25: A search ended
Renado and Ilia had arrived at the research laboratory as swiftly as they could, but they were afraid it wasn't swiftly enough.
"I don't know what it is that's the problem, but that Zora is failing fast. I've never seen a case like this!"
Ilia tucked the bedsheets around the unconscious Zora, so that it would at least be warm. "Is there nothing to do?"
"I don't like to say that there's nothing to do, but whatever there is to do must be something beyond my medicine!" The marine researcher sighed. "I don't know. We need something special to save this one..."
Link had taken Teeka's tip and headed for the lake. He was about to dive it when he noticed something on the bridge.
Trotting over, he sniffed the area. It was damp, but fresh, familiar and what he was looking for.
Colin's scent! He nearly gave a whoop for joy. Checking himself, he charged towards where the scent was going.
Renado and the researcher paced around the small lab like clockwork toys wearing down. Their heads were down in worry. Neither of them had any ideas whatsoever. Nothing was working.
Ilia sat at the Zora's side. She thought it was nonsense, but she could have sworn she had known this Zora before...maybe...
A scratching at the door brought all three of them out of their stupor. Ilia got up to answer it. A green wolf was at the door.
"WOLF! Shut the door, it'll eat all the -"
"It's Ok, it's tame, I know him!" Ilia stopped the frantic researcher. She stared at Link puzzled. "What are you doing down here? Have you found Colin?"
Link gave her a troubled look, and then shifted past her, sniffing around. He came to the sleeping Zora.
The wolf drew back in bewilderment. The scent was coming from the bedridden Zora...could this be...
The wolf began scratching at the back of his head, with first his front paws and his back paws, in a rather fruitless attempt. Realizing what he was trying to do, Ilia thought quickly.
"Um, researcher? I think there's another blanket in the cart we took...maybe you could grab it?"
The researcher gave her and the wolf a funny look, then walked towards the door, slowly. As soon as he was out, Ilia kneeled down to the wolf hero.
"Need a little help?" Ilia tugged Link's mask away with ease just as the researcher came back in.
"Where is the ca-" He had just seen the transformation, and he stopped mid-sentence, staring wide-eyed at the green clad hero that had been a wolf moments before.
"I'll explain later." Renado assured the stunned scientist.
"Have you found Colin, Link, what's the matter?" Ilia questioned the hero as he got up.
"Maybe...I need to try something."
Pulling out his new ocarina, Link put his mouth to the mouthpiece and began to play the song the salesman taught him.
Everyone in the room fell silent as the soothing notes echoed throughout the lab. The Song of Healing was not a song you could ignore in the least. As Link played, the hopeless mood lifted away, and a serene calm replaced. It wasn't until the song was finished that the researcher dared to speak.
"Look at the Zora!"
Everyone turned to the bedridden patient. A glowing light from within was emanating under the covers, and the Zora disappeared within the light.
There wasn't a Zora there when everyone managed to open their eyes. A young, blonde boy in an ordonian outfit was there instead.
"COLIN!" Ilia and Link ran to the boy's side. Colin roused himself awake gently, as though he had been sleeping. He looked at Ilia, Link, and then his hands in rising joy. He was himself again, and with his friends, finally.
"Ilia, Link!" He was happily surprised to discover he had a voice, but was stopped by one of Ilia's hugs before he could say any more.
"We were so worried Rusl will be so happy are you OK have you eaten oh it's so good to have you back Colin!"
A somewhat overwhelmed Colin looked at Link in bewilderment and joy. Link smiled cheerfully. The search was finally over. Just like that.
No one spoke for a while. Renado prepared a soup for Colin while the researcher sat down and shook his head, firmly convinced he had seen everything in the world now.
Out of the corner of his eye, the researcher saw a masked boy look into the window and then dart away like a lightning bolt