The Fall of Hyrule Castle Town

By Janus


The guard opened his mouth and yawned loudly. He made a cursory glance around the dimly lit room, pacing the length of it lethargically and with little real interest or enthusiasm. He had, really, about the worst post in Hyrule, he thought as he half-heartedly kicked at a crate, except maybe that of the Death Mountain gate watchman, Boris. But he envied even him. At least Boris has a view, he thought glumly. He sighed aloud and pushed open the heavy wooden door to take a brief look at the area he was stuck with - that of the raised steel portcullis, and the wide cobbled walk leading into the castle town. That and a room full of crates were the extent of his domain. He took a deep whiff of the freshly baked bread tantalizing him all the way from the town square. He listened to the muffled burbling of several conversations coming from up that way. He stood there for more than a minute, enjoying the cool, crisp air, and glanced up at the clear blue sky, inhaling deeply. It was a beautiful day. And yet again, he was obligated not to enjoy it. He sighed once more and turned to go back inside, when he heard a voice call out his name.


"Peter," shouted a gruff voice, coming his way. The guard winced at the tone and looked up to see the captain of the guard marching toward him. He saluted more smartly than usual, hoping to in some small way alleviate some of the trouble he was bound to be in now.


"Peter, why aren't you in there where you belong, boy?" the captain demanded, his voice tinged with annoyance. "I-I-. . .it's just, sir. . .that I. . .well, it's so dreadfully boring and lonesome in there, sir, and I was nearly about to fall asleep, just a little bit tired I mean, so I thought maybe if I stepped outside to clear my head, I'd wake up just a little b-" He stopped near the end of his sentence as he realized two things - firstly, that the captain's glare had softened somewhat, and secondly, that the sky was, mysteriously, darkening quickly. Very quickly. Where had those clouds come from so fast?


"Nevermind that, boy. I came out to tell you something. Boris is on leave next week, going home to see his kid, I understand. I guess that's who that stupid thing on his head is for, but anyhow, we need someone up there more than we need someone in that storage room you're SUPPOSED to be watching. The gate guard can keep an eye on things here for a week, leastways, and maybe you do need some waking up. So go on back home and see to what you need, then report to the barracks. You leave for Kakariko at first light tomorrow." He clapped the young guard on the back and glanced where the younger man was. "Looks like a storm, doesn't it? Hurry on, then."


The guard, troubled by the impossible change in weather, hesitated a moment, tore his gaze from the cumulonimbus above, then smiled and saluted again. "Yes, sir! Thank you, sir!" and started off down the walkway into town at a brisk pace. As he proceeded into the square, he saw people packing up and preparing to move out of the reach of the imminent rain, and noticed that the earlier conversations had fallen into uneasy murmurings. One old woman he passed grabbed his arm and shook him. "It's a bad omen, that! Dark, dark! The end is coming!" The guard shook her off, somewhat disgusted but equally disquieted. He heard her cackle as he hurried away. As he turned down the street leading to the soldiers' quarters, he heard a deep rumbling. He paused with his hand on the door. He suddenly felt very uneasy. Maybe the annoying crone was right. What if the world WAS going to end?


Suddenly, he heard a scream, which in his mind confirmed his fear. He turned back towards the square with a fearful visage and saw - Am I imagining. . .the prin-. . .!?

He stared as Princess Zelda, clinging tightly to Impa's waist, went racing by. In that momentary flash he got a glimpse of the horrified expression she wore, but before he had even two seconds to wonder at it, another horse raced by, carrying a grim-looking man with a hungry look. Understanding came instantly, and he raced out into the square, hefting his spear and dodging between the stunned and confused people lingering outside. "Stop!"


The man did not stop, or even seem to hear. In fact, he was well beyond range of hearing by the time the guard had found his voice. There was another ominous rumble of thunder and the storm suddenly broke. Rain came down in torrents as he raced back towards the gate. He saw no sign of the terrifying man on the dark horse, but instead the strange little boy in green who had one afternoon come in to chat with him and ease his loneliness. He would've smiled and greeted him warmly, but urgency pressed upon his tongue different words. "Where did he go?!" he cried. The boy looked up at him solemnly and pointed out the gate, then ran on towards the square and off in the general direction of the Temple of Time. "Wait!" he called after him, but the boy, like the sinister figure before him, did not stop, and so he was left with little choice but to hurry to the gate and look out. He looked up over the balustrade near the portcullis where the gate guard should be, but saw nobody there. He raced outside and across the drawbridge and saw nothing but gloom and then a flash of lightning. He spun and rushed back into town, intending to find the green-garbed child and ask more questions. As he once again crossed the square and turned towards the Temple, however, he heard a yell which made him go cold all over. It sounded triumphant, and chillingly evil. He took a few more steps towards the Temple when he heard another yell, this one both louder and more distinguishable. It was quite clearly a very, very angry "NO," coming from the same mouth as before.


Fear gripped the young guard, and he didn't have the courage to take another step towards the Temple, nor even to turn and flee. He stood transfixed, as the man he saw before stalked out of the Temple of Time. He had time to raise his spear before he noticed the man's hand was glowing, and then there was a flash of lightning that left him blinded. He realized that the bolt had inexplicably struck right in front of him - indeed, was trying to actually strike him, he was somehow certain - and as this bizarre realization washed over him, he was struck very hard in the side of the head and sent sprawling. He felt hot and sticky fluid running down his face, and the rain falling upon it made it sting fiercely. He tried to open his eyes, to push himself up, but failed on both counts. He groped for his spear, then felt searing pain as something struck him even harder in his left side and he fell unconscious.


The guard stirred and groaned. He felt a barrage of confusing and conflicting emotions. He was dazed and in a state of surreal shock. His first coherent thought was that the rain had stopped. His second thought was that it was very, very hot. He opened his eyes to behold flames. Everywhere. The town was burning. Corpses littered the ground of the square. Some of them were burned beyond the point of appearing human. Actually, as he stumbled to his feet and clutched his throbbing side, he realized that one of them was NOT human. It was WALKING. It was...


The....creature...emitted a piercing screech that sent the guard's mind reeling. Again he was paralyzed by unfathomable terror, as the thing lurched towards him. He had no idea what it was. He didn't know where it had come from. He had a fleeting thought that maybe it USED to be human - but that thought didn't come to a conclusion because the thing wrapped its arms around him and bit into his face. He screamed in pain, pain somehow worse than the two blows he had already received. He felt like something was being torn out of him. His final thought was I guess I'm not going to get to enjoy that view of Death Mountain.


Ganondorf stood upon the ramparts and watched as the flames flickered, greedily consuming what else they might before they died. He watched the wretched-looking corpses shuffling around below, watched with a malevolent grin as the young guard perished. The anger he felt at losing two-thirds of the Triforce had been greatly diminished by the destruction he had wrought with his new power. He was particularly satisfied with his creation of the Redead. He thought perhaps he would let the other corpses rot down to the skeletons and then reanimate and enhance them a bit. It was a pity he hadn't been able to kill quite everyone, but there would be plenty of time for that. He began to laugh, and his laughter echoed throughout the dark and dead city of Hyrule.

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