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"Dreams at Midnight"

Dreams at Midnight

By: Akira

Screams of pain, that's all he could hear. The helpless cries of so many being killed, their blood coating the blistering ground. The smell of rotting flesh of the dead and dying filed the inferno. And there he was, the "Hero of Time," pinned against the blazing floor. Weighed down by the monster's foot, he was unable to reach his sword that lay only a few inches away from his fingertips. The monster that was supposed to be locked away forever from the kingdom, the monster called Gannondorf.

"You will never defeat me. I have two pieces of the Triforce and soon I will have them all," Gannon laughed triumphantly. "Hand it over and I might let you live." He then dug his foot into Links back, making him gasp for air. He reached with all his might for the sword, but to no avail. And Gannon sneered at his efforts.

"I will never give it to you, BASTARD! You will have to kill me first!" Link screamed as loud as he could. This only made the weight on his back heavier.

"I'm so sorry you feel that way," Gannon said as he pushed Link deeper and deeper into the blood drenched mud. "That's exactly what the princess said, only after I was through with her, she was actually down on her knees begging me to kill her." The recollections made him laugh even harder.

"WHAT DID YOU DO TO HER YOU...." He was cut off as Gannondorf pushed him deep into the earth, drowning out his voice. Link could no longer hear the dying voices. Or the cries for help as they were silenced with the sound of cracking bones. No. All he could hear now was the booming laughter as he fell out off conciousness. And then he heard nothing.


"Link? Hey, Link! Wake up already!" Navie was tugging at his shirt collar with all her might to wake him up. "HEY LINK!!" Link flung up an arm to knock the noisy fairy away. Then he woke up with a jerk and hit his head on the low ceiling.

"Oww, damn it." He rubbed his head to see if there were any bumps. Navie gave out a small giggle.

"I told you a million times to watch your head when you get up, but do you ever listen to my advice? Oh nooo."

Link mumbled something to her statement. "What did you just say?" Navie said as she circled Links head.

"Uh, nothing, just...nothing."

"Its already 1:00, it was as if someone just knocked you out cold or something. I have been trying to get you up for an hour now."

Link gave a forced laugh, "Yeah, well... I was up really late last night."

"That's soo like you." With this the fairy flew away, grumbling at Link's lame explanation.

Link sat up in his bed, having to slouch a little due to the low ceiling of his old house. The memories of the nightmare still in his mind. His shaking went unnoticed by Navie.

"What the hell was that all about?" He quickly shook the memories from his mind and went off to find The Sage of the forest, Saria, one of his old childhood friends. He took out his ocarina given to him by Princess Zelda 7 years ago and played Epona's song. Nothing happened. He played it again. Nothing.

"Damn it where is she?" He started looking around for any sign of his horse. Navie looked at him, a question in her position.

"My, we sure are tense today. What's the hurry anyway?"

"Nothing I said. Nothing is the matter." He was amazed at the tone of his voice as he said that. He had said it too loud.

"Something is wrong with you today Link, why are you so jumpy to everything?"


Link quickly got his ocarina and started to play Saria's song. Everything froze, but he heard nothing from Saria. The song just echoed off the trees. He played again, and just like with Epona, nothing happened.

"Ok, what the hell is going on, why aren't any of the songs working?" He looked at the ocarina, and noticed that it didn't have its usual glow. He put it away.

"Looks like were going to have to walk then," he said to Navie.

"Speak for yourself, I'll fly."

"Fine, walk, fly, swim, whatever." Link gave out an exasperated sigh and shook his head. Navie just looked at him, and fallowed.

Links Nightmare found its way back into his head, and this time it wouldn't go away. What is wrong with me? He's dead you moron. DEAD, Link thought to himself as he walked. Then he stopped. Navie bumped into him.

"What? What's wrong, do you see anything?"

Link turned to her. "That's the point, I don't see anything." He pointed at the vast darkness that lay up ahead, and gave a false smile. The road was gone, along with any trees or people who might have been there. And even the sky was gone. Like it was just cut out of the background and tossed aside. Nothing else existed here, just...darkness.

No, he wasn't dead, Link thought again. Just locked away from this world. But he couldn't have escaped. Not with the sages seal and Zelda...

"Shit! Zelda! We have to find her NOW!" He broke into an all out run towards the castle, leaving Navie in the dust, dazed and extremely confused.

"Whoa whoa, wait up Link! I'm here to you know! LINK?!"

But Link wasn't anywhere to be found. The Dust had cloaked his trail and he was long gone at the rate he was going.

"The castle, he's at the castle"

She started to fly in the direction she believed he was going, but then she was engulfed in the ever-growing darkness.

"LINK!!!!! COME BACK! IT HAS ME..." Then she was gone, swallowed up by the darkness, the evil that had leaked out and had done the same to the other things it had touched.

"I will find you, Hero of Time," the darkness said in a raspy voice. "I will find you."

"Let me in!" Link argued to the dense solder, "It is very important that I see Zelda!" The guard just shook his head. "Fine, You wanna be that way? FINE!" He started to walk away and then he turned around and charged the guard, screaming as he did. This caught the guard err...of guard, and he went rolling into the ditch.

"Feh, some guard," Link scoffed as he stepped over the motionless body. "Asleep on the job."

He had to do the usual "sneak by the guards" technique, only this time he wasn't going to be polite. Zelda was in trouble, and he felt it. He was going to kick some major ass if anyone tried to stop him. Finally, after doing so, he found Zelda's courtyard, were he had found her before. Link gave out a small sigh of relief to see her still there.

"Link? What are you doing here?" Zelda smiled and stood up from her table and walked over to welcome him. "I haven't seen you in so long, please, sit down." She motioned her hand to a white wicker chair next to hers. "So, what brings you here?" she said as she sipped some of her tea. Link just looked at her. "Link? What's wrong?"

"You don't know?"

Zelda smiled. "Know what?" She took another sip of her drink.

Link looked at her in disbelief. "You mean to say that you haven't noticed that almost half of the kingdom is GONE!?"

Zelda looked up from her cup and quickly looked around to see if anyone else was in the yard. "Not so loud," She whispered. "Yes I know, but everyone else doesn't. And if they did, do you have any idea what would happen? Chaos, that's what."

"HELLO!? THERE AREN'T ANY PEOPLE TO CAUSE CHAOS!" Link calmed down a bit before continuing, "Do you have any idea what is causing it?"

"I have a guess, but I hope to the goddesses that I'm wrong."

Link nodded. She didn't have to explain anything.

"Link, last night. Did you by any chance have a dream?"

"You did?"


"Tell me what it was, it may help find out what is happening"

"Link... I don't know how to tell..."

Link noticed that her eyes were beginning to glimmer with tears; she trembled a bit as she got up from her seat. She was holding them in, hiding them as best as she could. Hoping that he wouldn't notice.

"Please tell me. It could be a vision, or a prophesy of some sort."

Zelda no longer held back and she began to sob, her body shacking violently in between her quiet whimpers. "Please don't say that, it was just a nightmare, a terrible dream, not a vision."

Link got up and shook his head.

"Please, I need to know, it's the only way." He put a hand on her shoulder. Zelda knocked it away and looked up through tear soaked eyes.

"Link, I said NO!" Zelda hissed. Then she looked down at her beautiful glass table and stared at it for a while. "Please go Link," she finally said. "You shouldn't be here, so go."

Link shot up in amazement. "ZELDA LISTEN TO ME!" he yelled.

"DAMN IT I said go LINK!"

Link reluctantly got up and started to leave. But as he turned around to say something, his remark was drowned out by a piercing yelp. It was Zelda's cry for help as she was sucked into the black void of nothingness. Link ran over to try to save her, but she was gone. Along with everything on that side of the courtyard.

"Hero of time, now it is your turn to surrender to my darkness," a booming voice said. Link was oh too familiar with this voice. It made his blood boil. He slowly reached to unsheathe his sword.

"So, I see that you have escaped," Link sneered. "You will never get the Triforce. You have tried before and failed, and it will happen again, the same way." He reached for his sword and charged the blob of darkness. A blue light blinded him as he was wrapped into the electric force field, and shot off into the brick wall. Gannon laughed.

"Your a fool Link," Gannon scoffed. "You cannot fight me in your world, ha ha, you have to come here, into the darkness. Where I will surly win."

"Why don't you come out and fight me here?" Link yelled. "Instead of cowering beneath your rock?"

"Hmm. It's to bad you wont come, for you see, the little princess would really appreciate it. She is going to remain with me until you come."

"If you harm her Gannon so help me I will..."

"You will what?" the monster mocked. "You are powerless to me, and you will be even more so after I have the second Triforce piece. Then your doom will fallow shortly after."

"What the hell are you getting at?" Link said.

"Come and find out," his booming voice made the remains of the courtyard shake. Small pebbles erupted from the shattered ruins, and fell at Link's feet.

"I grow impatient with you Link," Gannon hissed.

"I will come... only if you promise not to kill Zelda."

A low growl of disappointment echoed throughout the halls. Gannondorf may have been evil, but his Gerudo blood kept him bound to his word. And Link knew it.

"I promise," His voice growled. Link had the vague feeling that he was grinning, even though he couldn't see his face. This made him worry even more about the captive princess.

"How do I get there?" Link finally asked

"Like everything else, through the darkness."

Link looked at the vast blob of nothingness. He walked slowly up to it. "Will it hurt?"

This statement made Gannon grin even harder. "Oh I assure you, it will. But that will be the least of your worries."

Link looked around and then, after taking a deep breath, plunged into the shadows of the monster. Instead of being tossed out like before, the dark opened up to him. And link fell. The only sound that he heard as he fell was the mocking laughter, and his own heartbeat. They echoed of the walls of the tunnels that led to the hell, where Gannondorf was waiting.

Zelda got up from her corner and looked around the dim cellar. It had been three days since she was brought here, and in those three days, she hadn't seen anyone, except for the small Poe child that brought her food and water. She had heard footsteps from the rooms above her, but no one ever came down. This made her both happy and lonely.

"Link, where are you?" she thought aloud. "I should have been rescued by now." She sat over on the small straw mat that was supposed to her bed and looked down at the floor.

"I'm soo bored," she said as she stretched her arms and touched the low ceiling.

"I'm sorry you feel that way princess," a voice said in the shadows.

Zelda got up and frantically looked around. "Who's there? I command that you show yourself."

"I don't take orders my dear princess, I give them." His voice echoed of the walls and faded

"Where are you?" Zelda reached for the torch that hung above her.

"Look behind you," the voice sneered.

Zelda froze and clasped the torch firmly in her hands before turning around. She knew who it was. She stopped turning so only her side faced him.  "What do you want from me Gannondorf?" she asked in a stern voice.

"You know very well what I want." This time his voice had a tone of superiority towards her.

"I'm afraid you must be mistaken, I don't know what you want or why I'm here," Zelda lied.

The voice growled in frustration, and the figure moved up close to Zelda, facing her. The torch light magnified his evil glare upon her, as it danced on his features. "Don't toy with me princess, you know that I want your Triforce piece." He circled Zelda like a vulture over a doomed beast, making her fall back. "All you have to do is hand it over and all this will go away, and you'll be back in you castle, safe."

Zelda got up and confronted him. "You think I'm that easy to trick? Well you have seriously underestimated me," Zelda said. "You will never get it, EVER."

"HAND IT OVER," Gannon yelled at her in annoyance.

"OVER MY DEAD BODY!" Zelda screamed back at him. Gannon struck her with one immense hand, causing her to collapse on the cold stone floor. Her whole side ached when she tried to get up.

"Too bad." His voice rung through the dead air. He walked over to her. "But rest assured, I will not kill you."

His statement made Zelda sigh in relief, but her breathing turned tense, and came to a complete stop when she felt him kneel down next to her, and lean closely to her ear.

"But when I am through with you, you will be pleading for your destruction, envy what is to be among the dead," he whispered. "I guarantee it."

Zelda didn't understand at first, but the sick reality hit her hard when she felt her body being weighed down to the coble floor, vulnerable. She tried to push it off, but it was no use. All she could do was scream and howl threats. But her threats soon turned into heavy sobs as all her strength was drained from her efforts. All she could think of at that moment, in between the pain and humiliation was, where's my hero? Where's my Link?

The light burned at Link's eyes as he tried to open them. He had been in the darkness for so long, he wasn't used to the immense glow of the outside. He got up on unsteady legs and started to walk down the fiercely elaborate hallway, witch was decorated in the sun's golds and deep, crimson reds. He came up to the only door in the room. He tried to open it, but the knob stuck to his palm, singeing it. Link quickly cradled his burnt hand in his tunic.

"What the hell is making this door so hot?" Link waited, and was surprised that there was no irritating "Hey" to inform him. Then he turned and noticed there wasn't a fairy fallowing him either.

"Navie? Where are you?" No one answered. "I must have left her behind somewhere."

Link then examined the door. He wasn't stupid enough to make the same mistake twice. So, he wrapped his hand in his tunic, protecting it from the blazing doorknob, and opened it. It was like walking into Death Mountain's crater. The walls were a blazed with fire and the ground was seared to a deep black. The air hung heavy and dry. Link walked over to the far side of the inferno, the ground sizzling against his feet. There were strange sounds coming from all over the place. Voices, like there were people in the room. He took out his Lens of Truth and looked around. He was devastated at what he saw. Millions of people were all in the room, suffering from the sweltering heat They all looked so thin and aged as they walked around. Their skin clung to their bony structures. Some keeled over and never got back up. Others suffered horrible burns that seemed to mask their faces, if they survived the fall.

"Link?" one voice spoke up. It was so weak that Link could hardly hear it over the drowning wails of the room. "Link, is that you?" The voice belonged to a skeletal young woman in a seared dress.

"Who are you?" Link asked

"I'm not surprised you don't recognize me Link," the woman said. "I'm Saria, the only remaining Sage."

Link looked in disbelief. Then examined her face. "Saria? That can't be. Saria was a Kokiri, a race that never grows old."

"Time has no meaning here. It can speed up, slow down, or just disappear entirely. It has an effect even on immortals."

Link stared at her. Her face was heavily dusted with ash and had burns all over. Her eyes were sunken low, and her expressions, once cheerful and full of life, now lay haggard and gray. Her emerald green hair also looked soft and faded.

"Saria, what happened, what do you mean 'only remaining sage?' How could that be?"

She looked down at her feet. "That's exactly what I mean Link. I'm the only one left."

"Well... tell me what happened," Link demanded.

"A terrible thing has happened to the temple in which we sages dwell, the same thing is happening everywhere. We tried to fight it, but it got passed us and seeped into Hyrule. It left the temple in shambles, four of us were lost in the battle, the other one died here." She motioned over to the remains of a skeleton. Charred in a pool of lava. "That was Ruto. She died shortly after we got here."

"How long have you been here?"

"Three years."

"How is that..."

"I told you time has no meaning here. What may have been an hour for you in your world may have been a month in this one. It all depends on what that...that monster wants."

Link's heart stopped. How long has he been in the darkness? How long has Zelda been here? "Saria," Link began. "What about Zelda? Do you know where she is? Is she still alive?"

Saria looked away from Link and looked over to a door. "Unfortunately for her, yes. Yes, she is still alive, but I'm not sure how long she has been here. I think she is in there, through that door. That's where we heard the screams and cries."

She looked back at Link, staring into his eyes. "I'm afraid for her Link."

"That son of a...he lied. If he does anything to her I'll sent his head rolling across the room." Link clenched his teeth as he spoke. "Is that door locked?"

"Not that I know of, no."

Link nodded his head. "I'm going in." He unsheathed his sword and started to walk off.

"Link wait..." cried Saria. He turned around. "I just wanted to say...good luck Link." She walked over to him and kissed him lightly. "And don't forget to sent his ass flying back to were he came from!"

"Don't worry," Link gave cold grin. "I'll make him pay for what ever he did to Zelda and Hyrule." He waved goodbye to Saria, and as he took off the lens of truth, she vanished into the flames. "I'll make him pay dearly."

Zelda lay there, helpless. All her strength had left her. She ached all over. Her clothing was torn to rags, smothered in her blood and vomit, upon the dungeon's coble floor. Her pale skin, now a stranger to the outside light, made the dried scratches stand out above her features. She couldn't stand, she hurt between her legs, and her arms were cut by the metal bars that held them tightly to the floor. She had given up hope for her hero to arrive. She had been told too many times that he had been killed, and that his head was outside her door. She had never actually looked. She had given up struggling against Gannondorf when he came in. Yet... she still had the Triforce piece in her possession.

She let out a huge frustrated scream. "BASTARD!!! All this time..." she then collapsed on the floor like she always did. "Why doesn't he just kill me!?"

The dream, this is just like that nightmare I had so long ago. She struggled with her last bit of strength to free her hands, only to have the bars cut deeper into them. She cringed as she felt her warm blood run down her arm into open wounds. The vision. Her eyes welled up with tears, but she kept them from falling. After all this time, this had become an easy task, for she had forgotten how to cry anyway. I mustn't show any weakness, I must be strong.

She lay there, a mangled mess, tossed along the floor like a useless rag doll. Humiliated. My dignity, She cowered at any footsteps coming toward the room, but she knew he would come. My life. Just as he had for the two years she had been there. All gone. "Why did you leave me hero of time, Link, why did you leave?" Forever.

"Damn it! another dead end!" Link cursed his luck. Ever since he went through the door from the fire room, he had gone through every task and obstacle imaginable. Now he was in an invisible maze. He tried to use his Lens of Truth, but to his dismay, his magic was sucked dry from that conversation with Saria. So now he was walking blindly into walls while precious time slowly slipped away.

"This is just great. I should have known there would be something like this. I knew that an unlocked door was to good to be true."

Hours lingered on. Link was now running every direction he could think of. Left, right, straight, dead end. He even tried going in only one direction, but that too failed. He sat down to think of what to do next. Unfortunately, he couldn't think straight, so he pounded the ground in a tantrum of pure rage and frustration. He got up and kicked at the invisible walls. He heard a loud, hollow clang as his foot met a strange surface, different from the other walls. Link got up and searched the place where he had last kicked, feeling around excitedly. It was a cold, metal surface, like a door. It was a door. Link then gave out a weak laugh. Then he burst out in total hysterics.

"Ha ha haaaah!" Link shouted to no one. "I have found it! HAHAHA! I am much smarter than that. I can't be tricked so easily!" He searched the metal wall for a handle or knob. He opened the door with a slow creak. It was as if it hadn't been opened in ages. He heard bits of rust crumble and drop to the ground. As he opened it further, he heard the room begin to groan. The ceiling began to roll in enraged waves of plaster and stone. The room was caving in. Link hurried through the door just as the ceiling shook the awaiting floor as it crashed. Now all that was standing between him and Zelda was a narrow staircase that wound itself in tight coils, like a snake. He slowly descended. The walls began to vanish into the shadows. He began to hear soft whimpers up ahead. Zelda.

"Zelda? Is that you?" Link whispered so softly he had hardly heard himself. He walked further down the stairs, taking extreme caution with each step. He didn't know what was keeping him from just running down and holding Zelda in his arms. As he got to the end of the hall, he found out why. In the darkest corner of the room, he saw a pale glow of Zelda's gown. As his eyes began to adjust, he saw her figure, keeled over on the straw mattress. Her golden hair laid flat against her head in a knotted mess, hiding her face from his view.

"Zelda?" Link said again, this time with more force than before. The figure that was Zelda tensed at the sound of his voice, and crawled up against the corner, shielding herself. Her whimpers turned to growls.

"I will never give up my power to you daemon. I will never fall for such trickery, ever," she said as she moved closer to the corner.

"Zelda, its me, I've come to get you out of here." Link's voice was shaky as he inched his way closer to her.

"Feh, your trick might have worked Gannondorf, if he wasn't already dead." Link paused dead in his tracks. "Do what you want, but you will never get what you want. You never...will..." Her voice began to trail off as she slumped to her side. Link ran over to her.

"Zelda! Please! I'm here! I'm still alive!" Link's voice was trembling as he kneeled over the battered princes. "Oh god what happened to you?!" He held her close to his body as he rocked her like a mother would her child. Zelda's muscles tightened. She struggled to get away. The sound of her whimpering was that of a dying animal. Link let her go. She backed into the corner again. Her body shook as she gazed at him.

Her eyes look so, so dead. Link thought.

"The dream, this is just like that nightmare I had so long ago." Zelda rocked back and forth. "It was so dark. I was so afraid Link. The darkness enclosed me. You were there. I cried for you, but you wouldn't come. Why didn't you come Link?" Zelda fixed her dead eyes on his. "Why did you make him promise?"

"What are you talking..."


"Zelda, we have to go now. We have to get away." Link slowly took her hand, but she yanked it away and curled in defense.

"I mustn't show any weakness, I must be strong," she mumbled over and over to herself as she continued to rock.

"Oh Zelda," Link whispered. "Oh no. No. Zelda, what happened to you?"

"Gannondorf said you were dead," she whispered. "And I had believed him. I lost my faith in you." She got up and walked toward Link, withdrawing from him if she got too close. "Please forgive me Link." She bowed her head and looked away from him.

"I'm not angry with you Zelda. But we need to leave this place, now."

Zelda looked up in one swift jerk. She looked up at the dark hallway and backed away in fear. It killed Link to see her this way. But it also fueled his hatred towards Gannon. And he would use this hatred to end it, once and for all.

"Zelda, let's go." He held out his hand to her. "Please, don't give up on me."

She looked at his hand, and slowly walked towards it. And she grabbed it. "Please don't leave me again Link." Her eyes burned with the tears of so many years. Years of pure pain and suffering.

"I will never leave you," Link said softly. And with that, Zelda cried for the first time in two years. And, for the first time in two years, she cried tears of joy.

They ran. They ran as fast as they could. Pass the dark stairs, the collapsed maze, and everything else. Link held Zelda's hand tightly, never letting it go the whole time. Their legs flew. Pain elevated from their feet, urging them to stop. To rest. But they kept going. The earth shook beneath them as the ran.

"He knows," Zelda gasped as she tried to keep up with Link. "Gannon knows!"

The earth rumbled as they neared the inferno door. Fire spurt from every crack in the floor, showering Link and Zelda in burning embers, that left their skin dusted with ash and slight burns. It didn't stop them. Link looked ahead at the door, and got his hand ready in his tunic. When he opened it, Zelda nearly passed out from heat that pulsated in her head. She was falling behind.

"Wait. Link. Please...let me rest for a second," she said as she slowed to a stop.

"No! Zelda don't rest! We have to keep going or we'll never make it!"

"But I'm so tired."

Link turned to face her. He grabbed her shoulder to reassure her to move on. But she just backed away from him. "Zelda what is wrong?" Link demanded. But her answer was interrupted by a loud eruption that split the ground in half. He was separated from her.

"Well now, what do we have here?" a booming voice mocked. Link reached to unsheathe his blade, but was knocked to the ground as another eruption of fire and stone shook the room. He screamed in agony as the blistering floor ate at his flesh. He got up quickly, but then collapse to his knees. It had burned almost half of his body. Link slowly tried to stand up again, wincing at his every movement.

"So, I see you're still alive. That's good. I was worried I wasn't going to see your blood coat my sword as I slit your throat."

"You will never win Gannon. You will never win," Link groaned as he rose to his feet. His legs swayed unsteadily as he drew his sword again.

"Oh, I believe I have already won. You see," He looked over at Zelda. She backed away as far as she could. "I have done much more damage than you could ever imagine." He began to laugh.

"You fucking BASTARD!" Link charged at Gannon, sword held high. "YOU WILL PAY." He swiped a downward blow to Gannon. Gannon jumped high above him, dodging the attack. Link powered up his blade for a spin attach, but that took to long. Before he knew it, his sword was knocked to the ground.

"I hope you can do better than that." Gannon crossed his arms in boredom.

"I'm just getting started," Link huffed as he reached to grab his sword. Fire nipped at his hand, forbidding him to reach any further. Then, in one quick motion Link grabbed the blade from the molten ash. He got ready to attach again. "Prepare to DIEEEE!"

Link charged again, giving his all in every swing. All his anger. All his hatred.

"Is that the best you can do?" Gannon jumped high into the air, and landed on Link, digging his feet into his back. Link gasped for air. His sword was knocked only a mere inches from his grasp. "Now isn't this a familiar scene," Gannondorf sneered. Link reached as far as he could to retrieve his weapon. "Do you remember this Link? This is just like that vision I had implanted in your mind." The only response Link could give was a series of gasps and yells as he tried with all his might to get away. "I know your probably wondering what it all means. Well allow me to explain it to you." He dug his foot deeper into Link. "I was the one who gave you those nightmares, it was the only way I could get you to come to your doom. And I must say, it worked like a charm."

"You will never win," Link managed to say.

"Your badly mistaken. I already won. Even if you were to reach your sword and sleigh me right here, nothing will ever be the same. Your world will still be gone, your friends, all dead. And what of your princess?" Link turned and faced Zelda, who was backed into a corner, horror on her face. "She will never be the same," Gannon continued. "She will forever cower from any man who comes to close. You will never be able to go to her, to hold her, ever again."

"Zelda..." Link coughed and his blood sizzled on the fiery earth.

Please don't leave me again Link.

"Zelda, I wont loose you again." The earth started to close in around him as he sank deeper. "No, don't end it like this." Link reached for his sword for a final time. "Don't let him win." His fingertips brushed the handle. And he gave a weak smile as he clasped it in his hands.

"It's not over yet," Link gasped. "This is far from over." He felt a sweep of energy serge throughout his body. His weary heart pumped hard. He began to glow in a radiant golds and greens. Then, with his renewed strength, he pushed Gannondorf off him and onto the ground. A blood-curdling scream echoed as Gannon landed into the fire. But he arose quickly.

"You will pay for what you have done to her," Link said, his eyes glowing bright green. The waves of light danced around him. He leaped into the air and plunged the sword deep into Gannon's shoulder, cutting through the armor and flesh. Gannon froze from the impact and surprise. Link rotated the blade, Gannon yelped in pain. His blood dripped to the ground as he staggered and fell to his knees, his arm just dangling from strings of the remaining skin and armor. Link then pointed the blade to Gannon's neck, pressing it just a hair away from spilling the blood.

"You will never defeat me Link," Gannon's voice shook. "I will always return." Link shook his head.

"No, not this time." He inched the blade closer. "This time, you will die."

"That's it, feed your anger," Gannon laughed. "Feed your hunger to see my death on your sword. Give in to it. Give into the power, as I had!"

"SHUT UP!" Link held his sword high, and in one fluid motion, delivered the fatal blow. A fountain of bright red blood splattered across his face and blade as he watched the head detach and fly across the room and into the fire. Where it burned. Link looked at the decapitated corps that lay at his feet. He looked at it in pure disgust. He then again took his blade that still dripped with the crimson blood, and sliced the body. Striking it again and again. The smell of burning flesh entering his nostrils. He struck the body over and over, he couldn't stop. He couldn't stop the rage that flowed through him. The darkness that was eating at his heart.

"Link STOP IT!" Zelda shouted from the other side of the fire. "HE'S DEAD! STOP IT!" But Link didn't hear her. Her voice was drowned out by the sound of the darkness. He continued to slice through what was now only slashed armor, and bits of flesh and bone. He began to slow down to a stop. And he knelt down before the lacerated remains. His body shook as he looked back at the fear stricken princess, who looked back at him. Horrified at his actions.

"Zelda..." That was all he could say. He looked at himself. His tunic was drenched in blood, and his blade was still warm from the power it had granted him.

"Link, please, lets go now." Zelda started to walk over to him, but stopped abruptly. Unable to move. "Link! Help!" she screamed as feet left the floor. She was soon high above him, inches from the inferno's ceiling. A earsplitting laugh thundered in the walls. It cut through Link like a knife.

"No." He looked down at the body, still lying there as flames swallowed it. "It can't be."

"You think you have won FOOL!" he growled. "I NEVER LOSE!"

Zelda stood there, suspended in midair.

"I KILLED YOU!" Link shouted at the invisible foe. "I KILLED YOU!" Gannondorf laughed. He held the screaming princess tighter. She gasped for air.


"You underestimated me Link." He held Zelda's head between his fingers. And in one quick snap, the princess's body fell limp. He released his grip, and the body fell before Link.

"NO ZELDA!!" He held the broken and burning body in his trembling arms. Begging her to wake up.

"Feh, too bad. You would have been formidable if you didn't have such a weakness." Gannondorf scoffed. "But you will be joining her, NOW!" The floor opened up underneath Link, exposing the molten core. The ground quaked as it began to rise. Fountains of fire and stone rocketed up to the sky. Flames engulfed Link. And he was gone. His heartbeat echoed, and faded.

Link, awaken Link.

Link arose to the strange sound, and realized that he was floating. Dark blues and green surrounded him, dancing off the walls that stretched into oblivion. "Wh...where am I?" He looked around. His eyes were weak, but he could make out two dark figures that stood before him.

Come with us Link, it is time that what was is to be mended. The voices were soothing as they seemed to cradle Link.

"I don't understand. What happened? Zelda..."

She is safe. Come with us Link, Hero of Time

"Where is she?" he demanded. "And where am I?"

You are in what was, and what shall be, the voice echoed. Link squinted at the two figures. They had no detail, no specific features, no faces. They were like shadows. Squinting harder, he could see was that they were definitely female. Come with us.

"Come where? Am I dead?" He looked down at the floor, or what he thought was the floor. Stars twinkled silently as he floated aimlessly through the darkness. One of the figures approached him and gently touched his forehead.

No, you are still among the living, just in a different realm.

"I don't understand." Link looked at the figure, it emitted a beautiful illumination that fell into the darkness. "Who are you?" He finally asked.

I am Farore, goddess of the courage Triforce. And your guardian.

Link looked in awe as the goddess lifted him in her emerald glow. Enveloping him in a blinding light, that lit up the darkness for a split second. "What are you doing?" he whispered.

My power will be your power, let it flow through you like a river. Thou art courageous. Her voice lulled Link into a deep trance as she melted into his being. He felt her flow inside of him, lifting him higher as he twirled. Becoming a part of him.

"Now what?" Link whispered "How do I fix all that has happened? How do I save Zelda and Hyrule now?"

What has happened cannot be fixed, only prevented.


Use what was given to you.

"Yes, of course." Link got out his ocarina, which was now faded to a dull and dusty blue. "But the temple is gone." he confirmed. "the ocarina has lost its powers to send me back."

It always will have its power as long as you are among the living Link. You do not need the temple. Farore's voice was beginning to fade as Link placed the ocarina to his lips. He played the haunting melody. As he played, he began to slip slowly out of consciousness. A brilliant light lit up the darkness as it swirled and spiraled around him. The darkness was ripped apart, and the shreds of it were devouredby the light.

What was is now what will be, and what was destroyed is now mended.

"Link? Link?"

"Uh..wh..what?" Link opened his eyes. The light of the courtyard blinded him only for a second. He blinked and found he was standing before the princess, who was just finishing her tea.

"What happened?" Zelda continued. "One minute you were there, then you were gone."

Link scratched his head, trying to make sense of what just happened. Was it all a daydream?

"Uh...yeah...I uh, was just thinking."

"So did you?"

"Did I what?"

"Have a dream the other night?"

He shook his head, this conversation seemed so familiar. Wait, he thought to himself, recalling what the goddess had said. He was sent back, back before all those awful things had happened. Before he was defeated, and before Zelda was killed. Before there was no hope.

"Zelda, come with me for a sec... I have to tell you something." He quickly pulled her to the far side of the courtyard, causing her to drop her remaining tea. The crystal cup shattered on the ground.

"What are you doing Link? I would much rather walk than be dragged someplace." She jerked out of his hand and walked along side him. "What are you doing?"

"Shhh." Link put his finger to his lips and motioned her to stay with him. "Don't move, trust me."

Zelda, although a bit confused, did what he said. She looked at Link, looking for some sort of explanation in his expression. But his face couldn't be read.

The yard got a little darker as the sound of the birds and spring fell into an eerie silence. The small peaces of crystal cup started to jump up and down as the ground began to shake. Softly at first, but it built up to enormous quakes. Just like before, only this time Link was ready. The castle walls were engulfed by the darkness.

"Oh my god..." Zelda looked up in a mixture of terror and awe. "If Link hadn't told me..." She looked at the cup. It shattered into smaller peaces as the darkness sucked it into the void. The fragments caught bits of the sunlight, which made them look like stars upon the black surface. Then they disappeared. That could have been me, she thought. How did he know?