Saturday, July 5, 2008

A Switch in Time

- Chapter 1: A Switch in Time –

“Long ago, before the world had form, there was nothing but chaos and darkness floating in a mysterious abyss. Then, one day, three golden goddesses descended upon this chaos. They were Din, the Goddess of Power, Nayru, the Goddess of Wisdom and Farore, the Goddess of Courage. Din, with her strong, flaming arms, cultivated the red earth into form. Nayru poured her wisdom onto the earth and gave the spirit of law to the world. Farore gave life to physical beings who would uphold the law. Their tasks complete, they departed for the heavens. The golden triangle, known as the Triforce, was left behind where the three goddesses left the earth. If someone with a pure heart finds the Triforce and makes a wish, Hyrule will be thrust into a Golden Age. If someone with an evil heart makes a wish, the world will once again rein chaos and destruction. The Seven Sages, fearing such calamity, sealed the Triforce into the Sacred Realm.” This is the history of the glorious land of Hyrule. But, unaware to the land’s inhabitants, there is another legend that has been passed down generation after generation by the Hylian Royal Family. It is the story of a boy from the forest who set out to defeat the Great King of Evil, Ganondorf. This boy was raised in the forest as a Kokiri by the legendary Great Deku Tree. But, when an evil force invaded the forest, the boy was called to the tree’s sanctuary. With the aid of his fairy friend, Navi, the boy vanquished the evil that set the killing curse upon the Great Deku Tree. Unfortunately, the Great Deku Tree was done for before the boy even started. With his dying breath, he implored the boy to take the Spiritual Stone of the Forest and go to Hyrule Castle to meet with the Princess of Destiny. The boy, known as Link, accepted the request and left Kokiri Forest. Before he left, his Kokiri friend, Saria, gave him the Fairy Ocarina that would suit useful on his journey to the castle. Armed with nothing more than the Kokiri Sword and a Deku Shield, he made his way across Hyrule Field. Once he snuck past all of the guards, Link found himself in a small, garden-like area. Up ahead was a window with a girl looking through. The girl was the reason Link had come so far. Her name was Princess Zelda. She was the Princess of Destiny that the Great Deku Tree had told Link about. He showed her the Spiritual Stone of the Forest and she knew instantly why he had come to see her. “For the past few nights, the same dream has reoccurred. In the dream, I see dark clouds shrouding Hyrule from the light. Then, a long beam of light shot out of the forest and brought Hyrule back into the warm light. The light then shifted into a figure holding a green, shining stone and was followed by a fairy. I believe… that you are that figure. As for the dark clouds…” Zelda stepped aside for Link to see through the window. The Great King of Evil, known as Ganon, stood there as he spoke with the King of Hyrule. “I believe that the dark clouds represent that man.” The Princess explained to Link that Ganon must be after nothing less than the Triforce of legend. She asked for Link to get the other two spiritual stones while she guarded the Ocarina of Time. Once Link gained the Spiritual Stone of Fire and the Spiritual Stone of Water, he returned to Hyrule Castle. But, once he arrived, the castle was in flames. He then saw Zelda and her attendant, Impa, speed by him on a white horse. Ganon followed right behind them and sped past Link, unaware that Link was even there. Lucky for Link, Zelda had tossed the Ocarina of Time into a small moat off to the side before Ganon could notice. After Link retrieved the ocarina, he sped off towards the Temple of Time. He placed the spiritual stones in order of how he earned them. After playing the Song of Time on the ocarina, the Door of Time opened. He walked up to the Master Sword that was in the Pedestal of Time and pulled it out. When Link woke up, he was in the Sacred Realm and seven years had passed. The Light Sage, Rauru, told Link about what had happened during those seven years of slumber. Link agreed to awaken the five remaining sages. After a series of boss battles, Link succeeded. He awakened Saria (the Forest Sage), Darunia (the Fire Sage), Ruto (the Water Sage), Impa (the Shadow Sage) and Nabooru (the Spirit Sage). After returning the sages to their rightful places in history, Link fought his way through Ganon’s Castle, which is where our story begins.

* * * * * * *

Link rolled to the side as Ganon came down with his blade. Ganon pulled the blade from the cement and laughed maniacally. “It is useless, Link! You know that it is impossible to defeat me! All of Hyrule will perish under fire and water and all shall know of my power!” Ganon lunged towards Link, blade pointed at his heart. Link smirked and leaped into the air, landing on top of Ganon’s sword. “You’re wrong! You have forgotten one thing, Ganon!” Link flipped over Ganon and struck him in the back with the Master Sword. Ganon screeched in pain and fell forward. Link landed on one knee, sword outstretched. “I am the Hero of Time. Forgetting that… is a big mistake on your part.” He coolly stood up and sheathed the Master Sword. Zelda, who had just been released from her rupee-shaped encasement, came out of the shadows. She smiled and said, “You did it, Link! You defeated Ganon!” He grinned at her, scratching his neck. “Aw, it was nothing!” He laughed sweetly. He heard a slight shifting sound coming from behind him. He thought that it was only Ganon’s lifeless body collapsing the rest of the way, but he was wrong. It all seemed to go in slow motion. Zelda screamed as Ganon stood and grabbed his sword. Link whirled around and tried to reach for the Master Sword, but it was too late. Ganon shoved the blade’s edge through Link’s chest. The blood poured from the wound, forming a crimson pool beneath him. He coughed up blood that ran down his chin and dripped onto his clothes. He gasped for air, but it was too painful even for that. Zelda fell to her knees, tears streaming from her eyes. She screamed his name over and over again and buried her face into her hands. Ganon laughed in a vicious way. He then turned the blade in a full circular motion. Link cried out, clenching his teeth. The pain was excruciating. With his last breath, he managed to gasp out her name. “Zelda…” At last, the unimaginable pain and sorrow released their grip. His last mental image contained a victorious smirk on Ganon’s face along with Zelda prone to the ground, tears streaming down her cheeks as she reached out to him in a desperate act to save him. Link slumped to the floor as Ganon pulled the sword from his heart. Blood spurted everywhere. The pain that engulfed his entire essence softened as the light left his eyes. “No… no!” Zelda sat there, staring in awe of what had just occurred. The thought that the Hero of Time had succumbed before the power of Ganon was just too much for her to bear. As Link stared into the endless abyss of death, his eyes shifted from a deep blue to a pale gray as proof of his passing. Zelda continued to stare, shaking as though an earthquake had erupted underneath only her. Ganon broke out into a bellowing laugh. “My, what a twist to our story, eh?” He stepped over to Link’s body and shoved his foot into Link’s chest. “Ha! How pathetic! Some ‘Hero of Time’ you are!” Ganon smirked victoriously down upon what used to be the Hero of Time. “Ganondorf, king of the Gerudos, heath my words, the words of the Light Sage. I have seen the troubles and I have seen what you have done to the hero of legend. Now, you all shall be cursed.” After the voice finished echoing throughout the tower, a long stream of light settled upon the tiled floor. The light shifted into Rauru, his ferocity showed through on his face. Zelda shuddered as she stood. Rauru pointed a withered finger at Ganon. “Ganon, you have broken the law of the world and, now, you shall be severely punished! Your rebellious actions have caused nothing but trouble!” Ganon merely shrugged it off. “So what? You all deserve it, anyway!” He folded his arms in front of him and laughed menacingly. Rauru growled and smashed the palm of his hand against Ganon’s forehead. Not soon afterward, white light swallowed Ganon whole. His eyes rolled back into his head. Rauru smiled in a creepy way. All the while, Zelda stood there and watched in surprise. “Nothing that has most recently occurred here or with you shall be forgotten and nothing shall lead back to it.” Ganon’s eyelids began to droop. “For… forgotten?” Rauru nodded. “The only thing you will remember is that you have lived in Kokiri Forest your entire life and you know nothing about the outside world. Your friends are Saria and the Great Deku Tree. Understand?” Rauru raised an eyebrow. Ganon sleepily nodded. Rauru removed his hand and watched as Ganon collapsed to the floor. Zelda shrieked and held her hands up to her mouth. Rauru pointed his finger at the ceiling, forming a silver portal. The portal began to vacuum up anything beneath it. Ganon, still covered with the white light, turned into smoke and flew into the portal. “Rauru, what’s happening?” Zelda bellowed over the roar of the rushing winds. She looked around. Rauru had disappeared. She looked up into the portal. As soon as she did so, the portal stopped its suction. A small, golden orb daintily floated out of the portal and landed underneath Link’s eye. Zelda looked down at him and slowly stepped forward. As the orb melted into his skin, she kneeled down beside him. Rauru’s voice broke out of the silence. “Fear not, Princess. The Hero of Time shall live again. Link cannot be defeated that easily by the likes of him. Just look at his eyes.” Zelda nodded to the air and stared into Link’s cold gray eyes. As if by a miracle, Link’s eye brightened into a deeper blue. He shot up, coughing and gasping for air. Zelda’s face lit up and she hugged him. “ By the gods! You’re alive! I cannot believe it, you’re alive!” Link laughed gently. “Well, I won’t be for long if you don’t let go of me!” Zelda blushed and released him. Link looked down at his chest. “But… Ganon stabbed me with his sword, right? How am I still alive?” He looked into Zelda’s eyes. She shrugged and looked to show him the portal that still hovered overhead. Before Link could move an inch, the portal started up again. “Zelda, what’s happening?” She shook her head, but remained silent. She slowly turned into a golden mist that slithered up into the portal. “Zelda!” Link shouted, his voice reverberating off the walls. Not long afterward, Link joined her. Navi, who had been in the other room at the time, flew in only to be greeted by a disappearing Link. As soon as Link was completely swallowed by the portal, Navi flew in after him.

- Chapter 2: Link, the Gerudo/ Hylian King –

“Link… Link! Are you all right? Wake up!” Link slowly opened his eyes, but saw nothing except swirling blurs. “Navi…?” Once his vision settled back to normal, he saw a tall Gerudo woman standing at the end of the bed. She smiled sweetly and her eyes glowed like amber. Link blinked. “Nabooru?” She gave him a smirk. “ Yeah! Who did you think you were talking to?” Another Gerudo woman entered the tent. “Sir, the King of Hyrule sent a message that he would like to see you right away.” He gave her a questioning look. “ What are you talking about?” He asked her. Nabooru smacked him in the back of the head. Link hadn’t noticed that she walked over to the bedside. She threw the covers to the side as Link rubbed his now throbbing head. “Now get up! If you want to put this plan into action, you have to deal with playing the King’s pawn just a little longer! Geez, you’re the leader of the Gerudo Tribe and I’m the one who’s ordering you around!” Link looked at her. “What plan?” She rolled her eyes and sighed. “Man, are you slow this morning or what? You know, the plan to overthrow Hyrule! Geez, you are so forgetful! What, did you parents drop you on your head when you were younger or were you just born like this!?” Shaking her head, Nabooru exited the tent, muttering something under her breath. Then, Link realized what had happened. He and Ganon had switched places. Link was now the Leader of the Gerudo Tribe and the villain while Ganon was in Kokiri Forest and was the Hero of Time. Man… I guess I’ll just have to go along with this until I can find Zelda…wait, Zelda! She must have switched with someone too! But… who? He thought. Oh well... Link got up out of the bed and brushed off the sand that flew in. Okay... act like Ganon would... He looked at Nabooru and smiled in a devilish way. “Well, what are you waiting for? Let’s go!” Nabooru clapped her hands together. “Now that’s the Evil King I know!” She bent over and came back up with a pile of clothes; she threw them at Link. “I can’t take you seriously in that outfit. Wear that or people will think you’re a forest person.” She laughed mockingly as she left. Link held up the clothes and moaned with displeasure. Great... first I have to act like him, now I have to look like him? What has the world come to?! Shrugging it off, he replaced his old but characteristic tunic with one of Ganon’s outfits. Surprisingly, it fit him... and he looked good in it. As Link looked at his reflection and thought about Ganon, shuddering. What was he doing? Was he with the Great Deku Tree or Saria? Was he even in Kokiri Forest at all or had he already begun his journey? Link was coming close to a resolution when Nabooru whistled to get him out there. Muttering franticly under his breath, he walked outside of his tent. Shortly there after, he was greeted by Nabooru, who was mounted on a horse. The other Gerudo woman came over with a horse for him. Wait... is that... Epona? As the Gerudo woman left, Link slowly walked over to Epona. What if she mistakes me for Ganondorf? What will I do then? Not quite sure what else to do, he began to stroke her nose as he softly hummed her song. Epona looked as though she was about to bite his hand but then recognized the song and nuzzled him instead. She neighed affectionately and signaled for him to mount her. He nodded climbed up the saddle. Nabooru glared at him suspiciously but thought nothing else of it. “What are you waiting for, the grass to grow? Move it!” She nodded and dashed off. With a loud “Kyaaaa!” Link followed behind her. Half-way across Hyrule Field, Nabooru stopped suddenly. Link dodged and rode around her. “What’s wrong?” he asked. Nabooru shook her head. “I’m going to stop by Lon Lon Ranch really quick and, uhhhhh... pick up some milk... okay?” But before Link could answer, she was off. He stared after her for a while, and then shook his head. “Come on, Epona. Let’s see if Zelda is still at Hyrule Castle.”
* * * * * * *
As hard as Link tried, he couldn’t stop looking out of the corner of his eye to see what the people of Hyrule Castletown where doing. In front of him, they were frowning but stilled bowed with a faux respect... far different than what he remembered them doing in his youth. He sighed, but kept leading Epona towards the gates past Castletown. Link remembered having to sneak past the guards; he was going to see if he could pull off just walking past them. Once he reached a spot where the guard had a full view of him, he put on a devious but superior smile. “Master Link. Welcome back. I suppose you’ve gotten the letter from the King?” The guard asked, grabbing Epona’s reigns from him. Link nodded and said, “Please watch Epona for me. Take good care of her.” he said, not changing his expression. The guard lifted an eyebrow. “Are you feeling alright? You are... being nice.” Link walked past him and folded his arms behind his neck. “I’m in a good mood.” he said over his shoulder. Each pair of guards he walked past saluted him until he reached the castle’s main entrance. Link swallowed and pushed open the doors; he stopped himself from staring, jaw-dropped. He had never been inside the throne room before. He was amazed at the grandeur, but kept walking to meet up with the King who standing in front of his throne. “Ah! Link, my most loyal friend!” Daphnes grabbed Link around the neck and noogied him. Link laughed and tried to pull his arm from around his neck. Daphnes released him and smiled broadly. Well, at least I can act friendly around the King like I always did. Link gave him a friendly smile and folded his arms behind his neck. “Well, someone is happy about something! What are you up to?” Link asked. Daphnes smacked a hand on Link’s back. “I am so excited about this. So, tell me, Link... how would you feel to be promoted to ‘royal vizier’? People will have a higher respect towards you and you shall have more privileges. What say you, eh?” Link forced his eyes to brighten. “W-well, honestly, I would love to. Of course, it is still your choice.” Daphnes gave him a toothy smile. “Well then, my dear friend, I’ll make you a deal. You... take some time to think about it so I can have some time to think about things you could do to help me as royal vizier. Okay?” Link nodded and turned to make his leave. Just as he was about to push open the doors, he stopped. Looking over his shoulder, he asked, “Your Highness... perhaps you could show me where Princess Zelda is?” He turned all the way around. Daphnes gave him a questioning look. “Zelda...? I think you mean Malon! I have no idea who this ‘Zelda’ person is, but I can show you where to find her. She’s...” Link raised a hand. “No need. I was just curious. Farewell.” Link turned and left without another word. As the doors shut behind him, Link looked around to make sure no one was watching and yelled out in agony. He fell to his knees and pounded the ground in a childish way. What!? Zelda and Malon switched places!? This is outrageous! It’s crazy! Link began to growl, then threw back his head and screamed. When Link was finished rebuking the air around him, he sighed and stood up. He stalked off in the direction of what used to be Zelda’s special garden area. “Boy, did Ganon really screw up this time! If I ever see his face again, I swear I will strangle him! That no good, conniving little...” Grumbling under his breath, Link stalked off towards the little garden area. As he reached the entryway, he slowed to a stop and lowered his flustered remarks. Once he caught view of the two small figures conspiring together, he cleared his throat and sauntered powerfully towards them. Well, here goes!

- Chapter 3: Princess Malon –

As Link stepped towards Malon and the young Ganon, their conversation softened to a whisper before completely diminishing into nothingness. Link nodded his head in respect, smirking viciously. Even with the convincing imitation of Ganon, Malon could tell that something had been done to change things. In his eyes, she could see the truth shine through and reveal itself. “Well, Princess. You look as radiant as ever, I see.” He snickered deviously, but gave her a pleading look as if to ask her to save him from the torture of being in Ganon’s place. “Flattery is not needed. Step away from me!” She glared at him, playing her part. Link bowed low with faux respect and snuck a glance at the young Ganon that stood across from him. As he stood straight, he snarled at the boy, who jumped with surprise. Turning on his heel, Link smirked and abandoned the two. As he left, he caught the words, “He’ll never guess what we’re planning!” With one last look over his shoulder, Link dashed around the corner and hid. Only a few moments later, the young Ganon came barreling out of the garden area with Impa, the two unknowingly passing Link. When Link was absolutely sure that the coast was clear, he made his way back to where Malon was. Once he reached her, he saw that her back was facing him. “I knew you would come back, Link. I knew you would be curious enough to return here.” When she turned around, tears rolled down her cheeks and her face was flushed. “Malon...” However awkward it may have seemed, Link hugged Malon to comfort her in her time of need. She buried her face in his chest, her shoulders shook while she sobbed. “Malon... I... I’m sorry...” Link released her so she could wipe her eyes. She looked up at him and gave him a questioning look. “S-sorry...? For what?” Link stared into her eyes for a moment, sighed and sat down on the small staircase. Malon held her gaze and sat down beside him. “Well... I’m not sure what happened, but... all of us have switched places.” Malon’s eyes widened. She managed to gasp out, “S-s-s-switched places!? How could this happen!? Who switched with who!?” Link sighed once again and stared at his feet. “ Ganon and I switched while you and Zelda switched.” Malon’s jaw dropped. “So, that is why I have to play the goodie-good princess!? Are you kidding me!?” She slammed her fist on the concrete. “Well, having to be in Ganon’s place ain’t no picnic, either!” Link mused, sighing. He stood, placing his hands on his sides. His eyes wandered to the clouds over their heads. Malon stood beside him, trying to catch his attention. “Well, how long will we have to keep this up? Can we tell anyone?” Link immediately turned fierce. He scowled at her and gritted his teeth, sending chills up her spine. He placed a single finger in the middle of her chest and pressed hard to show her that he was serious. “The one thing you cannot do is reveal any of this to anyone other than to me and Zelda, okay?” Once he removed his finger, he turned and huffed an angry breath. Malon cautiously laid her hand on his back. “Why can’t we tell Ganon? He should already know... right?” Link whirled around and stared intensely at her. His gaze seemed to pierce through her and caused her to shudder. “No. Ganon doesn’t remember anything because Rauru wiped his memory so that he couldn’t change the future or for some other stupid reason, so, we cannot tell Ganon anything! You just keep playing your part and everything will, hopefully, go back to normal soon!” When a single tear slid down Malon’s cheek, Link softened his look into sympathy. “I’m sorry. I’m just... upset about all of the recent events.” Malon wiped her eyes and sighed, shaking her head. “No, it’s not you. It just that want to go home and do I usually do at the ranch because... that is all that I really know how to do. I can’t be a princess! I don’t know how to!” The two stared at each other, lost in thought. Link sighed and shook his head when no ingenious idea came to him. He lightly laid his hand on her shoulder and smiled comfortingly at her. “Well, there is nothing that we can do to change the past. I have come to learn that sad fact in my travels through time, as you may remember. I guess we’ll have to go along with this until it comes down to the last battle. Then, everything will be normal again. I’ll go back to being a Kokiri, Zelda will go back to being a princess and you can go back to scolding your father for not working.” Malon laughed, smiling broadly. She stepped back and put on a playful yet brave face. “I’ll do my best, Link. I’ll best princess that there has ever been! After this ‘final battle’ thing you mentioned, I’ll go back to being a farm hand. Being a farm girl is what I do best. Go do whatever it is that you are supposed to do, fairy boy! I mean, Mr. ‘Big Bad Guy’!”

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