Hello again, we are on the finish line. As the Oracle once said ‘Everything that has a beginning must come to an end.’ So too, must Taylor, Isaac and Ryan’s journey on La Huerta. The question is, for the better or worse?
Yvonne: That being said, Monsieur StarflareKnight doesn’t owe anything, with the exception of Isaac, Ryan and Taylor (At least this version)
Much obliged, without further ado, onto Book 3!
Where am I? One moment, I was in the tunnel with Isaac, Yvonne, Uqzhaal and the Endless or rather an older me. But now, all I see is light. And I hear a voice, and for some odd reason, it’s so familiar. “You’re beginning to understand, aren’t you? …Who you truly are…” so I say to it “I know who I’ve been, at least.” This makes whoever it was talking to me reply with “The more you experience, the more defined you become.”
Act 7 Chapter 1: Time Escapes Me
The blinding light grows more intense, with the voice slowly fading saying to me “We shall meet again soon, Taylor. All that ever was, is, and shall be depends on your choices.”
And I find myself back in Mount Atropo with the others that were currently with me. “What sort of devilry is this?” Yvonne said seeing how the Endless looked without the helmet. “I think that’s what we all want to know.” Isaac comments to that. “You’re…”
“I’m you. Yes.” Older me said. Then Isaac asked “Wait, isn’t it a bad idea for two of the same people being here? I mean, the whole fiasco with Barry Allen and his Evil Time Remnant, Savitar kinda proves it.” This only make her chuckle a little “While that is true, the suit I wear will prevent a paradox from being caused by our proximity to one another.” That’s when Uqzhaal said quietly but with anger “You lied to us. Lied to the Vaanti… for generations!”
But all she said was “I did not lie. The Twelve are integral for preserving Vaanu.” But he wasn’t having it “You used my people as mere pawns, fodder… caring only about your so-called Catalysts!” but all she did was said “You needed something to believe in, didn’t you?” my god, please tell I won’t grow up to be like this? The older one is so callous, only caring for what she wanted. And Uqzhaal was glaring at her in quiet anger. But then Isaac asked “Just one thing, if there was only supposed to be twelve Catalysts, why are Ryan and I considered them as well?”
“Ah… there is the important question. After the Three Tribes’ War had scattered the Idols to different area among the Island, Two people, both showing Divine power appeared to the Vaanti. I watched from a distance, and learned they were also wanting to help stop the Mount Atropo’s eruption. The Reincarnation of the Goddess, also left behind certain items here on the island. Some which only one chosen person could use. The Ascended Pharaoh left certain Vaanti instructions on to help train his chosen one in using the shadows as his ally.”
When she finished explaining, I asked her one thing as well “You said the others were alive?” this made her turn her attention to me “They’ve eluded Rourke and his henchmen so far, but I doubt they can keep it up. Even with the Blade of Evil’s Bane protecting them. So we must act quickly.” Great, I was worried about that “First he wanted us in stasis tanks, now he wants us all dead?”
“Rourke isn’t much for loose ends. Now that he’s discovered an energy source capable of powering his device, he no longer needs you… or me. It’s only a matter of time before his Arachnid mercenaries locate everyone.” Now we have to find everyone before he does, especially if he killed Ryan in cold blood. Thank goodness that last ability brought him back from dying. “Okay, but how is any of this even possible? What are you? What… am I?” I asked not wondering about myself.
That when Older me lowers her mechanical limb to the floor of the tunnel. “My journey to self-discovery was long and difficult. Yours will happen much faster. It’s important, however, that you develop that understanding on your own.” That’s when flames swirl among the metal fingertips, igniting a line of powder. With that, we saw sparks travel its trail disappearing around a bend of the tunnel. “In the end, it’s up to you to decide who you are.”
And we heard the explosion in the distance, and something filled me with complete dread… especially with what happened afterwards…
So Atem and Zelda did come to La Huerta after all, but why so long ago? I mean, I can understand the Master Sword and all of the equipment Ryan found. But why did Atem come to them? “There. That should activate the crux. We’ll…” but Elder Taylor stop as we feel the tremor and the Yubel says in my head ‘Don’t just stand there! RUN!!!” whatever got Yubel to shout that, must be too much even for her…
“This is not as I’d excepted.” When Elder finished that, we fall off our feet as the ground shakes violently! “Whoa!!” “Ugh!!” “Oof!” was there going to be a cave-in? That’s when we felt a gust of intense hot air blowing at us! “The mountain is erupting!” Uqzhaal says to us panicked. “…Right now!?” Taylor said to that. And that’s when we heard the ear-splitting roar from below us somewhere “AAaAAAHhhHHH!!!”
“By the black depths, what…?” Yvonne said just as panicked as Elder said “Now I understand. The core is missing, destabilizing the entire structure… We need to leave immediately.” So I said annoyed “You think, Skywalker!? Time to haul ass!” that got Taylor to look at me surprised. Dammit, Jake and Mike! You nicknaming habit is rubbing off on me! As we rush out to the entrance of the temple, we see Mount Atropo erupting violently, but thankfully no pyroclastic cloud. But there was streams of lava coming down the slopes. “Too late… It’s all too late. Raan’losti has come.” Uqzhaal said in sorrow as Yvonne went up to Elder, blocking her path. “Arrête demon! You told me if I brought Taylor and Isaac, you’d give me the Fountain.”
What fountain? “The legendary Fountain of Youth, yes. It’s inside the mountain just as you and your pirates believed… But not in the form you’d expected. In any case, I wouldn’t go back there now.” Elder said as she pointed to the erupting volcano, with geysers of lava rocketing into the night sky. “This is no ordinary eruption. The entire island is about to change… just as it did when Rourke tampered with the crux.” This got the Taylor I know to say “Will this make everything worse?”
But Uqzhaal answered that for us “During the last eruption the Vaanti were pulled back hundreds of years…” that me made remember the state Hartfeld was in “And that eruption made the world look like hell itself. Is this one going to send everything even further?” I asked now worried. But Elder could only say “There’s no way to know how far-reaching the effect will be yet.”
“…So you’re saying the Fountain is lost?” Yvonne asked. “What you seek can be found in the east. There’s another temple on the coast. A place known as No’ox Naj. Your brother Patrice…” “Get out of the way of the flow!” I heard Yubel yelled to me. So I look as a see a gout of lava crashing onto the slopes nearby. And it’s heading our way! “Oh god… I don’t think we’re gonna survive this.” Taylor said as Elder looks at her intently “Listen to me. You’re the miracle I’ve waited for. You’re the only one who could keep everyone safe… I need you to recover the Island’s Heart from Rourke. With it we can preserve and protect our friends. Do you understand?”
Wait, preserve La Huerta? What above the rest of the world? “I… I…” Taylor was stammering as I was left speechless. Didn’t the Endless care about restoring the world outside? “Taylor, do you understand!?” all Taylor could say to that was “Yes.” that’s just great. “Good. Stand back.” that’s when the Elder Taylor puts on her helmet back on. And she slowly stepped back with her arms extended out as the lava flow came to her. And as it consumed her, she said to us “Go… Find everyone! Find… the Island’s Heart!” and with that, she vanished in the inferno. “No! Wait!”
“Laisse tomber! We must go!” Yvonne said to her as I helped the pirate drag her away with Uqzhaal running with us to higher ground. When we were on top of a hill, we down as the lava was gathering at the base of the volcano. “We should be safe up here.” the shaman said, only for a lighting storm to prove him wrong! “A storm?” I don’t think it’s an ordinary storm Yvonne. “…Not a natural one.” I was afraid the shaman would say that. That’s when we see the same kind of ball lightning from six months ago. “This is bad… we should find cover somewhere fast.” I said…
Just as some of them struck the foliage nearby, causing a wildfire! “Zut alors!” Yvonne yelled as the said quickly “…No longer safe! We must move, quickly!” but then we hear a crackle of wood… and a large trunk is falling toward us! We all make a mad dive as it fell, landing right in the smoking brush. Crap… too much smoke… “Kff! Got to keep… moving!” but even as I listen… to Yvonne… I was getting… too weak…
“Can’t… breathe…” dammit. I didn’t get used by Yubel to save Taylor, run out of a volcano… only to collapse on the ground... from smoke intake… got to…
“I got you!” wha… Ryan?
With the eruption giving us light, we saw silhouettes of people collapsing from the smoke. It was Isaac and Taylor! Jake, Estela and myself run over to help them and I see that the pirate Yvonne, and shaman Uqzhaal was with them. But why was he running away from them? Weird… “I’ll get Isaac, Jake get Taylor and Estela, Yvonne.” I said as run over to grabbed Isaac before he fell unconscious. “I got you!” I say to keep him awake. “I ain’t losin’ you twice, Princess.” I heard Jake say to Taylor. “Jake?” she asked as Isaac just looked at me, giving a small nod.
So as we get them to their feet, we hurry the three away from the smoke, getting fresh air into their lungs. But we had to hurry if we wanted to get away from the fire. “You alright?” Jake asked his cargo “I think so. Nice timing, by the way.”
“Oui, the three of you really know how to sweep in at just the right moment! How do you call it when there are two couples? A ‘double date’?” Yvonne tells us which got me sweatdropping as Isaac simply said “Much obliged, little Fireblade.” ‘Fireblade’? Great, must be getting Joker’s nickname habit.
“Ha. You wish.” Jake said to the pirate’s question. “Can we save the flirting for when we’re not about to be burned alive?” Estela asked. “Wait. Where’s Uqzhaal?” Taylor wanted to know, so I answer with “That’s the weird thing. When we saw you four, he just ran off. Not sure why though.”
“Grandpa Smurf knows these jungles better than we do. We’re gonna have to hope he can make it out on his own.” Jake commented as I finished. The Ball Lighting was still coming on above us, raining arcs of electricity from above. “So, how’d you find us?” Isaac asked next. “The chopper went down right after you fell. We’ve been combing the forest while the Cap and Big Guy search along the eastern coast. But the bigger question, is how did you survive that explosion, Boy Scout?”
“To be honest, it was Yubel. She protected me.” Simple enough answer. “So Sean and Craig are alright.” Taylor said. “Yeah, Ryan used the Stasis Rune at the last second for us to get out before the crash. So we’re alright. But we can only hope. It’s been three days since we saw them.” Estela added to that. “Didn’t think it’d take this much time to find you, but Michonne and Badger Boy over will tell you two that I’m wrong every once in a while.”
“Wait a second, three days!? But I thought it was just for a few…” Isaac said before the Sheikah Slate and Fi warn us ‘Danger, Area in Unstable State of Space-time. Extreme Caution recommended’ ‘Warning, Master. The Area is experiencing an extremely unstable flux of time energy. Rifts in time are imminent.’ That doesn’t sound good at all. “Is that one of the rifts Fi was talking about over there?” wait, what did Estela just say? And as she said it, there was a rift up ahead. “The hell?” Jake said seeing it too. “It’s… like a window. I see a place on the other side.” Yvonne added seeing it as well
Skreeeee… That’s when we hear a high-pitched sound from the tear. And we all see to our shock, dinosaurs! And one of them was coming at us! “We got incoming! Scatter!” I yell to them! And all of us quickly get away as a large pterodactyl came out, and went up in the night sky! SKREEEEE!!! “Good lookin’ out, Badger Boy.” Jake tells me “C’est un monstre!” I don’t blame the pirate for calling it a monster. They probably never seen a dinosaur skeleton in her time.
“Dinosaur, but close enough for my mustard.” Jake replied to that. “Let’s get out of the way of this rift, before something else comes out.” Taylor suggested to us as Estela said to her “Agreed.” So we keep going in the forest, leaving the rift behind. “Okay, gonna get this out, that never happened during the last storm… did it?” Isaac said after seeing that. “Hard to say. The two of us were busy trying to keep Delilah from making a swan dive into the Caribbean at the time, Boy Scout.”
“We were lucky. We were spared… along with the island. And now there’s nothing out there to go back to.” I’m starting to think the state Hartfeld was in before that lava tsunami wiped it off the map was far too much for Estela to take. I’ve never heard her that depressed before. “Take it easy, Ripley. I ain’t having you crack at a time like this.” not the wisest thing to say Jake. “I’m not cracking. I’m being honest with myself. Everything’s gone. This is all we have now.” now I’m starting to feel down.
But after flashes of blue light appeared in front us, two more rifts were seen. This place is getting dangerous. “Looks like Rourke’s about to get that prehistoric theme park he always wanted.” But the ground starts rumbling when Jake said that. “Pour l’amour de Dieu… what now!?” Yvonne cursed at that moment. And that’s when a fissure showing lava below us was rising! “Figures. My day is going so well.” and that’s when Fi said to us ‘Everyone, I suggest that we use these rifts. If creatures such as the winged-beast can cross over, then you should as well. I calculate an 87% probability that they will keep you safe until the eruption has calmed down and the fires died out.’
“Well, since the sword says so, I’ll listen to it.” Taylor said as Jake and Estela look at each of them. “Looks like some kind of bayou in this one. Moonlight… still water… Reminds me of home.” Jake said as he saw the one he was nearby. As for Estela “I see a room full of windows. And stars? It’s actually… beautiful.” And a third one appears in front of Yvonne. So as she took that one, I went with Estela while Taylor and Isaac followed Jake to his…
(A/N: The following two POV’s are being done at the same time…)
When we dive into the rift, the first thing I noticed was the sweat I had was growing cold… and I was floating? “Okay… this… is odd. Even by La Huerta standards.” I said as I tried to keep myself from panicking. Estela was tumbling as well, trying to control her movement. But if I was having this much trouble, she isn’t doing any better. “Ryan, take my hand!” so I grab onto it, and try to get my bearings. “You think it’s too much just to ask the portals to take us somewhere peaceful? Like maybe a Shinto shrine?” but then she said “I don’t think that exists on La Huerta in any timeline.”
And that’s when we see it, the Earth. The surface completely engulfed in flames, and in the Caribbean, La Huerta, still shielded from the flames by the time bubble. What is that powerful that it could keep the island safe? Then it hits me “Holy… we’re in space?” I asked surprised. “We can breathe in here. I think we’re safe for now.” but for how long Estela? And that’s when I realized, I was holding onto to her waist, and her arms around my neck.
“Estela, I sorry I never got a chance to say I’m sorry. Back at MASADA, I had a feeling I must of scared you when Rourke tried to kill me.” so she said in response. “Yeah, you did. When I saw him shot you, I was actually worried he was gonna take everything away again. But, I’m truly glad you still here with me.” We look at each other for awhile, before hugging even tighter. She had her head buried in my shoulder as I stoked the ash off her hair. This warmth is actually pretty welcoming. Especially being cold in space.
So when we take a look around in the pod, my eyes narrow spotting something on nearby. “Why am I not surprised.” I said as she commented “…Rourke.” As we see his symbol, the Hydra on a glass cabinet. “How far forward did we go…?” she asked wondering as I was. I spot a computer nearby and check the date on it. ‘November 4th, 2897 CE.’
“If want I seeing is right, then eight hundred and eighty years.” I said balking. “WHAT?!” her hands gripped tightly onto me. “He… he can’t… He can’t be here eight hundred years later! He can’t!!” and before I could do anything, she pushes me away. “Estela?” next thing she does is float over to the cabinet and start beating her hands on it. “Hey! You’re gonna hurt herself like that! Stop!” but she just said in fury “I don’t care! I can’t look at his stupid name anymore! He should’ve been erased from history!” she was crying, that much was certain. And not to mention the hits were becoming more desperate.
So I float over between her and the cabinet. “Ryan, please get out of the way.” as she said please. “Estela, please. Just stop and take a deep breath.” She was trying to find a way pass me, shouting in frustration. “There isn’t a stupid future where Rourke doesn’t win!” but I keep the cabinet covered with my body. “I know it’s hard to take in, but I’m not giving up. On saving this world or you for that matter. I need to apologize to my parents when I do.” but she just snarls in frustration again, with her hands balled into fists. And she finally relents saying sadly “It’s just not fair.” Her eyes look at mine, being reddened from crying.
“No, it’s never fair. None of it is.” I said as I shudder watching the burning world below me. “But, much as I don’t believe it, we survived. Every day we’ve been here, we survived. Once we find to others, we’ll do it again. I know we will. After all, we’re still here, aren’t we?” that’s when she gives me a faint but genuine smile and nods to me. “Yes. We have.” She answered. “So stay by my side, alright? Long as I have this sword, we will make it.” her eyes then look downward, the smile flattening. That’s when I saw a button marked ‘Stellar Observation Bay’.
The hell with it, I press the button and the metal roof above retracts. Whoa… “Oh my god…” she said as the ceiling gives us a clear view of the universe. “It’s amazing…” to think the astronauts in their expeditions always have a view like this. As she leans against my chest, I could tell she was just as breathless as I was. “When I was little, my Tío Nicolas and I would stare at the night sky together. He taught me all the constellations, but I didn’t like them. So I made my own.”
She did? If only I had the chance to do that myself. Estela lifts my hand in hers and points to a group of them in one direction. “That one is a jellyfish.” I say to that “I guess you were a Catalyst as a kid then.” With that she replied “If I’d known what awaited me I might not have been as excited about stars…”
“Man, that’s bleak, if only I knew as a kid. Maybe I could have constellation for myself…” that’s when she smiled at me saying “You might, after we stop Rourke.” As I nod I saw the time rift was still there. As well as the other no longer being red from the fires. “Well, time to go back to the others.” she nodded as well commenting “We should, then, the others might worry.” That or talk… knowing how Jake was. But before she could push herself off the wall, I stop her. “Wait. Just one more thing…” and with that I kiss her as she returns it with one hand in my hair and the other drawing me close. As the two of use float in the room, the only thing I feel is the sensation between us.
“I’m so glad you’re here, Estela.” I said finally to her. “Same, but no more dying on me, okay?” she answered. And to my surprise, she pouted as she saw the rift. “Let’s do this again sometime soon.” So I said “Okay.” And then “And also, thank you for reaching out to me. When I came here, I only cared about revenge…”
“And now?” “…Now, I have you.” I know at that moment, I felt my heart melt as I saw her blush in embarrassment. And we kiss each other once more, this time long and slow. And we fix our eyes to the rift with determination. “Ready to go save the world?” I asked “Let’s go.” And back to La Huerta to go…
We rush into the rift as Ryan’s sword spirit advised us to. The sound of that volcano went silent, and I hear chirping insects and the gentle lap of the water among the riverbank. “Looks safe enough.” I heard Princess say seeing the area. “Guess we’ll have to pass the time here until the fire dies down.” I nod saying “Guess so.” But I hear nothing from Isaac as he just walks off elsewhere. Guess we should leave him be. So Taylor and I sit down by the edge of the water.
“Whatever this place is… it’s sure a dead ringer for Pearl River.” I commented. This got her to ask “Is that where you grew up?” so I answer with “Yeah. We moved around a bit before I headed off to Annapolis, but my grandparents always had their place out in the backcountry. That house was the center of the family.” Oh, how I miss being there. Then she asked me “What was it like there?” she had to go there. But, might as well answer. “It’s a different world out there. Simpler way of life.” So she responds with “Simple sounds pretty nice right about now.”
“You’re tellin’ me. My sister and I would spend the day swimming, fishing, and pranking the neighbor’s kids… Our favorite trick was a little thing called ‘Crabby Britches’.” Oh, how I miss that… “’Crabby Britches’? You mean…” so I answer before she finished that sentence. “Exactly what it sounds like. Strategically placed crawdad when you least except it.” that I said smiling how the kids we pranked would cry bloody murder. “You two were little brats.” She said imagining that. “We were. It was great.” But then I see something and say “Hold still.”
“What? Why?” but I keep silent. And then I swat the little bugger! “Hey!” so I say to her response with “Maringwin… Otherwise known as a mosquito. Got him though. Not to worry.” That got her to say to me “My hero.” Her ‘Hero’ huh? I kinda like that. “I do what I can.” but I pause, seeing Isaac there by his lonesome. He must be just as hurt I as was, I can’t blame him. We both thought… but my look must’ve worried Taylor. “Something wrong?” she asked. Might as well get it out. “I just… keep going back to the moment I lost him.”
“You mean Mike?” hit it right on the nail there. “Lundgren got his claws on him. Made him into something inhuman. I could’ve saved Mike from all of this… And I didn’t. And now whatever’s left in him is in there watching, suffering… I can’t take it Princess. And if I’m any indication, imagine how Boy Scout is feeling all about this. Not to mention if Red is truly gone. It’s breaking him apart.” I look at her, and somehow, I’d knew she would see the helplessness I’m having. “Jake, we’re gonna get him out.” She’s right of course. I swallow the grief and pain, nodding to her. “No matter what it takes.”
“That’s the spirit.” Then I feel her hand on my back, trying to comfort me, so I shake my head, exhaling slowly. “Helluva place, this island…” I said calm again. Maybe I should also have her talk to Isaac. He may be a peacekeeper, but she’s the glue of our little band of misfits. “You’re telling me.”
“We’ve been through a lot here, but I gotta say… For you, Taylor, I’d do it all again.” I say as I reach my hand out to hers. But she had other ideas, as Taylor pulled me in closer for a kiss. I couldn’t resist smiling and grant her wish. “Don’t mind if I do.” if I were serious before with her, I’m now in love with the girl. Had to be sure it was soft and warm, while caressing her with passion, and I’m sure to take her breath away. When we pull apart, I run my fingers in her hair. We say nothing for a while then I look again at Isaac. Poor guy. He’s been through a lot too fast. So I distract myself with “You ever think maybe… we were meant to be?”
“I do think that. Yes.” ah, Taylor. “All of the craziness this place has thrown our way couldn’t keep us apart. Even brought us to this Land Before Time swamp that looks just like my old stomping grounds.” I added seeing all this, just hoping there ain’t a Sharptooth around though. “I’m glad I could see it with you.” she answered me “Me too, Princess.” We then heard a faint tsk from Isaac. Might as well chat get this over with. “Hey, I’m gonna go talk with him. Keep an eye open, okay?” I asked as she nodded.
As I walk over to Isaac, and I could see that all this craziness was getting to him. That cut above his eye from Phony Stark may have been patched up by Michelle. But the scar was still there. And his eyes, they look haunted. And I could’ve sworn he was having gray streaks in his hair. “I look like shit, don’t I?” he said to me. He’s trying to hide it. So I answer with “Look, Isaac, I’m sorry for what I’m putting you through. If I had known that he was still alive…” but he cuts me off with “I know, I know. You had no way of knowing, McKenzie.” Oh crap, if he called me by my last name, then he’s really hurting inside.
“I don’t blame you if you hate me, now, Isaac. So go ahead, yell at me, hit me. Just don’t take it out on anyone else.” He looked at me surprise. And then “Jake, I’d said I forgive you. It’s just, everything that’s happened so far. Quinn being possessed, Hartfeld, Mike alive. Yubel. I don’t know if I can keep going. How can I make peace with everything, Lundgren included wants to kill us?” I was afraid of that, the pressure gotten to the kid. So all I can say is “Just keep pushing forward. Besides, you’re not alone in this, you got all of us.”
After that, he finally says “Is it still alright for me to hit you?” I smirk at that and say “Sure, if you think it wi…. OOFFF!!!!” next thing I feel is his fist in my face! “Jake!” I heard Taylor cry out seeing that. But I wave her off saying “It’s alright. The Boy Scout needed to do that. Feelin’ better.” But he said “Nope, but it’s a start.” Then I see him rub his hand in pain. And then…
“Damn I lost the 50 I bet with Craig thinking you got a glass jaw.” I laughed at that remark. Should’ve never made a bet like that, kid. That’s when he said “Looks like the fire’s gone now.” so we turn to see the rift, and wouldn’t ya know, it is gone. “As we say in the South, ‘tempus sure does fugit’. You ready, you two?” Isaac nodded as he puts on that pilot jacket of his. “As ready as we’re ever gonna be.” Taylor answered for him. So out of the swamp and back into the jungle we go… Isaac, we will save Mike. Mark my words, Boy Scout.
As the three got out of the rift, they see that Ryan and Estela just got out of theirs. “Hey you three.” Ryan said as Estela added “Welcome back.” so Jake asks them “About time. What were you two up to in there, anyway?” this gave him a glare from Estela as Isaac says in the third rift “Yvonne! The worst of the danger has passed. It’s safe to come out now.” that’s when the pirate pokes her head out before coming out of her rift. “A surprisingly pleasant sieste… Shall we be on our way?” she asked the four. “We should get a move on. The sooner we leave, the better. Don’t want to be caught in whatever the volcano has in mind for us.” Ryan said.
As the eruption continues, the group trudge through the rainforest. And at least two hours later, they finally make it to the shoreline. They were given the view of large pillars of rock above the sea looking like fingers grasping for the stars. “Whoa. Where are we?” Taylor asked. So Ryan took out the Sheikah Slate, which thankfully was still with him all this time, saying to them “Looks like the north-eastern side of the island. In particular, this area is called Colonnade Cove.” Yvonne added to that saying “Magnifique, non? This is also a treacherous harbor that only master sailors dare traverse.”
“So now what?” Estela asked as Ryan put away the Slate. “Now, I guess we have a look around.” Jake suggested. “And what exactly are you expecting to find? Look at the mountains. Like Ryan said, we’re in the north-eastern side.” So Taylor asked “Sean and Craig were searching in the east, right?” but then Estela answered with “Yes. And the eastern coast is probably one giant inferno of lava right now… We took too long.”
“We’ll find them, Trinity. Just relax.” But Jake’s comment just made it worse, despite Ryan reassuring her earlier. “Use my name or don’t speak to me again.” She growled at him. Ryan could only sigh at her attitude as she faced away from them. “We were idiots to think we could all make it through this together. Honestly… I doubt anyone is getting out of here alive.” That was when Yvonne said rather timid not by Estela but from something else. “Ah, pardonnez-moi… but do you happen to see something out by that cliff?”
This made them all look to where she meant. But Jake said “More… beach?” but that’s when Fi warns them “Master, an unknown entity is approaching. I recommend using caution.” That’s when even Taylor can see it “They’re right. Something is over there… I think it’s heading our way.” as Ryan drew out the Master Sword just in case, and Isaac ready to summon a monster, they get a better look at it. It was strange and indistinct, the moonlight particularly seemly bright on it. “Is it the shaman? Jumanji, that you?” Jake asked but receiving no reply. It drew closer. “…Wh-who’s there?” Taylor said as the fear was getting to her too.
As it finally came to them, they saw it was… unnatural, even by La Huerta standards. Green light was undulating within its ghostly body. And on the face was nothing. “Holy…” Jake said surprised as the others were. “I’m not imaging this, am I guys?” Isaac asked everyone. But Yvonne just yelled out “Oh, non non non! Yvonne does not do ghosts!!” as she turns tail and runs to hide behind some palm trees. Estela finally turns, finally realizing something was looking at her! The being looks at her, taking in the grief-stricken expression. “…”
“What is this? W-what’s happening?” she said as it raised its hand to her, offering something to her. It was a small object barely visible in its grasp. “Is that… How did you get that?” she said shocked. “What is it? What does it have?” Taylor asked. The answer shocked her too “A photo I kept at home in San Trobida. It’s me, my mother and Tío Nicolas… It can’t be real. Everything out there is burned to cinders.” She said the last portion with sorrow. She stares at entity with fear. Sensing she was scared, its light faltered as if in sorrow. “…” so it turns to Taylor as she was closest and extends the photo to her in desperation.
“Taylor, I recommend taking the photo this entity is offering. I’m detecting its energy is preserving it the best it can from the fires outside the time bubble. If the offering isn’t accepted, the probability of it burning to ashes in 100%.” Fi says to her as she saw the spirit was right. So when she takes it, the entity instantly vanishes. “…It’s gone.” Estela said, but as she was given the photo, Estela, Taylor and Ryan are suddenly hit by a blinding light!
I open my eyes after shielding them, and I see… no… this is… home… and in the room I find Tío Nicolas, trying to fix his old typewriter. Ah, my poor Tío, always trying to write his memoirs on that old relic. “Come on, you tonto…” and he smacks the cabinet hard. His typewriter finally emits a clang, showing its keys are back in place. All that however, made him forget where he was as he sighs. “…Now I’ve forgotten where I was.”
I then hear knocking on the door and to my surprise, I was there too, carrying a large box. “Ha. And then there’s my niece who thinks she can fix everything with her fancy college degree!” I stayed in Hartfeld?
“Hola, Tío Nicolas. I have something for you.” That’s when we see the image on the box, and of course, Tío does too. “Estelita, I told you… I don’t want that. Everything’s traceable with computers.” But we see ‘myself’ reply with “You’re not going to use it for planning revolutions, Tío. It’s for your memoirs. You’re never going to finish them on that rusty old thing.” That of course, got him mad. “It works fine enough!”
“Does it?” that’s when ‘I’ was pointing to a small stack of haphazardly typed pages, asking him “Tío, how are you going to inspire generations of San Trobidans with your life’s story if you can’t even get a single chapter done?” I forgot how blunt I get with my Tío at times. He couldn’t think of an argument. “…Alright, alright. I know how futile it is to argue with you.” he said with defeat. “Good. Now help me unpack it.” so I see them unpack it from the box and set it up. “You never give up. Just like your mother. I should call you Livita.”
“I’m not a little girl anymore, Tío.” That’s when he said “No, you’re not. She’d be very proud to see you now. All grown up and your way to great things. You should be somewhere exciting and full of promising young people. New York… London…” but ‘I’ reply with “I like it here.” only for Tío to say “San Trobida is your past, Estelita.”
“It’s my home. We fought for this place, remember?” ‘I’ said at that. Only to have him say “I will never forget. But we’re free of Salazar’s corruption now. And we’ve sent a signal that fascism will not be tolerated here ever again.” We took down Salazar? Are we seeing… it’s all making sense now, this could’ve been my future. “Yes. And now it’s time to take care of ourselves. Time to rebuild and plan for the future.” I heard ‘myself’ say to Tío. “Are you… thinking of starting a family?”
“Maybe I am.” That answer got him happy of course “Ha! Didn’t think I’d see the day. Perhaps I’ll even be a tío abuelo… Ah… how the time escapes me.” I saw him sniffle and grow misty eyed. Too proud to cry as always. And I saw ‘myself’ plug in the computer and give him the manual. “Okay, you got it from here? Give me a call if you need any help.” But he says in annoyance “Help? Hmph, I’ll be fine. Uh… where do I insert the paper?” I try not to laugh at that question. “Oh, Tío.”
And then we find ourselves back on the beach… I was holding onto the photo, and crying as well. “You three okay?” Jake the carbon asked. And I look at both Taylor and Ryan. Did they see it too? “I… Was that… How…” was all I got out before Ryan said “I might be guessing, but that looked like a future. One that could’ve been.” So I answer with “Yes.” as I gaze to the shore watching the tide wash in and out. And that’s when I hug onto Ryan. “Shh… don’t worry, it’s okay.” He whispered as I finally say “…I’d forgotten how much I miss my home.” As I gazed at the old photo. “When I was little, all I wanted was to have a family one day…”
I then step back, take a deep breath, and look at them, from Jake, Isaac, Taylor and back to Ryan. He truly has grown into quite the young man over these six months. “We’re going to fix this.” I said finally with Jake saying to it “Damn right we are.”
“No more anger. No more despair. We owe it to ourselves to fight for the future with all we’ve got. I think maybe I… I just needed to see it to keep believing in it.” I then look at Ryan asking him “Are you with me, Hikari?” so he smiles and says to me “All the way, Montoya.” I nod to his answer, smiling lightly at him, before I heard “Now that’s the Estela I know.” So I say to Jake in response “It’s Katniss, carbon.”
“Ha.” was all he said to that. “Sean and Craig must’ve seen the eruption coming. Hopefully, they found a place to wait it out.” And then Yvonne comes running back. I would’ve called her a coward, but then remembered pirates are superstitious. “Ahem. While I was, ah, scouting, I found something else.” And when see something in that direction. Well I’ll be, the pirate was ‘scouting’ as she said she was…
“A village? Those look like Vaanti dwellings.” Taylor said seeing them. So Isaac suggested “We should head over there. If the Catalysts are a big deal, they might know something about our friends.” this made Taylor say to that. “Let’s go find out.”
And as the group was heading to the village, Ryan was unaware that Fi was speaking someone behind them “So, he has found an ember, has he?” Princess Zelda asked her ‘Indeed. The photograph that Estela Montoya has is indeed an Ember given to them by the Island Spirit. I have a 100% probability that these embers will aid Master Ryan into obtaining the power of the Gods needed to stop his Grand-Uncle.’ The spirit answered to her.
“I hope so. By giving him that dormant power, Hyrule will not last for a week. I pray that he has what it takes to save us all. Ryan, may the power of the Triforce awaken within you…” the Princess says before disappearing once more.
And as for the group, they were unaware of the marking of three triangles on the backside of Ryan’s right hand…
And thus, Book 3 has begun. Can the Embers of Hope truly awaken the power of the Triforce within Ryan? And will they reunite with their friends and take back the Island’s Heart? R&R and stay tuned for the next chapter!