*** Edited Jan 13th ***
- Last two scenes have changed up a litte -
The Green Knight: A Hero is Born
Chapter 19 – Secrets and Lies
[Hyrule City, Lower East Side] – [3:15 AM]
Normally the city was pretty empty at this hour, however as Anna drove through the dark streets of Lower Hyrule she noticed an odd amount of unusual activity. Of course, by now the Nightmare pill she had taken over an hour ago was fully setting in by now, so Anna really didn't care as she turned up the volume some more in the Porsche Carrera she had taken.
A little further down the block Anna took notice of a van parked inside an alley with its back-end sticking out of the entrance. The double doors were open and a man was standing inside, handing out various sized packets to a flock of people crowded around with wads of money in their outstretched hands. Anna slowed down and parked her car on the side of the road before shutting it off and exiting the vehicle. Her heels clapped softly against the gravel road as she walked towards the crowd, her hips swaying gently in her tight jeans as she shoved her hands in her front pockets.
"No need to push people, there's plenty more where that came from!" The man who was distributing the drugs out yelled. "I guess Keeta was right after all, huh boss?" The man asked another behind him. "This stuff's like gold!"
Anna soon approached the van and the thug looked over before his eyes widened. "Well, well, well…" He said, licking his lips. "What's a pretty girl like you doing in a place like this at this kinda hour?" He asked as he hopped down from the van and hungrily gave her a full top-to-bottom glance with his eyes.
"What's it look like I'm doing here?" Anna replied with a playful smile. She leaned in slightly, while still keeping her eyes fixed on the man, and reached into her handbag before pulling out a thick roll of cash.
"Not just pretty, I see." The man replied with an approving smile. He turned back to the van and another Lizalfos member tossed him a vacuum-sealed bag filled with purple pills. Turning back to Anna, the man handed her the bag of Nightmare and then took the cash. Suddenly cop sirens began to wail and flood lights turned on behind them. Three HCPD squad cars rolled up, trying to block everyone from running, but there were too many people.
"This is the police!" A cop yelled from his bullhorn. "Stay exactly where you are! Do not run! This is your first and only warning!" The cop continued to blare. But no one cared and within seconds of the police arriving the gang member turned back to the van and another member tossed him a Mossberg 500 pump-action shotgun. Checking the rounds and pumping the gun, the gang member aimed and fired directly at the cop car before him.
Everyone screamed as shotgun shells blasted against the squad car windshield. The officer's inside covered her heads and ducked low for cover as the thug fired round after round. More cop cars appeared and the thug fired rounds at their tires, hitting one of them. The tire exploded and the squad car flipped over, skidding to a halt on the other side of the road. Another thug appeared from the back of the van and fired off rounds from a semi-auto. Bullets sprayed everywhere and people spread in a panic, ducking for cover. The police were split as one half attempted to capture the gang members while the other half ran after the civilians as they bolted off with the drugs.
Anna continued to watch in frozen shock as gun fire echoed around her with cops and civilians running wild. A cop slowly approached the van and reached for his radio as he neared one of the thugs from the side. He was almost 3 three from them when he unknowingly stepped on a few shard of broken glass. The noise tipped off the gang member and he spun around quickly before firing off a shot. The blast hit the cop in the face, tearing off a chunk of his head and face as his body fell to the ground. Anna to jump in fright and quickly hopped back into her car and closed the door before placing her hands on the wheel. A sharp pain and unexpected pain suddenly entered her mind and Anna slammed her eyes shut, leaned forward against the wheel for a few seconds as the attack continued.
Unbeknownst to Anna, a cop had taken notice her trying to get away and slowly began to approach her car from the rear. Anna opened her eyes and a wave of colors appeared before her. She blinked a few more times and suddenly the colors went away. Something knocked against her window and Anna jumped up in her seat before looking over to see the cop.
"Ma'am, I'm going to need you to get out of your vehicle…now." The officer said, giving Anna a hard look.
Anna swallowed and looked forward as she tried to think. "What's there to think about? This cop isn't going to follow you when he's got bigger problems to worry about. You think one rich teenage brat is gonna matter to these guys with those lunatics blasting everyone? Besides, you're in a Porsche. You can easily out run him." Her other-self recommended.
"No!" Anna yelled aloud, startling the officer. "Are you insane? I can't just run! Do you want to go to jail?" She asked, staring at the empty passenger seat.
The officer just looked at Anna with wide-eyed confusion and a partially open mouth. "Ma'am, please turn your ignition off and step out of the – " The cop began to say as he placed a hand on her driver side door.
A switch flipped in Anna's mind and without even thinking she slammed on the gas. Her tires screeched for a few seconds before the car lurched forward and sped off. "Hey, stop that car!" The officer yelled before jumping into his own vehicle.
"That's it, keeping going! You're doing great!" Anna's split persona chuckled, egging her on. Anna was visibly shaking and her heart was beating so fast she thought it would fall into her lap at any moment. Soon there were three cop cars trailing behind her, but Anna just pressed down on the gas harder. She flew down the main road and turned left towards Meadows Park.
"This is the police! Pull over now!" A cop yelled through his bullhorn radio. But Anna didn't listen. The nightmare in her system gave her a thrill she had never experienced before: a high speed car chase from cops…and she was starting to like it. Meadows Park itself was closed now, however several neighborhoods resided throughout the area, and behind the park. Anna swerved down a winding road with steep cliffs as she navigated her way through the park roads to the other side.
Anna turned her wheel left and right too hard or sharp many times, and her car began to fishtail and swerve. A partially falling tree had been leaning into the road and caught Anna off guard. She jerked her wheel to the right, trying to avoid it, but was too late. The right side of her car hit the tree as her windshield cracked and splintered. Panicking, Anna tried to correct her car by jerking the wheel to the left, causing her to lose control. She screamed as her car rolled side-over-side and then down a cliff before wrapping around a tree and coming to a stop.
[July 5th, 2006] – [Flashback]
Link, Naria and Marin were led out of the campsite. They walked through the forest with two armed men behind them and Barba in front with Ghirahim walking beside Link. "How do really know that Tarin didn't just lie to you about the key?" Link asked after a while.
Ghirahim smirked. "Oh, I'm certain I gave him ample reason enough…" He said, glancing at Marin.
"That still doesn't mean he believed in your legend…or whatever it is." Link replied.
"Perhaps not." Ghirahim replied as he stepped over a rotting tree stump. "But also doesn't make it untrue either. Regardless, we'll soon find out what's in that chamber…" He said before taking a look at the map Tarin gave him. "It's this way!" He said roughly, pointing off to the left. They traveled for several more miles before stopping to rest.
Link, Naria and Marin were tired around the same tree with their back together. Barba, who had been looming over them for quite some time, finally walked off towards Ghirahim and the other two men. "A plan would be great right about now…" Link whispered over his right shoulder to Naria.
"Well I'm open to suggestions." Naria replied with a sarcastic laugh.
"Look, if we just hold out until we get closer to the mountain then maybe we can try and make a run for the ship on the other side?"
"And how exactly do you suggest we make a run for the ship with him around?" Naria asked, referring to Barba.
Link glanced away with a sour look on his face. "I'm still working that out…"
Their conversation was soon cut short when Ghirahim approached them and crouched to one knee. "Enjoying ourselves?" He asked curiously, but none of them opened their mouth. "Well, I do hope you all get to catch up tonight, because tomorrow we'll reach the location marked on Tarin's map, and once you've activated the key for me my use for you will be over." He said, smiling at Link dangerously.
Link wasn't sure how long he had fallen asleep for, but it couldn't have been long because it was still dark out when first heard the faint sound of a helicopter approaching. Link jerked his head forward as Ghirahim and his men began to move about.
"It's time to move." Ghirahim said as he looked up at sky in the direction of the sound. Ghirahim's men walked over to Link and the other' before untying them from the while Barba stood watching with his sword drawn.
"Looks like you've got some unexpected company." Link said with a grin he Naria and Marin we pushed forward through the forest once more. "You'd better hope they don't come after you."
"I don't need hope, Mr. Avalon." Ghirahim said, clutching the book he had shown Link earlier. "Not when I can have the power of the Goddesses."
They pressed on through the forest and followed Ghirahim as he navigated Tarins map until it led them to a creek. "Start digging, it should here somewhere." Ghirahim told him men before looking back at the map. Link, Naira and Marin stood off to the side, guarded by Barba while Ghirahim continued to study the map and pace around while the two remaining guards pulled out foldable shovels and began to dig everywhere they could.
"There's nothing here sir." They said after nearly twenty minutes of digging.
"Keep searching!" Ghirahim ordered without even taking his eyes off the map. "Tarin wouldn't be foolish enough to dupe me knowing full well what that would mean for his daughter…" He said, flicking his eyes monetarily at the girl.
"You can't know that for sure!" Link yelled. "You know what?" He said next, suddenly appearing more confident. "I think Tarin just told you what you wanted to hear."
"And what, exactly, would be the point in doing that? Other than successfully securing a death sentence for his only daughter?" Ghirahim asked keenly as he walked over to Link.
"To buy time." Link replied. "Tarin knew your obsession would make go all over the island for that key." Link was actually lying, but it was the only plan he could come up with and right now it seemed so crazy that it just might work.
Ghirahim's jaw muscle tensed as the word obsession. "Go on…"
"When Tarin and I broke into your camp before he betrayed me, our plan wasn't to get Naria out." Link lied, praying his plan would work. "Well it was, but really Tarin just wanted to get close enough to your equipment to trigger a silent distress call."
Ghirahim's eyes widened. "You're lying." He said, staring attentively at Link.
Link's heart skipped a beat. "Tarin and I split up the moment we entered your camp, you think that was coincidence? He already knew where you kept your transmitter beacons, it was only a matter of getting to it. So I ran after Naria to cause a distraction…I just didn't realize Tarin had made a deal with you too." Link said, averting his eyes.
He caught Naria's eyes and she looked at him with a questioning intensity in her eyes, but Link just looked away. He would explain this later, if they ever got out alive that is. Ghirahim looked a little worried now as clenched his jaw and turned to one of the guards. "Call base camp and tell them to check all of our communication equip and emergency transmitters."
The guard Ghirahim had spoken looked at the other guard before reaching for his radio while the other continued to dig. The guard tried several times to contact the base camp, but there was no response. "Can't get through to them, something blocking the signal."
Ghirahim did not look pleased as he wiped a hand over his face before pulling out a pistol and aiming it at Marin. "Well then, it looks like Tarin deceived us both." He said with a haunting stare. "I suppose it's time I fulfilled my promise to him." Ghirahim pulled down the hammer of the pistol, preparing to fire while Link at the same time was about to step in the way when one of the guards who was still digging yelled, "Wait, I think I found something!"
Everyone blinked in the tense moment and looked at the guard as he slammed his shovel into the ground in the spot he had been digging in; beside a large rotting tree near the water. When the spade made contact with the earth a loud clang resounded in the area. The guard tapped the spade a few more times before he was certain it wasn't just rock he had found. "There's definitely something here…" The guard stated as he bent low and dug out the object with his gloved hands.
Ghirahim approached the guard as he pulled out a small, ornate box that had a strange bird-like symbol etched onto the lid. The guard handed over the box to Ghirahim and he carefully took it in his hands before studying it more closely. A three-fold triangle was drawn above the birds head and between its outstretched wings, while an inscription had been written below the bird's feet. "You see, Mr. Avalon." Ghirahim began to say as he walked over to Link, who stood gaping at the box with wide eyes. "It does exist…"
[Kokiri Manor] – [4:27 AM]
Link laid awake in his bed, staring up at the ceiling with a distant look in his vibrant blue eyes. I should be out there. He thought to himself. I need to be out there before nightmare spreads!
He was more than thankful that he was able to get Zelda out of Arbiter's Asylum, but it made it easy for the cartel to get most of the drug-filled crates into semi-trucks and out of The Valley. He scoured his mind for any clues he might have seen at the asylum or the warehouse, but so much had happened between the two events that Link found it difficult to focus. I've got to find out where those trucks went and who they belong to.
And that's when he remembered it; on the sides of the truck was company name Link had recalled seeing before the warehouse events – Shadow Industries, and another symbol on the crates Stal's men had been loading into the green-tarp trucks…a symbol that began to make him worry even more.
Saria unexpectedly burst through the door with a look of pure horror and grief on her face. "Mom…? What is it?" Link asked as he slowly got out of bed. "What's wrong?"
Saria locked eyes with Link as tears began to fall down her face. "Oh Link, Anna's been in a terrible accident!" She cried, running over to give him a hug.
"W-What…?!" Link breathed in disbelief as he hugged Saria back. "Mom, hold on a second – "
"The hospital just called…she's going to be alright, but …" Saria covered her mouth and turned away as she stifled sobbed against a closed fist. "How could this have happened?" She wondered out loud.
Link released a sigh of incredulity before gently leading Saria out of his room. "Give me two minutes to change and then I'll drive."
"Actually Mido's already ready and waiting downstairs, Jason's got the car ready." Saria replied. "I've already called Darren, he's on his way."
Link nodded. "Alright then, we'll meet you there as soon as we can."
When Link and Darren arrived at the hospital he was shocked to find so many news reporters."They're vultures…" Link commented as he watched men and women approach the car with microphone's in their hands, all shouting questions.
"What, you're not used to it yet?" Darren asked jokingly.
Link smiled, but it soon vanished. "C'mon, let's go."
Darren nodded and then stepped out of car. Link watched as the large man pushed back the crowd of people and walked over to his side before opening the door.
As Link got out, he noticed that Darren wasn't the only one holding the crowd back; a few HCDP squad cars had been parked on the roads, blocking certain ways in and out while officers split the crowd to form a path inside.
"Mr. Kokiri! Mr. Kokiri!" A lady shouted with a mic as she somehow managed to follow Link and Darren through the crowd as a camera man tried to follow. "Hyrule Gazette – did you know your sister was taking nightmare previously?" She asked over the crowd of people.
"Mr. Kokiri isn't able to answer questions for you right now." Darren replied as he pushed through with Link. Stepped through the entrance of the hospital and made their way up to the third floor. Mido and Saria were standing at the end of the hallway speaking with a doctor, but what made Link frown was the sight of three police officers standing around nearby, watching closely.
"Mom – Mido." Link greeted, giving Saria a brief hug and Mido a firm hand shake. "Where is Anna – can we see her?" He asked quickly, looking at Doctor Collins.
"That's what we were discussing…" Saria replied. Her eyes were red and her nose puffy. "There's a bit of an issue." She said, swallowing hard.
"Issue?" Link repeated. "What issue?"
"How about the fact that she had almost twenty grams of the nightmare street drug in her possession, not to mention the fact that there was a lot of it in her system while she was behind the wheel!" One of the officers piped in.
Link stared at Saria in shock. Nightmare?! How the hell did Anna get ahold of Nightmare? Link wondered to himself. He was angry, beyond angry; more at himself than anyone else.
"Can we see her?" Link asked Doctor Collins.
"Of course…" Doctor Collins replied, stepping aside. "She's resting, so please be gentle with her."
"She'll get a couple years if she's lucky!" One of the other cops.
Saria shivered and Mido gently rubbed her shoulders. "Don't worry, I'll speak with our lawyer later." He said. They all quietly entered the hospital room to see Anna sitting up in bed, staring outside of her window. She had a bandage around her forehead and a few cuts and scrapes on her face, but otherwise appeared to be fine. She smiled weakly at everyone as they huddled by her bedside.
"Sweetheart…are you alright?" Saria asked, taking Anna's hand.
Anna nodded, swallowing as she did. "Yeah." She said hoarsely. "Yeah, I'm fine. The doctor says I may have a minor concussion…and other than crashing your Porsche everything is just great!" She replied acerbically.
Saria licked her lips and glanced at Mido and Link. "What happened?" She asked, not unkindly, as she looked back at Anna.
Anna shook her head as her tightly shut lips began to quiver. "I don't know." She replied with a shrug as tears slowly began to form. "You and dad are always working and…how am I supposed to be a teenager without a family? Without parents?" She asked angrily. "You've been back for months now, Link, and we barely see each other…." She said, glaring at him. "I know I haven't been the greatest daughter - or sister either, but seriously you guys are like hired people filling in the position of father, mother and brother!"
Saria sighed and looked back at Mido as he placed a hand on her shoulder. She moved to the side and allowed him to sit beside Anna. "Anna, I'm sorry." He said, taking her hand in his. "We shouldn't have made you feel that way and we will do everything in our power to rectify that." He said, giving her a smile. "But you have to understand that your actions were wrong, and there's going to a serious penalty for that." Mido said, giving her a weak smile.
Anna swallowed hard and nodded as she looked down into her lap. "I didn't know what it was at first…" She mumbled. "I just…wanted to take the edge off…and then…I just couldn't stop." Anna finished as tears spilled down her face.
Mido smiled sadly and pulled his daughter in for a hug.
"Don't worry, sweetheart we're going to do everything we can to fight this." Saria said, looking firm.
"Your mother's right." Mido said, pulling away. "Just focus on getting better right now." He said, leaning forward to place a kiss on her forehead.
Anna nodded silently and watched as her parents moved towards the door. "We'll just be outside speaking with Doctor Collins if you need us." Saria said with a smile before they left.
Link sighed and scratched his forehead before walking over to a chair in the corner of the room. "Sticking around for another classic lecture, I see…" Anna said, giving Link a sour look.
"Nope, I'm not here for a lecture." Link replied as he picked up the chair and moved to next to Anna before taking a seat. "I wanted to tell you something that I should have a long time ago…" Link paused and looked at Anna, who wore a confused expression on her face. "I haven't been completely honest with you." Link continued, swallowing hard.
"Well that wasn't hard to tell." Anna replied, rolling her eyes.
Link chuckled and folded his hands together. "I guess I deserved that…but what I mean is that, the reason why I haven't been around so much is because…I just don't know how to be your brother, or your dad's son or even Saria's!" He exclaimed. "Don't get me wrong, I love Saria and while I can't say I have…fatherly…feelings for your dad, I have great respect and admiration for him. The problem is with me." He said, looking at Anna with a hard expression. "All those years on that island…I lost a piece of myself, that piece that makes you whole, that makes you want to be around others…and I didn't want what happened to me on that island – that darkness – I don't want that around you guys." Link finished.
"Link…I don't expect you to be able to talk about what you went through, and I can't really understand what you're going through, but we need to stick together." She emphasized. "I've got a news flash for you – I don't know how to be your sister either!"
"So, I guess we both messed up trying be someone we're not." Link replied with a laugh.
Anna laughed and nodded too. "Yeah, maybe we should have started out being friends…"
Link smirked, and then after a few seconds of silence he stretched out his hand to her. Anna stared at it, looking puzzled at first before Link said, "friends…" He said.
Anna smiled and took his hand in hers. "Friends." She said.
Outside Anna's room, Mido and Saria were trying to get as much information as they could from Doctor Collins. "When can we take her home?" Mido asked.
"Actually, I wanted to speak to you both about that…" As he spoke, Link exited Anna's room and joined the group. "Please, follow me." Doctor Collins said before turning and walking into a nearby office. There were three x-ray film viewers sat side-by-side on a wall to their left, and Doctor Collins grabbed a folder on his desk before pulling out three 3D scan of Anna's brain and placed them in the viewer's before turning the lights on. "Here are three images of Anna's brain that we took from different angles." Doctor Collins began to explain. He approached the image to the left and pointed at a region of the brain behind the forehead. "You see here? It's the prefrontal cortex; it's what normally supports higher-order capabilities such as prioritizing, categorizing, and strategizing…it's been damaged." He said with a small frown.
"What? From the crash?" Saria asked worriedly.
Doctor Collins seemed to consider the possibility. "Likely, but I think there's more to it." He said, shaking his head before approaching the next image. "See here?" He said, pointing at a region of the brain from an angle taken looking down over it. "This area, also known as the basal ganglia, is an area that produces most of the brains dopamine…it's also been damaged and wasn't likely due to the crash." He said. "Right now it appears as though your daughter is going through an early stage of psychosis, but…"
"But?" Saria repeated. "But what?"
Doctor Collins swallowed hard. "As you may already know, she had a high dose of the new street drug – nightmare – in her system during the incident, and I don't think it's the first time she's used before…"
Link frowned, looking worried. "What makes you say that?" He asked curiously.
"Well, we – and I mean no one – has really been able to get ahold of enough of the drug to study it properly, so we don't fully understand its effects on the human body… but, her amygdala is starting to shrink…" He said, pointing at an area of the brain. "The amygdala is where we store our emotional memory, it's where we know when to feel anger or sadness or happiness. I'm not sure how much she's been using exactly, or for how long…so there's no way for me tell just how extensive the damage could be. There are also high level traces of modified catecholamine's…" This caught Link's attention, and not in a good way.
"What does that mean?" Mido asked. Link didn't look well as he felt his throat go dry. He already knew what it meant…
"Catecholamine's are basically hormones like epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine, and are produced by nerve tissue, the brain and the adrenal gland. They help the body respond to the flight-or-fight response when we feel in danger or stressed out." Doctor Collins explained. "However, once Nightmare has been taken it seems to begin to affect those areas of the brain – the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala. In addition, the altered catecholamine's seem to be having an effect in her normal catecholamine levels." He said.
He wiped his mouth and paced around the room. It's just like what Navi said, before long Anna could start going mad with rage and there's nothing I can do about it! He thought with frustration.
"What does this mean for Anna?" Saria asked sternly, looking even more concerned and not happy.
Doctor Collins swallowed hard and scratched his forehead. "I don't know, like I said I've never seen anything like this before, ever. We're dealing with some sort of reverse-engineered psychotropic compound. And there's no lab in this area that I know of with that level of technology."
"…Kokiri labs could." Saria replied, suddenly looking horrified.
"Mom, you don't think someone from the company could have – " Link began to say.
"Right now I don't know what to think!" She cried, throwing her face in her hands.
Link approached Saria and gently wrapped his arms around her, and she slowly sunk into his embrace. "Everything's going to be alright." He said, rubbing her back.
"I would like to keep her here for a night or two for observational purposes. Hopefully we'll get a better understanding of what we're dealing with." Doctor Collins said with a sigh. Just then two uniformed officers appeared outside the room followed by Lieutenant Chief Gaebora, who stepped inside the room.
"I'm sorry to interrupt Saria, Mido." Kaepora said solemnly. "But I need to speak to you both about the charges your daughter is currently facing."
At first Saria appeared angered by the audacity of the police chief, but her face soon softened and she nodded her head. "Of course…of course Chief Gaebora."
They all walked back into Anna's hospital room and stood around her bed. Saria and Mido stood on either side of her while Link stood with his arms folded next to Kaepora. The Chief sighed and cleared his throat as he approached the foot of Anna's bed. "Ms. Kokiri, do you understand what all you did last night and within the early hours of today?" He asked.
Anna swallowed hard but nodded.
Kaepora sighed again. "I'm sorry but…I need to hear you say it."
Anna licked her teeth behind closed lips in displeasure, but she complied. "I know what I did." She said, glaring at the Chief. "I remember everything…"
"You were found in possession of at least twenty grams of the new illegalstreet drug, Nightmare, as well as some in your system while you were behind the wheel – "
"I said I know what I did!" Anna snapped. Saria took Anna's hand in hers to calm her down.
Kaepora scratched his chin and pursed his lips. "Given that your eighteenth birthday passed not too long ago we are willing to wave a prison sentence in exchange for 100 hours of community service and two years' probation."
Link seemed to think the deal was pretty good, but Anna's seemed beyond discouraged as he looked down at her lap blankly. "It's the best outcome honey." Mido said, rubbing Anna's back.
"Yeah…sure…" She muttered.
"You're actually quite fortunate." Kaepora stated with a frown. "The police caught about ten different people last night carrying nightmare on them, and I mean a lot of this stuff. The crime lab's going to have a field day – but that's beyond the point. The D.A. wants to charge anyone in possession of nightmare with no less than five years."
"What?!" Link exclaimed. "No matter what the circumstances are?"
Kaepora eyed Link with a hard expression. "Not after losing one of my men…" He replied, to which Link gave him a confused look. "One of those gang members blew off an officer's face during the shootout this morning. Things are starting to get out of hand…"
"Well, I'm sure the HCPD is more than capable of stopping some thug drug dealers, right?" Link replied.
Kaepora stared at Link for a moment, looking hesitant, before nodding with a smile. "Yes, of course, nothing to worry about. Nightmare will be off the streets in no time and the Valley reconstruction will soon be over." A uniformed officer suddenly walked up to Kaepora and whispered something into his ear. "Well, duty calls." He said with a smile before turning to leave. He stopped at the doorway and quickly looked back at Link. "I believe I'll be seeing you and Mr. Saber later? I hope everything is ready for the Benefit tomorrow evening?"
Link nodded, almost forgetting about that. "Right, yes, everything's going great!" He said. "We just need to go over a few details."
Kaepora smiled and patted Link on the shoulder. "I look forward to seeing you fine gentlemen later then…." The police chief bid everyone goodbye and left the hospital with his uniformed officers.
Link was about to leave when Saria suddenly stopped him. "Link, I almost forgot!" She said, pulling him back to face her. "You need to stop by the office later and pick up the building specs I had drawn up for you to display."
Link eyed Saria with some confusion. "Building specs, what building specs?"
"For the orphanage of course…" Saria replied in an obvious tone, though Link still seemed confused. "Well it's not like you have any blueprints made yet." She continued when Link still appeared confused. "At least it will give you something to show all your prospective investors."
"Wow, thanks mom." Link said, looking amazing. "When did you even have the time to do all that?" He asked in wonder.
Saria waved her hand a smirked. "Oh please, it's not like I actually made the designs. I had our building contractor do it." She said with a smile.
Link chuckled and glanced up at one of the TV monitors in the lobby and froze as he read the headline:
Breaking News: "Unexplained Gun Shots in The Valley sparks concerns over city's Restoration Project."
"Oh my!" Saria remarked as she too glanced at the screen and them to Mido.
"This isn't good..." Mido replied worriedly as he glanced at Link and Saria. He looked back at the TV screen and then scratched his forehead
Link frowned internally as he watched Mido would continue to occasionally scratch his forehead and glance again at the TV screen, but something about his body language made Link feel as though something was off. Mido's phone suddenly rang and jumped ever so slightly. He released a deep breath and pulled out his cell. "I'm sorry, I've got to take this – " He said before walking off and answering the call.
Link stared at Mido for a few more seconds before sighing and turning back to Saria. Maybe he was just being paranoid. Maybe the cartel had nothing at all to do with the Restoration Project, and they just found an opportune moment to make and sell drugs out of the Valley. But the more Link thought about it the more it didn't add up. Even if the cartel didn't have anything directly to do with the Restoration Project, it didn't exclude the possibility that someone on the city council could work for them, or made some sort of lucrative deal.
Mido walked back towards them as he stowed his phone away wearing a frown on his face, but it suddenly vanished when he noticed Link was looking his way.
"Everything alright?" Link asked casually.
"Yes." Mido replied before pausing. "Well, no…obviously." He said, glancing around knowingly. "That was the office, I should get going."
"Oh, sweetheart, I was going to stay a little while longer with Anna…why don't you have Jason drop you off?"
"That would be great, thanks darling." He said before giving her a kiss. "Well, I'll see you both later then." Mido smiled and placed a hand on Link's shoulder before walking past him.
As he did, Link very stealthily slipped something small into Mido's jacket pocket as he walked out of the hospital.
"I have to get going too, lots to do before tomorrow night." Link said, looking back at Saria.
"Alright, well I'll see you later then." Saria replied, giving him a smile. "And be careful!" She added with a knowing look.
Link smiled back. "I will." He said before placing a kiss on Saria's cheek and leaving the hospital. As he walked out, Link was again swarmed by crowds of news reporters and journalists begging for some juicy detail. Police and security guards pushed back the crowd, allowing Link to walk towards his car, where Darren had been standing waiting for him.
"So, how'd it go? Is your sister going to be alright?" Darren asked, looking genuinely concerned.
Link sighed and shook his head. "I have no idea. She took a lot of Nightmare – they're going to pump her stomach but it's the first time she's taken the drug." He said frustratingly as Darren opened the back door for him.
"Oh my goddess!" Darren exclaimed.
"Look, right now – as bad as it sounds – we can't afford to focus on that right now. Anna's getting the help she needs." Link said as he licked his lips anxiously.
"Getting the help she needs?" Darren repeated incredulity. "Link that's your sister – "
"I know!" Link shouted abruptly. He paused and swallowed hard before glancing around. "There's nothing I can do for her here. The only thing I can do is help the police catch the Skull Kids and stop the spread of Nightmare…"
Darren shook his head but dropped the subject, though he stared curiously at Link for a little longer and studied his face. "What is it?" He asked.
Link bit his lip and shook his head. "I don't know…it's weird." He replied, trailing off.
"What's weird?" Darren asked.
"While I was in the hospital I saw the news report about what happened last night – they don't exactly what happened, just that gun shots were heard." Link replied.
Darren raised an eyebrow. "Why would that be weird?" He asked.
"It isn't, what's weird is the way Mido reacted when he saw it too, it didn't seem to have bothered him the way it should have." Link continued.
"Alright, I'll bite." Darren said, folding his arms across his chest.
"Mido is part of the city council board that decided on giving the green light the on the Restoration Project. He should be in full out panic mode!" Link reasoned. "But he wasn't, be acted like it wasn't a big deal at all…"
"Maybe he is panic mode and just doesn't want to worry you, ever thought about that?" Darren wondered.
Link shook his head as he placed one foot inside the car. "No, he's hiding something…" Link said as he stared at all the reporters still lingering around for a scoop. He sighed and looked down at his watch, "I need to be at the HCDP soon… but first I need you to take me somewhere else."
Darren sighed and nodded as Link got in the car. "What are bodyguards for?" He said rhetorically before getting into the driver's seat.
[Downtown Hyrule, 7:30 AM]
Zelda sat on her living room couch in nothing but a pair of yellow panties and baggy, black Indigo-Go's cut-off shirt. Her shapely smooth legs were propped up on the couch as she sat with her knees huddled to chest, drinking a hot cup of coffee as she stared aimless in her apartment.
She hadn't once gone to sleep since Groose dropped her off, and that was over six hours ago! Zelda took another sip from her mug before she noticed something on the front of her right hand. Placing her mug down on the coffee table, Zelda pulled back her right hand and studied the surface carefully.
Nothing seemed out of the ordinary at first, but as she moved her hand around in the light she soon noticed the faint mark of a three-fold triangle. Zelda swallowed hard and began to gently squeeze and rub her right hand with her left. Something happened to her back at the warehouse, and then again at the asylum. That old woman did something to her. If the vigilante hadn't come when he did I don't know what would have happened… She thought bitterly to herself.
Her thoughts shifted towards the vigilante and who he really was, and then she remembered something. Something the vigilante said to her on the rooftops of the asylum…something familiar.
Before she could think about it a moment longer, someone knocked at her door. Zelda frowned and got up and slowly walked to her bathroom, her hips and butt cheeks swaying irresistibly through her baggy shirt as she quickly grabbed a long robe and threw it on.
Approaching her door, Zelda glanced through the peephole before seeing who it was and wrenching the door open. "Dad!" Zelda cried as she flung herself into his arms.
"Zelda, my beautiful baby girl!" Daphness exclaimed as he embraced his daughter. "You don't know how happy I am to see you safe." He said, sighing into the crook of her neck. "Are you alright?" He asked, gently pulling away.
Zelda folded her arms across her chest, hugging her robes close and making sure they were fully wrapped around her after noticing the men black suits standing outside in the hallway. Daphness stepped inside and Zelda closed her door before turning to him. "I'm fine, all things considered…" She said with a weak laugh.
"Listen, Zelda, I love you. I love you with all my heart and I want you to know that there isn't anything I wouldn't do to protect you." Daphness blurted out suddenly.
Zelda smiled and took her father's hand in hers. "I know, dad, I love you too." She said.
"Promise me you won't go and do anything stupid, just keep your head down and don't stay out late at night." Daphness began to say.
Zelda chuckled and rolled her eyes. "C'mon, dad, this isn't high school anymore. I can take care of myse – "
"This is serious Zelda!" Daphness suddenly yelled, causing Zelda to jump. He swallowed hard and ran his fingers through his hair. "Nightmare is dangerous – we know little to nothing about its effects and just this morning the Skull Kids Gang was found dealing out large amounts of Nightmare to the public – the public Zelda!"
"W-What?" Zelda muttered in shock. "But they must have some arrests, right? It's not like this is out of control or anything…" She said, eyeing him questioningly with a worried look on her face.
Daphness' immediate look of worry and uncertainty vanished and was replaced with a smile as he shook his head and chuckled. "No, of course not." He said in an attempt to sound reassuring. "We've got our best and bravest on it but quite frankly we've never faced a group so tactically and strategically well balanced. It could take some time…"
"You know, there is one person who could help - " Zelda stated as she folded her arms across her chest.
"I am not having this conversation again, is that understood?" Daphness said as he flared up.
"Dad, he single-handedly helped put them behind bars! This city needs the – " Zelda said.
"No!" Daphness shouted adamantly. "I will quit my job as mayor before I accept that lunatic's help." He stated. Zelda opened her mouth to speak but he raised a hand to silence her. "He thinks he's above the law, Zelda, what makes him different from any other criminal if he can't even respect the rules? Who's to say one day he'll suddenly decide he likes to act as though the law doesn't apply to him, and then turns criminal?!"
Seeing that he wouldn't budge on the subject, Zelda sighed and nodded. "Yeah, I guess you're right…are you going to the Police and Firefighter Benefit tonight at Kokiri Industries?" She asked in an attempt to changing the subject.
Daphness stared at her for a moment before frowning. "The what? Oh, right…that." He said when Zelda gave him a knowing look. "No, of course not. I've got much more important things to go over – "
"Dad!" Zelda interrupted. "Link and Sheik are trying to do some actual good in this city and they could use some real support. If people see the Mayor saying good things at the benefit it would really help them!" She pointed out. "And it would really mean a lot to me, after all I helped plan a little of it." She added with a small smile.
"Alright, alright, I'll stop by if I have time." Daphness replied before giving Zelda a hug and turned to open the door, only to find Link being blocked off by the three officers.
"Link?!" Zelda exclaimed in surprise. "What are you doing here?" She asked as her face brightened up momentarily. "You can let him go." She said to the officers. The officers glanced at Daphness, who reluctantly nodded, before allowing Link to pass.
Link stepped past the officers and stood before Zelda and her father as he shoved his hands in his pockets. "I came by to check up on you – Midna was worried." He added quickly as his eyes flicked from Daphness back to Zelda.
"Midna?" Zelda replied with a confused look.
Daphness cleared his throat. "I need to be going." He said to Zelda before giving her a kiss on the cheek. "Call me later."
"I will." Zelda replied with a smile. Daphness smiled back at her, and then stared blankly at Link before forcing a curt nod before departing. She waited until he and one of the cops disappeared around the corner before looking back at Link. "Well, don't just stand there. Come in!" She said, walking back into her apartment.
Link cleared his throat and glanced the remaining two police officers and smiled at them awkwardly before entering Zelda's apartment.
Link stepped through the hardwood floored hallway and into the living room as Zelda stopped in the kitchen for a moment. "So, how've you been?" Link asked as he glanced around the room before looking at Zelda as she walked in. "I thought it would be too early to come by, but I saw your lights on and the cops cars parked outside…" He tried to relax and appear calm and oblivious to the fact that Zelda had been kidnapped by a dangerous criminal organization. No specific details had been released regarding the incident at Arbiter's Asylum, so Link needed to act like he didn't know anything.
"Oh, yeah you know my dad – always overacting…" Zelda replied with a nonchalant wave as she sat down on her sofa beside Link. "I've been working so hard these past few days trying to figure who Stal had been getting his supply of Nightmare from…I guess I must have overdone it." She said with a smile, which slowly turned into a sad frown. "And now Stal's in the wind, the police are no closer to catching those criminals and more and more people will buy Nightmare unless they're stopped." It wasn't technically a lie, she really did try and figure out what was going on in the Valley and Stal's nightclub, but that didn't exactly go according to plan. Not that she was about to tell Link that.
Zelda paused and absently glanced at the back of her hand while Link studied her face with an odd expression. "Why didn't you tell Midna?" Link asked. "She seemed pretty worried…"
Zelda bit her lip. Shit! I completely forgot about Midna! She's going to kill me! "I-I know…and I feel terrible! But my phone's been on the fritz the past two days and I've been having trouble getting it to work…I'll talk to her tomorrow." She said. "By the way, I heard about your sister…I'm so sorry." Zelda said as Link suddenly felt her hand touching his left.
Link appeared to be caught off guard at first by the sudden interaction, but he soon relaxed and their eyes met, and their hands grasped each other's fully. He could feel his heart beating faster. Link swallowed hard and looked down at his feet. "The doctors say she should be fine but…there's no way to know for sure just how much it will have an effect on her in the future – apparently she'd been taking the drugs for a while. I had no idea…" Link said as he stared blankly ahead.
"Link…" Zelda spoke softly as she withdrew her hand. "This isn't your fault." She said with a serious look.
"The funny thing is, the more I tell myself it isn't the more I feel like it is. If I had just been there for her this probably wouldn't have happened." Link replied with a bitter laugh.
"Don't worry, I'm going to make sure Anna has the best defense possible." Zelda said firmly.
"You don't have to do that – " Link began to say.
"I want to." Zelda said quickly. "Really, it's no problem." She said with a smile.
Link smiled. "Thanks, Zel that really means a lot." He turned his body to face her and placed his right hand over her left.
The moment their hands touched Zelda's minded was thrown into a dark spiral.
The darkness soon changed into images of Hyrule City, but it was not the city Zelda recognized. Burning cars, trucks and other vehicles lay strewn across the streets while screams, shouts, gunfire and explosions filled the night air.
Zelda watched in horror as HCPD officers clashed with what she first thought were normal citizens, but upon a closer look Zelda's eyes grew wide with fear. The "people" had bloodshot eyes so red she thought they were bleeding. Their faces were contorted into ravenous snarls while foam oozed from their mouths. The police seemed to be overwhelmed as more and more crazed people attacked. Riot police tried to push back large crowds, tossing flash bangs and tear gas everywhere. But it wasn't enough; they ripped at the officers clothes and tore off their flesh with their teeth, ravaged by an insatiable insanity.
Zelda couldn't take it anymore. Why was she seeing this? Was it just a dream? It had to have been…she shook her head and fell to her knees before covering her ears; she just wanted it all to be over!
The clash of swords brought Zelda's face back up to see two people standing in a wide area on the streets while the chaos proceeded around them. One man she recognized as the vigilante, though his sword looked different and he also had a shield. The other man, however, she had never seen before. He wore dark robes with lines of faintly glowing green that ran parallel down his robes. A strange helmet covered the man's head and neck, but what really caught Zelda's attention was his sword, which was at least double – if not more – the width of the vigilante's sword and much longer and formidable looking.
The mysterious cloaked man swung his enormous sword horizontally at the vigilante with inhuman speed, whipping up gusts of air and sending rocks flying off in all directions, but amazingly the vigilante ducked and strafed to the left, rolling behind his attacker before jumping up to his feet and driving his boot into the man's back. The cloaked man toppled forward but recovered quickly before falling to the ground. Angered, he drove his sword into the road and raised one of his hands – covered in frayed ends of the long robed sleeves – and a ball of diffused light manifested before him. The ball grew bigger and bigger, from the size of a golf ball to about the size of a watermelon, until it finally shot forward at the vigilante.
There was only a second, but the vigilante swiftly raised his shield and blocked the attack, and a blinding light enveloped the area until everything suddenly changed. The streets of Hyrule City were pulled away and replaced with what appeared to be a port. She saw a tunnel leading underground and then a large, three-fold triangle symbol that had been drawn on the ground in the center of a circular room. Three unlit torches were touching each corner of the drawn triangle and one of them faced her. The two other torches suddenly caught fire; one green and the other red. The third torch burned blue and seemed to be moving closer to Zelda.
Naturally, she recoiled at first as the blue flame drew closer to her, however something inside Zelda made her feel relaxed and safe. Somehow she knew it would not harm her. She reached out her hand to touch the flame, and then she woke up.
"Zelda? Zelda!" Link shouted as he gently shook Zelda, who had abruptly passed out against his chest, trying to wake her up. What on earth is going on? He wondered. Clearly something happened to Zelda at Arbiter's Asylum, but what? He needed to speak with her as the vigilante. For whatever reason, Zelda didn't seem to want to confide in him.
A faint blue glow took Link from his thoughts to the back of Zelda's left hand. Link's eyes grew wide with worry as a faded trifold triangular symbol appeared on the skin before slowly vanishing. N-no, that's not possible! Zelda's a… a bearer?!
Zelda suddenly stirred as he eyes fluttered open. She sat up and blinked before looking confused. "What happened?" She asked, rubbing her the side of her head.
"You, sorta…passed out." Link said, furrowing his eyebrows. "Are you sure you're alight?" He asked, looking worried.
Zelda swallowed and nodded with a small smile. "Yeah, I guess I'm a lot more tired than I realized!" She chuckled.
Link frowned internally, but it was to be expected. "I'll let you get some rest, then." He said before standing up.
"This was nice, Link, I'm glad you stopped by. We haven't really had many chances to talk like this…" Zelda said as she followed him to the door.
"Yeah, I'm really sorry about that by the way." Link said with a frown. "I honestly thought I'd have everything figured out by now, but it hasn't been easy." He said while rubbing the back of his neck.
"I know." Zelda said. "You've been through a lot – a lot more than most – but don't let that hold you back from being the person I know you can be." She said, giving him a warm smile.
Link felt a surge of happiness build inside him, but he only allowed some of it to show. "Thanks…hey will you be at the benefit tomorrow night?" He asked as the thought suddenly crossed his mind.
"Of course!" Zelda exclaimed. "I am very eager to see what you and Sheik have concocted." She said with a smirk.
"Oh, don't worry, there will be plenty of fun-filled events." Link promised, grinning widely.
[July 5th, 2006] – [Flashback]
Link stood in shock as he and Naria stared at the box in Ghirahim's hands. With a grin on his face, Ghirahim turned to Link and held out the box. "It says, 'Only One Who Has Been Chosen by the Goddesses May Open This Box'." He said, showing Link the etched writing.
Link stared from Ghirahim to the box with hesitation. "Take it, Mr. Avalon, and let's see just exactly how much of a fairy tale this is." He mocked.
Link swallowed hard as he thought quickly. He didn't expect there to actually be anything, but this was something he couldn't ignore. Whether it was really magic or just some piece of junk, Link couldn't deny the fact that when he stared at the bird and three-fold symbol on the surface of the box, an odd feeling began to grow deep within him.
Ghirahim bit his lip in anger and glanced at Barba, who pulled Marin closer and placed a gun against her head. Marin closed her eyes and began to whimper, causing Link to flare up. "Alright, just stop!" He yelled, looking at Barba. "I'll do it, just don't shoot her!" He said.
Ghirahim scoffed mockingly. "How admirable. Now take it." He ordered.
Link inhaled sharply and licked his lips before slowly taking the box in his hands. Ghirahim's fingers let go and everyone waited in silence. But nothing happened. "Open it." Ghirahim demanded.
Link sighed and attempted to pry open the box with his fingers, but it wouldn't budge. He frowned and tried harder, then suddenly the bird and three-fold symbol began to glow a bright golden yellow. "What the – " Link exclaimed in confusion before dropping the box as a painful stabbing sensation came at the back of his right hand. Link shakily raised his hand up and watched in shock as a three-fold triangular symbol burned into his skin.
"What are you doing?!" Ghirahim shouted angrily as he rushed at Link.
The two guards, unable to see through the blinding light, raised their rifles but the strange glow propelled them backwards. The light dissipated as the two guards quickly got to their feet only to find that everyone else had vanished.
[Downtown Hyrule, Happy-Hearth Apartments]
Alexander sat at a round, outdoor table on the balcony of a condo on the 10th floor. He drank a Bloody Mary from a tall, thin glass occasionally sipping while waited patiently as two body guards stood at attention behind him.
About ten minutes later two bodyguards opened the balcony door. One held it open while the other stepped through and just stared at Alexander and his two men. Seconds later Berserker stepped through, followed by none other than Don Genie.
"Ah! Mr. Genie!" Alexander exclaimed as he stood up in his chair to shake the large man's hand. "Have a seat, please, we're just waiting on one other party."
Genie took a set directly across from Alexander and folded his stubby hands together in front of him. The two endured through an awkward silence until finally an old woman opened the balcony door and joined the group. "Let's hurry this up, I have my own problems with a certain racer in Mute City who has a penchant for crime fighting."
"Excellent!" Alexander said with a clap of his hands. "Now that we're all here, we can begin. The reason why I asked you to meet here, Mr. Genie, is so that I could ask you for another favor, one that will benefit us both."
"And that would be…?" Don Genie asked curiously, wearing an un-amused expression.
"The vigilante has managed to get in our way on several important occasions, most recently being destroying our location where we were making the street drug- nightmare – along with several trucks."
Don Genie wiped his mouth, not looking pleased. "How much money did we lose?" He asked, clearly trying to hold it together and not blow a fuse.
Alexander shrugged. "Between both our parties…almost half a million." He replied, not looking worried.
Don Genie, on the other hand, appeared livid. Thick veins grew up and down his neck and the sides of his head as he stood up about to attack.
"Now, now!" Alexander exclaimed, waving a hand out. "It's not me you should be angry with – remember my party lost a great deal of money as well as the means to make more nightmare." He said.
Don Genie nodded in understanding. "I see…well then, Mr. Saber, it seems that our business is concluded. If you can no longer keep up your end of the bargain what reason do I have to stay?" He said to his men before turning to leave.
"I can cover your losses…" Alexander said as Don Genie stood up to leave.
"And why would you do that?" Don Genie asked curiously.
"If you help us to eliminate the vigilante I will do more than just cover your losses Mr. Genie." Alexander replied as he interlocked his fingers, resting them over his lap.
Don Genie stared at Alexander with a puzzled expression. "You really hate this man, don't you? So much so that you're willing to pay me to help you take out one man!"
Alexander chuckled. "Trust me, Mr. Genie, when you are trying to trying to take over a city as large as Hyrule and someone as…talented…as this man gets in your way you will stop at nothing to bring him down.
Don Genie smirked. "Oh, believe me Mr. Saber, I know…" He paused as his smile slowly vanished. "Very well, Berserker shall remain behind to assist you with whatever you need until your nuisance has been eradicated. After which point our business is over." He said, glaring at Alexander.
Alexander pushed a tuft of blonde hair to the side and nodded. "Agreed." With that, Don Genie stood up and walked off the balcony, leaving the condo.
"Losing the girl was a big mistake." Madam Rova croaked
"We'll get her back." Alexander replied.
"Mmm..." Madam Rova rasped in her throaty voice. "Her blood is the key, but there are more pieces to the puzzle. To unlock the secrets buried deep below the city requires the knowledge of Ancient Hylian…and there is only one book that can translate such texts. Where are the journals?" Madam Rova asked keenly.
Alexander inhaled sharply. "I have one of them and Mido has the other." He replied as he tapped the outside of his suit jacket where his inside pocket would be. "It seems that Link Kokiri may have the other, but we were never able to confirm that…the vigilante managed to save Link Kokiri before we were able to get an answer. Odds are he doesn't have it anymore."
Madam Rova did not look pleased by this news. "We have to be sure. Confront the boy, question him yourself and then kill him and anyone else that stands in your way, is that understood?" She asked.
Alexander swallowed hard. "Forgive me, Madam, but why kill the boy? Surely he knows nothing - he can't even read the text let alone figure out that there are two other journals that form the book we need." He reasoned.
Madam Rova shook her head. "Your desire to spare his life is your weakness, Alexander. Perhaps you no longer aspire to take on the mantle?" She asked curiously while opening up the palm of her hand. An intricate helmet that covered the entire head appeared hovering a few inches above her hand. It had an odd segmented butt-like feature where the mouth should be and large, chameleon like eyes.
"No, of course not." Alexander replied as he sat up straight. "I've dedicated the last twelve years of my life to serve him – to make this world better, stronger, and that hasn't changed." He said, staring intently at Madam Rova.
"Good. Take it, then…" Madam Rova replied as she pushed the helmet towards Alexander. It floated in the air, gliding gently as if it were moving across an invisible sheet of ice. Alexander cleared his throat and took the helmet in both hands. His fingers brushed against the strange metal casing and spiraling eyes.
"What about the other two gems?" Alexander asked, looking back at Madam Rova.
"We have the power gem, and for now that will do." Madam Rova replied. "The girl's powers were buried deep within her and only manifested after she was exposed to the power gem, soon her true powers will be realized and wisdom gem will be ours for the taking. Once we have her and all three journals nothing will be able to stop us from opening the gates. As for the courage gem...he will have no problem in locating it with his vast powers. Bring me all three journals and the power you have craved for so long shall be yours…" Madam Rova said before pulling out a glass shard about the size of her hand that was as black as night.
[Hyrule City, HCPD] – [11:00 AM]
He entered the precinct and walked through the main lobby and approached the large crescent shaped front desk, where three clerks were stationed. Two of them appeared to be busy, so Sheik approached the third – a young woman with black framed glasses and brunette hair that had been pulled back into a neat ponytail who immediately took notice of Sheik and smiled at him. "Hello, sir, how may I help you?" She asked politely.
"I'm here to see Chief Gaebora…" Sheik replied as he cleared his throat.
"Name please?" The girl asked as she began to type away at a keyboard.
"Sheik Saber." Sheik replied.
The girl suddenly looked at Sheik with surprise. "Oh, Mr. Saber! Yes, just one moment…" She said before opening up a desk drawer to her side. She pulled out an I.D. badge and handed it to Sheik. "The Chief should be in his office," The girls said as Sheik secured the visitors badge to the chest pocket of his shirt. "Just up the stairs and to the left, all the way down the hallway." She said, flashing him a smile.
"Thanks." Sheik replied before heading up the stairs. There was only one door at the end of the hallway, and printed in strikingly bold lettering on the one-way glass was the name: Chief Leutenant Kaepra Gaebora.
Sheik cleared his throat and knocked three times before a man said, "Come in!" Opening the door, Sheik stepping inside the Chief's office to see that Link was already there. "Link!" Sheik exclaimed as he approached his best friend. "Didn't think you'd get here before me." He chuckled, looking surprised. The smile on Sheiks face quickly vanished when he noticed someone else standing behind Link. "What are you doing here?" He asked, glaring at his father.
Alexander smirked as he stepped out from behind Link. "I'm here to endorse your little Orphanage into the Restoration Project."
"Speaking of," Kaepora interrupted. "Where are we on that?" He asked curiously, folding his arms across his chest.
Alexander bit the inside of his lips before looking at the Chief. "Well, as you know recent events have pushed our scheduling back, however we are in the process now of demolishing many of the old buildings that were approved by the city council." He replied before eyeing Link. "And since your orphanage is now included in the Restoration Project I would very much like to know where the two of you stand." Alexander said with unnerving smile.
Link glanced at Sheik before facing Alexander. "We've already got a location – the old orphanage in Kakariko Village. It needs a lot of work, but I'm hopeful that tonight's benefit will bring us the necessary backers. And I'll be backing the project with some money of mine own."
"We've also got a temporary office until the orphanage has been rebuilt." Sheik added.
Alexander smirked. "Well, I see you've both been busy…good." He remarked. "But it's not enough to see your little project through to the end." Alexander added before walking towards the door. "I'm late for a meeting with city council to discuss the final phase of the Restoration Project, so I really must be going."
"Final phase?" Link repeated. "What about the news report earlier this morning?" He asked, looking confused.
Alexander stared at Link for a moment and a cold chill ran down Link's spin before Alexander chuckled and nodded. "Yes I'm sure that came as quite a shock to everyone. But I assure you there's nothing to worry about, just some thug gang, it's being handled." He said calmly before eyeing Kaepora and Sheik. "Chief…son…" Alexander addressed before walking out of the office.
Link stared the back of his best friend's dad as an aching suspicion began to gnaw at his mind. Was there more to all of this than spreading Nightmare all over the city? What could that accomplish…what am I missing?" Link wondered.
Kaepora suddenly cleared his throat and straightened his tie. "Well, if you're both ready to get started I suggest we discuss the matter of tomorrow's benefit. As you can imagine I am very eager to hear the interrogations of the many arrests that were made this morning." He said with a smile.
Sheik looked apprehensively back at the door where his father had just left and bit down on his lip. His dad left rather abruptly, and he would rather have liked to chat with him, even if they were in a feud. "Please, continue without me." Sheik said politely as he stood up. "I'll just be a minute..." He left the office and managed to catch up with his father before he made it to the circular stairway.
"Son...? To what do I owe this visit?" Alexander asked with a curious expression.
"C'mon dad, can't a son just talk his own father?" Sheik asked with a smile.
Alexander pursed his lips and then smiled. "Of course, of course we can just talk. What did you want to talk about?" He asked.
"Look..." Sheik said, placing his hands on his hips. "I know you're going to be at the benefit tomorrow evening, but all I ask is that you try and support what Link and I are trying to do – it's no different than what you've been doing for the Valley!" He added, before sighing heavily. "I know we've had our differences lately, but I want you to know that I've been doing well. I've got my own place and everything, so you don't have to worry. I just want you to support me." Sheik finished with a pleading look.
Alexander cleared his throat and placed a hand on his son's shoulder. "Of course I will support you, Sheik." He said with a smile. "You're health and happiness is all I care about."
Sheik smiled back but seemed surprised that his dad agreed so easily. "Okay~...is everything alright, dad?" He asked curiously.
"Yes, son." Alexander replied. "Everything is just fine...in fact they're about to get better." He said with a roguish smile.
[July 5th, 2006] – [Flashback]
When Link opened his eyes he found himself lying flat on his stomach on dry ground. He groaned, glancing around him to see everyone else sprawled out and dazed, but he was more surprised to see that neither Marin nor Naria had their hands tied anymore
They were on what appeared to be a small ledge – about a hundred square feet or so of ground. The ledge was surrounded by three uneven rock walls surrounding them in a circular fashion, with one side open.
The last thing he noticed was a stone statue of what looked like a tall woman garbed in robes in a prayer-like stance; strangely enough, the woman appeared to have two small wings coming out from either side of her shoulders. Link suddenly froze when he saw Tarin's sword roughly ten feet away, partially stuck in the ground between himself and Ghirahim, who didn't seem to realize what was going on yet.
Link wasted no time and sprang to his feet, making a dash for the sword. Barba had seemed to recover quickly and got to his feet and pulled out a pistol, aiming it at Link. He was just about to fire when Naria came running at him from the side. She screamed and jumped up into Barba, wrapped her legs around his neck in a tight squeeze. Spinning her body around, Naria flipped Barba in the air and slammed him on the ground.
By now Ghirahim had realized the situation, but it was too late. By the time he pulled out his gun Link was already within striking distance, and before Ghirahim could pull the trigger Link slashed Tarin's sword in his left hand, knocking the gun out of Ghirahim's hands and then quickly punched him in the face with his right hand.
Ghirahim fell back to the ground as his face hit the dirt. He clenched his teeth in anger as a small amount of blood dripped from his upper lip. Link seized Ghirahim by his clothes and turned him around so that he was facing him. Ghirahim smirked and Link growled angrily as he pointed the tip of Tarin's sword to his neck.
Naria quickly got up to her feet before Barba did and delivered an amazing front-flip kick, but Barba rolled out of the way and quickly jumped up to his feet before shoving his boot into Naria's back, sending her toppling to the ground. Naria grunted from the force of the blow as she rolled across the dirt, quickly getting up to one knee, however Barba was already sprinting towards her. Naria braced herself as Barba spin-flipped in the air and struck the side of her head with his boot as he landed with his back to her while Naria fell back down.
The hammer of a gun clicked down and Link paused before glancing behind him to see Barba clutching Naria's long, dark hair roughly with a gun against her head.
Link grit his teeth and glanced at Marin who hadn't moved at all from her spot and was watching everyone with intense fear in her eyes. "Well, what are you going to do?" Ghirahim asked, grinning widely as Link glared back at him. "You can end it all, right now." He offered tantalizingly.
Rage pulsed through Link as he gripped Tarin's sword tighter. He wanted so badly to put Ghirahim in his place – to make Ghirahim feel pain the way he did when Barba tortured him. But if he did, if he decided to slit Ghirahim's throat right then and there how could he be sure that Marin and Naria would live? It would be him and Naria against Barba if Naria was able to break free of Barba's current hold on her…and Link didn't like those odds.
Link glared at Ghirahim before standing tall and aversely dropping the sword. He heard Naria grunt behind him and fall to the ground as Barba threw her forward. "A valiant effort, Mr. Avalon…" Ghirahim jeered as he got up to his feet and brushed off the dirt from his clothes. "Not that I was surprised – although I must admit, your timing was impeccable. I mean, there's absolutely no way you could have known what would happen when you tried to open the box…" Ghirahim stated as he walked over to the box that had been lying on the ground some five
Link too glanced around and hadn't really noticed it before, but now that things had settled down he realized where they were. We're on the mountain! Did that box bring us up here? Why? How? These questions and more swirled through Link's head as Ghirahim paced around the ledge.
"Amazing." Ghigahim commented. "So we've been looking in the wrong spot all this time…" He said as he looked up; sheer rock and jagged ledges loomed above, disappearing into the clouds.
Link raised an eyebrow before looking out into the largely encompassing view of the island. There was a slight overcast, however as the clouds slowly moved Link's mouth nearly dropped: the island was enormous! He could see wide fields of grasslands that tapered off into a dark forest and what looked like a swamp further off to the right. As Link scanned to the left side, he noticed that the grasslands changed into a prairie but what caught his attention was the large, circular bay to the upper left. More specifically, what was anchored in the water…a large red ship. His heart skipped a beat, but he couldn't tip off Ghirahim. "So, what now?" Link asked as he turned around to face the rock wall of the mountain side.
Ghirahim ignored Link and approached the tall female statue. He studied the statue before kneeling down. The statue was standing on a thick stone slab, and etched between her feet was tri-fold triangular symbol. A thin smile spread across Ghirahim's face before he glared at Link. "Come here, now!" He ordered.
Link reluctantly obliged and stopped beside Ghirahim as he too noticed the strange triangle. He stood there staring at the symbol in silence for a few seconds as he tried to make sense of what was happening. What had be gotten himself mixed up in?
"Well?" Ghirahim snapped. "What are you waiting for? Touch it!" He demanded.
Link took a deep breath and glanced over his shoulder to see Barba pointing a gun at Naria's head as he stood about a two feet behind her. Marin and Naria just stared at him, neither seeming to know what he should do. He looked back at the symbol on the statute and then at the back of his hand where the same marked had burned into the skin. Link almost considered using his right hand, but figured Ghirahim would be too smart for that, and he wasn't willing to rick Naria or Marin's life on the gamble.
"My patience is wearing thin, Mr. Avalon…" Ghirahim said in soft, yet dangerous voice.
Link bit his lip but crouched down to one knee and hesitantly placed his left hand over the triangular symbol. At first, nothing happened, and all Link could feel was the cold stone beneath his fingers.
"Well…?" Ghirahim nagged as he glared intently at Link.
"I-I don't know, nothing's happening!" Link replied honestly as he began to freak out.
"You're lying - stalling for some reason, why? You know it's pointless." Ghirahim shouted as he grew angrier. "Perhaps some motivation will help." He said giving a nod to Barba.
The mercenary silently looked from Ghirahim and then to the back of Naria's head as he pulled back the hammer of his gun.
"No!" Link shouted in protest. He was about to stand up when suddenly the tri-fold symbol on his hand began to glow a bright golden yellow. Everyone stared in awe as the tall statue vanished to reveal a dark path leading deep inside the mountain.
Ghirahim smiled and then a soft, maniacal chuckle escaped his lips. "Now, Mr. Avalon, we learn if the legends are true…"
[HDPI, 12:30 PM]
She pulled into the parking lot and parked into her space before getting out and making her way towards the short, but wide, building. She watched as the two cops that her father had assigned to her parked across the street and rolled her eyes. If her dad wanted her under protection that was his problem, she wasn't about to stay cooped up in her apartment when she could help the city. As Zelda walked through the lobby and into the back offices many of the workers she knew stopped and smiled at her, saying things like "I heard you were sick, it's so nice to see you back on your feet!" or, "Back already? I don't know how you do it."
Zelda walked over to her desk only to see that Midna and Groose were standing hunched over having what appeared to be a serious conversation. "Is everything alright...?" Zelda asked hesitantly as he walked up to them.
"Zelda!" Midna exclaimed when she noticed her best friend. Her look of deep worry and concern soon vanished, though, when a few workers passed by. "Where have you been?! I've been so worried – " Midna began to whisper.
"I know! I know..." Zelda replied, lowering her voice. "I'm sorry, I promise we'll talk about it soon – "
"Zelda! Can I talk to you for a second? In private?" Groose asked as he cleared his throat.
Zelda sighed, but nodded and followed Groose to an empty room. "Zelda, what are you doing here?" He asked after closing the door. "You're supposed to be home, resting!
"Uggh, you sound just like my father – " Zelda replied, rolling her eyes.
"Yeah, well, he's not wrong! The police are having a tough time nabbing the Skull Kids and as long as there're out there the drugs will keep coming!" Groose exclaimed.
"I think there's more to this than the drugs." Zelda replied as she folded her arms.
Groose shook his head and stared at Zelda like she were crazy. "Like what?"
"If I tell you what I know you have to promise you won't tell anyone else!" Zelda said sternly.
Groose continued to stare at her in disbelief. "Zelda, what's going on – "
"Just promise!" She pleaded.
Groose sighed, not looking pleased about it, but agreed. "Alright, I promise."
Zelda breathed a sigh of relief. "Thank you...now, remember how I was going after Stal for pushing Nightmare in his club?"
Groose nodded. "Yeah, I thought you were crazy and then you went and proved me right by sneaking into his club, causing a whole situation...how could I forget?"
"Just...wait till I'm finished, okay!" She said, looking annoyed. "After Stal escaped I...I went to the warehouse and tried to see what was going on for myself – "
"Zelda are you insane!" Groose nearly yelled. "You could have died! What could have possibly made you do a thing like that – "
"Oh, I don't know, maybe the fact that every other cop in Hyrule doesn't give a shit about what's really going on – " Zelda yelled back.
"And what exactly is going on? Hm?" Groose asked.
"I don't know! All I know is that when I was in Arbiter's Asylum Stal was there too." Zelda said.
This got Groose' attention. "What?" He said, looking intrigued. "Are you sure?"
Zelda nodded. "He showed me his face." Groose pursed his lips and walked over to the glass window. "Look, he said something to me, something that made me think this is a lot bigger than just selling drugs."
"I'm guessing this is leading into a question..." Groose replied as he turned back to Zelda.
"You can get your hands on Stal's files and try to find a connection!" Zelda replied.
"A connection? To who? To what?" Groose replied, throwing his hands in the air.
"An old woman...I don't have a picture but my memory is as good as ever, I can give you a really good description – "
"Goddesses Zelda, you've got to be joking – " Groose replied as he rubbed his face.
"All I'm asking is that you help me out! I don't have access to all the files and I would have to fill out a request form, and if I'm right about this then they'll know what I'm up to. The case is still open but my dad's taken me off..." Zelda replied with an annoyed look."
Groose licked his lips. "Alright, fine, I'll do this for you. But only because you asked, and to prove to you that there's nothing more going on."
Zelda smiled. "Thanks Groose."
Groose sighed and nodded as he watched Zelda walked towards the door. "Just...promise me you won't do anything dangerous again?" He said, looking at her with concern in his eyes.
Zelda smiled back as she opened the door. "I promise." But as she turned around her smile faded and was replaced with pure determination.
[Lower Hyrule, 5:15 PM]
He revved his bike and it shot down Kanalet Street as cop sirens wailed all around. A small armored truck sped down the same street as cops and the criminals fired off rounds at each other.
Link swerved left and right, avoiding bullets aimed at him and one's that ricocheted off police or civilian cars. Six police cars pursed the armored truck with Link, but a spray of bullets forced Link to duck and swerve to one side while one of the police cars took the bullets head on. The windshield of the police car splintered and spider-webbed as the driver was forced off the road, before crashing into a light pole.
Link grit his teeth in anger as he glanced back at the crashed police car. They would be fine, but he had to focus on catching one of the Skull Kids because right now that was the only way he knew how to find out who helped them escape...and he had a feeling it was someone involved in the Restoration Project.
Suddenly the rear doors of the armored car opened up and two thugs dressed in dark clothes with skull masks stood poised for attack. Link grinned to himself and revved his bike to get closer, but his eyes widened in shock when the two thugs pulled out micro UZI SMG's. There was no time to react as the two thugs unloaded their clips at the cop cars before them. The five remaining police cars jerked to the left and right, splitting down the center as sprays of bullets riddled their cars.
Link maneuvered impressively through the gunfire as he zipped past the police and neared the armored truck, throwing a flachette at one of the tires before they could fire again. The tire exploded and the armored truck swerved out of control, fish tailing until it collided against the side of a building. Hopping off his bike, Link rushed at the tipped over truck as one of the thugs groggily climbed out. He noticed Link approaching and immediately raised his gun to fire.
Link ducked behind the side of the truck as a spray of bullets just barely missed him. A second later and Link was up and over the side of the truck. The thug took a swing at Link, but he ducked and strafed to the left before knocking him out cold with one punch.
Moving inside the truck, Link noticed that the thug was already unconscious for the impact. The driver, however, still seemed to be awake. Link glowered and moved towards the man before pulling him out. A trickle of blood leaked down the drivers face but Link didn't care. He slammed the man up against the fallen over truck and glared at him through his half-mask. "The Skull Kids, where are they?" Link growled angrily.
"T-The who?" The driver piped up, looking frightened and confused.
Link punched the side of the truck, an inch from the man's head, as hard as he could. "Who gave you this truck – gave you those skull masks, then?" Link asked next.
"I-I don't know – I swear!" The man replied shakily. "We're a small-time gang, nothing fancy or anything. Then this guy comes by about a night ago and tells us he's looking for recruits. He gave us all this – told us to add this new drug in our normal routes to wear the masks."
"This man, what did he look like? Was he wearing a skull mask?" Link asked.
The thug swallowed hard and shook his head. "No, some kinda funky alien-looking mask – covered his entire head and neck. And it had these two large – kinda bug-like eyes...no! Not bug-like...more like a chameleon!" He corrected, looking surer of himself.
Link just stared at the man in utter confusion. This man had to be the link between the Rova Criminal Cartel and the Restoration Project. But he was still no closer to figuring out who that was.
"Look! It's the vigilante!" Someone yelled.
Link jerked his head up to see several onlookers eyeing the scene while more cop cars sped towards him. "This is the police, don't move!" Frustration boiled inside Link, but he couldn't stay to question the thugs anymore as police began to exit their cars and point their guns at him. "Stay where you are!" One cop yelled as they all slowly converged on Link.
Frowning, Link pulled out his bow and drew an arrow in the blink of an eye. He fired the arrow near the feet of the cops and it exploded in a plume of smoke. Coughing heavily, the police swatted their hands and ran through the smoke to chase Link, but he was already back on his bike and too far for them to catch.
[Kokiri Industries, Office of IT] – [6:15 PM]
Alone in the IT office, Navi stared, transfixed, as footage of police chasing down civilians while gunshots rang out, aired on one of the monitors before her. Outside the office, music and heavy objects being moved around could be heard.
They were getting ready for the benefit, which should be starting in just about two hours. Navi was dressed rather fashionably, implying she had been planning on going to the benefit, however she seemed to have become obsessed over the file the vigilante had given her.
Navi opened the files and began to sift through the information. She navigated her way back to where she had first noticed a connection with Stal and Arbiter's Asylum and glanced through the other folders. There were several directories and subdirectories regarding a multitude of information – most of which made little to no sense to Navi. One folder however, labeled as Restoration Project, caught her attention. Opening the folder, Navi gasped to find various files on the history of Hyrule City, building schematics, profiles of many criminals - some known and others unknown – something called the Dark Rites, The Book of Mudora and other files linking the Mayor, Mido, Alexander Saber, a man named Berserker and other powerful people to an organization called The Rova Criminal Cartel.
"Oh my God…" Navi exclaimed under her breath as he clicked through more files. Was the Restoration Project not what they're saying it is? She came across an article from a few months ago headlined, "Street gang breaks into Kokiri Tech, steals proprietary technology…"
I remember when this happened, Navi though to herself, recalling when Link came to see her afterwards. But what does this have to with the Restoration Project? Digging deeper, Navi soon found a connection to something called the Dark Millionaires and a contract to obtain a 'Gravity Diffuser'. She clicked on a file and images of the Skull Kids appeared with all their information, while another image appeared of Mido Kokiri. "Oh my God!"
Navi sat back in her chair as shock overwhelmed her. Why was Mido's picture in a file associated with the Rova Criminal Cartel? Did he know about the Skull Kids gang breaking into Kokiri Tech? It was bad enough that she stumbled across this, when another dark thought entered her mind. What if he was in on it? What if he helped them...all this time...?
Navi shook her head. No! I won't believe it, at least not until I get a straight answer! She thought to herself. But it wasn't as if she could just waltz up to her boss and ask him about it. If he was innocent then she would have to explain how she managed to get ahold of such sensitive information, which would undoubtedly lead the police to find out she was working with the vigilante. On the other hand if he was involved, showing her hand could put her directly in the crosshairs of the Rova Criminal Cartel.
Making up her mind, Navi quickly transferred all the files she deemed to be relevant and copied them onto another thumb drive. Once they were all transferred, Navi ejected both drives and grabbed her things before leaving the office. There was only one person she knew she could trust...
[The Valley Hideout, 6:45 PM]
He punched and slammed his body into the sparring dummy as beads of sweat rolled down his face and shirtless body. Link pulled the sheath of his short sword and tossed the sheath aside before moving into an attacking stance. He thrust his sword forward in quick jabs before spinning around, slicing his sword at an upward angle across the dummy's torso.
Link unleashed all of his frustration on the dummy as his mind reeled with the events of the past few days. Stal's death, the Skull Kids gang out and back on the streets, Anna in the hospital...with each strike Link felt the pressure of trying to protect his city weight him down more and more. But something else bothered, something he saw when he was with Zelda. At first he was so sure that Zelda was kidnapped for seeing something she shouldn't have, or for some sort of leverage from the mayor, but after seeing the Triforce symbol in her hand an ominous and foreboding sensation took over Link. Whoever he had talked to that night in the warehouse told him they had plans for Zelda, plans beyond his understanding.
Link stopped training and stood in silence and slowly brought his breathing and heart rate back down. His muscular chest rose and fell slower and slower as sweat trailed down his scarred body. Grabbing a towel and a bottle of water, Link wiped his face and hung the towel around his neck, covering up the top portion of an intricate tattoo of three blue crescent moons touching each other, on his right shoulder blade. They must be hunting down the Triforce pieces...
The sounds of approaching footsteps caught Link's attention and he whirled around, pointing his sword at the unknown person.
"Whoa! Watch it Link, it's just me!" Darren exclaimed as he raised his hands up defensively. Link sighed and lowered his short sword before walking past Darren and over to his crate. "Something wrong?" Darren asked as he watched Link closely.
Link opened the crate and silently stared at the contents: a hand-and-a-half sword with a purple hilt that had two purple wings protruding from the ricasso, covered in an elaborately designed sheath of gold and blue, a tattered canvas and two books of varying size. One of them bore a large Triforce in gold on the surface. "I think I know what the Rova Criminal Cartel are really up to." Link replied as he traced the fingers of his left hand over the Triforce symbol.
"Really?" Darren replied with a shocked expression as he stood next to Link. "Well? Are you going to tell me? How did you find out?" He asked, looking irritated.
Link nodded. "Yeah, but later, right now I've got a benefit to go to." He said, gathering his things. Darren, having no need to change, waited for Link as he dressed into a suit he kept at the hideout. "Well, how do I look?" Link asked as he walked back into the main room of the hideout and stood before Darren.
"Like a billionaire-heir vigilante." Darren jokingly replied with a smirk.
Link rolled his eyes and turned around to leave, just as his phone began to ring. "Hello?" He answered, sounding annoyed.
"Hello?" Navi spoke. "It's me, Navi...look, I know this is sort of unexpected, and a bad time – what with your benefit and all being tonight but… I really need to speak with you."
Link furrowed his eyebrows in confusion. "Navi – "
"It's about your family!" Navi blurted out, cutting him off.
Link blinked. "I...what? What about my family? Is everything okay?" He asked quickly. This was odd, even for Navi.
"I don't want to say anything over the phone, and I don't know who else to go to!" Navi said. "I wouldn't be asking you this if I didn't think it was important...please, just...can you meet me at my place? And don't tell anyone!" She urged.
Link swallowed hard before glancing at Darren. "I'll be there as soon as I can."
[A/N] Thanks to everyone for favoriting/following/reviewing this story, really means a lot! Now, one important thing I wanted to mention...earlier when Alexander was talking with Don Genie, Don mentions that he's in a hurry and that there's a racing crime-fighter in Mute City...I have thrown out lots of hints and eludes to this crime fighter throughout this story in almost every chapter, but I won't outright say who it is (I am sure many of you already know). There is a possibility I may have him enter the final battle briefly, however rest assured that this hero will be getting his own fic and it will be connected to The Green Knight. Next, the tattoo on Link's back is the Zora tribal symbol, so you can be sure that Link will be encountering the Zora's and key notable characters sometime in the future of the flashback events.
luisAM21: Glad you are enjoying the suspense! As for Anna, she will get help from her family but, and just like everyone else who's taking Nightmare now, we will see the effects it has on her (and others) mind. Thank for reviewing!
StraightedgeWingZero: I know right!? I really enjoyed writing that scene because it was one of the first time's where I brought in a major enemy of Link in the Zelda Universe but started him off as just some guy, now I can stretch it out a bit longer and really work with his origin story and have him return sometime in the future. I think, now that this latent power has been awoken inside Zelda, and Link is also having the Triforce of Courage, I think that when they are around each other they will start to feel this pull to each other and it will just sort of become apparent to them both. As for Link's official title, that will come soon, promise! In fact it will also be a chapter title.
Thanks to everyone else who reviewed! There will [probably] be a few more chapters left, but A Hero is Born is coming to a close, with one of the last chapters titled as The Green Knight. It will either be the final chapter or the penultimate chapter.
As always, until next time!