Legend Of Zelda Fan Fiction ❯ The Legend of Link: Lucky Number 13 ❯ Comes to Light Pt. 12: Death in the Family ( Chapter 57 )

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

Chapter Fifty-seven
They were caught with their pants down. From the bottom to the top, no one had even noticed Fate's entrance into the Orb Room. While everyone argued over Junior's plan, the small deity walked right in and plopped his butt in Nabooru's chair. Link was almost finished as far as Fate was concerned, and his murderers were of little consequence because they could be controlled. With that said, there was no need to remain so detached from the tragic comedy at hand. So, with the enthusiasm of a child with a magnifying glass, Fate decided to poke around the anthill. Of course, unlike most anthills that find themselves under this type of scrutiny, there was an ant that summoned this child to the hill.
“It's strange, you know?” he began, speaking above the chatter of the group that consisted of Sepaaru, Nabooru, their children, Queen Zelda, Hadrian, the Four Goddesses, and Link Sr. They all paused in their complaints and looked back toward the voice. Those who knew him backed away, those who didn't stood perplexed. “He could have started this whole thing with me,” Fate concluded, though, adding, “but that would've meant a quick end for you all.” For those that didn't know him, those words clarified who he was. Builder of reality, controller of lives, and progenitor of everything—he was Fate.
“F-Fate,” Din whispered, her and her sisters' Gerudo-like forms disappearing into their godly golden ones, like a slight evolution from mortal to goddess mattered in the face of Fate or the type of onslaught he could bring down on them.
“Try not to kiss his ass too hard,” Link Sr. muttered to the shaken goddesses, before turning his courageous sentiment towards the ancient god before him. “What brings you here? Decide that the plan was too good and came to stop us?” Fate smirked, teeth barely visible through his slightly parted lips, and responded no further. “Ah, gloating?” Fate laughed outright, watching as Hadrian came away from the group and stood beside him.
“I'm here at the request of my son, actually. He informed me that you all were making a last ditch effort in madness. So, I—”
“You spineless worm,” Nabooru said with nil a sound of shock in her voice. “Despite everything, I always thought if we were to be betrayed, it would be Ganondorf, but I always knew—I always knew—it would be you.”
Hadrian shook his head as though she didn't comprehend the words that were coming out of her mouth. “This insanity must end,” he told his spectators, noting most sported looks of varying degrees of disgust, betrayal, or hatred. “You're talking about killing yourselves to win a battle that leads to the possible death of life. This isn't killing some old wizard in a castle or an angry mob. This is life! He is life!” Hadrian's conviction fell on deaf ears, but Fate didn't seem surprised. After all, what did these infants know that he didn't? He was confident that the answer to that question was nothing.
“Save your words,” Fate told his boy, “they can't understand what this is truly about.”
“It's about you being too big of a pussy to take someone being more powerful than you are,” Link Sr. stated bluntly. “It's the same as it ever was.”
The old deity chuckled at the show of bravado, shaking his head with a plaintive sigh, saying, “Not at all. This is about two things: stability and preservation.”
Fate changed from boy to dark crystallized man in an instant, his eyes lazily resonating with a dark purple hue, as he rested his feet on the table and leaned back in the chair. As angry as they were, they all appeared to be transfixed by his almost startling … beauty. Stars seemingly twinkled across his dark skin, looking indistinguishable from a night sky, but there was still that feeling of unease that looking at him brought. There was an immense pressure, almost as though the sight of him in this state was wrong or, perhaps, forbidden.
“The fact of the matter is, however cute you people find Link, his state of mind is a detriment when combined with the forces at his control. Possibility corrupts around him in such a staggering amount that it—”
“Please,” Link Sr. interjected, speaking as though his godhood wasn't millennia removed and he could still foresee the words coming out of someone's mouth. “Here's an idea: Stop being lazy and fix the corruption, if it's so bad. Or, a better idea, just admit that you're useless!”
Fate's eyes flickered for a moment and the world began to shake apart once again—in accordance with his rage or Link's death, no one knew. Everyone looked to the globe, and saw Link kick his would-be destroyer and realized it was the latter. He continued to struggle, though, as the rumbling once again intensified as his death drew closer.
“Enough of the shaking,” said Fate, as his eyes turned white for a moment and the rumbling ceased. Unknown to his spectators, he'd moved their planet from Link's dimension to one of his own. “As I was saying, this isn't merely a fix it situation. His instability causes instability in other life forms, in the time stream, and even the chronosphere. He corrodes everything, beyond even what you all know as your fates or destinies.” No one looked to believe that, so he illustrated his point. “You doubt me, don't you?”
“Little bit,” Nabooru said, indicating how little with a sarcastic show of the fingers.
“What if I told you that Link believed me at one point?” Fate asked of her. “What if I said, Link, for all of his courage, opted out of this chaos and chose stability?”
“I'd say you're a piss-poor manipulator to be as old as you are,” she replied, arching her right eyebrow as if to say, “Try that on for size.”
Fate pursed his lips together and nodded, brow arching where his eyebrows would've been had he not been hairless. “I'll take you all to the exact moment it happened,” he said, as the floor of the room disappeared and became an overview of Old Hyrule. The viewpoint fell from one up in the sky to one in the Throne Room of Hyrule Castle where an assembly was taking place. “This is where Link came back, officially. He's accompanied by Ms. Sepaaru over there. He comes in, pretends you're still on good terms to put on a show, aaaand here. Right here, when `Carrion' shows his true self—this is where it all is about to be changed.” Fate looked up at them and smiled, watching bit by bit his influence peel the layers of rewritten history away from their minds.
“Ragnus?” Zelda asked, almost dumbfounded to see him pop free of the dead flesh. “What is this?” Her own question was forgotten as memories, faintly remembered through her dreams, returned in such detail that it was as if she were recalling another life entirely. Again, the Gerudo princess asked, “What … is this?”
“The fourth divide in his timeline,” Fate told her. “This is the world as it was before he decided to haphazardly change Ragnus's future and I had to fix it.”
He watched their minds unfurl, watched Sepaaru realize that her relationship with Link had never come to exist as it had now, watched as Junior realized that his life was still a mistake at best, and he watched Nabooru realize that she was still a fool in yet another bit of history. Further still, he watched as Link's daughter relived the confusion that her parents' breakup caused.
“Yes, you all see it, don't you—the truth as it really was? You remember it, because it happened. Now, I'll show you how it changes and why.” The floor returned to its normal black self, but in the center stood Link, Fate, and the little girl known as Destiny. “I'll admit, I was building up the case to eliminate his mortal core, but right … here, he does it himself … or gives the appearance that he does.”
“What's he doing?” Junior asked, watching his father suddenly slump in the throne that his mother and her sisters in arms had crafted for him, while still reeling from the revelations that had befallen him.
“He's accepting our rewritten version of his history,” Fate informed the General. “He taps the chronosphere, which, in itself, should've drained all mortal reasoning from him. By doing that, his mind should've functioned like that of a god—ordered, logical, and precise. Observing his actions—and children, lest you want to see your mothers naked, I'd turn away—I thought that all was well.” The scene picked up in the bathroom where Link made love to Sepaaru in front of Nabooru. “Notice he even smirked at one point, a sign that he finds amusement in the abuse you've inflicted upon each other.” Nabooru and Sepaaru frowned, but were far too distrustful of him to take even visual evidence as anything more than speculation. “Instead of trying to spare feelings or justify his actions, he merely acted within logical accordance: I want this one now, so I will have this one now. It was the godliest thing that he had ever done, as it was completely opposite of every mortal thing that he had believed at one time. Possibilities resumed their normal course as he walked the stable path. And, as you said, Link, I was able to fix things. Still, I had to be certain this change would hold, so I attacked one of the strongest bonds his mortal mind held dear: his son. And, like a bad weed, his mortality sprung up and he threw it on like a cloak.”
Junior laughed, saying: “Right, since Dad saved me, the Charon guy needed to take his soul so that you could take his body. That was the only way to `save' the many, right? Furthermore, isn't it rather godly—as you've put it—to do what he wants? And since saving me was something that he wanted, how is it suddenly wrong?”
“I'd envisioned you to be smarter than this,” Fate sighed, shaking his head. “Perhaps I was not being clear. It isn't that he saved you. It's how he did it. He abandoned powers that shape reality to save you through soul projection. He didn't examine the situation to see if there were other ways; he left, in your terms, a bomb—his body—out in the open for any spectral beast to inhabit and potentially destroy everything, all for the sake of one child. I don't know what it is that you think I do, but I—”
“See the future that you or the girl has laid out for us—we know,” Link Sr. interrupted, rolling his eyes to the old deity.
Surprisingly, Fate laughed heartily. “For one that claims to know so much, you know very little.” He ebbed from laughter to a sigh, adding: “A farmer envisioning himself saving his country from an invading army is seeing the future. However, is it likely that a man with no formal battle experience can do such a thing? No. We all see the future—gods and mortals alike—but you misconstrue what my sibling and I do. We present you with and weave together for you as many of those dreams, imaginings, and whatever else you may call them—we weave together those possibilities with the greatest chance of happening for you together. We do this all to ensure that you live long, fruitful lives.
“When you cease to have possibilities, we send Charon to reshape you anew. So, it's not just the variations of the future that I see, because we all see those, it's the possibilities with the greatest chance of success and the least amount of destruction. Now, do you understand? It was a test to see if he would sacrifice stability, yes. But if he did, I had to have an alternative plan, because his uninhabited body is an empty weapon, and with possibilities all in disarray, there would be no way for me to see whether or not something horrible would happen while he was spelunking in the boy's head.”
Link Sr.'s tongue paused on the edge of his lower lip as he turned and looked at Fate out the corner of his eye. “Say I bought any of this bullshit,” he said with his typical charm, “why should it matter if Link simply corrupts this? Corruption can be corrected. He could learn to stop that if he was made aware of it.”
“Your strength is based on there being life,” Nabooru said before Fate could respond to the former god, almost painfully attuned to the subtext. “If Link corrupts the possibilities within life, he essentially weakens you. He's poisoning your power supply.”
“Close,” Fate stated, nodding his head in acknowledgement of her intelligence, though not letting on to just how close she was. “He's threatening my life's work, which means that I would have to rebuild that work—reality—if he were left unchecked. As for Mr. Lord's question, quite simply put, when Link saved the boy and ousted me from his body, he began the accelerated process of corrosion again, but his neutrality returned after a time. After encountering … them in Kakariko, however, something happened that escalated his effect on possibility from corrosion to destruction. He's destroying possibility in such a way that I'm not sure that he can stop.”
“Yet the people live on,” Esmerelda warily added.
“True, but they live on as they are from the moment his dark force touches them,” Fate said in return, the first sense of urgency coming into his words since this had all began. “Have you ever wondered why Hyrule's technological advancement halted the moment that Link became what he has? It's because those enlightened individuals who would've brought about changes like the marvels of this world were cut off from their possibilities, thus they never encountered the means of inspiration to aspire to such things. It's the same reason none of you—with the exception of those who are gods, back from the dead or people who accepted his offer of immortality—age or evolve in appearance: He's stunted your growth. It doesn't matter to you, because you're immortal, but to the people who still get sick, injured, and die from disease or warfare, the absence of enlightenment is an immense loss because the creators of their cures and life preservers never create them.”
The surprise was immediate. The friction, while it held, waned significantly as the sincerity in his voice seemed truly genuine. Even for Nabooru, as faithful to the cause as she was, the idea that children died because of Link gnawed at her. Still, if Link retarded entire civilizations' growth through possibility decay, how did the elder god explain away the fact that Link's people were undergoing those very changes that Fate said they'd be without?
“He hasn't set foot here in millennia,” Fate responded to her mental query, feet still resting perilously on the table. “He never even wanted these people or this area, so his bond is superficial at best. And even with that, the possibility for growth here is still painfully small, but with his … engagement, it limps along.” While the silence loomed, Fate placed his chair on the ground, stood, and issued his final edict: “It's admirable, in your terms, that you want to save him even at the expense of your own lives. Unfortunately, I cannot let that happen. I can undo whatever he's done after his … time has passed, if you wish, but he must meet his end.”
And before anyone could speak, the eldest of the gods and his adoptive son were gone.
“So … is that it, then?” Esmerelda asked of the silence, as that crippling helplessness shrank the proud goddess to her knees in a breathless sob. “I've come this far to lose my boy … again?” Perhaps, even more than Nabooru and Sepaaru, in some regards, Esmerelda was willing to dismiss everything that Fate had said as lies. It was all far too vague for a goddess born into a society where vague was the word of the day every day. If the possibilities were that important and Fate was as “caring” as he seemed, why not teach the boy how to control this corruption? If Link thought that he was endangering people, he'd stop it somehow. Furthermore, how far did this so-called corruption reach? This all smelled of bullshit to her … or maybe that's how everything smelled when it came to killing a woman's only son.
The Goddesses attempted to make an exit on par with their male benefactors, only to fall limp onto the floor after suffering a massive feedback loop of the mystical persuasion. Slipping out of Fate's clutches while doable was made next to impossible with Hadrian there to catch whatever his parent missed. Esmerelda looked at her sisters twitching on the floor and immediately questioned their positions in all of this. None of them would look at her, she noticed, but grief began to fade as paranoia clouded her mind while they moaned in singed agony.
Link Sr., on the other hand, wasn't buying the speech from Fate, either. The destruction was probably Link's cutting them all off from the midget's puppet show. However, if Fate hadn't pried that knowledge from his head, it either meant one of two things: He didn't know or he did know, and was serving copious amounts of bullshit. Either way, the ex-god was fucked out of action. He surveyed his fallen sisters-in-law and his wife with a look of utter disgust in his eyes. But, as Nabooru looked closer, she realized that what she saw wasn't disgust, but defeat—not only within the situation, but as a husband and a father. What he so cleverly hid beneath his cynicism, insults, and boldness was displayed plainly as he walked back to his seat with his fancy, ripped apart clothing and sat down. He bridged his hands under his nose and stared blankly at the table in front of him. Without his powers, what was he good for? He was a hunk of meat with a mouth. Period.
“We can't even combine strength then?” Zelda asked of her grandfather, blinking tears back for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which were for her father, innocent people potentially dying because of him, and confusion over her inability to think her way out of the situation because of the cluster-fuck of memories that had been unleashed into her head. Minutes ticked by with nothing but the sound of Link's pained grunts coming from the orb until even that ceased. “Answer me!”
“No,” Link Sr. whispered, seemingly transfixed by the lacquered wood in front of him. “You, your brother, those three, and Victorious—if he was awake—couldn't push Hadrian down a hill, let alone the two of them combined. Plus, he has Destiny out there somewhere for additional backup. We're royally fucked—and we don't even have spit for lube.”
Ignoring his … unique response, everyone looked at each other, searching faces for some glimmer of untapped reasoning or strength only to find mirror images of despair and loss. One at a time, the other heads of New Hyrule joined Link's father at the table in silent remembrance. And while they watched the orb and saw the fight drain from Link's flailing corpse for the umpteenth time, everyone missed the disembodied presence of Ganondorf hanging listlessly in the eternal shadow of the void. Well, it was technically the void between dimensions.
The dimensional shift made by Fate, in conjunction with the mystical outpouring from Link's battle, had made his attempt at astral projection something far more. He was somewhere far, far away, despite his ability to look at them as though they were right across the room. To somehow escape the children's heightened field of awareness was a feat in itself, but the god Fate—how had that occurred? Perhaps, the lack of possibilities Fate spoke of was in reference to how he perceived the world.
“Maybe without possibilities, he sends Charon because he can't see anything more for you,” Ganondorf whispered to himself, watching his daughter's heart break … over the loss of his enemy. It should've sickened him, but, as a father, it was even more sickening to see her unhappy. “And since I'm technically dead, he can't see—” his examination of the situation was interrupted in a flash— “me.”
The former King of Evil turned to face the burst of light that interrupted his attempt to rationalize what had happened, finding his effort to shield his eyes from such a glow fruitless, as his hands were as transparent as stream water. Though Ganondorf looked like a specter of himself, complete with ornate purple robes, he felt the icy chill of familiarity and fear as the deity stepped forth through the tear in the void. Charon—God of Death—stood before a soul that had been leased for three days, staring at his property with his fleshless features and eyeless eyes, and making no illusions that this was no coincidence. If Fate couldn't see him, his lapdog could. But, really, what was he expecting? Ganondorf was a ghost of a ghost, hanging between dimensions, trying to think of a way to make his daughter happy. What could he really do?
“I suppose you've come to collect,” he said casually, his voice somehow echoing in the airless expanse. “Granted, there's no love lost between us, but why do you not make an attempt to save the boy?”
The darkness in Charon's sockets illuminated with pinpoints of red light, before he said with haste: “Who said that I wouldn't make an attempt? Fate doesn't like to admit it, but bounding me fatigues him as much as it does me to fight it. With the energy he's wasted in moving, shielding, and trapping Link's mortals in another dimension, we have a small moment of opportunity here before he can reassert his will over me. This is where you come in.”
Ganondorf turned to face Charon completely. His eyes asked a plethora of questions, yet he spoke only one: “With all due respect, you expect me to save Link—the great Hero of Time—the super god—from monsters that were able to break him?”
“Exactly,” Charon replied. “You're going to run with his family's plan and you're going to convince him that his loved ones are all dead.”
The laugh that haunted Link's nightmares echoed feverishly through the void. “Me … convince him? Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! That's impossible!”
Charon stared at him and frowned. “It's not impossible,” the death god said, his attention focusing on a growing spot of light in the distance. “He's making the end run. So, what are you willing to sacrifice for your daughter, Ganondorf?”
Just like that, his laughter turned off, but the answer was apparent by the look in his eyes.
“I'll get you there, but if Fate bounds me before you finish, you're gone,” Charon said calmly. “If that happens, your soul—”
“It wouldn't be the first time I've wagered my soul,” Ganondorf said with a complacent understanding, smirking at the irony of the greater evil saving the greater good. Still, his teeth, immaterial as they were, ground as he stared at the light beckoning him from across the expanse. How was he going to convince his greatest enemy to take his word for something? Then it hit him—a simple, simple idea. “Can you change my appearance?” Convincing Link to have faith in him may have been impossible. Convincing Link to want to chase him through Hell itself for revenge, however, was not.
And while Charon and Ganondorf discussed fashion, Link's mind drifted apart.
“My name is … is …” he sputtered, words trickling out of his mouth along with his last precious gasps of needless air. Link's eye rolled into his head ever so often, a feeling of weightlessness overcoming him as the pressure on his windpipe and chest increased. The creature grunted—a purely psychic feat—and his quarry's eyes sharpened for a moment long enough to say, “My name is … Link!” Again, the creature seemed to think, its crimson eyes illuminating with a flicker of rage as Link dug his fingers into its forearms and pried with little avail. “I … I have … t-two kids…” he wheezed, falling limp once more.
“You are weak,” the collective whispered into Link's mind, unified voice echoing through the dying expanse of space between his ears, and he seemed to embrace their words. “We are strong.” The Originals shuffled back and forth, growing restless with the waiting, evidenced by sudden swipes and growls at each other. Still, the voice whispered to Link, “Die.”
“I-I'm weak,” he repeated, his voice sounding tired and in dire need of rest. “Just … just need … t-t-to sleep … for a … little … while.”
“We are strong,” the creatures repeated, ceasing their shuffle and closing into a tight circle around him, as they sensed his end. “You die. We live.”
“I-I die,” Link repeated, voice an almost inaudible whisper. “You li—”
*Clink* *Clank* *Clink* *Clank*
The monsters lurched back in a tidal wave of bodies, as Link's eyes went wide and darted from one side to the other … alert, alive, and searching for the sound. His red eye—his replacement eye—shone brighter than ever in reaction to a sound that only he seemed to hear, a sound that was irrevocably bound to the deepest parts of his psyche and possibly even his soul. Even to the larger Original, the surge of strength startled him. Link moved again and again, his neck twisted about between two hands that moments earlier seemed to hold him incapacitated, but now slipped about like an oversized noose. To even such “primitive” minds, Link was ... peculiar.
*Clank* *Clink* *Clank* *Clink*
“Ganondorf,” Link whispered, eyes looking up into the darkness beyond the smoldering eyes of his captors—no, Ganondorf's pawns—and seeing the real enemy. “Ganondorf!” he screamed. His already brittle mind fell eons back into the past at the mere sight of the old wizard.
Gone were the robes of a settled mage and the subdued red torrent of hair that had come to cascade down his back to his waistline. Absent was the man who'd spent three millennia in the cradle of paradise. There, in the sky above Link, stood Ganondorf—threat to Hyrule, sole possessor of the Triforce of Power, and the King of Evil—clad in his black, patched together leathers, spiky red hair, swords, and boots. He looked down on Link, same as that day at the drawbridge into Castle Town, and smirked.
“Tsk, tsk, tsk—I'd have assumed better of you, boy,” Ganondorf called down, voice penetrating far deeper than the unified voice of the Originals could ever hope to dig. Somehow, they remained oblivious, though. Where none could see, Charon was in a state of agony, fighting on two ends: On one front to keep Ganondorf undetected and on the second to keep Fate's hold off him until the message was delivered.
“Illusions,” I whisper. He's held me here all this time with illusions! “You son of a bitch!”
“Now, now, `fearless,' Hero,” Ganondorf admonishes … mocks me with his tone while wagging his damnable finger at me. I should've known that he had a hand in this! “You will be bow before your new king before this night is over.”
King? Wait … how can he be king? I look at him and he reads the confusion immediately, and smiles even wider.
“Oh, my, I didn't tell you?” he asks impishly, placing a hand to his chest in false wonder, before his laugh rings my ears. “While you've been here `frolicking' with my minions, the world's fallen at my feet.”
The air rushes out of my lungs and my stomach collapses, almost as though someone sat an Iron Knuckle on my chest. “No …”
“Yes!” he hisses, chuckling at the pain that runs across my face. “Your precious wife, your son, your daughter—all of them were reduced to smoldering ash by my hand!”
Is he joking? I don't have a …
“Wife? Kids?”
“Don't tell me you've forgotten them, boy,” he muses, smiling even wider as I wrack my brain to recall something that I should remember. “You've forgotten Nabooru? Your daughter Zelda? Your son Link Junior?” I struggle to place faces to the— No … he … he … they … my children! I can … see them. I … remember them! No, shut up! I had a family … I had a fucking family! I … remember … Oh, god, I think I'm going to be sick. I brought him back from Charon's to see his grandson! I killed— “I must admit, though, this new lease on life that you've granted me has allowed me the opportunity to see my life's work come true. For that, I must thank you, boy.”
No, I refuse to believe this! He's a filthy fucking liar!
“The weapons! There's no way that you could've—”

He smiles and it stops me cold, as a shiver of the worst kind runs down my spine. They were demigods! How could he have … No! I refuse to believe this!
“Don't give me all the credit, Link, I'm powerful, but credit where it's due: I had friends. I had Fate on my side and Hadrian, too. Besides, with all the power you've wasted here, the weapons were of little concern. This was … destined, Link,” he says, his deep, nasally laugh picking up as I feel a part of me just die. “We've been fated for battle for eons, boy! This is our destiny—the last sons of Hyrule battling it out in the middle of absolute nothingness! No princesses, villagers or extra lives to weigh us down! We—”
“You're lying!” I shout at him, even as I scan the area where I placed them and find … nothing. Tell me this is a joke … please. The realm … the dimension … it's all … gone.
Ganondorf looks at me and sighs. “You've felt it, haven't you?” he chuckles. “You feel that emptiness—that nothing—in the space where they were destroyed.”
“Shut up!” I feel the tears and I try to put my mind elsewhere, but—surprise, surprise—I fail at that, too. How could I have lost them? I swore this would never happen again … but I let it! “Aaaaaaah!” I scream, but his laughter trounces my anguish, almost effortlessly. I can't win … I can't ever fucking win!
“'Daddy will save us,' they said, pathetic little ingrates. Kids with the power to destroy worlds and they cower in fear. Pitiful.” He spits into the darkness, scowling at me, as I see my children's faces twisted in fear before they die, wondering where I am to make it all stop. “I must admit, Nabooru and my daughter went down with at least some honor, but their sacrifices were of little worth. To think, the Hero of Time's children died attempting to … talk it over. Hilarious.”
Just … stop it, all right? There's nothing there! He wins. I lose. I've been losing at life since the day that I was conceived, why should this be any different. Use your words, I told them. Ignore the fact that you can move worlds. Violence is a last resort. No, I won't calm down! I don't care what you smell! Fuck me! I should've prepared them! I … should not have failed them … again. I—
“Well, this is no fun, so my time draws to an end here,” Ganondorf announces with a grunt, gathering his energies for the warp to wherever it is that evil like him dwells. “If—and I do mean if—you can make it beyond these little warriors, I'll be waiting for you.” He smiles at me as the flames explode from his feet and begin to slowly inch their way up his body. Flashy fucker. “Don't worry about the deaths, boy, we all get prizes at the end. Fate gets reality and I get my very own dimension with realms to lord over. And, as for you, Mr. Hero of Time, what might you be getting? You get the best prize of all: A family of crushed souls tossed to the ethereal winds! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! It doesn't sound like much now, but think of the savings!” He continues to laugh at me and I … I can't feel my legs, even as his face grows serious. “Then again, you don't look the like the type who can save much of anything.”
That last jab cut Link deep, and Ganondorf saw it. Blind with rage, Link burst from the ground into the air towards the smirking madman, mind completely overwrought with guilt, pain, and a desire for total annihilation. Ganondorf's smirk held, even as the mystical storm within that place burned his soul apart and Charon's connection to him was lost. Although it hurt worse than a million deaths, Ganondorf chuckled, because as Link drew closer, he saw within the one eye that remained of the hero who'd killed him, the purple flames from his own burning soul did not reflect. And just like that, Ganondorf, former King of the Gerudo and King of Evil, was gone … absorbed into the fabric of countless dimensions. The punch passed through the last few strands of Ganondorf's soul, a complete and utter miss—another complete and utter failure. The Originals looked up at Link, watching his shoulders rise and fall to recapture lost air, wondering just what he was attacking.
His body was damaged beyond all recognition, cracked like a parched lake bed, bleeding down onto them like an eviscerated pig hung from a hook. The strength that had led to Link's outburst disappeared as mysteriously as it came, as his inability to sense Ganondorf was too much to bear. Robbed of even his ability to seek revenge on the man responsible for his pain, Link fell. Like a bird struck in mid-air with a heart attack, he spiraled towards the ground a broken thing. He reexamined Ganondorf's words as best his mind could, but the outcome kept coming back the same: He'd brought Hadrian into his home. He'd brought Ganondorf, King of FUCKING Evil back. He'd killed his own family.
No, he'd done worse. At least with death, there was recycling of the soul into a new form. Now … now there was nothing—nothing but half-ass metaphors about puppets and strings and scissors and shit. What was the fucking point now? Well, there was always revenge, right? The man truly responsible for his family's death was right there with him, taking a massive header into the pulsing crowd of madness—and that bastard deserved everything that he got.
And, from the hidden dimension that Fate and Hadrian held his family hostage within, Link's family screamed at the orb in vain, watching the Originals warp into a circle awaiting the crash of his body to finish their work. Ganondorf's voice had come through to them, but not his appearance, but the lies that he was telling went over their emotion-addled minds for a time. Link Sr.'s flux between caring and not fell on the not long enough to see the point: Ganondorf carried on the plan, but when did he have time to get it was a question for another time. The other, bigger question was who'd placed him there? If—and it hurt him to say this—Nabooru and the kids, as powerful as they were, couldn't get there, how'd Ganondorf? None of it seemed to matter, though, as Link seemed to be giving up.
“It was so fucking perfect!” Link Sr. screamed at his numb child, slamming his fists into the table. “You saw it! He shrugged the giant off his chest like it wasn't even there! Come on, boy!”
Fate reappeared, a forcefully subdued Charon to his right and Hadrian to his left, and shook his head. The threat was over. Link was actually dying, and the possibilities of the Originals—what few there were—returned to normal. Link Sr. was lost in a rage that he'd been without for eons, so when he grabbed his large chair and charged the gods, everyone was stunned. Naturally, the chair splintered on contact with Fate's head, but it was a release … no matter how futile. He breathed like a wild beast, blood-stained clothes torn from where various bones had broken through the skin earlier at the hand of his father, but the former god didn't care.
“Link, see reason,” Fate replied, a hint of anger over the disrespect more than the actual assault, hiding within his words. “This is best for—”
The air cracked around the bolt of magical energy that hit the diminutive god square in the face, serving as an interjection of sorts. Nabooru stood with her outstretched right hand facing the three, a trail of reddish-pink smoke drifting up from her palm, tears of anger, desperation, and a desire for revenge all creasing her otherwise placid face. It was bad enough that they'd done this, but to keep trying to justify it was more than she could bear. Naturally, this attack had no effect on Fate. She began to chant in a dialect that was totally alien to all but the gods in her presence, as her finely tailored suit burned away in a red flame revealing the Gerudo outfit that she wore underneath. Tattoos of ancient runes ran up and down her bare arms, intersecting on her back and stopping just above her kidneys, glowing as she channeled pure soul energy.
“As I was—” he attempted to explain, before a larger, more violent blast was sent his way from Junior, but it paused mere inches away from the god. It was at least ten feet in diameter and packed quite the explosive force. That one was meant to kill, and that annoyed the god. Highly. He flung it back at the boy, who extended one of his large green hands toward it and literally sucked the life right out of the thing. “Do you people really think that you stand a chance of winning an encounter like this?”
“It's not about winning, you six-foot-fuck,” Link Sr. said on the group's behalf, all of whom began to stand up and unsheathe weapons or tap into their mystical birthrights, sans the Goddesses who took their positions on the fence. Fate and Hadrian surveyed the room, watching as eyes illuminated in response to Link Sr.'s words. “It's about a chance.”
“What about the people? Surely, you wouldn't sacrifice innocent people over something as hopeless as this?” Hadrian asked of them.
“If your `father' is so altruistic, why doesn't he save them?” Nabooru asked in reply, which brought the discussion part of things to a close.
Fruitless? Sure. Hopeless? In more ways than one. Would this alien world and its inhabitants die? Absolutely. Still, the two sides prepared to take it there—gods and half gods alike overflowing with forces enough to destroy galaxies, let alone a planet—along with a sorceress of the highest order who wanted nothing but an end to the monotony if she couldn't have her husband, chanting a summon not unlike Link's own `soul letting' experiment.
The former Queen Zelda had her short swords drawn, she and Sepaaru still dressed in the combat attire that they'd been called home in, but even the former Queen of Hyrule knew that with no magical imbuement, she, Sepaaru, and Link's father would be the first to go whenever the hammer fell. Still, Zelda glanced at Nabooru, who did likewise, acknowledging that she had her covered until the end and exchanged a mutual nod.
Everyone's attention snapped towards the fallen Goddesses, all of whom screamed in a unified agony, wondering just how the abysmal situation could possibly get worse.
“What's wrong with you?” Esmerelda asked of her siblings, face still wet with tears, watching as they began to dig their fingers into their metallic heads and scream even louder. Even though they were considered weak by godly standards, the sisters' powers began to shake the planet to its knees once more, though somehow managing to keep control enough to not destroy an already dying populace. Din attempted to stand, flexing her anger in response to the pain, but she was brought back to her knees when another surge of it hit her.
“We can't hold it!” Farore screamed just as beams of green light burst from the Goddesses' mouths and eyes. They collapsed moments later, embers of smoke drifting up from their singed orifices, but they were alive … barely. Looks of confusion were exchanged freely, as everyone waited for the fallen deities to regain their senses. “Are we alive?”
At that exact moment, the floor thrust them all skyward for a moment, almost as though an enormous heart thumped beneath the floor. Fate and Hadrian looked as displaced as everyone else did, but the Goddesses knew something. Try as they might to shield their thoughts, their panic was spilling out into the open for all who could hear thoughts.
“He's found it,” the sisters whispered in a creepy unison. They looked up at the orb just as Link's body landed, smashing like a lodestone of flesh and bone with a magnetic attraction to the inky facsimile of the ground where his captors stood. The sound of breaking bone and tearing sinew was unmistakable and not surprising considering his hellacious impact. Still, the sisters merely repeated the same three words: “He's found it.”
“What has `he' found?” Fate thought enough to ask, still suspended in the air by the mysterious force touching not only his current dimension, but all of them.
Din, for all of her brazen bravado, looked up at her ruler with tears in her eyes and replied, “The door.”
Fate sighed, trying hard to repress his impatience, and asked, “What door?”
The orb began to rattle, which paused the interrogation long enough for everyone to take notice of the change happening within Link's battle zone. His family watched in amazement as the darkness receded, replaced with the whitest of fogs, as Originals peered about like wolfos asked to do multiplication. In the center of the group, around Link's motionless body, water began to ooze from his cracked form, spreading in every direction and somehow growing in depth, as though there were actual borders to their dimension of occupancy. Fate wanted desperately to reach out with his mind and find the secrets that Link's mind undoubtedly held open, but he ran the risk of encountering one of the beasts snooping around Link's mind as well, and that would've been bad because his control over them was subtle at best, especially with Charon acting up.
“What door?” Fate again asked, nigh demanded of the Goddesses. They were frozen in place, as were the Originals, watching as Link sank into the water of his creation. “He's … dissolving.” Fate frowned, because for all the stability that flowed into the area surrounding that dimension, there was no mystical sign of Link. It was like a black hole in mortal terms: a place where nothing was, but where something is. He was clearly a pool of scattering mush on the orb, but if Link were truly dead, the nothingness wouldn't have a presence. It would simply be nothing. The creatures all moved as though aware of another consciousness and Fate pulled his presence back. “Close,” he muttered to himself, as his desire to know had almost jeopardized everything.
For the larger Original, the water show was enough. He stormed through his stunned subordinates, smacking them to and fro like a bull plowing through a bed of roses, footsteps somehow soundless through the shallow water. As he reached the center, the giant found only what the Hylians would've dubbed a Deku Sprout poking out from the water—a five-foot-tall nub of a thing with one green leaf sticking up from the top. He examined the wood, though, looking for his prey like any beast would, but found nothing. The creature's eyes illuminated with rage as it turned to the others; a glimmer twinkled in those eyes that seemed to ask, “Well, where the hell did he go?” The smaller ones could only look back and seem to say, “We don't know.” The creature turned in a circle while smacking the smaller units, an almost crude form of investigative querying that got him no closer to Link. Eventually, he snapped, swung his massive arm, and smashed the tree with an effortless backhand, reducing it to a cloud of sawdust.
Nabooru held her breath, hoping it was a last ditch effort by Link to perform some kind of sneak attack. Unfortunately, all that came from the smashed tree was a laugh. It was the laugh of a madman pushed beyond the brink. The only problem was that it wasn't Link's laugh. Nabooru looked at the orb—looked at the giant who'd ended her husband—and saw the owner of the laugh … perched effortlessly on the creature's outstretched arm. Gone were Link's burnt mortal clothes, destroyed body, and graphed on body parts. Link or what appeared to be his silhouette stood on the creature's arm in a darkness that stood out from the battleground, a three dimensional shadow, all but the two glowering red eyes staring out at the monsters.
“Who is that?” Sepaaru whispered, as her weapon took on an icy chill in her hand.
Nabooru looked at the orb and replied in much the same whisper, “I have no idea.”