fleets: I know I have other projects I should be working on, but I just started playing BotW and wanted to do something for it. I fully intend for this to be a one-shot, but knowing me, I also won't be surprised if I end up... turning this into an actual fic.
(this was just for fun tho, if you want better quality please check out my current main project Asphodel).
"Wake up, Link."
A young man sat on the edge of a cliff, legs dangling over the steep precipice that overlooked beautiful rolling hills. The sun was beginning to set, painting the sky into a radiant yet forlorn orange hue. The skin next to his eyes twitched as he remembered the voice he'd woken too, not too long ago.
What a joke…
The young man sighed, scuffing his black boots against the rocky outcropping by his heel, kicking a pebble down into the hills. He watched it disdainfully as it clattered down, scaring away a pair of blue winged heron that had been standing in the tall grass far below.
He felt sick at the thought that it had been a name that had initially given him comfort – comfort at the fact that it was something that he'd believed was his. His first moments awake had been nothing but confusion: he didn't know who or where he was, what he had been doing, why he was there. He didn't know his own history, who his friends were, or who his enemies were. No matter how far he dug into the foggy depths of his mind he could pull nothing of what could be called 'memories.' All he knew, then, was that there was something wrong with him, for him to not remember anything.
The young man reached beside him for the silver knight's shield that he'd scavenged from one of the many ruined houses that littered the plains closer to Hyrule Castle. He slowly brought it closer to his face, brushing his calloused, blistered fingers over the dirt and scratches that fogged his reflection. He rubbed the metal, polishing it.
Link – he'd clung to that name. But –
The man lifted his hands away from the shield, revealing the face of a person with a dark, shadowy complexion and eyes red like the blood moon. In contrast to his somewhat unsettling skin, his hair was silver, and was pulled back in a short ponytail so that it would not get in the way of fighting.
- but perhaps his name would be more appropriate if it were Dark Link.
Or… just Dark.
He studied his face for some time, no doubt the same face that the… 'real Link' wore. Why had he been woken, and by who? Well, the answer hadn't been clear to him at first, and though he was absolutely furious upon learning the truth, a part of him wished that he could go back to that blissful naivete.
"What are you doing out here?"
With frighteningly fast reflexes, Dark immediately jumped to his feet, whirling around with his sword drawn. The blade stopped with the precision of a master swordsman, the tip pointing right at the neck of the Yiga foot soldier who'd snuck up behind him. He swore under his breath for allowing himself to be caught off guard like that, and he responded to the question with a narrow-eyed glare.
The Yiga stared back, or as much as a masked man could stare back, at him coolly, not at all phased by the weapon being pointed at his throat. "Have you recovered any memories that could help us locate the hero yet?"
"You run out of bananas to peel?" Dark shot. Then, noting the annoyed twitch of the other's head, he sneered. "Did I make you angry? Are you annoyed? Why don't you fight me, then. Put me in my place, huh?" He wanted a fight. He knew he was the better swordsman, and that he would win. And oh he desperately wanted to channel his frustrations into a blood bath.
The foot soldier took a deep breath, perhaps reminding himself not to escalate conflict with the shade, and instead pointed an impatient finger at the small rectangular device hanging by Dark's hip. It glowed with the symbol of an upside down red eye with a tear, not unlike the symbol that was painted on his mask. "We uploaded photographs taken by the hero and the princess onto your Sheikah Slate. You should make your way to those locations immediately so that you may recover your memories."
"They're not mine." The sneer flipped down, twisting into a snarl. "You lied to me before-"
"Or did not occur for us to tell you-"
"- about who I was. For a time I was convinced that this face was mine and-"
"That face is still yours," the Yiga snorted, unimpressed, interrupting him harshly enough to force him to fall silent. "You are the hero's shadow, brought to life with our technology. You are, however, much better than the hero. We will help you surpass him, but first you must help us find him."
For a second it almost looked like Dark was going to attack the other man out of his mounting anger. However, both knew that he would do no such thing, for this was not the first time a discussion like this had passed. Dark had no purpose, nor did he know how to find his own. The Yiga Clan, despite his building resentment towards them, gave him one. It was much easier to follow what they wanted him to do, rather than to go off on his own, not knowing if he would be able to find something that would give him a reason to exist. Eventually, he reluctantly flipped his blade away from the man's neck, and then pointedly turned his back on him.
"You're just using me," he muttered, though it lacked his previous fight.
"There is no shame in existing to serve. Choice can be confusing – that is why you haven't left our service."
It was a little unfair how much they seemed to know him. To read him. Of course the Yiga were the ones who had willed him into existence, so perhaps there was no escaping it. His gaze moved over to the wide expanse below him that extended into forests and mountains. Light shimmering in the horizon hinted at a body of water tucked between the grass. The world was intimidatingly large, and the Yiga soldier was right. He was already feeling lost even with the purpose they had given him; he was afraid to know how astray he would become if he decided to carve his own path.
"I'll find him, alright? I'll find your dumb hero," Dark said, his face still turned towards the fields. "Just give me a fucking moment…"
"We think he may wake soon, we are running out of time." Then, with a flash of red light, the Yiga disappeared, leaving behind no sign that he was ever there save for the conflicted frown that remained on Dark's face. "I just wanted to make sure you were not wasting time… contemplating."
For some time Dark's expression remained taut, nose quivering like he was holding back his rage. However, he eventually gave a tired sigh, and he reached for the Sheikah Slate by his hip obediently as the Yiga had asked before. He remembered how, when he'd first awoken in the cave with the chamber that glowed with Yiga (or… was it Sheikah? He couldn't tell at times) technology, he had been told that the slate would help guide him on his journey to recover 'his' lost memories. Looking at it now, flipping through the photographs that he now knew were not the ones he'd taken but those of someone else, he was no longer filled with a sense of hopeful wonder but of… well…
A part of him was disgusted. Angry. He had desperately wanted those memories to be his and his alone. He didn't want to share them, to latch on to someone else's story like a damned parasite. But on the other hand…
His fingers hovered over the picture of a lake with the backdrop of Hyrule Castle beneath a clear blue sky. It was one of the memories he had been able to recover, the memory of a blonde woman talking to him, to Link, animatedly about understanding the nature of 'Divine Beasts,' massive machines of ancient technology that could be used to fight against Ganon. The scene had overtaken him while he'd been exploring the area of that same lake in the picture, and it had struck him with such vivid force that he'd had to sit down to rest his weakened knees.
It had been one of the first memories he'd seen, and back before he'd known about the Yiga and his true purpose. Back before he'd learned that his name was never Link. The memory had felt real. He could 'remember' his heart pause when the princess had slowed her steps, her words becoming more hesitant as she struggled to put to words what she really wanted to say. He could 'remember' almost the guilt when she'd asked him if he could hear the voice of the legendary sword he carried on his back, the guilt when she'd asked him, indirectly, if he could live up to the heroes in legends of old.
He was jealous that these memories were not his.
The Yiga wanted him to help them find the hero slumbering somewhere in Hyrule. Apparently they wanted to kill him, which Dark supposed he was fine with. Because once the other Link was gone, then –
Perhaps these memories would finally be his, and his alone.
fleets: I wrote this fic because I really like the Yiga and also started wondering what would happen if Darko was actually in the game. Idk if I'll pick this back up again so uh, Dark ends up questing for memories like Link does in BotW, except Dark knows that these memories aren't actually his. If I wanted to develop this into a full 20+ chapter fic, I'll probably want to explore Dark's character development as he learns more about his counterpart and eventually figuring out his own path through various misadventures. idk man this wasn't intended to be an in-depth story, I've got a big enough project to deal with already :')
I'm hesitant to call this a complete one-shot though, because there's a small, small chance I'll continue once Asphodel is over.