This fic is dedicated to all of those soldiers out there. Those who have fallen and those who are at war right now. Those who are with their family this Christmas season and those who must fight, away from those they love, to end a war.
I am writing for the soldiers in Iraq, Iran, and just about any country at war right now. I wish to honor them, all of them, for their bravery and loyalty to their country. I especially wish to honor those who must leave their family behind to fight, the brave men who deserve nothing more than to spend Christmas with the ones they love.
Remember that you are not forgotten.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Super Smash Brothers.
December 10th, 2010
Year of Farore's Wind
Soldier's Log: Link
One more day… tomorrow would mark one year since I've been sent to war. I don't know what President Hand was thinking when he chose to set up a draft for this war. We've been battling Prime Minister Tabuu's forces for almost a year already. What was the whole point of this?
Two weeks 'til Christmas… I don't know what to say about that, though. I've been at war for almost a year already. I can still see the blood on my hands where it was first splattered on me during my first battle. I can still hear the screams, feel the pain of the bullets they shot at me. Worse of all, I can still see the dead and dying. I can still almost feel the pain the others felt as they fell, never to see their families again. It's like my soul is slowly being drained from me, bit by bit.
It's been rough, really rough. The war isn't anything like the stories I heard way back when. It doesn't feel that great to hold a real gun, to kill someone with that same gun. I don't feel the same pride I did back in Ordon when I shot some game. I just feel so, so… empty. It's as if-
His fingers paused for a moment over the keyboard, unsure of what to write next. A sigh escaped the young man as he ran his fingers, rough from the months of using a powerful rifle, through his golden locks. He shook a few stray strands of hair away from his face, trying his best to tune out the copious amounts of noise behind him.
His pointed ears twitched slightly with every sound from the room behind him, whether it was a great shout or the gentle snoring of one of his bunkmates. His sharp blue eyes narrowed in concentration as his fingers, still poised over the keyboard, descended upon the lettered buttons, ready to type his next thoughts.
"IKE, GET YOUR HANDS OFF MY SOCKS!"
"Your socks! These are my socks! Your dirty socks are over there!"
"Those are your socks! I would never have a pair of socks as dirty as these!"
"Says the guy who wets his pants at the sight of blood!"
"That was one time! One time when I was still a recruit!"
He heaved a heavy sigh. There was no way he could find peace anywhere this time of year.
He turned off the computer, forgetting to save his soldier's log. With a small shake of his head, he entered the room where two of his fellow soldiers were fighting over a clean pair of socks. He rolled his eyes and gently pushed past them on the way to his own bunk.
The two soldiers turned as he passed concern for him evident in their eyes. The taller, more muscular one of them allowed the socks he was holding to drop from his hand onto the small suitcase that was laid out next to him. When the taller man wasn't looking, the other soldier snatched up the precious articles of clothing and tossed them into his own bag.
The taller man cleared his throat uncomfortably as his blonde friend collapsed onto his bunk. "Uh… sorry, Link… Marth and I sorta got carried away there…"
He flinched slightly as he and Link locked eyes, the blonde's piercing gaze sending shivers down his spine. He saw the bright flame of anger ignite from deep within those icy blue eyes, and for a brief moment he felt fear well up within him. He took a few steps back, as if the piercing gaze of his friend Link would tear out his very soul.
In truth, Link was quite angry at his two friends, but his gaze immediately softened at Ike's fear. He had been through everything with the two soldiers standing before him, ever since they were recruits back at the military boot camp. A smiled crossed his lips at the memories of when the three of them were still immature, undisciplined boys. And thus the memories of their youth engulfed him as he turned his gaze back and forth from Ike to Marth.
Tall and muscular, Ike struck many as an intimidating young man. He had a deep voice, a commander's voice that seemed to be made for leading a great army. He was mighty and bold in his coming and goings, causing him to be well respected by every man in the army. He was the "manliest of them all", the very foundation of what a man was supposed to be like.
As a youth, he was brash and overconfident, fueled by his family's reputation as great mercenaries and his own fighting prowess. This big headedness led him to eventually travel the world at the vulnerable age of 13, searching for any opponent who could match his skill with the blade. He had been caught by his father after losing horribly in a duel and forced to go to a military boot camp in an attempt to cure his boldness. And it was there that he met Marth.
If one looked at Marth, one would've said that he was the exact opposite of Ike. Tall and well muscled though he was, his build was long and lanky whereas Ike's was simply bulging with the powerful muscles that ran up and down his body. Marth's hair was naturally longer than most men's, the tips reaching to the very nape of his neck. In addition to his hair, his face was wide and innocent, like a young boy's or a woman's. With his polite manners and soft-spoken ways, it was no wonder that many mistook him for a woman at first.
Marth had been born to a rich family, growing up in the life of luxury. But though he was as good natured as could be, people tended to avoid him and even went as far as to try to harm him, thus chipping away at his confidence until he was quiet as a mouse. He had always been a shy young boy and when his family lost their fortune suddenly because of the war, he occasionally cried as well. Despite everything, he alone out of his entire family had enough courage to sign up for Military Academy and had slowly begun rebuilding his self- confidence since then.
Unexpectedly, the two bonded easily when they met at the academy, much to the surprise of their peers. Indeed, they all expected the two to loathe each other on sight, to fight over their ever clashing personalities and beliefs. Many thought that it was because they were of the same ethnicity, growing up in distant Emblemaria, though Ike was raised in the Province of Tellius whereas Marth grew up in the Province of Altea. Others believed that their friendship was a mere pretense and there was something sinister brewing underneath. But alone of all the recruits that Link knew why they had bonded so quickly.
Both had lost a sister to the war.
Though both Ike and Marth did not speak of them often, Link sensed that they loved their sisters very much. Mist Greil, whom Link had met once while she visited Ike at the academy, played an important part in Ike's life. She had been a wonderful girl, with long amber hair that cascaded down her back like a gentle waterfall and wide, kind blue eyes. Only three days after her visit, the village she was living in was attacked. Mist, lacking the skills to defend herself against the cruel Primids of Prime Minister Tabuu's army, had been tortured to the point of insanity and brutally murdered not long after.
A lump appeared in Link's throat as he remembered that faithful day when the news of his sister's death was brought to Ike. He had watched as his muscular friend's face grew pale as death; his very form shaking under the weight of the horrible news. Lucas, the unfortunate boy who had come to give him the message, ended up on the receiving end of a hard punch to his right eye.
"Lies!" Ike had screamed, tears streaming down his face, "All lies!" Then, in one swift motion, he fled the scene, unable to stop his tiers. Link tried to follow him, but a surprisingly strong hand, Marth's hand, held him in place.
"We must give him time," the Altean had said sadly, "He must have time to himself to recover from this shock…"
"But shouldn't we see that he's alright first?" the Hylian had protested. Much to his surprise, Marth gave shook his head.
"I know what it's like to lose a sister," he had explained, his bottom lip trembling at the thought of Elice, the young maiden long departed, "It takes a long, very long time, but you'll eventually get over it… your life will never be the same again, but… but no matter what, you have to move on… no point in going back…"
It was unknown what happened to Elice Lowell. Marth's last memory of her had been when he and the rest of his family had been trying to escape their manor as it began to burn to cinders. But they were being pursued by Primid troops and had little time to escape. In the midst of all the fires and the screams of Marth's family, Elice, who knew the ways of secret passages, had opened one in the armory and began helping her loved ones through it.
But as she was helping her younger brother, Marth, through the Primids burst in on them. With just barely enough time to help her brother escape, Elice had taken off the headband she wore and gently placed it on Marth's head before kissing him goodbye and pushing him away, slamming the door behind her. Though Marth and his parents escaped, Elice was never seen again.
He had joined the academy to be strong, to prove himself. To show the world he was no longer the scared little boy that fled the burning manor and watched in horror as the blackened thing that was once his home collapsed on itself in a flurry of flames.
As for Link himself, he had no choice when he joined the academy. His family was very, very poor. With his mother dead, his father had been forced to raise four kids by himself. His job brought about few Smash Coins, just barely enough to feed the three youngest children. Link often had to go without his share of lunch so that the rest of the family may eat.
He had graduated Hyrule High with honors, but he refused to go to college, despite the college fund his father had produced. He gave the fund to his father so that the rest of his family would have funds for food and enrolled at Solid Snake's Military Institute, where his athletic skill and sharp wit were put to the test.
And this was a test he passed.
"So what are you planning to do for the holidays, Marth?" Link asked as he carefully organized his clothes in his suitcase.
Marth gave him a solemn smile. "I hope to return to my parents… it has been months, after all…"
Ike nodded. "Yeah… I'd like to get back home to visit Mist's grave… this war… it's just really… really cut into my time…" he looked at Link. "And what about you, Link? Going back to Hyrule soon…?"
"Of course," Link said with a sad smile. "Dad's been waiting all this time… he's always afraid that I might die out here and that he'd never get to know until years and years after my death… " a small sparkle appeared in the Hylian's eye. "I guess I plan to surprise him… 'Hey Dad! Look, I'm not dead!'"
Ike grinned. "It might come as a shock to him… seeing that you can still barely fire a gun properly!"
"Haha," Link said sarcastically. He picked up a pair of socks and threw it at the bigger man's head. "Those are yours, Ikey."
Ike growled. "Oh, you did not just go there!"
Link smirked. "Maybe I did…"
Marth rolled his eyes. "Guys…"
"You wanna go, bub?" Ike demanded as he got to his feet. "Because I'm ready for a good wrestling match!"
Link leaped to his feet. "You're on!"
The two rushed at each other…
Link and Ike both stopped just before they were about to lock fists. There was someone standing at the door. He was a rather slightly built person with a mop of dark brown hair and blue eyes. His face was wide open and boyish, something that you almost never saw out on the battlefield. In fact, if it weren't for the gold stripes upon his uniform, he probably would've been mistaken for a refugee or something.
But in fact, he was Pit, newly instated Captain of the Army.
And he was quite a few years younger than all the soldiers.
The three soldiers straightened up and saluted. "Captain!"
Pit waved a hand. "At ease, guys… come on, there isn't any need to be so formal… I'm the same old Pit, after all!"
Ike shifted awkwardly. "Well… yeah… but… I dunno, Pit, it just feels weird seeing you with those stripes on you…"
Pit shook his head sadly. "Well… what can I say…? An awful lot's been changed ever since… ever since that new General of the Army was instated…" the boy sat down on the nearest bed and buried his face in his hands. "Honestly, I don't know what he was thinking…"
Marth frowned. "… Pit… I know the new General's a bit of a…"
"Dick," Ike offered.
"Douchebag," Link said at the same time.
Marth bit his lip. "… Yeah… that… but it's alright… I mean, once this war is over… and besides…" he gave him a small smile. "We'll all be heading home for Christmas… means that we'll be able to see our families again…"
A strange choking sound escaped Pit. He mumbled something into his hands, his voice muffled from the rest of the world. The three soldiers leaned in closer to catch his words, but already he was done speaking.
Link placed a hand on Pit's shoulder. "Listen… Pit… we didn't catch what you said…"
"Mmf murph hmph mmf…" Pit managed to choke out.
The three soldiers exchanged looks. Then, Link gently pried Pit's hands away from his face. The young man's face bore the shining marks of tears. His hands were wet and salty.
"Say it again…" Link urged quietly. "Please…"
Pit took a deep, shuddering breath. "… G-G-General… G-Ganondorf…" he took another breath. "G-General… h-has… c-c-c-can… c-cancelled…"
"Yes…?" Marth asked patiently.
Pit buried his face in his hands again.
"General Ganondorf has chosen to continue fighting the war… no one is going home for Christmas…"