Legend Of Zelda Fan Fiction ❯ The Legend of Link: Lucky Number 13 ❯ Deus Revelatus Pt. 04: Threads ( Chapter 62 )
[ Y - Young Adult: Not suitable for readers under 16 ]
The attack began at sunrise with a series of explosions that ripped through the island's underground infrastructure. Flames reached out like a hyperactive child's fingers, anxiously touching every surface they could. With each touch, any building with a gas line erupted; be it a year or generations old, the flames did not care. From the fortress, the Desert Colossus's eyes held a fiery haze thanks to a fire raging within the statue. It was a failed attempt to destroy a monument to their perceived deity, but still a damaging attack nonetheless.
The attacks would only get worse.
Detonations came from the water treatment plant, electrical hub, and police stations, each explosion triggering a more devastating problem than the last. In minutes, the once beautiful landscape found itself reduced to something akin to Hell. New Hyrule seemed caught completely off guard, and the Sermonians working their way to the surface smiled at the screams that would greet them once they emerged.
Of course, appearances were not everything.
Nabooru had called in her army the night before in expectation of war. Of the million plus enlisted, a little over half a million soldiers responded in some capacity. The rest—whether it was the stress brought on by waiting for an attack or just cowardice—ignored the call and abandoned the island with the evacuees. In retrospect, it was too much for one night. Evacuations and a call to arms—there was no way it could go well.
The General had advised her against making the announcement of oncoming war and evacuating the citizens, because he knew—he fucking knew!—the native soldiers in their ranks would be the first to leave. Forcing everyone to stay would've forced those soldiers to fight for survival, thus ensuring a victory due to sheer numbers if nothing else. However, Nabooru announced it anyway, and like a good soldier, he helped evacuate whoever wanted to go.
A few deserters he caught in a mind sweep and forced to suit up, but the focus required to sift through that many minds was draining, so he merely bulk-warped the rest to countries willing to accept their refugees. With his sister's help, he sheared the population to four million in under an hour. The rest of the soldiers, to his jaded surprise, remained loyal … at least to their property, opting to stay home and defend it.
Others hid in shelters, as though what followed would be another skirmish. In total, little more than 350,000 soldiers were suited up to fight with the other 150,000 bunkered down in their homes or with civilians. Together, the collective masterminds from the old world gathered in the Orb Room to discuss strategy. No, strategy was too pure a word; it was more of a gang demand to know where Nabooru got information that a full-blown war was about to be declared on them.
“I have it, and that's all you need to know,” she had told them when pressed. That, he figured, was code for, “Link told me, but I don't want to seem reliant on his intelligence, so I'll act as though I have some super secret source.” In truth, she had a dream sponsored by his father; it was his small attempt at minimizing casualties.
After a few hours of petty squabbling, the guards reported a large mob approaching the fortress. Taking a glance of the area through his mind's eye, he saw 150 men gathered in the street wearing the white armor of the Sons. Ten of the men suddenly thrust their right hands into the air and hit buttons on devices.
Within half a second, it became clear they were holding detonators. The explosions started there. With the war's first salvo launched, Nabooru dispatched him—The General—with a look. A part of him secretly lived for that look. It was a sideways glance that let him know to unleash mayhem—and god did he relish unleashing it! It took less than six minutes for him to kill all 150 saboteurs, but when the cloaking spells vanished after the last man went cold, the real attack began.
Nestled in the corner of an abandoned store, General Kokiri bled out in silent astonishment in the present. How many years had it been since he last saw his own blood? He ground his teeth, forcing himself to heal the wounds that foreign bullets had ripped through his arms and legs. A bigger question lingered through his intense pain.
When had the Sons amassed weapons that could pierce his flesh when he focused? It didn't make sense. Through his desire to remain unharmed, he was invulnerable to anything in their arsenals. Now, small weapons suddenly injured him like a common mortal?
“This isn't right,” he thought calmly, careful not to lose focus, remembering what had come next.
Thousands of boats with thousands of men had suddenly surrounded the island and among them were battle-hardened sorcerers. Zelda relayed him numbers telepathically—10,000 first, 80,000 next—no, still even more—100, 200, no 3 … 360,000 men. This wasn't just war; it was an invasion. He'd warped toward what he felt was the largest cluster, summoning energy for a destructive blast unlike anything ever unleashed in this dimension (sans whatever his father and Fate had done).
That's when the shots rang out from the boats closest to shore. Bullets tore into him despite concentrated effort. The boats ran aground as Junior gritted his teeth and warped as far away as he could. It was a block over from the beach—still clearly visible from the ocean—and it took everything in him to crawl into the store, which had suffered collateral damage from the blown up police station across the street. A new battle began then, as the earth rumbled from the march of thousands of feet stamping across the ground towards his position.
However, there he had remained, abilities rendered almost moot in wake of whatever shot him, using everything he had left to heal. The great General had been reduced to being a spectator as his men—the ones with balls—met the invaders the right way: With a fucking bullet for their worthless heads! He'd heard the shots, the screams, the explosions—and all he could do was listen and cower like a little boy.
His mother was out there by now, cutting her way through the frontlines toward the leaders of this newest assault. His sister, the former Queen Zelda, the remaining Sheikah his father hadn't slain—all of them fought while he sat there nursing wounds. It disgusted him.
“I know I hit him!” a soldier suddenly whispered on the other side of the counter, drawing the warrior out of his thoughts.
Junior froze, his massive body going tense and quiet like a cat lying in wait. The two men surveyed the bombed out interior of the toy store a few feet in front of the counter that hid The General, each cautious of the fearsome warrior that maybe hid within. Creepy dolls with half-melted faces speckled the wall behind the counter, their faces meant to resemble Nabooru down to her devilish smirk.
“I know I hit him!” the first soldier repeated to his comrade.
“We've been in battle with these people for centuries,” the second soldier reminded the first, “and we haven't won because they are not sloppy.”
The first gave an understanding grunt before going quiet to listen. The fighting grew louder outside around the store, which distracted the soldiers for an instant, giving The General precious time to continue forcing his damaged tissue to heal.
The explosions subsided after a few seconds, but those seconds crawled by with the swiftness of congealed molasses. Just as the soldiers' padded steps seemed to suggest an exit, a piece of the worn countertop fell off.
The first soldier sprayed the area in reaction.
“Cease fire! Cease fire, goddamn it!” the second shouted. “We only have one clip of the special ammunition for now! Without that, we're food for these unnatural mongrels!” he continued with a sharp whisper.
What neither The General nor the Sons knew was that Ajax's tampering extended even into the ammunition depots. While the Sons' briefing detailed one-shot, one-kill bullets made from the metals in the blood gathered from Takara and Varia, the reality was different. The information detailing declining potency in the metals never made it from the scientists under Romenian Park. Well, the info made it. It just didn't make it past Ajax's delete key before reaching the other Sermonian scientists who went to work synthesizing more of it.
Link smirked in the distance with that knowledge; The General did likewise behind the counter for entirely different reasons, though.
“Thirty-round magazines,” he thought to himself, “both fired twelve at me from their boat earlier. I took six. Dumbass just fired another ten at the wall. Twenty-six rounds between them. Easy.”
A testament to how he'd grown over the years, but General Kokiri wasn't prone to doubt. A part of him knew his “facts” were estimates, but he was right. Twenty-six rounds between two soldiers? He could do this blindfolded. His thoughts culminated with the last wound in his leg closing, yet the bullets' effects were still apparent.
A spark clicked at each fingertip where there should've been flames, an obvious sign that he still needed more rest. He picked up a shard of glass in either hand and made a plan. Blind the closest target, engage and overpower the second, and use the second's commandeered firearm to dispatch the first—the plan was that easy. Hard-pressed to admit it, but The General had taken a lesson from his father and grandfather's fight long ago: Even without magic, you can be strong.
“Let's do this!” he thought to his muscles before crushing the glass in his palms to dust for use as a blinding agent. “Let's do this!”
The General leapt to his feet and found his enemies … down. In fact, he'd never even heard their bodies hit the floor or their heads. Walking around the counter over to the fallen Sons, he kneeled next to the men in white and analyzed the headless bodies before dropping his powdered glass. No damage to the surrounding flesh or chips in the spinal bone, the handiwork was obvious.
“Eyes open, Baby Brother,” Zelda said from behind him. She sat on the edge of the counter, right leg folded over her left, dressed like she had been in the old world with green Kokiri boots, a green tunic tied in a knot above her stomach, and a green pair of old Gerudo-style pants. “You're only indestructible when you're focused.”
Again, his teeth ground together. Leaps and bounds of self-growth aside, he acknowledged long ago that his sister was more of a predator than a warrior. Sure, she had no love affair with battle. However, if you put her in the middle of a battle zone, whole platoons would perish without a sound. The enemy feared him because he kept coming forward through anything. They feared her because no one knew what the fuck she did. And if someone did know, they didn't tell.
Looking at her, The General's eyes narrowed. She reminded him of their father. It was all puppies and sunshine on the surface, and then, out of nowhere, the predator came out. He had to think himself invincible to remain immune at least. A slip in concentration and he was able to be hurt, a slight advantage for the opposition, but an advantage nonetheless.
With his father and sister, though, it seemed unbalanced. They walked into the area, everybody lost—and that was before the fighting started. He'd forgotten how similar they were since she left the battlefield. Seeing her sit there now, completely relaxed despite her rust and the news of over 300,000 warriors, brought it all back: The predator was back home.
“Not this time,” he said after a long silence, picking up the Sons' guns and inspecting each magazine. “We've got problems. They've got ammo that can hurt us.” Eighteen rounds in the first magazine and eight in the second. “Right again,” he chuckled.
“How is that possible?” Zelda asked, her voice suggesting worry, but her actions—a finger moving lazily through the soot on the counter—doing anything but.
“I have no idea,” her brother replied. “They not only do damage, but the damn things screw with our powers. I've been holed up in here for the last hour trying to fix injuries that should've taken less than a second.”
“This is bad,” Zelda said with obvious concern, still outwardly reflecting the opposite. “After all this time, I still can't get a line on their thoughts.”
“Don't need to, at least not yet,” The General noted. “These talkative gentlemen here informed me that their people only have one clip of this ammunition.”
“That would be nice if there weren't over 300,000 of them on island,” she sighed before hopping off the counter. “You think this is their last run at us?”
Her brother looked out at the columns of smoke in the distance, and with their father's voice said, “Not even close. It's like the old days, back before we knew we could walk through flames and not be hurt.”
“Except no one wanted us dead then, and Dad—”
“Isn't going to help us,” The General interrupted sternly, uncomfortably unsure himself if his tone was inspired by fear or guilt or both. “This is on us. If we don't save these people—save ourselves—we're—”
“You think he'd let us die?” she asked in shock, action and emotion unified.
Her brother looked at her over his shoulder, but didn't respond.
“Let's go,” he finally said. “We've got to help these people and get word to our immortals that we're all suddenly very vulnerable. We have to play this extremely tight now or we're all dead. Eyes open, right?”
“I guess so.”
At the fortress, seemingly hundreds of miles away from the fighting, Nabooru was in a meditative trance watching the course of the battle. To her left, Darunia of the Goron and Princess Ruto of the Zora sat introspectively waiting for her to address the situation. On her right, Link's father and mother, as well as her own parents, also quietly waited to hear the results of her scrying.
Outside, groups of New Hyruleans and the Sons engaged in firefights across the island, skirmishes those of New Hyrule had to start. The Sons were adhering almost dogmatically to a Scorched Earth Policy. Their biggest hitters, their sorcerers, were directing the brunt of their attacks on property and land, often times leaving themselves exposed to danger in their quest to destroy an insignificant building.
“This doesn't make sense,” Nabooru said coming out of her trance. “They're just attacking land and buildings.”
Link Sr. chuckled, saying, “Sure it does. This is obviously phase one of a bigger plan, woman. If I'm right—and let's face it, I am right—the first phase destroys property, thereby eliminating their enemies' hiding places and ambush points, not to mention potential weapons' caches. The second phase will involve a wave of soldiers as big as, if not bigger than, the current one that'll make our leftover soldiers the focus of attack. It is elementary warfare when your enemy doesn't know how many people you have.”
She clenched her jaw as he picked lint from his expensive suit and smugly smiled at her.
“They can't possibly have more troops than this,” Esmerelda said in wake of the silence, slightly winded from using her diminished power to warp soldiers here and there. “There won't be anything left for them to conquer at this rate.”
“I'm inclined to agree with Mister Lord,” Ruto said thoughtfully. “If they can sacrifice sorcerers on buildings, they must have more.”
“And who said conquering us was their goal, my dear?” Link Sr. replied to his wife's erred thinking. “It's an invasion-level force, but this is not an invasion. This is extermination.” As the tension continued to mount, he placed a new topic on the table. “The real question is this…”
“Who's there leader?” Darunia inquired.
“How do their minds remain unreadable?” Nabooru's father asked.
The elder Link shook his head.
“No, the real question is,” he paused, and then huffed, “Who do I have to ear fuck to get some pie? I'm called in for this emergency and—”
Nabooru's eyes rolled automatically before tuning him out, still aggravated by his flips between concerned and not so much.
“So, what are our options?” Darunia asked of those gathered at the table.
“Two options,” Link Sr. said before Nabooru could, ever delighted by her agitation. “The first option is to find the boy, but since I'm sure we're all too full of ourselves to do that, scratch it. The second is hope our people can kill their people before there's nothing left but dirt and debris.”
“As much as I hate to ad—”
“Which button on this stupid thing gets the pseudo-great grandchild to fetch me pie?” Link Sr. queried, interrupting Nabooru's father and poking the myriad of buttons on the intercom near his part of the table. Undeterred by the lack of response from the device, he simply demanded pie of any kind to whichever channel picked up, figuring Sila to be monitoring one of them.
Everyone went silent for a time. In the silence, nothing lingered but the dull thump of distant explosions and…
“Pie! Bring me pie!”
And the demands of a former god ... for pie.
Ignoring him as best she could, there was also the giant in the room that everyone held off acknowledging. It had suddenly been thrust back into the spotlight. He could end the whole thing in less than a second.
“Given enough time, so could the people in the field,” she thought, still confident in the people who'd gotten them that far. If it was so easy, then why did the fight feel so ominous this time?
“We'll discuss Link when—” Nabooru paused, as a distinct, high-pitched whine came across the intercom that Link Sr. prodded.
Without hesitation, she left her seat amongst a flash of red sparks, warping to Varia and Takara's room.
“You better not spit in it, woman!” Link Sr. shouted after Nabooru. After a reflective moment to think about the situation, Link Sr. concluded: “She's going to spit in my pie, isn't she?”
Esmerelda caused his head to bounce off the table, which threw him back into his seat, which tipped over.
“Hilarious, woman,” he replied smugly from the floor. “Hilarious.”
Nabooru reappeared a few moments later outside the room and burst in. Most of the medical staff was in the field now, but those who remained arrived shortly after her. Both parties found Varia standing over Takara, I.V. still in her arm—her remaining arm—and froze. On the sheets where Takara once was, now was but an outline of black pitch in the shape of a woman. The aroma of burnt hair and flesh was heavy; it was a smell so strong it hurt the nostrils of all parties across the room, yet Varia stood mere inches from the source of the smell unfazed. Who could blame her, after all? It wasn't every day that someone awoke to find half of who they are as a person gone.
Despite the constant flow of Nabooru's health potion, her best friend's lover had seemingly liquefied. Nabooru's earlier timetable suggested weeks not hours, but, in the middle of the night, Varia had gone into a seizure and her temperature increased sharply, specifically in her right arm.
Nabooru had made the woeful decision to amputate before the infection spread. She had thought it was a freak occurrence, but obviously, Takara's situation was the end result of that temperature spike untreated. Now, the tubes once in her arms and the monitors reading her pulse remained on the bed, futilely pumping the liquid cure-all onto the stained sheets.
The life monitor sang its one-note death hymnal for Takara as Varia numbly turned it off.
“Oh, god! What—what do we do?” a panicked doctor shouted, growing increasingly hysterical until Nabooru backhanded her across the face and rendered her unconscious.
“Varia…” Nabooru whispered, motioning her medical people to exit the room, “I … we can fix this.”
“How?” Varia asked solemnly, staring at the remains of a woman who'd been at her side for millennia.
“Link,” Nabooru said reflexively, which made Varia seem to laugh joyously. Seem. On and on the laughter continued until even Nabooru joined in. She stopped long enough to add, “We can get him—”
“Idiot,” Varia interrupted, ebbing out of her laughter, confusing her friend at the same time. “We chose this—this—this place—this technology—all this bullshit over him!” She turned towards her best friend, sparse strands of red hair jutting out like squirts of blood from where her scalp was beginning to heal.
“We did not,” Nabooru countered weakly, uncertainty staining her every word. “The situation is—”
“The situation is what—complicated?” Again, Varia laughed at the absurdity. “The situation is what we asked for the minute we all ducked him, and I feel safe assuming it remained that way since we were in that … hole for so long,” she said with tears running down her cheeks, as her brain told a right arm that was no longer there to wipe them. “Heh, still feels like it's there,” she whispered, reaching with her left hand and smearing the tears across her face. “People get abducted, sick, and murdered—this is the world we wanted, Nabooru. There is no god at the table waiting to hit rewind when something goes wrong, because we chose you.”
“None of that can happen to us,” Nabooru whispered, unable to stop herself from saying it. “He'll fix this for you.”
Varia looked at her with unmasked pity and sighed before looking at the remains of Takara.
“You don't get it,” she sighed, her underweight frame shuffling back to her own bed. “He's been fixing things for us for thousands of years, Nabooru. My father, the desert, people's opinions of us, angry gods, and even this world—he's done all of this for a family that turned on him for the slightest misstep. And after making no amends, you seek to ask for even more? Unreal. Even gods have limits, Nabooru—” she paused and held her left hand toward the window as an explosion landed close to the fortress— “or have you not been paying attention?”
In another dimension, Victorious stood alone in the darkened throne room. He'd run over the games Link and he had played millions of times, but felt no closer to a solution. What he had felt was an absence around him. It was as if the darkness held more than a lack of light. It was another puzzle asking for a solution from the last true God of War.
“Strategic war,” he whispered before his skin burst with rays of light. Every shadow in the room disappeared … save one. “Hello.”
“How'd you know I was here?” the demon asked, stepping off the rear wall, and gaining a third dimension. His red eyes squinted, unaccustomed to such light, but his calm intrigued Victorious more.
The god laughed, approaching the shadow demon, and said, “What's in the light is there in the dark. Wherever you moved, there was nothing, though.”
The demon chuckled, a distinct set of hisses. “Can't figure out how to beat Link, so you chase shadows?” Victorious frowned, and the demon's eyes softened, indicating he would be smiling if he had a mouth. “Oh, how the mighty—”
Victorious cleared the gap instantly, wrapping his large hand around the demon's neck.
“Oooh, spooky!” Again, the creature laughed at the god, despite the dangerous position. “I don't breathe.”
“But you do think,” Victorious reminded him, “and that's all I need.”
The demon felt a tickle in his mind before it turned into an explosion. Suddenly, it was as if the bottom fell out of his mental bucket: Every taste, smell, emotion, and sensation in between drained. The demon's thoughts shuffled faster than his mind could handle.
“I … w-w-want … o-o …” he struggled to think, as Victorious continued to pull on the valuable boon of information.
“Yes…” Victorious muttered, watching lives flash before his eyes. Experience, pain, loss, strength and … weakness—it was all there. “Yes!”
Total time: Three seconds. Three seconds to take the combined thoughts of Link, the demon, and Fate.
Total time for him to realize the weight he'd dropped on his psyche was too much: Three-tenths of a second.
Victorious released the demon who retreated back into the recreated shadows as the light ebbed out of his captor. As Victorious writhed in unimaginable agony, as the stolen knowledge escaped. He screamed out again, tortured and confused, but still thoughtful enough to try to hold on to the most essential information about his nephew.
“How can a demon possess knowledge that a god cannot?” he thought between the bursts of exquisite pain.
Responding to the screams, Communique and his mother burst into the throne room and found Victorious convulsing in a heap on the floor. They froze for a moment, self-preservation causing them to consider Link. Each surveyed the room for a surprise attack, as though they could actually stop him. Victorious screamed again and his mother rushed to his side. She kneeled to her writhing son and touched his shoulder.
“Don't touch me!” he shouted, eyes burning with a deep crimson light. “Not yet!” He gritted his teeth and endured the spasms. He fought to retain the most vital information, head feeling as if someone were trying to bore out of it. Cyria leapt back as his eyes began to ooze a glowing red blood.
“Stop it!” she shouted, but Victorious kept going, fingers digging into the floor and scrapping up stone flakes.
“No!” he shouted, arching sharply off the floor, as blood poured from his ears next. For minutes, Victorious screamed and alternatively crackled with sparks of energy. He drew heavily upon his powers, but still, he was fighting for an unnatural acquisition. As his mother drew ever closer to losing it in face of this, Victorious went limp. Hair that fluctuated in color suddenly went painfully white as his body collapsed and went still. For a time, he didn't make sound.
“I … got him,” the god suddenly whispered, smiling. He opened his eyes and looked at his mother and Communique, energy-turned-blood still sizzling on his cheeks. “I got him.”
“Who?” his mother asked, relieved that she hadn't lost another child, so much so that she'd forgotten what this was about.
“Link, I know how … to beat him,” he whispered, chest rising and falling as though laboring for unneeded breath. The fight to retain that briefest bit of knowledge had taken him to the brink of destruction. It required a bit of his soul to bolster his powers, and even then, he knew recovery was going to be long, yet it was worth it. “You hear me, monster? I know!”
From the shadows, a familiar laugh echoed back at them.
“What do you know?” the demon mocked, his voice coming from all around them. “A glimpse at his thoughts nearly killed you. So, tell me, what good is knowledge…” his voice faded, “… if you can't apply it?” It was a bluff. A hard bluff, but that was all the demon had left. He hesitated to return home so soon after losing something so vital, but that was his only option.
As Cyria and Communique hoisted Victorious to his feet and braced him at either side, he kept smiling. It was so simple. How did Fate miss it? Victorious was, dare he say it, giddy. Still, this new information required exact timing to implement. To strike now would be best, head the creature off, and apply the stolen information before Link switched it up—that would be the best move to an outsider. But what was the rush?
“I've got a decade,” he said cryptically, chuckling despite his grim bloody appearance. His head lolled back as he laughed louder, and Communique and Cyria looked at each other with worry, but said nothing. They acted as his faithful crutches and carried the laughing god to his home.
Calm down. No, I heard exactly what you said: Victorious knows. That was the point. I wanted to know if I sat this in his lap would he act on it. Blah, blah, blah—he wouldn't have killed you. He's too knowledge and goal orientated to ever waste someone as valuable as you are. Does that mean I'll change it up?
Perhaps. If he got all the details, he won't attack as he is. He'll take the time to heal and then strike. Yes, I'm sure he is aware that I know this. Given the tools he'll need and my current situation, he knows I won't mess with things. It'll all come down to execution. Until then, I have a war to monitor.