There isn't enough Don't Starve fanfictions, so I feel I must do my part to fix that. A word of warning. This story will contain spoilers in the later chapters. If you have not finished adventure mode, then go play it right now! All other things are secondary! Why are you wasting time re-*cough* Ahem. What I meant to say is, that you might want to hold off on this story if you don't want to be spoiled.
As ever, comments and criticisms are appreciated.
Disclaimer: I don't own Don't Starve or any of the characters
Observed from above, the world she lived in looked quite peaceful. It was a place of rolling hills and sunny meadows. Massive forests and impressive quarries. It all looked like something out of a map designed to draw on feelings of wonder and awe. There was just one problem.
This land was not on any map.
Beneath the rugged beauty, past the images of well-being, lurked something far darker. She didn't remember how she had arrived there, nor did she remember how long it had been. All she knew were those last parting words of the strange man.
'Say pal, you don't look so good.'
She had opened her eyes to find his blurry outline looming over her. In some ways he looked familiar, but she couldn't quite place it.
'You better find something to eat before night comes.'
His words had sounded almost generous, but there was something else to them. Her dazed mind was unable to process what was going on. If she had been fully aware, she would have seen the grin that split his features as he spoke his final farewell.
The sun peeked over the horizon, spreading the light of a new day onto the world once more. Every creature slowly noticed the return of the light, and reacted in their own favored ways. The rabbits tentatively ventured out of their tiny abodes to forage for plants to eat. The birds ruffled their impressive feathers before greeting the day with a chirping song.
One figure however, stood out among the forest creatures.
Feeling the warmth of the sun on her skin, Wendy slowly opened her eyes the morning light. The allure of a fresh start to the day had long ago lost all its charm to her. The nightmares of the seemingly perfect world had seen to that.
Sighing deeply, she turned her head to check on her source of heat during the night. The campfire, if it could still be called that, had degraded into a smoldering pile of embers that barely clung to life. Dispassionately, she noted just how close she had come to a gruesome death. Nothing survived long in the dark without a source of light.
The morbid thoughts had been coming more and more frequently as of late. She was no stranger to the darker side of her mind, but even her own demons didn't usually rear their heads so often. Sometimes it just seemed pointless. More than once, she had found herself wondering how easy it would be to extinguish the flame that kept her safe in the night.
Such thoughts never amounted to anything however. She might be outside the realm of happiness, but suicide held no appeal to her. She would not be felled by her own hand.
Wendy slowly uncurled herself from the makeshift bedroll. Crafted from leaves and plant fibers, it served to keep her sheltered from the wind if nothing else. She didn't mind the cold all that much, but it helped to keep her from waking up stiff and achy.
The small girl stretched her arms to the sky, releasing the tension that had built up while she slept. A pop from her shoulders signaled the rush of relief that she was searching for.
She then began gathering her supplies. All she owned in this world was several basic items such as sticks, rocks, and some berries that helped stave off the worst of her hunger. These things were all carried in a small backpack that had been shaped from materials in much the same way that her bedroll had. While it was nothing impressive, she still felt a bit of pride in her own handiwork.
Now there was just one thing left to get before she could start the day.
Stepping past the campfire, Wendy made her way over to a nearby rock. The mostly-flat stone had served to hold dearest possession while she slept. It just wouldn't be right to leave something so important lying in the dirt.
"Hello Abigail." She greeted, speaking to the item that lay in front of her.
To the average observer, the tiny object might have appeared as nothing more than a simple flower. That would change when said person took a closer look. The floral bud exuded an aura of sheer wrongness that made even the fiercest local fauna keep far away from it.
Wendy was unbothered.
"What should we do today sister?" She asked, cradling the object as though it were an infant. Predictably enough the flower didn't respond.
"You can't hear me yet can you?" The blonde girl frowned slightly. "How much longer will it be until you can find me again Abigail?"
When she got no answer, she placed the flower into her shirt pocket with a resigned sigh. There was no point in trying to coax her sister out when she couldn't reach her.
Wendy looked over her campsite one last time to ensure that she hadn't left anything important behind. All her supplies were gathered, the fire had gone out, and-
Oh wait, there was still her ax.
Reaching down, she picked up the bladed tool. It had been the first thing she had found in this world. It's former owner… well… he didn't look like he would miss it. Or anything for that matter. He certainly didn't complain when she had pried it from his skeletal fingers.
The ax had served as a lifeline in her current state. While she lacked the upper body strength to cut down large trees, she was more than capable of felling the small saplings as well as cutting off low branches. Without it, she likely wouldn't have lasted a single night.
Now that everything was in order, she was faced with the same question that every morning brought with it. Where was she to go? No one direction ever seemed to hold the answers she was looking for. No matter how far she walked, she would only be rewarded with a cliff face or some form of impassible terrain.
Wendy was trapped and she knew it.
"North looks promising, don't you think?" In truth, that direction looked exactly the same as all the others. Still, it didn't hurt to have a touch of hopefulness every now and then. "North it is then."
Flower safely tucked away and ax in hand, the young girl set off. She knew that she had little chance of escaping by simply meandering around. She knew that she would likely perish forgotten and alone in this desolate place.
Even so, there was one thing she didn't know. Her pointless wanderings would come to an end very soon. She was about to be swept up in something far larger than she had ever anticipated.
And it would all be because of a certain scientist.
On the other side of the great forest, where the trees opened up to grasslands and green hills, a nameless abomination stalked its favored prey.
The monstrosity was roughly the size of a man. Covering its body were gaudy feathers that stuck out in all manner of haphazard directions. The beast was a mockery of its avian cousins, far too large to even attempt flying. This did little to take away from its reputation.
The creature's greed was legendary. It swallowed down obscene amounts of berries, a precious commodity in this world, leaving none at all for starving travelers. Whispered rumors warned the unwary that the tyrannical thing was so selfish it would steal the very air from your lungs given half an opportunity. Those unfortunates would often describe this horror as the devil incarnate.
Others called it a fat turkey.
The gobbler made short work of the scattered berry bushes in the surrounding area. Countless red orbs vanished into its seemingly bottomless gullet. Once it had cleared a particular bush, it would dawdle around mindlessly until it eventually wandered near another. This process would repeat until there was simply nothing else to eat.
On this particular evening, the oversized bird only had one choice in its culinary options. The bushes had been carefully stripped of their bounty before it had arrived leaving only one available to the turkey.
Giving neither thought nor pause to the obvious trap, the gobbler strode right up to the berry bush and began scarfing them down at an alarming rate. It continued the feast until it was interrupted by movement from one of the nearby husks.
Faster than the eye could follow, a spear shot out of the barren bush headed directly for the bird's throat. It was only by sheer chance that the deadly projectile missed and embedded itself into the ground nearby.
The gobbler stood motionless while its tiny mind struggled to process what had just happened. Turning to the spear, it gave the wooden handle several experimental pecks before deciding that it was of no concern and returning to the berries.
From his hiding spot, Wilson bit back a scream of frustration. He had been struggling to deal with the monstrosity for days now. Traps didn't work. He had nothing to poison it with. And now his spear was lying harmlessly next to the thing it was supposed to be killing.
Calm down. He thought to himself. It hasn't moved. You can still make this work.
Pulling a knife from his pocket, he made ready to try again. The bird was distracted by its meal so logically it would have little chance of noticing his presence.
It was a pity logic rarely worked in this world.
No sooner had Wilson lunged forward, intent on burying the blade hilt deep in the turkey's back, than the gobbler shot away from the spot with speed that should have been impossible given its size. The gentleman scientist tripped on his own momentum and fell face down in the dirt next to his spear.
For a time, he simply lay there stewing in humiliation. Wilson Percival Higgsbury. Outsmarted by a stupid bird. That's what they would carve into his tombstone.
Groaning, he struggled to his feet only to find that the turkey had vanished into the forest once more. There was no point in chasing after it. Even if he had been in peak physical condition, it would have been nearly impossible to keep up with the infuriating creature.
A sigh of resignation worked its way through his system as he turned to gather what was left of the berries. Only a handful were left, but compared to going hungry they were well worth the effort of picking.
An hour later found the young man in front of his fire pit, trying to distract himself from the emptiness in his stomach.
This was not the life he was suited for. Wilson was in his element when he was surrounded by the wonders of science and technology. He could craft things that others dismissed as impossible with his genius, but fighting for his life in the wilderness was something else entirely.
Right now, only one thing kept him from going mad. The need for revenge.
He turned his knife over in his palm, observing the way the flames of his fire reflected light off of its blade. It was the same knife he had used to slash his palm, granting him entrance to what he thought was his greatest desire. How did that saying go again?
Be careful what you wish for. You might just get it.
He had made a metaphorical deal with the devil.
He still didn't know what the man's angle was in all this, but he had no doubt that the sinister figure was behind it all. He had promised something that Wilson's insatiable spirit had been powerless to resist. Knowledge. The kind that would have rendered the greatest minds of his time dumbstruck in disbelief. And, like a blind rat in a maze, the scientist had loyally followed his every command, even going so far as to offer up his own blood to open the portal.
Now he was trapped. A victim in a game that held the highest stakes possible. He knew Maxwell was out there. Watching. Waiting. Mocking his feeble attempts to avoid an early end.
But he would prove the wicked man wrong. He would survive despite the odds. He would conquer this world with the power of his mind! And when he found his demonic host again…
He would punch his oh-so-perfect teeth down his throat.
Or better yet, he would invent a large machine to do the punching for him. Yes… a large metal machine with lots of heavy limbs for added smugness-removing power. Maybe even throw in a couple of smokestacks on its back for added effect.
Wilson could see it now; he would ride his glorious doomsday machine right up to the darkened fortress that held his enemy. There would no doubt be resistance, but his steel steed would sweep it all aside like so much chaff. He would shatter the doors blocking his way, stride down the darkened halls, come right up to Maxwell, and…
Well, he hadn't figured out what would happen next. He was fairly sure it would involve a lot of hitting but he had yet to decide on a suitably devastating one-liner. He'd cross that bridge when he came to it.
The daydream ended when his stomach reminded him that it was still empty. Wilson grudgingly let go of his imagined triumph, turning his attention to cooking the handful of berries he had managed to gather. He didn't exactly trust them raw. Too many brightly colored plants had poisonous defenses for him to risk it.
While the snack simmered, he drew out his notepad and pencil. Other than the knife, these were the only things that had followed him into the portal.
Wilson P. Higgsbury, entry Day 10
Food supplies are getting scarce. The carrots are gone, and only a few berry bushes remain accessible. Attempts at hunting have been fruitless. Very soon I'm going to have to leave this place. This isn't something I'm looking forward to. Strange noises have been coming from the forest. Going deeper inside to look for food could prove hazardous. At the same time, leaving to go through the grasslands could be just as dangerous. Up until now, my fire has been constructed from fallen branches I scavenged off the edge of the forest. In the open area I would be at the mercy of the night.
There is no right choice from what I can see. Both options have hazards, but I'll have to choose one of them eventually. Staying here will only serve to slowly starve me to death. I didn't conquer Maxwell's puzzles just to die here. I WILL find him again. I will monitor my progress further once I am under way. Until then.
-Science shall prevail-
The last sentence was something he added onto every journal entry he made. It was a reminder that he was not some poor helpless soul. He had the mightiest of forces at his disposal, and the skill to use it. If nothing else, it served to calm his nerves when he wasn't feeling very lucid.
Nodding contentedly, Wilson stowed the notepad away. He would have plenty to write in it later. Now however, it was time to check on his dinner.
The pieces were moving.
Deep in the heart of the shrouded world, a pair of eyes looked upon the image of his home. A massive chessboard lay stretched out in front of him with four pawns positioned at specific intervals. Maxwell couldn't help but smile at the way they stumbled around. Dancing to his tune.
Already, two of the pawns were headed right towards each other. One piece was decorated with a swirling flame, while the other held the image of a dumbbell. The pawn marked with a gravestone was headed in the general direction of all the others. Her progress was slow, but it was progress none the less.
The scientist however, was a problem.
He had stubbornly remained in his starting position on the board. This was unacceptable. He was the lynchpin to the entire operation. Without him, it would all fall to ruin.
"Say pal." Maxwell uttered sarcastically, speaking more to himself than anyone else. "I do hope you like dogs. Don't worry though; these boys are just going to give you a shove in the right direction. Nothing science won't protect you from right?"
With a dry chuckle and a forceful thought, he directed his will into the minds of the hounds located somewhere in the plains. In mere seconds he had shown them the location of Wilson's basecamp. They needed no further goading.
Baying madly, the vicious creatures began their headlong dash towards the unwitting target. It would take a while for them to reach him, and their chorus would alert him miles in advance, but that was the idea. Maxwell didn't want Wilson dead. At least, not yet.
Leaning back, the lord of the darkened world closed his eyes. Now all he had to do was wait.
Everything was falling into place.