas street was lit so much you didn't notice the sun wasn't there at night. Neon signs advertising the latest in entertainment and food illuminated the nighttime crowd wandering the city. Casey and Jimi nonchalantly walked towards the apartment where Casey resided, not bothering to look at the lights. They had seen it all before. King B's casinos, glow-in-the-dark trees, and the best (not really) in fast-food. The only thing that was new was an advertisement for the new show in town. Casey gave it a glance- "The pleaser of crowds, Dimentio!"-and kept walking.
Something caught Jimi's interest, though. Casey felt small claws press on her shoulder. Jimi did this when he wanted her attention. "What is it, Jimi?" she sighed, turning to her pet. Jimi pointed a small claw into his open mouth, and then pointed it to the direction he was facing. The scar across Jimi's neck kept him from making any sounds, and he had to communicate in pantomime. Casey turned to where Jimi was gesturing to and saw a building with "Nookingtons grocery store" on the window.
"Oh, right, we're out of food for you. Sorry Jimi, guess I just forgot. C'mon."
Tom Nook's store was one of the more respectable in Las Venturas. That may have been why it was so successful. Tom was the definition of a therianth, a species with the intelligence and posture of a human, but the fur, face and a few characteristics of an animal. He was a raccoon, with brown fur and the band across his eyes. The shopkeeper prided himself on the respectability of his business, so he was a little concerned when a female customer wearing little other than a bikini on top strode into his store.
"Um, miss…this is a respectable…"
Casey gave Tom a look and displayed some cash. "I'll be out in a sec, raccoon. I need to get some food."
Tom was tall enough for Casey to look straight in the eye, and became quiet with Casey's 'look' boring into him. His face became resigning, and he scratched his fur uncomfortably, impatiently waiting for Casey to leave.
Casey didn't keep him waiting. Snatching a box of Poke-food from the first shelf she saw, she strode over to Tom's counter and bought the box.
Tom couldn't help but notice Jimi glaring at the box. "Hm, maybe you should buy something your friend likes more…"
Casey rolled her eyes as she took her change. "He loves 'em." She suddenly ripped off the picture on the Poke-food box. "He just hates this." Casey didn't bother to pick up the scrap off the floor as she marched out of the store with the food. Tom glanced at it before he took it from the floor. It had a smiling Pikachu with immaculate fur. Yes, he could understand why such a scarred creature would resent that image…
"That Gabby is such a twit. Does it LOOK like I've sold out? She's got some nerve, askin' me. Especially right outside where I live. Hah. I live for the music, not the money. If I've 'sold out', I'd be in one of those overpriced digs in those high-rises, livin' the yuppie lifestyle and cranking out bad songs for commercials! I don't feel the least bit sorry for giving her that roundhouse to the nose."
Away from the glittering lights, it was painfully obvious it was nighttime, despite the valiant efforts of the streetlamps. Casey and Jimi walked past a fence covered with papers. Some were 'Missing' posters, others were cheap ads for cheaper goods, and a few were for sell-out bands Casey wouldn't acknowledge on principle. Once again, a notice for a "People for the Ethical Treatment of Pokemon" fundraiser had been replaced, after 17 other PETP posters had been defaced or destroyed in the last three weeks.
Jimi glared at the unmarred notice. Casey patted him down. "Tomorrow, Jim."
The place where the two lived was cheap and rent controlled. That was enough for Casey. Neither cared that the building was older than both of them combined. It did show though…a poorly powered sign with a name that had long been lost to vandals and never been replaced hung over a wooden door that had millions of tiny nail holes from bulletins.
Casey and Jimi walked through the building until they found their own room. Casey hit a switch and the light reluctantly shone on a bedroom/kitchen with walls covered with pictures of rock musicians, classical piano players, famous composers, and great musicians in general. There was really only one room…to increase space for the numerous tenants with nowhere else to afford, the rooms had been halved between the kitchens and the bedrooms. Casey got the kitchen, and used a mattress on the floor for sleeping. That was all she needed though.
Casey filled a bowl with Poke-food and set it down in front of Jimi, who ate up the food eagerly. She then noticed a skinny cat watching them from outside the window. A fist on the window and a shout of "SCRAM!" made it disappear into the night. That being done, Casey flopped down onto her mattress without bothering to change, expecting that tomorrow would be more or less the same.
The cat knew better.
"Boss, I finally got a lead. Took me a few weeks…for a hero, only a handful of people really know the guy, and the ones that do aren't sure 'bout talking to someone like me. Can't blame 'em, I guess. Then this weird Sheik person gives me a tip, Ordon village, straight south of Castle Town. Best lead I got so far. Gonna check it out."
Colin came into the village followed by Lara and Douglas. Ordon was every bit a rural village, with wooden houses, a waterwheel, and crops near each house. One of the houses was built right into the largest tree Douglas had seen. Goats were wandering around the place, nibbling on the grass, and a hawk watched the small village from high above. The air was fresh, the water was clean and the place was quiet.
The two strangers had barely walked in before they were the centre of attention for everyone in the village. Seeing everyone staring at him and his companion, Douglas smiled nervously.
A man with a beard walked up to Colin. "There you are, son. I see you got some wood. Who might these be?" He gestured at the two people behind Colin.
Lara introduced herself. "My name is Lara. It's a pleasure, mister…"
"My name is Rusl. It's a pleasure to meet you too."
Douglas looked around. "Nice place. Where I'm from you don't get forests like this. Name's Douglas
"Hello, Douglas. Lara." Rusl greeted them courteously. "What brings you to our village?"
"We're looking for someone. Guy named Link. We heard he lived here." Douglas explained.
Rusl was interested. "Yes, he lives here…what do you want with him?"
"Right now, Rusl, we just want to talk to him. Afterwards, it'll be entirely up to him. Do you know where he is?" Lara asked.
Rusl glanced at two other people, a large man with what appeared to be small tusks and a woman carrying a small baby in her arms. Both of them nodded. "Right this way." Rusl answered.
"Now from what I've got together, some sort of attempted takeover happened in Hyrule couple of weeks ago. Creep named Zant from the 'Twilight Realm'. He had the entire country under siege for a while, but he was stopped by this…Link person, according to the sources I got. I hear he killed this Zant with his 'Master Sword' all by himself, and then some…his name kept coming up, doing heroic deeds and killing monsters all over the place. He might be more legitimate than Arbiter thought."
Rusl led Lara and Douglas into Ordon field, where the village usually kept its goats. Several of them were grazing. On the other side of the field was a youth. Douglas pointed to him. "That him?"
"That's him." Rusl answered.
"Thank you." Lara and Douglas walked towards Link.
Link noticed them coming. His blue eyes picked out the two strangers walking towards him. He got up just as they arrived.
"Hello." He said simply.
Douglas looked at him, quickly weighing him up. Young but very well-built, wearing a green tunic that Douglas could tell was covering a light chainmail. Brownish-hair, blue eyes…matched the description he got from the barkeeper. Didn't look like a hardened soldier, but looked like he could hold his own in a fight. Yeah, this was the guy.
"Good day." Lara stretched her hand out.
Link just looked at it at first, a little unsure what to do with it, but then raised his own hand and allowed it to be shook as a greeting.
"My name is Lara Croft. I have something of a job offer for you…"