A/N: After a long hiatus, I decided to come back and fix up this story. And, seriously? This... this needed some serious, serious overhaul. I apologize to everyone that lost interest in this, or that was disappointed and wanted me to continue. I had to go through some... pretty hard stuff last year, and well, it didn't clear up until the start of this summer. Anyway, that's no real excuse, but I'm trying, and I'll try to finish this story. It shouldn't be too much longer, anyway, after I'm done updating/uploading all the new replacement chapters.
Plot Synopsis: Link. Seventeen years old. Fugitive. Ex-PLUGGED child of the Gerudo Corporation. Currently residing in the underbelly of Hyrule City, affectionately referred to Lower City. But, as Link soon learns, when the Gerudo Corp. is involved: You can run, but you can't hide.
Warning: This is a CYBERPUNK AU (Alternate Universe), heavily inspired by Ocarina of Time, but not a parody/mirror/whatever. By cyberpunk, I am including dark themes, suggestive material (including but not limited to: drug use, horny teenagers, unorthodox violence, excessive cursing, and addiction/dependency). If this bothers you, if you are underaged, there is a button at the top of your screen that stands for BACK. I suggest you use it.
Disclaimer: This is a non-profit, amateur effort not intended to infringe on the rights of any copyright holder. Characters belong to their respective owners.
Chapter 1 - Good Morning
He woke up to the sound of shrill screaming and the offensive CLANG of pebbles colliding with the scrap metal over his one window.
"Guh?" the blond mumbled confusedly into his drool soaked pillow, his half naked body tangled within a single, old gray sheet on an ancient and flattened mattress. Just above his head was a poor excuse of a shelf—small rusted metal nailed haphazardly to the wall. Pressed close to the wall on said outcropping rested a small silver device which beeped twice before humming to life, and shot a thin beam of light beside the blonde's head below. The light morphed into the image of a miniature young woman with an hourglass shaped body.
:: Seven forty one A.M. Rise and shine, Link! :: the holographic woman bellowed, the image crackling several times from static and poorly managed surge of electricity. In response, Link's head rose slowly to allow his two blue eyes to peer over the hills of his crumpled synthetic pillow and glare silently at the hologram. Then he rose a little higher, took a deep breath, and blew at the tiny woman. The particles in the air were easily disrupted and he literally blew the image away.
"Rise and shine your face, Navi." The seventeen year old grunted victoriously before burying his face and tangle mess of hair back into his pillow.
Just as Link's ragged breathing eased out, the device on the shelf suddenly began to vibrate violently, sirens wailing and lights flashing wildly. Link shouted in surprise and leapt out of the bed. Or rather, tried and failed to leap while his tangled legs brought him face first to the shambled steel floor. Immediately his bare body broke out into uncontrollable shivers, eliciting several long and incredibly offensive curses from the young man's mouth.
After ripping his legs from the tangled sheet, he managed to stand and readjust his plaid boxers. Huffing with indignation Link walked into the small two by two by six foot stall in the wall beside his bed, and the door hissed closed behind him.
"One-oh-one degrees," his sleep heavy voice croaked. The showerhead responded by blasting a hot stream of water into his face.
Twelve minutes, thirty seven seconds, and one morning ritual later, Link realized he still heard the steady clang of pebbles ramming the slip of metal over his window. Taking his time, Link snapped the buckle of his belt shut and shoveled the rest of his artificial foodstuffs-on-burned-toast into his mouth before shambling across the metal floor. He braced himself as he threw the rusted shutters open, but flinched when a pebble narrowly missed colliding with his head as it soared pass.
"LINK!" a child shrieked as he bounced up and down far below the sad excuse of a hole in the wall. "You awake yet?!" the shrill voice tore into his eardrums worse than the irritating whine of a failing cooling unit ever could. And while Link was comfortable with this almost daily human interaction, he vaguely pondered the possibility of ripping open the kid's skull and installing a Mute-All wireless chip.
"No," the blond replied around the chunk of sustenance still being chewed in his mouth, crumbs spraying from his lips in a rather crude manner. The child stopped bouncing, arms dropped in confusion. Then…
"Shi—OW," Link shouted as another barrage of stones flew through his window. The shutters automatically slammed shut as he flung himself backwards, narrowly avoiding his bed. Another two steps and he vaulted over the peeling guard rail that marked the boundary of his half room-above-a-room-with-bed-shower-and-toaster. The ten foot drop jarred his mind awake further than the rocks did, he mentally noted with some disdain.
:: Taking the ladder is really much safer :: echoed a musical voice the moment he adjusted the communicator lodged in his left ear canal. Link merely grumbled a reply incoherently as he paused to kneel down and tighten the laces of his thick combat boots before traversing the treacherous fifteen-feet-and-change of unnamed trash, debris, and wild electrical wiring.
"It'd be much safer if I wasn't squatting in this dump," Link clarified as he made his way to the door. He knocked the toe of his boot twice on the ground before violently kicking the heavy slab of iron in front of him. The piece did not react right away, but after the second kick he could hear the clicks and whirs of the gears in the wall as the system came to life… but only just enough life to give him two feet of space and twelve seconds to squeeze through.
The iron creaked loudly and sparks flew as the solid door slammed shut behind him. :: This is government sanctioned residential property, how dare you imply otherwise :: Navi's musical electronic voice reverberated in his pointed ear. Unsurprisingly, Link did not bother to dignify his portable Navigator with a response. Instead, he faintly debated whether or not her AI was capable of mocking him as he gave himself a moment to overcome the adrenaline that was usually a result of narrowly avoiding certain flattened death-by-front-door. And then he opted to walk—run, RUN—in the opposite direction of the bite sized rock hurling nuisance that was his neighbor's demon child.
The synthetic leather jacket, studded belt and old blue-jeans wearing seventeen-year-old soon realized that no, today was not his day.
"Oow! Link, what the hell?" a feminine voice hissed from beside him on the dirty concrete ground. He took this moment as a failed opportunity that Fate had offered him—failed because though he was facing the general direction of where the sky should be, all he could see was an unending expanse of metal scaffolding, concrete and steel and carbon that comprised the floor of the Upper City, and the ceiling of the Lower Ground, where the rich afforded to bask in the sunlight.
The sunlight he hadn't seen in most of his seventeen years of life.
"Link? One-two-seven-oh-oh-one," the girl with green hair and greener eyes yelled in his right ear.
He blinked, sighed, and then slurred tiredly: "S'not funny, Saria." The girl merely shrugged and straightened, offering a hand to help him up. He accepted and was standing on his feet within a moment, beating off dust from his pants and peeling what he hoped was a banana peel off the side of his jacket.
Out of the corner of his eye he looked over Saria for the millionth time in his life. She was small, maybe five feet with unnatural hair and eyes, and a body that won't age past thirteen thanks to the numerous mechanical implants in her system shimmering under porcelain skin. She was like the other seventy five percent of the child population down in the Lower Grounds—caught the sickness that, while curable, was debilitating and deformed the human body beyond recognition.
But deformation was also treatable—all you needed was to become less than human, and more than machine. A sadness he thought he had gotten over was quietly pushed to the back of his mind as he jammed his fists into his pockets.
:: Saria, hello! :: the holographic image of a woman floating on Link's shoulder echoed in the alley. The green haired girl's eyes widened as a smile erupted on her dimpled face.
"You fixed her! She's back online?" Saria asked cheerfully, her previous irritation at his clumsiness clearly forgotten. Link shrugged and nodded, not quite trusting his voice to not crack and make him sound like a complete idiot just yet, though he couldn't help but smile at her cheer and consequent hops of joy.
His boots scuffed the ground a few times as he stared expectantly at his friend. Thankfully, Navi seemed to read his mind and voiced the unsaid question for him.
:: So what brings you here, Saria? ::
The hopping stopped as Saria halted her unsteady dance to glance back at Link, recognition in her eyes as she remembered what she probably forgot in the excitement.
Her lower jaw slid right, then left, a mechanical click echoing quietly in the background as she scratched the side of her head with perfectly manicured green nails. The sound made him uncomfortable, and Link made the effort to stop himself from taking an instinctive step backwards. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he quietly remembered that those perfect nails held some of the most lethal stealth weaponry he could recall offhandedly.
"Oh!" she gasped as she inadvertently interrupted his thoughts, the artificial light sparkling behind her eyes, "Old man Cyprus wanted to see you."
Wonderful, Link thought cynically, though had enough restraint to hide the emotion from his expression. He wanted to say Cyrpus can kiss my behind, say Cyprus can see the inside of a Dodongo, say Cyprus can croak with the help of my fists.
Instead, he said: "Let's go," and arched his elbow outwards, with his hands still in his pockets, to give Saria a place to sling her arm through. She happily accepted the invitation and they hastened to get to the old man's shack without bumping into any other people along the way.