A/N: This is my first Ranger's Apprentice fanfic! Constructive criticism is welcome!
The sun was shining intensely as I walked through the town with one of my friends, Sarah. We had both been so busy lately, so this was the first time both of us could relax. Her daughter, Melody, was walking beside her. Melody was good natured yet adventurous. However, she did not get into a lot of trouble. However, my son, Derrick, was a handful. He gets in people's way all the time and has a temper. Sometimes, I really wonder if he is mine and Will's son. He told me earlier today he was going to hang out with his friends and I only hoped he was not being a troublemaker.
"Alyss, how has Will been lately?" Sarah asked.
I sighed, "He is gone to the Gathering and is supposed to be back in a few days. He has to train some new apprentices in strategy."
Melody looked up with interest filling her eyes, "How many apprentices are there, Lady Alyss?"
I smiled, "I do not know, Melody. In fact, I have never asked."
She nodded her head in understanding. After all, the Rangers are a mysterious group that many thought were black magicians. However, after Will became Halt's apprentice, everybody realized the Rangers were not evil in any way.
"Is that Lady Pauline?" Sarah asked.
Up ahead, I could see Lady Pauline walking toward us with concern showing on her face along with grief. When she reached us, I hugged her, "What is wrong, Lady Pauline?"
She looked at me with tears in her eyes, "Alyss... the Rangers were attacked... Gilan managed to get away and gave us the information. Will and Halt... every Ranger has been taken hostage. They are demanding that we give up th kingdom for their release... The King is thinking only of the kingdom..."
I could not believe what I was hearing. "What are we going to do?"
"There is nothing we can do, Alyss..." She replied.
Tears fell down my face and Sarah hugged both Lady Pauline and I. The grief I felt was overwhelming, but I knew that if I was going to help in any way, I had to keep my composure. I pulled away from Sarah and Lady Pauline, "I am going to talk to the King. This is exactly what happened when Will was captured years ago..." I started to run toward the castle, not caring how informal I looked.
I ran deeper into town, looking for Derrick. He needed to know what happened to his father and the other Rangers. Derrick was closer to Will than anybody else, so I knew how tragic this was going to be for him. I found him in a clearing with his friends, laughing with them. I hated to ruin the laughter, but Derrick needed to support Alyss. "Derrick!" He looked at me, "We have to get to the castle right now!"
"What's going on?" He asked.
"I will tell you on the way! Now come on!" I yelled and started running toward the castle. Derrick caught up with me seconds later, "Derrick, it's you father. Him and the other Ranger's were taken hostage. Gilan managed to get away, but the people are wanting the kingdom. If King Duncan does not give them the kingdom, they are going to kill every Ranger. Alyss is at the castle right now, pleading with the king, but it is not looking good. I'm so sorry, Derrick."
He knew I was not lying, "Why are they not doing anything?"
"I do not know anything other than what I just told you." I replied. He started running faster and I could no longer keep up.
Alyss and King Duncan were having a legendary argument and I just stood to the side and watched.
"King Duncan, the Rangers are the best fighters, spies, and messengers you have. Why would you just leave them to die?" She yelled.
The king tried to contain his anger, "Alyss, I know Will is your husband, but I would rather lose a few lives then hundreds. It is a Rangers duty to protect the kingdom and that is what they are doing. Their brave actions will always be remembered, but I am afraid my hands are tied."
The door burst open and a boy came rushing in. He ran over and stood beside Alyss and I knew immediately who it was.
"Derrick, please wait outside while your mother and I discuss things." The king said.
The teen shook his head, "No way. I want to know why you are not sending somebody to help my father and the others."
"It is too risky, Derrick. You are only fourteen, therefore these typed of situations are way over your head." King Duncan replied. "If you do not leave, then you will be escorted out."
The boy's hands were clenched into a fist, "You just do not care about them!"
"I care about everyone in this kingdom!"
"You say it is too risky, but you have not even tried to do anything! How can it be risky when you have not attempted to save them?" Derrick yelled.
King Duncan motioned for the guards to take Derrick away. The teen saw this motion and glared at the king. "I thought Halt and my dad were your friends! How can you sit around and do nothing!"
"My hands are tied, Derrick! When you are older, maybe you will understand!" King Duncan yelled, frustrated.
The boy glared at him once more before the guards grabbed him by the arms and lead im out of the room. I felt sorry for both Alyss and Derrick, but I had to obey the king.
"Get out of my sight, Alyss. I never want to talk about this matter again." King Duncan said. Then, Alyss stormed out of the room and yelled at the guards, telling them to release her son. A few seconds later, everything was quiet. The king sat in his chair with a sad look on his face and I knew that the decision he made had been a difficult one.
Anger and sadness coursed through my veins as my mother and I walked back to our cabin. She had tears coming down her face and I put my arm around her shoulders before she eventually broke down. I wanted to kill Duncan and the people who had captured the Rangers, but I had to protect my mother first. When we were in the cabin, my mother hugged me tightly and I hugged her back.
"Everything is going to be okay... Dad and Halt will find a way to get away from those people." No matter what I said, she did not believe me. An hour later, she fell asleep on her bed with tear streaks on her face. I could not watch her suffer like that, but there was nothing I could do. I heard something outside and opened the door. "Tug!" I ran out of the cabin to the pony. He was troubled, shaken, and pleading. I knew that my father had taken Tug to the Gathering with him, so could it be possible that Tug knew which direction they were heading? I knew then, I had a lot of training to do.
*A Week and a Half Later*
Today was the day I would figure out how I was going to live the rest of my life; Choosing Day. We were all lined up in front of the man I now despised, King Duncan, waiting to see who out mentors would be. Melody was first, "I am Melody Green. I wish to apply for the kitchens if I may." She was accepted. After a few more people, I realized it was my turn.
"I am Derrick Treaty. I wish to train as a Ranger."