Disclaimer and Notation: Nintendo owns the Legend of Zelda. I do not and therefore seek no profit from my non-canonical ramblings. Skyward Sword mid-to-late-game spoilers. This was inspired by how much trouble I had fighting the Imprisoned on the third go-round. Darkfic.


A Skyward Sword Fan Fiction by Shadsie

"With this, I don't know defeat!"

Groose patted the Grooseinator and sent Link off with a grin. He was quaking with fear inside, a horrible uneasy feeling that twisted up his guts, but he wasn't going to let ol' Linky know that. The kid leapt off the spiral cliffs headlong into the center of the Sealed Grounds and Groose headed for the big bomb flower that grew in the grotto.

It was the plant that had given Groose his idea – the most brilliant idea in the history of ideas, or at least in the budding history of Grooseland, if he didn't say so himself. After experimenting with smaller bomb flowers, Groose had decided that Big Ugly stood a chance of going down with some major explosive power liberally applied to its ugly mug. Only the biggest bomb would do and he'd needed some way of launching it. He'd scavenged the area to create a deceptively simple catapult with a rail-system. The Grooseinator had seen action once and had preformed beautifully.

As Groose loaded the bowl of the catapult, he took no small amount of pride in the knowledge that Link couldn't lift a bomb of such bulk with his scrawny arms. The twerp was good with a sword and supposedly the special chosen Hero according to Grannie, but even he needed help.

What was it that the old woman had told him again? Yeah. "There are many different kinds of heroes and none of them work alone." Yeah, that was it. Also "If you're going to be hanging around my temple, you'd best make yourself useful. I have no patience for bums."

Groose liked the old woman a lot. She was forthright and brutally honest. It was that bluntness that snapped him out of his self-pity. He'd felt helpless the first time the creature from the bottom of the pit broke its seal and emerged. All he could do was to stare, frozen to the quaking ground while Mr. Head-in-the-Clouds rushed headlong to fight the black colossus.

He was certain, that day, that Link was rushing straight to a fool's death.

The "Imprisoned" as Grannie had later called it, was no mere monster. Groose could handle monsters. They appeared sometimes at night in Skyloft. They'd learned to fear him and let him by, just as most of the students at the Academy did. The Imprisoned wasn't that – it was something that inspired an abject terror in him – a true, mortal and nameless terror. When it began to emerge from its confines, it shot the very air through with fear. It was like it was Destruction itself – Death beyond Death – pure Evil.

And shrimpy little Link had gone right up to the thing and cut its toes off.

Link was such a quiet kid, easily cowed because he'd rather snooze on a bench somewhere than make a fight out of anything. He was never cowed in a cowardly way like his twerp-friend Fledge was – he just picked his battles or had his brain too off in dreamland to listen to insults properly. The few times he had given Groose trouble, he'd cleaned the kid's clock – the drawback to which was watching the inevitable tender nursing by a doting Zelda. What she saw in him he didn't understand. It seemed like it was always over her that Link would get his nose bloodied. Zelda stood up for Link more often than he stood up for himself.

So how come Link could fight a giant demon while he, Groose, great and strong, could only stare?

Groose didn't underestimate Link anymore, but thanks to Grannie's verbal butt-kicking, neither did he underestimate himself. He'd saved Link's tail the last time with his wonderful Grooseinator, even though it was up to Link to perform the final sealing. Groose really got it now. They both had roles to play. In this, Link was the swordsman and he, with his massive muscles, was the munitions–man.

When in doubt – bomb flowers. Preferably giant bomb flowers.

The tremors in the earth were getting stronger. Wasn't Link down there already? Maybe if the kid could strike the seal before the thing emerged – too late. Had it grown? Groose swallowed down his feeling of sickness. Grannie had told him what she was willing to about this thing. The Imprisoned was an entity of pure evil that would swallow up and destroy all life if it managed to get to the temple – not just in Grooseland, but Skyloft, too. Grannie wouldn't explain exactly why, Groose only knew that it had something to do with Zelda and the fate of the entirety of existence.


Link called for him. That was his cue. Did Link just get stepped on? Ouch! The little green Link-dot below was thrown back by a shockwave of dark magic. Ouch again! Nah, he was fine. He got right back up and started running ahead of the beast. Plucky bastard. He hit an air-vent and sailed to a higher level of the earthen spiral. Groose aimed and plunged the trigger on the catapult. Boom! Direct hit! Score another for the Grooseniator!

Link dropped right down on the Imprisoned's head while it was stunned and started driving that seal-spike home – just like the last fight. Oh, Big Ugly didn't stand a chance with this team!

Grannie looked up at Groose. "Well done." she said.

He didn't have time. He glanced back at Link. Was his tunic a bit red on the side? Nevermind. As long as he was standin' any injuries could be taken care of later when they were all not-dead. Groose ran back to his precious bomb flower. Amazing how these things re-sprouted almost instantly. He hefted the thing into the catapult for another round…

What the? The damned thing could FLY now?

It had sprouted some kind of un-holy halo and appeared to be using an air vent to ascend – RIGHT. FOR. THE. TEMPLE.

Grannie gasped in fright. This did nothing good to Groose's confidence. "Come on, Grooseinator!" he said to his machine. "We can take Big Ugly!"

Link whistled to help him get a good idea of where to aim. BOOM! Down the Imprisoned went. Groose bragged down to Link. For an entity of pure malevolence, it sure seemed to be giving up awfully easy. Had they really won already? This was easier than the last time. Evil must be gettin' soft. Link did his thing and drove the spike home.

The earth quaked with tremendous force. The goddessdamned thing started floating again. Groose quickly ran back to his ammunition depot. When he got there, every expletive known in Skyloft ran through his well-coifed head at once. His bomb flower was blocked by debris he couldn't' climb over or punch through.

The beast was coming.

An idea as brilliant as the Grooseinator itself flashed through his head, though he knew Link wasn't going to like it. They had no choice in the matter. The kid had already proven himself to be the craziest of crazy-bastards by fighting this thing in the first place so it should be no problem. Groose called down the new plan to him.

He was going to switch from launching bombs to launching shrimp.

It was simple. All Link had to do was get up to the Grooseinator and big Groose would launch him right up to Big Ugly's head. He watched Link run up the spiral and launch himself with the thermal vents. He was taking too long! Groose could see the Imprisoned's gaping maw full of teeth that would shred poor Grannie's body before devouring her soul then making meals of them and the world entire.

"Link, hustle butt!"

The little green dot made it to the rail.

"It's almost upon us, Link! HAUL ASS!"

Link pumped his legs along the rail platform. As his form grew closer, Groose saw that his tunic was ripped as well as his mail. He'd obviously taken quite a hit when the creature had sent a shockwave of magic into him that moment he'd nearly been stepped on. Groose saw that the red on him that he'd thought he'd seen before was real. Crimson glinted off his torn mail and one of his pant legs was soaked. As he ran, Link was bleeding all over the wood of the rail-platform.

How was he even still alive? He was exhausted – he looked like he was at the end of his limit and so close… Link took something out of a pocket and drank it – a bottle of something bright green. It did nothing to seal his grievous wound or to stop the bleeding, but Link started running like a pet remlit to dinner.

Grannie gasped. The Imprisoned was nearly upon them.

The last thing that Groose saw before one of its massive arms came up toward him was Link collapsing on the rail platform. The kid shivered, tried to get up and then fell down still.

"LINK!" Groose called. "Get up! You've got to get up!" Of all the times to die… And dying valiantly did not matter. A hero's death was a death for nothing right now. "LINK!" he shouted again, hoping his fear was not right. "Come on, you lazy good for nothin'-"

Grannie screamed. "All…All is lost!" she moaned.

Groose could have sworn he heard a sucking sound – the old woman being sucked into the Imprisoned's gullet. He may have imagined it, but it didn't matter. He stood and stared into the gaping mouth that would devour everything. It was a moment that felt like eternity – the knowledge of utter failure and utter ending.

Groose knew defeat.