Yes, your eyes really are deceiving you and this isn't really Gargravarr updating a long-neglected fanfic that people have been begging him to.
In reality, yes, I have just updated Scars!
I lost the plot a long while back and I am really sorry for the massive gap. I've had lots of chapters sitting on my hard drive ready to upload, but without being sure of where I wanted to take the story, I couldn't upload them. However, after a very long discussion with my beta, we managed to work around the inconsistencies and set out a more consistent plot. I know how I want to finish this story now; there's a lot that's going to happen between then and now, but rest assured, Scars has more potential than ever of being finished.
However, I regret that my faithful beta will not be able to assist me in putting the chapters together like we had been, due to college pressures. So, I wonder if someone would be willing to help me out here; in addition to proof-reading, I'm looking for someone to occasionally bounce ideas off to ensure the deeper meanings I've introduced in my fics actually make sense. The IM approach is preferred. If you'd be willing, PM me or leave a comment in a review and I'll get back to you.
This chapter is short, but it's as long as it needs to be. I hope it's not too obvious or rushed, but things will begin to come together very, very soon (chapter-wise), I promise! However, I don't know how regularly I'll be posting; my timetable at uni is very sparse at present, but a large group project has been set that we're just starting, so that's poised to eat up all my free time. I still want to write, though; it's been ages since I last felt in tune with my muse!
Thank you to all who have been reviewing Scars since the last chapter was posted, and I hope you're still willing to read this story. To new readers, I say welcome, to old, welcome back :)
Let Scars resume, and enjoy!


Chapter 6
Brave New World

(*)

The wind picked up again.

Nothing unusual in that, especially at this time of year, but it didn't usually last this long. Nor was it this artistic.

The wind streaked through the still air of the spring, becoming as a cyclone in the very centre of the water. Specks of gold spun within the swirling winds as they whipped at the water's surface, and for a moment, the surrounding rocks themselves seemed to glow.

With a rush of sound, the wind ceased.

In its place, kneeling in the suddenly still water, were three forms.

The leftmost wore robes of blue-white, its feminine form bowing its head, one hand forward to support itself in the water.

The centre was clad in black, a much thinner material, its head up to reveal blue skin and burning red eyes.

The rightmost was already upon his feet, green robes rippling in his stance, shimmering crystal blue eyes taking in every detail. The man's left hand reached behind him for the hilt of the sword, where it rested, ready to draw at an instant's notice.

Midna rose to her feet.

"Ordon Spring," she whispered.

The Twili reached down to take Zelda's hand, aiding her to stand. The once-royals followed Link's lead, searching their surroundings.

True enough, they stood in the very centre of Ordon Spring. The sky was darkening; it was late evening, but Link looked at the sky oddly, noting how few stars were visible now. He remembered, long ago, how at this time of day, stars filled the pure black skies in infinite complexities.

So few could be seen, their beauty instead hidden by clouds and a powerful orange glow; following the glow, Link noted it stemmed from the village. The glow was steady, but something so powerful suggested one thing.

"Look, the village… it's on fire!" Link declared to the others, already launching himself out of the water. With a choking noise, he jerked backwards, realising Midna had caught the neck of his robes.

"Wait a moment, wolf-boy," she commanded. "No smoke."

Coughing slightly, Link realised he would be doing so already had the village been truly ablaze; they were close enough to be drowning in thick, black smoke. He rubbed his throat where the robes had caught. "Okay then, explain the light."

Zelda stepped forwards. "Explain the sound."

Link cast her an odd look, in the process turning his sensitive ears toward the glow.

He heard sounds of activity; chatter, and music, and the low rumble, almost a roar, of some kind of machine. Wait, several distinct machines. "What is that?"

Zelda sighed. "I think it's life now, Link. I heard the same things the last time I flew here."

At this hour, Link remembered, he would be relaxing and preparing for sleep in a near-silent village. "Sounds like life got louder."

"Sadly," Zelda noted.

"OI! GET OUT THE WATER!"

All three snapped their gazes around to the source of the voice, only to be blinded by white light. Zelda instinctively held out her hands to shield herself, whispering, "Holy Mother?"

Link and Midna were behind Zelda, and better able to protect their eyes from the light. Looking around both Zelda and the white, they saw an imposing man, dressed in dark clothes with strips of bright colours crossing them. A strange hat sat atop his head. His eyes cast a piercing gaze onto the trio as his hand moved, holding a circle of pure white light.

"What… what's going on?" Zelda asked, panicked.

"YOU KNOW VERY WELL THE SPRING'S CLOSED TO VISITORS NOW!" Boomed the voice again. "GET OUT!"

Zelda felt Midna's hand wrap around her wrist and pull her from the water. Standing on solid ground, the trio watched the light-wielding man approach them.

"How did you three get in here?" He demanded.

Zelda was about tell the truth when common sense stayed her tongue, and she fell silent.

Midna gave a cocky smile. "You wouldn't understand."

The man was unabated. "Don't mock me, girl. You three are trespassing!"

Midna's eyes flashed. "Did you just call me…?"

Link's hand clasped her shoulder. "Not worth it," he muttered in her ear.

The guard stopped just a few feet from the group. "You better not be threatening me, missy! I can have you arrested!"

Midna's eyes widened once more; pulling out of Link's grasp, she strode up to him so their eyes were level; even this tall man looked a little short against Midna. "Don't insult what you'll never understand, you heclic!" She growled. She raised both hands, placed them to the man's temples and quickly muttered, "Dormos tari!"

Zelda caught Midna as she was thrown backwards by the man. A look of venom crossed his eyes as he encroached upon the fallen Twili. "NOBODY MOVE! YOU'RE ALL UNDER AR-!"

He stopped dead.

In a single instant a gleaming blade of steel had interrupted his vision of the two young women. He flinched backwards, tracing the blade to its hilt, then into the hands of the green-clad young man. "DROP YOUR WEAPON!" He barked, reaching to his belt. He drew a black stick; not like a true wooden stick, it was perfectly straight and had straight stubs in place of twigs. He raised it between himself and Link.

Link rolled his eyes and twitched the sword.

Effortlessly, the Wolf's Fang cleaved the man's weapon in two, revealing a shiny metal core wrapped in black material.

Realising his nightstick had just been cut in half, the watchman's eyes snapped wide. He dropped what remained of the weapon. "D-don't hurt me, p-please!" He stammered, backpedalling rapidly. "I just get paid to do this!"

"Clearly not enough," Link growled, eying the fallen stick with mild disbelief. Did anyone consider such a tool a useful weapon? "We will be leaving, though." He reached his other hand out to Midna and Zelda; Midna grabbed his arm and Zelda his hand, steadying themselves on their feet. The three turned to find the gates of the spring locked. More interestingly, the previously wooden, lovingly decorated gates were now cold, dark steel.

"Would you mind?" Midna grinned, nodding her head towards the gates. With Link's protective instincts unleashed, her inner imp would often come out to play.

Link had his sword trained on the terrified guard as he trotted over to the gates. A frantic jingling noise came from his belt as he scrambled for the key, jammed it into the lock and wrenched the gate open. Link gestured with his head for the two women to leave, following behind them to cover them. As soon as he was through, the guard slammed the gates shut, crushed the key into the lock and ran for the darkness at the back of the spring.

The trio found themselves on a darkened, empty road. "Well…" Whispered Zelda. "That went well…"

Midna patted Link on the head. "Thanks Buster!" Link rolled his eyes.

"Buster?" Zelda enquired, curious about the pet name.

Midna cackled. "Everything he touches ends up getting broken!"

Link sighed, rolling his eyes to the skies as Zelda giggled. He spun the sword back into its scabbard, closing his eyes contently when he realised his agility had returned. He stepped away from the pair of once-royals and drew the blade again, spinning it so fluidly around his hands it looked like water. The slightest twitch changed the blade's direction. The steel danced expertly around him, under perfect control. With a victorious cry, Link slid the sword away, grinning widely back at Midna and Zelda. "I haven't been able to do that in a long time!"

Midna ruffled his hair. "Link, you are such a child!"

Link twitched his eyebrows at her and smiled happily. She gave him a hug.

"I don't mean to interrupt the moment," came Zelda's voice, making the duo break apart and look around. "But we should get going."

Link's face turned serious. "Right," he agreed.

Zelda looked left and right, weighing up the two options. "Ordon Village, or into Hyrule?"

Link stood beside her, also eying the directions. "We need horses first. Let's see what we can find in Ordon. What do we have on us?"

Zelda's hands explored her robes. She sighed. "Nothing."

Link looked to Midna, who tutted. "Same. Even my magic's out."

Link growled. "So between us we have clothes, and a sword?" He summarised.

"Well if anyone's trading their clothes for horses, it's you, Buster," Midna cackled, patting Link on the shoulder. Link had to chuckle himself as Zelda covered her mouth to suppress her giggles.

"So, we have nothing we can trade?" Link reiterated.

"Hmm…" Midna said as she looked at the ground, taking a few steps away and stooping. "Aha!" She returned to the group with a victorious stride. "Here!"

Link gave her a blank look. "…It's something…" He mumbled, taking the green rupee from her. "One entire rupee… Three horses plus change, don't you think, Zelda?"

"Please, let's go buy the Castle," Zelda chuckled, playing along.

Midna hadn't replied since handing Link the gem, her face set in concentration, her arms folded. She mumbled something in what Link recognised as Twili. Finally she unfolded her arms and threw out her left hand, snapping her fingers.

A jet of purple flame shot a foot and a half straight up from her extended index finger, making Zelda jump. Midna grinned, drawing the hand to her face and puffing out the flame. She cackled again, looking back at Link and Zelda. "We now have magic!"

"Progress," Link smiled, guessing where this was going. He held out the hand containing the rupee.

Midna gave her signature 'Ee hee hee,' giggle, waving her hand over the green rupee and mumbling an incantation. Exactly as Link had expected, with a pass of her hand, the green gem suddenly became silver.

Zelda's eyes widened. She looked at Midna. "You could do real damage to the economy, you know!"

Midna smiled. "You're no fun!" She took the gem from Link, studying it momentarily. "Finest miners wouldn't tell the difference," she announced, passing it to Zelda. True enough, Zelda felt that the weight was perfect, the surface of the gem shining exactly as it should.

"I am forever amazed at you, Midna," Zelda noted, handing the gem to Link for safekeeping. "You show complete disregard for any and all rules, for anyone but yourself, yet you still prove yourself useful beyond belief."

"What would you do without me?" Midna smiled. She turned to face the direction of the village. "C'mon, we've got a Triforce to recover!" Together with Link and Zelda, she began to walk along the road.

(*)

The red dot flashed again, an unnerving sight in the darkened room. People gathered around it were nervous as the commander examined the screen. His aged face rose from shock to victory. "Found you at last…" He mumbled. He turned to face another, who shrank under his gaze. "You say this is the second such spike in the same area?"

"Y-yes sir!" The underling flinched.

The commander adopted a shark's grin. "Move everyone into position. Get a satellite image of the area. When we have visual confirmation, move in and get them!"

"Sir!"

(*)

"Fascinating… it is pitch! The engineers were experimenting with the material," Zelda noted, looking at the ground. The texture of the black material had caught her attention.

The trio had walked only a few hundred yards when Midna suddenly flinched and stopped. She held out her hands to block the others.

"You felt it too?" Zelda whispered to Midna. Link looked at her to see her face pale.

"What is it?" He whispered.

Midna looked to the skies, as though examining each star. "They're watching us."

"The stars?" Link questioned, following her gaze.

"No… they're in the skies, and they're watching us, from far above."

"How can you tell?"

Midna moved up her hand, clicking her fingers again. Sparks of purple played around her hands, and the unpleasant feeling in her guts surged again. "Magic… They're watching our magic…"

Zelda gave a mumble of agreement. Link's hand went for his sword, his eyes watching the crests of the hills surrounding them for any movement. "They're coming for us, right?"

"Safe bet," Midna whispered. She drew a deep breath and closed her eyes, focusing and trusting her magic. She let it free from her, reaching out into her surroundings, feeling her powers flow along the ground. Suddenly they stopped. "Over the hills to the west, there's a group of them."

"How many?" Link demanded, turning to face them.

Midna placed a steadying hand to his shoulder. "Too many," she warned.

Link bit his lip. He wouldn't give up so easily. "What, then?"

Midna withdrew her hand from Link, bringing both hands together and stroking her fingers against her palms. Purple sparks again began to play around her fingertips, eventually sparking every time her fingers moved. She opened her eyes and stared at her open hands, seeing magic crackle around them. "Yes…" she whispered triumphantly. Her head shot up with a draw of breath, slightly alarmed. She could feel them approach. "Hang on!"

With that, she grabbed Link and Zelda by the shoulders and released her charged magic.

(*)

"Sir, they're-! They're gone!"

The commander's face went flame red. "WHAT DO YOU MEAN, 'THEY'RE GONE'?"

The speaker on the desk crackled again. "Sir, they just vanished into thin air!"

The commander's jaws came together so hard his teeth protested. He drew a rattling breath and turned back to the screen, where the red dot had vanished, only to see it reappear. They're the real deal. "Return to base, all of you. We need to come up with a better plan."