Author's Note: I do not own Legend of Zelda, or any affiliated games. They are property of Nintendo and any affiliated companies that had a hand in their creation. The only original part of this work is the story itself. I said in the summary that reviews were wlecome, however, I do have some specific rules regarding them. Please abide by them if/when you decide to review: 1) No profanity in your comments please, and 2) please be professional. That being said, please enjoy this Legend of Zelda fic.

Chapter One: Conspiracy

The dark abyss surrounded him, drowning out any sense of self. A sensation more ravenous than hunger, stronger than hatred or love, filled him. It was the desire for existence, the desire for life; yet it seemed that no one heard his desperate plea. No one would answer him in this void.

"Come."

The voice, or the thought, whatever it truly was, called out to him, focusing his attention, answering his greatest need; it, too, wanted to bring him to life.

"Come. To. Me."

The voice was more insistent this time. Earnest, desperate even; did his existence really mean that much?

"Come to me!"

The shadow followed the call; the promise of life was too tempting to ignore. Like water to a thirsting man, so was this voice to his parched being.

"Can you really bring me into being?" He asked of this presence. "Would you really give me shape? Can I truly possess a form?"

There was only one response to his pressing questions, one which hammered away at him, bludgeoning him, forcing him to submit: "Come to me!" The specter tried to retreat, tried to draw itself back; he knew now, deep within his core, that this voice was no friend. But it was too late; he was caught in its vicious tendrils, and it was dragging him toward itself.

I am lost, the specter cried. I am going to die. He thought in despair, resigning himself to his fate. It was now inevitable, after all; he had hearkened unto a deceiver, and he was reaping his reward. All he could do now was wait for the end…it was pointless to resist…

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"This is all they gave back?" The young woman asked in disgust. "It is an outrageous mockery! A slur on his good name, his reputation! How dare they!?" She raged.

"The spirits of the dead belong to the dead," her caretaker quipped. "It took three days of arguing and persuasion to convince them to give up the body." Her red eyes looked at her charge sadly, as she delivered the more painful news: "They will not return the soul, my queen. On this, they are adamant. No matter how much I begged and pleaded on this matter, they remained steadfast. 'He is dead. He is at peace. We will not disturb that. Go.'" She shook her head sadly.

"Your Majesty," she continued when the queen remained deathly quiet. "I know how much he meant to you, to our kingdom. But he is not coming back. I tell you this as your friend: you need to accept it, and move on. He would not want you to make yourself suffer, and put yourself through this."

At last, the queen turned to face her vassal, tears streaming down her face from the wells of her blue eyes.

"Impa! I can't let go! He was my life; we were going to build a family together-", She wailed.

"I know. I know." The Shiekah woman replied, drawing her young queen close in a loving embrace. It broke her heart to see her charge this way. So she did the only thing she could; in the silence of the castle grounds, she wept her own tears of grief with the only person who could understand.

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"So he's gone for good then," the hulking mountain man asked gruffly. He pulled a sour face as he looked into his barrel of ale.

Impa placed her mug on the table, and nodded solemnly.

"How's she taking it?" The desert woman to her left inquired, her brown eyes filled with concern.

"Not well," was Impa's reply.

"'Course she's not," the Goron growled heavily. "How was she supposed to take it?" He paused to drain his barrel, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. "With dignity and grace?" He continued sarcastically.

The desert woman, Nabooru, was about to respond with an angry retort, when Impa held up a restraining hand.

"Enough," she said. "We are all grieving. We lost a friend, an ally, a fellow patriot. Nothing can change that. That is not why I called you here tonight."

"Then why did you call us here, Shiekah?" Nabooru asked softly.

Impa raised her mug to her lips, taking a measured sip before answering.

"They gave back the body," she said, causing Darunia to choke on the ale he had been about to swallow, and Nabooru's eyes to widen in shock.

"Why would they do that?" Darunia croaked, pounding his chest. "What's to be gained by sending his body but not his soul?"

Impa shrugged. "Who knows?" She said. "It has put an idea in my head, though. Tell me…are either of you familiar with the term homunculus?"

Both of her companions shook their heads.

"Basically, it is an artificial human," she explained. "Normally it is without a soul, a useful assistant to sorcerers, and magicians."

"Go on," Nabooru pressed. Darunia simply opened another barrel of ale, and drank deeply from it, apathetic.

"We already know that it is impossible to bring the Hero back; what I'm proposing is something similar to calling back the dead. Instead of attempting to bring his soul back, we simply implant portions of our individual life-forces into the body they sent back. Basically, instead of the authentic soul of Link, we will produce a copy."

Darunia put his second barrel down, and rubbed a thick finger on the grain of the table pensively. "What you want to do, in essence, is cheat death?" He inquired.

Impa cringed when her friend put it to her that way; but yes, she agreed, that was precisely what she was proposing. She nodded guiltily.

Darunia belched, and said something unintelligible in his native tongue. Nabooru took the Sheikah woman's hand, and squeezed it kindly.

"Are you sure this will work?" She asked.

Impa withdrew her hand. "I promise nothing." She said. "This is a theory only, but if it does work, we get our friend back. If not-"

"We risk angering the gods," Darunia interrupted, looking up at her again.

"I understand if you wish to refuse," Impa began, but she was cut short by Darunia's bellowing laughter.

"Refuse," he boomed with sudden mirth, causing several heads in the tavern to turn in their general direction. "I have a chance to cheat the gods, and she thinks I'd refuse! Impa, you daft fool! You have my full support!"

"I must admit, I am curious to see how this experiment turns out," Nabooru said, raising her glass in support.

"Here, here!" Darunia raised his barrel in pledge. Impa took up her mug as well, and together, the three of them toasted to the success of her plan.