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Warning: Rated "PG-13" for violence and occasional language

Approaching Darkness

Chapter 1: Only the Beginning

A blue sky.

That was something that hadn’t been seen for awhile. The sky now seemed to glow a blood-red, black clouds crackled with red electricity. It all had happened so fast that no one was prepared. Cities lied in ruin; few crawled from the crumbled walls and splintered timbers. Those that lived grouped in random camps to try to retaliate against life’s very threat. Termina Field was beginning to die; the ground dry and cracked, grass brown and dead, trees stripped of their beauty. The very ground lifted up as dust to even the lightest of touches. Termina was slowly becoming a land of death. Near the south, where life was still welcomed, a portion of the survivors made their stronghold. Several men stood at the edge of the camp, staring at the wasteland that spread out before them.

“Damn it all,” The tallest muttered.

“What makes you say that, Jay?” The one next to him asked.

“Just look, Tom,” He answered. “It happened so fast.”

Tom looked back out at the death land, his fingers touching his short sword thoughtfully. Off in the distance, thunder crashed and red lightning struck the ground, kicking up dust and debris. A slight tug on Tom’s pant leg caused him to look down. The large bright eyes of a young boy stared back into his own.

“Daddy,” The little boy whimpered. “What’s happening?”

Tom reached down and picked up his son and let him rest against his hip.

“I don’t know Sean,” He answered holding the little boy closer. “I don’t know.”

He looked at the ground, trying to avoid his son’s watery stare and ignoring Jay repeat the same four lettered word over and over. Sudden laughter caused Jay and Tom to look up. The two other men were laughing at something that they apparently found funny.

“What’s so funny?” Tom and Jay seemed to ask at the same time, but with different words.

“Oh, nothin’ much,” Answered the man that had laughed. “Patrick here was just tellin’ me a joke.” He gestured to the man next to him.

“Kevin looked so darn depressed, that I cracked one on ‘im,” Patrick said with a slight smile.

“It was a funny one at that!” Kevin said bursting into more laughter.

All the sudden noise caused Sean’s eyes to water up with fear and Tom held him closer. Eventually, everyone settled down and their eyes returned to the wasteland, pondering how and why it happened. Tom adjusted his hold on Sean so his arms wouldn’t cramp. He narrowed his eyes, a figure was walking towards them though still a long way off, but there was no vegetation to obscure his view. Upon seeing the silhouette, he felt Sean jab his face into his rib cage and tried not to wince with the pain.

“Daddy!” He squealed. “It’s scary!”

Tom looked down at his son. What was he freaking out about? Everything now was scary in someway. He also then remembered that a child can sense evil more easily than an adult could. Tom eyed the figure before turning around and walking back into the camp. Jay followed, whispering profanities like he always did when he knew something bad was going to happen. Kevin and Patrick were sniggering on about something as they disappeared inside the camp. Tom put Sean down who immediately ran off somewhere as he turned to Jay.

“What do you think that was?” He asked. “That figure.”

“More likely something we wish we didn’t see,” Jay answered.

“You think it was a demon?”

“Could be, or another survivor. It’s anyone’s guess.”

“Should we get prepared anyway?”

“More likely a good idea.”

“Should we tell everyone?”

“No. There’s no reason to worry them,” Jay replied.

The noise of a boot coming into contact with the dry earth caused both to turn around. Behind them stood a man in his early twenties or possibly a little less; he was young. His blonde hair fell around his forehead and shoulders, a forest green headband was tied around his forehead to keep his hair out of his eyes. He wore a steel breastplate that covered the upper half of his torso, a red serpentine dragon coiling its way on the steel surface. His brown pants were held to his body by a black belt and a blood-red sash was tied loosely around his waist. He had black armor bands that started below his shoulders and ended at his wrists, they stopped just above his elbows and began again right below and ended at his wrists. His boots were covered with grey armor that jutted up over his knees to protect them and dark purple cape fell down to his ankles. His eyes were the blue of the deepest seas and seemed able to pierce you to your soul and burn it.

All the while, the strange man seemed impressed with the town; like he was pleased with what he had discovered. The man’s eyes traveled down and Tom’s followed . . . there Sean stood, cowering behind his father’s leg, huge watery eyes staring up at the stranger. The man’s gaze left the young boy and looked about the camp, a somewhat distant, crazed look reflected in his eyes. Without even giving Tom and Jay a glance, the man walked between them; forcing them aside roughly with his cape following along with the movement. Tom and Jay turned around and watched him stop several steps away.

“Who is he?” Tom asked in a whisper.

Jay only shrugged.

Tom gave a nervous glance at the dusty ground, trying to put one and two together. He looked up at the man as he turned around, something unpleasant spelled in his eyes. Tom tried not to wince in pain as he felt Sean’s nails dig into his leg.

“He’s evil, daddy,” The little boy whispered. “He wants to kill.”

The man walked over to Sean and bent down to look him in the eye. Anyone looking on would’ve seen a friendly faced person looking at a boy, but Sean saw a different picture. What he saw was the same man, but with blazing red eyes and a pleased cold grin that did not promise anything but a painful death. The air around them seemed to grow cold and dark. It remained that way for a few moments before the man stood and everything returned to normal to Sean’s eyes. He walked back between Tom and Jay who remained where they stood and only Sean watched him as he walked back into the dusty wasteland.

“That,” Jay said suddenly, “was weird.”

“What do you think he wanted?” Tom asked.

“Only Nayru would know.”

Both men walked away talking amongst themselves but Sean remained behind, staring in the direction the man was heading in; back into the desolate wasteland. Off in the distance, he thought he saw something move, but shook it off and followed his father.

---------------------------------------------------

Up on a hill, overlooking the camp, the man stood watching. A large legion of anxious lizards waited, working their jaws in hunger, quarreling with one another, and fidgeting. One of the lizards approached the man and bowed deeply at the man’s boots.

“How sssshall we procccceed, Masssster?” It hissed when it stood upright.

“At this moment, simply scare them. Get them to run around, tire themselves. Do what you want with the women and wait on the men until after I find what I’m looking for,” He said, “but don’t kill them all just yet.”

The lizard bowed once more before returning to the front lines and repeating its Master’s orders in a series of roars, growls, and hisses. Roars and hisses of approval told the man that his minion soldiers were very pleased. The lizard that had spoken returned to him.

“When you give the word, Masssster,” It said bowing shallowly this time.

The man turned back to the camp, his cape blowing in a sudden wind. He smiled coldly.

“Dig in.”

At his words, the Lizalfos rushed excitedly down the hill, screeching and hissing happily. The man watched them and walked after them slowly, waiting for his chance to strike.

---------------------------------------------------

The panic running through the camp was chaotic and Sean cowered behind a barrel, having lost sight of his father. People ran screaming, blood flowing in arcs as the lizards struck their prey with claws, teeth, and swords. Sean took a quick breath of fear when he felt a strong hand grab the back of his shirt. He was forced around and saw the same strange man he had earlier. This time the man’s eyes remained blue and the air did not turn cold and black.

“You’ll come with me,” The man said in a tone that was neither friendly nor concerned, “if you want nothing to happen to your precious father.”

Sean’s eyes watered up, but he held back his fear as best he could. Reluctantly, he went with the man in fear of what would and had happened to his father. As he followed, Sean kept his eyes on the ground to avoid the bloody carnage around him; people screaming as they were ripped open and eaten alive.

Upon seeing the green grass turn brown, Sean looked up. Swift shapes rushed past and he guessed that those were the lizards, done with their work and returning to where ever they came from. The man halted at the top of a nearby rise, his hand holding Sean’s wrist tightly, and a Lizalfos approached them when it spotted its leader.

“Sssshall we sssstay, Masssster?” It hissed. “Or sssshall we return to basssse?”

“Go ahead and go,” The man answered. “And take the boy with you.” He shoved Sean roughly into the lizard’s claws. “When I get back, I want him untouched. Understood?”

“Yessss, Masssster,” It replied.

The Lizalfos turned quickly, slung the boy over its shoulder and ran off with the others. The man watched them for a few moments before a voice cut through the air.

“Where the hell is my son!?” Tom demanded, sword drawn.

“You won’t be seeing him anytime soon I’m afraid,” The man answered, clearly enjoying this.

“You bastard! What did you do to him!?”

“Nothing,” He said turning to face Tom with a smile, “yet.”

By then, most of the survivors from the Lizalfos attack had gathered to punish the obvious leader. The man simply smiled and chuckled softly at the sight. Golden light began to shine from his right hand, a three triangle pyramid with the bottom right triangle glowing brighter.

“Oh my Goddesses,” Jay whispered. “It can’t be.”

“What?” Tom asked.

“That’s the so-called ‘Hero of Time’,” Was Jay’s answer. “That’s Link.”

“Took you long enough,” Link laughed with a malicious flash in his eyes.

Tom didn’t hear him; he was still trying to get over the shock that his son was now far out of his reach. “Why?” Was all he could ask.

“That’s none of your concern,” Link sneered coldly. “I’ve found what I wanted and am finished here.” With that, he turned around and began to walk away.

“My son . . . You were looking for my son?” Tom said, a great deal of guilt building in his chest.

Link stopped at his words. “What’s it to you?” He asked.

Tom remained silent as Link shook his head with amusement.

“Still,” Jay said suddenly, “we can’t let you go after what you had those things do to us.” He drew his sword as he spoke.

A cold look suddenly took over Link’s face, like he had been waiting for this. The symbol on his hand flashed and the light died away as clouds rolled in from no where, blocking the sun; changing red day to black, smoggy, night. The ground began to shake violently and spilt open behind the man.

The large helmeted head of the dragon, Volvagia, erupted from the split earth; twisting and spinning, throwing its long fiery mane around its muscular neck. It shot up into the sky, pulling its body from the crack; the light of molten magma glowing from far below, filling the clouded, dark sky with brilliant light. Its two forearms bulged with muscle, its shoulders had become wider to handle the large mass of flesh that had piled onto its torso since its last enslavement; large powerful muscles were heavily defined in its chest.

After the last of its tail had been pulled free, it floated behind Link, waiting and growling in hunger. Link’s face still wore the same cold expression as the survivors began to back up with fear.

“Eat them,” Were the only words to pass Link’s lips.

With the screech of a large jaguar, Volvagia rushed past Link who stood still despite the powerful wind caused by Volvagia’s body. Link slowly walked back down the rise, watching the survivors flee as the huge subterranean-lava dragon descended upon them; enjoying hearing their death screams and watching their blood fly from the great dragon’s maw.

After eating its fill, Volvagia floated back behind Link and coiled on the ground like a huge rattlesnake. It bent its head down and Link stroked it on the snout, its sky blue eyes closing and a soft purr reverberating from deep within its throat.

Out of the corner of his eye, Link saw something move.

“You missed one,” He said taking his hand off causing Volvagia to open its eyes. “No matter though. I was hoping you would leave one for me.”

Tom pushed some rocks off of himself. He looked up and saw Link standing with the large fire colored dragon behind him. He chanced a look around. All the others were dead. Close to no bodies lay about and those that were still there where mangled beyond recognition. He did not even turn his head to the sound of twigs snapping from under Link’s boots. He felt a hand grab the collar of his shirt and hold him off the ground without difficulty. Link was strong, very strong; stronger than any man Tom knew. His body fell limp in Link’s grasp. His son was gone and there was nothing he could do to change it.

“So, this is the end,” Tom whispered.

“It’s the end for you,” Link said with one of his devilish smiles, “but only the beginning for me.”

Tom’s chest suddenly became very heavy and it was hard to breathe as he saw golden light illuminate Link’s face.

“Once before . . . I gave you another chance, but this time I will not.”

The golden light blinded Tom and he closed his eyes to escape the radiance. He felt a pressure enclose around his neck and warmth from a liquid run over his Adam’s apple. There was little pain and Tom dared not to open his eyes. He felt drowsy, the running warm liquid made him feel refreshed and yet he wished to sleep.

Soon his entire body felt cold and heavy; unwanted baggage. The warm liquid still ran down his throat on the outside and then began to on the inside. His lungs began to fill with it and Tom could taste its coppery flavor in his mouth.

“Do you enjoy dying slowly?” Link’s voice asked softly.

Tom could feel Link’s presence extremely close to his face.

“I do not think Salyll enjoyed it as much as you are now, but you will soon see her again.” Link leaned in closely to Tom’s bloodied ear and whispered, “When you see her . . . Tell her, that I still want her . . . long for her”

Tom’s muddled, swirling, mind barely heard Link’s words. Want her? Want who? Salyll? Who was that?

“Salyll?” Tom managed to ask in a harsh, almost inaudible, voice.

Link only smirked and Tom did not see it.

“We’ll discuss it another time,” His low voice answered. “Some other time.”

Tom’s body sagged and fell from Link’s grasp to crack open the back of the skull on a protruding rock. Tom’s world had gone eternally dark.

Link stood from the corpse, blood pooling on the dead ground from the cut throat. Blood on his hands, he returned to where Volvagia waited and jumped aboard the dragon’s head; waking it from its appeasing slumber.

With a growl, Volvagia stretched itself and took to the sky; flying towards the dark mountains.

Link leaned against one of the dragon’s horns, sitting on the thick boney skull. He looked at his blood covered hands, old lusts returning for a second run.

“A pity you and Salyll betrayed me like that,” He whispered, “hiding the creature from me. You both knew I would find him eventually.

“Well,” He muttered as the dusty wind whipped at his hair, “you and Salyll failed with flying colors.”


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