Chapter One: Hyrule Falls

Fear.

I knew of it. I knew greatly of it. What man could not say that he knew what fear tasted like, and it did have a true taste, not just one in the mind, but it tasted like a dried tongue and parched throat, a distinctive and appalling taste, but one that seemed to be perpetually lingering within my mouth.

Even though I had fought through hordes Bulblins and fought their lord on more than one occasion. I traversed the entire land of Hyrule, wandered through the Twilight realm, restored the four Light Spirits, captured the Fused Shadows, recovered my humanity with Midna's help, took the Master Sword for my own, traveled into the Gerudo Desert to find the Mirror of Twilight and even restored that passageway between the worlds of Hyrule and the Twilight Realm, and had discovered the puppeteer behind Zant's powers...

Ganondorf Dragmire.

The name itself drew upon unspeakable horrors and untold power. A Gerudo who took for himself the Triforce of Power, Din herself lending him ungodly strength, longevity, and virtually immortality. To think upon the name sent a shiver down my spine...

But to see his very visage...that was a entirely new level of dread.

But what man could say that he could look upon such a scene and not feel such fear welling beneath the surface? I stood before the Hyrulian throne, Ganondorf, the King of Evil himself, stood before that throne, in his right hand he held Midna by the Fused Shadow shards she wore like a crown, his fingers slowly crushing it, while the imp writhed in pain, trying to escape from the vice-like grip the monster of a man held her head in.

The Princess of Hyrule was fairing little better, for she was chained to a wall bound tightly, unconscious, completely helpless, and beyond myability to save. She was simply to far for me to get to her, there was no way that I would make it to her before Ganondorf made a swift motion, and with his foul craft, incinerate her.

Oh, if she should see me now, cowering before Ganondorf in my mind, though my body tried to stay resilient to that fear that pressured me to submit before the battle had even begun. Behind my sapphire eyes, I knew, that my terror was growing rampantly, and as the Dark King looked upon me with callous, golden eyes, I felt that he could see that as clearly as night and day.

I stepped forward slowly, while the towering man looked down upon me with a malicious grin, that feeling that he knew that he had already won the fight rising up in my mind like bile, and though I tried to force it down, the mental aftertaste remained.

With two steps, I could clearly see the symbol of the Triforce glowing on my left hand, the lower right piece shimmering and shinning with what was meant to be Courage, and yet I felt that it was not availing me in the least.

But what I saw then shook me to my very core, and I truly felt then that I would die before a single stroke was made, for on Ganondorf's right hand, I could clearly see both the upper piece, the Triforce of Power, and the lower left piece, the Triforce of Wisdom, both residing on his glove. Trepidation filled me in a deluge, and before I could take a third step, my feet turned to lead. I could not bring myself to move any closer.

I swallowed hard, a lump filling my throat as if I were trying to eat sand from the Gerudo Desert, my mind was befuddled, perplexed, and bewildered, for I could not wrap my mind around a simple concept: that the King of Evil himself had attained the Triforce of Wisdom from my kingdom's ruler.

I could clearly see the grin on Ganondorf's lips grow into a truly menacing smile, a deep rumble of laughter filling the chamber, reverberating off the walls, and chilling me to my heart.

I heard a crack, only one at first, but then a second, and then a chain of them, my eyes falling upon Midna, whose cries had deafened in my ears because of their continuation, but now rose to a new high, as the Fused Shadow upon her head was crushed, the shards digging into her flesh while she screamed in agony, the Dark King merely laughing as he continued, until there was nothing left of her crown, and he dropped her to the ground without a second thought.

A cruel chuckle left the scarlet-haired man, "I feel that this is a fitting end for her reign...Twilight Princess...Ha! Don't make me laugh! She hardly surmounted a tenth of my strength..." he gloated, giving only a brief glance down to the imp. "Pathetic..."

His golden eyes then turned to the Princess of Hyrule, a look of disgust upon his face, "And Zelda was hardly a host for any piece of the Triforce...she was unworthy of being touched by the gods...her wisdom served her poorly in thinking that I would allow her kingdom to remain sovereign.."

And then his eyes, glowing with a curiosity and manipulative malice, turned back upon me. He was toying with me, I knew he was, but there was nothing that I could do to stop him, "And now we have the Savior of Hyrule himself...How does Farore fare within you? It would seem that she has abandoned you, Link, for you look as though you would flee in terror if you were not already frozen by fear..." he said menacingly, another nefarious chuckle leaving the towering man, who now began to walk very slowly towards me, as if savoring each and every moment that he drew closer to me, his height dwarfing mine, even from a distance.

I drew my shield and sword, my strength resounded within me, but my will seemed to lack the force to push me to strike. So, with my options limited, I rose my shield as if to feebly defend myself like a scared child while Ganondorf drew nearer. He rose a hand and simply flexed his fingers, and I felt the Hyrulian Shield that I clutched my numbing fingers against take a mighty blow from some unseen force, and with another flex of his palm, the shield was ripped from my hand and sent sliding across the marble floor with a small shower of sparks, and I could feel my eyes widen in sheer terror.

The Gerudo came within a few feet of me, and in my fear I lashed out, shouting as I tried to strike him with the Master Sword, trying to bring an end to the Dark King, and with a speed that I had never seen in a being so large in size, my enemy grasped my left wrist, the one with which I had tried to strike him with, the massive hand hardly even squeezed, and I suppose that Ganondorf realized that my fear of him was already so great that it only took a light clutch to force the Master Sword from my hand, watching it out of the corner of my eye as it fell, landing with a clang of steel upon stone, the floor chipped by the edge of the blueish-gray blade and it bit the marble.

That grin, that dreadful grin that lingered on the dark lips of the even darker Lord of Evil, it bore down upon me as I looked up into those glimmering golden eyes with pure panic, my breath hitched in my throat as I tried to draw in air, and I tried to cry out, yet nothing seemed to come.

"You cannot defeat me now, Link...but nor could you before, but now that fact is cemented in time itself...But I bore of this, and I give you a choice, for I will leave the fate of this kingdom in your hands." he began, only to pause for a moment, so that the words would sink in, "You can surrender to me and to my will, completely capitulate all that you are to me, and I will spare Hyrule from the flame, and will simply migrate my race to these lands, and assume control of these lands myself. Or..." he once more paused, again allowing for his words to be fully addressed by my mind, "you can resist me, and all that you know will be destroyed completely and totally, annihilation will run rampant, and death shall shroud that lands, and you will be left alive to watch until I feel that I have no more use for you." he said calmly, the maliciousness of his voice gone, but yet in a way it still did linger in his words, which I knew he was trying to gloss with honey in order to make the bitter reality a little easier to take in.

But the question was why was he even giving me this choice? Why would he give me such a choice and no one else? Why was I important in the least to him? I could not decide his reason, and nor could I tell if he was being truthful, but what choice did I have? But I was hesitant, I feared what he might do, the torture that might follow, the pain he might cause, and again I was filled with apprehension.

Ganondorf seemed to see the questions that befuddled my mind, and as if he could read that same mind as if it were an open book, he spoke, "Zelda and Midna will both be removed from the castle, Zelda sent to another part of Hyrule, where she will live the life of a peasant, and Midna shall be sent back to the Twilight Realm. And you, Link, you will remain with me, you will serve as a paragon of reason, for what hope will a rebellion have if the great Savior of Hyrule is even subservient to this land's new King? So..." he paused, "will you submit yourself to me?"

Even hearing the question a second time, it was almost impossible for me to think on it...I had no choice, I had to surrender myself, I could not watch the people for whom I had fought for so hard to suffer because of my fear. I shook a moment, my entire body feeling like jelly for a moment, until I dared to mutter a whisper...

"Yes..."

The new King of Hyrule smiled with a twisted sense of victory, "Good...good...now shed your weapons...and swear that you shall never again take arms against me or the sovereign power that I now wield."

I did as I was told, looking towards the floor in shame as my hands removed every single item from my pockets and my holsters: three bags of bombs, a ball and chain, bow, quiver and arrows, and the claw-shot, all striking the ground around me, until I had almost nothing left, save for my tunic, my boots, the hat on my head, and small items of trivial nature. "I swear that I shall never..."

"Knell before me while you swear your loyalty to me..." he said, enjoying his complete control of the situation, a moment that he had been waiting for for a very long time.

I fell upon one knee, knelling before my new lord, praying to the gods that Zelda would not have to see this, to see the fall of her kingdom, and to see her only hope, her savior, bowing and swearing fealty to a Dark King.

"I swear that I shall never take arms against you...Lord Ganondorf..." I said with distaste on my tongue, wishing that I could have spat the words at him, but knowing that doing so would not only have me killed, but those whom I still cared for. I had no choice...

In the throne room of Hyrule castle, a tremor formed as the new King ushered out rumbling laughter, a sound that could only produce total terror in any who heard it, the deep, malicious laugh of a man who knew that he had won everything that his will had ever desired him to conquer.

"Good...now rise from the feet of your lord. Let it be known throughout the kingdom...that I, Ganondorf Dragmire, now rule the Gerudo Desert and the whole of Hyrule."