"Do you understand boy?" Came a familiar voice. Soft as wind kissing the desert sand, deep as the pit it's owner now resided. "In the end it all comes down to passion. Passion drove me from my people and to this land, it drove me to claim Hyrule and the Triforce of power. Can you guess boy? Can you guess what happened?"
The sky was falling, the great net of light that kept the ocean at bay.. Soon it would be gone. Water would fall like tears from the forgotten gods.
"The Hero came, wielding the Triforce of courage he and Zelda sent me to that which they called the Shadow Realm."
With the sound of glass shattering the net of light above there heads broke. Water fell between them, a curtain of sound and movement. The speaker was little more then a dark blur, his detailed robes a smear of red and black. Water swept across the dull gray stones, they lapped at Link's toes. It was cold that water, yet it was not the water that made him shiver. In that blur of darkness, untouched by natural laws, were two bright orange eyes.
"I learned something there boy. Something so dire that death itself bows before me."
The water was closing in, it sloshed along the sides of the tower. Hyrule, Land of Light, drowned. Nothing was left but the top of this grim tower.
"Of the three virtues their shall come three ages. The last age which you live in now their is a prophecy." Link found a sword in his hand, felt his feet move towards the speaker. No! His soul screamed. Not again! Desperately he tried to loose the grip on his sword. His knuckles turned white he could feel the hilt digging painfully into his palm. Suddenly he was less then an inch from the waterfall that separated them.
"When all the three virtues fall low shall the last be known. Of the darkness from the darkness shall the Golden Land rise. It's brilliance is faded and it's ways gone. Weep ye all with me for that which is lost shall never be reclaimed."
Tears blurred Link's vision, but if they came from the grim words or fighting the inevitable he could not tell. Evil's Bane throbbed in his hand, egar to taste it's foes blood. As if cursed his feet went into a sprint, his hands shifted their grip on the Master Sword. For a second the waterfall from the sky pounded him. His tears were forced from his eyes. He could see, and the forgotten gods forgive him, he did not wish to see! Just a glimpse of dark skin, fiery hair plastered to the skull by the seas wraith. Those eyes the color of the setting sun met Link's ocean blue. There was no mad grin on that sun browned face, no slash of white teeth that put images of wolves in his head.
Using one of the statues to gain height, a valuable asset considering that he was but a child and his enemy a grown man. As if in a dream he turned with what felt to be surreal slowness. Absently he ducked the Katana swipe that would have taken off his head while his hands scrambled for a firm grip on wet stone. A scream, she screamed no doubt thinking him dead. He on the other hand saw what was going to happen, they both did. With a light spring he leapt from statue to robed solder. Hands moved against his will, turned the Master Sword a half cycle. Even as his soul screamed against it his arms plunged down.
Ganon, the Dark King, sank to his knees. The Master Sword baried up to the hilt in his skull. Blood slid from an eye like a tear, dripped from his chin and made Link wonder if the tip was lost somewhere in Ganon's beard. Free at last, history played out once again Link allowed his legs to go out under him. Impossible as it was Ganon's mouth parted, half words half gurgle came from those lips.
"Not over.. only has begun... death opens the gate.."
Link wake up!
"Forgive me," Link whispered, tears mixed with the sea around them. "I never meant to cause such pain."
"Destiny.. no regrets.."
Nieko get water! He's not responding!
Something pierced the darkness that was festering inside of him. A spark of hope, a way to make amends. "The dark prophecy, how do I stop it?"
"When golden land rises... three must be.. cause.. arm same.."
"Three? Ganon who are the three?"
With a startled cry Link thought that he was to drown with Hyrule. Water trickled into his throat, darkness heavy and so soft was smothering him. Firm hands yanked at the darkness, allowing the glory of the sun to pierce his eyes. Or rather to blind him. For one confused moment he thought that he was in the glorious heavens, slowly sense came to him and the ghost of the dream faded.
"Morning swabie!" Piped the pimple faced youth popped into his vision. With a moan Link sank onto the wet bed, of all the ways to be woken up.. "Man what a dream you must of been lost in! You were screaming like your little sister after she was snatched up by the Buzzard."
"Nieko go away!"
If it was possible Nieko's blanket white face went whiter. He looked torn. Link didn't blame him, Tetra was not kind to those who backed out on her commands. Even half dazed as he was Link knew who had sent Nieko down here.
"Sorry Hero, he stays." Both young men jumped as Tetra entered the room. From the porthole on the side of the wall her blonde hair shone like gold, her sun graced skin was polished bronze. Though only thirteen summers Tetra carried herself like the queen she was, or rather had been for a short period of time. "I heard somewhere that dreams like that tend to lead to sickness and we can't afford for you to get ill."
So what was the dream about? Huh, huh, huh? Come on swabie you can't make it go away by keepin' it all inside."
With effort he dragged himself from the bed, having to resort to pealing the covers off. Nieko chattered at his feet like a rabid squirrel and Tetra turned to stare at the ocean. "I can see this girl's dreams. Oceans.. oceans.. oceans oceans.. Oceans as far as the eye can see. They are vast seas.. None can swim across them.. They yield no fish to catch.." With a shudder Link forced Ganon's voice from his head. It was a memory and a bad dream, it was just coincidence. But it had happened far to close together for that paranoid part of Links head to allow him to let it go. A shiver, whether from cold or fear crawled his spine. Silently he joined Tetra. Of it's own accord it seemed his arm draped itself over her shoulders. Perhaps it was the sway of the deck that made her lean into his arms for support. Her eyes, cat green met his own, a worried light danced in there depths. She was worried, he could see that, but there was something else in her eyes that he could not place...
"Link and Tetra sittin' in a tree 'Kay-eye-ess-ess-eye-en-gee!' First comes Looove then comes maaarage then comes baby in the- urk!" Nieko found it very hard to speak with a bucket rudely smashed into his head.
"Thanks," Link sighed and took a moment to rub at his temples. Tetra smiled, then cuddled to him once more. Though her face was filled with satisfaction it was her eyes that asked him what the matter was. Gently she took his hand and gave it a squeeze, a silent offer of support as he tried to put his dream in words.
"I was there at the.. that place. His tower. I dreamt it, perfectly." Long ago Tetra, Link, Makar, and Meldi had decided that Hyrule and all that had happened there was to go no farther then themselves. It made talking of his dream difficult, to say the least. "He was there, He said a lot of things that He didn't say last time I saw Him. When I saw him for real, not in the dream, I mean."
Part of him expected scorn to be in her eyes. After all it was a silly dream, nothing ever came from dreams. Dreams were just piled up fears and tensions. Yet even as he tried to think that, something within him argued that dreams were never that real.
"Neiko," The young pirate was just lifting the bucket from his head. With a whimper the boy let the bucket drop back onto his head, no doubt thinking he would be safer with it on if another attack came. "Neiko!" Tetra snarled, as her patience completely ran dry. "Go up to dock, now!"
Nieko was a small build boy, covered with pimples that came with adolescence yet had gained none of its height. He always seemed to be on the brunt of someone's anger, mainly Tetra's. It never ceased to amaze Link how much trouble Nieko could bring on himself, how many times someone could fall down the stairs, fall over board, get lost on the ship. How someone could be so clumsy and panicky yet not be dead was beyond Link. With a squeak -the object of Link's wonder- let go of his "helmet's" rim, and ran for the door. Neiko was so shook up he forgot that he couldn't see, slammed into a wall, lifted the rim of the bucket, cursed at the wall, then staggered right into the closed door. Had Link been a little less shaken he would have been on the floor with laughter, as it was all he felt was sick. Tetra met his eyes, saw the lack of warmth, and frowned in worry. Without a word she opened the door for Neiko, and watched as he ran smack into another of her more competent crew.
"Aww lookie 'ere wha' de Rat doin' 'ere." The massive pirate noticed his beloved Tetra's frown, and his normally harsh face turned harsher. "'oo mad' Miss Tetra mad, did 'e ye 'ittle Rat." "Yous an' de Sea gonna have loon' tal' ye' 'ear" He grabed Neiko by the scruff of his tunic and dragged the his victim up the stairs, talking no pains to keep the younger pirate's head from hitting the odd step on the way up.
Closing the door, Tetra turned to Link. She took his hands, -how cold they seemed!- and lead him to the bed. Both of them were at the age where such a movement might have brought embarrassment, but their adventures together had broken down the walls of modesty between them. They were far too close for kindness to be interpreted as anything else, and with that horribly empty look in Link's eyes, the oh so slight twitch of his legs, Tetra knew that he would need to sit. Link managed to make it to the bed before he collapsed, but a quick glance at him told her he was up to nothing else. He needed to rest, he looked so pale! Why would some one in good health be made so exhausted by a nightmare?
"Ganon," Link whispered so that she could feel the word on her cheek lightly caress her ear. "Dark..Hyrule.." His eyes were glazed, and Tetra couldn't keep herself from biting her lip in worry. This wasn't natural!
A scream made Tetra pull away from Link, she managed to catch the sight of something small and pale fly right outside the porthole.. Nieko! A loud splash and horse laughter made her stand. Promises fell from her lips even as she backed to the door. With a half strangled sob she ran out the room. She took the steps three at a time, threw open the hatch that lead to topside. For a moment Tetra just stood their, nasty laughter an Nieko's whinny voice lead the half blind pirate to her crew. As her eyes cleared she saw the concerned faces of her crew. Despite her best efforts a few tears had crept out of her eyes, and these men who could read the seas like she a book found little difficulty in reading her obviously distraught face.
"Sorry Miss!" One of the more literate pirates muttered, "we were just having some fun."
She ignored him, walking up to the one holding the rope. With a slender finger she poked the pirates broad chest. "Pull. Him. Up. Now." With a speed that shocked her he managed to get Nieko on deck. Despite her all consuming worry for Link, Tetra felt her heart twist in pity. They had glued the bucket on Neiko's head, stripped him of his shirt, and tossed him overboard. By the fresh red lines on his back someone had whipped Nieko as well, something she would have never ordered. Looking at Nieko, and at the massively built men who were doing nothing more then twiddle their fingers, Tetra wished that her old crew was still with her. They never would have done this to Neiko, never.. More tears threatened, but her anger dried them before they reached her eyes. "Get that bucket off him now." It brought her no satisfaction that they were very prompt about pulling off the bucket. Nieko collapsed on the deck, spat out the fish that had been stuffed in his mouth, and gasped the sea air like a near drowned man. Considering what they had done to him Tetra felt that "drowned man" was pretty close to the mark.
"You," She pointed at the nearest pirate, absently noted that he was wearing a red bandanna on his head. "Pick him up and take him to my cabin."
"But," Red began to argue.
"Your fun almost killed one man, and I have another sick below docks. I wont punish you now, all three of you are getting off the hook today, but I wont forget this." She gave red bandanna a pointed look. "Move man, until Nieko's better you three get to wait on him and Link hand and foot. And you Mr. Red get first shift."
"Ms. Tetra," Harsh Face mummered. "wheres we goin'? Sos we can kee' th' ship in de right derection o' course."
"The winds will guild us." Before they could ask anything else Tetra pulled out a small sack of sand from her belt. She gathered a pinch of the sand and tossed it above her head. The winds carried the sand to the sun, and she lost sight of it in the glare. "Sail east, to Dragon Roost Island." The men were looking at her as if she was a bit draft. She ignored them, save to order Red to carry Nieko below. Their doubting thoughts followed her, it was almost as if they had shouted their frustration at her back. There was no loot at Dragon Roost, the island didn't even belong to humans. Rito inhabited Dragon Roost, Dragon Roost was an island of feathered postal workers. Why were they going to Dragon Roost? There was more to being a pirate then making money, a lesson these slackards had yet to learn. Tetra felt anger nerrow her eyes, blinked once again as the near midnight darkness of the ship embraced her. You looked after your crew because there was no one else in the world but your crew. No one else.. and for all his faults Nieko was one of her crew. She would look after him and Link, but she would not be alone.
"It seems as if I can't trust the lot of you for anything can I?" Tetra's voice carried no anger, and her tone made Red look confused. He had instinctively jumped when she spoke, the slight twitch ran up Red's spine told Tetra enough. His last captain had been a cruel one, had probably issued floggings at whim. Maybe even every time he spoke. "Tell those sluggards that if they whatever else they do for fun will have to be passed by me first. And that if I ever even hear of fun that involves throwing overboard the culprits will be stripped of all pay and landlocked at the nearest island, habbited or not." Red shook at the severity of her threat, even backed up a pace so he could feel safe. Tetra wasn't done yet, not by a long shot, yet it would have to wait... With her eyes still adjusting she had to fumble at her sash a moment before she could find the key to open her private quarters. Red looked like he was about to pass out in fright when she ordered him to take a right instead of a left. When she practically walked him to her room, opened the door, then gestured for him to put Nieko on the bed, it was hard to tell who was the paler, victim or torturer.
"Go to Link's room, bring him here." Red stepped outside her quarters with an air of relief, then tentivly poked his head back in. "Last room, has an odd squiggle on the door frame." Red jumped out of her range of vision, and Tetra could hear him tromp off to fulfill her request. He came back a moment later with Link in his arms, and this time Tetra could tell who was paler. Link looked as if he had never seen the sunlight in his life, his cheeks were flushed in a manner that was not healthy. Sweat plastered his green tunic and pants to his body. Link's cap must have fallen off somewhere between his and Tetra's room, for his mop of golden blonde hair was visible. What was the worst of it was Link's eyes, they were open, open yet empty of all intelligence. He mumbled something unintelligible and thrashed in Red's grip. The sturdy pirate merle shifted his grip and looked at Tetra in askance. She rudely shook Neiko, pushed the little pirate out of her bed, then watched in worry as Link was put in Neiko's place. Absently she was aware of Red moving towards Neiko.
"Leave him alone, haven't you done enough!" Red looked embarrassed, and muttered a response that she didn't catch. "Just go up deck and make sure that plenty of water is brought down here, and food." Even if Link couldn't eat she needed to, and something told her that Nieko would be famished after his near death experience. She then went to Nieko, who had passed out and had been left propped against one of the walls like a sack of potatoes. With a small grunt she picked up the little pirate herself, and sat him on the nearest chair. His limpness scared her, he looked as pale as Link now, as corpse like. Alone, she now was alone with two men who could have been dead. With trembling Tetra's hands went to the chain at her neck where the Triforce of Wisdom had once hung, her hands fell on a small wooden disk that Meldi had given her. Her fingers traced the swirls and dots that decorated it. Heard Meldi's words as if they were being spoken to her now.
There is a time wing sister when the Dark that we have sacrificed so much to vanquish will return. When that time comes I do not wish to met the fate of the last guardian of the Earth Temple. I know that if you were aware of the fate of the last guardian of the Triforce of Wisdom's you would not wish anyone to endure what she did. Meldi had smiled, the corners of her beak rising ever so slightly. I've noticed that the ladies caught up in this destiny either wind up as recluses, raising families, or sacrificed. And I for one do not wish the first or the last to befall me. Tetra had agreed fervently, admitting that she wanted none to do with either three options. Then she had asked why those in the prophecy never tried to change their fates. It was after much thought that Meldi had answered. I.. well I don't want to sound sexist but the ladies back then were rather docile things. They rolled over at a mans command, licked his hands as he walked by, truth be told its rather disgusting what they had to put up with back then.. But that's not important. Because of this doom thrust upon me I can't leave the temple, and trust me I've tried. Luckily I live near enough to Dragon Roost that I can signal for a messenger now and then but.. Well I may be a guardian of a temple but I don't want to lose the outside world to be here. So I.. Well.. I cheated a little.. Meldi, despite her feathers had turned a red color due to her blush. Meldi's expression reminded Tetra of a child caught with a hand in the cookie jar. I made this, or rather these. Three pendants, one for you, one for me, and one for Makar. When you want to talk to someone you just put your fingers over the three dots like so.. Then you say who you want to talk to, when the medallion gets warm you start talking. You might want to be sure that no one else sees you doing this though, because when the other person starts talking back only you hear it.
Tetra was alone, she could try it. But they were a day away from Dragon Roost, what if it didn't work? While her mind fretted her fingers covered the pifs, just like Meldi had shown her. It took less then a minuet for the medallion to go warm.
"Meldi?" Despite her best efforts her voice was shaking.
"Tetra, what's the mater?" It sounded as if Meldi was right in the room with Tetra.
"Oh Meldi, Links so sick.. and Nieko!" She couldn't help the tears that were falling down her face. And through her tears she managed to tell Meldi everything that had happened, blissfully unaware of the fact that Red stood right outside the door, listening to every word.