Chapter One A:Splitting Up
This idea of mine was actually pretty good in retrospect. Instead of writing one basic story I get to write lots of micro stories contained in each branching off point with numerous different events. In a way I'm really testing my creativity and each chapter will be so much fun to write. It might get a tad convoluted, but then again remember there are unfortuante endings for any wrong path you may take. I gotta remember that too... heh, heh.
I should warn you that next week is going to be fairly busy, I will not have any time to work on this until Saturday at the latest I'm afraid, but I plan on making it up to everyone waiting with bated breath for the continution of their chosen path... I'll try to make all of the chapters for the next two times done up. Meaning the ones that continue these three and the ones that follow from there. So another choice might not crop up for every preceding chapter of the first choice... if you get my meaning.
Anyway, here's Option A.Option A: Splitting Up
Splitting up the Scoobies decided that their two best fighters would chart the course to the castle first – and Willow and Dawn could regroup later – so Willow led Dawn up to the fenced in area which as it turned out was a place called Lon-Lon Ranch.
“Buffy and Xander won’t be able to read this,” Willow said turning to eye the retreating backs of her friends.
“They’ll be just fine, Willow,” Dawn assured with a proud smile. “I’m sure they can bluff any misunderstandings by claiming to be from another land,” she added.
Willow sighed. “I hope so.”
“Let’s go,” Dawn insisted with a brief glance at her sister’s retreating form.
Inside was a large barn to the immediate right – on the left was a large two story home – and straight down the path between them in the distance was a fenced in corral where horses were grazing. And a silo beyond that for storage of grains and foodstuffs.
A little red-haired girl in a dress too long for her body was standing nearby the barn where a young mare pony was waiting patiently for her to open the gate to her stall. Upon seeing the two older women the girl smiled.
“Hello,” she greeted. “My name is Malon and welcome to Lon-Lon Ranch,” she said indicating the place with one arm. “Are you here to purchase some Lon-Lon Milk?” she asked.
Willow shook her head. “We’re a little lost.”
“Maybe you can help us,” Dawn added. “My name is Dawn and this is Willow, we’re from America,” she said.
Malon frowned. “I don’t know any America,” she said. “This is Hyrule,” she added with a brief glance towards her house.
Dawn got the feeling she was debating whether or not she should run away from these strange people. “Hyrule, we are definitely lost, Willow,” she said turning to her friend.
“What should we do now?” Willow wondered.
Malon pursed her lips in thought. “If you’re really lost and not some kind of monster or thief maybe my dad can help when he returns from the Hyrule Castle Market,” she said.
Willow smiled. “Do you really think so?” she asked.
Malon nodded vigorously. “My father knows a lot of distant lands,” she said. “Lon-Lon Milk is famous, we ship it out everywhere,” she added with a big grin.
Dawn smiled. “Sounds like a plan,” she said.
Willow looked around the ranch unsure of what they should do now. “Maybe we can help you with your chores or something,” she offered. “At least until your father get’s back.”
Malon beamed. “That’s ok, we have Ingo for that,” she said. “But you could help me exercise Epona here,” she added with a sly smile. “Let’s race!” she suggested.
Dawn grinned. “You’re on,” she said.
“But, Dawn, we’ve never ridden horses before,” Willow whispered to the younger woman.
“So? What’s your point?” she asked. “Besides if we need to maybe we can borrow some and catch up with Buffy and Xander,” she added.
Willow sighed and eyed Malon thoughtfully. “Ok. But only one race,” she said.
Malon clapped her hands happily. “Excellent! I’ll fetch the saddles for your rides after I get Epona into the corral,” she said.
Buffy brushed a hand through her hair and eyed Xander thoughtfully. She could tell that he was still a little upset with Willow for getting them into this mess, but it wasn’t as if she’d meant to – in fact she was sure that had Willow realized what singing that song out loud would mean – she never would have done it.
“Think we can get there before nightfall?” she asked.
“Possibly,” Xander returned as he continued to walk.
Without warning a massive flying shadow blocked out some of the sun’s rays. Buffy spun around to find the source of the thing was a massive floating thingy – it had to be huge and was covered with sharp blades that were whirling around keeping it aloft.
“Holy cow!” Xander said leaping back from the creature as it hovered low to the ground and tried to attack them. “What is that thing?” he wondered.
Buffy knocked an arrow to her bow and smiled. “Let’s see if we got magical weapons too,” she suggested. Letting fly her knocked shaft she watched as the arrow flew straight and true – it got under the guard of the whirling blades and struck the creature’s soft underbelly.
It roared in pain and then exploded into a shower of sparks and dust.
Xander ducked a flying blade as it whirled off into the distance – he got a good look at it though and discovered that it was actually a petal. “Those things are like killer plants or something,” he said.
Buffy knelt down and picked up a small blue jewel. “It dropped this when I killed it,” she said. “What do you suppose this is?”
Xander took the jewel from her and studied it. “This is like an RPG,” he told Buffy with a smile.
“What do you mean?” she asked.
Xander pocketed the jewel and then turned to face Buffy. “In an RPG when you kill a monster in battle it drops money, this jewel must be the local currency,” he said. “We might need some money if we’re going to get any supplies like food or something.”
“So are we going to abandon the castle plan then?” Buffy wondered.
Xander shook his head. “No. I don’t want to have to sleep out here… who knows what comes out at night, but if we run into any more monsters let’s try and bank some more jewels,” he said with a feral grin.
Buffy laughed. “Talk about an easy way to make money,” she said. “Too bad the demons back home don’t do that,” she added.
Xander smirked at her words. “Maybe not the demons, but vampires are a gold mine if you know what you’re doing,” he revealed.
Buffy stared at him in shock. “You’re kidding. Xander, tell me you’re kidding,” she said.
Xander shook his head.
“Damn it, Xander! Why didn’t you fill me in on that particular thing, I could have paid the bills better,” Buffy said in a huff.
Xander frowned and continued heading towards the castle in the distance. “Whatever, Buffster,” he said.
“We haven’t finished this conversation,” Buffy vowed frustratedly.
Willow clutched at the reins of her horse in surprise as she tried her best to keep up with Dawn and Malon – even Dawn was having trouble keeping pace with the girl and Epona – Willow couldn’t believe how good the ten year old was. Willow estimated her age based on her height, weight and appearance.
“Ha, ha! I win again,” Malon declared. In spite of what was said earlier Dawn refused to stop racing until she at least tied with the younger girl.
Willow sighed. “Dawn, I’m getting a little sore,” she admitted.
“You can sit the next race out if you prefer,” Malon offered with a sympathetic smile.
“No. No more races, I quit,” Dawn declared with a frustrated glare aimed at Malon.
Malon giggled and then glanced up at the sky. The sun had traveled almost supernaturally quickly through the sky – it was almost as if the day and night cycle of Hyrule lasted barely longer than thirty minutes. But that wasn’t true – according to Willow’s watch at least four hours had passed Earth time – in Hyrule time who knew how much that was.
Dawn frowned. “What’s wrong?” she asked.
“My father isn’t back yet, he should have been home hours ago,” the girl replied nervously.
“Maybe he’s still busy with something,” Willow said.
Malon shook her head. “All he had to do was unload some Lon-Lon Milk for the palace,” she said.
Dawn and Willow shared a look.
“We could go see if he’s alright,” Dawn suggested.
Malon frowned briefly in thought. “You’ll never make it to the castle before the drawbridge is raised,” she said. “We can go together in the morning if he doesn’t come back tonight,” she added. “Come on… help me put the horses away in the barn and then we can have supper,” she said.
Dawn smiled and offered a comforting pat on the younger girl’s shoulder. “Sure, Malon,” she said happy to help.
Willow closed her eyes briefly. “I hope Buffy and Xander will be ok,” she said.
The three of them quickly got the horses settled into the barn – meeting Ingo the grumpy ranch hand in the process – and afterwards Malon invited them into her nice home. Where they ate a quick meal and then Malon brought them some spare blankets for the night.
It didn’t take long for them to fall asleep.
Buffy and Xander stood outside the castle eyeing the raised drawbridge thoughtfully.
“What now?” Buffy asked turning to Xander.
“We wait,” he said.
Buffy sighed. “I hope nothing spooky comes out at night,” she said.
Xander moved to sit down in front of a large stone and rested his halberd across his knees. “We’ll be better protected with this rock at our back,” he said.
Nodding Buffy moved over to join him and rested her bow across her lap.
Soon both adventurers fell asleep – and as they slept a young boy dressed in green approached the castle gates – he spotted them and moved to join them.
“Hey, hey, listen!” Navi the fairy shouted.
The young boy glanced at his traveling companion as if to say, what?
“We don’t know who they are,” Navi said. “They could be trouble, we should stay away until daybreak,” she decided.
The young boy frowned slightly and then whirled around rapidly shield in hand as Stalchildren began to burst out of the ground. For Link it was destined to be a long night.Turn The Page…