Merciful Nayru, Not Another Self-Insert!
('Stop Me If You've Heard This One')
The sheer incongruity of it was what got him.
A young man, a college student who went by the name of Davin Sunrider in various realms more fiction than fact, stopped rather abruptly and stared at the anachronism.
Davin was fairly ordinary, as college students go. He was taller than most people, so this was what was first noticed about him by most people, and remarked on shortly thereafter. Davin heard the phrase 'Wow, you're tall!' in some form at least twice a day, and while it was starting to become the phrase he loathed most in all the world, he realized there was not much else people could use as an introduction, and so he amused himself by coming up with unconventional responses.
He was on the thin side of medium weight, could not be described except by a stretch of the imagination as muscular, and wore his dark blond hair a little longer than his mother liked, parted in the middle. His clothing was mostly loose-fitting and dark-colored, chosen more for comfort than any sort of fashion, and a battered laptop case containing an equally battered laptop hung at his side from a strap across his chest. His glasses were the sort that darkened when you were outside, turning into sunglasses, and as Davin stared at the utterly out-of-place thing in front of him, they did just that beneath the sun's rays.
Around Davin was a rather ordinary college campus, well laid-out but just confusing enough that every once in a while a freshman stopped Davin to ask him for directions. Since he had been a freshman himself not too long ago, he was usually happy to provide them. Buildings of mostly square angles, covered with mostly tan and brown stone and plaster, spread over the well-tended grounds of the college campus, interconnected by a number of concrete walkways and bridges. A fountain bubbled cheerfully beside an outdoor amphitheater, a little ways away from the building where Davin usually ate his lunch but now did not because it was under renovation. A clock tower rose from the center of the campus, and it had just finished chiming that it was twelve noon.
Davin usually ignored the clock chimes, as the music playing from the headphones of his ever-present MP3 player almost always drowned it out, but today they had caught his attention.
Today the chimes had played a song they had never played before.
Davin recognized the song.
He also recognized the anachronism, which went right along with the chimes.
The thing that had given the college student who called himself Davin Sunrider pause was this: a man.
Davin usually did not pause upon looking at men, as he much preferred looking at women instead. Truthfully, he thought most men were rather not worth looking at, himself included. His appearance made it plain that he spent no more time in front of mirrors than was necessary to keep him from looking foolish or sloppy. He was only partially successful.
But, the anachronism was not just any man. This man was well over seven feet tall, nearing eight, and, as if that were not remarkable enough, he was also dressed in full plate armor of the sort not worn by anyone who wasn't an actor or an enthusiast of some kind in a thousand years. His skin was a dark tan, but his hair was a fiery red, braided into an intricately worked gold headpiece that served as a sort of crown. He looked like the sort of man who ought to be wearing some sort of crown, as he held himself like a king, a king who knows everything around him belongs to him or soon will.
Davin Sunrider recognized this man. This man did not belong on a college campus, standing beneath one of the supporting pillars of the large clock tower. This man did not belong anywhere on Earth, actually, and this was why Davin was staring at him.
The man stared right back at him, as if equally surprised to see Davin.
As the clock above the two men, one young, one a little older, finished chiming, it repeated the song Davin had heard before, though never from the big campus clock. It was the sort of song that sounded very strange on clock chimes, as it was meant to be played on an organ and heard in a place that was most definitely not a college campus in a small desert town.
Davin rested one hand on the laptop case at his side as he took a few steps towards the huge man in plate armor who no one else seemed to notice. The man continued to stare at him with eyes the color of amber, a suspicious look on his features.
Davin could think of only one thing to say to the huge man who did not belong on his college campus underneath the clock tower.
"Wow, you're tall!"
The man in anachronistic plate armor sneered. "Perhaps you are merely short," he replied, his voice extremely deep, with a slight accent that was unfamiliar to Davin.
Davin frowned. "I'm pretty sure that's not it," he said. He shifted his bag, which, since it contained one of his textbooks and his notebook as well as his computer, was slightly heavier than was comfortable. "What are you doing here?" he asked the large man who should have been fictional.
"What are you doing here?" the man retorted, his suspicious look deepening.
"I'm taking a Sociology class," Davin answered. "It just got over, so I was going to go eat my lunch in the new building. But then I saw something that didn't belong underneath the clock tower."
The huge, supposedly fictional man glared back at Davin, as if suspecting him of some sort of trick. "I've never heard of 'Sociology'," he said, pronouncing the word in an odd way. "What can you do with it?"
"Understand people better," Davin replied, his mouth on autopilot while his mind pleaded to be allowed to go mad. Davin refused to grant such a request, so his mind went off and sulked in a corner of his psyche, leaving him to deal with the situation on his own.
"So this 'Sociology' magic lets you read thoughts?" the dark man inquired, seeming to be very intrigued by such a possibility.
"This ain't Hogwarts," Davin replied flippantly. "No magic courses here."
The supposedly fictional man scowled, and Davin instantly regretted his remark. He made a quick deal with his mind; it could go as mad as it liked once it got him out of this. Reluctantly, it agreed, and allowed him access to the higher functions of his brain again.
His first impulse was to run like hell.
His second impulse also involved hell: he wanted to know what the hell the Dark Lord Ganondorf, of 'Legend of Zelda' fame, was doing standing under the clock tower at a few minutes after noon on a cool September day in Nevada, the United States of America, Earth, The Real World.
He asked Ganondorf just that.
Ganondorf quirked an eyebrow and asked Davin what he thought he was doing standing next to the fountain in the central square of Castle Town, Hyrule, the World Made by the Golden Goddesses. He did not swear, which was odd, since, of the two of them, he was the one who at first glance would seem more likely to employ a colorful expression not to be used in polite company.
Davin said another word that Ganondorf would appear to be more likely to use, an impolite colloquialism for bovine feces.
Ganondorf said a word which Davin thought was an answering profanity, but was in fact a word of command. Davin abruptly flew forward and landed in a heap at Ganondorf's feet, his glasses sailing off to skitter across the stone.
He grabbed for them and managed to pick them up before an enormous foot shod in metal stepped on them, and he put the glasses back on, bringing the world back into focus.
Davin noticed he was not on his college campus anymore. Instead, he was sprawled on the smooth cobblestones of a wide city square, surrounded by buildings made of dark gray stone and wood. Next to him was a wide, bubbling fountain not unlike the one on campus, except this one had a stone monument in the center wrought in the shape of the crest of the Royal Family of Hyrule.
Davin Sunrider's first thought upon realizing this was that he had perhaps accepted rather than declined the suspicious cigarette the kid who sat behind him had offered in the parking lot before their shared class, the one who perpetually smelled of smoke caused by making cigarettes out of a plant that was not legal to grow in Nevada or anywhere else in the United States of America without a special permit.
That didn't seem like him, as he'd both heard horror stories and witnessed a few incidents himself about what illegally grown and even more illegally imbibed plants could to do one's brain, influencing one's behavior. But, what other explanation was there?
"Well, what do you have to say for yourself, boy?" Ganondorf's deep, rumbling voice asked, tinged ever so slightly with amusement. Apparently, Dark Lords found it amusing to knock skinny college students on their asses with telekinetic force.
Davin slowly got to his feet, painfully aware of the fact that even at six-foot-five, the top of his head did not quite come up to Ganondorf's chin. For the first time since he had stopped growing three summers ago, the young man who called himself Davin Sunrider felt very short.
He paused, not quite sure what to do. Should he attempt to answer Ganondorf's question, or should he attempt to wake up?
"Well, up till about ten seconds ago, I was having a pretty nice day," Davin said slowly. "I had just finished my Sociology class and was on my way to the new building to eat lunch when you showed up."
Ganondorf crossed his arms over his chest. His arm was thicker around than Davin's leg, the young man noticed with no small amount of nervousness. He wondered just how much effort the Dark Lord would have to exert to snap his neck, which the taller man seemed to be considering as an acceptable reply to Davin's statement.
Pitifully little, Davin decided. There was not much point in running; one of Ganondorf's steps was probably equal to three of Davin's, and he was armed with magic besides.
"The currents of magic around this place are strangely disturbed today," the enormous Dark Lord rumbled thoughtfully. "I had come to investigate, supposing that boy had finally decided to challenge me. You are certainly not him."
Davin was more than a little insulted at both the Dark Lord's tone and expression. Ganondorf made it plain that he did not think much of Davin. Davin had to agree that a man like Ganondorf had a right to think little of him, though that didn't stop him from being insulted.
Very cautiously, Davin edged backwards, hoping to either step back into the world where he belonged or somehow shake himself loose from this very bizarre dream or trip or whatever was going on.
He succeeded only in falling on his ass again. His ass, predictably, did not appreciate this, and using the miracles of the human body's nervous system, apprised him of its discomfort.
Davin froze, trying to ignore the pain in his legs and backside from the sharp impact, and cautiously watched the Dark Lord.
Ganondorf watched Davin.
Davin watched Ganondorf.
Davin did not.
The Dark Lord used another tug of magic to haul Davin to his feet, still chuckling to himself. "You are just interesting enough to keep alive, boy," he said. "Din knows I don't have anything else to do until the Hero shows up."
Davin gave Ganondorf a cautiously questioning look.
"I've conquered Hyrule," Ganondorf explained, though Davin had already guessed this part. "This kingdom now belongs to me, and all that remains is to dispose of its sadly misguided and under-equipped 'protector' and the princess he serves, who has managed to escape my custody."
Davin had guessed this part, as well. He wondered which of the games this was, or if it was a part of Hyrule's history not covered by a game.
Then he wondered why he jumped right to that conclusion instead of sticking to the 'drug-trip' theory, which was, he thought, a more likely explanation of what was currently happening to him. Damn that boy for offering him an 'herbal cigarette'! Double damn Davin himself for accepting, though he was quite sure he hadn't. He had always politely but firmly refused such offers in the past.
"Tell me an amusing story from your homeland, boy," Ganondorf said suddenly. It was clearly not a request, but a command. Everything Ganondorf said seemed to have this quality.
Davin's brain raced, and he settled upon a joke Ganondorf would perhaps like. As he told it, he modified the joke to what he knew of his surroundings and his captor's tastes. He pulled the strap of his bag over his head and carefully leaned the laptop case against the fountain before straightening.
"Stop me if you've heard this one," Davin said, grinning nervously. Ganondorf nodded solemnly in reply.
"Er, two Hylians are hunting in the woods," Davin began, shifting his feet nervously. "And suddenly one of them collapses, clutching his stomach."
Ganondorf listened with interest, so Davin continued.
"His companion races to the nearest Gossip Stone, and he shouts into it, 'Help, help, my buddy's fallen down and I don't know what's wrong with him! He was clutching his stomach and groaning for a while, but now he isn't moving. I think he's dead!' The Gossip Stone replies, 'Okay, calm down, I'll walk you through this. First thing, you'd better make sure he's really dead.'"
Ganondorf showed no sign of having heard this one before. Davin continued.
"The woman on the other end of the Gossip Stone listens carefully. She hears a sword being drawn, then a yell of effort and a wet thump. The first Hylian comes back to the stone and says, 'Okay, now what?'"
Ganondorf's face remained expressionless for a moment, and Davin feared for his life. Then, to his immense relief, the Dark Lord began to laugh. Ganondorf had a great booming laugh, just the sort one would expect a Dark Lord who made a habit of conquering neighboring kingdoms and kidnapping princesses to have.
He slapped Davin on the back, knocking the young man into the low wall around the fountain. Davin grabbed onto the wall to keep from falling down, pushing his glasses back into place with his other hand.
"I like it!" Ganondorf declared. "What's your name, boy?"
"Davin Sunrider," the young man replied, though that was not his real name. It fit the situation well enough, though, considering.
"Well, Sunrider, if you have more stories like that one, I shall have to keep you around. You will keep me entertained until the Hero's arrival." Ganondorf leaned down, his eyebrows raising in a disturbingly eager expression. "Say, do you have any about him?"
"Er, sure, I guess," Davin replied, shifting his feet again. "Give me a few minutes."
Ganondorf slapped him on the back again, sending Davin tumbling into the fountain. Fortunately, he managed to keep his laptop case from getting wet, but was rather more unsuccessful with the rest of him. Ganondorf laughed even harder at this.
With one hand, the Dark Lord grabbed Davin by the collar of his jacket and easily plucked the soaked storyteller from the fountain. He set him back on the cobblestones of Castle Town's central square, still chuckling, and the sound was just as disturbing as before.
"If you make me laugh this hard every day, Sunrider," Ganondorf said, absently gesturing at Davin with one hand, "you will be greatly rewarded."
Davin, now as perfectly dry as if he had not fallen in the fountain, picked up his laptop case. He doubted Hyrule Castle had WiFi. He further doubted it had any suitable outlets, either. No looking up jokes on the 'net, then.
He shrugged; he could just make them up, he supposed. He only hoped Link didn't give him too bad of a thrashing when he finally got here. Would a Hero go after a Dark Lord's court comedian? He didn't think so, but then again, there had never been a court comedian in any of the games. This era's Link may or may not have a sense of humor, Davin supposed. It all depended on what sort of player he was.
Ganondorf began marching back in the direction of the castle, and Davin hastily followed, almost having to jog to keep up. As the two of them moved down the long stone-paved avenue leading to the massive wooden doors, Davin noticed that all of the Dark Lord's guards were women, and exceptionally beautiful women at that. One of them smiled at him as he passed, and he smiled back.
Perhaps this wouldn't be so bad after all.
Author's Note: This story will be familiar to those who also follow me on DeviantArt, as that site was where I first posted this. On a more note-like note, this is, obviously, a parody of self-insert stories, as well as a number of other writing tropes. It will be fairly short, probably not more than five or six chapters of about this length. The story will be updated approximately whenever I feel like it, which will likely be fairly often, as I have found myself in the mood to write humor lately. Thanks for reading!