The Legend of Zelda: An Old Threat in a New Era
By Sparty and Erico
Note: Back in ye olden days (summer, 2000 AD), I came up with the idea for this story and thought I'd enlist the help of an online friend to write it. We made it a joint project, switching off every other chapter until completion.
My co-author gave me his blessing to take our story and make a revised version. You can still find the original version in Erico's own library of stories on this site.
Chapter One: A Meeting With Destiny
The corridor was dimly lit, the few lights around the youth causing shadows to play across the widely-placed walls like dancing ghosts. At the far end of the large hall was his destination: an ominous door, six times his own height. He approached it cautiously, doing his utmost to make as little noise as possible. The door's silvery framework reflected his image many times over, like broken pieces of a mirror. He reached out to push the door open, but, just before he made contact, it began to swing inward. He gazed into the dark chamber ahead. As he stepped past it, he heard the large door slam shut behind him; there was no turning back.
He wielded a fierce-looking bow and held it firmly in leather-clad hands as he searched for his quarry. His eyes scanned the dark room's interior and found what appeared to be a desk, albeit larger and longer than any desk he had ever seen. Behind that was a window spanning across the length of the wall that looked out upon the cityscape below. It was midday, but somehow the room retained its dark features. Once his eyes adjusted, he perceived a figure standing behind the desk, tall and dark, his gaze turned away from the youth. His mark in sight, the boy nocked an arrow to his bow and pulled back the taut string.
Suddenly, the man turned around, his featureless face silhouetted by the bright window behind him. The tall man laughed then cleared the desk in one bound and overtook the youth before he could even blink. The boy's bow dropped to the ground, the clatter of wood on marble echoing throughout the chamber. Everything went dark.
Next, he was high above the city; the traffic in the street far below looked like little toy cars. There was shattered glass all around, falling at his exact pace. I've experienced this before, he thought to himself in his weightless descent. I never get past this part. The ground was rushing up to meet him, and the cars were looking more real the closer he came to the earth's surface. Yup, it's time to wake up.
Link awoke in a cold sweat, and his collar-length blond hair was stuck to his face in a mishmash of tangled locks. He groaned loudly as he glanced over at the digital clock on his night stand: 12:33 P.M.
Saturday afternoon already, he thought. Great, I just slept half the day away. He got up in a daze and stumbled his way down the hall to the bathroom. Shower, was his singular thought. He stood under a hot stream of water for a good fifteen minutes before he felt ready to show his face to the world again.
Memories of the previous night invaded his friend Steve had hosted a house party, the obvious recourse when parents are gone for the weekend. This, of course, was the perfect opportunity to break out the booze and watch underage idiots go wild.
He (vaguely) recalled challenging his friend Steve to a drinking match: double shots of tequila. He hadn't ever tried the stuff before, and, boy, he wished that he hadn't. It tasted horrible and burned the entire way down his throat. Damn, he thought in retrospect, I should've stuck with beer. The challenge went on until about the sixth double shot. He had no idea who had been the victor, nor did he care at the moment.
His next clear memory was waking up on the floor between the coffee table and the couch of Steve's living room. Some classmates on the sofa had been using his prone body as a foot rest. Most guests had already left the party, so he went to find Steve. His search was short-lived, for another friend informed him that Steve and "some totally hot chick" were in the master bedroom. Figured.
He and Steve lived right down the street from each other, so it didn't take him long to make it back to his own place. He did, however, manage to throw up once along the way, right into one of his neighbor's bushes. Take that, Mr. Peterson, you old ass hat, he thought glibly, shaking a wobbly fist at his neighbor's house. He resumed his lonely walk and made it back to his house without further incident.
Memories of the previous night weren't the only thing haunting him though. My nightmares are getting more and more frequent. It was always the same dream, too. Whatever it meant, he knew he was due for some Freudian psycho-analysis if his foster parents got wind of it.
Refreshed from the shower, he walked more steadily back to his room, got dressed in some jeans and a faded green t-shirt, put on some socks and his shoes then made a beeline to the kitchen. He was greeted by his foster father who sat at the dining room table. "Afternoon, Link." It was Saturday, so that meant Charles and Samantha were home for the day, which also meant Charles' bathrobe, blue pajama pants would be an all-day thing. "Late night?" the heavy-set man queried from behind his iPad.
Link set to work making a breakfast smoothie. He knew full well that breakfast hours were long over, but after having just woken up, something breakfast-y sounded ideal. "Yup. Steve and I had a lot of planning to do," he lied.
Charles slightly lowered his tablet device. "On a Friday night?" Link held his breath, waited for the hammer to fall then released it as his foster father just shrugged complacently. "Seems planning's the only thing you two ever do nowadays."
Link, less tense, dropped two fully peeled bananas, half a cup of oats, and two cups of milk into the blender. He covered the concoction and turned the motor to pulse. "Yeah, well, we plan on getting ourselves a place right out of high school."
"Mmmm-hmmm, so you've told Samantha and me," he stated. Then, with a chuckle, he asked, "Is living here with us really that bad?"
Link cranked up the speed on the blender. "Your words, not mine," he replied defensively. "I'm practically on my own anyway, after all the years spent in foster care, y'know? It's time I got out of your hair anyway. It's time for me to make my own...what's a good word for this...well, my own destiny.Yeah."
Charles rolled his eyes and looked back at his iPad screen. "You and me both, kiddo."
Samantha came in from the laundry room and smiled when she saw Link. She was a trim and lively woman with perfect hair every day of the week, quite the opposite of her husband. "Good afternoon, sweetheart," she chimed.
"Good afternoon," replied Charles, eyes remaining glued to what he was reading.
"I didn't mean you," she shot back, playfully smacking the back of her husband's head. "I was referring to Link."
Link groaned as he poured his smoothie into a tall glass. "Ugh, you know I don't like being called sweetheart." She pinched his cheek, and he, in turn, tried his best to bat her away.
"There's no use fighting what you are, Link."
Charles looked up expectantly from his device. "And what about me? When do I get to be your sweetheart?"
She went over and snatched the iPad right out of his hands. "Sweetheart? You're lucky if I even call you by your first name. 'Lazy bum' has been your official name for years."
Charles chortled dismissively, reached for the iPhone in his pocket, and went right back to what he was reading. "Oh well," he said nonchalantly. "If you don't appreciate what I do for you then at least I know the news won't judge me. Oh! Listen to this! Rumor has it that Donald Trump and the CEO of Dragmire Industries might announce their bids for the United States Presidency this year. I wonder how that's even possible…Mr. Dragmire isn't even a naturally born U.S. citizen."
Samantha grabbed his phone too. "And stop reading the tabloids!" she nagged. "No wonder I'm the only one that can make smart decisions around here." She then looked apologetically to Link. "I didn't mean you too, dear."
Link rolled his eyes and brought his smoothie over to the table. Life was definitely interesting, day in and day out, in the home of Charles and Samantha. They had had no children of their own, but they had fostered four kids, to include Link. Their third had only just moved out two years earlier, and that had been the very day of her high school graduation. Link felt guilty doing the same, but he had already made up his mind. He was determined to visit often if he could, but perhaps that was only wishful thinking on his part.
Link almost spilled his concoction then glanced up to see Charles looking at him over the top of his newspaper. "Huh?" he mumbled.
"College, Link. Samantha and I have been thinking a bit, and we want you to seriously consider college."
Link looked back to his smoothie and mindlessly rotated the glass around on the table top. "It's not in the cards."
"You have a sports scholarship—take it. And whatever you can't afford, we'll pay the difference. Besides, it's no mystery you've been happier here than in any other place you've lived."
"I know, I know," Link said, a little annoyed. "But we've been over this a gazillion times. Maybe I'll eventually go to college, but I'd like to get started fast in life. I think Steve and I have a good plan for that to happen."
"So, what's your big plan then? Is it this business that you've been talking about?"
Link nodded and gulped down half of his meal. "Yeah..."
"So…you're going to fix up properties and turn them around on the market. That's pretty ambitious. To make a profit, you've got to have some kind of expertise or experience doing it."
Link finished his smoothie. "I realize I don't have any experience, but Steve does. He has connections in the city, so we won't be hung out to dry right off the bat."
"Just remember that if this thing with Steve doesn't take off you can always come back to stay with us, and then you can start the fall semester."
Link glared at his foster father. "Are you serious? You really think I'm going to give up on my dreams after just one summer?"
Charles held his hands up defensively. "I'm just giving you options, Link, that's all. I'm sure you'd be able to work something out for a spring semester if the fall is too quick for you."
"Yeah, well I've considered the options, and I think my plans are the only things that'll get me out of this hole quicker than anything else you have to offer."
"Hole?" Charles echoed, a bit hurt. Link grabbed his empty glass and took it over to sink.
"Anyway," said the youth, unapologetic, "I'm going to take off for a bit today and hit up the gym." Link left Charles in the kitchen and went to his room, grabbed his gym clothes, and took off out the door, heading for the fitness center a few blocks down.
"Hey!" Samantha called after him from the front porch. "You need to apologize to Charles!" But he was already too far away to hear.
Link walked through his neighborhood in the direction of the nearby gym, his bag of gym gear held in his left hand. As he turned down the street from his neighborhood he saw a long, jet black, stretch limousine moving silently in his direction. He wondered to himself what a vehicle of this caliber could be doing in his neck of the woods. There were no extremely rich families living here (wealthy, yes, like Steve's parents, but not movie-star rich). Link watched as it drew closer, and, surprisingly, it didn't pass him by, but instead stopped right next to him.
The darkly-tinted window of the passenger cabin slid noiselessly down, and a girl with long blond hair peered out the open window at him. She looked to be about Link's age, and, by the way she was dressed, he could tell that she didn't belong in this part of town. Her expensive clothing definitely spoke of a wealthy background, and her posture told him of years of etiquette training. And...something else about her seemed oddly familiar to him.
After she looked at him for almost ten full seconds Link couldn't stand the awkward silence anymore. "Uh, are you guys lost?" he asked awkwardly. "I can help you...if you want, that is...I mean, not that you..."
Cutting him off, she smiled and said, "Nice to meet you again, Link. It seems you've sobered up finally."
Link shook his head and laughed. Of course he had seen this girl before! Hadn't he?
And then it came to him. "The party!" he exclaimed. He barely recalled it, but she had been there at Steve's house the night before. After the tequila, his mind had become a blur, but bits and pieces were now coming back to him. She's even hotter today than she was last night! Wait…I thought girls were supposed to look better when you've had a few…
The girl nodded. "I'm so glad you remember! We have a lot to discuss. Care to join me?"
Link grinned to himself. Was this his chance to get with someone like her? This was too big to pass up.
The driver hopped out of the limo and opened the door for Link. "Don't mind if I do, sir," the cocky teenager said to the sharply-dressed man, offering him a mock salute. He slid past the chafed chauffeur into the dark interior of the car. His eyes quickly adjusted to the dim lighting within, giving him a good look at what he was dealing with. He sat facing the girl from the party, and to her side was a taller woman with snow white hair. He couldn't decide if she was an old woman or a young lady…could she be both? She sat tall and upright, and a crisp grin tugged at the edge of her mouth as if she knew something that only she was privy to.
He looked back at the blonde he met the night before. The girl gazed intently at him with a look that seemed to say (to him) that he was he last guy on earth, and she had just found him after twenty years of hard looking.
He attempted a grin and said, "So…what's with the fancy getup? It's like you're royalty...and this lady here is…um…your chaperon, right? But even with boss lady here, I'm really glad to see you again."
"Yes," spoke the other woman for the first time. Her husky voice and condescending tone took Link by surprise. "But do you recall her name?"
"Pshh…well, of course I remember her name." He looked back at the girl. "I remember your name. I do!" He took a stab in the dark. "Christine, right? Prettiest name I ever heard." He winced when the taller woman frowned at him.
"Relax," the girl said. She put a slight, elegantly-manicured hand on his knee. He felt shock waves of pure excitement shoot through him as her hand made contact. "I never did tell you my name last night, and I should warn you that my handmaid Impa has a habit of putting people on the spot." She took her hand from Link. "I'm Zelda, princess of Hyrule's royal family."
So that's what this "handmaid" stuff was all about. She's royalty! Although…Link had never heard of a place called Hyrule. His head was swimming, and the shore was far away.
"Link," said Zelda, his muddled thoughts interrupted. She reached out her right palm towards him. "I need you to give me your hand."
"Uh...sure. With pleasure, princess." He eagerly put his hand in hers, beaming at her. "So…if it helps at all, I need to tell you that I'm kind of like a prince, just without the kingdom and all...eh?" He started to feel a strange tingling sensation in his proffered hand. The limousine's interior began to brighten with a golden light, and an unfamiliar gold symbol in the shape of a triangle subtly appeared on the back of his hand. The same happened for Zelda's.
"Link," said Impa, her voice very somber. "Your destiny intertwines with Zelda's. It is time you learned of your heritage."
"My…my heritage? What in the actual…?" Link laughed apprehensively; magic tricks didn't convince him that easy. Jokingly, he said, "Okay, so we've got glowing hands and destinies. Is this going to be like one of those arranged marriages?" Then, with a voice nearing a whisper, he asked Zelda, "Is she going to marry us right here?" He gestured over to Impa, and the woman gave the youth a look that made her seem about ready to boot him out of the car.
"Just hear her out," coaxed Zelda, suddenly very serious. "Strange as this may seem, Impa is telling you the truth. You and I have always been connected by destiny. The time was right to seek you out and bring you out of hiding. We are going to need your help. You need training. You need to fight."
Link snapped his hand back from Zelda, and looked with wary eyes at the two people sitting across from him. The symbol on his hand faded somewhat, but a faint gold outline remained. "Okay, the weird factor was already high enough, but now you're both talking crazy. Or maybe I'm just going crazy. Either way, this is crazy!" He looked to both of them for answers, but they only stared expectantly at him. "Help you? Me, become a fighter? And what do you mean that I'm being brought out of hiding? If anything, I've been made pretty public by the damn foster agency. Seven different homes have had a taste of me, so I guess hiding in one spot wasn't really my specialty, your highnessness."
"Yes, you were in hiding," affirmed Impa. "We put you in that foster agency. You were safely anonymous after your true parents met their untimely demise at the hands of Ganondorf Dragmire."
Link's head perked up a bit. She had mentioned both his birth parents and the name of the wealthiest tycoon on the planet in the same sentence. Who the hell are these people? What do they know about my parents?
No, this is bonkers.
"Link," the woman continued, "you would be a fool to disregard our words."
Link frowned hard. "Hey, lady, you're disregarding me right now, or have you not heard of the crazy life I've had to lead? If you guys had custody of me at one point then why didn't you keep me around and raise me like you raised Zelda here. I could have avoided all the pain and hardship that, as it turns out, you caused for me! After I graduate next week, I'll make my own destiny. You two will just have to kiss my skinny white ass!" Link called to the front of the limo, "Hey! Driver! Stop this crazy train!" The vehicle pulled over, and Link opened the door and stepped out.
"Where are you going?" demanded Zelda empirically. The tone didn't faze Link in the least, but he did peer back into the limousine's interior.
"I'm going to leave this clown car behind and get on with the real world. You're hot, Zelda, but I guess it really just isn't meant to be."
"But…your training," she protested hotly. "We've already wasted so much time! You must come with us." He slowly retracted his head back outside when Zelda shouted, "Look, Link!" He gave another peek inside just in time to watch Zelda produce from under her car seat a lengthy sword with an intricate hilt, its blade covered by a scabbard of exquisite craftsmanship. "It was your great grandfather's sword. It...belongs to you."
Link just shook his head. "I don't think a sword will do me much good in New York. A gun would probably be a better gift for city life, y'know?" He sighed. "I've got plans. Big plans. And I intend to carry them out. Going on some kooky quest to redeem my lost heritage isn't what I had in mind."
You're not interested in a quest? Oh, how you must disappoint yourself. You should realize that you're a horrible liar, Link. It was Impa's voice, but it hadn't come from her lips. And now your mouth is hanging open. Have some decency and shut it, young man. He snapped his jaw shut, slowly coming to the strangest of realizations. She nodded slowly at him. "This is no trick, Link," she offered, with that hint of a smile that he had seen on her when he had first gotten into the limo. He stepped back inside and sat down, closing the limo door behind him.
"You just called me a liar, lady," accused Link with a glare, trying to ignore the fact that someone had just used telepathy. "Care to explain yourself?"
Zelda looked aghast at Impa. "What would you do that for?"
"Well he is," she replied tersely and folded her hands in her lap. "I can, from time to time, use my powers to read the thoughts of others. Link, your refusal to embrace your own destiny goes against the feelings of your heart. That is what makes you a liar, for you have lied to yourself. This is all strange new information for you, but you must know that we speak the truth, as I am also sure that you are curious to know more."
After a moment of silence Link grabbed his ancestor's sword out of Zelda's hands. "Okay. I'll see what you're all about. But, just so we're clear, though I can't help feeling a little unsure," he said pointedly towards Impa, "that doesn't mean I'm not curious."
"Yes," said Zelda, thoughtful for a moment. "You were pretty curious last night too, if I remember: curious to see if I would make out with you."
Link suddenly looked embarrassed. "Yeah...well, what were you doing at the party anyway? You don't seem the type to go to places like that. I don't think you even had a drink of anything."
Zelda stifled a laugh. "No, but it was great fun. You were great company despite how ridiculous you were acting. Besides, I wasn't there for the party itself; I was actually hoping that I'd be able to meet you. A friend from our resistance group has a contact at your high school, and we heard that you would be at the party. I...wanted to meet you. I wanted to try and get to know you."
"You could have made out with me," he said to her with a grin. "That's one way to get to know me."
She winked at him and replied, "We'll see."
The limousine took off, ferrying them to a world completely different from the one that Link had grown to know.