Summary: Link, a laid back scientist, is working on confidential experiment where he is trying to recreate a mythical beast called "The Blue Eyed Beast" to see if the legends are true. He accidentally stabs himself with a syringe of the synthetic blood during a thunderstorm and now must rely on his highly professional secretary, Zelda, and college sister, Aryll, to help him. Not only is he transforming into a wolf at night and his boss, Ganondorf, is becoming suspicious of his absence, but he also has to struggle to build a good relationship with his total opposite: Zelda. What can two totally different people find to like about each other? AU, modern day, and of course Zelink. :p
So here is a new story of mine called Rivers Need Springs. This story is actually a challenge fic, which was given to me by my friend, Canada Cowboy. There are many steps to the challenge he gave me and, though he created it, I can always use thoughts from readers on how I can improve with this challenge. So I am simply asking you, if you want to, to lend some advice either about the challenge or not at all! Simply reviewing is always nice, too. :-)
Oops, I got a little side tracked there. Here is what the challenge consists of in a nutshell:
-Link is not the hero or he has to rely on somebody else to help him save whatever needs saving.
-Relationship building: it is not love at first sight, meaning the characters may have to go through some difficulties together to strengthen their bond.
-Show don't tell. Focus on lightning of atmosphere. (This is actually the one I struggled most with and still am, so help is always appreciated.)
Although not mentioned in the challenge, I am actually adding a bonus task to myself. I have always written in first person but I feel that this story will be easier to understand in third person, so that is what I am writing in. The style is going to be a bit different so let me know if you like it or not please!
So I hope you enjoy the first chapter of my newest story! I'll stop talking now.
Chapter One – Every Employee Needs a Fake Smile
Everything has an antonym. For good it is bad, happy it is sad, and for sunshine it is pouring rain. Mountains are the opposites of lakes as night is to day. Knowing this, it makes perfect sense for the antonym of Link to be Zelda.
This said Link sits on a rickety stool with his feet resting on top of a steel table. Only inches away from his mud covered boots are glass cases, each containing something different: half of a bright blue eye, a thick strand of fur, a tiny piece of a claw, a sharp tooth, part of a heart, and other internal organs. A white lab coat rests over his yellow and green-stripped polo shirt and his jeans have rips at the knees. His brilliant blue eyes lazily follow every sloppy word he creates on a notebook rested against his thighs as his golden hair constantly falls in front of his face.
Zelda, on the other hand, sits erect in her office chair in a room outside of Link's lab. Her long blonde hair is pinned up in a bun and not one loose strand hangs in front of her pale, heart shaped face. Her fingers fly across the keyboard and her ice blue eyes shine with determination to quickly finish her large amount of work. She wears a dark red blouse and a knee length, tight black skirt. A file cabinet sits next to her, all of its contents arranged alphabetically, and a desktop calendar lies beside her computer. Each event on it is written in perfect handwriting with the time and place on every one. The only other items on her desk are an average black cloak, an empty picture frame, and a nameplate that reads "Secretary Zelda Harkarian" in gold letters.
Zelda is thinking about the next meeting she must arrange for her boss, while Link wonders if this chemical is going to set off the right reaction to the specimen. They are each so absorbed in their work that they pay no attention to the rumble of thunder or the constant din of the drumming rain that slams the roof.
Zelda, finally completing her task, glances at the clock and sees it to be eight at night. In one fluent motion, she reaches into her desk drawer, pulls out a paper bag, and stands up on her black high heels. She strides to Link's lab door with her head held high and the paper bag clutched in her smooth hands.
Knocking on the door only once, she enters the room to see her boss, Link, in such an unprofessional manner that it astounds her. She stares at the bottom of his dirty boots in horror, each speck of mud a bullet to her pride. She wonders how he can even dare to rest his dirty feet near such delicate specimen. Why does she have to work with him? He is a great scientist but does he even care for his work? Does he respect it at all?
It is not the first time these questions have aroused inside of her - they appear every single day.
Holding back a groan of aggravation, she takes a few steps forward, the sound of her high heels clopping on the polished white floor echoing in the spacious room. Several steel tables are arranged in neat rows but their countertops are littered with scribbled writings and drawings on scrap papers, tubes and vials of colorful liquid, books with torn edges, and empty plastic water bottles. Like most science labs, the plain white walls are perfectly clean and the overhead lights make the entire room almost a blinding white. If either Link or Zelda stares at a certain spot on the wall for too long, they receive a very obnoxious headache.
Slowly recovering from the horror of Link's dirty shoes, Zelda calls politely in a strong, clear voice, "Professor?"
Suppressing a sigh, she tries one last time.
"You know you can call me Link, Zelda," the man says dryly from across the large science lab, not even taking his eyes off of his paper.
A twinge of anger snaps in Zelda. She positively hates it when he does this to her. He'll pretend not to hear her as she addresses him in the proper manner, and he'll wait until she mentions his first name before acknowledging her. Of course, he gives up relatively quickly because he understands that she won't surrender anytime soon. She just wishes he'd stop bugging her about it.
And, for the fiftieth time (literally), she responds in a monotone voice, "I am sorry, sir, I am simply uncomfortable addressing you so casually."
Though they have been over this a thousand times before (Link, however, has not been keeping track), Link mumbles mostly to himself, "I still don't understand why."
"It would be unprofessional. You are my boss and I am your secretary, nothing more and nothing less."
Link clenches his teeth, his golden hair hiding his aggravated countenance, and holds back another comment. He can't understand why it is so wrong for her to call him by his first name; does she ever take a break from such a "professional" lifestyle?
An awkward silence hovers in the air as Zelda waits for Link to respond. He says nothing but continues writing, taking out his frustration on the paper, while Zelda inwardly squirms again at the sight of his muddy boots so close to the equipment.
Thankfully, another rumble of thunder fills the emptiness and acts like a signal for Zelda to continue with her original notions. Walking up to Link's table, she holds out the paper bag and says to him in her polite tone of voice, "It is eight o'clock, sir, time for your dinner."
Link instantly looks up at her, all of his anger gone at the mention of food, and his brilliant blue eyes widen in surprise. "Eight o'clock already?" He marvels as he does everyday. "Thank goodness, I just realized I am starving!"
He sends her an appreciative smile before carefully taking the bag from her. She keeps her emotionless expression, not affected my Link's charming grin, and watches him start to search the bag's content.
"Would you like anything?" He asks kindly as he pulls out a deep red apple. Even though he does not get along with his secretary most of the time, he still understands that it is important to be polite. Their views may be different but at least she does her job well.
Zelda shakes her head, "No thank you, sir, but may I suggest you eat somewhere else? Maybe in the break room?"
Taking a loud bite of the apple, he quickly chews it and answers excitedly, "I am almost done with this piece of testing, perhaps even close to a break through!"
"That is good news," Zelda unenthusiastically congratulates him. "However, perhaps it would be a good idea if you took your feet off of the table. A recent study has shown that there are nine different species of bacteria on the bottom of shoes that can cause infections to the stomach, eyes, and lungs. It would be best if none of those infected the workplace."
Link, slightly embarrassed that she caught him breaking another lab rule (again), reluctantly brings his feet down and sits up in his chair. He is not quite as surprised as he used to be with Zelda's random knowledge on everything. No matter what the subject, she seems to always know something about it. She is the kind of girl who will bonk her head on a car door and say, "Ouch, my frontonasal suture!" rather than "Ouch, my forehead!"
As Link leans back in his chair and places his notebook on top of a stack of disorganized papers, Zelda clasps her hands together and begins to recite Link's schedule as she does everyday.
"Today's date is June 3rd and your younger sister Aryll is coming to spend the rest of the summer with you. Tomorrow -,"
"Oh my goddesses!" Link instantly blurts out. "I forgot to clean the place up for her! Ugh, now she won another bet."
Zelda, holding back a victorious smile of Link's loss, elaborates on the subject. "She will be arriving here shortly. Her plane landed about half an hour ago, she left a message saying she was on her way. I reminded you of this earlier today."
Link nods, slowly recovering from his failure, and waits for Zelda to continue.
Smoothing out her black skirt, she begins again, "Tonight at eight-thirty, Professor Ganondorf Dragmire is collecting a sample of the synthetic blood and he wants the reports too."
She pauses for a moment, giving Link a look that says please tell me you did it.
Link sends her a sheepish grin and responds meekly, "I forgot about that."
She takes a deep breath, trying not to become irritated by her boss. How in the world did he even get this job?
She knows the answer to that but hates to admit it. He got the job because he is a genius when it comes to genetics and chemicals and he knows a great deal about Ancient Hylian myths. He'd be the best worker if he would simply show a little more respect for his job.
Acting as if nothing has happened, she continues to report a few meetings he needs to attend in the upcoming days and Link nods along respectfully.
As soon as Zelda is done speaking, she goes to leave when the door to the lab suddenly swings opens. A young woman, around the age of twenty-one, sweeps in with a sweet smile across her face and her hands clasped behind her back. Her golden hair is drenched and her pigtails cling to her neck. Water drips down the side of her tan face, and her soaked light blue dress clings to her thin body. It looks like she could have just taken a shower with all of her clothes on; every inch of her is soaping wet.
Yet, despite this, she waves gleefully and cheerfully greets Link, "Hey, big brother! I bet you didn't realize how crazy the weather is out there right now, being stuck in a lab all day."
Link, placing the bag of food on the table, pushes himself from his chair and starts making his way towards his younger sister with a welcoming smile. "At least I'd have the smarts to bring an umbrella, or at least a rain coat," he teases. "It's nice to see you, Aryll!"
She chuckles as they embrace in a quick hug, Link not minding too much of how wet she is. Once they separate, Zelda instantly cuts in with her polite voice.
"Would you like something to dry off with, ma'am?" She offers as Aryll turns her cobalt eyes onto Link's secretary.
"Oh, no thank you," she smiles at Zelda while wiping her face. "I plan on heading back to Link's apartment soon, which should be clean."
"Are you sure, ma'am?" She instantly double checks.
Aryll laughs a singsong laugh and reassures Zelda, "I'll be fine, thank you. And there is no need to call me ma'am, I'm only twenty-one! You can call me Aryll and…you must be Zelda Harkarian, Link's secretary!" She exclaims, connecting the dots from the appearance of the woman before her and the e-mails from Link where he had described her personality.
Zelda simply nods while noting that wanting to be called by their first names must be some kind of family thing.
Another roar of thunder drums from overhead but this one is so loud that some of the vials clang against each other. Link snaps his eyes up, finally realizing how powerful the storm must be, while his companions don't take any notice to it. The storm has been going on for a while and they have gotten used to it.
The sound of the vials gently tapping each other sparks a question in Aryll's mind. Walking towards a nearby steel table, she bends over so her eyes are level with a small glass case of dark red liquid, almost blood color.
"So what exactly are you doing here, Link?" She questions curiously, still staring at the object and trying to figure out what it is. "When I asked through e-mail you said it was confidential and you weren't allowed to speak of it unless it was in person."
Link, already over his shock, asks as he travels towards his sister's side, "You know the myth with the Blue Eyed Beast, right?"
Aryll straightens up and looks at her brother incredulously but with a pleasant smile nevertheless. "Why would you even ask? Of course I know about it, I am an Ancient Hylian Myth major after all."
"Then maybe this may interest you," he begins to explain, a grin on his face. He's been waiting to tell Aryll his secret project for a while now and wants to know what she'll think of it. "Archeologists found remains of an animal in a tomb underneath the ground in Northern Hyrule. They discovered half of a bright blue eye, a thick strand of fur, a tiny piece of a claw, a tooth, part of a heart, and other internal organs. After studying the parts, the scientists discovered that each one used to have Twilit and Hylian blood in it. The only creature in history to have both races was the Blue Eyed Beast."
"Not necessarily," Zelda cannot help to add in, eager to be part of the conversation. Despite Link's and her differences, she finds the whole entire project fascinating and simply loves science in general. "People have tried breeding Twilits and Hylians but all the babies have died shortly."
"Yes," Link agrees, "but those babies don't have claws or fur…unless they are really messed up. I wonder if there is a disease for that…"
He glances towards Zelda, trusting that she would know the answer to another random fact, and she shakes her head. "Not that I am aware of."
Link nods once before returning to the main subject. "I was then contacted by this facility to try to recreate the Blue Eyed Beast and see if the legends are true and it would be great practice for future creatures -,"
"You are recreating the Blue Eyed Beast!" Aryll gasps. "Can you even do that? Isn't that immoral?"
Link hesitates, knowing how his sister is when it comes to doing the right thing, and he responds with his sheepish grin. "That is why the case is classified. If the public were to find out about it then there are sure to be riots about animal cruelty and religious junk. Yet if we can recreate the wolf, it would be a big step for science."
Aryll frowns and sends her brother and emotionless stare. Not sounding all too pleased, she responds, "But you were always against this, brother. You always hated people doing tests on the Twilits and now it seems like you are disrespecting their culture by experimenting on the creature that they worship."
Link sighs and looks down at his feet. He knew this would happen, he was just hoping that for once Aryll would look past doing the right thing and focus on the benefits his job gives. Who else will pay for her college?
He has been working on this project for about two years now and at first really hated it. Hyrule, the country they all live in, was separated into two parts a long, long time ago. Dark, phantom like creatures called Twilits lived in the Twilight and Hylians, humans with pointy ears, lived in the light world that was known as Hyrule. The two races loathed each other and it didn't take long for a war to brake out. It went on for ten years until the Hylians drove the Twilits away and back into the Twilight.
This, however, is all just myth but it is also a religion. And this religion takes up a huge part of Hyrule today. There is still a Twilight, which is a province of Hyrule near the desert where dark clouds always cover the sky so there is never any day, just an everlasting night. There are also Twilit people, and there is much tension between the Twilits and Hylians today like there was centuries ago. For decades the Hylians treated the other race like trash. The Twilits were the homeless and the prisoners. The only job they could get were the ones that nobody else wanted: cleaning the streets and sewers, washing clothes, breaking stones, and other revolting and dangerous tasks. Many of them were tested on like lab rats and used for war. Thankfully, when King Daphnes took over, he started a campaign to stop the racism. Today, Twilits and Hylians are classified as equal to each other, Twilits can have whatever jobs they want, and it is illegal to perform any kind of testing on them. Even though, many people are still against one another and there are not many Twilits left, it is actually rather rare to see one in public.
"You know I am highly against the ugly racism Hyrule has," Link reminds his sister seriously, gazing at her intensely.
"Then why are you doing it?" She persists with a look of pure confusion. No matter how old Aryll gets, she still has one innocent look that drives Link over the edge. She appears so naïve, the ignorance of childhood, and it makes Link's desire to protect her from everything as powerful as the sun's fire. That's the look she gives now: her blue eyes wide, her head tilted to the side just a bit, and her small mouth slightly open.
Fighting against his sister's innocent expression, Link confesses in a deflated voice, "Somebody has to pay for your college tuition."
Aryll instantly clamps her mouth shut and looks down at the floor, an awkward silence floating into the air. Zelda, on the other hand, has finally gotten a spark of interest out of the briefly dull conversation. It is similar to being in class during a boring lecture when a certain word would break through and spark a match inside of her, awakening her senses once again.
"Thankfully," Link sullenly adds as he picks up a large syringe full of the same crimson liquid in the jar while Zelda snaps out of her train of thought. "I have finished the DNA and will hopefully be done with this task soon."
Aryll, looking very guilty, opens her mouth to speak but doesn't even get the chance. The loudest rumble of thunder yet erupts from overhead, like a lion roaring before a kill. Link, Zelda, and Aryll can barely hear the vials clanging together over the clamor above their heads. The entire building shakes violently and their vision blurs with each sudden jerk their bodies involuntarily make.
Slightly off balanced, Link leans to the side and tries to stabilize himself against the steel table. Both of his hands reach for the edge without another thought…not once thinking about the syringe in his hand.
Through the din of thunder and tingling vials, a blood-curdling scream cuts through the air, drowning all the other noises out. It makes the two women cringe and cover their ears but that doesn't help at all. The cry is so powerful that it smashes into their ears and rings in their minds, the terrifying cry bouncing around in their heads. The scream carries on even after the thunder has ceased its roar, and it takes a moment or two for Zelda and Aryll to collect their bearings again. When they do, the scene before them is horrifying.
Link, the one who had propped his dirty shoes on top of the table so casually, is now on the ground in fetal position and tearing at his golden hair. Trembling incessantly, his face is twisted into one of pure torture. His eyes are squeeze shut and his endless screams fly out of his wide-open mouth. He feels like somebody is ripping his insides out of him, tugging at his heart and lungs like they are trying to disconnect them from the veins that hold them in place. Nausea rocks his stomach and his head throbs, as if he has been banging it against his desk for twenty minuets straight. All he can hear is his rapid heart pounding in his ears and his screams that vibrate in his mind.
Kneeling beside him, Aryll gently lays a quivering hand on her brother's arm and frantically shouts over his cries, "Link! Can you hear me? What's wrong?"
Zelda rushes over to the two and she bends over Link's unresponsive body. He continues to tug at his hair and his horrifying screams don't cease. "What happened?" She asks, panicking just a little bit, while trying to pry his hands away from his face.
He rocks his head back and forth, his elbows flying out and almost jabbing Zelda's eye. Instinctively, she pulls away and watches him rock back and forth as his screams become a little softer but still loud enough to act like a knife to Zelda's and Aryll's ears.
"I don't know!" Aryll practically sobs, the sight of her brother's torture sending her down a rollercoaster of terror and bewilderment. "I don't know…" she repeats in a whimper.
Zelda, not one to hesitate for anything, quickly notices a small hole in his forearm, a thin stream of blood trickling away from it…and a syringe lying on the floor inches from him.
Her eyes widen as the pieces fit together in less than a second. "Professor!" She calls out, his cries dying down into agonizing grunts. He stops rocking and, instead, he lies on his back, his body twisting this way and that, as if trying to escape a giant invisible hand that is wrapping around him.
"Pin him down, Aryll!" Zelda orders, not caring for manners at the moment. When Aryll doesn't make a move, just staring at her brother with watery eyes, Zelda tries again, "Aryll! Hold him down so I can check his pulse! If you want him to be okay then do as I say!"
They lock eyes for a moment, Zelda's full of intensity and determination and Aryll's of fear and worry. The college girl takes a deep breath, gives a curt nod, and then tackles her brother.
Link's body is still shaking uncontrollably though more severe than before. He jerks up and down and side to side; his head rolls in random directions and his back does leaps off of the ground. Aryll, fighting against her terror, presses her knee against his chest and uses her arms to pin down his hands. His fingers claw at the ground - a trapped dog trying to escape - and his electric blue eyes are as wide as an owl's but don't focus on anything.
Zelda instantly presses two fingers against the side of his neck and uses her free hand to hold his forehead to the ground to stop his head from jerking. She only keeps her fingers there for a few seconds because that is all she needs. His pulse is dangerously fast.
She does not know what the benefit of checking his pulse could possibly have been. Perhaps she did it just to make an illusion that she knows what she is doing. Or maybe she is simply trying to comfort the young woman. Either way, she must now face the conclusion that she is at a big as loss as Aryll is.
"Go call 911!" Zelda hastily orders as Link continues his thrashing and his grunts escape his mouth like barks. He continues to open and clamp his mouth, the sound of his teeth crashing together reminding Zelda of a threatened beast.
Aryll nods once before dashing off for the nearest phone, which happens to be outside in Zelda's office.
With Aryll's hold released, Link's body is free to move around and he begins rolling away. Zelda lunges out and grips his side but she is smacked away when his hand slaps her arm away with surprising strength.
She falls to the side and another ear-piercing scream tears through her ears. Sitting up more, she watches with wide eyes as Link arches his back, his hands shaped like talons in front of his face, and a long, deafening cry escapes his wide-open mouth.
And then, in just an instant, his scream turns into something more…something like a howl.
The howl bounces off the white walls and rings in her ears. She clutches her head, the noise giving her the worst headache of her life, but never once do her eyes leave his body. How could they ever turn away from such an odd and terrifying transformation?
It moves like a black river, drenching him from the top of his head and then flowing down the rest of his body in a blink of an eye. His nose extends into a long snout and his golden hair turns jet black and grows out into spikes. Matching fur quickly covers every part of his body and his curled hands grow into large, white paws. A ripping sound joins his howl and Zelda sees his clothes falling off of him in tatters as his furry body begins to expand. The last thing to join his metamorphosis is a puffy tail that sends shivers up her spine when it skims her knee.
The room suddenly grows quiet, Zelda's panting breath the only noise as she stares at the animal lying before her. His black fur is sleek and thick; his sides tan colored and his underbelly a soft gray. Mouth hanging open, Zelda can see his dagger like teeth that gleam underneath the blinding lights. His eyes are closed and his chest rises and falls in a steady rhythm. He's asleep.
As if it isn't enough to see her boss in the form of a wolf, it completely blows her away the second her eyes land on the white symbol on his forehead. It is similar to a diamond encasing another tiny diamond, and the bottom of the bigger one stretches halfway down his snout. Two dots, almost horizontal apostrophes, are above each of his closed eyes.
She's seen that before…in her textbooks, on religious banners, movies, and at her workplace. It is the exact same symbol that is said to be on the Sacred Beast's forehead.
And Link's new form looks exactly like the creature he was trying to create: the Blue Eyed Beast.
"ZELDA!" Aryll's cry sounds from behind the door, but all Zelda can hear is the sound of her own pounding heart and her companion's approaching footsteps.
Breathless, Aryll dashes through the door and rapidly explains in a shaky voice, "None of the phones are working, I don't know what to do! Is Link doing any better…?"
She trails off then, both of their eyes fixed on the animal lying unconscious before their feet.
A long silence follows, both of them completely clueless. The DNA should not have had this affect on anybody, especially the way it changed Link. How long will he be this way? Is there any hope of healing him? Will he even be able to stay alive long?
Aryll suddenly falls to her knees beside her transfigured brother. Shaking from head to toe, she cautiously places a hand on his shoulder, feeling his soft fur underneath her fingers. His strong heartbeat drums against her palm. At least he's alive…
"Link?" She whispers meekly. "Can you hear me? Can you understand me? Link?"
The wolf just continues lying on his side, the sound of his deep breathing and the rain's drum roll filling the silence.
Taking a calming breath, Aryll turns her large cobalt eyes onto Zelda. "What should we do now?" She asks faintly as her shoulder's shag and soaking strands of her hair clings to her cheeks.
Zelda bites her lip while staring at the animal. A thousand thoughts rush through her head, each one connecting to the other like magnets, until a plan forms in her mind.
"Whatever you do, do not call 911," She begins strictly before explaining her reasoning. "The experiment Professor Oakwood was working on is highly confidential, informing the police would make things worse. There is always somebody who will slip up and tell somebody else, and before you know it, the whole world will hear of how the Sacred Beast has returned.
"I'm debating on whether or not we should inform Professor Oakwood's boss, Professor Dragmire, but…"
"But what?" Aryll persists eagerly, her cobalt eyes wide and watery.
Zelda shakes her head and sighs, "I know it is not professional of me, but there is something about him that simply makes me not able to trust him. I shouldn't put my personal feelings in front of my work -,"
"No," Aryll disagrees instantly. "We Oakwoods believe in our instincts and if you do not like him then we should not take the risk. Though I don't know much about what you guys have been working with, I am pretty sure Link wasn't supposed to get injected with that stuff. If this Dragmer -,"
"Dragmire," Zelda corrects.
" – Hears about Link in this state then he might totally flip out. Link told me it took a long time to make just one drop of the DNA, having to create it all again would be bad on his career…and I'm going to trust your instincts that this guy isn't trustworthy."
Zelda nods slowly as Aryll continues to gently pet her brother's arm, blinking away some tears. "Then our other option is to take Link back to his place," Zelda reasons. "We can try to revive him there or think of a better plan...all I know is that staying here much longer is not a good idea if we want to keep everything secret."
Aryll stares at her brother's crescent on his forehead as she replies in a stronger voice, gaining strength from Zelda's confidence. "If that's the case, I don't think Link's apartment will be best. He lives in the middle of the city and the walls are paper-thin. If he starts barking or howling, people are going to hear and he isn't even supposed to have pets. I am surprised nobody has come yet at the sound of Link's screaming – "
"The walls are soundproof."
Shaking her head, Aryll dismisses the thought and mumbles, "Maybe…well, where do you live?"
Zelda's face pales considerably at the question and an awkward stillness grows between them. She is pretty sure that bringing her unconscious boss and his sister back to her house is definitelyunprofessional…then again...these are very different circumstances.
"I live on the outskirts of town in a small house. I have one neighbor but she's very old and can barely hear anything," Zelda admits somewhat reluctantly.
"I know it's a lot to ask," Aryll begins hesitantly as her fingers wrap around a thick strand of black fur. "But could you…?"
"Of course," Zelda answers instantly and a grateful smile spreads across her companion's face.
Then the room's stillness is suddenly annihilated at the sound of somebody knocking – more like pounding – on the door. Their breath catches in their throats and, mouths hanging open, they stare at the source of the noise with terrified eyes and rapidly beating hearts.
"Hello? Professor Link? Miss. Zelda? Is anybody there?" A deep, baritone voice questions with a hint of annoyance from the other side. Zelda recognizes the tone instantly and shivers crawl down her back. It must be eight thirty…
"Who is it?" Aryll questions under her breath.
Ganondorf loudly knocks a few more times on the door. Oh goddesses, she thinks frantically. What to do…what to do…
"Help me push him in here, please," Zelda asks softly yet rapidly and, even in such a crisis situation, remembers to be polite.
Without a sound, Aryll begins pushing against Link's side as Zelda swings open the closet door to her right. She shoves files and boxes out of the way until she makes an area big enough for the large wolf. During this time, Ganondorf warns them in his aggravated and smug voice, "Open up or I am going to come in myself. You know how I hate to intrude on private business."
Zelda practically crawls over to Aryll to help her move the beast. The sister has moved about an inch in all of this time and her goal is five inches. There is no way they will get him hidden in time.
"You stall," Aryll grunts as she leans against Link's side with her shoulder, her face scrunched together in concentration and agony. "I…got this."
Zelda, knowing that they have probably a second before Ganondorf enters, follows the order and rushes towards the door. In just a moment, she smoothes out her skirt and blouse while opening the door a mere crack and steps out into the hallway in one swift motion.
With a friendly smile, Zelda closes the door shut and stares up at the tall man only inches away from her. She hides her disgust at how close they are: her back against the door and his giant body blocking her from moving anywhere.
"Sorry," she apologizes sweetly; however, even the quick-witted Zelda cannot think of a good cover story. "The professor…is…um…"
"He's what?" Ganondorf snaps as he takes a large step backwards. A small bit of relief rushes through Zelda, grateful not to feel like a caged animal anymore.
She looks up at him and notices how the light casts a dark shadow across his gray face. His beady yet fierce yellow eyes stare at her incredulously and his bright orange hair is glowing like a fire. It is curly, wavy, and thick all in one and ends a bit past his square jaw.
Zelda has seen this man many times before, he is Link's boss after all, and he cares much more about his work than Link does. Under his lab coat he always wears neat suits; the creases where the folds have been are still evident in his shirts, and his shoes are always shinning. His overly large muscles bulge through his clothes, like a woman squeezing into a dress that is ten sizes too small. With his flaming red hair and large size, he can be spotted anywhere and is easily annoyed if somebody cannot take him seriously because he is a ginger, though that is very rare.
Though he may seem like the perfect person for Zelda's liking – with his neatness and diligence for his job – there is something about him that throws her off. He's always polite in front of his employees though his smile never seems to reach his eyes. She doesn't even know if it should be considered a smile, it is more of a smirk in her opinion.
Then the rumors spread around. After Zelda's first month at her job as Link's secretary, she was already annoyed with him and was eagerly looking at the opening as Ganondorf's secretary. She was talking with the other workers at the break room about it when, thankfully, they strongly advised her against it. Over the course of one year, Ganondorf has had twenty-two different secretaries. Why they go? There are millions of theories but Zelda doesn't want to find out the hard way.
And now the man is standing in front of her, her eyes level with his massive chest and his piercing eyes pin her against the door. His normal polite "smile" is not on his face right now and his fingers drum on the side of his leg as his nostrils flare out, as if a bull ready to charge.
Swallowing nervously, Zelda ponders on how she has never seen him so -
"Well?" He snaps, cutting her train of thought. "Where is he?"
Just then the door Zelda is leaning on swings open, causing the woman to stumble backwards. A small hand grabs onto her arm and manages to hold her steady.
Feeling more astonished at Ganondorf's frustration rather than her embarrassment for almost falling over (which is so unprofessional), Zelda quickly straightens herself out again and regains her composure. However, by the looks of it, she does not need to intervene quite yet.
"I'm sorry," Aryll takes a step closer, slipping her hand off of Zelda's arm while an adorable smile spreads across her face. "I am Link's sister and, unfortunately, he had to leave suddenly. You just missed him –"
"He does know I need the DNA now, doesn't he?" Ganondorf retorts in an almost growl. "Surely he has not forgotten?" At this he snaps his yellow gaze to Zelda, instantly blaming the problem on the secretary.
The laboratory door is wide open and Zelda glances in, looking for any clue that could show a sign of Link's presence. Everything appears perfectly normal and there is no sign of a struggle, even the ripped clothes are gone. After a moment, she stands up tall and holds her head high before answering in her work voice, "At the last moment, the professor realized that something was flawed with the DNA. He has to go home to prepare for his younger sister's arrival but he is going to work on the serum all tonight and tomorrow –,"
"Tomorrow?" Ganondorf hisses. "I said today."
Although Zelda is shocked to see Ganondorf's irascible behavior for the first time, she does not show it. Her face is placid, a lake on a cloudless day, and her speech is lucid.
"He deeply apologizes but promises to have the DNA ready as soon as possible."
Ganondorf sighs loudly and rubs his temples. Closing his eyes, he mumbles something incoherent and each individual has a different thought going through his or her minds.
Zelda remembers seeing one of Ganondorf's old secretary's sprinting out of the building crying one winter afternoon. Now she understands why.
Aryll is simply grateful that she listened to Zelda. There is no way she is going to ever trust her brother's life in the meaty hands of the man before her.
"I suppose there is nothing I can do now," Ganondorf groans in defeat as he opens his eyes and crosses his arms. With one last glare, he demands icily, "Just let him now that I am not happy with him. Not happy at all."
Zelda nods and says, unfazed, "Of course, sir."
Without another word, Ganondorf spins on his heels and marches out of the small office, his flaming hair the last thing the two women see before releasing small sighs of relief.
"That was a close one," Aryll breathes, her charming smile already faded.
"Yes," Zelda agrees with her arms limp at her side. "But we need to get the professor out of here as soon as possible. We will need something to carry him in…"
A wide grin spreads across Aryll's face and her cobalt eyes gleam mischievously. "One step ahead of you," is all she says before dashing back into the lab. Seconds later, she ambles out of the room with a large suitcase rolling behind her.
Zelda's mouth drops in awe at the sight of it. Of course! Why didn't she think of that? Link had once gone on a business trip and, when he returned, he went straight back to work without even returning home first. He left his suitcase at the laboratory and Zelda had given up on trying to force him to take it home.
"That is very good thinking, Miss. Oakwood," Zelda praises her as she tries to peer through the small part left open to act as a breathing hole. She cannot see anything, it's completely dark in there.
"Should we get going?" Aryll questions. "Or should we get any more supplies…like dog food."
"Wolves eat big game, such as elk and moose, but they can also eat worms, grasshoppers, and berries," Zelda informs her companion without any hesitation.
Aryll's face twists into one of disgust, her nose wrinkling, as she remarks, "I don't think Link is going to want to eat any of that."
Zelda shakes her head, the gears spinning in her brain, "We will figure that out later," she decides while stepping around Aryll and back into the lab. "But, now that you mention it, I think we should retrieve a few more items before departing."
"Alright," Aryll agrees as she follows her new companion, "what do you need?"
"I think we should take the Canis Ater capillus, the blue trentonomous sicogliceneral, the nycho, the tooth, the cardia, and the rest of the organs."
Aryll just stands there, rigid with her mouth hanging open and her blue eyes wide as Zelda searches the room for the items on the long list she just recited.
"Um…" Aryll mumbles, "what?"
Grabbing a box full of files, Zelda quickly pulls the papers out and neatly places them on the desk. High heels clopping, she rushes over to the table Link was working at earlier and begins carefully putting vials and glass cases inside of the plastic box.
"I mean," Zelda starts to say, her speech in bits as she focuses on arranging everything correctly. "The fur…the blue eye and the…bit of claw and…tooth, heart, and other organs."
"Oh," Aryll answers meekly before joining Zelda to place the valuables in the container. "Why do we need these?"
Zelda hesitates for a moment, staring at the box and pondering on her decision. What she is doing is very risky and she doesn't even know if her disrespectful boss deserves her help. He isn't a bad guy, but it is not like he has been amazing to her.
Yet…the way Ganondorf acted troubles her and the memory won't leave her alone. The sound of his aggravated voice, the way his yellow eyes flicked back and forth…she cannot get it out of her mind, a buzzing fly that never leaves.
Releasing a deep sigh, Zelda explains softly, "For one thing, I did not like how Professor Dragmire was acting. Another, if the professor ever awakens then maybe he will be able to figure out a way to cure himself with these."
"But what if Link remains a wolf?" Aryll counters with concern.
"I am not sure," Zelda shakes her head in defeat, "I just have this feeling that we should."
Nodding, Aryll lets the older blonde know that she trusts her instincts. They were right about Ganondorf the first time and are probably very reliable.
Zelda quickly lines the side of the box with slim files, hiding the clear case's content. In a matter of minutes, Zelda and Aryll rapidly yet casually march out of the door, the suitcase rolling behind Aryll, and Zelda's hands grip the box until her knuckles are white.
As they enter the elevator, sweet instrumental music floating into their ears, Zelda cannot help but rethink her decisions once more. Though she did not mention it to Aryll, she can get fired for stealing specimens and she cannot lose this job. She needs the money more than anything, so why is she risking it for her boss that she loathes so much?
Of course it is because she cannot simply leave anybody in such a dangerous situation. If the public ever found out about what is going on in the laboratory, there would be many riots. Not only that, but Ganondorf Dragmire is crushing her thoughts. There is no deadline for the project yet he seemed so frantic. Something isn't right.
Everything has an antonym. This is a very common fact that anybody who knows the definition of "antonym" should understand. Though Zelda forgets another commonly known rule.
Aw, a nice ending, don't you think? Well, I thought it was pretty good. :-)
So a lot happened in this first chapter: we met our main characters (Link, Zelda, and Aryll), Link turned into a wolf, Ganondorf is Link's boss and seems to be unreasonably annoyed with the lack of DNA, and now they are going to Zelda's house. I hope you like my characters because I thought a lot on how I would portray them, Link and Zelda especially. Do you think I did well with the "show don't tell" thing?
You may have noticed that Zelda has a tendency to repeat the most random facts in the world; she seems a little too smart for a secretary, right? (Oh God, I am hinting too much aren't I?). Well, I am not making up any of the facts. I got them all from somewhat reliable websites (I say "somewhat" because you never really know if a website is reliable), and that is why I am leaving a bibliography at the end of every chapter. I'm actually doing lots of research for this and I feel the people deserve some credit.
I would also like to mention that I do no work in a top secret lab, so I'm not entirely sure how one would look or act like. If you somehow know (or at least have relative knowledge of a lab) then please let me know. It would be very useful! :D
Sorry for talking so much again, I promise I won't blab like I do now for the upcoming chapters. Please let me know what you think either by review or PM! I will try my hardest to respond to you, the only time I normally don't respond is if somebody leaves an anonymous review and I cannot find them on search. So please let me know what you think and thanks for reading!
Cosley, Katishia. "Hidden Germs Lurking on the Bottom of Your Shoes - KIAH."
Houston News - Houston Weather - Houston Sports - KIAH. 22 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Jan. 2010.
"What Do Wolves Eat - Diet." Wolf Web - the home of wolves! - Home. Web. 26 Jan. 2010.
"Wolf Facts - Communication." Wolf Web - the home of wolves! - Home. Web. 26 Jan. 2010.
"Wolf Facts." Moving to Alaska ? Everything you need to know. Web. 28 Jan. 2010.