The Legend of Zelda: Fabric of Time, Part III
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"The Fabric of Time", part III, chap 1

The Legend of Zelda: The Fabric of Time

By: The Destined Hero

Part Three - A Link Through Time

Chapter One

A lone rider rode across the vast emptiness of the surrounding field. He had ridden this way before, but in a time that was much more prosperous and peaceful. Now, evil overran the entire countryside, leaving only a few safe places in all the land. This was not one of them. The open field was perhaps the most dangerous area to be in, aside from the Tower of Ganondorf. The evil tower could be seen in the distance, and he shuddered as he quickly glanced at it. Even though he was a good distance away from the tower, he was still far too close to it. He could feel the evil presence there, looking out over all the land, and if he didn't hurry, he would surely meet his end.

Scaring himself with thoughts of the tower, John forced his horse to go faster. He wanted the tower to be out of sight, he wanted to be out of the darkness, and he wanted to be back at the refuge. As he rode faster away from the tower, he couldn't help but think of the events of the last few months.

He had watched on, with a dying Jacob at his side, as the Evil King ran his sword through the Hero of Time. He went through several emotions all at once. Disappointment that Link failed, anger toward the man who had slain him and his friend, but mostly fear, for his own life and the life of all the people in Hyrule. He could hear Zelda screaming from the other side of the room, but it seemed strangely distant. Fully expecting to be killed very soon, he thought of Chris and the time they had together. He thought of his parents, his sister, his friends. Just as he accepted the fact that he would die, he felt the magical force on him dispel. Before he ran, he hesitated. Looking down on his friend's body, John felt guilty of leaving it there. But he knew he could never carry Jacob's dead body down the tower in time to escape alive. With one last look at his friend, he ran out of the tower with Zelda and Nick.

They reached Hyrule Castle as fast as they possibly could. They relayed the bad news to the Sages, although they already knew the fate of the mission. A heated debate rose over their next course of action. Zelda did not want to abandon her throne and her people, but the Sages felt that hiding was their best shot at survival and possibly victory. Reluctantly, Zelda agreed with the Sages and they searched for a place of hiding that would protect them from the evil that would soon spread. The Sages spoke to the Great Deku Tree, who permitted their passage into the forest. There, in the Lost Woods, Zelda, Nick, John, and the other survivors took refuge from the darkness, in hopes that one day, they would be able to defeat Ganondorf.

Although they were secluded in the Lost Woods, they still desired to see what was happening on the outside. Once every several days, a scout would be sent out to survey the surrounding areas. They kept a strict schedule over the past few months, and it was now John's turn. In his short journey, he had seen things he never wanted to see. Scores of dead citizens lying unburied in heaps by the river, monsters roaming around, killing any Hylian, Zora, Goron, or Gerudo it came across. The lands were badly scarred. Seeing enough, John had turned around.

John came back to reality. And as he did, he felt the first drops of rain and looked up. The dark sky became even darker as the storm clouds moved in. John saw a flash of lightning strike a tree not too far from him. Without hesitation, he jerked his horse faster, toward the entrance to the Lost Woods. He could barely see it in the distance, but he knew that he wasn't too far from it. He lowered his head and trudged along.

He rode as fast as he could, looking straight in front of him. It was because of this that he never saw the figure off to the right. The creature lurked in the shadows behind John, making sure to keep a safe distance from the rider. The figure followed him to the entrance of the Kokiri Forest. As John galloped in through the entrance, the creature, a Stalfos, was a little hesitant. But the realization of what Ganondorf would do to it if it failed its mission was enough to make it go on. Slowly, the creature walked through the entrance.

As John made his way into the Kokiri Forest, he heard faint sounds of footsteps on wood. He quickly turned to see if anything was following him, but saw nothing. He vowed to himself that he would be more aware of his surroundings as he couldn't give up the location of their refuge. With one last look around, he kicked the horse into a trot.

The Stalfos had just gotten into the shadows when its victim turned around. Almost caught, it decided that it would remain a little bit further back from the boy, as he would be on his guard now. As the boy began to ride away again, the creature slowly stepped out from hiding and once again began the pursuit.

John approached the entrance into the Lost Woods and stopped just short of it. He didn't hear anything this time, but rather felt it. The presence of something that was not akin to this wood. Still unsure of himself, John decided that the best course of action would be to go as fast as he could through the Lost Woods. That way, whatever was following him, if there was something following him, it would get lost in the maze of the Lost Woods and wander around it for all eternity. He brought the horse to a full sprint and entered the Lost Woods.

Unfortunately for John, this Stalfos was very fast itself when it needed to be. It was also an excellent tracker. The boy would not get away.

John raced through the woods, turning left, then right, then heading straight. He came upon a clearing like no other in the woods and slowed the horse until it stopped. Before he did anything else, John looked all around him, making sure that he had lost the creature that he felt following him earlier. Satisfied, he jumped off the horse, grabbed its reins, and walked over to a large boulder covered with vines. He raised his hand up and knocked three times.

As he waited for the passageway to be opened, his ears caught the sound of ruffling leaves. He looked behind him, searching for whatever made the noise. Silence followed, and the next sound was of the door beginning to open. As it opened, he not only heard a rustle, but had a feeling of being watched. He glanced behind him one more time, just as the Stalfos leapt out from behind a bush. The Stalfos charged straight at John, sword ready to strike. He barely had time to yell a warning.

"A Stalfos! We've been found!" he yelled as loud as he could. On the other side of the partially opened door, Nick heard John's words and pushed even harder on the door, trying to get outside and destroy the Stalfos.

Just as he opened the door, he saw the Stalfos thrust with his sword and pierce John's chest. The boy fell to the ground limply and face down. Nick unsheathed his sword and ran toward the Stalfos, but it wasn't going to stay for a fight. It fled from the Lost Woods faster then Nick could ever hope to run. Realizing that it was useless to run after the Stalfos, Nick returned to where John lay on the ground. He sat next to the boy and turned him over, supporting his head with his arms.

"I'm. I'm sorry." he tried to say, all the while coughing up blood, "I'm sorry, Nick. I was careless."

"Don't worry, John, it's not your fault," Nick tried to console him. "Try not to talk."

"If you. see Chris,. tell her. that I love her. always have."

"She knows, John. But you have my word that I will tell her once more for you. Now, be still."

John coughed a few more times, his breathing becoming more rapid, but more faint at the same time. "Link. he will come back. and save us. I know it." He let out one more breath, and then his heart stopped. Nick slowly began to cry, telling himself that it was not fair that John should die. He was much too young. He offered his own life for the boy's, but his offer was not accepted. John's blood mixed with the falling rain, forming a red stream that amassed in a puddle a few feet from his body.

The forest grew thicker as they made their way deeper into its heart. The trees were so close together that they stopped almost all light from reaching the ground. Link glanced around nervously from side to side, expecting an attack from something at any moment. Although he had not seen any monsters as of yet, he wouldn't let himself fall into a false sense of security.

"Hey, Ian! Are there any evil creatures in this forest?"

"Indeed there are," the man replied without so much as a glance back at Link.

"But, isn't this the Golden Land, the Sacred Realm? Shouldn't it be peaceful here?"

Ian let out a small chuckle. "How easily you forget, Link. We are not actually in the Sacred Realm, for we are in Purgatory. Evil can live in this place just as much as we can. Even now, the Sacred Realm is overrun with monsters and evil beings since Ganondorf reigned there."

"I see," he replied as he let out a small sigh.

"What was that for?" Ian asked, actually turning around to face Link this time.

"Well, it's just that there doesn't seem to be any place safe anymore. Everywhere I go, I have to watch my back or else I'll be killed. What kind of world is tha." Link was cut off as his foot got caught underneath a raised root. Before he could react, he found himself lying face down in the dirt.

Ian laughed heartily. "Well! It does seem that there is no place safe for a boy like you! You can't even walk! The Hero! Ha!" He reached down and grabbed Link's arm and helped him up.

"Very funny," Link said softly while brushing off his clothes.

"You should have seen your face! Ha ha! That alone was worth my time waiting for you!" Ian gave Link a big slap on the back. Not expecting it, Link fell forward, almost losing his balance and falling again. Ian laughed again.

"Ok, ok. The joke's on me. Can we get back to the task at hand, please?"

Ian tried to stop laughing, but it came with great difficulty. After several minutes, he was able to stop and put on a straight face.

"Thank you," Link sighed.

They continued their way through the forest again, moving ever deeper into the darkness. Link realized that he would have to rely more on his ears than his eyes for the time being. He listened intently to his surroundings, but heard nothing. Absolutely nothing. The eerie silence scared him more than he had ever been scared. He wanted so desperately to see what was around him. A faint rustle filled the air. Link's ears heard it and he quickly faced what he thought to be the direction of the sound. There it was again, but this time, it seemed to be coming from behind him. He turned, only to hear the rustle again, this time off to the left. Then it was right behind him.

With a quick turn and slash, Link struck his unknown enemy. He heard the evil beast yelp as the Master Sword cut it open. With its last breath, the wolf-like creature howled as loud as it could. The howl was answered by numerous other howls, each coming from a separate direction. Without the ability to see well, Link knew he was in trouble. He looked all around him, but he couldn't find Ian or the path that they had been traveling on. During his little confrontation with the creature, he had gotten all turned around and could no longer tell one way from another. He called out for Ian, only to be answered by the incoming beasts. With a quick, desperate decision, he took off running to what he could only hope was the right way.

Ian continued walking down the barely visible path. If he hadn't known the path, he was sure that he would never make it through the dense forest. But in the time before Link finally showed up in Purgatory, Ian was able to learn a great deal about the land and its inhabitants. Slowly, he went further down the path, feeling his way with his hands and legs as often as possible. Without turning around, he called out.

"Well, Link, it seems that you have been extremely quiet for the last twenty minutes or so. What's the matter? Are you scared?"

Ian waited for a response, but got none.

"Link? Link, are you there?" He stopped in his tracks and looked behind him, although with the darkness it didn't really do him any good.

"This isn't funny, Link. We have very important matters to attend to. Link?"

As he waited for a response again, he heard the howls of wolves off in the distance.

"Oh no. Those damn wolves! I hate those things! I hope he'll be alright," Ian said aloud to no one. He knew the beasts that roamed this forest and he regretted not warning Link about them. The boy had asked if there were evil creatures in the woods, but Ian felt he would tell him when, and if, they were attacked by any. Apparently, the wolves had attacked Link, and that worried Ian. These wolves are very much similar to the Wolfos that Link battled many times, but they are ten times stronger, and ten times smarter.

"I hope he'll be alright," he repeated to himself. He stared into the darkness one last time before turning back around in his tracks.

"Might as well get to the first portal now. If he survives the attack, he'll have to find his way there by himself."

He once again walked down the beaten path toward his destination.

Link finally stopped running after what seemed like an eternity. Breathing heavily, he leaned up against a tree to rest his body. It seemed that the beasts had decided not to chase him all over the woods, and for that he was thankful. He glanced around at his surroundings and could see almost nothing. He could make out the outlines of some trees, but that was about it. After taking a few minutes to catch his breath, he stood up and pondered what to do next.

"Ian!" he yelled as loud as he could. "Ian! Hey!" He got no response.

"Great, now what am I supposed to do?" His feet told him that he was at least on level ground. It seemed as though he had found a path, but how far ahead or back he was, there was no way of telling. He continued to stand there, totally lost on what to do.

"Give me a sign!" he yelled at the top of his lungs. His voice echoed throughout the woods until it faded away into the darkness, as if it were swallowed up by it. He stood in silence for a moment longer and was just about to give up when something caught his attention.

"Link. Link, help me. you must help me."

"Zelda?" He looked all around him, puzzled by the sudden emergence of his loved one's voice. "Zelda? Where are you? Zelda?"

"Link. over here. help me."

Her voice seemed to be coming from behind him. He swirled around and almost screamed in terror at the sight that stood before him. Tied on a torture rack, bloodied and bruised, lay Zelda, the Princess of Hyrule. He stood there for a short time, and then began to walk to her side. She lay there, crying, bleeding, and having trouble breathing. Link couldn't stand what he saw and his eyes began to tear up as a result of it. He reached his hand out to touch her face, but just as he was about to, another voice called him.

"Daddy! It hurts! Daddy! Make the bad man stop!"

Link froze in place. He knew the voice, and its owner, but he didn't want to turn around. He didn't want his worst fears to be a reality in front of him. Slowly, he turned around to see Evan chained to a wall, being lashed by a Stalfos. The boy was bleeding very badly, so much that his tears seemed to be blood themselves. Link's eyes swelled up even more as tears began to make their way down his face. Instinctively, he jumped at the Stalfos, only to fall flat on his face as he went completely through the apparition. Blinded by rage and sadness, he swung wildly at the Stalfos, each time his fists simply passing through it. His actions were interrupted by an evil, maniacal laugh.

He quickly turned around to see Ganondorf standing there, taking pleasure in the torture of Zelda and Evan. Link unsheathed the Master Sword and ran at the Evil King. He lunged forward, only to pass through him as well. Link stayed on the ground facedown as the Evil King began to walk over to Evan. Link raised his head, but didn't get up, as he realized that he was powerless to do anything. He was just a spectator to the events that were taking place in front of him. Without Ganondorf uttering a word, the Stalfos ceased to lash Evan and stood aside. He walked up beside the boy and smiled. The boy was shuddering in fear and pain. Ganondorf looked over at Zelda and laughed.

Link continued to watch on as the Evil King drew out a dagger and held it up to his son's throat. After a brief hesitation, which felt like a lifetime to Link, he slit Evan's throat. Blood poured out of the new wound causing Evan to choke as he tried to breathe. His mouth and eyes fluttered between open and closed as his life was taken from him. Finally, his struggling ended.

Link dug his head back into the ground, unable to keep himself from crying heavily. If it were up to him, he would keep his head buried there for all of eternity. But he was pulled out from his unbelievable grief by Zelda's scream. Once again, he lifted his head, now covered with tears and dirt.

Ganondorf was now directly beside her, his bloodied dagger in his right hand. He brought the blade up and pressed the tip onto Zelda's chest, directly over her heart. Slowly, he pushed the dagger into her, twisting it around to deliver even more pain. When he could not push it any deeper, he quickly removed it causing blood to spout from the gaping wound. Zelda struggled, but to no avail. Her body soon became as limp as Evan's, and Link's Hell was complete.

Link didn't let his head fall to the ground this time. Instead, he just sat there, staring at the horrible beast that had murdered his family and vowed vengeance. Suddenly, the Evil King turned and faced Link. Not only faced him but stared directly at him! Can he see me? What the hell is going on? Before he could react, Ganondorf raced toward the Hero, sword drawn. He leapt into the air, and as he came down on Link, Link could do nothing but hide his face in the dirt once again. The Evil King's yell became louder and louder and louder and.


Link removed his hands from the back of his head and looked around. He was still in the forest, exactly where he had been standing when he first heard Zelda's voice. A look of confusion swept across his face.

"What the hell just happened? Was that a vision? A premonition?"

He stood there, thinking about all that he had just witness. Did it ever happen? Was he already too late to save them? He pondered these questions and feared the answers.

Then, a golden light made its way through the forest. It broke Link's thoughts as it shown in his eyes. The bright light was very much like the one he had followed when he found Ian. Perhaps the Goddesses are helping me once again? Without another thought, he followed the golden light.

The light led him down a path. Whether it was the same path he and Ian had been following before or a different one altogether, he couldn't tell. It was leading him in the right direction, that much he knew. The tree line was becoming thinner and more light from the twilight sky could reach the forest ground. He continued along the path mindlessly, his thoughts driven elsewhere by the recent events that had transpired before him. Images of Zelda and Ian chained up and tortured; the sight of Ganondorf taking each of their lives from them; his family's dead bodies lying motionless. The scenes played through his mind continuously, as if they were on an endless loop of pain. Zelda's screams echoed in his head, her cries for help going unanswered. He only prayed to the Goddesses that what he had seen had not yet happened. He would save them, he had no doubt. But if it was already too late, he would avenge the deaths of his family and the people of Hyrule once and for all. There was no stopping him.

He became so engrossed in his thoughts that he never noticed he had left the forest several minutes before. When he finally broke out of his thoughts, he stopped and noticed the golden sky around him. Off in the distance, he could see a village of some sort. He wasn't sure if it were real or if it was part of his imagination. To the east of the village lay the path of the light. The light was more intense now that he had left the darkness of the woods, and he could sense that he was not far from his destination. He reached for his canteen and drank a mouthful of water. While he closed it, he surveyed the area briefly and didn't see anything that would cause any trouble, but he still kept his guard up. With a deep breath, he continued his journey. His destination was just ahead.

Ian took a big sip of his canteen when he finally reached the end of the wood. He looked back hoping that Link would be right behind him, but the boy was nowhere to be found. He took off his hat and wiped his brow with his handkerchief.

Now where is that boy? He thought to himself. Those wolves couldn't have been that much trouble for him. Wherever you are, Link, I hope you find your way back. You're our only hope.

Placing his hat back on, Ian turned his back on the forest and continued along the path that would lead him to the first gate. On his journey, his thoughts returned to the Hero.

The future is a much different place than the time that Link is from. The changes that have occurred over time will shock him, sadden him, and, possibly, anger him. Morals that he and the rest of the Hylians follow everyday without question are often ignored. It is crucial that he doesn't act out too hastily. I must make him understand that the times have changed, but I doubt he'll accept that. It doesn't matter if he doesn't accept the changes, but he must learn to live with them for the time being. Besides, we probably won't be there for that long, and I'm sure he has the self-control to hold back for the time being. That is, if we ever get there.

Ian looked up at the sky once again, wondering where Link could possibly be. Scanning the horizon, he couldn't find any signs of him, but he was approaching a small hill. Once on top of it, he could see more of the land, including his destination. He only hoped Link was close by.

In fifteen minutes, Ian was finally on top of the hill. He looked over all the plains and marveled at their beauty. He had been in this Purgatory for quite some time now, yet he could never get over how beautiful the land was. Placing a hand on his brow to block out the sunlight, Ian searched for any signs of Link.

And he found nothing. Not a sign of him. Discouraged, Ian looked in the direction of the first gate. Just as he was about to give up, he saw a small figure off in the distance, almost to the gate. Could it be that he has beaten me here? Ian thought to himself. It must be him! I knew he could do it!

Excited, Ian began to run down the path as fast as he could, laughing all the way. He made his way down the hill at a great speed and ran straight for the gate. He yelled out.

"Link! Link!" The figure ahead of him stopped in its tracks and turned in the direction of the voice. Ian continued to run as fast as he could and he would reach Link in a matter of minutes. His muscles ached, telling him to stop and walk, but he ignored them. He ran faster and faster and .

He tripped on a rock. Reacting quickly, Ian ducked his head under his arms and prepared to roll on the ground. He executed almost three somersaults before he was able to stop. After his little ordeal was over, Ian sat where he had landed to catch his breath. He looked up in front of him and could see the figure laughing. Could even hear it laughing. With only about two hundred yards to go, Ian pulled himself up off the ground and walked over to Link.

"Do you practice that move often?" Link said in between laughs. "Cause you sure did look good!"

Ian's face turned red at Link's ridiculing. He didn't know what to say, but he finally came up with, "I meant to do that."

This caused Link to laugh even harder. "Sure you did! You meant to do that! You wish!" The Hero couldn't stop laughing.

"I seem to recall you falling before in the woods!" Ian shouted out. The comment made Link stop laughing on a dime. "Yeah, I thought so."

They both stared at each other in complete silence, with only the noise of the wind. The silence continued, until both of them laughed together.

"That was funny, wasn't it?" Ian commented.

"Yeah, it really was."

They laughed for a couple more minutes and were finally able to keep control of themselves.

"So how did you get here?"

"I just followed the golden light," Link replied. "It was pretty simple."

"I thought I had lost you. I was really getting worried when you were no longer behind me."

"As was I. But all that matters is that I made, you made it, and now we can go on."

"Yes, we should be going through the gate." Ian pointed toward the gate, which stood several hundred feet away from them. He motioned and the two of them began to walk toward it.

"Hey, Ian. I saw what looked like a village up further along this road. Was that real, or just my imagination?"

"Oh, it was real, alright. There are many villages spread throughout Purgatory."

"But why? Shouldn't those people have either done what they needed to do to get into the Heavens, or gone to the Demon World?"

"Well, everyone here is trying to make it into the Heavens, but their repentance all take different amounts of time. I myself have been here for quite some time. Almost two years as time flows here. Some of these people have been here for many more years than that."

"Did those people do the worst things during their life?" Link inquired.

"No, not necessarily. Sometimes, someone's repentance relies on an event or person that is in the living world. They must wait for this event to happen or this person, as I did you. Time here flows much differently, adding to the wait. A short time in the living world can be quite long here in Purgatory."

"Ah, I see."

"Good, I'm glad. Well, here we are."

In front of the two travelers stood the gate. Just like everything else in this land, it seemed magical, and in this case, it was very magical. The gate was in the shape of an arch and consisted of some golden material that Link had never seen before. It reflected the light of day back at the travelers. Link stood there, astonished at the beauty and wonder of the gate. He never even moved as Ian walked within a few feet of the gate. The elder man looked up at the sky and lifted his arms into the air. He began chanting something that Link couldn't understand, but he really didn't care. Ian continued to chant as the archway began to light up even more than before. In front of him, Link could see a small glow coming from the center of the hemisphere enclosed by the archway. The vibrant glow grew bigger and bigger. The spot emanated a bluish light, much like the light that transported him back and forth through time on his first quest. The ground began to rumble as the opening grew bigger. Suddenly, there was a bright flash and Link had to shield his eyes from it. When he dared to open them once again, he found the gate completely opened before him. Ian stood off to the side, gazing at the gate like he had created the thing himself. Link remained standing there, unwilling to move. He stared into the portal for what seemed like an eternity until finally Ian brought him out of his little trance.

"Link! Let's go. We have much to do," Ian put his hand on the Hero's shoulder. Still in awe of what he had just witnessed, Link could do nothing more than nod his head in agreement. Ian removed his hand from Link's shoulder and walked toward the gate. Link looked on as he stepped through the opening and vanished into it.

He was still fixed in position and remained there for almost another minute before he forced himself to take a few steps forward. Finally, he was standing within a foot of the portal. He surveyed it by looking up and down, left and right, and all around it. Facing forward again, he took one last deep breath and stepped into the gate.

And vanished.