Just A Treasure Hunter: The Story of Locke
by Goyangeta

Prologue: Locke is one of the characters with a past that is revealed a good bit. We know he is in love with Rachel and that he lost her in an accident. We also know he is a member of the Returners when he meets Terra. But how did he meet Rachel? How did he join the Returners? Perhaps it happened like this.

“Stop thief!” the man yelled as he chased the youth through the streets of Narshe.

“That’s treasure hunter!” the young man yelled back, clutching the sack of gold in his hand. As he neared the gates of Narshe he could see the guards rushing to close them, to trap the youth inside. Putting on a new burst of energy the youth sprinted towards the narrowing exit. As he passed through he could feel the back of his purple bandana get caught in the door and torn off.

The boy ran through the door in to the school on the outskirts of Narshe. Inside, the teachers who knew him well, hid him inside a treasure chest until the guards had left. As he stepped out of the treasure chest he felt a hand on his shoulder. He yanked his dirk out of its sheathe and flipped the unknown assailant over his shoulder. Right before he stabbed the attacker he jerked his hand back and yelled, “Edgar! You royal buffoon what do you think your doing?”

As the youth helped the young prince up, Edgar remarked, “Still jumpy as usual Locke. What did you stea…er…treasure hunt this time?”

Locke hefted the bag of gold and winked at Edgar, “Just a little something to live on.”

Edgar chuckled, “Locke you haven’t changed a bit. So, now that you’ve made the entire city of Narshe your enemy where are you going now?”

Locke thought for a second, “I hear that there’s a city across the mountains called Kohlingen. It’s supposed to be a quiet place so I can lay low there for a while.”

Edgar smiled, “I’m guessing your gonna ask for a ride under the mountains right?”

Locke nodded, “You mind?”

Edgar shrugged and said, “Not at all.”

Locke exited Castle Figaro and looked towards the town in the distance. The castle only had enough power to burrow through soft material like sand so he was required to walk a good distance to get to the town.

In Kohlingen a young girl named Rachel was walking in her garden. She knelt down next to a crooked rose and straightened it. Looking at the sky she heaved a great sigh and said to no one in particular, “Why is my life so boring? Everyday I do the same things, talk to the same people, and go to the same places. I wish something exiting would happen before I go crazy!”

At that very moment a young man almost ran Rachel over as he leaped over the fence into her garden. He skidded to a stop and turned around with a worried expression on his face. He dashed up to Rachel and helped her up saying, “Are you okay?”

Rachel shakily got to her feet and looked up at the youth. His deep brown eyes struck her. Stammering, she muttered that she was all right. The youth seemed as struck as she was but he quickly shook it off asking her, “Is there somewhere that I can hide around here?”

If Rachel thought that this request was odd in any way she didn’t show it as she led the youth into her house. Luckily her father was out and she was able to hide the young man in a closet. Almost as soon as she had shut the door she heard a pounding on her front door. She hurriedly brushed herself off as she answered the door. Standing there was a young man brandishing a sword. He seemed to be upset about something.

“Where didst that heathen go young damsel?” the knight said, “He hast stole from me and now he shalt pay!”

Rachel gave the knight a cold look and said, “Well you won’t find any heathens in here now go away before I call the guards.”

The knight sighed and trudged away muttering something about how the king would be displeased. Rachel closed the door and gasped in relief. Rushing down the hall she opened the closet door and said to the youth inside, “He’s gone you can come out.”

The young man squeezed out of the closet and clasped the girl by her hands, “Thank you” he said, “It was probably stupid of me to ste…treasure hunt from such a heavily armed knight.”

Rachel arched an eyebrow at youth and said, “You’re a thief aren’t you?”

The youth turned a bright shade of read and sputtered, “That’s treasure hunter. Don’t tell me you’ve never heard of the famous treasure hunter Locke?”

Rachel shook her head, “No not really.”

Locke looked abashed. He kicked at the ground and said, “Well I’m not quite famous yet Rachel but I will be soon.”

Rachel started talking then stopped. She looked confused for a second and then said, “Wait a second, I never told you my name!”

Locke’s face burst into a grin as he said, “Well when there is but one beautiful lady in a town what else is there to talk about?”

Rachel blushed, “You fiend!”

There was suddenly a knock at the door Rachel started pushing Locke out a window saying, “Quick my father’s home!”

Locke said, “Can I come back tomorrow?”

Rachel succeeded in pushing Locke out the window and shouted after him, “Yes!”

Locke walked down the street whistling. He was just thinking about going to “treasure hunt” a little food from the Café when a strong arm snaked out from an alley and pulled him in. He was reaching for his dirk when he heard a familiar voice, “Tis I Locke sheathe thou sword!”

Locke sheathed his dirk for the second time in a few day’s and laughed, “Cyan you big oaf get off of me. It worked!”

Cyan smiled and turned Locke to face him, “So the damsel hast fallen for thou?”

Locke gave a rueful smile and said, “I wouldn’t quite say she fell for me yet but it looks good thanks for your help.”

Cyan nodded and said, “Anytime for a friend such as thou. Now just giveth me back my gold and I shall be on my way.”

Locke scratched his head and said, “Well there’s a funny story about that. You see I kinda saw a cool bandana and…erp!”

Locke never got a chance to finish his sentence as Cyan grabbed him and slammed him against a building. As he blacked out he though, “At least I met Rachel.”

At that moment Rachel was still going over the events of the afternoon over and over again in her mind. She had always imagined that she would fall in Love the normal boring way like everyone else. Instead she was almost ran over and had to face a heavily armed knight to save a thei…treasure hunter from certain death. Well she had asked for something exciting to happen hadn’t she?

Locke came to in the Inn with a considerably lighter gold sack than before his meeting with Cyan. As he got up he shook his head in amusement. Bad idea. He immediately fell back into the bed. His head feeling like it had been trampled by a herd of Behemoths and then stomped on by a Hades Gigas. As he lay down he thought about the only thing that didn’t bring pain to his head, Rachel. The moment he thought of her he leaped out of the bed ignoring the pain it brought to him. He was supposed to meet her today!

Rachel at that moment was sitting by her window close to tears. “He said he would meet me today” she said to herself, “I should have known that THIEF was nothing but talk.”

A small voice spoke behind her causing her to jump a foot in the air, “That’s treasure hunter.” Rachel spun around and smacked Locke on his chest, “How did you get in?”

Locke calmly sat down next to her and said, “Just came in through the window.”

Rachel laughed and said, “Well you don’t do anything like a normal person do you?”

Instead of answering Locke simply said, “Follow me.”

Locke took Rachel to the borders of the town where she hesitated, “Locke, I’ve never left the town before. People tell me that there are monsters out in the world that can hurt or even kill people. I’m..I’m scared.”

Locke took Rachel’s head in his hands and lifted it so she was staring straight into his eyes, “There are things out there that are scary and that can hurt you, but you can’t hide your entire life. Eventually life will lose its meaning for you. Without excitement, adventure, yes, even risk, life is worth nothing. Don’t worry, I’ll protect you.”

Rachel couldn’t remember the last time that she ever felt safer than right then. When she was out of her home for the first time and out in a world that could hurt you in every way possible. There in a treasure hunter’s care she felt safer than ever before.

The two went only a short ways out of town, stopping at a sheer stone cliff. Rachel looked up the impressive cliff and asked Locke, “We aren’t going to have to climb that are we?”

Locke gave her a wink and turned to the cliff. Rachel watched with interest as he bent and pulled a stone like any other from the face of the cliff. Suddenly the ground began to shake violently, throwing Rachel off her feet. Locke managed to catch her and hold her steady as she watched in amazement as a large section of the stone cliff lifted away to reveal a passageway.

Rachel looked at Locke wide-eyed and said, “How did you know that was there?”

Locke smiled, “Secrets of the trade. C’mon.”

The two entered the cave, Locke seemed to know where he was going but Rachel became totally lost after a few minutes.

Each turn just served to make her more and more confused. She had a vice grip on Locke’s hand, knowing that if she lost him she would be trapped in this maze forever.

Eventually they entered a large chamber. Sitting on a pedestal was a small chest. Rachel stared at the chest, “That’s what we came all this way for?”

Locke was staring at the chest as if it held the most wonderful treasure in the world, “You’d be surprised at the value of small things.”

Saying that he walked to the chest, gently he swept the chest away and replaced it with a bag of rocks. Seeing this Rachel cast an n inquisitive eye over Locke. Seeing her gaze Locke explained, “Sometimes the pedestal is booby-trapped, you just have to replace the weight quickly. You also have to get the weight right but that shouldn’t be a prob….”

At that moment the cave began to shake. Looking up, Rachel could see that the ceiling was lowering. Stunned into inaction Rachel could only stare as the ceiling slowly came down to crush them. The next thing she remembered was a sudden sense of movement, and a final burst into light as the ceiling crashed behind them. Shaking of her fear she looked around, they were back outside the cave. Locke was on the ground next to her gasping for air. Looking at her he cave his cocky smile, “Easy.”

Rachel couldn’t help but laugh. Looking at herself and Locke she gave an exasperated sigh, “Look at us! We’re a mess! Let’s get back to the village.”

After that day Rachel and Locke were inseparable. The two could be seen everywhere together. Eventually Rachel introduced Locke to her father, he wasn’t thrilled at first but after he learned the depth of Locke’s affection for Rachel he accepted him. Locke took Rachel on many more adventures, some were uneventful but others gave Rachel plenty of practice at what Locke called, “A treasure hunter’s greatest skill” running.

One day Locke arrived through the window as normal, however today he didn’t seem as sure of him self. Rachel smiled, “What’s wrong Locke? Couldn’t find a new treasure?”

“No it’s not that,” started Locke, “It’s just…”

Without another word Locke kneeled before Rachel, smiling he held out a diamond ring and simply said, “Well?”

No words could explain the joy in Rachel as she simply held out her hand and said, “Yes.”

Filled with joy Locke leap to his feet and put the ring on Rachel, “That, that’s great! That’s wonderful! I….I….I…”

Rachel laughed, “Is the great Locke at a lost for words?”

Locke smiled, “Never, now lets go.”

Rachel frowned, “Go? Where?”

Locke gave that grin of his, “You don’t think a little thing like an engagement will keep me away from priceless treasure?”

Rachel leap up, “Well what are we waiting for?”

The two left the town; suddenly the world seemed a lot brighter to Locke.

However, that brightness was to be dashed to pieces by the end of the day, the two had reached the cave and were just getting started, Rachel was crossing a bridge when it gave. Locke brought her back to he hometown but her memory was gone. Locke’s father ran the young man out of his house, ignoring the youth’s pleas. Locke wandered the countryside for months, trying to find something to bring back Rachel’s memory.

One day he just had to see her again, he went back to Kohlingen. Knocking on Rachel’s door a strange man answered. Confused Locke said, “Where is Rachel?”

Giving the youth a strange look the man said, “Who are you? Why do you talk of Rachel? She was killed a month ago in an Imperial attack. Everyone remembers it, her last word were, ‘Locke’”

Locke’s heart broke, he staggered away from the house not believing what his ears told him. He lurched in a daze around the village for hours before an old friend of his stopped him, “Locke, Rachel isn’t dead,” his friend said, “we paid for the herb man to put her in suspended animation, she still lives but in a deep sleep.”

Locke ran to the herb man’s house and saw Rachel, his happiness was brief though, as the herb man told him she would sleep forever. Leaving the house though, he said to himself, “If there is a treasure out there that can return Rachel to me, nothing will stop me from getting to it.”

Alas, Locke searched for over a year. Finally broken and battered he came to Figaro. There, Edgar the now king convinced him to join the Returners. Locke wanted revenge against those who had taken his only love from him, those who had destroyed all the things that made up his life. He would prove to him that the thing they should fear the most, was just a treasure hunter.

The Beginning