Just a quick fic idea I had. It's quite bad and sounds like every other redemption fic out there- but this redemption fic involves one more person than is usual, so I thought I'd write it out, see what people think.
'Course, ninety-nine percent of all fanfic is really bad, and that so doesn't exclude me.
(I wrote some really bad shit in my early days- and continue to do so now, I think.)
So, onward with the story! It's...
The Legend of Zelda
Three Faces, Three Tales
The Sound of Flames: Ganondorf
It's been hundreds of years since you thought of anything but blood, and darkness, and the pain (of others). The Triforce of Power robbed you of your mind in an attempt to cleanse you of anything that prevents you from running after power and succeeded. It is the simple reason that you are here now, waiting to be resurrected. You're waiting for Link and for Zelda to figure out what you are doing and arrive in time to stop you.
Once or twice, the green-clad knight managed to beat you to the punch and murdered all your servants before they could resurrect you. You, invulnerable and ageless just like him, found it more humorous than devastating, and referenced it the next time you fought. In all these centuries, with only two other beings that ever remained the same in fast-changing Hyrule, you sometimes feel like an old man who knows only two other people. You hate them both, but they are the only two people who know what you are talking about sometimes, and you have- grudgingly- slid into acquaintance with both of them.
So while waiting for one of the only two people you actually know in the world to come to you and retry the ancient battle, you find yourself remembering the voice of a goddess and wondering where it all went wrong.
("Come," it said, because fire and flame do not wait. Din was here with you, because you were her chosen- her choice, her reckoner of will, on Hyrule, on the world. Because it had failed to listen to her and her chosen people- the Gerudo- were being driven damn near to extinction from the chaos of war. And though Wisdom carries wit and Courage carries heroism, Power carries order- and the world was chaotic. Each attribute fixes a chosen disease.)
(You were to be the cure to Chaos.)
(Except that, instead, you grabbed the Triforce when you saw a chance to take it, and the world grew more diseased.)
You've waited for a while now, and the people below you make the final shouts to whatever it is that lies beneath the goddesses (in the moral sense of the word) that will bring unholy life to your carcass. It still has red hair, it still has dark skin and it is still you, thousands of years after you should have been dead.
How tiresome. You've grown bored of seeing your own face.
And more. You've grown bored with blood, and darkness, and pain of all kinds- yours and others. You are tired of seeing your twenties and never reaching thirty because Link keeps killing you. You're tired.
Tired... and angry.
They finish the incantation, you arise in a physical form and slowly rise up. Your power circles around you.
This power means nothing if you are going to let things keep going the way they are.
You flare; might flows out like it always has from you, and bursts into flames. Everyone in the room dies.
You start laughing in the middle of your fire.
The path to peace begins with redemption. So you might as well start by killing all of your servants. There is a plus to being the worst villain the world has ever known
All of the other bad guys work for you.
You walk out of the room laughing.
("Din!" you shout, into the nameless dark that exists in the part of your mind that used to house your soul. " Din! Where are you? I wish to talk.")
(" Here," a voice says. It is fire and flame. Once more, Power talks to you. " You've killed your servants.")
(You laugh. " Yes," you say, chuckling all the while. " I have. I want something, Din. I want peace. I want an end, because existence has grown boring over so many years. I want...")
(And here you laugh, because you know what you are going to say. " I want to live past my twenty-ninth year without getting killed. Tell that to Link and to Zelda. I want peace.")
(" You know exactly how much you've cost the world," Din says, because to skirt an issue is something that would never even occur to the goddess of strength. " And exactly how much I will extract from you to pay your debts.")
(You laugh. " Then I can pay them?" Power does not genuflect on how hard something might be- it runs at it and does it. Possibly the problem that got you into this position in the first place.)
(If you bothered to give a damn about things like that.)
("Yes," Power says, because you were always her first and the goddesses, even the brutish one that is Din, have never given up on anybody they would bother to choose in the first place.)
(You laugh again as she strips your body from you in a blast of heat and fire and ash and sends you forward, into the future, some centuries hence.)
(Whatever it is you must do, you were not meant to do it now.)
(You wonder if those two will show up when you get there and what they will do when they see you are no longer monster.)
(Maybe they'll let you reach thirty.)
The Royalty of Water: Zelda
This is the record of one of Zelda's journals- stretching upwards of volume five hundred at this point- on the exact day the events above happened:
I have never once, in my entire life, long as many centuries, doubted my purpose.
Never, that was, until a few lifetimes ago, when I met a creature who could have been my double and was my exact opposite in every way. At the same time.
This is as confusing to write as it was to live. Oh well.
She was three feet of black and white angry... something, though Link eventually told me she was Twili, and that wasn't her real form- she was rather pretty, in fact, once one got past the indigo skin. Link could have had her, could have loved her, but constant death and rebirth teaches one not to bother with such things.
As for the name, Link said it best. "Her people just took the name our kind gave her," he said, with something like a smile. Link, however, does not actually smile. You who read this- probably my next body, since I can't remember all the things I'm supposed to when I transfer my mind from corpse to corpse- should know that.
(He barely smiles with his mouth, and never with his eyes.)
But she took one look at me and told me that I didn't know a damn thing about duty. I, who have lived for centuries and will, with any poor luck, live for centuries more
(I have seen the world flooded and lived to tell about it)
Ignored her, then, because I've been a pirate, a princess, and a Sheikah, but I've always been a wise woman- am I not the bearer of the Triforce of Wisdom, ruler of all knowledge?
I was wrong. It is... grating... to be proved wrong, after all this time.
(Am I not supposed to be right at all times?)
Duty only appears at the worst times, doing what one must do no matter what one feels. Duty may be the virtue of Darkness, but I doubt it- I think duty is of Twilight, that land that lies between we three.
(Between Link and Ganon, between me and Ganondorf.)
I have fought over many, many centuries. Link is swordsman, is fierce warrior; Link faces the pig-beast, the demon-form, of Ganon. I, on the other hand, am Queen, am ruler, and I face the politician, the wizard, a cloak he sometimes dons when he feels that his will might succeed if a subtler fashion than that of screaming tyrants is employed. He has always been wrong and I find both forms equally tiresome.
But that's neither here nor there and merely caters to my rambling instinct. Having ultimate wisdom gives one- unfortunately- a desire to share.
Link calls it my "lion" instinct, a desire to roar my pride out to the world. He's been fond of animal references ever since the time he spent as a wolf.
(A time, like most other things, he will not speak about.)
On the topic we were on some paragraphs ago, I find that she was right- I lack duty, and this bothers me. I lack it because, in the end, real duty consists of doing what one does not want to do, but what one must.
I've never had that problem. Wisdom has burned emotion out of me, to the point that my actions are logical. Clinical. Set. When I order men to die, it is because I have determined that they must. Why must I feel sorrow over what I know to be the best course? A waste of time, of resources.
I have never cared when I order men to die, and I have never cared when I have seen others die. I cannot perform duty for the simple reason that I must feel even the slightest distaste for what I do- the slightest desire to not do it- to perform my duty.
Duty is noble because it is doing what one must no matter what one wants. And I- who have never doubted the complete, utter nobility of what I am doing... have never had to make that choice.
Did that little Twili know the truth of the matter? I wonder.
Wonder no more, daughter of mine.
Nayru. Why are your words underlined in my journal? For that matter, why are you talking to me through letters rather than your voice? This is rather... different.
You are in a room full of your servants, who all assume that you are working on something related to finance and taxes and so do not disturb you. Doing the taxes is perfectly all right for a Queen. Talking to oneself is not- as you've already figured out by now.
True, I thought as much as soon as I'd asked- thinking too slow to keep up with my hand. What has happened to make you contact me so? We haven't spoken in... two generations, if memory serves me right.
I have not needed to contact you, who have done such wonderful work. Better than you know, in fact. For you... have won.
Won? You mean Link managed to kill Ganon's servants before he was resurrected? That's faster than I thought he'd get there- I'd assumed Ganon was going to be resurrected again and we'd have to deal with all that for a while. Good to know I won't have to deal with him in this lifetime.
No, Zelda. You have won. Forever.
What... do you mean?
Ganon has given up. Din has just contacted me- told me that Ganon has asked for redemption. She's sent him into the future, where he will be an aid at that time, where he may work off the... debt he has accumulated.
You are free.
That's an... unusual feeling. You mean no more resurrections? No more grafting my consciousness on a corpse? Free to die, go on, to the Sacred Realm and eternal peace?
You should read the entries above your script- I've been doing some thinking lately, and this is the first chance I've had to really test my theory. I want to know what duty feels like, Nayru. To do something that I don't really want to do, out of a sheer desire to be that thing which I have thought myself to be for centuries.
You wish to prove that you are, in fact, as noble as you think?
I hear mockery in your tone, Nayru. I believe you've come to the same conclusion as I?
I have. For a long time, I have felt that- while you were indeed the wisest of all beings in Hyrule- you had a fatal flaw, that of hubris. To hear you say that you are, in fact, not as noble as you thought you were, not so royal as water, is gratifying after all these years. You have proven me wise to have chosen you, Zelda.
To prove the Goddess of Wisdom correct is an interesting feeling- a bit like complimenting the wind on blowing. What shall you do with me?
If you truly wish to do this, know this: Ganon has many, many debts to pay off, and may well be resurrected more times than just this once to battle the new evils that will doubtless spring up in his wake. With his moderating influence gone, his domination as King of Evil finished, Hyrule is open to new dangers- many weaker, but a few, a very few, much worse than he. Ganon's power, twisted as he made it, was still a gift of a Goddess. There was only so much evil he could do- would do- and that binding prevented him from the worst of sins. Ganon was bound on a subconscious level by the man he had been and the holy light of his gift. There are things coming which even Ganon's strength will find a challenge. His choice will leave a power vacuum, with new evils who will rise up and proclaim themselves King in his absence. These things we foresee, and so we send Ganon to fight them.
What better irony, what sweeter poetic justice? Loosing a monster on monsters? But he may turn his coat again. Going from white to black is much like going from black to white.
You are wrong in that last, but your worry is, indeed, a concern- and so for that, we have other plans. His choice must be his own- we have never deviated from that path. But perhaps you can aid.
So is that what I am to do? A watchdog on your great, terrible beast? That is not such a wise decision, Nayru. Our powers... his eclipses mine. You should know that better than anyone- remember when I bore the proud moniker of Ganon's Puppet? I should not fail again, but I will- my wisdom lies in outsmarting and outwitting foes, not overwhelming them. In a direct fight, I will lose.
We know that, Zelda. We wish to use you as a guide, a beacon by which Ganon can orient himself and begin his long crusade. Shall you aid us in this?
I made my choice when I wrote "No". Show me the way.
Live out this life, but do not prepare a template on which to graft your consciousness- I will take care of that, and give you a new body many centuries hence...
Then I see no finer place to end my journal, my last writing, than here. Thank you, Nayru.
Thank you, Midna. We shall see what the future will hold.
A Child of Storms: Link
The interesting thing is that words do not need to be spoken. Link knows what has happened and he knows what he shall do about it.
He's simply curious as to what he's going to do with the rest of this life.
There are evils coming in the future, Farore says, the sound of rushing wind and might and strength. She is life and laughter and love and all those things come to a high and mighty point on the end of his sword. But there are also immediate evils to deal with.
A flash, a vision- a caravan of Moblins, king out front on a giant boar, going to what they think is a meeting with Ganondorf.
Link let the ghost of a smile cross his face.
Perhaps he might have something to do after all.
(No words were needed, for Farore to ask her chosen one to stay, to enter the future with Ganon and Zelda. Link said yes the first time, and that has been the answer all these long centuries since.)
(He has never failed her, her green-clad paladin.)
It is a simple matter to beat the Moblins to Ganon's temple- moving a caravan of troops is much harder than running through the night as one man. And when he got there, he did a thing he had often done throughout all the centuries since discovering Moblins could talk in Zelda's backyard.
He proved he was the strongest. And the Moblin King bowed his head in defeat.
With an army of Moblins at his command, Link managed to keep the peace for the rest of his life, until he died and was buried in the Moblin homeland with the greatest honors they could give him, and resting his sword in his grave.
Two thousand years later, Link's hand gripped it once more. And behind him was a man wrapped in a black cloak and a blonde woman who radiated light.
Just a quick one-shot- with any luck, I can prevent myself from making a story out of this...