Categories > Games > Tales of Symphonia > Winds of Fate: A Thousand Needles

Chapter 6- Stranded

by D3stiny_Sm4sher 0 reviews

Stranded on a planet called Hylia, the group regains their senses. Stumbling upon a ranch in the middle of nowhere, they meet a ranch hand named Malon--a girl who has lost everything and is as stra...

Category: Tales of Symphonia - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Crossover, Romance - Characters: Lloyd, Sheena, Other - Published: 2006-04-30 - Updated: 2006-04-30 - 3029 words


The Destinia Saga...

Winds of Fate: A Thousand Needles

Chapter 6: Stranded

The ranch that had once seemed like a distant goal was now right before them. It appeared to be in the middle of nowhere, planted upon a broad hill amidst the seemingly endless fields of grass.

A wooden sign was laid in the soil at the entrance to the ranch, and a tree sat behind it. It looked like it had been broken recently.

Lloyd bent down to read it, but the writing was in a dialect he could comprehend. All he saw was a bunch of straight-lined runes of some sort.

"I can't understand it," he muttered, straightening his back.

"Guess that makes sense," Sheena said with a shrug. "We're on another planet."

"Well...Wouldn't that mean that we speak different languages, too?"

Sheena's face went blank, the answer eluding her.

"What are you talking about?" Garet grumbled, holding the sign up to his face. "I can read it just fine! It says, 'Lon Lon Ranch.'" He turned it around to show it to Lloyd and Sheena, and sure enough, those words were printed upon it.

Garet dropped the sign on the ground and proceeded to enter, leaving a baffled Lloyd and Sheena to ponder.

"I just tried to read it," Lloyd said to himself, shaking his head. "All of a sudden, I can understand it...?"

"C'mon," Ivan urged them as he passed by, Sheba and Mia at his sides.

"Yea, Lloyd, let's go." Sheena tapped his arm with her wrist and bolted onward to catch up with Garet.

As they climbed up a set of stone stairs embedded into the ground and continued through the narrow passageway, notes of music trickled their way. The soft soundwaves gently caressed their ears, restoring more and more of their spirits with every step they took to approach the source.

The lot of them were captured by the music, being drawn in like insects to a lantern. The tender voice of an angel combined with the rhytmic strumming of a guitar congealed together to give birth to a mystic country-side song that soothed the soul to the core. This song had been passed from mother to daughter as a nameless tune, and it was given a title by its new owner. The song was so powerful that it could tame the wildest of beasts and calm the most enraged heart. One particular beast--the mystical horse of Hylian legend--inspired the title: Epona's Song.

The group passed through what felt like a valley of wood. Two walls of tall, thick stakes surrounded them, drawing them inward. The calm, tranquil guitar strings lulled them further inside, and the heavenly vocal chords vibrated softly, composing notes that seeped into their souls.

The lot of them found themselves in a large field bathing in moonlight. The center was a circle of bare ground littered with grass seeds surrounded by burned pieces of wood that sat in a circle. What was left of a simple picket fence had a dirt path wound around it. The ranch was enclosed within the confines of a tall, thick wooden barrier made of logs stuck together.

To their left, two figures were sitting peacefully near the edge of the burned fence, the short, rough grass keeping them company as they spun a web of heart-warming music. A redolent scent drifted in the air: the familiar scent of farm air combined with the smell of ashes.

Of the two figures, one was male, and one female. The male was sitting with legs crossed and guitar in tow. He rocked slowly and rythmically, letting his entire body flow with each pluck of a string. He wore a straw hat and had short black hair. The girl sat with legs bent in, her chin resting on her knees. Her soft arms hugged her shins, and her dulled, sapphire eyes were the finishing touch on a saturnine expression.

"Oh, come, now," the young man insisted with a chuckle. "Aren't you going to sing? You're not giving our new guests a proper welcome." Though he hadn't lifted a muscle to recognize their presence, he still seemed to have detected them, somehow.

"Mm?" the flaming-haired beauty of a peasant hummed bitterly. Her glance drifted his way and she asked, "Guests? Didn't they leave this morning...?"

"Yes, yes," he agreed with a nod and a hearty laugh. "Our NEW guests, Angel..."

"I thought I told you to stop calling me that," the girl snapped with a quiet ferocity.

"Malon, be at peace. If you are, in fact, an angel, then that is what I shall call you."

The deep blue eyes on the pointy-eared girl's soft face rolled as she shook her head and turned it away from him, the name 'Angel' inducing memories that she couldn't bear at the moment. It was almost as if he knew the history she had with that nickname...The timing of his arrival was quite suspicious as well, now that she thought about it. It was at that moment that Malon began to suspect that Pyrric knew more than he let on.

As she turned away from him, however, her eyes met a shocking sight: Garet.

"Agh!" she gasped, her heart leaping from her chest like a jack-in-the-box.

Garet stumbled backward with wide eyes, and almost tripped over his own feet.

The two stared at each other for a moment with grit teeth and nervous eyes, and Pyrric spoke calmly, shifting his gaze to Garet.

"Welcome, traveler," he murmured cheerfully, still strumming the accompaniment on his guitar. "Please, take a load off--you must be weary from your journeys."

Malon's eyelids slunk down slightly as she concentrated on Garet's ears, concluding, "You're not from our planet, either..."

"Guhhh..." was all Garet could manage out, baffled.

"No, we're not," Ivan confirmed from behind the Fire Adept. "We're from a planet called Weyward..."

Malon's sapphire gems for eyes, which had looked like rustic stones moments before, lit up at the name. "Oh, Weyward! We just had an adorable couple from Weyward here yesterday," she explained merrily.

Ivan and Sheba exchanged glances, both surprised at the notion.

"Y-You did?" Sheba mumbled, aghast.

Malon nodded, beaming, and said, "Mm hm. You probably know them, don't you? That must be why you're here..." she hypothesized. "Their names were Eddy and Jenna."

"Eddy and Jenna?" Mia cried out, joining in on the conversation. "They were HERE?"

"Indeed, they were," Pyrric replied with a chuckle. "You just missed them. They left early this morning. Couldn't keep their hands off of each other, those two..."

As Lloyd and Sheena caught up to the rest, barely in the know, Mia's jaw dropped, and she turned to Ivan and Sheba.

"Can you believe it?" she murmured in awe. "They were just here?" she checked again.

"Unless you know of a different couple by the same name," Pyrric answered. "The girl had auburn hair and brown eyes, and the boy had eyes as blue as Malon's here, and hair as gold as the sun."

"Wh-What were they doing here? Why did they leave? Where did they go?" Mia spat out, stepping closer to the two who sat in the grass.

"Geez," Garet grumbled. "Chill out, Mia...They're already gone..."

She fumed at him with fiery eyes, "Chill out? Garet, our world is in danger, and they're both missing! What if something happens to them? What if we fail, Weyward is destroyed, and we'll never see them again? Besides, we could use their help..." Mia's breath was slightly ragged from her quick words, her body hyperventilating just a bit more than she would've liked.

Malon frowned sadly and bobbed her head.

"I tried to help," she mumbled. "It sounds like your home has a lot of problems right now..."

There was a pause, and Lloyd and Sheena stared at each other for a moment in the silence, utterly perplexed by it all. Malon's last sentence reverberated in Lloyd's mind, reminding him WHY Weyward was in trouble to begin with.

"Your friends," Pyrric explained, "came here to help save their world, too. They needed Malon's help to form a connection between this planet and yours."

"A connection?" Ivan muttered with a shrug. "What do you mean?"

"When a world is connected to another," Pyrric droned with a sigh, "it's strength is shared with the other. Weyward is in need of strength, and our world has some to spare."

"Wait, so...Does that mean that they're coming back home?" Mia demanded as calmly as she could.

"I don't think so," Malon quietly answered, her head still bobbed over her knees. "They didn't say exactly where they were going, but they DID say that they still had one more planet to visit..."

The blue-eyed girl's hopes were dwindled, and she sighed drearily at the conclusion she had made: they wouldn't be seeing Eddy or Jenna again soon, assuming they ever would.

"Great," Garet grumbled. "We just missed them, huh? damnit..."

"We still need to figure out how to get back to that ship," Lloyd noted quietly to Sheena, who gave him a quick nod of agreement.

"Well, if the connection is what you're concerned with, there's nothing more you can do," Pyrric conluded bluntly. "But I believe that isn't why you're here...Is that right?" His eyes seemed to glint from within the shadow of his straw hat.

"We're here by accident," Lloyd informed him. "We were thrown from a strange ship controlled by a man...made of metal..." Lloyd shook his head slowly, scratching his shoulder in a baffled state.

Pyrric seemed to freeze at the mention, while Malon simply raised a red eyebrow.

"Metal...?" she whispered dubiously.

"Metal, you say?" the boy beside her questioned.

"Yea," was the consensus from the group.

"...It must be of dire importance," Pyrric realized, tapping his chin, his music finally coming to an end. "Why were you aboard his vessel?"

"We were trying to save a girl named Kagome," Mia explained.


"You're sure this is OK?" Lloyd checked, glancing at Malon for an answer.

"It's fine," she mumbled with apathy. "To be honest, we could use some more company..."

They were standing inside the rebuilt cottage that had been set up near the entrance to the ranch, where the original once stood. Pyrric had helped Malon build it at first, and Eddy and Jenna, friends of those from Weyward, had helped out during their stay. With the other Adepts from Weyward, the cottage had been finished with relative ease. Malon, as well as Lloyd and Sheena, were amazed at the powers that the group possessed. Work that would have taken days took hours, and by the time the cottage was finished, sunlight was beginning to creep up the horizon.

There weren't any pillows, matresses, or blankets of any sort here, but when one is tired enough, these things don't matter. Scattering themselves across the two floors of the empty house, they began to drift off to sleep, one by one.

As usual, Lloyd was having trouble falling asleep. How could he, with such a burden hanging on his shoulders? No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't stop reminding himself that he had helped doom an entire planet. Again and again, he pounded his brain with the realization that there was nothing he could've done to prevent this from happening, but it didn't faze his guilt at all. Sheena, of course, was quietly snoring, her head nestled in his lap. Leaning against a wall, she had originally propped it on his shoulder, and it had somehow fell down without waking her. Lloyd's body was too exhausted to do anything about it, but his mind was far too awake.

"Does anybody know where Mia went?" groaned a groggy Garet from halfway down the stairs, which lay across the room from Lloyd.

"I dunno," he murmured drearily. "Outside?"

"The two smaller ones said they were going to sleep outside," Malon noted, sweeping sawdust into a pile near the door. A calm, chilly breeze swept in through the glassless, unfinished windows, cooling the burning minds of all within.

"Gah," Garet grumbled, trudging back upstairs, each step creating a loud 'creak.' He was sure she'd be in soon enough, as he knew for a fact that she disliked sleeping outside, at least at night.

As Lloyd sat in a half-asleep state of mental instability, he was brought back in time to a night weeks in the past...


"Well, what're ya gonna do, Lloyd? You have to do SOMETHING..."

"Yea, I know," Lloyd groaned indecisively. "Are you SURE?" he double-checked, scratching his head in doubt

Genis' shoulders sagged indignantly. "What? Of COURSE I'm sure! She acts all shy whenever she's around you, lately. Haven't you noticed?"

Lloyd shrugged and stared at the flickering flames dance in the moonlight.

"We're good friends, but I never thought about...--" Feeling too embarrassed to say it aloud, Lloyd let the rest hang.

"What are you gonna do?" Genis asked again, insistent on an answer.

"What SHOULD I do?"

"Wh-I dunno," Genis spat out in defense. "You could talk to her, right?"

Lloyd huffed indecisively, rubbing his hand across his head to slick his hair back as he pondered.

"I guess...But I don't think now's a good time, Genis..."

"I get ya, Lloyd," Genis chuckled, tossing a small log into the flames. "I was just makin' sure you were on top of things..."

Lloyd shook his head, a goofy grin spreading his lips out. "Thanks, Genis...Uh, I guess..."


The stars...they were so different here. Mia had grown rather fond of the stars she saw from her own planet. Such a strange feeling, gazing up at the night sky, and it feeling completely different. It wasn't just the stars, though, as many would hardly notice such a change. The sky just felt different, and that was about the best way she could describe it.

But her mind could only be occupied by the heavens above for so long until the daunting worries came flooding back to her, their current rapid and unrelenting.

Mia groaned irritably and removed her head from the ground. Sitting in the grass just outside of what was once LonLon Ranch, Mia turned to Ivan and Sheba, who sat against a small, lone tree. As she straightened her puffy ponytail, she called out to them for advice with calm curiosity.

"Ivan, Sheba..."

"Yes?" Ivan responded, turning his head to his good friend, Sheba, who mimicked his action in unison.

"Um...Something's really been bugging me lately, and I wondering what you thought abou-"

"Yes," Ivan interrupted with a firm nod.

"Absolutely," Sheba agreed sympathetically.

Mia was dumbfounded for a moment, until it clicked in her brain that they could read her mind-duh.

"You really think so?" she double-checked, plagued with doubt.

"Mia," Ivan began, his tone rigid but consoling. "I've heard the conversations in your head...Trust me, Garet will be fine. You'll both be better off."

Mia took a slow, contrite breath as she carefully stepped through her thoughts and reached the same conclusion. She would have to break off her relationship with Garet. Ivan was right-it was the best for both of them.

With that conflict brushed aside, the more dire problem crawled out from a dark corner of her mind: Weyward's fate.

"I'm sorry," she murmured dully, planting her head back into the grass as her self-confidence floated away on the same current as the previous issue had. "I haven't done such a good job being a leader, have I?" she droned, the flavor of her voice a sour hopelessness with a hint of self-loathing.

"Mia, stop," Sheba groaned out in a huff. "This isn't your fault. Don't give up on us-you're the one who's supposed to have enough hope to keep us going."

Mia's bitter expression continued to stare at the clouds as she remembered when they embarked on this journey a day or so before. Sheba was right-she had to keep going, for everyone back home.

Before she even realized it, her sight was becoming clouded by tears that had no place to go but fill up her eye socket. After a few moments, she sat up and slowly wiped them all away.

"Wh-what if we can't do this?" she whispered with petrified eyes. "If we fail-"

"We won't fail, Mia," Ivan insisted, waving her to come close to them. As she hobbled their way, half asleep, the Jupiter Adept explained, "If you keep thinking like that, we might not succeed, which is exactly why you mustn't lose hope like that."

"I know, I know," Mia sniffled, sitting beside Ivan, dabbing at her face to remove salty droplets. "I'm just real worried...About us, Weyward, Kagome...and Eddy and Jenna."

"We'll be fine," Sheba resolved warmly. "Weyward will come out OK, just like the last time, and Kagome's a tough girl-she'll hang in there until we can find a way to save her."

"Jen and Ed have each other, and that's all they need to keep going," Ivan added with a confident nod. He exchanged glances with Sheba, who smiled back in accord, their fond understanding of such a connection practically visible in the air around them.

Mia was settling down from her crying, taking deep breaths in and immersing herself in the calm, clean world around her. Tomorrow was a new day-tomorrow, they could learn more about this strange planet, and figure out a way to get off of it.

They were stranded, but at least they were stranded in a beautiful land of Hyrule. Mysticism glowed from every blade of grass, mystery radiated from every tree, and the arcane stars showered them with warmth. Mia's wary soul was tucked in a bed of ornate power, its head propped upon a soft pillow of lavish wisdom, and blanketed with paranormal courage. As she slept under the clear skies above Hyrule Field, she felt her heart, mind, and soul rest in a tranquil balance that restored her spirit.

She found herself stranded within a dream enchanted by the Goddesses above, and, for a time, the icy worries that had her soul deadlocked with melted away.

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