Legend Of Zelda Fan Fiction ❯ The Legend of Link: Lucky Number 13 ❯ What's Done In The Dark. . . Pt. 02: Pirates ( Chapter 34 )

[ Y - Young Adult: Not suitable for readers under 16 ]

Chapter Thirty-four

Should I still be angry? I don't think I should. I can hold a grudge with the best of people, but six years is a bit much. And let me guess why you've wasted your time looking for me. You wanted to know where I went, what I did, and with whom I did it. Correct? I suppose I can entertain your curiosity for a while. It's not like I have anything else to do right now. For starters, I found the end of my powers. After I exploded (for lack of a better word), my body pulled itself together somewhere in the Great Bay. I'd lost almost all of my powers leaving my brittle body to float across the expanse of water. I took the time to reflect on some things-life, the senseless continuum of puppetry, etceteras.

In all of 20 minutes, I came to the realization that I was comfortable alone. I wasn't solely born to please Nabooru, Zelda (the queen that is), or anyone else for that matter. I was born to live my own damn life, where as I've treated things more like I was born to be with woman one or woman two. Relationships weren't the answer to everything wrong in my life-they were just bigger problems in and of themselves. So, feeling more happy and unbridled than ever before, I found myself washed ashore and taken in by Gerudo of a different breed. They couldn't even give me one day to come to complete grips with everything! No, just toss Link into a hillside manner with a fleet of women who look like his former wife and her conniving little friends.

Funny, really, I nearly busted a gut laughing at the irony in it all when they first appeared. Of course, I fell in and out of unconsciousness from the lack of energy and had to keep that laughter within my own head. Irony later turned into a desire that they kill me quick, which turned into a depressing game of "Who's the cute guy?" See, this group of ladies happened to be up on the male populace. They were strong and independent, but they weren't totally against everything with a dick. I couldn't fight them, so I listened to bits and pieces of their conversations while they carried me back to their home. As I awoke for the first real duration of time, I figured that they would question me about something that I didn't know…

"Are you all right?"


I answered their apparent leader no, still expecting them to ask a question with an answer I didn't know.

"What's your name?"

I was wrong, again.

I told her that my name was Link, which was surely going to bring about the Hero of Time nods…

"Well, I am Galatea, Queen of the Chrosus."

Three times the wrong on that account.

They weren't Gerudo and claimed to have never heard of them; they'd never even heard of the Hero of Time; and to my amusement, they offered me a place to stay. Paranoia dictates that I sleep light, but unfortunately, I didn't have the will to do so at the time. By the time I woke up, some two days later, I had come to realize that I was at the base of my being. No ducking before entering low doors, moving stars at random, and the sort. I had returned to the body that bore my rise to godliness-complete with tattered red tunic, black tights, and a large Triforce burned into my back, a smaller one over my heart, and the usual suspect on my left hand. I shouldn't say Triforce, as it's more like three triangulates of burnt flesh. Losing all of that power didn't strike me as hard as I once thought it would for some reason.

Anyway, I awoke to find not only had the scars, body pains, and blinding headache all returned, but also my clothes were gone. They'd put me up in this nice room, which after the headache subsided, I was able to explore. It was a fairly large room that overlooked the Great Bay enough for me to see Snowhead Mountain in the distance, barely. There were also these weird designs decorating the walls, small two-tone circles. The circles looked to be composed of two swirling teardrops with one half being a solid black with a white dot at the bottom, where as the other was solid white sans the black dot at its top. Plus, they had some of the softest rugs that I'd ever stepped foot on… reminding me a lot of the ones from my former home.

Bah, my attitude turned stale at that precise moment. I said it took mere minutes to get over what had happened to me prior to washing ashore, but I realized that had been a lie. I think what describes my recovery best is scaling a mountain. In the middle of all of that water, there was nothing to remind me of everything that I lost. The feeling of relief and ease in the ocean was my way of treating the last 18 years of my life as a walk through a field. As we know, walking through a field is easy-just like marriage was to me. Sure, I came across the occasional raging river in my field; they were in the form of an argument or bad decision during the marriage. Despite those rivers, I always had a path to get across them. Sometimes, the path was unclear, other times Nabooru would be pointing to a bridge that I may have missed to get past the problematic river.

The only problem, this time, was that there wasn't a path. In the ocean, I had made it across the river of my wasted years and prepared to walk in a field of happiness that was self-created. Unfortunately, I walked smack-dab into a mountain. The river was just a precursor to how I really felt about losing my family-the mountain was the embodiment of the real feelings. So, I, in turn, made that mountain seem like a hill to myself. It wasn't until that damnable rug that I realized what I was up against-peaks, crags, rockslides, eruptions, and earthquakes would all present themselves to me on this mountain. I can admit that dealing with the emotional mountains has always been a weak point with me. It's so tempting to turn away from them and go skipping foolishly back into the field where everything was easy-back to the past in other words. But it's when I have to keep going up that it makes me angry. Then I start blaming myself for not doing something that could have kept me strolling through the field.

Plus, the mountain is full of traps to make it a harder climb. Certain stones spark memories that were so happy that once the memory ends, I'm painfully crushed when I return to reality. But the bright side to these emotional behemoths is that you could find someone on the mountain that knows a shortcut. Nabooru was that surefooted guide that showed me the out-of-the-way path that led back to the field-where things were fun and easy-after I severed ties with Zelda. Of course, the path that this guide leads you to could become an even bigger mountain in the future… like with Nabooru.

I digress, though.

As sadness turned into anger, I caught sight of a nice sword that, for a time, took my mind off of things. The blade guard had this nice flying wing design, lending to the thin blade an even more ornamental feel. I gave it a few twirls, testing the waters if you will, to see if it had enough weight on it to crack a head. Call it a trip down memory trail, but I had to see how far I'd deteriorated in my swordsman skills-bringing me to my next action. Sparring in the large, ovular mirror, I could immediately spot the rust. They weren't outstanding flaws as much as they were little points of error that would probably cost me unnecessary injury. Around this time, I heard the clapping.

Then Galatea says, "Is it a custom for your people to play fight in the nude?"

I had been so in focus that I only stopped bouncing from foot to foot to look at myself instead of my sword form. Yep, there I was as naked as a newborn. My preoccupation with my situation didn't leave room for much in the way of embarrassment, so I did the only thing I could. I asked for my clothes.

"Easy, Link…" Galatea drawls, giving me a look quite the opposite of what I expected. "You've been unconscious for a couple of days now. Plus, the ladies could only salvage this from your original ensemble." She laid my tights and a violet tunic-meshed with the scraps of my former red one-out with little fanfare before stepping back from the bed. "How'd you end up in the middle of the sea?"

"I got dumped," I replied truthfully, as she did the unneeded and turned around to give me some privacy.

"Oh, I'm sorry." Galatea goes on to say, "Did those pirate women steal your ship and throw you overboard?"

"Yeah, something like that," I said without much fuss or willingness to correct her. "If you could spare a boat, I'll gladly get out of your hair and be on my way."

You just knew that wasn't going to fly by the look on her face when she turned around-this sort of ill-intentioned smirk.

She strides over and boldly takes a hold of my arm, as if I was walking away from her, and says, "Come, come now. You aren't going to even tell me how you got those interesting scars-or where you learned how to use a sword?" Exactly, I'm getting this creepy feeling from her teal-shaded eyes as well. Her smile never wavered, nor did her expectance that I oblige her that much for rescuing me. So, once I'd tugged the tights back on, I stood there.

"I don't much feel like telling either story," I responded, as Galatea removed her hands instep with the response. She made her way to the rear of the room, opening the curtains over the two large, rectangular windows to let the sun in. For a time, my preoccupation with the world on the other side of the window in front of me held my attention. How did I get out of here? Where did I go from there? What was the point of leaving? All three were questions that I asked until I heard the scream. My knuckles cracked as my hand instinctively went for the sword on the bed to combat the yet-to-be-seen enemy. I spun around, neglecting to pull the tunic down the rest of the way, lest I be ambushed.

"What did those wenches do to you?" Galatea cried, as I soon realized that she'd just seen the large burns on my back due to the extra sunlight. A few of her guards rushed into the room, armed with crossbows and scimitars, ready to dish the pain when they saw the sword in my hand. "Quick, bring me some…" she said some word that I couldn't quite pronounce "…how did I not see this before? Gods, you've been branded like some kind of cattle."

Odd what a little direct sunlight brings out, huh? I tried futilely to explain that it was an old scar that didn't hurt, but this woman wouldn't hear a word of it. They quite literally forced medicinal treatment on me-even going so far as to keep me in bed for about three days. To show you how dysfunctional I am I actually felt like a crook for allowing them to essentially pamper me. By day three, I was a lazy thing. They bathed me twice a day, changed my bandages, and even fed me. Perhaps the irony in my situation wasn't irony. Maybe it was a subtle reward for the good things that I had done.

At the time, I was too paranoid to realize that. To me, it seemed to walk an eerie parallel with how things began with Nabooru. Honestly, I came out of a bad relationship-okay, the relationship had been over for nearly five years-with Zelda only to end up on Nabooru's doorstep. After letting Sepaaru almost beat me to death, I awake a couple of days later to begin a new life. Now, some 18 years after that-at the time-I land on Galatea's shore after ending a bad relationship with Nabooru.

Huh? I was just missing that female companion piece to complete the redundant circle. Enter Galatea-a woman who's last husband died at the hands of pirates. It was a tale she seemed all too happy to relinquish.

I think that I had been there about a month before the familiar roots began to plant themselves. At first, they were little things-like the way that she seemed to answer all of my questions about her people to ease my suspicious take on everything. But even with that, there was this constant feeling that she was setting me up. I mean, her guards always left us alone. If I came into a room, they left. If a couple of us were chatting and she came in, they'd leave. Even with this obvious planning for me to become her significant other, I couldn't totally dismiss her.

Something about the way she consistently reached out to me reminded me of something. "Do you have enough blankets?" Or "did you have enough trout?" Consistently, Galatea checked on just about every aspect of my being there and changed things to accommodate me. Like I said, I recognized that treatment from somewhere-and that was in me. It had been that distinct air of trying to please someone that I identified with-the constant reaching out, shaping, and re-shaping of myself to make comfortable the lives of my chosen. I had made up my mind to swim back to the Termina coast one night when, like clockwork, that familiar knock sounded from my door. By my estimate, it had to be at least midnight or a little after one when I let her in.

"It's open," I shouted to the door while continuing to stare at the peak of Snowhead.

"Anything I should be looking for?" Galatea quipped, as she came to stand beside me, smiling that smile.

She was one of those people who'd smile and make you smile, too. I never understood how she got me to do it, but I always found myself smiling when she came around. I think people like her exist to prevent people like me from dwelling on their problems. Honestly, how's a guy supposed to concentrate on the family that he'd walked away from 30-some-odd days earlier? In a couple of words: He can't. I had two kids that I had abandoned to try and clear my head. However, in the presence of this woman, I had thought of my son and his sister maybe three times. Whatever the number, it was exceedingly low.

At the window, I shook my head no to answer her. It seemed to appease her for a moment, and then she asked, "You're thinking about your wife, aren't you?"

"What makes you say that?"

"You always rub your ring finger when you aren't occupied." Galatea pointed her left pinky at my hands. I was, in fact, twisting the skin where I used to rotate my ring to get at an itch. "May I ask what happened?"

We passed this look out of the side of our eyes to one and other before I answered.

That's when I said, "You can ask me whatever you want. I just wouldn't expect to get an answer."

"Are you always so defensive?" Galatea asked impetuously, perhaps losing her temper with me for the first time. "No one here is trying to hurt you…"

"No one ever intends to hurt me-it just works out that way," I interrupted, though, still not turning to face her.

"Struck a nerve?" She whistled to punctuate the comment. "Seriously, what's on your mind?" Something made me want to tell her to leave me alone, but that smile seemed to curb the urge. It would've been so easy to say go away, yet it seemed easier to confess the truth for some odd reason.

"My children," I said with a complacency that betrayed my true feelings. "Doubt my daughter even cares, but I wish that I could've at least told my son that I'd be gone for a while. He probably thinks that I just left and that he's never going to see me again."

Galatea clapped her left hand over my shoulder and said, "What are their names?" I proceeded to give the hand a stern look, though ultimately I realized that I may have just been getting a bit full of myself in regards to her attraction to me. And that's another similarity to how I ended up with Nabooru-person to talk to first, friends second, man and wife last.

Of course, I was too preoccupied with remembering my children to notice any of that.

"Link and Zelda," I finally replied. "My little boy and my baby girl… well, Zelda will be 18 in a few months, where as the boy just turned seven."

"So, I guess they're named after their parents." Galatea then removes her hand, though, staring longingly up at the moon. "Tell me, what are they like?"

Now, why did she have to go and ask that? I had intended a one-word reply, but it didn't stop there.

"Good," I initially said before the happy memories flooded down on me. "I remember when Zelda was born. I, of all people, fainted. Still, I couldn't have asked for a better sight to wake up to. There they were-my wife and my daughter-lying there together in the picture of perfection. I had finally done it. I had taken the tattered scraps of my life and made something beautiful out of them. I remember when I first saw her all scrunched up and sound asleep in her mother's arms. I was so scared when I got my chance to hold her, especially when she coughed.

It was cute, but I thought it was my fault and just froze. Did I squeeze her too hard? I knew my grip was strong, and I couldn't bear to think that I'd squeezed the girl too hard. Or maybe my hands were too rough? Damn calluses! I'd grind every last one of the bastards off if that was it. So many scenarios went through my head that I hadn't even realized that she was staring at me. Oh, goddess, why did I realize that? I just knew that she'd look at my freaky eyes, scream, and never let me hold her again.

But my little girl showed me. She made a little, toothless smile up at me. That's when I fell in love with her. My baby girl with her fat little cheeks, kittenish nose, and the most adorable smile this side of anything looked at me and smiled! After all the bad things I'd done, people killed, and the sort-I had finally created something good. You could tell she'd be a looker, too. She got her mother's high cheekbones and smooth skin. I must've smiled at her for hours before my wife finally pried her out of my hands. I had never felt better about doing anything in my life. The freak without a fairy finally had a family and a kingdom, too." I started to laugh for some reason. It wasn't even that light laughter, more like that hysterical cackling that the witches used to do.

"What's so funny?" Galatea asked, smiling despite the odd point of laughter. My laughter quelled into that placid stare off into the horizon at that moment.

"It's not that anything is funny," I began. A moment later, I continued by saying, "It's just that sometimes you have to laugh to not cry."

This is where that odd quietness dropped across us. Well, it did for all of four seconds and then Galatea cuts for the bone with, "Something tragic happened to your family, right?"

"Wrong," I corrected with nil an emotional speck in my voice. "I had my little girl, my wife, and my greatest enemy's daughter as a family for years. Then, somewhere in the translation, things began to change. Heh, listen at me-like I don't know why they changed. I'd been training Sepaaru-the enemy's daughter-with a sword to supposedly kill me for the longest of times, but eventually, she left the nest to pursue love. Then, like a damned fool, Rampart attempts to rape her and permanently turns her off intimate relations…"

"I hope he was punished," Galatea chimes in matter-of-fact-like.

A small smile curved my lips, which I didn't attempt to hide.

"Oh, he was punished. At the time, the first thing that I had to address was the welfare of my, then, child. Sepaaru had spent seven years with this idiot, enduring untold amounts of verbal abuse from what I later gathered. So, move forward a year and it's time to crown a new captain of our guards. The challenge is issued and Sepaaru wins the title with a prize of her choosing. Heh, yours truly is the prize for one night.

The news is shocking to me. Naturally, my wife is going to throw the girl into the river for this request. Wrong! Given how everything ended, I shouldn't be that surprised by her allowing me to partake in such a thing. She can balance her deceit with a counterweight of doing something nice by allowing me to get my rocks off with someone else!" It took a few moments to come down off that realization, which left me more than a little upset as witnessed by me suddenly punching the wall.

"Go on…" I think she may have said.

Hell, I was too gone to notice petty things like other people or sounds they may be making in my general direction. This led to more venting about that proverbial mountain that I spoke of earlier.

"Isn't like she held a sword to my throat or anything," I said after a moment to think clearly. "Then to further muddle this situation, I go through with the request. After all, no one thinks of this woman as my child-so who cares about what I think? No one-not even my own dick-cares. So, in a room at this inn, I take Sepaaru into her first sexual experience. I have to be slow or else she'll spook, which means that I can't just mindlessly have sex. I have to make love to her, so I do.

But I lose the melancholy attitude, though. Somewhere between dinner and laying her in that bed, I began to lose sight of what I was doing. It was suddenly all about the feel of the moment-the smell, the taste, all of it. What kind of person does this? I thought one moment. Whispering, "Scream for me," in her ear the next. It couldn't have helped matters that she looks nearly identical to my wife, sans the eye color. Regardless, I derived pleasure when she screamed or her eyes opened during an intense moment and then rolled back into their sockets.

And as I finally reached my peak a few hours later, I smiled. I came so hard that I smiled about my performance like some kind of idiot. Sepaaru had frantically called my name one last time, before I released my seed into her and set the base for new life. Only when I withdrew did my original intentions return, but it was too late. I was too shocked to do anything, say anything. I just sat there. How had the mind given in so easily? Was it physical temptation or the irony in making love to my enemy's child-which one caused me to sleep with her? It's a question that I would continue to ponder for many nights after. It's also one that I've yet to answer.

Afterwards, my life seemed to return to normal. No one spoke of the event or even acknowledged that it happened in the first place. Naturally, this is the part of the 'grand scheme' where something arises to screw me. First, I notice a new… fondness for my company from Sepaaru. It's nothing major, but I'd look up at dinner sometimes and she'd just be staring at me. Like a simpleton, I'd ask if something was wrong at which time she'd mumble and look away. The next thing I noticed was her eagerness to please or do what I said. She was always a hard worker, yet this went beyond hard work.

So, days pass and her stomach began to swell, and now this one-time ordeal has become a living, breathing child inside of her. I think I was more surprised than disgusted when I found that out. Sure, I had to contend with my wife's temper but I knew she'd get over it. Hell, the situation for that to happen would've never manifested without her stirring of the pot. Moving onward to the then future, my son is born. This time I came prepared. 43 hours, 15 minutes, and 12 seconds later-I brought my son into this world.

And that's when everything stopped." This odd pause finally brought another smile to my face, as all of my petty problems seemed to fade.

Galatea broke through the façade and asked, "What stopped?"

"The worrying, the guilt, doubt, and nervousness-I had a son!" I shouted, unfortunately, too far away for him to hear. "Above and beyond everything else, this little life was all that mattered-not the twisted situation of his conception. I even shrugged off my wife and daughter to sit with the boy and his mother for the rest of the night. As convoluted as I'd later make his being, it wasn't for those first couple of months. My daughter, my real daughter, found a great deal of humor in her brother when I finally let her in to see him.

'He's bald,' she whispered, though, smiling at him in the crib. 'Still, I guess he's cute.'

Link proceeded to burp, which made all three of us present-Sepaaru, Zelda, and I-laugh.

'When can I have one?' Zelda asks, scaring me shitless until I realized that she wasn't asking when she could sleep with me.

'Bah, don't let his good looks fool you,' says Sepaaru. 'It's like passing a boulder except it won't let go and hurts a thousand times worse.'

'Oh. So, why'd you have a baby for daddy? I think mom could've done it,' Zelda comments, which turns this into a game of how fast can I change the subject. The silence lingered like an ominous balloon filled with a poisonous gas that yearned to be released. That's when Zelda says, 'Am I gonna have to have my own little brother or sister, too?'

That's when it came full circle. I shouldn't have let my wife and Sepaaru's perceptions interfere with what I found to be morally wrong. I saw her as my child, and regardless of how Sepaaru saw the situation, I should've went with my own feelings. And that's what scared me, 'would Zelda have to have her own little brother or sister if her mother and her so happen to decide that I wasn't really cutting it as her father?'

Obviously the answer was no, but my daughter was no slouch. The day I tried to explain it, she'd lined up the, 'why not', and 'how come you can have a baby with Sepaaru and not me' questions. So, I ran from the questions to avoid the ambush behind, hoping in some feeble way that the girl would one day grasp that, despite feelings, Sepaaru wasn't blood. Maybe it took a quick fuck in a cramped room for me to understand that I could never feel the same way about Sepaaru that I did my own child. To compensate with my lack of explaining, I took to socializing with my son like some kind of… kind of… sneak. So, now the situation goes from avoiding one child's questions, to making the other child feel unwanted.

Then, as if this whole situation wasn't warped enough, Zelda slowly begins to hate me. The years of dodging finally led to a spot that I'd never envisioned happening-my baby girl didn't like me. She still liked her brother, her sister, and mother-I was just the lame one. I felt so empty; I couldn't even realize that I had a son tugging at my tunic for attention. Of course, getting kicked in the teeth for so long has its limits before giving up and as so, I quietly drifted away from kissing up to my daughter in favor of the son I had neglected.

Was there something else you wanted?" I asked, changing subjects rapidly before I went any deeper into my mind's corner to avoid the mess of reality that I had fallen into.

Galatea looked upon me with much pity before letting her own sarcasm surface.

"Since that question was an unprecedented failure…" the setup before the trap "…you poor, simple thing you." She laughs and then adds, "Your daughter had a crush on you."

Floor, this is my mouth. Mouth, meet my friend the floor. That's what happened, as my brain took a moment to ponder this… stupid seemed so harsh of a word, but it fit.

"That's the stupidest thing that I've ever heard," I replied, returning my attention to the other side of the window until Galatea laughed again.

"It's not that uncommon," she began. "How many times did you kiss your wife in front of your daughter? How happy did your wife look afterwards? I remember seeing similar with my own parents and I naturally wanted the same thing. At first, you don't know what exactly you feel, but you know that you're happy when your dad's there. And as you grow older… thoughts change, feelings are more precise, and…"

"I'm not hearing this," I interjected, though, laughing the whole while. "So, I guess I represented some cute guy that she wanted to marry, huh?"

"Yep," Galatea quips simply. That's how you properly moot sarcasm. "The girl is female, after all, and you are attractive. Plus, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you spent a ridiculous amount of time with the girl, giving her everything that she ever wanted, and complimenting her to no end."

"No I didn't," crawling out of my ass was that reply. Of course, I failed to say why I didn't do that-the answer being that Zelda did have to sleep. Galatea wasn't buying it, which is especially sad since she couldn't see my disheveled face.

"You're a typical father," she sighed, but with a pitying air. "You all fail to see your daughters as the little women that they are. Goodness, you're the first men we ever see or know. Boys look like you, just shorter and weirder. So, naturally, we desire to be with the cool, good-looking guy that mommy kisses…" the cutesy voice only served to creep me out further "…it is nature, Link. We may not be as sexually abrupt as men may, but we still notice the ones that catch our fancy-even if it's daddy. Your daughter took your avoiding of the question-and possible disgust with it-like you probably took losing your wife."

And down goes, Link! Down goes, Link! What do you say to combat that? I'd like to know. Call her an idiot? Are you eating the brown mushrooms again? I mean, I just have to ask since you have obviously lost it. Bah, all I could say was this, "My daughter honestly thought she had a shot with me?"

"You slept with a woman that she presumed to be her sister. Why wouldn't she feel as though you were an attainable goal?"

I'm down at this point, but not out…

"Moreover, you had a baby with this Sepaaru woman without explaining that there was no blood relation and that it's morally okay to sleep with her. So, without doing that, you're just a guy who doesn't think Zelda's good enough-and since you've probably been complementing Zelda on her beauty since birth, she must've felt an exceptional amount of rejection-to have a child with."

Okay, so I'm flat-ass out now. I'm flat-ass out, kicked, spit on, buried in a hole, and the earth was salted after that.

"Since you've got me all figured out," I turned in spot to face her. "How did you all come to exist and thrive out here?"

"I told you that already," Galatea shrugs without saying another word, as though that would satiate me. I decided to play along with the farce for a moment or two, mainly to gather a sufficient escape route if it came to violence. I had the silver gauntlets tucked under my pillow, that sword to my left against the wall, and a slope that I could possible roll down once the window was broken. Hey, I may have been a bit depressed but I wasn't stupid. They had me outnumbered and dying wasn't something I was ready to do.

"You said that your husband had been killed by pirates," I said smoothly, clasping my hands behind my back and staring up at the moon. "But when I mentioned Gerudo, when we first met, you claimed to have never heard of any. And then, when I mentioned getting dumped, the first thing you made mention of was pirate women. I never said the pirates that I spoke of were women…" I let the statement just hang there, never forcing her to admit or deny it.

"They could patrol this area…"

"Then why do you say could?" I asked, perhaps overstepping my bounds with my flippant attitude towards her. "There's no foreseeable reason for them to come this far out of their territory to patrol. Coming out here would only weaken them against an attack and leave their home open to raid. They aren't that stupid."

A mutual silence seemed to stand, infantile in its creation and insulting in its wake.

"What are you trying to say?" asks Galatea, as her patience seems to wane beneath the frivolous game of words.

"What is it that you aren't saying?" I asked in volley, continuing to play my own little game. She nervously looks at my reflection in the window at that moment. I never return the look, purposely watching her reflection from my peripheral vision. "Thirty women, all with nearly identical features, and they all bear a striking resemblance to a seafaring group of pirate women a couple hundred miles east of here. All I want to know is how you all came to exist here…"

"We were expelled from the Pirate's Guild, happy?" Well, now that she mentioned it, I wasn't. "Just because we didn't kill those Zora children like that insane woman ordered, we were ordered out. Anything was better than serving her twisted ends, so we all left." She began to laugh, massaging her closed eyelids as though they ached. "The wench had our rudders destroyed. And as you probably know, without rudders we couldn't stir. And since we couldn't stir…"

"You crashed here," I replied, watching Galatea nod in concurrence. There was something else in her eyes, though. She looked as though something tragic had happened, more so than being set adrift. I decided not to push her any further but, alas, that wasn't my choice to make.

"My mother was thrown overboard in a storm, if you're wondering." My face immediately screwed up, as though I'd tasted something bitter. "Heh, it's probably for the better. She would've gone mad in the years we've been out here. And to think, it's all because of some blonde kid in a tunic who stole those damnable eggs."

I heard the sound of metal dragging across stone in the next moment. A fraction of a second later-too late really-the sword was already at my throat. It was one of things that brought a smile to my face. Should I have expected any less from my past? I don't think so. That's why I walked away from her. Just the idea of being drug through the proverbial muck to end up at a point like that was ridiculous. In fact, I found it too ridiculous to give it any real attention. Galatea couldn't believe what was happening, though. She had the weapon, and thus the control. That's how it worked, right? No. I was a bit past my 44th birthday; I had grown too old to play such infantile games.

"I… I'll kill you!" I snorted at her claim, stretching out across the bed and turning to face the wall to my right. "Are you not the one, then?"

"Am I the one who stopped the moon from falling and killing your mother anyway?" I asked plainly. "Yes, I am that one. Does that make it easier to kill me?" As anticipated, she had no reply. Being the guy that I am, I naturally had to keep going. "If it'll ease the loss and pain, feel free to kill me. But know this, you could've built a boat out of the trees here and sailed back to the mainland. I, however, won't take the blame for that error in judgment."

Thinking this had been the end of the argument, I shut my eyes to slip into either a peaceful night's sleep or the eternal slumber. A second later, something struck me in my left forearm. Right above the area Nabooru sewed up when that tax collector shot me with the arrow, too. Granted, it had been nowhere near a level of pain that I'd call, well, pain, the gash stung a bit, but it wasn't something that had me worried.

"You… You're bleeding," shouts the Mistress of the Obvious. She dropped the sword, switching personalities almost as fast as I switched tunics back in the day.

"That's usually what happens when you hit someone with a sword," I mumbled, attempting to shrug off her attempts to see the damage she'd done. I must've put too much stroke in the shrug, because the next thing I know, Galatea is sailing through the air. I hear a thud, and I sit up to see what happened. Damn the luck, but Galatea's head hit this old chest at the foot of the bed and knocked her out cold. That's when the guards came knocking.

"Is everything all right in there?" I scrambled to my feet and made it to the door just before it came open, cutting off the lone soldier's entrance.

"Sssh, are you trying to wake her up?" I held my head out, as though I were guarding my nudity behind the door… which insinuated more than what had happened.

"Ah," the woman said, smiling with a telltale nod. "Well, let me know if there's anything you need… anything at all." She swept her hand from (my) right to left jaw with ease, openly playing for my attention.

"Will do," I admonished her slightly, kissing her palm before shutting the door.

Now, I had to get out of there. When Galatea woke up and told them what happened my property value was going to drop something terrible. The two large windows at the room's rear seemed like the best ways out. They dropped into the dense canopy behind their manor, and I could easily make my way through there and into the water. The gauntlets would give me strength enough to swim the distance to Termina if I took the time to float in between strokes. That was some nifty problem solving, but what did I do about my forearm? I had to find something to bandage it. So, I used the sword and cut off a piece of my tunic.

"Now, what do I do about you?" I asked aloud, pondering my visitor's sprawled out form on my floor.

Upon closer inspection, there was a little bump on the corner of her head. There was no blood, thankfully. And the bump would be gone by morning, as would I unless something came up. But, in the meantime, I could at least pick her up off the floor. I slid one arm under her legs and the other beneath her upper back, careful not to lose my grip in light of the white gown she wore. That was also something that struck me as odd: Her attire. Normally, Galatea always wore rather plain dresses and her hair in a singular, braided ponytail. That night, gone was the single braid and sea-colored dress. She had on a white gown, with a neck that scooped exceedingly low. Her hair was done up in quite a few braids, looping curiously up the back of her neck and meeting at a singular point-kind of like lazily wound rope.

"What?" I shouted as, all in one motion, Galatea jolted back to life. I lost my footing, falling to the bed in a comical display of balance. She pinned me to her chest, though, arms and legs powerfully encircled around me, and sighed.

"We have built ships," she spoke softly, "but they were only strong enough for one or two women at best. And those who set sail were never heard from again."

There's a point in everyone's life when he or she will do something inherently stupid. Whether it's trying to make it through the Water Temple without a blue tunic, or going into Death Mountain Crater without the proper dress-there's always something that you shouldn't have done that you will do anyway. Doing the only thing I could do, I gave into the stupidity. I unwound her arms from my neck, asked her to leave, and went to sleep. Bet you thought I was going to sleep with her, didn't you? Admit it-you know you did! Well, screw you. I didn't sleep with this one. Ha, the cycle was broken on the spot… almost. My stupid decision was actually a chance to do some good. You could call it lunacy in a sense that I didn't think she'd tell anyone what had happened. Furthermore, I had serious doubts that she'd try to off me in my sleep.

I guess this was my way of helping the people that had helped me. "If I'm leaving, they're leaving," was my new motto. Whoever had existed there before us had laid a nice foundation by which to escape. There were saws, axes, and enough trees to build a fleet of small ships. Keep in mind that I'm no master carpenter, but I am skilled enough to build a small boat. Yeah, I missed that too, at first. How could a guild of pirates-most of whom had to have at least helped build a ship-get permanently stuck out there? They had every tool available to build a boat and sail back to the mainland. However, as quickly as the thought had landed, I remembered what Galatea had said about the others never returning. I know what it is to let your mind wander, but, given their isolation, maybe something frightened them that made them quit trying. Depending on when they became outcasts, those women who went first could've fallen victim to those giant eel creatures that I encountered.

I would only have to wait until the following morning to get my answer.

Upon bringing up the subject of escape, I was met by some rather hostile answers-most of which centered on a fear of sea demons. They told me that I'd have to go it alone. That isn't to say that I wouldn't get some very persuasive offers to hang around, because I did get a lot of offers. Help, on the other hand, was scarce. My boat designs had been more in line with a one-man dinghy. When the oceanic pirates saw that this was my grand escape vehicle, they nearly collapsed in laughter.

"That thing won't last an hour in rough sea," one pointed out. "And I don't know if you've noticed land lover, but rough sea is all that's out here."

Ha, I showed her… how to capsize in the crest of the first wave. Three weeks of whittling, carving, shaping, and measuring had been sank in a matter of moments. Thankfully-or regrettably, dependent on my mood-I'm blessed with a somewhat unshakable determination. Well, it's unshakable unless I find my wife in a hole with some coward, little… easy, easy. Let's sum it up and say that I kept trying, okay? Good. Anyway, my routine continued with the same success for, I think, months. I can't be sure because I began to lose sense of time. Whatever the case, I guess it finally began to get to everyone one day because I suddenly had help.

"You can only watch someone fail so many times," Galatea said quite lightly, considering everything that hadn't transpired in the bed that night. "Just keep the wood coming, Link. If we're going to die, we're all going. No one stays behind this time."

And that was it. For what felt like eternity, I hacked down trees and then drug them off to the ship's site for processing. Before all of that, though, they were fashioned into planks. I didn't think we'd have enough wood to go around between the pieces that composed the scaffolding to add pieces to the upper portion of the ship's body and deck. Did I mention how long it took? Damn, we worked from sun up till sun down sometimes and I'd swear that we hadn't accomplished anything. Plus, this was sucking the friendly atmosphere right off of the island. None of us hardly spoke, laughed, or showed that we had an inkling of Hyrulianity. It was just work, eat, work, sleep, and the cycle didn't appear to be ending anytime soon.

And then… hold on for a moment.